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Pitt vs. North Carolina: Open Gamethread

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Pitt takes on North Carolina today in what is pretty much a must win. The Panthers won't be heading to the ACC title game but a bowl game is still within reach. Even a loss doesn't rule the postseason out for the team, but with a difficult road game in the season finale against Miami, it may be now or never.

As I wrote in the game preview, you can probably expect a shootout of sorts. Both defenses have turned in poor performances and that side of the ball for the Tar Heels in particular has been an absolute train wreck. As I noted earlier, they've faced stiffer competition than Pitt. Still, though, that doesn't explain allowing ECU to hang 70 on them.

One problem for Pitt could be on special teams as well. The Panthers are still dealing with the costly miss by kicker Chris Blewitt but the real threat comes via North Carolina's return man Ryan Switzer, who returned two kicks for touchdowns last season. You've got imagine they'll try to avoid him at all costs, but if the ball ends up in his hands, watch out.

And yeah, so this is annoying:

North Carolina sophomore All-American Ryan Switzer soothed some hurt feelings in his native West Virginia last season, when he returned two punts for touchdowns against Pitt.

"This was a big step for me as a true freshman college football player on the big stage against a team that I grew up hating," he told reporters this week while taking a break from preparations for the Pitt rematch Saturday in Chapel Hill, N.C.

"It helped win a lot of hearts over in good, old West Virginia for leaving and going out of state (to college). I think I made some people happy (by) beating their rival."

Join us at 12:30 p.m. to comment live during the game.

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