There are some things I noticed in the Panther game that can be easily corrected and I believe need to be corrected rather quickly for the Panthers.
1) Problem: Austin Ransom taking on a power or any lead block. I have commended Ransom for his effort and play at times throughout the year, however Ransom is just not big enough and explosive enough to take on a pulling guard or leading fullback.
Quick Fix: Having been an undersized linebacker myself what I had to realize was that I wasn't going to blow up a FB or Guard and most likely wouldn't even break even. So, Ransom needs to cut the pulling guard or fullback. The reasons for this are as follows. Number 1: Ransom won't get blow three yards out of the play which has been happening. Number 2: If Ransom catches the play deep enough, he can create a pile and cause havoc in the backfield. Even if not, it at least will shut down his hole, which he is responsible for playing. Ransom needs to realize cut or no cut, he won't make the play, so he might as well give himself up for the team. Plus, guards and FB's hate this. Also, if you go low enough, you can mix it in with a high hit and it will give you a shot at a big hit.
2) Problem: Lack of pressure on opposing safeties to play the pass.
Solution: I think Pitt figured this out late on Saturday. Yes, throwing deep to Baldwin opens things up a little bit. But, lets stretch the field down the middle some with the tight end and see how much things open up. Dickerson is ideal for this, the guy can really run and he showed it at the end of the game. Pitt needs to run more four verticals, because this assures Dickerson will be matched up with a Strong Safety or a LB who most likely can't run with him. I can't figure out why this hasn't been used more this year. It puts so much pressure on the LB's and Safeties.
3) Problem: Too many sacks
Solution: Get rid of the ball. The coaches really need to work with Bill Stull to get him to throw the ball away sometimes. I realize he is trying to make plays, but the number one thing a QB needs to learn, is when to throw the ball away. If Stull does this, the sacks will go down.
4) Problem: Not enough sacks
Solution: The Panthers just need to break down when they get to the QB. I love the guys efforts but they need to choke it down as they get to the QB. You can't always look for the big hit. If you do that, you'll often miss tackles as happened Saturday.