Editor’s Note: This is an early edition of the MMQB article because, much as Narduzzi is out hunting for his next great transfer QB, I’ll be Snipe Hunting with friends tomorrow and will be gone overnight.
At the risk of my repeating myself on these MMQB articles… I’m not sure anyone should be all that surprised at what happened on Saturday evening when the University of North Carolina (NC) beat Pitt by a score of 42- 24.
Yes, in the same way Louisville (UL) whooped us last Saturday the Tar Heels strung us along for a bit over two quarters until they said enough is enough and proved Pat Narduzzi to be an idiot when he says stuff like ‘at this point we are undefeated’. Granted he meant only since the end of the UL game but still – a rather ridiculous statement to make at this particular point in his history with Pitt.
In the UL game the Cardinals waited until the 4th quarter to quit playing around and put up 17 points to win, the Tarheels did much the same when in disbelief after seeing the score 24-14 in favor of our guys they went on a tear and scored 21 unanswered points. I’m just surprised that the game didn’t start out that way from the coin toss.
What happened was this; Narduzzi saw Slovis complete a few decent passes early on and said to himself “See, we have no other QB on the roster that can do what he does.” Well, one never knows, do one? But I bet either of our two viable QBs-in-waiting could have completed more than 50% of their passes and for at least one TD against that rather porous NC defense.
That NC passing defense was, going into the game, 121st in Passing Yards Allowed with 283.2 and 112th in Passing Efficiency Defense at 149.39. To make that more clear Slovis had only 236 yards and a horrid 109.1 efficiency rating (compared to Maye’s 188.9 efficiency rating). I know – lots of numbers, but in this case stats actually do tell the true story.
Here is what Slovis did, or didn’t do, depending if you are a believer in him or not. Obviously I’m not:
Yes – it’s a foggy graphic but suffice to say it shows just how continually poor Slovis has performed lately. That 45% completion rate really sucks but when you look at what he accomplished (or not) in the 2nd half it hurts even more – 6/13 (46%) for 67 yards and one sack… thank goodness for that 50 yarder to Jared Wayne to set up up last TD or the NFL would turn their backs on Kedon completely.
Well, its easy to point fingers at one player but that really isn’t solely the case in this loss – as predicted our pass defense came up very short, like really, really short…miniscule actually… again this game.
Granted the NC QB, rsFR Drake Maye will be, perhaps, the second multiple Heisman winner in CFB history, he sure is playing like it. Here is how he carved us up. Look at the two CFB QB ratings for the game – Maye played over twice as well as The Big Kedon!
We saw what Maye did in HIS 2nd half and, folks, there-in tells the tale of how successful QBs react under pressure. He was cool, calm and moved his feet while still always looking downfield to complete his passes. As compared to Slovis who seems to look to the sidelines in confusion if he’s forced to budge an inch.
Izzy was on his game again with 127 yards on 26 carries with three TDs, but it is just too damn bad that he is the absolute only bright spot we have in our offensive arsenal. ‘Arsenal’ might be the wrong word here – more like ‘toy box’. Look at where we sit nationally in the important pieces of the game puzzle:
I wrote about this last MMQB also – what might look OK defensively with Total Defense at #39 and Rushing Defense at #30… they are countered negatively with our Scoring Defense at 78th (27.9 ppg) and especially the Red Zone Defense at 98th. All that overrules anything else we may do.
What do the last two weeks mean for the future? I’m thinking it means we suck now and will do so again over the next four weeks. We’ll probably beat Virginia, although we haven’t done so well on the road this year standing at 1-2 and we play at their place in two weeks.
However, I can’t help but think we’ll come up short against the other three opponents we have left with games at home next week against now #16, 6-2 Syracuse, home again for the 5-3 Duke Blue Devils then playing at 4-4 Miami to end the regular season.
Which leaves us at 5-7…maybe. But since we are undefeated going into each match that upper-level math is just too hard for me to comprehend.
Dan72 was nice enough to offer me a ticket to the SYR game next week so I’ll see the true die-hard POVers at the Red 5A tailgate on Saturday. I actually have a media pass for that game but prefer to be with people who can scream bloody murder whenever they feel like it!