One of the nice things about Monday Morning QB is that I have two days to read the post-game comments on here and that helps to focus in on some things I might have missed during the game.
We lost to Miami on Saturday, 51-28 so we’ll start with the three negatives first:
* Preparations for the game. Hey, we have to start with something other than our pass defense for once (although again…).
It looked as if Pitt was not as ‘up’ for this game from the beginning as they have been with the other games on the schedule to date. Although when an opposing QB goes 10/10 and gets two passing TDs in their first two series it will dampen any enthusiasm the kids might have had coming out of the tunnel.
It seemed as if Pitt goes into every game determined to stick with a set game plan (the same plan for every team it appears). Where is the individual approach to each different opponent?
* Our run game vs their run game. This is supposed to be the ‘one dimension’ that the HC and DC keep talking about limiting the other team to. Narduzzi’s stated goal for the team this season was to “run the ball and stop the run“. Neither happened in this game.
Prior to Saturday Pitt has been rushing very well – we had 1984 net yards on 397 attempts for an average of 5.0 ypc and that’s good. Our opponents had only 1004 yards in 297 carries for 3.3 ypc which is good defense on our part.
However, the tables turned against Miami – we went 34/130 for 3.8 ypc and the Hurricanes bettered that with 178 yards on 36 carries hitting 4.9 ypc (but see below also). The fact that we ran so much worse than our previous team average of 248 ypg, 118 yards less, made us rely more on the passing game.
Which brings us to #3 of the negatives…
* Peterman’s passing or lack thereof. Set those rather decent passing stats aside (287 yards with 2 TDs to 1 INT) – Peterman had one of the worse games I can remember from him as he missed a slew of open receivers on passes that would have extended drives… then also threw a killer INT when we were deep in Miami’s red zone.
At the 8:05 mark of the 3rd quarter we were down by 13 points and sat with a 2nd down at the Miami 4 yard line. Peterman missed seeing an open James Conner in the right flat and instead tried to force the ball to the back of the end zone when a defender was sitting on our receiver. It was intercepted of course, but what really stings is that had he just thrown the ball away we would have had one or two more plays to score at least three points but probably seven.
Now – on to the positive side. I really have to scratch my head to come up with something I can point to that we did well throughout the game. But here are some good things:
* Henderson’s return magic struck once again. And it happened at exactly the right time to keep the ball game for being lost in the 1st quarter. After Miami took the opening series downfield for a TD Quadree Henderson took the kickoff and went 100 yards to make the score 7-7.
Had he not done so the score would have been 17-0 at the end of the 1st quarter and 27-14 at the end of the half.
As it stood with Henderson’s score we went into the 2nd half at 27-21 and feeling that we could still win the game. This is becoming a thing to watch for every time opponent’s have to kick to us… and even with his three return TDs this season teams still kick the ball to him. Look at his average above – 33.8 yards per return means that he starts our offense out in decent field position almost every time he grabs a kickoff .
* Ryan Winslow’s punting. His 44.6 average Saturday was very good and with that he pushed Miami back down the field – and was just about the only player or unit on the team who did that. Here is his stat line:
The only two returns Miami had were off booming punts; one was a 48 yarder from our 24 that put Miami on their own 43 (15 yard return) and the other was a 53 yarder from our 16 that pushed Miami back to their own 38 yard line.
* Our Defensive Line play on run defense after the injuries. Contrary to some reporters and fans, I think the DL was faced with both a decent running team and some hardships when interior DL Soto and Jarrett missed almost the whole 2nd half of play. Soto did come back later in the game but our main run stopper, Tyrique Jarrett (Allderdice!!), was out for the duration.
Here is a hidden stat that shows how the DL handled the Miami running game in the 2nd half: over the first 27:48 of that period we held Miami to 43 yards in 13 carries – a decent 3.3 ypc average with mostly 2nd string DL players in the interior.
That was the case right up until Miami ripped off that 55 yard run to grab their last TD. But if you look at the first half of the game and what Miami’s rushers did then it is pretty impressive on our part also – 80 yards on 22 carries for only a 3.6 ypc.
That 55 yarder kind of skewed things as big plays will do, but overall I think our two-deep DL did pretty well in the run defense side of things.
The pressure on the passing game was, unfortunately a different story.
On a separate note the Howard County MD Library System asked me to do a 60-90 minute lecture and Q&A on the US Coast Guard and my career in it. Here is the advertisment in their magazine – if any Maryland Pitt fans could attend I’d love to see you…
Semper Paratus: Adventure and History in the Tales of the U.S. Coast Guard
Date: Thursday, November 10, 2016
Time: 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM
Branch: Central Branch
Discover the missions, history, and achievements of the U. S. Coast Guard as Lieutenant Commander Reed Kohberger, USCG, Ret., imparts his knowledge and experiences from his 33 years of active duty service. Discussion includes his years at sea and his work in Search and Rescue, Emergency Response Policy, and Marine Safety Inspections.
Lieutenant Commander Reed Kohberger retired from the US Coast Guard in 2011 after 33 years of active duty. He was a “Mustang” advancing through the enlisted ranks to Chief Petty Officer, where he was the Operations Center Supervisor at numerous commands. He then advanced through the Warrant Officer ranks to Warrant Officer 4. The Coast Guard then awarded him a meritorious promotion to Lieutenant.
He was assigned into the Marine Safety field and became a Senior Marine Inspector. LCDR Kohberger retired out of Coast Guard HQ where he had been a Regulations Development Manager and the Coast Guard’s formal Nation State to Nation State Liaison Officer to the Makah, Quileute and Klallam Native Peoples tribes in the Puget Sound area.
*Registration is preferred by calling 410-313-7800.