Well, the game was certainly that. A game. Two teams took the field. Two teams played a game. The game ended. And we're left in a worse position than we were last week. It's two losses in a row by a combined 11 points. But it definitely doesn't feel like it.
In the first quarter, Virginia Tech struggled mightily on offense, with 20 yards on their first two drives. Pitt leveraged several timely runs by Peterman and Voytik early to put 10 points on the board before Tech managed two LENGTHY third down conversions to get the score to 10-7...and the only interesting thing after that was a Motley interception where he could've burned a hole into Ryan Malleck's head. Other than that it was a LOT of sacks back and forth.
In the first half, both teams combined to go 5-13 on third down and a total of 180 yards, with 73 belonging to Tech. The yards per pass were both under 5, and Virginia Tech managed 17 yards on the ground. Penalties filled the half with several procedural penalties highlighting an uneven performance by both of the offenses. I'm groping for more interesting things to say, but the half was so poorly played on offense and dull that I can only say Pitt was lucky enough that almost all of their fumbles- at least 2, if not 3- were recovered.
First two offensive plays of the second half Pitt finally broke free for two long runs by Qadree Ollison, making it 17-7 Virginia Tech. After a useless offensive series, Pitt Fumbled in their own territory, which the offense proceed to do less than nothing with, going -3 yards to net a gift field goal. After Pitt continued to have amazing fumble luck, the Hokies got a punt and drove a short way before the quarter ended. That drive ended in a 48-yard field goal to bring the score to 17-13. Pitt then had a long drive to nowhere, punting to a touchback. After a grand total of 7 sacks for 57 yards lost, and three interceptions by a scared, hurt Motley? Virginia Tech endured the draw out of the remaining play clock. That ended the game.
Singularly I don't have much to write because there's not much to say. The majority of the second half and the latter end of the first half was trading three and outs or short drives to end in punts.
This offensive line was manhandled in the running and passing game. Both. Pitt's defense is good, but the offense did NOTHING to help them out or help out Motley. The play calling didn't do anything to get Motley out of the pocket consistently, and didn't have any way shape or form of getting things moved about.
The defense really stepped up after a defensive struggle last week, holding Pitt to 17 points and doing a manful job at containing everyone but their halfback, who still only accounted for one touchdown. There were turnovers on the ground we didn't get, but when your offense does that after consistently being on the field all day, you take whatever you get.
The special teams were generally fine. No missed field goals, good punts, good coverage on returns.
This one is hard to stack away as much of anything other than an offensive nightmare. You can't compete with 3 interceptions, seven sacks, nine yards rushing, 4-13 on third down, and under 50% completion percentage. Credit Pitt's defense for a great game, yes, but when your offense simply seems unprepared and you have to throw out a hurt quarterback just to take snaps so you don't have your freshman potential starter killed, you know you've hit the bottom.
Stay safe and dry, everyone. More analysis to come.