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2009 Big East Prospectus Part 4: Pittsburgh

Editor’s Note: This is part four of an eight part series giving analysis of each of the eight teams in the Big East Football Conference, proceeding alphabetically, but ending with Syracuse. Two new teams will be released each weekday for the next four days, leading up to the start of the Syracuse Football season. Feel free to use the comment section to supplement the facts and analysis presented, however the opinions will stand. Enjoy and I hope you are looking forward to the new Big East football season as much as I am. Part 3 can be found here.
Preview – This team is sitting pretty. Fifth year coach Dave Wannstedt (WANNSTACHE!!!) brought his alma mater back to a bowl game last season, and despite losing that game, Pittsburgh still had a nine win season, winning five of seven in the conference. The big loss for this team is stud RB LeSean “Shady” McCoy, who was simply excellent for Pitt. Although their running attack will not be as prolific, they have plenty of people that can carry the ball, including several blue chip recruits for the position. QB Bill Stull (188/330, 2356yds, 9 TD, 10 INT, sacked 25 times) returns for his senior season and should have less picks and more touchdowns as more responsibility will be on him to lead this team offensively. Defensively, this team has an excellent offensive line that returns three All-Big East players. They will have the ability to pressure opposing quarterbacks and will be stingy on opposing running attacks. The defense will be solid, but this team’s success will rest on the QB finding a bone fide target to throw to, and that looks to be WR Jonathan Baldwin (18rec, 404yds, 22.4avg, 3 TD). Success of this team will rest on this relationship.

Key Returning Players – DE Greg Romeus, S Dom DeCicco, QB Bill Stull

Key Losses – RB LeSean “Shady” McCoy, WR Derek Kinder, K Conor Lee

My Thoughts – This team will be good and actually fight for the league championship. My feeling is that the offense will not be as good as last season, as the running attack will not be as good, and the QB will still throw several picks. But the defense will get this team through it and they should be in the top three positions for the league.

Will We Beat Them? – Although we gave them a good run last year, and their offense will not be as good as then as well, we will lose this game. Playing at Pittsburgh is never good for Syracuse, and this team will be vying for the top spot in the league. Their defense will just be too much for Syracuse, and their offense will do just enough for Syracuse to lose. Again, not seeing the team in full action though, an upset, because of the way these two teams played last year, would not be so far out of the question. Either way, I’m taking this as a loss however.

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