Charles LeClaire-US PRESSWIRE
Pitt's strategy of losing two, then winning two games is working out to perfection.
Being a Pitt fan is frustrating. After watching this team get so close to reaching their goals, whether it's one win from a Final Four or one win away from a BCS bowl, but ultimately coming up short, you'd think I'd be used to it when Pitt plays outstanding one game and then fail to show up in their next game.
Nothing though has frustrated me as much as this football season.
The 2012 Pitt football team will likely go down as one of the most inconsistent teams in all of college football. From looking like world beaters against Virginia Tech and Notre Dame to looking like they should be in Division II against Youngstown State, this team just can't seem to keep any kind of consistent good or bad play going. So it obviously shouldn't surprise anyone that Pitt thoroughly beat the conference leading Scarlet Knights after playing like they didn't want to be there against Connecticut (speaking of which, remember how I said Louisville had the better football program? Whoops.)
After making it appear that Connecticut actually had an FBS-worthy offense two weeks ago, the defense came to play against Rutgers. Not that Rutgers is anything close to Oregon when it comes to offensive production, but Pitt had just allowed UConn, who ranks 121st in total offense, to run away with things in the first half of their game two weeks ago. The defense was a big concern heading into this matchup. From the start, they dominated, holding Rutgers to just 50 yards of total offense and 2 first downs in the first half and just 207 yards of total offense in the game. They were in the backfield often, tackling Rutgers 5 times for a loss in the game and frustrating Gary Nova and Chas Dodd.
The offense also had a good game. Rutgers boasts a top-15 defense nationally, but the Panthers easily won that battle, putting up 27 points on a team that allowed more than that only one other time all season (and keep in mind that Pitt could have scored more had it not been for a bad snap between Ryan Turnley and Tino Sunseri.) This was after the Rutgers defense held a pretty good Cincinnati offense to just 3 points last week, so it was encouraging to see this team move the ball so well after struggling against Connecticut.
If we continue the pattern of the season, Pitt should win their final game of the season against struggling South Florida. But with the way this team has played throughout the season, it wouldn't surprise me at all to see them come up short.