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From the Upper Deck: Recapping the Hoos loss to Pitt

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Taking a look at the three keys to the Hoo's tilt with the Panthers.

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Let's get right to it.  The Hoos had a chance to win at the end, but ultimately fell short.  Let's see how the game looked From the Upper Deck.

1) Make Nate Peterman Beat You - The Hoos did a nice job of bottling up the running game of Pitt, holding the Panthers to a total of 141 yards on the ground and limiting Qadree Ollison to only 49 yards.  Fortunately for Virginia, their commitment to stopping the run didn't leave them too vulnerable to the pass. With the exception of two big plays, the second being a 37 yard TD pass to TE Scott Orndoff, the Pitt passing game was also held largely in check.

2) Contain Tyler Boyd - Tyler Boyd still got his posting a line of 7 receptions for 54 yards and one touchdown, but those numbers are well below his season average. Unfortunately for Virginia, while Boyd accounted for his usual 40% of team receptions, tight ends J.P. Holz and Orndoff as well as number two wide receiver, Dontez Ford accounted for 162 yards through the air and the aforementioned Orndoff touchdown.  All that being said, if the game plan was to slow down Boyd, they accomplished it.

3) Air it Out - The offensive game plan for the Hoos continues to be a source of frustration.  Virginia ran almost as much as they passed (31 runs to 34 passes) and while they gained 139 yards on the ground, 71 of that came on one run by Albert Reid on the Hoos first drive. If you take away that run, they gained a paltry 2.2 yards per carry.  That doesn't seem worthy of being half the offense. It's frustrating to see that stat line paired with the fact that Virginia tight ends aren't utilized and Canaan Severin who is as sure handed as anyone in the country wasn't targeted until there were six minutes left in the first half.

When looking at the keys to game, it's clear that the game was close and the Hoos had a chance to win.  Defensively, they did what they had to do keeping Ollison and Boyd in check, however it was once again the offense's inability to convert chances that determined the outcome. The Cavaliers are back in action Saturday 17 October when they face off against the Syracuse Orange in an almost must win to remain in the conversation for a bowl.