Big Lead Sports Bar



You can say one thing about Pitt's first loss of the 2009 campaign: they certainly had their chances. In fact, the Panthers blew separate 10 and 14-point leads in their still-stinging 38-31 loss at NC State on Saturday. But the story of the day was Pitt's defense, or lack thereof.

For the second time this season, the D surrendered over 500 yards while getting smothered in the passing game. Wolfpack QB Russell Wilson threw for 322 yards and 4 TD while adding another 90 on the ground in a dominating performance, although statistically it failed to meet the 400 yards and 4 TD that Buffalo's Zach Maynard put on the Panthers a few weeks ago. And the scary part is that Buffalo team just lost to Temple by 24. Wilson led NC State to three straight scoring drives in the second half, with the last one being aided by two Pitt pass interference calls on third down. Ugh.

As for the Pitt offense, Bill Stull continue to game-manage his way to a 206-yard, 2-TD, zero-interception outing. But when you're given four shots at the end zone from the eight yard line, you've got to do better than zero yards of offense, which is what Stull and OC Frank Cignetti engineered in the game's closing moments. Let's just say there were no Ben Roethlisberger-type heroics to be found, at least on this day.

Pitt RB Dion Lewis' game was a tale of two halves. In half one, he rushed for 79 yards and 2 TD. In half two, he was held to just 16 yards on the ground, yet Pitt still finagled 14 points on two Stull touchdown throws, one covering 13 yards to Cam Sadler and the other spanning 79 yards to meet the Jonathan Baldwin Big Play Quota. Dorin Dickerson contributed 52 yards on four catches, but it was a touchdown knocked out of his hands on the Panthers' final possession that helped stick the fork in their chances for victory.

So as usual, my expectations of Pitt are a complete mystery in the middle of the season. Their next game will be a prime-time affair on Friday night against Louisville, televised by ESPN2. As of this writing, Louisville is 1-1 and on their way to 1-2, as they trail Utah. The Cardinals have a 30-10 win over Indiana State and a 31-27 loss at Kentucky on their 2009 resume so far. Their offense is averaging 398.5 yards per game, so given the circumstances, the over/under on this one should be about 250.

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JW said...

So should I just go ahead and book my ticket right now for the International Bowl, or would even that be too optimistic?

the nigerian nightmare said...

where's the follow up article: There's No "O" In Penn State

the nigerian nightmare said...

where's the follow up article: There's No "O" In Penn State

Steve said...

You can just reuse this title for the Steelers game summary.