Wednesday, November 27, 2013

My official All-American and awards voting

I get to vote for All-American as well as the Outland Trophy, the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, and the Eddie Robinson Award. Here is how I voted if anybody is interested.

QB- Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M- I was torn between Manziel and Jameis Winston but I went for Manziel because he is also a great running threat.

RB- Andre Williams, Boston College- No brainer. Leads the country in rushing with over 2,000 yards.

RB- Bishop Sankey, Washington- I was between Sankey and Ka'Deem Cary of Arizona, and I went with Sankey. The vote came before Carey went off on Oregon but even so both had remarkably similar stats.

WR- Brandin Cooks, Oregon State- Have to vote for the guy that leads in pretty much every receiving category. Currently has 110 catches, 1,560 yards, and 15 TDs.

WR- Sammy Watkins, Clemson- This could have gone to Mike Evans from Texas A&M or Allen Robinson of Penn State, but to me Watkins is the most talented receiver in the country and if it was in the Clemson game plan his excellent stats would be even better.

TE- Jace Amaro, Texas Tech- The no brainer of all and amazingly he's not a finalist for the Mackey Award despite a dominating season of 92 catches for 1,157 yards.

OL- Jake Matthews, Texas A&M

OL- Cyril Richardson, Baylor

OL- David Yankey, Stanford

OL- Cameron Erving, Florida State

C- Hroniss Grasu, Oregon



DL- Aaron Donald, Pittsburgh- 51 tackles, 10 sacks, nationally leading 26 tackles for loss, 4 forced fumbles, 2 pass breakups, and a blocked extra point.

DL- Vic Beasley, Clemson- 31 tackles, 10 sacks, 17 tackles for loss, 6 pass breakups, 3 forced fumbles

DL- Michael Sam, Missouri- 37 tackles, 10 sacks, 17 tackles for loss, 2 pass breakups, and a forced fumble that he returned for a touchdown.

DL- Nikita Whitlock, Wake Forest- 70 tackles, 9 sacks, 17 tackles for loss, and 2 forced fumbles.

LB-  Anthony Barr, UCLA- 50 tackles, 7 sacks, 17 tackles for loss, 4 forced fumbles.

LB- CJ Mosley, Alabama- 86 tackles and the undisputed leader of the Crimson Tide defense.

LB- Khalil Mack, Buffalo- 82 tackles, 10.5 sacks, 16.5 tackles for loss, 6 pass breakups, 3 interceptions including 2 returned for touchdowns, and 5 forced fumbles.

DB- Darqueze Dennard, Michigan State- 47 tackles, 7 pass breakups, 4 interceptions, and a forced fumble.

DB- LaMarcus Joyner, Florida State- 55 tackles, 5 sacks, 3 pass breakups, an interception, and 3 forced fumbles.

DB- Calvin Pryor, Louisville- 57 tackles, 4 pass breakups, 3 interceptions, and 2 forced fumbles.

DB- Deon Bucannon, Washington State- 102 tackles, 5 interceptions, and 3 forced fumbles.


PK-  Roberto Aguayo, Florida State-  15 for 16 on FGs. 125 points the most of any kicker in the country by 15 points.

P- Austin Rehkow, Idaho- Leads the nation in punting with a 47.8 average.

Return Specialist, Odell Beckham, Jr., LSU- Of the few players who do both he had the second most yards at 936.  And instead of giving the nod to just a great kick or punt returner, I chose to go with somebody who proved that he can do both.

Eddie Robinson Award (coach of the year)- David Cutcliffe, Duke

Bronko Nagurski Trophy (best defensive player)- Aaron Donald, Pittsburgh

Outland Trophy (best interior lineman)- Aaron Donald, Pittsburgh


Pittsburgh 88 Stanford 67

So much for the test.  Stanford is a possible NCAA tournament team but Pitt clearly were not impressed.  Instead, they are looking more and more like a future top 20 team- at least.

1.  Lamar Patterson is playing with the aggressiveness that he's never shown before and had 24 points one night after having 23 points. Both were career highs at the time.  If that wasn't enough Patterson also led the Panthers with 6 assists.  He also had 3 rebounds, 2 steals, and a block. He made 3-6 threes and 9-11 from the FT line.

2.  Talib Zanna and Durand Johnson added 14 points each.  Zanna was 5-10 from the field and 4-4 from the FT line. He also had 4 rebounds.  Johnson was 2-5 from three and was also 4-4 from the FT line.

3.  Cameron Wright had another good all around game and it looks like it's not a fluke.  He ended up with 13 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, and 3 steals.

4.  James Robinson was only 1-6 and he even missed easy back to back runners, but he ended up making 7-8 FTs.  Other than the shooting form the field he had a nice game with 10 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals, and just one turnover.

5.  Mike Young had a quiet 6 points and 4 rebounds, but his FT shooting continues to be excellent as he made 4-5.

6.  Jamel Artis had a quick 5 points and 3 rebounds, but played little after that.

7.  The Panthers continue to shoot great making 8-17 from three and 30-34 from the FT line.

8. The Panthers had 9 steals, just 5 turnovers, and out rebounded the Cardinal, a big and good rebounding team, 33-26.

9. Maybe the only downside of the win is that Stanford shot 52.2% from the field, but instead of ratcheting up the defense like in past years, this time the Panthers simply put their opponent to death with offense. And Stanford still only scored 67 points.

Next up is Duquense on Saturday.  No reason to think this team won't keep winning this season. They are deep and good.


Monday, November 25, 2013

Pittsburgh 76 Texas Tech 53

The Red Raiders probably aren't very good but anytime that you beat a Tubby Smith team by 23 points you're doing something right.  It was the toughest competition of the season thus far for the Panthers and they responded with their best performance. Before anybody downplays this performance too much, the Panthers were an 11-point favorite.

1.  This team may have more talented players than any team Jamie Dixon has ever had.  I'm not saying they're the best team he's ever had because he's had other teams that had excellent players.  But there isn't a bad player on this team.

2.  Lamar Patterson has always been a good player but there was something in all of us that thought he should probably be even better.  Maybe tonight was the start of that as he had a career high 23 points on 8-13 shooting.  That included 4-7 from three and 3-3 from the line.  He also chipped in 2 rebounds, 3 assists, 4 steals, and a block.

3.  Talib Zanna was 1-4 from the line and Derrick Randall was 0-2, but Patterson, James Robinson, Cameron Wright, and Mike Young combined to go 15-15 from the line.  Young is 11-13 on the season while Patterson is 15-18, Robinson is 15-16 and Chris Jones is 7-7.

4.  Robinson had 9 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, and 2 turnovers. Not only is he shooting 93.4% from the line he also has 20 assists to 6 turnovers.

5.  Zanna was in foul trouble throughout, something he just can't do, and had 3 points and 3 assists.

6.  Wright chipped in with 12 points, 2 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals, and a block.  He's quietly having a nice season averaging 9.4 ppg and 2.4 spg. He also has 12 assists and only 4 turnovers.

7.  Young only had 6 points and 4 rebounds but you can tell that he's going to be a very good player very soon.

8.  Durand Johnson continues to be instant offense with 6 points on two 3-pointers. He also had 3 rebounds.

9.  Randall was 0-3 from the floor and 0-2 from the line, plus he had 3 fouls, but he did get 5 rebounds and that's really why he's there anyway.

10.  The other three young guys, Josh Newkirk, Jamel Artis, and Jones, all had flashes of very good talent.  Newkirk was expected, and he did have 5 points, but Artis and Jones have been pleasant surprises.  Artis contributed 4 points, 4 rebounds, and 2 assists.  Jones had 8 points, including 2-3 from three.

11.  Pitt had only 8 turnovers in the game and out rebounded Texas Tech 33-30.  They shot extremely well going 48.1% from the floor, 43.5% from three, and 76.2% from the line. They also had 9 steals and 3 blocks.  The Red Raiders shot 38% from the field.


Saturday, November 23, 2013

Pittsburgh 17 Syracuse 16

It was an ugly game between two struggling teams but the Panthers got the victory and are now bowl eligible at 6-5.  They have one more home game, at home against Miami.  Some thoughts:

1.  Syracuse has a good run defense and Pitt didn't even try to run today.  The running backs ran just 19 times for 56 yards. James Conner led all Panthers but got just 11 carries for 28 yards.  Isaac bennett had 7 carries for 26 yards.

2.  Once again Tom Savage was under pressure all day, and this was even though Pitt's offense consisted mostly of short, quick passes. On the day he completed 28 of 41 passes but for only 218 yards. He also had a TD pass and an interception and was sacked three times.  Savage once again showed good leadership and great toughness, though.

3.  Devin Street caught the first two passes of the game but then sat out because of an injury he had prior to the game. Manasseh Garner with 7 catches for 64 yards and a touchdown, JP Holtz with 4 catches for 39 yards, and Jaymar Parrish with 3 catches for 19 yards picked up the slack.  Tyler Boyd led the Panthers with 10 catches for 82 yards.

4.  Defensively Aaron Donald was his normal freak self and had 9 tackles. His blocked extra point on Syracuse's first touchdown also proved to be the difference in the game. Anthony Gonzalez led all Panthers will 11 tackles while Ray Vinopal had 8 tackles and a sack.

5. Syracuse had 279 total yards to Pitt's 243 yards.


Friday, November 22, 2013

Panthers land European center

Panthers assistant coach Barry Rohrssen has a strong connection with the Canarias Basketball Academy in Spain and that's a good thing since the academy has produced over 50 Division 1 players in the last six years.  Rohrssen was interested in a handful of prospects including one I mentioned earlier, 16-year old center Menno Dijkstra. But first Rohrseen pulled the gun on a 19-year old, Shaquille Doorson, who like Dijkstra is a center from the Netherlands. The 6'11" 265 pound Doorson obviously has great size, but he also runs extremely well.

However, Doorson has also only played basketball for a little over two years and was a complete unknown until found by Canarias. For that reason, Doorson, who will be at Pitt next season, is very raw and may not be ready to make a major impact for a few years yet.  But his upside is high and acquiring a 6'11" center with a high upside is always a good thing.  Jamie Dixon has yet to see Doorson in person but he will get his chance tonight as Doorson will be playing in New Haven, CT.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Exploding Six Myths of the Pitt Football Program

1. James Conner could move to defensive end-  When Rushel Shell transferred from Pitt, fans and media acted like Jim Brown left the program, yet even though Conner is proving to be better as a freshman people either expect him to move to defense or that he will be immediately passed up by Chris James.  First of all, Conner is not moving anywhere.  Secondly, James is very good and may even have the talent to move past Conner on the depth chart next season. But make no mistake about it, Conner has the talent to be a big time back.  In his freshman season, Shell ended his freshman season with 641 yards, a 4.5 average, and 4 touchdowns. If Conner plays in 12 of Pitt's 13 games (if the Panthers make a bowl), like Shell did last year, he projects to 696 yards, a 4.8 average, and 9 touchdowns.

2.  Pitt doesn't have the same talent as their opponents this season- "They don't have the talent this season to do better than what they've done!" is a common stance taken by many Pitt fans but it just isn't true.  Florida State is the only team on the schedule that has a lot more talent than the Panthers this season. And you have to say that despite a ton of injuries, that Notre Dame has more talent also.  Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech are two teams that some may think have a lot more talent than Pitt but that's just not true.  The Hokies just lost to Duke, Boston College, and Maryland in the last month, and have the No. 101 offense in the country.  Georgia Tech is 6-4 with games against Alabama A&M and Georgia looming, which could make them 7-5 this season. Good, but not exactly excellent. And anybody that saw how bad Pitt was in that game, and still almost won, could tell you that Georgia Tech isn't an excellent team. Duke is having a Cinderella season but let's be honest, they don't have the talent that Pitt has, or at the very least the talent is equal. North Carolina has equal talent, while New Mexico, Virginia, Old Dominion, and Navy have less. Bottom line, against better talent the Panthers are 1-1, against lesser talent they are 3-1, and against teams that have roughly equal talent the Panthers are  1-3.  None of those records are really surprising. Notre Dame and Duke (since it was on the road) were good wins, and road losses at Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech weren't bad losses because they were on the road. Only North Carolina at home and Navy on the road could be considered unnecessary losses. If Pitt won those two very winnable games the Panthers 7-3 this year and the fans are excited about the future.

3.  The Panthers are too young-  Not so fast, my friend.  Of Pitt's 22 starters, 19 are either upperclassmen or were starters last year.  The three exceptions are Tyler Boyd, Artie Rowell, and Adam Bisnowaty. In fact, the team will be even younger next season with eight starters leaving, including Devin Street, Tom Savage, Aaron Donald, K'Waun Williams, and Jason Hendricks. That's a lot of experienced talent leaving meaning the Panthers may be worse before they get better. By the way, by comparison North Carolina had eight underclassmen in their victory over the Panthers, including six on offense. Georgia Tech had seven underclassmen starting. Pitt has five. Bottom line, the players who actually play for Pitt aren't any younger than anybody else.

4. Chad Voytik may not be the starter for long next season- This is a strange one because at the moment there is nobody even close to starting over Voytik next season.  I've heard fans say that Wade Freebeck will be Pitt's future quarterback, maybe even next season. Thankfully Adam Bertke is injured because if he had a big season I'm sure people would have him as a starter next season too. The truth is, Voytik was a better prospect than either coming out of high school, and he's light years ahead with two years of college practice experience under his belt. Both Freebeck and Bertke are at least two years away from having a legit shot at supplanting Voytik because both have a ways to go in their development. In fact, both are considered projects. I'm not saying that either Freebeck or Bertke, or both, couldn't eventually be excellent, and I'm not saying that Voytik will succeed.  But Voytik better succeed because his development, or lack thereof, may determine if Paul Chryst is around for year five.

5.  Pitt is cheap-  I know a lot of Pitt fans believe this one but it's not entirely true.  Do they spend the money that the upper echelon programs spend? No. But they still spend more than most.  Pitt is not a football power because they don't spend the big time money of elite programs like Alabama, Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State, etc. That's the decision that they've made. They've decided to be at the second level of programs and they've spent money at that level. In fact, as far as spending money for the football program, Pitt's expenses are in the top 20 in the country.  All the more reason why not hiring a quality staff under Paul Chryst is perplexing.

6. There is a lack of local talent-  For many decades the WPIAL was considered one of the best hotbeds in the country for college football prospects.  Is it as good now? No.  But it's still pretty good.  Maybe one of the biggest misconceptions of Pitt recruiting is that the Panthers loaded up on WPIAL talent in their glory days. The truth is, they signed roughly eight or so WPIAL prospects a year, the same as now.  The difference is, that Pitt no longer gets the best ones.  If the Panthers got just six this season and got Dravon Henry, Alex Bookser, Shai McKenzie, Montae Nicholson, Chase Winovich, and Malik Hooker, then that's quite a haul. Last year it would have been Robert Foster, Dorian Johnson, Tyler Boyd, Patrick Kugler, and Scott Orndoff. Future WPIAL stars include Sterling Jenkins, Jordan Whitehead, Kareen Gibson, Jeremiah Jones, Miles Sanders, Kaezon Pugh, and Aaron Williams.  The point is, if you get the top half a dozen WPIAL prospects like Pitt did in the past, there's still plenty of talent to be a top 25 team in most years.




Saturday, November 16, 2013

North Carolina 34 Pittsburgh 27

I'm going to make this short because I'm writing this on my phone in North Carolina because I can't get the iPad to work with the hotel wifi.

James Conner. Did I tell you that he's a future star? Pitt finally gave him the ball in the second half and he responded by running for over 100 yards. When Pitt utilized Conner and the tight ends they moved the ball. When they get pass happy to the wide receivers it gets ugly.  I know that Tyler Boyd and Devin Street are excellent but the OL and Tom Savage's quick thinking are not. Use Conner and the tight ends to move the ball and it will help the line, Savage, and even Boyd and Savage because they won't have to do all of the heavy lifting.

The defense was not good in the first half but did much better in the second half. This time it was the horrible special teams that cost Pitt the game. Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying that the players don't have some responsibility in this but in all honesty I don't think the coaching staff is helping them be their best, and therefore they are most responsible. The Panthers have bad special teams and the staff doesn't have somebody that really concentrates on the unit. Isaac Bennett takes too many carries away from Conner. Not enough passes to the backs, tight ends, and receivers crossing over the middle in stride.  Things like these adds up and you lose close games like this.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Pittsburgh 28 Notre Dame 21

This wasn't a great Notre Dame team. In fact, the Irish were only favored by 4 points. But this still counts as a big win for the program for many reasons. It helps the confidence of the team, it helps Pitt's reputation nationally, and they won in front of a of big time recruits.  Some other thoughts:

1.  First I have to single out the offensive line. I have been as brutal to them as they've been to the game of football, but tonight they played much better. Paul Chryst and Joe Rudolph also helped the offense with more intelligent play calling.

2.  Tom Savage was much more confident since he knew he would not be running for his life all night. He responded by completing 22 of 35 passes for 243 yards. He also threw 2 touchdowns and did not throw an interception.

3.  For some strange reason Isaac Bennett still gets more carries than James Conner even though Conner is clearly the more talented back. Not that Bennett was horrible. He had 58 yards on 17 carries, a 3.4 average. He also caught 2 passes for 17 yards. Conner had 10 carries for 35 yards, a 3.5 average. He also had two bullish touchdown runs and 2 catches for 20 yards.  Despite a similar average, his runs were more impressive. If he carried 25 times I could see him wearing down Notre Dame's defense, but that wasn't going to happen on this night because he didn't get that carries.

4.  Tyler Boyd again had a very good game with 8 catches and 85 yards through the air, plus an 8-yard run.  Devin Street had 4 catches for 76 yards, but two went for touchdowns, including an impressive 63-yarder where he can ran most of the way. The tight ends and fullbacks also chipped in with 6 catches as Manasseh Garner and Scott Orndoff had 2, and J.P. Holtz and Jaymar Parrish added one each.

5. The special teams were very hit and miss.  On returns Notre Dame either got around midfield or didn't get to the 20-yard line. Trenton Coles was especially impressive on kickoff coverage. Matt Yoklic was once again awful in the punting department.

6.  Defensively, with Aaron Donald double and triple teamed you would think another lineman or a linebacker would have a big game but they didn't.  The only player who did have a big game was the usually suspect safety Ray Vinopal, who despite one awful pass interference penalty, had two huge interceptions. Anthony Gonzalez only had his name called once but it was a big pass breakup to put the game away.

7.  Notre Dame had 451 total yards to Pitt's 356.

Bottom line, this won't mean much if Pitt loses the rest of the games, and that's not out of the question. On the other hand, it could be a springboard to a nice close to the season, and maybe even a strong end to this recruiting class and a strong start to future classes.




Friday, November 8, 2013

Big recruiting weekend for Pitt football

Since people have been asking me for a list, here one it is. It's not every prospect. I didn't bother with the already committed prospects or the lesser recruited ones, but here are some of the highlights.


2014

Montae Nicholson, Gateway HS (Monroeville, PA)- He's been to Pitt many times and the Panthers may be the leader now. He could play at safety or wide receiver, and since I consider him the No.2 prospect in PA this year he would be an excellent addition.

Anthony Davis, Gateway HS (Monroeville, PA)- Nicholson's teammate is a very good prospect in his own right. A talented cornerback that committed to Temple months ago, but may end up switching to the Panthers.

Alex Bookser, Mt. Lebanon HS (Mt. Lebanon, PA)- The Panthers obviously needs offensive linemen desperately and even though the 6'6" 300 pound Bookser has not developed as well as was hoped for over the past year he would be a great pickup because of his raw potential. The Panthers will have to hold off Ohio State and Penn State.

Jamil Kamara, Bishop Sullivan HS (Virginia Beach, VA)- I never expected the Panthers to land this elite receiver, but at least they will have a chance now that he's visiting on a night that's loaded with pro-Pitt kids.

Marquese Dudley-Gordon, Cypress Bay HS (Fort Lauderdale, FL)- The brother of Pitt linebacker Shane Gordon, the Panthers have led for the safety for many months as he tries to get his grades in order. Potential high impact safety.



2015 


Sterling Jenkins, Baldwin HS (Pittsburgh, PA)- Maybe the top in-state prospect for the 2015 class, the 6'8" 305 pound offensive tackle is oozing with potential. All of the biggies will be after him, and despite what you hear Pitt is in the mix as much as anybody.

Andre Robinson, Bishop McDevitt HS (Harrisburg, PA)- Short, little 5'10" spark plug running back who the Panthers like a lot. Other than Pitt he also has offers from schools like Penn State, Virginia Tech, Maryland, and Northwestern.

Kareem Gibson, Johnstown Area HS (Johnstown, PA)- Very athletic and fast cover corner that should be one of the best cornerback prospects in the east.

Jay Stocker, Coatesville Area HS (Coatesville, PA)- A big time safety that's going to get a lot of major offers. Already has one from Pitt as well as Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech, and Wisconsin.

Tyrone Wheatley, Jr.- Canisius HS (Buffalo, NY)- Visiting with teammate Qadree Ollison, the running back who already committed to Pitt for the 2014 class. Yes, he's the son of the former Michigan star running back, and even though Pitt and many others offered it would be extremely surprising if he didn't end up as a Wolverine.

Tre Tipton, Apollo-Ridge HS (Spring Church, PA)- Sleeper wide receiver with a lot of potential. No major offers yet but I'd be surprised if one didn't come from Pitt eventually.

Tyriq Thompson, Martin Luther King HS (Detroit, MI)- Excellent linebacker that is visiting with 2014 cornerback commit Avonte Maddox.  It will be tough to get him out of the Big 10 and he already has offers from Michigan State and Wisconsin.

Kraig Howe, Archbishop Alter HS (Kettering, OH)- Smaller 6'3" 255 pound defensive tackle but he should get bigger.  Good prospect.

Kevin Givens, Altoona Area HS (Altoona, PA)- Solid defensive end prospect at 6'3" and 230 pounds. Doesn't have a Pitt offer yet.

Shareef Miller, Frankford HS (Philadelphia, PA)- Undersized but talented defensive end at 6'4" and 200 pounds. Pitt has offered as have Rutgers, Arizona, and a few other smaller schools. Should get more offers once he fills out over the summer.

Jonathan Holland, Bullis School (Potomac, MD)- Strong bodied defensive end that has early offers from Pitt and Illinois. Could get a good bit more, but he's already been to a Pitt game and liked it.

Alex Paulina, Canon McMillan HS (Canonsburg, PA)- One of my personal favorites. An interior lineman who won't get a lot of offers because he's only 6'4" and 280, but I think he could be an excellent college center.


 2016


Elijah Deveaux, Charlotte Christian HS (Charlotte, NC)- The son of former Pitt running back Glenn Deveaux, he has the ability to be an elite nationally recruited running back prospect.

Michal Menet, Exeter HS (Reading, PA)- Elite offensive lineman is only 6'5" 250 now but he will get bigger over the next few years. Already has a Penn State offer and many would be surprised if he went anywhere other than there.

Jarrett Guarantano, Bergen Catholic HS (Oradell, NJ)- Pitt loves this young 6'3" quarterback but they aren't the only ones. Rutgers has already offered and the big time talent will get many more.

Aaron Matthews, Clairton Area HS (Clairton, PA)- The next great Clairton player, he's a quarterback now but look for him to be a 6'5" or 6'6" fast wide receiver at the college level.












Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Jamie Dixon lands 2015 PG

Pitt lands their point guard of the future as 6'4" Damon Wilson has committed to the Panthers.  Wilson, a native of Georgia, plays at Our Savior New American in Centereach, NY.  Wilson is a lefty who is has a high basketball IQ, is a good passer with good shooting skills.  Georgia, Georgia Tech, and Virginia Tech are among his early offers.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Georgia Tech 21 Pittsburgh 10

The Panthers fall to 4-4 overall and 2-3 in the ACC by falling to Georgia Tech in Atlanta. Some thoughts:

1.  Aaron Donald is the best Pitt player since Larry Fitzgerald and he will be Pitt's first consensus first team All-American since Fitzgerald. He had a game for the ages tonight and if he was on a better team people would be talking about him for decades.  Unfortunately for him he's on this team.

2.  The offensive line was again atrocious. Dorian Johnson started for the injured Adam Bisnowaty and got beat like a drum.  The truth is, the skill positions and the defense are good enough to win at against most teams but the line is so bad that the rest of the team can not pick up the slack enough.

3.  Tom Savage was okay, especially the few times he had time and could get into any semblance of a rhythm.  For the game he completed 25 of 37 passes for 233 yards. He also threw a touchdown pass to Tyler Boyd in which he displayed perfect touch. He also threw an interception late, after the game was decided, when he and Kevin Weatherspoon were not on the same page.

4.  Boyd led all receivers with 11 catches for 118 yards.  Devin Street was mostly quiet and added 5 catches for 45 yards.  The tight ends combined for 7 catches with J.P. Holtz and Manasseh Garner each catching three, and Scott Orndoff catching one. Orndoff's went for 15 yards and he showed how quick he is for his size. He's somebody that they have to find more often.

5. The running game was awful because the offensive line did nothing. Isaac Bennett had 16 yards on 6 carries and James Conner had 8 carries for 3 yards.  Because of the sacks, Pitt managed to run for -5 yards on 21 carries.

6. Other than Donald, Todd Thomas also played well, and the defense was at least not horrible. Like they did against Navy they faltered in the last drive again which ended any chance of the Panthers pulling it out in the end.

Bottom line, Georgia Tech is just an okay team but Pitt acted like they were playing a National Championship contender. it was like pulling teeth to sometimes accomplish even the simplest plays.  This team isn't good but with three home games left, and some winnable games in the bunch, they amazingly may find themselves in a minor bowl again.