September 5, 2013

Using the Boyd

Filed under: Football,Players — Chas @ 7:08 am

One of the biggest positives coming out of Monday night — and there were a few — was that Tyler Boyd might be better than believed.

On the fourth play of the Panthers’ opening drive, he took off on a “jet sweep” around right end and gained 18 yards.

The drive resulted in a short-lived, 7-0 lead.

Boyd ran the play twice more for 20 and 16 yards. His 54 yards on three carries led the Panthers in rushing.

“I was very surprised,” he said. “When I got that first jet, I didn’t think I’d be as open as that. And the second one, they just kept opening it up for me. After that it was, like, totally comfort. I was ready for them to put the ball in my hands.”

After a first half with no catches, the 6-foot-2, 185-pound Boyd in the third quarter turned an apparently errant sideline pass from Tom Savage into a diving, highlight-worthy grab worth 17 yards. He later plucked a pass off his shoe tops for a 9-yard gain.

One of 12 first-year freshmen who played, Boyd also accounted for 71 yards on three kickoff returns, including one for 35 yards.

“I could have made more plays, but I made enough plays to do right, do good,” he said.

He was given kick-off return duties at the end of the 2d quarter. As a freshman receiver he had five touches. And the issue now, is that he needs to get the ball in his hands even more. Yeah, that’s a good problem.

A very good problem.

Pitt coach Paul Chryst won’t deviate too much from his traditional pro-style offense and do anything crazy with Boyd, but he admitted that it was important to find ways to get the ball in Boyd’s hands.

“I feel real confident that we can do it within the parameters of the offense,” Chryst said. “I don’t feel like we’ve got to get out of box. We want to make sure that the guys that can make plays are continuing to get touches.”

The thing that surprised me was seeing what a natural receiver he is. We knew he had speed and versatility. But how to translate/utilize that athletic ability to the college level was still a bit of a question mark. Justin and Reed both stated that he looked tremendous in practices catching the ball, but seeing him do that in game was still a very pleasant surprise.

That’s important since, as FSU showed, teams are going to be all over Devin Street. Manasseh Garner and the other TEs can help a little. To really open the field up, though, having a second WR is vital. Boyd has already made it obvious that he is that guy.

I think it’s clear that, at best, Matt House was a marginal hire as DC. And it’s fair to say he was promoted for his potential, not his resume (there’s nothing in his background to suggest he was nearly ready to be DC on a BCS-AQ team).

And at worst, if the FSU game is any indication, House is so hopelessly lost and clueless, in so far over his head, that it would actually be merciful to end this woebegone experiment before it results in a season so awful that it takes Chryst down with him.

I would love to know who made that call to promote House to DC. Did HCPC take DCMH under his wing as a project and fight to hire him, or perhaps was fearful to hire someone as DC he never worked with before?

Or did ADSP give Chryst such a small budget to fill the position that nobody but a glorified (and recent, in fact…) high school coach would take such low pay?

Somebody somewhere knows the answers to those telling questions. And those answers (I think) will speak volumes about where the main problems lay with this program. And thus the solutions to solving them.

Comment by Imma Man! Im 40! 09.06.13 @ 7:39 am

Money cannot solve all of the world’s problems but better football players will make Pitt football much better

Comment by rayhpgh 09.06.13 @ 8:13 am

And better coaches.

Comment by TX Panther 09.06.13 @ 9:31 am

@panther94. Yes, I believe he did. I’ve seen other guys do that over the past years. Probably have a beef with their college or something.

Actually, I like it. Always thought it was a farce for some of the players during their introduction to say the name of their college knowing they never even graduated.

Wonder what the actual percentage of NFL players actually completed their degrees?

Comment by Dan 09.06.13 @ 9:36 am

NEED $$ life blood of any endover!

Comment by Punxy Panther 09.07.13 @ 11:42 am

Is it that hard to get out of this coach’s dog house? I am ok with dismissing player’s for committing crimes, but how about playing TT. We need talented players. Please

Comment by DocJLK 09.09.13 @ 7:21 am

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