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November 18, 2011

All peaceful on the football front this week. I like to think that it is a purposeful calm. Devote all healing energies to Lucas Nix. Put Tino Sunseri in a zen (or semi-hypnotic) state where he can breathe and re-establish that mind-body connection so he doesn’t forget all the things he is supposed to do — set the feet; get rid of the ball before the count of 3; and never, ever attempt a pass longer than 15 yards. Meanwhile, Greg Gaskins is looking in a mirror repeating the following over and over, “I’m a good offensive lineman. I’m good enough for the Big East. I really can pass block. And goshdarnit, Tino likes seeing me on the line.”

Aaron Donald gets a puff piece as he has emerged as a force on the D-line. Now leading the team in tackles for loss, sacks and QB hurries.

Randolph, like Graham, said Donald still needs to work on his technique and fundamentals but, along with his natural ability, his work ethic and his intensity almost ensure that he is going to be successful against any offensive line.

“Aaron has done about everything I’ve asked him to do,” Randolph said. “We wanted him to work on his fundamentals and as you can see now with his production. His fundamentals have gotten better and it shows up on game day. His work ethic and his mindset and his natural ability — he just makes plays.

“When I look for guys to recruit in the future, I’m looking for guys like Aaron Donald with that first step, that explosiveness and, on top of that, the violence in him is what I really like,” Randolph said.

“He enjoys playing the game and, to me, he is kind of a throwback. He is an old-school guy, but his first step, his attitude and temperament — those things are what make him such an explosive player.”

Donald was humble/media savvy enough to deflect a lot of credit to his teammates on the D-line.

Outside linebackers/special teams coach Randall McCray is in Charleston, Illinois to interview for the Eastern Illinois (1-AA) head coaching job. Good luck to McCray, but my god is that in the middle of nowhere. Also, the possible loss of McCray means the Pitt coaching staff could be down to only two coaches with facial hair (Norvell and Magee). The lowest numbers since Walt Harris was in charge.

A story on how Pitt has used several players in the threeback spot. I still find it confusing since the coach in charge of the position is still called the tight ends coach (Tony Dews). The spot has been occupied at various times during the season by Hubie Graham, Drew Carswell, Anthony Gonzalez and Brendan Carozzoni.

“Ideally, we’d like to have one guy who can do it all so we don’t have to change personnel in between plays because when we have to sub them in and out we can’t go as fast as we like,” he said.

“But until one person emerges who can do that, we will keep mixing them in and, really, we’re excited to have four or five guys of different talents who we can use throughout the game.”

“One of the best things schematically we’ve done, is try to figure out what they each can do and what they are good at and try to use them in those roles,” Dews said, “rather than try to fit a square peg in a round hole. As the season has gone on, we’ve gotten even a little better at finding what they do well.

“We have been able to shuffle them based on their own unique ability and sort them out and put them in position to be successful.”

I think maybe Pitt might be better off just sticking with calling it the H-back. A google search of “threeback” yields some interesting results (NSFW), but really not helpful.

Paul Zeise’s chat is relatively fluffy this week. Hard to get much when it is a bye week and Pitt actually won a game.

WVU media guy reflects on seeing a bunch of former Hoopie coaches on the Pitt sideline next week.

the calm before the storm .. especially if Cicny loses this week.

Comment by wbb 11.18.11 @ 2:21 pm

I care not if Pitt stays home this year or does get a bowl bid (even if it is one worth going to). It really doesn’t matter to me if Pitt goes 6-6 or 7-5 either. I don’t care if we only fill up Heinz Field half full for the Syracuse game.

The only thing that currently matters in this Pitt rebuilding season is that we beat the Hoopies on Friday. That my friends is our bowl game for this year IMHO.

How many more Backyard Brawls our in our future anyhow!? The Mountaineers could soon go the same way as Penn State did years ago. Lets not squander the opportunity to beat them while we still have the chance to. Especially fun when it’s done at their house. Remember 13-9?? HTP.

Comment by Dr. Tom 11.18.11 @ 5:16 pm

Dr. Tom, Do you mean the game in Morgantown where the score REALLY was 21 to 9 but for the mystery holding call and Shady McCoys touchdown run. What was even more impressive is that the Pitt Panthers won the game dispite getting screwed on every call.

Comment by Justinian 11.18.11 @ 5:32 pm

I am doing this tongue-in-cheek so please do not take me for one minute seriously.

But perhaps after PSU receives the death penalty, perhaps they will accept a long term series with Pitt again where they will come to Pitt 2 times for every 1 time we have to play up in Happy Valley.

Again, I am kidding 😉


Comment by DaveD 11.18.11 @ 7:24 pm

Just reported, JoePa with lung cancer…

Comment by Dan 72 11.18.11 @ 7:51 pm

Yep, BS call after BS call and the Refs still couldn’t give it to WVU. The Big East wanted to have their Conference Champion playing for the national championship but Pitt had to just F it up for everybody. Wasn’t it beautiful Justinian?

Comment by Dr. Tom 11.18.11 @ 8:43 pm

Yes it was! The Panthers dominated the line play both offensively and defensively. They played a great ball game.

Comment by Justinian 11.18.11 @ 8:52 pm

Take that T. Boone Pickens. Paul Rhodes, Iowa st in big upset over Oak St.

Comment by alcofan 11.19.11 @ 8:05 am

Football is a funny game, the Cowboys and fans were trying to figure out the best way to approach LSU in the national championship game!!!

Comment by Dan 11.19.11 @ 9:30 am

Any sport really, I guess. I can remember thinking how the Pirates were going to stack up against the Minnesota Twins in 1991!!! LOL!!!

Comment by Dan 11.19.11 @ 9:31 am

or 92′ against the Blue Jays!!!!

I would love to beat the Hoopies this year. I’m pumped allready. Off Wed-Mon, family, food, drinks and football, bring it!!!

Comment by Dan 11.19.11 @ 9:37 am

Anybody catch what song Iowa St played as their fans stormed the field after the game? Yup, you guessed it…Sweet Caroline!

Comment by HbgFrank 11.19.11 @ 10:10 am

“Sweet Carolint…lets go STate!!

Monster upset for Paul Rhodes and co. Congrats to the Hawkeyes

Comment by Dan 72 11.19.11 @ 10:46 am

Iowa State pulls a PITT. Beats the #2 Okie State Cowboys who basically self-destructed, with Weedon throwing 3 picks. Kind of ironic, Paul Rhodes, ISU’s head coach, was the DC at PITT when 28 point underdog PITT beat #2 Hillbillies in the eternally famous 13-9, state of West Virginia goes into massive depression game. (last chance the Billies will EVER have of playing in the NC game)

ISU was only a 26.5 underdog

ISU is now 6-4 and bowl eligible.

ISU won with a redshirt freshman QB starting only his 3rd game.

Good Job Paul. Perhaps SP should have interviewed you!

(smiley might have asked but Rhodes said thanks, but not thanks, can’t remember)

Comment by EMel 11.19.11 @ 11:59 am

On the flip side, talk about a long suffering fan base. You have to be either a glutton for punishment or extremely prozac’d to be a Cyclone fan.

ISU has never had a 10 win season .

ISU has only finished the season ranked, twice.

Last night was the first time EVER they beat a team ranked in the Top 5.

Hope all the Cyclone fans really enjoyed that celebration last night and thanks for sending one
Johnny Majors to PITT. We are eternally grateful!

Comment by EMel 11.19.11 @ 12:18 pm


Comment by alcofan 11.19.11 @ 1:06 pm

Lol. If Iowa State fans are long suffering, what does that make us? Long tortured? I was in the stands in 2000 when they handed it to us in the Bowl.

Comment by Cnorwood 11.19.11 @ 1:59 pm

I imagine that Chas is hungover, celebrating the great victory engineered by his favorite defensive coach of all time.

Seriously, I’m happy for Rhodes winning a big game on national TV for his alma mater

Comment by wbb 11.19.11 @ 2:58 pm

Check out the post game speech by Coach Rhoads…

Something pretty awesome…

link to

Comment by Dave D 11.19.11 @ 3:33 pm

Looks like Cignetti might get his wish of winning a BE title…i hope he does get it, especially over Cincy or ShitTown..but not over his most recent QB(Tino)….still a glimmer of hope..

Comment by H.LandPitt 11.19.11 @ 4:37 pm

Who wins the Big East if Pitt ,Louisville, and Rutgers win remaining game(s) thus finishing in 3 way tie ?
Rutgers plays at Connecticut
Louisville plays at South Fl
And we know what Pitt has to do.
If Rutgers wins then we need Louisville to win.

Comment by Spindler's Spirit 11.19.11 @ 4:45 pm

Because the head to head tie breaker would not break the tie, I believe the next tie breaker would be BCS rank. I believe Rutgers would get the nod in that situation.

Comment by RoosterJones 11.19.11 @ 5:08 pm

when there is no definite tie breaker like last year when UConn had beaten both WVU and Pitt, it goes to BCS ranking like in 04 when Pitt won a 4 team tiebreaker with the highest BCS ranking. Unfortunately, in both cases BE rep got its butt kicked in BCS bowl game.

Comment by wbb 11.19.11 @ 5:14 pm

Assuming we win out, I’m pretty sure the only way for us to back into the BCS game would bould be for Rutgers to lose to UCONN and for Cincinnati to lose one more.

The way they played today, the chances of Cinci losing to either UCONN or Syracuse are pretty good.

We are going to lose out in any 3-way tie scenario.

Let’s go Huskies!!!! Lol.

Comment by Cnorwood 11.19.11 @ 5:22 pm

I think they still do a head-to-head check first even if more than two teams are tied. If one team has beaten the other two, they get the nod. If they are all 1-1, it goes to BCS ranking. Lousiville and Pitt are in the mid 60’s and WVU, Rutgers and Cinci are in the low 20’s-mid 30’s.

We have no chance if it comes to BCS rankings.

Comment by Cnorwood 11.19.11 @ 5:26 pm

PS. What if…..

Somehow State Penn wins the B1G championship…
Oregon jumps Alabama to get to the BCS Champonship
Pitt somehow sneaks in to the BCS

Would the Rose Bowl pick Pitt?

I may have had too many beers watching the Michigan game.

Comment by Cnorwood 11.19.11 @ 5:35 pm

Let’s Go Huskies is Right.

Let’s Go Tino.

Tino is going to run all over them this week, ‘dont pass Tino..see Tim Tebow’

Pitt finally played 60mins, against L’Ville..

Comment by H.LandPitt 11.19.11 @ 5:36 pm

Ronald Jones up in their Grille

Comment by H.LandPitt 11.19.11 @ 5:44 pm

Every Time I need to laugh I dialup richfrauds presser

Comment by 63Team 11.19.11 @ 6:38 pm

A 3-way tie or a 4-way tie sets up the mini conference check according to
link to

Once the mini conference is established, if there’s a tie at the top then head-to-head or rankings come into play.

Comment by KeyboardKev 11.19.11 @ 8:38 pm

last brawl? and other stuff … pretty interesting reading

link to

Comment by wbb 11.20.11 @ 7:15 am

Tough weekend for the fans of the Sooners, Cowboys, and the Ducks.

Comment by alcofan 11.20.11 @ 9:47 am

Forget about the BE Championship and the associated bowl issues this week. If Graham is smart, he should be concentrating on getting this team focused on only one thing right now, kicking ass on Friday night, PERIOD.

After last year’s performace, or should I say LACK of performance, by the Panthers against the Mountaineers, I feel strongly that TG should give this team one of those “this is a defining moment in your football career” speeches before the game.

If I were him, I’d have everybody assembled a couple hours early just to watch the replay of the 2007 game and bring in somebody like McKillop to give inspiration on how that win felt.

Pregame, in a private meeting, I’d give it to every upperclassmen on the team who played in that game, right between the eyes about their lackluster, pitiful play last year against WVU. I’d reinforce the fact that, that team last year flat out quit, and that, that kind of shameful mental attitude hangs arounds, sticking with you, tainting your entire psyche into the future, creaping out from the dark recesses of you subconcious when you find yourself up against the wall dealing with future tough issues.

This is the redemption game. This game might be the last Backyard Brawl ever played, who knows? In coming years, this game could be viewed like the Penn State vs. Pitt final battle at 3 Rivers, final score 14-0, won by Pitt to be carried around proudly by the Pitt faithful for 15 years before we meet again on the gridiron.

This team and Pitt’s fan base have had a rough go of it this year. It’s been a disappointing season, but one thing I noticed is that this year’s team has never thrown in the towel like thay did against WVU last year.

Those who witnessed that on the Pitt sideline last year must have a nasty rancid taste left in their mouths after that humiliation. Well, this might be the last chance those guys have to swab that stench away once and for all.

In this game you take no prisoners, in this game you put it all out there, in this game you play 60 minutes , in this game once you knock the other guy down you step on his throat and finish it without mercy. In this game you beat West Virginia.

This is the Backyard Brawl. Loosing is not an option. Hail to Pitt!

Comment by Dr. Tom 11.20.11 @ 9:56 am

Dr. Tom,

Not meaning to nitpick, but for the record, the last Pitt/Penn St. game WAS in Three Rivers Stadium but it ended 12-0, not 14-0. I was at the game, and it was wonderful.

Comment by Tourman 11.20.11 @ 10:38 am

YOU can give that speech, Dr. Tom. You nailed it. Mix in alittle Herb Brooks (USA-Russia) and fire up the troops. Just make sure any fans making the trip take riot gear (night game in Hooterville) and woolite (will throw off the scent of the “eat shit Pitt…F–k Pitt” hillbillies.

I was at Three Rivers too, Tourman. 12-0, behind a great catch/run by freshman Rutherford. Chant that score as much as 13-9. HTP

Comment by Bossdaws 11.20.11 @ 11:17 am

Pitt has another MAJOR victory….Cory Rodgers a Pitt Honors College student has just won a Rhodes Scholarship!! Only 32 are granted for study at Oxford each year.

Pitt wins in the classroom and hopefully it will soon win on the field. It is interesting to note that Stanford had 5 winners…an amazing achievemnet!! HAIL TO PITT!!!!!

Comment by isnore 11.20.11 @ 11:53 am

Dr Tom, I’m ready to dresss up Friday night — you have me psyched — (of course, this may change after I feed my face on Thrsday)

on another note — Long Beach St lost to San Diego St in OT last night

Comment by wbb 11.20.11 @ 12:10 pm

I can’t remember the last time we played LaSalle.
So we better not lose, for we might not be playing them for another eon. Anyway I hate losing to any of the Philly schools especially the jerks at Villimanilli.

Long Beach losing means what…..they weren’t that great? We are worse than the loss suggests?
Even if we aren’t a great team, we should still be able to handle LaSalle and then Penn. I mean most of these kids on Pitt were pretty high recruits.
We do have the preseason POY in the BE in Gibbs.

Like I posted before, if we have to, just play without a true center until someone shows they can effectively man the position. The key is having players in, that know how to box out and get position and how to rotate in the man to man.

Truth & Virtue

Hail to Pitt !

Comment by EMel 11.20.11 @ 12:58 pm

On a football note:

In Yahoo’s NCAA football weekly article entitled
‘Winners & Losers’

The whole BigEast conference is listed as a Loser.

So glad we are getting OUT !

Clemson will destroy Rutgers in the Orange Bowl.
It sucks that the Buttgirls get to go to Miami.

The last two lines are conjecture and considering who’s lost the last 48 hours is purely speculative.

Comment by EMel 11.20.11 @ 1:05 pm

San Diego St over Long Beach St 77-74 in OT.

Comment by alcofan 11.20.11 @ 2:28 pm

Does anyone have a link to Palko’s f-bomb? Can’t find it on youtube.

Comment by pitt87 11.20.11 @ 9:10 pm

Not much enthusiasm for the Backyard Brawl. Two underachieving teams in comparison to pre-season predictions. It looks like we need two wins to assure a bowl game and more sorely needed practice time. Losing winnable games comes back to haunt us. Let’s see if Graham and Sunseri can finish strong.

Comment by gc 11.21.11 @ 7:01 am


Not much enthusiasm for the Brawl?

Are you a PITT fan?

Are you a WVU Fan?

At this point, this is the most exciting game on the year.

Get over yourself.

Comment by Yup 11.21.11 @ 9:21 am

Personally, I’m pumped for the game. I’m pumped for the team, I’m pumped for the pretty good recruiting class Graham has, especially just starting in January, and pumped moving to the ACC.

I’m actually pretty pumped for Pitt football!!!

You can go back, and Chas would nail me if I said anything else different, everyone of my posts in August going back and forth with people, said 7-5 or 8-4 for this season.

Am I a genius, far from it my friends, not even close. I however understood that a new coach always has a few bumps, a new system installed will add to those bumps, and frankly, allthough the cupboard not left bare, I saw a lot of people over-estimating our talent vastly.

With the two top defensive ends gone, a top wide reciever gone, and a top running back gone, I didn’t see what other people were seeing. Most of the prognosticators saw this, mostly having us pre-season ranked 34th-45th???????

For those of you that had us 10-2, 11-1, 12-0….
ya, I bet you are disappointed.

Do I wish we were one of the above posted records, of course, was I hoping for something like that in the wee corner of my brain, of course.

However, reality told me differntly, and here at the end of the season, they’re about where I thought they’d be, so, therefore, I don’t see a “lost” season, and am still pumped up for Pitt football and the game Friday night!!!

Am I on Graham’s payroll, absolutely not. If he’s 5-5 two or three years from now, I’ll be as pissed as everyone else.

Right now, though, I am ready to rock-n-roll in Morgantown!!!!

Hail to Pitt!!!!!!!!

Comment by Dan 11.21.11 @ 10:55 am

New system, new coach, losing players to the NFL,injuries (and to KEY players), a lot wasn’t in the cards for Pitt this year. Some teams can overcome “excuses” and win. Pitt is not good enough YET to do that.

I think in 2-3 years Pitt can be that team.

Comment by Snala The Panther 11.21.11 @ 11:07 am

@gc. REALLY !?!?!? Even if both West Virginia and Pitt were 0-10 going into the Backyard Brawl, if you are a fan of either side, THIS game is easy to get up for.

Pitt-Penn State was bigger back in the day but the Brawl has been THE GAME for Pitt over the last decade.

We win this game and I’m going to be really up for the season finale against Syracuse!

This game Friday night tells us the mindset of this team and will demonstrate what the “cumulative” coaching input has produced for the Panthers. come on Pitt, It’s time to show us what you got after getting kicked in the head a few times during the season. You got the balls to step it up and end the season on a high note or not?

This teams brings home two more victories and I call this season a success considering all of the trials and tribulations that the program has been throught over the last year.

Hail to Pitt, for sure. Beat those Hoopies good, right in front of all of their drunked up, beer sucking hillbilly fans.

Comment by Dr. Tom 11.21.11 @ 3:15 pm

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