OK – Monday morning after a nice win against Georgia Tech by a close score of 37-34 on a last play of the game FG by Chris Blewitt… a reprisal of what he did against the Yellow Jackets in 2015.
One of the nice things is that all Pitt fans seemed to like the Throwback uniforms the players wore. In what was supposed to be a recognition back to the 1976 championship team we wore these out there: “
The Panthers wore vintage blue-and-gold jerseys in a nod to the program’s glory days of the 1970s and had Johnny Majors, the coach when Pitt won the 1976 national title, serve as honorary captain. As sharp as Pitt looked, however, Narduzzi made sure style didn’t trump substance.”
However what those had to do with the actual 1976 uniforms(right) eludes me but the thing is everyone seemed to appreciate them and hopefully Pitt is making some extra money on apparel sales.
So – onto the game. Here are my three positives (first because we won) and then I’ll list my three negatives.
* We stuck it out and came from behind to win a close game which is something we failed to do against OSU and North Carolina. We held a 27-20 lead going into the 4th quarter and promptly lost it on a 45 yard run by the GT RB and then five minutes later on a shorter drive that put the score at 34-27.
Then we scored the last 10 points to eek out the win. That Pitt squad played all 60 minutes full out and showed some real mettle in doing so. We have seen Pitt teams fold when losing a late lead but that didn’t happen on Saturday.
* Nate Peterman showed control and strength through out the game. His receivers keep dropping a lot of good gainers but against GT he kept throwing with strength and accuracy and it paid off on the 73 yard TD pass to his TE Scott Orndoff. Peterman’s stats line isn’t great; 14/20 (70%) for 196 yards and 1 TD, but he played a level game and led to them to the win. On the season he’s done this and with four wins I’m OK with that.
* Pat Narduzzi and Matt Canada’s coaching. Aside from trying to ice our own kicker at the end of the game that was a well coached football team out there – and least 50% was. I have no real positive things to say about DC Josh Conklin.
But the team overall was well prepared as could be and this wasn’t a Sister of the Poor team either. Each game seems like we are growing in confidence – even through those two close losses and that is a reflection of the HC.
* Josh Conklin’s inability to get any sort of a pass defense going at all. Yes, we held GT to under our horrendous season average in passing yard given up – they got only 130 of them Saturday. But every pass they completed meant either a first down or got them out from deep in their own territory. We stopped their QB on only three attempts (7/10 for 130 yards).
That allowed GT to set up that good triple option run game and with they torched what was the heavy strength of our defense for 241 yards at a 5.4 ypc clip – way too much even if our defense hadn’t been so stingy beforehand.
Aside from that one good series and 4th down stop at the end of the game – which I think was fantastic but skews the impression on how bad the defense actually was for the other 58 minutes. It was another in a long line of crappy defensive showings with Conklin as our DC.
* The TV announcers and the cameramen. That might sound like a trivial thing but when you have hundreds of thousands of fans from both Pitt and GT watching the game then you should at the very least be able to figure out who has the ball.
* I‘m having to scrape the bottom of the barrel for the last negative but I’ll go with not playing Quadree Ollison more often. We have discussed James Conner’s dip in play for this season and while understandable and as much as we fans hate to admit it it, might be best if we looked elsewhere for our primary running back for the rest of the schedule.
Between Chawntez Moss and Ollison I think we can rest Conner and get in him for plays where he can do the most good.
Those are mine – what are yours?