"From an injury standpoint, we are probably about as healthy as we could expect coming out of a very physical training camp. Greg Romeus is a big topic, and he's been great the last week. Ray Graham is very close; he practiced in team (drills) yesterday and he will be available to play.
"Every place I've coached for 16 years, we went out (to Denver) the day before, lined up, and played. That's Dallas, Chicago, and Miami. I think all the studies will tell you that if you wanted to make a total adjustment, you have to be out there three days. It takes 72 hours. So even going that extra day like some of the NFL teams do, it doesn't do anything. You go out, you line up, and you play."
They must contend with the thin air of Rice-Eccles Stadium, elevation 4,657 feet. The coaches and players have downplayed the altitude, but it will have some affect, however small.
When the Pitt men's basketball team played in mile high Denver in the 2008 NCAA Tournament, a number of players admitted breathing was noticeably more difficult.
Combine Utah’s nine-game bowl winning streak with season openers, games after byes and games held on nights other than Saturdays and the Utes have won their past 13 contests when they have more than a week to prepare.
Oh yeah, and don't forget about, you know, the actual game. There's a pretty good team on the other side of the ball - and a unique one:
No. 15 Pitt will try to solve Utah's high-scoring spread offense when the No. 15 Panthers open the season Thursday at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City. The Utes run four-receiver sets, power formations, the option and the Wildcat -- and that's just the beginning.
"Everything you think you might see in a year," Bennett said, "we are seeing in the first game."The Panthers know first-hand how potent Utah's offense can be. Then-coach Urban Meyer's Utes routed Pitt, 35-7, in the Fiesta Bowl following the 2004 season. Back then, the spread offense wasn't as prolific. Today, it is the offense of choice for many programs. Pitt's schedule is dotted with teams that use some version of the spread, including West Virginia and Cincinnati.