Hope on the way for Pitt ground attack
Many reasons surfaced for Pitt failing to generate a solid running game against Florida State.
Reasons? Offensive coordinator Joe Rudolph might label at least one of them “excuses.”
Clearly, the Seminoles have superior athletes, but Rudolph doesn't want to hear it.
“If you are on your landmark, there are a lot of things you can do that don't take talent,” he said. “It's just a matter of doing your job and being detailed with it. That's the thing we have to make sure of.”
Rudolph saw some positive plays, just not enough of them.
“The biggest thing is lack of consistency,” he said. “That's been the big talk (in position meetings). Really appreciating the (play) you are in and how important your job fits it, never knowing if it's the piece of the puzzle that's going to create a big play.
“We have been hammering them about being consistent, about finishing, about doing their job and doing it through the whistle.”
Rudolph said there was plenty of blame for everyone. Pitt carried 27 times for 96 yards (3.6 yards per attempt) in the loss.
“There were times, the tailback, we could have been better with the reads,” he said. “There were a couple times it was blocked pretty well and we just got outside it. There were a few times I know a tight end, the same thing, didn't detail it up, and I'm sure it flows over to the offensive line.”
Failing to heed those directives resulted in undesirable down-and-distance situations and a 25 percent third-down conversion rate (2 of 8).
Among Pitt's 10 possessions, there were too many punts (three), field goals (two) and interceptions (two). The leading rusher was a wide receiver — freshman Tyler Boyd, who gained 54 yards on three sweeps — but Pitt needs more from its backs.
Pitt has a chance to get well Saturday against New Mexico of the Mountain West. The Lobos (1-1) allowed 280 rushing yards (6.1 per carry) in a 42-35 overtime victory against UTEP.
The two-man tag team of junior Isaac Bennett and freshman James Conner will continue to carry the running game.
Conner has been one of the most impressive players on the roster, and he showed his toughness fighting through a painful shoulder injury to carry nine times for 34 yards against Florida State.
“I was lucky to take a snap because I really didn't practice that much before the Florida State week,” said Conner, who estimated his wellness at about 60-70 percent.
“I got shot up and it wore off and I got another one. I didn't want to take myself out.”
Conner said he expects to be close to 100 percent for New Mexico.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Former Richmond forward to play hoops at Pitt
- Football, men’s basketball among Pitt teams to post highest Academic Progress Rate scores
- Ex-Baldwin, Pitt star Pinkston not giving up on NFL dream
- Vikings take Pitt tackle Clemmings in 4th round, ending long wait
- Pitt athletic director Barnes fully supportive of Power 5 autonomy
- Pitt softball falls to Michigan in NCAA regional final