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October 29, 2012

Another October of Injury Disasters

Filed under: Football,Injury — Chas @ 1:49 pm

Not quite the miserable M*A*S*H unit of last year’s UConn game — and for the season — but geez. Bad things out of the Temple game.

Pitt coach Paul Chryst announced Monday that three players — linebackers Dan Mason and Manny Williams and offensive lineman Ryan Schlieper — would miss the rest of the season with injuries.

Manny Williams got hurt in the Louisville game. An ACL injury that has kept him out of the last few games. He has been trying to rehab, but it isn’t getting that much better so he is opting for the season-ending surgery.

Dan Mason. Yow. Just yow.

Mason returned earlier this season after missing two years with a knee injury, but lacerated his liver making a tackle late in the Temple game. Chryst said he is healing normally, and was optimistic that he could return for spring practice next year.

This just isn’t fair.

After everything Mason has been overcoming to play at this point, to have that happen. Damn.

Then there is Schlieper. He is having surgery on his foot from the injury suffered in the Temple game. So, Pitt’s paper thin O-line is that much thinner just before a trip to South Bend to play the now resurgent Irish and their very, very good defense.

The pride of Lebanon High, Arthur Doakes will start at right guard in place of Schlieper. Go Cedars!

As for the linebackers. Well, there’s always a chance Shane Gordon returns from his high ankle sprain. If not, then the linebackers are just as thin.

Mason, who recorded 21 tackles in two starts this season, was replaced at middle linebacker in the Temple game by Joe Trebitz, a redshirt senior who has never made a career start. This week’s official depth chart lists redshirt junior Shane Gordon as the first-team middle linebacker, but he has not played since suffering a high ankle sprain against Louisville on Oct. 13.

So. So little depth in these units going into the season. Downright scary, now.

May be scary, but we still win this Saturday.

Just. Watch.

Comment by HLandPitt 10.29.12 @ 1:56 pm

Despite his limitations, Masons motor never quits. If anyone stick it out its him.

Comment by Chuck Morris 10.29.12 @ 2:00 pm

Damn, Dan Mason is a tough man to continue to deal with these injuries. Truly do believe if 100% healthy next fall he could have a Manti Te’o kind of season for us next year. Fight on boys, it’s next man up time. Beat ND.

Comment by Vulcan Rob 10.29.12 @ 2:01 pm

Get well guys. Especially sorry to hear of Dan and Ryan’s injuries since both had fought back from season ending injuries previously.

Comment by Dr. Tom 10.29.12 @ 2:02 pm

Dan Mason was the story of the year. Tough luck.

Comment by alcofan 10.29.12 @ 2:29 pm

Without bad luck we would have “no” luck.

Comment by JR 10.29.12 @ 2:32 pm

TV showed Mason doubled over and puking on the sidelines after he got up. Tough kid.

Comment by Pitt it IS 10.29.12 @ 3:14 pm

I can’t believe this, horrible news for Dan Mason and Pitt. Hope the young man makes a full recovery.

Comment by Kenny Powers 10.29.12 @ 3:31 pm

Win it for Dan Mason

Comment by steve1 10.29.12 @ 3:34 pm

Mason is gone, Williams is gone, Schleper is gone and Hubie Graham looks to be out.

The loss of these players presents some untimely challenges just as the team is starting to put it together in advance of the trip to South Bend.

Mason’s loss is especially disheartening. His return made it clear just how average the inside linebacker play has been this year and how big of an impact a playmaker in the middle can have on the entire defense.

Comment by PittofDreams 10.29.12 @ 4:14 pm

Proud to have Dan Mason as a Panther. After he plays the 2013 season , completing his Pitt career, Chryst should offer him a grad assistants role grooming him for a coaches role in the future at Pitt.
That man is an inspiration to everyone on and off the field.

Comment by spindler's spirit 10.29.12 @ 5:13 pm

Wow, I’ve never heard of a lacerated liver resulting from football. That is such bad news.
And such a freak injury, after how he rehabbed himself into being able to run again, let alone play football.

Some guys have no luck or just bad luck and others live charmed lives. Never getting hurt, missing a game or hardly a play.

Well get well soon Mr. Mason and Ryan Schlieper of my old HS, North Allegheny. Go Tigers !

Comment by Emel 10.29.12 @ 5:15 pm

Oh too bad about Manny Williams too, as he was just starting to get some serious PT and played well when he was in there earlier this year!
Manny I believe is a 5th yr senior so good luck to that young man !

Comment by Emel 10.29.12 @ 5:19 pm

Most importantly, hope they all heal up properly. My optimistic (non-delusional) season outlook is to beat UConn and USF and sneak into the Pinstripe Bowl. HTP!

Comment by San Diego Panther 69 10.29.12 @ 5:33 pm

Mason injury unbelieveable!! This young man may need to reevaluate & save his body for the remaining years. I hope he gets good advice. He definitely is the heart of the Panthers. ND game looks tough == need another VT inspired performance! Hail To PITT

Comment by DC33 10.29.12 @ 5:36 pm

i will be in notre dame stadium this sat. if we play the way we did vs. va tech, we’ll have a hell of a shot. shock the world boys!!

Comment by scott 10.29.12 @ 5:55 pm

Idk guys… ND is now #3 in the latest BCS rankings behind K State at #2. And Oregon at #4. Oregon has 3 Top 25 teams left, I don’t see them winning all 3, at USC, at Oregon State and Stanford in Eugene. So that will eliminate them.

And while I’d love to see K State play for the NC, I don’t think that will happen, as K State – Alabama NC game won’t have gads of appeal.
But a ND – Alabama NC game would be a ratings bonanza. And ND has the easiest of the 3, schedule wise with only 1 ranked team, USC left to play, as they have us, BC & Wake Forest.

The ACC would love to have ND back in annual discussion of National Championship as nobody in the ACC has lived up to any pre-season hype annually, namely Florida State and Va Tech (not so much this year but in previous years).

So I would be shocked if we win this Sat.
After all with all this conference shuffling going on, this is just a business now.

Comment by Emel 10.29.12 @ 5:59 pm

How did the Offensive Line play this week, as it has been the subject of much discussion this year.

They must have been pretty good if we got over 500 yards of total offense and close to 200 yds on the ground.

Comment by Emel 10.29.12 @ 6:23 pm

Hey I wanted to say, to all my fellow PITT blogging brothers and their families, who are in Harms Way of this Hybrid Hurricane….STAY SAFE !

May God keep you all Safe !

Comment by Emel 10.29.12 @ 6:37 pm

My opinion, outside of Mason and the Defense and the “return of Ray Graham” the Offensive Line was the big story.

Watch the perfectly timed and executed screen to Graham to see just how well the line played.

Turnley especially was impressive on that play looking pretty athletic as he got out in front to throw a block downfield at a DB.

Comment by PittofDreams 10.29.12 @ 6:43 pm

This is too depressing … A nice positive piece on Pitt and nice breakdown of the basketball program.

link to

It made sense to me and is making me even more excited about the upcoming season.

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 10.29.12 @ 6:46 pm

well said EMel yes hope all are safe

Comment by FRANKCAN 10.29.12 @ 7:17 pm

Really awful injuries for three terrific players. Mason especially.

I have never been known for my optimistic Pitt outlook but consider this at ND. Pitt has trouble with fast, quick teams. ND is not either. Pitt matches up okay lb fo lb on both lines. Pitt has a passing attack that will exploit the one ND weakness, their secondary…and a running game to keep them honest. I never missed a single ND/Pitt game when Dorsett ran all over them. Think our combo of Graham and Shell will do the same.

ND will be flat coming off the spotlight in Okla.
Speaking of which, while ND was much the better team on the field, OK gave up way too early on the run and an average ND secondary was able to sit on the passing routes.

Our defense will have to get off the field on 3rd down, but I think we will give ND fits on Saturday.

Comment by Dan 72 10.29.12 @ 8:21 pm

Schadenfreude: A German word meaning “taking pleasure in the misfortunes of others”.


1. Pitt beats Notre Dame


2. If Pitt loses, Notre Dame runs the table, goes 12-0, and gets left out of national championship game.

I’m only human. The ND blowhards I have to deal with. Love em’ dearly, but, when it comes to ND, a blow hardy har har to them.

Funny, since they’ve stunk, been mediocre or basically non-relevant the last 20 years, never a peep. Now, suddenly, everyone is supposed to love Notre Dame.

And, they act like last year was Lou Holtz’s National Championship, and skip right over the mediocrity.

Come on Pitt……one effin’ time!!!! One effin’ time!!!!!!!!!!!

Comment by Dan 10.29.12 @ 8:55 pm

Matt, buddy, where ever you are. I agree with you lots of times.

Gotta say, Tino has played well this year.

Yes, he still doesn’t hear the rush, and does a couple bonehead moves, but, he has played well.

Those couple early fiasco’s were on the defense.

Just call it like I see it, I think the coaches have helped him tremendously.

I’ve done my share of Tino bashing over the past couple years, this year, can’t do it.

Frankly, he’s played extremely well. IMHO.

Comment by Dan 10.29.12 @ 9:00 pm

Emel……so you are saying the game will be fixed such that we lose on Saturday? So that there will be a more desirable TV matchup in the championship game?

Comment by JCE 10.29.12 @ 9:49 pm

Off subject i was looking at basketball recruiting in the ACC for the last 2 years
or i should say this year and last that is what i ment.
there are 4 teams that we beat on recruiting
1 miami
2 boston
3 wake forest
4 virginia tec
but all the outher ACC teams are as good as us and 4 are better this is based on number of stars
there recruits and ours have.
we may have to step up the recruiting when we are in the ACC or in the years to come will find our selves in the middle of the pack.

Comment by FRANKCAN 10.29.12 @ 10:42 pm

I’m with you Dan. If we can pull out one win against ND in the next five years…this year would be a pretty awesome time to do it.

Comment by Atlanta Panther 10.29.12 @ 10:51 pm

thank god for the star system.

Comment by Atlanta Panther 10.29.12 @ 10:51 pm

Frankcan I agree we need to step up our recruiting but I wouldn’t say a step up in the stars of athletes we recruit but more of a problem of what position, what our current depth chart looks like, and what character of kids we get. If we are able to land 2-3 athletes who just haven’t been big enough but have the drive to get in the gym early, watch game tape, and work with the coaches on technique we can have the classes of 2-3 star athletes but compete in the ACC for division titles.

Comment by tedsptman 10.29.12 @ 10:56 pm

Bummed to see all of these guys out but especially Mason. He’s been a dynamic player – whatever step he lost, he more than makes up for with reads and instinct. He is a born linebacker. Not gonna make the task any easier this weekend.

Comment by Iron Duke 10.29.12 @ 11:15 pm

Dan Mason has done Pitt and himself proud. Paul Chryst has been true to his word. He will play kids that play with passion and play kids that want to play for PITT. If that means you Dorian Johnson, sign here. If that means you Robert Foster, sign here. You watch how a local kid playing for a university he loves, aspires to rock star status. He is a legend. Now, imagine Foster and Johnson with the same passion for Pitt! WOW!

I like Art Doakes on the line and he needs to be challenged by Coach Chryst to make a name for himself on Saturday by dominating his opponent on every play. Pitt has nothing to lose on Saturday. I also expect Brian Kelly to keep going for it on 4th down because he thinks he is better than his opponent. Pitt needs to stand up and be counted. LEt’s go Pitt!!

Comment by dhuffdaddy 10.29.12 @ 11:18 pm

I wont list them all i am to lazy but off the top of my head we have had 1 5 star and 2 player who are 4 star and 2 who are 3 star.
duke has 1 player 5 star 4 who are 4 star
NCS has 5 player who are 4 star
NC HAS 2 who are 5 star and 4 who are 4 stars
something like that in last 2 years
i mean we are as good as most on recruting just not better
am not saying we will be bad just saying that the teams who are on top in the ACC seam to sign mostley 4 and 5 stars so in the furture need more 4 stars less 3 stars if we want to be on top .

Comment by FRANKCAN 10.29.12 @ 11:24 pm

FRANKCAN, don’t worry brother.

We’ve had a top 5, 10, 20 team the last 12 years most of the time.

We have by some accounts, the number one recruit in the country with Adams, by all accounts top 3 or 4.

A top 10 guard or so. Both playing this year.

We have trust in Howland/Dixon. Hard to question them, they did it on the court.

We’re a national power. Can you even believe we can say that?? Pitt basketball is a national power???

Just to prove it, look at last year, and it was a big story, everyone saying “what happened to Pitt this year?” on ESPN, CBS hoops shows.

Going to the ACC is going to help Jamie immensely.

I loved the Big East, we all did, for hoops that is.

The truth is the truth. With us, Syracuse, ND and WVU gone, the BE is now 2nd tier with the A10.

I’m not saying we’ll get all the kids from NYC or Pa, Jersey, etc. etc., but look at it from the kids standpoint.

They want to play in the marquee conference. If they want to stay north, it’s gonna be between us and Syracuse.

They’re not gonna go to UCONN, ST. J’s, G-Town or Villanova. (yes, occaisionally one might, generally speaking).

Some said, Pitt may lose NYC recruiting going to the ACC, I look at it totally opposite.

The kids want to play with Pitt, Syracuse, Duke, UNC, Maryland, Ga. Tech.

Top hoops in the country by far, and I think our recruiting can do nothing but skyrocket.

We gonna be ok FRANKO!!!!!!!!!!

Comment by Dan 10.29.12 @ 11:38 pm

In the last two games, Mason showed how important a stud linebacker is. We are going to miss him.

Manti T’eo is a stud linebacker. He will be the difference this week.

Comment by gc 10.30.12 @ 6:50 am

Mason. A man’s man on and off the field. I see him as using his time to improve his physical condition and prime himself for a senior season that will end successfully and as a draft pick…5th round.
ND. No need to repeat gc….Manti T’eo is a stud. Kelly will go for it on every down.
But Pitt has good players too. Neutralize their strengths…lateral speed and sheer talent by slowing down the game; play filed position and do not turn the ball over.
if we can stay in the game thru 3 quarters, we have a shot. If not, we don’t. If we lose, we do it in the first 3 quarters.

Comment by sfpitt 10.30.12 @ 9:54 am

Well they got it wrong as far as the storm
hell i have had worse thunder stoems all i got was study rain and not a very hard rain no wind
hope you were all as lucky.
i whish they would get it right they had my wife all upset over nothing.

Comment by FRANKCAN 10.30.12 @ 10:10 am

Frankcan. So take this opportunity to treat your wife to one of her favorite things. Remember – Life is not all about you and Pitt.

Comment by rayhpgh 10.30.12 @ 10:50 am

A question for you MDs out there. How does one lacerate one’s liver making a football tackle?

Comment by Pitt70 10.30.12 @ 12:24 pm

Make no mistake about it. On paper, it looks like an impossible task.

But we know, nothing is impossible. Or is it anything is possible?

Like the Perfect Storm, this will have to be the Perfect Game by Pitt to pull out the win.

Excellent test of just how brilliant of a Mastermind Chryst can be at this stage.

One thing we do know is that great playmakers rise to the occasion.

Ray Graham is one who comes to mind. Another is Jarred Holley.

Comment by PittofDreams 10.30.12 @ 12:52 pm

Any blunt trauma can result in perforation/rupture of an organ. Splenic rupture is quite common, and in fact, I believe the tight end for the Dallas Cowboys suffered that (or a lacerated kidney- I can’t remember) in the pre-season.
On a more macabre note, people have even blown out their rectum and sigmoid colon while waterskiing,,,a waterskiing enema.
So yes, children, be careful out there. And always wear a helmet on a bike. One of my classmates in med school died from a bike mishap.

Comment by Gas 10.30.12 @ 12:57 pm

@ Pitt70. I was at the game and thought for sure that Mason had just gotten the wind knocked out of him with a foot in the belly as he tackled the Temple QB in the rundown from behind. Now I’m no MD, but “extreme” blunt force trama can cause that kind of trama to the liver. However, “extreme” in this context is like a high speed car accident blunt force trama.

How Mason was injuried making a tackle from behind like that I find hard to believe. This is really a freakish injury under those conditions. Just bad, bad misfortune. The good news is that he will not require surgery, because a bleeding liver can quickly lead to death if it is not self limiting as apparently this injury was.

Hopefully Dan will make an uncomplicated full recovery and will be back at it come Spring ball. That would be a good thing since this type of injury has the potential to be life threatening.

Comment by Dr. Tom 10.30.12 @ 1:04 pm

If I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes, I would never have believed that a young man (and I stress the work MAN) was able to be one of the best players on the field while playing with a brace on his foot to stop it from flopping at the ankle. Dan Mason was and is the story of this year. Pitt played excellent on D and he was without a doubt the best player on Pitt’s side of the line. The play he made when he was injured was Lambert-esque in terms of closing speed, read, and angle to the ball.
Frankly, without him I don’t see how anything good happens at ND. I will be there in person hoping to be proven wrong and see an upset with my own eyes, but can’t see how it happens.
Tino has never (and until he does for the first time) can never lead a team to a win when the pressure is on. Did he play well so far this year, absolutely yes. Has he been the type of player to lead the Panthers to a win when the game is tight and the pressure is on, absolutely not (see Syracuse debacle for most recent example). Pitt is not going to jump out to any 10-14 point leads against ND which is the only time Tino seems to be comfortable and not succumb to pressure.
All the best to all the players who were injured, and to Dan Mason, God speed in your recovery. You will be missed enormously, but hopefully only until next year.

Comment by Taxing Matters 10.30.12 @ 2:12 pm

From what I could see, the Panthers were getting excellent play at middle linebacker, from a guy that nobody thought would ever be able to play again. The tackle he made, to keep the Temple quarterback out of the endzone, was an outstanding play. He crossed the field from behind and dove fully extended, to catch the quarterback as he turned up field. The really unfortunate part is that he came down akwardly on his side. Dan Mason erased all doubts that he could still play. Hopefully we’ll get to see him on the field next year for a full and healthy season.

Comment by Justinian 10.30.12 @ 5:05 pm

Hopefully Dan Mason can remain a force to be reckoned with even while injuried and on the sideline.
Football is an emotionally charged, momentum driven sport. It may sound corny but “win one for Mason” might get this team to put it all out there against ND, because I totally agree BTW with the above two posts. How Mason has come back to perform at this level is unheard of and pretty unbelievable. Now it sucks that he is denied his playing time due to this new injury, very frustrating for him I’m sure. Can it be used as a motivator for the rest of the team is the question.

Comment by Dr. Tom 10.30.12 @ 5:20 pm

If nothing else comes out of this tragic injury to Dan Mason, hopefully it will show our other LB’s(especially the MLB’s) how to play the position while watching the tapes.
Dan would make an excellent LB coach I believe when he is done playing, which I hope is after a long NFL career.

Perhaps he could play again this year if we make it to a late season bowl game. Since I have never heard of this type of football injury in the 44 + years I’ve been watching games. I have no clue how long a liver takes to recover from being lacerated (and they didn’t mention how large the laceration is) without surgery. Maybe he has a fast-healing liver, who knows.

A speedy recovery to you Mr. Mason !

Comment by Emel 10.30.12 @ 5:39 pm

I was watching the History Channel this evening. Carnegie versus Rockefeller with a touch of HC Frick thrown. Hell, Mark Cuban, Trump and Steve Wynn.
The Men Who Made America is the name of the show.
But the under current of the drama is RIVALRY. How that dynamic forces greatness from within.
We need a rival folks.
Me. I choose Stanford nationally and PSU locally.
But we need someone or something to push us.
Mason is the rare guy who pushes from within. Watching him play after his injury was watching someone who was experiencing pure joy.
Dan stays with this program forever. NEVER let him get away.
You build programs with heart and sweat and determination. Get a core group of people like Dan and set your sights on your rivals.
I am not as interested in the final score on Saturday as I am in the way we play. Challenge ND. Hit them at every legal opportunity. Make them bleed. Make them hurt. We are virtually untouchable. We have been beaten, scorned and unlucky. WTF can Notre Dame do to us that hasn’t been done? Not an effin thing.
Time to kick some ass.
I am with steve1. Win it for #40!

Comment by SFPitt 10.30.12 @ 9:12 pm

SF brings up a good point and one I support wholeheartedly. Pitt needs to punch ND in the mouth every time they legally can. They need to out physical them every play.

Brian Kelly always told his teams that Pitt was soft and they would crumble if pressured and hit consistently.Pitt needs to Mason up and jar ND all game. AS I see it, that is the only way we win. kick em when they’re up, kick em when they’re down, kick em when they’re up, kick em all around!

Comment by dhuffdaddy 10.30.12 @ 10:08 pm

Emel, Thank you for your good wishes for the safety of those of us in the hurricane area. We are in our immediate neighborhood of 286 homes all safe including 5 of us that I know of with Pitt degrees. Our homes are all standing and have no damage other than some with leaks and an experience of 23 hours without power. I wish Dan Mason and the other injured Pitt players were in this good shape. These are brave young men who in a fast often violent game put their bodies on the line for their teammates, themselves, Pitt and us the fans. Dan and the rest of you we really appreciate what you do but in this case think of yourselves first. If you never play another down of football you are still Pitt football heroes. HTP!

Comment by opfim 10.30.12 @ 10:38 pm

That’s it steve1 and SFPitt: Win it for Dan Mason! Win it for 40!

Comment by opfim 10.30.12 @ 10:51 pm

On saturday , Pitt has the chance to erase the YSU game from all memory with a win that would carry more precedence than that loss. Chryst must utilize the SCREEN PASS & DRAW PLAYS, PLAY ACTION which will take advantage of ND’s overly agressive D. Pitt should be sky high for national TV redemption ! Players can enjoy a Saturday evening they’ll cherish/share the rest of their lives ! Leave it all on the field & get em PITT !!

Comment by ROCKY20 10.30.12 @ 11:18 pm

MASON UP !!!!!!! I LOVE IT!!!!!!! Hail To PITT !

Comment by DC33 10.31.12 @ 8:48 am

Seriously, love the idea of “Mason Up.”

Get the T-Shirts rolling!

Comment by PittofDreams 10.31.12 @ 9:15 am

We should NOT FORGET YSU, because on that day, the game was won by the better team. That’s who we were on that day, as was YSU, on that day. Who wins the game on Saturday remains to be determined. Who will be the better team then?

Who will execute better?

Who will play with more intensity?

Who will play error free?

Who wants it more?

By game’s end, these questions will be answered. YSU had a great victory over a Pitt team that thought that they could just mail it in for the win against a FSC foe. Not so fast my friend. We got socked in the mouth and that defeat should be a bitter reminder to respect your opponent no matter who they are.

This week WE are YSU. Do we bring it? Notre Dame has played games close all season. No one is giving Pitt a serious upset consideration, Vegas line Pitt +17. No one thought Pitt could beat Va Tech either. Notre Dame is beatable. We have beaten them, in their house, recently, for some fantastic victories. Pitt’s goal, at the end of this game, should be that for every Notre Dame player to feel as if for the previous 60 minutes that they have been “Facin Mason”.

Shock the world Pitt. REMEMBER 13-9. Win one for Mason. Hail to Pitt.

Comment by Dr. Tom 10.31.12 @ 10:30 am

Johnny Majors fed the team Irish stew and played the Irish fight song all week long before they played and beat ND. I wonder if PC, as low key as he is, can get the team fired up without appearing phony.

Comment by 66Goat 10.31.12 @ 12:47 pm

Mason Up Panthers!

Comment by SFPitt 10.31.12 @ 7:16 pm

I think Dan Mason should trademark “Mason Up” as a senior project and I grant him that. Hoping the boys can rise to the occasion.

Comment by dhuffdaddy 11.01.12 @ 10:15 pm

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