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The University of Pittsburgh will get a glimpse of what life is like in the ACC, where it is headed in 2013 when the Panthers host Coastal Division favorite Virginia Tech on Saturday. The Hokies are 10-point favorites on WagerWeb.com.
Things haven’t gone well for first-year head coach Paul Chryst at Pitt. The Panthers dropped their season opener at home to FCS school Youngstown State. Then on Sept. 3, Pitt lost 34-10 at Cincinnati. Pittsburgh had a touchdown wiped out by penalty, and QB Tino Sunseri threw an interception in the end zone and held the ball too long on the final play of the first half, letting the clock run out with the ball at the 2-yard line.
Ray Graham, who returned this season following reconstructive knee surgery, had a 50-yard run that set up Pittsburgh’s field goal for its first score. Graham carried 19 times for 103 yards. Freshman running back Rushel Shell made his debut and carried eight times for 31 yards. Shell, who set a Pennsylvania high school rushing record, was one of six players suspended for Pitt’s opener.
The offensive line was a major problem last season when the Panthers allowed the most sacks in the country. The half-dozen they gave up to the Bearcats has them tied for 12th in the category two games into 2012.The Panthers are 0-2 for the first time since 2005.
Virginia Tech escaped its season opener vs. Georgia Tech and then had no problem Saturday in beating Austin Peay 42-7. Logan Thomas completed 15-of-23 for 212 yards and 2 TDs. He also ran one in from a yard out.
Tech Tech and Pitt will play each other annually as part of the ACC’s Coastal Division, renewing a rivalry that was among the more entertaining in the Big East before the Hokies split for the ACC in 2004. Saturday’s game will be the 12th football meeting between Virginia Tech and Pittsburgh. Tech holds a 7-4 lead in the series, but Pitt has won the last three in the series, including both games played at Heinz Field. The teams last played in 2003, Virginia Tech’s final season in the Big East.
Hokies are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games following a SU win of more than 20 points. Hokies are 2-10 ATS in their last 12 games on grass. Hokies are 1-8 ATS in their last 9 games after allowing less than 20 points in their previous game. Hokies are 0-5 ATS vs. a team with a losing record. Hokies are 0-5-1 ATS in their last 6 non-conference games. Panthers are 6-0 ATS in their last 6 home games vs. a team with a winning road record. Panthers are 14-3 ATS in their last 17 games following a S.U. loss.