Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Pitt Demolishes UConn in 35-20 Rout

Disregard the last score of the game, which UConn posted with under a minute to go against what had to be Pitt's third string defense, and you get a better feel for how badly Pitt handled the Huskies tonight.

As I mentioned in my post at the end of the third quarter, this loss falls solely on the shoulders of the coaching staff for UConn. Pitt had the tape of the game against South Florida and ran an identical offensive scheme as the Bulls did at the beginning of the second half of that game, and identically to the outcome of that first drive for the Bulls the Pitt Panthers absolutely ran over the UConn defense. Did the coaching staff ever adept to the quick passes and the screen plays from the Pitt offense? Of course not that would be an obvious solution. Instead Pitt quarterback Tino Sunseri, who is widely regarded as a mediocre talent at best, racked up over 400 yards passing (the fourth qb to do that on this UConn defense I might add) and two passing touchdowns. Then the backup came in and lead the Panthers offense to another score. Adjustments needed to be made defensively throughout the game and the coaching staff refused to make them and stubbornly got blown out.

In terms of offense there was one immediate change that needed to be made at the quarterback position for the Huskies and instead Pasqualoni chose to stay with McEntee through seven sacks and just an overall terrible performance. As noted in the halftime post McEntee was 2-12 in the first half and only after the first team defense come off the field did he experience any success ending the game 17-32. McEntee is statistically given eight rushes on the game for negative 37 yards. I would say this is a result of poor protection but throughout the game McEntee looked hesitant with the ball, held on for way too long, and when he felt any pressure (whether it was there or not) he tucked the ball and took the sack. Of course it makes sense to be hesitant when even when receivers are open by ten yards you still overthrow them by twenty. McEntee's counterpart Scott McCummings, who leads the wildcat attack for the team, ran for 23 yards and was 1-1 passing. Explain to me how you can justify not giving this guy more attempts, he only has seven on the year and he has completed four of them with two touchdowns. Lyle McCombs had another great game breaking 120 yards and averaging 5 yards a carry. Based on that number alone the coaches get a failing grade, for every drop back McEntee averaged under five yards and for every run play using McCombs the Huskies moved five yards. It simply comes down to failing to adjust to what the other team is doing offensively and what the other defense is giving you, and instead the UConn coaching staff stubbornly stuck to a game plan that was doomed from the kickoff.

With a record of 3-5, only four games left, and three of the top teams in the Big East left to come on the schedule there is almost no hope of this team making a bowl game. Pasqualoni may not survive his first year at the helm for the Huskies simply because of his failure to use the pieces left to him by Randy Edsall in a way that would allow this team to win.

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