Pitt notebook: Pitt bracing for Syracuse running game
Pitt is preparing for Syracuse's two-headed rushing attack of Curtis Brinkley, who had 108 yards against Miami (Ohio) on Sept. 23, and Delone Carter, who rushed for 129 yards and four touchdowns against Wyoming last week.
"Their running backs scare me," defensive coordinator Paul Rhoads said. "They remind me a little bit of Walter Reyes in their style and their physical ability. They both have the ability to make you miss, drop a shoulder and bring a physical tackle."
• Pitt running backs coach David Walker, a former Syracuse running back and the Orange's running backs coach from 1995-2004, will make his first trip back to the Carrier Dome on the opposing sidelines.
"In all honesty, I'm trying to look at it as another game," Walker said. "It will probably hit me, like last year, during kickoff, when you look across and see those guys. ... I have some family and friends, a small section of our Pitt people there that are natives of Syracuse that will be rooting against the home team."
• Pitt freshman defensive end McKenzie Mathews, a Syracuse native, played at the Carrier Dome eight times during his high school career. Christian Brothers Academy won the Class AA state championship his junior year.
"I think it's going to be a little weird because my friends will be cheering for Syracuse -- at least in high school they used to," Mathews said. "I enjoy playing there."
30-28-3 - Syracuse's record in the all-time series against Pitt, which dates to 1916.
17-11-3 - Syracuse's all-time home record against Pitt.
- By Kevin Gorman