"I know that they flew around and they were excited," quarterback Tino Sunseri said of the game a year ago. "They were excited to be at Heinz Field. They were flying around making plays. We have to go in and handle our business."
This may be a rebuilding Buffalo team -- the Bulls are 10-26 overall since '08 -- but Pitt players and coaches agreed that, regardless of the opponent, the most important task this week was fixing self-inflicted errors that have hurt the Panthers in their past two games.
If Pitt can cut its own mistakes, Buffalo's defense could be the remedy for an offense that has stagnated, particularly on the ground, in the past two games.
After rushing for 483 combined yards in wins against Virginia Tech and Gardner-Webb, Pitt was held to 120 combined yards on the ground against Syracuse and Louisville. Buffalo enters the contest today ranked No. 94 in Division I-A in rushing defense, allowing 194.7 yards per game.
Offensive coordinator Joe Rudolph said he had respect for the Bulls' uncommon 3-5-3 defensive alignment.
"They've done a good job of leveraging the ball, force you to just kind of be consistent if that's the way you want to go about it," he said. "If you want to pound it at them, then you're going to have to earn it."
While a showdown on the road against a MAC team might not be the most high-profile matchup, the Panthers are eager to get a win any way they can.
"It's a little cliché to say guys circle games," center Ryan Turnley said. "I mean, every game's important. Every game that you win is important and every game you lose is important, so we've just got to take it one day at a time."