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Mid-week Kragstache links

--Spread check: Pitt by 6 1/2.

--Pitt enters this game with many issues surrounding its defense, particularly in the secondary.

Really, though, this was about a hideous defensive effort. In case the Pitt D did not realize it, the main guy to stop was Russell Wilson. The guy under center in the red. He threw for 322 yards and 4 TDs and ran for 91 more. That’s 413 of the 530 yards of total offense that NC State had. You know 78% of their offense. You might want to base the game plan on limiting him. The D-line rarely got pressure on him, and definitely struggled with containing him when he left the pocket. As bad as the secondary for Pitt was — and it was putrid — the supposed strength of Pitt’s D gave little help.

This was not a game where NC State had all the breaks. The officiating was not even close to the reason Pitt lost the game. Pitt had the field position all through the first half. They got the one big turnover. NC State missed two field goals.  The fact is, the Pitt defense was unable to stop Russell Wilson and the rest of the Wolfpack.

I honestly don’t know what the answer is. Unlike the D-line or the linebackers there just isn’t a lot of depth or talent with the corners or safeties. Who exactly would you move ahead of the present starters for any reason other than pure frustration with the starters? Purely on talent, I’m only seeing Jared Holly getting more playing time.

Here's hoping a former NC State signal caller can have somewhere near the same degree of success.

--Like the Cards, Pitt has been having serious issues with penalties. If you're heading out to PJCS Friday night, there's a 100% chance that you're going to witness a hideous display of football.

--Unless Kragthorpe has some renewed confidence in Zack Stoudt or no longer believes Froman can get the job done at quarterback, I have serious issues with our QB2 - who's recovering from a back/shoulder injury - blocking on punts and punt returns. I realize he wants to play, but if he is capable of helping this team at all from the quarterback position, there's absolutely no reason for him to be out there taking blows on special teams.

Did we learn nothing from the Scott Long injury?

--The Wolfpack only had to punt three times last week, a luxury Cory Goettsche "Some" would probably enjoy at this point.

Senior Cory Goettsche has made the biggest increase in his punting average since arriving on campus.

He improved his average by 1 yard (37.9 to 38.9) between his freshman and sophomore seasons and stepped up to 40.0 as a junior. In his final season he has jumped to 45.1 yards per punt.It's good enough to rank him sixth in the FBS, and the Cards are 12th with a 40.3 net average, which leads the Big East Conference.

--Pittsburgh has not won at Louisville in 26 years. Just one positive streak, Steve, let's keep alive just one...please.

--Just a reminder that U of L has designated Friday as a "Black Out" game. So wear something black...shit, storm the field if we win, I don't care.

--NC State beat Pitt last week and Wolfpack head coach Tom O'Brien said the following after the game:

"Right now, we’re not a good football team, and I’m not a good coach," Wolfpack coach Tom O’Brien said. "I have a lot of work to do this week."

Not sure what that makes Pitt, Wannstedt, or any team/coach that loses to Pitt.

--"Kragstache" photoshop anyone?

--Greg Tomczyk says the Cards have "made our mistakes" and that every game from here on out is a "must win."

--Steve Kragthorpe: "We want to chase the cup. If you want to chase the cup, you've got to start winning football games."

Is there a cup at stake in the Big East? Do Louisville and Pitt play for some sort of cup? Is he talking about the Governor's Cup? Because that already happened and nine straight wins still isn't gonna bring that guy home.

--Also on Kragthorpe's weekly agenda: Overly praising Rutgers.

Needs to be on Kragthorpe's weekly agenda: Winning.

--Finally, let's end on a positive...

Cincinnati is fifth nationally in percentage of drives that begin inside its own 20 that end in touchdowns. The Bearcats have converted 42.9 percent of those long drives into six points. Louisville also ranks in the top 10 of that category at 33 percent, while Rutgers is in the top 20 at 28.6 percent.