Report Card: Navy vs. Pittsburgh

Posted Sep 21, 2009

It's in the record books now: Pittsburgh 27, Navy 14. analyzes every element of the Mid's performance and assigns a grade to each area.




Ricky Dobbs was terrorized all game by the tough Pitt defense and was sacked six times. He completed only 6 of 21 passes for 89 yards. While a triple option offense is not expected to put up big numbers there were great expectations regarding Dobbs and his arm. It must be pointed out that if he doesn't have time to make an accurate throw he probably won't make it. The Mids offensive line must pass block better for him.
Pitt played Navy's option well limiting them to a very un-Navy like 129 yard rushing total. Fullback Alexander Teich has the only decent number of yards for the Mids. He gained 80 yards on 12 carries including a nice 42 yard gain early in the second quarter that put Navy in Pitt territory. Unfortunately the Mids missed a field goal.
Navy's defense allowed Pitt quarterback Bill Stull too much time to pass. This resulted in him completing 17 of 24 passes for 245 yards and a score. He was only sacked once by the Mids (Ross Pospisil and Chase Burge) and no Midshipmen was able to get pick off any of his passes.
Not bad at all. Navy allowed Pitt only 126 yards rushing in 37 attempts. The Panthers starting tailback, Dion Lewis, was limited to just 79 yards in 23 carries. This forced Pitt to throw more but unfortunately, as mentioned earlier, the Mids had little success stopping that aspect of the Pitt offense. Head hunters for the Navy defense included Posipisil with an impressive 14 tackles; Wyatt Middleton added 9 and Tony Haberer 8.
While Navy's offense was stymied by a tough Pitt defense the Mids' special teams was in a position to help their team stay in the game but failed. Joe Buckley missed a makeable 32-yard field in the second quarter that could have helped Navy get back in the game. Later punter Kyle Delahooke mishandled a snap which led great field position for Pitt and an eventual touchdown.
Of course an ugly win would always grade higher here than a "pretty" loss. No major breakdowns on coaching. It appears that the Navy staff did about as good as could be expected against a very formidable opponent, one that will likely be playing in a New Years Day type of a bowl.
A lackluster 27-14 that was full of "could haves" and "should haves". It's best for the Mids to just put this game behind them and look towards the future. Over the next 10 games the Mids will likely be favored to defeat eight of their remaining opponents. With hard work and dedication they could win nine or 10 games during the regular season.

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