September 20, 2006

Pitt versus The Citadel quick hits

# The Pitt Panthers will try to rebound from their loss to Michigan state Saturday at Heinz Field when they face The Citadel at 1:30 PM. Pitt has played five 1AA opponents and is 5-0 all-time in those contests. This will be the first time Pitt has ever played The Citadel.

# The game will be carried nationally on Sirius Satellite Radio on channel 153. It will also be available on ESPN360 on some broadband services.

# Pitt is trying to go 3-1 for the third time in five years. In 2002 and 2003 they opened the season 3-1 and went on to play in bowl games both years.

# Pitt assistant coach Charlie Taaffe was the head coach at The Citadel from 1987-95. Taaffe's 1992 team went 10-3 beating both Arkansas and Army that year.

# Former Pitt broadcaster John Sauer was the head coach at The Citadel in 1955 and 1956. Sauer passed away in 1996.

# The Citadel is 0-2 this year. They lost their opener at Texas A&M by a score of 35-3. This is the 99th year that The Citadel has played football. The Bulldogs play in the Sothern Conference. In 2004 in Walt Harris' last year at Pitt Furman from the Southern Conference took Pitt to overtime at Heinz Field before bowing 38-35. Last year The Citadel lost to Furman 39-31 in overtime.

# Pitt wide receiver Derek Kinder is ranked No. 1 in the Big East and No. 2 nationally with 123.3 yards per game in receptions. Pitt has had the leading receiver in the Big East 8 of the last 9 years.

# Pitt middle linebacker H.B. Blades is ranked No. 1 in the Big East and No. 2 nationally in tackles with 13.7 tackles per game. Blades interception against Michigan State gave him five during his career at Pitt. Blades is set to move into the top ten all-time in Pitt history in tackles. Blades has 327 tackles and is only one behind Ramon Walker who had 328 while at Pitt.

# Pitt punter Adam Graessle ranks No. 2 in the Big East and No. 19 nationally with 43.39 yards per punt.

# Quarterback Tyler Palko is No. 6 in all-time career total yards with 6,325 yards. He is set to move past No. 5 John Congemi who had 6,361 total yards during his career at Pitt.

# The Big East is now averaging 40,596 in attendance this year after three weeks. West Virginia leads the conference averaging 60,365.

# Perhaps the biggest non-conference game this week will feature Louisville (3-0) at Kansas State (3-0) at Noon on the Fox Sports Network. Later that night South Florida (3-0) will meet Kansas (2-1) which is also on the Fox Sports network at 7:00 PM.

# The Big East Conference is 15-5 this year playing non-conference opponents. Should they win the two games Saturday in the state of Kansas they would be in a good position to build on that record this weekend.

# The Citadel played South Florida in 1997 and 1998 and split. They won at home in 1997 and they lost 45-6 on the road the following year.

# The coach at The Citadel, Kevin Higgins, is in his second year and is 4-9 so far. Higgins was an assistant coach with the Detroit Lions prior to coming to The Citadel.

# The Citadel will run the spread offense on Saturday. Duran Lawson will quarterback the Bulldogs. In his last game against Charleston Southern he completed 21 of 27 passes for 205 yards. His longest completion was a 36-yard score to true freshman Andre Roberts.

# Pitt has won 635 football games in its 177th season. It now ranks No. 21 all-time in NCAA victories.

# Pitt has now scored in 116 consecutive games which is easily the scoring longest streak in the Big East Conference.

Jim Snyder can be contacted at

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