Representing the middling middle of the ACC, the Pittsburgh Panthers (7-5) travel to Detroit to take on Mid-American Conference delegate Eastern Michigan (6-6) on Thursday at Ford Field in the Quick Lane Bowl.
The Eagles have a great shot at giving the MAC a big mid-major win over a Power Five program in Pitt. Pitt, however, is at an unending crossroads as a program and doesn’t have a lot to play for other than the embarrassment of losing to a Midwestern directional school.
Eastern Michigan, though, beat Illinois earlier this season and will bring juice. Pitt has a MAC victory this season, a 20-10 win over Ohio.
It will take a monumental effort from the Eagles, who frankly are at a depth disadvantage. The Panthers don’t impress in any way offensively, especially on the ground (121 rushing yards per game), but Eastern Michigan has allowed 230 rushing yards or more in four of its last five games. Quarterback Kenny Pickett has been aggressively average for most of the season.
Here’s how to watch Pittsburgh vs. Eastern Michigan in the Quick Lane Bowl.
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Quick Lane Bowl: Why it matters
Eastern Michigan could really catch a sleeping giant of a program slipping, but it must win the turnover battle. Pitt also has had a problem with penalties, averaging over eight times a game for 71 yards a game. Eastern Michigan, though, led the MAC with the fewest penalties and penalty yardage.
If they it lengthen Pitt’s fields and shorten its own with takeaways and discipline, it has a shot.
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