Posted: 2:00 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 5, 2013
By Pat O'Mahony
I realized one thing this week, other than the fact that the word "pluses" looks ridiculous spelled out -and that is that Pitt can take a lot of positives from the blowout loss to Florida State.
+ Tyler Boyd. We've talked about his performance at length, but his talents cannot be understand (or ignored). Get him the ball.
+ Special Teams. Freshman Chris Blewitt, didn't well, ya know, blow it. His kickoffs were adequate and his field goal attempts seemed confidently taken. Punting, which Pitt did a bit of, was acceptable. Coverage units did an exceptional job against a more talented team and the return game nearly broke through via the aforementioned Boyd.
+ Freshmen played a lot. About 11 freshmen saw time versus the Seminoles. I already mentioned Blewitt and Boyd, but others saw the field and none stuck out as completely overmatched. Pitt is a young team and their going to take their lumps, but I appreciate Paul Chryst letting the younger guys see playing time. Are you paying attention Jamie Dixon?
+ The crowd. Yes, some left early, but the start of the game showed what looked to be one of the most vocal and energetic crowds since the Cincinnati game in 2009.
+ Helmet stripes.
- The defense, ALL OF THEM. This is obvious and could probably account for three or four minuses. To allow a freshman quarterback to essentially dismantle you in every way possible is pretty humbling for what is supposedly the team's area of strength. The secondary gave huge cushions. The linebackers missed assignments. The line missed tackles. In fact, they all missed tackles. Matt House needs to show he can adjust, and I believe they can only improve from here. At least FSU is off the schedule.
- Tom Savage. The early drive was very impressive, but the rust showed as the game went on. Savage does have the strong arm that Sunseri lacked, but his forces and staring down receivers is worrying, but likely also due to the fact he hasn't seen game action in years.
- The lack of Todd Thomas. Hopefully the game served as Thomas' de facto suspension for his "transfer" request in camp. The kid needs to play.
- The crowd. Wait, how can they be both? Well when they boo during a jersey retirement ceremony that's supposed to be about Larry Fitzgerald. No matter how much you may hate Steve Pederson, that was poor timing.
That's all I have for this week. I like to keep it positive and I think Pitt can take a lot of positives from Monday's game. This is a young and talented team, but it is going to take time.