I have to dash this one off because I’m late for work but wanted to at least wrap things up. Note this will not be my finest writing. But it will be my hastiest!
Special Teams / Kicking Game: I want to start here because without Alex Kessman’s performance we don’t beat Louisville. 3 for 3 FG coming off of 0-for-whatever spells R-E-D-E-M-P-I-O-N. The entire Pitt fan base thanks you for your resilience Alex! A+
Quarterback: I’m chalking Kenny’s bad day up to the alternate uni glove on his throwing hand. C-
Running Backs: Saw more Izzy than we’ve seen all year and I liked it. Vince Davis seemed to round into form in the second half. AJ looked good until he got targetted (no foul called). Missed Wildcat snap by Vince a minus. Would have liked to see some Todd Sibley. B-
Wide Receiver: Lots of ho-hum punctuated by flashes of brilliance. Jordan Addison’s TD. Addison snatching the ball away from a defender and going for a first down. The Mack Miracle, which was maybe the headiest play I’ve seen by a wide receiver, ever. These three plays helped us score just enough to win. B+
Tight End: I’m calling it now. Danny Moraga needs to get more balls thrown his way. Had a key third down catch to move the sticks and dragged a tackler for a couple of yards. Nearly made a highlight real catch down the seam in Q4 – full extension, got one giant mitt on the ball and then got whacked by the safety. I’d say better than 50% chance he came down with the catch if Louisville didn’t have that defender overt to top. It was the most athletic play I’ve seen out of a Pitt Tight End in a long time. C+
Offensive Line: The run blocking is starting to come together in fits an starts. The pass blocking is still way better than we expected. Ironically it’s the tackles that have been leading the Way. Carter Warren’s Pass PFF pass-block grade was right around 88. Carson Van Lynn came in at Right Tackle for Gabe Houy, logged 40 snaps and his pass blocking graded out at 81+. The guard play still has a way to go (at least according to PFF), and I want to see the run blocking a little crisper, but so for, not bad. B
Defensive Line: “These guys were … different”. Scott Satterfield. A+
Linebackers: Looked like a possible mental lapse by Chase Pine early on that 75 yard touchdown run, but after that he settled in an played a very good game. I didn’t see them giving up many passes and I saw them in on a lot of tackles. B+
Defensive Backs: Pitt made literally three mistakes on defense all day. One was by the linebackers on that 75 yard run, per above. One of them was on personnel – AJ Woods at Corner on Tutu Atwell on 4th and 4. Louisville made us pay. The third was a blown assignment on the first Tutu TD (After a very questionable call on a “fumble” by Pickett). But for the most part Pinnock and Williams locked down the X and Y, and the safeties did the rest. Hamlin had a great play knocking a long reception out of Atwell’s hands even though he was a step behind him. A-.
Discipline: A-. I think three penalties all day? Maybe four. One on defense that I can count and then Patrick Jones used his offsides as motivation and notched a sack right after that so all was forgiven. If Pitt plays like this every week, they have a chance to win every week.
Coaching: Solid with one exception. Defensive timeouts on third down seemed to work. Going for it on 4th down seemed to work, except one dropped ball by DJ turner at the end, but that was not the coaches’ fault. Duzz did get out-thunk on that penalty / fake punt though. And they should lose points for having AJ Woods in on that fourth down. B-.
Pundits: Pitt beat a ranked opponent and dropped from 21 to 24 in the AP poll. Tennessee, who squeaked by unranked South Carolina now sits at 21. North Carolina who has beaten one team sits at 12. Michigan, Wisconsin, Penn State have yet to play, and all sit above Pitt. Even BYU is ranked higher. F-.
NC State Depth Charts: