By Abbey Way and Matt Popchock

PITTSBURGH (93-7 THE FAN) — Fifth-year senior Cam Saddler has been full of excitement this week in preparation for resuming Big East play at Syracuse on Friday. That’s because, although he missed last year’s meeting due to injury, he knows what to expect from the Orange.

“Coach was talking about one of their safeties, and we were just like, ‘Man, we know how he plays, and he’s going to go out there and run his mouth,” Saddler said of the ‘Cuse, against whom Pitt has won seven straight meetings. “That’s just conference play, but that’s what makes it cool, you keep playing those guys year [after] year, and when he steps out there, I’m sure he’ll have some words for me about something that he knows, and that’s kind of cool, just cause I keep playing him.”

The lighthearted Saddler wouldn’t specify which one, from his perspective, does the talking, but quipped that he would behave Friday night.

Still, the Panthers wouldn’t mind if he were a rude guest. He registered 44 return yards on four punts the last time he faced Syracuse, a 45-14 Pitt victory at the Carrier Dome Oct. 16, 2010, and he enters this week with 129 yards receiving on eight catches, giving the vastly improved Tino Sunseri another viable target.

Through four games this year the former Gateway star has amassed 93 total yards on special teams.

In addition to practicing in game like situations in pads during the bye week, Saddler, who has had some shoulder soreness recently, also focused on getting healthy.

“Coach had us going hard, we were in full pads every day. That was something different, but it was fun at the same time,” Saddler said. “We did a lot of ‘Pitt on Pitt’ stuff, one on one, but it was competitive and we had some fun.”

One of the more glib Panthers you’ll ever meet, he also shared some stories with us regarding his relationship with Chryst, who is always prepared with a witty comeback of his own:

Friday’s game at Syracuse can be heard at 7:00 P.M., with Panther Gameday, featuring Gregg Giannotti, beginning at 4:00, on your flagship home for Pitt football, SportsRadio 93.7 The Fan.

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