The Big East Conference season begins for the Syracuse Orange football program Friday as the Pittsburgh Panthers visit the Carrier Dome (7 p.m. ET on ESPN). The Orange (1-3) are coming off a bye week that hopefully they used to improve on a disappointing loss, 17-10, at the Minnesota Golden Gophers on Sept. 22. The Panthers (2-2) are in the middle of a two-game winning streak and have looked better than the team which lost its season opener to Youngstown State, 31-17.
This will be the 68th all-time meeting between the two programs. The Panthers own a 34-30-3 record against the Orange and will enter with a seven-game winning streak over its future Atlantic Coast Conference foe. SU's last victory over Pitt came in 2004 when they won 38-31 in double overtime.
Syracuse is led by a potent air attack led by senior quarterback Ryan Nassib, who has completed 66.3-percent of his passes and thrown for 1,367 yards. Nassib also has 10 touchdown passes and five interceptions.
Nassib favorite target is senior wide receiver Marcus Sales, who has 27 catches for 382 yards and five touchdowns. Sales leads the Big East in catches (6.8) and yards (95.5) per game.
Pittsburgh's offense relies on a two-running back system led by senior Ray Graham and freshman Rushel Shell. Graham is averaging 90.5 yards per game, while Shell is compiling a mean of 76.3.
Quarterback Tino Sunseri, a senior, is second in the Big East in passing yards per game (286.0) and has helped the Pitt offense average 29.2 points per game, the second-best mean in the league.
The opening point spread on this game had Pitt as a 2 1/2-point favorite. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. ET and the game will be broadcasted on ESPN.