Pitt vs. Louisville: Panthers disappoint on homecoming

Justin K. Aller - Getty Images

In the aftermath of Pitt's loss to Louisville, I don't have too much else to add to Greg's post-game thoughts. For now, I'm going to leave out my thoughts on Paul Chryst's questionable decisions - I'll have more on that later.

The first half was really how I anticipated the game shaping up. I figured it would be close and if Pitt caught a break or two (i.e. blocked punt for a touchdown), they'd look like the better team. That was pretty much what happened and it wasn't a huge shock to me when Pitt was up by four at the half.

Even getting toasted on the first play of the second-half was oh so Pitt-like. By the way, that was simply a great play call by Charlie Strong to go deep on Pitt. The Cardinals had open receivers a few times in the first half and Pitt's secondary was having a hard time keeping up with them.

What did surprise me was that after playing so well in the first half, the Panthers found a way to play so horrible in the third quarter. And while Pitt's defense was bad (okay, really bad) in that pivotal quarter, let's not blame it totally on them. They gave up the long 75-yard strike and then another long drive. But the third TD was a result of the botched punt. Plus, the offense simply couldn't get anything going to help keep the game close.

In the end, the Panthers were just beaten by a better team. Pitt couldn't hang with Louisville for a full 60 minutes as we saw what happened in the second half.

Look, folks - this season is lost in terms of having a good year. If Pitt goes on a tear, a bowl is still possible ... just don't hold your breath. But if you're looking for things to keep an eye on, the running back competition is an interesting one. Ray Graham has really struggled over the past two games and Rushel Shell had another big game. He's averaging more yards per carry and just hits the hole harder right now. Is he a better back? I'm not 100% sure, but as Greg alluded to, he's not the same this season.

Be sure to join Cardiac Hill's Facebook page and follow us on Twitter @PittPantherBlog for our regular updates on Pitt athletics.

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