23rd-Ranked Panthers meet Boston College

Pitt (5-2, 2-0) takes on Boston College (5-3, 1-2) in their last Big East meeting before the Eagles take off for the ACC.

The administration at Boston College has shown a lack of character and integrity by lying to Big East officials on two separate occasions while they were working on deals behind the scenes, moves that many feel they will come to regret in the future.

The Eagles are coming off a 27-25 win over Notre Dame. Pitt is coming off a 34-14 win over Syracuse. BC returns 5 starters on each side of the ball from a team that went 9-4 last season. Pitt will look to keep their defensive momentum going as they have a big task facing them with the Eagles' star senior RB Derrick Knight.

Knight leads the Big East in rushing with 980 yards on 186 carries and 3 TD's and is ranked 7th in the nation with a 122 yards per game average. He averages 5.3 yards per carry. BC also has a very good QB in junior Quinton Porter. Porter has completed 120 of 207 passes for 1,492 yards and 14 TD's. His leading receiver is Junior Grant Adams. Adams has 24 catches for 379 yards and 2 TD's on the season.

On defense, Boston College is led by sophomore defensive end Mathias Kiwanuka who leads the Big East in sacks with seven. He is a force that should end up playing on Sunday and has over 10 tackles for a loss this season. Senior Josh Ott is one of the best linebackers in the conference and sophomore CB Will Blackmon is a top pass defender who also is a dangerous kick returner.

Pittsburgh will look to continue to ride the hot passing combination of Rod Rutherford to Larry Fitzgerald. If Fitzgerald makes a TD catch against BC, he will set a new NCAA record with a TD catch in 14 consecutive games. He currently shares the record at 13 with Michigan State's Charles Rogers.

Pitt's defense had a strong performance against Syracuse after struggling in several prior contests. They are finally starting to get a better pass rush on opponents and it has been paying off. The defense has played as many as 11 freshmen and sophomores this season and as the young players have gained experience, their performance has improved greatly.

Pitt hasn't won at Boston College since 1989. Pitt has a 2-3 record against BC over the last 5 years. The Panthers defeated Boston College 19-16 last year in overtime at Heinz Field. This is a game that both teams need badly as they both have several tough games yet to play in the conference.

Brian Gold
PittInsiders.com


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