Pitt Navy

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Current Betting Line Favors Pitt over Navy

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You can’t blame them for trying; the Navy Midshipmen almost took down the Ohio State Buckeyes in their first Game of the year. They ultimately fell short, blowing a two point conversion that would’ve tied the Game late in the Fourth quarter. The Midshipmen have since improved their record to 1-1, and will be playing their second road Game of the year against the Pittsburgh Panthers this week. The Panthers are a perfect 2-0 after downing Youngstown State at home and then handily defeating Buffalo on the road. The current line favors Pitt by -7.5 with a total of 52 at 5dimes.com

The Navy Midshipmen looked very strong in their first Game of the year against the Ohio State Buckeyes. QB Ricky Dobbs played very well. He was 9/13 passing for 156 yards and 2 TDs. He also rushed for 83 yards and 2 TDs. Marcus Curry was also strong for the Midshipmen, catching 2 passes for 103 yards and 2 TDs. He had an excellent play where he picked up 85 yards. Navy turned the ball over 3 times in that Game. Play calling was a worry at times, with Navy opting to throw the ball on their botched 2 point conversion attempt instead of running it home. Navy ranked 1st in the entire NCAA last year in rushing at 292.4 yards per Game.

Navy’s defense returns 7 starters from a unit that was most improved in terms of points allowed last year. They do an excellent job of forcing turnovers, ranking 7th in the country last year in turnover margin. If Navy is able to put a lot of points on the board, and create havoc for Pittsburgh early it could keep them off balaNCe for the entire Game. I’d like to see the play calling sticking to what the Midshipmen do best; running the ball down their opponent’s throat. Problems could arise if Navy finds itself in a two possession Game late because they aren’t an effective passing team.

The Pittsburgh Panthers are a perfect 2-0 after wins over Youngstown State and Buffalo. They took 2008 MAC Champions Buffalo down by a score of 54-27. Buffalo is a team that is better than most people think. QB Bill Stull was nearly perfect in that Game, throwing for 172 yards and 3 TDs. Dion Lewis went wild at RB, rushing for 190 yards and 2 TDs. He had a long run of 85 yards. The defense was fairly solid, coming up with 3 turnovers. The Panthers were heavily penalized, giving up 119 yards because of 11 penalties. They can’t afford to do that against a solid team like Navy.

Pittsburgh boasts one of the best defensive lines in the entire country. They can bring plenty of pressure to opposing QBs, and their blitzes are top notch. The Panthers also have a strong offensive line. Bill Stull looks to be improving at QB, and he has a valuable weapon in WR Jonathan Baldwin. He can also rely on TEs Nate Byham and Dorin Dickerson. Losing LASean McCoy to the NFL Draft hurt this team. He was an explosive back who shouldered much of the load last year. I’d like to see Pittsburgh Scoreearly and put the pressure on Navy to beat their defense. The Panthers play well at home and will be formidable here.

This is a big year for Pitt and Coach Dave Wannstedt. There can’t be any excuses this year. This is Wannstedt’s 5th year. It’s been 3 years of mediocrity and a 9-4 season last year. The team is largely intact from a year ago, a year which saw them beat Navy on the road by 20 points and pile up a season high 499 totals yards while holding Navy to under 200. If Pitt is indeed improved and if Pitt is indeed going to make some noise this year, they need to beat Navy soundly at home. Navy caught Ohio State looking ahead to USC. They won’t catch Pitt doing the same. Look for Pitt to take this Game by at least two touchdowns.

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