November 3, 2012

Change of plans-Liveblog here

Filed under: Uncategorized — Luke @ 2:50 pm

For some reason, it won’t let me log onto the moderator account for Chas’ cbox, and I can’t figure out how to embed it in the post. So, if you could just click here, it should show up in another window.

Sorry for the inconvenience.

Rumor has it ND has the flu. Look for hurling in the huddle.

Comment by alcofan 11.03.12 @ 3:27 pm

Hail to Pitt! Beat the Irish!

Comment by Kenny Powers 11.03.12 @ 3:37 pm

Both teams move down the field – great opening run by Graham…

Comment by markp 11.03.12 @ 4:05 pm

Pitt needs to make it look like they’re at least TRYING to play defense.

Comment by Lou 11.03.12 @ 4:09 pm

The boys are competing. Lets go Pitt!

Comment by Floyd 11.03.12 @ 4:38 pm

Poll question- who is NBC more in the tank for ND or Obama?

Comment by Oklahomeboy 11.03.12 @ 5:09 pm

Proabably a tie…great call on 4th down – hole was wide open to the left Graham cut the wrong way!

Comment by markp 11.03.12 @ 5:12 pm

Chryst is a total idiot

Comment by TonyC 11.03.12 @ 5:12 pm

Rookie coach move, punt the ball.

Comment by Jimbo 11.03.12 @ 5:12 pm

We had no timeouts we weren’t going to score anyway

Comment by TonyC 11.03.12 @ 5:14 pm

Can not believe we are up at half time! ND flat after OU! Hope we can hold on”

Comment by Oklahomeboy 11.03.12 @ 5:16 pm

Can not believe we are up at half time! ND flat after OU! Hope we can hold on”

Comment by Oklahomeboy 11.03.12 @ 5:16 pm

Obama but it is close. Can not believe he went on 4th down.

Comment by Kevin 11.03.12 @ 5:16 pm

Defense is bending but not breaking. Tino played a pretty good half. Let’ keep it going Pitt!

Comment by Floyd 11.03.12 @ 5:19 pm

Impressive! Tino playing smart and getting rid of the ball…key to game for us. D is playing MANLY!! How ’bout some love for the O-line? Creating holes and playing with attytude as they say here in Philly. Get ’em boys! Go Pitt!

Comment by Matt N. 11.03.12 @ 5:21 pm

I’m trying to gamecast from Australia. Can somebody please explain a run on third and 1 from the 50 with 40+ seconds left until half? Then a timeout. Then another run (not punt) for no gain on fourth and 1? The best Pitt could reasonably hope for on that possession is a field goal. They get the ball back at the start of the second half. Why give ND any chance for any points going into half time? I really don’t understand any of those decisions.

If you are truly playing to win, why not play action on 3rd and 1 and throw something down the field?

Comment by Barvo 11.03.12 @ 5:21 pm

At the game the ND fans are a bit uneasy

Comment by WLAT and The Big Beat 11.03.12 @ 5:24 pm

We are ahead playing away. What’s to complain about people?


Comment by MariettaMike 11.03.12 @ 5:25 pm

If you watched the time out – Chryst was asking the team if they could make it – they were jumping up and down – if Graham had cut left – we’d be praising the team and the coach!

Comment by markp 11.03.12 @ 5:31 pm

This is actually fun! Not used to this. No matter the outcome Pitt has done us proud.

Comment by Oklahomeboy 11.03.12 @ 5:32 pm

looking real good 4-1 when leading at the half. Dont think we own the rude ignorant irsh yet but got my fingers crossed

Comment by d in "Jtown" hail to pitt 11.03.12 @ 5:37 pm

The only complaint is remaining ahead when the final gun sounds! That’s something Wannstedt used to be criticized about. Questionable gametime decisions leading to losses in high profile games.

Comment by Barvo 11.03.12 @ 5:46 pm

Sunseri taking over at the 7, “hail Mary, full of grace…”

Comment by Oklahomeboy 11.03.12 @ 5:49 pm

Oh yeah! Interception

Comment by Oklahomeboy 11.03.12 @ 5:55 pm

Where are the Bloggers that complain about Tino?

Go Pitt!

Comment by MariettaMike 11.03.12 @ 6:00 pm

Tino to JP on back to back plays = TD …most points scored against ND all year!

Comment by markp 11.03.12 @ 6:02 pm

Great block by Vinopal on PR!

Comment by markp 11.03.12 @ 6:05 pm

Wow!! Did you guys see that hit on punt return.

Comment by Floyd 11.03.12 @ 6:06 pm

I wish it hadn’t taken 5 years, but Tino is actually a pretty good QB this year…

Comment by K.R.Y. 11.03.12 @ 6:09 pm

KRY – it might have something to do with coaching and the offensive that’s beiing run.

Comment by markp 11.03.12 @ 6:14 pm

Very true, markp. If there was ever a case of trying to pound a square peg in a round hole, it was trying to make Tino a spread offense QB.

Comment by K.R.Y. 11.03.12 @ 6:17 pm

you have first and goal at the two and you dont try to run outside once…. rays gotten almost a hundred yards running outside today come on chryst you gotta put teams away

Comment by deepelemblues 11.03.12 @ 6:17 pm

These thieves stealing the game.

Comment by Houston Panther 11.03.12 @ 6:27 pm

Questionable call pass interference.

Comment by MariettaMike 11.03.12 @ 6:29 pm

This thing’s slipping away.

Comment by Jimbo Covert's My Dad 11.03.12 @ 6:34 pm

Win or lose they have played a great game.

Comment by Houston Panther 11.03.12 @ 6:37 pm

Come on Defense, one big stand here lets go Pitt!

Comment by Kenny Powers 11.03.12 @ 6:44 pm

No offense Houston, but I don’t care about that.

You win or you lose. That’s all that matters.

Comment by Jimbo Covert's My Dad 11.03.12 @ 6:46 pm


That a boy PITT!!!!!!!!

Comment by Kenny Powers 11.03.12 @ 6:48 pm

Whenu the chips are down, Tino does not disapoint. Catch the ball!

Comment by Jimbo 11.03.12 @ 6:55 pm

What was that like 2 plays 50 yards…

It’s up to Tino and company now

Comment by Kenny Powers 11.03.12 @ 6:59 pm

Tino is a dog.

Comment by Pitt Is IT 11.03.12 @ 6:59 pm


Comment by Oklahomeboy 11.03.12 @ 7:02 pm

this is where it would be huge to have a good qb!

Comment by pittisit37 11.03.12 @ 7:05 pm

Valiant effort by Pitt all game to have Tino destroy it late in the 4th.

Comment by Pitt Is IT 11.03.12 @ 7:05 pm

Can’t wait to hear the Chrst defenders on three pass plays with three minutes left

Comment by pittstadiumshuffle 11.03.12 @ 7:05 pm

This one is on the head coach not Timo.

Comment by MariettaMike 11.03.12 @ 7:06 pm

3rd and 18 and we know our qb sucks so let’s run it

Comment by Oklahomeboy 11.03.12 @ 7:06 pm

Ive b een watching the same game for 30 years

Comment by togatogatoga 11.03.12 @ 7:07 pm

Agree pittstadiumshuffle… bad decision I hope we pull the win out of the jaws of crazy play calling

Comment by Pittastic 11.03.12 @ 7:11 pm

4 minutes to play you have the ball first and 10 at the 20. We’ve been running it down their throats and screening them to death and we do none of that.

Comment by Kenny Powers 11.03.12 @ 7:13 pm

What wonderful time management

Comment by Jimbo 11.03.12 @ 7:14 pm

THE whole game i have held my breath can we do it

Comment by FRANKCAN 11.03.12 @ 7:15 pm

BS pass interference call, interception, no running plays to kill clock?, hail mary from ND to set up TD, 2 point conversion, count on Tino to win at the end = overtime

That being said, Tino’s played really well. PC made some questionable play calls at the end of the game.

Hopefully we can pull off the OT win.

Comment by Pittastic 11.03.12 @ 7:16 pm

no reason to hang are heads well done.

Comment by FRANKCAN 11.03.12 @ 7:17 pm

frankan are you blue yet?!We owned this game…

Comment by Pitt Is IT 11.03.12 @ 7:17 pm

Very poor play calling down the stretch, otherwise a good game for Pitt.

Comment by MariettaMike 11.03.12 @ 7:17 pm

Let it out Frank

Comment by pittstadiumshuffle 11.03.12 @ 7:20 pm

lets get another missed kick here!

Comment by deepelemblues 11.03.12 @ 7:25 pm

Fumble ND!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Comment by Pittastic 11.03.12 @ 7:34 pm

Kick a FG and win the game!

Comment by Pittastic 11.03.12 @ 7:34 pm

What the F!!!!!

Comment by Pittastic 11.03.12 @ 7:37 pm

High snap!

Comment by Pittastic 11.03.12 @ 7:37 pm

great effort, but shoul have won. too many mistakes down the stretch. Can Harper kick a fucking field goal. Please graduate!

Comment by Pitt Is IT 11.03.12 @ 7:49 pm

Please, no Tino nonsense this week. Chryst lost this game.

Comment by pittstadiumshuffle 11.03.12 @ 7:50 pm

This L has to be on Coach PC. I know Harper miss the game winner but it should have never gone to OT. You have the lead run the ball. 3 passing plays in a row? PC learned a hard lesson today also. Kids played their hearts out. They deserved the win.

Comment by Pittastic 11.03.12 @ 7:50 pm

Sorry Frank, totally disagree. Sickening!!

Good game my ass!!! You had your foot on the neck many times. Never cut the head off.


Some want to claim moral victory??

Sorry, don’t include me. Sick to my stomach!!!!

It was there for the taking so many times.


Comment by Dan 11.03.12 @ 7:51 pm

Heart breaker losing the game because a bogas interference call on 4 down and 4 and from a bad snap.

Comment by Justinian 11.03.12 @ 7:51 pm

I know that, objectively speaking, I should be glad that we played them so close. However, right now I’m not sure this would feel any worse if we lost 52-0. I (like my bourbon bottle) am drained.

Comment by Navy Panther 11.03.12 @ 7:52 pm

The interference call was big. A no call would have put the final nail on the coffin.

Comment by Pittastic 11.03.12 @ 7:53 pm

Usually you cannot directly correlate a bad officiating call to the game’s outcome. The fourth-down interference call is an exception. Just a terrible call.

Comment by Navy Panther 11.03.12 @ 7:54 pm

As said many times above…This loss is not on Tino, the kicker, the refs, or any player. It is on the coaches. They just laid down after we went up 20-6…Pathetic coaching.

Comment by HbgFrank 11.03.12 @ 7:57 pm

We BEAT Notre Dame. We didn’t beat Notre Dame plus the referees.


Comment by Pitt Dad 11.03.12 @ 7:57 pm

Paul Chryst has no clue how to win a game. Run the ball to the middle of the field!

Comment by TonyC 11.03.12 @ 7:58 pm

The play was clearly set up to run to the middle. Graham cut outside. Who knows what he thought he saw

Comment by Pitt Dad 11.03.12 @ 8:01 pm

Blah blah blah another loss blah blah Sunseri blah blah bad coach blah blah another loss………..

Comment by Oklahomeboy 11.03.12 @ 8:01 pm

@TONY C, effffffffffff!! We were all yelling “off tackle to the left”, even the friggin announcer said, “this will probably be a Pitt run to the left, to set up the field goal in the middle of the field” WTF?????????????

Comment by Dan 11.03.12 @ 8:02 pm

Goodbye Robert Foster. He was there for the taking. Up by 8, 3+ minutes left. RUN THE BALL!!!!!!!!!

Comment by pittstadiumshuffle 11.03.12 @ 8:02 pm

Blows my mind why they would run Graham to the right in 2OT when they could have set up a center field FG just by running left!!

Comment by Fear the Stache 11.03.12 @ 8:03 pm

Someone (coaching) should have been telling Graham, Sunseri, whoever, “this is a 2-3 yard run, to the center, to set up the field goal.

That’s what coaching is. DETAILS!!

Comment by Dan 11.03.12 @ 8:03 pm

Hey, is PC still even calling the plays?

What about the OC?

Comment by Benzene 11.03.12 @ 8:03 pm

In no way was this on Sunseri. However, can’t deny he and the center didn’t have a case of the yips the last couple minutes of the game, and OT’s!!

Comment by Dan 11.03.12 @ 8:04 pm

I’m sorry the coaches were real bad, but Tino and the kicker failed when they were called upon…PERIOD. Tino is great when the game is not on the line in the first 3 quarters, but when plays need made he does not make them. He had a chance and he was visibly shaken when we needed him most. I will not watch another play the rest of the year. My school (CalU) failed to show up today and then my team (Pitt) gave it away, what an awesome fucking day. Hope the rest of you really do enjoy the rest of the season, I however cannot.

Comment by Vulcan Rob 11.03.12 @ 8:05 pm

20 to friggin’ 6 in the 4th quarter!!


And I knew the outcome the whole time!!!!!!!!!!!

See ya fellas, I won’t be adding anything productive to the conversation, so I might as well go.

Have a good weekend.

Comment by Dan 11.03.12 @ 8:05 pm

As ole Walt Harris would say

I’m not interested in moral victories.

Comment by upittman 11.03.12 @ 8:08 pm

Vulcan Rob is right about Tino and we all know it! The man was stunned when the going got tough!

Comment by Oklahomeboy 11.03.12 @ 8:09 pm

K-wan makes the play of the game and the ref thows the flag. After that their Q-B wins it with his legs. Tino plays a great game but reverts to form when the game is on the line
We get two lucky breaks, the interception, the fumble, we miss a field winning field goal.
I don’t blame Chryst other than trusting Tino at the end, but what choice does he have, the Q_B has to make the plays down the stretch, theirs did ours didn’t. Deja Vu all over again.

Still, I expected a blowout, I am very proud of those kids today.

Comment by gc 11.03.12 @ 8:14 pm

When was our last first down?

Comment by gc 11.03.12 @ 8:17 pm

A lot of positives and definitely some negatives tonight. We hung tough with a good (not great) team on the road. I think like most Pitt fans, when the game started to get tight late in the 4th, I expected our rookie HC to be shaky, our signal caller to be shaky, and our kicker to be shaky. Unfortunately they all were. Not one single person or play blew this game. It was truly a team effort.

That said, there are some great things to look at too. We made Notre Dame’s vaunted defense look awful ordinary for 3 quarters. The offense played extremely well. The Defense was gifted a few turnovers but for the most part played inspired ball, especially considering we were down to a 5th year senior making his first start at MLB.

I will not sulk about this game, Pitt played hard, played well and showed a lot of pride. We could’ve laid an egg on National TV and got steamrolled out of the stadium, but we didn’t. Lets hope the boys realize this and move on and play hard like this the rest of the year.

As Always,

Hail to Pitt!

Comment by Kenny Powers 11.03.12 @ 8:19 pm

Well, that is definitely a tough one to swallow. I guess i will have to chalk it up as a learning game; mainly for the coaches on better game calling and time management. I am a huge tino basher and i say that before i go further cause i have said all along he is not a leader and able to make clutch throws. that simply doomed us when we went into overtime cause you have a qb that can’t make big throws when they are needed. tino makes safe plays but doesn’t take risks or gamble outside of his safe zone. when the ran the ball on 3rd down during the winding minutes of the 4th quarter that spoke to his inadequacies. and in overtime our kicker should have made the field goal. basically we had the game and lost it on our own. hopefully chryst and co can learn from this for next season.
i was at work during the game and surrounded by unc fans and they commented, “there is no way pitt loses this game.” my response was “you wanna bet”. someday i am hoping that a pitt team will be able to change that attitude for me and many of you fellow pitt fans.

Comment by pittisit37 11.03.12 @ 8:19 pm

Sure was tough listening to the Notre Dame Network, although they did say the interference was a bad call. Kind of like Faux News, Fair and Balanced.

Comment by gc 11.03.12 @ 8:20 pm

WE did well 3 ot but i will say this how come we cant come out on top in these things it seams like a play this hard and no golden ring

Comment by FRANKCAN 11.03.12 @ 8:24 pm

Sick. Just sick! I believe in Chryst but he was out coached. Offense Coordinator Rudolph should give his check back today. When the game got tight he &$@! his shorts. No creativity.
Sunseri is who he is… Didn’t cost is the game but couldn’t win us one either. Thank God we only have to watch him 3 more games.
Shannon sealed his NFL fate today (not a chance)
R Graham did his job.
LB’s (especially # 54) was garbage!
Kicker ? No comment except to ask… Why didn’t the offense coordinator (Rudolph) run it to the middle of the field ?

That one hurt!

Comment by Pitt fan in Atlanta 11.03.12 @ 8:29 pm

OK, back away from the edge of the ledge. This game was supposed to be a cake walk for ND. The spread was ND -17!! Yes, we lost the game. But seriously, is any one of you who has been on this blog bitching about all the shortcomings of this Pitt football team in this game, did any one of you think before the game, that we had a legitament chance to win this game????? That’s what I thought.

Now if you WANT to bitch, bitch about that bogus homer pass interference call that gave ND their TD. Otherwise shut up, IMO.

So lets be realistic about this. Pitt played a really good game. They played hard and they kept it up right into 3OTs. I agree, moral victories, you can shove those right up your a$$ for all I care. We should of, could of, won this game, but we have NOTHING to be ashamed of in losing it the way that we did.

This Pitt team, impressed me today. Trebitz played a fantastic game in his first start. No quit in this team. We lost, but this team is no longer a bunch of losers like the guys that lost to YSU over two months ago.

This team has grown an amazing amount during this season. This is a different team now. I would not be surprised to see us win out from here on in. They gave their best today amd that is all that I asked from them. Hail to Pitt.

Comment by Dr. Tom 11.03.12 @ 8:32 pm


I dare anyone who has been critcal of Chryst to come on here and challenge his ability as a coach.

This Pitt team just took the best Notre Dame team in years to the brink and would have won if they just had a field goal kicker who could be relied upon and if not for a bogus interference call by some homer referee.

My God. Be happy Pitt finally has a real football coach who is going to win a lot more games going foreward than you would have ever thought possible.

Comment by PittofDreams 11.03.12 @ 8:37 pm

This was Tino’s last chance to pull off the truly stupendous upset. I feel really bad for him because it would have wiped out a lot of misery.
This one hurt but not as bad as Cinci a few years ago, but we sure owe Kelly a couple.

Frankcan, noone has suffered as much as Pitt Fans as we seem to always experience the ultimate collapse. We are a hard bunch we have to be to stay loyal after many disappointments.

But I must say you shouldn’t get too down when you know what is coming. So many chances for glory. ND tried very hard to give us this one, we just wouldn’t take it.

Comment by gc 11.03.12 @ 8:39 pm

Tino had an opportunity to carry this team and redirect his critics by winning at ND and knocking off the #3 team. He simply isn’t capable of carrying this team by himself unlike the freshman QB at ND who one the game for ND. We really need a QB that can carry a team. College QB position is not for average players. Can’t win without a game changer at QB in college

Comment by Pitt fan in Atlanta 11.03.12 @ 8:39 pm

In response to ANY criticism of Chryst and the rest of the coaching staff today against Notre Dame…

Exactly how long was the field goal missed by Harper?

Maybe when Chryst elected to forego Harper against Louisville he knew what he was doing?

PC has got it going on. He’s a great strategist who puts his players in a position to win, over and over again. Time for all of the pessimists to recognize that!!

Much better days ahead!!

Comment by PittofDreams 11.03.12 @ 8:41 pm

By the way, Tino played better than I or a lot of people would have thought possible.

Plain and simple, it came down to a MAKEABLE FIELDGOAL!

Comment by PittofDreams 11.03.12 @ 8:42 pm

Dr. Tom these opportunities do not show up all the time. When you put yourself in position to beat a team of this caliber you have to do it. This team showed that they can put themselves in position to win, but that they can’t close it out. This has been a staple of Pitt coaches in the past, however we have had QBs that new how to make a play when needed. The D played unreal for facing over 100 plays, The offense had a chance to win it and didn’t. Worst call of the game was call for FG from the 2 whenit was 17-6. Could have ended it right there.

Comment by Vulcan Rob 11.03.12 @ 8:44 pm

Final Analysis…

It was the BLUE PANTS! GOLD would have won!!

Comment by PittofDreams 11.03.12 @ 8:44 pm

PittofDreams, Pitt had the ball twice up 8 in the fourth and failed to seal the deal. Pitt and PC didn’t get it done.

Comment by Vulcan Rob 11.03.12 @ 8:47 pm

Was there bad coaching yes could we have won yes should we have won yes with good coaching we would have.
but the players played a good game they should get are respect.
is chryst another wanny maybe but give the players there due.

3 ot good effort bye by the players maybe you
give me less hell now when i say things abought chryst.

the coaching let us down we will see if he lurned any thing or is it to be the same year after year.

and will we have any thing left for the next game i think the players will be down for the next game

Comment by FRANKCAN 11.03.12 @ 8:49 pm

They way I see as I said earlier, when Notre Dame got the interference call on 4 down, the game turned. Pitt had two more opportunities after the interception in the endzone, but they didn’t move the ball and after the Notre Dame fumble, when they missed the field goal. Pitt played very well most of the game and it’s just a tough loss. No one can question their effort. They played a good and I am just as disapointed anyone. I feel bad for the team.

Comment by Justinian 11.03.12 @ 8:51 pm

I agree with several posts commenting on the pass interference call which, as we know, was not.

The players don’t have to hang their heads for this loss as they played better than anyone expected. Our coaches on the other hand need to work on their play calling. But it’s easy for me to critique From my easy chair. I’m proud of our Pitt team and hope they recover from this tough loss.

HTP forever !

Comment by MariettaMike 11.03.12 @ 8:51 pm

This one will go down as one of the greatest defeats in PiTT history.
Good notes:
Chryst will be fine in a year or two
Street has one more year
Pitts will be an all-American one day (great DB but even better return man)
WVU lost again

O Coordinator Rudolph could make the calls when needed
I line failed us in the end
Tino was Tino after all
LB corps are terrible
Kicker will be the #1 priority off season
ND remains over rated and undefeated

Comment by Pitt fan in Atlanta 11.03.12 @ 8:53 pm

Why isn’t anyone on here saying “Pitt got robbed!”

I say that because that’s exactly what happened.

It shows just how pessimistic everyone can be in not recognizing Pitt was absolutely the better team on the field today and would have won if not for a bogus interference call and simple missed field goal

Comment by PittofDreams 11.03.12 @ 8:56 pm

Great effort. What makes the loss pretty hard to swallow is we had several opps to put it away, despite the refs. I’m SICK of the media bragging on ND, saying it was a character win. They were beaten and should be 8-1. I’m done with football for the night. Let’s carry that effort into our remaining games.


Comment by panther94 11.03.12 @ 9:00 pm

To all those who are criticizing Chryst and Co. for some coaching errors…

Did Kelly and his crew make any mistakes in playcalls? Uhhh Ya!!!!

Chryst was obviously the better coach today.

Notre Dame had the better field goal kicker and one referee who thinks batting a ball down against ND at a home constitutes interference!

Comment by PittofDreams 11.03.12 @ 9:01 pm

@ Vulcan Rob, bullshit. Seven weeks ago this team came back from the dead to put a hurt on a ranked VaTech team. You have a short memory. The 4OT game against ND a few years ago went our way, 5 years ago we shocked the world 13-9 upsetting WVU in their house.

You win some and you lose some. Yeah Pitt should have won this game but we didn’t. But it was a great frickin game! Thats what it is all about!

Pitt fans have to learn how to quit their fucking whining and realize that they need to just appreciate the game, for what it is and the effort put forth by those playing in it on both sides of the ball, no matter whether the outcome is to your liking or not.

This game has contributed to the Panther Pride that all Pitt fans possess, even while absorbing the blow of this close loss.

Pitt will win again.

Comment by Dr. Tom 11.03.12 @ 9:01 pm

sunseri couldnt handle the snaps at the end guys, get real. we could have run out the clock and he had multiple missteps, regardless of the call from the coach. not able to handle a snap, he’s a fucking 5th year senior.

Comment by Pitt Is IT 11.03.12 @ 9:03 pm

Great Pitt effort and they did indeed get robbed — most of us agree with that Dreams. Shouldn’t have come down to it but how many games have we seen ND get homecooking on the calls? Too many to remember…like JoePa always did — same crap.

We could have salted it away anyway but Tino, after a very smart, effective game, came up small again in the end — film at 11.

Comment by Matt N. 11.03.12 @ 9:04 pm

By the way, it took NBC exactly one play to annouce that three Pitt players had been charged with assault.

Wow! Pretty obvious who side their on.

Oh, that’s right. The broacast did carry the label “Notre Dame Football on NBC.”

Comment by PittofDreams 11.03.12 @ 9:04 pm

The game should have never come down to a field goal. This former offensive coordinator does not know how to run the the ball to work time off the clock or make ND use time outs, punt and let your defense win the game. He always thinks his offense is going to seal the victory. Let the defense win a game for you when you’re up by 8 with just under 4 minutes.

Comment by pittstadiumshuffle 11.03.12 @ 9:06 pm

Exactly right mike…the players gave it all they had to the bitter end…But the coaches? That timeout before the half had to be one of the dumbest things I have ever seen. Up 17 – 6 with a first down on the 1 or so and you don’t use your 215 lb running back to power the ball in. You go to that long deep hand-off to your smaller RB…Up 14 pts and defensively you don’t run another bliz for the rest of the game, even on 3rd and long situations. You don’t spy their mobile QB even when they empty the backfield the announcer says “this is going to be a QB run” and I am thinking the same thing…Apparently, our coaches had no such thought…Very conservative… On offense, passing when you should be running and then running when you should be passing. Not making sure that the only thing your RB does on that 3rd down in OT is run the ball to the middle of the field…Our coaches just have to learn from these situations and make better decisions…In short, play to win.

Comment by HbgFrank 11.03.12 @ 9:07 pm

Ray Graham ran for 172 yards against a tough ND defense. Harper was 4/5 in field goals and 2/2 on extra points. We can’t blame anyone on this loss except the guys wearing the stripes.

Comment by MariettaMike 11.03.12 @ 9:07 pm

I said Pitt got robbed. Pitt BEAT Notre Dame but lost to ND plus the refs. As for the Graham run, all the blocking went left, he appeared to start left and then, for reasons only he knows, he cut right. Maybe he thought he saw a whole but it wasn’t there. Great running backs want to run and be heroes. In this case, he was hoist on his own petard but that’s not why Pitt lost. The phantom interference call is why Pitt lost. Plain and simple. No more no less.

Our guys played their hearts out against ND AND the refs.


Comment by Pitt Dad 11.03.12 @ 9:09 pm


I’m with you, man. But there was only one field goal that counted!

Comment by PittofDreams 11.03.12 @ 9:09 pm

*hole not whole

Comment by Pitt Dad 11.03.12 @ 9:11 pm

Yes it was a great game and i said so the players were great and i said so.
but there were times the coaching let the team down.
the team who played so hard and should have won were we screwed bye a bad call yes we were.
but the coaching was less then great when you are up 20 to 6 and lose. and the players are plaing there harts out laying it all on the line giveing every thing they have got.
and you lose it is the coaching and the ref
no one should blame the players they did all they could to win.

Comment by FRANKCAN 11.03.12 @ 9:12 pm

Don’t think that I believe Chryst and Rudolph called the perfect game.

But there were more bad calls on the other side than Pitt.

Pitt played well enough to win minus the bogus interference call and the missed field goal that would have won the game in OT.

Seriously, what more can you ask from a team that lost to Youngstown State at the beginning of the season?

Comment by PittofDreams 11.03.12 @ 9:15 pm

Kelly is rasputin, we can’t kill him. Cincy all over again.

Comment by alcofan 11.03.12 @ 9:15 pm

The players did everything they could to win and should take that away from this game. When they play hard, they’re as good as anyone.

Comment by pittstadiumshuffle 11.03.12 @ 9:16 pm

After the improvement in this team I don’t think we lose the rest of the way.

And, I’ll add to the list….we got screwed.

Comment by KeyboardKev 11.03.12 @ 9:17 pm

After watching that game, I’m exhausted, good night Panther fans. Talk to you in less than a week to discuss how we beat up on UCONN.

Hail to Pitt.

Comment by Dr. Tom 11.03.12 @ 9:20 pm

PittofDreams — Yes if he makes it he’s got something to be proud of for the rest of his life. The snap was high and the ball was not in a good position for a right legged kicker. The missed field goal was a tough miss for Pitt fans but that kick alone did not lose the game. Personally, if the interference call is not made, Harper would not be in the pressure situation he was in. HTP!

Comment by MariettaMike 11.03.12 @ 9:25 pm

By what some of you are saying, it seems we should be proud that we lost lost. I’m proud of the effort, but not that we lost. We gave the game away. Dr. Tom the Va. Tech game was never in doubt. When we get a big lead and the game suddenly becomes close again it always seems that this team tightens up. This team fought too hard, and played too well lose. I’m pretty sure we can be upset about this. I don’t cheer for Pitt to lose in spectacular fashion, I cheer for them to win games. Yes, the losses make the wins better, but I wish we’d have more of these types of wins than these types of losses.

Comment by Vulcan Rob 11.03.12 @ 9:31 pm

I am so f’ing proud of these guys. What a great game, we lost, should have won, but… Not much to say, great showing by Pitt. Future is bright. We can second guess Paul Chryst calls all night, but he showed confidence in his team and if Harper makes a field goal nobody is questioning him. Can’t wait to see Pitt Friday night in E. Hartford…

Comment by CTPittfan 11.03.12 @ 9:35 pm

We shouldn’t be proud we lost but we should be proud of our guys. We should be FIGHTING MAD that we wuz robbed.

Comment by Pitt Dad 11.03.12 @ 9:37 pm

Of course Harper was a major goat, and lots of questionable coaching decisions to choose from. But a tiger’s stripes don’t change, and Tino is still a bum. He couldn’t make one play in the entire 4th quarter or the 3 OT’s. He had a guy WIDE WIDE WIDE OPEN in the left flat on 2nd down in the 3rd OT and took a sack instead. The guy would’ve had at least a 1st down and possibly a TD. These are the little things that don’t show up in the numbers but just kill you. And he does this on almost every series. It’s amazing Pitt has won any games with him at QB. I’m just so weary from watching this QB trainwreck for 3 years and will be so happy next year when he’s gone.

Comment by PITTGRADWAYNE 11.03.12 @ 9:38 pm

Over the course of a football game, enough happens that it’s usually very tough to pin the loss on one thing or even a handful of things.

The pass interference call on K’Waun Williams was bogus and it hurt.

Some of Chryst’s play-calling was suspect at times and it hurt.

Apparently someone switched Mike Shanahan’s hands with Mike Wallace’s before the game and that hurt.

And if Ray Graham stays to the left on that 3rd down run in OT instead of instinctively trying to cut back right and make something out of nothing, who knows what happens when Harper attempts what would’ve been a slightly-longer-but-more-centered FG to win it.

None of the aforementioned can entirely be blamed for the loss. Pitt played their collective asses off and just came up short against a good team.

The progression and development of a team is seldom ever linear, and we’ve seen that this year. We’ve seen them fall flat on their faces out of the gate, make tremendous leaps forward and then take some steps back. They’ve won big. They’ve lost big. They’ve won ugly and lost ugly. And today they lost a game they probably didn’t entirely deserve to lose, at least not much more than the alleged 4th-best team in the country deserved to win it.

This is the most proud I’ve been as a Pitt fan this entire season. It hasn’t been an easy team to watch at times, especially at the very beginning of the season. But I have to admit that it’s been fun as a whole watching this team start to get better. And loss aside, this is the kind of game that you sell to kids like Foster, Boyd and Dorian Johnson by telling them that Pitt wins with their kind of talent in the lineup.

I can’t help but look at the future of this team and see good things on the horizon. To see Tino progress to his ceiling as a QB under this staff makes me encouraged when I see Savage, Voytik and Chapman in the pipeline. This team has seen huge contributions from two true freshmen in Shell and Holtz. The younger offensive linemen are gradually progressing. Our best defensive back is a redshirt freshman (Pitts) and two other DBs returning next year look to be solid (Williams, Hendricks). There’s a lot of hope for the future at LB with the likes of Thomas, Eric Williams, Ejuan Price, Deaysean Rippy, etc.

And I think Chryst will get better as a game coach.

This loss sucks, but I’m excited to see the way they close this season out. I’m rooting for three straight wins and a bowl game; the extra weeks of practice would really help heading into next season.

Comment by Stoosh 11.03.12 @ 9:39 pm

Swoosh, well said! :)

Comment by MariettaMike 11.03.12 @ 9:48 pm

Swoosh, sorry. My iPhone retypes for me…

Comment by MariettaMike 11.03.12 @ 9:49 pm

Stoosh. It did it again. :(

Comment by MariettaMike 11.03.12 @ 9:50 pm

I will give tons of credit to the ND offensive line. They gave the QBs a ton of time and the ND offense was varied enough that we would have been burned on blitzes. I guess except for that one play where Golic’s kid had a huge hold not called.

Comment by KeyboardKev 11.03.12 @ 9:51 pm

And I’ll give Chryst and the guys a ton of credit for scheming to take Manti Teo out of most of the game.

Comment by KeyboardKev 11.03.12 @ 9:55 pm

I’ll say it again K-waun Williams makes the play of the game batting a ball away from a monster and the ref rewards him with a flag. He makes an interception to save the game a second time and we still can’t put them away. He was the player of the game and doesn’t get rewarded. One bad call shouldn’t decide the outcome, but this one did.

Comment by gc 11.03.12 @ 10:17 pm

Listen… Terribly upset..questionable decisions and bad offensive play at the end…make a field goal and everyone is happy…not blaming him…they played well…not saying they should get a trophy but they didn’t embarass… For all the bad things they did great things…their middle linebacker didn’t do crap until he made a tackle in the 3rd or 4th…they have an offense that can maybe who at the end…we do not..we showed well…Pitt is not great but they aren’t terrible…there are many other things going on I this world that are worse…proud of my university tonight…to all in south bend travel safely back to your homes!….
Hail to Pitt!

Comment by Jason 11.03.12 @ 10:17 pm

My two cents and apologies to Dr. Tom.

Tino Sunseri cost us this game tonight. Once ND scored and tied the game, Tino’s hands were actually shaking. He dropped or mishandled 4 of the next 6 snaps. His deer in the headlights look had ND ready to move in for the kill. His errant pass with 1:19 left on a middle screen was nearly intercepted twice. He needs a sports psychologist desperately because if he enters the business world and chokes under pressure, he will do a lot worse than losing a football game.

He let the team and it’s fans down mightily and we have all witnessed the same act for the last three long years. I will have a party when he graduates and am distressed he will hold a few QB record.

Last but not least, in the third OT with the game on the line,knowing his FG would determine the outcome of the game, I saw Harper, our place kicker on the sideline, unable to find his helmut searching both benches. Even if PC wanted to kick on third down, he couldn’t have. Harper should have been practicing kicks into the net during the entire series and he did not take a single one. Found his helmet, ran onto the field and missed the FG. Yes, the snap was high. He HAS to make that kick.

I take absolutely no solace from a close win against ND. ND tried to hand us the game numerous times…and yes the refs call sucked.

Comment by Dan 72 11.03.12 @ 10:26 pm

I’m certainly not going to blame the loss on the coaches. They had the players ready to play and to execute a mostly effective game plan against the number 3 team in the country! And we all know how close the game plan and everyone’s collective effort came to scoring the college football upset of the year. I’m certainly not going to blame it on the players, individually or collectively. They did a great job of executing the game plan and they left everything they had on the field. I’m not even going to blame the officials. There was a bad interference call but that is part of football. There was a questionable call or two against Notre Dame as well. Pitt needs more depth, on the offensive line, on the defensive line and at linebacker. Those of you who coach or have or have coached or played football at a high level and know a lot more about football than I do probably have observed some other needs as well. I do know that if the coaches and players can perform even close to this level in the next three games we should win them all! No I don’t consider this game a moral victory even though it left Brian Kelly quite cranky in his news conference. I do consider it an important learning experience and something that shows that the coaches and players are moving in the right direction. The toughest challenge may be to get over the highs and lows, especially the low at the end of the game and put together something resembling this effort and execution in the next three games. The players and the coaching staff really did Mason Up! Hail to Pitt!

Comment by opfim 11.03.12 @ 10:31 pm

Yeah, Dan 72, when they showed a close-up of Tino in the 4th I told the wife that we were doomed. I described what I saw as “Tino Eyes”.

Comment by Chuck Morris 11.03.12 @ 10:43 pm

Tino’s inability to produce under pressure lost the game. All Pitt had to do was get one score in the 4th quarter. He couldn’t do anything but 3 and outs and bad sacks and mishandled snaps.

This team is going to be scary next year with Voytik, time to stop the “Tino’s so much improved” train. He hasn’t. The defense, facing a terrible time of possession disadvantage, played its heart out and got multiple stops in the 4Q despite giving up the 2 TDs. ND only tied the game because they had SO MANY possessions thanks to Tino.

But that all shouldn’t have mattered because the refs gave us some competition for the pro-ND nonsense call of the year. Step aside, Stanford. There’s a new screwed team in town.

Comment by deepelemblues 11.03.12 @ 11:00 pm

There is no doubt in my mind that Pitt can play with damn near anyone.
There also isn’t any doubt that Pitt does not know “how” to win. It comes from setting expectations high, believing in your ability and playing under pressure instead of thinking.
This game reminded me of the first game under Johnny Majors. Tied UGA. coulda shoulda but did not win.
No OT then.
Screw moral victories. This goes down as a loss.
Win the next friggen game and win it with heart. Kick UCONNs ass because you expect to.
Do the same to the Scarlet Pinpernills.
Expect to win games! Demand it from yourselves.
That is what I need to see on Friday, or this loss will have proven nothing.
I expect Pitt to win convincingly next week, and for the rest of the season.

Comment by SFPitt 11.03.12 @ 11:20 pm

I will say this…it’s the first time in maybe my life that I’ve felt Pitt could compete with damn near everyone in the country. Mind you we are a 4-5 football team, but still. We have legitimate playmakers at multiple positions. This team will get better as Chryst will get better as a coach and this is a young team. This team will compete and I believe win the ACC next year. We will get better QB play in the future and that will lead to more wins.

Comment by Vulcan Rob 11.03.12 @ 11:36 pm

Yes, there is a positive future for Pitt football.
There is absolutely nothing that I can add that has not already been said, however, I keep thinking that our potential 4**** recruits should be able to see that Pitt can play with “The BIG boys”.
No excuses…we should win our remaining games!

Comment by isnore 11.03.12 @ 11:38 pm

With Bama coming back to win, I wonder how the post-game phone call will go between Tino and Vinny.

Comment by Vulcan Rob 11.03.12 @ 11:56 pm

how cool would it be to play wvu in the pinstripe bowl????

Comment by pitt-for-life 11.03.12 @ 11:57 pm

Was the non call on the defense of JP Holtz which appeared to be face guarding as blatant as I thought? The defender made no look back to the ball after mugging Holtz through the end zone.

A call puts the ball on the one with a first down.
We go up by three touchdowns.

Comment by gc 11.04.12 @ 12:24 am

@ gc – not only was it faceguarding but the defender clearly hit Holtz arm and held it down before the ball got there – another pro-ND call that would have turned the game. Not quite as blatant as the phantom PI but just as damaging

Comment by Pitt Dad 11.04.12 @ 12:29 am

GC – I thought that as well – and also, on the slip screen pass right after the interference, the ND announcer praised a good block against Jason Hendricks which occurred BEFORE THE RECEIVER CAUGHT THE BALL. Which is OK behind the line of scrimmage, but I believe I remember them being downfield.

Comment by KeyboardKev 11.04.12 @ 12:32 am

I’m 35 years old and never went to Pitt, but have watched every game since birth. The sadness of a 5 year old kid watching Allen Pinkett run all over #1 Pitt is still palpable. However, watching Pitt football over the last 25 years might just be the definition of insanity. I’m fairly confident that many of the older fans were very unsettled at 20-6. No matter how people on this blog choose to rationalize the outcome, a loss is a loss.

For the people blaming the officials. Winners celebrate victories and losers blame the officials. Good teams are mentally tough and can overcome a bad call here and there. I can remember a pretty average team overcoming some suspect holding calls to win in Morgantown in 2007. Instead of blaming the officials, how about looking at 3rd down efficiency for starters? Pitt was 1-14 on 3rd downs! That is downright awful for a 3rd year starting QB. You execute less than 10% on 3rd downs and I don’t think you deserve to win. To beat good teams, you have to make a few winning plays in crunch time, and this team failed again in late game situations with the game on the line.

I haven’t located the quarter-by-quarter stats, but I cannot remember Pitt getting a first down in the 4th quarter or in the OTs. Maybe somebody with that information can confirm or refute. The banged up defense came up with a solid effort today considering the circumstances, but when it mattered, the offense couldn’t get a few first downs and keep them off the field.

You can change the coaches, the uniforms, the schemes, or the personnel, and it still yields the same frustrations for this fan base. Every year since 1982 I hear the same old cliches about “waiting until next year” or “this team will be great in a few years under this system.” I’m sorry to be negative but these words are hollow for some of us who have watched the misery and the mediocrity for most of our adult lives.

Comment by dallas mike 11.04.12 @ 1:20 am

dallas mike, that was perfect.

Comment by Vulcan Rob 11.04.12 @ 2:14 am

@dallas mike, you’re not being negative, you’re right on the money.

Couple first downs and we’re all celebrating.

I can’t think of it right now, but, two sweet interceptions and a gimme of a fumble at the goal line.

Did we get any points off of any of those on the next drives??

Like you said, maybe someone can confirm or refute, I can’t think of that for sure right now, I don’t think we did. Maybe we did. All mixing together.

20-6 going into the 4th quarter. 1-14 on 3rd downs???

Comment by Dan 11.04.12 @ 5:38 am

Allthough not out right using the word, I see some have basically called this a moral victory???

Ridiculous. What did I expect with everything we were up against???

Frankly, I thought there was a good chance we may well just get blown out.

Yes, I’m sure many did.

So, that’s a reason to celebrate???

Yes, the kids gave a fantastic effort, only a fool would not recognize that.

With the situation presented however, how the game unfolded,and how Pitt kicked their ass up and down the field for 3 quarters plus……..

this was one of the biggest kick in the balls I’ve ever had as a Pitt fan!!!!!!!!!!

Comment by Dan 11.04.12 @ 5:44 am

@dallas mike: “losers blame the officials”. Nice sound bite, I guess; but we are here to analyze the game, and there is no question that the bad pass interferance call changed the game’s outcome from near-certain Pitt victory to Notre Dame being very much alive. See the Green Bay Packers’ loss to the Seahawks a few weeks ago if you don’t think a bad call in the fourth quarter can determine a game’s outcome.

Someone mentioned earlier that they don’t think Tino is at all improved over last year. That is ludicrous. He is obviously a far better quarterback this year– still not as good as we would like, but much-improved, and I think Chryst and his staff deserve some credit for that.

We’re probably entitled to a communal self-pity session after the way we lost. However, the melodramatic “I’m done with this team” comments from the drama queens gets tiresome. I am proud of how we played. Given the state of our program, I don’t disparage moral victories. We are a program that entered the year in total disarray, probably moreso than any other in the country. This will take time to recover from. While I am never happy about a loss, it is good to see progress. We opened the year with a terrible loss to a mediocre 1-AA program, for goodness sake. We have gone from that to playing a very solid game against the national number-three on the road. I saw good things yesterday, and am optimistic for our team moving forward.

Comment by Navy Panther 11.04.12 @ 5:55 am

Correct me if I’m wrong. Didn’t the ND Touchdown after the bad call, make it 20-12???

Have many ND people in my family. When I brought this up, they all agreed about the bad call. They then went on to tell me, on several of Graham’s big runs, there were holding calls missed, several late hits out of bounds not called, a pick not called on a pass play, and a timeout mysteriously taken away from ND.

They then went laughing into the other room to get another beer and a plate of shrimp and started talking about how they needed Alabama or Kansas State to lose in the next couple of weeks.

Comment by Dan 11.04.12 @ 6:32 am

As I didn’t watch anymore games last night, a slight smile came to my face, as I see this morning, that WVU ended up losing that game.

What’s that, 3 in a row now??

Comment by Dan 11.04.12 @ 6:38 am

Not only did WVU lose their third in a row, there were a lot of empty seats in Morgantown.
Their is a myth out there that the hoopie fan base is impervious to losing.
Not really. WVU has been mostly good for the last 35 years, sometimes excellent but rarely, if ever, bad.
Last year Holgersen chided fans for not showing up.
The honeymoon is over in Morgantown (you cant spend all your life in Myrtle Beach) and they are getting worse as time
goes on.
I hate losing, but feel very good about our future. Chryst is a 1st year head coach with a sharp upside curve I think.
From what I see from Holgersen is he is the same in game 8 as 1, 2,…that is pretty easy to prepare for.

Comment by SFPitt 11.04.12 @ 7:16 am

Was a great game to watch. Graham had an amazing game. Pitt looked the best they have all season. Excited to see what Coach Chryst and team will do in the next few years. Sorry Tino won’t get to have the chance to play during his time, to see if he really may have had potential.

Comment by T 11.04.12 @ 8:10 am

Not a shock. Same Pitt curse we’ve been living with for 20-30 years. Only needed to make a FG after an amazing break at the goal line to win the game and they couldn’t do it. Once again Pitt couldn’t close the deal. Agree with Upittbaseball why didn’t Graham move to the center of the field. Why didn’t PC coach them to do so. This could have been a signature will on national TV, great PR and recruiting impact but noooo. That would be what programs on rise do. So let’s all revel in the suckyness that is mediocrity and endlessly discuss what could have been. No offense in the 4th quarter, one good drive with a score taking time off the clock wins the game. PC is to blame here, hey Paul its not like you were up by 28 pts. In the end no one will remember how close Pitt came to winning when ND is playing for a national championship. Same old Pitt can’t win the signature game. Don’t see anything changing anytime soon. ACC will more of the same, close but no cigar. Lets see, how does the company line go, just wait till next year, we are progressing, give the program some time to develop, blah blah blah. Just another LOSS in my book.

Comment by LUV PITTBULLS 11.04.12 @ 8:38 am

The frustration is obvious and justified, and you could tell how maddening a game it was because we have pointed to 10 different things that “cost” the game most, and an argument could be made for each. This one doesn’t hurt as much as Cincy ’09 because the stakes just weren’t the same, but it’s up there because of just how long, and even how many times late, it seemed certain Pitt would win. Here’s what I saw as pros and cons:
— Thought the offensive game plan OVERALL was awesome: good balance of run and pass early, great use of screens all over the field, took Te’o completely out of game.
— Ray Graham ran his tail off
— Our corner play was outstanding: Williams and Pitts form a heck of a tandem, as good as we’ve had in recent memory.
— Holtz will be a monster at TE for several years.
— The entire team demonstrated guts and fight to be proud of.

— Situational game plan by coaches: Graham has to see more of the ball in the 4th Q and OT. Of all times to rely on the passing game, haven’t they learned late-game, important moments are the worst?
— The QB is who we think is is, and that’s not changing. Can run things efficiently and competently, until things get tight. Then, there are no plays to be made. Can’t wait til next year.
— The defensive front 7 desperately needs explosive, impactful playmakers. Once Donald is neutralized, there is no edge rush, and other than Gordon’s huge goal-line stop, I can’t remember an LB making a big play. (Did Trebitz knock the ball out in OT maybe?)

Comment by JW 11.04.12 @ 8:46 am

And it looks like ASU lost again too. Did anyone else see the blatant punch thrown by #9 to JP Holtz’ face two plays before the missed FG? It happened right in front of the official and was also not called.

Comment by Outlaw 11.04.12 @ 8:46 am

For what its worth–IMHO, I thought Notre Dame ratcheted up the defensive intensity in the 4th quarter and OT. IMO, it was at least just as much their increased defensive aggressiveness as Pitt’s lack of offensive execution from the start of the 4th quarter till the end that resulted in the disappointing outcome.

Comment by pitt1972 11.04.12 @ 9:34 am

Seriously a political comment? Oklahoma boy, save your redneck commentary for a WVU forum.

Comment by JoeP 11.04.12 @ 9:39 am

Navy Panther – “near certain Pitt victory” They were up only 2 scores with an entire quarter to play. Nothing is automatic with this team as history has proven (See Cincinnati 2009). The pass interference call happened with 13 minutes left in the game. Nothing comparable to the Packers-Seahawks game that occurred on the last play. Again, plenty of time to overcome 1 questionable call.

Comment by dallas mike 11.04.12 @ 9:40 am

Pitt played better than I expected them to play.. but ND laid an egg also…
Yes… Pitt shoulda won….
Yes… Chryst blew it in the 4th qtr with his playcalling…
Yes… Chryst blew it in OT… why not give your kicker a better chance by putting the ball in the middle of the field…. should have had Graham run left and take a knee so the ball is in the middle of the field.

Comment by Joe D 11.04.12 @ 9:41 am


I’ll have to go back and re-watch the play again, but the 3rd down play to Graham looked like it was designed to go left. The whole ND defense likely knew it was going there as well.

I can’t recall if ND stacked that side, one of their linemen just made a great play or perhaps someone on the Pitt o-line missed a block. Either way, someone on their defense got penetration and Graham – rather than take a loss – almost instinctively cut back to the right to try to make something out of it.

Comment by Stoosh 11.04.12 @ 9:43 am

@ dallas mike: Good post. We, as Pitt fan’s, mourn our losses differently. Some fan’s go for the bourbon, some fan’s look at the ways in which Pitt could have won and others look at how Pitt lost. You, being a Pitt fan, for a few years have observed it all, but we remain Pitt fans. We wake up optimistically looking towards the next game or season. That’s what fan’s are all about. Yes, a win last evening could have gone a long way in healing old wounds from early season losses but it didn’t happen.

How we Pitt fans choose to vent is okay as long as we remain Pitt fan’s, win or lose. Hail to Pitt!

Comment by MariettaMike 11.04.12 @ 10:09 am

Why did Chryst throw the ball with 3 min left? We needed 2 first downs and we were 1-13 on third down for the game. Obviously, he didnt think we could run for first downs and I would have to agree with him.. If he ran it three times, everyone would say he was playing not to lose!

Comment by TMG Panther 11.04.12 @ 10:19 am

Thanks to Chas for giving us this forum for commiseration. It is probably saving many of us a great deal of money for therapy, booze, drugs etc.

I have to say, I see everyones point, there is no right or wrong analysis on this one, just a bunch of guys looking for answers, validation, or a fight. Whatever it takes to move on.

Another hard one to swallow. The plight of a Pitt Fan. No moral victory, but the best entertainment on TV yesterday.

How did this one affect recruiting?

Comment by gc 11.04.12 @ 10:21 am

and so Brian Kelly gives pitt football and its fans another square kick in the nuts… some things never change.

Comment by Coach Ditka 11.04.12 @ 10:34 am

After an early night to bed (couldnt watch any more football after the loss) I am clear of mind and can give a less emotional response.

1) ND isn’t as good as advertised. PITT proved that on the road yesterday so let’s keep this game in perspective even though ND was ranked #3

2) Game calling for 3 Quarters was good on both offense and defense so hats off to the coaches. Kelly (ND) was out coached for three Q’s and he nearly cost his team a game by pulling the starting QB whom PITT couldnt stop (from scrambling).

3) Ray Graham – Not his pre-injury self but clearly better. His football IQ often fails him as in when he is running east-west instead of just getting up field. When he does the latter he is effective. When he doesnt you get the ball on the right hash mark and a missed FG in OT

4) Tino Sunseri – Much maligned by all PITT fans and for good reason. Most fans expect the QB to lead the team (whether it is HS, College, or NFL). It is even more critical at the HS and College levels. After 3 years of being a starter for a BCS level program it is heart breaking to watch him decompensate when placed under pressure. His dropping of the ball on multiple occassions at the end the game and inability to keep his team organized coming out of the huddle says it all. Leaders can not be manufactured folks. Tino is a good QB at times but never a great QB and that is what we needed this year from a 5th year senior and 3 year starter. As my buddy said to me this AM “the best thing is that we only have three more games to see Tino”. Unfortunately Tino has maxed out on his talent ability.

4) LB’s are a really struggle for us. #54 struggled all day to plug the hole or cover the crossing route. Did any one spy the ND QB?

5) OC Rudolf’s play calling was absent the fourth Q. Did the pressure get to him? Coaches are going through a learning curve so they get a pass.

6) You have to feel bad for the kicker. He made so many other kick but misses the big one. Graham didnt make it easy for him by running to the right hash.

7) Got to love L Pitts. The great news is that he is a redshirt freshman so the future looks bright for PITT. His KO return ability is a huge plus.

8) O line did a solid job for most of the game but failed us in the end. They have improved a lot but there is much to be done.

Overall a very good showing for PITT on national TV and that should help. All of my SEC and ACC fans in the Atlanta area were texting me throughout the game so this game got a lot of coverage. I bet the rating were off of the chart and NBC probably loved it. This is the type of game that continue to make PITT relevant in the eyes of fans across the country. We are the team that other fans love to support.
I like what Chryst is doing. What is most notable is his attitude of “not quiting”. His players continue to play hard despite being out matched in many games (talent). That is a huge credit to Chryst and his staff. The future is bright folks. Let’s be patient.

Comment by Pitt fan in Atlanta 11.04.12 @ 10:46 am

Pitt in Atlanta, I’m hoping we see Tino for 4 more games! Seriously, the next 3 should be wins – UConn stinks, Rutgers at home can be a win if we play like we did yesterday, and BJ Daniels just broke his ankle – of course, the way we’re snakebit, his replacement will probably throw for 4 TDs against us. Let’s hope to go bowling!

Comment by KeyboardKev 11.04.12 @ 10:55 am

Didnt see or hear much after the game. My couple halloween cocktails turned into a little more after that game. Did PC offer any explanation as to why he went for it at the end of the first half? That call really bothered me. My main objection is that even IF they get it, they are still at the 50 yard line with 30 seconds to go. You then need at least another 20 yards to have a 50/50 chance of making a field goal. It was almost like he thought we would get 3 points just for getting a first down. If the decision was made to go for it, I would of rather seen him pass downfield. Maybe he got caught up in the moment, but someone tell me there had to be an asst coach yelling at him to see if he was out of his frickin mind. Being aggressive is one thing, but being aggressive with high risk and slim chance of reward is another. Not sure why, but I think Im more upset with this decision making than them losing.

Comment by Z-Boy 11.04.12 @ 11:07 am

The pass interference was a joke. Paul Chryst did an admiral job of planning and getting the right folks in the right places to win the game.

JPHoltz was faceguarded in the end zone and actually should have caught that pass in the 3rd quarter, regardless of the faceguard. We settled for a field goal. That was big and he will learn to go get the ball instead of waiting for the ball to get to him. He is going to be great! There were many dropped passes across the board.

We can’t say Graham blew it by cutting right instead of going left. Had he gone left (as he started)and Harper missed it left, we would have complained he went too far left. We had snapper issues all game Saturday and for the past few weeks, since our normal long snapper was injured.

Pitt did not dominate this game. They played well and it is a team that is improving. The announcers heaped praise on the improvement under our new head coach. They hardly mentioned the coaching carousel that we have been known for, which is a positive. Consistency with our coach gives Pitt the biggest opportunity to improve in the coming years. We are seeing improvement in areas, but not consistent improvement. That comes with time. Whether we finish 5-7 or 6-6, the table is set for a big improvement next year.

Chryst will get rid of the non-contributors and those that don’t work during the off season.

Comment by dhuffdaddy 11.04.12 @ 11:43 am

Pitt in Atlanta – Rudolph is not calling the plays. Chryst is. Maybe that should change next year so PC can focus on game management?

I’m with Keyboard Kevin – a Bronx Brawl against WVU in Yankee Stadium would be quite all right with me. And I think the Panthers have a chance to win out. At least we should beat UConn and USF. And if we beat UConn I think the Rutgers game could be really interesting.

Comment by Joe Lawrence 11.04.12 @ 11:50 am

Shout out to Joe Trebitz who lead the Panthers with 13 tackles. Joe what you so long to get out there and show your stuff?

Comment by alcofan 11.04.12 @ 11:58 am


– I got to watch the first half and OT, but missed 2nd half while taking kids trick or treating.

– But from what I say, Pitt owned ND in first half. The only thing that made me think twice was going for it near mid-field before half. While not against it, I’m just not a fan of runs up the middle on 4th and 2.

– For what it’s worth, my father is a big ND fan and watched the entire game. He admitted the ref’s were favoring ND on the calls and he agreed that Pitt got jobbed on the pass interference call. But in the end, Pitt had chances to win and couldn’t get it done. It’s not one person’s fault, but the team’s failure from PC to the long snapper.

– As someone mentioned above, Pitt lost this one because they lack depth across the board and probably ran out of gas in the 4th and OT. Watching the DL in OT and it was pretty obvious to me they were shot. NBC showed a chart where ND had run over 100 offensive plays and without a solid rotation of players they’re going to wear down.

– I was upset they didn’t get the big win but it further confirmed to me that Pitt is must see TV because you never know who’s showing up to play. Going into the game, I had ND lining up and running it down their throats all game but Pitt held in there. Hated to see them lose but in the end that was a great college football game.

Comment by burgh1972 11.04.12 @ 12:02 pm

gc, I think that you’re right. After reading all posts this morning I think I am looking for a fight. So let me begin with a slap upside the head of dallas mike and Vulcan Rob too while I’m at it cause he agreed with him.

Navy Panther replied to your post containing the quote “winners celebrate victories and losers blame the officials” so well that I almost kept my mouth shut. But noooo, after thinking about it I’ve determined that I just don’t like your pussy whining attitude.

The PI call in question was a 4th down play that totally changed to momentuem of the game and put points on the board for ND that should be credited to the refs. PERIOD. Yeah I hear your argument, great teams overcome such incidents, but just in case you haven’t noticed, Pitt isn’t a great team this year! They just happened to be playing great yesterday and that HOMER PI call swung the momentuem back to the team that is actually great this year. That’s the point, and it was obvious that that shift occurred, right then!

So if that makes me a loser in your opinion. Well I’m going to give you my opinion on what the make uip of a true loser is. That is an individual that can’t take a the proverbial punch in the face without falling down and then spending unnecessary energy crying about it instead of getting back up and back into the fight again.

Your 35 years old, well I’ve been following Pitt football as an alumni longer than your sorry a$$ has even been alive.

During that period I’ve seen it all, but I’ve never thrown in the towel. I have no problems in Pitt fans pointing out with constructive criticism the deficits in the program if done to seek improvement. What I have a problem with is cry babies. Or worst yet, guys who have memory loss and can only recall Pitt’s failures when they’re sharing their opinions on why Pitt football sucks so bad this week. Yeah, I’m talking to you Luv Pittbulls, which is an apt name since most of your PITT analysis I find BULL. And just so you don’t feel left out, you suck too, Joe D.

As an encore, I think that I’ll post a few games that Pitt actually came through with a solid win just to shake some of the cobwebs out of your collective memories and demonstrate that “you win some and you lose some”. Look for the post LOSERS.

And as always HAIL TO PITT!

Comment by Dr. Tom 11.04.12 @ 12:18 pm

“I am constant as the northern star,
Of whose true-fix’d and resting quality
There is no fellow in the firmament.”

— Pitt athletics, the most reliable thing in all of life, which will NEVER fail to let you down.

Comment by BATR 11.04.12 @ 12:20 pm

Honest to God, one of the most difficult losses I’ve had to endure as a Pitt fan. I’m just looking at my Twitter timeline, and it’s like a microcosm of my relationship with Pitt athletics. Losses by the Steelers, Pens and Pirates just don’t take the kind of toll that Pitt sports take on psyche. But look at it this way; this team lost to Youngstown State at the beginning of the year. Yesterday, they took the third ranked team in the nation down to the wire in their own stadium. A team that thrashed a team ranked in the top 10 a week before. Clearly, Paul Chryst made some questionable calls in the fourth quarter. But for the most part, I give him a ton of credit because he took over a team that’s dealt with a remarkable amount of instability over the past few seasons. Pitt’s time will come-perhaps next year in the ACC.

Comment by PatMac 11.04.12 @ 12:37 pm

Give the players there due they played a great game.
they played like they were all 5 star recruits i am so proud of all of them andwith all the hurt players you could not ask more from them.

but the coaching now thru 3 quaters it was good
but not in the 4th quater you must all read panther prey dokish is right chryst is not yet a game day coach.

this lose goes on coaching not on the players.

Comment by FRANKCAN 11.04.12 @ 12:40 pm

at 6-6 PITT team that gets and invite to play WVU in the NYC bowl would be a gift from GOD to both PITT and WVU fans. It would be like playing for the National Championship!

Comment by Pitt fan in Atlanta 11.04.12 @ 12:43 pm

How can any article be written, or any complete highlight shown, about this game without mention of the pass interference call on Williams? That horrible piece of sh*t call COMPLETELY changed the game. Granted, Pitt still had the lead and was dominated in the 4th quarter, but that call not only kept the drive alive but changed the momentum of the game. I am not a blame the refs guy, but in this case, Pitt got hosed. Great effort by everybody.

Comment by Antiguafor200Alex 11.04.12 @ 12:46 pm

THERE will be a let down after this game you
gave all you got in this game.
there is a good chance you lose the next game .

Comment by FRANKCAN 11.04.12 @ 12:52 pm

Can only speak for myself when I say this…the effort put forth by our young men in the face of everything that was against them yesterday makes me proud to be a Pitt fan. If anything, that kind of effort has hardened my resolve as a Pitt fan.

I will NEVER waver in my support of this team!

There are always things to complain about as a fan, but lets keep in mind that we have also been rewarded with some joyous memories as well. For example: (and feel free to add to my listing).
1. Watching Shady McCoy burst onto the scene as a freshman. Was there anything more electrifying than watching him leave defenders grasping at air? Maybe Dorsett and that is it.
2. Seeing Larry Fitzgerald come down with passes like it was his God given right to the ball.
3. Wins at South Bend led by Palko and Bostick.
4. Brandon Miree’s TD run to seal the win vs Virginia Tech.
5. Oh yeah…….13-9.

Point is, now is the time to be thankful that we have been blessed with many great players in recent times. Our time is coming and imagine how sweet it will be….


Comment by Outlaw 11.04.12 @ 12:54 pm

Just to be rational, let me 1st acknowledge that yesterday’s game is going to leave a lasting mark in Pitt’s memory. Of course there are others as well. What Pitt fan can forget Cincy’s 45-44 win? I’ve learned to hate Coach Kelly.

But this post is in rebuttal to those who believe that Pitt is a cursed loser program, and just to fulfill my previous promise to post a few of the “good times” in Pitt football history to jar the memories of the cry babies out there. I just picked it up in the last 5 years or so, as not to bore the younger crowd here that seem to be prone to ADD sometimes.

*12/1/07 13-9. Need I say more?

*9/20/08 Beat Iowa 21-20. Iowa went 9-4 that year and beat SC in the Outback Bowl.

*10/2/08 Beat a ranked #10 USF club in their own house 26-21.

*11/1/08 Beat ND in 4OTs 36-33 in the longest game ever at ND Stadium.

*11/28/08 Beat WVU 19-15. Jovanni Chappel intercepts Pat White with Pitt trailing 15-7 with 9 min left to play. Pitt puts up 2 TDs in the final minutes to win the game.

*10/10/09 Beat UCONN 24-21 after trailing 21-6 with 3:56 left in the 3rdQ. Pitt comes back scoring 15 unanswered points including a 2 point conversion while winning the game with a last second FG by Dan Hutchins.

*12/26/09 Beat NC in the Meineke Car Care Bowl with a FG in the whaning minutes of the game winning 19-17 giving Pitt their 1st 10 win season in years.

*12/4/10 Beat Cincinnati easily 28-10 on a snowy afternoon for some small redemption to the previous year’s heart braking loss to the Bearcats. Kelly was long gone to ND however, I hate that guy.

*1/8/11 Pitt beats Kentucky in the BBVA Compass Bowl 27-10 in spite of the turmoil of Coach Wannstedt’s firing days earlier.

*Pitt destroys #16 ranked USF 44-17 going away while Ray Graham rushes for 226 yds.

*10/26/11 The bad news is that Pitt loses Graham to a season ending knee injury, the good news is Pitt still wins against UCONN 35-20 while Sunseri passes for 419 yds.

* 12/3/11 Pitt returns a funble recovery by Antwuan Reed for a “seal the win” TD with less than 3 minutes remaining to beat Syracuse 33-20. This was after another tough Pitt loss the previous week at the hands of WVU with a come from behind win in “The Backyard Brawl” 20-21. Way to bounce back Panthers, no hanging your heads there!

*9/15/12 Pitt comes back from the dead after a 0-2 start to upset #16 ranked VaTech convincingly 35-17.

So don’t let the “Gloom and Doomers” BS get you down. Take heart, Pitt will win again.


Comment by Dr. Tom 11.04.12 @ 1:25 pm

II’ll add Pistol Pete’s OT victory over WVU in Morganhole and Shady taking over the game at Heinz to send WVU home nice and quiet.

Comment by HbgFrank 11.04.12 @ 1:43 pm

What pissed me off the most was ND fans booing a Pitt player who got injured, believing he was faking it to bide time.

Classless jerks.

Comment by steve1 11.04.12 @ 1:53 pm

Positive posts Dr Tom and HbgFrank…love it!

To quote the line in Red Dawn….Avenge me…Avenge me!

We WILL win again. Stay strong!

Comment by Outlaw 11.04.12 @ 1:54 pm

Just another Chryst with his deer in the headlights kind of game. Another loss. Oh well…

Comment by John Ramella 11.04.12 @ 1:56 pm

Bravo to you and Pitt, Dr. Tom! H2P

Comment by MariettaMike 11.04.12 @ 2:09 pm

And apparently, Notre Dame had two players on the field with the same number when Harper missed the FG. Should’ve been a penalty. Such a disappointing game.

Comment by PatMac 11.04.12 @ 2:20 pm

What is the cure for this game?

Waking up to a new day hasn’t worked.

Comment by PittofDreams 11.04.12 @ 2:46 pm

Stephens-Howling touchdown, what’s the streak up to?

Comment by gc 11.04.12 @ 2:56 pm

Thanks Dr. Tom. No whining allowed.

Comment by gc 11.04.12 @ 2:59 pm


Comment by alcofan 11.04.12 @ 2:59 pm

Winning the next game PittofDreams, and the next, and the next, etc. H2P

Comment by Dr. Tom 11.04.12 @ 3:00 pm


Cure? Waking up, it’s better than the alternative. Keep things in perspective, it’s only a game. We’ll always be Pitt Panthers win or lose. H2P

Comment by MariettaMike 11.04.12 @ 3:45 pm

I have never been More proud to be a Panther!! The game could have gone either way. Both teams missed obvious opportunities. Mistakes were made by COACHES and PLYERS on BOTH SIDES. It is what it is. Frankly, I thought Pitt woukd be humbled by four touchdowns. A word about some unsung heroes for the Burgers: Praise to Joe Trebitz, Art Doakes starting their first games;a tribute to Todd Thomas, Jason Hendrix, K’Wuan Williams and LaFayette Pitts who are on the cusp of becoming stars. AND, did anyone notice #22 for Pitt on special teams. I’m referring to Chris Davis, frosh wr out of Austintown, Ohio? The lad is a speed merchant who looked terric at the end of the game downing a punt and pursuing kick returners for N>D> We will see more frome him as we will from Malcolm Crockett on special teams. All in all, upon reflecyion, even though CRUSHED by the outcome, I believe Pitt has a bright future on the gridiron. Rev. George from Columbus

Comment by Rev. George Mehaffey 11.04.12 @ 5:02 pm

I attended the game, the crowd noise was deafening, and our guys fought a truly great fight. Yes, the officials stole the game,without the wrongful call of pass interference on 4th down Pitt wins the game right there.The ND faithful were leaving the stadium at the start of the 4th quarter giving up on their Irish.
I was proud of the Pitt team and seeing the progress since week 1 feel confident that Chryst is going to take them in the right direction. But…

Comment by spindler's spirit 11.04.12 @ 5:14 pm

As to coaching I was disappointed that Chryst would repeat the error in the Louisville game in ND by not punting before the half, fortunately ND didn’t capitalize. The second coaching move by Chryst that I question was in the 2nd OT. Pitt picks up 9 yards on first down, faced with a 2nd and 1 why not bring Shell into the game your power back fake the handoff to him off the right side and have tino run left to the middle of the field , either making the first down or at least placing the ball in the middle (Walt’s slide) and worst case have 3 rd and 1. Needing only the kick to win try the FG on 3rd down, if bad snap fall on it and try again on 4th down. The play clock was down to 1 when that ball was snapped which rushed the kicker and probably the snapper causing the high snap.
Folks we are paying for a coach who is learning on the job. I think he will be fine but Pitt is paying a high price for on the job training.

Comment by spindler's spirit 11.04.12 @ 5:24 pm

spindlers spirit read panther prey i think dockish says the same thing.

Comment by FRANKCAN 11.04.12 @ 5:31 pm

I default to most people on here keep things in perspective. Maybe that’s a big assumption.

I realize, this blog spot is where people come to speak about Pitt football, in a sense of, Pitt football.

Pittofdreams, I understand your hyperbole!!!

Comment by Dan 11.04.12 @ 6:53 pm

Ok folks. My 8-9 year old flag football team won the Championship today, 22-14. On the frozen tundra of…well it was damn cold between 3:30 and 5.
I was certain that my coaching would come under fire. Why did I go for the jugular when I could have run out the clock and risk that pick six? The answer is the rules required us to pass.
But onto the Panthers. Man, there are a host of reasons why we lost, each as culpable as the next. Can’t do anything about the refs.
But I will say this.
ND wins alot if close “big games”, because they play a lot of big games.
They are accustomed to playing big time games. We are not.
We tend to shy away from big time non conference foes. I’m not talking about Gardner Webb: even Cyanide Steve can’t be blamed for that one. But we don’t challenge ourselves enough and because we don’t, we tend to not know how to act when we get there.
You don’t remedy that overnight, but you do have to recognize that when you don’t challenge yourselves, you tend to not improve.
Boise State did: Hell, WVU does. Ohio State usually plays one stud foe home and home. We have relied on ND as our big game. That isn’t going to be an option any longer.
Will we schedule lightly or will we challenge ourselves?
As Augustus McCray said in LONESOME DOVE,”it ain’t dying I’m talkin about. It’s livin!”
Time for the football program to adopt that POV. IMO.
let’s kick ass on Friday!

Comment by SFPitt 11.04.12 @ 9:37 pm

After watching this team grow throughout the season, I am really looking forward to seeing the product that Chryst puts on the field next year. Sure he is making mistakes, but that can be expected, and i totally disagree with the above blogger that we are paying a large price for him to learn on the job. Well don’t we all learn on the job with what we each do for a living and make mistakes?! What we need is for a leader to emerge next year that has passion and desire and isn’t afraid to throw the ball and make the big play. Someone that his teammates respect and doesn’t get a glazed deer in the headlights look when he is called on to make plays regardless of the situations. Notre Dame didn’t win that game against us, we lost it for several reasons as many of you highlighted. But if that game is any sign of what things are to come, man is it going to be a fun ride, lets just all hope for winning outcomes instead. Hats off to this team who played their hearts out! I could care less about a bowl game just to finish out this season and build on something for next year. H2P!

Comment by pittisit37 11.04.12 @ 10:09 pm

Chryst and Tomlin coach by feel. Graham was having a great day and unfortunately, Shell got lost. That is okay because Graham had a terrific day. I don’t think the power run works against the power d. When our guys were in space, we did well.

I am real comfortable with the progress of Chryst and Company. Well done boys, but you now need to beat the next team and play with the same vigor that got you to the apex.

Arthur Doakes, if he gets a little quicker this offseason, will be a beast. If he continues to improveand get a nasty streak, he will play on Sunday’s. It is his opportunity and he must commit to it. Go get em’ Pitt.

Comment by dhuffdaddy 11.04.12 @ 10:33 pm

dhuffdaddy, totally agree with your comments. We do need to remember that there will be bumps in the road next year as well. I’m hoping that coach chryst and staff will help the team to learn how to win especially in the closing minutes of big games. this is a problem that goes well back before this year. it includes having a quarterback who can be special in the last 4 minutes after being good for most of 4 quarters. We also need more good players in some positions but somehow i feel that they are coming. By the way, who can forget 4th and 14 in overtime at morgantown with the game on the line and pistol pete fires a rocket and gets 17. Then he gets the touchdown that wins the game. big ben and the steelers showed everyone a team that knows how to win today even though their offensive line has been practically destroyed by injuries. i too am optimistic that hcpc, the staff and the players will be able to do it. now let’s get ready for a not very good uconn team that can knock off an improving pitt team should we have a letdown. htp.

Comment by opfim 11.04.12 @ 11:44 pm

Sick of hearing it from all you PC haters. Give him a chance and shut your f’n mouths.

Comment by panther94 11.05.12 @ 12:42 am

Sorry all…should not have said that. I’m passionate about everything Pitt and am an optimist for our future. HTP.

Comment by panther94 11.05.12 @ 12:53 am

Dr. Tom – I have no axe to grind with you, I am sure you are a great guy. You and I just measure success very differently. If you think a regular season win over an awful Syracuse program is inspiring, then your expectations are pretty low for the program. Early season conference victories over overrated USF teams are hollow when they are followed up by bad conference losses to UCONN or Rutgers. I view trips to the Meineke Car Care and BBVA Compass Bowls as bad consolation prizes for once promising seasons. We just see things very differently when it comes to benchmarks for Pitt football.

The reality is that Pitt has never won an outright BigEast championship, despite it being the worst BCS conference in football. The year Pitt went to a BCS game (due to a 4-way tie after the exits of Miami and VT) they lost 35-7 to Utah (a non-BCS school at the time). You cited recent history in your post. Pitt has won 4 bowl games since 2000 against the likes of Oregon St., NC State, North Carolina, and Kentucky. Storied basketball programs, but not historical football powers. I simply think that Pitt can do better. Maybe my expectations are misguided and too high, but that recent history has resulted in the coaching carousel that we have witnessed over the last 12 years. Like I said before, I want things to change in a positive manner following the move to the ACC, but I have 25 years of history that makes me skeptical.

Just so you can understand my perspective, I evaluate companies for a living – mostly in a litigation context. I am trained to do the best I can to be objective, take a critical perspective, and analyze numbers without emotion. Maybe that background makes me a terrible “fan” or contributer to this blog, but that is the lens from which I view things, right or wrong. We may disagree on how we view Pitt’s success, but I assure you, we have the same hopes for a brighter future.

Comment by dallas mike 11.05.12 @ 1:17 am

Big D Mike, I appreciate you clarifying your stance more in you last post. We are all on the same team (well most, anyways). I think Dr. Tom knows that as well.

I believe the problem that we all have at times is that we set unrealistic benchmarks (all fanbases do, really – but Pitt fans take the cake sometimes). You said that “I view trips to the Meineke Car Care and BBVA Compass Bowls as bad consolation prizes for once promising seasons.” Who made the season promising? Certainly not anyone who’s job it was to evaluate or predict our team’s strengths or potential in the preseason.

How many seasons in the past 12 were we pre season Top Anything? How many times were we virtual locks to go to a BCS Bowl? The Meineke Car Care/Belk bowl goes to the #3 team in the Big East. We had one or two seasons where we were “expected” to be win the conference. So if we are generally expected to be 2nd or 3rd or 4th, how is going to the bowl game for the 2nd, 3rd or 4th team a consolation?

If you perennially have top 20 and conference championship talent, then setting a benchmark of winning the conference and being in the top 20 is a legitimate benchmark. Setting that benchmark just because we want it to be that way does not make it a legitimate benchmark.

We had a 6-7 team last year, devoid of many play makers. And the only true play maker we had coming back (Ray G), we didn’t even know he was going to play AT ALL this season until after the kickoff of the first game. We were picked to finish 5th in the conference in the pre season this season. Was winning the Big East Conference really a legitimate benchmark for this season? Most people said 6-6. Guess what? We’re 6th in the conference and can MAYBE finish 3rd and have a decent chance of being 7-5. Is it great? Is it what we want? Obviously NO.

I’m sure it will happen again next year as well. People will expect Paul Chryst to deliver a big time bowl in his second season even though we will have lost our only play maker, we will have four complete unknowns at QB. One kid who couldn’t crack the starting lineup at the last two mediocre schools he transferred from and hasn’t seen a snap in a live game since November of 2010, one who’s been sitting on our bench the last two seasons, a RS Freshman and a true freshman. Is a big time bowl game a legitimate benchmark for next year? A conference title. Demanding/expecting a top 25 finish would be unrealistic, IMHO.

We fired Walt Harris and Wanny because the ever-higher bars that were set (which were reasonable) were not reached. I don’t think it’s fair for PC to have to reach the same bars in his first year as an HC and more importantly, after the disastrous 2 years we’ve endured.

Now, should we be demanding/expecting that the bar be set higher each year for PC and his coaches over the next 3 years? YOU BETTER BELIEVE WE SHOULD. Assuming we don’t run them out of town and have to start all over with a tarnished reputation and a truck load full of ammo for other schools’ recruiters, that is.

Sure would be nice to get lucky and be surprised once in a while though. That’s for sure.


Comment by CNorwoodAZ 11.05.12 @ 2:36 am

the loss is still stinging. Reed, please do not post an article about how this loss was not Tino’s fault. We all just want to move on from Tino at this point and only a few games left. The oppty was there in this game for Tino to get the signature win of his career. It did not happen.

what stings for me still is our 4th quarter offensive performance – 18 plays, 4 yards. Graham had a great day, no doubt. However, in the second half with a lead, I thought we should have started to mix Shell in and keep Ray fresh. Shell is also tough to brng down so if he broke some tackles, moved the pile,and ate up some clock, we would have worn ND defense down mentally.

On a positive note, I am excited for the future. if we can get any consistent QB play in this offense for 4 qtrs of a game, Chryst’s offense will be tough to stop.

Comment by pittfan92 11.05.12 @ 9:42 am

Sorry to say but moral victories are for losers. The point of a game is to win and they didn’t. Yes, the pass interference call was horrible but if Tino makes a couple plays the clock is ran out, or if the FG snap isn’t botched then the game is over too.

Chryst is still showing the same problems with coaching. Going for it on 4th down at the end of the second quarter was horrible. This is literally the same exact mistake he made a couple weeks ago. Luckily the D bailed him out.

You can’t just assume he will become a good game day coach. There are tons and tons of coaches that never become a good game day coach. And he clearly didn’t learn from a mistake he made a couple weeks ago.

Also, I think this game proves my point that I’ve been trying to make that this team is talented and has no business being 4-5. The team went into ND and played at the same level as ND. They had absolutely no business losing to YSU and the Cuse.

Comment by Wardapalooza 11.05.12 @ 9:44 am

@DR. TOM, didn’t see it yesterday, but I find your use of the phrase “cry babies” uncalled for.

Comment by Dan 11.05.12 @ 10:01 am

The 4th down interference call against the Panthers, was an absolutely horrible call. Pitt was leading by 20 to 6 at the time, it gave Notre Dame the ball and the subsequent touchdown keeping them. I saw a similar awful call during the Steeler Giants yesterday that Giants 45 yard freebee. What bothers me the most is that interference calls are being made when the official did not clearly see the play. Now one of the basic fundamentals of officating is that, if you did not clearly see it, you cannot call it. You shouldn’t anticipate or assume there was interference unless you clearly see it occur. This morning on the FAN I heard Ed Bouchete of the Post-Gazette comment that the call in the Steeler Giants game was as bad of a call as the 4th down play in Saturday’s Pitt game and that both were excellent defensive plays. He went on to say, “It makes you wonder if anyone knows what interference is anymore.

Comment by Justinian 11.05.12 @ 10:31 am

Pass interference has always been a game changing penalty, especially in the pros with the spot penalty (as opp to 10 or 15 yds). Both calls discussed above were dead wrong. Until coaches get to challenge these calls and have someone “upstairs” review them, they will continue to dramatically change the outcomes of games unfairly. Seems to be an epidemic this yr (especially when the replacement refs were roaming the NFL). The difference is that our Stillers overcame bad ref calls with Big Ben, Redman and company and Pitt didn’t with Tino and our 4th qtr/OT offense. Enuf. HTP and lets finish with 3 wins.

Comment by Bossdaws 11.05.12 @ 11:08 am

to one of the points above everyone bitching about the play calling at the 4 minute mark. you can’t have it both ways. can’t be “PC is stupid for not running the ball” and also “PC played not to lose, just like wanny, if ray is stuffed 3 straight times if they do run in that situation.
from trib today:

Graham said he was surprised when Pitt started throwing from its 20-yard line while protecting an eight-point lead with four minutes left in the fourth quarter.

“I thought we were going to run the ball,” he said. “(But) we have great offensive coordinator (Joe Rudolph). He made the call. We stuck with it.”

In four of the five carries immediately preceding that series, Graham totaled zero yards.

i would’ve had no problem handing it to ray 3 times in a row b/c he’s our best player. but tino and the OL need to rise to the occasion in that situation and like so many times before, they didn’t do it. tino = anti-clutch.

Comment by scott 11.05.12 @ 11:21 am

Don’t you just love that Tino put the entire loss on Kevin Harper…’we missed a field goal, that was it’, and made no mention of his total inepptitude in the 4th quarter.

Fumbled snaps, deer in headlights when rush approached, short arm nervous throws that missed the mark. He played well for three quarters but when the heat was on….pffffft.

Comment by Matt N. 11.05.12 @ 12:15 pm

Someone mentioned the possibility of Pitt-WVU at the Pinstripe Bowl in NYC!!!

Would love it!! NYC holiday time. Would be the first in line to buy 4 tickets.

Not doin’ Charlotte or Birmingham again.

Hopefully, this dilemma comes to fruition.

Comment by Dan 11.05.12 @ 12:17 pm

@Matt N. did he really say that, publicly???

Comment by Dan 11.05.12 @ 12:18 pm

That was the talent on display that I thought this team might have…took them a few games to sort it out but I see good things for next year…even losing Ray G. We wasted the kid’s talent for three years of “Tino Time” — imagine the yards he could have piled up with a non-choke QB.

Comment by Matt N. 11.05.12 @ 12:20 pm

Yeah Dan, it was in a story quote somewhere right after the game — probably or AP story I read…really showed his character full square.

Comment by Matt N. 11.05.12 @ 12:21 pm

Same old Pitt but I see a good future with this team. This team still has to learn how to win. However, that should come with time and experience. This next game will determine if Pitt can bounce back. Good teams, winning teams, teams with leaders and competent coaches do.

Comment by TX Panther 11.05.12 @ 12:24 pm

“We missed a field goal, that’s why we lost the game,” Pitt quarterback Tino Sunseri said. “It came down to a special teams play, we didn’t make the play. Give credit to Notre Dame for being able to finish it off.”

Read more: link to

Comment by Matt N. 11.05.12 @ 12:27 pm

People have been quick to criticize Chryst for his playcalling. A lot of it centered on the decision to throw rather than run following the interception that gave Pitt the ball with a narrow lead and three minutes on the clock.

In my opinion, it wasn’t the playcalling as much as the execution not being up to the level of the play being called.

On that last drive, all Chryst and Rudolph were doing was simply asking Tino and the rest of the offense to execute the same plays as if it were the first drive of the game.

If there’s a complaint to be made, it is Chryst’s reluctance to recognize Tino’s tendency to make mistakes at critical moments.

This is no different then the end of of the first half against Cincy and the end of the game at Syracuse when Chryst was calling on his quarterback to think on his feet and execute “A PLAY” like it was designed and undoubtedly exectuied successfully countless of times when the game was no so much on the line.

Comment by PittofDreams 11.05.12 @ 12:48 pm

Just read the same story Matt N., and immediately came here to see if it had been posted yet… I am certianly no fan of Tino’s, but I was willing give him some credit based on his performance thus far. Im sure this was said immediately after the game, much the same as Palko’s F-bomb, but nonetheless is inexcusable. If Im another player, especially upperclassman, I pin this kid against the nearest wall/locker until he’s ready to apologize to the entire team publicly, and especially to Kevin Harper.

Then again if i was Kevin Harper, I release a public statement along the lines of “We missed read after read offensively, thats why we lost the game. It came down to offensive signal calling at the line of scrimmage, and being able to read a defense, and we have’t been able to do that in crucial situations. I give Notre Dame credit because their 19 year old RS Freshman was able to do that, while our 36 year old RS 18th YR Senior can’t.”

Comment by Big Bill 11.05.12 @ 12:51 pm

“36 year old RS 18th YR. Senior” LMAO!!!

Comment by Dan 11.05.12 @ 12:56 pm

Better yet bill, how about a response from harper along the lines of “we lost because our 18th yr senior hasnt yet learned to receive a snap…”

Comment by Pitt it IS 11.05.12 @ 1:06 pm

if you run the ball more time comes off the clock

Comment by FRANKCAN 11.05.12 @ 1:07 pm

If the BE Refs had recognized the having two players with the same # on the field at the same time was a penalty, we would had a first down and would have won the game (IMHO) and out conversations would have been a lot different. HTP, let’s win 2 out of 3 and move on!

Comment by markp 11.05.12 @ 1:13 pm

Only a 3pt favorite over big east,no win uconn, I’m getting worried.

Comment by alcofan 11.05.12 @ 1:21 pm

the Tino quote sparked a scolding from Peter King, arguably the most respected football journalist today in his MMQB column…

“Not a fan of Pitt quarterback Tino Sunseri saying after his kicker, Kevin Harper, missed a 33-yard field goal in overtime, “We missed a field goal. That’s why we lost the game.” What a teammate Sunseri is. Pitt blew a 20-6 lead in the fourth quarter, and Harper made four of five field goals in the 29-26 loss. But he missed the one field goal that would have won it in the second overtime. Everyone who watched the game, and everyone in the Pitt locker room, understands a makeable field goal would have won the game. But to put the spotlight on one guy — that’s not what the quarterback on a team should do.”

Read more: link to

Comment by pittfan92 11.05.12 @ 1:28 pm

I’m over it now….I can see some positives that dispel a big myth…That myth being that this Pitt team, or next years team, lacks the talent to compete on a high level. We have now seen Pitt play two teams with high level talent (VT and ND) and play very well against them. Pitts theme closing out this year and heading into next should be “consistency”…From the players, the coaches, and maybe just a little from the refs!

Comment by HbgFrank 11.05.12 @ 1:30 pm

Once Pitt gets that leader in QB, the sky’s the limit. Chryst and Co. will get better in the coaching category. Hopefully, the recruits will take notice and come.

Comment by TX Panther 11.05.12 @ 2:48 pm

OK, enough of this seriousness–time to lighten things up. How could Kevin Harper have made the game winning field goal with 80,000 N.D. Catholics in the stadium praying for wide right?!

Comment by opfim 11.05.12 @ 3:30 pm

Let me get this straight. PITT loses in 3 OT after the kicker kicks 3 FG during regular time to give us 12 of our 20 points meaning that he gave us more offense than Sunseri. And Sunseri points his finger at the kicker?
Enought said.

Comment by PITT Fan in Atlanta 11.05.12 @ 3:32 pm

Havent heard any public comments about the duplicate jersey on the field at the same time. Anyone catch a media mention.

As bad or inconsistent as Harper has been all year (and I am one of his biggest critics), he didnt deserve to be called out like he was by the supposed team leader. A team leader who to my knowledge has never been called out by a teammate during his stellar career for ineptitude under center.

On to CT! Win.


Comment by Pitt it IS 11.05.12 @ 3:35 pm

Reply to dallas mike, we have found common ground. I agree with you, I am a great guy.

Now as far as how I would respond to the rest of your most recent post, read CNorwoodAZ’s reply to you just below your post, and I respond with “what he said”.

Regarding your perspective on reality, let me use an analogy that you can relate to in your professional life since you, “are objective, take a critical perspective, and analyze numbers without emotion”. First, any objective observer viewing Saturday’s Pitt-ND game who saw the PI call in question and understands football, would agree that the ref made a horribly bad, game changing call on that play. End of discussion.

Second, any objective observer who had critically analyzed the teams in this game, before hand, would conclude “no contest” prior to the game. In essence this is what the Vegas line is all about and it was ND -17.

So just by crunching the numbers, Pitt beats the spread 2 TD’s, that’s a good thing right? And that was because Pitt looked good rather than ND looking awful. And considering Pitt takes the game into the fourth quarter up by 14, that makes Pitt’s effort even look better up to that point.

So what was the turning point in the game? Seemed pretty obvious to me, it was the PI call in question. So here is the business analogy.

If an “average” company showed great profit margins over the first 3 quarters of the year, under adverse market conditions against stiff competition, I would consider that very positive. If in the last quarter, outside factors that the company had no control over imposed harsh financial penalties against the company that adversely effected the profits in the last quarter and caused repercussions for the total years financial sheet, then how would you evaluate the company at year’s end?

I don’t think that you throw that company under the bus and discredit it’s previous accomplishments under such trying conditions, especially since the performance overall was way ahead of expectations in the first place.

However, that is just what you did IMO. Your quote “For the people blaming the officials. Winners celebrate victories and losers blame the officials. Good teams are mentally tough and can overcome a bad call here and there”.

Well, if you are lookig at this Pitt team “objectively” I would be hard pressed to classify them as “good”. And the PI call was not a “here or there” call, IT WAS “THE” CALL THAT TURNED THE GAME’S MOMENTUM TOTALLY AROUND.

You ended up even apoligizing for your negativity (whining). That’s what pissed me off. Expectations that were totally unrealistic!!!!! Just because Pitt cannot finish a game against the third ranked team in the country is no reason to be negative about their effort, which IMO was close to supernatural. This is a team that 7 weeks ago was being given up for dead for Christ’s sake. Then after they take a team like ND into triple OT in a losing effort they have to hear supposed fans still consider them losers, I don’t think so.

Don’t get me wrong, I share your desire to see Pitt a top 25 team annually again, but trashing a great effort, even though it was in a losing effort is not the way to get it done.

This team should really, really suck right now, considering what they have been through in the last couple years. And I know what bad Pitt football feels like living through a 1-10 season the year before Coach Majors showed up. But instead, these guys played out of their minds and almost pulled off a historic win that would have gone down in the books as one of the best Pitt victories in their long and storied history.

That didn’t happen, but it sure as hell doesn’t mean that these guys played like “the same old Pitt”. In fact it is a team that just does not yet have the ability to finish a game well and that got screwed by a critically important bad call.

You weren’t even born when Pitt won their last national championship, but let me tell you the air is pretty rarified up there way at the top. There is not a lot of room for error to get there either. Pitt may never get there again for as far as I know. So enjoy the process, is my recommendation. Celebrate the victories, no matter who they beat, mourn the losses no matter whom is victorious over us, but be realistic and rational in your expectations so as to keep the proper perspective on the process. And always Hail to Pitt!

Comment by Dr. Tom 11.05.12 @ 3:41 pm

Hey Tino, this isn’t tennis, win as a team and ******************.

Comment by alcofan 11.05.12 @ 3:42 pm

Final word from me. If you look at the stats of the game, we were manhandled in every category except for turnovers. Its a shock that we werent down 20-6 in the 4th. Shows you the importance of turnovers. Another glaring stat was third down conversions – 1-11. Pathetic. But according to Sunseri, it was the field goal.

Comment by Pitt it IS 11.05.12 @ 3:43 pm

Comment by Bossdaws 11.05.12 @ 3:50 pm

Take it however you like, but these are two tweets from Sunseri Saturday nights after the game:

“This is crazy. I did not blame the whole game on Harp! I even said it twice to make sure it was clear that I didn’t. This is stupid!”

“Taken out of context! Somany more plays in a game than just one kick. To think that is idiotic and dumb. Teams win and lose.”

I didn’t see the interview, but the words were definitely said. Out of context or not, they should not have been said.

Comment by CNorwoodAZ 11.05.12 @ 4:12 pm

Are there really people on this post questioning the kids effort??? Really??

Admittedly, I just glanced over the 200 or so posts, and really didn’t see anyone questioning the kids efforts.

Maybe there were, my eyes are about shot.

Comment by Dan 11.05.12 @ 4:50 pm

Stoosh, good post, didn’t catch that during the game. Maybe a knee would have been better for field position. Still feel like we missed a humongous opportunity for recruiting PR. That is what bothers me most is the talent equation. If your not winning how do you get the 4 star kids to help you get to the next level? Can’t believe we were that close and it slipped away.

Comment by LUV PITTBULLS 11.05.12 @ 8:25 pm

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