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Pitt Has Another Tough Test When It Entertains Top-10 Oklahoma State Saturday
(Photo: Jester Weah. Photo by Paul Burdick. Check out more of Burdick’s work here)
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• Pitt will play a Top 10 opponent for the second time in as many weeks when it hosts No. 9/8 Oklahoma State at Heinz Field. The Panthers are looking to bounce back from last week’s 33-14 loss at then-No. 4 Penn State.
• This will be only the second all-time meeting between the Panthers and Cowboys. In the inaugural game last season, Oklahoma State used a late touchdown to slip past Pitt, 45-38, in Stillwater.
• In Oklahoma State, the Panthers are facing one of the country’s most prolific offenses. The Cowboys are averaging 51.5 points and 572.5 yards per contest.
• Fueling the Cowboys’ attack is quarterback Mason Rudolph, the all-time leading passer in Oklahoma State history with 9,352 yards. Rudolph’s top target is explosive receiver James Washington, who averages an incredible 30.4 yards per catch. Both players are All-America candidates.
• The game will be a significant test for Pitt’s youthful defense. Through the opening two games, the Panthers have essentially been breaking in nine new starters on that side of the ball. This week’s two-deep lists only two seniors—end Allen Edwards and cornerback Avonte Maddox—on defense.
• Pitt’s ability to possess the ball will be key. Through two contests, the Panthers have averaged 36:25 in possession time, the sixth highest average in the nation. In contrast, the quick-strike Cowboys average only 26:42 to rank 101st.
• Oklahoma State is the highest ranked opponent Pitt has hosted at Heinz Field since a 42-30 loss to No. 8/9 Notre Dame in 2015.
• The Panthers’ last win over a Top 10 foe occurred on the road, 43-42 over No. 3/2 Clemson last year in Death Valley. Pitt last defeated a Top 10 team at Heinz Field in 2003, a 31-28 win over No. 5 Virginia Tech.
This marks the second meeting between Pitt and Oklahoma State…it is the final contest in a two-game home-and-home agreement…the inaugural game was played last year in Stillwater, a 45-38 Cowboys victory…the Panthers have played eight of the 10 programs in the Big 12, the two exceptions being Kansas State and Texas Tech.
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