Pitt vs. New Mexico: Panthers must get better on first down

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sport

We all know that Pitt wasn't real good on third down against Florida State on Labor Day. What I found interesting, though, was that first down killed the Panthers, too.

I'll be honest - I've not had a great desire to rehash Pitt's issues from the Florida State debacle. But Chryst's declaration in his weekly press conference that the Panthers needed to do better on first down piqued my interest.

I looked up what Pitt did on those first downs and, yeah, it wasn't real pretty.

I broke down the Panthers' plays into three categories: Minimal or No Gain (three yards or less), Modest Gain (4-6 yards), and Big Gain (7 yards or more). Pitt had 26 plays on first down, not including a delay of game penalty, according to ESPN's handy play by play feature.

Here's how things shook out. Six plays went for big gains, four for modest gains, and a whopping 16 were minimal or no gain plays. Included in that group of minimal/no gain plays were six runs where Pitt lost yards or picked up only a single yard.

Passing on first down was a problem, too. Quarterback Tom Savage was only 5-10 with two sacks and interception.

The reality is that Pitt just put themselves in holes too many times. The team was often faced with a lot of 2nd and long plays and against Florida State, that just made things too difficult. Doing well on first down against New Mexico will make things much easier.

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

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Cardiac Hill

You must be a member of Cardiac Hill to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Cardiac Hill. You should read them.

Join Cardiac Hill

You must be a member of Cardiac Hill to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Cardiac Hill. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9347_tracker