Penn State 33, Pitt 14: 3 Quick Game Thoughts
Check out 3 Quick Game Thoughts on Penn State’s blowout win over Pitt
Penn State 33, Pitt 14
Prediction: Penn State 45, Pitt 30
Line: Penn State -20.5 o/u: 67.5
1. Pitt might not be all that great, but it was a rivalry/revenge game, and Penn State passed the test with relative ease. However, considering the Nittany Lions are thinking about being a real player in the national title hunt, there were a few wee, small, not-that-big-a-deal problems.
Trace McSorley has to be sharper, especially against a bad secondary like Pitt’s. He threw three touchdown passes and ran for 65 more, but he misfired on almost half of his passes. The receiving corps was just okay, with TE Mike Gesicki bailing out the passing attack with his two scores and Saquon Barkley taking one pass for a score.
And once again, as amazing as Barkley is, it’s another game against a good team when he failed to hit the 100-yard mark – at least in the regular season. On the plus side, Penn State won with ease when its star only got 14 carries. Hitting 100 yards – he ran for 88 – doesn’t matter in a blowout.
But this is ALL nitpicking in a game when Penn State was in total control throughout.
2. Max Browne couldn’t keep up. He might have been a big-time recruit at USC, and he might be a good talent with a live arm, but only throwing for 138 yards with two interceptions – completing 19-of-32 passes – isn’t enough in a game like this. Against the nastier ACC teams, there are times when Pitt needs its quarterback to bomb away to keep pace, and Browne has to show he can do it.
3. One penalty, one turnover. Penn State might have had issues on third downs, and it might have been blasted in time of possession, but it didn’t give Pitt a whole lot of help when it came to the big mistakes. As the game wore on, the only way the Nittany Lions were going to lose this was by screwing up, and they were +2 in turnover margin and +5 in penalties.