Where should we even start with what went on at Bobby Dodd tonight? Right, let us get the neutral party out of the way before we address the actual game. The refs were absolute garbage! Don’t get it confused, Georgia Tech did all they could to lose this game, but the blatant missed calls and ticky-tack unsportsmanlike fouls were just absurd.
Interference calls that would be made on Tech but glaring ones overlooked on Pitt. It’s no wonder Coach Collins impersonated Steve Spurrier by throwing his headset. I’m not mad at him for doing so either. The team got fired up and played a bit better towards the end with a bit more passion.
The Yellow Jackets' performance on the field kept its tired old theme for the year. On the second play from scrimmage, Pitt’s Vincent Davis took off for 74 yards through a gaping hole left in the middle by the linebackers. Davis had just 138 yards coming into this game. He would almost double that against Tech with 247 yards.
In case you need that in context the single-game rushing record for Pitt is held by Tony Dorsett at 300 yards. Some guy who won the Heisman, was a second overall pick in the NFL draft, and is in the Pro and College Hall of Fame.
Pitt didn’t want the game to get out of hand too early so Kenny Pickett and Co. managed to stall out in the red zone five times. One which ended in a failed 4th down conversion from the one-yard line.
Not that every play was a poor job by Tech’s defense but Kenny did most of the heavy lifting by overthrowing receivers who slipped behind Tech’s busted coverage on numerous occasions. Too many times the safeties were caught moving up in the zone to have a receiver run open over the middle.
The corners had trouble defending as well, including one play where Tobias Oliver extends to break up a pass but fails when the ball goes over his back shoulder. The result ended with Pitt’s first touchdown for 60 yards to DJ Turner who sprinted down the sideline after the catch. The Panthers would never relinquish the lead afterward.
The offense wasn’t much better but did have a few more shining moments. It got off to a rocky start though when Jeff Sims underthrew a pass for an INT on the opening play. He’d make up for it on the next drive with an absolute bomb Jalen Camp that would set them up on the 2. Sims would take it in himself a few plays later.
Jalen Camp was the bright spot for the offense as he hauled in 5 receptions for 98 yards and a touchdown. He was able to get past Pitt’s stingy secondary with his speed and was targetted more but the ball just wasn’t quite where it needed to be.
Most of the offensive woes stem back to the offensive line. Sims was once again pressured within moments of the snap. He couldn’t settle into a pocket that collapsed so quickly or make reads when a defender was breathing down his neck at the handoff.
Pitt was also without two of its best linemen who decided to opt-out for the rest of the year. Miami will be the final chance to show improvement next week but the blitz heavy Canes will push the line once more.
The defense will face perhaps the second-best quarterback in the ACC in D’eriq King. His feet will make quick work of the front seven if they can’t keep better containment of the pocket.