October 8, 2011

LiveBlog: Pitt-Pitt Lite (Rutgers)

Filed under: Football,liveblog — Chas @ 11:43 am

With an offense that looks so much and nothing like what we have watched the prior couple of years, Rutgers has that similar taste only blander. A little flat, but tolerable if you don’t think too much about it.

Game time and liveblog at 3:30 on ESPNU. Pam Ward and Dan Hawkins will be raping our ears with the call. Not sure what kind of turnout Rutgers will have on Yom Kippur, or how enthusiastic they will be. But at least the Scarlet Knight fans will have that excuse at the ready if the attendance sucks.

Sunset is at 6:57. It’s not like I have an alarm clock next to an iced-down Southern Tier Unearthly at the ready or anything.

Liveblog rules. It’s a moderated chat. Not every comment gets through. Especially duplicative, trolls, overly vulgar, personal attacks, or general stupidity as defined by me (like porn, I know it when I see it).

As usual, if you need to break out the live blog from the site, Click Here.

Otherwise, the liveblog is below:


BTW, that wasn’t an endorsement of Sunseri, but an indictment of the rest of the QBs on the team.

Comment by Jimbo Covert's My Dad 10.10.11 @ 10:39 pm

Rex Grossman is our quarterback

Comment by Lovie Smith 10.10.11 @ 11:14 pm

Oregon since 2002:

2011:4-1 (so far)

Just posting this because I saw a couple of posts about how awesome Oregon has been the last 10 years and it isn’t true. Someone even said that Oregon was 100-10 in the last 10 years. As you can see, until 2008 they were downright Wandstedtian, and earlier in the decade they were average at best. It has been the last 3 years that they have been a dominant, but not even great team. Last year was their first great year.

Comment by kanyon40 10.11.11 @ 12:10 am

Dan – Have a good one buddy, I like your posts as well. Thabett on the other hand is crazy. Every game I watch shows Pitt hurry to the line only to have Sunseri take 25 seconds to get a clue what his name is…. Oh and to the Gimmicky offense Auburn ran yes it was a spread and yes they ran the ball. Oh and they had Cam Newton…. Not Tino “Marinara” Sunseri who I honestly don’t think would start at Gannon!

Comment by Upittbaseball 10.11.11 @ 12:15 am

Ok, not great, but, they’ve been to 18 bowls in the last 22 years. Pretty good program. Their resurgence actually began in 1989.

The 100-10 was being sarcastic. Great stadium and great atmoshphere out there though.

Uniforms are worst in college football, check that, Maryland has taken over the top spot!!!

Comment by Dan 10.11.11 @ 12:39 am


Oregon only lost 1 game last year, not 2.

Comment by Jimbo Covert's My Dad 10.11.11 @ 12:47 am

No panic. This team would be 3 and 3 with last years coaches because we would have the same qb and OL. Playing D is easier when you don’t have to worry about a long pass and if one is thrown there is plenty of time for teh dbs to respond. We may have gotten there differently but the record would be the same (maybe worse).

With a legit qb that can make things happen this team is at least 5 and 1. We can only wish!

Comment by JP 10.11.11 @ 5:46 am

Read the piece on this morning. Graham sounds like a guy who is in way over his head. He doesn’t know what he’s doing. Offensive genius? Give me a freakin break.

Comment by TonyinHouston 10.11.11 @ 7:22 am

shame on you TonyinHouston. It is ALL Tino’s fault

Comment by wbb 10.11.11 @ 8:40 am


OK, I read the P-G piece. Whether TG knows what he’s doing or not, I don’t know. Honestly, I don’t know enough about college football to tell – I’m just a casual fan. Watch the games when I have time and attend one or two a year.

But I’ve been a fan for a long time. I see a lot of honesty in the interview, and mostly I see a guy who is stunned at seeing first-hand what we Pitt fans have known for a long time:

“The Pitt Way” really means they’ll let you down just when it seems things are going good. It’s a buzzsaw I and others, and probably you, have been personally acquainted with for decades. It actually happens in basketball, too, at Sweet Sixteen time, to be honest.

I’m willing to give TG a couple of years at least. It’s way too early to crucify him.

At least he has the self-awareness to tone down the hype when it isn’t justified.

Comment by BATR 10.11.11 @ 9:32 am


I completely agree that Graham needs a couple of years …. but, when he was hired, almost this entire web site went total apeshit with all of the stuff that was spewing from his mouth … hich octane, pedal to the medal, 80 plays per game, 7 tackles for losses per games, 15 seconds between plays, etc…

Then he is held up as God Almighty when he accepts the high expectations for this year saying that there is no reason with the talent here that this team should not win the BE.

So maybe it doesn’t work both ways .. you don’t praise him for all the lavish promises and then pardon him with all of the excuses.

Again, I do agree that he needs some time .. but he brought a lof of this on himself

Comment by wbb 10.11.11 @ 10:31 am

No team in America (with any form of CFB tradition where a NC has been won)is more maddening to watch than Pitt— no doubt about it. Maybe Clemson…but that’s about it.

To clarify my earlier rant, I want to say that I had the unfortune to be at Pitt in the early 90’s…so I know how horrrible we can be, and will forever be thankful of how Walt saved Pitt from the brink of death.

However, this current decade of mediocrity is far more maddening for the fan. If we need to run this gimmicky crap because it works…fine. If we need a coach to do it…fine. If Graham is that guy…fine. THEN DO IT! SUCK FOR A YEAR OR TWO. PLAY YOUR GUYS THAT FIT THE SYSTEM. THEN WIN 11 GAMES!!!

I know it sounds simple, but this “runnign a square peg in a round hole” crap is producing the same kind of results.

I think Pitt fans are realistic. We know we cannot continuously will NCs. We know that the SEC is a league above (not only Pitt but most traditional BCS teams). But, we also expect teams to play hard and over acheive…and every once or twice a decade, but the pieces together for a special year.

Bottom line– Todd Graham needs to run his rinky dink system with HIS rinky dink players…and stop trying to make Wanny’s I formuation guys fit that system.


If you’re going to make the players fit the system, have some flexibility to ease into the transition (ala Brady Hoke style).

PS– I listened to one of Brady Hoke’s ealry pressers this year, and he said if Michigan switched cold turkey to his Pro Style, they would not win ONE game. NOT ONE GAME. He said it. He then said that he had to shelf his style until he brings in his players, and maximize the players (namely Denard Robinson) to make them successful.

At what point did Todd Graham really think Tino could run this thing?

Comment by PaulyP 10.11.11 @ 10:40 am

OK, we can all put the “give Myers a shot” talk to rest. TG said that Myers is our 3rd string qb and back-up punter in his presser yesterday (whether you agree with that decision or not). Unless TG is looking to catch Utah off guard, unlikely, don’t expect Myers any time soon.

Stating the obvious, the qb situation is just ugly right now. I’m not placing blame on any one person, we have to player better and coach better collectively, but wow things look ugly right now. Tino just can’t make quick decisions and play consistently and Anderson can’t be graded on his performance yet because he never gets an opportunity to get into any type of rhythm (not sure how he would do if given the chance either). All I’ve seen from Myers is his high school highlight tape so that doesn’t help much in predicting success at this level either.

Things might be even more unstable next year with Tino returning as a senior. Voytik might be a good one and I like what I see and read about him at the high school level but probably not realistic for him to step in right away and lead us to a championship. It’s certainly possible for a true freshman to win the job but not likely IMO.

Comment by JAM 05 PITT 10.11.11 @ 10:41 am

@BATR, good points. Yes, he gets a couple years as all coaches do in all sports.

I was wondering if the hype he had, was somewhat brought on, by people telling him, “wait till you see, Pitt’s loaded with talent”.

I argued and debated this ad nauseum before the season with several people.

Loaded with talent……..where, exactly????

He wasn’t left with the cupboard bare, but, “loaded with talent”??????????

To start with, you lost a running back, wide receiver and two defensive ends to the NFL. They’re gone!!

Ok, you have a very good running back……..

Maybe compared to the other BE teams, not including WVU, maybe they’re ok, but on a national stage, compared to SEC, ACC, and Big 10, “loaded with talent” was, and is, a bunch of hogwash!!!!

Anyhow, ya, he get’s a couple years. I said at the beginning of the season, I would be happy with 7-5 or 8-4, posted that on here many times, it’s in writing!! LOL

Don’t know if we’ll get there, that Rutgers game was simply foul!!! Mentioned many times, there were going to be bumps in the road, and even told a few people that were saying 10-2 or better, you may sorely be disappointed.

In my mind, he gets 3 years. 2nd year, gets to get his recruits in here, and you can’t expect them to turn things around as freshman, so he gets another year to see where they are. At that point, he has two recruiting classes in here.

Then you see where things are going, are we high octane at that point, or have we not improved at all??

Make no mistake, Rutgers was hideous, but, he gets some time.

Comment by Dan 10.11.11 @ 10:45 am

Just win baby! God bless Al Davis. Winning will take care of alot of things. But it begins with leadership and talent at the QB and LB position. Pitt has neither although Thomas might be the man this year on ‘D’. However, we’re stuck with our QB’s and none impress me at this point. Eventually, ‘The Pitt Way’ will be associated with winning. I have faith. I believe. HTP!

Comment by TX Panther 10.11.11 @ 10:47 am

Hey Tx, good post. I like most of us, get the blood boiling right after a bad loss.

Couple days, you start to calm down a little.

Couple good things, and I don’t care if USF was over-rated, Pitt looked fantastic in that game, against a Division I football team.

They were also blowing out Iowa for three quarters and could have easily beat ND.

Shoulda, woulda, coulda of course, but as the middle of the week approaches, hoping we can pick a win off against UTAH.

Comment by Dan 10.11.11 @ 11:00 am

Hey PaulyP, good call on Clemson. You know who else I’ve put with Clemson all of these years. Michigan State. Same M.O..

Comment by Dan 10.11.11 @ 11:01 am

I assume your head is where mine has been and is. Anticipation, then excitement, then optimism, then disappointment, then hope,then renewed excitement, then, well, disgust and depression. All this within a 30 day period. Let’s face it. The absolute best outcome for this year is 9-3, a BE trophy and a BCS bowl. This will happen right after pigs fly. The more likely scenario is 7-5 and yet another trip to Charlotte. Actually, this could have been a realistic expectation. But Graham shot his mouth off and overpromised and underdelivered, the most devastating of all sales sins. Now he is in a hole, personally and took the team and university with him. Maybe he is organized in Oakland, but there is obvious disorganization at Heinz on Saturdays, not a good sign. Maybe he does not have the talent to run his system. No matter. That has nothing to do with how a coach manages a game. Todd Graham alone lost the Iowa game on that Saturday, and lost the Rutgers game during the 9 days leading up to the debachle last Saturday. This is not what a good coach looks like. Maybe it is a mirage. Maybe there are other factors at work. But for today, the wind is out of the sails of Pitt football. With the Stillers in town this weekend, Pitt will be lucky to draw 35,000 this saturday. The empty yellow seats will tell it all. Don’t misconstrue this post. I, along with everybody who posts on this board, want Pitt to win and want to support this program. Unfortunately, the early signs point to Graham and Pitt being mismatched. Time will tell, but he is in a hole, and the first rule of holes is stop digging.

Comment by wally 10.11.11 @ 11:20 am

Let’s hope the Rutgers debacle was a road game thing. Hopefully we see a USF performance vs Utah

Comment by Tony C 10.11.11 @ 11:44 am

I better hope more than 35k attend a Homecoming game against a pretty good opponent from the Pac 10. I also hear the weather should not be an excuse. I’d be there if not for some family plans this weekend, but I’ll be watching on ESPNU…cheering and probably cussing. I think we see a much more focused and aggressive team this weekend. I’m expecting a feel good win.

Comment by TX Panther 10.11.11 @ 11:54 am

It actually happens in basketball, too, at Sweet Sixteen time, to be honest.
Comment by BATR 10.11.11 @ 9:32 am

We haven’t been to the Sweet 16 since Blair & Young’s senior season which was back in 2008-2009.

Comment by EMel 10.11.11 @ 12:10 pm

TxPanther, what’s wrong with you? the game starts at noon …. there is always an excuse for the Pitt fan

Comment by wbb 10.11.11 @ 12:14 pm

Dixon is about as good as TG as an in-game coach.
Good practice coach apparently and a relentless recruiter. Hey wait he sound like Wanny. haha

Comment by EMel 10.11.11 @ 12:14 pm

If you guys think Graham is bad game day manager, here is a quote from Ron Zook in his last game. the dude went for 2, when he was up 7…From ESPN:

He pulled this sideline masterpiece Saturday against Indiana: Having scored to take a 20-13 lead in the second quarter, The Zooker called for a two-point conversion.

In heaven, Bill Walsh threw down his headset.

“We were down five, right?” The Zooker said postgame. “Up five, I mean. It was 20-13? Up seven?

“Maybe I didn’t know what the score was. That’s happened to me before. It’s usually when we’re behind. I have to go back and look at it. That will give you something to pound us about.”

Yes. Yes it will.

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 10.11.11 @ 12:22 pm

“We haven’t been to the Sweet 16 since Blair & Young’s senior season which was back in 2008-2009.

Comment by EMel 10.11.11 @ 12:10 pm”

True, EMel, didn’t think about that. I guess I mean that in general, even the consistently successful b-ball program lets us down too, when it counts in March.

It would be interesting for someone to perform a comprehensive psychological analysis of the typical Pitt fan.

Comment by BATR 10.11.11 @ 12:24 pm

Here’s something to chew on this afternoon fellow Panthers. Thru 6 games TG’s offense has scored:

163 Points or 27.17 ppg

Thru 6 games of 2010 the Wanny/Cignetti offense scored: (drum roll please)

171 Points or 28.5 ppg

Now what this all means, I don’t know. I’ll let you guys figure it out.

Comment by EMel 10.11.11 @ 12:24 pm

did anyone remember the 2 thing Les Miles of LSU pulled over the last few years?

In LSU’s national championship year, instead of kicking a tying FG vs Bama with afew seconds left, he threw a pass in the end zone from about 25 yds … and I’lll be damned if he didn’t score a TD. Then he pulled something similar 2 years ago and this time, he lost the game when he had a sure tie. His team is now No. 1

Mack Brown had Colt McCoy try a pass with a few seconds left in the B12 championship vs Nebraska and time expired .. except this was the B12 and Texas was granted an exta second and was able to kick a winning FG.

Comment by wbb 10.11.11 @ 12:31 pm

Wanny must have had a better QB

Comment by wbb 10.11.11 @ 12:32 pm

lol wbb,….no doubt

Comment by EMel 10.11.11 @ 12:35 pm

BATR, considering the psyche analysis of the Pitt fan …. if you review on online chat that Chas had during the Iowa game, there were a handful of posters stating that we were going to lose even when we were ahead 27 – 17.

WE are Cubs fans

Comment by wbb 10.11.11 @ 12:36 pm

The offense issues are simple— QB.

Let’s face it, guys…. we have not recruited a QB that actually delivered on his potential since the Walt regime. Say what you want, Walt brought in great QB talent and coached them up. Palko would have had a fantastic college career if he was under Walt for two more years. He was on his way… Wanny ruined him and missed on every QB recruit he brought in…

Sorry, Pitt fan…Bill Stull, Pat Bostick and Tino Sunseri are/were terrible QBs that can easily be schemed by a competent defensive mind.

You can’t scheme a truly talented QB that has pro skills (arm accuracy, decision making and presence) and/or athletic skills (elusiveness with feet).

Pat White or Andrew Luck…say what you want about scheme, these guys were elite QBs in college…that’s why their offenses work.

Comment by PaulyP 10.11.11 @ 12:43 pm

EMel: Comparing Dixon to Wanny? Come on. Dixon’s won conference championships – outright. He’s been named someone’s coach of the year almost every year. And he holds NCAA records for wins playing in the SEC of basketball. No comparison at all.

Sure he hasn’t gotten to the Final Four, a one and done tourney. But as many, here and elsewhere have said, the raw talent he’s had to work with has something to do with that. Look at what he did when he had talent. Won the U19 World Championship, something the US never had done.

That’s why I’m convinced that as he builds with more NBA level talent like some that he has coming it, he’ll get it done in the ACC and the NCAA tourney.

Comment by TampaT 10.11.11 @ 12:43 pm

Correction on the U19 tourney. First time in 18 years. I guess they won prior. Doesn’t change the point though.

Comment by TampaT 10.11.11 @ 12:47 pm


You need to reread that post I didn’t compare Dixon to Wanny. Me thinks you need some afternoon coffee or whatever. haha

Comment by EMel 10.11.11 @ 12:51 pm

Wanny & Cignetti apparently didn’t know they ran a High Octane offense. haha

Comment by EMel 10.11.11 @ 12:54 pm

Sorry, EMel. Reading through 300 million posts when you have 30 mins. has it’s disadvantages. LOL

I know you have issues with Jamie’s in-game coaching. Remember that discussion well. However, you don’t set NCAA records in the toughest conference in basketball without being able to coach – practice, halftime, in-game. And, writers don’t vote you coach of the year for practice coaching.

I’ll take Jamie over almost any coach out there right now. And I think in a few years, I’ll be able to say that about any coach period.

Comment by TampaT 10.11.11 @ 12:58 pm

Palko had his best stats in his senior yesr and is currently back-up in KC. Conversely, any QB that graduated under Walt had a very short stay in NFL — although Rutherford was an arena QB up until last year.

Comment by wbb 10.11.11 @ 1:01 pm

And TG being like Wanny. Lord, I hope not! I won’t be able to survive 5 more years in that case. I’ll either become and alcoholic or a full-time USF fan.

Just kidding on the latter.

Comment by TampaT 10.11.11 @ 1:01 pm

I wish we had Palko, wbb. I think he’d thrive in this offense.

Comment by TampaT 10.11.11 @ 1:05 pm

No, he stunk last year, with a few better players, that’s all. Wouldn’t pound my chest about 8-5.

Besides, he started off 1-4 with a loss to O.U..
No, not Oklahoma, Ohio U.!!! LOL

He’s only one of many problems, but, he steeeeeeeeenks, regardless.

Comment by Dan 10.11.11 @ 1:05 pm

The he’s being “yinzer” and Sunseri. Hey, his family has good provolone!!!!!

Comment by Dan 10.11.11 @ 1:08 pm

Dan: Who are you talking about? Palko? I’m lost.

Comment by TampaT 10.11.11 @ 1:14 pm

No, no Tampa. Wanny and Sunseri. No, I loved Palko!! My post wasn’t clear, as I was losing interest in the topic as I typed!!! LOL!!!

Palko would have been good in any offense, he was the epitome of a “football” player!!!

Comment by Dan 10.11.11 @ 2:39 pm

Palko regressed in every facet of his game under Wanny. He had better completion percentages his one Wanny year because Cavanugh had him throw sideways 75% of the times with screens. That kid that matured into a leader the year he led us to home OT victories vs. BC, road victory at a much more talented Ty Wil ND team, and home against a far more talented WVU team… Wanny ruined that kid. Please do not quote stats from a Wanny offense. next thing we’re going to hear is how Bill Stull had good numbers, won 10 games, and was a good college QB.

I’m not saying that Palko was Dan Marino, but he would have been an amazing college player with two more years under Walt Harris… and, he is 10X the athlete, QB, and football player that Tiny, Bostick or Stull ever was or will be.

Comment by PaulyP 10.11.11 @ 3:21 pm

And frankly, I believe in the eye test too. I know that makes stat honks pissy, but it’s true.

That’s why I believe in guys value in things that can be accounted for in stats.

For example, I loved LeVance Fields for the fact that he had a calming effect on his teams (not measurable) and had massive onions on the line and at the 3pt line (although statistically, he was sub par on all of those). People focus on his assit-to-turnover ratio…I focus on his ability to get the 5s the ball in the CORRECT position — something a Wannamaker or Gibbs can never do well.

My point is— trust the eye test. When you watch Tino or Billy Boy or Bostick…they don’t look like big time D1 QBs. They don’t make plays when plays breakdown, They don’t make decisive reads that make critical first downs. they don’t make the plays– they rely on others (Shady, Dion, Baldwin, Graham) to make THE PLAY.

The eye test is why people all rate Phillip Rivers over Big Ben in fantasy drafts and in barrooms all over America….but Ben is several times the QB than Phillip Rivers for reasons that cannot be measured in stats. Heart, game changing plays, makes something out of nothing, and is difficult to scheme around….

Comment by PaulyP 10.11.11 @ 3:41 pm

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