The Good, The Bad, The Ugly: Pitt Edition

Justin K. Aller

What went right, what went wrong, and everything in between against the Panthers

Breaking down the ups and downs of today's game, plus team grades.

The Good:

The 'Canes are 9-3 following a 41-31 defeat of Pitt today, headed to a bowl, and still mathematically in it for a birth in the ACC Conference Championship Game (needing UVA to beat Va Tech and UNC to beat Duke this weekend).

Miami's players coming out for pregame warm-ups shirtless was priceless.   Whether or not it actually helped is up for debate. But I love the swag it showed.

Great start to the game, with Pat O'Donnell forcing a fumble on the opening kick, that Garrett Kidd recovered.  3 plays later Stephen Morris hit a wide open Stacy Coley from 32 yards for an easy TD and 7-0 lead. The 'Canes then forced a three and out, partially blocked the ensuing punt, and Coley took in 2 this time 2 plays in from 34.

Speaking of Coley, his 2nd quarter 73 yard TD run on an end around was one for the highlight reels. he displayed picture perfect balance and blazing speed. The future is very bright for that young man. Every time he touches the ball it looks like he can take it to the house.  Very reminiscent of a WR version of Duke Johnson.

Gus Edwards looked strong with 11 carries 64 yards and a score.

Allen Hurns continued his spectacular senior season with 9 grabs for 173 yards. Virtually unstoppable!

Not sure how Ereck Flowers graded out today,  but pretty sure it was damn near perfect.  Kudos to the O line as a whole. Panthers' star DT Aaron Donald was pretty quiet today.

Denzel Perryman looked like his old hard hitting self, and team tackling as whole was slightly better. Senior LB Jimmy Gaines had maybe his best day as a 'Cane.

Artie Burns looks like a player as well.  He still has a ways to go though.

The Bad:

Isaac Bennett's 1st quarter 45 yard TD run (longest run by Pitt all season) was too easy.  Stop me if this sounds familiar: poor angles, can't get off blocks, missed tackles = big play.

The run defense as a whole remains an eye sore. Guys seem to be catching blocks, and waiting on runners to come them instead of attacking.

Tom Savage's 7 yard third quarter TD scramble..... someone, anyone finish this one for me.....

Coley should have had the 1st quarter hat trick, but dropped a dime that Morris delivered perfectly.

Ufomba Kamalu did have a first half sack, but UM's pass rush is still sorely lacking.

6'4 WR Devin Street being out for Pitt helped the cause, and they still struggled to stop Pitt.

The Ugly:

Call me superstitious or just plain silly if you want, but I'd never recruit a kicker with the last name "Blewitt."  Good luck with that Pitt.

Game Ball goes to: Coley/Hurns each get one - Coley had the more eye popping game, but Hurns was unstoppable all day. Gaines gets honorable mention.

Team grades:

Offense: B+ They did what they wanted most of the game, but stagnated a bit in the second half.  Morris was very solid (17/28 296 yards, 3 TDs 0 INT)

Defense: C There was some improvement, but still a lot of the same bad habits prevailed.

Special Teams:  B+ A partially blocked punt, set up Coley's second TD of the first quarter.  O'Donnell had another very good performance.  Matt Goudis was perfect on the day.

Highlights (ACC Digital)

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