First off, I did not have the benefit of watching or replaying this game on television, mostly because I made the trip to Blacksburg. Also, I have little desire to watch a man being subjected to continual punishment, therefore I will probably just delete this one from the DVR. I thought Pitt handled themselves quite well once they got settled in.
Here are my observations from Section 39, row QQQQ (seriously, four Q's):
- The Defense: Other than the first couple of series, Pitt's defense played really well. At the beginning, I thought this could turn into Duke "part deux", but no the unit held their own, keeping Pitt in the game longer than they probably should have been.
- Aaron Donald: Big #97 deserves his own spot on this list. The guy is a beast and continues to impress. He's finally starting to get some national recognition.
- Chris Blewitt: Let's give some love to the freshman who nailed a 47-yard field goal at the end of the first half. Show of hands, who expected him to drill that one with such confidence?
- Virginia Tech on gameday: This was my first time traveling to Blacksburg and it really is worthy of the hype (with one exception I will highlight later). The atmosphere is off the charts. "Enter Sandman" is goosebump inducing. Tailgating is serious business. And this is the only place where men can stylishly wear orange pants. I look forward to going back in two years.
- Offensive Line: Let's get the obvious one out of the way first. They were terrible. They know it, the coaches know it, we know it, and Virginia Tech surely knows it. It got to the point where I was feeling bad for Tom Savage. Yes, he took some sacks from holding onto the ball too long, but man, give the guy a half second more to throw and we've got a different game.
- Playcalling: Pitt abandon the run too early for my liking. James Conner was hurt, but they seemed to rely too much on the pass. They also seemed to call many long-developing plays that only exacerbated their pass protection problems. Pitt finally called some quick slants that gained yards. Hopefully, we'll see more of this.
- Can I put the offensive line here again?
- The all-white uniform combo: I know Pitt fans are constantly debating uniforms, so can we all agree that we need some color? I prefer the white jersey with the gold pants.
- The 'Hokie Pokey': Like myself, many of you think the playing of 'Sweet Caroline' is cheesy and forced. Well, you should witness the 'Hokie Pokey' between the 3rd and 4th quarters.