Pitt’s loss was a bitter pill to swallow. The team won the turnover battle, but was unable to capitalize when it needed to. The key point of the game, other than Tino Sunseri’s final interception, of course, was Pitt’s two possessions when they were inside Utah’s ten-yard line, but only came away with two field goals. In a hostile environment, you’ve simply got to punch the ball in there. Settling for three points in that situation is the kiss of death and it cost Pitt dearly.
The team’s two main areas of concern, offensive line and secondary, both did their best to outdo the other unit. And not in a good way. The line committed too many penalties, was unable to create any running room for Dion Lewis, and was unsuccessful at times in keeping pressure off of QB Tino Sunseri. The secondary was bad as well, giving up large chunks of yardage (pass plays of 19, 24, 32, 46, and 61 yards) and allowing three touchdown passes. This unit was supposedly much improved by the reports out of training camp, but you wouldn’t know it by watching the game tonight.
The biggest bright spot for me was the play of Sunseri. He proved, at least for one game, that he can make big plays and is a true on-field leader. His interception on Pitt’s last possession was a poor throw, but he made plenty of good ones and was hardly the reason the team lost. He has a strong arm and will only get better. He’ll prove to be a very good quarterback for Pitt and fans should feel much more comfortable knowing he’s going to be around for two more seasons after this one.
The loss wasn’t the end of the world and while it derails a little of the momentum the team built up, it was a non-conference game and does nothing to Pitt’s chances of winning the conference. But the game also proved that Pitt has a lot of work to do if it wants to reach a BCS game this season.
For more analysis on my thoughts on the game, visit Cardiac Hill.