Here is a quick bunch of thoughts from Jim (Pittman4ever)

It is hard to believe that we are already on game four and that the much awaited  three game home start to Pitt’s season is already over.

So, at this point how do think our season has started?  Most of us (I would wager to say) are relatively pleased being 2-1 at this point and 1-0 in ACC conference play.  However, I’m guessing we would all say it’s been quite an unusual Twilight Zone type of three game home stand start to the year!

Who would have thought we would get shut out for the entire second half in our opening win against a weak Albany team even though we easily won 33-7?  

Did any of us (UPitt included!) actually think Penn State would totally dismantle us 6-51 in a monsoon viewed on prime time tv?

Then, when it looks like Narduzzi had lost the team, we come out totally ready to play and prepared to stop the Georgia Tech vaunted offense in our impressive 24-19 victory!  And yet SOMEHOW our offense still disappeared once again in the whole 2nd half!  Odd, to say the least!!    

So, what are your theories as to why the bizarre play has happened up to this point of the season and will it continue this week at North Carolina, who for some unknown reason we seem to enjoy losing to???   

Editor’s Notes; I’ll throw in my three cents here also.  Like Jim above I have no real handle on this year’s Pitt team except that you don’t know what you are going to get from half to half…to half. 

The defense has looked very good in spots – against Albany and in the 1st half against Georgia Tech.  Then it looked horrible all the other times.   Our run game looks pretty good and I think we are all surprised that our passing game hasn’t been very effective. Here is how our offense breaks down:    

Key O stats

For instance, one telling statistic I look at when gauging an offense is how many yards per point is the team needing to build a score?  Last year – and remember our offense sucked last year – we had a point every 15.6 yards.  This season we are getting a point every 21.2 yards which puts us down at 116th out of 130 D1 teams.  Not good and I think that will be a problem going forward. 

0.234 points per play has us at 113th nationally and we are scoring an average of 2.0 TDs per games so far – 103rd in the country. So we have some big work to do on that side of the ball.  Here is how we fare nationally in offensive production:

Pitt O 9-19

We are running the ball OK but it really isn’t translating into points like it should.  That bears watching when we play the better teams on our schedule.

On paper playing NC this week will probably help our offensive stats but right now we are not impressive averaging only 21 ppg.   Pickett should be more effective than he has been so far this season and that’s a bit disappointing.  I had written earlier in the preseason that his strengths were the short and intermediate passes and he’s doing that with a 65+% completion rate, but also that his deep passing was suspect, accuracy mostly, and that has been shown also.   Here is what he’s done so far:

Pickett 9-19

Pickett’s 6.44 yards per attempt and his 9.9 yards per completion are very low at this point.  That has to change or we’ll see eight in the box against our run game all the time (like we saw work well for PSU when they did that in the 2nd half of that game).

We have dodged major bullets with our opponent’s receivers having stone hands also.  PSU had seven drops by their receivers and I think GT had at least three or four – and two would have resulted in TDs I believe.  But the problem is that their receivers were running free pretty much all game – although GT passes so little those plays for them are outliers.  Still they had guys open pretty easily and teams who are better in their passing games are going to hurt us.

But at this point I’m very happy with a 2-1 start.  I picked GT to win and that didn’t happen…truth be told I’m not real good at picking individual games so pay no attention to me with that.  If we can start 3-1 then I’ll say winning five or six wins is more reachable but I’m sticking with five  wins on the year… with maybe a .500 regular season.

Wins are fun but Albany was pretty much figured to be one and the GT game was closer that most fans would have liked.   All in all it looks good in the W/L column but it makes you wonder what we’re going to see in the future.