USF BULLS at PITTSBURGH PANTHERS
Heinz Field (65,050/Natural Grass)
Thursday, September 29 • 8 p.m. • ESPN/ESPN3D
ESPN — Rece Davis, Craig James, Jesse Palmer and Jenn Brown
ESPN3D — Dave Lamont, Tim Brown and Ray Bentley
USF Radio BIG EAST IMG College National Radio Pittsburgh Radio
WFLA-AM 970 (flagship) John Rooke and Peter Brock KDKA-FM 93.7 (flagship)
Sirius 85; XM 85 Sirius 91; XM 91
USF and Pittsburgh meet for the ninth time Thursday … Pittsburgh holds a 5-3 series lead and has won four of the six BIG EAST matchups … The Panthers have won three straight in the series, including a 17-10 decision last year at Raymond James Stadium … The schools have split four prior meetings at Heinz Field … USF’s last win in Pittsburgh was a 48-37 victory in 2007.
16/14 USF (4-0)
Skip Holtz (Notre Dame ’86)
12-5, second season at USF
84-55, 12th season as collegiate head coach
USF stands at 4-0 for the fourth time in the last five years following last week’s 52-24 win against UTEP … The Bulls play on the road for just the second time this season and the first time since their 23-20 win at Notre Dame in the first week … USF is ranked 10th nationally in both total offense (523.3 ypg) and scoring offense (45.5 ppg) … The Bulls have outscored their opponents by a 65-7 margin in the first quarter … QB B.J. Daniels enters Thursday’s game as the BIG EAST leader in pass efficiency (158.4) … Daniels has completed 82 of 124 passes for 1,071 yards and eight touchdowns with just one interception … Daniels also ranks sixth in the BIG EAST in rushing at 53.8 yards per game … RB Darrell Scott is the leading rusher and is fourth in the BIG EAST at 87.0 ypg … The top receiver is WR Sterling Griffin, who has 22 catches for 248 yards and a touchdown, good for sixth in the BIG EAST in receptions (5.5 rpg) and eighth in receiving yards (62.0 ypg) … The Bulls are tied for fourth nationally in turnover margin (2.0 per game) … USF has seven interceptions and six fumble recoveries through four games … LB Michael Lanaris has a team-high 27 tackles.
Todd Graham (East Central ’87)
2-2, first season at Pittsburgh
45-25, fifth season as collegiate head coach
Pittsburgh looks to rebound from back-to-back losses following a 15-12 setback to Notre Dame last Saturday at Heinz Field … The Panthers opened the season with wins against Buffalo (35-16) and Maine (35-29), but lost to Iowa (31-27) and Notre Dame (15-12) … The Panthers held fourth-quarter leads in both of their losses only to see their opponents rally down the stretch … RB Ray Graham leads the BIG EAST and is ranked eighth nationally in rushing at 127.0 yards per game … Graham has rushed for 508 yards and six touchdowns on 100 carries … Graham was held below 100 yards for the first time this season against Notre Dame (89 yards) … QB Tino Sunseri has completed 65.1 percent of his passes (82 of 126) for 823 yards and four touchdowns with four interceptions … Graham has a team-high 21 receptions, while WR Devin Street has 17 catches for 257 yards and a touchdown … LB Max Gruder has a team-high 35 tackles, while LB Brandon Lindsey leads the team with three sacks.