Pitt’s season opener against Virginia left plenty of fans frustrated and wanting to give their opinion of what went wrong.
Pittsburgh Sports Now is giving Pitt fans an outlet to voice their opinion on what went right or wrong following each game.
Here’s some of the feedback that we received following Pitt’s 30-14 loss to Virginia.
Steve Yurkovac– “Pitt’s front 7 dominated most of the night, losing Camp hurt. Secondary should have had a couple picks. Offensive line played worse than I thought they would in the first game. Pickett and WR’s really let this team down tonight. I got 100% faith in Whipple, Pickett not so much. I expected more from him despite the shaky line play. I expect us to win this Saturday, lose at Creepy Valley & beat UCF. 2-2 after first 4 games.”
Justin Dietrich– “I was really hoping for something new, something different, with the uniforms and Mark Whipple. What we got, was more of the same that we’ve become accustomed to over the years. Unprepared is how I can best describe Narduzzi’s teams and last night was another prime example. Maybe we needed a cupcake game against Howard or Idaho to start the season with a new OL and offense, but I won’t let them use that as an excuse. Pickett has not progressed and his reads are terrible. Their simply are no progressions with him right now and he had plenty of time most of the evening. His first INT doesn’t happen if Taysir does the one job he has and catches the ball, but Kenny has to be smarter than that. The D played well and I’d probably give them a solid B for the performance, but we can’t keep them on the field as much as we did last night. From what I saw from the RB usage, or lack thereof last night, it’s no wonder Salahuddin transferred out. 6 straight pass plays to open the game isn’t going to work with Pickett at QB. I’d love to say he needs to be on a short leash moving forward, but with Patti as the backup, that’s not much to look forward to. We can only hope that they develop Davis quickly.”
Tom Keeler– “My biggest disappointment was with the O line. Pickett had no time to throw and their were few running holes. Pickett wasn’t sharp, but it’s hard to throw with someone in your face the entire game. INTs and the blocked punt were killers.“
Donald Mckellar– “I was impressed with the DBs and their physical play. I will take the occasional PI call for them to stay aggressive and breakup catches. Obviously Picketts accuracy is concerning and will need to improve for this team to win. Hoping we don’t end September 1-3 but will need big improvements for that to happen.”
Corey Jones- “As a football coach myself, I can see that Pickett is inaccurate down field and on set throws.
- #70 and #71 got out played bad on the o-line
- And how didn’t we even offer Zandier the MLB out of Thomas Jefferson? The DB’s were terrible along with those undersized backers.
- This team is clearly undercoached and under recruited, I think Narduzzi and staff are not good along with Whipple. That offense was predictable until Pickett started to scramble.”
- C- Performance
Ryan McDaniel– “Last night was an all too familiar game that has been played over and over again under many different coaching staffs. It was a winnable game and Pitt did not show up. They looked unprepared and it set an awful tone for the season.”
Nelson Rauscher– “Maybe Kenny Pickett just isn’t a very good quarterback? He had a combined 53 run/pass attempts. The offense needs to be balanced.”
Joe from Pottstown– “Bad QB Play. The QB play was awful. I generally never say one aspect lost a game, but the QB play was a dominant role in the loss. Receivers were wide open down field on multiple occasions for huge gains if not touchdowns and they were overthrown. One which was open by 10 yards could have easily been for a TD but the player had to literally stop running like a fair catch it was so badly under-thrown. Turnovers gave Virginia field position for easy scores. Yes, better QB play for Pitt would have changed the entire outcome of this game.”
Andrew Plummer– “What I took from last nights game….Paris Ford is elite. Our defense should be really good as the year goes on. Growing pains on offense are to be expected but the mistakes (poor throws/drops/protection) will need to minimal the next 3 weeks to avoid a horrendous start to the season.”
Pitt Dad2– “As much as I dislike personalizing comments regarding specific players, I believe at this point Kenny Pickett can be classified as a great “practice quarterback” who apparently loses his ability to think clearly in an actual game. His passes had no air under them and most, with the exception of a wonderful span in the second quarter, were uncatchable. Of course, a number of them that were catchable were just simply dropped. Pitt needs to make a quick change, either in the quarterback or in the system they are using. Either will be difficult at this point in the season.”
Bob Barbour– “I thought we had a decent crowd last night. I thought Pitt tried to come out trying to prove to everyone that we could throw the ball this year and it blew up in their face. Our special teams, QB play, offensive line and our skilled position players all had poor games. Our defense started off bad but got better as the game went on. I’m very concerned that this team had all off season to prepare for this game and looked lost. The offensive line and quarterback play are my biggest concerns for this year. Kenny had no time at all and was getting hit on almost every passing play. He did miss wide open receivers on the deep ball but was getting hit on each one of those passes. Kenny looked gun shy as the game went on. The turning point in the game was when Mack dropped that wide open pass. I know this was only one game, but I think this team looks like a 6-6 team. Pitt started a lot of inexperience players so they should get better with more game play. Pitt needs a strong game next week to build off of going into PSU and UCF to even have a chance to pull off and upset. I’m down today after last night but here’s hoping for things to turn around! Coach has a lot of work ahead of him. H2P!!!”
Nolan– “As a student who has gone to every game, Narduzzi and Pickett will never get it done. Pickett misses simple reads. This QB and coach are a joke. It always seems Narduzzi has a good offense and a bad defense or the inverse.”
In the 2nd quarter, however, at the game, my binoculars revealed, play after play, a superbly functioning Pitt offense and defense tandem. And a generally very good and resilient defensive effort throughout the game. But the offense…. Other than the 2d quarter, a stroke-inducing, mistake-prone effort.
- Overthrown, underthrown, and “unwise” passes, as well as taking a couple of sacks instead of throwing the ball away, as UVA’s QB Perkins did so effectively
- At least three key drops by open receivers
- Near game-end, with only 9 points separately the teams, a wide-open Tre Tipton— who otherwise shined— “parking under” instead of “coming back to” a long, arm-only floating but accurate pass by a rushed Pickett that turned a certain long gain into a broken-up pass
- Kessman, like a golfer trying to hit for distance but sacrificing accuracy, muscled a 50 yard field goal try that “went” 65 field goal but off the mark
- The players and the team have exciting promise, but they must execute relatively mistake-free. Key is that the offensive line must be more cohesive and protective.
- And Kenny Pickett must act like he sounds in press conferences: knowledgeable, confident in his and his teammates’ ability, unflappable, and decisive.”
Richard Prunchak– “Watching this team morph from a power running team to one throwing 41 passes was jarring. Aside from the up-tempo scoring drives that featured highly varied plays and some effective running by Sibley, I didn’t see a cohesion to the play-calling particularly in the second half. It appeared visually as a second half of desperation with one scramble after another. The push from the defensive line appeared to drop after Camp left in the first half.”
Ryan Austin– “I thought the defense looked fast and physical. Considering they had no help from the offense all night, I give the defense a passing grade. That leads me to the other side of the ball. The offense was downright offensive. I like the fact Whipple was displaying high energy and unafraid to challenge Picket on the sidelines.
I think it’s too early to judge the Whipple offense, but the WR’s were getting open all night. Unfortunately when they were open, Picket was either nowhere near his targets and/or critical catches weren’t being made by the WR’s.
There was a brief sequence in the first half where Whipple decided to run the ball and Pitt looked very effective. Unfortunately Whipple and the offense never went back to it. What will it take for Pitt to finally get an offensive game plan that can mix the run and pass up effectively?
Lastly, I know this means a lot to Pitt fans, but I thought Ford played outstanding for the most part. He had some moments of mistakes, but it’s easy to see he will only get better. I think he has the energy and tenacity to live up to all his hype. It will take some time, but when it all clicks for him, he will be spectacular. “
Jessica– “Kenny Pickett will take most of the heat (and some is deserving), but the receivers lack of getting open is more damning than his play. Case in point, when the pocket broke down and he prolonged the play, rarely was a receiver able to get open. When they did, it was either dropped or overthrown. The lack of an impact tight end also doesn’t help! “
Chris Cottrell– “Is Pickett the best answer at QB? Where is this stable of RB? Where is the talented depth at WR? Is the OLine to blame for all the above?
David Baranowski-“ Unless Kenny Pickett can find a way to be more accurate on his deep and intermediate throws and his receivers can hold onto his passes, Pitt’s young offensive line will continue to struggle against teams loading the box and using multiple blitzes. Successful passing opens up more room for the running game and vice versa. Pitt did neither well and may never find that offensive balance they seek. Pitt’s defense played well enough to win the game.“
Ben Shafer– “My concern about Pitt’s offense after Saturday night has less to do with any player or group of players and more to do with scheme. I have my doubts about any offensive system that tries to throw the ball nearly 80% of the time and it is such a departure from Pitt’s established identity that it was jarring to watch. I hope they can find some balance over the course of the season.”
George Brzostowski– “First, Pitt needs its own stadium. The argument about sharing the home of an NFL team is nothing but a buzzword and tarping the upper deck will still leave a half empty stadium and do nothing to enhance the experience. Even in the concourse, half of the concessions were closed…I had to walk halfway around the stadium to find a stand that sold non-light beer.
Need to forget the bygone years of greatness and realize that greatness should now only be defined as 8-4. With a revolving door of coordinators the offense will never improve…how can you starting from scratch every year…never having the opportunity to build on the previous season.
Work out a deal to bring Wanny back for a few years. That’s about the only short term action that will generate a spark for the program. Then spend big on a brand name coach to bring in recruits…need more consistent talent all around then just a few on both sides of the ball. I personally think Narduzzi is a good coach in the wrong program.
Tom Debies– “Attended the game. Major concerns about the O-line. Couldn’t open holes for the run. Couldn’t sustain pass protection. Fail to recognize blitzes. Youth and lack of experience showed. Pitt may have to go the grad transfer route again.”
Michael Anastas– “Wash, rinse and repeat.” We’ve been repeating the same things over and over for years and the story doesn’t change. We have a coach who is considered to be a top 50 – 60 coach. Our recruiting classes are typically in the top 35 – 55 range. And we’re about a top 40 – 60 team during any given year. Until we coach better and recruit better, the story will continue to repeat. We’re built for mediocrity and that’s what we are – a mediocre program.”
EQ Studios– “Not much to be happy about. Just Tipton and Ffrench, really. Kenny is hanging by a thread. On top of it, UVA didn’t really impress. Won by Pitt’s lack of good plays. And mistakes. H2P! Let’s move on from this.”