Connect with us

Pitt Football

Pitt Manhandled in Embarrassing Loss to Syracuse at Yankee Stadium

Published

on

Pitt head coach Pat Narduzzi.

If Pat Narduzzi prides himself on one thing, it’s stopping the run. He says he’s sick to the stomach when opposing teams run the football on his Pitt squad.

I don’t know what he’s feeling after Syracuse racked up 384 yards in a 28-13 win over Pitt Saturday afternoon at Yankee Stadium — delivering a demoralizing loss to the Panthers in a game that felt extremely winable through two-and-a-half quarters.

Pitt mustered just 269 yards of offense, failing to crack 300 yards yet again this season, and Christian Veilleux didn’t last the whole game after turning the ball over three times — three of four Pitt turnovers on the afternoon.

It was an abject disaster for Pitt football in what has been a disastrous season for the Panthers.

Syracuse came out determined to run the football, and Pitt kinda just let them.

‘Cuse racked up a handful of double-digit gains on its first possession, averaging nearly 10 yards a carry, on the way to an opening drive touchdown. Garrett Shrader rolled out, underthrew tight end Max Meng but didn’t pay a price as Meng found himself wide open in the end zone.

Pitt, perhaps unsurprisingly, didn’t manage much on its first possession and punted the ball back to Syracuse. The second Orange drive appeared to be more of the same, but a strange pop-pass to Shrader on a Wildcat play was blown up by Dayon Hayes to give Pitt the ball in plus territory.

But it only resulted in a 35-yard Ben Sauls field goal.

A very… interestingly called game offensively for Syracuse settled down as Pitt handled the ‘Cuse offense more effectively, and the Panthers offense came alive for the first time in what felt like a month. Veilleux hit Bub Means on a route over the middle, Orange defenders missed and Means took off for a 65-yard gain.

And facing a 3rd-and-goal from the ‘Cuse 5, 0-of-4 on the day and 1-of-27 over the last two-and-a-half weeks, Veilleux fired a ball to a slanting Konata Mumpfield, who dove into the end zone to give the Panthers a 10-7 lead. And a 33-yard Sauls field goal just before the half secured Pitt’s first halftime lead since Week 1 against Wofford.

Pitt appeared to be in the midst of a promising drive to open the second half, in the midst of a 7-play drive that just crossed midfield, but a botched handoff on a sweep to Kenny Johnson rolled across the turf long enough for Jaden Bellamy to dive on it.

And nine plays later, Shrader — showing that any injury concerns were overblown — pulled on an option run and there wasn’t a Pitt defender in sight as he dashed into the end zone for a 21-yard go-ahead touchdown midway through the third quarter.

The Pitt defense, despite giving up an unbelievable number of rushing yards, made a stand late in the third quarter — trailing by just a point. And on the second play following a turnover on downs, Veilleux fired a dart to ‘Cuse safety Jayden Bellamy, who carried the ball back to the end zone for a lead-extending touchdown.

Another botched handoff, to make matters worse, resulted (almost immediately) in a 27-yard touchdown run from Villari to stretch the lead to two scores.

Pitt pivoted to Nate Yarnell following the third turnover of the half, and it didn’t matter. Even Rodney Hammond Jr., after a booth review determined that he fumbled despite looking as though the play was over, couldn’t avoid the disaster.

And, fittingly, the Orange ran out the clock late in the fourth quarter by just continuing to pound the football down Pitt’s throat to clinch its first win in well over a month — ending a five-game losing streak.

Pitt (2-8, 1-6 ACC) will return home to Acrisure Stadium to host Boston College on a short week, the Eagles arriving on a Thursday night for Senior Night. It’s the penultimate game of the 2023 season.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
25 Comments
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
25 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
TJ
TJ
8 months ago

tough loss and lots of guys got hurt. very bad night overall.

Kelvin Byrd
Kelvin Byrd
8 months ago

I didn’t think Pitt would win this game, but this was another great example of how Narduzzi can’t and will not make adjustments during a game. Syracuse lined up, punched Pitt in the face, and don’t do anything different the entire game. Pathetic.

Jeffrey T. Morris
Jeffrey T. Morris
8 months ago

Narduzzi said he needs to look at the tape. Doesn’t know who won yet. Then he will ask Frank what needs to be done.

O P
O P
8 months ago

Narduzzi has put our teams fate in Cignetti’s hands.
Narduzzi should be held accountable for that.

Jimbo
Jimbo
8 months ago

Why in the world is Frank Cignetti, Jr. still the Offensive Coordinator at the University of Pittsburgh??? Seriously, why has he not been relieved of his duties? Enough already, Narduzzi, Lyke, et al.

kevin
kevin
8 months ago

WHY THE HELL DOESN’T HE FIRE CIGNETTI NOW. DO THEY PRACTICE??? THIS OFFENSE IS EMBARRASSING TO WATCH!
The defense gave up, and I don’t blame them.
#FIRECIGNETTI

Jimbo
Jimbo
8 months ago
Reply to  kevin

… and, if you were a talented high school recruit, or parent of a recruit, would you want to play for Offensive Coordinator, Frank Cignetti, Jr or advise your son to do so? I sure as hell wouldn’t.

Section 122
Section 122
8 months ago
Reply to  Jimbo

I’d pay tuition for my kid somewhere else before I let Cignetti coach him for free.

Last edited 8 months ago by Adam Held
O P
O P
8 months ago

Nate Yarnell is the best qb on the roster. Not saying he is great, but he would not have lost us 7 games. We would have won at least two, maybe three more.

Nate Yarnell does not get a fair shake from Cignetti. Cignetti did not recruit him, so according to Cignetti, he is not as good as anyone Cignetti recruited.

Baki Smolder
Baki Smolder
8 months ago
Reply to  O P

All of their QBS are terrible. Yarnell is underwhelming at best. They have no playmakers. Their playbook is similar to a 1970s Wpial teams. Even the commentator today mentioned how predictable their offense was . He had to bite his tongue a few times. You can tell he thought Pitt was just that bad. Worst team since 1998 and could be the first team in program history to lose 10 games.

Jon kaczmarek
Jon kaczmarek
8 months ago
Reply to  Baki Smolder

Actually we lost 10 games in 1972, a 1-10 season

Richard Johnson Sr.
Richard Johnson Sr.
8 months ago

I am not a Narduzzi fan, but, I did not see him missing tackles, or getting run over. This team lacks toughness all the way around. We complain every week ,but. Heather Lyke keeps him around, She should get part of the blame.

Jon kaczmarek
Jon kaczmarek
8 months ago

Indeed. If Narduzzi returns in 2024 Lyke should be canned for incredibly stupid extension to 2030.

Tom
Tom
8 months ago

Narduzzi ain’t the guy that can fix this. Never was. The KP senior year and last years 9 win season are so far in the rear view mirror. Narduzzi created this. He coached this. He staffed this team with 5th and 6th years duds, and he Brought Cig in to crush this program because he wanted to Run the ball and be tough on defense. He’s accomplished little in his 9th year. A disaster

Young
Young
8 months ago

it was hard to watch. Defense cannot stop even though they are running. Offense was as usual. Did pitt look like they came to play? I think PN may have lost the team.

On Campus Stadium Please
On Campus Stadium Please
8 months ago

Real Offense

Tim
Tim
8 months ago

PITT? No offense. PSU? No offense. Steelers? No offense. Unlikely coincidence? I mean, all three?

Baki Smolder
Baki Smolder
8 months ago

24-15. Talk about being humbled. Michigan and Ohio St are elite teams. Then way down the ladder comes PSU.

MrThisThat
MrThisThat
8 months ago

If Pitt spent half as much as Pedo does on NIL you’d have some room to talk… You’re just coming here now because there was rhythmic slapping again today in Not So Happy Valley but it wasn’t crazy Uncle Jerry doing it…it was UM AGAIN. ENJOY!!!

Steve
Steve
8 months ago

Narduzzi will be gone after the AD comes when Lyke goes to Ohio State……

Mr.Man
Mr.Man
8 months ago

Pitts got beat by a offensive worst than there’s.

Lorin Flickinger
Lorin Flickinger
8 months ago

It’s the same mistakes week after week. It’s hard to stay positive after watching the game. This is the worst Pitt team in 2 decades,maybe longer.Does anyone out there remember how long it’s been since Pitt lost 10 games in a season? 2-10 looks very possible.

cbd2nd
cbd2nd
8 months ago

This is a tale of two offenses. Syracuse literally had no one to throw the football. No one! It’s game plan was out of the 1920’s, and their OC took the best talent that he had left, and found about 120 different ways to baffle what has been a pretty good defense. Frank Cignetti has dimwittedly run the same basic BS for years. He runs out of a run set, he passes out of a passing set, and the play is never audibled at the line of scrimmage. When Syracuse has a 3 man front, why are you not changing… Read more »

Craig W.
Craig W.
8 months ago

Shrader injury concerns were overblown? He has an injured shoulder and couldn’t throw the football yesterday?

Maxwell
Maxwell
8 months ago

Tough day for Pitt. LB Brandon George was caught by the videographers trying to gouge SU’s LeQuint Allen’s eyes out. Allen had to leave the field. Not a thing said or done as a result of this by the Pitt coaching staff. This player should be removed fr]om the team for the balance of the season, IMHO.

Get PSN in your inbox!

Enter your email and get all of our posts delivered straight to your inbox.

 
Like Pittsburgh Sports Now on Facebook!
Send this to a friend