PITTSBURGH (PR) - After losing 3 consecutive games to drop to a 2-3 record, one would think that the Pitt Panthers wouldn't be victims of looking past a game in their quest to get back on the winning track. That's exactly what transpired yesterday, as the Panthers offense continued to struggle in a 27-13 loss to the Bye Week.
"They did some things that we didn't expect, and we didn't help things by failing to execute," Coach Dave Wannstedt said in his post-game press conference. "We're definitely upset with the way we've played in these last 4 games, but in no way that we expect to have this much trouble against the Bye Week...but that's where we're at, 1986 in Miami and Jimmie Johnson won't let this team falter."
Pitt had trouble moving the football all day against the Bye Week's stingy and confusing 0-0-0 scheme, as running back LaRod Stephens-Howling was limited to 26 yards on 17 carries. Star running back LeSean "Shady" McCoy carried the ball only once, going 57 yards for the Panthers' only score on the day. The Pitt passing game continued to struggle with Pat Bostick going 9-21 with 3 interceptions. "They just came out of nowhere out there," said Pitt offensive coordinator Matt Cavanaugh. "They really caught us off guard with some of the looks they gave us. At times, Pat [Bostick] remarked that their defensive backs were 'invisible' out there...he just didn't see them."
The Pitt defense also struggled to put pressure on the Bye Week's quarterback, who torched the Panthers with his scrambling and throwing, being responsible for all 3 Bye Week touchdowns (1 rushing, 2 passing). The Bye Week offense combined for over 400 total yards against the much-maligned Pitt defense. "Their offense was real deceptive in some of the things they did," added Pitt defensive coordinator Paul Rhoads. "Really, we couldn't even tell who had the ball at times...they were that good, and my spastic kangaroo hops on the sideline didn't get the guys fired up to make plays."
When asked for comment, Bye Week's head coach _______ had nothing to add, knowing full well that his team had accomplished everything it set out to do. "When you win a game like that there's nothing that need be said, you know your team did everything they could to win...which we know pretty much nothing about," added Wannstedt.
On Wednesday night, Pitt will welcome Navy to a "yellow-out" at Heinz Field in hopes of ending their losing skid. Kick-off is set for 8pm with the tailgating lots opening at 5 for the 6 people who plan to attend.
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