There wasn’t much in the way of picking up the qualities for Pitt when he lost 26-21 to Georgia Tech on Saturday night. The pits were bad and losing to the worst GT team in Pat Narduzzi’s era is probably the worst.
This loss sends Pitt back to 3-2 (0-1 ACC) and raises many questions about Pitt’s short and long term future of the season.
Another bad loss throws pits off course
Pitt was supposed to use this season with an easy conference schedule as a way to prove last season’s success wasn’t just for Kenny Pickett.
As many expected, if Pitt can put together another 10-win season, win the ACC Coastal and return to the ACC title game for the second year in a row, he will be looking to build on his success in both recruiting and the programme. platform will be provided. Building and General Victory.
Georgia Tech’s loss, coming into the game with a 3-touchdown underdog without a coach, is the kind of loss that blows the wind out of the program’s sails. But Narduzzi said it wasn’t because he lacked the intensity to get into the game.
“I think we were excited,” said Narduzzi. “Emotionally, I think we were ready. Defense was ready to roll, we didn’t find the rhythm in the first half, we have to do better offensively.
“We have to do a better job as offensive coaches to get our kids to play like that, and we have to play as players. Their job is to play and it’s our coaching job to get them to play.”
Pitt lost regardless of whether he was agitated or delayed two touchdowns. Pitt has lost a game he should have won, greatly reducing his chances of an ACC Championship return. This isn’t to say Pitt can’t beat Coastal, but if Pitt wants to prove it’s a program with lasting relevance, this isn’t the way to do it.
What’s wrong with Kedon Slovis?
Kedon Slobis’ 26/45 for 309 yards with three touchdowns and an interception is misleading.
Slovis started the night with an 8-yard 2-of-9 before a drive late in the first half that led a 75-yard scoring drive. Slovis connected to his three different targets and Gavin hit his Bartholomew with a space at 4/7 to score him 29 yards. But that was the extent of his night until late in the fourth quarter.
If Pitt’s last two offensive possessions against a lax Georgia Tech defense were off the board, Slovis’ day would go 16/30 for 153 yards and a touchdown with an interception. No early clicks and Slobis was not making great decisions.
“I felt like I didn’t get into the rhythm. There are probably different reasons, but in the end we have to run better,” Slobis said early Sunday morning. “It starts with me, and it starts with me getting everyone going.”
Slovis was praised as a decisive and accurate pitcher when he arrived from USC in the winter and was never against Georgia Tech. Slobis looked out of sync until the fourth quarter. His pocket presence was non-existent at times.
“We were able to take better advantage of certain overtaking situations,” said Slobis. “Maybe I should have looked at the tape and told you the plays we didn’t do, some of the plays we missed, but overall I think there were plays that should have been played. is needed.”
Narduzzi said Slovis’ decision making in the second half of the game was really good and he was happy with how Pitt finished. . Slovis needs to get better, shake off the rust and play with confidence, but it’s fair to wonder if Pitt will have any kind of consistency downfield this season.
Defense down in the second half
Pitt’s defense put on a clinic in the first half. At 6-foot-7, Pitt held off Georgia Tech’s offense aside from a 33-yard pass play that E.J. Jenkins beat Williams downfield.
Jeff Sims threw for 37 yards on 3 of 12 pass attempts and was dismissed 4 times.And Pitt’s run defense held Georgia Tech to just 69 yards on 23 carries. rice field. And despite starting in solid field position throughout, Pitt held the GTs to two field goals in the half.
Pitt restricted Sim in the air overnight, allowing just 102 yards on 42% completion. But Georgia Tech ran wild in the second half on a pit rushing defense. Hassan Hall gained 157 yards on just his 20 carries, and Sims added his 81 yards (he gained 117 before factoring in sacks), giving the team a total of 232 yards. Rush gained his yardage.
Pitt still had a chance with just under two minutes remaining following a 99-yard drive capped by Jaden Bradley’s 27-yard touchdown reception. With all three of his timeouts remaining, Pitt chose to kick the football deep instead of taking his kick onside. The Pitt defense had to force a three-and-out to get the ball back in good time.
Instead, Hall ran for 63 yards on the first play of the drive, and Sims capped the 3-play, 72-yard drive with an 18-yard touchdown.
“Whether tired or not, we expect to stop so we’re not worried about that,” said SirVocea Dennis early on Sunday. “In a football match, everything flows fast and just goes on. You never really get tired.”
Georgia Tech won the possession battle in times from 31:04 to Pitt’s 28:56, but was down in the first quarter (10:57 to 4:03) and fourth quarter (10:03 to 4:57). So we were able to give the GT some momentum. Even with the TOP fight on the horizon, Georgia Tech made three starts in Pitt territory, excluding onside kicks, from Pitt’s three turnovers.
Georgia Tech turned them into a touchdown and two field goals.
“Things happen,” said Dennis. “Everything goes wrong, it’s not just football, it’s life. This game is a great teacher of life.”
Aggressive predicament continues for another week
When Pitt decided to play alongside Keddon Slobis in last week’s game against Rhode Island, he expected Slobis to be able to manipulate an offense that tests deep balls. It was times
So when Slovis came out looking rusty against an ACC defense (that is, a poor ACC defense), it wasn’t all that surprising. Slobis himself didn’t feel like last week’s conservative playcall had much to do with this week’s chorus.
“No, I think our game plans were quite different,” Slobis said. Drops for specific paths, sometimes you have to take those checkdowns.
“You don’t necessarily have to look at how someone covers someone else. Look at defenses structurally and see what concepts beat them. I thought we did a good job with the catches that were thrown, sometimes I thought they did a good job defensively, but overall I think they have to do better.”
Pitt’s offense racked up 411 yards of offense, 167 of which were on the final two possessions against a loose Georgia Tech defense. It was an offensive performance, with three turnovers in Pitt’s territory leading directly to Shortfield for Georgia Tech’s 13 points. Of Pitt’s 14 offensive possessions, seven of them resulted in his five plays or less.
“You have to go back and look at the tapes to be sure,” Narduzzi said. “We weren’t playing enough. It’s difficult, you can’t set play from play, it’s not a very good performance.”
Narduzzi noted how the first half of attacking play wasn’t great, but it wasn’t just the first half. It was three quarters of offensive planning and playing.
The offensive line isn’t particularly good, the wide receivers as a whole haven’t looked in sync all season, Vincent Davis has missed two footballs to relieve the injured Israel Avanikanda, and Slovis is stuck. .
At least the line of defense was in Sims
If there’s one positive to take from the Georgia Tech game, it’s that the defensive line created a lot of pressure.
Calijah Kancey lost by 3.5 tackles and took the lead in sacks. Bungaree Kamara, Solomon DeShields and David Green lost on sacks and tackles respectively, Devin Danielson lost on tackles, Hubba Baldonado and Eric Hallett lost on tackles and Servosia Dennis lost on half tackles.
Pitt as a team produced 11 tackles and 4 sacks against Georgia Tech. Kansi and Valdonado were regular contributors, but Green, DeShields and Kamara are promising players for the future.
Pitt is tied for 13th in the NCAA (tied for 1st in the ACC) with 16 sacks while trailing 20th in the NCAA (3rd in the ACC) with 36 tackles.
Pitt’s run defense has been an up-and-down start to the season, but Pash Rush is slowly curling into NCAA-leading form.