October 19, 2012

Bulls on Parade

Filed under: Football,Opponent(s) — Chas @ 8:27 am

It’s homecoming for the Bulls of Buffalo. Hopefully theirs ends much like Pitt’s did last week.

Buffalo is 1-5. They have been without their best offensive weapon — running back Branden Oliver — since mid-September. He’s been officially listed as day-to-day since getting hurt, but realistically he won’t be back until next week.

For the Bulls, they have been losing a lot. They went on a rent-a-patsy trip to Georgia ($1,000,000 pay day). They lost to UConn. They too are winless in their conference. Basically, the previous AD’s aggressive scheduling is putting them in a bad place as far as wins and losses go.

This is the start of four straight home games for Buffalo. Their head coach is going with the “we’ve got to take it one day at a time” cliche.

“I think it is very important for our kids to understand that this is a one week, one day, one play at a time and now our opportunity is Pitt,” Quinn said. “But they are a team coming off a tough loss as well and they are an 0-3 football team [in conference play] as we are, so, when you look at both programs, nobody is happy in either place right now …

“The game is at our place, it is our home turf, we have to go back and demonstrate the kind of football play and kind of intensity and physical toughness to get this thing back on track where we belong, and a big win at home would certainly lift the boys’ spirits and our coaches, this ballclub, the program.”

Wow. Do you think that coaches have their own private message board where they exchange cliched coachspeak statements? Or maybe it’s a panel discussion on the topic at coaching clinics?

As for Pitt, well the players admit they aren’t exactly where they want to be.

After the most recent loss, a 45-35 defeat against Louisville Saturday, Pitt coach Paul Chryst said his team was “at a crossroads.” Center Ryan Turnley agreed.

“I think that we’re at a crossroads. We agree with coach Chryst,” Turnley said. “We talk all the time about how we just have to step up as a senior class and show guys how to do it the right way.”

And the eternal cure-all: fixable mistakes.

“We still have more games to play,” defensive tackle Aaron Donald said. “We can’t change the four losses but we can change the two wins to three, four, five. We’re just trying to build off what we’ve got right now. We’re a good team, strong team. We’ve just got to fix the mistakes.”

According to Chryst, the mistakes Pitt has to fix are within its locker room. Donald said the corrections are similar to the ones Pitt made after its opening two losses to Youngstown State and Cincinnati.

In its third game, Pitt beat then-No. 13 Virginia Tech, and followed it up with a pounding of Gardner-Webb.

“Truthfully, I think it’s probably that we didn’t do anything magical to get back,” Chryst said. “I think we just played more complete, didn’t shoot ourselves in the foot as much.”

It’s an annoying reality. There’s not much that can be done as far as who plays at this point, to improve the team. The only place there seems to be shuffling of the line-up is with the linebackers. And that’s out of injury problems, not to provide a spark. Manny Williams is out, so Todd Thomas who just returned will slide into his spot.

Shane Gordon is also highly questionable. Making it likely that Dan Mason will start for the first time in two years. Inspirational that Mason is starting? Yes. A good sign for the depth and talent at the spot? No.

Speaking of depth. The O-line continues to get by without depth. How scary is that lack of depth? Despite Coach Chryst believing in physical practices and hitting in practice, the offensive linemen get something of a break.

Aware of the limits of the human body, Hueber allows players to skip post-practice sprints and some meetings on the field.

“I try to get them off their feet,” he said. “Durability-wise, we haven’t shown any signs of fading in a game. I think they are taking some pride in what they’re doing.”

The other limit is talent. Combine that with the lack of depth and O-line Coach Jim Huber acknowledges the reality for the future.

“We may have to play some young guys again until we get it squared away,” Hueber said. “Hopefully, we are going to do some things in recruiting.”

Yeah. Hopefully.

WARNING! WARNING! Buffalo averaging FIVE SACKS a game at home.

Comment by PittofDreams 10.19.12 @ 8:55 am

Obviously Pitt must win this game. If they don’t, then the criticism will drop from this team to “same ole Pitt” talk.
Beating Buffalo and Temple are both “must” win games.
But we aren’t very good across the Board, though we do have some very good portions of our team. Mostly, though, we are average and our average aspects have underperformed.
Kicking. If Pitt wins, Harper has to be a positive factor.
Dline must play up to their level of ability.
Ray has to stop dancing and take 2 yards when he can instead of losing 3.
We have to compensate for our weak LB’s. Mason’s heart isn’t in question, but his mobility is. Todd Thomas is fresh off ACL reconstruction and the split second of thought found is these guys would spell disaster against good teams.
We will have to out score Buffalo….like Georgia did. That means no meaningless downs on offense. Every play has to be called for a specific purpose. Since the traveling squad limits the number of players we have, I hope this means that plays are scripted ahead of time.
Unlike the Carrier Dome…..crowd nosie should not be a problem. 🙂

Comment by sfpitt 10.19.12 @ 9:01 am

Pitt graduate/fan in Buffalo . . .We need to block Khalil Mack of UB. He is like the Mack in the movie ‘The Program” a one-man wrecking crew at MLB. If we can block him we can run the ball and have the pass/run balance we need to be successful.

Comment by Wannstache 10.19.12 @ 9:50 am

FYI: Verbal commit from Rachid Ibrahim RB/SAFTEY AVALON HS/Maryland. 3 star ESPN/Rivals/Scout

Comment by DC33 10.19.12 @ 11:12 am

1-5, winless in conference, have been used as a rent-a-patsy??????????

Sounds like we’re in trouble.

Comment by Dan 10.19.12 @ 11:23 am

Game won’t even be close . Pitt wins big

Comment by Duke 10.19.12 @ 11:40 am

I expect Pitt to win but I expect a lot of things from Pitt that I don’t get.

Comment by TX Panther 10.19.12 @ 11:40 am

sfpitt…your comments surmize the problem with the current roster, young, inexperienced and not a lot of depth and talent. It’s going to take at least three years before Pitt can compete at a higher level.

Comment by markp 10.19.12 @ 11:55 am

TXP. So brutally, comically true.

Comment by CNorwoodAZ 10.19.12 @ 1:16 pm

@markp, totally agree with your comment.

I will add on to it though, “it’s been taking at least 3 years, for the last 30 years”.


Comment by Dan 10.19.12 @ 1:54 pm

I have also heard, the Pirates are coming out with another 5 year plan!!!

Comment by Dan 10.19.12 @ 1:54 pm

Indeed. It’s been Ground Hog Day for the last 30 years in 3 year increments…sometimes more and sometimes less.

Comment by TX Panther 10.19.12 @ 2:02 pm

A team that got jacked 45-3 by that national power Northern Illinois has circled Pitt for its ‘turnaround our season’ and homecoming game — how very sad is that. And if they put even moderate pressure on Tino, I say they have a real good shot at it…but I know his completion percentage is going to be GREAT!!!

Comment by Matt N. 10.19.12 @ 2:41 pm


Yep – the curse of Jackie Sherrill, what could have been if we had kept him!

Comment by markp 10.19.12 @ 2:50 pm

Finally watching the replay of the Louisville game. Interesting comments by announcer (not Congemi) ‘love the mustard yellow and script uniforms’, and when the showed some of the greats (May,Dorsett, Marino,etc..) they all wore the Scipt Unis….

Comment by markp 10.19.12 @ 2:53 pm

Hell all jackie sherrill wanted was for them to bye him a house.
they should have bought him a whole block of houses.
what fools they were.

Comment by FRANKCAN 10.19.12 @ 5:36 pm

You know that movie were he says i got a bad
feeling abought this one bob.
and bob says look i need every swinging dick out there to day red,
well we have to many swing dicks hurt at LB so
i have a bad feeling abought this one bob.

I sure hope i am wrong becuse if we lose this one
i am looking for the bridge to jump off of.

or to keep in tune with the movie a fox hole to hide in till next year.

Comment by FRANKCAN 10.19.12 @ 5:52 pm

Or, to play the devils advocate with Matt N (who I agree with)……

if Pitt loses tomorrow, I would imagine the TEMPLE game next week, will be Pitt’s circle the wagon, “turn around the season game”.

Now, just how pathetic would that be??

Comment by Dan 10.19.12 @ 5:58 pm

p.s. I’m not being negative, I’ve just been a Pitt fan since 71′!!!

Got that early sugar in my mouth, and have been pretty much been fed the bitters the last 30.

Comment by Dan 10.19.12 @ 6:00 pm

Got a bad feeling abought this one dan.
you are right dani got used to nationl champs and a whole bunch of 11 and 1 seasons hard to except
what we have become had i known what was to be.
i would have agreed with EMel and said keep wanny.
becuse 10 and 3 or 9 and 4 look good now

Comment by FRANKCAN 10.19.12 @ 6:30 pm

@markp. Name the last coach under a Pederson lead athletic department that lasted more than 3 years. Yep. Walt Harris.
Since then:
Callahan 1.8 years
Wannstadt 2.9
Wife beater 0.0
Serial husband .9

Average is 1.4 years and this excludes the temporary coaches. I sure hope Pederson doesn’t let us gravitate toward mediocrity. If so, the over/under on PC is 2.5!

Comment by SFPitt 10.19.12 @ 6:39 pm

Oopsie! Forgot the other scalp in Cyanide Steve’s satchel. Frank Solich lasted 1.7 years with Cyanide Steve as his boss. Sadly, that pushes the average tenure north!!
But remember,Pederson supports coaches.

Comment by SFPitt 10.19.12 @ 6:49 pm

The fact that this program has sunk to the point where we can’t consider a game against Temple, Rutgers, or even UConn a likely win, and we have to consider a game against Buffalo a must win, is pathetic. Forget about Ohio State, Alabama, and even West by god Virginia. The key to our season is beating Buffalo?

That this program has sunk so low is attributable to one person and one person alone. Yet, the last time I checked, he is still around. Wannstedt had to go, after the West Virginia game and the off field incidents with the SI headlines. But what has happened since is solely the AD’s fault.

Comment by PO'd Panther 10.19.12 @ 6:50 pm

Hate to say it again but wanny had to go huh? 9-4, 10-3, and 8-5 were so bad huh? Like the tshirt in the mall with gw bush says, “how’s all that hopey changey stuff going for ya!”

Comment by John 10.19.12 @ 9:22 pm

john very good

Comment by FRANKCAN 10.19.12 @ 10:37 pm

I think Chryst will be better than Wanny — he’s just been shackled to a QB who cannot pull out wins in close games…and our talent is enough to keep games close, but not pound any decent teams. It’s truly a shame as imho we could be a top 25 team with a slightly better than average QB — please spare me the stats — and a healthy Ray Graham…didn’t get either this year. Next year with either Savage or Voytik/Anderson and Shell as starter, that could be an 8-4, 9-3 team. Chryst is far more agressive and progressive than Wanny and just needs a few key playmakers…if Street comes back, we could have a great WR corps and an experienced line to go with it.

Comment by Matt N. 10.20.12 @ 1:00 am

SFPitt, interesting stat. I think we all realize SP is at the source of many of our problems (stability,no script,colors, bland programs), and the press has started to lean on him.

I think if Wanny were still the coach Tino would still be the QB but his progress wouldn’t be near what it has been this year and we’d be complaining about the resord.

Comment by markp 10.20.12 @ 8:44 am

Not to support Pederson, but there were folks on this blog wanting Wannstedt fired. We truly are a fickle bunch.

Given this year’s football record, let’s just enjoy the rest of the season.

Several Blather’s were complaining about going to the Alabama bowl again, if things don’t get changed in the win column for Pitt, we won’t have to worry about BBVA or any bowl for that matter. How sad given that there are over 40 bowl games.

Pitt beats Buffalo today.

Comment by MariettaMike 10.20.12 @ 9:12 am

I think the majority of those people, would still not want Wannstedt back.

Me included.

Comment by Dan 10.20.12 @ 11:04 am

Does the “star” system always pan out?? No, of course not, but, it’s a pretty good guide.

Would we all like to have some hard nose, football savy, coachable 2 star and 3 star players on the team that progress during their years? Yes, they are invaluable.

Guys, let’s not kid ourselves or whistle through the graveyard though…..

if we’re to ever be a consitently ranked top 10 or top 20 team, WE HAVE GOT TO HAVE THE HORSES!!

My team of mostly 4’s and 5’s, sprinkled with a few 3’s will whip your team made up of nothing but 2’s and 3’s everytime. Everytime.

Coach Chyrst must get top 20 recruiting classes.

Plain and simple.

I think he might. We’ll see.

Comment by Dan 10.20.12 @ 11:12 am

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