October 3, 2013

Honors and Rest for the Bye

Filed under: Football,Players — Chas @ 6:22 am

Ah, the pause. It’s Thursday and by now it is usually all about the game on Saturday. About the match-ups. What the teams thinks. The injuries.

Instead it is merely a review of what games are on for Saturday. The best viewing options at each step (Noon/12:30: Md-FSU, PSU-Ind,  NC-VT with MSU-Iowa likely to reprise the UVa-Pitt game in terms of slogging; 3:30: GT-Miami, K-State-OSU; Third shift: ASU-ND, OSU-Northwestern, Ole Miss-Auburn, Wash-Stanford).

It gives Pitt a chance to rest and regroup. Not to mention coaches hitting the road for recruiting trips. Not to mention some more recognition for Tyler Boyd.

The rest is especially good for Tom Savage as he recovers from a mild concussion. A concussion not sustained on that helmet-to-helmet hit, but later in the game according to Coach Paul Chryst.

After the game Saturday, Chryst said he thought Savage got hurt on what appeared to be a helmet-to-helmet hit late in the third quarter. It turns out, the injury happened a little later than that.

Chryst said Wednesday that Savage’s concussion came when he took a sack on Pitt’s second-to-last drive of the game. He did not play again after that.

But Chryst also submitted the third-quarter hit to the Atlantic Coast Conference office for review.

On that play, Savage was going into a slide when he was hit by Virginia’s Daquan Romero, and Romero appeared to make contact with Savage’s helmet. No penalty was called on the play.

“Certainly I think there’s a great emphasis — and the right emphasis — at looking to make sure we keep the integrity of the game, also with a high importance and level of taking care of those playing,” Chryst said.

Naturally Chryst did not share what the ACC had to say about the hit.

Chryst said he spoke to the ACC office about the play and received a response, but he refused to discuss it with reporters.

Frankly, I’m not sure it was the last sack he took. It seems more like a cumulative effect from all of the hits he took in the game.

Chyrst is using the week to give not just Savage, but other seniors a little more of a break. Giving the younger players more time running with the first team. As for the O-line, I know this will shock everyone, but Chyrst is not overreacting. Instead just talking about cleaning things up and having the players learn from it.

Then there is Tyler Boyd. The sponsors of the Biletnikoff Award added him to the watchlist along with two other receivers. That brings the number of receivers on the watchlist up to 87. Which says something about how useful watchlists are. Odds are that Boyd will not win, especially since Devin Street is also on the list and would probably split some votes with Boyd. Still it’s a nice boost.

Over at, Bruce Feldman includes Tyler Boyd in his list of top-10 freshmen at No. 4:

The Panthers have some impressive freshmen driving them this fall and Boyd is the top one of the bunch. The 6-2, 185-pounder leads the ACC and is sixth in the country in all-purpose yardage with an average of 175.2 per game. He averages 19 yards per catch and 14 yards on his seven carries.

James Conner was included with 28 others as “just missed the cut.”

Iowa 7 MSU 4; PSU will beat Indiana (which is terrible) handily and once again everyone will rave how good they are.

Guess I’ll be paying attention to VT-NC, GT-Mia and ND-ASU because they are upcoming opponents.

(Note: there is supposed to be a game tonight or tomorrow night where it might snow — believe Utah)

With all of the promising frosh, Pitt fans have reason to be excited for the near future — just hope they can develop/attract some qaulity DLs and LBs.

Comment by wbb 10.03.13 @ 6:34 am

I am very impressed with the output from the freshman. So much for the validity of those recruiting rankings. Nice job so far by PC to “coach up” the freshman and give them opportunity.

Comment by Pitt Fan in Atlanta 10.03.13 @ 6:36 am

Question: what team is the current leader in Big 10 wins?

Answer: Northern Illinois

Comment by wbb 10.03.13 @ 7:07 am

I think we might get a recruit today fellas. Nobody major, but hopefully it kicks off a string of commits.

Comment by Atlanta Panther 10.03.13 @ 7:16 am

Pitt does need to recruit more D line and LB’s. But I guess it depends on whether they go 3-4 or stay 4-3 as far as where you stick pile. And of course CB’s and safeties are needed. There are a few prospects left out there that can immediately help. But again we need to money to develop a pipeline to Florida. We need that speed on D. Virginia has some nice players. You ‘ll see them on display next weekend playing for the Hokies. Maybe our chances are better there.

Comment by TX Panther 10.03.13 @ 7:26 am

we also may need contacts to develop a pipeline to FL. Pitt did get what looks to be a really good FL QB for this year’s class; hopefuly that’s just the start.

Comment by wbb 10.03.13 @ 7:35 am

Arguably Pitt should come out of this bye week vastly improved. Our weaknesses have been exposed. That means we can prepare for attempts to exploit them.
With very young teams, learning frequently comes from failures.
Were I PC, I would also use the two weeks to get Chad as many game plan type reps as is possible.

Comment by SFPitt 10.03.13 @ 7:41 am

SFPitt, ask and ye shall receive (geez, that’s 2 Biblical references in 2 days)

Story in Pgh papers today that Savage is not partiicpating in practices this week (they are only practicing a coule of days before taking the wekend off) with Voytik taking the snaps. Savage to resume taking 1s team snaps next week.

Comment by wbb 10.03.13 @ 7:59 am

re: recruiting. Did you know that Richmond is only a 5 hour drive from Pittsburgh. Pitt offers something neither Virginia school can – an urban campus in a city that’s not as cold as Boston. Plus the willingness to play freshman. I can see us building a presence in Virginia.

As for Florida – well we’ve landed Wade Freebeck and I think we are the heavy favorite to reel in Shane Gordon’s younger brother. Maybe that will be the start of something down there. Though the top tier florida guys are all going to go to Gainsville, Talahasee or the U.

Comment by Atlanta Panther 10.03.13 @ 8:02 am

2nd and 3rd tier FL players (off the top of my head): A Bryant, T Cox, G Lee, H Blades, C Session, G Mustakas, G Romeus (no doubt there are more … and there would even be more if our great AD didn’t cut the recruiting budget in 08-9)

Comment by wbb 10.03.13 @ 8:13 am

Here’s hoping!
Maybe Texas will hire Peterson away from us?

Comment by Caw Miller 10.03.13 @ 8:38 am

I hear you wbb.

A lot of talent in that bunch.

Also a lot of head cases in that bunch.

Maybe talent isn’t the only reason why they are tier-2 / tier-3 recruits?

Comment by Atlanta Panther 10.03.13 @ 8:43 am

That’d be pretty nice wbb. I suspect we are stuck with SP until the basketball team stops winning though. I could be wrong. Maybe the new chancellor will realize that a consistently successful football program can help to build your national reputation and add to the overall prestige of the school. Anyway, they are doing it on a shoestring right now, of that I am fairly sure.

Comment by Atlanta Panther 10.03.13 @ 8:45 am

* i meant caw miller, not wbb…

Comment by Atlanta Panther 10.03.13 @ 8:46 am

@wbb, that’s priceless. I’d put that up on Facebook about Northern Illinois leading the Big Ten, but I’d get bombarded from PSU friends and family about stirring the pot.

Comment by Dan 10.03.13 @ 8:56 am

Sellout game to watch – Clemson at Syracuse, at least the first half.

Comment by Frank MD 10.03.13 @ 9:18 am


Don’t wish too hard that Pederson is
hired by another school. It could be worse
Remember Ed Bozik? Awful!

Comment by JR 10.03.13 @ 10:59 am

Oliver Luck is being mentioned as new AD at UT.

With all of the (deserved) clamor here for the Pitt frosh, senior Aaron Donald is 2nd in NCAA with 6 sacks … leader has 6.5.

I hope he gets some due acclaim at year’s end .. at least All-ACC if not more

Comment by wbb 10.03.13 @ 11:07 am

A Freshman starting should be a rare case (like Boyd). A Freshman in the two-deep should be an occassional case. Most Freshman should redshirt. If you have to play them, it means you blew a few recruiting classes at their position. One thing that I can guarantee is that with all of these FR and Soph in our two deep, we will see a lot more redshirt FR down the line.

Comment by HbgFrank 10.03.13 @ 11:32 am

Ryan Luther to visit today. Recruiting not looking too good when you’re trying to steal A-10 guys. Steep it up slice.

Comment by alcofan 10.03.13 @ 11:33 am

AD second is sacks is awesome. Consider that Pitt has only played 4 games & 3 were vs conference teams. Most of the other teams have played a couple cream puffs by now. Was his tackle vs Duke when he got the QB & the RB a sack or a TFL?

Comment by Nick 10.03.13 @ 11:46 am

Nick, believe that was vs New Mexico.

But speaking of Donald, check this out and note it is a national honor, not ACC (I think)

link to

Comment by wbb 10.03.13 @ 11:52 am

“Recruiting not looking too good…Steep it up slice”
@Comment by alcofan 10.03.13 @ 11:33 am

Good grief man. Dixon and Slice had three of the top 25 guys in the 2015 and 2016 classes on campus, literally last weekend for a visit in Cheick Diallo, Kassoum Yakwe, and Caleb Swanigan. That’s in addition to Maverick Rowan and Jeter, who’ve both already committed.

There’s nothing wrong with letting a local kid have a visit anyway. Good for local relations. And you’d be foolish not to look at local talent.

Comment by BostonsCommon 10.03.13 @ 12:01 pm

No, I think that Nick was correct, by my memory, that Aaron corraled both the QB and the RB in mid handoff in the Duke game.

Donald just gave them both a big old friendly bear hug while extending his best wishes to both for better offensive results in future plays. He should have received BOTH a QB sack as well as a tackle for loss IMO. I don’t recall EVER such a dominant play from a denfensive lineman as that two for one tackle. Weird, funny and impressive all at the same time!

Comment by Dr. Tom 10.03.13 @ 12:21 pm

Thanks for the correction BC, I only know what I read in the paper.

Comment by alcofan 10.03.13 @ 12:28 pm

I know I do this, don’t always give enough shout outs and kudos to the guys I expect to perform.

I give more to the unexpected without even realizing I haven’t spoke about the top guys.

So, I stop and salute you Aaron Donald, you’ve been as fantastic as advertised and even better.

Keep on going brother!!!

Comment by Dan 10.03.13 @ 12:29 pm

“Did you know that Richmond is only a 5 hour drive from Pittsburgh.”

Actually Atlanta, I’ve been making the drive for 30+ yrs and my best time is 5:30. And that is with a traffic free Beltway and 10 mph over the limit along the way. More like 6…but who’s counting – haha.

But you make an excellent point. The is a lot of football talent in Central Virginia and no reason HCPC and staff can’t compete with Beamer and Mike London for the talent in the area. Blacksburg and Charlottesville can’t compare with Pgh if a kid likes what a big city can offer. The driving distance is close enough to get home for a weekend or have family visit as well.

My daughter is a freshman at Pitt and she thinks she’s hit a cultural jackpot after growing up in Richmond. Other HS kids who are open to going out of state are likely to have a similar reaction.

Comment by Joe Lawrence 10.03.13 @ 12:33 pm

It was Duke. Here is the video. Enjoy!

link to


Comment by Pitt Dad 10.03.13 @ 12:36 pm

The bye comes at a good time for Pitt – as rough as the schedule is compared to previous years, the layout is favorable for Pitt, with a bye before VT, back to back option teams, and most of the tough opponents at home.

I will be at the Michigan v. Minnesota game this weekend (friend of the wife lives in Ann Arbor) – will be my first Big House experience.

THE Ohio St. fans are tough to stomach, and of course can’t ever bring myself to root for the Pedo’s, so Big Blue has always been my default B10 team. But I have been told Michigan fans can be just as pompous and arrogant. Must be a B10 thing.

Two big Coastal Division match-ups this weekend that will tell us a lot about our competition: UNC @ VT and GT @ Miami. I suspect the home teams will prevail in both.

I will also be rooting hard for Northwestern to knock off the Buckeyes – I think they have a shot.

And of course I will be primarily focused on baseball. Beat ’em Bucs!

Comment by Iron Duke 10.03.13 @ 1:16 pm

@Iron Duke – you’re going to love the Big House. Michigan fans are not nearly as bad as tOSU fans. Plus they have the right uniform colors (more or less). One of my sons (Pitt ’10) is at Michigan Law and may be at the game.

Comment by Pitt Dad 10.03.13 @ 1:27 pm

Here’s hoping!
Maybe Texas will hire Peterson away from us?

Comment by Caw Miller 10.03.13 @ 8:38 am

Would Texas be that stupid.

One can only hope !

Comment by EMel 10.03.13 @ 2:24 pm

can’t agree more that Mich fans are more stomachable the OSU fans … just be glad you don’t have to live and work with them (OSU) like yours truly

Comment by wbb 10.03.13 @ 2:27 pm

The ONLY good thing about a game in the Horseshoe is the script Ohio and you can see that better on TV.

As much as I love the Pitt Band, the Michigan Band is pretty spectacuar.

Comment by Pitt Dad 10.03.13 @ 2:38 pm

Little Brown Jug game.

Michigan has dominated the Jug for the last 40+ years.

Minnesota has one of the better, lesser known fight songs.

link to

ABC Sports used it (minus the lyrics) on their Sunday Morning College Football Today show hosted by Bill Flemming.

Comment by EMel 10.03.13 @ 3:15 pm

If nothing else, I will have in common with Mich. fans our distaste for all things Ohio!

Comment by Iron Duke 10.03.13 @ 7:46 pm

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