at PITTSBURGH PANTHERS
Heinz Field (65,050/Natural Grass)
Saturday, November 5 • 7 p.m. • ESPNU
ESPNU — Rob Stone and Danny Kanell
Cincinnati Radio Pittsburgh Radio
WLW-AM 700 (flagship) KDKA-FM 93.7 (flagship)
Sirius 112; XM 112
THE GAME • THE RIVER CITY RIVALRY
Cincinnati and Pittsburgh have met 10 times prior to Saturday’s game and the Panthers hold an 8-2 series lead … Pittsburgh won the first seven meetings before Cincinnati won back-to-back matchups in 2008 and 2009 … The last two meetings have directly impacted the BIG EAST title race — Cincinnati rallied for a 45-44 win at Heinz Field in 2009 in what amounted to a winner-take-all game for the league championship, while Pitt earned a share of the 2010 BIG EAST title with a 28-10 win last year at Nippert Stadium.
No. 23/22 CINCINNATI (6-1, 2-0 BIG EAST)
Butch Jones (Ferris State ’90)
10-9, second season at Cincinnati
37-21, fifth season as collegiate head coach
Cincinnati has won five straight and comes off a bye week … Saturday’s game is the second in a stretch in which the Bearcats play on the road four times in five games … Cincinnati leads the BIG EAST and is 10th nationally in scoring offense (41.0 ppg) … The Bearcats are second nationally in rushing defense (72.7 ypg) … RB Isaiah Pead is third in the BIG EAST in rushing (100.4 ypg) … Pead has rushed for 703 yards and eight touchdowns on 114 carries and is averaging a league-leading 6.2 yards per carry … QB Zach Collaros has completed 128 of 200 passes for 1,576 yards and 14 touchdowns with six interceptions … WR Kembrell Thompkins (30 receptions, 388 yards, 2 TDs) and WR Anthony McClung (29 receptions, 371 yards, 3 TDs) comprise one of the top receiving tandems in the BIG EAST … LB JK Schaffer is fourth in the BIG EAST in tackles (7.7 per game), while DT Derek Wolfe has 32 tackles to go with five sacks, 10 tackles for loss and two forced fumbles … P Pat O’Donnell leads the BIG EAST and is ninth nationally in punting average (45.5 ypp).
PITTSBURGH (4-4, 2-1 BIG EAST)
Todd Graham (East Central ’87)
4-4, first season at Pittsburgh
47-27, fifth season as collegiate head coach
Pittsburgh snapped a two-game slide with a 35-20 win against Connecticut last Wednesday … The Panthers are 4-0 when scoring at least 35 points and 0-4 when they have been held to fewer than 35 points … The win against Connecticut came with a heavy price, however, as three starters were lost to season-ending injuries, including RB Ray Graham … Graham entered last week’s game as the nation’s second-leading rusher, but suffered a knee injury on his second carry against the Huskies … WR Cameron Saddler (sternum) and OG Matt Rotheram (ankle) also saw their seasons end due to injury against the Huskies … QB Tino Sunseri threw for a career-high 419 yards in the win against Connecticut …Sunseri has thrown for 1,623 yards and seven touchdowns with seven interceptions this season … WR Mike Shanahan has a team-high three touchdown receptions … LB Max Gruder is second in the BIG EAST in tackles (71, 8.9 per game) … DT Aaron Donald leads the BIG EAST with seven sacks, while DT Chas Alecxih and DE Brandon Lindsey have 4.5 sacks each.