Pitt notebook: Offense goes without TD in 2nd half again |

Pitt notebook: Offense goes without TD in 2nd half again

Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review
Pitt's Rafael Araujo-Lopes gets up field on Georgia Tech's Juanyeh Thomas Saturday, Sept. 15, 2018 at Heinz Field.

There wasn’t much to fret about Saturday when Pitt won its ACC opener against Georgia Tech, 24-19.

But there was this: Through three games, Pitt still hasn’t scored a touchdown in the second half.

Eventually, the offense will need to improve.

“We executed well in the first half,” senior offensive tackle Alex Bookser said. “We just have to do a better job in the second half.”

Said running back Qadree Ollison: “We have to come out with a 0-0 mindset in the second half. We have to play 60 minutes. We have to get better at that.”

Pitt ran for 138 yards and three touchdowns for the game. All but 49 yards came in the first half.

“Details of a call, details of execution,” coach Pat Narduzzi said. “It just takes one guy to mess a play up. It’s those things, drive stoppers, that we have to continue to clean up. There’s always something.”

Pitt had two accepted penalties on offense in the second half: holding on Bookser that wiped out a run by Ollison that would have set up first down and a fourth-down false start later in the fourth quarter.

Found: Pass catchers

Three wide receivers stepped up to give quarterback Kenny Pickett reliable targets.

Rafael Araujo-Lopes caught six passes for 45 yards, Taysir Mack had four for 95 and Maurice Ffrench three for 25. Mack, a transfer from Indiana, and Ffrench were in the starting lineup.

Not eye-popping numbers, but enough to give Narduzzi hope for next week when Pitt travels to North Carolina.


Narduzzi is 3-1 against Georgia Tech in his four seasons at Pitt. … Pitt is 2-1 for the 14th time since 2000. … The Panthers haven’t been 3-1 since 2015, Narduzzi’s first season, which was also the most recent time they won their ACC opener. … When Pitt held Georgia Tech scoreless in the first half, it marked the first time that’s happened against an ACC opponent since the Panthers took a 17-0 lead against Syracuse in 2014. … Two firsts: cornerback Phillipie Motley’s first career interception and kicker Alex Kessman’s first field goal (33 yards) of the season.

Jerry DiPaola is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jerry at [email protected] or via Twitter @JDiPaola_Trib.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.