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Pittsburgh Media Weighs In On This Weekend’s Game

September 22, 2009
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: “Pitt faces tough test with N.C. State”:

So far, so good for the Pitt Panthers who are off to their first 3-0 start since the 2000 season. The Panthers have won all three games by more than 10 points and have played at a high level, particularly on offense, in parts of each.

But this week, the Panthers will answer two important questions: How much of the 3-0 start is due to the fact that they are a good football team? How much of it has to do with the fact that they have played three inferior teams.

The Panthers will play at North Carolina State Saturday and, while the Wolfpack is likely a middle of the pack team in the Atlantic Coast Conference, they are a significant step above the Panthers’ past two opponents, Navy and Buffalo, in terms of the kinds of athletes and level of talent they have on the roster.

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: “N.C. State QB Wilson a hard one to pick”

The football adage goes that three things happen when you pass the ball, and two of them are bad.

No one told that to North Carolina State’s Russell Wilson.

The redshirt sophomore quarterback is virtually interception-proof, with an NCAA Division I-FBS record 329 consecutive pass attempts — and counting — that were either caught by his teammates or fell harmlessly to the turf.

“That’s pretty amazing,” N.C. State coach Tom O’Brien said.

Pitt (3-0), off to its best start in nine years, will try to snap Wilson’s remarkable streak when the Panthers travel to play the Wolfpack (2-1) at 3:30 p.m. Saturday at Carter-Finley Stadium.

“He understands what wins and loses football games,” Pitt coach Dave Wannstedt said. “He makes good decisions, and when the ball comes out, it comes out fast. The ball probably comes out as quick as any quarterback we’ve played in the past couple of years.”

Panther Digest.com: “Wilson Different Test For Pitt’s Defense”

When Pittsburgh (3-0) faces North Carolina State (2-1) Saturday at 3:30 p.m. at Carter-Finley Stadium, it will be the Panthers’ first trip to Raleigh, N.C. since 1988. The Wolfpack won that game, 14-3, but this is a different challenge.

N.C. State has redshirt sophomore Russell Wilson at quarterback, and all he’s done is throw 329 straight passes without an interception. Pitt’s secondary certainly has its hands full this week, according to junior safety Dom DeCicco.

“Their quarterback definitely is good, fast with a quick release,” DeCicco said. “So, he really can throw the ball, and they’ve got some good receivers. I’m sure they’re going to come out and test us, if they watched film from our Buffalo game, but we’re going to be ready for it. We expect them to come at us.

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