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September 11, 2012

Various Things

Filed under: Football — Chas @ 7:20 am

Well, it could be worse. At least Pitt isn’t involved in an ongoing academic scandal that could impact its basketball and football program. Oh, and now losing a top fundraiser because he started taking trips with the mother of a former basketball star of the school on said school’s dime. Yeesh.

The new depth chart for the VT game is out, and there are a few changes (PDF, page 3). No, not to the QB. Going to have to let that one go for another week, people.

Bryan Murphy will start at DE on the other side of T.J. Clemmings. Jack Lippert will now back-up Clemmings and redshirt freshman Devin Cook will be behind Murphy. Shayne Hale has dropped off the two-deep. Jarred Holley is back as the only starter but at strong safety. Ostensibly he shared the starting free safety spot with Andrew Taglianetti in the first two games, but he was out on the field for the entire Cinci game. Jason Hendricks has moved in front of Ray Vinopal (who simply hasn’t looked good in the games) to be the starter at the free safety. (Honestly, I don’t know if that was some sort of typo in the 2-deep with regards to free and strong safety listings.)

Ronald Jones dropped off the two-deep at WR, with Josh Brinson in his place. And that is the extent of any changes to the 2-deep.

Don’t think the defense hasn’t been really bad so far? In two games this is what the defense has done:

  • 65 points allowed
  • 8-8 on scoring opportunities in the red zone
  • 845 yards in total offense
  • 382 passing yards
  • 463 rushing yards
  • 1 sack
  • 0 interceptions
  • 0 fumbles

Pathetic only begins to describe the defense’s performance to date. No pressure up front. No contain in the middle. No coverage behind. Waiting for the blame to fall on Sunseri for this as well in 3… 2… 1…

 

From a notes piece at the end of last week. As much as this season may be done. There really aren’t a lot of changes to the line-up that can help for this year. One more reason why the more the losses pile-up, the more likely the line-up changes that will have to happen will be about the future.

So, after being unable to handle a dual-threat QB in Cinci, a bigger version comes to Heinz Field on Saturday. Great.

Go figure. It’s frustrating to only move the ball between the 20s.

Recruiting better is always the hope for the future. But you still have to coach and try to win with what you have now.

Over in Wisconsin, they reacted to two games of bad times with the O-line by firing their new O-line coach.

When UW coach Bret Bielema hired [Mark] Markuson in the offseason, it was considered to be a coup at the time. Markuson spent the last 14 years coaching offensive lines in the Southeastern Conference at Arkansas and Mississippi. Since 2003, he coached six different players who earned All-America honors.

But Markuson had big shoes to fill, following Bob Bostad, who was regarded as one of the best offensive line coaches in college football. Bostad originally left after last season to go to the University of Pittsburgh, after former UW offensive coordinator Paul Chryst was named the head coach there. Bostad left Pitt after a short time to become an NFL offensive line coach for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Markuson and some of the team’s veteran linemen admittedly had problems adapting to each other during spring practices, but both sides said the situation got better during preseason camp.

However, UW’s inability to run the ball in the first two games may have uncovered deeper issues that UW’s players were not adjusting well to Markuson’s schemes and techniques.wise.

It does seem like a panic move after two games — though Bielema stressed that he slept on the matter. An interesting counterpoint, though, raised by Big Ten Blogger Matt Hasty. By taking this kind of action, it was a rare admission by a coach that the coaching was the problem more than the players or “execution.”

The one thing I will say about it for Pitt and Coach Chryst. He just saw his friend and former boss make a tough call by pulling the trigger and firing a coach that — in his mind — wasn’t able to do the job. That is another part of being the head guy. Chryst went out and hired people he’s known or has personally been recommended to him by friends and family. Will he be able to/willing to see which coaches are not doing the job or will he just conclude it was in the execution by the players?

 





I am not a fan of firing people without considering why they were hired in the first place, who hired them and who will be the replacement.

Two weeks is pure panic. How long has Pitt given Pederson? So there is both ends of the spectrum. Too short and far too long.

As for our Panthers. The longest journey they say begins with the smallest step and your article here suggests a journey for Mr. Jones that will conclude with his departure from the team. Suspended week 1 and of the depth chart week 3. Next stop, ASU?

You win football games one play at a time and that is where Pitt finds itself….one play at a time. Same is true with the coaches…one big play (like a run straight up the gut) will negate 5 good plays. One bad call will do the same.

Comment by sfpitt 09.11.12 @ 7:57 am

Betting that Chryst is about to pull the trigger and get playing time for someone else at QB – probably a set package of plays to be rolled out so long as the game situation calls for it.

Sunseri to start against VaTech. Unfortunately no surprise here. Expecting to see Anderson enter the game with the play package. Voytik’s opportunity will come the next game if Anderson does not perform well.

Chryst would never tip his hand on this one pretty much the way he is with everythihg else.

Pretty certain one thing we won’t see this year is a coaching change.

Chryst is the antithesis of a guy who’s going to make a “panic move.”

Comment by PittofDreams 09.11.12 @ 8:21 am

Interesting changes / non-changes to the depth chart. At many times last year, Ronald Jones looked like our most exciting playmaker. TJ Clemmings is too slow. Need to find a way to play your safeties, 4-2-5 defense please.

Comment by pittbluegold 09.11.12 @ 8:23 am

The D played better in quarter #2 they were blitzing more. Why not sell out on the blitz press the WR’s at the line of scrimmage and just be more agressive what does this team have to lose?

as far as letting people go there is an adjustment period for everyone here so lets have some patients here, I had high hopes for this team but I strongly feel the move to the ACC will help recruiting and Pitt can be a power again and being in a STABLE conferance will help with that give PC a chance lets see what happens before heads start to roll

Comment by steve h 09.11.12 @ 8:24 am

Good article by Dipaolo in Trib today….

If you want a laugh.. read Werner article in PG… he says the DB’s have shined in the 1st two games!!! lol

I wrote both an email… good job to DiPaolo..
are you kidding me… do you have a clue about football type of email to Werner..

Comment by Joe D 09.11.12 @ 8:40 am

Holley out of the doghouse, finally.

Comment by steve1 09.11.12 @ 8:55 am

My email to Werner and Shirman of PG…

DB’s shine… lmao
Did you watch the games?
Do you know anything about football?
YSU… 14 for 24, 154 yds, 3 TD’s
Cincy.. 14 for 28, 205 yds, 2 TD’s

The DB’s never in press coverage… short stuff open alll day long.
They stay soooo far off the ball because they are slow, slow, slow… and can’t keep up with WR’s.

Please stop with the stories on DB’s are the strength of the team… obviously they are not. This story seems to have been repeated by you several times. What… nothing else to write… EJ didn’t put out a press release for you to cut and paste.
Frankly, the entire defense is poor.
If the DB’s are as good as advertised… you go 1v1… press coverage… 1 man as safety and load the box and pressure the QB on pass plays and stop the run.
The defensive plan is micky mouse… High School teams have better plans

Comment by Joe D 09.11.12 @ 9:28 am

Wonder what ever happened with all the potential that Hale had entering the program, but never being able to realize it during his time here.

Comment by longsufferingpittfan 09.11.12 @ 9:49 am

longsuffering…

Terry Smith of Gateway does a great job promoting his players to rivals and scout, etc.
I have yet to see a Gateway player be a BCS D1 starter.

Comment by Joe D 09.11.12 @ 9:54 am

Justin King… I hope Chryst is able to prove himself to not be the Dick Lebeau of college coaches.

Comment by Spartan Panther Fan 09.11.12 @ 10:13 am

Just FYI / slightly off topic / needed distraction:

According to PG+, BeeJay Anya is visiting Pitt this weekend after Dixon paid a vist at Anya’s home last week.

Comment by PantherP 09.11.12 @ 10:30 am

Joe Butler, who has tracked high school and college players for 36 years for Metro Index Scouting Service, said the problem is apparent and not beyond repair.

“I attribute it to the multiple head coaches in a short period of time,” he said. “That’s hurt them, the inconsistency there.”

The above quote says it all. It explains why Pitt is in the shape it is and to some extent why Wisky is struggling this year.

Change is just as hard and mostly more hard on young people as it is on adults. Bringing the thought forward to Pitt it is self-evident and magnified with the ship adrift at sea football program which Pitt has been for the last 30+ years…

Comment by Kenny 09.11.12 @ 10:57 am

A couple of points:
1. As a poster above mentioned, HCPC is not one to make panic moves. The staff will be addressed in the off-season but making a change right now would be premature and would not solve much.
2. I also think HCPC is likely getting another QB ready to play a few series very soon. He will not come right out and say it but he knows the importance of getting another QB reps given what we have seen so far.
3. I wish Jones could get more involved in the offense. Our offense does not have a lot of room for the small, speedy WRs (CAM already has that spot for this season) but he did make some very nice plays last year and showed some of the “play-making” skills that most of the other WRs do not have. That said, just because Brinson jumped ahead of him on the depth chart doesn’t mean Jones will not see the field.
4. I root for Tino because he is our QB and I truly believe he loves the University the same as most of us do. He was bad last year (I know, stating the obvious) and he has not been very good this year (although I do not think he has been the biggest of our problems by any means). Now, however, is a great time for HCPC to work in another QB. In 2010, Tino was servicable. In 2011, he was bad but given the system and many other things, we had no other options. This year, with an awful 0-2 start (likely 0-3) and younger guys behind him that HCPC needs to evaluate, it is a perfect time to get someone else work. Maybe not against VaTech but certainly against GW. I’m not a Tino basher like some but it would be a easily justifable move to better the team for the future.
5. How did the Pirates lose that game last night?!

Comment by JAM 05 Pitt 09.11.12 @ 11:08 am

YSU beat Valpo 59-0, last sat.

Comment by alcofan 09.11.12 @ 11:12 am

The DC coach, Huxtable, was DC 3 other times…
But when you look, it appears as though each time he was fired because he ended up taking a assistant coaching position elsewhere.
Western Kentucky – 1989
Georgia Tech – 96-97
NC – 02-03
UCF – 08-10

link to pittsburghpanthers.com

There is a reason he was fired from DC job… it’s not like he took a DC job elsewhere or bigger school.
DC has to go…

Comment by Joe D 09.11.12 @ 11:38 am

actally Huxtable did a great job at UCF. You may remember that 2010 UCF team finsihed in the Top 25 , was in the Top 15 in total defense, and won Conf USA over the top offesive teams (Houston, Tulsa, etc.) In their bowl game, they beat Georgia holding the Bulldogs to one score.

He chose to leave UCF for UW.

Comment by wbb 09.11.12 @ 12:09 pm

That guy Markuson from Wisky is available? We had better sign him quickly to coach our OL!

Comment by Chuck Morris 09.11.12 @ 12:11 pm

Chas, I hope that you’re mistaken about Ronald Jones planning his exit strategy from the team, hell, over the last year he has by far the best QB stats of anybody on the team. As I previously mentioned, I’d like to see him utilized at the QB spot for some “wildcat” type formations. This would be especially helpful if Coach does insert another QB starter come Gardner-Webb plus going forward.

I can’t believe that T.J. Clemmings is starting this week. He must be an excellent, quick healer. Since after that unnecessray personal foul penalty that he took and the resulting wrath that came down on him from Coach Chrsyt, I just figured it was going to take at least a couple weeks to heal up from that new a$$hole that Chryst ripped for him on the sideline last Thursday.

Comment by Dr. Tom 09.11.12 @ 12:12 pm

All the apologizing for clueless Chryst is nauseating and, frankly, embarrassing.

Comment by TonyinHouston 09.11.12 @ 12:24 pm

Clemmings doesn’t have a lot of game experience but he looked real bad last week against Cincy. No pass rush moves, awful angles, poor against the run and he definitely did not blow up the TE as the goal that was talked about during camp. There is not much depth behind him so the options are limited (if any).

Comment by JAM 05 Pitt 09.11.12 @ 12:41 pm

wbb,
explain why Huxtable took a demotion in title (and probably pay) 4 times!!
It makes not sense him going to Wisky after UCF… maybe clash with HC… who knows..
but the resume doesn’t look good when you peel back the onion.
also, the majority of Pitt’s problems are on the defense… not just player personal… but game plan, agressiveness, etc.

Comment by Joe D 09.11.12 @ 12:41 pm

The D stats ain’t pretty…no hiding that. But I do think they have some players, just too many inexperienced guys at the moment — they will probably get better as this potentially long year rolls on. YSU played really well and Cincy hit some big plays like they usually do, but I haven’t seen them overwhelmed or a lack of talent like some of you have…just young dudes getting their feet wet.

There seems to be two schools of thought or camps regarding Sunseri at this point. Those of us (like me) who think his chaotic play and lack of credible, consistent big play threat undermine the team overall, both strategically and motivationally — putting undue stress on the D and vacating the spirit of the team; and those of us who think he is good enough but getting no help from any of his teammates, O or D, aside from Ray Graham and perhaps one or two other guys.

Many of the guys who won 8 or 6 games (nothing to brag on but looking better than 2-10 potentially) with us the past two years are still here, along with some promising looking underclassmen, so the odds are its usually one guy who changes (or in Tino’s case, stays the same) versus a whole slew of guys changing…for the worse. Could be wrong, but I doubt it. I think teams have just studied Tino’s body of work the past two years and have really keyed in on how to shut him and our offense down — give him the short quick outs, dare him to throw deep or down the middle, and stuff the run and pressure the heck out of him. Low and behold, our offense blows.

Comment by Matt N. 09.11.12 @ 1:47 pm

I’m willing to give Chryst a bit of a break with this team because the talent is clearly not there. After watching other games most of last Saturday, I would assert that no more than 3-4 of Pitt’s starters would be starting for most other major conference programs. Chryst will make mistakes – all new HCs do. Talent either masks or exposes them. Don’t have to look any further than Morgantown and Coach Jimmy Buffett to see that a coordinator can successfully transition to HC when ther is talent to work with.

Comment by Iron Duke 09.11.12 @ 2:11 pm

From CNN: “The Hokies go from an FCS foe to perhaps the worst team in a BCS AQ league. Pitt tailback Ray Graham should challenge Virginia Tech’s defense a bit, while quarterback Logan Thomas should have a chance to work on his accuracy. If Thomas gets more consistent, few teams in the ACC will be able to stop the Hokies.”

Read more: link to sportsillustrated.cnn.com

Comment by Pittastic 09.11.12 @ 2:24 pm

Staying on point with the defense, I offer the following hypothesis. On average, there are 12 qb’s that get drafted by the nfl each year. Of those 12, typically one is drafted for a positional change, but let’s stay with the original 12.

Of those 12 NFL caliber quarterbacks, Pitt typically faces 0-1 each year. Zero last year. The point is that most college qb’s are like our qb. We don’t see it because our defense is conservative when it needn’t be. As such, the defense needs to sell out to stop the run and let the qb beat them if they can. Load the box, use run blitz packages to stop the run first and pressure the qb and get turnovers. Constant pressure causes turnovers.

When can we compare resume’s between the top10 AD’s and ours? If you take an hour and do it, you will see that ours does not belong in FCS company. Hey Joe, instead of emailing Nordy, the trib and PG, can you get a list of Pitt’s largest donors, so we can get that change facilitated?

Comment by dhuffdaddy 09.11.12 @ 2:24 pm

One Ning about PC that really bothers me is he seems very jovial after a loss. It doesn’t seem to bother him almost like its expected nd accepted. Those f you that ave coached know that winning is a certain mindset and expectation. I don’t think we have that. The god coaches all hate to lose, look at Sherrill, Kelly, Paterno, Meyer, they are mad as hell. They hate to lose.

Comment by DJS 09.11.12 @ 2:26 pm

That should say one thing about PC that really bothers me.

Comment by DJS 09.11.12 @ 2:27 pm

Matt, what undue stress did the defense have in the 1st half vs YSU other than the fact they didn’t have a clue how to stop the Penguins. HECK, I believe it is quite the opposite his year so far … I think it is the porous defense, especially in the beginning of games, that puts an undue strees on the offense … so what do you think about that?

Comment by wbb 09.11.12 @ 2:46 pm

PC’s relaxed attitude after both losses is frustrating… bothersome… a little odd.

But just when you think he’s “clueless” you find out beneath the “jovial” facade he is a master tactician.

Seems PC had a reason for taking the timeout into the lockerroom according to a story by Werner of the Post Gazette.

“I don’t think you need the timeout as much for stoppage of the clock as it is kind of an insurance policy,” Chryst said. “If someone’s helmet comes off or we jump offside, anything like that, then we would have the ability to buy out of the 10-second runoff.” — Paul Chryst

Don’t remember anyone on this blog mentioning this. I surely didn’t think of it.

Unfortunately, the one thing Chryst didn’t figure on was Tino’s inability to fire the ball at one of the two receivers open in the endzone instead of lofting the ball over the goal post.

Is there anyone who thinks Wanny would have calculated the same contingency plan in his head?

Comment by PittofDreams 09.11.12 @ 2:47 pm

Joe D

Give us the top ten positives on this team (coaches or players).
I am interested to see what you see as the positives.

Myself..
Pitts and Grigsby are showing great potential. Pitts will be a star.
Gordan showed up last week.
Graham and the running game.
The coaches made the adjustment and are now starting the correct safties.
Tino’s play….just kidding, that is just so hard to resist

Comment by notrocketscience 09.11.12 @ 2:51 pm

Let me add.

It may be frustrating, bothersome and odd, but Chryst’s comments after two embarassing loses have exemplified a Coach refusing to throw any of his players under the bus.

Rewind… same situation a year ago… and Graham would have not only thrown Sunseri under the bus he would have held him down beneath the front tires.

Comment by PittofDreams 09.11.12 @ 2:53 pm

Joe D, why don’t you do a little research before mouthing off about something you know nothing about? It took me all of 47 seconds to find this

link to articles.orlandosentinel.com

Comment by wbb 09.11.12 @ 2:53 pm

Huxtable will be a good DC at Pitt. The change in scheme and inexperience is killing the D right now.

Comment by notrocketscience 09.11.12 @ 3:00 pm

Pitt to open with Fordham and Chris Gaston in the preseason NIT. Mon Nov 12. Less than 2 months away.

Comment by alcofan 09.11.12 @ 3:23 pm

The defensive unit is still on the field as we speak…they don’t remember how to get off.

Comment by Get the Glory 09.11.12 @ 3:46 pm

Coaches have told me over the years that changing a team from a 3-4 to a 4-3 defense is one of the most difficult things to do to a team. It’s not the scheme usually, it’s the personell. Linebackers in the 4-3 have a significantly different role, as do linemen.

One of the things I did like about Graham’s team last year was the improvement on the D side of the ball.

Not an excuse for everything…just a thought.

Comment by Dan 72 09.11.12 @ 4:06 pm

I realized a great song, for the students. This would be great with 20k strong students and a sold out crowd, instead of Sweet Caroline.

link to youtube.com

link to youtube.com

Sugar Hill Gang from the 70’s, “Jump on it” others have covered, above Fresh Prince had an episode with Will Smith doing it.

Kids would go crazy!!! Especially with a little grape in them!!

This is not “Jump Around” at Wisky. This is a different song. Maybe someone allready does it??

Though, we have to get more than 27 students, and 100 fans in the stadium for anything to be fun.

Nevermind!!

Comment by Dan 09.11.12 @ 4:27 pm

are you implying that the defense improved last year despite the undue stress put on them by their QB?

Comment by wbb 09.11.12 @ 4:35 pm

The defense is the one thing that confuses me about Chryst. For someone so forward thinking and aggressive on offense, his philosophy on defense is the exact opposite. Just as the offense is trying to dictate tempo – the defense should be helping.

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 09.11.12 @ 4:36 pm

I think the biggest problem is the defensive coaching. The talent isn’t little if at all worse than last year. They went through last year’s schedule averaging giving up points in the low 20s. This year they have gotten torched by some mediocre teams. I hate to think what is going to happen on Saturday. Ideally you would fire the DC and promote one of his assistants. But you can’t really do that. What have you got? The Hawaii guy on the DL and a high school guy coaching the linebackers. That’s what you get when you fill your staff with a bunch of cronies. Now PC does know offense. I suppose he can take over the offense and demote Rudolph to position coach. Just have to try to outscore everyone else. Can’t expect much from the D. After the season Chryst needs to clean house of the non-performers on the staff and the roster. No good coach would put up with this crap.

Comment by Houston Panther 09.11.12 @ 4:37 pm

PC needs a lesson in PR 101. Yes, he is the coach and his primary responsibility is to “coach” the team. But he is the “head coach”. And that involves much more than deciding on the depth chart and when to use a redshirt. He also has to deal with the mindset of the boosters/fans, whether he likes it or not. His deer in the headlights look on the sidelines, compounded by some questionable at best calls, creates the impression he is in over his head. Whether that is the case will prove itself over time, but perception is never neutral. The Pitt fan base is a very fragile thing right now and he will ignore it at his own peril. Like most of you, I am rooting for him. He seems like a Pittsburgh kind of guy. But, he is digging himself a big hole and the “trust me guys” persona ain’t makin’ it. Remember, he is the guy who said right out of the gate that his actions and results would do the talking for him. So far, the less than stellar performance coupled with a team that looks uninspired and rudderless is not doing Pitt much good in the PR department. To give you an idea what is happening out there: I have five fraternity brothers who I went to Pitt with in the early 70’s. We have been meeting for a Pitt game every year since then for a reunion of sorts. Always around a Pitt game, mostly in Pittsburgh. The three guys who live out of state have finally thrown in the towel this year and are not going to incur the expense to come home this year based on the pathetic nature of the football program. Not a lot of money, but we had rooms on the North Shore and I would say all in, this will cost the Pittsburgh area around three grand for that weekend. Again, not a lot of dough, but if there are others thinking the same thing, it can’t be good. The rats are jumping ship Steve.

Comment by wally 09.11.12 @ 4:44 pm

Hey, some of you guys still discussing the in’s and out’s of football??? Ahhh, God love ya!!!

@wally, people at work I almost had cajoled some people at work into Va Tech, but after YSU and Cincy, that’s gone. I haven’t even brought the subject up again, and I think they’re happy I haven’t??

The family may be going up to Indiana, Pa. for some “welcome Autumn” thing.

I may be sitting in 4 seats by myself.

And, quite frankly, I’m just lookin’ for an excuse not to go.

No Steve, Nordy or Ath Dept., not one of those threats. I’m tired, just tired of it all.

Probably end up going I guess.

Comment by Dan 09.11.12 @ 5:25 pm

POD – your posts at 2:47 and 2:53 are spot on.

Wanny would never have lined up in a spread formation and put it in the QB’s hands. he would have kicked it, being risk averse.

Comment by JLawrence 09.11.12 @ 5:54 pm

Dan and outhers remain calm you all know we might lose to VT so stay calm if we do no one should
be to up set if we do.

but if we should lose the next game to gardner
webb well all bets are off we will meet on
the six street bridge hold hands cry hail to
pitt peterson sucks AND JUMP OFF THE DAM BRIDGE TOGETHER stay calm.

Comment by FRANKCAN 09.11.12 @ 6:13 pm

@FRANKCAN, can we have a good meal and some beverages before we jump???

Comment by Dan 09.11.12 @ 6:26 pm

@FRANKCAN, you know, I feel a bit differently this year.

Can’t control it, we’re all humans, put the info in, and your thoughts and feelings come out.

My fire for yelling and bitching is gone.

I’m somewhat suprised, at my lack of interest, as opposed to all the other years when I’ve been pissed.

Definitely got a feel of dis-interest about me.

Comment by Dan 09.11.12 @ 6:40 pm

I am not all that sure it is even the coaching at this point. Look at what Todd Graham is doing at ASU already. It is always tough to realize that maybe the players that we have are.. on the overrated side. Everyone loves to look at the number of stars that a player has, do I think the recruiting needs to get better, yes but its hard to recruit when we have had a new coach for every month it seems like. Firing any coach over two games is not the answer. I think we all need to take a step back at really evaluate the talent that fills this roster. I do think Chryst is the right guy for the job, he is just going to have a few years to get going.

Comment by Kishsticks 09.11.12 @ 7:16 pm

Remember how everyone was commenting when a recruit for D Line was told he was better than anything Pitt had currently? Maybe that wasn’t just blowing smoke. The bar is set pretty low. I was at the Air Force vs Mich game on Saturday and it was amazing the intensity of the Air Force guys compared to what we saw at Cincy. They gave Michigan all they could handle despite far less talent. Combine our intensity level and lack of precision with marginal talent at many positions and players being unsure of assigments and you have a record of 0 – whatever. I used to get really upset when Pitt lost but not anymore after the last 3 years. I hope PC can rebuild things but I may be retired before that happens. Dan, I feel like you right now. My daughter goes to Michigan and I’ll be rooting for them until this team begins to show some intensity and pride again. I didn’t think I would ever say that.

Comment by michmike 09.11.12 @ 7:20 pm

Someone asked me to come up with 10 good things about Pitt football.
First, I can’t come up with 10 positives.
1. Ray Graham starting to look like his ole self.
2. Pitt cheerleaders look good.
3. I like Sweet Caroline.
4. I like the Pitt Panther website… Bostic does a great job.
5. I liked with Chryst reamed Clemmings a new a$$hole.
6. I like that Chryst suspended players and holding them accountable for their actions.
Thats about all I can come up with so far.

Comment by Joe D 09.11.12 @ 7:21 pm

Dan yes we may dine and drink a lot first.
Dan you are just shell shocked it will pass.ave

Have a T BONE a few drinks a pice of cheese cake
take your shoes off and post on line here tonight and you will be a new man in the morning
dont let the bastaeds get you dowm

god save the queen o wait we dont have a queen.
thats ok i like saying that any way hell when you are old you can say what you want ever one knows i am not all there any way.
.

Comment by FRANKCAN 09.11.12 @ 7:27 pm

bastards get you down hit wrong key but you know what i was saying.

Comment by FRANKCAN 09.11.12 @ 7:33 pm

Joe D you like pitt blather so that is 7
we all know you like tino so that is 8 joke.

Comment by FRANKCAN 09.11.12 @ 7:38 pm

The medical staff needs to be called in. First they need to check Chryst and the rest of his staff to see if they have a pulse. Then they need to check their testosterone level. This is a lifeless bunch. Maybe they can be treated.

Comment by Houston Panther 09.11.12 @ 7:53 pm

I don’t think we should blame huxtable for d problems just yet. Last year our defense gave up points and 700 total passing for buff and Maine. By the end of year we thought Patterson did a hell of job and some hoped he would stay. We all know are linebackers are very young and dline not very athletic.

Comment by why me 09.11.12 @ 8:20 pm

Joe D
Interesting that you did not mention on your “top 10″ (deficient version thereof) the location of your season tickets. Since you know so much about Pitt football, you must be a season ticket holder, a member of the Alumni Association and a member of the Panther Club — correct?

Comment by Pitt73Pete 09.11.12 @ 8:50 pm

JoeD, good list so far. Let me help you try to get to 10.

7. The watch party on the Pete lawn was pretty cool.
8. Johnson, Foster and Boyd haven’t committed to another school yet.
9. The Pitt v. VaTech game is on ESPNU for us out-of-towers to watch…but the rest of the country likely won’t tune in and see us get destroyed.
10. Penn State is 0-2 also

Best I can do!

Comment by JAM 05 Pitt 09.11.12 @ 8:53 pm

pitt73pete now you play nice with JOE D he is new here.

Comment by FRANKCAN 09.11.12 @ 9:13 pm

I will add one….but it has to be as time is expiring…

Tino throws a good field goal.

Does anyone really question the calls from our head coach? I mean really? He has not done anything egregious in my mind. The only negative comes from the lack of pressure and turnovers caused by our defense. Pressure and more pressure in the college game works. See note about not many high caliber nfl draft choices at the qb position each year and…we don’t usually play against them!

Comment by dhuffdaddy 09.11.12 @ 9:19 pm

Wbb — well, we can always cherry pick moments in particular games, can’t we now? For example, the second half vs. Cincy after Tino brainfarted and also threw an endzone bad interception on another red zone possession. I guess the pretty obvious (but apparently not obvious enough) point I was making is his overall trend of not delivering in the red zone…or any other zone in terms of scoring threats…puts constant pressure on the D to always come up big, which they can’t. Average D needs at least average O to break even, and our D was pretty good last year, but they still wore down in many games from being called on too often. Tino had what, 11 td passes last year? Russell Wilson had 33, playing in a fairly conservative offense for Chryst…so what you think o’ that?

Comment by Matt N. 09.11.12 @ 9:58 pm

I have been as negative towards the administration at Pitt, in particular, ole’ Stevy Petersen, as anyone on this board. The shear incompetence that was displayed in firing a coach who admittedly had to go, but without a solid replacement lined up, defies belief, and the rest is history. My old Poly Sci pal Nordy deserves some of the criticism for that as well.

But let me point something out, which I think has to at least temper the criticism of Nordenberg a little.

The Guardian, in the UK, just published its list of the top universities in the world for 2012. Pitt was number 98. In the world. In the f’n world. Above such schools as Vanderbilt, Dartmouth, Georgetown, Emory, Syracuse, Virginia, USC, Cal-Davis, Wake Forest, and least but certainly not last, State Penn/Penn State. Not to mention, a host of prestigious schools outside the U.S. Now that is someone’s opinion, for sure. But, nevertheless, that is something every alumnus can take pride in. That is what we are about. And lest I diminish my standing as a nabob of negativism, that is what is supposed to be important when it comes to anything related to a college. That is why the ACC, clearly the classiest, albeit perhaps not the most successful football conference, wanted Pitt and Syracuse, and not WVU and its drinkin’, ramblin’ and gamblin’ athletic department.

Steve Petersen has to go. That is clear. He is an abysmal failure as an athletic director. His hopes to survive rest on Jamie Dixon having a final four year, and that is like relying on the Titanic to limp into New York with everyone aboard. But Nordenberg has done great things with this school. In the end, that will pay dividends for the college and the athletic programs. Not sure that will be in our collective lifetimes, but I think it will happen.

Chryst may not work out, ultimately. But I think, unlike his phony predecessor, he deserves a chance. I just do not think anyone, coming from a solid program like Wisconsin, could ever have anticipated the situation at Pitt. He clearly is willing to set limits, and stand by those, even if it costs him games. A refreshing contrast to a guy that gives a one game suspension to a defensive starter that throws a kid through a window.

So I will give him some time, maybe even the 3 years, to sort this out. In the meantime, I would still rather have a Pitt shingle on my wall, than Penn State, Ohio State, WVU, UConn, Nebraska, or Cincy, and, based on the Guardian’s analysis, a lot of other really good schools.

Comment by PO'd Panther 09.11.12 @ 10:32 pm

Fire Huxtable now. Should’ve hired Tomsula in the first place. Go get Randy Shannon.

Comment by TonyC 09.11.12 @ 10:46 pm

man, as bad as pitt is right now, i am so jealous of those of you that have easy access to get to the games or see the games. very seldom do i get to see the games, and when i don’t i have to either live it through the live blog on here or by watching espn gametracker. so all this talk of not going to the games etc is a bunch of bs. if nothing else go and have a good time, let your boos be heard, and support the players who are doing well. we will be ok in the future, but i too like everyone else am tired of losing and losing with tino. but at the end of the day, i love pitt and would be more than happy to see anygame either on tv or in person.

Comment by pittisit37 09.11.12 @ 10:56 pm

@ PO’d Panther.

Well said good sir.

Comment by The Atlanta Panther 09.11.12 @ 11:23 pm

It’s been a long time since I have bet an Oreo (Dan09) on a game but if I had one, I would take Pitt and the 10.5 pts on Saturday. I believe history gives us lessons. Under Walt Harris, VTech came into Pitt 2x as a massive favorite…18 and 15 pts and at least once Pitt was 0-3. Both times VA Tech walked out with a loss. Neither game was even close. This team simply cannot be this bad and I am willing, no matter what, to give PC a chance. Frankly, it’s obvious, he is all we can get. No false bravado here, we could get killed…but I remember this scenerio playing out.

This whole city is in a sports “death spiral” right now. Wouldn’t it be great if our Panthers reversed the trend?

Hail to Pitt!

Comment by Dan 72 09.11.12 @ 11:24 pm

PO’d Panther, Wonderful comment. Thanks for the info. from the Guardian. I agree with pretty much everything you said. My main concern about Pitt is not about football (although I care greatly about Pitt football), it is who takes over when Nordy steps down. Nordy has been around for a while and is no spring chicken. He is the best chancellor we have had in my memory and I’m not a spring chicken either.

Comment by opfim 09.11.12 @ 11:38 pm

Dan 72, hate to crush your dream but we’re gonna lose by about 40 on Saturday

Comment by TonyC 09.12.12 @ 12:30 am

Somebody mentioned it above, but changing the style of defense played by the front 7 is really difficult. The assignments are different, gap responsibilities are different, and they call for different types of D-linemen and linebackers to fill those positions. Not justifying the fact that YSU dropped 31 points on us by any means -that’s awful regardless of the scheme – but that’s one aspect that I anticipate improving as the year goes on. Glad to see Holley back as the official starter.

At quarterback, though, it’s different. I don’t like piling onto everything that’s been said thus far, but I’m having a hard time seeing why Sunseri’s still starting. It’s not that he makes mistakes; it’s that he still makes freshman mistakes despite being a 3rd-year starter. Obviously he has a physical ceiling, but at this point in his career he’s got to make better decisions in clutch situations.

The last play before halftime was a perfect example. The double-pump was terrible; a quick throw-away would likely have left enough time to either kick a FG or (hopefully) take another try at the end zone. Annoying but understandable for a freshman; infuriating and inexplicable for a guy with the experience that Tino has.

I have nothing personal against him, but you have to be wondering why even after all of this, the coaching staff still considers him to be their best option. Obviously our backup QBs have no experience to speak of, but at this point, why not? Can it get any worse than getting worked by an FCS team?

If, and this is a big IF, Tino does have some potential, maybe that’s what he needs to get fired up – and if not, what is there to lose? Insanity is doing the same thing over and over under the same circumstances and expecting different results.

Comment by Gravel Lot Guru 09.12.12 @ 1:58 am

The winning will start soon; I can feel it. If not this week, then next.

I have been a Pit fan for 40 years and irrational optimism has been my best friend for the last 30 of them.

Go Pitt!

Comment by Gas 09.12.12 @ 6:19 am

Matt N, I have never said that Tino was a good QB. My whole mantra, both last year and this, has been that he has been getting WAY too much blame for what has gone wrong .. and your assertion that he is the blame for the defensive problems is just plain ludicrous.

Here is a quote from Chryst from Monday’s presser (and this should apply to last year and this year):

“Everyone is responsible for those sacks. Certainly, the O-line, you have five guys and their job on a pass is to protect. We’ve got backs, where we gave up one where we had both backs in there and both could have taken a hit off of the quarterback after the line did a pretty decent job on it. The quarterback has to get the ball out of his hands. Getting the ball out of his hands means the receivers have to be precise on the routes.”

Yet all you and others of your ilk (and there are many) will read from the abobe is “the QB has to get the ball out of his hand” .. and totally ignore everything else.

Comment by wbb 09.12.12 @ 8:58 am

Gas,

I have a friend who says Pitt fans are the biggest idiots going, but I like your explanation of irrational optimism better.

Comment by longsufferingpittfan 09.12.12 @ 9:23 am

@DAN72, LOL, would seem that way. However, my same rationale for the Cincy game back fired!!!

Allthough, we do have the added bonus, of history, beating them the last 3 times.

I think I’ll sit this one out, get a quart of milk, and make like Sherman on Atlanta with those Oreo’s!!!!

Comment by Dan 09.12.12 @ 10:03 am

Oh, I should say, my rationale, was, taking the opposite of something so obvious. That’s what back fired.

Va Tech -10 is another “so obvious”. So, go with Pitt +10.

Nah, I’m just gonna destroy a sleeve or two!!

Comment by Dan 09.12.12 @ 10:07 am

Chryst has got a particular, low-key style, but we aren’t going to know whether that works for him as a HC or not until we see how things play out – not just over the season but over the next couple of years. If the season continues like the first two games, then I fully expect some staff changes, but they won’t happen until the end of the season. He will give the assistants a reasonable chance, especially given what they have to work with.

And that really is the bottom line – there’s just isn’t enough FBS-level talent on this team right now. Just watch the games – slow and sloppy. DW’s recruiting was vastly over-rated, and the last two classes were transitionary. Nothing personal against the guys on the team, I’m sure they are doing their best, but the speed and ability just isn’t there compared to their opponents.

So, people need to consider the notion that if the schemes are simple or vanilla, that it’s because that’s the best approach given the players we have, not because the coordinator can’t dial up anything more sophisticated. We saw that last year, and it wasn’t all because of the change to a spread. And as far as the QB, I’d really like to see Anderson get a chance, but I wouldn’t expect a big upgrade. If you put Voytick in and he isn’t ready, then things not only get worse, but you risk getting him injured for nothing. Frankly, with our O-line you could put Dan Marino in there and we’d still have major problems.

As bad as it’s been, it’s way too early to start calling for the coaches head. And to agree with some of the other posters above, this is still a college football team, not the NFL, and as an alum, I’m more concerned with keeping it that way than winning. Sure, I want to see some success on the field, and I don’t see any reason why that isn’t possible. However, I’m not willing to have Pitt become a jock factory / party school like the so-called “universities” that compete in the BCS every year to do it. I’d rather drop to the FCS than become another WVU or OSU. Top100 in the world as a university means a lot more to me than a Top25 team, and it should to everyone else who actually went to Pitt. It’s a shame that it has to be that way, but that’s the messed up society we’ve created.

Comment by SteveS 09.12.12 @ 10:14 am

It’s official..

Notre Dame joins ACC for all sports except football.

It’s just a matter of time.

Comment by Joe D 09.12.12 @ 10:34 am

Wbb — Like many other posters here, I never said Tino was the source of ALL Pitt’s problems, just a truckload of them. Unlike you and your “ilk”, we recognize that the QB in football is clearly the most important single position and has effect on the rest of the team like no other — obviously many others are important too, but not as dominantly as a QB, who literally touches and controls the distribution of the ball on every play. Not sure why its so hard to understand how a scuffling QB sabotages an offense, which in turn puts even more pressure on a defense…guess that’s overly adventurous thinking or something.

Pitt clearly is not a championship caliber team but I think it has plenty of talent to go 9-3 or even 10-2, especially with our schedule. I doubt my ilk thinks a better QB would turn us into ‘Bama or Oklahoma overnight, but it sure as sh#t would turn us into a more competitive, interesting, and hopeful team.

Comment by Matt N. 09.12.12 @ 2:11 pm

mattn…
lmao… 9-3 or 10-2 for season… you are dreaming… run the table for the remaining 10 games???
I hope you are not serious…
Have you seen the other teams play? Pitt will be lucky to go 6-6… and quite frankly 4-8 is not out of the question.

Comment by Joe D 09.12.12 @ 2:51 pm

Matt N, real quick .. who were the 2 starting QBs in last year’s national title game? (no looking it up now)

Some QBs are more important than others … note that Marino, Fouts, A Manning never won a Super Bowl but Mark Rypien, Trent Dilfer, and Jeff Hoffstetler did — and that is the NFL where the rules pretty much mandate that you have a passing QB!!

Comment by wbb 09.12.12 @ 4:15 pm

Looking at Walt Harris and Dave Wannstedt history of W-L…
Chryst will be with Pitt for 5 years…
My thought of being on a 3yr short lease I think is wrong.
Lets hope Pederson strongly suggests assistant coaching changes… Pederson did that before.

Comment by Joe D 09.12.12 @ 4:38 pm

Joe D — I was suggesting a 9-3/10-2 record with a different QB at the start of the season…now, of course, with two, and probably three losses since Tino looks to be playing vs. VTech, we’d be hard pressed to pull that off.

Wbb — I’d take Rypien, Dilfer, and Hostettler any day of the week…all were EXCELLENT college QBs and high draft picks. Regarding Marino and Fouts, sure they never got a Super Bowl ring but they racked up alot of wins for their teams and were widely respected by their peers. Can we say any of those things for both sets of QBs about Tino?

Comment by Matt N. 09.12.12 @ 5:42 pm

mattn…
Pitt is hard pressed to win 6 games regardless of who the QB is….
It’s the defense that is the most problematic!!
Did you watch the game?
I like your optimism… but… C’mon man.
some consider me as a pessimist… I consider myself a realist.

Comment by Joe D 09.12.12 @ 6:06 pm

Yeah, I guess I’m an optimist but I saw enough moments in these first two games where we could have put points up on the board and made a fight of it — and once you’re in there swinging, you never know…but you got to at least be in there. People also forget, when your O puts points up, it not only helps your D, but puts pressure on the other teams O as well…and of course D. So these things don’t happen in a vacumn, they have ripple effects.

Comment by Matt N. 09.12.12 @ 6:34 pm

@PO’d Panther. Your assessments, written on 9/11, on Pitt as a university and the athletic department should be required reading for every student, alum, employee, fan et al.
Levels of international achievement as a body, but one glaring area of underachievement.
As I put it…PITT DESERVES BETTER THAN PEDERSON.

Comment by SFPitt 09.13.12 @ 6:07 am

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