Maine Black Bears
Heinz Field (65,050/Natural Grass)
KDKA-FM 93.7 (flagship)
Saturday’s game will be the first meeting between Pittsburgh and Maine … Maine will face a BIG EAST member for the third straight season, and the fourth time in five years, after playing Connecticut in 2007 and Syracuse in 2009 and 2010 … The Black Bears are 1-8 all-time against Bowl Subdivision members, with the win coming at Mississippi State in 2004 (9-7) … Maine plays in the Colonial Athletic Association, which saw four teams defeat Bowl Subdivision members in 2009, had one such win in 2010 (James Madison over Virginia Tech) and has one already in 2011 (Richmond over Duke).
rv/- PITTSBURGH (1-0)
Todd Graham (East Central ’87)
1-0, first season at Pittsburgh
44-23, fifth season as collegiate head coach
Pittsburgh gave Todd Graham his first win as the Panthers’ head coach with a 35-16 decision against Buffalo Saturday at Heinz Field … The Panthers never trailed and broke open a 7-3 halftime score with 14 points in both the third and fourth quarters … After scoring one first-half touchdown, the Panthers scored touchdowns on four of their last five drives … Pittsburgh and Buffalo combined for 813 yards of offense … The Panthers ran 66 plays and saw Buffalo run 93 … The key man for Pittsburgh was RB Ray Graham, who rushed for 201 yards and three touchdowns, serving as the featured back in the offense for the first time … Graham, who had split time with current Philadelphia Eagles back Dion Lewis, registered his second career 200-yard game and gave the Panthers a 200-yard rusher for the second time in three games, dating to last season … QB Tino Sunseri completed 16 of 28 passes for 179 yards and a touchdown without an interception … WR Mike Shanahan stepped up as the leading receiver with five catches for 85 yards and a touchdown … DT Chas Alecxih led the defense with a forced fumble and a 47-yard interception return for a TD.
Jack Cosgrove (Maine ’78)
98-108, 19th season
Maine opened the 2011 season with a 28-13 win against Bryant Saturday in Orono, Maine … The Black Bears built a 28-0 lead after three quarters and held off Bryant’s comeback bid in the fourth quarter … Maine scored three rushing touchdowns and got one on special teams to offset Bryant’s 322-290 edge in total offense … RB Pushaun Brown brought a streak of three straight 100-yard games into the 2011 season and made it four straight with a 26-carry, 146-yard, two-touchdown effort against the Bulldogs … QB Warren Smith completed 14 of 20 passes for 135 yards without an interception … WR Maurice McDonald had six receptions for 52 yards … WR Trevor Coston was chosen as the CAA Special Teams Player of the Week after he averaged 26 yards on five punt returns, including a 74-yard touchdown … The Black Bears were 4-7 last season and were picked ninth in the 2011 CAA preseason poll, but also received votes in The Sports Network’s FCS national preseason poll.