In the most unlikely of scenarios, the Pittsburgh Panthers woke up and decided they were going to take out two weeks worth of frustration on the Hokies of Virginia Tech. Frank Beamer suffered his 4th straight loss to Pitt, and third straight at Heinz field. His quarterback struggled throwing some very high crossing routes, and when you throw it too high across the middle, nine times out of ten, it's gong to be intercepted. And Intercept it they did as they were able to pick off QB Logan Thomas 3 times. The Panthers were also able to grab a fumble as the Hokies turned the ball over 4 times today.
On the other hand, Tino Sunseri only threw one pick and was able to not only throw the ball down field but also put the ball in the end zone. Tino figured out that if you get it close to Shanahan and Street, they can go up and get it. Even though Tino had a good game, the real coming out party happened in the back field.
Ray Graham ran for over a 100 yards, but Freshman running back Rushel Shell ran around, under, and in most cases over top of the Hokies defense all day long. He ran the ball 23 times for 155 yards. He was unstoppable in most cases. He was very highly sought after coming out of High School, and he showed today why that was. He was the best player on the field. But that could not have been possible unless 2 things happened today that have really not happened all season long.
First off, the offensive line played very well. Tino got nicked up late, but that was more of a freak accident. The offensive line shoved the Tech Defensive line around all afternoon. It was really like a light went off and they figured out what to do. The second thing that had to happen, was Tino Sunseri opening the game up with a vertical passing game. Don't get me wrong, at no point did he make you think you were watching Joe Montana. But he was able to complete 4 passes over 25 yards and one of 40 yards which opened the game up just enough to open the running game.
Defensively, they still need to work on some things as they gave up some big plays, but all in all, they played much better. And it serves as something to grow with as they take on Garner Webb next week with an opportunity to get back to 2-2 and start fresh going forward.
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