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April 14, 2007

A Most Useless Open Thread

Filed under: Football,liveblog,Practice — Chas @ 1:30 pm

If you are watching the Spring Game and want to comment on what you are seeing. Fire away.

2:07: For whatever it’s worth in the spring game and this being it, I’d say that Stull is looking a lot more comfortable in the offense and much more accurate.

Moved up from the comments, with thanks to Dan35 for the observations:

A cheerleader got drilled right on the noggin with a booming punt during pre-game drills. I don’t know if it’s a bad omen, a good omen, or just plain tragic.

Play of the Day:
Gus Mustakis chasing down Bill Stull and forcing a fumble. It looked like a grizzly chasing down a deer. Great stuff.

Ouch:
Kevin Smith had a day to forget. It was a big step backward from what I saw of him in the scrimage 2 weeks ago. He fumbled 2 snaps, almost lost a couple others, got tripped up at least twice by his linemen, and had a couple near-fumble exchanges. Not very crisp. Not all his fault, though. He never got into a rythm. Stull didn’t set the world on fire, either.

Ready to Rock:
Mustakis, Clermond, & Fields all looked great throughout the day. Shane Murray and McKillop seem to work well as a tandem in the linbacker corp. I think Murray will surprise some people. LSH showed his usual fleetness afoot.

Overall:
The coaches are gonna be pissed about the performace. The stupid mistakes that they did not want to see were everywhere. The offense definitely wasn’t clicking on all cylinders. They kept it pretty conservative. The defense played well (with help from the O). The secondary forced a couple coverage sacks, the linbackers were largely in position and making plays, and the linemen were getting penetration. I think the defense is in decent shape at the moment. The offense needs to get everyone healthy and on the same page.

Miscellaneous:
When the coaching staff tells you that they have high hopes for Romeus, but that he needs some experience/work: believe them. He made some great athletic plays and batted down a pass or two. He also got sucked into a couple fakes and failed to keep contain. That stuff will come.

Pinkston is a monster. He is a huge scary monster. He’s listed at 280, but looks closer to 310. He’s very good news for the O-line.

Dorin Dickerson had a pick and a couple tackles, including one where he tossed Pelusi out of bounds with one arm. He’s definitely going to contribute somewhere. Part of me still can’t help but wish it was running over defenders.

Again, thanks for letting us know what you saw. Hard to judge much from the internet broadcast.

Some Basketball Things

Filed under: Basketball,Players,Tactics — Chas @ 11:40 am

Local Pittsburgh product  Lance Jeter has left the Cinci Bearcats football team because he wants to play basketball. Jeter had been the Post-Gazette’s HS Male Athlete of the Year for 2005-06 for his 2-sport play. He didn’t get major attention in basketball. He’s since added some size and weight in his redshirt year at Cinci — 6’3″, 225. He’s looking into playing at Akron. Even if he wanted and Pitt wanted him — and I don’t think they do — the Big East prohibits transfers to other Big East schools. I suppose if he wanted to pay his own way and come in as a walk-on he could. It appears, though, that he will be looking into schools like Akron.

Andy Katz at ESPN.com slightly revises his way too early top-25 projections in light of early draft entries with little nuggets of info.

The Panthers moved up based on not losing anyone this week and the departures at Texas and Kansas State. Pitt coach Jamie Dixon is high on this squad already, acknowledging its work ethic. He believes he has a squad that may not throw it into the post as often but will be just as tough on defense and may be more up-tempo.

We’ll have to see about more up-tempo. I expect that Pitt will try to get out in transition a lot faster. I also expect their pace to be faster, mainly because it would have been hard pressed to be slower. I’m not sure it will be that much faster, as the offensive efficiency has remained so high.

The Return Of Pitt Football

Filed under: Football,Practice — Dennis @ 10:22 am

At least for a day. Today’s annual Blue-Gold scrimmage takes place at Heinz Field beginning at 1 pm, and the format is a little different this year. Where as it was previously the blue squad against the gold squad, this year it’s just going to be offense against defense. The new scoring is a little different, but not unheard of. I watched the Oklahoma spring game last weekend for a few minutes and noticed they had a similar system.

The defense will get 12 points for scoring a touchdown, five for creating a turnover and three for blocking a field goal or if the offense misses a field goal, three for stopping a fourth-and-1, two for each sack, any fourth-down stop inside the 50 and any unsuccessful two-point conversion and one for forcing a fumble (that is recovered by the offense) and a tackle for loss.

The offense can earn points in traditional ways — touchdowns, field goals and extra points (or two point-conversions) — and for converting first downs and long runs or passes. If the score is tied at the end of the scrimmage, there will be a playoff at the goal line.

Pitt coach Dave Wannstedt said he made the change to make the spring game more enjoyable for the fans.

Wanny says that both Stull and Smith will get a chance to run the first team offense, but as said many times before, this doesn’t turn into a real battle until Bostick steps into camp. Other things you might notice is that this year the quarterbacks will be tackled. I guess that’s exactly how to make the choice at QB a little easier — get one (or two) of them killed in a scrimmage.

The notable players to watch today include “sophomore right tackle Jason Pinkston, who has had a fabulous spring,” and sophomore cornerback Aaron Berry who is entering the role left open by Darrelle Revis. Safety Elijah Fields is a “big-play threat” and redshirt freshman DE Greg Romeus is a great all-around athlete. We’ll also get to see sophomore Dorin Dickerson’s debut at linebacker.

I won’t be able to make it to the game today but if anyone goes and sees anything special or takes any good pictures, drop a line to dennis.pittblather@gmail.com

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