Pittsburgh and host Louisville bring plenty of momentum into play when they square off on Saturday evening.
Both the Panthers (4-2, 1-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) and the Cardinals (3-3, 1-3) had last weekend off after producing solid wins on Oct. 8. Pittsburgh last visited Louisville in 2011 when the teams played in the Big East. The Panthers won that contest 21-14.
Pittsburgh was the talk of the conference after a 45-29 win at home over hapless Virginia Tech two weeks ago. Israel Abanikanda led that chatter after rushing for 320 yards and scoring six touchdowns, including an 80-yard TD run in the fourth quarter to ice the game.
Abanikanda’s performance broke the program’s single-game rushing record set by Tony Dorsett in 1975 and tied the school and ACC records for touchdowns in a contest. Abanikanda leads the FBS with an average of 186.2 all-purpose yards per game.
Pittsburgh’s two losses, in OT at now-No. 3 Tennessee and to Georgia Tech, are by a combined 12 points.
“Probably the best 60 minutes we’ve put together as a team,” Pitt coach Pat Narduzzi said after the win over Virginia Tech. “I just love the way our kids hang in there, continue to fight and believe. … We’ve got more ACC games to go, and we’ve got to take them one at a time.”
Louisville heads home after ambushing Virginia 34-17 in Charlottesville, Va., in the Cardinals’ most recent outing. Junior Brock Domann made his first career start for the Cardinals, throwing for 275 yards and a touchdown while rushing for 71 yards and another score, racking up his first career passing and rushing TDs.
The Cardinals trailed 10-0 eight minutes into the game but answered with the ensuing 20 points. The Louisville defense shrugged off a ragged start and held Virginia to just 6 rushing yards.
“Our guys settled down in the second quarter, we started making some plays,” Louisville coach Scott Satterfield said. You can’t say enough about the resiliency of our guys, and I’m really proud of them and the way they came out and finished this game.”
Quarterback Malik Cunningham was held out of the Virginia game because of “concussion-like symptoms.” Cunningham’s availability for the Pitt game is to be determined.
–Field Level Media