What really can be said about this first half display of football other than a few observations:
** The idea of "getting there with our defensive line" is nice and all, but guess what, when you don't get there you let a young quarterback stand in the pocket and make nice, easy throws from his comfort zone. Pitt brough blitzes exactly twice in that first half -- once Jordan Wynn nearly was picked off and the second time he threw it right to Jarred Holley for an interception. Pitt has to put some heat on this guy because it is far too easy for him to stand back there with no pressure at all and find open guys. Get out of the base 4-3, get into some subpackage which puts more speed on the field and go after them - or it is going to be a long second half.
** Tino Sunseri was pretty bad that first half but you'd hope he settles in an plays better in the second half. He hasn't given his receivers a chance.
** Dan Mason looks like a guy who still is going to strugglein coverage against these spread teams. Three times he was beat on easy passes accross the middle and all three times it was because he overplayed his guy. There is no question Utah's coaches looked at that N.C. State game from last year and found a place that Pitt's defense can be exploited.
** The worst series of the game for Pitt was right after Utah scored its second touchdown. There was still 5:39 in the half and no need to panic. The run game has been warming up and Dion Lewis was just finding his legs. Yet the first play was a play action something or other that resulted in a sack. Then, on third down rather than trying to at least run some clock, the call was to throw a pass to Devin Street which even if it had been caught would have been about eight yards short. This was bad play calling 101. At that point, the best thing to do is to try and go with what was just starting to work. Instead, you took a sack and then stopped the clock for the other team.
** Did I mention the defensive line has been non-existent and that against a spread like this if you can't get there with four you better take some chances.
There is a lot of football left to be played, but things clearly need to change on defense or this is going to be a long, long night for Panthers fans. And Tino Sunseri at some point is going to have to make some plays passing the ball.