Why Pitt should have stayed home

September, 3, 2010
9/03/10
12:46
AM ET
There's no excuse for the Pittsburgh Panthers after their 27-24 overtime loss to Utah in Salt Lake City Thursday night. The Panthers knew exactly what they were getting into when they agreed to the home-and-home series in July 2009. At that point, the Utes were coming off their second undefeated season in the last five years and a big win over Alabama in the 2009 Sugar Bowl (the last time any team beat Alabama, by the way). Pitt's humiliating 35-7 loss to Utah in the 2005 Fiesta Bowl could have also given the Panthers the hint that perhaps the opening the season with a road game vs the Utes was not the best idea. Pitt has now lost its last three season openers when ranked in the AP preseason poll.

The win was Utah's 10th straight at home against teams in BCS automatic-qualifying conferences since dropping a 38-21 decision to Washington State on September 16, 2000. The Utes' 18 straight home wins tie the Mountain West Conference record set by BYU from 2007 to 2008. They can extend their streak to 19 games a week from Saturday when they host UNLV.

Other notes from the first day of the 2010 season:

Terrelle Pryor (17-25, 247 passing yards, three TDs vs Marshall) looks ready for Ohio State's huge showdown with Miami (FL) a week from Saturday at The Horseshoe (3:30 ET on ESPN and ESPN3.com). Thursday was the first time Pryor registered at least three TD passes AND completed at least 65 percent of his throws in the same game. Pryor completed 56.5 percent of his passes in 2009, ranking 81st among qualifying FBS quarterbacks.

Jacory Harris was also impressive Thursday night, completing 12 of 15 passes for 210 yards and three scores. It was Harris' second career game with three passing touchdowns and no interceptions. He also did it against Georgia Tech on September 17, 2009. In 27 career games, Harris now has 39 TD passes. That's good for eighth on the school's all-time list. If Harris and Pryor can duplicate their performances in the season opener a week from Saturday, we could be in for a shootout in Columbus, OH.

• No one should be surprised that Middle Tennessee State kept it close with Minnesota Thursday night before eventually losing 24-17. The Blue Raiders entered the 2010 season riding a seven-game win streak, the third-longest active streak in the FBS behind Alabama and Boise State (both 14).

• Wake Forest racked up 53 points, including 35 prior to halftime, against an overmatched Presbyterian squad. It's the most points the Demon Deacons have scored since they hung 56 on Vanderbilt in the 1990 season finale.

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