The bottom line is UC will not have the tune-up game opportunity Pitt enjoys this weekend. That will be a disadvantage, there is no way around that particularly with 65 first- and second-year players.
An adage across college football and one I've heard come out of Butch Jones mouth many times is that most progress is made from Game 1 to Game 2. The Panthers, with a first-year head coach, will benefit.
Jones and the Bearcats do their best to duplicate chaotic situations and pressure plays during practice, but there is no telling how kids will react under the lights.
"(Pitt) has already been through all the game management situations, that is a tremendous challenge," Jones said. "Having the right guys on the field -- eleven guys on the field, your different situational football."
Jones said he's added slightly more substitution work lately to compensate for the lack of a game and high number of young players this weekend, but for the most part practice followed the same model as in past years.
One more interesting comment Jones made in regards to the game was admitting Pitt has been his pick to win the conference.
"You look at their football team, it's comprised of the most Top 50 football players in the conference," he said. "The expert in Kirk Herbstreit picked them to win the Big East conference, which really, they've been my pick. They are an extremely talented football team and we have to play well. We'll know more of exactly where we are at after the game Thursday night."
--- Great night for Bearcats in the NFL. First off, Isaiah Pead enjoyed his best night as a member of the Rams. He rushed 10 times for 58 yards including runs of 28 and 14 yards. He struggled to find openings through the first three games, but found a rhythm in the final shot.
JK Schaffer is going to make the Jaguars today, it appears. CBSSports.com and SBNation both say so. And if there were any doubt, Schaffer put the exclamation point on a great preseason with an interception last night.
Here is video of the JK pick.
Making an NFL team as an undrafted free agent isn't easy, but nobody that reads this blog blinks an eye in surprise.
Mardy Gilyard may finally be figuring out what it takes in the NFL. His will be a name to watch as cuts fall today. He had five receptions for 71 yards and a TD last night. The BearEagles could be adding another if he survives.
It's no secret Gilyard struggled to find himself in the league, but his talent is no secret around here as well. Perhaps he needed a little humbling to hit his stride.
By the way, Adrien Robinson caught two passes for 24 yards Wednesday night for the Giants.
--- Break up UConn. Oh wait, they played UMass. Nix the breaking.
--- What do you guys think of the new site? RIP my old bald man sketch. Now, nobody will think I'm a 55-year-old retiree. (Truth: I'm 31 and don't have giant sketched scars on the side of my face)
--- The Afterhours promotion appeared to be a huge success last night, sources say the phones were ringing off the hook. Way to come through Bearcats fans.
--- I discussed the Take the Field videos yesterday after the post from BearcatsNation. I can only say that I have now seen an exclusive sneak peak of the 2012 edition. All I'll say is it's strong and absolutely will challenge for the title of best at Nippert.
--- We've talked quite a bit about the running backs and possible rotation here and Bill Koch put together this piece on the rock of the rotation George Winn.
Talked with OC Mike Bajakian about how the running back situation panned out entering game week. He offered this assessment:
"We're happy with all those guys. George Winn continues to be the rock of the group as the fifth-year senior whose got the most experience, a good sized back whose physical in his style of play. The other guys have come along. Jameel Poteat has come along, Ralph David Abernathy, Deionte Buckley, the list goes on, they've continued to progress.
"They all have their strengths and weaknesses, it's the tricky part with any position or players. Whether multiple guys competing for playing time or multiple guys, the tricky part for coaches is how to utilize their talents."
--- Some randomness...
--- Starting in October, the final season of the Jersey Shore will air. Yes, it's still on. If I told you I still watch, would you judge me? Don't answer that.
--- Brutal missed PI call to cinch loss for Vandy vs. South Carolina last night.
--- College football sets the bar high for dumbest play of the season on Day 1. Was anybody on the field doing the right thing? I mean one single player?
--- When you go live next to a baby Rhino, you got to know this will happen. In fact, I'd call it best case scenario for the viewer.
--- It's the 25th Anniversary of Street Fighter. Apparently there are now 66 playable characters in the SF universe. The game also produced the nerdiest moment of the century.
--- Wish I was in Philly this weekend. Jay-Z and Pearl Jam headline the Made In America Festival. That's about as good a 1-2 combo as you are going to get. Would be even better if Hova went Unplugged. Have a great weekend everybody. Game week is upon us.