Video: Defense Working Its Way Back

Pitt players and coaches approach the question on everyone's mind--what's it going to take for this defense to get better?

On one hand, the Pitt defense forced four turnovers. And thankfully they got that fourth, an interception returned by Anthony Gonzalez for a pick-six

"There were some good things, believe it or not," defensive coordinator Matt House. "Then, there were some real negatives."

* Among those, a touchdown pass by Brandon Connette to Max McCaffrey on a 3rd-and-14.

* An overall 5-11 third down conversion for Duke's offense for the game.

* A total of 11 offensive plays of 15 yards or more by the Duke offense, including three of its touchdowns.

All this aside of the 532 yards allowed by Pitt; 319 through the air, and a collective 213 on the ground.

So where does Pitt go from here. This is a group that can make plays. If they didn't prove that from the first three interceptions made on Saturday, it should have been pretty evident by Anthony Gonzalez' pick-six in there fourth quarter.

Where else can the defense draw improvement from, and where does it need to come from?

One area, according to defensive coordinator Matt House, not solely responsible, was safety Ray Vinopal. House defended Vinopal's play on Saturday. It may have been the case of a missed assignment, or a misinterpretation.

"I don't think that's fair to Ray at all, because he wasn't in man coverage," House said. "He made a mistake in the 3rd and 10 and in the two-deep, and he'll get that corrected."

Here is the rest of House's interview from Wednesday:

Safety Jason Hendricks had an interesting take on it. Without saying one system is better than the other--referring to two coordinators in two years--he did they there's a slight change in some of the verbage that is creating some of that confusion--hence the missed assignments in a player like Vinopal, that House refers to.

"It's just us; wrong alignments and not where we need to be," Hendricks said. "It's a good thing we have another week to prepare."

Hendricks also said, for example at linebacker, there's even a different verbage and

"The linebackers, they have different jobs, different fits," Hendricks said. "It's a little different, but they're working hard to get better at it."

And speaking of words, there were a lot of strong words being passed around on social media towards Vinopal. Vinopal says he is aware of it, but tries to not be too aware of it.

"I can't tell people what to think," Vinopal said. "I can't point out to everyone on Twitter what we're doing in this coverage and that coverage, and where I am in this coverage. I had bad eyes on the play, and it was a big one. I take full credit for that. Certainly, I can't concern myself with the opinions of others that don't know what we're running, whether they know football or not."

Here is Vinopal's full interview from Wednesday:


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