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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?


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

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.

Comment by SFPitt 09.13.12 @ 6:07 am

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