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NCAA FOOTBALL: Pitt, Penn State previews

on September 13, 2013 10:40 AM

NEW MEXICO (1-1) at PITTSBURGH (0-1)

When — 12:30 p.m. Saturday

Where — Heinz Field, Pittsburgh

TV — ABC

Radio — WCCS-AM 1160

Coaches — New Mexico: Bob Davie, second season (5-10 New Mexico, 40-35 overall); Pitt: Paul Chryst, second season (6-8 Pitt, 6-8 overall).

National rank — Neither team is ranked.

All-time series — This is the first meeting.

Notable — Pitt is looking for its first win of the season. The Panthers were off last weekend following a game the previous Monday. … The Lobos, of the Mountain West Conference, beat UTEP 42-35 in overtime last week. New Mexico and Pitt will face off for the first time. … New Mexico coach Bob Davie, a Moon Area graduate, did a graduate assistantship at Pitt in 1977 and served as the linebackers coach from 1980-82. The 1980 and ’81 defenses both led the country in fewest yards allowed. … Eleven true freshmen and seven redshirt freshmen played in the Panthers’ season-opening loss to Florida State. … In the past 30 seasons, Pitt has started 0-2 only three times (1984, 2005 and 2012). … The Panthers have only played two other opponents from the current MWC (Air Force and Hawaii) and are 1-2 in those games. … Pitt receiver Devin Street had a career-high 141 yards against Florida State. He is 22 catches away from becoming the all-time leading pass catcher in school history.

Next week — The Panthers travel to Duke on Sept. 21.


UCF (2-0) at PENN STATE (2-0)

When — 6 p.m. Saturday

Where — Beaver Stadium, University Park

TV — Big Ten Network

Coaches — Central Florida: George O’Leary, 10th season (62-55 UCF, 114-88 overall); Penn State: Bill O’Brien, second season (10-4 Penn State, 10-4 overall).

National rank — Neither team is ranked.

All-time series — Penn State leads, 2-0, but both wins have been vacated.

Last meeting — The Nittany Lions won, 37-13, on Sept. 18, 2004.

Notable — PSU has a 76-7-2 on-field record against teams in the American Athletic Conference. … The Nittany Lions have won four straight games, including last week’s 45-7 pounding of Eastern Michigan. They held the Eagles to just 183 yards of total offense, and racked up 251 rushing yards. … Central Florida topped Florida International 38-0 in Week 2. The Knights have scored 38 points in each of the first two games. … Penn State coach Bill O’Brien worked with UCF coach George O’Leary for seven years (1995-2001) at Georgia Tech. O’Leary hired O’Brien as a graduate assistant in 1995 and he became the running backs coach in 1998. In 2001, he was promoted to be the Jackets’ offensive coordinator. … UCF hasn’t committed a turnover yet this season, but its defense has forced three. The Knights’ offense is averaging 433 yards per game. The Nittany Lions have averaged 463.5. … The two teams will face off on Aug. 30, 2014 in the Croke Park Classic in Dublin, Ireland. It will be the first international game for both teams, and the winner will receive the Dan Rooney Trophy, which is made out of steel from Heinz Field.

Next week — Penn State will play host to Kent State on Sept. 21.

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