And you thought last week was bad.
Look, I don't know where to go here and my guess is that most of you don't, either. I started my day off with yard work, so let's just say I'm in twice as much pain as I did from when I woke up.
Pitt's 21-10 loss to Akron today is perhaps the most disappointing thing we've seen in the Paul Chryst era. I'm going to write more about this later today, but this loss trumps any prior low point that Pitt has endured since Chryst took the reins from
Dave Wannstedt Mike Haywood Todd Graham.
The frustrating thing to me is that Pitt refused to put together even one good quarter of football today against the Zips. Losing focus and bumbling your way through a bad quarter happens to everyone. Pretty frequently, actually. Through a half? Eh, still happens. More than that? That's an issue.
For some reason, Pitt came out with a team looking like little to play for. I'm not sure if it was the Iowa loss from last week, etc., but while they went into that game with a lot of energy, the team just looked sluggish from start to finish today. Even falling behind to a team they were expected to easily defeat didn't shake any spell of apathy that they fell under. They just didn't seem to care. At all. No fire, no intensity - this looked like a team just ready to pack it in before the game started.
The nonsensical excuse of a weak crowd and the team needing motivation from that is too offbase to spend much time on. Perhaps the reason fans didn't bother to show up is because of, you know, performances like the ones the players threw out today. The Panthers' effort was akin to the team running out to midfield, taking a dump on the logo, then heading back to Oakland.
Go out and win, and the fans will come. Don't believe me? Look at this. Flubbing your way through that debacle of the second half against Iowa and jobbing to bad MAC teams are the reason people won't show on a consistent basis. Enough.
Unlike the Iowa game where the Panthers at least provided one good half, at no point in today's game against Akron did they look like a good team. This wasn't a close game, either, and to lose by double digits at home to a questionable MAC team is about as unexcusable as it gets. More than that, it's the type of game that sets programs back.
As I wrote about this week, that it was the running game that decided things. Surprisingly, though, it wasn't in Pitt's favor. James Conner was held to a season low 92 yards (unofficially), despite a significant 25-carry workload. Facing a defense that struggled against the run should have meant a huge day for him and he was often held in check. Conversely, Akron's running game has been horrible and, led by Conor Hundley (148 yards on only 19 carries), ran all over the Panthers' defense. In all, Akron outgained Pitt 382 to 349.
Technically, as was the case with Iowa's loss, the game doesn't make it any more difficult for Pitt to win the ACC Coastal. What does, however, is the fact that if they play the way they did today against anyone else on their schedule, they wouldn't come close to winning. The Panthers are still technically in the ACC Coastal race only because ACC Coastal games are just getting underway. Give it time, friends.
I wrote this on Twitter during the game, but as he does all the time, Chryst will likely come out during his press conference this week and talk about how the players and coaches need to do better. At some point, though, that actually needs to happen.
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