Pitt redshirt junior captain Jimmy Morrissey is a guy that has a good feel for what his team needs to do in order to take the next steps to improve and reach their goals. He knows that they’re close but little things are holding them team, and specifically the offense back from reaching that point.
“We are really good,” Morrissey said. “But we need to put up more points.”
That was evident last week, when Pitt squeaked past Delaware on a game-winning late fourth quarter touchdown drive.
“(Last week) we put up 17 points against an FCS team” Morrissey said. “That shouldn’t happen.”
The running unit has had struggles of its own. With their top two guys out last week with injuries (A.J. Davis and Vincent Davis), and the other two trying to find their niche (Todd Sibley and V’Lique Carter), Morrissey knows that a lot of the success rests on the offensive line.
“Now, it’s really focusing on my unit.” Morrissey said. “It’s just little things — If you watch, you’ll see, it’s usually just one guy making one mistake.
“Every guy needs to lock into the play, and do their job for every play.”
With the running game not being up to par with Pitt’s standards to this point, Morrissey knows that a number of guys need to take responsibility, not just the guys up front.
“We will take a big responsibility on that,” Morrissey said. “That’s all on us — And also the running backs and the tight ends too.”
Sibley had the Panthers’ first 100-yard rushing game of the season (106 yards on 22 carries) against Delaware. The team’s previous best was against Ohio, when A.J. Davis ran for 89 yards on 13 carries. This week, they will face a Duke defense that is giving up 140 rushing yards per game.
Morrissey talked about the mental aspect of the offensive improvements and how a lot of the running problems can be sharpened in the film room.
“I’ve had a lot more guys talk to me about watching more film,” Morrissey said. “Guys on this team care — Especially guys in the O-Line room, (they) care a lot.”
Pitt’s offense will have their hands full, come Saturday night. Duke has only given up 41 points in their last three games combined, while on offense, scoring over 40 in each of the three games.
“This is the best Duke defense in the past three years,” said Morrissey. “They are very experienced — They’ve been around the block”
Morrissey is a veteran guy who knows that the clock is ticking on this season and doesn’t want to waste anytime in trying to put the best product on the field.
“We don’t have much time left,” Morrissey said. “We’re getting into Week 6 and it’s ACC play.”