Wow, what a nightmare. I'm not even sure where to begin with this but I wanted to post a recap while the game was still fairly fresh in my mind.
- I don't say this to be a jerk, but Rutgers wasn't very good tonight. It seemed like when Pitt really focused, they had control of the game. They couldn't stop Pitt from moving down the field. Taking out the last drive where Pitt simply kneeled to end the game, 7 of Pitt's 10 drives were at least 35 yards long or resulted in scores. But two lost fumbles, two missed FGs, and a blocked kick kept the game close. Conversely, their offense had lots of problems. Their running game was disastrous (36 yards) and while they did pass for some yards, they had a real problem moving the ball for sustained drives. Here were Rutgers' possessions: Fumble recovery and 11 yards for a TD, punt, interception, 3 and out, 3 and out, long drive for FG, punt, 27 yards and missed FG, 3 and out, 49 yards for TD, and a turnover on downs. They really only moved the ball well twice all game.
- Stull was terrifyingly average. Another game without an INT (though he did have the very costly fumble) and overall, a decent game. Yes, he had the woefully inaccurate throws, but he didn't kill the team. Definitely more of a game manager tonight, but that was fine.
- Dion Lewis is an absolute monster. Even though it seems incredulous at someone who is for now, the NATION'S LEADING RUSHER, I find myself more and more impressed with him each week. Look, there's barely a chance he'll even sniff the Heisman this year, but man, what numbers so far. 180 yards and 2 TDs? The funny thing is, I'm more impressed with the way he carried the offense at the end of the game that I am at his overall numbers. He held onto the ball and moved the chains to eat up clock and made a great rushing night even better.
- Tom Savage will be a very good quarterback. He's already pretty good as a true freshman and has a chance to be great. I was really amazed at his poise during the whole game even though he did make some mistakes. He easily could have had more than one INT, but he didn't play all that bad against a good defense. Pitt had him in their grasp several times and couldn't get the sack. He's bigger than you think and I respect him for not just going down to avoid a fumble or whatever. He was always trying to make a play.
- I don't really know how to address the Dan Hutchins issue. Two missed FGs that were both within his range is kind of scary. The fact that he missed the short FG at the end (and it wasn't even that close) was a killer. I hope there aren't any lingering issues with this because Pitt won't always be able to escape those types of mistakes. No, had they lost, it wouldn't have been all his fault. But you can't miss that kick. Period.
- I can't tell you how loud I screamed on that punt return where Dom DeCicco allowed the ball to hit him. The entire time BEFORE the kick, I was just hoping they would get out of the way. We couldn't allow any dumb mistakes that close to the goal line and of course, one was made. You've got to be more aware there.
- THE DUMB PENALTIES HAVE GOT TO STOP. Way too many dumb mistakes. John Malecki pushing the Rutgers player well after the play was over is inexcusable. That's the type of thing that should get you temporarily yanked from a game. No way that crap should be tolerated.
- Oh, and that Jonathan Baldwin catch? Ridiculous. It was surprisingly his only catch, but it was huge. Rutgers really seemed to key in on him and covered him pretty well. I was disappointed not to see more deep attempts to him, but I think part of it was probably due to the coverage.
- Ray Graham only had two carries tonight, and I hate to say it, but despite what he's shown so far, he may be getting phased out just because Lewis has been playing out of his mind. It was nice to see him on kickoff returns, though. And Henry Hynoski was a bulldozer tonight after that embarrassing goal line situation last week.
- Good win, good win, good win. That's what I'm just going to keep telling myself despite all the mistakes. And how bad does that NC State loss taste now? A 7-0 record would put them likely in the top ten by now and Lewis could REALLY be gaining Heisman steam...even though there's no way he'd win it because he's a freshman.
It only gets harder from here.