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September 13, 2012

Running the Links, 9/13

Filed under: Football,Opponent(s),Recruiting — Chas @ 9:32 pm

Another week getting away from me. Back flaring this week, not helping.

Let’s run the links.

A couple pieces on the tailbacks. One on Rushel Shell getting his first action. As the star running back in HS, he was never wasted with blocking, so he’s having to learn the hard way.

No wonder: Shell ran for a state-record 9,078 yards in high school on a team that seldom threw.

“I didn’t know what a protection was coming in here,” Shell said. “It was rough at first, but I’m really getting a grasp of it now.”

Then an article on Ray Graham getting closer to feeling like himself, with a  second half also about Shell learning/getting his first action.

“My explosiveness, I feel like it ain’t there right now. The stick shift, I need to get in four gears. I feel like it’s coming and coming as the games go on.”

After that 50-yard run, Graham came out and freshman Rushel Shell took Pitt’s next two carries. Shell and Isaac Bennett combined for 13 carries for 55 yards Thursday, and that may just be the key to Graham’s recovery — having two capable backups to handle the load when he needs to rest.

“Three is always better than one,” Graham said.

Graham does know to say exactly the right thing about sharing carries.


A nooner on ESPNU with once and future conference foe, Virginia Tech. A game that was greeted with great anticipation before the season started is now viewed with dread as to the outcome.

Somehow VT is only favored by 10 points or so. Apparently the oddsmakers are confused that this is a game in 2012, not 2002.

Brian from THE KEY PLAY got in touch with me to do a little Q&A exchange. I sent him my questions on Tuesday night, right before the latest round of expansiopocolypse hit — rendering some of my questions a little dated even before the responses came. My answers to his questions can be found here.

When Pitt joins the Big East in some 290 days, The Key Play will definitely be a part of the ACC link selection. One of the finer blogs out there, and like Pitt Blather not part of the SBN borg collective. You can also find them on Twitter at, well, THE KEY PLAY.


More ACC Thoughts

Filed under: ACC,Conference,Expansiopocolypse — Chas @ 8:22 am

Yesterday got totally disrupted with the Notre Dame-ACC news. I just have one (or two) final thoughts for now on the deal. Then, I swear I’ll get back to the stuff regarding the VT game. Really. I mean it.

I’m surprised it took place this quickly. For the ACC there was no real urgency to do this. It seems that the ACC could have waited a year or two to let ND twist in the new Big East. It wouldn’t have resulted in full membership, but they probably could have had ND playing 6 games against the ACC rather than 5.

The exception to that thought would be if getting the ND deal done was the only way to make sure the ACC could pass the new exit fee structure. That was really the bigger deal and puts the ACC on the Big 12 level stability with such painful exit fees that it becomes almost impossible to leave.


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