Here are some quick takeaways from the University of Pittsburgh’s game against Penn State University this past weekend.
Penn State won the contest, 33-14.
First of all, this score could have been a lot worse.
I really don’t think Pitt played too bad. I really think they are still going in the right direction. By playing teams like Penn State and Oklahoma State early, Pitt gets fantastic experience for when they start ACC play.
Saquon Barkley was held to 88 yards and one rushing touchdown. He did haul in a catch and went over 40 yards to the end zone that really got the crowd going. His ability to catch the ball as well as run the ball is what is going to make him a Top 10 NFL Draft pick. Barkley is a terrific football player.
Trace McSorley threw three touchdowns and picked up 164 yards passing. Nothing really significant from McSorely this week, but he did what he had to do.
Mike Gesicki had two touchdowns and proved early that he was going to be a threat. I said in my last article that I was worried about his stature and how Pitt’s defensive backs were going to match up with him. He showed his size was too much to handle.
DaeSean Hamilton, Juwan Johnson and DeAndre Thompkins had a combined five catches for 61 yards.
So if you look at these stats, you would think Pitt would have a chance. The Panthers just couldn’t capitalize on opportunities.
However, they did dominate the time of possession. Pitt had the ball for 38:20 and Penn State had it for 21:40. Again, another sign that would make you think Pitt had a chance and this was another key I said last week that would give Pitt a chance.
Qadree Ollison rushed for 96 yards and was running hard. He was one of Pitt’s better offensive players and is starting to become the backbone of this offense.
Quadree Henderson didn’t have a good game. It’s that simple.
But that happens.
People reacting to his poor play and saying he needs to be benched is absolute ludicrous. Did you forget he was an All-American last year? Do you not think Penn State had a specific strategy to minimize Henderson’s performance?
Absolutely they did. And they succeeded. Henderson will be fine.
Max Browne again didn’t impress me nor did he disappoint me. I still don’t have an opinion on him.
Do I think Ben DiNucci should be the starter from here on out? No. At least not yet.
Pitt has to give Browne a few more chances. If you want to continue getting grad transfers, you need to at least let him get his feet wet.
Now, with that being said, if Browne loses the next three games, I think you have to give DiNucci the ball.
Until then, fans, give Browne some confidence. He is your starting quarterback.
If Pitt wants to get to the next level with this team, you have to give Weah a chance to make a play. He absolutely needs to be more involved and targeted more. Give him a chance because he has enough talent to make great catches. He still isn’t showing how good he is.
The biggest thing I see when I look at this year’s team is a lack of leadership. Now I’m not in the locker rooms every day and I don’t see what goes on behind the scenes, but I don’t see a proven leader. When Oklahoma and Ohio State played Saturday night, Baker Mayfield was going up and down the sideline pumping his guys up after they scored.
That’s the kind of guy you want to play for and a guy who gets his team ready to play. I don’t see much leadership from Max Browne.
You don’t become a leader overnight, and losing James Conner and Nate Peterman hurts. Those guys were leaders. If you are a captain, you better be doing your job and getting your team ready to play.
I would love to see someone emerge and take control of this team.
I would also like to point out that I think James Franklin’s comments after the game were foolish. Those are words that haunt you later on in the season. There are some things you just don’t say. Take your loss last year the same way you take your win this year. I lost a lot of respect for him.
On to next week with an even tougher task with Oklahoma State’s high powered offense.
Hail to Pitt.
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