My Take | Syracusefan.com

My Take

sutomcat

No recent Cali or Iggy awards; Mr Irrelevant
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Wow, that was a disappointing game to watch.

Pitt without Izzy. Slovis has been rotten all year. Just put your best DB on Wayne and stop the run and you should be all set.

Us losing Garrett deprived our defense of its biggest asset. There was one play that was a good example of how we got beat. Pitt passed it. I believe it was an obvious passing down.

They went max protect. Only sent one WR out (Wayne). We played zone, like we did almost all game. Johnson is a good backup but he struggled to cut on the wet grass field all day and could not match Wayne’s agility. And Simmons was out of position and not able to help, as he was all game long. This kind of thing just can’t happen.

I think Darton is playing hurt and while he is still making some plays and is the best we have at DT, he is a shadow of himself right now. Don’t remember Linton playing at all. McDonald is back playing with a knee brace on but he seems a half step slow and is not very effective. Wax looks like he is playing with a bad shoulder and some kind of a leg injury. Still playing well but not close to 100%. Sparrow seems like he is coming on and probably deserves more PT. Probably our only LB who is not badly banged up right now.

Carter continues to step up and impress. He is very good with run support and making big plays as a center fielder at safety on passes. He cleaned up a lot of run plays that got past our embattled LBs. Helped to make up for the loss of Williams, who is unbelievable at run support.

Chestnut barely is involved in any plays these days as opposing defenses attack Johnson almost exclusively when they pass it.

Barron seems to miss a couple of big tackles every game but overall, he is playing well. I think he is primarily responsible for covering the TE in pass coverage and he has done well against some tough TEs this year. It is nice having a guy with his size and strength to match up against TEs.

Jones gets taken for granted by the fan base, including me, but he is making a lot of tackles and keeping us in games almost by himself sometimes. What a warrior.

On offense, CDRW looked like a frosh starting his first game. He locked on his primary receiver every play. He almost never went to his second option (I think he threw a pass to the left flat to Cooper maybe one time fairy early in the game). He wasn’t aware of the pass rush, didn’t drop deep enough, and when he felt a rush, he almost never tried to run wide to the sideline (Shrader move).

He threw just about every pass with high velocity. On a line. No matter what the situation.

Looked like he was affected by all the Pitt pressure and got worse waiting for plays to develop and worse with his accuracy as the game ensued. Started missing his passes too high consistently, which is not what you want. Passes too high tend to get intercepted. Passes too low tend to be caught or bounce incomplete.

His fakes were really poorly executed on play action. He never faked passing the ball one way and look in another direction. He seemed not to be aware of anything except where his primary receiver was going. If he had open field in front of him, he did not take advantage and I don't think he even saw it.

All the things a veteran QB does, he did not. And this is to be expected. He is really young and should not be playing in a game yet.

On the positive side, the kid has a gun. He is brave, has nice size and appears to run pretty well. He is never going to be a Shrader on that front but he can be better than Nassib and that is okay.

Personally, I think we need a QB who can really run for our offense to be effective. CDRW was not that player this game and unfortunately, for a young QB, this is one area where you could be effective right away, if you have the capabilities. So that is my biggest concern with him.

Tucker lost some effectiveness becaus Pitt took him away as a receiver option. They had some good athletes covering him that made it hard for him to get open. I think it was clear they did not want him to make catches. CDRW does not look well suited for the touch passes needed to get the ball to a RB anyway. Pitt was all over Sean whenever we called a run with him and they still have a good run defense and took him out of the game as a factor.

Was hoping Hatcher and Adams would be factors with their speed against Pitt’s press coverage. Adams made one nice catch but I don’t think these guys were factors most of the game. Cooper keeps playing and keeps dropping balls. Don’t understand that. Gadsden looked like he was getting doubled all game and CDRW struggled to get him the ball. That chemistry he had with Garrett is not there. Damien made a nice catch on a long pass where he really wasn’t open but fought for it and won a 50-50 ball. That was nice.

Szmyt kicked well in really windy conditions. Props to him. We are going to miss him next season. Brady kicked off well and looked good. Max had another bad day and seems to have lost his confidence. At least he didn’t get a punt blocked.

The coverage teams were okay. We didn’t do much returning kicks but at least didn’t have a fumble again.

Bad loss. Props to Pitt for grinding this one out. Their OC made some bad calls and almost cost them the game (why pass it at all with Slovis the airhead?). But they played well defensively and got the win. Another great opportunity lost for us. Sigh.
 

SoBristol

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Nice summary.

Pitt was without Izzy, but his replacement was a co-#1 to start the season. Ran for 125 yards. Our defense (Carter, Wax, Jones and others you highlight) did well, given our undersized D-line.

Our three stars - Shrader in street clothes, Tucker 25 yards, Gadsden shut out (due in part to QB not finding him).

If we can’t get QB runs, or get lanes for Tucker, or get Tucker in space, or get Gadsden some catches, or give Carlos some time —well, there is no way to run an offense. A few chunk plays (Adams, Alford) but nothing consistent.

Pitt has recruited well, both lines. Just more physical up front.
 

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