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Pitt O-line sees good, bad in FSU game film

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'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

Friday, Sept. 6, 2013, 7:09 p.m.

Pitt coaches and players finished three days of practice Friday — all of which were closed to the media — while trying to fix what went wrong in the loss to Florida State.

Coach Paul Chryst continues to rely on his belief that the team can improve.

“We are not asking anybody to do anything that is out of their skill set,” he said.

The rebuilt offensive line had some good moments, especially in the first drive in which Pitt moved 80 yards on nine plays to take a 7-0 lead. FSU's talent edge took over from there, and Pitt was outscored, 41-6, the rest of the way.

The Pitt offensive line kept its mistakes to minimum, even though all five players are either first-year starters or were playing another position last season. Quarterback Tom Savage was sacked three times, but Chryst blamed only one of them on an assignment error.

“I thought we did some good things, and some things we can improve on,” Chryst said. “Each guy can apply that. If you take each guy, there are four or five plays each guy would want back. And there are four or five where you can say, ‘If that's who you are, we are going to be in good shape.' ”

Redshirt freshman tackle Adam Bisnowaty said line coach Jim Hueber's film-study meetings were surprisingly calm in the days following the game.

“It was not as bad as I thought it was going to be,” Bisnowaty said. “I thought we played pretty well for it being a young offensive line.”

Bisnowaty said details such as moving one-half step toward the rusher or better hand placement would have helped.

“We all know the plays,” he said. “We have to get the little details.”

Improvement coming?

There is a widespread belief throughout the team that the mistakes are correctable.

“(Players) see the same things on tape that we see,” defensive coordinator Matt House said. “And they are encouraged with the fact that, hey, it's not going to take a whole bunch to improve.”

Next up

New Mexico — Pitt's next opponent, Sept. 14 at Heinz Field — suffered misery of its own last week, losing to Texas-San Antonio, 21-13. UT-San Antonio's program has existed only since 2011.

New Mexico runs an option offense that features quarterback Cole Gautsche, who rushed for a team-high 118 yards on 16 attempts.

“The next team we play is totally different from the team we played,” House said.

Moving on

Former Pitt safety Andrew Taglianetti, a four-year letterman and Central Catholic graduate, has joined the Penguins as manager of youth hockey development. His father, Peter, is a former NHL defenseman.

Jerry DiPaola is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at or via Twitter @JDiPaola_Trib.

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