Saturday, September 12, 2015

Pitt 24 Akron 7

The Panthers exorcised another demon by going on the road and beating Akron 24-7, in a constant rainstorm.  Panthers go to 2-0 and play next Saturday night at Iowa. Some thoughts:

1.  Chad Voytik started and began the gamer going 6-6. But he played his usual cautious, anxious self, and he was eventually replaced for the rest of the game during the second quarter. He ended up going 6-8 for 33 yards. Peterman was much more poised and while he was hardly dominating he did at least make normal quarterback plays. He ended up going 12-17 for 147 yards and a touchdown. I'd be surprised if he didn't start next week, but the offensive decision making has been curious so you never know.

2.  Qadree Ollison was solid, but for some reason offensive coordinator Jim Chaney ran between the tackles almost exclusively. Ollison had 21 carries for 81 hard fought yards. Darrin Hall looked quick and confident, and he ended up with 12 carries for 52 yards.  Neither are James Conner but combining for 133 yards is not chopped liver.

3.  Tyler Boyd had 11 catches for 95 yards, but he really didn't break anything. Zach Challingsworth is the only other wide receiver to make a catch, and it went for a first down. JP Holtz had three catches for 42 yards, including a touchdown on a nice Peterman pass.

4.  Defensively, Avonte Maddox and Tyrique Jarrett flashed again, but maybe the most impressive player on defense was Rori Blair. The combination of Blair and Dwayne Hendrix at DE next year is exciting, especially with Jarrett returning in the middle. By the way, the Panthers gave up only 110 yards tonight.

5.  Jordan Whitehead didn't do anything spectacular but he made a lot of good little players. He's only going to get better.

Bottom line, it wasn't pretty, but neither was the weather. Without Conner, no real receiving option outside of Boyd, and without a topnotch quarterback, Pitt will have to gut it out all year, but 2-0 is a good confidence builder.


53 comments:

  1. They need players at linebacker, Galambos is just to slow and Caprara is right next to him.

    Get a few playmakers in their positions and the defense really improves dramatically.

    Galambos got caught on the long TD run, his foot speed is really bad and he has a hard time sheading blocks.

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    1. Don't even get me started on Galambos. I don't see what Pitt sees in him. He's below average. He does nothing.

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    2. Presumably the guys behind him are even worse, in the coaches judgment.

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    3. Caprara should never see the field. He is beyond below average. Play Bam Bradley. Wish they would have kept Folston at OLB where he could back up Bradley

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  2. So on the previous week you were telling everyone to stay on the Voytik bandwagon. Peterman hadn't proved anything and you were standing by that. It took all of one half for you to jump off Voytik and give all the snaps to Peterman. I do think Peterman is the better QB. I also think Voytik brings a nice change of pace to the game and should get snaps next week as well. This week was a step up from last week and they need to take another step next week. Defense looked much better this week, lets hope it is partly because Akron is awful and partly because Pitt made some adjustments. Next week is a big week.

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    1. You really have your own reality, don't you? I didn't say to stay on the Voytik bandwagon. I said he was starting because he's accomplished more in his career. And if Peterman proves to be better he will play. Everything I said was correct.

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  3. I think this was a very good win because in a lot of other years, this is exactly the type of game that Pitt loses.

    Although Ollison and Hall were decent, they showed how good James Conner really is.

    Narduzzi said post-game that Chris James was ready to go but, I didn't see him for a snap - same deal with Qadree Henderson.

    At WR - there's Boyd and really,no one else but, I DO think that both Zeise and Challingsworth will get better.

    Blair? I would have kicked him off the team - sry but driving 117 in a 55 zone with weed...see-ya but, he's not and he had a great game.

    As Chris says above - with Hendrix on one side - Blair on the other and Jarrett stuffing the middle w/ Taleni I guess next year??? Wow....that's as good a D-Line as Pitt has had in many years.

    I also think Peterman is the QB for us - all he needs is reps at this point and maybe get the offense down a bit more.

    And if that's the case, having Voytik as the back-up with his mobility is a very good option to have.

    Maddox may have saved the game for us with those two break-ups - at least the temporary momentum - just love his moxie and toughness.

    With Whitehead developing and with Mitchell hopefully back by the Va. Tech game, the entire secondary is looking very good.

    Linebackers?...that certainly is the D's weakness - I think I only saw Grigsby once or twice last night.

    I think this team will improve a lot during the season and still expect 9 regular season wins.

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    1. yea, I was wondering as to why Chris James wasn't in there. Do you think that because of the sloppy field conditions PN kept him out? I hope that was the reason and not some "internal team violation". When Ollison went out with the leg cramps, we were down to one back, Hall. He looked good.

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    2. I think Hall and Biz were held out to be healthy for Iowa.

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  4. Very happy to be 2-0. Need to win these type of games and the last 10 seasons have taught us Pitt loses these kinds of games.

    The big story is the QB spot. I thought Peterman was solid in the rain and I feel bad for Chad. I think he deserved more opportunities last night. This staff clearly is in the Peterman camp. This is premature, but I can see Chad graduating and transferring at the end of the season. I also see Peterman being a turnover machine as the schedule starts getting tougher.

    Hopefully the injured players get healthy for Iowa. Winning that game going into a bye would be fantastic. Iowa's O-line looks strong again. Pitt's O-line needs to assert itself next week.

    This staff needs to land Winfree in the worst way. Pitt needs immediate help at wide receiver.

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  5. As much as I would love two 35 point blow-outs, I think we all know that isn't the reality. They have won two games that they should win (and need to win if the program is to develop). In the past, they often just haven't done that. I'm pretty happy so far.

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  6. Zach Gilbert to announce his intentions today, we need a Pat Signal!

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  7. IMHO--The big picture on the first two games were coached like they were NFL pre-season games--

    1. Coaches are experimenting to see which players are best in game situations.

    2. Coaches are also installing new offensive and defensive schemes and haven't fully implemented them--even more so on offense than defense.

    3. Coaches played extra conservatively on the road yesterday due to that weather.

    IMHO, what we have seen so far is about as relevant to what we will get later in the season as the Pitt hoops summer league results have been to regular season play. This is still a work in progress. So, for now, I see no reason for either hand-wringing or for exuberance.

    Iowa next week will be much more instructive.

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  8. Unless things have changed Gilbert to take visits first. Unofficial to VT opening game, then official to Pitt then back to VT for an official before announcing. I get the feeling all along his dad pushing him to Pitt and him wanting to stay south.

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  9. Iowa to be favored by about 11?

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    1. Lol "about 3"? Let's not act like you predicted that the line came out much earlier today and you tweeted it.

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    2. I was guessing 4 but then I saw it was 3 and thought it would be funny to nail it.

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  10. I am not sure Chard was being cautious. It was moreso Chaney being ridiculously cautious with his play calling while Chad was at QB.

    I don't think Peterman is a better QB than Chad. But I don't think Chad is better than Peterman. They are probably about the same, with different strengths and weaknesses. BUT the big difference is Chaney is more aggressive in his play calling when Peterman is in the game

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  11. weather conditions were horrible...not a dry spot in the stadium unless you were in the press box or huddled in the entrances to seating...seats were acting like a waterfall..
    great stadium..seats approximately 28k open areas for seating on both end though
    how great would it be to have a stadium like this with extra boxes on campus?
    those are the thoughts you have when you are soaked to the skin watching Pitt football..
    qb controversy? I don't think so...seems the coaches are living by you will play how you practice..do an early rotation then go with who they think is the hot hand..will this work in acc play? im not sure but I am not the coach..
    defense gave up few plays but again you were playing akron..the pesky zip back squeezed through an out of position pitt defense for the score
    chapman did not look like a four star recruit..
    offense competent enough to grind out a win in the conditions..
    I think next week we can all see how we really size up to power five competition..
    will the rotations be set and fewer player see the field? will we see one qb play the entire game?
    can the defense stop the run/pass against a power five?
    these questions will be answered and one thing to keep in mind..we ae still playing with last years 6-7 defense/offense..changes being made and coaching up continues..
    this team can be 8-4...they need to avoid injuries and continue to play within themselves.
    drying off at home..
    H2P
    Gary in Cleveland

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    1. Bro, without paragraphs your posts are unreadable.

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  12. "and while he was hardly dominating he did at least make normal quarterback plays" is something that needed to be stated. Last week Chad missed a wide open tight end. This week on a very similar play the pass was on target. This is an example of the little things that make a difference in a game. The TD pass to Holtz was a very good throw and Peterman did not hesitate to gun it in there. I am sympathetic to Voytik for his past contributions but right now we need a serviceable quarterback who can just do the little things correctly. That person appears to be Peterman.

    Narduzzi said after the game the players that practice the best during the week are the ones who will play and it appears he genuinely means it.

    For the first time in a while we are winning games we have no business losing. That said we still look like a 7-5 or 8-4 team this year. Given Louisville's bad start that game is starting to look like a toss-up.

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  13. 1. For all the coaching staff criticisms in the first two games, they are doing an excellent job with the QB situation. It may seem unfair that Voytik had to look over his shoulder from day 1, but the staff deserves credit for recognizing that they should have Plan B ready to go from day 1.

    2. It's depressing that both of these wins were "revenge wins".

    3. It's troubling that Pitt has already given up 4 TD plays of 25+ yards. They better fix that or it will get much worse when they play more talented and faster teams.

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  14. One play that should be looked at closer is when Peterman through out to the left flat into triple coverage on a third and short. Had he been a bit patient, we were also running a short crossing route and the receiver coming across the middle could have run a very long way. It was a bad mis-read on coverage.

    Not saying that it was completely terrible, just a big miss. We shouldn't get overly excited about our quarterbacking just yet. Wishing the troops well next week as they will need it. Iowa presents with big lines and a mobile qb.

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  15. Chris, what ever happened to Blackhawk QB Chandler Kincade who de committed to go to Akron? He is not on their roster.

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    1. I think he goes to Pitt now but he doesn't play anymore.

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  16. I remember that play against Akron and thought..."What are you thinking?" just like the pick he threw against Youngstown St. - he has to tighten that up.

    I'm sure the coaches will give him hell for that pass against Akron after they review the tape and if you remember, they immediately yanked him against YSU as soon as he threw that pick.

    Hopefully all he needs is getting more of his rust off and to learn the playbook better.

    I just think he gives us a better chance than Voytik.

    Big strong armed guy that can really throw the ball.

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  17. How did Peterman do at Tennessee? Better yet how did Chaney fair at Tennessee or Arkansas? We shall see how the offense performs versus Iowa, a major step up in competition.

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    1. Peterman didn’t do well at Tennessee.

      Chaney had two 1,000-yard rushers at Arkansas last season but butted heads with Bielema because Jim wanted to throw it more. Bielema shed no tears when Chaney left. Maybe he could have used Jim in the loss to Toledo.

      The O-line needs to step up versus Iowa.

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  18. "Bielema shed no tears when Chaney left. Maybe he could have used Jim in the loss to Toledo."

    What?

    "Peterman didn’t do well at Tennessee."

    What?

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    1. Peterman at Tennessee: 20/43 94 yds 0 TD 2 INT. Not a very big sample obviously, but I mean, it is a fact based on those numbers that when he did get to play, he didn't do well. Furthermore, I imagine the fact that he was a highly rated recruit that couldn't get on the field probably speaks more to that. Which isn't to say he isn't good now or doesn't deserve to be the starting quarterback, but I don't know why you are questioning that particular statement.

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    2. But Al,

      Chaney when at Tennessee recruited Peterman and essentially ignored recruiting Voytik, kinda makes you wonder.

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    3. For all we know he offered Peterman and Peterman accepted before Chaney even saw Voytik. Of maybe he liked a hair more. It doesn't necessarily mean that Chaney will always favor Peterman.

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    4. Maybe, your guess is as good as mine.

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    5. Chris, I know QB controversies are common .. college, pro and even high school. But are QB conspiracies as common as they seem to be at Pitt?

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  19. There's a lot that goes into being an effective Power 5 QB and it is inarguable that two of those things are the ability to "see" downfield and having a strong an accurate throwing arm. To me, the jury is no longer out on these two criteria. Peterman is clearly more skilled in these two qualities. Does that make him the better QB? No, but it sure gives him the edge in my book because I can't effectively evaluate the other qualities at this point. The coaching staff has more data and I trust that such data factors into the current playing time situation but for me with the limited data available to me, I want Peterman to start against Iowa.

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    1. Voytik had pretty good YPA last year in ACC. Voytik was 3rd overall last year in the ACC behind Winston and Kaaya in YPA, not bad for a guy who everyone says can't complete the long pass. This team is being short-changed by putting in an inexperienced QB with a team that could be really good if the defense comes around, and it seems like it is. pghfan1992

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  20. Question: Was that a corner, safety or linebacker covering Holtz on the TD? If either of the first two, that was quite a pass route by Holtz.

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  21. I'd feel really good about this staff it Pitt won this Saturday. If Pitt loses, it won't mean it's another mediocre Pitt staff at the helm. Graham had a terrible loss at Iowa in 2011 and I still think he would have won big at Pitt if he stayed four seasons.

    But a win and I think this staff will have that "it" factor.

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  22. What's the story about Jarrett being in a walking boot? Precautionary? It's a shame Pitt has three seniors in the defensive tackle rotation because they could really use one of these guys next season.

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  23. Since Barnes wants to capitalize on Pitt's tradition and returning all things to script Pitt, there's one additional tradition that needs restored. Bring back "Penn State Sucks" at the end of the fight song. :-)

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  24. Chris,

    No recap of Iowa game??

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  25. After watching our quarterbacks and cornerbacks play, I'm speechless to Chris

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  26. My prediction has come true. Instead of Bertke beating out Voytik, it's Peterman. Voytik just doesn't have what it takes to be a D1 QB.

    PittofDreams

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    1. Be careful what you wish for POD !!

      Peterman through his career as 2 TD's and 5 interceptions, I really don't think this ratio is going to be 50/50 but we shall see.

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    2. Anonymous.

      That's not POD. Can't you figure that out?

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    3. So exactly how do we discern between POD and the Real POD??????

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    4. You have really got to get a life. Simple is as simple does.

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    5. POD,

      I see you quit signing off as POD. Smart move.

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  27. Thanks to Anonymous 7:51 for the comment above. Imitation is indeed the sincerest form of flattery.

    Actually, despite my "spot on" criticisms of Voytik going back to his High School days... I have been rooting for the MUCH IMPROVED Voytik to hold on to the Starting job.

    However, the switch from the Chryst to the Chaney Offense has exposed Voytik's weaknesses as a Quarterback for all to see.

    And even with Peterman taking the snaps... we're continuing to see just how REALLY GOOD Tyler Boyd is.

    The REAL PittofDreams

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  28. POD/Real POD,

    Clever. Jumping on the announcement of Peterman being named starter by posting a blog and answering your own blog.

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  29. Chris

    Why don't you update this page any more. I enjoyed your take on things.

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