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Pittsburgh Panthers @ Kentucky Wildcats: BBVA Compass Bowl Open Game Thread

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It's a football/basketball double-header for Kentucky Wildcats fans today. At noon, Kentucky and the Pittsburgh Panthers tee it up for the final football game of the 2010-11 season for the Big Blue Nation, the BBVA Compass Bowl. Later tonight, the basketball Wildcats take on the Georgia Bulldogs in Athens in Kentucky's SEC opener.

But now, to the BBVA Compass Bowl. Particulars are as follows, as always via

Pittsburgh @ Kentucky
Media Guides Kentucky Bowl Media Guide Get Acrobat Reader | Pittsburgh Bowl Media Guide Get Acrobat Reader
Date & Time Saturday, Jan. 8
Noon ET
Coverage TV: ESPN
Radio: BBSN
Online Audio listen
Online Video via ESPN3
Location Legion Field
Birmingham, Ala.
Bowl Central

As you might expect, the Wildcats are 3-point dogs in this game, but with all the coaching chaos swirling around the Panthers in the interregnum between the end of the regular season and this game, I would imagine that in the minds of many, this game is now a pick-em at least.

Be sure to visit Cardiac Hill, SBNation's excellent Pittsburgh Panthers blog, for the Pitt viewpoint on the game.

More after the jump.

  • Randall Cobb, Randall Cobb, and oh, yeah -- some more Randall Cobb.
  • A mature, poised, and smart Morgan Newton.
  • Good hands from the UK receivers.
  • Lots of Derrick Locke touching the football. He should be 100% healthy, and when he is healthy, he is every bit as dangerous as Randall Cobb.
  • Improvement from the defensive line.
  • Danny Trevathan and Winston Guy hitting everybody hard.
  • Positive turnover margin (or at the very least, zero turnovers).
  • Special teams need to play well in this game.

We have done plenty of analysis on this, so now it comes down to execution. If Kentucky executes well, they will be hard for Pittsburgh to outscore even if the defense is no better than it has been all season. Kentucky has a much higher scoring output ceiling in this game than the Panthers do, and if they can accomplish the kind of offensive production we saw against the likes of Auburn, Ole Miss and South Carolina, Kentucky should be able to pull off the upset.

No excuses, do the work. Go, 'Cats!