Carrier Dome (49,262/FieldTurf)
BIG EAST Network Game of the Week
Mike Gleason, John Congemi and Eamon McAnaney
KDKA-FM 93.7 (flagship)
WTKW-FM 99.5 (flagship)
Sirius 121; XM 141
The Pittsbugh-Syracuse rivalry is the second-most-played series among current BIG EAST members … The teams meet for the 66th time Saturday, … Only the Pittsburgh-West Virginia series (102 games) has been played more frequently … Pittsburgh holds a 32-30-3 series lead … Pitt head coach Dave Wannstedt is 5-0 against Syracuse … The Orange had won 11 straight from 1991-2001, but Pittsburgh has taken seven of the last eight … The Panthers had three field goals and a defensive touchdown in last year’s 37-10 win at Heinz Field.
SYRACUSE (4-1, 1-0 BIG EAST)
Doug Marrone (Syracuse ’91)
8-9, second season
Syracuse is 4-1 for the first time since 1999, when the Orange won five of their first six … The Orange have held three opponents to single-digit scoring totals and have allowed more than 14 points to just one opponent (Washington, in a 41-20 loss) … The Orange have allowed just 14.8 points per game, good for 11th nationally … Syracuse received four points in this week’s Harris Interactive poll … RB Delone Carter registered his second consecutive 100-yard game in last week’s win at USF with 105 rushing yards on 26 carries … Carter has rushed for at least 91 yards in four of the five games this year … QB Ryan Nassib has completed 73 of 127 passes for 989 yards and 10 touchdowns with two interceptions … WR Van Chew has 23 catches for 402 yards and two touchdowns … The defense is led by LB Derrell Smith, who has 42 tackles, three tackles for loss and two forced fumbles … Ten different players have figured in the Orange’s 12 sacks … CB Da’Mon Merkerson has a team-high two interceptions.
PITTSBURGH (2-3, 0-0 BIG EAST)
Dave Wannstedt (Pittsburgh ’74)
37-29, sixth season
Pittsburgh fell to 2-3 with last week’s 23-17 loss at Notre Dame … The Panthers are 0-2 on the road this season and have dropped three consecutive road games dating to last year … Pittsburgh boasts what might be the nation’s top backfield tandem in RB Dion Lewis and RB Ray Graham … Lewis, last year’s BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Year and Rookie of the Year, has rushed for 206 yards and two touchdowns as a sophomore, while Graham — the backup — has 536 yards and five TDs … Graham is averaging 8.9 yards per carry and ranks ninth nationally in rushing at 134.0 yards per game … QB Tino Sunseri has completed 90 of 139 passes for five touchdowns and three interceptions … WR Jon Baldwin has 24 receptions for 322 yards and three touchdowns … The top man on defense is DE Jabaal Sheard, who has team highs of five sacks and eight tackles for loss to go with 11 quarterback hurries … DE Brandon Lindsey has four sacks and five tackles for loss … CB Jared Holley has a team-high three interceptions … LB Max Gruder has a team-leading 37 tackles … K/P Dan Hutchins leads the BIG EAST in both field goals (1.8 per game) and punting (46.3 avg.).