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November 27, 2007

And I’m talking about myself.

I’m going to Morgantown.

Yes, Pitt is 4-7 and WVU is 10-1, and the game has opened with Pitt as a 28 to 28.5 underdog.

Yes in WVU’s last game they whupped up on UConn 66-21. A UConn team that humiliated Pitt 34-14.

Yes history isn’t helpful either. Pitt hasn’t beaten West Virginia under Coach Wannstedt, lost by a combined 90-40 in those two contests, last won in Morgantown in 2001 and is 2-5 in Morgantown in the last 7 games.

I have no sane reason to go. I have little hope of actually expecting a win in this game. Most likely it will be cold and potentially wet.
Nonetheless, I’m going.

I’m going because there is a chance to see history.

-100th Backyard Brawl (Pitt still holds a 59-37-3 advantage despite an 8-15-2 record over the past 25 games).
-WVU is either going to play for the national championship or have their dreams destroyed by a huge underdog that happens to be their most hated rival. I have the opportunity, so why not be there.
-Morgantown potentially burning in an orgy of couch fires and a series of meth lab explosions around and outside of the city with either result.
-A game that will have a huge impact on the pressure/confidence in Coach Wannstedt from the fans going into 2008.
Finally, and most importantly I’m going because 10 years ago I went down to Morgantown with a group of friends on something of a whim, and had my interest and love of Pitt restored.

The previous 5 years had me completely out of touch with Pitt athletics. I had left the area and the team sucked so there was very little news about the team making it outside of the Pittsburgh area. Especially in those pre-internet days.

I had been paying a little closer attention that season after moving to Youngstown. I watched and enjoyed the Pitt upset of Miami that Thursday night in some generic sports bar in Boardman after begging a bartender to give me one TV for that rather than the Pirates game.
I went down with friends, mainly to get drunk and have some fun.  We accomplished the drunk part — and then some.

[Brief aside. The original plan for the group was to grab a couple hotel rooms in town and go out in Morgantown — just for the hell of it. Somewhere in the course of the game we just decided that it would be best to go back to the ‘Burgh and not waste money in Morgantown. Then, as we had to wait for traffic to thin and for one of our group to reach the point where he was no longer going to be puke risk in the car, it became just go out for a couple beers near the apartment we were all crashing. By the time we got back and the emotional and physical drain in full effect it just became have a beer in the apartment, watch the highlights on TV a few times and crash. That was 10 years ago. It’s only gotten worse with time.]
What also happened was seeing the greatest game I ever attended. A triple-OT 41-38 win. Certainly the most enjoyable.
It completely brought the joy and hope back in that one game. I committed that night to season tickets with one friend who’s loyalty and attendance never waivered in all his years. Been holding since.

I guess, I’m hoping that there might be a chance to have a little faith restored.





As a pitt fan, i think this weekend should be viewed as a win-win.
If Pitt wins, they win their first big game on national television since Palko three for 5 TDs @ ND or beat WVU in the same season. They also knock their bitter rival out of the national championship and maybe can set something to start next season off with……
Or if Pitt loses, we feel no different than we have all season and look forward to next year and accept all the excuses we have been fed all year. The Big East gets to the National Championship and will likely win.

However, that being said, I do not see Pitt beating WVU in morgantown nor do I see WVU playing for it all. But one of those two is bound to happen, either of which will make me happy.

Also, any truth to the rumors of Wanny getting upped to AD and Tom Bradley taking over as head coach? or is this just the case of the idealogical, message boarding Pitt fan?

Comment by WannStache for AD 11.27.07 @ 1:01 am

Ive heard that rumor too, from my dad who reads rivals.com and talks to some boosters at the tailgate parties. the thought of having a psu guy coach at pitt makes me sick to my stomach.

good luck in morgantown. i went a few years ago and it was scary. guys have to go to the bathroom in packs for fear of getting jumped by the mountainqueers. i still wore my pitt jersey with pride

Comment by matt in orlando 11.27.07 @ 1:14 am

They have bathrooms? I thought thems was called “pits.” Good luck. You’ll need it.

Comment by Stuart 11.27.07 @ 1:36 am

Chas – have a good trip and stay safe. I actually loved the few times I visited Morgantown (because I actually like driving around in West Virginia) and found most of the adult fans were pretty decent. The students were decidedly obnoxious though.

Re: Bradley from PSU. Wouldn’t be a bad choice for PITT and I could live with it – but I really do think that if PITT has a good season next year (say 8-10 wins) DW will be extended. PITT cares more about the overall perception of the football program then it does the won loss record. Bradley has to be a front runner at PSU anyway as Joe Paterno’s contract expires at the end of 2008.

Good quote in the papers today about PITT from Don Neahlen regarding how PITT views football – and their tearing down PITT Stadium. He makes a point about if a recruit goes on a visit to WVU and attends a home game – then goes to PITT home game afterward – he knows where that recruit will sign. It a telling quote, and true I think.

Comment by Reed 11.27.07 @ 5:15 am

Too bad the game is not at Heinz field. Four inches of mud may slow down Slaton and White.

Whenare the Stilers going to get serious and get field turf?

Comment by J.P. 11.27.07 @ 8:04 am

Good luck Chas, WVU fans can be pretty brutal.
I don’t think Pitt will even cover the spread.

Reed, no way Pitt wins even six games next year, this game will set the tempo for Wannys swan song next year. Look for Bo Pelini to get his first head coaching job at Arkansas.

Comment by HoopDeVille 11.27.07 @ 8:16 am

Chas,

Have fun, don’t drink the native Wild Turkey/Jim Beam/Jack Daniels, (most of the WVU fans are spent at half time) and lets hope that history will repeat itself @ the 10 year mark from the last time you made the trip to Morgantown.

Lets go Pitt!

Comment by Tony In Harrisburg 11.27.07 @ 9:12 am

Any ideas on how to defend this WVU offense?

Our offense better be prepared for loooong drives, running the ball, and eating clock time. Changing up Shady & Howlings to keep them fresh and definately utilizing Collins more in the run and short pass. Moe Williams would look great in that backfield running the wildcat w/ shady for a few series.

I would lean towards stacking the d-line and bringing a safety up. Play the run and make them beat you w/ the pass. Employ the same strategy that teams used against Michael Vick. Do what you can to keep these guys from running outside. Aggressive blitzing could be dangerous because it may open up running lanes. Force them to cut inside to where you might have the chance to stop the big play. Keep your guys fresh. This team kills people in the second half.

This is a great week for our team. They have a chance to show themselves to the nation.

Comment by Ironhead 11.27.07 @ 9:23 am

I’m going too..time to shock the world.

Comment by matt'shouse 11.27.07 @ 9:40 am

About recruiting:

I may disagree with you Reed. We had a field on campus throughout the late 80’s and 90’s and really missed on some good recruits. If we can get even some of the following guys (and there are many not on this list) whom are seriously considering PITT w/ what we have on the board now (Lucas, Burns, etc) then this will be another great year for PITT recruiting. We are recruiting depth with very good players at every position. I said it before and I’ll say it again. A great team is fielded w/ fifth year seniors and fourth year juniors.

Baldwin – WR ****
Collier – RB ****
Gardiner – WLB ****
Sales – WR ****
Holley – CB ****
Mackey – DE ****
Saddler – RB ****
A.J. Alexander – ATH ****
Rippy – SLB ***
Houser – C (JC)***
Stoudt – QB – ***
Sunseri – QB – ***
McKenna – QB (JC) ***
Shanahan – WR ***

Comment by Ironhead 11.27.07 @ 9:58 am

Ironhead,

Defending the WVU offense – I would try to force them outside, but then clog the cutback lanes so they run out of room. WVU’s offense is a quick-strike offense that relies on the ballcarrier turning upfield as quickly as possible, cutting back and hoping for overpursuit by the defense.

You need a quick, responsible defense to contain them (like USF did last year). Pitt is more athletic this year and the d-line has been able to hold the line much better this year, so that could make a difference. I’d try to string them out laterally as much as I could and – this is key – MAKE SURE the cutback lanes are filled. Guys can’t chase as much…they have to stay home.

I think Pitt tried to do this last year in the first half and it worked well (the offense was able to keep Pitt in it as well). The problem was that we didn’t make the necessary defensive adjustments at the half. Clint Session was left to mark either Pat White or Steve Slaton. He over-pursued a few times and got absolutely embarrassed when they made their cut upfield.

They’re going to get their points, though. The WVU passing game is a bit of a threat, so they’re a bit more multi-dimensional.

That being the case, Cavanaugh is going to have to get a bit creative here and open things up a bit. I don’t think you can expect to get into a track meet with them, but Pitt can’t try to win this game solely with defense. The offense is going to have to step it up and score some points for the defense in this one.

Comment by Stoosh 11.27.07 @ 10:01 am

[…] But over at Pitt Blather, the mood is decidedly more emo. Unfortunately for our boy Chas, he’s a few reflective thoughts away from writing a Death Cab For Cutie song: I’m going to Morgantown. […]


Brutal Danny Sheridan in yesterday’s NYT:

The Mountaineers won the conference title by beating Connecticut, a team that Sheridan said could be beaten by “a high school team in Alabama.” He said a combination of the best players on Connecticut and Pittsburgh still could not beat a middle-of-the-road team in the SEC. Whether that is hyperbole or fact, it is clear that neither the Big East nor the Big Ten is perceived very well.

Comment by steve 11.27.07 @ 10:45 am

Stoosh

I’ll stick with shutting down the outside lanes. I just don’t have the confidence in our OLBs to make the plays. These guys are fast.

Great point on last year. We played well but came out flat in the second half. I can almost see that happening again.

As for the offense. I agree that at some point we are going to have to throw the ball downfield. I would rather have it at the beginning of the game when they are playing the run and we have good matchups on our wideouts than late in the game when we are behind and they expect us to throw. Should we commit the first two or three drives to stretching the field, try to get a lead and then place the game on Shady’s back? I really think Collins has to have an integral part in the game plan (run & pass) for success. I would also like to see the ball get in M. Williams hands (& not just the end around). He was a QB in H.S. and can throw. Put his speed in the backfield with Shady, confuse and draw the defense forward and then throw some passes downfield. Do not put Bostick in the position where he has to bootleg and keep his throws at short drops (2,3 throw).

Turn this game into a fistfight. Rotate players early and keep them fresh. Somebody needs to set the tone by picking up Slaton and/or White and dumping them on their head. I might even encourage a late hit to fire things up. This game is winnable.

Comment by Ironhead 11.27.07 @ 11:08 am

If pitt keeps this game close they will lose it because of a Wannyball mistake.
Im saying at halftime WVU-24 Pitt-17
End of the game WVU- 63 Pitt-27

Anyone watch the cardinals lose to san fran??? Ken Wisenhunt might be the only coach in the world that makes worse decisions than DW

Comment by atleastwegotbasketball 11.27.07 @ 11:42 am

For Pitt to win:

1)Everyone will have to play the error free game of their career

2) we must go all out to stop the run and take our chances in the passing game.

3) Use everything in the bag of tricks to throw them off balance.

4) Bostick must control the ball, no int’s

5) A good start is imperative, we cannot get in a hole early like we usually do.

As we all know, the longer the underdog “hangs around” the more likely the other team is to tense up and get out of their game plan. The good thing is nobody in the world expects us to win this game therefore there is no pressure, we’re not even playing for a bowl so the team should be able to let it all hang out and go for it. I just hope the coaches go in to this aggressive.

I still think winning will be almost impossible but theres always a chance!

Comment by Rex 11.27.07 @ 12:56 pm

I agree with Danny Sheridan. Mike and the Mad Dog said that if WVU played in the SEC, Pat White would have been in the hospital by early October because the SEC teams are so big, fast, and balanced. They went on to say that WVU has the talent to beat the teams like UGA, which they did in the Sugar Bowl, but not on a week to week basis like they did in the Big East.

Comment by Noel 11.27.07 @ 1:21 pm

Our safeties really stink. Mike Phillips has not recovered from his injury two years ago and Eric Thatcher has not had a good year. Shane Murray is not a good player and Kenard Cox is disgraceful as a football player. One of these four players has been responsible for at least 80% of the big plays given up this season. If they were even mediocre, then we would have an even better defense. Cox and Phillips will be gone next, therefore I expect immediate improvement defensively.

Comment by Omar 11.27.07 @ 1:40 pm

Lots of good tidbits, guys. I would be shocked if DW becomes AD next year, its strange that there has been no real mention of progress in the press. Dk about Bradley, but Gattuso is a PSUcks man …

A win / win is right, b/c announcers will be effusive in their praise of some of our young players … even if a one-sided game. We will be considered a program “on the rise” (even though we were better than that b/f DW).

Bottom line, we could beat WVU and the results of this season would still be unacceptable. Shoulda, coulda too many times. Youth at QB was a problem, but DW will still need to feed a couple of his coaches to the wolves.

Finally, as anyone w/ eyes can see, Buddy Morris is the best hire DW has made.

Comment by NYC Panther 11.27.07 @ 1:44 pm

I too have heard some recent Wanny rumors from a source in the Pitt AD. Evidently Wanny has really managed to piss off some folks in the Chancellor’s office with what is called “total arrogance”. Word is that he may be dismissed outright after the WVU Game….anyone else hear anything?

Comment by Dan 72 11.27.07 @ 2:12 pm

Rex,

I think your point 4 & 5 hit the nail on the head:

4) Bostick must control the ball, no int’s

5) A good start is imperative, we cannot get in a hole early like we usually do.

If we get into a hole, were done. I’m starting to think we could start the first drive w/ a no huddle offense that mixes some shotgun formation & wildcat formation into the mix. Start out with only the high percentage passes w/ Bostick, put M. Williams behind center in the wildcat w/ McCoy and open up the trick bag. On our first defense, make every attempt to stop the run (bring a safety into the box)& gang tackle their guys. GET PHYSICAL. Then, come out the 2nd series and run it down their throats w/ Collins, McCoy w/ some screens, passes to FB & to the tight end.

Omar,

I could take the starting two safeties, one cornerback & one OLB from any team and state that they gave up 80% of the big plays for their team.

I agree that more was expected out of Phillips. He has the talent. All three Phillips***, Thatcher***, & Cox** were part of our 2003 recruiting class. I believe that class had about 26 players recruited.

Phillips & Thatcher were from Ohio & Cox was recruited from Fl as an ATH. The point is all three were recruited by major programs. Thatcher had a season ending injury (Broken ankle) in 2006 and was looking to rebound this year. Before his injury, he showed promise and played well. Phillips had his season ending injury in 2005 against Nebraska. Prior to the injury he showed considerable promise in 2004. He has played cornerback, free safety and strong safety. Cox had a pretty good year in 2006 and has the size and aggressiveness to be a good run stopper. I’m not sure if they classify as “stink”. They were projected to be very good and ended up average. That may get by some years but not when your also breaking in another new corner and three new linebackers. It’s certainly been a tough year.

I disagree that S. Murray is not a good football player. To the contrary, I think he is a rather good football player. Here is a kid that played QB in H.S., comes to college as a safety, and is now has considerable playing time at outside linebacker. He had some rough moments earlier in the year but certainly has shown improvement and actually might turn out to be a good OLB. He has dealt with being a bit small for the position but tries to make up for that with good instincts.

For us to win this weekend, we are going to need Cox to get back to playing spectacular run support. He has the size and speed. I’m glad you brought these three guys up because this is their moment. All can be put into the past (position changes, injuries) with a stellar performance. History is not on their side. Cox tends to get sloppy and out of position. He still relies to much on his athletic ability than his head. Phillips and Thatcher continue to be talked about what they did, not what their doing now. Phillips and Thatcher are Ohio boys so this game is their life. I can’t wait. It goes back to Bostick and a good start.

Comment by Ironhead 11.27.07 @ 2:59 pm

Cox runs away from every tackle. He is horrible in run support. Watch the Virginia game this year. The coaches, who love seniors and experience, went as far to bench the kid in his third to last game and he was off the field quite a bit on Saturday. The kid stinks and he gets way too many personal fouls for my liking.

Thatcher and Philips have an excuse as both are coming off bad injuries. Fact is they just aren’t good enough to be playing. Other than Scott McKillop and Aaron Berry the guys playing behind the defensive line just aren’t very good.

Jovani Chappel is a huge improvement over Cox in pass coverage, but I haven’t seen him versus the run. Our linebackers are young and can improve, but Murray gets beat way too much in pass coverage. He is okay versus the run, but he never makes plays in the passing game.

The fact is our defense could be a lot better than it is. The defensive line is actually very, very good. Scott McKillop is outstanding and Aaron Berry is a very solid corner, but the rest of the defense needs a ton of work.

Hopefully Elijah Fields getting eligible and Dom Decicco playing next year will solve the safety issue. I think Dickerson should be much better next year. Nate Nix is also going to be available. Gunn will be back and he is okay and should get better with experience. McKillop will be here so we have a stud middle linebacker. Next year the defense should be much better than this year.

Comment by Omar 11.27.07 @ 3:56 pm

Omar and Ironhead,
Omar wins this one. he is right that players arent as good as they need to be. Alot of them are young and might be okay, but our LB and Secondary is poor, and for once our front 3 or 4 are pretty good. Shane Murray tries really hard and puts alot of effort in. Not a dumb player either, but for the same reasons Ironhead listed he isnt very good. He is too small and he has to rely on his instincts. Aaron Berry is above average right now, but will be real good eventually. Cox is awful. He makes BIG mistakes. He can do alright and then make a huge costly mistake. Gunn is getting better. Chappel doesnt have too much experience. I liked what i saw for the most part against USF.
Omar is pretty much on the mark here though.

Congrats to Romeus and Mccoy

Comment by adam 11.27.07 @ 4:09 pm

Dan.. I have an uncle that is what some of us call LOADED and INFLUENTIAL in the city. He sadly is great friends with Paterno. He was talking with a trustee lately and over thanksgiving dinner he told me that the status of wanny is not clear and after the season a meeting will be made to determine his status.
I will not be surprised if Wanny Stays or goes.

Comment by bill 11.27.07 @ 4:16 pm

“I will not be surprised if Wanny stays or goes.”

Umm…way to cover your bases, bill.

Comment by baudolino 11.27.07 @ 5:04 pm

Have fun down there Chas. I’d be down there if this Pitt team hadn’t killed me enough this year (vs Navy, Rutgers, etc.). In 2005 when I was down there it was 10 degrees and we got blown out — not a fun combo.

Maybe I’ll do my first liveblog on Saturday night from the warmth of my home…sounds like a plan.

Comment by Dennis 11.27.07 @ 5:09 pm

I would be surprised if wanny got fired.

Comment by tom in Ft lauderdale 11.27.07 @ 5:11 pm

Omar and Adam

I was reading over my comment and I definately embellished about Cox, especially “we are going to need Cox to get back to playing spectacular run support”. I would not call any of his performance prior to or this year spetacular. He is one of those athletes that has the size, athleticism, and speed but for some reason can’t put it all together. I agreed that these guys definately have not lived to their potential.

This leads into the Coach discussion. These are the guys left over from the 2003 class. Next year should bring in the young talent that we have been stockpiling. Give this young talent time and the future looks bright. As for my mother sisters brother drinks with the aunt of the neighbor who is friends with somebody important rumors, Coach W will definately be back next year. Behind the scene, the big concern is money. This athletic department is trying to raise enough to elevate all of it’s sports. This is a critical time and the choice for AD has been slow and excruciating. At the MSU game, they had a 50/50 raffle somewhere between 10,000 & 16,000 dollars. That’s creative money raising. The talk is how can we get more money out of this program. Having the games at Heniz Field means we have to share the proceeds.

Although there is frustration with the team, I got the feeling he has solid alumni support. These are the people who are funding this fundraiser. It is the financial support that forced PSU hierarchy to succumb to Coach Paterno and it also works here.

Comment by Ironhead 11.27.07 @ 5:15 pm

How about we drop the “to fire or not argument” and discuss the game. The whole nation will be watching. They are going to get to know the best player in the BE next year “SHADY”. It’s definately not a reach that he may have more yardage than Slaton

Comment by Ironhead 11.27.07 @ 5:28 pm

he is far ahead of slaton right now… Mccoy should beat out slaton this year. Atleast rushing yardage.
I agree. i dont like wanny, but nothing would make me happier than to beat those hicks in morgantown.
Let’s go Pitt

Comment by Adam 11.27.07 @ 5:57 pm

I have a good feeling about this game.

We owe them one.

link to farm2.static.flickr.com

Comment by ChrisA 11.28.07 @ 12:02 am

With nothing to lose, and knowing the strength of our team is our defensive line, I’d come out with 6 DL and 2 LBs…attack them by filling the lanes and bringing in three safeties up close to jam the receivers, while looking to stop the run….Not a prevent style, but a highly unorthodox ATTACK style…we need to break out something new, and this would be it.

Hail to PITT!
-al-

Comment by Oregon al 11.28.07 @ 12:57 am

Ironhead – I’ll agree with regard to recruiting, as I may have misread the full intent of Nehlen’s comments. I saw it as more of a ‘state of the union’ type reference, where not having an on-campus stadium hurts the overall perception of the football program, but reflects the position of the program’s status in the Administration’s eyes.

Which to me is a big point in my believing DW will not be fired this season. I just don’t think football is that important to PITT as a whole to buy out his contract based on a sub par winning record, and especially if he hasn’t had his full four years yet. Now, I wouldn’t be surprised if he turns in another average season next year then gets let go – although as I said I think we’ll see some definate improvement next season.

Comment by Reed 11.28.07 @ 5:08 am

As I see it the game will go like most Pitt games vs better teams have gone the past 3 years:

Pitt will play well in the first half…game will be close….2nd half….Pitt D will implode and the O line will perform its usual crap fest….WVU D will blitz almost every play…and much like last year….our O will do nothing in the 2nd half….Shady will not be much a threat in the 2nd half….score: 48-17 WVU….total WVU offense 500 + yds….same as it ever was….same as it ever was

Comment by deter 11.28.07 @ 8:57 am

lol at the Talking Heads reference

Comment by Ryan M. 11.28.07 @ 9:25 am

With our apathetic administration, the better TH reference might be “our president’s crazy … did you hear what he said.” (rather obscure, but I’m a major TH fan).

I highly doubt the administration is even remotely aware of the state of the football program. Perhaps rightfully so, I’m convinced they signed us on as a “hoops school” years ago. Evidence is everywhere. The decision to replace a football stadium with a strictly-basketball facility, replacement of a strong, football-focused AD (Pederson) with a bland nobody like Long, the steadfast dedication to the Big East, which is a power as a hoops conference but (national perception, anyway) total swill as a football conference.

Most prominently, the horrible replacement process for Harris … does nobody not recall that they totally botched that? They actually were considering Cavanaugh and Rhoads as the only HEAD coaching candidates … two unqualifed jackasses. We all considered it an absolute MIRACLE when Wannstedt decided to “reconsider” at the last minute. But then they turned right around and forced him to KEEP Cavanaugh and Rhoads. Given the uproariously stupidity of the entire episode, frankly we have been lucky to win the few games we have…

It’s true they didn’t distinguish themselves much better with the Howland replacement process (but lucked out with a better guy, anyway). Still, any administration that conducted such a quarter-assed job search for football can’t possibly give a damn about it.

Comment by geeman2001 11.28.07 @ 10:49 am

Definately colleges are constrained in their coach search because they either look for their man or in our case a “PITT” man or somebody with Pittsburgh ties. Alabama spent many futile years searching for an “Alabama” man that was somehow affiliated w/ Bear Bryant. PSU will definately go through these issues after Coach Paterno leaves. Peterson was different because he brought in neither PITT men nor Pittsburgh affliated coaches. He brought in what he thought was best for the program at the right price. The concern with these types is that they will always jump ship at the hint of success to get to their dream job. Coach Howland did so by going to UCLA. Coach Harris did get some feelers from some big time programs but we will never know how serious their intent.

It will be interesting to see whom shall be the next AD. Will it be a PITT man or Pittsburgh affliated individual or somebody new. I have to think that DW is part of this long-term committment either as the coach or an AD. He understands PITT and it’s influential alumni. He has been building strong relationships throughout the community and is a recognizable face wherever he goes. He has been a strong recruiter and has attracted some quality recruits. He’s a perfect fit. Well, it just hasn’t translated to the field. Why is this? Those that know college football and this team said prior to this year that it would be rough. They said the same of last year. Coach W said from the beginning that he would recruit, redshirt and build the foundation for a strong program. I think even those that hate him can’t deny that he has built a strong foundation and we do have the talent to compete the next four years. It just isn’t happening fast enough for the today I need fast-food world. Face it, PITT has not been a contender since the early 80’s. You may look back on this year as the turning point to success. We definately can’t get worse.

Comment by Ironhead 11.28.07 @ 12:07 pm

Can anyone give me their opinion on this? As much as Bostic has looked inadequete this year behind center, I do not think he will be any better next year. I believe we should talk Bill Stull into staying at Pitt, start Billy next year, give Pat a redshirt, and then reassess everything at the end of the 2008 season. Finally, we have to move Dorin Dickerson from the LB position to CB or safety. Dickerson was a WR in high school so he has great speed. Secondly, he is too small to be a linebacker and third, he has the big play five star ability. Let him run all over the field and make plays.

Comment by AJ 11.28.07 @ 1:59 pm

After watching this year i have no doubt Stull will be starting at QB next year. Bostick will be getting 2 and a half years of solid practice to get his shit together. I’m sure the coaches know that. Maybe he’ll come out looking like a DIA prospect in the end.

For the last time, how does anyone expect our offense to be amazing behind a sophomore or 2* unranked RS soph, a 2* senior, a 2* unrankred senior, a 2* jr DT turned OL, and one 4* fourth year player as our linemen? I don’t care if you’ve had 5 years in the same system, some kids aren’t skilled enough to be made into NFL pros. But that’s what they have to work with, because there is no free agency in college football and the previous coach left you scraps.

Now, since he’s been here, he already has 5*, 4*, 3*, 3*, 4* classes and a 5*, 3* class for next year already…and that one decent 4* fourth year player already playing was brought in by him from JUCO. These are all 18 and 19 year old kids though – they need time and practice until they are a dominant line where you have a shot to put a freshman QB behind and win a few games. Right now, we’re just getting him killed.

Now, if you want to say our line should be better than X team, go look at all their linemen and come back and tell me a school that has a more piss poor line than us – based on raw talent, not coaching.

I loved the little special they had on Vangas the other day on the Pitt show – how sentimental. And he stuck around for 4 years not playing, just hoping to get a chance…and thank you for showing your commitment to Pitt, but he’s just not very good. There is a reason he had to wait 4 years to play – and if there was anybody even decent above him, he’d never play. They started with a 2* talent and they were never able to turn him into a 4* talent. I guess you should blame the coaches – but if I went back tomorrow and they had 10 years to try to turn me into an even mediocre college center, IT’LL NEVER HAPPEN. Some kids just will never make it. How the hell do you blame the coaches (considering they never even recruited him)? And there are at least 2 or 3 more guys on that line that are in the same position. You can’t expect one excellent left tackle and one talented sophomore (when he’s playing) to hold off 4 DL and 3 LB by themselves. Ain’t gonna happen.

And I know other teams have done more with less through different schemes (like Navy) but the coaches see no point in trying to teach one system and then switching to another one when they do get the players they need. Stop being reactionary and whining that we aren’t where we want to be yet. Give the young talented kids time, and give the coaches that brought those kids here time.

Comment by Stuart 11.28.07 @ 2:41 pm

Bostick wil be much better next year, but yeah , i think the consensus is he should have redshirted this year… We will most likely be able to redshirt him next year. Pitt is going after AJ Mckenna now too, which shows that they really would like to redshirt Bostick next year. (Mckenna is a Juco qb) I dont think Stull is thinking about transfering… He knows that he is very much in the mix for the starting job next year. If Mckenna is landed it will be Stull, Smith, and Mckenna and there is absolutely no need for a fourth. I just hope Bostick doesnt get upset and leave in that time. For all the trouble he has had this year he is still a freshman… He will be fine.. We dont want to lose him.

Comment by Adam 11.28.07 @ 2:51 pm

The only thing that would make Stull transfer is if our dreams all came true and Pryor came in. That would be one hell of a christmas gift

Comment by Adam 11.28.07 @ 2:53 pm

PS I think you could put any coach in there in 2 years (as long as shady is still here) and he’ll win based on the fact we’ll have a good line and the best RB in the nation – the kid already gets a ton of yards with no help – wait until he has a line.

Comment by Stuart 11.28.07 @ 2:55 pm

We have 15 QB prospects for next year – someone will be coming in. McKenna, Sunseri, Stoudt…someone.

Comment by Stuart 11.28.07 @ 2:57 pm

Stuart or anyone else,
Anyone have any good info on incoming recruits. if i had to guess i would say this.
baldwin- Pretty high chance
Saddler- Pretty high chance
Alexander- Up in the air
Streeter- Miami
Collier- Clemson because he doesnt want to play db
Stoudt-Up in the air
Mckenna- In if we offer
Pryor- Outside shot… (maybe im optomistic)
Isaih Pead- as long as OSU doesnt offer we have a good shot.
Sales- I have no idea, but we are final 3
Shanahan- Wanny really likes this guy. I would say good chance. He still wants to play bball i hear though.
Cruz- dont see it happening
Dan Vaughn- Good shot. he keeps improving
Hale- No shot unless Saddler comes there is an outside shot he might reconsider. He still wants to play lb and wanny says NO
Gardiner- Very good chance
Holley- Sounds pretty good. Not really sure on this one though

I just dont see Pitt getting numbers this year like they have in the past, but then again they dont need them. They dont lose alot

Comment by Adam 11.28.07 @ 3:33 pm

About some commments about WVU not being able to compete in the SEC.

The SEC is a good conference, probably the best in college football.

But some of the SEC praise is REALLY out of control. I think a lot of it stems from the Florida massacre of Ohio State last year.

Florida came in more prepared to play and OSU looked stale and rusty. But it was JUST ONE GAME.

Now look at this year. The common consensus about the SEC is that the only reason their teams have so many losses is because they beat up on each other.

Ok. Auburn, beat a very good Florida team at home. Lost to middle-of-the pack Big East team South Florida at home!! And this was early in the season before the other SEC teams had the chance to apparently “Beat up on them”.

Ok, so we had Kentucky and South Carolina who looked like contenders early in the year. Kentucky squeaked by a pretty bad Louisville team before we knew Louisville sucked. They also beat the great LSU. Then proceded to lose A LOT down the stretch.

South Carolina faded down the stretch also, and lost to an ACC team, Clemson, last week.

Then they tried to talk up ‘bama as a legit contender out of the SEC. Then they lost to Louisiana-Monroe (shitty, non SEC team), the mediocre yet perpetually ranked Auburn, and Mississippi State.

And let’s take Mississippie State. They pulled a few upsets in the SEC this year against ‘bama and Auburn….. annnnd they got ass raped by West Virginia!

So we have LSU, a 2-loss team that was almost beaten by supposed lesser SEC teams several teams. And then Tennessee, who got mauled by a Cal team early-on that turned out to be mediocre themselves.

Look, this is getting long, but I guess my point is that the SEC is a good conference. But good lord, this bullshit about teams being better just because they play in the SEC and how all these other ranked teams would be doormats in the SEC is just WAAAAY out of hand and untrue.

It’s propaganda if you ask me, from a bunch of southern locals that care waaay too much about their college football and don’t want to think that anything is better than it.

And it is good, but let’s get away from this thinking that any national title contender not from the SEC is undeserving because they don’t play in the mighty (and somewhat overhyped) South-Eastern Conference.

Comment by Jimbo Covert's my Dad 11.28.07 @ 3:55 pm

Jimbo..you hit it right on the head….BE teams fare very well in their bowls….and it may be true if WVU, Pitt (a big maybe), Cincy SFla, Louisville Rutgers entered the SEC or the BIg 10, ACC..n the SEC they might get beat up early on….but my bet is that they would rise to the top….due to fan expectations and some exciting coaches…..also how would some of those SEC teams fare running at Heinz Field in November ? crap forget that….they’d run roughshod over our current Pitt D…They would certainly end up just as effective as PSU or Auburn

Comment by deter 11.29.07 @ 4:33 pm

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