September 14, 2013

Time for the Lobos

Filed under: Football,Opponent(s) — Chas @ 7:27 am

This would be a much more exciting game if this was a meeting in November. And it was on the hardwood. Ah, well.

I was looking forward to getting to the Burgh until I realized that the game landed on Yom Kippur. So instead of meeting with my friends before the game. Sitting in the pressbox to watch. And all the other stuff. I’m not. Fasting. Heading to Synagogue shortly, then cutting out around noon to be home and watch the game without drink or snack. Yeesh.

This is the ACC Network Game of the Week. (Really? Wow? ESPN must have gobbled up everything else from the ACC if this is the best they are doing.) You can find ACC affiliates here.

So just the final media rundown.

Bob Davie was an assistant under Lou Holtz. He does now how to poor mouth his team versus the opponent.

“Pitt is much bigger, much more physical than we are,” Davie said. “That’s obvious. That just jumps at you.”

New Mexico’s tricky triple option offense — run from the pistol formation — could be the equalizer that keeps the score close. But Pitt’s size advantage on the offensive line can’t be ignored.

Pitt averages 315 pounds — no one is under 300 — but the linemen on the Lobos’ 3-4 defense check in at an average of 280.6, backed up by 6-foot-2, 204-pound outside linebacker Rashad Rainey.

“They are so much more physical-looking,” Davie said. “We’re a smaller team from a smaller conference (Mountain West) coming in with a unique scheme trying to play the big, powerful BCS conference team. All it is for us is a great opportunity to try to get better.”

Man, there’s downplaying expectations. Then there’s publicly stating that you don’t even believe in your team. Can’t believe Bob Davie wasn’t in more demand as a head coach after ND.

It isn’t that New Mexico’s “tricky triple option” isn’t a challenge, but when one player is responsible for 45.4% of your offensive yardage it shouldn’t take a genius to know that the defense should have a spy on Kasey Carrier for every play.

“It’s actually been very fun and pretty easy,” Carrier said. “The offense for the running back, it’s not very difficult to pick up. It’s a great offensive scheme and zone scheme to be a part of if you’re a running back. Really, you fall in love with it playing in it.”

Saturday, Pitt will be tasked with shutting down Carrier and the Lobos offense.

Panthers quarterback Trey Anderson was a sophomore at Pearland for Carrier’s senior season and said he isn’t surprised by his former teammate’s success. But he has given his current teammates some advice on bringing down the 5-foot-9, 185-pound Carrier.

“You’ve got to bring your body when you tackle him,” Anderson said. “He’s going to run through arm tackles and he’s shifty. You’ve got to make sure you bring your feet and hit him with everything you’ve got.”

Pitt coach Paul Chryst said Carrier is one piece of the New Mexico offense that stands out when he watches tape.

“This isn’t just a coach trying to play up a guy; he’s a good player,” Chryst said. “And I think certainly their scheme presents some challenges. He’s shifty, powerful enough to break tackles and he has the ability to turn it into a big play.”

To repeat, this is a team with quarterbacks that have a sub-50% completion rate and have thrown only 24 passes in two games. I’m not saying they are pushovers, kind of. I’m not saying teams can’t make mistakes against the option. I am saying that the defensive gameplan should be rather simple.

Davieson: What things does Pitt need to focus on in order to stop New Mexico’s Offense?

Sam Werner: The biggest thing will just be playing sound, disciplined football and sticking with their assignments (something Pitt did not do very well at all against Florida State). Against an option team, it can be really tempting to ditch your man and swarm to the ball on a run, but if you do that and you’re supposed to cover the pitch man, you’ll get burned on the pitch. The key to stopping an option is not being discouraged by giving up runs of 4-6 yards. That’s going to happen. What you can’t do is give up the 60-yard home runs because you got caught out of position. Eventually, you’ll get the offense in a third-and-long and force the offense into an uncomfortable position.

Sam Werner: An addendum to that answer is that it’s very important for Pitt to jump out to an early lead. If you fall behind an option team early, they can just grind the ball on the ground all day long. If you take a lead, it forces them to play catchup and get out of their comfort zone.

Offensively, there is no reason Pitt can’t run their stuff. There’s nobody on the defense beyond a decent linebacking corp that even looks to match up well with Pitt. Pitt will want to be balanced, and make sure both the passing and running game get their confidence. New Mexico is expecting abuse in the passing game.

While Chryst intends to get the Panthers’ running game going against the Lobos, UNM coach Bob Davie said he also expects Pitt to test UNM’s young secondary with some deep passes.

“I anticipate they’ll throw the ball down the field on us,” he said. “We haven’t really been tested that much (with deep passes) early in the season. … I’m kind of anxious to see if we can respond.”

Also worth noting that the Lobos O-line already has a key injury. Their senior center is out due to an MCL injury.

Silly stat time. This will only be New Mexico’s 10th trip East of the Mississippi.

Their record in those games is a not-so-mighty 1-8. In the eight defeats, UNM has been outscored 281-82.

So, um, yeah. That might contribute to the 21.5 point spread in this game.

Pitt needs to jump out early or this could become a frustratingly close game, and I’m in no mood for that. Again, I am concerned about the D getting off the field, with the Lobos option controlling the clock as FSUs passing did.

It is so difficult to be confident as a Pitt fan…

Comment by Iron Duke 09.14.13 @ 7:55 am

I expect Pitt to find a way to win this one. But, the Lobos could keep it close if we can stop the run. And, if they watched our last game, then the Lobos will surely add in a few additional passing plays…

Comment by Rockymtnhigh 09.14.13 @ 8:33 am

I see everyone is geeked up this morning, heading down to the game.

35- 7

Let’s go Pitt!

Comment by gc 09.14.13 @ 8:47 am

Expect Savage to make you forget Tino. He will shine in this game. Not that Tino was worth remembering. Glad that experiment is over.

Comment by TX Panther 09.14.13 @ 8:51 am

Drink one for me Pat and Nick and whoever else tailgates today. My drinking begins after running my errands this morning. This game won’t be close. Hope Pitt fans show.

Comment by TX Panther 09.14.13 @ 8:53 am

I’m guessing they had Trey running the Lobo’s Pistol Option in practice the last 2 weeks. So that should help, I guess. lol

We’ll see if House has any inkling on how to scheme against the Pistol which Colin Kapernick ran at Nevada-Reno.

Good thing Palermo is around or this could be a disaster.

I expect ole Bob Davie to come out with some tricks and to try and catch PITT off guard and get an early lead.

Offense needs to score some points today and gain some confidence before the road opener at Duke next week.

You would think we could score 35 or so. Let’s hope !

Let’s go Pitt !

Comment by EMel 09.14.13 @ 9:04 am

@Iron Duke, agreed!! LOL I’m in no mood either for a frustratingly close game.

I don’t need 63-0, but I better not be biting my nails in the 4th quarter.

It’s up to the football team on how I’ll post on here late tonight!!! LOL

42-17 HTP!!!

Comment by Dan 09.14.13 @ 9:06 am

Davie using the old reverse psychology
of we aren’t worthy to be here. After
the debacle on Labor Day Pitt had better
respect every opponent.

Comment by JR 09.14.13 @ 9:42 am

not much of a test for house next week will be a batter test of house.
but if the D should suck this week then you know
were screwed but this should be a easy game for the
D that is why i say the test is the next game.
we shoud win bye 21 at least score pitt 28 them 7

Comment by FRANKCAN 09.14.13 @ 9:47 am

I think we will win – BUT, to cover a 21 point spread when you didn’t cover the first game spread by 30 may not be realistic. Pitt 34 – 20

Comment by pittman4ever 09.14.13 @ 10:33 am

My errands are over. The drinking has commenced. Sucks I can’t watch on TV but I’ve got wifi. And a teleportation device.

Comment by TX Panther 09.14.13 @ 10:41 am

Hail to Pitt!

Comment by MariettaMike 09.14.13 @ 10:47 am

Still sitting on route 28 traffic! Wow! Why you would close a road on game day shows no respect again to Pitt games! Hail to Pitt. 41-10 Pitt!

Comment by Sweet Caroline 09.14.13 @ 11:10 am

well Chas, just came back from Alesci’s Italian Market and will endeavor to make up for your fasting.

Don’t know what to expect (except for a Pitt W and a lot of yellow seats) … and will be pretty disappointed since the home team should dominate the line o scrimmage

Comment by wbb 09.14.13 @ 11:15 am

Great start. Hmph.

Comment by Mailman 09.14.13 @ 11:32 am

Atta boy Savage. 0/1, 1 INT.

Comment by MikePITT 09.14.13 @ 11:32 am

Reminded me of Fitzgerald right there.

Comment by Mailman 09.14.13 @ 11:41 am

Anybody getting this on DirecTV outside of Pittsburgh? I’m in Allentown and I’ve got nothing. Plus it’s blacked out on ESPN3 online.

Comment by Kenny Powers 09.14.13 @ 11:44 am

well we certainly saw the good and the bad from Savage … or should I say the bad and the good.

Anyway, thus far, I see Pitt controlling both lines which will bode well for the home team

Comment by wbb 09.14.13 @ 11:45 am

tackle by Todd Thonas 8

Comment by wbb 09.14.13 @ 11:49 am

Pitt with a delay of game on a kickoff (can anyone ever remember that call in any game?)
Then a 74 yard return. Eerily Wannstedian!

C’mon man!

Comment by Dan 72 09.14.13 @ 11:54 am

Reading the play by play at home. What happened on the kickoff that they got the ball at the 18? play by play just says delay of game penalty?

Comment by Rex 09.14.13 @ 11:55 am

Rex – 70 plus yard return

Comment by Winedogs 09.14.13 @ 12:00 pm

Boyd is sick good! Already almost 100 yards all purpose!

Comment by Winedogs 09.14.13 @ 12:01 pm

Boys are blocking great. A crushing block by Garner? on Boyd’s TD run. I am feeling good about this game.

Comment by Rex 09.14.13 @ 12:12 pm

Gonna be fun watching Aaron Donald play on Sundays next year. And Boyd is simply indescribable.

Comment by Panther Pride 09.14.13 @ 12:19 pm

Kenny if you have an ipad get the ACC app. I am watching the game live in the middle of Oklahoma!

Comment by Oklahomeboy 09.14.13 @ 12:32 pm

Too many turnovers but still playing ok. Were the picks by Savage bad reads? I hate not being able to watch the game.

Comment by Rex 09.14.13 @ 12:50 pm

what a silly play be Vinopal. He saw the ball coming, should have tried to intercept or at least bat it down

Comment by wbb 09.14.13 @ 12:52 pm

Boyd, Boyd! What a catch!

Comment by MariettaMike 09.14.13 @ 1:02 pm

Tyler Boyd is an animal.

Comment by Mailman 09.14.13 @ 1:02 pm

Hey I predicted 35 points this morning.

But I didn’t think it was going to in one half ! lol


We can go for 50 or 60 now !

Comment by EMel 09.14.13 @ 1:06 pm

Boyd is just phenomenal.

That first one he caught the guy was draped all over, called pass interference….he still caught it.

And the last one was a great catch as well.

This kid is really something !

Comment by EMel 09.14.13 @ 1:10 pm

this game is in the bag now good job.
but duke will be the test for are D if we beat duke
we might have a good year at least 7 wins.

Comment by FRANKCAN 09.14.13 @ 1:11 pm

Boyd has made as good a early impression as any WR I ever remember at Pitt!!! Incredible talent

Comment by Mike 09.14.13 @ 1:12 pm

Connor is averaging almost 11/ypc

8 carries for 87 yards and 2 TD’s.

Sir Issac has 8 carries for 64 yards, 8/ypc

Savage hasn’t had any incompletions, 10 for 12
with 2 picks, 200 yards & 2 TD’s.

Boyd….4 catches for 116 yds & 1 TD
1 run for 33 yds and 1 TD.

Street….5 catches for 80 yds.

Ok let’s get Garner & Holtz involved in the 2nd half. Maybe Chad by the 4rth quarter.

Comment by EMel 09.14.13 @ 1:19 pm

I know it is only N.M. but I am looking at mechanics and skill and Pitt has 2 legitimate NFL players Savage and Boyd. Street probably as well as others.
Savage is probably after the season goes along and he gets use to reading defenses again whether he gets time to throw against top ACC teams or not is IMO the best NFL QB in the ACC. The stronget arm, size, and poise.
Boyd is a monster who will be gone after 2 years. He is a Fitgerald just not as Big. Savage to Boyd as the year goes on if the O-line can give time Pitt will put up numbers. Question can they play D against G.T., Miami; F.S. and Clemson we know they cannot keep up with.

Comment by pittisit 09.14.13 @ 1:20 pm

chad needs to play in 4rth quarter

Comment by FRANKCAN 09.14.13 @ 1:22 pm

Worst thing about playing in the ACC is listening to the mindless and the lowest common denomiator music. country music interludes

Comment by pittisit 09.14.13 @ 1:23 pm

Men vs Boys

Comment by wbb 09.14.13 @ 1:34 pm

This game is a great confidence builder for Pitt.

Hail To Pitt!

Comment by MariettaMike 09.14.13 @ 1:36 pm

Wbb true but good for us but duke will be the test

Comment by FRANKCAN 09.14.13 @ 1:51 pm

how about my Akron Zips? Mich will win no doubt but they have to be scared to death right now down by 4 with 4 min left

Comment by wbb 09.14.13 @ 1:58 pm

We must not go to sleep we must keep playing may be we need eo call a time out and bring every one to the side line and say wake the fuck up.
you must play a whole game.

Comment by FRANKCAN 09.14.13 @ 2:07 pm

Chad time

Comment by Panther Pride 09.14.13 @ 2:24 pm

Glad to see Volychik valides my point as I watched him wind up at 6’0 and put evrything he had on a pass to the flat that took about 3 seconds to get there.
Anyone still think Chryst made a mistake tellign Myers he had no future at Pitt. Read about him according to his coach who is a former NFL QB

Comment by pittisit 09.14.13 @ 2:36 pm

how about if you bet Pitt at -23?

Comment by wbb 09.14.13 @ 2:40 pm

Nice win by Pitt…Will they cover 23?

Emel – I like AM + 8.5 and under 60

Comment by Upittbaseball 09.14.13 @ 2:42 pm

Glad I didn’t take Pitt to cover. -23 and win by 22…

Comment by Upittbaseball 09.14.13 @ 2:56 pm

i love it when pitt wins

Comment by FRANKCAN 09.14.13 @ 3:11 pm

I didn’t watch yet, but plan to later. Hate to use TG-speak, but did we ease up off the pedal or did we get outplayed in the 2nd half?

Comment by panther94 09.14.13 @ 3:19 pm

Love to see Chryst playing the freshmen. Great effort by Pitt today.

Comment by TonyinHouston 09.14.13 @ 3:33 pm

Pitt replaced the wrong linebacker with Thomas. Gonzalez is not good. Thomas had a strong game.
Keep Brady in, bench Gonzo.
Give credit where credit is due. Good defensive scheme from House.

Boyd is awesome.

Comment by notrocketscience 09.14.13 @ 3:41 pm

Boyd has to be a Freshman All-American. He’s absolutely unstoppable.

Comment by PatMac 09.14.13 @ 3:52 pm

wouldn’t say Pitt took its foot off the pedal offensively, but maybe so defensively when they played more passively than in 1st half. Plus a turnover by Conner around Pitt’s 30 which led to a score

Comment by wbb 09.14.13 @ 3:53 pm

I liked a lot today. the young guys played well. I blame unm’s second half offensive success on the 4 turn overs. that’s probably 20 plays that pitts defense shouldn’t have had to play. without those to’s this probably ends 63-13. oh, and boyd is a stud. a genuine stud

Comment by pk 09.14.13 @ 4:22 pm

and those 20 extra plays are a lot to put on a defense that was getting run at and run at and run at and we knew pitt was not a deep team. I also saw a lot of hard hitting today, which I liked. pitt also showed up with focus and effort to play a team they should crush. they don’t do that as often as they should so that’s a good sign

Comment by pk 09.14.13 @ 4:24 pm

Just got home from the game. Beautiful weather, weak turnout as expected. There just aren’t that many real Pitt Fans. Game day atmosphere is awesome, just need more fans.

Game was over in the first half. Savage was great. Inexplicable first play and late throw on the second int. Other than that, on the money all day long. Great O-line play. Connor and Bennett showed what they can do. Boyd is the play-maker that we have not had since Fitz. Street and the tight ends are there as well. Savage just throwing to the open man. Can’t say enough about Boyd, gets open, great hands. Savage can go deep and his throw on the run to Boyd to end the half was a thing of beauty. Look for it on SportsCenter, at least it should be there.

Defense held their star to 22 yards. Donald was a beast and finally Thomas is back, second string my ass! Best instincts, best speed, best open field tackler.

Good team D, as expected look faster and stronger against lesser players and one dimensional offense, they really can not pass. Still, very enjoyable. Good tune-up for Navy, which will be much tougher.

D gave up a couple big plays late, but the game had been decided. Most of their scoring was helped by our mistakes, turnovers. Poor special team coverage on kick offs.

It was NM, but Akron came close to Michigan and Nevada put up a little fight. Pitt put on a dominant performance. Cigar game!

Not many comments, the naysayers have to take the day off.

One suggestion, how bout playing Bradley for Vinopal?

On to Duke.

Hail to Pitt!

Comment by gc 09.14.13 @ 4:26 pm

Solid recovery game! It’s good to see the freshmen playing so well! Did anyone else hear Shai McKenzie tore his ACLU last night? One has to wonder how that changes his recruitment! I think Pitt continues to recruit him heavy but I wonder if other teams back off?

Comment by Shawn 09.14.13 @ 4:35 pm

Great job and a big confidence builder. One int. of Savage would have been a completion off a difficult rush if another Pitt player did not touch.
Need to avoid mistakes punt, and Connors getting slopppy carrying the ball but loved his hard running.
The big difference between this year and last year especially on offensive line, I would not be surprised if Tino caused many of these problems, the O-line consistently jumping off sides.
No team can put 8 in the box (love to have Schell back/ridiculous move by A.D. bull-shit). With Schell if the O-line continues to get better you Regardless Pitt would have on offense QB, RB, and 2 WR’s playing on Sundays.
Good coaching on discipline on offense. D will need to wait until playing in conference games.

Comment by pittisit 09.14.13 @ 4:36 pm

Auto correct meant ACL! Regardless hope the young man recovers and everything works out!

Comment by Shawn 09.14.13 @ 4:36 pm

Good game by Pitt. Need to protect the ball. D needs some more aggressiveness. But the O looks fine. Savage will have to make better reads. Coaching wasn’t bad it appears. Fans disappoint again. Seven wins is possible. Not eight unless we get lucky.

Comment by TX Panther 09.14.13 @ 4:37 pm

pittisit is delusional. And it’s Voytik, Jesus

Comment by Timmeh 09.14.13 @ 4:42 pm

like what i saw but duke will be a better test for
the D if D plays good and we beat duke 7 wins maybe

Comment by FRANKCAN 09.14.13 @ 5:05 pm

Actually I was surprised by the fan turnout! Thought it would be worse! What they need to do is move everyone down to fill up the bowl and leave upper deck vacant! More noise and better seats for everyone. Great win! Beat the teams your are supposed to! Pitt will be 3-1 by the end of month! Boyd is a true pleasure to watch! Please watch that touchdown catch he had at the back of the endzone, I think he even got two feet in! Relax tonight gentlemen and enjoy the other games! Hope fraud graham gets blown out by wisky tonight. That would make it a perfect night!

Comment by Sweet Caroline 09.14.13 @ 5:13 pm

All around solid performance. Any time the freshmen can play, it is a bonus, especially in victories. I think PC will not be overly impressed one way o the other. This was a game they should have won, and did. No fingernail biting which is exactly how this game should have played out.

Will be good to go to Duke this coming week and have a nice performance and a victory, but there is much improvement to be made. My first change would be to remove Vinopal. He is just a 1/2 step slow and doesn’t make up for it on the mental side. Sorry, that is just the way it is. He is not our best option there. I like Galambos a lot and Todd Thomas was solid.

If the team continues to improve, they will be real nice come mid-October. Well done Panthers!

Comment by dhuffdaddy 09.14.13 @ 5:18 pm

Pitt played really well and a lot of young guys showed a lot of promise, but don’t get too overboard about a mediocre team from Mountain west … remember, we didn’t even cover.

It was a rally good step in the right direction but nothing more

Comment by wbb 09.14.13 @ 5:26 pm

No doubt wbb, but it was needed. Twenty one points scored after the game was over. Something to build on. Nobody should lose their head, just enjoy till next week.

300+ comments when we lose, >100 when we win. Says a lot about the fan base.

Comment by gc 09.14.13 @ 5:36 pm

Thomas with 9 solo tackles today.

Comment by gc 09.14.13 @ 5:47 pm

did you see that FSU was leading by 10 at half, but won by 55?

Comment by wbb 09.14.13 @ 5:57 pm

next week will be the game duke is a lot like us
if we beat duke we could win 7
the test for house and D is next week.
the game plan for this game on D was easy next week
should tell us a lot moore.
but we won that is great and it does seam like there
are less posts to day were is every body .

Comment by FRANKCAN 09.14.13 @ 5:59 pm

First five touchdowns scored by true Pitt freshmen. Pitt fans,, welcome to the future of Pitt football! Currently sitting on the 1 st base line at PNC Park ready to root the Bucss on to another win. What a great weekend in the Burgh!

Comment by Dr. Tom 09.14.13 @ 6:04 pm

Pittisit’s posts earlier are what kills me about this fanbase sometimes.

Shell and Myers? Really? Are you being serious? Please tell me this is trolling, even if it’s just trolling at its most hollow and pathetic level.

Today we saw two 100-yard rushers, one of whom was a true freshman.

Today we had a good performance from our senior starting quarterback.

Today we had a dominant performance by the defense against a gimmicky read-option offense that used to give Wannstedt’s teams fits (see Navy). We saw Aaron Donald routinely beat double and triple-team blocks, and we saw the defense as a whole contain the nation’s leading rusher to 22 yards.

Best of all, today we got 7 catches, 195 all-purpose yards and two highlight-reel touchdowns from our true freshman playmaker, who may be the most electric talent this program has seen at least since Fitzgerald.

After all those performances that deserve to be discussed – Boyd’s especially – we’ve got fans that are going to lament the fact that Shell (that’s Shell, S-H-E-L-L) is no longer here and that Voytik’s one throw made you long for Mark Effing Myers?

Look, Conner may not be quite as naturally gifted as Shell, but he certainly fits the same role, runs just about as hard, accomplishes about as much and best of all, HE WANTS TO BE HERE.

And Mark Myers? Are we honestly still talking about Mark Effing Myers? At least Flacco could play at a Division I level. Myers transferred to Division III. Division III. And it’s not like he went to Mount Union, Wisconsin-Whitewater or another D-III powerhouse. He went to a middling Division III program at John Carroll. Mark Myers? Really?

Look, I don’t blame some Pitt fans for being overly cynical given everything that’s happened to the program the last couple of years. Hell, even before the coaching carousel, the inability of the program to get over the proverbial BCS hump in both the Harris and Wannstedt eras was enough to justify a good deal of the cynicism.

That said, I really think Pitt could someday go undefeated, win the national title and someone would still complain because some three-touchdown win wasn’t quite dominant enough for their taste. If not that, it would be some former recruiting target who had a big day for an opposing team and because Pitt didn’t get him here, too, the coach still sucks. Or maybe it would be because the flavor-of-the-month backup quarterback from two years ago transferred out and was no longer on the roster to make that throw in garbage time against Pushover State.

Look at what this team did today. In particular, look at how many young players came up big on both sides of the ball. The first five touchdowns today were scored by true freshmen. How often do you see something like that?

Isn’t that enough to be happy about and enjoy this win without having to bring up Shell and Mark Effing Myers? Can we PLEASE stop pining for players that are no longer part of this program, especially those who no longer deserve to be?

Do whatever you want, but spend too much time staring longingly at the Rushel Shell Pitt jersey and you’re going to miss the Tyler Boyd Show.

Comment by Stoosh 09.14.13 @ 6:32 pm

wbb, no box score yet for FSU wonder how many completions Winston had?

Comment by gc 09.14.13 @ 6:32 pm

Well said Stoosh!

Connors spin move touchdown run kind of gets looked over because of Boyd’s heroics, but it was a thing of beauty. As you say F that other guy that didn’t want to pay the price.

By the way Voytik was in for one series completed his first pass ever 1-1 100% passing, got to love statistics. Also, where is POD, how’s Savage’ YAG look now?

Comment by gc 09.14.13 @ 6:41 pm

many good points listed here, more or less reflected my thoughts

link to

one point that I was unaware of .. Dorian Johnson played today, thus, no redshirt .. which BTW I’m in favor of since I would doubt that he would stay for 5 years anyway

Comment by wbb 09.14.13 @ 7:06 pm

Was on the road throughtout the game today but kept glancing (stupidly) at the updates on my phone. Nice game and confidence booster. Still enough mistakes for the coaches to harp on this week.

What a freshman class performance! I’ll take these kids and the play over others’ stars any day.

But it was only NM. Need to start to build consistency with Duke next week. That has been one of Chryst’s and Pitt’s biggest hurdles: Play well consistently.

And I can’t believe I’m saying this: We have what appears to be developing into a good offensive line AND we have 4 starters returning AND we have 3 good players in Roberts, Grimm and Johnson who will be COMPETING for playing time next year. If we can develop that for our Lbs as well, the sky is the limit.

Also, well said, Stoosh!

Comment by Bowling Green Panther 09.14.13 @ 7:13 pm

Glad we got a good win. Kudos to the team and players. Wish I was able to watch it on TV but not on in the DFW area. AM covered but damn was I wrong on O/U. LOL. I like Az St. tonight. FYI and Cincy on Monday! Enjoy the win guys. I’m happy with the win and more than happy the young guys are the ones making waves. I’d play all freshman and sophomores if they have more heart and fire. Will pay off in 2 years big time.

Comment by Upittbaseball 09.14.13 @ 7:16 pm

Guys, I know it was only NM but do we really think that Duke (in Football) is supposed to be that good. Yes, they made a bowl and played tough but it’s still freaking Duke. We should beat ’em by 15 in Durhman! It’s Duke and unless it’s basketball or Lacrosse we should smoke them.

Comment by Upittbaseball 09.14.13 @ 7:18 pm


If I recall correctly from camp reports, Conner also showed some ability to catch the ball out of the backfield during camp practices. That was a dimension that Shell didn’t really bring at all last year (9 catches all year). Conner has yet to do it in games, but it should be something that gets worked in over time.

As I said, I’m not trying to put Shell and Conner in the same boat in terms of their natural abilities; Shell is the more talented player. Whatever advantages Shell has between the two in natural talent seem to be negated by Conner’s superior desire to be a contributor to the program and work hard to get better.

Conner seems keenly aware of the opportunity afforded to him here. The irony there is terrific, given that it was Shell’s complete inability to appreciate that very same role that had been practically gift-wrapped for him heading into this year which opened up that opportunity for Conner.

Again, I’m not making Conner out to be the next Shell, let alone the next Shady McCoy or Tony Dorsett. But I like what I see from him so far and given that he’s just a true freshman, I really like his prospects for the future.

Comment by Stoosh 09.14.13 @ 7:21 pm

since Voytik was only 1 for 1 … here is some info on his competition next year

link to

Comment by wbb 09.14.13 @ 7:27 pm

Just got home, stopped for a few toddies after the game. Great to see so much activity downtown on a beautiful fall day with Pitt and the Bucs back to back. Honestly, the City has never looked better. Game impressions:

– NM is NOT a good team. If college football is a bell curve, we’ve played 2 teams in the tails, one high, one low. There is still much to learn about this Pitt team. The next two weeks will provide some clarity.

– That said, the offense was dominant today, especially the line. They did what they needed to do against a lesser opponent.

– we have 2 very good freshmen in James Conner and Tyler Boyd. Boyd in particular is a rare talent that Pitt is fortunate to have. He made 3 catches today that you would be hard pressed to see from many NFL receivers, and he displayed a higher speed gear on his TD run. Screw the parameters of the offense. The more Chryst can get the ball in Boyd’s hands, the better.

– Isaac Bennett ran very hard today. He may not be the shiftiest back, but you have to credit his power. He and Conner are a nice combo.

– good to see Todd Thomas back in the fold. He made an impact today.

– Savage looked good today…that is, after the first INT which was just an awful decision. The 2nd one was not his fault. He really can throw and seemed to settle in after the long completion to Boyd. Sorry, even with 4 INTs, I’m not missing Tino.

– still not sold on the defense. The Lobos are just not good enough to judge. I’m sure Pitt let up in the second half, but I think they were lucky that NM didn’t play their option QB more in the first half, Pitt definitely struggled with their assignments, which doesn’t bode we’ll for Navy or GT. To me, this still doesn’t look like a unit returning 8 or 9 starters.

– 4 turnovers and awful awful special teams should give the coaches plenty to harp on this week. Kickoff coverage was so bad Pitt actually reverted to squib kicking.

– guessing 30-35k in attendance today.

– at least we didn’t have to sweat out a win today. I am liking the offense, but thinking we could be in some shootouts this year. H2P

Comment by Iron Duke 09.14.13 @ 7:28 pm

gc, Janeis Winto was 15-18 for 21 yards and 2 TDs. FSU ran 41 times for 377 yds

Comment by wbb 09.14.13 @ 7:39 pm

Winton … 214

Comment by wbb 09.14.13 @ 7:45 pm

Some powerful offense for FSU.

Iron Duke, I agree, the D has a lot of room for improvement. Thomas helps a lot, but the QB was killing them in the second half. If they had any kind of passing game, the game would have been a lot closer. We still don’t have much of a pass rush.

There were holes out there today, but NM was not fast enough to get through them.

The good news is that if the O-line keeps getting stronger, our backs look good enough to play ball control and keep the D on the bench.

We actually were scoring too quickly today. We were 3 for 5 on third downs, only 5 third downs, incredible. Gotta love them big plays!

Comment by gc 09.14.13 @ 8:05 pm

penn state lost that is nice

Comment by FRANKCAN 09.14.13 @ 8:13 pm

gc, that was definitely the case today, Pitt scored quickly. Hopefully they can control the clock in future games.

Not sure what our issues are on D. Although today was a completely different scenario from FSU, I again felt like they were responding rather than dictating, at least in the 2nd half.

The LBs looked confused at times by NMs misdirection and option. Way too much hesitation. And agree there is not enough penetration along the line. My hope is that they improve as they did last year after game 2.

Comment by Iron Duke 09.14.13 @ 8:25 pm

Savage is a very impressive QB. I guess he will throw a bad pick now and then, but man does he ever make some impressive throws. Shame it did not work out for him to be a two or three year starter.

I never saw Foster play, but he must be off the charts if he is better than Boyd.

Conner has already made me forget old what’s his name at WVU.

Comment by HbgFrank 09.14.13 @ 9:45 pm

GReat Day in Pittsburgh Sports !!!

The Panthers rout New Mexico. With 2 RB’s getting over 100 yards each. Connor was just bruising out there and avg’d about 10 ypc.

And Tyler Boyd is going to be so good it’s going to be sick. We definitely got the best player in Pennsylvania.

PITT scores over 60 without the 4 turnovers. Need to eliminate that stuff. And we went easily OVER the Total for this game which was 47-50.
They scored a few times in the 2nd half on shortened fields. Duke got routed today, 38-14 so they’re having their problems.

And me Buccos won over the Cubbies and move back into a 1rst place tie with Cards.

And to top off a wonderful day in Pittsburgh sports, the Pedo’s got beat in Creepy Valley by a American Athletic Conference team, lmao.

That is too funny ! :-)

Comment by EMel 09.14.13 @ 10:01 pm

Hbgfrank last year many sports people said boyd was better then foster

Comment by FRANKCAN 09.14.13 @ 10:05 pm

Question – for next year moving clemons back to DE were he has NFL size and athleticism and having Johson replace him at tackle.
If he can acquire tempermant with his size and speed and insights from playing tackle (giving him an incredible advantage over who has to block him) he could punch his ticket to the next level.

Comment by pittisit 09.15.13 @ 10:18 am

Savage will make better reads as he gets more playing time. I cannot believe the negative comments about him they remind me about the same misguded critizms about Adams. All Adams needed was what he did not get at Pitt and why he went pro.
Savage is the best QB since Flacco. Forget about the 60 yard pass to Boyd or the incredible 35 year pass off his back foot to Tyler (everyone is harping on Tylers catches as the should be but those were NFL passes).
More importantly is his arm strength to get the ball on the curl out with velocity ( a play we could not even use with Tino or next year with Volyck. Also the over the middle Rothensburger zip to Boyd coming across the middle. Each of those are NFL caliber throws.
He did misread one pass the first int. The second was a remarkable play on his part in the grasp found reciver coming across the middle released and it would have been a perfect strike (as pointed out by the announcers) if a Pitt receiver underneath and out of the play had not reached back with his trailing hand and tipped the ball into the air.
Great throw not a pic on him.
This crap about him through int. when he was a true 18 year old freshman having anything to do with his accuracy uis pure crap. He is a mature 23 year old with a cannon for an arm plying with 2 great receivers but a questionable young O-line when up against top talent.
No one blames Ben when he throw 3 int. because the blocking breaks down.
Like Adams wait until next year without him when the next QB is Tino revisted. What if he gets hurt Anderson.
Chryst better hope for some transfer to fall into his lap or it could be a waste of Boyd like Baldwin after this year unless one of the 2 new recruits is ready after their red-shirt year

Comment by pittisit 09.15.13 @ 10:43 am

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