Pittsburgh Panthers — 2015 Syracuse football scouting report

Pitt has started the season 5-1
Pitt has started the season 5-1

Syracuse hosts No. 25 Pitt at the Carrier Dome on Saturday. Here is a quick look at the game:

GREAT START: Pat Narduzzi has his team ahead of schedule. The Panthers have raced out to a 5-1 record, and currently are currently ranked No. 25 in the latest Associated Press polls. It’s the first time since the 2010 season that Pitt has been in the top 25. But in his weekly press conference, Narduzzi downplayed the number. “All of these preseason rankings had at least seven teams in the top 25 but, where are they now?” Marduzzi said. “It’s the same thing mid-season.” Still, there’s no denying that Narduzzi has gotten Pittsburgh out of the doldrums. They’ve mostly been a .500 team since Dave Wannstedt’s resignation in 2010. But with a win over Syracuse, it will clinch bowl eligibility, and keep Pitt’s reign on the Coastal Division. “5-1 is the success, it’s not the number they put next to our name,” Narduzzi said. “We have goals and places we want to go and our kids know that.”

» Related: Is Syracuse coach Scott Shafer nearing the hot seat?

SCOUTING THE PANTHERS: Tyler Boyd, one of the elite receivers in the country, has continued to play at an elite level. He’s hauled in 41 receptions for 396 yards and four touchdowns, and now owns the school record for career catches with 204. It was a special day for him in a 31-28 win over Georgia Tech, when he caught eight passes for 68 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He also ran five times for 26 yards and threw a 29-yard completion against the Yellow Jackets. On defense, freshman strong safety Jordan Whitehead leads the team with 45 tackles and has previously been named ACC Rookie of the Week. Linebacker Matt Galambos is second on the team with 36 tackles and leads Pitt with four sacks.

HISTORICALLY SPEAKING: The Panthers hold the lead in the all-time series, 36-31-3. The last time these two teams met was on Nov. 22, with Pitt topping Syracuse 30-7. Boyd was, not surprisingly, one of the game’s stars, as he finished with seven receptions for 126 yards and a touchdown.

GAME INFORMATION: Saturday, Oct. 24 at noon at the Carrier Dome. TV: ESPNU.

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About Wes Cheng 2907 Articles
Wes has worked for Rivals.com covering the New York Knicks, as well as for Scout.com covering Syracuse athletics. Wes has also been a contributing writer for the South China Morning Post (Hong Kong), for SportsNet New York (SNY) as a news desk writer covering all of New York professional sports, and reported on the NBA and MLB for the New York Sportscene. A native of Long Island, New York, Wes graduated from Syracuse University in 2005 with a degree in journalism. Contact him at wes[at]sujuiceonline.com.