This will be a very quick article as I’m stretched thin here. But here goes…
Thursday night saw us lose a close heart breaker to a Coastal Division opponent Virginia Tech by the score of 39 to 36. It went down to the end of the game with Pitt still having a chance at to at least tie it up but we fell short.
There are some things that just absolutely jump out as far as positives and negative go. Since it was a loss we’ll start with the negatives:
* Our pass defense. This is getting to play like a broken record and almost every game we play we point to our horrid pass defense as on of the negative aspects of the game just played.
Thursday we allowed 406 yards through the air as their QB, Jerod Evans went 26/40 for 406 yards with two TDs and no INTs. That is a QB rating of 166+ and he chewed us apart.
* The attendance. When you sell 54K season tickets and 40K fans go through the turnstiles for an important ACC Coastal game that sends a huge message about where we are as a draw for the sports fan’s attention in this city.
I don’t care that it was Thursday night or that the Pens played or anything else – that was most probably the most important game we’ll play all year and the attendance was embarrassing.
* Pat Narduzzi’s sideline behavior. His outbursts and getting into the faces of the referees was counter productive. Here is what we did on defense after we got those so-called unfair flags (I don’t believe any ref is out to ‘get’ Pitt as some fans seem to do.)
- 3rd and 6 at PITT 36
(2:20 – 2nd) Evans, Jerod pass incomplete to Hodges, Bucky, PENALTY PITTSBURGH pass interference (Lewis, Ryan) 15 yards to the PITTSBURGH 21, NO PLAY, 1ST DOWN VATECH. (Narduzzi freaks out and screams at refs for about a minute)
- 1st and 10 at PITT 21
(2:11 – 2nd) Jerod Evans run for 10 yds to the Pitt 11 for a 1ST down
- 1st and 10 at PITT 11
(2:00 – 2nd) Jerod Evans pass complete to Chris Cunningham for 11 yds for a TD (Joey Slye KICK)
So – two plays and a TD after the outburst. (7 points and makes the score 16-7 VT)
Here is another:
- 3rd and 2 at VT 38
(4:04 – 3rd) Motley, Brenden pass incomplete to Ford, Isaiah, PENALTY PITTSBURGH pass interference (Jackson, Dane) 15 yards to the PITTSBURGH 47, NO PLAY, 1ST DOWN VATECH. (Narduzzi freaks out again)
- 1st and 10 at PITT 47
(3:52 – 3rd) Isaiah Ford run for 26 yds to the Pitt 21 for a 1ST down – that lead to a FG (3 points and makes the score 22-21 VT).
I get that fans like it when HC’s show emotion but what he was doing wasn’t firing up the kids or working the Refs. My brother in law is an umpire for NCAA baseball and travels to do the NCAA championship playoffs so I called him the morning after the game to discuss this. He told me that coaches yelling at referees/umpires always works against the coach… but pointing out mistakes in a civil way buys you goodwill.
Not only was it not in the team’s best interest it was hard to watch him make an ass of himself doing it. Frustration is human and accepted – prolong hissy fits are disconcerting.
*James Conner’s work at RB again. He ran for 141 yards on the day and scored another three TDs that gives him 10 on the year and 46 in his Pitt career. He also moved into second place on Pitt’s All-Time rushing list with 3,313 yards. (Here is the link for the table below)
Wow – he might even beat TD’s TD record if he keeps up the pace he has been playing the last two games…
OK guys I have to run to hospital. Not to worry but life intercedes sometimes – you all list your picks please…