Pitt travels to take on Temple

Temple should come into this game with plenty of confidence. They battled 12th ranked Virginia Tech last Saturday before falling 24-23 in overtime. Last season's game between the Panthers and Owls featured a hard fought contest in which Pitt was lucky to escape with a 29-22 victory. Last week the Owls may have found a player to build their future around in sophomore QB Walter Washington.

Against Virginia Tech, not only did Washington out-rush superstar running back Kevin Jones, but he also had a very strong game passing as well. Washington rushed for 150 yards on 28 carries and 1 TD in that contest. He also completed 15 of 30 passes for 156 yards and 2 TD's. Standing at 6-2 and weighing over 230 pounds, Washington is a handful for any defense to deal with. He has completed 69 of 134 passes this season for 816 yards and 7 TD's. He also has 390 rushing yards on 94 carries this season for a 4.1 yards per carry average.

Washington's favorite receiver is senior Zamir Abdul-Hak Cobb, the 2nd leading receiver in the Big East conference this season. Cobb has 62 receptions for 728 yards and 5 TD's this season. Another top receiving target is junior Phil Goodman. Goodman has 41 catches for 589 yards and 4 TD's this season. His 6-3, 215 lb. frame causes matchup problems in the secondary. Owls senior RB Makonnen Fenton is another talented athlete. He has 328 yards on 77 carries for a 4.3 yards per carry average. Fenton has been catching the ball also and has registered 19 catches for 105 yards and 1 TD out of the backfield.

On defense, the Owls are led by sophomore Rian Wallace, who is No. 2 in the conference for tackles with an average of 12.3 per game. Wallace also ranks No. 2 in the conference for tackles for a loss with 14.5 on the season. Strong safety Konte Sadeke and junior defensive end Christi Dunbar are two other standout defensive players.

The Panthers look to put last week's loss to stateline rival West Virginia behind them. They still have a shot to win the Big East Conference and get a BCS Bowl berth if they win out. Pittsburgh has won the last 4 games against Temple, but 6 of the last 8 meetings between them have been decided by 7 points or less. Pitt leads the series 24-8-1. Gametime is 1pm Saturday.

Brian Gold
PittInsiders.com


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