The Matchup: Pitt vs. Connecticut

Article excerpt

When: 7 p.m. Today.

Where: Heinz Field

TV/Radio: ESPNU; 3WS 94.5 (WWSW-FM), Fox Sports Radio 970 (WBGG- AM); the Pitt ISP Sports Network; Channel 119 on SIRIUS Satellite Radio; Panthers All-Access.

Line: Pitt by 9

Prediction: Pitt 27, Connecticut 14


Connecticut leads the series, 2-1, with both victories coming at Rentschler Field in East Hartford. The Huskies beat Pitt, 46-45, in double overtime last season and 29-17 in 2004. The Panthers beat UConn, 24-0, at Heinz Field in 2005.


This is the Big East Conference opener for both teams, and the Panthers have a score to settle. The Panthers blew a 14-point, fourth-quarter lead in the loss to the Huskies last season, and it kept Pitt from clinching a bowl berth. It was UConn's only victory in conference play last season, and the undefeated Huskies are looking for their first win at Heinz Field.


Look for the Panthers to lean on freshman tailback LeSean McCoy, who is coming off a 172-yard performance at Michigan State, the seventh-best by a Pitt freshman rusher. Pitt's defense must stop UConn's balanced offense, which is averaging 414.7 yards. The Huskies feature a new quarterback in junior-college transfer Tyler Lorenzen and a backfield stable led by sophomore Donald Brown, who rushed for 205 yards and two touchdowns on 43 carries against Pitt last year. …