The Panthers won a close opener against Youngstown State on Saturday, 28-21. If it looked like the Panthers eased up a little, from the sounds of some players, it appears they did.
"It's a matter of being on the gas pedal," admitted quarterback Max Browne. "And probably if we are being honest, easing off a little bit."
"Luckily we finished it out."
I'm not going to kill Browne or even the players. Pitt is playing with a lot of young guys and, as I said earlier, when the coaches are not exposing all of their plays, they are essentially saying that this opponent isn't as good as the next one. Seeing guys take it easy a little bit after a 21-0 lead isn't what you want to see at all, but I can't say I'm really surprised by it. These aren't professionals, they're college kids.
Running back Darrin Hall also knows the offense could have played harder in the second half.
"As an offense, we need to come out hungrier," Hall said. "We might've taken a back seat and we should've come out harder. We should've made more plays."
If Pitt had shown a little more of the playbook in the second half, perhaps they could have had an easier time of things. But much of it was about effort, as Browne and Hall acknowledged. The good news is that it didn't ultimately cost the team a victory.