Pitt’s 2nd Half Defense Looks Listless, Offense Sloppy In OT win vs Youngstown St

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Pitt has now played 27 games under Pat Narduzzi. One thing is abundantly clear: Pitt has a sub-par defense. Talent-wise, scheme-wise, and coaching-wise, the defense is simply not up to ACC standards to compete at this level.

Yesterday was no exception in Pitt’s narrow 28-21 victory in the 2017 season opener versus Youngstown State at Heinz Field. You wouldn’t know it, though, based on the first-half score.

It was the Pitt offense that hid the deficiencies on defense. Junior tailback Qadree Ollison started things off with a run of 4 yards and then took a screen pass 30 yards, a play in which he leaped a YSU defender, to the Penguins 37 yard line. Redshirt junior superstar WR Quadree Henderson then ran it for 4 yards.

Junior tailback Darrin Hall then tacked on 3 yards before Henderson added another 9 yard run. Hall added scampers of 2 and 10 yards before Ollison finished Pitt’s first drive with a 6 yard TD burst. Pitt led 7-0.

After forcing YSU to punt on its first series, Pitt went back to work on offense.

Senior graduate transfer (from Southern Cal) QB Max Browne first completed a 5 yard pass to fellow senior graduate transfer (from Rutgers) TE Matt Flanagan. Henderson then took a jet sweep for 13 yards before Browne found senior WR Rafael Araujo-Lopes for 5 yards.

Browne decided to get another one of his wideouts involved by connecting with sophomore WR Aaron Mathews for 6 yards. Hall added runs of 2 and 8 yards