Rushel Shell has arrived. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-US PRESSWIRE
An unbelievable performance by Pitt. Some were projecting Pitt to be 1-2 after three games, but I don't think many had the Panthers lone win come against Virginia Tech. And that's not even going into how much Pitt dominated Virginia Tech. It could have been much worse too had Pitt not missed a couple of field goals.
Rushel Shell has arrived. The touted freshman running back had his first of hopefully many 100 yard games, rushing for 157 yards against what was supposed to be a stout Virginia Tech defense. Ray pitched in 94 yards of his own as well as two TDs on the ground and a receiving touchdown from Tino, who had his own career game against the Hokies, throwing for 283 yards and three touchdowns on 19 of 28 passing, including an amazing 4th down conversion to Mike Shanahan, who had 5 catches for 111 yards.. And Tino completed two deep passes as well.
But the defense was 1000 times better than what we've seen through the first two games. They got pressure on Virginia Tech early, forcing four turnovers in the first half alone. Logan Thomas, a projected first round draft pick and a Heisman hopeful going into the season, had a rough showing against the Panthers. On a day where several NFL scouts were in attendance, he imploded, overthrowing receivers and turning the ball over when the Hokies were down by two possessions. Jason Hendricks intercepted him twice, both times on passes that were way over the heads of Virginia Tech's receivers.
There are some things to work on moving forward. Penalties killed Pitt (11 for 110 yards). The kicking game gave Pitt problems, as Kevin Harper missed a couple of easy field goals. The defense had a couple of missed tackles that resulted in scores for the Hokies. All of these things can be fixed though. Now it's up to the players and coaches to build off of this in preparation for Gardner-Webb next weekend.
But today, Pitt can celebrate the first win of the Paul Chryst era. And what a win it was. Welcome to the ACC, Pitt.