• Pitt coach Dave Wannstedt placed mousetraps around the Duratz Athletic Complex this week, as a motivation tool for the Panthers (2-1) to avoid falling into the "trap" of looking past Saturday's visit to Syracuse (1-2) with the ESPN televised Oct. 2 game at No. 12 South Florida (4-0) looming. "You need to get your feet back on the ground and make sure we get the focus back on what we've got to do and not get caught up in records," Wannstedt said. "I tried to educate them on the history of Pitt playing Syracuse; how difficult it is playing them in the Carrier Dome over the years. They recruit the same kids we do, so let's not be fooled about this. We've got to go up there and play a heck of a lot better than we played last week."
• The betting lines have the Panthers a 15 1⁄2-point favorite this weekend, despite beating the Orange by an average margin of 10 points in their previous three meetings. Pitt scored a 20-17 victory over Syracuse last season at Heinz Field, and has yet to cover the spread this season. "I don't know anything about that and, hopefully, our players don't," Wannstedt said. "All that I know is, last year I was in the press box, and we were in a two-minute drill, holding onto the seat of our pants trying to win that game. That kind of sums it up."
4 -- Pitt's road wins -- in 15 games -- in the past three seasons under Wannstedt. That includes a 3-7 road record in the Big East.
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