Pittsburgh vs. Mississippi
Sat., Jan. 5 – 1 p.m. ET, ESPN
Birmingham, Ala. – Legion Field
OK, there’s excellent barbecue. But the compass has led Pittsburgh (6-6) on its third straight trip to Birmingham. So much for the wide and varied bowl experience of Pitt’s seniors.
Actually, with the way Pittsburgh began (losing against Youngstown State, starting 2-4), any postseason game should be satisfactory.
The Panthers offer some real problems. Senior QB Tino Sunseri has thrown 270 consecutive passes without an interception. Senior RB Ray Graham has his first 1,000-yard season.
First-year Pittsburgh coach Paul Chryst held things together during a rough start and the Panthers were terrific in the season’s second half. They should’ve defeated Notre Dame (29-26 loss in three overtimes). Their defense surrendered just nine points in the last two games.
Mississippi (6-6) needed a season-ending victory against Mississippi State to get bowl eligible, but the Rebels were awfully feisty in losses against good competition such as Texas A&M (30-27), Vanderbilt (27-26) and LSU (41-35).
Opening point spread: Mississippi by 2
The pick: Pittsburgh 35, Mississippi 20
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