Pitt hosts Cincinnati as rivalry resumes

pitt-hosts-cincinnati-as-rivalry-resumes

The River City Rivalry is back after an 11-year hiatus.

Cincinnati and Pittsburgh played annually as Big East Conference members from 2005 through 2012, but Saturday’s kickoff between the teams at Pittsburgh will be the first meeting since 2012.

Both teams are coming off lopsided home wins over FCS opponents.

Cincinnati started a new era with a 66-13 win over Eastern Kentucky, which was the debut of head coach Scott Satterfield and a bevy of transfers who are helping fill roles for a Bearcats team that returned one starter on offense and three on defense going into the season.

The most impressive of the newcomers was quarterback Emory Jones, who had stops at Arizona State and Florida.

Jones went 19 of 23 passing for 345 yards and five touchdowns in the win.

However, Satterfield knows offensive production will be harder to come by against Pittsburgh.

“Pitt has a better defense,” said Satterfield, who coached Louisville from 2019-22. “They have a tremendous defense, actually. It will be a lot more of a challenge. But I think whoever they put down in front of us, we have to go out there and try and play our very best.

“I can’t apologize for putting up points and yards, but we are going to try and execute. When you execute, good things happen. It’s going to be hard to execute (against Pitt). We’re going to have to be more sharp.”

The Panthers earned a 45-7 victory over Wofford in their opener, as quarterback Phil Jurkovec led the way by going 17 of 23 passing for 214 yards and a touchdown.

Pittsburgh head coach Pat Narduzzi said while preparing for Cincinnati might be difficult given all of its new players, it will be a little easier playing them in the second week of the season as opposed to the first.

“Really good players, but you’ve got at least a game tape on them,” Narduzzi said.

“It would be a lot harder if we opened up with them and didn’t know. You’re going back to watching their old school or old high school tape, but kind of like an opener with a lot of those guys.”

– Field Level Media

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