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September 4, 2013

Acknowledging FSU

Filed under: ACC,Conference,Football — Chas @ 3:17 pm

After a loss, acknowledging the opponent is not the easiest thing to do for fans of the losing team. Even when the team is beaten as soundly as Pitt was by FSU. We fixate. We obsess about our team. We see all the mistakes, errors problems on one side. It’s easy to completely forget what the other team. What the other players did. I’m as guilty of it as anyone.

So, when Jameis Winston had as close to a perfect game by a QB as possible on Monday night. Regardless of the experience level, it becomes far too easy for us to make comments about how easy the corners and safeties made it for him, because they played off of him. Or that there wasn’t enough pressure from the D-line to take him out of his comfort zone or rhythm. That may be true to an extent.

At the same time, Winston just kept making the throws. He had two incompletes the entire game.

Devin Gardner of Michigan faced a completely incompetent Central Michigan team and still had 5 incomplete passes on only 15 attempts. Oregon utterly demolished a vastly overmatched 1-AA Nicholls St. 66-3 and Marcus Mariotta was 12-21. The closest comparison was Teddy Bridgewater in Louisville’s deconstruction of Ohio. Yet he even threw an interception and had 5 incomplete passes.

Should Pitt have been able to make it harder for Winston? Could they have? Yes. Absolutely. But that would not have changed how well he performed. It may have made it marginally closer. Maybe FSU only gets 27-31 points instead of 41. Jameis Winston had an amazing game that can make fans and columnists dreaming big. Or makes people envious.

And it wasn’t just a QB having an epic debut. The entire FSU team was locked in. They quickly adjusted after Pitt’s opening touchdown drive. They did not get complacent. They played very, very close to the level of their talent.

Their defense came hard all night and responded to their changes in defensive coordinator.

With first-year coordinator Jeremy Pruitt’s new scheme, the Seminoles’ pass rush won’t be nearly as reliant on the front four to get pressure on the quarterback.

Case in point: Lamarcus Joyner.

The FSU senior defensive back had exactly one sack in his career heading into Monday night. He had two against the Panthers.

“That’s what I need to do, man,” Joyner said with a wide smile. “I’m a dog, man. I need to get after the quarterback.”

Florida State’s defense had 38 sacks a season ago, with 33 coming from defensive linemen, three from linebackers and zero from defensive backs.

Monday night’s other sack came from junior defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan, but the Seminoles were able to force pressure in a variety of ways.

Part of why Pitt fans felt there was a chance included FSU’s history in recent years of having a ridiculous let down game. Especially against ACC opponents. NC State last year. Wake Forest and Virginia in 2011. NC State and UNC in 2010. Inexplicable losses. And it still might happen to FSU this year. It just didn’t happen against Pitt.

Now it’s time for Pitt to figure out what they can do. What they can fix. What they can correct.

In his postgame comments, Pitt coach Paul Chryst was blunt.

“We got beat,” he said. “I’m anxious to look at the film. I liked our guys’ approach. Guys certainly competed, but we’ve got to be and do more than that. This is where we’re at right now, and it’s all about going forward.”

At the risk of being cliche, it is still only the first game. There are 11 games left and short of facing Clemson or FSU in the ACC Champoinship Game (and I’m definitely not saying that’s happening), there is no team on the schedule that will be as good as that FSU team — and that includes Notre Dame.

Finally, this is a sane measured response to what happened on Monday night. No, our Panthers did not play great, but the other guys had something to do with that. Often it appeared to me to be a game of men v. boys. Well, guess what, it was Freshmen v. Veterans in many important areas. We saw the difference between a Top 10 team and a team likely to finish somewhere between 40-60 in the nation. Does this mean the season is lost? Of course not. We will not play a more talented team this year. Let’s see how we respond to this game and whether or not we improve throughout the year. If we don’t respond well or improve, then we all will have something to complain about.

Comment by RogerH 09.04.13 @ 3:39 pm

Totally agree Chas, there is no one on the schedule as talented as FSU. Pitt can certainly regroup and have a 9-win season followed by a good bowl performance.

Comment by 2$Chuck 09.04.13 @ 4:01 pm


Please repost the Graham link for everyone who supports Pitt athletics to enjoy. Amazing.

Comment by PittStadiumShuffle 09.04.13 @ 4:14 pm

Anyone need season tickets? I’m not driving 500 miles a couple times a month to watch them not even show up.

Comment by Chris 09.04.13 @ 4:18 pm

I posted on here 6 weeks ago maybe 8 weeks ago
that TG when he left pitt it had more to do with are AD sticking his nose into the coachs job
then TG wife had to do with it.
i posted that it had to do with the AD telling
him who he could hire and who he could not and
telling him who he could recruit and who he could not plus they did not want to pay what they had payed the 2 coachs that had left they wanted to pay less.
TG to;d them to stuff it and left

when i posted this no one even said any thing if you even read it but now it is a big deal
TG is a jerk but are AD should be blamed just as much.

Comment by FRANKCAN 09.04.13 @ 4:48 pm

Not whistling Dixie (yes, ACC reference) but I’d like another shot at FSU in the title game in about three months…my guess is they improve a little and we improve a ton. We do have talent but other than Boyd, Street, and a couple other guys, we dropped our drawers on Monday night.

My guess is Savage gets more comfortable and Chryst plays to his strengths, and the defense, post-shaming, cranks it up and brings it the rest of the season. Perhaps a little hopeful, but what are fans for?!

Comment by Matt N. 09.04.13 @ 4:51 pm

Wbb good to hear from you glad you are ok,
if house keeps stinking as the year goes bye it is on chryst head he hired him .
i just wish he had hired the best coach that he could insted of allways some one he knows or a friend knows.

Comment by FRANKCAN 09.04.13 @ 4:55 pm

PittStadiumShuffle –

link to

As a side note I just interviewed a kid from ASU, he said all of Tempe loves the guy and he turned their program around. There is major excitement in Tempe. I also find it odd that 98% of the articles about him there are positive. He has flaws that’s no doubt but I’m telling you something smells in that situation.

Here is the article I’m talking about…

Here’s his quote….

link to

“I deserve to get my head kicked in,” Graham says.

He’s referring to the way he left Pittsburgh. Graham has some well-formed excuses for that, though, and they’ve been documented throughout the offseason. Documented enough that we won’t play that same record here.

Besides, Graham isn’t really all that sorry about what happened.

“Was there something more than just being a selfish jackass?” he says. “There was a lot more. If people ask me about it 10 years from now, I’m going to answer about what really went on. I’m going to tell them about it a little bit different.”

Comment by Upittbaseball 09.04.13 @ 5:51 pm

Before you guys bust my balls I’m no major Todd Graham fan. Maybe he is growing up who knows but the man can win and he does win. He goes all in and my thought is Pederson wouldn’t go all in. Who knows. Again, just saying ASU is ecstatic to have him. His team plays Thursday night late if interested. His QB is a Sophmore and is perfect for his system.

Comment by Upittbaseball 09.04.13 @ 5:55 pm

upittbaseball i posted 2 times now that the reason
TG left was as much the PITT AD fult as it was TG wife maybe more peterson fult then any thing else
he stuck his nose in to the TG job.

Comment by FRANKCAN 09.04.13 @ 6:02 pm

Frankcan – I can’t stand Todd Graham or Pederson but if both were hanging on over a cliff and I could only save one I’d save Todd. He did less than a year of damage to Pitt. Pederson has done 10+ years of damage.

Comment by Upittbaseball 09.04.13 @ 6:04 pm

Oh for crap’s sake…

The Graham subtle attack on Pederson was something I touched on last year.

link to

There comes a point where blind hatred truly blinds you, Upittbaseball. And for FRANKCAN as well.

The words of a man who lies every which way to try and excuse his behavior. To try and put the blame or responsibility on others — especially his family. Hell his own history of job-bailing is known. It is all rather well established.

But once he makes the dark suggestion that there was stuff going on behind the scenes that really drove him away. Well, then it is clearly the truth and obviously more actions by Pederson to destroy Pitt.

I don’t know why I’m even bothering to point this out, because your belief trumps the facts.

P.S. I’ve closed the comments here because if you want to do a an irrelevant thread of your own interest rather than related to the post, take it to the many message boards that are available. It gets tiresome and there are still 11 games left.

Comment by Chas 09.04.13 @ 6:41 pm

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