July 23, 2013

Looking For the Big Win

Filed under: Football,History — Chas @ 12:26 pm

Specifically a season opening big win.

We are all excited for this first season in the ACC. Just as we are all very excited for the first game. A Labor Day night game with all the bells and whistles at home against a top team like Florida State. Visions dance in our heads of a big-time atmosphere. Lots of electricity in the air. Pitt riding the continuity of having the same head coach for more than one year and just putting a heroic effort in to defeat the Seminoles.

Just one nagging question.

When was the last time Pitt did that in a season or home opener?

We all know the disappointments and stunners to start a year. Dave Wannstedt offered us ND and Bowling Green. Last year we had the Youngstown State debacle.

Going to toss this out to everyone, because I just don’t have a good answer. I have trouble going with the 2006 pounding of Virginia since the Cavs were 5-7 that year, but that might be the closest thing in the last 20 years.

Is it the almost upset of Texas in 1994 under Johnny Majors? Is that too much of a reach? Whipping Hoopies in Morgantown under Paul HackettĀ  in 1991?

I know it’s a small sample size, simply because Pitt — like most of college football — rarely starts the season off with a bang. Still, I can’t find much before 1976 and beating Notre Dame in South Bend to start the national championship season.

Frank MD, in the last game of 1981, playoff loss to san Diego, Bradshaw passed > 300 yards despite a sore am. After being checked by team doctors, he was ordered to rest it during the offseason but no surgery was necessary. He was interviewed a few weeks before the draft and he related that the arm was coming around.

The Steelers drafted DT Gabe Rivera which looked to be a great pick .. who immediately played very well, starting right away. Of course, only 4 games or so in his career, he had the car accident that paralyzed him, and ended a promising career.

Back to Bradshaw …apparently, his arm wasn’t doing so well as, without notifying the team, had Louisiana doctors operate on his arm …. he was to only play one-half of one game in82, and was forced to retire.

I blame Bradshaw … had he came clean, the Steelers may have well drafted Marino since they knew he wasn’t on drugs.

As for Dorsett, he was one of the top picks … and back then, the Steelers always had one of the last picks

Comment by wbb 07.23.13 @ 9:16 pm

by the way, in the post above .. ’81 was ’82, ’82 was ’83

Comment by wbb 07.23.13 @ 9:24 pm

Thanks wbb

I was living in MD and missed some of the details although I had heard about Marino

Comment by Frank MD 07.23.13 @ 9:44 pm

Reed, I was on campus while Marino was at Pitt. I did not know Marino, and can’t speak for what he did or did not do. I must be in the 5% because I never used coke, and never even saw it at a party or anywhere else while at Pitt.

Comment by HbgFrank 07.23.13 @ 9:44 pm

Come on fellow Pitt fans – if we don’t keep the faith who will. The players need our support going into the FSU game and those in attendance must be raucous as can be. Remember, this is a total new era – Tino is gone forever! Harper is gone forever! This will be the much anticipated debut of Savage, Garner, Boyd , Bennett , Brown (Des that is ) Blewitt, Jarrett, Caprara, Soto, Orndoff. Hope is everything & I can’t wait to see these new guys !!

Comment by daddylonglegs 07.23.13 @ 9:47 pm

wbb, I know the story on Bradshaw. I think it was a cover story. He was old even if he wasn’t hurt. They made a mistake and they knew it. Even if Rivera was the next Joe Greene a QB touches the ball every offensive play.

The Steelers were concerned about the rumors and the rumors were true, but it was recreational vs. abuse. It was the early 80’s. HbgFrank, you must have missed the good parties.

Comment by gc 07.23.13 @ 10:05 pm

What’s ironic is that many of the Steelers of that era were up to their eyeballs in steroids.

Comment by gc 07.23.13 @ 10:15 pm

HbgFrank – OK then, 95% of every college student I came across and partied with.

95% is high of course – the point being that the NFL took that rumor (truth) and along his crap SR year, and it really wasn’t very good at all, thought he wasn’t worth a high 1st round pick.

Year GP Comp Att % Yds TD INT TD% INT% YPG YPA QB Rating
1982 11 221 378 58.5 2432 17 23 4.5 6.1 221.1 6.4 115.2

BTW – it wasn’t that much ‘different’ back then either, PITT passed for almost as many plays as we rushed in 1982.

Interesting that only Don Shula had the guts to think that the NFL is actually different than college and made history with his 1982 pick.

Comment by Reed 07.24.13 @ 6:30 am

@PittScript, I listened to the radio interview and Coach Chryst did anything BUT answer the Shell transfer question. He tap danced around that question for 2 minutes with a dozen “you knows” and ended with, “it was tricky”.

I guess he doesn’t want to queer Rushel’s chances that he may still have somewhere else by admiting to the public the obvious that Chryst made demands, as he should have of his starting star running back and the kid refused to answer the call. Shell demonstrated that he was a slacker and decided to bolt, and when he attempted to slink back into what had been his original perfect situation, that he blew up by quitting, Chryst called him on it with a, “no thanks”. “YOU KNOW”???

Comment by Dr. Tom 07.24.13 @ 6:40 am

@ Imma Man, maybe we can pull an old ND trick that they attempted against Pitt when Dorsett was running wild against them. Lets not cut the grass at Heinz Field for about three weeks before the game. Neither team will be able to locate the ball after a fumble but maybe it will help neutralize FSU’s speed!

Comment by Dr. Tom 07.24.13 @ 6:43 am

I have to say that I was at that 1991 game in Hoopieville. Went into it hammered, and then I feared for my life when a local behind me reached into his duster coat and said “No way Pitt’s winning, but I’ll tell you what…every time Pitt scores…” and then proceeded to pull out a fifth of whiskey instead of the gun I was expecting. He then said “We’ll do shots.”

Needless to say, I was out of it by halftime. And left early in the 4th quarter when Sean Gilbert ran in a pick 6, mainly because at that point I was genuinely afraid.

Comment by KeyboardKev 07.24.13 @ 6:49 am

Dr Tom, I like it PSU pulled that trick as well. Some deep wet grass will slow em down.

Comment by gc 07.24.13 @ 6:56 am

That video simulation that you mention predicted an Arkansas/Kansas State National Championship last year….

Comment by srb 07.24.13 @ 7:17 am

Chryst was being reamrkably frank when he said the Shell situation was tricky … because it was.

– he was released but never officiall transferred
– he was a talented back in a position of need
– there was probably something inside of PC that felt that this immature kid, father of two, now needed a break and has learned a valuable lesson

Don’t get me wrong … PC made the right decision, no doubt

Just saying that he felt some compassion … but the best thing about it is that he didn’t say anything negative about Shell. In most cases, I firmly believe it is much better for a coach to say nothing than to say something negative about any of his players (even if they deserve it)

Comment by wbb 07.24.13 @ 7:21 am

much better than referring to your players as a ‘pile of crap’ like Weis did

Comment by wbb 07.24.13 @ 7:23 am

Chryst probably was instructed by his Mother when growing up, that if you can’t say something nice about somebody don’t say anything at all, you know?

Comment by Dr. Tom 07.24.13 @ 8:09 am

Saw that Dave Hart was mentioned above. He was the precursor to Fraud Grahm!

I will never forget in the Fall of 68 attending a pep rally I think at the funny looking building across from the Towers, to a packed house….maybe all Frosh?

He unloaded his famous quote “This is the year the Panthers begin to Growl”! Three 1-9’s later he was toast.

Comment by Dan 72 07.24.13 @ 8:49 am

It is still hard for me to understand why the Steelers missed Dorsett and Marino. It is like they knew to much about them and were hesitant.

Comment by Frank MD 07.23.13 @ 8:20 pm

The Steelers were always riddled with Ped State ppl as coaches (ex.- Dick Hoak for ages), friends of the Rooneys, team doctors (Bradley’s brother), etc.

They were not going to help out PITT by having any PITT stars on their teams. For that might have shifted the balance of power, for good, from Ped State to PITT. For Pitt stars being Steeler stars would have greatly enhanced Pitt’s recruiting. Instead we got a bevy of Ped State players.

Comment by EMel 07.25.13 @ 1:52 am

^^^ Good point by Emel again.

Comment by Reed 07.25.13 @ 5:18 am

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