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Pitt-UConn: At first glance

Rich Schultz

Well, winning the Notre Dame game would have made things much easier, right?

Pitt now is dangerously close to missing a bowl game at 4-5 and they've now got to win at least one road game to go ... anywhere. First up on Pitt's path to destruction? UConn.

The bad news is that the Panthers now have a quick turnaround, playing a Friday night game after (for once) not having a noon home game. Pitt has precious little time to get ready for the Huskies, but the fact is that they have no other choice. Plus, UConn has likely had less time to prepare since they traveled to South Florida for a night game on Saturday.

Let's get this out of the way - Connecticut's pretty bad. They're 3-6 with wins against Massachusetts, Buffalo, and Maryland. But if you're thinking this is a game Pitt easily should win, that might be a bit off base. Four of UConn's six losses have come by a touchdown or less and for the most part, they've been competitive. They nearly beat a decent North Carolina State team, losing 10-7 early in the season and a few weeks ago, hung with Rutgers for three quarters. These two teams might be a bit closer than we all realize.

So while UConn may not be very good, they're not awful. And when you mix that along with the fact that Pitt will be facing a potentially rowdy crowd for a Friday night ESPN2 game, I've got a hard time just assuming the Panthers will win this one. A huge part of that is going to be determined by which Pitt team shows up. If it's the one that nearly beat the Irish this week, Pitt should win fairly easily. But if the Panthers play down to their competition, anything can happen.

In addition, the Huskies have played Pitt pretty tough over the years. Since joining the Big East, the two teams are 4-4 against each other. The Panthers just haven't always had an easy time with the Huskies.

At first glance, Pitt should win this game - but a good effort by the Huskies should at the very least keep things interesting.

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