Friday, September 17, 2010

Will Pitt Avoid A Pitfall?

By Garrett Dodson

The early portion of the 2010 season has presented many challenges to the Pitt football team. So far, they lost potential 1st round draft pick Greg Romeus, who is sidelined for the majority of the season with a back injury. The offensive line has struggled, replacing three starters. Dion Lewis is averaging 2.5 yards per rush. Conservative play calling has been an issue, knowing they had a chance to beat Utah in regulation. Instead, they settled for a tie, and eventually lost in overtime. The schedule over the next three weeks is not favorable with Miami and Notre Dame with Florida International sandwiched in between. With the current struggles, going into conference play at 2-3 is very likely. Going 3-2 is a slim possibility. But having a record of 4-1 entering into Big East conference play is very unlikely, unless there are drastic improvements. Here are my suggestions on the improvements.

1) Be aggressive and play to win. Pick you spots and take chances down field with Jon Baldwin. When Pitt fell behind at Utah, they began looking for Baldwin more often and converted successfully.

2) With the struggles on the offensive line, use the shot gun formation like the first couple of series against New Hampshire. Instead of running Dion up the middle, utilize the screen and short passing plays. Having Ray Graham healthy will help, having good speed to get around the corner. Dion is a tackle to tackle type running back, but the struggles with the interior line have hampered him.

3) Having a Greg Romeus go down with an injury is not always a bad thing. It gives guys like Brandon Lindsey and Shane Hayle an opportunity to shine. Lindsey had two sacks in lasts week’s game against New Hampshire.

Can Pitt avoid a pitfall, or go into conference play with losing record? Or will they rise up and face the challenges. Adversity, challenges, and resistance will either do two things. It will defeat you, or it can empower and motivate you to overcome. The outcome is a choice and not luck or chance.

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