Game Two: Pitt (0-1) vs. Ohio (1-0)
Saturday, September 7 at 11:00 a.m.
Series Record: Pitt 6-1
Last Game: Ohio won 16-10 in OT (2005)
Pitt is moving on from their season-opening loss to Virginia and quickly. This week’s game against Ohio is a rare 11 a.m. kickoff, presumably scheduled then to allow the new ACC Network to show as many games as possible. Despite the early kickoff, the Panthers can’t afford to come out still sleeping. Even though Ohio is a member of the Mid-American Conference, they were the preseason pick by the media to win the whole thing. They’re also led by well-respected coach Frank Solich, who is now in his 15th season leading the Bobcats. Coincidentally, the last time these two teams played Solich was only coaching his 2nd game for Ohio and pulled off 16-10 upset win in Overtime. So if anyone knows about pulling off an upset, it’s Frank Solich. Additionally, they’re led by a dangerous dual-threat Quarterback who is widely considered to be the best in the MAC. Overall, this is a game that Pitt cannot take lightly and if they don’t show up to play, they’re in real danger of starting the season in a deep hole.
Nathan Rourke leads the Ohio offense and is, as mentioned above, a true threat with his legs and his arm. Last season he led the MAC and was 10th in the country with 8.9 Yards per Passing Attempt (YPA). On the ground he has rushed for at least 800 yards and recorded double-digit rushing touchdowns in each of his two prior seasons starting. For his career he has 6.6 Average Yards per Rush and 37 touchdowns, almost matching his 42 career passing touchdowns. Many may argue that he’s racked up these stats largely against MAC defenses and they would be correct. If we look at just his performance against Power 5 opponents (3 prior career games) it’s more of a mixed bag. He still has averaged 8.7 YPA in these games and has 5 touchdowns and no interceptions. However, Power 5 defenses...
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