This is a lot of points to be giving a 3-0 team that could run the ball like Connecticut. The Huskies got caught looking ahead vs. Temple last week, but look for a big effort here.
This line between the Pittsburgh Panthers and Connecticut Huskies seems inflated to us, due to the combination of the facts that Connecticut almost lost to Temple last week while Pittsburgh almost upset Michigan State on the road.
[articleBanner]who2beton[/articleBanner]The way we see things though, Connecticut got caught looking ahead to this game, knowing that they could sleepwalk their way to a win over the Owls. On the flip side, we feel that the Big Ten is grossly overrated, so we do not put much stock in Pittsburgh’s effort last week.
The bottom line is that Connecticut is 3-0, and we feel they will be able to control the clock with their running game here. Remember that the Huskies were in the top 20 in the country in rushing last season at 182.9 rushing yards per game, and based on the breakout game by sophomore Andre Dixon last week (129 yards on 21 carries), we look for them to have success on the ground here vs. an overrated Pittsburgh defense.
Yes, the Panthers are currently ninth in the nation in scoring defense (10 points per game) and 11th in total defense (237 yards per game), but keep in mind that before their encounter with Michigan State, their firs two games were vs. Grambling and Eastern Michigan! This assignment is significantly tougher.
When these teams hooked up in Connecticut last season, the Huskies came away with a wild 46-45 overtime victory. While we do not anticipate another shootout here, we do expect another tight contest that will not be decided until the closing minutes.
Free Pick: Connecticut +9½