Syracuse returns two starters on offense, six starters on defense, plus its kicker and punter. Despite a 1-3 record, Syracuse has played a much tougher schedule than Pitt has at this point. Syracuse's three losses were to BYU, North Carolina and Auburn.
Syracuse is led on offense by 6-1, 233 lb senior QB R.J. Anderson. He is 30 of 71 for 572 yards and 2 TDs. Troy Nunes, who has been a "Pitt Killer" his whole career, will most likely get playing time also. Troy is from Butler, Pa. and has always done well against his hometown Panthers. Sophomore Walter Reyes, 5-10, 205 lbs, leads the Syracuse rushing attack. He has carried 55 times for 383 yards and 6 TDs. Freshman Damien Rhodes, 6-1, 195 lbs, is also very talented. He has carried 53 times for 263 yards and 4 TDs. The Syracuse WR unit is led by 5-7, 175 lb senior Jamel Riddle. Jamel has 9 catches for 264 yards and 2 TDs.
On defense, Syracuse is led by 6-3, 263 lb senior LB Clifton Smith and 6-0, 195 lb senior strong safety Keenon Walker. They both are among the best at their positions in the Big East.
Pitt will look to continue its strong showing on offense that it had last week against Toledo. Rod Rutherford was 18 of 27 for 316 yards and 3 TDs last week while freshman WR Larry Fitzgerald had 6 catches for 121 yards and 2 TDs. Pitt's defense has been strong all year to this point, but they have always had a hard time with the Syracuse option attack in the past.
Syracuse has an 11 game winning streak against Pitt, who has not won at Syracuse since 1982. Pitt has won 10 of its last 11 games dating back to last season.