Left in the season or after every snap on offense.
Four games left in the regular season. Pitt needs to scrounge two more wins to get to bowl eligibility and the promised land of Shreveport.
And while Pitt is trying to find some of that early season offensive magic, it really comes down to not having the time to take the deep shots.
“Me and [Devin] Street, we love to go deep and make plays but we didn’t have enough time to go deep all the time,” [Tyler] Boyd said. “We just had to take what we did short. Once we caught the ball, we just tried to get what we could.”
Pass protection was an issue for the Panthers again. It wasn’t quite as dismal as the back-to-back games against Virginia and Virginia Tech, in which Pitt gave up a combined 15 sacks, but the Yellow Jackets got to Savage five times for losses totaling 32 yards.
“Wasn’t quite as dismal.” Now, there’s progress.
And while Pitt is trying to find ways to get the team going once more, it is doing so with more of an emphasis on the younger players.
• Senior middle linebacker Shane Gordon has been injured and hasn’t started three of the past five games, providing freshman Matt Galambos and sophomore Nicholas Grigsby increased opportunities. Galambos responded with a fumble recovery against Georgia Tech, and Grigsby had six tackles.
• Senior defensive tackle Tyrone Ezell played fewer snaps than sophomore Darryl Render, who displaced him in the starting lineup and recorded seven tackles. Render’s fumble recovery in the third quarter could have been a big play had the offense taken advantage.
“He’s been practicing well the last couple weeks,” Chryst said of Render. “He’s earned the right to get some snaps.”
• Freshman offensive tackle Dorian Johnson struggled against Georgia Tech, but he is an important part of the line’s future with tackle Adam Bisnowaty and centers Artie Rowell and Gabe Roberts. And that’s not counting four freshmen who aren’t playing this year and a 2014 class that includes Mike Grimm (6-foot-6, 328 pounds) of Bethel Park.
Going and sticking with Johnson was significant since Juantez Hollins never got a chance. Hollins may not have been a great OL, but he’s an experienced senior. The kind of guy you would think would be played especially against a good D-line like GT’s. Especially when it was clear how much Johnson was struggling.
The one place where a change hasn’t been made, or an opportunity for a younger player made, is at QB. Not surprising. Tom Savage has taken plenty of beatings on the field this year. Not likely Coach Paul Chryst is going to start beating on his ego by playing Chad Voytik over him.
Here’s a thought that fills me with dread. How does Pitt DC Matt House get his squad to readjust to facing a more conventional offense after two weeks of the triple option?
Congrats to Aaron Donald on being the ACC DL of the week.
Big weekend game for recruits. And by remarkable coincidence, Tony Dorsett will be in town.