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September 15, 2012

That Just Happened

Filed under: Football — Chas @ 5:15 pm

I won’t even pretend to write that I saw that coming.

I made the weak jokes about putting members of the 2001-03 coaching staff and team on the sideline for this game, but to see to this happen is utterly befuddling. (If anyone has pictures of Walt Harris or players from those squads on the sidelines, please share.)

The quandary this puts me in is that I watched the first half of the game on DVR delay because of a surprise project at work. I caught up by halftime. I panicked after halftime when VT returned the punt for TD (by a former Pitt commit no less). I paused the game and found excuses to do some dinner prep that could have waited until after the game. And sure enough, Pitt stayed in control to win this game.

So, now what? Intellectually I say that I have nothing to do with the on the field activity. Emotionally, I just don’t want to eff with this. Okay, it doesn’t hurt that my wife is calling in an overrule to say I have to miss next week to visit inlaws

Heading into this game, I said Tino Sunseri needed to have a USF-in-20111 game. And he did. He was outstanding. Does it erase everything before? Of course not. But the few errors he did make in this game can’t be claimed as damning.

Basically, Sunseri could have gotten a 300 yard game if Paul Chryst wanted him to. Just as he could have had let Ray Graham have a 1oo yard game. Neither did, but that was individual goals. I’m rather certain both are happy to give those numbers up to get the win. Especially against a top #15 team. about the team goals.

The defense, though, finally showed up. Huge game for them. The D-line got some pressure up front without blitzing, and the secondary reallymade strides.

Still digesting. Debating about whether to sober up. More later.

Huge win for Pitt.





Stunned ….Really smiling but stunned. Can they build on this??

Comment by TonyinHarrisburg 09.15.12 @ 5:29 pm

Maybe Pitt’s strategy is to fool people into thinking we are the worst team in division 1….and then jump all over them before they can respond!

Comment by Marco 09.15.12 @ 5:46 pm

The big question is – what is the trajectory of this? Is this a team – and a coaching staff – really getting their footing and showing that they are capable of season-long, steady improvement?

Long-suffering Pitt fans find that hard to believe; we’re so used to any positive being followed by the inevitable, agonizing thud.

All we can do it watch and wait. Maybe PC is the steady, unglamorous, even-keel guy who can make that happen.

What a great day…HTP

Comment by BATR 09.15.12 @ 5:47 pm

Pure & total enjoyment. Detractors already saying Tech can’t score on offense, but I know what I saw. This is something to build on and a great relief.

Comment by Old School Panther 09.15.12 @ 5:51 pm

“The big question is – what is the trajectory of this? Is this a team – and a coaching staff – really getting their footing and showing that they are capable of season-long, steady improvement?”

I think so. You could tell today that something in practice this week clicked – this team is executing schemes now, guys are going where they’re supposed to go and they’re executing when they get there. The tackling on defense is a 180 degree reversal from the first two games. Gaps were being filled. The O-line hit its spots consistently, the receivers ran their routes (except on the interception), and the natural talent of Graham and Shell did the rest. And Tino’s play was not mediocre so he didn’t sabotage the rest.

Comment by deepelemblues 09.15.12 @ 6:05 pm

A WIN like this is what I get for NOT making the trip from Wilkes-Barre. This kind of a game is what keeps luring us back once disillusioned, now inspired…for now. At least we know what the team is capable of…no more big letdowns please. Next week’s game should be very telling. What team is going to show up?

Comment by barreman 09.15.12 @ 6:07 pm

OMG…..HTP

Comment by Houston Panther 09.15.12 @ 6:12 pm

My wife and I commented that we don’t know what to do this weekend now. We planned on being depressed after a loss and don’t know how to handle Pitt winning a big game.

Comment by pendlum 09.15.12 @ 6:14 pm

@pendulum – watch the game again… and again…

Comment by Pitt Dad 09.15.12 @ 6:18 pm

Amazing stuff. But I am NOT taking Gardner-Webb for granted.

Comment by maguro 09.15.12 @ 6:22 pm

I hope this ends the run of unbearable negativity on this blog. It’s been depressing even coming to this site the past few weeks.

Comment by Denny 09.15.12 @ 6:23 pm

@ pendum, have sex, it works for me and my wife, even when I am depressed after a Pitt defeat.

Comment by Dr. Tom 09.15.12 @ 6:26 pm

“I hope this ends the run of unbearable negativity on this blog. It’s been depressing even coming to this site the past few weeks.”

it was a depressing few weeks

Comment by deepelemblues 09.15.12 @ 6:29 pm

My hat is off to Tino today. I never questioned his toughness and he showed that again today gutting it out after getting his ankle dinged up. What I’ve always questioned however was his decision making, or lack thereof. Today he was decisive and took command of the game from the beginning.

I come down hard on the guy when he comes up short, which is more often than not, but today he deserves all of the praise that he earned. Good on ya Sunseri! Hail to Pitt!

Comment by Dr. Tom 09.15.12 @ 6:30 pm

Just got home from the game. Small but enthusiastic crowd. V-Tech crowd has class.

Tino outplayed the V-Tech QB. Got to give him his due, great throws when really needed.

The lines were awesome. Shell is for real, not as flashy as Tony or Shady, but he hits the hole and is hard to take down. Graham missing his burst or he breaks several big ones. Still a major asset though.

Much better coaching, IMO only one bad call when we needed four yards went for a long one to Saddler. Preceded the punt return for a touchdown.

Still got the shakes when it was down to 11 points, with plenty of time left. Too many bad memories. Not convinced until our last td.

Total team effort.

Best win since WVU. Maybe saved a season.

Hail to Pitt!

Comment by gc 09.15.12 @ 6:33 pm

I think we saw the difference between today between Wanny and Christ. Wanny withe lead would have played not to lose … and would have settled for FGs in 2 0r 3 occcasions when we actually got TDs.

There is no need to bad mouth Wanny — this is his pro mentality. There is also no need to go overboard for Chryst. While I hope this is his breakout game and a portend for what is to come, he has another big test in 2 weeks against a team that gave USC a pretty good tussle in their dome.

(yes I guess I am overlooking GW.)

Comment by wbb 09.15.12 @ 6:45 pm

pitt is all over the sports news as the biggest upset of the day!

Comment by goalie44 09.15.12 @ 6:45 pm

@ goalie, as it should bee, did you think Pitt was going to win today?????

Comment by Dr. Tom 09.15.12 @ 6:57 pm

Last test. Have been banned from this board today…why?

Tino hitting early bombs was HUGE. Kept their defense honest.

Comment by steve1 09.15.12 @ 7:01 pm

good win, shell is gonna be a force in years to come!

Comment by pittisit37 09.15.12 @ 7:05 pm

honestly Dr. Tom, i did not. I’m glad I was wrong!

Comment by goalie44 09.15.12 @ 7:14 pm

Lovin’ ASU getting creamed by Mizzou. ESPN2

Comment by steve1 09.15.12 @ 7:30 pm

Got to give credit where credit is do. Coaches had the team ready! Chryst has remained steady despite the start. You could see his resolve in the Cincinnati game.

Tino had a very good game. best I have seen.

Shell is a player. Always falls forward. Will carry this team on day (did it today). Bonifide player.

Grahams knee is fine. Confidence growing.

Shanahan is a NFLer.

L Pitts will be 1st team all-big east and one day will play on Sundays.

As I use to say with Walt Harris… Thank God for Vtech. That win should open a few eyes in the ACC since they all seem intimidated by Vtech. PITT still has Vtechs number.

HTP

Comment by Pitt fan in Atlanta 09.15.12 @ 7:41 pm

1. Tino played fantastic
2. O-line, teriffic
3. Shell, is going to be one of the top backs in the country in the next few years.
4. Defense, guys, where you been, great.
5. Ray, getting his cutting business back in gear.

Great game, great day!!!

Comment by Dan 09.15.12 @ 7:42 pm

For some reason, Pitt has always played Virginia Tech tough. I always thought it Walt Harris’s game planning. Who would have thunk it! The nice thing is, that Paul Chryst knows what to do with a lead, unlike the guy last year, who blew a 3 touchdown lead against Iowa. Who in the hell, in his right mind would play hurry-up with big lead. Nice win today, hopefully it’s a preview of what’s to come. Hail to Pitt!

Comment by Justinian 09.15.12 @ 7:44 pm

I can’t believe I blogged that I had given up on my Panthers–and after all these years er DECADES . I WAS WRONG!! Really wrong! I’m back on board with renewed enthusiam. What I witnessed today was what I had hoped for. A mentor who can coach, assistants who can communicate and players who bond as a team. Talent? Absolutely. The Panthers are not world beaters YET!! But, WE are on the way. Congratulations to all who have made it happen. I am I euphoric? YOU BET I AM!!! Rev. George in Columbus

Comment by Rev. George Mehaffey 09.15.12 @ 7:46 pm

Whatever else happens this year, let’s enjoy this one. And drink to what can be a great rivalry.

HTP.

Comment by velvil 09.15.12 @ 7:50 pm

Denny, I would suggest to you, that if Pitt plays this well, even in a loss, if they play well, you won’t have to see too much negativity.

If they start serving up some of that slop they called football, from the first two games, yes, you will.

Comment by Dan 09.15.12 @ 7:53 pm

You have to wonder, what most of the other ACC teams, who have been throttled by Va. Tech most of the time, have to think of Pitt.

“what’s up with Pitt, they beat Va. Tech 4 in a row, the rest of us get hammered”.

“some kind of curse over them?”

Wow, sweet game. Great job coaches, Tino and team!!!

Comment by Dan 09.15.12 @ 7:56 pm

Thoughts:

– Wow.

– Hope it’s a sign of things to come.

– Since we’ve had some negative knee jerk thoughts towards Pitt Football over the first two weeks, let me take this time to re-knee jerk back after recent events:

* PC MUST be signed to a lifetime contract NOW and when will the statue be installed. They can call PSU for the bronze.

* SP is the smartest AD in college football. Hired PC and got Pitt in the ACC. Let’s get him signed up for life as well.

* PC is the greatest QB developer in the history of CFB, Tino’s now call little Marino.

* If VT is the best the ACC has to offer then those other schools better learn how to recruit. I’m sure JoeD will be getting a call from them….

* Boy can Pitt’s AC’s “coach” up those players

* With this win, PC will now sign every 5 star recruit around since they rule the Northeast when it comes to college football.

* And while we’re at it, can someone lock up the DC to a 20-year contract.

* Finally, I think the real reason they won was the current uniform colors, logo and stadium.

Comment by burgh1972 09.15.12 @ 7:57 pm

ASU’s QB has no idea where his receivers are. Welcome to Toad Graham football

Comment by steve1 09.15.12 @ 8:02 pm

Pitt played a heck of a game..
both sides of the ball…
There play today was night and day versus the last 2 games.

Comment by Joe D 09.15.12 @ 8:02 pm

Today’s game is why we are all Pitt fans, just when we are about to give up hope they show a bit of greatness. What a ride, lets hope today’s win gives us a glimpse of the future.

Comment by Maryland Andy 09.15.12 @ 8:12 pm

Very cool indeed! Tino got it done and both lines played like men. Maybe the O-line is that talented, but it did seem a little like VTech played kind of conservatively on defense and didn’t really get after the QB — maybe the line just was that good. The two pressure plays I saw though, where Tino walked into another sack and the interception after pressure in his face…we’ve seen that movie many times, so here’s hoping that’s on the decline and not just an isolated moment of clarity for him. Either way, the line looks like they figured some things out.

Comment by Matt N. 09.15.12 @ 8:23 pm

What a game. What a day. Still smiling several hours after this one ended. Everything about today’s game is why I love college football.

1. Tino – The kid has guts. Much of the criticism over his limitations as a QB is warranted, but the kid absolutely has guts. To this point at least, this is likely the game that will define his Pitt career, as well it should. He looked in control. He was efficient. He put touch on the ball not just on the touchdowns, but on some of the longer passes that he hit to sustain drives. He was exactly what Chryst/Rudolph/Bollinger need him to be in this offense. Just a terrific performance by him, and hopefully we see more of this.

2. Ray Graham – Holy hell, that jump cut. Just devastating.

3. Rushel Shell – As a testament to his performance, members of the media tweeted that VT players in the postgame were offering unsolicited praise of Shell, particularly how hard he was to bring down. I expected to see this kind of running from him, but not until next year, to be honest. This is going to be fun. Speaking of which…

4. I really hope Corey Clement was watching today’s game.

5. Very solid game by the o-line, relatively speaking today. Turnley, Schleiper and Jacobsen in particular looked really solid. Rotheram struggled a little (and what’s with the false starts on third and short?), but all in all, this group was really good against a very tough test.

6. Oh hey, another Mizzou TD. 17-0 over ASU. Hah.

7. Defensive line – Aaron Donald was a beast today. Devin Cook was a monster in a reserve role as well. Ezell was in the mix. Murphy and Clemmings were solid. What an improvement from last week.

8. Linebackers – Becoming a huge Shane Gordon fan very quickly. How many stand-him-up tackles did that kid have today? Five? Six? I also really liked getting Manny Williams into the lineup. Really solid game by Eric Williams, especially that head-up hit he laid on Logan Thomas.

All in all, just a great game. This is the best thing about college football…that a team can and often does find itself getting better week after week. Hopefully today was a preview of what Coach Chryst can build with this program, and they take the next step next weekend by hammering Gardner-Webb.

Very happy for Coach Chryst on his first win, and very happy for the entire Pitt team. The players worked hard and earned this one.

Comment by Stoosh 09.15.12 @ 8:24 pm

Thank you Pitt for lifting up my spirit and reinvigorating my soul. H2P!

Comment by TX Panther 09.15.12 @ 8:40 pm

By far the biggest win since 13-9 vs WVU. Who would have thought we would have a chance to be a .500 team with a win next week?

Comment by OrlandoAlum 09.15.12 @ 8:41 pm

Just a gigantic win for Pitt. It restored my enthusiasm in the team, and I’m truly excited for the rest of the season. If anything, this win was a huge one for the fan base.

Comment by PatMac 09.15.12 @ 8:43 pm

I liked that the players gave Coach Chryst the game ball for his first Pitt win. Pretty cool gesture! Particularily after a big win when so many players had terrific games!

Comment by Justinian 09.15.12 @ 8:43 pm

Just when you think you are done with the Panthers they bring you back in.

Comment by Yeti 09.15.12 @ 8:44 pm

Any word on the recruits and how their time went?

Comment by tedsptman 09.15.12 @ 8:46 pm

You know about Tomlinism’s….

Now we have Chyrstism’s….
– Neat
– Really Neat

what are others?

Comment by Joe D 09.15.12 @ 8:51 pm

Another Chrystism…
– The truth is….

Comment by Joe D 09.15.12 @ 8:54 pm

It can only help with recruiting having shell get all that playing time in front of those recruits and dominating. Great day for Pitt! Totally did not expect this.

Comment by KRF 09.15.12 @ 8:55 pm

Look if we beat gardner webb and syracuse
then L Ville is the key game if we beat L Ville
then then the 10 and 2 is a real posiblity.
if we lose to L Ville.
then we are 8 and 4 or 7 and 5 i think we go to a bowl this year.
things look good run the ball run the ball.

Comment by FRANKCAN 09.15.12 @ 8:55 pm

Chryst and staff showed us “some coaching” this past week + 2 days. Games are usually won or lost on the week leading up. Been a long time since Pitt fans have seen “some coaching”. Not enough congrats to go around but Shane Gordan is a monster. Reminds me of Arnie Weatherington.

Congrats to all involved…and the Bucs held on!

Hail to Pitt…actually had a tear in my eye in the fourth quarter!

Comment by Dan 72 09.15.12 @ 9:14 pm

welcome back reverend george. wish emel were back.

keep calm

hail to pitt

Comment by pittkeith 09.15.12 @ 9:22 pm

Just finished watching the game on DVR… All the “FIRE CHRYST” “fans” who jumped ship are welcome to crawl back to on band wagon now… You’re forgiven… Hail!

Comment by Pitt2Cali 09.15.12 @ 9:24 pm

Let me salute BIGGGGGGGGGGG Mike Shanahan 5 catches for 111 yds. Tino’s favorite target. Never would have that many yards under high octane offence.

Comment by alcofan 09.15.12 @ 9:27 pm

Furrow your brow, Toad.

I hope Penni’s is too. She had no use for Pitt. I don’t know why given how we subsidized her shopping sprees.

A despicable duo.

Comment by steve1 09.15.12 @ 9:29 pm

really had a great time with vt fans today. would like this to become the conference rivalry.

Comment by pittkeith 09.15.12 @ 9:40 pm

Way to go Pitt,I didn’t think they could do it, not with total domination like that. All around great performance. This will make VT our big rivalry going into the ACC, they must hate us!

Comment by Moe Greene 09.15.12 @ 9:58 pm

Moe Greene, leaving game, from one Va.Tech fan to another, and I’ll clean in up……

“effin’ bastards”.

Ya, they hate us. I’d say it’s a bit of a rivalry!!!!

Comment by Dan 09.15.12 @ 10:11 pm

This win is better than sex. At least I get to enjoy a win once in a great while.

Comment by OhHowIHateOhioState 09.15.12 @ 10:16 pm

We actully had ALOT in our favor…1. we kind have owned VT and 2. vt ALWAYS loses to a team they shouldn’t early in the season. I would like to THANK the student section today..they did a descent job..and ALOT of them stayed until the end. Let’s hope we can carry this on and have a good season. Hail 2 Pitt!!

Comment by pitt-for-life 09.15.12 @ 10:20 pm

Thoughts:

– Wow.

– Hope it’s a sign of things to come.

– Since we’ve had some negative knee jerk thoughts towards Pitt Football over the first two weeks, let me take this time to re-knee jerk back after recent events:

* PC MUST be signed to a lifetime contract NOW and when will the statue be installed. They can call PSU for the bronze.

* SP is the smartest AD in college football. Hired PC and got Pitt in the ACC. Let’s get him signed up for life as well.

* PC is the greatest QB developer in the history of CFB, Tino’s now call little Marino.

* If VT is the best the ACC has to offer then those other schools better learn how to recruit. I’m sure JoeD will be getting a call from them….

* Boy can Pitt’s AC’s “coach” up those players

* With this win, PC will now sign every 5 star recruit around since they rule the Northeast when it comes to college football.

* And while we’re at it, can someone lock up the DC to a 20-year contract.

* Finally, I think the real reason they won was the current uniform colors, logo and stadium.

Comment by burgh1972 09.15.12 @ 10:25 pm

alcofan,

Should’ve mentioned Shanny above in my earlier post. I believe it was Hillgrove that said in the postgame that this was Shanny’s first 100-yard receiving game.

For what it’s worth, too, they had him lining up as a TE at times tonight with Hubie Graham out of the lineup. Not sure how often it happened, but I saw it at least a few times in the first half.

Comment by Stoosh 09.15.12 @ 10:25 pm

KRF,

Lots of contributions from a few true freshmen today, actually.

Shell was tops, obviously.

JP Holtz started at TE and actually came up big when he recovered Shell’s fumble.

Also saw a ton of Jahmahl Pardner in the passing defense as well.

Once the final stats post to the Pitt website, I’ll check to see who else was out there, but it’s certainly nice to see.

Comment by Stoosh 09.15.12 @ 10:34 pm

Pitt win + Fraud Graham loss = one happy panther . . . or, i suspect, many happy panthers

I have criticized Tino heavily, but after today, he has earned this:

THREE CHEERS FOR TINO MARINO, CLUTCH QB?!

Seriously, I could not believe my eyes as he threw beautiful pass after beautiful pass. I do not know what clicked, but this was hands down the best game of his career. Last year, he got a lot of YAC against USF and UConn, but tonight he was money with the deep ball, putting it where only his receivers could get it in stride. Amazing.

I still can’t explain how Pitt pulled this off, but the team and its fans really needed it. I CANNOT WAIT for some ACC action. I loved seeing the return of the power run game. This was not VT losing a clunker to a bad team, this was a thorough domination.

All in all a happy, happy, day. I’ll worry about the future in the future, tonight is all about dark beer, highlights, and victory lights!!!!

Comment by TartanPanther 09.15.12 @ 10:40 pm

Dan, your 5 points above hit the nail right on the head, you too stoosh. We just have to keep the fire burning. My Notre Dame trip is looking fun again.

Comment by Moe Greene 09.15.12 @ 10:47 pm

What a fantastic performance and great step forward. I think they found their identity today on offense. Mixing elusive (Ray), power (Shell) running and play action passing- with no apparent fear of stretching the field. Awesome.

Devin Cook (RS FR) had a monster game at DE. Shane Gordon had a great day. The secondary finally lived up to their preseason hype. The defense actually got a rush with only 4 linemen, but also mixed in a good deal of blitzes as well.

Even with the run working, the coaches were not afraid to keep going to the pass and kept VT on their heels.

All those recruits at the game today got a hell of a show. HAIL TO PITT!!!

Comment by Dan35 09.15.12 @ 10:48 pm

Can we please not refer to that a$$ from ASU..we all know he’s a jerk…Lets just focus on who we have….in chryst we trust!!…Hail 2 Pitt!!

Comment by pitt-for-life 09.15.12 @ 10:53 pm

Great win, was Dorian Johnson at the game?

Comment by Jim from Dallas 09.15.12 @ 10:54 pm

The ASU loss tonight showcased the glaring weakness in TG’s offense… The inability to play power FB when it is the best option…3rd and goal at the 1, losing by 4 with two plays to get the ball in the endzone, and they did not even try to power run the ball in… Instead they go with no RB and go backwards. I think in the long run our power running game will serve us well. HTP!

Comment by HbgFrank 09.15.12 @ 11:00 pm

Check out this unreal video from today’s game. WOW:

link to youtube.com

Comment by Dan35 09.15.12 @ 11:05 pm

Thanks for the link Dan35!

That felt like watching a Pitt Panther Super Bowl highlights!

Hail!

Comment by Pitt2Cali 09.15.12 @ 11:51 pm

Am I correct in remembering that Pitt was having a bunch of recruits visiting during this game??

Good time for a win………….!!

Comment by Mtoolmn 09.16.12 @ 12:44 am

It turns out today was a Signature Win for Paul Chryst… as someone here predicted at least a couple of times.

Fellas, looks like we finally got ourselves a Ball Coach!

Comment by PittofDreams 09.16.12 @ 12:45 am

I won’t re-post from the game blog.
I was there. Pitt played physical football from start to finish.
The backers must have collectively looked in the mirror and said, this shit ends now! There play was excellent. Some hidden gems: 1. Tino’s touch TD pass to Street and Street’s sweet adjustment to the other shoulder. 2. Shanahan getting rocked on the punt return and then coming back with the TD to seal the deal. 3. Graham running on instinct again. 4. Oline power. 5. Coaching…game plan and in game adjustments… The D never gave up a drive and hit hard.
Not so hidden teaching moments: 1. Penalties, especially motion ones. 2. Harper. Anyone who saw him heading to the locker room at half had to feel for the guy…I know I did AND I was mad as hell at him. 3. D backs not certain of schemes—I know we had many picks, but the VT QB throws off his back foot and his passes sail on him. We had some gifts.
4. I have to throw in the punt return —but I’ll say this too– sometimes players from other teams make great plays-they was one of them.

Comment by SFPitt 09.16.12 @ 5:41 am

Dan, who is that in the video speaking to the players? The clip moves too fast to get a good look. Pitt alum Im guessing? Sort of looked like Hugh Green. The announcers did say Ruben Brown and Sean Gilbert were at the game as well.

Comment by Coach Ditka 09.16.12 @ 6:58 am

I’m feeling for the players this morning. Yesterday’s win was just the mouthwash needed to get rid of that bitter taste of defeat that they have been stuck with the last couple of weeks.

Knowing how good I feel this morning, I can only imagine how psyched all of them feel after their dominating victory over a ranked team like VT.

Now it is our job as fans to come out for the next game in force to help keep up that momentum! We’re not good enough to overlook anybody, even Gardner-Webb. Pitt’s mantra in that regard for the remainder of the season should be, “remember YSU”.

Great day to be a Pitt fan. HAIL TO PITT????

Comment by Dr. Tom 09.16.12 @ 7:11 am

Lou Holtz gives Tino his helmet sticker on College game day final for his effort against the VT!

What a change, Tino getting some love.

Comment by Dr. Tom 09.16.12 @ 7:32 am

Great win……..excluding the WVU win, I am hard pressed to think of a more needed W for this program than yesterday. A few thoughts –

* with a 21-3 lead at half-time, I felt good……….as long as Mardy Gilyard didn’t start the 2nd half returning kickoffs.

* hats of to Tino. I have been as big of a critic as anyone, and I still don’t think he has the tools to be an above average FBS QB, but you have to give the kid credit. He made lemonade from lemons yesterday.

* I think eventually Lafayette Pitts has the tools to turn into a shut-down corner

* Permitting that Rushel Shell stays out of trouble, there is no doubt he can be one of the top running backs in the country. What a weapon to have the next 2-3 years in the ACC.

* HARPER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Comment by Flip2Script 09.16.12 @ 7:49 am

I believe the reason that we match up well with the Hokies is that their offense is similar to ours. Now, we have to prove that we can match up with a spread team with good team speed … as well as defenses with speedy perimeter rushers. Our OTs seem to be pretty good run blockers but still need work on pass blocking,

Comment by wbb 09.16.12 @ 7:54 am

Alright, heres a long summation of what i saw in person yesterday not necessarily in order of importance.

1) i think chryst and his staff are finally getting their feet under them. Remember this was only his 3rd game as a hc.
2) the coaches had this team 100% prepared. They knew exactly what vt would do on both sides of the ball.
3) the play calling and in game adjustments were superb. One adjustment that hadnt been made in previous games that annoyed me was that teams were nickel and diming pitt down the field, yet the corners stayed 10 yards off the los. Yesterday, vt started to do such and the corners immediately started pressing and shut down those screens and short outs.
4) rushel shell is an animal. He lowers the boom. And he had 3 or 4 runs that, in a year, hed break for a td.
5) tino is a very effective game manager when the other players do their job. The recievers ran crisp routes and the o line blocked effectively… What resulted? 35 points and tino making plays.
6) the defensive line and linebackers played how i thought they would before the season. Devin cook, who started his first game played very well and has a bright future. Hes long and rangy. Only a rs frosh

Now, pitt has problems. They still lack depth at ol and linebacker, but the main reasons i think this will be a building block are because i think chryst and company now, like i said have their feet under them. They know what it takes now and his comfort and demeanor and work ethic clearly trickled down to the players. I think the staff finally knows what certain players are capable of and how to use them. And i think chrysts even keel will keep these players from having an epic letdown on saturday. Im certainly not overlooking gw and syracuse, but pitt could potentially go into a home game.. On a saturday afternoon.. Against what should be a top 15 ranked louisville team.. With 3 consecutive wins. This season is not over so lets support this team to the fullest. There were almost 100 recruits at this game and the way pitt won was the absolute best thing that could happen

Comment by Pk 09.16.12 @ 8:26 am

Great win. Can Pitt particularly Tino duplicate this type of performance? I hope so. Gardner-Webb should be a game where the team show more progress and dominates again. Shell is a man-child!

Comment by Pittastic 09.16.12 @ 8:40 am

Also, on an individual note, shane gordon is playing very well. He was the lone defensive bright spot in the cincy game and in this game he made a ton of plays. Hes a bit undersized but he hits hard and is very quick. He appears to be taking on a leadership role on defense and that will be good news for the 2013 season as well when price and thomas are back.

Comment by Pk 09.16.12 @ 8:45 am

It seems like every time tino has a good dame, it goes straight to his head and has a let down next game. Here’s to hoping that doesn’t happen this time. Awesome win, fun game to be at. That was the most united and supportive I’ve seen our fans in a while

Comment by usd121 09.16.12 @ 8:46 am

Good morning all! Like palko said ‘I’m so fucking proud of these guys’

Comment by HLandPitt 09.16.12 @ 8:49 am

Both offence and defence are playing faster now they think less.. HAIL TO PITT

Comment by 63Team 09.16.12 @ 8:53 am

I’m not an insider on this website, but someone who is ought to take a look to see some of the reactions from recruits we had on campus.
link to pittsburgh.rivals.com

Comment by MikePITT 09.16.12 @ 9:06 am

^^^^^^ and give us an update lol

Comment by Pk 09.16.12 @ 9:24 am

Great win yesterday. So many new things to be proud of from the players and coaches that we haven’t seen in a while

1) ENERGY from the players! Kids were playing their butts off and never gave up

2) BELIEF from the players and coaches that they could win! This team has lacked real confidence for a few years now. Yesterday they punched Vtech in the mouth and kept going at them with the belief that they would win

3) FINISHING from the players and coaches. When VTech attempted to make a run at PITT (and we all held our breath after the INT late in the game) the team stood their ground and refused to lose. Coaches didn’t let one get away (Wanny and Fraud).

4) YOUTH -Freshman are making real contributions that AFFECT the game. It is one thing to look good and it is another thing to affect the game.

Overall my belief is that in a few year we may be looking back at this game as the moment that PITT regained its identity. PITT stills has a big name here in the south and yesterday the win was all over the news here in ACC country.

HTP

Comment by Pitt fan in Atlanta 09.16.12 @ 9:31 am

1 elated for Tino; the kid is tough and has class
2 Shell is the real deal
3 Ray is not 100% but an inspiration to all of us
4 Kudos to the defense and o-line
5 Shannahan is a stud
6 Let’s get to 2-2 and kick butt in the BE

Comment by JR 09.16.12 @ 9:38 am

Pitt fan in atlanta, what has the overall reaction to the game been? That pitt can surprise people and deserve credit or that tech just blew one and pitt got lucky?

Comment by Pk 09.16.12 @ 9:50 am

so much fun at the stadium yesterday and so much fun watching highlight shows and reading the paper this morning.

Say what you want about tino, but he’s one of the ballsiest kids ive ever seen in a pitt uniform. he’s taken a kordell-like assault of criticism and blame and he’s never acted with anything but class & guts….even as the fans & coaches have turned on him despite 3 coaching staffs determining that he’s the best option. maybe they made that determination because he’s the only one that has the guts to be able to weather one of the worst storms of any program in the country (2nd worst…thanks joe pa).

tino might come out next week and look terrible, but when you hear those boo-birds you wont be hearing them out of section 130 row bb. in 5 years, whether we overcome this coaching carousal or not, people will be thankful that we had a qb tuff enough handle this bullshit with dignity and class that pitt fans can be proud of.

Comment by boomer 09.16.12 @ 9:51 am

Will tino play like this every game? No, but i think he will use this as a building block to rally this team and win some games. And frankly i dont think this coaching staff will even let him get too high off this win.

Comment by Pk 09.16.12 @ 10:03 am

and i haven’t seen a lot of chatter about it, but aaron donald was a beast yesterday. looked like a first round draft pick to me and he bullied the va tech offense. the double teams continued, but the didnt stop him. i think 97 might have just solidified a career playing football yesterday

Comment by boomer 09.16.12 @ 10:04 am

@Pk
PITT has sentimental support by many people in the South. PITT for some reason is one of those teams that non-PITT people love to cheer for. Not sure why but the grass roots support has always been there from non-PITT people around the country. I was at an event earlier in the week and a guy came up to me and told me a story. He is a Gtech alum who grew up in N.J. (Lives in Atlanta). He told me that when he was a kid that two teams were ALWAYS on TV (PITT and Penn State). PITT media coverage over the decades has created a positive image.
This AM one of my co-workers (born an raised in rural georgia, educated in the south) came up to me and said I can’t wait to see PITT at Bobby Dodd (Gtech stadium). So the support is there. We are tougher on PITT than most outsiders.

The general feeling here in Atlanta from ACC fans is that PITT is a very positive addition to the ACC and they don’t expect to run over us in football. In basketball there is a deference to us with our recent success.

Comment by Pitt fan in Atlanta 09.16.12 @ 10:13 am

Pitt fan in atlanta, thats good to know. All of the va tech fans at the game yesterday were very respectful didnt really seem to have an aura of arrogance, which surprised me. I dont think pitt will get run over in the acc either. Thats not to say well win a bunch of games immediately but pitt will not be involved in many 52-0 routes like fsu put on wake yesterday. I think if guys step up pitt can be a decent team right away and maybe a competitor for the acc title a few years down the road

Comment by Pk 09.16.12 @ 10:20 am

@PT
Sorry for not quite answering your question.
Most people here in Atlanta (ACC fans and SEC fans) realize that PITT is going for transition. Vtech is a legitimate team in most ACC and SEC eyes so PITT win will go far.
Remember that the winner of the Vtech or Gtech games each year is usually the winner of the coastal division of the ACC each year. PITT’s win is being view as a legitimate win and not a fluke. The manner in which PITT won the game essentially answers that question for everyone. There are games that are viewed as flukes (YSU over PITT, James Madison over Vtech, App St over Michigan) and this one isnt.

Again, PITT fans are a lot tougher on PITT than outsiders are on PITT. Most outsiders have positive feeling for PITT. ESPN will tell you that based on their viewership during PITT games.

Comment by Pitt fan in Atlanta 09.16.12 @ 10:22 am

Pitt fan in atlanta, thanks. And you did kind of answer my question before. Pitts perception and how this game was viewed go hand in hand. Its good to know that people have respect for pitt down in acc country. That even further cements the thought that pitt is a perfect fit for the acc

Comment by Pk 09.16.12 @ 10:43 am

CNNSI.com sums it up.

“PITT mauled Virginia Tech”
“As first wins go, this is a doozy. As first wins between future division rivals go, it’s a shot across the bow.”

link to college-football.si.com

Comment by Pitt fan in Atlanta 09.16.12 @ 10:46 am

Lower bowl was sold out with the regular stragglers on the upper deck. The place got pretty loud when it wanted to. Lots of hokie fans too, they got very loud as well. Student section actually stayed the whole game. If that place had been a sellout, it would have been the college atmosphere of a big time program. Great game

Comment by Timmeh 09.16.12 @ 10:53 am

Great team effort fellas!! The offense played really well. The running game especially. One way to equalize the speed rushers is to smash them in the mouth with the run game and take away their will to compete on every play. Once a defensive player takes a play off, a defense is in trouble. The road graders allowed Tino Sunseri to be successful and vice versa. Hence a team (together everyone achieves more) effort!

I have been one of the largest supporters of our new coach and although i am not christening him as the next chas noll yet, one need only look at Wisconsin again this week to feel the impact of change. Only 16 points for that squad and they were lucky to win.

The defense played with passion. I agree their qb did not particularly play great, but one of the reasons in my opinion was that we hit him hard when he scrambled and he beacame gun shy. I think the early hit by LB Williams on the sideline was a statement that our guys were going to hit him all day! Kick em when your up, kick em when your down, kick em when your up, kick em all around.

Now, our players need to build on the confidence and not get cocky. It was not a perfect game yesterday, but a very good one. Build on it. Focus harder this week! Kudos to Shell, Street, Sunseri, Shanahan, Graham and the OL. Fullback too!

Comment by dhuffdaddy 09.16.12 @ 11:07 am

@Pitt fan in Atlanta. Good to hear. I’ve also heard, and seen the overnites, over the years, for some reason, Pitt always has a good to high tv audience ratings.

I mean over the last 30-40 years, Pitt is usually never a dud for ratings for the tv people.

Don’t know why. Now, in our own stadium and traveling to bowl games???? LOL

Maybe some nostalgia from people for Dorsett, Green, Marino??

Pitt was always on.

Comment by Dan 09.16.12 @ 11:24 am

That’s a top notch defense that Pitt tore up.

It starts with the backs. When Shell and Graham are running hard, it takes the pressure off Tito and he can relax and be a decent QB.

Comment by Jimbo Covert's My Dad 09.16.12 @ 11:41 am

BTW, I used to date someone who was a huge Tech fan and was from western VA.

I’ve spent a lot of time in that area, been to a few games, and I have a lot of respect for the VT program and their followers. Good people in general, I hope they bounce back and have a great season.

Buuut… HAIL TO PITT!!

Comment by Jimbo Covert's My Dad 09.16.12 @ 11:46 am

anybody notice lafayette pitts performance. being at the game it was hard to keep track of everyone…but it seemed to me like the d-backs played well too. the front seven made it really difficult for for vt to get anything going in the pass game, but they seemed to make some plays. the safety’s played great, but i didnt really notice k’wuan and pitts. anybody have any thoughts on their play?

Comment by boomer 09.16.12 @ 11:59 am

…now the coaches have to show they can defend a spread offense. 0-2 vs. spread and 1-0 against a traditional offense.

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 09.16.12 @ 12:57 pm

Dan, the TV numbers are like that for most Pittsburgh teams. When the Pens were only filling up the Mellon Arena with 11,000 a night, they still had really strong TV numbers, same for the Pirates. The simple truth with sports in Pittsburgh (excluding the Stillers) is simply this:

If you win, Pittsburghers will show up.

Comment by The Ghost of Matt Lytle 09.16.12 @ 1:37 pm

I will admit not enjoying the game yesterday. How could I? 21-0 lead and just waiting for a Mardy Gilyard KO return for a TD late in Q2. Then it happened. So my stomach was in knots for the rest of the game.

What a thrill … Biggest win I’ve seen at Heinz Field since the 2003 game against the Hokies.

Comment by Joe Lawrence 09.16.12 @ 1:49 pm

“Just when I think you couldn’t possibly be any dumber, you go and do something like this…and totally redeem yourself!”

Comment by KRF 09.16.12 @ 3:17 pm

FWIW, Tino outplayed Flacco this weekend

Comment by wbb 09.16.12 @ 4:41 pm

I know that everyone is tired of hearing about Fraud Graham but this one is hilarious. See the link to the local phoenix newspaper talking about Graham. He is still up to his old trick of throwing everyone but himself under the bus.
His response when questioned about his offense deflating against Mizzou?

“I’ll be real honest, man. I had my hands full with the special teams and defense,” Graham said about the play-calling. “One of the things you got to do is you’ve got to let people do their job. (Norvell) did pretty good his first two weeks. He’ll do great in his career here. We’ll look at it and evaluate it obviously. I’m not going to nitpick what he does.”

The guys is a real tool. We are so fortunate for him to have left and Chryst to now be in charge. As they say… “count your blessing” PITT fans.

link to azcentral.com

Comment by Pitt fan in Atlanta 09.16.12 @ 4:49 pm

I actually thought the ASU play calling was pretty neat

Comment by wbb 09.16.12 @ 4:58 pm

Looking ahead and hoping Flossie doesn’t suit up

link to espn.go.com

link to gardner-webb.edu

Comment by steve1 09.16.12 @ 6:50 pm

At the start of the game, the guy behind me…a Pitt/ND fan sat with his guests from VTech.

They were discussing PSU and Pitt as against that backdrop.

I will say about Graham what I say about PSU which is what Grant said about R.E. Lee.

Stop worrying about him and start worrying about what we do. Then and only then will you achieve greatness.

Or, as we would say back in the day, WTF are you worried about him for?

Comment by sfpitt 09.16.12 @ 7:45 pm

Fraud did Pitt a great favor by bolting.
Smiley did Pitt a great disfavor by bringing him here in the first place.

Nevertheless, I am thrilled to have Chryst here>

Comment by Gas 09.16.12 @ 8:01 pm

Now, pitt had almost 100 recruits in attendence yesterday. On twitter, chris peak said that pitt has room for 22-24 recruits in the 2013 class. This is who id like to see assuming they sign 24.

OL: dorian johnson and jaryd-jones smith
DL: kenton gibbs, justin moody, and aaron hush
LB: al-rasheed benton
WR: robert foster

This of course is subject to change depending on how pitt continues to develope this year

Comment by Pk 09.16.12 @ 8:06 pm

Also, pitts depth issues will not be met 100% in this class. They need 2 classes to get to a surplus in the trenches. IMO, you cant have enough quality linemen. So in this class pitt should finish with 4-6 dl, 4-6 ol, and next year they need 4-6 of each again because after next year pitt will lose ezell, murphy, donald and lippert on the dl. Thats half of their current 2 deep

Comment by Pk 09.16.12 @ 8:13 pm

sf, he took our money, he lied to our players and was cruel to them as well.

But we are not worrying about him, we are not fretting.

We’re simply wishing that his true self be finally exposed and he be given his just deserts.

Comment by steve1 09.16.12 @ 8:32 pm

WOW just back from the burg all i can say is that was NEAT.

Comment by paul shannon 09.16.12 @ 8:35 pm

pk
Chris Peak of rivals said signing class of 22-24..
that means Chryst will be asking 4-6 players to leave the program. By all counts, he only has 18 scholarships to offer.

Comment by Joe D 09.16.12 @ 8:57 pm

Game atmosphere was great at Heinz on Sat. Most students stayed until the game was over. Pitt fans will need to readjust their attitudes and behavior as Pitt transitions to th ACC. Pitt fans have allowed WVU and other Big East teams to goad them into bad behavior. Similar to posts above, big time southern football schools have fans who are passionate about their teams but are not boorish. I got a beer at the Tilted Kilt after the game and will hand it to the Pitt fans I saw; they did not allow the win to make them overbearing to the large number of VT fans in attendance (who looked stunned). Come to think of it, most Pitt fans looked stunned.

Comment by Pittstadiumshuffle 09.16.12 @ 9:03 pm

Good stuff, Pittstadiumshuffle. For one, I won’t miss RU fans.

Comment by steve1 09.16.12 @ 9:11 pm

Latest news:

link to triblive.com

Comment by steve1 09.16.12 @ 9:15 pm

I was out and about today in Virginia and then traveled over to Maryland for a round of golf and a dozen crabs after golf at one of the local crab houses on the Potomac River come evening.

I had quite a few comments concerning my Pitt gear that I was wearing. All positive, about how Pitt came out of nowhere to smack Va Tech upside the head. One guy in particular at the halfway house at the course made me laugh when he asked me “what did those boys eat for breakfast on Saturday, I could use some of that whatever it was”?

Great day to be a Pitt fan.

Comment by Dr. Tom 09.16.12 @ 9:34 pm

Boomer, lighten up. Tino played a good game and hats off to him, but got plenty o’ help from his line and running backs. The kid has had some good moments in his career and this is clearly the highlight so far, but he also has richly deserved the VAST majority of the criticism he’s received for his shaky play and suspect cockiness without reason through much of his work.

Maybe this past Saturday will be a turning point of greater focus and maturity for the remainder of his season/career, but don’t take it to the bank just yet. Let’s see him do it more than two games a year and then we’ll be rollin’.

Comment by Matt N. 09.16.12 @ 9:41 pm

@steve1.
Add, “he is still inside my head” to your list of grievances against Graham.
That means he wins.

Comment by SFPitt 09.16.12 @ 11:35 pm

Just got back from the burg and and an engagement here this evening. My wife and I and our friend who we stayed with, all with multiple Pitt degrees and years of living with the ups and downs of the Panthers are so happy that we were there. I don’t think Pitt is going to win them all but that it will be a very respectable season. I hope that 4-5 years from now this will be the game when we will be really glad to be able to say “I was there” when it all started to come together for HCPC and the Panthers. Wonderful game atmosphere, there is nothing quite like college football! I have some observations/thoughts on what could be done to enhance the game atmosphere even more. Its late so I’ll try to share them tomorrow. HTP!

Comment by opfim 09.17.12 @ 12:07 am

@opfim
Look forward to reading your suggestions….don’t hold your breath waiting for the athletic department to adopt any.
After all, they are the professionals. All those empty yellow seats over the last 10 plus years are merely an illusion. Pedersons priority when he returned triumphantly from Nebraska was to increase attendance.
Me? I’m just a paying customer and do what I am told to
do.

Comment by SFPitt 09.17.12 @ 5:38 am

Pitt2Cali…totally agree with your comments – as I have said many times HCPC can coach…he just needs time. As he said on the post-game “the players played and the coaches coached”! H2P!

Comment by markp 09.17.12 @ 8:26 am

My suffering is over…at least for one week.

Comment by longsufferingpittfan 09.17.12 @ 10:12 am

Sometimes, we are too critical of Pitt football when they lose and too euphoric when they win. But one thing is for sure, we are passionate Pitt fans. Nice win! Now let’s go for two in a row. HTP!

Comment by MarietteMike 09.18.12 @ 5:32 am

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