Well – we have had over 36 hours to digest and accept one of the worse losses Pitt has experienced in our ‘modern’ era. It was a terrible football game all-around and by ‘all-around’ I mean on the field, off the field and even on television as ESPN’s broadcast turned into an “Insult Pitt Day at Heinz” Special Event.
But let’s be honest with ourselves here – as angry and disappointed as we are in all aspects of what we watched on Saturday – wouldn’t you also have been making jokes at some other team’s expense if Pitt was on the top end of that 49-0 score we had at one point in the game?
Yes, I think you would; so what the announcers did and said didn’t bother me as nearly much as what I saw Pat Narduzzi and his staff conceive, design and then put out on the field during for this match. Our coaching staff swung and missed at every single facet of what makes a successful football team and what makes for a successful game against Oklahoma State.
What bothers me the most now that the OSU pirate ship has sailed with our collective family jewels safely stored in their hold… is that we may see this exact thing replicated more than once or twice in our remaining games… specifically next week down in Bobby Dodd Stadium in Atlanta. Yeah, I feel that poorly when I look at the rest of our schedule.
So – on Monday morning we address what we though was the “Good, Bad and Ugly” aspects of the game that just had been played. Here goes…
The effect of rsJR QB Ben DiNucci’s play on the rest of his offensive teammates.
At 18m 38s into the game, with Pitt down 35-0, Pat Narduzzi made the call to bench rsSR Max Browne and go with DiNucci. Immediately Pitt’s offensive players perked up and responded with well-blocked short pitch and catch play to Henderson that he took 71 yards to the OSU 11 yard line – and we scored three plays later.
That was our first TD in the last 29 minutes of play against both PSU and OSU – and Ben DiNucci was under center for both of them. That speaks volumes and should be (I say ‘should be’ for a reason) the fact that tilts the remaining 2017 QB1 snaps to DiNucci.
The bottom line with our QB situation is this: after many years of watching, following and now writing about Pitt football I believe that Pitt fans can accept a loss in a match as long as 1) we played competitively and 2) we fans had fun watching the kids play the game. Max Browne does not do that for us in either way – but Ben DiNucci does and will.
He may not be the answer for future wins on the schedule but DiNucci makes watching Pitt enjoyable and so without hesitation on Narduzzi and Watson’s part he needs to be the starting QB against Georgia Tech.
In what may be the most crucial part of future games – considering we have scores close enough that we may win games – rsSR P Ryan Winslow’s work at punting the ball is critical – and it is too bad that his excellent punting on Saturday was completely wasted.
As you can see from the box here Winslow was super effective with his kicks and, in a game where field position didn’t really mean anything, still gave us somewhat of a chance on defense . One punt in particular, early on when we were still in the game down by 7-0, was downed on the OSU 4 yard line. Of course they drove 96 yards for a TD – but Winslow did his job well on that play and all throughtout day when called on.
That is it – no other “Good” issues to discuss.
THE BAD and THE UGLY
Max Brown’s play along with everything else we saw in person, watched on TV, listened to on the radio and had to experience in what is a true low point in five years of Pitt football. I’d venture to say that as the actual play in games goes this was the worse I have ever seen.
I lumped these two headings together because the whole afternoon, from 13:00 left in the 1st quarter until the whistle blew to end the game, was a complete and utter rout. There is truly no other way to spin this fellow Pitt fans- it was an ugly afternoon from the opening kickoff until the horrid game ended. So – I’m not going to write a novel describing in detail how truly crappy we played.
Please feel free to add your own “Good, Bad and Ugly” in your comments – there are just too damned many for me to list here.