Panthers try to learn from, correct mistakes

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Pitt receiver Devin Street has made it a point to become a leader for his teammates to follow this season.

So after the Panthers' frustrating, 41-13 loss Monday night against Florida State, what did the senior tell his teammates as they sat in the locker room?

"It's the first game," he said. "We've got 11 games [left].

"We just played one of the best teams in the ACC. Now, we refine the tools.

"We roll up our sleeves and go to work. We watch the film, see what we can do better and we go out there and win all 11."

The Panthers have nowhere to go but forward after the blowout loss against the defending Atlantic Coast Conference champions.

In his postgame comments, Pitt coach Paul Chryst was blunt.

"We got beat," he said. "I'm anxious to look at the film. I liked our guys' approach. Guys certainly competed, but we've got to be and do more than that. This is where we're at right now, and it's all about going forward."

Coming into the season, Pitt had plenty of uncertainty on offense, while the defense was considered to be more of a sure thing with eight returning starters.

After getting torched by Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston in his first game, the defense seems to be more of a concern.

The Panthers gave up 533 yards, well above their 2012 average of 330.5 per game. The secondary gave the Seminoles receivers plenty of space and only forced Winston into two incompletions, one of which was caught just out of bounds by his receiver.

"Did we put our guys in the best position?" Chryst said. "Are guys in position to make a play and what kept them from making the play?

"All those things, it's our job to break it down."

Pitt moved the ball well against Florida State on its first drive, which quarterback Tom Savage said was a sign of things to come.

"Especially against this defense, going down there scoring first drive with a bunch of young guys, it was fun to be a part of," he said.

"We'll definitely be seeing a lot more of that."

While Savage certainly showed some signs of rust, after not playing in a game since 2010, he said he felt more comfortable as the game went on.

"I think I've got to shake some cobwebs off, but the one thing I'm happy about is it's the first time in a while I've actually had fun out there and enjoyed myself," Savage said.

"Obviously, I'd like to get the win, but I think we saw a lot of bright spots in our offense, and we'll just build off of that."

The one thing Chryst was happy about was that he never felt his team's effort or focus waned, even as the game got further and further out of reach.

He noted, though, that the Panthers "shouldn't get a gold star for that, either."

"That [effort] part I didn't question one bit, and I've kind of felt that for a while now with this group," he said.

"We certainly need to play better. That's my job to help these guys, and I think we can and need to play better."



Sam Werner: and Twitter @SWernerPG. First Published September 4, 2013 4:00 AM


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