|Pittsburgh freshman running back Rushel Shell is coming along nicely playing alongside Ray Graham. (US Presswire)|
Kickoff: Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET (Big East Network)
Spread: Pittsburgh by 11
Watchability: Not very, would be the best way to describe it. Pittsburgh has been bad, but Buffalo has been worse. The only allure would be the possibility of a Panthers loss, which, even in Pitt's case, is unlikely.
Shining stars: Pittsburgh: QB Tino Sunseri. The lone bright spot on the Panthers' offense, Sunseri is having his best year as a collegian -- personally, at least. Sunseri had another solid game in the loss to Louisville last week, throwing for 287 yards and two scores. There are plenty of weapons in the Pitt passing game, and Sunseri has done a good job of spreading the wealth. Buffalo: LB Khalil Mack. Make no mistake, the Bulls' defense has been atrocious this season, allowing almost 35 points per game. But Mack has been impressive, recording 12.5 tackles for loss in just five games, good for second in the nation. The Pittsburgh offensive line has not been particularly good at protecting Sunseri, so Mack may make a home in the Pitt backfield.
Who could steal the show: Pittsburgh: RB Rushel Shell. One of the nation's top recruits entering the season, Shell has begun coming into his own with the recent decline of Ray Graham. Shell racked up 130 total yards last week against Louisville, while splitting time in the backfield with Graham. If Pitt can build a lead, expect Shell to get the bulk of the work for the Panthers in an effort to keep the banged up Graham fresh. Buffalo: WR Alex Neutz. The junior has found the end zone seven times already, and he is certainly quarterback Alex Zordich's favorite target. It's likely that Buffalo will be forced to throw often, which sets up nicely for Neutz.
You going? Ranking the road trip: Going to this game will probably not be too much fun.
Magic number for Pittsburgh: 2. In games when Pitt has forced more than one turnover, the Panthers are 2-0. When they haven't forced multiple turnovers, they're 0-4.
Magic number for Buffalo: 3. An impressive Bulls statistic: Against Georgia in both teams' opener, Buffalo completed three touchdown drives of 75 yards or more.
The game comes down to: Pittsburgh. If Pitt does what it's supposed to do on both sides of the ball, the Panthers should have no trouble. If they don't, well, they could have issues.
Prediction: Pittsburgh 40, Buffalo 20
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