Observations from Pitt’s opening-night loss to Virginia | TribLIVE.com

Observations from Pitt’s opening-night loss to Virginia

Jerry DiPaola
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review
Pitt’s Keystone Camp and Elias Reynolds meet at Virginia Bryce Perkins for a sack in the first quarter Saturday, Aug. 31, 2019 at Heinz Field.

Some thoughts the day after the Pitt Panthers’ opening-night 30-14 loss to Virginia:

• Pitt still has trouble completing passes to the tight end. Will Gragg caught three passes for 4 yards and Rutgers transfer Nakia Griffin-Stewart dropped a pass on third down.

• Maurice Ffrench, Taysir Mack and Tre Tipton were the only wide receivers to catch passes. Aaron Mathews was targeted three times and sophomore Shocky Jacques-Louis never got on the field. Dontavious Butler-Jenkins was not involved in the passing game at all.

• Pitt kept heat on Virginia quarterback Bryce Perkins in the first half, but all three sacks occurred before halftime.

• All six quarterback hurries came from down linemen Amir Watts, Keyshon Camp and Patrick Jones II.

• Take away Virginia’s four sacks and Kenny Pickett had eight rushing attempts – as many as A.J. Davis — when he couldn’t find an open receiver in time. He totaled 44 yards on plays when he wasn’t sacked.

• Senior linebacker Saleem Brightwell was in street clothes on the Pitt bench.

• Pitt’s defense recorded seven TFLs, with nine players participating. The leader was defensive end Deslin Alexandre (1 1/2), who started in place of the injured Rashad Weaver.

• Former lineman Rashad Wheeler (Central Catholic) started at fullback, but he had no carries or receptions.

• Strong safety Paris Ford was all over the field, forcing a fumble, recording half a TFL and finishing second on the team to free safety Damar Hamlin in total tackles (six). Hamlin had seven.

Jerry DiPaola is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jerry by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .

Categories: Sports | Pitt
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