October 23, 2012

Running Into A Wall

Filed under: Football — Chas @ 8:03 am

Nothing upset me more on Saturday than when Pitt had first and goal from the 6 in the first half, and had to settle for a field goal. Against the worst team in the MAC. In general, when Pitt has been lining up to run straight ahead, it has not been pretty.

“There have been times where it was good and times where it kind of (eroded) a bit,” Chryst said. “I thought we had some decent runs on Saturday (at Buffalo), but we had some in crucial situations, a couple third-and-shorts we didn’t convert.”

That’s especially distressing against Buffalo, which came out of the Pitt game with the 86th-ranked run defense in the nation (allowing 184.9 yards per game). The Panthers managed only 126 while Graham averaged 3.7 per carry, and Shell 2.9.

Equally disturbing is the fact that Pitt is throwing the ball more effectively than at any time in the past three seasons, and the run game has not been a beneficiary of what should be a more balanced attack.

Instead of improving, the ground game has regressed. Graham averaged 90.5 over the first four games, but only 50.3 in the past three. Shell has dropped from 76.3 to 44.3.

Against Buffalo, holes seldom opened for running backs. Shell scored on a 4-yard run, but he was forced to reverse his field after running up the middle, taking a shot to the stomach and having the wind knocked out of him.

Too many “third-and-shorts” have resulted in the opposing defenses in the backfield before the running back can even take two steps towards the line with the ball.

When I am starting to hope that Sunseri is asked to throw on more and more third downs, this is probably not a good sign.

This isn’t a case of the defenses doing something fancy. The penetration and shoving the O-line right up the middle has nothing to do with not having tight end Hubie Graham available to block. This is simply an O-line that continues to get beaten right up front. I don’t even know if Bob Bostad could have coached this group up enough to any consistency.

On the plus side, we have registered another “neat” from Coach Chryst.

“That’s the neat thing about the running game and really, football in general: you all have to play together. If 10 guys are good but one guy doesn’t get it done on that play, it affects not just the unit, but the whole team. And I think we’ve been inconsistent in running the football.”

Not sure what behavioral science experiment was performed on Coach Chryst at Wisconsin, but I’m guessing it involved electro-shock to substitute a “nice” word when he wanted to say “sucks.”

It did appear to me that our guys seemed to be a head taller and seventyfive pounds heavier man to man, but couldn’t stop Buffaloes penetration. Even my wife noticed it and she is far from an aficionado.

The only game they appeared to have good surge was Virginia Tech. Was it emotion or was Tech overrated? Maybe both.

Comment by gc 10.23.12 @ 8:31 am

Not sure what behavioral science experiment was performed on Coach Chryst at Wisconsin, but I’m guessing it involved electro-shock to substitute a “nice” word when he wanted to say “sucks.”

I laughed sooooo hard at this comment… it brought tears to my eyes…..

Comment by Joe D 10.23.12 @ 9:31 am

Has there been an interview or pressor whereby Chryst hasn’t used the word “neat”…

Need to get Chris Peak on it..

Comment by Joe D 10.23.12 @ 9:32 am

The running game has certainly frustrating. I know the weather conditions weren’t great Saturday but I was surprised (even given how inconsistent the OL has played to this point) to see the lack of push up front, especially given our size advantage. Play-action pass needs to be used more on first downs and in the redzone and maybe we need to get Ronald Jones involved on some end-arounds. I’m not sure if either will work but my point is to do something to make the D stay honest and not key so much on the run in what would be obvious running situations.

Comment by JAM 05 Pitt 10.23.12 @ 10:02 am

One thing I am curious about that contradicts what I just wrote is the quote I read following the game that Buffalo was basically daring Pitt to be able to run on them. I watched the game online in very poor quality so I can’t comment one way or the other. Anyone else have any input on this? If that is the case, man that makes matters even worse that we couldn’t get more going on the ground. smh

Comment by JAM 05 Pitt 10.23.12 @ 10:08 am


Pitt will not be able to the run the ball
successfully until our QB demonstrates
the ability to throw the ball deep. This story
is 3 years old. I respect Tino however look
forward to the day when we have a talented

Comment by JR 10.23.12 @ 10:25 am

Buffalo played at least 8 in the box and sometimes brought a safety up to make it 9. Pitt’s O line simply was outmanned at the line of scrimmage as they have been against every team they played. Reason is obvious, Tino cannot throw a pass over 30 yards with accuracy and everyone knows it. Bad weather added to the Buffalo confidence and then Tino proved it again missing a wide open receiver.

Hope this criticizm does not offend!

Comment by Dan 72 10.23.12 @ 10:28 am

Iam not being a smart ass so dont take it that way but when you have 5 men that are 6 foot 5 and
320 pounds you would think if they just fell foward you could get at least a couple of yd

and if they all moved at the same time you should get more just on weight alone forget lag drive and strength.

becuse the D was smaller and not that goodso i think i dont under stand why not do you.

Comment by FRANKCAN 10.23.12 @ 10:32 am

Well…. frankcan…
I guess size doesn’t matter!! its the motion of the….

Comment by Joe D 10.23.12 @ 11:12 am

I guess anything critical of the team is bad and makes you a bad fan in the Soviet Union of Pitt Fans. I’ll post positive things when I believe positive things are warranted. I’ll always be overly optimistic in regards to Pitt basketball because Jamie Dixon has proven he is a winner. But excuse me if I feel that sub-par recruiting and sub par coaching from an unproven coach isn’t acceptable. If people keep on giving him excuses what will make him change and get better and improve on his weaknesses. Blaming the recruiting on the pre-existing mess is just a cop out. Do you really think a HS senior 1. knows about the multiple coaches and 2. cares about the multiple coaches. A recruit picks his school based on the current coach. I’m pretty sure aiding and abetting a pedophile is a much worse situation than Pitt’s. Luckily, PSU has the bowl ban or O’Brien would be crushing in recruiting. Because decomits like Dorian Johnson have indicated the only reason they aren’t going to PSU is cause of the bowl ban.

Comment by Wardapalooza 10.23.12 @ 11:19 am

Chryst plays the good cop. Pitt needs to balance that with a bad cop coach. Are either of Pitt’s coordinators the bad cop? Pitt needs some Type A, filthy language, get in your face coaches with dynamic personalities. I think kids respond better to ‘bad’ coaching.

Comment by TX Panther 10.23.12 @ 11:20 am

Pitt doesn’t need a bowl ban… they things are looking, they may not be eligible regardless..
therefore, Johnson will probably go elsewhere.

Comment by Joe D 10.23.12 @ 11:24 am

@JR I’m not buying it. You can still run the ball without a QB being a threat to throw deep. Sure it helps, but Tino this year has been a more efficient passer and a better field general, which was basically what people wanted from him before the season started (and I’m talking about people who comment on this blog). His passing skills are sufficient enough to keep the defense off balance and keeping the defense off balance for the run game, which would set up a nice run:pass ratio. The run game is beyond blaming Tino. If Tino played the way he has this year w/o us knowing how he’s performed in previous seasons, nobody would think twice about it and just write off a bad mistake as a bad mistake. I’m as ABT as the next guy, but we can’t deny that Tino has been decent this year.

Now if we want to point fingers, I got somewhere to point. I really think it’s the line. Sam buttercaked the fact that our line played very average against a shitty defense in his RedShirt Diaries. That unit is sad. And to be completely honest, that is the only reason I am iffy about the PC tenure. He needs a good line to be successful and I really don’t even see that happening until he gets recruits in, but the problem is that we aren’t recruiting any decent O-linemen. And as Pitt fans, THAT is what everyone should be worried about.

Comment by Timmeh 10.23.12 @ 11:29 am

Joe D, in how many different posts are you going to say the same exact thing? WE GET IT, YOU DON’T THINK DORIAN JOHNSON IS COMING TO PITT.

Comment by Timmeh 10.23.12 @ 11:31 am

Buffalo took away Pitt’s passing game and dared Pitt to run the ball like any team should against Pitt this year.

Some of you hate Tino so much that everything is blamed on him. We couldn’t run the ball against Gardner-Webb, and Tino threw for many yards and deep balls in that game.

He is having a very good year, and Pitt’s offennsive strength is its passing game. If you are blaming the inability of the running game on Tino then you are begging to not be taken seriously by people who actually know the game.

Comment by srb 10.23.12 @ 11:40 am

FRANKCAN’S quote, “when you have 5 men that are 6 foot 5 and 320 pounds you would think if they just fell foward you could get at least a couple of yd and if they all moved at the same time you should get more just on weight alone”. Well Graham averaged 3.7 yd/carry and Shell averaged 2.9yd/carry so I guess the O line has falling forward in unison down pat.

So they got that goin for them.

Comment by Dr. Tom 10.23.12 @ 11:51 am

The problem with the running game is simple.
Teams don’t respect our deep passing game, so they’re loading the box to stop the run.
Same problem as last year, only the shear brilliance of Ray Ray in the 1rst half of last year made the difference.

Solution……..Bench Sunseri !!

Comment by EMel 10.23.12 @ 12:18 pm

For those guys that went to Buff game, did our Pittsburgh Cop level a Buffalo student running on the field?

Comment by why me 10.23.12 @ 12:25 pm

“Chryst plays the good cop. Pitt needs to balance that with a bad cop coach. Are either of Pitt’s coordinators the bad cop? Pitt needs some Type A, filthy language, get in your face coaches with dynamic personalities. I think kids respond better to ‘bad’ coaching.”

Agreed. Kinda like Sherrill and Foge. When Sherrill left, we were ‘stuck’ with the good cop only, and we know how that turned out: mediocrity.

Comment by pittbluegold 10.23.12 @ 12:27 pm

@srb. yes Sir Tino was great against Gardner Webb, lol. So was Anderson !

Solution……schedule more woefule D2 programs like Gardner Webb so Sir Tino can pad his stats more!

You say we are begging not to be taken seriously by people who know the game. Surely you jest.
If you actually see what your watching, you will see Sunseri can complete passes as long as the field is long, (except of course for the defense stretching deep passes) as soon as the field is shortened (condensed) the defense tightens up and takes away his little dinks and dank passes. This usually occurs in the Redzone around the 30 yard line. Which is why PItt has such a tough time scoring and are around 100th in scoring when the glorified scrimmage against GW is removed from consideration.

Actually people like you are NOT to be taken seriously. Gardner Webb lmao

Comment by EMel 10.23.12 @ 12:30 pm

Temple, obviously a must win.

Here’s the deal, if Pitt were to be behind at halftime, this is going to be when Chryst is really tested.

Does he consider bringing in Anderson or Voytik knowing Tino has never lead a come-from-behind win?

Comment by PittofDreams 10.23.12 @ 12:35 pm

Tino definitely can’t throw the long ball but somehow Pitt is currently ranked #8 among FBS schools in YPA. That puts him four spots behind Heisman leader Collin Klein who just shredded WVU with long balls. Tino is currently nearly two yards per attempt better than his best in his first year as starter in 2010.

For what it’s worth former Heisman leader Geno Smith of WVU is #25.

Tino definitely sucks worse than Bill Stull, Pat Bostick, Tyler Palko, David Priestly, John Turman and Rod Rutherford. I’m sure there are a couple of “fan favorites” from the past dozen years that I’m forgetting.

Comment by Barvo 10.23.12 @ 12:43 pm

We scored right at our average of between 19-21 ppg in the last game. When you factor out the Glorified Scrimmage game, and the 2-3 end of a blowout game meaningless last minute TD’s we’ve scored. For those that need this spelled out, you got 6 games (not counting the glorified scrimmage, who seriously could) we scored 17, 3, 35, 13, 28, 20 for a Grand Total of 116 points, divided by 6 games = 19.3 ppg
That didn’t include the two meaningless TD’s scored in the last minute of the UC and Ville games.

I’ll be merciful and factor those mercy TD’s in, so add 14 to 116 = 130 divided by 6 and now we’re up to 21.6 ppg That’s piss poor considering those games still include Youngstown State a D2 team at home, and two crappy teams like Buffalo (worst team in the MAC) and Syracuse.

Conclusion. So while Sir Tino’s stats may look better on paper, this offense is just as putrid as last year, in terms of scoring points. And that is where it counts !

Comment by EMel 10.23.12 @ 12:54 pm

Does he consider bringing in Anderson or Voytik knowing Tino has never lead a come-from-behind win?

Comment by PittofDreams 10.23.12 @ 12:35 pm

You would think so PittofDreams. But Chryst has the built in excuse that since this is his first year at PITT, he doesn’t take into consideration what Sir Tino did in previous years.

Someone at the PG or Trib what a woe is me article that poor Tino has had to play with 3 difference systems, 3 different OC’s.

On the other hand Tino benefitted immensely from Graham taking his show to ASU. IMMENSELY.
For had Graham stayed at PITT, Tino would have been riding the pine.

Funny how things work out,!

Comment by EMel 10.23.12 @ 1:10 pm

I think that Chryst has Sunseri on a pretty long leash. So far this season he hasn’t stunk the place out in any games, althugh a couple typical Tino brain farts at critical times have shown up.

Chryst has to pull the plug at some point however and I’m convinced that Chryst’s patience is waning. I don’t think Tino will be allowed any more than 5 or 6 games to turn it around before Coach Chryst goes to his backup QB.

Comment by Dr. Tom 10.23.12 @ 1:16 pm

Wait a minute, according to Tino the Buffalo D was geared to take away the pass… so which is it? Does the passing game, or the running game suck?
Or, are they both just really NEAT.

Comment by JW 10.23.12 @ 1:40 pm

@ TXPanther, your quote, “Pitt needs some Type A, filthy language, get in your face coaches with dynamic personalities. I think kids respond better to ‘bad’ coaching”.

I’ve got just the person, This coach could get in my face and talk dirty anytime! This coach is BAD, so BAD and obviously has the four point stance down to a science as well, just check it out.

link to

I’m pretty sure McCarthy is available now too.

Comment by Dr. Tom 10.23.12 @ 1:50 pm

We’ve got many issues and one big issue is none of our 3 QBs have ever led us to a come from behind win. How sad!

Comment by rayhpgh 10.23.12 @ 2:12 pm

This is not criticizm but you may take it that way.
it is just that i dont under stand most on here have said the OL stinks not just the last game but most of the games.

now are OL coach was the OL coach at wisconsin for many years then he was a asst pro OL coach
for a couple years.

He has at least 8 players who are 6 foot 5 and
over 320 pounds and 3 who are 275 pounds.

would you not think that bye the sixth game we would have at least a average OL .

the point is i dont under stand why not is it his coaching is it the players some of them comeing out of high school were highley thought of.

and they are big enough and most are not freshmen
what you take as criticizm is really that i dont understand why they are not better becuse on paper he should be a good coach and on paper they should be a good line better then average but i think you all would say they are not.

i jist dont get it and if you read EMel post 2 days ago the D is all 3 or 4 star recruits
so WTF once agein not criticizm i just dont under stand why we are not better we should be good we are on paper so were they all over rated i just dont get it.

Comment by FRANKCAN 10.23.12 @ 2:16 pm

PC is an enigma. I can’t get a read on this guy. The program appears to so “flat” right now. I have to admit that I am disappointed w/the teams performance. It’s not as if the OL was not recruiting by other top programs. I really felt that the offense would have been more suited to the current talent. I have read articles that stated PITTS’ current recruiting claas is rank 33rd. I hope so == we nned the juice

Comment by DC33 10.23.12 @ 2:19 pm

How many years is PC’s contract? (no I don’t want him gone)

Comment by DC33 10.23.12 @ 2:29 pm

dc33… chryst has a 5 year contract.

Comment by Joe D 10.23.12 @ 2:38 pm

“For those guys that went to Buff game, did our Pittsburgh Cop level a Buffalo student running on the field?”

For this to be true there would have had to have been actually people (other than players, coaches, official, etc) actually in attendance at the Pitt v. Buffalo game…

Comment by Jimbo Covert's My Dad 10.23.12 @ 3:06 pm

DIDyou see what dc33 wrote or EMel or DR TOM OR JW WE ARE ALL AT THE POINT WERE WE DONT GET IT.
we all are pointing out different things that are wrong.
and like i and outhers have pointed out on paper we should be a good team maybe not great but good.

So is it the coaching?

really chas points out the lack of improvement on the OL as well as DR tom DC33 POINTS OUT SOMETHING ELSE EMel something else .

is it any wonder there is criticizm
we all see things that are wrong and not geting better so i ask one agein is it the coaching
becuse on paper we have the players.


Comment by FRANKCAN 10.23.12 @ 3:18 pm


Forget paper. Look at our players with your own eyes. We have very few players above average. To have a good OL, you need 2 good players mixed in with 3 average. We do not have the 2 good OL.

But I am very pleased to see Todd Thomas, Dan Mason and Jason Hendricks pay so great against Buffalo.

Comment by rayhpgh 10.23.12 @ 3:26 pm

I have a friend who went to a fund raising function a few weeks ago where PC spoke. He said he is the most dry and mundane speaker he has ever heard. I think we will find out that someone like this can’t coach em up nor can he bring in the best recruits. Some assistants are assistants for a reason. It is unfortunate that this program will remain at this level for another 3 or 4 years and then we start all over again. Hell I’m turning 60 years old and may never see a descent Pitt team again…..I’m done!

Comment by Pantherd 10.23.12 @ 4:35 pm

There are several 2013 OL, DL and TE recruits plus a few returning from this team. Maybe OK next year.

Comment by Frank MD 10.23.12 @ 4:49 pm

Pantherd dont give up now at least wait till next year you should at least wait for one more year.
i have said i will give up also but not untill i see if they can turn it around next year.
give it one more as i will if it is not better next year it is only basketball for me.

but we have to give it at least one more year.

Comment by FRANKCAN 10.23.12 @ 4:50 pm


I too have seen live and in person Paul Chryst, it’s like watching paint dry, really it’s that bad. I have seen all the coaches since Majors 1 and I have to say Hackett was bad but Chryst is just flat out boring and seems to have no fire in his delivery

Comment by WLAT and The Big Beat 10.23.12 @ 6:49 pm

Season recap

1) Coach has proven he can out scheme the coaching staff of Gardiner Webb

Comment by Emel 10.23.12 @ 7:23 pm

Didn’t they say, he didn’t quite give a good interview(go figure) during the first post Wanny debacle. Or was that during the 2nd debacle(coaching search).
**scratches head**
Or maybe it was the 3rd. Or it could have been 1 & 2 but not 3. Or was it 2 but he was better (or we were more desperate) in 3.

There’s been so many I get confused. Oy Vey !

Comment by Emel 10.23.12 @ 7:32 pm

I have this feeling smiley made another bad coaching hire. Chryst seems like a good guy, but I think he will turn out to be a poor recruiter which will kill the program. If you are 18, he won’t overwhelm you with his personality. He does seem pretty boring.

Comment by Wayne 10.23.12 @ 7:52 pm

Frankcan, your always on top of the recruiting notes. A couple days ago Rivals had a headline about an offensive lineman Pitt was interested in. It’s gone now, and I see no Texas lineman with offers from Pitt. Have any info?

Comment by marcus of schaumburg 10.23.12 @ 8:06 pm

I think it would be pretty “neat” if we beat Temple……..

Comment by DJS 10.23.12 @ 8:26 pm


Please help me understand who/where are all these highly thought of OL are that you speak of?

Chris Jacobson – 3 offers – Pitt, Temple and WVU
Ryan Schlieper – Offers from Delaware, Buffalo, Florida International, Kent State, Maryland and UCF
Arthur Doakes – Offers from Troy, Buffalo, Middle Tennessee State, Rutgers and Syracuse
Justin Vrbitsky – Offers from Akron, Buffalo, Duke and Temple
Jauntez Hollins – Offers from Akron, Buffalo, Eastern Michigan and Marshall
Cory King – Offers from Bowling Green and Minnesota

It seems to me that Rotheram, Bisnowaty and Turnely are the only OL that had more than 1 offer from a BCS program with Bisnowaty really being the only truly “highly” touted recruit. The others next best offer was Buffalo, in a stroke of irony.

I’m really trying to understand out the expectations of fans on the blog. Is it really that hard to believe that players who had the skill sets to go to Buffalo were played tough (possibly outplayed) by kids who actually went to Buffalo?

Help me out my friend. What am I missing?

Comment by CNorwoodAZ 10.23.12 @ 8:46 pm

We have some studs that are either red-shirting or hurt this year for the O-Line. Well we’re told their studs so let’s hope.

You got the kid from Fox Chapel(Bisnowanty (sp))
Tom Ricketts kid from NA ( Ricketts)
Juantez Hollins from Aliquippa (I assume he’s coming back)

So there’s 3, you should be able to find 2 more decent ones from the current collection of 12-14 other O-linemen on the current roster. Plus the 2 they recruited this year so far. That Zemel guy who was a JUCO recruit, if he can’t get on the field this year, with this O-line, I would pull his scholarship as it’s listing him as a Junior so he must have been red shirted last year.

So the line could look like this: Bisnowanty & Hollins at the Tackles, Ricketts & one of Rotheram/King at the Guards. They are gonna have to find a new Center as Turnley is a Senior. So it might be prudent to recruit one, cause usually the 6-5 330 guys don’t make good centers.

Also Bisno & Ricketts are only listed this year at 275 lbs, so those guys are going to have to bulk up. Like 50 lbs. Whoa, that’s alot in one year and Ricketts is coming off an injury.

It should also help to have a new QB, WHOEVER IT SHOULD BE. As long as he doesn’t stare down his receivers, be statue-like and doesn’t flop to the ground when anyone breathes on him. Oh and also not run into his own O-linemen would be good.
Hitting wide open WR’s for TD’s would work too, to keep 8 & 9 men out of the box.

Comment by Emel 10.23.12 @ 8:49 pm

With O-linemen, you should be able to coach them up if they’re not great. I mean look at WVU over the years, they never had bigtime O-line recruits and yet they ran all over you when Dickrod was there.
Another example of a team that doesn’t get any 4-5 star O-linemen is the team that just routed WVU, that being Kansas State.
Boise State also comes to mind, they’re not getting any 4 star recruits either. TCU, same deal.

This is all about motivating guys and getting them to believe.
It’s amazing what the average person can do if they’re properly motivated and energized by the right person, with the right plan.

I was just on a webinar this morning for what sounded like a fantastic product. But the webinar presenter was a woman who had a bad voice, didn’t keep you attention or explain the product in such a manner as to make you really want to sell it.
Hell I was more confused as to what the product was and how I could use it AFTER the webinar was over. (actually I think she was standing in for the regular webinar presenter, let’s hope !)

Comment by Emel 10.23.12 @ 9:06 pm

marcus schumburg i think the player is tristan nickelson 6 foot 8 285 pounds from tex a 2 atar

Comment by FRANKCAN 10.23.12 @ 10:10 pm

C Norwoodaz are you one of the cryst can coach them up men.
thoes offers that thoes line got are better offers then the 2 chryst got this year.
one of chryst OL men this year had no offers.
may be i should have said number of stars when i wrote that

but you are spliting hairs the point is if you are a chryst man you have said he will coach them up
so they have the hight and weight and a good coach on paper so why are they so bad.

you are the ones who say he will coach them up not me i want 4 stars or at least 3 stae

so what you have done is make my point he has not even recruited player with as many offers as thoes players you named.

at least they had offers someof them from big east schools and more offers than the ones chryst got

but the point is if you are a he will coach them up man what happened it dident work did it.

Comment by FRANKCAN 10.23.12 @ 10:29 pm


I agree with what you’re saying on the face of it. However to be fair, several of Kansas State’s OLs had multiple BCS (Big12, Pac12 and SEC) offers. Yes, they were 3 stars, but I think we can all agree that all 3* players are not alike…(Tino cough cough Sunseri). The 2013 #33 OL in the country according to rivals is a 3*. So is the #70 OL. Both are 3*s, yet they are 40 ranking slots apart. Are they equal in talent? Unlikely. Some 3*s are really 4*s and some 3*s are really 2*s, it’s just the fact of a ridiculously subjective and arbitrary system.

Aside from all that, I agree that a program like Pitt is going to have to coach up kids and I think we DEFINITELY need a much more dynamic, game changing QB under center to cover up some of the other deficiencies. Is that guy Savage? Not sure I would label him as dynamic or a game changer, but it couldn’t possibly be worse, could it?

Not really my argument though. My beef is with the negative comments about the team from a lot of folks based on this fallacy that we are loaded with highly touted, skilled players and should be blowing players from Buffalo off the ball in both directions. My point is, we have the exact same players that Buffalo was recruiting so how can our players be so much better? Half of our 2013 recruits have an offer from Buffalo (and not Alabama in case you were wondering). If our kids are highly touted than so are Buffalo’s.

I find it fascinating more than anything, just trying to converse about what I see. We all want desperately want our kids to be good, doesn’t wishing it doesn’t make them so. Our OL last year gave up 62 sacks. DEAD LAST, 120th in that category. 20 more than the 119th team (we are 96th right now). Progress?

Comment by CNorwoodAZ 10.23.12 @ 10:31 pm


At center, I think Artie Rowell could be in the mix (recruiting class of 2011, RS freshman, 6’2″, 300 lbs.). Unlike some of the guys we’ve had in recent years who were converted from other positions, Rowell was specifically recruited as a center so that may help. In terms of pedigree, he had offers from Northwestern and Temple, so I guess we can take that for what it’s worth.

As far as coaching up bad offensive linemen, I think bad offensive linemen can be coached up, but only to a point.

In terms of making a player into an impact-caliber lineman, that player HAS to have the quickness & athleticism to get to a spot in a certain amount of time, and then the balance and strength to manage an opposing player when he gets there. A linemen’s feet are everything in this regard. If he’s got slow feet, you could stick Joe Moore with him for a year and I’m not sure it would help all that much.

I hate to pick on him, but look at Cory King against Syracuse as a perfect example of what happens when a lineman just doesn’t possess quick feet.

I think this is what WVU has done very well with their linemen. They recruit athletic linemen first…guys with very quick feet. You can always add bulk later. It’s much easier to add size to a kid who can already move his feet well, as opposed to trying to coach a larger kid to be more “athletic”.

Comment by Stoosh 10.23.12 @ 10:33 pm


Comment by FRANKCAN 10.23.12 @ 10:39 pm


FYI, I wrote that last post before I saw your most recent one.

I cannot say if I am a “Chryst can coach them up” guy. I sure as friggin’ hope he is or we are really screwed. Sure 4* OLs would be great. I don’t think it’s fair to say that Chyrst CANNOT recruit quality players. 1) He wasn’t even our coach 10 months ago. 2) Every kid that he spent the past 3 or 4 years building relationships with is going to Wisconsin or some other B1G school.

We want to blame last year’s OL woes on Fraudy Graham’s scheme and Tino and yet we see his scheme working MUCH better at ASU from day one and we see what I think is a dramatic improvement in Tino this year (YES HE STILL MAKES DUMB MISTAKES BUT HE IS BETTER). So, that brings us back to the talent/ability of the guys that we had returning this year on the OL? I don’t think we can say for sure, but these guys were recruited to run an offense like Chryst’s and are struggling. Two different systems, two different coaches and nothing but continued struggles.

It is maddening as hell FOR SURE.

Comment by CNorwoodAZ 10.23.12 @ 10:44 pm

I have to keep saying it. We won’t know if most new head coaches, particularly those who were not head coaches before will be good for 3-5 years. Look at Edsall at Maryland. Last year, his 1st at MD the natives nearly ran him out of town. His team’s performance was horrible. He lost 20 some players to transfers. This year his still undermanned and very young team is respectable. I have no idea how PC will turn out and I doubt that anyone on this blog does either. So how about putting the torches and pitchforks back in storage for at least 2-3 years. Damn, I’m turning into a curmudgeon. Well I old enough to have earned it! HTP!

Comment by opfim 10.23.12 @ 10:46 pm

PS. Don’t YELL at me!!!! Lol. Just kidding. I know you get amped up and I appreciated that about you.

Comment by CNorwoodAZ 10.23.12 @ 10:46 pm


If I may, as I just replied to Emel, I think a good O-line coach can coach bad linemen up, but only to a point.

If the linemen doesn’t have quick feet, he’s in trouble. That immediately limits his ceiling. The most important thing for a lineman is to be able to get from Point A to Point B in a certain amount of time AND THEN have the strength, balance and control to handle a defender. If the player can’t get there first, the second part of that doesn’t matter.

They always say you can’t coach speed. When it comes to linemen, you can’t coach quickness. In particular, you can’t coach foot speed. You can take a smaller lineman with great feet, add weight to him and make a better player than you could a larger lineman with poor footwork.

As I mentioned in the post to Emel, look no further than Cory King’s game against Syracuse. All the size in the world, but he has no foot speed and was getting beaten up and down the field. I felt bad for the guy. He was trying. He just couldn’t keep up. And this is a player who has been in the program since the fall of 2009. At this point, if he doesn’t have it, he’ll likely never get it.

You see it in other levels, too. Look at Trai Essex of the Steelers. 3rd round pick in 2005. Versatile lineman who made a great career for himself as a career backup. But the guy could never consistently crack the lineup as a starter. He never had the elite footspeed needed to succeed at tackle, and he had one of the best in Sean Kugler coaching him the last two years of his Steelers career.

Just throwing it out there as a thought. It could very well be that the reason some of these guys are struggling is because of their footwork.

Comment by Stoosh 10.23.12 @ 10:56 pm

C NORWOODAZ you wont belive this but i wasnt yelling after i type in your name i fogot to change to lower case and was to lazy to retype sorry

Comment by FRANKCAN 10.23.12 @ 11:16 pm


Could use Charlie Strong as an example as well. He went 7-6 and 7-6 in his first two years as HC at Louisville. He’s now 7-0, ranked 16th. We’ll see what they do the rest of the year.

Was going to say that Strong has succeeded because he’s a great recruiter, but in researching this, I found something a little interesting respective of Pitt.

Strong took over in December of 2009, so he had at least some influence in the 2010 class.

In 2010, Louisville finished with the 44th best class per Scout. Pitt’s 2010 class was ranked 17th by Scout.

2011 saw them jump to #33 by Scout, thanks largely to Bridgewater. Pitt was 47th.

Strong’s 2012 class was ranked #42 by Scout. Pitt was #40.

So why is Pitt struggling with perceived comparable talent?

Not sure, but I’d start with two things. First, Strong hits the southeast hard. From 2010-2012, 38 of the 71 commitments they got came from either Florida, Georgia, Louisiana or South Carolina. Second, it may very well illustrate the value of coaching stability. Louisville has had it the last two-and-a-half seasons. Pitt hasn’t.

Comment by Stoosh 10.23.12 @ 11:20 pm

Stoosh do you wonder if thoes big slow line men
would be better on the D LINE
as tackles you know 6 foot 6 320 pound DT .

Comment by FRANKCAN 10.23.12 @ 11:33 pm

Regarding Tino’s high yards per attempt — most of his completions over 10 yards are resulting from yards after catch (yac), which is largely the result of good running wr’s, not Tino. What’s the difference? Defenses can still play shallow and just work to tackle better instead of fearing 30-40 yard bombs over their heads, which are far more likely to go for tds than six yard swing passes and wr’s making five guys miss to take it to the house — resulting, as everyone keeps correctly saying, in a jammed up box with safeties and LBs up, making running really difficult. As Emel pointed out, if not for Ray G’s amazing running last year, this would have been exposed like this year. Lewis was pretty studly as well in 2010, but also suffered from our inability to ‘stretch’ the D…or ‘take the top off’ as Ron Jaworski is fond of saying…repeatedly.

Comment by Matt N. 10.24.12 @ 12:04 am

IDK guys I have lots of doubts and kind of a feeling of dread. Maybe it goes with the last 30 years of PITT football. I know we all want us back in the Top 20 and then we’ll go from there to hopefully get back into the Top 10 consistently (although most of you have never seen that, we once for about a decade were in the Top 10 consistently in the modern era.). We did it in basketball and we had a hell of lot less history in basketball than we do in Football. Not even close.

How did we do it in basketball. Well we brought in the right guy at the right time and then more importantly invested over $200 million dollars in the program. (eventually closer to $300 mil)
That led to us being able to recruit better players, which led to better records, being in the top tier of the conference and getting a high seed annually (almost) in the Big Dance. Success begets success !
Which has led again to being able to recruit better players, even 2 Parade All-Americans and now the Kiwi phenom.

I don’t think we’re investing as much money as we should be investing in the football program. As we all know, football pays for and drives all your non-revenue Olympic sports. Heck.. Stevie Cornhole only opened up the purse strings a little AFTER the Baby Daddy disaster. As part of his alure was obviously his cheap price tag. What the heck else could it have been.

Apparently they have not learned the lesson their own basketball program should have taught them.
You have to spend money in big-time college sports, if you want to be consistently successful, just like what we did with our basketball program.

Comment by Emel 10.24.12 @ 12:11 am

For all the negative comments about our AD, don’t you think that the big money contributor’s are aware of Pitt’s short comings too? Then we have the TV guys: Ditka, Marino, May. If Steve Pederson is doing such a bad job as some of the Blogger’s profess, why don’t we hear anything from Pitt’s big money guys? Just saying…

Comment by MariettaMike 10.24.12 @ 7:30 am

Was there a man dismay’d ?
Not tho’ the player knew
Someone had blunder’d:
Theirs not to make reply,
Theirs not to reason why,
Theirs but to do & die,
Into the valley of Death
Rode the crappy PITT OL.

Lord Alfred Kohberger

On another note – SP saves yet another football program:

link to

So far that’s PITT, Nebraska, PITT and Temple as notches on his belt.

Comment by Reed 10.24.12 @ 8:09 am

Matt N – not to argue with your overall premise regarding the running game, which I agree with, but our WRs are not getting much YAC at all.

It would be nice if Sunseri was hitting our guys in stride to make that happen but he’s not – and never has been able to really. What he is doing is completing more downfield, intermediate, passes this year than in the past two.

I do think this point fingers directly at Sunseri for the running games ills is a bit of misdirection. The defenses we are facing this season are doing exactly the same thing defenses have been doing against Sunseri for the past two years. It isn’t like someone woke up all of a sudden and said “Hey, I know how to beat PITT!”

In both the previous two years we ran at a 5.0 & 5.4 average between our leading RBs. This season we are at a 4.6 clip which is surprising when you look at how ineffective the running game really is during the games themselves.

What we are seeing this season is such inconsistency by the OL in the run game that we can’t generate any momentum on the ground. Add to that the fact that Ray Graham has been very hesitant of the interior runs, coupled with his own inconsistent gains, and that is how we end up where we are today.

Again, PITT isn’t seeing any more ‘men in the box’ this season than we did in 2010 or 2011. Yet our running game isn’t nearly as actually effective as in those years.

No, look first and foremost at the poor OL and the under par play by the RBs themselves for answers as to why we can’t be consistently productive on the ground.

Comment by Reed 10.24.12 @ 8:30 am

@why me.
Yes, a Pitt cop laid a sweet tackle on the black dude at the Pitt bench, the white guy eluded stadium “security”, used two old ladies as a shield (what a pussy), scampered out of the stadium and was nabbed a few hundred yards away.
We can’t go wide on anyone in the run game..QB included so we got stuffed..height and weight advantage notwithstanding.
Frustrating for sure.

Comment by SFPitt 10.24.12 @ 8:37 am

A lot of us had high expectations from this team.


Talent? An supposedly easy schedule? Anyone but Graham coaching?

I was wrong. I grossly overestimated the defense. No depth on the D-line and less than average LB play is the main reason the team is where its at. The running game has suffered due to the O-line. Going into the season I thought they’d be OK in the run game, but injuries and a suspension has crippled this position and prevented Pitt from running the ball well. A positive note, and I didn’t think I’d be saying this with Tino still at QB, but the passing game has been better than it was the past 2 seasons.

I’m normally not one to repeat posts, but PC has been our HC for 7 games. SEVEN! This coupled with the fact, yes fact, that the FB program has been a MESS since the moment DW left is reason enough for me to admit the sky is not falling, yet.

PC should be allowed a couple of years before he is deemed a failure.

Comment by pghFred 10.24.12 @ 9:50 am

Chris Dokish has a nice post on Panther’s Prey regarding mid-season grades for PITT defense & offense. He presents a solid argument regarding the underachieving OL. Dok writes that Turnley was recruited by GT & Wisky. Jacobson (6yrs in program & injuries) was ranked 3rd nationally by Scout. Rotheram was recruited by Wisky,Mich St. & LSU. Respected programs. PITT is 83rd in rushing & 103rd in sacks allowed. I support these young men & PITT 100% & the PITT flag waves outside of my house during football/basketball season =BUT= I don’t understand 1st & goal @ the 6 & PITT kicks a FG against UB & also gets pushed around by a penguin. Each one of these players has been in the program for 3+yrs & the OL play this year has regressed. It’s as if the team has taken on PC’s personality & appears to be going through the motions w/the same game plan each week. 9-3? I need my head examined. Weak schedule & favorable home games. Never thought this team would be headed for a losing season. We need a spark or pray or anything to jump start the remaining season,recruiting & our ACC future. Hail To PITT !

Comment by DC33 10.24.12 @ 9:58 am

Maybe he’s not doing a bad job, 40K empty gold seats staring at me Saturday may tell me differntly.

Comment by Dan 10.24.12 @ 10:03 am

dan – I think the empty gold seats have more to do with the state of the program, not the new coach.

In the early years at Heinz (Walt years), attendance was much better than it is now. I believe they sold 50K season tix at least once during DW’s tenure. Failing to meet expectations during DWs years along with the aforementioned program mess(es) caused attendance to decline.

This isn’t like the middle of the state where a Farm Show is PSU’s major competition for entertainment $$. With the Steelers and Penguins having upper echelon teams in the past decade, who can blame the Pittsburgh sports fans that spend their money on those teams instead of for a Pitt game?

Comment by pghFred 10.24.12 @ 10:23 am

@pghFred, no, no, I was referring to above post about SP, not Coach Chryst. Should have been more clear.

Comment by Dan 10.24.12 @ 10:26 am

DC33 dont feel bad i had said 10 and 2
you know on paper it looked like we had the players.
and switching to a style of play that they were recuited to play pro sets.
boy was i wrong.

there are 2 things and it has to be one of them
i just dont know which the players are bad or the coachs are bad or both i dont know.

Comment by FRANKCAN 10.24.12 @ 10:29 am

not a problem dan.

Comment by pghFred 10.24.12 @ 10:47 am

And I’ll agree that SP should ultimately be held accountable for the state of Pitt football.

The only good thing about his second stint is Pitt going to the ACC. But I doubt he had anything to do with the move other than saying ‘YES!’

Comment by pghFred 10.24.12 @ 10:50 am

The empty seats have one common denominator.
Cyanide Steve Pederson.
Where do you think the storied Nebraska program would be were Cyanide Steve still in command.
PC took over under terrible circumstances. The better part of 2 recruiting classes lost, a 3rd with little time to prep.
I know he isn’t a PR mans dream, and he has alot to learn about head coaching, but the sad state of the program is on the AD.

Comment by SFPitt 10.24.12 @ 11:20 am

As for good coach bad coach, talk shows indicate that Pitt has several “in your face” assistants, with Huxtable being the one most frequently mentioned. Based on Pitt’s inconsistent defensive effort, not sure you can say that “bad cop” coaches are the answer.
My take is there is only so much you can do with limited OL talent. For example, Cory King was and always will be a OG, he was recruited as an OG and its not an easy move to OT. He’s doing the best he can, but as Stoosh said, you can only go so far with coaching if the physical abilities are not innately present in the player. Maybe he’ll be better if they can move him inside next year, but Pitt is so thin at OL that may not be possible even next year.
I think we faithful have to be honest, when you have a team with weaknesses, you have to make up for those with great play in other areas. Pitt’s problem is they don’t have goood enough players at any position to make up for any weaknesses that they have.
The LBs have been exposed in almost every game. DBs were supposed to be deep and talented but Williams had to play on bad wheels against Louisville and the result was not good, and except for Aaron Donald (who has to be feeling like he’s the only guy playing hard) the DL has been mediocre with occassional flashes of excellence, however the flashes are limited to 2 or 3 plays a game.
A great QB can help make up for bad OL play, just look at Heinz Field on Sunday to see how that can happen, but who are we kidding. Tino can’t overcome his own shortcomings, let alone the weakness of the OL surrounding him.
As for PC, its both crazy and self-defeating to declare any coach a failure after 7 games. Even Cowher had a bad stretch of seasons in the middle before he finally got a SB victory, but again, look to Heinz Field on Sunday to undertand the value of consistency at the HC position. It will take 2 or likely more seasons to see any improvement and all we can do is sit back and hope that PC will be able to succeed. However, teams like the Raiders have proven that changing HCs every two years is guaranteed to be a failure so lets at least try to take the path that has a chance at success. The trial hasn’t even started yet and some in the jury have already deemed him guilty of being a bad coach that can never improve. I’d agree he’s had some horrible coaching blunders this year, but we have no choice but to hope that he and his staff can turn themselves and this team around. The alternative is doomed to failure.

Comment by Taxing Matters 10.24.12 @ 12:16 pm

I coach tennis and my goal is to make every player as good as he/she can be. IMO that’s what coaching is all about. But you cannot make chicken salad out of chicken shit. Coaching, training, hard work, competitiveness, etc. can only do so much. At some point an athlete is limited by his natural ability. Conclusion – We need to recruit better players.

Comment by rayhpgh 10.24.12 @ 12:35 pm

@Emel…I understand the level of competition of GW. My comment was strictly on how the deep passing game is holding back our running game.

I used GW as an example in which Tino threw the ball deep for completions multiple times BUT Pitt could still not run the ball against lowly Gardner-Webb.

If Pitt can’t run the ball against GW with a deep passing game, what makes you think that Tino is the reason for the for lack of running game against other teams? Our QB is leading the BE in efficiency and our 2 WRs are the top tandem in the BE, but some people like yourself cannot look at things objectively.

I hope I clarified this enough for you, but based on yoour first post attacking me, you probably won’t be able to comprehend this one either.

Comment by srb 10.24.12 @ 1:08 pm

@Emel..Pitt’s inability to rush for first downs on 3rd and 1 or 4th and 1 must be because of the lack of deep passing game, right?

Comment by srb 10.24.12 @ 1:10 pm

Reed — you just reinforced my point, but with a spin on putting it on the O-line more. I agree our O-line has room for improvement and probably no stars at the moment, but I don’t see the same ragged play as some of you do. Saying Tino is doing the same as he was the previous two years isn’t a defense — its pointing out he hasn’t improved. My comment was that the exceptional play of Ray G. last year (because he was healthy and unhesitant) and Dion Lewis in 2010 — two absolute first rate college RBs — helped to cover up the difficulties brought on by opposing D’s having ZERO respect for getting burned by Tino. You say its the O-line but how many of his sacks have honestly come from teams just flat out beating the line versus Tino holding it too long, being indecisive, not elusive, falling down at moderate pressure, etc.?

Also, I think we have different definitions of “downfield, intermediate” passes. My view is they are at least 12-15 yards in the air, not 7-10 which you may be considering…which again doesn’t push back LBs and safeties enough…but most important is the real fear of a reasonably accurate deep pass — 25-40 yards — to create space…which you rightly concur has not existed in the last three years.

Comment by Matt N. 10.24.12 @ 2:19 pm

Well no, but it is the reason on why teams don’t respect the pass and stack the box with 8 & 9 players on every other play. We can’t stretch the field vertically.
Do you comprehend that? lol
And I wouldn’t use GW as an example of anything since like I said it was a glorified scrimmage more than anything else. GW is and has been one of the WORST PROGRAMS IN D2(FCS) for the last 7 years. This is about the only team in the country Tino could complete a long pass against.

GW has lost 7-34 to Wofford, 8-41 to Richmond, 23-44 to Samford, that’s not Stanford, btw. 35-42 to Liberty and last but not least, 10-41 to that football D2 powerhouse known as Stony Brook. They are winless in the BigSouth again.

Now why we couldn’t run the ball very effectively against GW is immaterial, since based on their lack of players, athletes,etc., nothing can be taken away from that game as some sort of indicator.

We haven’t been able to stretch the field vertically since 2009, Stull’s senior season, when if you remember Dion ran roughshod for over 1700 yards, which led to him being mentioned as a Heisman candidate his sophomore year. We all saw how that played out, no vertical passing game, teams loaded up to stop the run, Dion’s production tailed way off, even with Hyno still blocking for him. And that was with Jon Baldwin in the lineup who Tino would just hoist it up to and hope Baldwin would make some sort of acrobatic or one handed catch.

That team had a lot of dissension on it, as they all knew that Bostick had earned the right to be the starting QB, not Tino. And imo that dissension is the root of why this team still plays unmotivated, doesn’t help Tino off the ground when he gets buried on a sack and generally pays him no nevermind. He is a cancer on this team and you will see a much more energized and motivated team next year.

Comment by Emel 10.24.12 @ 2:30 pm

Clearly if I can see that Tino shouldn’t have been the QB, then and now, as other posters can on here like Matt N, Dan, Frankcan, Upittbaseball, Immaman, Coach Ditka, My dad is Jimbo Covert, and a whole host of others who have got so disgusted and fed up they don’t post much anymore or don’t post at all anymore.

Clearly if we can see it, some of the players can see it too!

Comment by Emel 10.24.12 @ 2:42 pm

As DC33 points out, Dokish wrote that three of the OL (Jacobson, Turnley, Rotheram) were highly regarded and sought after. And we have coaches who were instrumental in turning out good lines at Wisconsin. So what’s happened? Same with the defensive line…highly regarded athletes underperforming?

Comment by auggiefrom latrobe 10.24.12 @ 2:58 pm

maybe they are tired of your tino crap

Comment by paul shannon 10.24.12 @ 2:59 pm

or tino’s crappy play, lol

Comment by Emel 10.24.12 @ 3:15 pm

I’ve got a bad feeling, and I hope it has to do with tonights dinner menu,and not Saturdays outcome!!!

My waning comments are due to Tino and the poor play of the team. Did I over-expect, ya, sure I did. I didn’t imagine this though.

What could wake me up?? Upset Notre Dame. They don’t have a great offense, but, I don’t see how we can possibly score a point against them.

I’m jumping ahead, we have a big enough battle this week.

Comment by Dan 10.24.12 @ 3:44 pm

I agree with Emel. I give Tino 5 games 6 max before he is benched. Then we can focus on the actual, real, factual, obvious, essential problem with this OFFENSIVE OFFENSIVE LINE. Their body of work so far this season is OFFENSIVE!

Comment by Dr. Tom 10.24.12 @ 3:56 pm

Its not crap. I am one of those posters in your aforementioned camp, Emel(Frankcan, MattN, et al.) I read and enjoy the posts, but Sir Tino has sucked the life out of me as a Pitt FB fan. Next season the o-line will be better (with Bisnowaty,Ricketts and some of the other redshirters)and we will have a genuine competition at QB with Savage, Chapman & Voytik. Shell will be back. The D is young and will improve. And we will be in the ACC. I will be in my usual season seat SAT but the countdown continues. 5 more games.Cite all the records and stats you want, but it has been a rough run for Pitt fans with Mr. Sunseri at the helm.

Comment by Bossdaws 10.24.12 @ 4:00 pm

Ijust think crap stands for cynical rantngs at pittblather,Iwill drink a beer with any of you at 7am gold1, the three stooges will be there swingin with the alphabet,if the life has been sucked out of u the there is room for beer,replace 5 more games with 5 more beers hell shell will be gone before tino

Comment by paul shannon 10.24.12 @ 8:52 pm

Duly noted Bossdaws, you have been added to the ABT camp ! lol :-)

Comment by Emel 10.24.12 @ 8:53 pm

lol paul. Watching us play calls for a much stronger drink (127 bookers comes to mind). I’ve cut back on my watching to avoid a liver transplant, ha

Comment by Emel 10.24.12 @ 8:57 pm

I feel for this Cory King kid, cause this guy is a Guard not a Tackle (as u know he’s only playing there cause J. Hollins got suspended). The TE should always be on his side of the line to help out. As well as the chip blocking RB. If Sir Tino could hit someone in stride over 15-20 yards you could go to a Max Protect package, but no sense going there…….

Comment by Emel 10.24.12 @ 9:03 pm

EMel i am with you bud you nailed it.
Bossdraws good to hear you glad you are on.
hi DAN you are the man

Comment by FRANKCAN 10.24.12 @ 9:11 pm

You know i had high expectations for pitts recruiting class this year.
but i realize we must look at things objectively
the truth is we are lucky to have the players we have so far.
dont look for pitt to get 4 or 5 star players for years to come it wont happen for many reasons
here are some chryst is not a magic personilty
may be no personilty we are a bad team
and as has been pointed out bye you all tomutch has happened in the last 2 years the program is in disary no people at the games to many empty seats etc etc.

the point is i have just been hit in the head
i mean i used to bitch if we would not get 4 stars
i realize now how hopeless things have become i have been fooling myself thinking we could come all the way back to the glory years,

and it makes me sad this is not criticizm it
is a excepting of a reality that i tryed not to see or did not want to see a death of a dream.

as mutch as i did not like TG his kind of `excitement and enthusiasm might have saved this program but there is no excitement to it now and chryst cant bring it and so recruiting will be as it is no were. and pitt football will be what it is no were and i am so sad dreams die hard.

Comment by FRANKCAN 10.24.12 @ 10:57 pm

^^ FRankcan

Shell better not be gone before Sir Tino. don’t even say that kiddingly. Heck with Ray Ray graduating and Clement bailing on us, we’d be in real trouble.
Shell isn’t anywhere close to being ready for the next level anyway. Plus we can always play that 2 star 170 lb safety from the school with 100 students in 4 grades, at feature back. That’s why PC recruited him, u know. lol

Comment by Emel 10.24.12 @ 11:01 pm

That was directed at paulie’s post.

Comment by Emel 10.24.12 @ 11:03 pm

EMel i am sad there is no excitement or enthusiam to pitt football any more and chryst has known him self we are doomed are we not.

Comment by FRANKCAN 10.24.12 @ 11:16 pm

it should read chryst has none

Comment by FRANKCAN 10.24.12 @ 11:30 pm

Maybe we can bring Johnny Majors back a 3rd time.


That would be cruel and unusual punishment, poor JM had to come back after Hackett left nothing in the cupboard.

Comment by Emel 10.24.12 @ 11:33 pm

Ok gents….no more Prozac for a week.

Comment by SFPitt 10.25.12 @ 5:20 am

The only thing more boring than Pitt football these days are the redundant, self loathing posts that dominate this forum these days.

OK, we get it:

1. Tino sucks
2. The O-line sucks
3. Paul Chryst sucks at speaking
4. Paul Chryst sucks at recruiting
5. Steve Pederson sucks
6. Playing in an off campus stadium sucks
7. Our schedule sucks
8. Our attendance sucks
9. Our assistant coaches suck
10. Not having the script and lack of old gold sucks
11. Having a different opinion than Emel or FRANCAN sucks
12. Emel knows football better than our staff
13. Joe D knows recruiting better than our staff

Does that just about cover it? These topics are covered ad nauseam on every single posting. You want to know why Pitt football has such little positive momentum? Just look at the constant negativity displayed by our supposedly biggest supporters.

Comment by ECH 10.25.12 @ 7:13 am

the white noise with shell is starting listen close

Comment by paul shannon 10.25.12 @ 7:28 am

The beer in Gold 1 sounds good PS. Especially if Nosmo-King is there sipping a few (love that moniker). ECH, just venting like Emel, Frankcan and many others. Everyone’s opinion is noted and should be respected, but the “positive momentum “lacking in Pitt football will return with Ws. This is a demanding football town. If we didn’t care, we wouldn’t bitch.

Comment by Bossdaws 10.25.12 @ 8:03 am

I get it, I really do. I understand the venting and the desire for a return to winning ways. I’m there too. I’m not happy that I continue to expend money and emotion on a program that just can’t get out of its own way.

But we have gone BEYOND kicking a dead horse at this point. And the constant self loathing doesn’t solve anything.

We are a team and a program in transition. 4 head coaches, multiple offensive coordinators, a schedule in upheaval, etc etc.

We have a first time HC, 7 games into his HC life and people are calling him a failure and projecting his inability to recruit, adjust, make decisions, and so on based on an insanely narrow set of real data. It’s ridiculous and unproductive.

Think Dorian Johnson and Rob Foster read this blog? Think they are encouraged reading depressing post after depressing post by fans?

Comment by ECH 10.25.12 @ 8:18 am

And I’m not advocating blowing smoke up each other’s skirts or ignoring valid concerns. I just thing the repetitive nature of the griping and rehashing of tired narratives is not just pointless, but in the broad perspective probably counter productive to the end we ALL want.

Comment by ECH 10.25.12 @ 8:21 am

ECH, well then, respectfully, what shall we talk about?? What are the positives??

Allthough, I think many have taken your advice, and just don’t bother posting anymore.

Comment by Dan 10.25.12 @ 9:02 am

In business, who is the worst customer. Someone that has a concern, and bitches and screams???

Nope, the worst customer, is the one who has a concern, and just fades away never to be heard from again.

Comment by Dan 10.25.12 @ 9:04 am


Frank, Frank, Frank…come on, brother. Keep the faith.

Things are going to get better. If this program can rise from the awful seasons of the mid-1990s to become what’s been a top 40-50 program through much of the last 15 years, it can certainly get back to that level and elevate beyond it.

Recruiting-wise, I agree that this year hasn’t entirely produced the haul we all hoped it may. Foster and Dorian Johnson change a lot of that perception. There are a few people I follow on Twitter who are close to these things and who seem to be reliable with their info, and they say Pitt will end up with both Foster and DJ.

Provided they also retain Chapman – which these same people expect Pitt to do – that’s a pretty good start there. We’ll see what falls into place between the end of the season and February.

And it’s easy to forget, too, that Chryst was able to retain a lot of good talent with last year’s class. Shell obviously leads the pack, but we’ve already seen contributions from the likes of Holtz, Pardner and Darryl Render as true freshmen this year. Throw in the likes of Voytik, Rippy, Bradley, Bisnowaty…all of these kids will have a full year in the program. Chryst doesn’t seem to play favorites with regard to seniority, so if these kids are good enough to get themselves into the lineup next year, they’ll start contributing right away.

Plus, we’re getting some decent talent back next year that we’ve missed this year for a variety of reasons. Hopefully next year, we get a healthy Todd Thomas and Ejuan Price at LB. We get a healthy Tom Ricketts to help on the line (he was a 4-star OL recruit in 2009, offers from FSU, Stanford, BC, PSU, Maryland). Hollins should be back and will hopefully begin to realize some of his potential.

Maybe I’m reaching a little with some of these, but I see a team that could potentially get better rather quickly, especially when you consider they improve almost by default with the QB change (Savage or Voytik with a year in the system SHOULD be an upgrade over some of Tino’s limitations).

If they start winning some games, more and more recruits will take notice.

Comment by Stoosh 10.25.12 @ 9:58 am

concern, care , they are good words BD, i get the blog thing really ,just worry about the names we call our players for further recruiting ,we drive too far to lose,games and faith

Comment by paul shannon 10.25.12 @ 10:21 am

ECH – I agree with your SUCK points and would add Sweet Caroline to that list.

But seriously, the future looks bright.
1. Tino is gone after this year
2. The O-line can’t get any worse
3. The ACC begins next year
4. The schedule gets better and new rivalries can get started
5. There will probably be some new coaches and better recruiters on staff next year
6. There is still a chance we land both Dorian and Robert
7. Stevie P’s days are numbered
8. Savage, Chapman or Voytik will bring excitement back
9. The program will benefit from stability in coaching and systems
10. Pitt script will make a comeback

Comment by TX Panther 10.25.12 @ 10:54 am

ECH dont you think i would like to be talking abought the great game we played or the 5 star we recruited or that was great coaching bye chryst.
you are dam right i would love to be mr sunshine.

at the start of year i said we would be 10 and 2

I was mr enthusiasm what is the old saying if you have nothing good to say say nothing but if i and outhers did that there would be no post the blather would be empty.

it is eather vent on here or take it out on the wife and she would not like that and then i would get nothing to eat

Comment by FRANKCAN 10.25.12 @ 11:05 am

Growing up with Chilly Billy, I always liked, and sentimentally still like Dracula, Frankenstein, The Wolf Man, The Mummy, The Black Cat etc. etc.

I’ve often realized however, that I never really did see ‘The Black Cat’. I lumped it in with the others, but never really watched it.

Watched it last night, and realize why I never saw it. I’m sure I turned it off immediately when I was 8-12 yrs old.

Karloff as Poelzig, is a downright disturbing image. Even in this day and age. It still holds up, especially for something made in 1934.

Comment by Dan 10.25.12 @ 11:17 am

Hahaha. Fair enough Frank. I don’t want you to go hungry every night.

Comment by ECH 10.25.12 @ 11:27 am

now dan thats apost u have me doing the nosmo, also worked with nick perry when he was in the slammer,he only had a number on his jersey.

Comment by paul shannon 10.25.12 @ 11:30 am


Comment by Dan 10.25.12 @ 11:37 am

FRANKCAN – you should learn how to cook so you can take it out on the wife. Did I just lose the women’s vote for saying that?

Comment by TX Panther 10.25.12 @ 11:39 am

TX Panther, I like your positive attitude but I don’t think Stevie P will ever be let go because Nordy loves him. How do you rehire someone that left for greener pastures?

In the ultimate injustice, our beloved script won’t be coming back anytime soon either. Why? Stevie P brings no joy to the fans because he has to do it his way.

I love Pitt and the Cleveland Browns and they have too much in common.

Temple will be the first game I am not attending this year because I cannot find one person to go with me. It doesn’t matter if they are male, female, young, or old. Those that I asked suggested going to the casino, getting a drink, or having lunch instead of supporting the old alma mater. Heinz Field feels like a factory of sadness and the games are predictable and demoralizing. I hope we can win at least two more.

Comment by AJ 10.25.12 @ 12:23 pm

AJ – This is my first trip back since Pitt Homecoming 2010. I’m looking forward to the game but understand what you’re saying. I salute all the Pitt fans out there that have attended games particularly over the past 3 years. I hope my attendance isn’t in vain. However, I’ll be bringing it. I believe we’ll win at least 3 more. I refuse to let any self loathing comments bring me down. H2P!

Comment by TX Panther 10.25.12 @ 12:36 pm

AJ, you’re correct, can’t give em’ away at the office.

Now, for a positive note. What Pitt really needs, to get some people pumped up, and at least rally the troops for the end of the season push.

Captain Obvious here, but……….

1. Beat Temple Saturday. Would be nice to be a couple touchdown game, and not a coming down to the last couple minutes.

2. Somehow, someway, pick off Notre Dame.

5-4 going into the final 3 games, coming off a win against Notre Dame would revive the faithful.

At this time, that’s what the fan base needs so they won’t become the faithful departed.

They won’t be looking past us, as they have BC and Wake Forest after us. Nothing to get excited about.

If they could beat Oklahoma this Sat. Nite., they could be coming down off of a high……….

Could be ripe!!!

How’s that for a positve vibe!!!!!!!!!!!

Comment by Dan 10.25.12 @ 12:56 pm

I had so much hope that Chryst would surely see how little play-making ability Tino had and how Pitt NEVER wins in tight games when he’s under center…but after seven games now and no sign of changes, I’m really pretty stunned. When Chryst reportedly ‘went off’ on him during Fall camp and in the post-practice interviews with his rolling his eyes when asked about Tino’s progress, I thought, surely, here’s a guy who is not afraid to pull the trigger when things go badly?! What the hell happened?

How do you win 10-11 games at Wisconsin every year and put up huge offensive numbers tolerating such limited ability at QB? He worked with Russell Wilson last year — how could he lower his standards so quickly? How could he look at Anderson and Voytik running around in practice and flashing excellent mobility and athleticism and not want to give that a shot — at least for a quarter or two? Dismayed I tell ya, dismayed.

Comment by Matt N. 10.25.12 @ 1:02 pm

TEX PANTHER that is great that you wont get down
but lets look at your positive comments.
next year tino will be gone which means he is here now and sucks,
the O line cant get any worse which means it sucks
bad now.
next year we will get better recruiters
which means we dont have good ones now.
so for this year not so positive.

but i am not sure any more that it is the recruiters fult.

i know bye pointing out the positive that is not a positive i am a downer but i had so high expectations at start of year may be i am just bitter abouhgt things now this is all the AD fult i do know that becuse wanny should still be here or he should have had a plan he should have had a name coach ready to step in he fucked up and we are paying for it,

Comment by FRANKCAN 10.25.12 @ 1:08 pm

Pitt fans have the right to be bitter after losing Pitt script, the Cincy loss for the title, the debacle around Wanny’s dismissal, the hiring of a coach that does take it out on women, Fraud Graham, and now this disappointing season. Pitt does suck this year in many ways but Pitt does still have a chance to finish strong and possibly upset the Domers. Just hang in there and think positively and give Chryst a chance.

Comment by TX Panther 10.25.12 @ 1:23 pm

QUESTION EMel has brought this up and there has not been a lot of comment on this.

do you think chryst should get another QB in for at least a half not becuse tino is or is not haveing a bad year.

but as EMel says what if savage gets hurt next year or cant handle it.

dont we need to see if anderson or mr. v can play
with this season most likey a waste should we not at least get one of outhers some playing time
so that we know one way or the outher.

Comment by FRANKCAN 10.25.12 @ 1:56 pm

@FRANKCAN, you would think he might like too. Has he ever been up enough to put Anderson in??

As far as Voytik, that ship sailed. Would have liked to have seen him this year.

Don’t want to burn the redshirt now, with only 5 games left.

Comment by Dan 10.25.12 @ 2:14 pm

Dan and Frankcan,

Have to wonder why everyone puts so much faith in Savage — not knocking the kid but he has bounced around to a few different programs now and hasn’t played for 3-4 years. I hope he’s good but it seems foolish to assume he will be, so agree we need to get either Anderson or Voytik some pt THIS year…and not just mop up time either. Maybe he’s really wowing the coaches in practice but I would think you need a decent back up plan in place?

Comment by Matt N. 10.25.12 @ 2:27 pm

I can’t wait for Tino’s imitation of Palko’s post game interview at Notre Dame when he expresses how fu*ckin proud he is of his team, after we knock off ND in their own house.

We could use a 2012 version of the 13-9 upset to improve the mood around Panther Nation just about now.

As for Chryst’s thought processes concerning this season. I”m pretty sure at this point that he felt this season he was going to get a pass. Even though he talks about taking into account the current Seniors feelings concerning this year’s outcome, I’m convinced that he is planning for the future and throwing away this season as he gets his HC act together.

That is why RECRUITING is my benchmark on his performance for 2012. We could come in with a couple real quality gets before LOI signing day. There could be JC help coming down the pike also at key positions like the O & D lines that aren’t even on the radar yet either. Boy, could we use a Jeff Otah right about now.

Patience is a virtue, Keep the faith guys, and yes stay POSITIVE!

Comment by Dr. Tom 10.25.12 @ 2:30 pm

I would love that also DR. TOM but to EMel point do you think anderson should play some this year
say after the ND game if we should lose i know there will be no chage if we win .

Comment by FRANKCAN 10.25.12 @ 2:56 pm

@Matt N.

One line answer to ur dismay.
PC is part of the coaching fraternity as well.

Comment by Emel 10.25.12 @ 4:47 pm


Nobody wants to address it, because pinning your whole season’s hopes on a kid who will not have stepped on the football field for a real snap for 3 whole years is almost beyond belief.

Plus he wasn’t exactly setting the world on fire at Rutgers before he transferred out. As when he can back from injury, he couldn’t beatout, now RU backup Chris Dodd, for his starting job. Which led to him transferring. Since then Dodd lost his job to Gary Nova (yea him).

So while I hope Savage turns out to be Russell Wilson 2, pinning all your hopes next season on him is beyond absurd.

Especially because there is no reason, at 0-3 in the BigEast, not to see if Anderson can play.

PITT certainly could have won against GW & Buffalo with Anderson as well. And since Va Tech self-destructed, could have won with him too against them. And maybe cause he’s more mobile, he would have been able to make a play, just one play to pullout the Cuse game, as 14 points shouldn’t have been hard to score more than against them.

Comment by Emel 10.25.12 @ 5:06 pm

Funny you ask Matt. Driving home, Pat Bostick was on the air, and Joe Starkey asked him point blank about the spring qb issue.

I found it quite refreshing from Bostick, (compared to other tv, radio, coaching people), that he answered with out hesitation, without using …. “well, we’re still in this year Joe, we’ll worry about that in the spring”, and refreshing that Starkey asked a question, he must know is on Panthers fans minds.

Bostick said, Savage is pretty much a good distance ahead. Being a senior, a qb who is meant for this system, and has the tools.

He said Voytik and he would definitely be battling each other.

Starkey mentioned “was Chad Voytik brought in for a Graham type of system and how will he do”.

Bostick said Voytik is an athlete and a top 10 qb, made all the throws at the Elite 11 qb camp, (where I found out, they take about the top 25 or 30 qbs in the country, and pick the top 11 that performed during intense drills during the week) those become the Elite 11.

So, obviously, he can play qb.

That’s the best I can do for ya. Bostick has the pulse of what’s going on.

Ya, it’s too early to talk about that stuff, but, I enjoyed that Starkey asked, and Bostic answered.

It’s early, but we’ve all thought about it.

Comment by Dan 10.25.12 @ 5:20 pm

As for the Elite 11. I always though they picked “their” top 11 guys, then worked with them for a week.

Didn’t know they took top 25 or 30, worked with them, had competitions, etc. etc. then these qb gurus pick their top 11.

Yes, yes, I know it means nothing like the star system!!!!!!!!!! It’s a good guide though and gives you a good idea of their capabilities for the future.

Comment by Dan 10.25.12 @ 5:24 pm

Regarding Savage and Voytik — that’s good news for next year, but how can that be responsible to just throw away this year because a new coach can get away with it? That pisses me off if there is truth to that. Sending Tino out there every game knowing its not your best foot forward, just to save Voytik’s redshirt is bull…to the other QBs, players, fans, etc. Yeah, he gets a freebie his first year as coach but that blows if that was his thinking — he could have played Voytik or Anderson this year and redshirted Voytik next year if Savage won the starting job. Its the coach’s responsibility to honestly try to win every game, not sandbag and take the mulligan for next year to save eligibility…crap.

Comment by Matt N. 10.25.12 @ 8:34 pm

…and how could Anderson not see the field after the Syracuse debacle? Pure garbage.

Comment by Matt N. 10.25.12 @ 8:36 pm

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