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November 1, 2012

Playing With House Money

Filed under: Football,Opponent(s) — Chas @ 2:45 pm

I’m hoping Pitt is practicing hard. That they are gearing up for the game. That the coaches are pushing the “nobody believes in us” angle. Every little button, motivating tactic. Whatever. Pitt will need it to pull an upset. I’ve grudgingly watched this Notre Dame team play outstanding defense, especially up front. And do just enough on offense in games so that they can grind teams down. This is a very good team. Not a fraud outfit like Charlie Weis run teams.

Notre Dame is at home. Brian Kelly can be a jerk, but he is a really good football coach. He is getting all that highly-ranked talent to do more than have people make excuses for why they haven’t met expectations.

Notre Dame is the team positioned to jam itself into the national championship discussion if it keeps winning. At worst, a BCS Bowl. They are the 17 point favorite in the game.

Pitt is the team that lost to 1-A Youngstown State. Pitt is the program that has been in flux, at best. Absolute chaos at other points over the last two years. Lost recruiting classes. Shifting styles of play.

The upside is Pitt doesn’t have the pressure on them. They can be the spoilers (even if Chryst doesn’t want to publicly state that), while setting themselves up for a strong finish to the season.Pitt has been playing ND fairly regularly (12 meetings in the past 16 years, with this the 5th straight year of playing), so there isn’t any mystique about playing a game against the Domers in South Bend.

Of course, for Pitt to have a chance, Pitt can’t have the slow starts to each half that have set the tone. Pitt’s four losses, either out scored or tied after the first quarter. All four wins, had them leading after one quarter.

During the Temple game, a friend leaned over to me and asked, “What the hell is Chryst telling these kids at halftime?” That was a really good question, and all I could suggest is that maybe he just plays them some soothing music. Whatever they are doing in the locker room, it isn’t working. The third quarter has been where the offense fails to realize that the defense has adjusted. Pitt has been outscored 59-37. Not even averaging 5 points in the quarter. Some of that may be connected to the fact that Chryst doesn’t defer on kickoffs to the second half when Pitt wins the toss, so most of the games have had the opponent with the ball to start the third quarter. Still, that isn’t enough to explain the struggles.

Here are Pitt’s scoring totals by quarter with Pitt first: 55-52, 78-36, 37-59, 61-27.

I want us to win the game you want us to win the game.
but injury injury and to a all ready weakend LB
it i just to mutch to over come i think if we could have come into the game with every one healthly we might have won.

but to many players out to give us a real chance.
you have to be at your best to beat a really good team we have to many injurys.

Comment by FRANKCAN 11.01.12 @ 4:00 pm

I agree with Frankcan. We have too many injuries at linebacker to expect any sort of upset. If we stay within two touchdowns we should be happy. Notre Dame’s defense is very good this year. Their main linebacker is a Hugh Green type defensive standout. There are three games after this one. Two should be wins if we play well. The game against Rutgers I feel we have a chance if Shane Gordon is healthy and the weather is good. I just do not want people to have high expectations against Notre Dame and then go all negative afterward.

Comment by John In South Carolina 11.01.12 @ 4:35 pm

Injuries or no injuries ND scheduled Pitt after Oklahoma because they figured they could beat Pitt. Didn’t figure that even if they had lost to Oklahoma, they wouldn’t loose two games in a row.

Comment by Joe 11.01.12 @ 4:52 pm

Correction, Brian Kelly IS a Jerk. The success he’s had on the football field this year, doesn’t change that. It’s like Barry Bonds, a heck of a ball player, but still a jerk. Willie Stargell was loved by the fans, because he was genuine and he exhibited class. Kelly has a long way to go.

Comment by Justinian 11.01.12 @ 5:03 pm

Sorry mamti teo Is Not Hugh Green… 14 , 9 Hail to Pitt

Comment by 63Team 11.01.12 @ 8:01 pm

Football is a tough sport. Injuries are part of the game as the season progresses. We are 2/3s through this year and we have no more injuries than should be expected. Problems like that are merely opportunities for the next guy to step into.

Every coach that is worth their weight knows that games can be won and lost by the team’s mental attitude going into the game. NO ONE knows how guys like Trebitz and Doakes are going to perform in their respective replacement roles on the field come Saturday. For that matter NO ONE knows how ANY player on either team, on either side of the ball are going to play on Saturday.

This game will be won or lost on the field of play by the guys who strap on the helmets come Saturday. IMO, anybody that feels that they have the answer as to the outcome of this game by simply looking at the two deep roster of those doing the heavy lifting on game day is disrespecting the game and the teams.

Coach Chryst says that he is approaching this game and this team as he has every other game on the schedule. In that case, there is no other attitude that this team should have in their heads other than playing their best for 60 minutes and expecting to win.

“MASON UP PANTHERS” Hail to Pitt! Deal a defeat to the Domers!

Comment by Dr. Tom 11.01.12 @ 8:18 pm

Just an observation..watching the miami and VT game and there is alot of empty seats in the stadium..but with the dark orange seats its almost not even noticable unless you are looking for it..

Comment by rhyno527 11.01.12 @ 8:56 pm

As my number two rivalry after PSU, I am very happy the way Pitt has played ND recently.

I wish we could continue playing ND like we have but the ACC changed things.

Comment by Frank MD 11.01.12 @ 9:01 pm

Actually rhyno527, I must have been looking for it, or have know of it.

I said to myself, “it’s a Pitt game, with orange seats instead of yellow”!!!

Hopefully some winning, and some ACC scheduling will get us some better crowds in the near future.

Comment by Dan 11.01.12 @ 9:04 pm

It would appear that the halftime speeches are not to motivating, as more often then not (especially against any decent competition) this team comes out in the 2nd half flatter than a pancake.

And it generally comes out of the gate flat as well unless the other team self-destructs (see Va Tech).
So I’m thinking I know what we should chip in and get PC for Christmas.

A Matched Set of Tony Robbins tapes 🙂

Comment by Emel 11.01.12 @ 9:55 pm

Dr. Tom I hear what you are saying. Everybody hears what you are saying. And Frank has a point. We all want to see Pitt win. But the simple fact of the matter is we are going up against a bionic linebacker and what might be the best defensive line all year. And the even simpler fact is that our O-line, even on it’s best day probably wouldn’t even make the practice squad in South Bend.

On top of that we’re starting a 3rd string middle linebacker on a team where linebacker isn’t exactly a strength. Oh and he’ll be tasked with leading the charge against a rushing attack that has averaged nearly two hundred yards a game – against very good competition.

Can Pitt win? Absolutely? But the chances are slim. They need to play lights-out for sixty minutes. Offense, defense and special teams. And they need to have a leader. Who will step up? Maybe it will be Trebitz. Maybe it will be Donald. Maybe it will be Ray Graham. Or maybe, just maybe this is the game where Tino comes of age.

Hail to Pitt!

Comment by Atlanta Panther 11.01.12 @ 10:02 pm

In other news Cory Clement supposedly will announce his commitment on Friday.

link to

I hope he picks Notre Dame and then we kick the snot out of them.

Comment by Atlanta Panther 11.01.12 @ 10:05 pm

And that is why they play the games!

Comment by Dr. Tom 11.01.12 @ 10:07 pm

Amen Doctor

Comment by Atlanta Panther 11.01.12 @ 10:24 pm

And for the record, it should have been “Absolutely!”

Comment by Atlanta Panther 11.01.12 @ 10:25 pm

Completely off topic, but while watching the VT-Mia game it caused me to look at the ACC standings/ teams. While I see 4 teams that could give us trouble every year (FSU/CLEM/VT/MIA), we don’t play all 4 every year and they’re even beatable. My ACC outlook is looking more positive by the minute. Next year still may be tough, but with a few more recruits and consistent coaching we’ll be players every year.

Comment by J Bizz 11.01.12 @ 10:41 pm

Pitt 17 Point Underdogs!

Comment by PittofDreams 11.01.12 @ 10:44 pm

Atlanta Panther

I really hope Clement picks Notre Dame. That will all but assure a Pitt upset.

And they can take Dorian Johnson too for all I care.

Only one question to ask at this point. “Are you with us?”

If not, let’s move on dammit!

Comment by PittofDreams 11.01.12 @ 10:58 pm

Thrilled if we would pull the big upset.

Will understand, if get beat by a touchdown or two. (won’t be happy, will analyze and question some things for sure, but understand the situation).

Will not understand a blow out in any way, shape or form.

No pass given for a blowout.

Now, let’s go out and pull a rabbit out of the hat for ol’ Unlce Miltie!!!

Comment by Dan 11.01.12 @ 11:55 pm

Someone should do a research paper on the psyche of the Pitt Panther fan, because I think I just read that if we had Dan Mason and Manny Williams in the lineup we would probably win the game this weekend. Wow. How far we have come since two Saturdays ago in the muck and mire in Buffalo. Gotta love it.

I hope we win. It won’t be easy, but if we do, it will be because the light bulbs finally went off for another 6 or 8 guys this week in practice and on game day. We’ve got 6 or 8 guys there and we need the rest on board.. I’m excited to see what happens, good or bad.

Comment by CNorwoodAZ 11.02.12 @ 12:04 am

Just saw on twitter that apparently Graham, Pitts, and Street were charged with simple assault and conspiracy. That does not bode well for saturday, if true.

Comment by Vulcan Rob 11.02.12 @ 12:36 am

Yes the Post-Gazette is reporting that Graham, Pitts ands Street are being charged with Assault.
Saw this on Cardiac Hill. Not good news at all right before the ND game.

link to

I hope the racial slur is not true. This country really needs to get past this crap.

Comment by Emel 11.02.12 @ 2:18 am

What a shame that the university has to deal with the embarrassment of this assault by three players who should know better. This shows serious character flaws of these individuals that are a detriment to the program.

Comment by move_on 11.02.12 @ 4:16 am

Sorry, the criminal complaint doesn’t pass the sniff test. Seems pretty weak and sketchy, hence the mailed summons.

By the way, what “racial slur” would Graham, Pitts, and Street throw out at a guy with the last name of Osheski? Did they call him a Pierogi eater? (For the record, I enjoy mine pan fried with onions)

Comment by ECH 11.02.12 @ 6:29 am

Cracker? Heeb, hymie Shylock, Kike…more names than i want to think about…and yes this type of racism does occur! I remember a similiar incident that happened to me while at the O twenty years ago…if it’s true they just found themselves on the bench at best and at worst off the team. Not good, not good at all!

Comment by Marco 11.02.12 @ 6:46 am

Leave it to Pitt to kick their own ass. I want to know who put a curse on Pitt football and how we go about exercising these demons??

The stupidity of these players simply amazes me sometimes. Its one thing to assault soebody if your just the average Joe student but to actually know people are watching your every move as high profile athletes you have to be really lacking in judgment and character. Really dumb but hopefully more details will come out.

Comment by Coach Ditka 11.02.12 @ 7:00 am

can’t believe that they did this, just walk away. They have to be suspended and it should be harsh given the other issues the team has dealt with already this year. I still can’t believe Chryst has not thrown Gonzales off the team yet.

Comment by pittfan92 11.02.12 @ 7:00 am

I think you are radically jumping to conclusions Marco. Think about the scenario as presented. Late at night on Bates Street, three high profile black football players walk up to a random white kid with two companions say “Whats up?” to him, when he responds “Nothing.” we are to assume they call him a racial slur and then Street punches him in the head?

Not putting it past college kids to do something stupid, but again this doesn’t pass the sniff test, especially in light of Graham’s and Street’s reputation for being easy going and respectful kids. (I leave out Pitts only because as a Freshman, I haven’t heard much about his personality.)

The lesson learned here is that nothing good ever happens after Midnite…at least nothing good happens in the middle of the street after Midnite.

Comment by ECH 11.02.12 @ 7:03 am

Street, Graham, Pitts all charged. Tough, tough spot for Chryst and the team.

Intriguing to see how he deals with it given he most certainly knew it was coming.

Likely won’t be announced until gametime.

Temptation is there to just sit Street who is accused with throwing the punch. However, knowing the way Chryst is, the bet is he will sit all three.

Without jumping to conclusions, does sound though there could be another side to the story given the fog that is walking the sidewalks of Oakland late night. This could ultimately have a bearing on how Chryst handles it not just for Notre Dame but also the rest of the season.

With the hearing not scheduled until January, have we seen the last of Ray Graham in a Pitt uniform?

Wow, I would hope that is not the case, but for the right reasons.

Comment by PittofDreams 11.02.12 @ 8:06 am

ECH is right. This doesn’t pass the smell test. 10 days later a summons by mail. Translated, the complaint is looked on as questionable at best. The charges are minimal at worst, Mailing a summons is a clue folks.
Committing a crime is a far cry from being stupid. Might these 3 be guilty of stupidity? Probably so.
But no one heard about this for 10 days. In Pittsburgh, a complaint against any Pitt player is news and spreads long before charges are actually filed. This was nowhere; not even any rumors. To me. (and I have some connection to law enforcement), these charges were filed because there was no real option not because they are views as being legitimate. That is one reason people are presumed to be innocent until proven guilty.
I don’t suspend anyone unless and until I hear that there are legitimate anti-social behavior actions that are verified.

Comment by SFPitt 11.02.12 @ 8:17 am

I have to agree with SFPitt. 10 days later? You don’t file charges on the spot after your punched in the head for no reason?

Comment by Carmen 11.02.12 @ 8:22 am

A commenter on claims that the allegedly-assaulted guy was with Devin Street’s ex-girlfriend. If so, there’s your motive.

Comment by KeyboardKev 11.02.12 @ 8:25 am

If true that the alleged victim was in the company of two coeds, you have to think their witness testimony is the over-riding factor in why the charges were filed.

Comment by PittofDreams 11.02.12 @ 8:33 am

Obviously I don’t know anything, and I can see both pictures.

1. Ya, sure, it seems sketchy.

2. Seen many times, a guy with a good lookin’ girl or two, and another group, usually drunk (and take race right out of it, call them 3 white guys), come up and say, “hey what’s up guy,” then totally dismiss him, wedge him out of the picture, and start chattin’ up the chicks.

Turns into some kind of disturbance.

Bottom line, Pitt football players in the papers again for something other than football.

Comment by Dan 11.02.12 @ 10:03 am

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