ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- Greetings from Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium. This really is a pretty cool venue, and would recommend it to anyone thinking about a quick college football road trip in the near future.
We're just over 90 minutes away from kickoff here, at 1 p.m. on CBS Sports Network. Here are a couple of notes to get you started.
- Here's a link to my preview story from today's P-G, which would of course be incomplete without some sort of nautical pun in the headline.
- As announced earlier in the week, left guard Cory King and defensive end Ejuan Price are not available for the Panthers today. On the offensive line, Ryan Schlieper will take King's starting spot, and Shane Johnson is available as a backup option again this week. Dorian Johnson has also been training at guard over the past few weeks, so he could be an emergency option there as well.
At defensive end, I would probably just expect a heavier mix of Bryan Murphy (who played very well last week) and David Durham. Defensive ends coach John Palermo said last week that Durham was a slightly more physical player than Price, so he would probably have seen a little more action this week anyways. Nonetheless, losing Price, a guy who has been coming on in recent weeks, still hurts.
- This week, even more than others, it will be important for Pitt to get off to a quick start. Last week, they could afford to fall behind Old Dominion 10-0 because the way ODU plays, both teams were still going to get plenty of possessions. If Navy jumps out to a quick start, they can use that triple-option to just bleed the clock and not give Pitt many chances to catch up. A first quarter deficit would be a cause for concern this week.
There you have it. Kickoff is at 1 p.m. on CBS Sports Network, and make sure to follow me on Twitter @SWernerPG for the latest during and after the game.