Jim Kelly Jr. has been the Bearcat football analyst for the last 14 years. Here are his thoughts about UC's very first Big East contest.
UC – Pittsburgh Preview
As Cincinnati prepares to play its first Big East game, Saturday, October 8, at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, against the Pitt Panthers, there are a few similarities to both teams in the stats column. Those similarities might explain why Pitt comes into the game at 1 – 4 and Cincinnati limps in at 2 – 2 after two straight sub par performances. Both average about the same yardage on offense, and both are significantly behind in the turnover/takeaway categories.
The Panthers average points per game (21.4) actually is exactly one full point better than their opponents, but scoring 41 against Youngstown State and 29 in a losing effort to Rutgers, help pad that average. New Coach Dave Wannstedt's offense plans, do not entirely mesh with the personnel left behind, but Quarterback Tyler Palko is certainly capable. Palko is completing 56 % of his passes, the same percentage as Cincinnati QB, Dustin Grutza. One difference for the Panthers is they have a receiver who has stepped up big time. Greg Lee has hauled in 26 catches for 481 yards and 3 touchdowns. The Bearcats have 3 receivers with 15 each.
The Quarterback situation with Cincinnati is one to keep an eye on. It is no secret; Grutza has been dinged a bit and has not been able to do some of the things on the field in the past two games he was able to do in the first two. No question the Bearcats will have to run the ball successfully against the Panthers to be in this one. Pitt gives up over 160 yards per game on the ground and a 200 plus rushing game for the Cats makes this an interesting game.
Bearcat Insider would like to thank Jim for this preview of the Bearcats first Big East contest in schools history.