The Panthers lead by a touchdown, 17-10, at N.C. State at halftime, but it could be a lot closer if the Wolfpack didn’t keep killing their own chances.
The Pitt defense has had numerous breakdowns that led to big plays or near-miss big plays. On the Wolfpack’s second drive, trailing 10-0, freshman middle linebacker Dan Mason was called for a “disconcerting signal” on a third and six from the NC State 30. Never heard that penalty before, but apparently it’s trying to trick the offensive line into moving by mimicking a snap call.
There were times when the receiver was so open, it actually appeared some Pitt players thought it was zone coverage and some thought it was man coverage.
Here were some other defensive breakdowns:
· After Mick Williams leaves the game in the first quarter, N.C. State runs three straight plays up the middle, right at Williams’ spot, for positive yardage attacking reserve Myles Caragein.
· Outside linebacker Max Gruder was beat badly for a 23-yard pass to fullback Taylor Gentry for the Wolfpack’s first score late in the first quarter.
· Wide receiver T.J. Graham got wide open for a 24-yard reception later in the first half (not sure who blew coverage there).
·A 22-yard pass to running back Toney Baker out of the backfield was poorly covered, another example of a confused defense.
· Dom DeCicco and Jovani Chappel missed tackles leading to big gains.
· N.C. State receiver Jarvis Williams was wide open on a crossing pattern for a certain touchdown, but Wilson missed him. Pitt cornerback Ricky Gary let Williams go across the middle, expecting help. There was none. It should have been a touchdown.