It’s no secret that Pitt has had their troubles with the triple option offense over the years. It’s widely known that one key to stopping this type of offense is to take away one of the options. Yesterday, Pitt took away the fullback dive to come away with a three-point win over Georgia Tech. They did this in large part to our Panther(s) of the Game: defensive tackles Shakir Soto and Tyrique Jarrett.
Soto was all over the field, leading the team with eight tackles and two tackles for losses. More than once, Jarrett stuffed the Jackets in crunch time. One of those stops lead directly to Pitt’s victory, as Jarrett stopped Georgia Tech cold on fourth and one at their own 35-yard line. Jarrett had only four tackles but you don’t need me to tell you how big that last one was.
Soto has been Pitt’s ironman this season, rarely coming off the field, while Jarrett is just a mountain of a man that clogs the middle. The Steelers have used players like Jarrett for years to have a strong defense. Players that simply take up space in the middle. Jarrett did more than that today, as did Soto.
Soto’s career looked like it was going to be a fun one as he flashed a lot of talent his freshman year. He’s gone unnoticed a bit but in moving to the interior of the line this year, has really helped the Panthers tremendously.
Jarrett has always been noticeable but Pitt fans were hoping for more this year. He’s done very well this season and his handling of the fullback dive was simply showing off his brute force and agility.
I can’t tell you what the score would have been without Soto and Jarrett in the middle yesterday, but it may not have been pretty. Georgia Tech was very successful on the outside, but they were absolutely forced to go outside by Pitt’s duo in the middle.