Key Play (Pitt): Shareef Miller Blows Up Pitt's 4th and 3 Run

By John Morgan on September 11, 2018 at 10:00 am
Pitt Running Back Qadree Ollison
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Penn State took an early 7-0 lead, but Pitt countered with a touchdown of their own. Penn State missed a field goal, but then stopped the Panthers on their ensuing drive when Amani Oruwariye intercepted Kenny Pickett. After Pitt missed a field goal of their own, freshman Ricky Slade fumbled and Pitt was in business with 7:30 remaining in the first half.

Pitt ran down the field and faced a 3rd and 7 from the Penn State 8 yard line. After a four-yard run by Darrin Hall, Pitt immediately lined up to go for the first down. The Panthers had already botched two special teams kicks in the half so it was hard to blame them for their aggressiveness at this moment.

Key Play 1

Initially, Pitt lined in a power formation, but wide receiver Aaron Mathews lined up outside and Zach McPhearson was out on him in coverage.

Key Play 2

Pitt head coach Pat Narduzzi didn't like what he saw and 'gracefully' ran down the sideline to call a timeout and ponder the decision some more.

Key Play 3

After the timeout, Pitt came out in a power set again, but this time their was no wide receiver in the package, but rather two tight ends, Jim Medure and Tyler Sear. As Pickett took the snap, Shareef Miller blew by Pitt tackle, Bryce Hargrove.

Key Play 4

As you can see, Miller gets by and Pitt guard No. 76 Conner Dintino was pulling in the play. As Pickett turned to give it to Qadree Ollison, fullback George Aston then had three guys to block and went at linebacker Cam Brown.

Key Play 5

As Aston committed to blocking Brown, Miller continued to blow up the play knocking off the pulling Dintino, but this also left cornerback Zech McPhearson and safety Nick Scott free in pursuit.

Key Play 6

From this angle, you can see the disruption of Miller as two guys were caught up with him and McPhearson and Scott had none. It should also be noted that Kevin Givens also beat his block and was there to assist on the play had Ollison cut back.

Key Play 7

McPhearson made the initial contact on Ollison, but Miller somehow got out of his hold and Nick Scott ensured that the Panthers bid for a first down would come up short.

Key Play 7

Pitt called a timeout and that is the play that they came up with? Quarterback Kenny Pickett has good mobility, but the slow power run on that call was questionable at best. Pitt had run all over Penn State up until that point, but it was out sets that were much more spread. Penn State's defense made adjustments at the half, but this play really took the wind out of the crowd and Penn State never looked back.