The Panther Report

Panthers coach Walt Harris saw some promising things in Saturday's 27-22 come-from-behind victory over Temple.

He hopes those aren't fleeting, as his team has a tough game this week when it hosts Boston College (4-1) at Heinz Field.

"In the fourth quarter we played like a good team," Harris said. "We're shooting to play well for four quarters because we know we're in for a battle with Boston College."

For the second time in three games, the Panthers (3-2) rallied to win a close one. Pittsburgh came back from a 16-6 halftime deficit and outscored Temple 21-6 in the final 30 minutes.

Junior quarterback Tyler Palko turned in a promising performance, completing 13 of 18 passes for 191 yards and one touchdown. He also rushed for 28 yards on 12 carries and didn't turn the ball over.

Harris clearly believes the Panthers can build on last week's performance, but not without some semblance of a running attack. Senior running back Raymond Kirkley rushed for 86 yards on 21 carries and two touchdowns, but Pittsburgh still managed only 126 total yards on the ground.

It's fair to say the Panthers still haven't recovered from losing players like Heisman candidate wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald or quarterback Rod Rutherford. Surprisingly enough, though, Pittsburgh owned an identical 3-2 record at this point last season.

*** Pittsburgh continues to struggle with its rushing offense (101.0 ypg.), which is ranked sixth in the seven-team Big East. RB Raymond Kirkley rushed for 86 yards on 21 carries and two touchdowns against Temple, but the attack still needs to improve.

*** Pittsburgh owns the Big East's fourth-ranked defense (366.2 ypg.). LB H.B. Blades lead the team in tackles with 44.

Quote The Coach: "The best thing he did was not (commit) one turnover. That's where he has to focus his attention. He played extremely well. He did a nice job scrambling; he made some tremendous plays and was accurate for most of the afternoon. He'll have his hands full (against Boston College), but I'm looking forward to seeing him perform." -- Pittsburgh coach Walt Harris, on QB Tyler Palko's performance against Temple. He was 9-for-9 in the second half.

Inside The Game: Boston College at Pittsburgh, Oct. 16 -- The Panthers have won three of the last four meetings, including a 24-13 decision at Boston College last season. Pittsburgh's offensive line must protect QB Tyler Palko, who has been forced to use his feet in recent weeks. The Eagles have produced 11 sacks in five games.

Matchup:QB Tyler Palko -- The 6-2, 220-pound junior completed 13 of 18 pass attempts for 191 yards against Temple. He led the Panthers to their second come-from-behind victory in the past three games.

WR Greg Lee -- With Pittsburgh's run game struggling, the 6-2, 180-pound sophomore has been Palko's favorite target. Lee caught eight passes for 159 yards, including a 50-yard touchdown reception, in the Temple victory. He is the Big East's top receiver (96.0 ypg.).

Quick Hit: LT Rob Petitti (concussion), Pittsburgh's lone returning starter on offense, missed the Temple game. On Monday, coach Walt Harris said he didn't know if Petitti would be available for Boston College. Dale Williams will likely shift to LT and redshirt freshman Mike McGlynn might fill in at RT.

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