Pitt football picks up big win at Florida State

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Pitt football finally ended its four-game skid last Saturday, picking up a convincing 41-17 win over the Florida State Seminoles. This was the Panthers’ first double-digit victory since their week one pummeling of Austin Peay and looked to have things back on track on both sides of the ball.

The offense, which was struggling immensely without senior quarterback Kenny Pickett, was able to get the ball moving both through the air and on the ground. Pickett looked as good as ever throwing the ball, completing 21 of 27 passes for 210 yards. While he looked great throwing the ball, he seemed less comfortable running with the ball, carrying it only three times. While he didn’t take off with the ball as often as he typically would, Pickett was still effective picking up a rushing touchdown and 13 yards with those three rushes.

Along with Pickett’s return, the running game also significantly helped the Pitt offense keep the ball moving against Florida State. Pitt was finally able to get the ground game going again, picking up over 100 yards on the ground for the first time since its win over Louisville. The running game was led by Vincent Davis, who carried the ball 13 times for 50 yards and a touchdown, but also saw contributions from three of the other running backs on the roster. This was the first time in weeks that the offense looked in sync and capable of moving the ball both on the ground and through the air.

On the other side of the ball, the defense bounced back from its worst showing against Notre Dame and put on a big-time performance. Pitt defenders spent a lot of time in the Seminoles’ backfield, tallying seven sacks and 14 tackles for a loss.

The Panthers’ secondary added to this stellar performance by adding three interceptions, with one of them being taken back for a touchdown. On top of creating turnovers, the secondary also held Florida State to only 144 yards through the air.

The Pitt defense held Florida State to only 290 total yards from scrimmage and allowed only three points through the last three quarters, shutting out the Seminoles in the second half. This was the best overall performance from this defense since it shut out Austin Peay in the first game of the season and will hopefully lead to a turnaround for the secondary, which has had some difficulties throughout the year.

With this win, the Panthers have a chance to get the season back on track. Their four-game losing streak killed all momentum gained from their 3-0 start and they now have a chance to keep things going in the right direction. If Pitt can pick up wins against Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech over the next few weeks, the season will have been salvaged after things seemed to be completely falling apart. Although Pitt football no longer has a chance at competing for an ACC title, picking up a couple of wins could still give it a shot at participating in a decent bowl game and making this season somewhat successful.

Photo by Kaycee Orwig | The Pitt News