Hopefully there won’t be much overlap between the end of Pitt-Rutgers basketball on ESPN2 and the BBBVA Compass Bowl game of Pitt-Ole Miss on ESPN at 1pm. And if there is overlap, it would be nice if it was the end of a Pitt blowout of the Scarlet Knights.
Good news! Pitt will play with 11 players on offense despite Arthur Doakes suspension. Coach Chryst says so.
Pitt coach Paul Chryst refused Thursday to name a replacement at right guard for redshirt sophomore Arthur Doakes, who has been suspended for violating a team rule and won‘t play in the BBVA Compass Bowl on Saturday against Ole Miss.
“We have a plan,” he said. “We are going to line up with 11 (players). I promise that.”
The plan involves shifting the line a little.
Chryst will deal with the loss of right guard Arthur Doakes by juggling the offensive line. Matt Rotheram, who has played right tackle all season, will move to guard, his natural position when he was recruited in 2010 from North Olmstead (Ohio) High School. Zenel Demhasaj will get the first start of his Pitt career at right tackle. Demhasaj, a redshirt junior who is not returning next season, has been at Pitt for the past two years after transferring from Nassau (N.Y.) Community College.
So, plugging in someone new and shifting one of the linemen from where he played all year. What could go wrong? Not saying there’s much of a choice. Just saying, that I’m not optimistic about what to expect from the line.
So, it’s just before his final game. A bowl game. A semi-big game. Let’s talk Tino Sunseri’s legacy:
As for how he will be remembered at Pitt, those assessing Sunseri’s legacy will have to juxtapose Pitt’s 20-18 record with Sunseri’s strong senior year numbers and elevated place in the school’s record books.
“I don’t know what [my legacy] is,” Sunseri said. “It’s whatever people make it. I have no control over that.”
Fair enough. But, there is some control. Play well and get the win in this final game, and the odds are he will have a better departing image than with a loss. The bowl games may have very little real meaning, but they really effect how players are perceived. Especially when they bomb. Think Bill Stull in the Sun Bowl. Or Rutger’s Gary Nova after the Russel Athletic Bowl.
The team feels better prepared than last year. Of course it helps to actually have a coaching staff to help prepare you.