Pitt came out flat against Miami today and playing a clearly better team, that wasn't the way you wanted to see things start. On the way to an ugly 41-31 loss (the score wasn't really indicative of how the game went as Pitt scored a late TD in garbage), the Panthers had about as rough a beginning as you could have asked for.
Lafayette Pitts, who had a horrible day all around, started out by fumbling the opening kickoff and Miami promptly scored in three plays. Next up, Pitt had a three-and-out and had the ensuing punt partially blocked. On another short field, Miami quickly went up 14-0. The Hurricanes were easily the better team and, as expected, their speed gave Pitt problems.
When you add in the fact that Pitt was missing several key guys including Devin Street, you had the feeling it would be a long day. That wasn't the end of the game, but we already knew Pitt would have to play well against the Hurricanes to have a shot to win. That start made a difficult game to win borderline impossible.
The lone bright spot was probably the play of Tyler Boyd and Isaac Bennett. Boyd broke Larry Fitzgerald's freshman record for catches in a season (he finished with nine catches for 98 yards and a touchdown) and Bennett went for 141 rushing yards and a touchdown. Boyd's game really gave a glimpse of what the passing attack could look like next when he's the feature guy and it was encouraging to see him produce even in Street's absence.
A disappointing game, but not entirely unexpected. We'll look at Pitt's season a lot more, but chances are that this game didn't play much into your thinking of how the season went. If you were happy with a bowl game, today's game probably didn't hurt that much. If you were so put off by the losses to Navy and North Carolina, even a win today probably wouldn't have changed that.
in all, Pitt's season has gone pretty much like it has the last two seasons. At 6-6, the team was a mediocre one and while it's nice to get to a bowl, starts like the one today are hard to stomach when they happen so frequently. The best way to say it? Things could have been better ... but they also could have been worse.