Pitt offense missing big passing play

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sport

After putting up 107 points against New Mexico and Duke in back-to-back weeks early in the season, there were high hopes for Pitt's offense. The 13-point output against Florida State was best explained as because Florida State. But after those two games, there was a lot of reason for optimism.

That's been tempered a bit after several subpar performances lately.

Pitt forced two big turnovers in the win against Virginia, and thank God because the offense's only points came off of touchdowns playing with two ridiculously short fields. In all, the offense had to move only 37 yards for those 14 points. In the following week, the Panthers could score only nine points against Virginia Tech's stout defense. Things got better against Old Dominion when the offense scored 35 points, but the team put up only 21 against Navy and as we saw, it wasn't enough.

Just as important was something I mentioned before. Part of the reason the offense has remained stagnant is because of the lack of a deep passing game. Pitt had 11 passing plays of 30 yards or more through the first four games over the season. Over the last three?

Two.

Without the threat of a deep passing game, it just makes the defense's job that much easier. With that out of the way, the secondary will be free to focus on the middle of the field, stopping shorter routes, and playing well against the run. The longer Pitt goes without being able to throw the ball downfield, the more vulnerable the offense will be to the types of performances they've had lately.

Be sure to join Cardiac Hill's Facebook page and follow us on Twitter @PittPantherBlog for our regular updates on Pitt athletics. Follow the author and manager/editor of Cardiac Hill @AnsonWhaley

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