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Mistakes Doom Pitt in 30-14 Loss to Virginia

Mistakes Doom Pitt in 30-14 Loss to Virginia

A couple of key mistakes were the downfall as Pitt fell 30-14 to Virginia in the Panthers’ 2019 season opener.

Already leading 3-0, Virginia increased that led to ten aided by Noah Taylor’s blocked punt of Kirk Christodoulou. Three plays after the blocked punt, Bryce Perkins connected with Chris Sharp for a 2-yard touchdown pass.

After spotting the Cavaliers that early lead, Pitt gained momentum and took a 14-13 lead into the half.

With Virginia up 10-0 in the first quarter, Pitt responded with their first touchdown drive of the  season. The big play in the drive came on third down when Kenny Pickett connected on a wheel route with A.J. Davis that went for 59 yards to the Virginia 20 yard line. Four plays later, Davis found the end zone on a 2-yard run.

The Panthers took their first lead of the game right before the half on 14 play, 80 yard drive which was capped off by a 3-yard touchdown pass from Pickett to senior Tre Tipton on third down.

Pitt’s 14-13 lead was short lived as Virginia opened the second half on regained the lead on a 45-yard Brian Delaney field goal, his third of the game. The key on that drive was Virginia converting two long third downs, including a 27-yard scramble by quarterback Bryce Perkins.

The turning point in the game happened in the middle of the third quarter. With Virginia up 16-14, Pitt couldn’t make a big play. Pickett had Taysir Mack for a wide open 30-plus yard pass play but Mack dropped the ball.

The very next play, Pickett tried to go back to Mack but was intercepted by linebacker Matt Gahm at the Pitt 29-yard line. Five plays later, Perkins found Hasise Dubois for a 13-yard touchdown and Virginia led 23-14.

While the Pitt defense did allow three touchdown drives, all of which came on short fields and were the result of turnovers—including a late 4th quarter turnover on downs deep in their own territory. Pitt and Virginia ended the game with virtually the same offensive output save for the two interceptions thrown by Pickett.

Pitt had two promising drives in the second half but neither ended in points. The first culminated in a missed 50-yard field attempt by Alex Kessman late in the 3rd quarter. Pitt mounted an extended 4th quarter drive that made it all the way to the Virginia 36, but back-to-back sacks pushed the Panthers into a third-and-long and Pickett threw his second pick of the game to effectively end Pitt’s comeback bid.

Virginia added a touchdown with 32 seconds left in the game to finish off the scoring.

This was the first loss against Virginia in the Narduzzi era and the first win for Virginia ever at Heinz Field.

Next up for Pitt (0-1) is a game next Saturday vs. Ohio U. Kickoff at Heinz Field is set for 11 AM.

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Jeff
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Jeff

I was high on this team and I’m still hopeful they get their act together but I’m beyond frustrated by this lackluster mistake filled performance tonight. I’m almost ready to admit I was wrong for believing things would be different and thinking Pitt would come out and start things off right. The defense is good but I’m wondering again if Pickett will ever amount to anything. He constantly gets sacked to take the team out of field goal range and he constantly neglects to take care of the ball by tossing interceptions when we can least afford them. I’m just… Read more »

Smljf
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Smljf

Pickett is not the answer. No different than last yr. No pocket presence. Inaccurate. He just cant be coached up to the level Pitt needs him to be.

Could Chase Pine have given any less effort trying to block the outside rusher on the blocked punt? Just a brutal effort. That led to 7pts.

They continue to be flat after halftime – another theme from 2018. Dropped passes. Missed tackles. Will be lucky to make a minor bowl. God help them on their trek to the middle of the state in a few weeks.

Pat Adonizio
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Pat Adonizio

Think about QB development under Nardi; zero! Last qb developed was voytik under PC, and Nardi ruined him, luckily, Peterman came from Tenn where he learned fundamentals and we did ok. Since, we’ve had qb’s recruited that weren’t developed, and Pickett was to be the answer. We need to get a qb coach to coach kids and stop pipeline of qb transfers in resulting in kids leaving. What’s the message you send? Truly, prior to transfer portal, Nardi was big in bringing-in transfers and continues to be, this sends wrong message to your recruits.

Jay
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Jay

Well Voytik was ruined, because the fat OC had recruited Peterman to Tennessee. That was a real fraud.

Jeff
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Jeff

I can’t really blame Mendenhall for scoring that last touchdown but in my opinion it was a bit of a punk move on his part instead of kneeling. If I were Pitt I’d remember that garbage time score that Mendenhall put up on them. In all honesty though Pitt deserved that salt rubbed in the wound at the end for playing like high school kids on offense. Maybe one day Pitt will actually get pissed off and play with some guts instead of embarrassing and beating themselves.

Clark Martineau
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Clark Martineau

Pickett played with guts. Did you see the hits he took on his runs and trying to pass. He was brave but had a bad night passing..

Jeff
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Jeff

Winning squads have zero excuses. They take pride in their play and they step it up when needed. Pickett and his recieving corps haven’t truly been able to produce anything of significance even when he is protected as we’ve seen last year. He’s inaccurate and he makes poor and costly decisions. I don’t care if I get a million vote downs on the comment. Pitt went for it on 4th down deep in their own territory because it was the only option at that point and Mendenhall should have kneeled it down at that point. The last TD was cheap… Read more »

TMG
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TMG

Pickett’s bad games greatly out number good ones. Sorry kid you gotta a couple games left to prove yourself if not take a seat and let Patti have a go.

Jay
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Jay

Picket has stunk since the game against Wake Forest. A team with among the lowest talent in the ACC. He doesn’t have the talent to play against better teams. Move on to Patti or Bevins for Ohio. 16 games is plenty to tell about Pickett, nice kid, etc. but……….

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