College Football

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                === ACC action pits Panthers against Hokies ===
 
 Blacksburg, VA (SportsNetwork.com) - Former Big East rivals are set to square
 off for the first time as Atlantic Coast Conference foes, as the 24th-ranked
 Virginia Tech Hokies host the Pittsburgh Panthers at Lane Stadium on Saturday
 afternoon.
 
 Pittsburgh has had two weeks to prepare for this contest after getting a bye
 this past weekend. Pittsburgh has won three straight for the first time since
 2010 after notching a 14-3 triumph over Virginia on Sept. 28.
 
 "We got some things accomplished last week," Panthers head coach Paul Chryst
 said at his weekly press conference. "We worked on some different areas that I
 thought we needed work on. We got some guys a little bit healthier hopefully."
 
 The Panthers' only loss so far was in the season opener against No. 6 Florida
 State (41-13).
 
 Newly ranked Virginia Tech currently leads the ACC Coastal Division with a 2-0
 league mark. The Hokies are seeking their sixth straight win after taking down
 North Carolina over the weekend, 27-17. Like Pitt, their only loss came in the
 season opener against top-ranked Alabama (35-10).
 
 Virginia Tech holds a 7-5 lead in the all-time series. These teams met up last
 season as non-conference foes at Heinz Field, where Pitt claimed a 35-17
 victory over the then 13th-ranked Hokies. The Panthers have won the last four
 meetings.
 
 A week after claiming a 58-55 win over Duke and scoring its most points in 18
 years, Pitt's offense came back down to Earth against Virginia. Quarterback
 Tom Savage completed only 13-of-30 passes for 190 yards with a touchdown and
 two interceptions. He was also sacked seven times and did not take the field
 for Pitt's final series after taking several big hits. According to coach
 Chryst, Savage has been cleared to play this week. Freshman Tyler Boyd tallied
 seven catches for 111 yards in the win over UVA. He and Devin Street have
 combined for 44 catches, 870 yards and seven receiving touchdowns on the
 season, as both are averaging better than 100 receiving yards per game. Pitt
 is one of only three teams in the nation to have two players averaging more
 than 100 yards receiving. Street, a senior, needs only seven catches to become
 the school's all-time leader.
 
 The Panthers yielded a mere 188 total yards against Virginia. They recovered
 fumbles on back-to-back series in the first quarter to set up both of Pitt's
 touchdowns. And while the offense was held off the scoreboard the rest of the
 way, the defense never relented. The Cavaliers converted only 3-of-18 third
 downs and was 1-of-4 on fourth down. Pitt held UVA quarterback David Watford
 to 15-of-37 passing for 123 yards, while no Cavaliers player rushed for more
 than 34 yards. Despite the success in that game, coach Chryst talked about the
 challenges his defense will face in trying to slow down Hokies' quarterback
 Logan Thomas and the spread attack.
 
 "We want to make the quarterback uncomfortable," Chryst said. "But I think
 they ?re settling in as they keep evolving. He's obviously a tremendous
 athlete and talented quarterback. If he's going, their team is going. It'll be
 a challenge for us. He's a good player."
 
 One player who is certainly capable of making Thomas uncomfortable is senior
 defensive tackle Aaron Donald, who ranks second nationally in both sacks (1.5
 per game) and tackles for loss (2.3 per game).
 
 Logan Thomas has compiled 8,158 yards of total offense in his career, second
 all-time at Virginia Tech. While he has the ability to beat defenders with his
 legs, lately he has been doing so by spreading the ball around. Tech has had
 seven or more players catch passes in each of its last five games. D.J. Coles
 has only caught 11 passes, but five of those receptions have gone for
 touchdowns. In the win over UNC, the Hokies ran for only 48 yards and averaged
 1.4 yards per carry as a team. However, Thomas was an efficient 19-of-28
 passing for 293 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions. Willie Byrn
 paced the receiving corps with 123 yards on four grabs.
 
 Defensively, Virginia Tech has recorded at least one interception in 10
 straight games. Cornerback Kyle Fuller notched his sixth career pick against
 UNC, while Kyshoen Jarrett also came up with an interception. Jack Tyler and
 Tariq Edwards shared team-high honors with 11 tackles apiece. Tech was also
 strong against the run, limiting UNC to 99 rushing yards on 38 attempts (2.6
 ypc). The Hokies have limited opponents to just nine trips inside the red zone
 this season. Additionally, they have allowed only three rushing touchdowns all
 season. The Tar Heels had only two red-zone opportunities and produced one
 touchdown and one field goal.
 
 
 
 
 10/09 10:50:32 ET

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Scoreboard
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DUR
NOR
 
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PIT 0
 
2nd
BAL 0
TAM 0
 
1:05pm Today
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SAC
PHO
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TAM
MON
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PIT
CLB
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ANA
DAL
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DUR
NOR