Oh, where do I begin.
I didn’t think I would see anything worse than the hotel that I unfortunately stayed at in Louisville, but I was wrong because I unfortunately had the misfortune of watching Pitt’s offense.
I’ll borrow a famous line from Chuck Noll which accurately describes whatever Pitt is trying to accomplish on offense: “their problems are many and they are great.”
Pitt’s offense is a complete mess and I’m not sure it can be fixed this season. Before I address the obvious problem, quarterback Kedon Slovis, the most disturbing aspect of tonight’s game was Pat Narduzzi’s lack of leadership and his decision to stick with Slovis.
It was obvious to anyone with vision that Slovis didn’t have it Saturday tonight and frankly, hasn’t had it since his return from a concussion. Slovis looked scared, when he had time he was erratic and his decision making was as bad as I’ve seen from a quarterback in a long time.
The decisions he made to throw those passes that resulted in interceptions cost his team the game and big picture, ended Pitt’s chance to win the Coastal. It’s certainly fair to come down hard on Slovis but he can’t take himself out of the lineup. That’s the job of the head coach and Narduzzi failed to pull the trigger.
Whether it’s because Slovis is a team captain, whether it’s because of how much he’s talked him up in the past, whatever the reason Narduzzi didn’t have the stomach to make a tough decision, shame on you, Pat because you let the entire roster down and cost your team a chance at winning a game they had no business losing.
Earlier Saturday, Clemson trailed Syracuse 21-10 in the third quarter and head coach Dabo Swinney made the decision to pull starting quarterback and former five-star recruit D.J. Uiagalelei and replaced him with freshman Cade Klubnik.
Klubnik sparked Clemson’s offense and they pulled out a 27-21 win over previous unbeaten Syracuse.
“Sometimes, you know, Steph Curry goes 2 for 25,” Swinney said. “Your best player sometimes can have a bad day. He just got out of rhythm, made some bad plays. We just needed a change. DJ’s our quarterback,” said Swinney.
“You have to get a spark when the quarterback is not playing good and especially how I have been playing and how I feel like I should have played. You got to be able to make a change like that,” said Uiagalelei. “Today we got a ‘W’ by Cade going out there. That is Coach Swinney’s number one job. There are a 135 guys on this team and at the end of the day, his responsibility is to the team, not me.”
That’s a pretty mature answer by Uiagalelei. If Narduzzi would’ve made the obvious decision to not start Slovis in the second half, I’m probably writing a different commentary and about a Pitt win.
Narduzzi is on record as saying Nick Patti is healthy and if that’s the truth and not just BS from a Monday press conference then he should’ve started the second half. Everyone in the stadium knew that and sadly most players wearing a Pitt uniform thought the same thing.
Just because you sit Slovis for the second half doesn’t mean he can’t start next week at North Carolina. Swinney has already said that Uiagalelei will start next week for Clemson. Narduzzi’s needed to make decisions to try and win the game against Louisville and worry about next week later. For whatever reason he failed to do so.
This 2022 Pitt team is going to underachieve this season for one reason, and the problem didn’t start tonight. The bottom line is their passing game is a disaster, it has been since the West Virginia game and it remains broken following another unexpected ACC loss.
Big picture, the problems with the pass offense fall on the shoulders of Slovis and Frank Cignetti, who’s been unable to fix anything to this point.
But tonight in Louisville, I’m pinning a lot of blame on the CEO of Pitt football for letting his quarterback fail when it was so obvious that he had no chance of succeeding.