Bearcats Breakfast 9.5.12

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Tomorrow is gameday, people. It's getting real.

If you have the fever, remember tickets still available to be a part of the Blackout. I know this sounds hokey, but there really are few things like a night game on national TV at Nippert.

I thought the NC State game last year was one of the cooler games I've experienced anywhere. Here's a reminder in case you forgot.

Almost there.

Let's eat...

--- When looking at the matchups to watch Thursday, the best place to start would be up front. Anybody who watched Youngstown State rack up 204 yards on 46 rushes understands the Panthers can be had in the running game.

Pitt doesn't start a single senior on defense and ran out five freshmen and sophomores Saturday.

Can this reformed Bearcats offensive line enforce the will up front? With new starters at center (Dan Sprague), right guard (expected to be Sam Longo) and Eric Lefeld moving from right tackle to left tackle Cincinnati will learn if how quick this group can come together.

They'll need to pick up the extra slack as the running game adjusts to not having Zach Collaros and Isaiah Pead running the zone read behind them.

--- Pitt doesn't mess around when recruiting offensive linemen. They need to be big and could all possibly smuggling young adults inside their bodies. These guys are massive.

Here is the Bearcats O-line measurements:

Lefeld (6-6, 287)
Bujnoch (6-5, 285)
Sprague (6-3, 283)
Longo (6-5, 286)
Hooey (6-9, 295)
AVERAGE: 6-5.6, 287.2

These guys are built for speed and blocking in space. The Panthers are built for tearing Heinz Field to shreds. Here are their measurements:

LT Cory King (6-6, 325)
LG Chris Jacobson (6-3, 295)
C Ryan Turnley (6-6, 320)
RG Ryan Schlieper (6-5, 310)
RT Matt Rotherham (6-6, 335)
AVERAGE: 6-5.2, 317

Approximately a 30-pound difference player for player up front. More importantly, the Panthers line up across from a UC defensive front undersized after losing Derek Wolfe and John Hughes to the NFL.

In the middle, starters Camaron Beard (6-5, 275) and Jordan Stepp (6-1, 268) will be severely outsized giving up 50 pounds in some spots. Not allowing Pittsburgh to grind down the middle of the defensive line will be key and UC will rely on transfer DT John Williams (6-0, 283) to help absorb the blow.

Now, the Panthers offensive line may be big, but they sure weren't very affective against YSU and need polish -- a lot of polish, as Down the Drive points out in this film review.

If UC can keep the Panthers from averaging four yards per carry, they will win this game. If the game plan shifts to Tino Sunseri attempting to throw on the UC secondary that's when Pittsburgh is playing the game the Bearcats want.

--- Filed under stating the obvious, dateline Pittsburgh: Nowhere to go but up.

--- Nobody wants to claim Pitt these days.

--- Wrapping it up quickly, since we are one day away from the final River City Rivalry in the foreseeable future, I can't miss another opportunity to post this. Enjoy.

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