Pitt’s defense was the story today, helping the team to the win and making their hopes for a bowl game a bit brighter.
Pitt needs to win at least one more of its remaining two games against West Virginia and Syracuse to become bowl eligible and need to win both to be guaranteed a spot in a postseason bowl game.
Another thing that came out of today is that the team’s slim hopes for a BCS bowl appearance remained alive. Pitt is tied in second place with a slew of two-loss teams in the Big East. Previously undefeated Cincinnati lost to West Virginia on Saturday and are now only one game ahead of the pack. For the Panthers to have a chance, they need the Bearcats to lose again, which would create a large group of teams with two losses and lead to some strange tiebreaker, I’m sure.
Quarterback Tino Sunseri continued to play well enough for the team to have a chance to win. He completed 16 of 22 passes for 196 yards, a touchdown, and no interceptions. No one’s going to mistake him for Dan Marino or even Bill Stull, but with the season hanging in the balance, his effort today was a good one.
But back to the defense – the final score wasn’t as indicative of their effort as it should have been. Louisville’s first touchdown came after an incredibly bad seven-yard punt by Matt Yoklic (no, that’s not a typo – Seven. Yards.) leading to them getting the ball around the ten-yard line. The other touchdown came late with about 15 seconds left when Pitt had all but wrapped up the game.
The defense had a great game plan, harassing Teddy Bridgewater into an interception, sacking him three times, and maybe most importantly, getting off the field. They held Louisville to 3-11 on third down conversions and that was a big part of the win today.
Pitt now gets next weekend off and will square off in the Backyard Brawl against West Virginia on the following Friday. Extra days off couldn’t come at a better time as Pitt will need plenty of time to figure out a way to try to slow down the Mountaineers’ offense.