The Pitt News
The independent student newspaper of the University of Pittsburgh | PIttnews.com | september 4, 2018 | Volume 109 | Issue 15
OAKLAND COMMUNITY REACTS TO NEW SECURITY CAMS
STUDENTS SQUAD UP AT THE QUAD
Mario Cattabiani III Staff Writer
Days after officials announced an anticrime initiative to install 60 surveillance cameras on Pitt’s campus, some residents who live in the Oakland community applauded the effort, believing it may ease fears and potentially deter crime. The new cameras, set up mainly in Central Oakland, are a $95,000 joint project between Pitt, UPMC and the Allegheny District Attorney’s Office. Pitt and the DA’s office each contributed $15,000 to the project. UPMC gave $65,000. Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala announced the installation of the 60 cameras last week, 10 months after Pitt student Alina Sheykhet was found dead in her home on Cable Place. Security camera footage was instrumental in finding the suspect in her case — Sheykhet’s exboyfriend, Matthew Darby. Darby was later charged in the murder after investigators found surveillance footage from a camera at a local pizza shop of Darby dropping an object into a sewer shortly after the crime. Zappala said at his press conference See Cams on page 2
A Pitt student paints H2P and a depiction of the Cathedral of Learning at the opening event for the renovated Schenley Quad. Bader Abdulmajeed | staff photographer
PENNENVIRONMENT HOSTS RALLY FOR CLEAN AIR Sarah Shearer
Assistant News Editor Dianne Peterson lives and breathes air quality. Whether she’s taking her dog for a walk, gardening around her home or watching her son play soccer outside, the air quality often leaves the O’Hara Township woman wondering if stepping outside is even worth it.
“I have to check the air quality and then I have to decide whether it’s worth impacting my health,” Peterson said. “I can’t believe how much this impacts my life.” Peterson, along with about 20 other Pittsburghers, arrived carrying signs to the Allegheny County Courthouse Friday for Fridays with Fitzgerald — a weekly rally for clean air in Allegheny County.
Allegheny County Clean Air sponsored the event, along with the Breathe Project, GASP, Clear Air Council and PennEnvironment. Ashleigh Deemer, the Western Pennsylvania director of PennEnvironment, spoke at Friday’s rally along with District 34 Democratic nominee Summer Lee.
See Clean Air on page 2
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Clean Air, pg. 1
“We’ve had hundreds of people show up this summer to rallies just like this one,” Deemer said to the gathered crowd. “I’m really pleased to report that this campaign seems to be working a little bit.” Those attending rallied for County Executive Rich Fitzgerald’s attention and to encourage him to take a stand against major polluters in the county. “We have industrial polluters in Allegheny County who are not being held accountable,” Deemer said to the crowd. “That is unacceptable, I know you all agree and that’s why you’re all there.” According to the American Lung Association’s 2018 “State of the Air” study, Pittsburgh is ranked 10th out of the 25 U.S. cities most polluted by short-term particle pollution. Allegheny County is also in the top two percent for cancer risk from air pollution in the country — a problem that, according to Peterson, the county can remedy.
Cams, pg. 1 announcing the cameras Wednesday that Sheykhet’s death was a major factor in implementing the new cameras. “This is a much more comprehensive effort and Alina’s death had a lot to do with it,” Zappala said. The majority of cameras are set up mainly in Central Oakland, including along Bates Street. Pitt junior Brian Torpey, a computer science major who lives on Juliet Street, said he already feels safe in Oakland, but the new technology will make others feel safer. “There is typically a lot of students walking around at night and there is a strong sense of community,” he said. “If anyone does happen to feel unsafe walking around at the moment, the cameras will definitely make them feel safer. However, if criminals are made aware of these cameras and it stops bad things from happening, then I’m on board.” Pittsburgh police investigated 892 incidents of crime in Oakland in 2017, accord-
Democratic candidate for the 34th District of Pennsylvania Summer Lee speaks about the importance of clean air at Fridays with Fitzgerald — a weekly protest that calls for environmental action. Jon Kunitsky | staff photographer “Why am I here? Because this is not OK that I Pittsburgh. The plant produced blast-furnace have to rule my life based on what the air quality coke and other items for steelmaking before closis,” Peterson said. “And quite frankly, this is fix- ing in January 2016 and imploding this past May. The plant paid Allegheny County’s clean air fund able.” Deemer cited Pittsburgh pollution giants as $200,000 for violating pollution laws while in opa main cause of the bad-air epidemic, naming eration, according to WTAE. “We’ve got a new enforcement action to Pitt DTE Energy’s Shenango coke plant on Neville Island as a contributor to the pollution plaguing coke works demanding that they pay over 1 milThe Oakland Avenue resident, for exing to the Tribune-Review. Those incident ample, said he tends to stay further away reports don’t include reports to Pitt police. Sadie Horner, a sophomore at Carlow from the Boulevard of the Allies when it’s University studying nursing, also believes late out. He also doesn’t think the cameras the cameras may play a role in making Oak- are a bad idea. “As long as they are there strictly for the land safer. “I think for the most part, Oakland is a purpose of safety and surveillance, rather safe place to live because it’s a busy commu- than patrolling students late at night,” Landau said. “If somenity and it’s rare to thing like [Sheykhet’s be completely alone death] were to hapwithout any passpen again, and there ersby in proximity,” Horner, who lives If anyone does happen to feel were no cameras, on Lawn Street, said. unsafe walking around at the Pitt would not look good.” “But I think the safe- moment, the cameras will A neighbor of ty cameras are a great definitely make them feel safer. Sheykhet, who asked idea to help discourBrian Torpey not to be identified, age any potential Pitt Junior said she wasn’t aware crime or violence.” of the cameras, but Senior Jared Landau, a Pitt communication major, believes believed they were a good idea. Sheykhet’s multiple factors affect how safe he feels in death last year was the first major crime she can recall in the area, which she called “a the neighborhood. “When it comes to safety in Oakland, it great neighborhood to raise a family [in].” “Students walk by and say hi, talk a little really depends on the time of night and the and go,” the longtime Cable Place resident street you’re on,” he said.
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pittnews.com lion dollars for the pollution coming from that plant raining down on the land and impacting communities across the City and the region,” Deemer said. “They have to clean up their batteries — [Clairton] coke works — which is a really huge step and kind of unprecedented.” Deemer noted the effects pollution has on school children in the county, saying some schools experience twice the rate of asthma of other schools in Pennsylvania and the country — and said that they will continue to hold clean air rallies for “vulnerable people, older folks and kids” until the county decides to hold these polluters accountable for their actions. Though Deemer still sees room for improvement in Allegheny air, she acknowledges the Allegheny County Health Department is working to help citizens breathe easier. The department has demanded that Pitt coke works pay for their damage to air quality, and they’ve also spent money and resources on educating the community about air pollution issues and public health, as well as promoting clean air projects.
Read the rest online at Pittnews.com. said. “I did not know about the cameras being added, but I do believe that they will make Oakland safer for both students and families.” Not everyone supports the cameras. Anais Peterson, a junior majoring in urban studies, said she was skeptical about the new initiative. Peterson has previously written columns for the Pitt News but is no longer on staff. “I definitely don’t think the cameras will make students safer,” Peterson said. “To me as a student activist, it feels these institutions are using these cameras to watch the community under the guise of safety.” In the case of Sheykhet’s death, she also said Pitt is not doing enough with just the implementation of surveillance cameras. “If this was really about protecting students from domestic violence and sexual abuse, the administration would have put the funds into domestic abuse and sexual violence programs and making sure that next time someone is in a situation like Alina, she is protected,” she said.
REALITY TV NEEDS TO Remember ongoing efforts TREAT HARASSMENT of PA labor unions MORE SERIOUSLY from the editorial board
Thousands of people — including former Vice President Joe Biden — braved temperatures well into the 90s yesterday to participate in this year’s Labor Day parade in downtown Pittsburgh. Schools and businesses in the area took the day off as part of a tradition dating back to the late 19th century. It’s no coincidence that Pittsburgh has one of the largest Labor Day parades in the country. The City was built upon a large labor population, historically from the steel industry, and today there is still a strong union presence — there are about 900,000 American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations — or AFL-CIO — members in Pennsylvania, according to the organization’s website. The first Monday in September serves to remind us of the challenges and setbacks labor unions continue to face today as they work to improve the lives of their members. Unions have long benefited their members. According to 2016 data by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, union workers earn 27 percent more than non-union workers, and 79 percent of union workers receive employer health insurance as opposed to 49 percent of non-union workers. 83 percent of union workers get paid sick leave while only 62 percent of non-union workers receive the same benefit. Industrial workers in the steel, tin and iron sectors were major participants on the labor union scene for many years. But the steel industry is no longer Pittsburgh’s main industry — in fact, as of 2015, heavy manufacturing only accounts for 12.3 percent of the area’s workforce. Some of the largest employers in the area today are found in the health, government and education sectors, some of whom gave their employees Labor Day off. However, much of the staff at Pennsylvania’s largest employer, UPMC, couldn’t join
in yesterday’s festivities — they were at work. Ironically, on a holiday meant to celebrate laborers in all sectors of the economy, the lowest-paid workers at UPMC continue to fight for representation by a labor union. Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Healthcare PA has pressured UPMC for the past six years to create a labor union to represent lower-income employees at UPMC, as well as to raise the hospital minimum wage to $15 an hour — something that has since been accomplished, but that UPMC calls an internal decision, not a victory for SEIU. SEIU’s strategy to establish a lower-income hospital labor union was to insert it as an amendment to the plans to create a new UPMC Vision and Rehabilitation Hospital in Uptown. Mayor Peduto opposed the amendment because the plans were “not about tangential issues that third parties may want to try to attach to them” — they were about land use. The deal struck earlier this month contains no commitment to create a new labor union within UPMC, but union supporters have used Twitter in the past few weeks to voice their continued support in SEIU’s efforts. The City of Pittsburgh isn’t the only official body to fight back against labor unions in the recent past. Pitt told the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board earlier this year that it won’t support the petition by graduate students to hold a union election, arguing that graduate students aren’t employees. The graduate students are fighting for the chance to have a voice in University decisions that could affect them and their working conditions. A day off from school or work for Labor Day can serve as a nice farewell to summer. But the thousands of people who showed up for this year’s parade know the holiday isn’t just a relic of past labor efforts — it’s a reminder of the ongoing effort by unions to be heard, and in some cases, to exist at all.
Anne Marie Yurik Staff Columnist
Reality TV is no stranger to sexual harassment scandals. Between “Bachelor in Paradise,” “Big Brother” and a newly proposed reality show called “The Silence Breaker,” viewers at home are being exposed to a variety of shows’ responses to the #MeToo movement and also to potential sexual harassment on set. Each of these shows either recently experienced or intends to focus on harassment and misconduct. Between them, the incidents were either never mentioned outside of a one-time statement or were only used in the trailer to add drama. In the case of “The Silence Breaker,” harassment was repurposed into the whole entertainment plot. Incidents of misconduct or harassment should be presented in a more serious way on all television platforms, since such actions can impact not only the people they happened to but also viewers and how they would respond in similar circumstances. It can be difficult for the public to understand when an incident is grave or inappropriate when it’s presented in a way that’s dramatic and hyped up. Brad Gorham, a chair of the communication department at Syracuse University, noted that reality shows “help construct scenarios that demonstrate how some behaviors will be rewarded or punished. The concern is that frequent viewers of these shows will learn these behaviors, see them as desirable and then model them in the actual real world.” There’s a stark difference between profiting off misconduct and sexual harassment and creating a dialogue that expresses when actions are appropriate or not, regardless of whether or not someone will want to complain or confront the harasser. All three shows — some more than others — have missed the opportunity to create a respectful dialogue and inform viewers. One such opportunity flew by the producers
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of “Bachelor in Paradise,” a 2017 spin-off of “The Bachelor” and “The Bachelorette,” in which old contestants get to vacation at a remote destination in order to get another chance at love. Two contestants in the show, Corinne Olympios and DeMario Jackson, had a sexual encounter in a pool after drinking and partying throughout the day. After one of the show’s producers, who heard about the incident second-hand, expressed concern about Olympios’ ability to consent, the show stopped filming in order to conduct an internal investigation. Following the incident both DeMario and Olympios hired attorneys. After the investigation concluded, Olympios released a statement saying she hired an attorney to “understand what happened on June 4” and that she never “filed complaints or accusations against anyone.” Warner Bros. passed its own internal investigation and also added new procedures to the show, according to a timeline in Vulture. One of the new regulations is that contestants must affirm their consent to producers before engaging in sexual contact. Even though DeMario and Olympios were not featured in the season, the incident that suspended production was mentioned in the trailer to add drama to promotional ads. Despite added precautions to the show’s guidelines, the producers or other TV show executives should have also taken the opportunity to publicly discuss on the show or in a statement what consent is or explain how consent is not valid when someone is drunk, instead of featuring an interaction where consent was unclear in promotional material. The show “Big Brother” also faced a sexual harassment and misconduct scandal more recently — and more visibly. One of the contestants, JC Mounduix, was seen on-screen touching a housemate, Tyler Crispen, and kissing his armpit while Crispen was asleep. He also opened the door to the bathroom on contestant Haleigh See Yurik on page 5
Shakespearean plays take over Pittsburgh parks pittnews.com
REDEYE THEATRE PROJECT PACKS STUDIO THEATRE
Siddhi Shockey Staff Writer
“Alexa, play ‘Despacito’” may be the common words of a popular meme, but for an actress in the Redeye Theatre Project, the quote caused a roar of laughter from a packed audience at the Richard E. Rauh Studio Theatre Saturday. The Redeye Theatre Project kicked off the newest season of its 24-hour theater festival with the first Redeye show of the year on Friday and Saturday. This theater club has produced it’s signature 24-hour theater competitions for the past 14 years, bringing student directors, actors, stagehands and more together four times a year to assemble plays in the span of a day. Show 14.1 — the first show of the 14th season — ran in the Studio Theatre in the Cathedral of Learning Saturday night. The skit involving Amazon’s Alexa was a favorite for the packed audience, amongst five other short plays. Other performances included stories lightheartedly satirizing Chancellor Gallagher, televangelist turnips and discourse on the absurdity of boy bands. These plays were the babies of six writing duos and trios that formed Friday at 8 p.m. The creative crews were given the rest of the night to devise an original short play centered on the weekend’s chosen theme — “Redeye-touille.” By 8 a.m. the next morning, actors, directors and stage crew were already preparing for the performances that would run that Saturday evening at 8. As Sophie Rice — Redeye’s director in residence and a senior psychology and theatre arts major — described it, the plays for “Redeye-touille” had to revolve around the theme of a smaller force controlling a larger force. To add an element of ridiculousness, each show was also required to include a quote from the Pixar
animated movie “Ratatouille.” “The point is the audience is going to have fun, you know not everything has to be perfect, they don’t know what your script is,” Rice said. Undeclared first-year Emily Rothermel enjoyed this absurdity while starring in a short play titled “Jeff Bezos IX Presents: Turtlemania Xtreme.” Set in 2450, the work featured futuristic turtle races between tech giants such as Skype and Amazon and characters such as Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’ descendant, frat boy Jeff Bezos IX. Having such dynamic and unusual shows is a key pillar to Redeye’s theater festivals. “It makes this fun for me because I love theater and what I love about theater is that it’s not something that sits dead in a drawer. It’s something that’s alive and changes with everything that you do,” Rothermel said. Although most major plays and musicals undergo weeks of rehearsals and multiple shows, Redeye takes a creative twist on this traditional approach. The Redeye Theatre Project shortens this time into a quick 24 hours, leaving the door open to chance and last-minute changes. This aspect of theater is heightened in Redeye festivals and is what makes new participants like Rothermel excited to come back for more shows. “[The audience members] don’t know what’s supposed to happen … there [are] going to be problems and you’re just gonna have to have fun with it and run with it,” said Rothermel. The unpredictable facet of the competition is also something that board members such as Katrina Dagenais, the marketing director and a senior English literature major, take pride in. “I mean, so many crazy things have happened in Redeye shows. Like, you’ll get
Pitt students perform “Turnip for What,” a play about a turnip that comes to life and complains about GMOs, as part of Pitt’s Redeye Theatre Project. Bader Abdulmajeed | staff photographer like someone who fell in love with a snail theater. Rice agrees that Redeye festivals man who used to be the mailman!” said help to pull together people from all backgrounds with differing levels of experience Dagenais. However, one of the other aspects mem- in theater. “People mostly have a high school backbers like Dagenais enjoy about Redeye is that their shows don’t come with a large ground in theater, but like they could’ve time commitment. With only 24 hours to even have just seen one production and write, direct and perform a play, most par- thought that college theater was the time ticipants only look at spending one week- to get involved,” Rice said. Ultimately, the group hopes that the end every month or so with Redeye. “That appeals to a lot of people who audience feels engaged in a hilarious and might not have the time. We get people spontaneous amalgamation of shows. With from all majors doing Redeye because all the opportunity to take a simple theme and you have to do is commit [for] a weekend,” run with it, the shows are quick, but still captivating and curious. said Dagenais. “You just kind of come up with someEven newer members like Rothermel hope to continue with Redeye while also thing wild, new and different. It’s an origipursuing another field of study besides nal piece of theater,” said Dagenais.
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Yurik, pg. 3 Broucher while she was using it and refused to close it, prompting Broucher to call for production to intervene. This was not Mounduix’s first time engaging inappropriately with fellow contestants. Earlier in the season, he was seen attempting to touch housemates Kaycee Clark’s, Kaitlyn Herman’s and Crispen’s genitals with an ice cream scooper and his hand. None of the contestants chose to formally write a complaint to producers or the show. However, according to a statement by executive producer Rich Meehan, the show took viewer concerns about Mounduix’s behavior seriously and said “if there was any indication from [the] Houseguests of sexual misconduct, [the show] and CBS would have taken immediate action.” While personal autonomy is necessarily present when it comes to reporting an incident, producers or other show executives should have detailed either on the show or on social media that nobody is expected to tolerate any behavior that is not welcome, whether it be in the “Big Brother” house or in the real world. In this case, a lack of action for whatever reason could be seen as producers or castmates alike condoning Mounduix’s actions to younger,
more impressionable viewers. In complete contrast to a lack of proper discussion surrounding misconduct or harassment, the newly proposed reality show “The Silence Breaker” — which was first announced this year by its creator Gil Formats — is a blatant example of using sexual harassment for profit. The show is designed to follow individuals who have reported experiencing sexual harassment at work. It films each person’s work life with hidden cameras to ultimately catch the perpetrators of unwanted sexual advances and
culminate in a confrontation between the harasser and the harassed. Even though the show has only just announced its pickup by Concept Street, a company that broadcasts to Holland and Belgium, the program seems to profit off harassment without displaying it in a thoughtful or educational way. The fact that each show is structured in a way that promotes confrontation at the end of each episode is frustrating because it promotes the idea that confrontation, which can often be dangerous or uncomfortable for the harassed, g
ge r avatrato S i El illus ff sta
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is the only way to deal with and respond to harassment. Both the RAINN website and the Yale Share Center describe coping methods to help friends who are survivors of sexual assault, harassment or misconduct, and both sources mention a variety of safer solutions apart from face-to-face confrontation, such as seeking help from professionals. A more open, honest dialogue about what to do when faced with sexual harassment could have been created from incidents like those in “Bachelor in Paradise” or “Big Brother” and something more effective could have been made instead of “The Silence Breaker.” Harassment on reality TV presents an opportunity to discuss healthy behavior as well as actions that are or are not acceptable. Shows don’t have the right to force people to report actions that could be considered misconduct or harassment, but they do have the responsibility to open a more general discourse about the events and air them in a way that is not solely based on profits and views. The #MeToo and Time’s Up movements were not made to be production cash cows. They exist to create more open and honest dialogue, and reality shows should acknowledge the severity of misconduct and present it in a way that educates viewers.
Weekend Recap: Volleyball aces weekend games, remains undefeated pittnews.com
WATSON’S WEST-COAST APPROACH WORKS FOR THE PANTHERS
Trent Leonard Sports Editor
The Pitt football season kicked off Saturday on a promising note, with the Panthers soundly beating the Albany Great Danes 33-7. Blowing out a lesser FCS opponent might seem like nothing to write home about, but it was a welcome performance after years of seeing Pitt play close with Youngstown State. This 26-point win marked the Panthers’ largest first-game victory margin since the 62-0 win over Delaware in 2014. The Pitt defense held Albany to just seven points, but that was more a product of opportunism than consistency. The box score showed a more even result, with the Panthers outgaining their opponent by just 84 yards, 407 to 323. If Albany senior quarterback Vincent Testaverde didn’t throw two late-drive interceptions in Pitt territory, the final score might have looked a little less favorable for the defense. The Panthers’ offense, meanwhile, put on a clinic in balance and consistency. In the rushing game, a whopping seven players recorded at least two carries. Senior running back Qadree Ollison led all rushers with 73 yards, while sophomore running back A.J. Davis received the most touches with 13. However, no Pitt running back found the end zone — sophomore quarterback Kenny Pickett and junior wide receiver Maurice Ffrench contributed the team’s two rushing touchdowns. The distribution of carries marked a drastic difference from last year’s approach, where senior running back Darrin Hall and Ollison were responsible for nearly all the rushing production. In the 2017 season opener against Youngstown State, for example, the duo took a combined 35 of the Panthers’ 53 carries. Davis touched the ball only four times. The experienced duo of Hall and Ollison was expected to continue carrying the brunt of the workload this season — the fact that Davis re-
Redshirt senior wide receiver Rafael Araujo-Lopes scores two receiving touchdowns during Pitt’s season opener against Albany. Thomas Yang | assistant visual editor ceived more carries, 13, than both of them combined, 11, came as a major surprise. But Davis’ hefty workload can be seen more as smoke and mirrors than a changing of the guard, as head coach Pat Narduzzi was likely making a concerted effort to rest his workhorse running backs amidst a blowout. The performances of Pickett and Ffrench, however, were no facade — these two players both showed that they will be legitimately dangerous in the run game. Pickett showed off his touted mobility throughout the contest, rushing six times for 42 yards while refusing the Great Danes even one sack. Pickett’s rushing ability is a major upgrade from the Max Browne-Ben DiNucci tandem of 2017 — Browne averaged a pitiful -3.9 yards per rush while DiNucci averaged 2.3. Ffrench did his best impersonation of former Pitt speedster, return man and gadget specialist Quadree Henderson. He made the most of his touches, taking the opening kickoff 91 yards untouched for a touchdown and averaging 8.5 yards on his two offensive carries — one of which was a nine-yard touchdown run. It’s unclear if this backfield platoon system will be a fixture moving forward, or if it was merely an effort to mask Pitt’s true offensive intentions ahead of this week’s game against Penn State. Hopefully it’s the former, as a balanced attack of capable rushers will keep everyone’s legs fresh and keep the opposing defense guessing about who will take the next carry. The plan worked great in game one, at least, with the Panthers racking up 238 rushing yards as a team.
“I’d be happy if we get 238 [rushing yards] every game,” Narduzzi said afterwards. “I don’t know who rushed for what. Doesn’t matter. We’re a team back there.” The Panther backfield might be a team effort, but the quarterback position — unlike last year — is a one-man show. Pickett did all that was asked of him in the passing game, completing 16 of his 22 passes — including a perfect 13 for 13 at halftime — and two passing touchdowns. But the real MVP of Pitt’s offense on Saturday was not Pickett, Ffrench or senior wide receiver Rafael Araujo-Lopes, who caught both of Pickett’s touchdown passes. It was Shawn Watson — the Panthers’ offensive coordinator. Watson’s smooth play-calling put his offensive players in great positions to succeed throughout the game. Under Watson’s direction, the Pitt offense capped off its first four drives with touchdowns and did not have to punt the ball until the fourth quarter. And on a promising note, the Panthers did not find success solely on the basis of having bigger, stronger and faster players than their FCS opponent. The offense, rather than busting off breakaway plays, scored by driving the ball with long, orchestrated drives, consistently picking up four or five yards a play en route to the end zone. That’s a promising sign because it shows that the Panthers will not rely on big plays to score, as was often the case last year. If Hall didn’t take off for an 80-yard touchdown run, or if Jester Weah or Henderson didn’t outrun the entire defense on a long reception, Pitt usually didn’t score. That approach resulted in 33 total touchdowns last
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season — the least in the ACC. This isn’t Watson’s first season as offensive coordinator — that was last year. But as a first-year coach trying to implement a new system, he deserves some slack for the Panthers’ poor offensive numbers in 2017. If Saturday’s game was any indication of what we can expect to see from the offense, then Pitt could be in line to return to its 2016 form, when the Panthers averaged an ACC-second-best 40.9 points per game. Watson appears to be borrowing from many of the same concepts — jet sweeps, play-action and short passes — that led former offensive coordinator Matt Canada to have success that season. Those offensive schemes had a high rate of success versus the Great Danes on Saturday. The Panthers ran seven sweeps to non-running backs including Ffrench, Araujo-Lopes and first-year Shocky Jacques-Louis. Those plays produced an average of eight yards, meaning Pitt’s receivers will continue to play a pivotal and productive role in the rushing attack. When the Panthers did throw the ball, Watson usually incorporated play-actions and rollouts to keep the opposing defense on its toes. He also made sure that Pickett had plenty of short check-down options to complete high-percentage throws — of Pickett’s 16 completions, only three of them went for 12 yards or more. The majority were dump-offs to keep the chains moving — a product of Watson’s West-Coast style, a “not pretty but effective” offense. It’s true that Albany will be the worst team Pitt plays this season, so the Panthers’ victory can be taken with a grain of salt. But aside from the impressive stats in the box score, the Panther offense showed its potential to succeed on a schematic and conceptual level. If Pickett and company can continue to grind out lengthy scoring drives under Watson’s offensive system, Pitt should be able to contend with its most difficult opponents in 2018.
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