UConn-Pitt pregame ponderables

Posted by ESPN.com's Brian Bennett

PITTSBURGH -- Greetings from Heinz Field, where it's a lovely fall day. About 55 degrees and sunny, perfect for football.

We should have a good one here between Connecticut and Pittsburgh, the Big East's two biggest smashmouth teams. Expect lots of running and good, hard-hitting defense.

The key might be who can make the most plays in the passing game, and Pitt seems to have a big edge with its superior talent at wide receiver. On the other hand, UConn has an excellent secondary. The Huskies don't have a great passing game, but the Panthers' pass defense has been leaky. So it's a great matchup all around.

Two players to watch are Pitt's Greg Romeus and UConn's Lindsey Witten. They are two of the best defensive ends in the Big East, and both could be high NFL draft picks next spring.

One of the Huskies' advantages is that they had a bye week after playing an FCS team, so they should be well-rested and healed. Pitt is a little banged up after games at NC State and Louisville; starting safety Elijah Fields (ankle) won't start and will be replaced by Jarred Holley, while receiver/kick returner Cam Saddler is out with an ankle injury of his own.

Much more to come as the afternoon moves along.