Losing to a 1-8 team (North Carolina) is never fun. A team decimated by injuries. A team that was starting a new QB for his first start ever. Pitt did just that last night at Heinz Field losing to the Tar Heels 34-31 during “Star Wars” night in what should have been a revenge game for the Panthers.
In sum, Pitt laid a big egg on National TV (ESPN). It may have been “Star Wars” night for Pitt, but the force surely wasn’t with the Panthers.
Pitt in reality is a team that is in disarray on defense. The players are constantly out of position, there’s no pass rush (one of the DEs has zero sacks on the season) and playing with a walk-on LB, a converted WR at LB and a hobbled corner.
Its been like this all season and for the 3rd year in a row, Pitt will finish near the bottom in every measurable defensive category.
Offensively, Pitt has a good running game with a strong offensive line (running the ball but not in pass protection). Led by junior Darrin Hall, who rushed 23 times for 121 yards and 4 TDs.
If you add in starting sophomore QB Ben DiNucci’s 83 yards, junior WR Quadree Henderson’s 40 yards, sophomore WR Maurice Ffrench’s 20 yards and a few others, you will see Pitt again mauled their opponent on the ground with 45 carries for 265 yards. That’s getting it done on the ground.
Through the air, though, the story a lot different. DiNucci is a serviceable QB but isn’t a starting QB at this level. His 11 for 17 for 142 yard night is basically pedestrian in the ACC, if not below-average. He takes way too many sacks and whether by design or pure inexperience, he breaks the pocket far too often to be an efficient passer.
Pitt’s receivers fail to get open (some have contributed little to nothing this year) and the Panthers rarely (if ever) throw the ball down field. The offense is requiring opposing defenses to defend 20 yards of ground. Not a big patch of land.
In sum, Pitt...
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