Temple comes to Heinz Field to face No. 22 Pitt

The Panthers look to improve to 5-0 in the Big East with a win against the Owls in a game that will honor former Pitt star Dan Marino.

Pitt 7-2 (4-0) takes on Temple 3-6 (1-3) Saturday for a Big East game that will also honor all-time Panther great Dan Marino. Pitt is coming off of a 28-21 upset win over No. 3 Virginia Tech. Temple is coming off of a 46-20 loss to West Virginia. Pitt defeated Temple 33-7 last season in a turnaround win after starting the season with a 1-5 record.

The Owls are led on offense by standout senior running back Tanardo Sharps. He has good size at 5-11, 193 lbs plus he has excellent speed. He has rushed for 945 yards on 212 carries for a 4.5 yards per carry. He is a dual threat. He also has 23 catches for 172 yards. Sophomore QB Mike McGann has done a nice job this season spreading the ball around. He is 124 of 261 for 1,511 yards and 12 TDs this season. He has excellent size at 6-6, 210 lbs and does a nice job getting everyone involved in the offense. The Owls' top WR is 6-1, 180 lb junior Zamir Cobbs. He has 35 catches for 392 yards and 5 TDs. Temple spreads the ball around quite a bit as they have six receivers with at least 11 catches and seven receivers have at least one TD catch!

All-American candidate Dan Klecko leads Temple on defense. Dan leads the Big East conference in tackles for a loss with 14.5 so far this season. He showed what a force he can be by how easily he went through Miami's offensive line earlier this season. What is even more impressive is that he did that with a bad ankle! Temple has an outstanding run defense. They held Virginia Tech's Lee Suggs to 47 yards on 19 carries and Kevin Jones to 72 yards on 17 carries. They also out-hit Miami for the entire first half and took it to them physically. The Owls have two excellent performers in the secondary in 6-1, 190 lb senior safety Jamal Wallace. He is among the top 10 in tackles in the Big East conference. Senior CB Terrance Leftwhich, 6-1, 185 lbs, is another standout that is among the leaders in the conference in pass breakups.

This game is big for a number of reasons. Another win will move Pitt up even higher in the rankings. It will also secure a nice bowl game even with two games left to play. It will also set the stage for a Thursday night showdown on ESPN against top ranked Miami. Throw in the fact that Pitt will be honoring Panther legend Dan Marino, and it makes it a must game for all Panther fans to attend. Pitt has started 7-2 for the first time since 1983. They have won 13 of their last 15 games. Pitt is ranked No. 15 by CNN/SI, No. 16 by The New York Times and No.17 by The Sporting News.


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