Early Road Game With Traditional Rival of Yore
What’s this Heather Likes stuff? Oh yeah, Heather Lyke is the University of Pittsburgh AD. She’s their Sandy Barbour. I bet RD would go for her athletic looks. Just a hunch.
Heather came to Pitt from Brick Dick U., where she was also AD, but as an undergraduate at Michigan her sport was softball. She was captain of the Mishugganah Wolverines’ softball team before she earned a J.D. at University of Akron School of Law.
I think this overachieving Heather is a good catch for Pitt, until she decides to wait for an opening in Ann Arbor. She also favors getting the Pitt-PSU rivalry going again, but that’s not Lykely to happen for another decade, if at all.
But I digress…
Yeah, we have a football game coming up this weekend. I’m one scared turkey! This is the next-to-last game in the renewed, home-and-home series with Pitt, and it’s over yonder on Heinz Field, where Penn State fans will be found in abundance. Pitt (1-0) is coming off an expected 33-7 win over FCS Albany (0-1) of the Colonial Athletic Association, whereas your #13 (really?) Nittany Lions (1-0) blew a 14-point lead over Sun Belt Conference Appalachian State (0-1) to win in OT, 45-38.
Like App State, Pitt has a precocious sophomore QB — this one named Kenny Pickett. The kid led his team to a 33-point first half before the Pat Narduzzi brain trust started playing Paternoball and handing the task of protecting the lead to his defense. The D-Boys proved equal to the task, shutting out Albany for three quarters after an early score. You might remember Pickett from Pitt’s upset win over Miami last year in his first start. However, he’s human — having turned the ball over twice in the second half of the Albany game.
Remember me making fun of WR Maurice Ffrench llast yyear? Wwell, hhe’s bback! Ffrenchyy returned the opening kickoff 91 yards against Albany. I’m sure your mind is flashing back to the 100-yard return debacle last week. Let us all hope our kickoff coverage unit learns something during this week’s practice sessions and that Ffrenchy leads off with two big Fs.
By the way, Penn State fans all remember Vinny Testaverde and that 1987 Fiesta Bowl. Well, sacre bleu! His son Vincent, a fifth-year senior, quarterbacked the Great Danes in the tilt with Pitt.
Pitt ran for 238 yards behind the only remaining Qadree at Pitt, Qadree Ollison, who himself racked up 73 yards on just seven carries.
What can I say about the Pitt defense? Not much, but they did record five sacks and six TFLs against Albany, who they held to just 60 yards rushing. They did seem vulnerable to the pass, giving up 263 aerial yards, while recording two interceptions.
It is fortunate for the big guys on both teams that a cold front will whip through da Burgh during the week. Temperatures, which have been running in the sweltering 90s are expected to be in the low 70s and high 60s on Saturday. A 60% chance of showers and thunderstorms is forecast.
Da Bottom Line
And now, for the Official Turkey Poop Prediction, which I’m totally going to pull straight out of my cloaca today. I really feel shaky about this game.
The bookies’ consensus favors Penn State by 8½ points, with an over/under of 57. I haven’t looked at the money line but for my money, I sure wouldn’t want to touch this one with a ten-foot pole (or even a six-foot Pole). The spread works out to suggest a final score of something like 33-24 in favor of the good guys. Although I’m not seeing clearly — after all, these are old turkey eyes, not eagle eyes — I would take Pitt and the points, methinks, probably, maybe. I’d also take the over. But that’s all mind-betting, because I ain’t touching this!
(Your favorite turkey will return after the game — which I have to miss because of a damned board meeting — with his usual pearls of bird-brained fowl wisdom. I’ll have to watch the replay, so y’all will know the results before I do.)