*** With a 3-0 record and the only remaining undefeated team in the Big East, Pitt has to be considered an overwhelming favorite to win the conference. Syracuse (3-1) and Rutgers (1-1) are the only Big East teams with fewer than two losses – and Pitt has beaten both of them. With road games against Connecticut and South Florida, Pitt has no excuses for not winning the outright Big East title for the first time. Pitt has never won six Big East games in a season. That should change this year.
*** I asked Jabaal Sheard after the game if he thought Greg Romeus, his roommate, would return for the Connecticut game. If Sheard is any indication, expect the 2009 Big East co-Defensive Player of the Year to be back on the field for the Nov. 11 game at Connecticut. Romeus has made remarkable progress from back surgery in September. He is itching to play and once he gets medically cleared, there won’t be any hesitation on Romeus’ end.
“I can’t wait for him to get back,” Sheard said “I think (he will play against Connecticut). Talking to him, I think he feels pretty good. We just have to wait to see how he feels. Hopefully, he gets back in the next two weeks against UConn ready to play. I know he’s excited to play. He wanted to get out there and play against Rutgers. I know he can’t wait to get back. He talks about it all day.”
*** Pitt’s only injury was to fullback Henry Hynoski, who suffered a mild concussion. Chris Mike took his place and caught two passes – or one fewer than Jon Baldwin.
*** It was nice to see coach Dave Wannstedt mention center Alex Karabin by name at the post-game press conference. Remember the uncertainty at the position during the summer training camp? Or how Karabin looked lost at times against Utah and Miami? When was the last time you thought about the center or heard his name called for a penalty? He’s definitely one of the unsung heroes of this strong Big East start.
*** Dom DeCicco started at weak-side linebacker/nickel back, which was a slight surprise considering Louisville is more of a traditional power running team and DeCicco plays that position more against spread teams. Granted, Louisville came out in a spread, no-huddle look, but DeCicco seems like a better fit at LB regardless of who Pitt is playing. He finished 11 tackles and one interception. It also gets Jason Hendricks on the field. Hendricks played a strong game, including an open-field tackle in which he stood up Louisville 200-pound running back Bilal Powell in the first quarter.
*** Myles Caragein had the big fumble return and Jabaal Sheard had two sacks and two forced fumbles, but Chas Alecxih quietly had perhaps his best game of the season. The defensive tackle had seven tackles — no mean feat for an interior linemen — and was a backfield disruption all game.