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September 17, 2012

Playing with Links and Numbers, Post-VT

Filed under: Football — Chas @ 9:22 pm

Strictly speaking this wasn’t Pitt’s biggest win since the 2007 Backyard Brawl. In 2008, Pitt upset then #10 USF in Tampa. USF, as per their usual thing, did not finish the year in the top-25 — so it does not have quite the same lasting effect. I feel reasonably comfortable saying that VT will still finish in the top-25 by the end of the year so this one looms larger than other wins since 2007.

Here’s the list of games Pitt has won against top-25 teams in the last few years with the team’s rank at the time in parenthesis:

  • 2007 – Cinci (23) – 24-17
  • 2007 – at WVU (2) – 13-9
  • 2008 – at USF (10) – 26-21
  • 2011 – USF (16) – 44-17

And that’s it.

Worth noting, though, that since 2007 Pitt has only had 8 games where the opponent was ranked (and Cinci accounted for 4 of those games). So, I guess 4-4 isn’t that bad.

In case you haven’t seen it, the Pitt Athletic Department has a highlight clip of the game.

The more I think about it, the more surprising it is. Pitt did the exact opposite of what it did in the Miami game in 2010. Despite the bad start, Pitt stuck with its plans to bring back a lot of past greats. They had the basketball team on hand. They stuck with promoting this game and the past greats. The huge contingent of recruits on hand. And the team came out and lit up the Hokies. Despite everything negative, they rose up for the game.

We’ve already touched on Tino Sunseri’s game. Obviously no one missed the performance by the running backs. Before the game, the media buzz was that Ray Graham did not look good for this game. That he looked stiff in warm-ups. Since Coach Paul Chryst is part of that ever growing contingent of college football coaches that believes that there is some tactical advantage to be gained by not revealing injury status of players — unless they are obviously done for the year — no one was sure whether he could go.

But he went.

“You’ve got to run,” said senior Ray Graham, who rushed for 94 yards. “You’ve got to be physical in this game.”

Graham scored three touchdowns, two rushing and one receiving. His rushing touchdown on Pitt’s opening drive was his first since returning from offseason ACL surgery.

Graham’s 94 yards came on 24 carries. It was a strong performance by Graham who had the ESPNU playcalling crew convinced Chryst had sandbagged them in interviews on Friday, and that Graham was in on it with the way he was in warm-ups. Instead, in the first half he had 65 yards on the ground. He was moving well and making the VT defenders miss.

Then it was the Rushel Shell show in the second half.

Shell split the backfield time with incumbent Ray Graham, and the two combined for 251 yards. Certainly the switching of styles — Shell is a straightforward runner, Graham is more finesse — was part of Shell becoming the first Pitt true freshman in three years to run for 100 yards (157).

103 of the 157 yards came in the second half. He was not simply a complete change of pace for a VT defense that was trying to contain Graham. He bulldozed them and had them completely off-balance as they got dragged or plowed by him.

On Pitt’s first drive of the fourth quarter Saturday, the Panthers took the field leading, 28-17, seemingly needing one more score to seal the deal for an upset win.

Freshman running back Rushel Shell lined up in the backfield behind quarterback Tino Sunseri. He took the first two carries of the drive and delivered a clear message: Pitt was going to finish off this game.

Shell delivered physical runs of 13 and 29 yards to kick-start a drive that ultimately ate up 7:44 and ended with a game-sealing touchdown pass from Sunseri to Mike Shanahan.

Playing his first game for Pitt at Heinz Field, Shell looked every bit the player who was touted as one of the best high school running backs in the country. He ran for 157 physical yards, unafraid to lower his shoulders and initiate contact against more experienced Hokies defenders.

“He’s running with confidence and he feels good about himself,” senior running back Ray Graham said of Shell. “He’s just getting better from here.”

Or as Hokies Coach, Frank Beamer put it.

“I thought (No.) 4 was a hard guy to bring down,” coach Frank Beamer said, referencing Shell’s jersey. “But you’ve got to run through that guy. He’s a load. … Make sure you’re in the right gap and stay in the right gap. Their runners are good. Their patient, their patient, their patient and then there’s a little hole right there.”

And it wasn’t just missed tackles. The Hokies sacked Tino Sunseri only once and allowed 283 yards passing, including completions of 40, 33, 23 and 22 yards.

Feels weird to write this, even a couple days later, but the O-line was outstanding. Yes, Matt Rotheram had a rough day (2 false starts, 1 holding and beaten badly for the one sack in the game), but considering this was a day where the offense ran 83 plays — and actually opened holes for Shell and Graham to run through. That’s still tolerable.

Shell talked how he views things.

“Rushel, he don’t play like a freshman,” said senior Ray Graham, who split the running duties with Shell.

“This was definitely a big confidence-booster,” Shell said.

“It shows me I can excel at this level. I just got to keep working hard and not really take this to my head and not think, ‘Oh yeah, I did this and I did that.’ It’s ‘What am I gonna do next?’ ”

The energy by Pitt players was noticeable. Shell spoke of how he was jumping up and down on the sidelines in the second half, pumped and eager to get back out there.

The defense matched that energy. Initially they were looking like they would give the score back in the opening drive. Being unable to get the stops. But the big interception seemed to completely change them. Shane Gordon of the much-maligned linebackers led the way.

One yard the Hokies failed to gain proved to be huge. Trailing, 21-10, early in the third quarter but driving, Virginia Tech runners were stuffed on third-and-1 and again on fourth-and-1 on the Pitt 35-yard line.

Linebacker Shane Gordon got credit for the initial stops on both plays.

“The big play in the game,” Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer said.

Pitt took over and marched down the field to score on Tino Sunseri’s 12-yard touchdown pass to Ray Graham, essentially sealing the win.

“I was so hyped,” said Gordon, who showed his best speed when he joyfully sprinted to the sideline after the change of possession. “It felt good. Get off the field. That’s a big momentum swing when you stop ’em like that. It’s a big momentum swing for me. Virginia Tech, I don’t know how they felt.”

VT players feel like they got outplayed and outworked.

“They came out the most prepared and they came out to play,” said Hokie redshirt freshman linebacker Ronny Vandyke. “We can’t just come out here, especially in an away game, thinking we’re just going to take it. We have to come out there fighting harder than our opponents. They fought harder than us.”

Part of that was simply this looked like a different Pitt team than anyone — and I mean anyone — saw in the first two games.

“Their first two games, they didn’t play as hard as they did today,” [Logan]  Thomas said. “They’re a good defense. They’re strong, they’re physical, they’re fast and they make you make mistakes. They did that today.”

I can’t disagree with that. There was so much missing from Pitt in the first two games. That accounts for some of it. Then there is the usual, “we just had a bad game” stuff from VT players.

“We didn’t come to play,” Tech senior wide receiver Marcus Davis said. “We tried to turn it on and things went wrong. It was like, ‘It’s over.’ We didn’t really play our game today.”

Graham finished with 94 yards as Pittsburgh outgained Virginia Tech 537-324, gashing the Hokies’ vaunted defense. Splitting time with Graham, Rushel Shell, who was suspended for the Panthers’ first game for an undisclosed reason, rushed for 157 yards on 23 carries.

But it didn’t matter who was running the ball. Tech (2-1) blew coverages in the secondary and missed tackles all over the field.

“It just wasn’t our day,” senior linebacker Bruce Taylor said. “We had way too many missed tackles. I really wish we had a second chance to play them. We were in the right spots. It was jut kind of missing tackles.”

Well, since Taylor is a senior, he won’t. But the rest of the team will be seeing Pitt fairly regularly.

Well, for VT, maybe they can make that argument defensively. Perhaps. But not offensively. As the Q&A last week revealed there were real questions about the offense after Logan Thomas, even among the Hokie faithful. It starts with their lack of a running game.

If you’re looking for single-game problems, the defense stood out Saturday. But if you’re looking for season-long problems, it’s the running game, plain and simple. Virginia Tech had 59 rushing yards Saturday, with only 22 coming from its tailbacks. The game’s direction was no doubt part of the reason for the low total (you don’t run the ball exclusively when you’re down 21-0), but the Hokies have not been able to simply line up and run the ball when they want to against anybody. Their run totals so far this season — 96, 187, 59. They haven’t had two games with fewer than 100 rushing yards in a season since 2009, when Alabama and Nebraska held them below the century mark. But those were two all-time rush defenses. It’s safe to say Tech has not played one of those yet this year.

There’s plenty of blame to go around. It’s clear at this point that the offensive line is simply not getting the push that’s required to open some of these holes, or at the very least, isn’t good enough to do it on a consistent basis. The biggest illustration of that is Tech’s short-yardage tries Saturday. In the third quarter, Logan Thomas was stuffed on a sneak on third-and-1 before Michael Holmes got stopped on fourth-and-1. Neither attempt appeared close. And neither ballcarrier could get close to the line before a defender was on him. That’s on the line.

But the running backs have to shoulder some of the blame too. Shane Beamer has long insisted that he has four running backs he can trust to put out there. But it appears to be along the lines of the saying about quarterbacks: if you have four running backs, you have no running backs. The Hokies don’t look like they have the guy who can shoulder the load this year. Holmes had 6 yards on 9 carries Saturday, with a costly fumble. Coleman had 4 carries for no yards. The back who looked the most comfortable was Martin Scales, who showed great burst on a 10-yard run and ran right up between the tackles a few plays later on a 6-yarder. He had only four carries, though. You wonder if that will increase if subsequent weeks. The bottom line, though: there isn’t a David Wilson in this group. And for onlookers like myself who thought the running back would be easily replaceable within the scheme, that’s clearly not the case.

The ineptness of the running game was a big theme in the VT-based write-ups, along with the general lousiness of the offense. And one of the unintentionally funny quotes came from VT QB Logan Thomas.

“We moved the ball all day,” quarterback Logan Thomas said after Saturday’s 35-17 loss to unranked Pittsburgh. “We got inside their 40 and then we just stopped and sputtered. I don’t know what it was. … but when we got inside (midfield) we just fell apart.”

Not exactly moving between the 20s.

Back to the Pitt side of things. Coach Chryst is sticking with the whole “one game at a time, you are only as good as your next game” stuff.

“We’ll find out,” he said. “That’s the great thing about sports. We have to do it again.”

No party hats for a team that, after all, is 1-2.

Not even any feelings of redemption after two tough losses to open the season.

“I don’t think it erases anything,” said Chryst, moments after listening to his Panthers sing the university fight song as a tribute to his first victory as a head coach.

All it did was show the team what might happen in the future.

“It reinforces the game and how you play it and how you prepare for it,” Chryst said. “I love the way they competed, love the way they stayed true and worked throughout the process.”

I imagine he finds it “neat.”

 





I can live with “neat” a whole lot better than “HIGH OCTANE”. As a friend wrote me today, thank you Missouri!

Comment by John In South Carolina 09.17.12 @ 9:53 pm

We’ve won big games, we’ve lost big games. I like winning better.

Comment by Dr. Tom 09.17.12 @ 9:58 pm

Great overview Chas. I agree, it was everyone playing on 12 cylinders.

Comment by steve1 09.17.12 @ 10:00 pm

To simplify matters….

Paul Chryst – Master Tactician

Todd Graham – Bullshit Artist

Comment by PittofDreams 09.17.12 @ 10:32 pm

Chrystism’s….

- Neat
- the truth is..

Chryst gave the game ball to Junko!!!

Comment by Joe D 09.17.12 @ 11:08 pm

Next year…

Thunder and Lightening
Shell and Bennett

Comment by Joe D 09.17.12 @ 11:12 pm

Fun VT Number 13. Ranked 13 coming to Pitt. Won 13 in a row vs nonconference on the road. Now have 13 votes in the AP poll. Neat!

Comment by Dacs 09.17.12 @ 11:25 pm

Fun VT Number 13. Ranked 13 coming to Pitt. Won 13 in a row vs nonconference on the road. Now have 13 votes in the AP poll. Neat!

Comment by Dacs 09.17.12 @ 11:25 pm

dacs…
the truth is… those 13 people must be from pittsburgh…
lol

Comment by Joe D 09.17.12 @ 11:28 pm

dacs,
Pitt doesn’t have ANY votes on AP or USA poll..
you got me.

Comment by Joe D 09.17.12 @ 11:30 pm

A little sour grapes on the VT side of things, I can’t stand when a team gets whipped and doesn’t give the winning team the credit,ESPN is big on that Trevor Matich was saying how bad VT was playing instead of how good Pitt was playing I hope we fallow this win up with a good year and shove it down there throats

Comment by steve h 09.18.12 @ 3:18 am

Pitt’s job now is to rack up wins. As steve h points out, college football IS about perception and VT gets a pass as having performed poorly instead of Pitt being credited with good play.
Why?
Because over the last 20 years VT has won a lot of games in a lot of different ways. Pitt has not and has not earned the respect of the college football world. That’s just the way it is and who among us would disagree if WE had been winning like VT has over two decades.
I don’t care how Pitt wins, I care how many. The VT game was beautiful but now it is over. Go get more wins!

Comment by SFPitt 09.18.12 @ 5:45 am

Interesting topic in Smizik’s column this morning… once again he goes to bat in defense of Steve Pederson.

If you’re going to support Pederson, it necessarily requires that you support his biggest decision which was to tear down Pitt Stadium.

Smizik does, using two arguments… one being that the stadium was old and dilapidated.

Well, his other probably bigger arument is that Pitt Stadium never drew fans.

Again today I’ve posted numbers that show the argument that Pitt Stadium did not draw to be nothing more than a myth.

Here are the best available numbers comparing attendance at Pitt Stadium to Heinz Field.

————————

Pitt Stadium…

In 1996, Pitt’s 4-7 record was a factor in limiting its attendance to 30,795, down from 33,175 in 1995.

Highest average attendance was 54,818 in 1982

Heinz Field

“Attendance for Panthers games has varied from an average high of 59,197 people per game throughout the 2003 season to a low of 33,680 in 2007. Most recently, Pitt averaged 53,446 in home attendance during the 2009 season.”

———————-

If you support tearing down Pitt Stadium because you didn’t like the way it looked or like basketball more than football… that’s one thing.

But the argument that Pitt Stadium didn’t draw fans is not an argument supported by the evidence.

Comment by PittofDreams 09.18.12 @ 7:08 am

“Or as Hokies Coach, Frank Beamer put it.

“I thought (No.) 4 was a hard guy to bring down,” coach Frank Beamer said, referencing Shell’s jersey. “But you’ve got to run through that guy. He’s a load. … Make sure you’re in the right gap and stay in the right gap. Their runners are good. Their patient, their patient, their patient and then there’s a little hole right there.”

There, their, they’re – it’s all the same apparently.

Comment by Reed 09.18.12 @ 7:30 am

Who made that video? It was awesome. Made me want to run through a wall.

Comment by Chris 09.18.12 @ 8:34 am

Usually a good game against an overrated USF team is good for what ails the ol’ Panthers.

Comment by Jimbo Covert's My Dad 09.18.12 @ 8:36 am

After the victory at our tailgate, we all took turns finishing the sentence, “This is our best victory AT HOME since ____.” A lot of our better wins have been on the road (13-9, at USF ’08, 3 OT thiller at ND, etc). We didn’t consider the USF win in 2011 and Cincy win in 2007 as impactful. This might have been the best win at Heinz since the very very cold game vs Va Tech in 2003. Maybe other Blatherites can think of another between 2003-2012 – I cannot. HTP

Comment by pittbluegold 09.18.12 @ 8:52 am

I think that Coach Beamer should consult with the team’s physician staff, prior to giving that advice of,“But you’ve got to run through that guy” to his defensive players, because if those guys take that advice, from what I witnessed on Saturday, they may become “their patient”. LOL.

Comment by Dr. Tom 09.18.12 @ 9:00 am

I actually thought most of what I read from the VT side has been pretty complimentary. Basically admitting they got beat and rightfully so.

As for the best victory at home since… question, I’d maybe put the 2004 win over WVU in there since it came down to the wire and allowed Pitt to still have a crack at the Fiesta (deservedly so, or not).

Comment by JW 09.18.12 @ 9:14 am

One of my favorites was the last game at Pitt Stadium against Notre Dame

Comment by Class of 69 09.18.12 @ 9:36 am

We need a good in-depth report on recruits reaction to VT game unless their quotes are confidential.

Comment by Frank 09.18.12 @ 9:53 am

Best Heinz Field win? I will go with JW and Pitt beating WVU at a very very cold Heinz Field on Thanksgiving night in 2004. It effectively clinched the Fiesta Bowl for us since we had to play a crummy South Florida team in Tampa the next week.

Comment by KeyboardKev 09.18.12 @ 10:30 am

JW,

Good call on the 04 win against WVU. Totally underrated win that nobody ever talks about anymore. At the time, it was a pretty big upset, and it got Pitt into the Fiesta Bowl (which we won’t talk about). Really close game IIRC too.

The only games anyone seems to recall from 04 are the OT win against f&#@ing Furman, and the Tyler Palko f-bomb win against Notre Dame.

Comment by Jimbo Covert's My Dad 09.18.12 @ 10:42 am

BTW,

I live in Florida and attended that USF vs Pitt game the week after the WVU victory in 04.

It was the Bulls’ last year in C-USA and I believe the game was a makeup game because of the hurricanes that hit down here early in the season.

Pitt blew them out, and there literally may have been 2,000 people in attendance tops.

Comment by Jimbo Covert's My Dad 09.18.12 @ 10:44 am

Best win will be the next win! That stadium is sooo big, that 40k in the seats doesn’t show well on tv…or in person.

Can’t Pitt give away more tickets to students or something…..Would rather have 3k more kids making noise, than empty’s.

Paul Chryst is the right guy for this job and Pitt would be smart to extend him so that recruits stop being told about Pitt’s instability and that Pitt will have a new coach before the kid graduates. Just for the record, I have been promoting this since the YSU game whenever many others wanted him gone! Playing the best people is a welcomed sight, regardless of class. Freshman and RS Freshman CAN contribute!!

Comment by dhuffdaddy 09.18.12 @ 10:53 am

I remember at the time in ’04 just being happier that Pitt spoiled WVU’s chances, since Syracuse still needed to upset BC. (Or was is vice versa?) Then things fell into place, and next thing you know I’m buying plane tickets to Phoenix!

Comment by JW 09.18.12 @ 10:58 am

Oakland cannot support a stadium due to lack of space for parking.
Even in the hey day…. late 70′s and early 80′s… Pitt stadium was NOT packed.
Lots of students… much much more than nowadays..
Back in 70′s and 80′s… many fans took the bus to the game… did not drive in… students just had to roll out of their bed and walk to the game… and the traffic was miserable.
These days… people like to drive their car to the game and park… not happening in Oakland. The question is… how do you get students to want to go to Heinz.
The other question… fans with kids that are active have sooooo many things going on Saturday afternoon… so it is doubtful to get those fans to attend.
Building the Pederson Center for BB was the right thing.. it holds 12,000… plenty of parking, etc.

Comment by Joe D 09.18.12 @ 11:32 am

From the 1984 media guide… online…
Average Attendance figures.. Top 6 years.
1982 – 54,818
1983 – 51,485
1981 – 50,860
1978 – 49,472
1980 – 48,542
1977 – 47,978
Although they may announce 40,000 at Heinz… it looks more like 25,000 went through the turnstiles. They should just close off the upper deck entirely.

Comment by Joe D 09.18.12 @ 11:48 am

Class of 69,
Yes, the last game in Pitt Stadium against Notre Dame was a great game and Keven Barlow pounded the Irish on the ground. Along with it I would like to add a few more.

The last Pitt game at Three Rivers, before it was torn down, against Penn State, where Rod Rutherford caught the crossing route accross the middle for the big play.

Tony Dorsett’s 300 yard game against Notre Dame at Pitt Satdium.

The 38 to 37 comback win against West Virginia when Pitt was trailing 37 to 7 at halftime. They made all the 2 point conversions in 2nd half, except the last one, which they didn’t need.

Of course I have to mention the upset win against WVU in Morgantown where Shady McCoy and company play a truely great game.

Comment by Justinian 09.18.12 @ 11:56 am

I went to a Pitt-Temple game at The Vet in the 80′s.

Announced crowd was 734, but, there couldn’t have been more than 720.

Comment by Dan 09.18.12 @ 11:58 am

I was there for 3 of the 6 years listed above…
but if I recall… lol
seems there were probably 15,000 students at the games…

Comment by Joe D 09.18.12 @ 11:59 am

Not to rain on those attendence figures but I know they used to give Pitt employees free tickets. Literally thousands of employees would take their kids and family to the games.
The university was and could be still the biggest employer in the City of Pittsburgh.
Now they give a discount on the tickets for employees.

Comment by freebird 09.18.12 @ 12:57 pm

freebird..
Students got free tickets… all you needed to show was your ID… I brought some friends to the games and used roommates/friends ID to get them into games…

I remember 1 game… PIKA faternity sneaked in a 1/4 keg of beer in the stands… don’t know how they did it.. lol god those games were fun to go to from what I remember of them… lol

Comment by Joe D 09.18.12 @ 1:14 pm

M Goldberg
P Martha
T Dorsett
E Walker
R McMillan
C Hayward
C Richards
C Martin
J West
K Barlow
L Stephens-Howland
L McCoy
D Lewis
R Graham
R Shell

(know I missed a couple from the 80s and early 90s — as well as the 40s % 50s … didn’t think B Miree and N Goings did enough)

Comment by wbb 09.18.12 @ 1:26 pm

Was Walt Harris at the game?

Comment by Tonyinhouston 09.18.12 @ 1:28 pm

That was a neat game. Let keep it going. I believe others have asked: Any comments from recruits at the game?

Comment by Pittastic 09.18.12 @ 2:01 pm

Pitt Football History for Reference.

link to jhowell.net

Comment by Frank MD 09.18.12 @ 2:38 pm

My favorite victory was beating Miami, when they were ranked like 14th and we were unranked at the time. It was my freshman year. Pistol Pete. The game at 3 Rivers when we beat Penn St the last time was pretty great as was the last game at Pitt Stadium beating Notre Dame.
I’m so thankful I was around for Pitt Stadium and lived in a fraternity house directly behind it the last 2 years.

Comment by Justin 09.18.12 @ 2:49 pm

Joe D,

Good get on those attendance figures.

Comment by PittofDreams 09.18.12 @ 2:53 pm

Regarding Pitt Stadium debate…

I’m in the camp that believes the old stadium should have been torn down and a new one built in its place seeing how the basketball arena… could have been built anywhere.

Preserving the front of the stadium would have been a great touch. If you remember how great the original entrance looked nestled iinto the hillside the way it wsa?

The ambiance and loudness of the new stadium would have also been improved by leaving out the track and bringing the stands down closer to the sidelines.

The new Pitt Stadium could have also been built with less capacity, maybe as little as 45,000 with room for expansion years later… once Paul Chryst was hired and the school moved to the ACC.

Wait a minute. That’s a little too much hindsight.

Comment by PittofDreams 09.18.12 @ 3:07 pm

If PAT had invested in a T line to Oakland (which would still be smart since it has the largest workforce population in Pgh next to downtown), I believe many more students would be attending games at Heinz. They would be able to go to the games when they wanted, and return at their leisure.

Comment by pghFred 09.18.12 @ 3:30 pm

What. No busses in Oakland.

Comment by alcofan 09.18.12 @ 3:37 pm

I was a grad student wnen Pitt won their national championship with Tony Dorsett and remember a few games where there were some empty seats. As with the Pirates if you start winning and have a coach that can win the big games (like beating teams like Cinninati and WVU when they mean something) people will start returning to Heinz field. I went to the game against Va Tech with my wife and we had a great time.The atmosphere was great, the view of the city was unbeliable and the crowd was into the game. The stadium is sooooooooooo much better than the shitty wooden/aluminim seats at the old stadium. When the Penn State/Notre Dame/Fla State teams come and when Heinz Field expands the seating to where there will be close to 70,000 seats this is when the big difference will be made. Stadiums that hold 35k versus 70k mean alot less money and these games will be sold out.I live in the eastern part of the State(Allentown) and yesterday I wore my Pitt hat to a golf outing and 5 people who I don’t even know said congrats on your big win. You have to remember that this area is a huge Penn State territory and I can not stand the holier than now PSU crowd! I am also of the beleive that with Pitt’s capital improvements of the soccer/baseball/basketball facilites as well as the bigger football stadium (and with a little help from our friends at Boston College) that we made the decision by our ACC Board of Directors to invite us to the ACC a little bit easier. Hail to Pitt !!!!!!!!!!!!!

Comment by Bruce F 09.18.12 @ 3:52 pm

Jimbo C et al, I disagree. I was at that game (Pitt USF) and there were at least that many Pitt fans (2000), many throwing Tostidos all over the place.

Actual attendance from archives: 24000

Comment by steve1 09.18.12 @ 4:01 pm

Bad news. I hope you recover fully, Jahmahl.

Pitt freshman defensive back Jahmahl Pardner, who had earned playing time on passing downs this season, injured his left knee against Virginia Tech and will have season-ending ACL surgery Friday.

Read more: link to triblive.com

Comment by steve1 09.18.12 @ 4:16 pm

Regarding Pardner…
and the S&C coach???
He claims no injuries with his methods…
this may be the start of what happen when he was at NCState… which is why he got fired..

Comment by Joe D 09.18.12 @ 4:35 pm

Joe D.,

I’m sure that’s the reason. Nobody ever gets hurt playing football.

Comment by ME 2001 09.18.12 @ 5:41 pm

Players tear acl’s all the time. Doesnt mean its the snc coach’s fault

Comment by Pk 09.18.12 @ 5:50 pm

If you look up acl injuries…
They can be prevented or minimize the number of acl injuries… various exercies.
The S&C coach prides himself on no injuries as a result of his training… I can find the link.. but NC State didn’t drink the koolaid..

Comment by Joe D 09.18.12 @ 5:56 pm

Jody,

You are out of your mind.

Any coach who claims that their training program prevents injuries is a fool.

Anyone who believes them is a bigger fool

Comment by Gas 09.18.12 @ 6:14 pm

Gotta say this was PITT’s biggest victory in a long time. Since it came when this program hit rock bottom (hopefully) AND VT has a much much better program than USF, not even close. And I believe those USF teams were not the real McCoy those years, we were just fortunate enough to have played them WHILE THEY WERE STILL RANKED.

And throw in the fact a lot of us were questioning whether PITT hired the right guy, after the way the team looked and played in the first 2 games. And that subject matter is still unanswered, one game does not a coach make. SO this was a HUGE win in that respect as well. And having it against a annual Top 10 or 15 team from the conference(ACC) we’re moving to, added to the significance of the win as well. As VT has dominated the ACC since it joined in 2004 having won 4 ACC titles in 5 title games.

Was it bigger than 13-9, nope…no way.
A 28 point underdog beating their hated rival in Hooterville (Morganhole) and keeping that hated rival from playing for the National Championship was a way bigger win. And besides…….
Pat Bostick was QB. lol :-)

Comment by Emel 09.18.12 @ 6:26 pm

@alcofan – You have to wait for a PAT bus and never know what you’re going to get in terms of condition. Also, are there any that go straight to Heinz from Oakland? How often?

The T is clean and goes straight to the field. PAT could run a few extra routes on gamedays from Oakland and the students can decide when they want to go and return.

Comment by pghFred 09.18.12 @ 6:34 pm

Yea it is amazing with what PITT means to Pittsburgh’s economy, the nitwits who govern and the hacks that run PAT haven’t run a T-line from Downtown to Oakland which would then link up with the subway/T to Heinz and the T-Line to South Hills. There already are several rail lines that aren’t that far from the Blvd of the Allies in South Oakland. Or you could run it straight thru the Hill, as much of that property is slum cheap to purchase.

That would also service the students at CMU & Carlow & Chatham as well. Duh.

Makes to much sense, the idiots in charge won’t do it. Or they went to Hillbilly U or Ped State.

Comment by Emel 09.18.12 @ 6:39 pm

@wbb,

Yes you missed PITT’s Dream Backfield except for Goldberg.

Dick Cassiano
John “Chick” Chickerneo
Curly Stebbins
and the before mentioned
Marshall Goldberg

link to nytimes.com

Enjoy the read on PITT’s glorious History unmatched by few in College Football.

Comment by Emel 09.18.12 @ 6:57 pm

Been a season ticket holder for awhile including many years at Pitt Stadium. I support the move as no reasonable on campus option was available. Renovating was cost prohibitive. There was no place else to put the Pete. Trying to get 40 – 50k to attend and park in Oakland was tough. I’d see students looking out their window from Southerland…they didn’t feel like crossing the street. We get just as many if not more students at HF than we did at Pitt Stadium. I’ll take the Pete and the hoops program we have and the HF experience with easy parking and access any time. North Shore is place to be….you see the 4k students that attended concert at Club AE after the opener?

Comment by FG 09.18.12 @ 7:17 pm

emel makes a great point. i was at pitt a few years after the move to heinz. i was fortunate enough to have a car to drive to our fraternity’s tailgates, but a lot of my friends didn’t want to deal with the bus situation so they wouldn’t go down. a line to oakland would be huge and i think it would significantly boost student attendance. riding the bus totally blows, i did it once, never again.

Comment by usd121 09.18.12 @ 7:19 pm

what’s wrong with you people — run a T from downtown to Monroeville makes WAY too much sense for the politiicans to even consider.

It wold only run parallel and alleviate traffic to the busiest thruway in Western PA … not to mention run near no less than 6 hospitals …. and 4 colleges …. not to mention Squirrel Hill, Regent Square and Wilkinsburg … and a large shopping are and mall.

Way too logical!

Comment by wbb 09.18.12 @ 7:29 pm

I have always been a proponent of an on-campus stadium. That is where you build traditions. Is Pitt land-locked or is it just short-sighted thinking by the Administration? Is building down, up, sideways a possibility?

The thought of 10,000 students at each game may sound like a pipe dream, but for long term thinkers, getting as many kids to games now, pays off with their kids and season ticket holders later.

I like the idea of still practicing next to the Steelers and keeping that relationship. It’s the best of both worlds.

The sounds of crickets is deafening…c’mon!

@emel – Above you indicate that many were calling for PC’s head after two bad games. He has one good game and you have only gotten to the point where you say it is only one game!!! This isn’t the volatile stock market of the last two years. We want steady improvement and performance even if it means taking a short term hit. Give the guy a break. Look at how Wisconsin is struggling for a minute. We have the right guy as head coach. We just need the right guy at AD that isn’t cheap!

Comment by dhuffdaddy 09.18.12 @ 7:33 pm

Great idea on extending the Light Rail Line to Oakland.

That would create a unique gameday expericent for Pitt students as they trek their way to the North Shore.

The University should form a committee to study the logistics and cost of the project and how the University/State, County, City could make it happen.

Students need to get involved at the ground level pushing for administrators to get involved.

Sometimes you just have to accept the past for what it is and adapt.

Who knows, this could turn out to be the best outcome afterall for all parties involved.

Comment by PittofDreams 09.18.12 @ 8:22 pm

I do understand plans have been drawn up for extending the Light Rail Line to Oakland.

But not aware of a push by Pitt or its student body.

Comment by PittofDreams 09.18.12 @ 8:25 pm

I saw a presentation by tge Port Authority last year and tgere are no plans for extending the light rail to Oakland. Unfortunately, dedicated lanes on existing roads is the plan they are pursuing.

Comment by shakeyjakey 09.18.12 @ 9:43 pm

They’re the same politicians that built the Mon-Fayette expressway that would link Monroeville, Pittsburgh, the South Hills to the Mon Valley and I68 in WV.

All finished, except the part linking the South Hills to Monroeville(Pittsburgh, Monroeville, Turnpike, Parkway) and vice-versa……………..

where 95% of the vehicular traffic and (tolls) would have come from. (and any help to the Mon Valley)

Hey, the South Hills kids can get to CalU
in 20 !!!

But, I digress, screw WVU!!!

Comment by Dan 09.18.12 @ 10:26 pm

@ emel

Thanks for the link. A nice trip down the paths of Pitt history and tradition. Almost makes me wish to have lived through the depression just so I could have known what it was like to say, “Yeah, Pitt will probably be number 1 again this year.”

Comment by Bowling Green Panther 09.18.12 @ 10:27 pm

Ha! If you guys are looking for common sense from those people who influence transportation decisions in PGH, pass me whatever you’re smoking.
The T to Oakland? PA’s second busiest business locale?
Finish a four lane highway and solve logistical and economic development problems in the bottleneck, built for 1920 South Hills? In PGH n’at? Yinz guys crazy?
But onto Pitt, I will call the 1975 win over a tough Bill Hurley led Syracuse team the most under rated win in Pitt’s history! No win there, no NC and I suspect no Heisman for Dorsett. Hurley was a great college QB and Syracuse was just nail tough that day. But Pitt was just tougher and goal lined stood there way to a number 1 ranking…if memory serves me well, the Maize and Blue from Ann Arbor had been upset that day by Purdue. It was not a case of Pitt playing poorly, it was a friggen dog fight with the ‘Cuse.
Just a great great game.

Comment by SFPitt 09.18.12 @ 11:54 pm

Last point on the T line to Oakland.

If there were plans to build the T rail lines to Oakland from the start, Pitt could possibly have selected a site on campus for a new football stadium. A T line would allow folks to park along the route thereby alleviating the parking issue in Oakland.

Oh well. I’m done being Captain Hindsight.

GO PITT

Comment by pghFred 09.19.12 @ 7:54 am

The North Shore and Heinz Field is the venue for Pitt Football for the foreseeable future. PERIOD

The tsunami of development of sports/entertainment facilities, mass transit and restaurants, hotels, etc. makes this the ONLY place in the city for Pitt footbaal to be play from a logical, practical point of view.

Discuss options and alternatives all that you want to, but just understand that you are dreaming.

Comment by Dr. Tom 09.19.12 @ 10:00 am

Dr. Tom is correct.

Just throwing ideas out there. Don’t know if it could be done or not.

Could they possibly have a police escort, or a lane closing, especially for the Pitt bus’s for the students.

Like a giant loop of constant buses that are on a beltway. Only stop to pick up students or any other person that wanted to go to the game, and to drop students off after the game. No stopping what so ever in between.

They could get to Heinz field, literally in about a minute and a half. Straight shot. No lights, no stop signs, no other vehicles.

Could that be a possibility??? So, the students knew, for sure, no hiccups, that after boarding the bus, they would be directly to the stadium and be getting off the bus in 5 minutes.

And the opp., after the game, the bus’ would be a direct shot back to campus.

I mean, it’s Saturday, so a lot of the headaches are gone from the get go.

Ya, a lot of work, what great things arent’?

And I mean done professionally, were the students are talking after the game and weeks after the game, and it becomes a “known” thing in Pittsburgh.

“wow, you hop on that bus, it’s there in a couple minutes”, “this is fantastic”, “hell, I’m back in Oakland after the game in minutes”.

Just typing out loud, I’m sure there would be lots of problems.

Trying to do something like that, you can’t consistenly hear comments,

“that bus thing is a real pain in the ass”.

“I’m leaving early to get a seat”,

Just typing out loud.

Comment by Dan 09.19.12 @ 12:14 pm

Could become even a known traffic thing on autumn Saturdays in Pittsburgh.

“remember, the Pitt-Heinz Field lane is open before the game from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 pm before the game, and from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m after the game”

“so make alternate plans if you’re gonna be in that area”

Comment by Dan 09.19.12 @ 12:18 pm

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