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The Turning Point: Pitt has problems with third and long

Pitt had a chance early in the third quarter, but let it slip away.

Logan Thomas' 40 yard toss in the third quarter was the turning point.
Logan Thomas' 40 yard toss in the third quarter was the turning point.
Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

There were a number of plays that were made in this game and a lot that were not. The game started out badly for Pitt and Virginia Tech made them pay. Being down 10-0 before the half, the Panthers followed up a Tom Savage to Devin Street bomb with a field goal to get back into the game at the break. Virginia Tech would come out with the ball first in the second half and Pitt's defense needed to step up.

The scene was set with two quick solid plays by Pitt to bring up third and ten for the Hokies at their own 24-yard line. It was a chance for the Panthers to keep the momentum of the second quarter and keep Virginia Tech going back and gain some confidence. The Panthers sent the blitz to go get Logan Thomas and never got there. Thomas made the Panthers pay with a 40-yard connection to Demit Knowles to the Pitt 36.

That was it. Instead of a quick three and out and Pitt's offense back on the field in a 10-3 game, the Hokies grinded out a 5-minute plus drive and took a 13-3 lead and the Tech defensive line took over from there. Pitt's offense never got going after that until it was too late. This game had a few twists and turns and Pitt could never really get going. You can look at all the plays, but when it boils down, you have to look at this play early in the third quarter as the one that allowed the Hokies some breathing room and put the Panthers on their heels.