Uncharted Territory

For the Pittsburgh football team, East Hartford, Conn., is uncharted territory. The Panthers will face Big East rookie Connecticut for the first time at Rentschler Field on Thursday night.

"I'm going into the unknown," Pittsburgh coach Walt Harris said. "From reading in the paper I know Duke had trouble with the noise there. ... But that's the exciting part of college football."

The young Panthers (2-1) will try to build on Saturday's 41-38 victory over I-AA Furman. Junior Josh Cummings drilled a 37-yard field goal in the first overtime to lock up the win.

Pittsburgh's ground game still leaves much to be desired (99.0 ypg., last in the Big East), but junior quarterback Tyler Palko is getting more comfortable in his role. Palko is averaging 219.0 passing yards per game and has thrown for five touchdowns against four interceptions.

The Panthers will also have to deal with a short week in terms of preparation. Pittsburgh will get less than four days to practice for talented Connecticut quarterback Dan Orlovsky.

The Huskies feature the league's top passing offense (293.2 ypg.), while the Panthers will field the Big East's fifth-best passing defense (208.7 ypg.).

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