10 October 2011
Just don't know what else there is to say about that game.
Things were destined to be bad when I saw that Pam Ward would be calling the game. Like the USF game, Pitt started off with a solid drive to start the game. Helped out by a Rutgers penalty on third down, the Panthers put Kevin Harper in position to knock through a 29-yard field goal to take the early lead.
And it was all downhill from there.
Pitt inexplicably lined up offsides on the kick-off and then Harper kicked the ball out of bounds for a penalty. Thankfully, Rutgers and new starting quarterback - and one-time Pitt commit - Gary Nova couldn't move the ball the next two possessions. The sad part is that neither could Pitt. Hampered by a slew of penalties, including Tino Sunseri throwing the ball after running about four yards past the line of scrimmage and back-to-back offensive pass interference calls on Drew Carswell, Pitt and Rutgers cripple fought to a 3-3 stalemate in the first quarter.
The parade of DERP continued into the second. Rutgers was able to put up another field goal to take the lead they would never surrender. Pitt continued to struggled offensively - as did Rutgers - and trailed 6-3 going into the half.
Pitt opened the second half with Trey Anderson under center, presumably in an attempt to spark the struggling offense. It didn't work. Anderson was just as ineffective as Sunseri and ended his second series with a pretty bad interception that gave Rutgers the ball in their own red-zone. Two plays later (one of which was pass interference on Antwuan Reed), Rutgers scored the first touchdown of the game to take a seemingly insurmountable 13-3 lead.
After more penalties and more poor passing, Pitt once again gave Rutgers fantastic field position - this time punting from somewhere in Philadelphia to give Rutgers the ball at their 39 yard line. Even Rutgers' sad offense could capitalize on that, and they did, scoring the second touchdown of the game to make it 20-3.
Ray Graham tried to spark the Pitt offense to start the fourh, but it was too late. Graham broke off a 64-yarder and punched it in on the ensuing play to cut the deficit to 10 points, but Rutgers was able to return the kickoff 74 yards, again setting up Rutgers to get Ray Graham's touchdown right back.
Pitt was then able to drive down the field (for the second time in nearly 50 minutes of game-clock) and set up Kevin Harper for a 42-yarder. Wide right.
Say it with me: "Ugh."
If Pitt's come-back hopes weren't sufficiently dead, Sunseri then threw a pick-six on the next possession. Ballgame. Rutgers 34, Pittsburgh 10.
Pitt ended the day with four interceptions, and nine penalties. One of the penalties was for having two players on special teams both wearing the number "5" (Ejuan Price and Cam Saddler).
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