October 9, 2012

Note: I didn’t write something right away because when you are getting 370+ comments on an open game thread pretty much everything has already been talked about.  Anyway, here are some of my observations…

Again, and with firm success, PITT snatched defeat from the jaws of victory last week.  Travelling to the Carrier Dome in Syracuse our Panthers dropped a close, low scoring game to the Orange, 14-13, in a match that may portend the way the rest of the schedule plays out in that we certainly played well enough to win but obviously didn’t.

The sad thing is I couldn’t even get too angry about that final ‘nail in the coffin’ intentional grounding penalty by Sunseri that deprived us of a game winning field goal opportunity because we have seen it, or something just like it, happen to PITT so many times over the years.  We just can’t find ways to win close football games coming from behind because we aren’t built for it, starting with our QB.  It isn’t only Sunseri that has been this way for PITT, Bill Stull before him had the same problem.

If I’m assigning blame – which is totally Tuesday morning QB’ing – then I’m pointing at the OL for most of the ills of the evening.  They didn’t open many holes for Graham or Bennett and they were just flat out terrible in pass protection.

How many times did we watch Sunseri have the pocket collapse around him and then he (finally) stepped up and completed the throw?  He did that on his own out there.  But the fact is that the only offense we could generate was by passing the football and Sunseri did that well last week.

That said, Sunseri certainly contributed to the loss also. Sunseri is what he is, an average at best college QB who needs all the other facets of the offense to be working well for him to get a win.  We know what his limitations are already and he’s a lightning rod for criticism.  But to lay the blame of this loss at his feet only is just tunnel vision.

I’ll also point at Ray Graham for our poor offensive showing last week.  He spent half the night running and jerking around behind the LOS before turning south.  Had he just gone into the line as the play was called he’d be getting better yardage.  This isn’t the first game he’s done this behind the line this season either.  I’m starting to think that his injury is still impacting him more than he lets on and that he’s trying to break off a huge run each play to make his worth as a NFL player look better.

Well, I just blamed to the whole offense for last night’s loss save the WRs who played pretty well – except for Carswell who had that fumble and subsequent return of a SYR TD and a crucial dropped pass in the 2nd half.

We had an article up on here prior to the game talking about how average the running game has been lately and last week it couldn’t even be that.  We had a grand total of 0.7 yards per carry.  That isn’t a misprint – 0.7 ypc – against a team that was pretty poor against the rush previously.

One of the reasons was that we wouldn’t, or couldn’t, play the best back we have capable of powering through the interior of the DL to get positive yardage when there wasn’t much of an opening by the OL.  Shell had one carry on the day.

There has been a lot of chatter on the message boards about why Shell didn’t get in the game more often.  One is that his back was hurting again.  Hmmm, another is that he was being punished for some minor infraction.  That’s hard to fathom though as you’d think he would have been sat down for the whole game rather than just part of it.

Regardless of what the reasons were we missed his abilities to get tough yardage, especially is short conversion opportunities.  On our first possession of the second half, down 14-10, we had a third and one at our own 39 yard line.  Up to this point Graham had little positive yardage per play on the ground yet we ran him into the interior line and got stuffed.  We had Bennett and Shell on the sidelines – both bigger and stronger than Graham and had TEs quite capable of catching a pass thrown by a QB who was completing passes all day.

The whole approach to the running game against SYR was very Wannyesque in the sense that Chryst stayed with something that wasn’t working solely on the off chance that Ray Graham would break one for a TD.  Isaac Bennett, who was averaging 4.9 ypc on the season and tore up training camp, got a total of three carries in the game.  If Shell was actually hurt and Graham was ineffective why wasn’t Bennett used more often in the hope that he’d be able got at least get better than a 0.7 ypc production?

We have to get our TEs involved in the passing game more often.  Paul Chryst has gone far from his model using TEs to produce as he did so well at Wisconsin. At this point our true TEs, Graham and Holtz, have 8 receptions (87 yards) which is only 7% of our completions.  If we add Drew Carswell to that, even though he’s split out a lot, the number jumps to 13 receptions (145 yards) and is 12% of our completed passes.

That is way too low for the way this offense is built.  Our OL is poor against the better teams.  Using the TE would be a way to execute the short, quick passing game and then to have the big guys leverage their strength for yards after the catch.  I believe we really need to incorporate this more,  especially with J. P. Holtz who did so well in training camp and flat out trucked a defender last week.

Another aspect of the offense that was missing last week was the deep pass.  We have seen Sunseri complete more of them this season that any other yet the OC/HC didn’t call one deep ball all game.  You can’t tell me that we didn’t have ample opportunity to let fly at least once or twice that game.  Hell, Street was having so much success with the intermediate routes with 10 catches with a 13 ypc average that a double move from him would have taken the DB by total surprise.

I’m become more disappointed with the offensive play calling as the season progresses.

As a result we totally wasted an excellent defensive effort in this game.  That is something we just can’t afford to do any longer if we want to get to a winning season – which is more and more becoming a reach to accomplish in 2012.

All in all it was a good game to watch if you like close games with good defenses but it was, as we have all seen before, a disappointing game to watch if you are a PITT fan.  To sum it up; Blah, blah and blahdeblah… again.

Something to make you smile….at least Pitt doesn’t have to put out the following public service announcements!

link to

Comment by Marco 10.09.12 @ 9:50 am

Understand the frustration with the playcalling, but this is 100% due to the offensive line. Calling a deep pass play with this line is like getting in the huddle and saying “Let’s take a sack.” I’ve beaten up Tino endlessly, but he did about as much as he could possibly do, given what was happening around him.

Comment by 85 10.09.12 @ 9:50 am

85 – I think you have to at least attempt one to show that you have it in the playbook for that game.

Keep the TEs in and get a RB to chip block and he could have enough time…

Comment by Reed 10.09.12 @ 9:57 am

Good analysis. I hope the coaching staff adjusts a lot quicker to what is available and to not keep relying on what they want to do.

Comment by Frank MD 10.09.12 @ 10:00 am


Good points and you touch on what has emerged as Pitt’s biggest problem (Besides Tino being Tino with the game on the line).

It’s the running game… or lack thereof.

Going into the season I thought the running game would be the stength of the offense… obviously not the case.

The running game needs to be resurrected and it needs to start this weekend.

Comment by PittofDreams 10.09.12 @ 10:04 am

@ Reed, Agree with the deep throw suggestion but Tino can’t throw deep; his long passes are always under thrown. I agree with throwing more passes to the TE’s. Also agree with your observation on Graham’s east/west running. Hopefully, our coaches will have reviewed the Syracuse game film and will correct things for this weeks game. HTP!

Comment by MariettaMike 10.09.12 @ 10:06 am

Reed. As to why the TE’s might not be getting out enough… and it plays to your other theories…

THE LINE CANT HOLD, PC & co. may be sacrificing the TE pass to try and protect Tino a little more, save downs where they are fairly sure a blitz isn’t coming.

Comment by Benzene 10.09.12 @ 10:18 am

Reed – The one shot they took to Shanahan, the play was a fraction of a second from Tino getting hit and the ball floating into the air. There were a number of plays where defenders were in the backfield so fast that there was no possibility of anything but a sack or a busted play, and that it would be a problem was evident from the start. They haven’t been afraid to call the deep ball in the few games prior; I think they would have done the same if they had any confidence at all that the line could hold up.

Comment by 85 10.09.12 @ 10:24 am

Whatever happened to the QB rolling out? Tino is not that slow.

Comment by Frank MD 10.09.12 @ 10:30 am

85 – if you’ll recall that pass to Shanahan was with pressure, as you say, and Sunseri did a great job getting the ball out while throwing on his back foot and actually leaning backwards.

But thanks for pointing that out – that was at least one long pass play called. Weird that with all the mechanical problems on that play it was our longest pass from scrimmage.

Comment by Reed 10.09.12 @ 10:34 am

Ray is back however he is not yet all the
way back. He has lost speed and quickness.
Hopefully he will continue to progress.

Bennett is strictly a between the tackles.
His speed is questionable.

Lots of questions about Shell. Will he
maximize his talent or will he be content to
be a knucklehead??

Comment by JR 10.09.12 @ 10:43 am

I think lost in all the angst over losing another winnable game is that the defense played an excellent game. I know they did not get the stop at the end, but when you compare how dreadful they were in the first two games, with where they are now, the defensive staff and players deserve a ton of credit. I think Pitt will bounce back this week. It is homecoming, the defense is playing better, and the offense will not have as many struggles in the quasi-friendly confines of Heinz Field than in the Carrier dome.

The collapses on the last two offensive drives are inexcusable, but I was there, and the Carrier Dome was louder than any other road trip I have been on. You could see the effect on the line, which was really bothered by it. If that game is at home, those drives most likely end differently.

Comment by TartanPanther 10.09.12 @ 10:44 am

And again, I will say that the reason the O line has so much trouble (and admittedly they are average at best)is that Tino has demonstrated many times, he cannot throw long successfully. I have gone back and watched (almost had to have a scotch in my hand to do so) the entire Syracuse game and the Cuse Linebackers and safeties were playing up and tight on the line of scrimmage, daring Tino to throw long and double covering Shanny and the TE. If they weren’t up tight, they and safeties were leaning forward on their toes. Not one time did I see a safety or LB drop off. Most of the time our O line was trying to block more people coming hard than we had bodies to block.

Yes, Tino is courageous…but he is a statue who stares down receivers,cannot move and simply cannot throw long with any accuracy. Thus Pitt is giving up 1/3 of the field needed to be defended by Cuse and everyone else.

Against a big lumbering team like Va Tech, it did not matter…but watch L’ville…their speedy linebackers will be on the LOS…an almost impossible situation to put any O line in.

My hat is off to Tino who can take a beating, but unless we make a QB change, the situation will continue and Pitt will continue to play at a huge disadvantage on offense.

See all of you at Louisville Game. Always look forward to a trip back “home”! HTP

Comment by Dan 72 10.09.12 @ 10:55 am

The pressure on Tino is a shared responsibility. The OL clearly has to get better especially the tackles, however if the only time the coaching staff calls a paasing play is on 3rd and long, what realistic chance has Pitt’s coaches given the players. The HC and OC need to do what we all thought they were good at, namely putting their players in a position to win. If you go an entire half averaging less than a yard/carry, you better make some adjustments to take advantage of the scheme the other team is using to stop the run. If the problem is that you don’t have any OL who can open a hole with a one-on-one block, then I guess its hopeless. But if the running game is being stopped by blitzing LBs and DBs, you better have some plays to take advantage of this aggressiveness.
This leads to Reed’s point. Passes to TEs and screens to RBs and TEs don’t take that long, even for someone as inept as Tino, and completing a few of those can make LBs and DBs get off the LOS. The OC and HC were terrible against ‘Cuse as they simply kept trying to do the same thing and the result never changed, 1 yard and a clound of synthetic carpet.
H. Graham and Holtz look to be two of Pitt’s best weapons, but they only seem to be thrown to in 3rd down passing situations. Here’s something I’d love to see, 10 passes to TEs on 1st and 2nd down against ‘Ville and lets see what happens.
Unless the ‘Ville’s Blu-ray is broken, they clearly know how to stop Pitt’s running game, so PC will have another chance to show some of his offensive genius and actually figure out a solution to a running game issue that he and his OC were clueless in solving during an entire game last week.
Before anyone misunderstands me, I am not suggesting I know more than PC or any of Pitt’s coaches nor have I changed my mind that he is the right guy for the Pitt job, but sometimes the problem is just obvious. Running with 8-9 men at the LOS is not a good game plan.

Comment by Taxing Matters 10.09.12 @ 11:03 am

Lousy OLine =’s problems with running game =’s problems with a less than athletic qb =’s rushed plays and potential for interceptions, etc.

So far from what we have seen the incoming recruiting class does not appear to have too much OLine talent. THIS IS A MESS!

Yes, we have potential next year at QB without Tino, however, without an OLine 2013 may turn out to be another stinko year…GROUNDHOG’S DAY.

Comment by isnore 10.09.12 @ 11:12 am

Good post, Reed. Some very random thoughts:
1. More Holtz, less Carswell!
2. I love Ray Graham…one of my favorite Pitt players. However, there is no way he should have carried the ball 24 times against the Cuse. With so many short yardage situations and the way he was dancing behind the line of scrimmage, Bennett or Shell should have been more involved.
3. Very impressed with the defense as a unit, especially the corners. Williams, Pitts and Christian can play.
4. Harper…ugh. Almost just as frustrating as missing the field goal is kicking the ball out of bounds on the kickoff before halftime! Yes, I know it was a poor call because the return man actually touched the ball but come on. That’s bad.
5. I don’t think we are that much worse of a team because we lost a 1 point game on the road. Also, if we would have converted at the end of the game and won, say 16-14, I don’t think that makes us much better of a team. It’s not as much of the W versus the L. The reason this loss hurts is because Pitt just can’t sustain momentum. Just when things were looking better and we received some positive press, reactions, etc. they go back out snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

Comment by JAM 05 Pitt 10.09.12 @ 11:15 am

Tino showed guts. The O Line showed no heart. Ray danced too much. The playcalling was marginal at best. I think we win this game if we’re at home. Hopefully we can learn and grow. 6-6 is looking more and more like a reality.

Comment by The Atlanta Panther 10.09.12 @ 11:21 am

Great catch and run by “Lou” I mean JP Holtz. Lets see some more of them.

Comment by alcofan 10.09.12 @ 11:23 am

Change of subject to something more pleasant… Indianapolis Star has a nice article on Sam Young’s attempt to make the Pacers roster.

link to

Comment by The Turk 10.09.12 @ 11:28 am

As I’ve said before and will say again. Sunseri is who he has been for three years. Nothing more, nothing less.
He, like the remainder of the players, doesn’t lack effort he simply lack the ability to be something more than he is…

Chryst inherited these players so he gets a pass this year. He too has a learning curve that we must endure if we truly believe in him. I for one do so I am reserving my judgement as I have seen glimses of a good head coach. He, like the players, is who he is right now… a first ever head coach and that my friends means that we should expect a huge leap in his second season.

Let me revisit coaching growth for one moment as it relates to the SU game. 1st and 10 on the SU 15 with 3:30 or 210 secs (oddly) remaining. 4 downs and a 40 second play clock for each play. Assume that we run up the middle three straight plays resulting in roughly 120 second usage leaving us with 90 seconds on the clock and one down. Say we run the play clock down to 1 second thus another 39 seconds off of the clock. Remaining time? 51 seconds. We kick the FG and go up by 2. Time remaining after kick off ? less than 50 seconds. SU must do something that were incapable of doing since Q1… drive the ball to the 30 yrd line in 50 seconds. Coaching my friends. My guess is that Chryst is learning on the job and he will not leave the game in the hands of players who have not proven themselves to be able to succeed.

This is year of trial and error and much of it is at the feet of the new head coach who will be better next year with his decision making and allocation of on field responsibilities. There is no short cut so I am willing to remain patient. I do believe that Chryst is the man and will will be find provided he can get better players across the board.

Comment by Pitt Fan In Atlanta 10.09.12 @ 11:29 am

alcofan – it was a lot of fun to watch Holtz in training camp practices. He’s already big enough at 6’$’ and 245 (at least) for a TE in college and he can catch and run very well.

Comment by Reed 10.09.12 @ 11:31 am

Pitt’s limitations–O-Line, QB, kicking are open and obvious. Throwing deep requires time and an arm and a receiver. Street is really the only deep threat and Tino’s arm (more critically, his footwork) is average. Throw in a left tackle who is stellar at “ole” blocking and I doubt it was there.
Tino locks in on receivers when under pressure. That is ONE reason we lose close games. We also lost a close game because Harper is not good. We also lost because our Oline was sub standard and our running backs did not make the most of things.
We could have won, but did not.
That is typical of Pitt not because it is ingrained in our DNA. It is typical of any team or program that has no sense of itself because stability in coaching has been elusive.
If you look at Walt Harris, his teams did not self destruct as he gained longevity…it is true with any program.
Football is a mental grind for anyone. Add limited talent and coaching carousels and the mental aspect becomes more pronounced.
I am not down on PC.
Our coaching carousel is a direct result of our athletic department shortcomings and that is Pederson, with an assit from Nordy who obviously wants him on the job.
My ONLY hope is that PC can bring some success and allow Pederson to retire gracefully.

Comment by SFPitt 10.09.12 @ 11:49 am

Have to agree with Dan 72 for saying what many of us have suggested for three years now — its totally inaccurate to lay all this pressure and these sacks at the O-line’s feet. Teams just tee off on them with abandon as they truly have no fear being beaten deep by Tino. It’s not enough to simply say Tino is Tino and is doing the best he can and then blame the O-line in the next breath. Yes, they probably aren’t the second coming of the Hogs or Webster/Kolb/Davis, but they are facing a jailbreak vs most teams who clearly recognize putting max pressure on Tino and not thinking twice about the deep pass is the straight route to ‘Win-ville’ against Pitt. It also jams up the line vs the run, so they win two battles with one defensive scheme… which equals much anger and kvetching from the Pitt faithful.

If Anderson or Voytik are in, at least they might have enough athleticism to roll out and create plays — and if his hand is healthy, Anderson seemed to have plenty of arm to chuck it deep with decent accuracy. Why would you want to watch a 6-6 team writhe through 3-4 more stupid, agonizing losses with a guy who clearly will not get better when you have a shot at something different? If you are desperate to save Voytik’s redshirt, which really is kind of stupid at this point, its more than time to give Anderson an honest shot to show his stuff now that he’s had time to get a year’s worth of reps and heal.

Comment by Matt N. 10.09.12 @ 11:52 am

The defense may have played well, but I will stop short of saying “excellent”. With 4 minutes left, the game on the line, needing a stop (and not even a 3 and out), KNOWING that Syracuse would be running, they failed to get it to give Pitt another shot at the win. Making the play in crunch time — THAT would be excellent defense…

Comment by JCE 10.09.12 @ 12:11 pm

One more time with a brief (and more pleasant) subject change: once again out of Indy… former Lady Panther star Shavonte Zellous hits shot at the buzzer to lift Indiana Fever to a win in game 2 of WNBA eastern conference finals

Comment by The Turk 10.09.12 @ 12:27 pm

I don’t know that the Cuse LB’s played close to the line of scrimmage so much as they all keyed on the run. They actually lined up in some funky formation that I don’t recall seeing the past, at a normal distance from the line. The three LB’s were in a tight formation sort of like a wing-T backfield and the whole T flowed to ball on running plays. This also made the middle of the field crowded for those TE slants, but the outside and LB-DB gaps were open all night. Frankly, I think would should have thrown the ball a lot more because that is what the defense was giving us. I’m generally happy with the offensive strategy and the defense is doing well. I will say one thing on offense that drives me crazy, and I have now seen it 3 times this season, is when we have 3rd or 4th and well less than one yard, and run that deep handoff! Please coach Chryst, stop it. Put a Fullback in the game with your tail back and go with a QB sneak or a quit hitter to one of the backs. All three times you tried that deep handoff in a short yardage situation we lost yards. It does not work.

Comment by HbgFrank 10.09.12 @ 12:38 pm

if anderson and voytik are the answer why aren’t they out there,maybe its because they are out there

Comment by paul shannon 10.09.12 @ 12:44 pm

I couldn’t agree more with JCE. We needed that defensive stop at the end of the game and they could not produce it. Defense played well but they had the same issue as Tino on the offense and they couldn’t produce in the clutch. Lots of blame to go around for this Pitt loss.

Now if you weren’t a Pitt fan, this was a very entertaining game. And with just a little luck going our way for a change, we win this game by a score of at least 21-7. It would have taken just three plays. One, Carswell DOESN’T fumble, Two, Harper ACTUALLY makes all of his FG attempts and Three, Tino puts just a little bit more on the ball to a wide open Shanahan so that he can waltz into the endzone for the TD that we never got off of that drive as it ended up.

This team is a Forest Gump metaphor, just like the box of chocolates, “you never know what you’re goin to get”. But even with the obvious deficiencies detailed with this team, we win if the ball bounces our way just a couple times.

Now my question is, can Coach Chryst keep this team’s head in the game with the meat of our schedule on the horizon? IMO we could still be 8-4, or just as easily we could end up 3-9. At this point, that is determined by the coaching.

All of a sudden we are going to be playing three teams in our remaining seven games that are highly ranked. Pitt seems to keep their focus when they are going to be playing the major underdog role. Why, I’m not sure, but 13-9 always serves as the milestone to demonstrate this “WTF” Pitt phenom.

Therefore, I will not be surprised if we come out and give the Ville a run for their money in this game. What flavor piece of chocolate do we have this week?

Now, I agree with Reed’s assessment of team issues, and I agree that the TE’s should be utilized more in the passing game. But whatever happened to the “wildcat”????

With the weapons that we have at our disposal, are you telling me that when the opponent KNOWS that we are going to run the ball, that it is to our best advantage to line Tino up behind center to call that running play?

Take your pick, Shell, Bennett, even Ronald Jones taking the snap in that Wildcat formation is a look that this pro style team can handle and just dare the defense to stop us. That extra blocker makes a huge difference in whether a hole opens up or not at the point of attack, not to mention the speed that the play is executed at with no hand off being needed.

Then if you want to be creative after showing your hand a couple times in running this Wildcat, then you switch it up with Jones in the backfield to throw a quick out pass or a crossing pattern to a TE that fakes his block and gets into the secondary. This kind of imaginative play calling can make a difference when they have nine in the box to stop the obvious run play.

Come on Chryst, by now you know what you got to work with and it isn’t enough to just line up and impose your will on the opponent’s defense. A little trickeration is in order here to help make this team competitive. Plus, it would be fun to watch.

On the bright side, at least Pitt is playing competitive football the last few games and although it heartbreaking losses that makes you go crazy, I’d prefer that to the blow outs that we got handed from lowly YSU and Cincy. Lets hope THAT bitter piece of chocolate stays in the box, never to be tasted again for the rest of the season.

Comment by Dr. Tom 10.09.12 @ 1:41 pm

The offensive couldn’t protect a straight bar from Elton John.

Comment by Get the Glory 10.09.12 @ 2:07 pm

I have lost faith in pitt foot ball .
for years i have had faith things will get better
i have said to my self i dont think i can do it any more.
the coaching was the same as daves the TE is not being used here as they were at wisconsin why not
tino was a bone head as he always is,

he has 3 good RB but just used one and all he did was dance insted of going norh and south.
and the coach are to blame for not seeing that
when the game starts they are just like dave no adjustments.

I am so sick of the same shit every year you will hate me for this but if i had a kid who was a good player i would tell him to go to another school outher then pitt becuse the same shit is put on the field year after year and things dont get better and are coachs dont coach one the ball is kicked off if foster comes to pitt he is a fool


please let baskett ball start soon and please play some one besides tino i could stand thoes
fucks ups from a freshemen QB but not from a fifth year senior.
I a loseing faith in christ wanny might as well be coaching and i lost faith in tino years ago.

Comment by FRANKCAN 10.09.12 @ 2:24 pm

Rushel Shell…. “he is who I said he was!”…

What worked in Hopewell… I guess… is not going to work on Chryst…

Comment by Joe D 10.09.12 @ 2:34 pm

Are you troubled by bad football in the middle of the week?
Do you experience feelings of dread with your offensive line and linebackers?
Have you or your family ever had a qb that’s too dumb to throw the ball away?
If the answer is “yes,” then don’t wait another minute. Pick up the phone and call the professionals…
Our courteous and efficient staff is on call 24 hours a day to serve all your supernatural elimination needs.
We’re ready to believe you.

Comment by Denny 10.09.12 @ 2:37 pm

I like the summary and am looking forward to more blah blah and blahdeblah on Saturday

Comment by John 10.09.12 @ 2:40 pm

Joe D, you have no idea if Shell is injured — he has been having back spasms. Doubt that they would have used hi at all if he was suspended.

Denny, the QB did throw the ball away.

Get the Glory – our offense with that OL couldn’t score if it were in a women’s prison with a handful of pardons

Comment by wbb 10.09.12 @ 2:52 pm

DR.Tom you must face it with tino we will suck
were was the coaching why dident some one cll down and tell coach hey your RB is danceing to day not going north and south take him out.
why did not some replace and use the TE better no adjustements wanny might as well have coached this game.

L VILLE will beat us 31 to 14 we go 4 and 8 for the year. at least TG was 6 and 6
JD is right we are a fucked up team.

Comment by FRANKCAN 10.09.12 @ 3:21 pm

Dokish said chryst looks like another wanny.
i think he is pointing out no ajustments .

i said the same thing wanny might as well have coached this game.

chryst is not looking so good to me the results are the same as allways we lose games we should win tino is still the QB NOTHING CHANGES.

I am loseing faith how many years must this shit
happen to us why cant we play better becuse
coachs keep playing tino that is why.

it is past time for a QB change.

Comment by FRANKCAN 10.09.12 @ 3:42 pm

Hang in there FRANKCAN. Pitt isn’t the Cub’s franchise…yet. Have Hope and Keep the Faith. The Promised Land awaits. It just may take a few more years. May we all live to see that day. It will be worth it.

Comment by TX Panther 10.09.12 @ 3:49 pm

Someone above said Chryst is learning on the job and I could not agree more. That is the ONLY way a head coach can get experience. I have been an asst coach and asst manager in business. It is a world of difference when you are in charge.

My opinion on Chryst is positive but he needs to get the experience of different situations in games.
How he reacts to them in the future will seal his fate at Pitt. It may be painful for us to watch but there is no other way.

I would like to call Ghostbusters who checked in earlier to see if we can banish the ghost of “placekickers past”! Harper cannot be this bad. I have always believed that Pitt kickers were cursed from Carson Long to balls boinking off holder’s helmets at the Nebraska game. Please Ghostbusters, exorcize this ghost!

Comment by Dan 72 10.09.12 @ 3:55 pm

TX Panther do you agree that is past time for a
QB change i dont belive things will change with TINO as the starter if a freshmen QB had done what tino did i could have exceped it better
but a fifth year senior it reallys piss me off.
and things just go on and on the same shit with him playing QB.


Comment by FRANKCAN 10.09.12 @ 4:18 pm

On a lighter note Sunseri is now #4 on the all time PITT passing yardage list. At the rate he’s passing now,(292 ypg) he’ll pass up Marino in the regular season to end up #2 overall with 8813 yards.

That’ll royally piss some PITT fans off, won’t it?

Comment by Reed 10.09.12 @ 4:31 pm

Joe D:
I read all the Pitt blogs daily — all of them. And whereas I just felt the need to ignore you & your comments (skip ’em altogether) it is, frankly, impossible.
You are in just many GD places with a forum to count.. Do you see this, or not? Curious, because you evidently have a distinct drive to be heard. In which case, perhaps consider seeking some psychotherapy or pharmacological help. Or, hell, supposing you’ll disagree (your nature), how about just start your own fng blog. I mean, right?

That’d be sensible for you. Otherwise commit to the latter suggustions. (Narcissistic personalities are very difficult balance, harder still to correct and balance.)

Take a hike and perhaps evaluate — yeah, a brave effort this will cost you — your ridiculous behaviors. Dude, you hit near every site and you need be right.

Get yourself checked. I, for one, have had enough & enough you. Understand “why” is that you just do not stop, you do,not stop yourself.


Comment by Neil 10.09.12 @ 4:38 pm

FRANK I would pour you a single malt if I could.

At the risk of repeating what has been said over and over again we are 5 games into to our 5th? head coach in 2 + years. That coupled with not have a ton of talent in several places just adds to Chrysts challenges. But i don’t think it is fair to hang Tino for all the bad as there is plenty to go around. In the beginning of the year if Tino had the stats he did we all would have been excited. He is an average college QB but has earned the starting job and is not doing that bad this year. Just because we lose people want a QB change because it is a change. Tino had a decent game and no QB or player ever has a perfect game at least not many and not often. OL sacks lack of running game, Fumbles etc all played a part. In hind sight maybe some play calling.

If we are not patient and call for PC to be replaced we are going to continue to be bad getting yet another coach. If in several years we are still bad then he wasn’t a good coach(we don’t know if he is or not) but got to give him a chance or we never get off the roller coaster of changing coaches.

I also don’t want to burn Voytik’s redshirt just for the sake of change. If he was that good now he would be playing as would Anderson.

and JD does get something right on occasion but not often and never has anything positive to say about anything Pitt does unless some kid has good track times. While we are all entitled to our own opinions the constant negative gets old.

It is almost time for some Glenlivet with a couple cubes.


Comment by giveitarest 10.09.12 @ 4:42 pm

Dr Tom, I don’t think we’ll see the Wildcat because the problem hasn’t been moving the football forward. We’re doing pretty well in that regard. Plus the team hasn’t practiced it to this point yet.

Now if you want to use the wildcat in the redzone you effectively take the pass away.

I would much prefer we adapt somewhat of last year’s passing game in the sense that we go to Sunseri in the shotgun and get our TEs and backs involved more in receiving the ball.

Last year our RBs and TEs had 49% of our receptions (128/263), this season they are at a 33% rate (36/107). Our TEs alone had 20% of the receptions in 2011, this season 12%.

That’s a lot of numbers and we ARE racking up yards in the passing game under Chryst but I can’t help but think we can incorporate the short, quick game out of the shotgun a bit more to mix it up for the defense at the very least.

Comment by Reed 10.09.12 @ 4:48 pm

What else is crappy is that, statistically, we are having one of the best years in recent memory:

Passing Defense: 24th
Rushing Defense: 49th
Scoring Defense: 28th
Total Defense: 22nd

Three out of four catagories in the Top 30 nationally.

Rushing Offense: 72nd (blah!)
Passing Offense: 22nd
Scoring Offense: 77th (blah x2) @ 26 ppg which is pretty much in line with how we have been historically over the last eight years or so.
Total Offense: 31st

Not as good as the defense but holding our own. Historically over the previous five years our scoring offense has been averaging 28 ppg:

’11 24 ppg 83rd (Sunseri)
’10 26 ppg 67th (Sunseri)
’09 32 ppg 21st (Stull)
’08 27 ppg 50th (Stull)
’07 28 ppg 91st (Bostick)
’06 32 ppg 14th (Palko)

Comment by Reed 10.09.12 @ 4:50 pm

I would be cautious of burning Voytik’s redshirt BUT he may very well be red shirted next year when Savage is eligible and Chapman is in camp. So, I say burn it and have him gain valuable experience. The kid has some legs he can use to scramble behind that pathetic line and he’s got a better arm than Tino. Pitt needs to build some momentum for next year, keep the fans interested, and future recruits excited. This season is lost. Go with the QB who gives your program the best shot at winning in the ACC…in the future. Not with the QB who may give your team the best shot at winning games this year.

Comment by TX Panther 10.09.12 @ 4:51 pm

I for one wanted Wanny gone…
I liked Wanny… he was good for the university..

But, how many are thinking… perhaps we should not have let Wanny go?
I know I’m one of them..

Comment by Joe D 10.09.12 @ 5:15 pm

Good analysis, Reed. I only hope your post finds its way to Paul Chryst’s browser and he thinks to himself “you know….maybe we should have thrown deep more.”

Comment by Jeff 10.09.12 @ 5:16 pm

I wanted Wanny gone and liked him as well
( Wow agreeing with Joe D anything is possible)

But I still think it was time he went for 2 reasons 1 being Pitt was mediocre and played not to lose and not sure we would ever get better. The 2nd and the main reason i think he did get fired was the trouble his players got in. That was on him for not controlling them and was not looked on favorably by the administration given the prestige of the University.

Joe I am betting lots of Bills fans though wish we didn’t let him go! either

Comment by giveitarest 10.09.12 @ 5:29 pm

@ Denny, Pitt’s problems don’t involve the supernatural, our issues are much more mundane. We don’t need the GhostBusters, all we need is the CHOKEBUSTERS!!!

Comment by Dr. Tom 10.09.12 @ 6:14 pm

giveitarest, totally agree with your last 2 comments. Many of the people on this blog called for Tino when Stull was the QB and while he has issues (many at times), the main reason that this team is 2-3 is lack of depth and talent due to the last 2 years (actually more because DW can’t coach – he has the highest paid Def line in pro football and the whole D os terrible). The fact that Joe D. still thinks DW should be coach shows how little he knows andwon’t let it go. This team has gotten better andas I’ve said many times, next year is the year they will show how good the coaching staff is. People that think burning CV’s red shirt is the right thing to do, do not understand the steps one goes through in the development of talent. Look how badly Arkansas struggled when they lost their QB for a few games and had to play a red-shirt fresh…the guy comes back and they dominate Auburn. Oregon State just lost their QB for 4 games and he’s being replaced by a RSFR who has never played. Defenses love to see an inexperienced QB…I for one think HCPC and his staff are developing a bunch of young men into a respectable FB team.

Comment by markp 10.09.12 @ 6:21 pm

There are two other NCAA stats that indicate why Pitt is 2-3 … red zone offense 103rd – 23 red zone drives; 16 red zone scores .. red zone defense 106th – 11 opp. red zone drives; 10 opp. red zone scores

Comment by TheHoopZebra 10.09.12 @ 6:41 pm

You didn’t read what I said… I wanted Wanny gone as a coach… I know he is not a good HC..
but right now… and after the last 2 years.. I’d welcome him back… Chryst is NOT an upgrade over Wanny.

Comment by Joe D 10.09.12 @ 6:44 pm

Joe D., your first sentence was spot-on, you should have stopped there…Chryst is/and will continue to be better for Pitt.

Comment by markp 10.09.12 @ 6:50 pm

I’ve read some of the older posts, and I’m getting a kick out of some who are blaming the Defense for not stopping Syracuse from running out the clock after Pitt’s last infamous series on offense.

Does anyone think if we got the ball back had the defense stopped them, that Sir Tino was going to do what he hasn’t done in his whole career at Pitt.

That being, lead them from behind in the 4rth quarter to a win. Really !

Blaming the defense, who gave up 1 lousy touchdown the whole game, is really a stretch.

Comment by EMel 10.09.12 @ 7:36 pm

Hell after watching the offense blow not 1 scoring opportunity(as our first series in the 4rth Quarter we got to the Cuse 29 before going backwards) in the 4rth quarter but 2, I’m surprised the defense even came back out on the field.

Must be frustrating for them to hold a team to one touchdown, Nassib to his lowest passing total of the year and the Syracuse offense to a measly 7 points and lose. Blame the defense, lmao.

Comment by Emel 10.09.12 @ 7:43 pm

say what you want tino fult LB fult coach fult
joe blows fult it does not make a hell of beans
the point is wheather it is wanny or TG or are new coach or tino or stull it is like a curse on pitt it is the same out come time after time and i am sick of it it is the same year after year.

it is allways wait till next year wait till the new coachs gets his people wait for this wait for that well i for one will give one more year next year is my last if there is not a lot of improvement next year i am done with pitt football one more year next year then that is it after next year it is basketball only unless things change i wont be made a fool after that 30 years is enough and this year is lost but i will give it one more then i am done unless there is change.

Comment by FRANKCAN 10.09.12 @ 8:11 pm

Actually we would have cleaned up recruiting wise the last couple years had DW not been told to resign by Stevie Cornhole. The lost class of 2010-2011 was a Top 25 class. DW had a great recruiter in NJ in Hafley(Gary Nova & Rutgers are undefeated and in the Top 20) and with Ped State’s problems we would have been in position to take advantage in not only PA but NJ & MD & even Ohio. WE WOULD HAVE BEEN THE PROGRAM WITH STABILITY !.

Add in the fact that DW never brought in HS coaches or guys with no experience as coaches.
And with us going into the ACC, he would have had contacts with potential coaches in the southern states(had Cornhole opened up the purse strings a little), where we really need to start recruiting.
As Chryst appears to have a very limited scope of coaches he can draw from. (they all must have Wisky connections for the most part or we get a HS coach)

And then the idea would be to make DW the AD eventually, just like what Wisky and others have done. At Wisky it was Barry Alvarez.

So what we have now, is basically a pro-set Wanny-Cignetti offense which according to Reeds previous posting of Yearly PPG, was 14th one year Nationally at 32PPG and another year 21rst nationally at 32 PPG. Albeit with a HC/staff who is nowhere as good at recruiting as DW’s was.
(can’t remember too many 1 or no star kids DW recruited)
And wasn’t in position to take advantage of Ped State’s problems. And even rarer, Ohio State was also in a state of flux. When is that going to happen again, both Ohio State & Ped State were bringing in new HC’s at the same time.

And do I need to remind ppl again that PITT had it’s been 3 year stretch in 30 frickin years in DW’s last 3 years. And highest final season ranking in 30 years at #15 in 2009-2010.
PITT was even featured before the 2010 season as one of the Top 5 programs for both football & basketball, if you remember this:
link to

So yes what has happened had been an unmitigated disaster with PITT football and yes I for one would like to go back to that fateful day in December of 2010 and ensure that DW stay and Cornhole leave !

Comment by Emel 10.09.12 @ 8:22 pm

Wannstedt is the best we could/will ever do. Pederson is a joke.

Comment by TonyC 10.09.12 @ 8:40 pm

Personally, I’ve seen enough of Drew Carswell.

Comment by maguro 10.09.12 @ 8:51 pm

EMel wait till next year then wait till the new coach gets his players then wait till thet become seniors then wait till the new coach fires his asst coachs and brings in new asst coachs then wait for tino to get a sixth year then wait some more well bullshit one more year that is it for me if we are not good next year it is basketball only for me what is the old saying make a fool of me once shame on you make a fool of me twice shame on me.
well waiting 30 years is enough one more is all love the school or not and i do one more that is it. love it i do but i am soon done unless they get there shit togther.

Comment by FRANKCAN 10.09.12 @ 8:53 pm

You can’t polish a turd. We will have to wait for a couple recruiting classes to get to the promised land.

Comment by Yeti 10.09.12 @ 9:03 pm

I’m sorry to offend anyone, but those that keep talking about what if with DW – that’s a total waste of disc space. He’s gone (right or wrong) and he’ll soon be fired at Buffalo (the GM called out the D today)…5 games into the PC era some of you can’t/won’t let the past go…support the new guy and like it or not next year you’ll see a change.

Comment by markp 10.09.12 @ 9:08 pm

There won’t be a turn around next year or the year after…
The reason… 2011 and 2012 recruiting classes were bad..
Also, not enough DL or OL in 2013 class…

In my opinion, success in college football is 2/3 recruiting and 1/3 coaching.

Comment by Joe D 10.09.12 @ 9:12 pm

Yeti markp and outhers penn state with all there trouble and with all the players that have left the team this year they are still 4 and 2.

so no on the several recuting classes pitt gets one more year that is it may be we should have hired the coach penn state did.

if the pennstate coach can do this in his first year pitts coach better do it in his second .

if you are a great coach you find a way to get things done no more waiting next year is it.

Comment by FRANKCAN 10.09.12 @ 9:19 pm

Pitt’s got as much talent as any other team in the Big East. They just’ve had too much change in a short time, but I think they have the right man now…I hope! QB is the single most influential position on the team and as many have said — supporters or non-supporters — and despite the misleading statistics, when it comes to results and leading your team to victory, Tino is average. I believe his win-loss record is .500 and that pretty much sums it up. As the QB goes, so goes the team in large measure, and we have been an average team for the last three years.

It hurts to waste talent like Graham, Shanahan, Holley and some of the other top seniors this year, but I think we can be pretty strong next year with Savage, Voytik, or maybe Anderson at the helm. The cupboard is definitely not bare.

Comment by Matt N. 10.09.12 @ 10:14 pm

Saw on ESPN Johnson wants another OSU visit. Why do I feel like this guy just likes to tease us Pitt fans?

Comment by Timmeh 10.09.12 @ 10:16 pm

Hey, I love Pitt as much as anybody, but why on earth would a young man with choices go to Pitt? Say what you want, but if I had my pick between a half full stadium in a pro town or 100k in a college town, that’s a no brainer.

Fair point wbb, Tino actually did throw the ball away — this time. Maybe I should have been more specific — throw it away without committing a fifteen yard penalty.

Comment by Denny 10.09.12 @ 10:25 pm

walt harris was better than wanny so seems like the mistake was getting rid of walt, not wanny. walt took us to the bcs and gave us a heisman finalist and we were competing with miami and were ahead of va tech and wvu. and those miami teams we were competing with were playing for it all and sendin half their players pro. wanny was terrible.

Comment by druc 10.09.12 @ 10:25 pm

link to (How awesome would this color and old Pitt Script be)

Comment by Upittbaseball 10.09.12 @ 10:29 pm

Sorry to belabor the past. But whoever made the PITT football comparison to the movie Groundhogs Day was spot on. Hey that movie even started in Pittsburgh and Bill Murray was from a TV station in Pittsburgh. Had the screenwriter wrote in more background info on Murray’s character, we most likely would have found out he went to college at PITT. :-)

P.S. I love that movie as it also has one of my favorite actresses, the lovely Andie McDowell with her great hair. Always wanted to meet her since I first saw her in St. Elmo’s Fire. Just like Kirby I guess.

Comment by Emel 10.09.12 @ 10:57 pm

The criticism of Chryst’s play calling and lack of adjustments are comical.
Do you think the fans in Wisconsin would agree? Come on people. He is one of the most respected OC in the country.
Unless you had a headset on during the game and could hear PC and Joe R calling the plays all this is just really bad Monday morning QBing.
PC lacks one thing…talent where his offense needs it. QB and OL. No current players can step in, more adjustments or less adjustments will not fix that.
They will be at least 4-4 going into ND and they will finish strong.

Comment by notrocketscience 10.10.12 @ 6:32 am

I love Andie…still to this day.

Comment by TX Panther 10.10.12 @ 6:47 am

Just searching around on youtube and came across this highlight video of Travon Chapman (pitt qb recruit) during his JUNIOR season in 2011. Im sure many of you have seen these already, but this kid is the real deal. Has quick release, strong arm, ball has the “zip” factor to it and he can run out of the pocket. I usually dont get to fired up over high school highlights but from what I see here, this kid can be a difference maker pretty fast.
link to

Comment by Z-Boy 10.10.12 @ 8:03 am

PC has been with Pitt for 5, count ’em, 5 games. To insinuate he is or will be a failure is absurd.

Pitt football has been an absolute MESS since DW was fired (justified or not, we can’t get in our ‘way-back’ machines and change it).

Sure Pitt has good talent compared to other BE teams. But where they are lacking is the OL. THIS ISN’T PC’s fault. He’s playing the cards he was dealt. Plus, injuries and suspensions further depleted the OL this season. Going forward, he will try to bring in the players that fit his system. If he’s at least as successful as he was at Wisconsin, I think most of us would take it.

Based on the #31 offensive ranking Reed posted earlier, I think PC is actually ‘coaching them up’. But you can only polish turds so much, they’ll never become diamonds.

Now, untie the nooses and be patient. I know it is hard considering how bad we all want this team to win, but what other choice do we have? It will take a couple of years for PC to build his team and hopefully we’ll all be here to see it happen.

Comment by pghFred 10.10.12 @ 8:10 am

Reed, Chas…

Looking forward to a new article to get us looking at Saturday.

This is the turning point where it’ll be determined which direction the season goes… up or down… winning or breakeven.

Appropriate for it fall on Homecoming.

Comment by PittofDreams 10.10.12 @ 8:19 am

pjs at 7,gameat 11,lets put the names on the oline for this one ,take the panthers and the pts.

Comment by paul shannon 10.10.12 @ 8:47 am

Nice story in the Trib on Tommie Campbell.. Quippa

link to

I had to laugh… Wanny wanted Campbell (legit track star) to play . Clearly out of position… Wanny did the same with Dickerson.

Comment by Joe D 10.10.12 @ 8:54 am

ooopppss… wanny wanted Campbell to play LB… (bad choice)

Comment by Joe D 10.10.12 @ 9:19 am

Im done with the whole Tino thing. He is what he is and we just have to live with it for the rest of the season. Better things are on the horizon.

I am not blaming him for the Syracuse loss but he will just never be the kind of QB that steps up and single handedly wins you a game.

3 months and counting until a new era of pitt football begins…

Comment by Coach Ditka 10.10.12 @ 9:52 am

Chill out on Chryst … he, like any coach, deserves at least 2-3 years before judgment

Comment by wbb 10.10.12 @ 9:56 am

….. which is why an AD really has to think twice these days before firing a winning head coach (unless you are sure you have a better replacement …. a la Oliver Luck in his very first stint as AD)

Comment by wbb 10.10.12 @ 9:58 am

@upittbaseball. Nice. The obvious thing, in a business mind, with moving to the ACC, even a marketing standpoint, would be to go back to the Pitt script, and an updated one like the one you showed if they wanted.

Would be ideal. However, you must realize who we are dealing with. Smug Smile Steve.

He will do one of two things, regarding our uniforms going into a new conference.

A. Absolutely nothing, and have a smug childish answer of “oooh, last time I did that, everyone got mad at me”.

or B. What I fear the most, absolutely wreck the uniforms. Eff them up like Maryland and have crazy uniform combinations, because he fancies himself some kind of marketing genius.

Perhaps we’ll go to an all black uniform with blue and gold and red highlights.

Maybe a green version of the blue and gold.

Just know this, when Stevie is involved.
Either gonna be nothin’, or if they decide to do something, when they unveil them, most people will be saying, WTF????

As for Andie, close to the perfect woman. Have had a crush on her for years!!!

Something about her voice also.

Comment by Dan 10.10.12 @ 10:06 am

p.s. If this is a Chryst “earn your name” thing for a year ok.

Next year, put the friggin’ names on the back of the jerseys.

It almot looks as ridiculous as PSU’s with names.

Comment by Dan 10.10.12 @ 10:15 am

Q. How many Pitt fans does it take to change a light bulb? A. Three – one to change the light bulb; one to tell you how great the old light bulb was and shouldn’t have been replaced and one to tell you they know two other light bulbs that are better than the one that’s in there now. [sarcasm from a life-long Pitt fan]

Comment by TheHoopZebra 10.10.12 @ 10:15 am

Have to admit that color scheme with script Pitt looks damn fine.
But I also like the block PITT. Just don’t like the PITTSBURGH change.
Pederson is horrible.
Football Coaches hired by (excludes Solich, Wanny and PC) have a won loss record of around 35-34. Not precise numbers but close.
More telling is that 3 aren’t head coaches and two are out of football. Harris and Heywood are out and Callahan will never get another HC job.
Even more telling is that several coaches turned him down at Nebraska before he got to Callahan.
The guy is cyanide to football programs!

Comment by sfpitt 10.10.12 @ 10:18 am

@ TheHoopZebra: You forgot the fourth pitt fan that doesnt want to help change the light bulb and just wants to sit around and complain about how he liked the old light bulb package better with the different shade of blue and the script print…

Comment by Coach Ditka 10.10.12 @ 10:20 am

funny as I was entering my last post I click submit and sure enough there it was…a comment about the pitt colors and script. sfpitt couldnt have timed that any better!

Comment by Coach Ditka 10.10.12 @ 10:21 am

Pedersen would never go to the new LED light bulb … wouldn’t fit his budget

Comment by wbb 10.10.12 @ 10:28 am

Hey Joe D, yes, Rushell Shell is a real problem child – please read this link – for the umpteenth time, you mouth off on something before you get the facts (especially when you have something negative to say)

link to

Comment by wbb 10.10.12 @ 10:43 am

thanks upittbaseball. forgot how much i really miss the script and colors.

keep calm

hail to pitt

Comment by pittkeith 10.10.12 @ 11:03 am

@SFPITT, Absolutely.

As for the uniform comments. Two reasons it’s hard to get away from.

1. Sure, dear old Pitt script.

2. Which is so much more important. It’s not that Pitt script is gone, it’s an insight into how this guy operates. What angle he comes from.

In it’s basic simple form, the uniform change should have been the furtherst thing from this guys mind. Not because of “dear old Pitt script”.

Because his focus and what he brings to the table is way off.

Winning sells tickets, winning sells jerseys, winning sells merchandise, winning sells everything.

Gimmicks are just that, gimmicks.

Not harping on that decision per se. What everyone needs to know, is his mind set, as we go forward, to trying to get back to a winning program.

My point, I hope he’s not spending a lot of time, trying to work a deal with Nike and Under Armour to get Pitt new uniforms.

I hope he’s spending time, trying to free up more money for Coach Chryst to recruit the south, freeing up more money to keep assistant coaches if they are worthy, to hire new assistant coaches if they become available.

Spend your time on things like that, that will help Coach Chryst and his staff, win more games.

Comment by Dan 10.10.12 @ 11:05 am

Nice article wbb. Hopefully he’ll practice and see the field more this week.

Comment by pghFred 10.10.12 @ 11:10 am

p.s. One example people always seem to bring up, Oregons uniforms……….

Oregon had allready turned the corner in the early 90’s, went to the Rose Bowl and had several high rankings……….

in their old Green jerseys, yellow pants, and yellow helmets way before the crazy uniforms.

Also, their alum, is the owner of Nike, so he donates them and plays around with them.

Maryland alum, is head of Under Armour. Same thing. He did it at a time when Maryland stunk. They still stink, and looking at recruiting, will still stink years to come in their 55 different combinations of a mess.

Pitt allready had a national brand, he thought he was smarter. He was not.

Comment by Dan 10.10.12 @ 11:15 am

Remember when player would bring decals to the Senior Bowl (all-star game) .. and it seemed that the Pitt Script decal was by far the mos popular, worn by many other players

Comment by wbb 10.10.12 @ 11:44 am

Yes, that was good stuff.

Also, I’m not opposed to a once a year, or once a year every couple of years gimmick uniform.

Just not the overall gimmick, because, we all know, gimmicks are for people that ain’t makin’ it.

They are for programs (for the most part, a few exceptions) that are trying to divert attention from the field.

P.S. for no reason,

Pitt 31 Louisville 24 !!!!

Comment by Dan 10.10.12 @ 11:49 am

Upitt…love the Pitt Unis from the link you provided. It would be awesome if they would have the sense to do that.

Comment by HbgFrank 10.10.12 @ 12:09 pm

what I know is Shell is doing the same as HS… skip out on practices (allegedly injured) but ready for game day. He did that to get out of practice and got away with it with the football coach… but in other sports… he was kicked off the team.. Basketball twice, Baseball, track… all in all he was kicked off the team 4 times due to not going to practice…

Chryst laid down the law… no practice… no game playing time..

Don’t let me start the Iverson practice rant on shell..

He is what I said he was…
Marcus Dupree..

Comment by Joe D 10.10.12 @ 12:55 pm

Given Tino’s really bad handling of pocket pressure, very surprised Chryst doesn’t have a few play package of wildcat-ish formations with Ronald Jones or Anderson at QB…to use in obvious pass rushing/heavy pressure situations when you don’t necessarily need to huck it way downfield — just maintain possession and not move backward/possibly move chains…ala end of ‘Cuse game? Jones or Anderson could have run a mini-wishbone there and neutralized ‘Cuse’s blitz and possibly broke off a 10-15 yard scamper or chuck a 6 yard pass on a roll-out. Seems like something we should have in our back pocket to use once or twice a game.

Comment by Matt N. 10.10.12 @ 1:14 pm

I really don’t get the comparison to Marcus Dupree.

#1 – Dupree was heads and shoulders above any other HS RB other than Earl Campbell during the 70s. Switzer knew he was the BEST athlete he had from the moment Dupree stepped on the field. Shell is good, but not THAT good.

#2 – Recruits were treated a lot better in the 70s then they are now. By better I mean $$$. I’m not naïve enough to believe it doesn’t happen at all today, but back then everyone (including the recruits family members) had their hands out and the boosters gladly filled them.

#3 – Due to #2, Dupree picked Okla. His mom, uncle and he got paid whether he wanted to be in Norman or not.

Dupree’s downfall was the concussion he suffered in his sophomore year and subsequently leaving the Sooners. When he found out he would have to sit a year before he could play for Southern Miss, he turned to the USFL. Was the concussion to blame for the poor decision to leave Okla? Or did he leave because he never wanted to be there in the first place?

I’ll conceed Dupree may never have been a hard worker, but he did lose 100lbs, then ran a 4.3 in an audition for the Rams in 1990.

Other than the ‘never a hard worker’ comment, I see NO other paralells to Shell. And I can’t say for certain that it describes Shell.

‘Hear-say’ or ‘I know someone whose brother knows the barkeep where the coaches uncle hung out and told me……..’ doesn’t scream credible to me so I don’t put any stock in it.

Comment by pghFred 10.10.12 @ 1:47 pm

Joe D,

I know you’re going to believe what you want to believe with Shell. And yes, I know there were, um…issues with him from time to time at Hopewell.

However, questioning this beyond the explanation that Shell himself offered in the link that WBB posted is taking a pretty big leap here. It doesn’t make sense. If Chryst was punishing him, he nails him to the bench and he stays there, or he doesn’t make the trip. Give him one carry and then sit him down “as punishment”? Again, doesn’t make sense.

As I said, I know the kid had some problems off the field at Hopewell. I also beg to argue that his situation off-the-field changed significantly heading into his senior year and with that, his mindset since committing to Pitt seems to have changed as well.

Don’t forget…off-field and character issues were once raised about LeSean McCoy when he was coming out of high school. From the moment he committed to Pitt, he’s been nothing but an exemplary ambassador for the Pitt football program, second only to Larry Fitzgerald in that role over the last 10-15 years.

Not saying Shell will be the off-field equivalent of either of them, but I don’t see a whole lot of reason to justify calling his entire commitment to the program into question. At this early stage of his career, if the kid was legitimately hurt last week during practice – and I can’t see any reason to argue that he WASN’T hurt – he wasn’t able to prepare to execute properly, so he shouldn’t be out there. He risks hurting not just himself, but also his team.

There’s absolutely zero evidence that he’s trying to cut corners with Chryst. He screwed up for the opener, was suspended and then faced the music in the week after. As WBB pointed out, he addressed his limited participation in the Syracuse game with a very mature response. He’s admitted to the media before that his pass blocking needs work, given that prior to this season, he was seldom ever asked to pass-block.

I think we can cut the kid a break on this one.

Comment by Stoosh 10.10.12 @ 1:52 pm

My nephew goes to Hopewell and was on football, basketball and track teams..
He got kicked off teams 4 times…
as far as never worked hard… it is well known and shell said himself he didn’t lift weights or do any conditioning in HS… he started Feb this year.. at Rod’s located on Main St. in Quippa.
As far as comparisons to Dupree..
Dupree had tons of natural ability.. a man among boys in HS… but lacked the committment to work hard to take it to the next level… that is Shell… in a nutshell.

Comment by Joe D 10.10.12 @ 1:53 pm

I like Chryst laying down the law…
no practice… no play…
it sent the appropriate message to Shell that what worked in HS isn’t going to work at Pitt.

Comment by Joe D 10.10.12 @ 1:55 pm

@ Matt N, I mentioned that earlier i this thread and couldn’t agree more. I’d even use Shell or Bennett back there for running between the tackles in short yardage situations. “Wildcat” Yeah.

Comment by Dr. Tom 10.10.12 @ 2:05 pm

The ‘hard worker’ thing applies to many, many HS players who get by on talent alone. That doesn’t make the two ‘peas in a pod’.

btw – Hershel Walker never lifted weights either.

Comment by pghFred 10.10.12 @ 2:24 pm

your kidding me regarding ur Hershel Walker comparison..
3000 situps everyday
2000 pushups everyday
1000 pullups everyday..
Plus I think 6 mile run 3 times a week…

As Switzer said… Dupree got injured a lot because he didn’t workout… only played in 16 games..

Comment by Joe D 10.10.12 @ 2:33 pm

I couldn’t do 1000 pull-ups over a two week period. I need to hit the gym. Ugh.

Comment by Upittbaseball 10.10.12 @ 2:50 pm

Now you’re kidding – He played in 16 games because he got a concussion early in his sophomore year then left school. I’m sure he would have been right back on the field if he didn’t leave. Switzer knew he gave the Sooners the best chance to win, Dupree was playing as long as he ran as he did.

Comment by pghFred 10.10.12 @ 3:10 pm

According to Wikipedia, “Walker is known for his unorthodox training and dieting methods. Walker says he sleeps five hours a night and eats only one meal a day (skipping breakfast and lunch). He is a vegetarian and his diet is made up mostly of soup, bread and salad. Walker has never tasted beer or liquor and has never taken aspirin or any other type of medication. Instead of lifting weights, he has a daily regimen of 3,500 sit-ups, 1,500 push-ups and eight mile runs. Walker has participated in a variety of sports including football, Olympic bobsledding, track and field, taekwondo and ballet dancing.

See, no pull-ups. Must be out of shape.

Comment by Pitt Dad 10.10.12 @ 3:56 pm

when did ballet dancing become a sport??

Comment by TheHoopZebra 10.10.12 @ 4:17 pm

watch the documentary on Dupree..

From Dupree wikipedia
On January 1, 1983, Dupree’s freshman season ended with a 32–21 Fiesta Bowl loss against Arizona State, in which he rushed for an Oklahoma and Fiesta Bowl record 249 yards, but was criticized by Switzer for not practicing hard and for being overweight.[7] Switzer told Dupree, “If you’d have been in shape, you’d have rushed for 400 yards, and we’d have won the game.”[9]

Sounds like Rushel shell to me…
lets hope not!!

Comment by Joe D 10.10.12 @ 7:09 pm

lol I don’t know TheHoopZebra. But I believe former Steeler WR great Lynn Swann took ballet lessons. No doubt to the music of Swan Lake by the great Tchaikovsky.

Use to date a girl who came to the Burg to be a ballerina, don’t know if what she did during the day was a sport, but what we did at nighttime certainly was. :-)

Comment by EMel 10.10.12 @ 7:15 pm

Hershel Walker took ballet…

then again… Joe Namath wore pantyhose to keep his legs warm.. lol

Comment by Joe D 10.10.12 @ 7:39 pm

@EMel .. sounds like she was a first round draft choice and there was some scoring involved so I get the sports connection .. I stand corrected …

Comment by TheHoopZebra 10.10.12 @ 7:47 pm

In 1982, the oklahoma sooners averaged 60 rushing plays per game of which Dupree carried 13 times on average and led the team. He wasn’t the star and if you recall, they consistently had 3 or 4 backs share the load. I would accept that gladly from Shell as he is still a frshman. As far as PPG on offense, the scales are skewed because of the GW beat down. Need to consider two minor league teams this year when compared to prior years. Not a hater, just sayin. Hope the extended family is well. God’s speed!

Secondarily, and extremely important is that Shell has had problems picking up blitzes and that is all Pitt saw because the run blitz has been a proven defensive scheme to beat a tino led team. If you watch the syracuse film, you will see ray graham whiff on chip blocks and look silly doing it.

A bunch formation by the WR’s close to the line cures the run blitz. Unless of course the db’s are flawless getting around natural picks. Learn something from the pro formations practiced by the steelers in those situations. The OL is not the greatest and there are things you can do to help them. The coaches asked the players to execute chips and the qb to make quicker decisions, and they failed. That is a player problem. Coach Chryst will be fine and he is the right guy for the job.

Savage is not a gimme for next year so I would play Voytik, Shell and JPHoltz on offense from here on out if they are healthy enough to go. No issue with defense except to keep up pressure and win turnover battle.

Comment by dhuffdaddy 10.10.12 @ 11:45 pm

the lack of adjustments is what is worrisome. pitt has flaws but what happened to chryst and the talk about playing to the team’s strengths. what ever happenend to split backs in the backfield. what ever happened to helping out your tackle who is getting beat all game. what happened to making any sort of adjustment. if the game plan works all is well and when it doesn’t they don’t make any changes. like why keep doing teh same thing over and over when it isn’t working. that is the depressing part of what is happening. would like to see coach chryst stand up and take the blame for 13 points against a pathetic cuse squad. need some leadership somewhere. but i guess it was neat watching the same thing over and over

Comment by druc 10.11.12 @ 12:45 am

Ballet Dancing isn’t a sport by any means but it is probably one of the most physically intense activities one can participate in. Every single movement is measure and held – a task that isn’t found in any other sport/dance/arts activity.

For an activity that is a sport – I found fencing to require more physical stamina, and more intense concentration, then all of the other varsity sports I played (BB, soccer and baseball).

Comment by Reed 10.11.12 @ 5:43 am

JD – But Dupree STILL played. True he was criticized, but he still remained in the lineup. His only major injury was the concussion which cannot be blamed on conditioning.

I’m sorry, but there are no tangible similarities between Dupree and Shell. None.

Comment by pghFred 10.11.12 @ 7:52 am

Dupree had lots of injuries sophmore year.. then the concussion which is when he decided to quit.
Dupree lacked the committment…

I like that Chryst laid down the law… no practice… no play time.
what worked for Shell in HS will not work at Pitt… he needs that authority.

Comment by Joe D 10.11.12 @ 9:26 am

What were the nature of Dupree’s injuries? Can you say for certain they were conditioning related? How much game time did he miss?

In a nutshell, Dupree and Shell are apples and oranges. Their backgrounds were very different. The only similarity is they were highly ranked recruits. There’s nothing else. There is no evidence regarding a lack of work ethic with Shell at Pitt.

As I said before, there have been, and will be many highly rated recruits that get by on talent alone in HS. That alone does not make them similar.

Comment by pghFred 10.11.12 @ 10:59 am

Look at Dupree documentary…
Shell is skipping out on practices… you want me to do the Iverson “practice” chant…
I’m glad Chryst laid down the law… no practice… no playtime.

Comment by Joe D 10.11.12 @ 11:35 am

RIP Beano.

Comment by sfpitt 10.11.12 @ 12:43 pm

BEANO – A wonderful man who made you laugh

Comment by Frank MD 10.12.12 @ 9:02 am

I’ve watched the documentary.
Chryst said he feels like Pitt has Rushel Shell’s back issues under control “for now.”
“At this point, yeah [we have it under control,]” Chryst said. “So hopefully it stays that way.”
Back spasms can be tricky to deal with, so it’s understandable that Chryst would be cautiously optimistic about Shell. He has practiced this week, and should be ready to go Saturday, so hopefully nothing new crops up during the course of the game that would cause him to miss more time. We saw to some extent Friday how valuable Shell is to Pitt’s rushing attack.
Chryst said he was impressed by the freshman’s maturity when talking about why he didn’t play against the Orange. Shell said he was physically ready to go Friday night, but had missed to much practice time during the week that he wasn’t mentally prepared for the game. He accepted full responsibility and recognized that if he can’t practice, he won’t be ready to play. “I think he wants to be out there when the lights come on,” Chryst said. “I think those are moments that he relishes so I think his whole approach all along has been good. I think he’s learning some things also. I’ve really enjoyed being around him.”

I don’t remember Switzer talking about Dupree this way.

There’s no comparison between the two. None. Just because you post it 100+ times does not make it so. It sadly reminds me of my in-laws who truly believe whoever says something the most and loudest is correct.

Comment by pghFred 10.12.12 @ 9:26 am

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