RALEIGH, N.C. -- I'm not sure what to make of this game right now to be honest.
The Panthers have dominated field position, N.C State has made a bunch of mistakes -- including some of the most horrible clock management I've ever seen right before the half -- and yet the Wolfpack are only down by seven points.
Pitt has run the ball reasonably well and has made some plays in the passing game but the offense seems to have gone a little bit into its shell already -- and this game is a long way from being over. The Panthers are probably going to have to score a few more points to win this game because their defense is struggling a little bit.
Some key stats: N.C. State is outgaining Pitt 230-138 (like I said, field position has been huge) and has a 19-11 advantage in time of possession.
Cam Saddler has seen more time than usual at receiver and we've seen a little bit more of Steve Dell on defense as well. Tackling is, like the Buffalo game, a problem, particularly in the secondary and frankly this game would probably be going the other way if Mick Williams wasn't playing like he is a man on a mission.
Things to look for in the second half:
1.) Pitt needs to get Dion Lewis and that running game going again. The Panthers needs some drives and some success in getting first downs to keep their defense on the sideline. The Panthers got a little too conservative late in the half and don't want to fall into that trap, but Lewis has been running hard.
2.) Pitt's best -- and maybe only - defense thus far has been Dan Hutchins and a bunch of penalties, mistakes and bad decisions by N.C. State's offense. The Wolfpack have nine penalties for 61 yards already and that is something that they can';t count on getting in the second half. The secondary and pass coverage has been awful - there are guys running wide open all over the field.
3.) Sitting up here in the press box and watching the plays develop - I'm not sure if Pitt's secondary has any idea what it is doing. There are plays when some guys are in man, some look like they are in zone and after ever reception there seems to be at least one guy waving his arms as if to say "what the heck just happened?" I don't know what the problem is, but it needs to get solved quickly.
4.) If Mick Williams isn't first-team All-Big East than that honor means absolutely nothing because it is a sham. He's the best player on this field right now and he's made some big-time plays out there..