November 22, 2013
SYRACUSE (Newhouse Sports Media Center) — Syracuse and Pittsburgh have played each other 68 times on the gridiron. This Saturday, for the first time ever, the game will be played with both teams as members of the ACC. “I’m extremely humbled to be a part of it as a head coach now,” said Syracuse Head Coach Scott […]
SYRACUSE (Newhouse Sports Media Center) — Syracuse and Pittsburgh have played each other 68 times on the gridiron. This Saturday, for the first time ever, the game will be played with both teams as members of the ACC.
“I’m extremely humbled to be a part of it as a head coach now,” said Syracuse Head Coach Scott Shafer at his Thursday press conference. “Growing up as a kid, I watched those games…now we’re in the ACC, that’s the only change.”
Shafer’s team is 5-5 on the year, with two chances left at earning a bowl bid. The same is true for the 5-5 Pitt Panthers.
Historically, these two teams are about as even as two teams can be. Pitt leads the overall series 34-31-3, and has won seven of the last eight. Yet when the two teams met last year, Syracuse won a close one 14-13. They’re so close that throughout the history of this rivalry, Syracuse averages 19.6 points per game against Pitt, and Pitt averages 19.5 against the Orange.
Both teams are coming off tough losses, but in different fashion. Syracuse ran into the ACC’s version of a superpower last week in Florida State, and the Seminoles had their way with the Orange. Pitt played a close game against North Carolina, but even after a furious rally in the fourth quarter, the Panthers comeback attempt fell just short.
This game features a ton of guys who know each other very well from the past. The two teams feature 14 players who played together in high school. Syracuse RB/WR Ashton Broyld (Sophomore/Rochester, NY) played with four Pitt players at Milford Academy in New Berlin, NY.
“They talk a lot of trash, you can see it on film, helmet moving, looking at the guy with their body language,” Broyld said. “I don’t keep in touch with any of those guys.”
Milford Academy (New Berlin, NY) – Syracuse: RB/WR Ashton Broyld, LB Dyshawn Davis, WR Jeremiah Kobena; Pitt: FB Mark Giubilato, DL Khaynin Mosley-Smith, DB Jevonte Pitts, LB Todd Thomas
Liberty High School (Bethlehem, PA) – Syracuse: WR Jarrod West; Pitt: WR Devin Street, LB Anthony Gonzalez
The Haverford School (Haverford, PA) – Syracuse: CB Joe Nassib; Pitt: LB Matt Galambos
Blue Mountain High School (Schuylkill Haven, PA) – Syracuse: C Jason Emerich; Pitt: K Brad Lukasak
Pitt Wide Receivers vs. Syracuse Defensive Backs
The Panthers have two of the best wide receivers in the ACC in Devin Street (Senior/Bethlehem, PA) and Tyler Boyd (Freshman/Clairton, PA). Street and Boyd are the only pair of teammates to rank in the ACC’s top seven in both receptions and receiving yards per game.
“Street’s had a real good run at Pitt, but Tyler Boyd is only a handful of catches…under what Larry Fitzgerald [had] in his freshman year,” Shafer said. “Larry Fitzgerald, come on, so this kid is really good.”
Syracuse is a little banged up in the secondary. After losing CB Keon Lyn (Senior/Miramar, Fla.) for the season to a lower body injury against Clemson, the Orange lost CB Julian Whigham (Sophomore/West Palm Beach, Fla.) to a long contusion against Florida State.
Look for Wayne Morgan (Sophomore, Brooklyn, NY) to see a lot of time in Whigham’s stead, and Joe Nassib (Senior/Newton Square, PA) could see some action as well.
Aaron Donald vs. Syracuse Offensive Line
Donald (Senior/Pittsburgh, PA) has been a one-man wrecking crew on the Pitt defensive line. He’s a finalist for the Nagurski Award (awarded to the top defensive player in college football), as well as the Rotary Award (awarded to the nation’s top offensive/defensive lineman). He has 22.5 tackles for loss to go along with ten sacks so far this year in ten games.
Syracuse’s offensive line is one of the few units on the team that has remained healthy all year. The Orange has started the same offensive line for every game this season. Keeping Donald out of the face of quarterback Terrel Hunt (Sophomore/Rosedale, NY) is key for the Orange to gain any sort of yardage with all of their offensive injuries.
Adrian Fleming (lower body) – out for year
Ross Krautman (lower body) – out for year
Keon Lyn (lower body) – out for year
Tyler Marona (upper body) – out for year
John Raymon (lower body) – out for year
Prince Tyson Gulley (lower body) – out for game
Brisly Estime (upper body) – out for game
Isaiah Johnson (upper body) – out for game
Ben Lewis (upper body) – out for game
Jarrod West (upper body) – out for game
Julian Whigham (upper body) – out for game
Jason Emerich (lower body) – doubtful
No formal injury report released to media.