Last week, Pitt was on the winning side of a beatdown. This week? Not so much.
Losing to Rutgers? Yeah, I could see that. As I mentioned in the wildly inaccurate game preview, I said Pitt could lose if they turned the ball over. But getting blown out? No way I saw that coming. Such are the oddities of Big East football.
What I'm most surprised about was the sudden regression of the offense. Sure, I can buy the fact that Rutgers' defense may be better than South Florida's. But it's mind-boggling that the offense could look this bad - a mere nine days after looking like world beaters.
There were positives. Well, okay - there was a positive. Ray Graham. But we all knew he was good before his 165-yard performance today, so there's not much more to say on that front.
The big thing was the play of the quarterbacks. Yes, plural because Trey Anderson did actually see some time on the field other than his obligatory one series that Todd Graham always says he wants him to play. If there was anything we learned from this one, it's that Trey Anderson probably isn't ready. I've said it over and over (and over), but Anderson is not only a true freshman, but he's only had the benefit of being in the system for about two months.
Now onto Tino.Sunseri was all over the place. It's hard to figure out how he could have been so good last week against South Florida and so horrible against Rutgers. To me, he's bad, but he ain't that bad. The simple fact is that Rutgers' defense was just that good. Whether or not they'll be that good the rest of the way out is another question, but today, there's no doubt that they were incredible. There were the three interceptions and the numerous sacks as Tino again did his best statue imitation at times.
The times he didn't? The offensive line struck, but I'll get to that in a second.
I'm not sure what's up with Tino and other than the typical Pitt fan's statement of "He sucks," he's having a real hard time out there. Last year he wasn't great, but what we didn't see were all the turnovers. Tino has seven interceptions already - he had nine all of last year. The reason I've been on Sunseri's side more often than not is because he at least kept Pitt in games and gave them a chance to win. But while he wasn't the only reason Pitt lost today, his three picks didn't help.
Unfortunately, what you might not want to hear is that ... you guessed it - he's Pitt's best option right now. Todd Graham threw all of his eggs into one basket essentially when he decided Anthony Gonzalez wouldn't play quarterback this season (despite him being the presumed backup coming out of the Spring). He figured that Myers would handle the backup job and then after getting Anderson to sign as an insurance policy, decided he was set. What he didn't probably see happening was Anderson coming in and surpassing Myers. So now he's stuck with Myers not getting any game reps and likely not all that close in terms of being ready to actually play and Gonzalez out at H-back.
This mess won't get solved this year. It's really either Tino or bust at this point.
Okay, offensive line. Terrible. Three false starts (two on Juantez Hollins and one on Ryan Schlieper, who was filling in for the injured Lucas Nix) and plenty of breakdowns contributing to Tino getting sacked five times. The line was already suspect with Nix and Chris Jacobson out, so the fact that it hasn't been very good without them isn't a big surprise.
Is Pitt as bad as we saw today? No. But I think we clearly found out they're not as good as they looked last week, either.