Originally written on Pitt Blather  |  Last updated 10/1/13
Not really that much needs to be said on the Pitt side. I mean, it’s a win. The defense feels better about itself than it did after Duke. Pitt did just enough on offense to get the win. The cost being Tom Savage getting hit a lot. Eventually suffering “concussion-like symptoms” which has now been upgraded to a mild concussion. It still amazed me that no targeting penalty was called on that hit. From the press box, there was a lot of amazement that no call was made. Coach Paul Chryst was asked about it after the game. Chryst said Virginia linebacker Daquan Romero’s hit to the head of quarterback Tom Savage is what the NCAA is trying to eliminate with its new rule that calls for the offending player to be ejected. “Yes, I think so,” he said. Romero wasn’t ejected, however and no penalty was called. Chryst spoke to the official after the play, but he declined to reveal their conversation. “I really believe there is not one official that isn’t for that (making the game safer),” he said. Those comments came from a question during the post-game the press conference. Chryst also added after that, “And… I’m going to stop there.” He just decided that he wasn’t going to finish the obvious thought that the officials really, really missed that call. For Pitt, the downside was that the offense didn’t match the performance of the defense. Still, it’s a win. It beats the feelings on the Virginia side. By the time David Watford’s late fourth-quarter pass to the end zone Saturday in Pittsburgh’s 14-3 win glanced off Jake McGee’s fingertips, Virginia already established this was not going to be the week for its breakout game on offense. Now, after posting just 188 yards against a Pittsburgh defense that entered the day giving up 445 yards per game — worst in the Atlantic Coast Conference and 101st in the nation — it’s fair to wonder if the big payoff will come at all this season for U.Va.’s offense. “What I told everyone is, ‘This has got to get fixed,’” U.Va. coach Mike London said. “It’s not about a popularity contest. It’s about finding those players that can be consistent and give us a chance to win. That’s the first thing we’ll work on Sunday — finding the who and the what and just move on and move forward from there.” Road openers are not a good place for Virginia. The Cavaliers have now lost 7 of their last 8 road openers. They also fell to 0-6 when facing a new ACC member for the first time in conference play. Virginia owns a 6-12 record since a 14-13 win at Florida State in 2011 – that contest capped a run where the team won 6 of 7 games. Needless to say, the result at Pitt was a disappointing one. Virginia now stands at 2-2 and 0-1 in the ACC. The Panthers, on the other hand, were happy to grab the win and improve to 3-1 and 2-1 in the ACC. “It felt great to go three in a row. That’s what we’ve been talking about all week,” Pittsburgh defensive lineman Tyrone Ezell said. “It’s something we haven’t done in a while here at Pitt, and it feels great right now.” The frustrating thing for Virginia fans is that they saw this loss unfolding exactly the way it did. A lot of signs in the match-ups point to a dead even game so I think it is a toss-up, but I don’t trust the offense to fix the turnover and scoring issues even though Pittsburgh’s defense is shaky. And with Pitt now 2-1 in the ACC, they are at least establishing that they are not out of their depth in a new conference — at least to those that apparently wondered about it. 5. Pitt is at home in the ACC. The Panthers now have won back-to-back games in their new conference and have a chance to move into a tie for the top spot in the Coastal Division if they can win at Virginia Tech next week. Pitt’s lone loss was to Florida State in the season opener. If they can escape Blacksburg with a win, the Panthers could be 6-1 heading into Atlanta on Nov. 2 for another key divisional game against Georgia Tech. With the win over Virginia, Pitt put itself right in the mix in its first season in the ACC. We’ll see how long the Panthers can stay there. Well, with a bye Pitt gets to stay there for at least one more week.
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