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Two Things I Liked, Two Things I Didn’t Like: Post-Pitt Edition

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That was not fun!

NCAA Football: Pittsburgh at Penn State Matthew O’Haren-USA TODAY Sports


1. Noah Cain’s Semi-Breakout Performance

Noah Cain received carries on one series during the game. These were his runs:

  • 4 yards
  • 3 yards
  • 9 yards
  • 7 yards
  • 4 yards
  • 13 yards (touchdown)

This might just show how sad the state of affairs are with Penn State’s running game, but I am turned on by 3-yard runs at this point. A whole three yards! On one run! Every single carry! Wow!

More Cain, please.

2. Pat Narduzzi Being A Dumb-Dumb On The Goal Line

It is a fitting end to this dumb series that Pat Narduzzi went out with one of the worst coaching decisions (plural!) of all time.

  • First and goal from the one, and he never runs with his running back.
  • Down 17-10 with under 5 minutes left, he decides to kick a 19 yard field goal, even though his team still would need a touchdown to win.
  • Pitt’s kicker Alex Kessman doinks the field goal.
  • After the game, Narduzzi argues that his team needed “two scores” to win the game, perhaps not realizing that two-point conversion attempts are still legal.

There are not a lot of coaches who could have pulled that off, but Narduzzi did. Thank you, Narduzzi. Thank you.


1. The Defensive Line’s Inability To Get Home

Kenny Pickett dropped back to pass 51 times on Saturday. Penn State’s defensive ends — Yetur Gross-Matos, Jayson Oweh, Shane Simmons, and Shaka Toney — combined for one sack, made by Shaka in the fourth quarter. The defensive tackles — Robert Windsor, PJ Mustipher, Antonio Shelton, Fred Hansard, and Damion Barber — combined for zero sacks.

For a unit that was deemed one of the better groups in the Big Ten going into the season, there’s really no viable explanation for why the defensive line could only generate 1 sack against a weak Pitt offensive line. At some point, the talent needs to takeover, but it never truly did on the pass rush front on Saturday.

2. Pretty Much The Entire Offense

I get that this is a rather green offense, but like... things shouldn’t be this difficult. One of the things I talked about before the season was the process being just as important as the result. And let me tell you this: the process of watching this offense sucks. Can’t consistently run the ball, an inability to get into manageable third downs, and just a lack of tried-and-true identity-type plays.

Against real legitimate programs, this team can’t expect to score 17 points and win the game. A lot to work on during the bye week, folks.