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Quick hitter: Pitt 41, FSU 17

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FSU scores early and collapses fast, just like against Louisville

Don Juan Moore

Pre-Game Spread: Pittsburgh -1, over/under 52.5

Score/Result: Pitt 41, FSU 17

Player of the Game (Offense): Jordan Travis (though, kinda by default). It was a rough day for the quarterback, who started off hot with an 88-yard rushing touchdown (breaking his own school record) but left at halftime after suffering an undisclosed injury.

J: Player of the Game (Defense): Jarvis Brownlee had a strong game, especially with the defensive back core depleted.

Key Statistic: 7. Sacks came plenty and often for Pittsburgh, with Devontay Love-Taylor’s departure due to injury caused a decline in the offensive line’s ability to protect who ever was behind center. Travis was running for his life all night (though, admittedly, had plenty of chances to get rid of the ball) and there was no consistent resetting of the line of scrimmage.

Offensive Play of the Game: Jordan Travis’ 88-yard rush — which was 33 percent of FSU’s total output.

Defensive Play of the Game: Brownlee’s tackle for loss in the second quarter kept Pitt from the end zone — and then kept them off the scoreboard, with the Panthers missing the subsequent field goal attempt.

Game-Clinching Moment: When the second half started and Jordan Travis was on the sideline — though he was obviously limited as the second quarter drew on, losing his playmaking ability felt like the final nail in the coffin for FSU’s offense.

What Do They Need To Do?: Get to the end of the season without completely imploding. The stakes have never been lower, but the implications have never been higher. Mike Norvell, despite all the factors that are at play this season and the limitations he’s encountered, still has to build a program. Players, staff and recruits alike aren’t just gonna write off this season because of everything that led into it — it will still affect the unity of this team and the perception of this program as it attempts to claw itself back. Progress needs to happen, confidence and trust needs to be built, and with the Clemson Death Star coming into orbit of Tallahassee next week, the challenge of doing that is even more difficult.