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November 16, 2013

Pitt-UNC Game Thread

Filed under: Football,Opponent(s) — Justin @ 12:16 pm

I’m not sure if Chas is able to post this so I figured I’d throw this up. Here’s my game preview. Unfortunately Adam Bisnowaty is out for the game, Dorian Johnson starts in his place.

Disappointed with the loss, but I was entertained. That’s all I can ask for, because to me, football is entertainment.

Nice comeback, we’re just not quite there yet talent wise, o-line and linebacker in particular. Nothing to cry about though.

Comment by Pitt2Cali 11.16.13 @ 4:26 pm

To be a “different” Pitt team, Pitt needed to come out and win this game.

They did not.

I do not believe in good losses. We lost.

Heck, it might even be more of a dagger to some coaches and players that we just didn’t get beat 41-14 than to come all the way back, only to lose in the end.

The big question amongst the media and fans all week, was what will Pitt do after a big game win.

Well….sugar coat it anyway you want.

Very frustrating and disappointing.

Comment by Dan 11.16.13 @ 4:37 pm

@oklah boy

how can you tell we are headed in the right direction? we consistantly lose to teams we should beat, and find a way to lose close games more times than not. i have no idea where this team is.

Comment by goalie44 11.16.13 @ 4:38 pm

Disappointing loss. Settling for 3 on the opening drive followed by the redzone fumble on the next drive were killers.

Old Pitt – down by 21 at the half, lose by 21+
Current Pitt – down by 21 at the half, lose but not for want of trying
Future Pitt – ???

The officiating was awful and, while we got some breaks, the non-calls going the other way – particularly on the two punt returns run back for touchdowns (blocks in the back and holds missed) – were killers.

Still, while it is a bad loss…


Comment by Pitt Dad 11.16.13 @ 4:45 pm

old pitt, new pitt still equal loss. how and why do not matter, the final results do.

Comment by goalie44 11.16.13 @ 4:48 pm

Interestingly, there were almost as many pass receptions by TEs (10) as there were by WRs (11).

Comment by Pitt Dad 11.16.13 @ 4:50 pm

how and why do matter unless this is the last season of college football ever.

Comment by deepelemblues 11.16.13 @ 4:54 pm

but they beat a mediocre notre dame team, guys

Comment by Don Walnut 11.16.13 @ 4:55 pm

now’s a good time to appreciate the basketball team

Comment by Don Walnut 11.16.13 @ 4:57 pm

it’s a loss, no where in the official record of why we lost this game will be entered. it’s a loss, one of many this season.

Comment by goalie44 11.16.13 @ 4:57 pm

i guess it would have been better if we lost to ND as well since beating them means close to nothing apparently

i dont wanna be a grammar nazi but try to be a little less incoherent goalie44. and the official record (book, i assume) has nowhere near the relevancy you’re giving it. teams don’t get better or worse based on the record book. they get better or worse based on what they take from a game. so the players should just take “it’s a loss” and nothing else from this game? that sounds like a great way for a team to never win a game again…

Comment by deepelemblues 11.16.13 @ 5:03 pm

Ignorance is bliss. To disprove the Savage rap I concentrated on the time he had to throw (7 sacks/all his fault) All his fault that Pitt leads the nation in sacks but Savage is the 3rd rate ACC QB behind Boyd and F.S. QB..
Back to counting seconds from snap to DL penetration on all sacks 2 seconds or less.
Without Savage Pitt is 1-8.
Major problem does anyone really believe an OL line rated last in the country in sacks is going to make a miraculous transformation in one year.
What is the most frightening we got a second glimpse of the QB for next year unless Chryst can pull another Savage out of his ass. Great pass by what’s his name rolling out and “zipping it” 5 ft. over an open receivers head 10 yards down field.
Really has anyone been impressed by the velocity, accuracy of the two throws from the 6’0″ QB Fraud recuited from a second level high school in state not known for putting out football talent because of it’s lack of population density. Consider next year we have at qb the remaining curses of Fruad Graham.

Comment by pittisit 11.16.13 @ 5:05 pm

chryst made tino serviceable and savage has made some improvements as well

so yeah i think chryst can probably make voytik a decent college QB if nothing else chryst seems able to improve QBs

Comment by deepelemblues 11.16.13 @ 5:08 pm

It’s hard to judge Voytik when he comes in relatively cold for one play. Do I think Chryst and Bollinger can make something of him? Perhaps. But for the balance of this year the team will win or lose with Savage. I think he’s made enough strides to get us to a bowl game. And a winning season. And if you asked me before the season started if I would sign up for that I would have said yes. Hell yes.


Comment by Pitt Dad 11.16.13 @ 5:24 pm

if there is consolation, it is that Kansas broke its 27 game B12 losing streak ,,,, vs WVU

Comment by wbb 11.16.13 @ 5:27 pm

Listen, why do people on this site continue to put so much focus on the QB? The fact is that the OL has been week for the last couple of years … especially against speedy DLs.

There is a lot of positives here since there is a lot of talent coming back … however IMO, the one thing HCPC needs to fix is to how to defend a good ACC defense … he is not in the B10 anymore

Comment by wbb 11.16.13 @ 5:31 pm

FSU is having an amazing season. Why are there soooo many empty seats at the game? They don’t get fan support either? I guess winning really ISN’T enough to get fans in the seats.

Comment by Pitt Dad 11.16.13 @ 5:51 pm

Just got home from the game and would love to rant but I just don’t care. Only shot is at the students, nice turnout. The “panther pit” is so intimidating. Just don’t understand the lack of school spirit. They haven’t been around for all the crap we have. Very disappointing in what was a real big game.

Comment by cas myzlinski 11.16.13 @ 5:57 pm

no excuses but soo many bad calls on the punt returns (at least 2 holds on each) and no call on the pass to Street before the punt return.

Comment by JP 11.16.13 @ 6:27 pm

Wow, I had to calm down before I commented, ready to blow a gasket. You would think with 45 years of Pittspertise, that nothing could shock or upset me.

Wrong again. I get to my seat, 20 seats back on the 40 yard line. I find I have 4 NC fans on either side of me, NC fans in front and back of me. I can’t believe how many of our so-called fans are sell-outs.

I look over to the students, where the hell are they? Unbelievable. Well, maybe they are all smarter than me, I should have stayed home on this beautiful fall day.

Then the game, starts with a nice drive, no problem, big catch by Boyd. Stall out, field goal.
No problem, D holds, O marches down the field, then Savage makes a bone head fumble and all bets are off.

From there, absolutely the worst half of football, I have ever witnessed, and I have seen my share. Ends with a punt return for touchdown, and Savage limping off the field. The Game was over at half time.

Our guys looked like they didn’t want to be there.
Again, no pass rush for us, plenty ‘O rush for them.

Second half starts, Savage slammed to the ground, fumbles, D holds them to a field goal.

Then old Mo turns, Pitt teases us by playing great, ties it up, but in typical Pitt fashion, gives up a second TD punt return. Pitt runs out of gas, game over.

What can you say. Absolute stink, inspired comeback, give up a big play, no answer.

All I can say is they didn’t lay down in the second half, that is progress. But the first half was just horrid. No doubt we were out coached in that half, nice adjustments after half time.

Last comment, GET AN EFFIN SPECIAL TEAMS COACH! or at least a punter that can kick it out of bounds.

Comment by gc 11.16.13 @ 6:37 pm

Tough loss in front of a nice turnout! The talent is coming, we just have to give PC time. Must hire a special teams coach! Hate to pull the rug out from under Savage and I do believe the best talent should always play but it’s time for CV to get the snaps under center. FOR THIS YEAR!!!! Can’t believe MD beat VT at VT! Astounded that Cheat Lake CC lost to Kansas!!! H2P! UPone

Comment by UPone 11.16.13 @ 6:37 pm

are any of you watching the game at “Cameron Outdoor”? Boy, what a difference a couple of months make?

Comment by wbb 11.16.13 @ 6:59 pm

Until Pitt ponies up big bucks for coaching, this is what one can expect.

Comment by chethejet 11.16.13 @ 7:13 pm

For those of you who just saw the “immaculate reception 2” at the Auburn/GA game…tell me you didn’t say…”that could happen to Pitt”~

In my many years of watching football at every level, I have never seen a team (Pitt)lose is so many strange ways.

Folks, we are playing with a lot of young players and paying $2MM a year for Chryst/House to learn how to be coaches. As I’ve said many times, the only way to learn is to “do it”. Many lessons learned today include the Wanny Special “don’t kick/punt the ball to a hot returner.” kick it anywhere but to him” Also, God awful use of time outs on the last drive…it seems many times that Chryst does not enter the game with a plan or the second half with a plan.

Gritty gutty comeback. It’s a shame it had to end the way it did…but it always does…at Pitt.

Comment by Dan 72 11.16.13 @ 7:46 pm

Except last week vs Notre Dame

Comment by Dan 72 11.16.13 @ 7:47 pm

Dan72. Auburn was 3-9 last year. Gus turned them into the #7 ranked team in nation in less than 10 months! In the SEC!

Comment by Upittbaseball 11.16.13 @ 7:53 pm

UPitt – did Cuse cover?? Thought of you.

My best friend, fraternity brother and fellow Pitt sufferer made this comment which I have to share.

“I’ve never seen any other team than Pitt completely stop there own momentum!”


Comment by Dan 72 11.16.13 @ 8:06 pm

we lost enough said it does not make a diff if we fought hard at the end or any thing else we lost which as some have said is abought par for pitt.
i think we end up 5 and 7 this year no bowl.
why should i belive outher wise same old shit.

Comment by Frankcan 11.16.13 @ 8:08 pm


Was there to the final snap. Great effort
and as usual the game turns on several
plays. We need talent and speed. Connor needs
to get more carries. We need a RB
like Ray Graham or Shady. Savage
would have burned these guys
with time. Need O-lineman.

Need one more W to extend the season.

Comment by JR 11.16.13 @ 8:21 pm

Why did Chryst allow his team to come out so flat in the first half?

Comment by TonyinHouston 11.16.13 @ 8:23 pm

Not sure HCPC in two years is still in shoulda coulda mode. But that is my guess based on what I see now.

Comment by chethejet 11.16.13 @ 8:29 pm

TonyinHouston said it why werent we ready to play it is on the coach as it allways is we were a badley coached team a well coached team does not give up two punt returns.
poor coaching is what kills us not the players
a well coached team plays a whole game not just a half.

Comment by Frankcan 11.16.13 @ 8:46 pm

Dan72 – they didnt come close to covering. LOL. I figured with Winston getting under investigation and a let down game they would. Boy was i wrong. How about the job Gus Malzhan is doing at Auburn!

Comment by Upittbaseball 11.16.13 @ 9:04 pm

More Cowbell Miss State. Come on. Great atmosphere in Starkville!

Comment by Upittbaseball 11.16.13 @ 9:05 pm

Sad part is, with seeing this movie over and over these many years…….

The emotions will be low, and the Syracuse game sets up nicely for a loss that we are all too familiar with. (Don’t care how bad ‘Cuse is), like I’ve said, seen it before.

Then, probably a psyched up team gives Miami a game, possibly even winning, but a hard fought game, possibly to get to 6-6, but more likely, 5-7.

No one can take away the Notre Dame win. Even if it was a mediocre ND team. Beating ND on national tv was big and beating ND anytime is big, so you can save that stuff.

And besides, it was a big win for Pitt. So, there’s no debating that, no matter what you think of ND. So, it was in fact, a big win.

The problem with that is, however, not progressing onward and upward.

That was the next step everyone was waiting to see, Pitt after a big win, what would they do.

Could they finally put 2 together???

No matter how I try to flip it in my mind, the end result always comes out the same.

They could not build on the ND win. Seen that movie before many times too.

Wow, out of town for the Miami game, just realized, that was my last game. Wasn’t it just the end of August???

Comment by Dan 11.16.13 @ 9:33 pm

5-5 and Cuse in dome. Not good.

Coaches need to get this team ready to play from the start.

Comment by Frank MD 11.16.13 @ 9:34 pm


Comment by Keith 11.16.13 @ 9:55 pm

Just kinda wondering….with all the poor coaches we’ve suffered through in the last 30 years, why didn’t Pitt hire Walton, a former player at Pitt and NFL head coach? I mean, before Bobby U got a hold of him….

link to

Comment by Jackagain 11.16.13 @ 11:06 pm

It’s shocking that we can never seem to back up a good win. Inside we all kind of knee this would happen, sad to say. We’ve seen this so many times over the years. Now we have a must win game at the dome and bowl chances are slipping away! It’s not just the loss but how we lose. To come back shows a lot of resolve but once again something fails. Special teams today! It’s so frustrating when you look at the top 25 and some of the teams up there. We should be in that category! I hope we will soon but games like this put doubt in my mind! Not only do the losses hurt but when Pitt losses I don’t even want to watch college football for the rest of the day! And I love college football! Thank god for golf!

Comment by Sweet Caroline 11.16.13 @ 11:33 pm

It’s not even so much that Pitt does not have a special teams coach. A lot of teams have a coach that doubles as a position coach/special teams. But this team has no coach’s name attached to special teams, other than graduate assistant Taylor Mehlhaff. Even worse, none of this staff has working with special teams in their bio other than Matt House in 2008 was a Carolina Panther special teams assistant, and I would think he has his hands full as a 1st year D coordinator

Comment by Pap76 11.16.13 @ 11:40 pm

Pitt didn’t come out flat they dominated the stat sheet again early but just like every other loss the inability to put the ball in the endzone kills Pitt. Savage has showed improvement with this but is still inconsistent. Pitt will beat Cuse and Miami will be a toss up and let’s see where they go bowling! Stop expecting so much from such a young team with a retread at QB .

Comment by Steve h 11.17.13 @ 6:44 am

Boy, what a difference a week makes

Comment by wbb 11.17.13 @ 7:15 am

UCONN is 0-9 and I swear if we played them next week Pitt would lose.

Comment by JLE 11.17.13 @ 7:24 am

This is what I was worried about. This team is unpredictable. So they get their wake up call getting beat by UNC, now they can get back to work and win one more game.

This is still the same team that everybody was soooo high on last week. We are young, aren’t very good, give up huge ST plays, and have not yet learned the lesson that you have to play 60 minutes of solid football to be able to win games.

Hopefully this loss will help reinforce that concept. I feel much more confident that we’ll play better against Syracuse now. We needed to get beat by UNC, just for the reality check! Learn from this loss!

Comment by Dr. Tom 11.17.13 @ 7:29 am

BTW, if you want to read some SERIOUS fan angst, check out the Georgia Bulldogs blogs. “How bout them dogs”? Yeah, talk about ceasing defeat from the jaws of victory!!!

Pitt is good at it too, but the Panthersare far from cornering the market in fu*ked up ways to loss games!

Comment by Dr. Tom 11.17.13 @ 8:23 am

Todd Graham wins his 8th game and playing UCLA gor conf title next week. The offense played a little iffy but his Defense played great. Who would have thunk it.

Comment by Upittbaseball 11.17.13 @ 8:57 am

Dr. Tom – your positive attitude is to be commended. I don’t know why I still get so aggravated when I know Darn well what will happen each season. We deserve better and this coaching staff will not be able to deliver it…no matter how much time we give HCPC to bring in “his” players. I might agree with his recruiting tactics and character, but his game planning and game day IQ won’t change, even if he gets some of these great recruits. I have no issue with how he is trying to recruit. And don’t give me “if he had better players” crap. Some of this is talent based but plenty of bone-head calls and complete lack of preparation and in-game ability to adjust to anything speaks to average coaching IQ and we can’t do anything about that from what I can see. If anyone likes the preparation and in-game adjustments, let me know what you see. Maybe it will cheer me up.

Comment by htp123 11.17.13 @ 8:57 am

So disappointed in the performance yesterday.

1. Two years in a row…the team comes off of a MAJOR effort against Notre Dame….and lays an egg against their next week opponent in the first half. (UConn, last year and N.Car, yesterday) — have to lay a lot of the blame at the feet of the coaching staff for not having the team mentally prepared & ready to play .

2. Echoing the comments on many of my esteemed colleagues above — the special teams are atrocious. Two returned punts for TD’s! Is our head coach so stubborn that this won’t wake him out of his funk? The team needs a dedicated special teams coach – please.

3. This team resembles the Steelers….until they fix their O.Line problems….they will never have a consistent offense. It’s like watching a bunch of kids play pickup football over in the field ….just throw up 3 or 4 passes every possession ..and hope and pray that Boyd or Street catch a couple.


Comment by LeBats 11.17.13 @ 9:06 am

There are 3-4 players on Pitt’s defense making Matt House look competent. Next year without these players, Matt House true colors will show through.

The bottom line w/ Chryst – which he must fail to realize – he loses out… no tickets get sold for next year… he stumbles through another losing ACC conference schedule and he’s playing in front of 20K – that new chancellor won’t be impressed.

Nice to see Pitt starting the ACC in all sports in typical fashion. Yet to have a team w/ a winning record in any sport.

Comment by John Ramella 11.17.13 @ 9:16 am

Major concern about HCPC that doesn’t seem to be disappearing: Inability to have team prepared – perhaps mentally even more than strategically – every week.

Ah, yes, tell that is too simple an explanation for our failures against VT, GT, and NC.

Judgment on Chryst is still a long time out: 2 more games this year and next season.

But it is coming.

As far as game preparation is concerned, and exceptions like Notre Dame, is he really improving?

Comment by TonyinHouston 11.17.13 @ 9:58 am

Pitt hoops is 2-0 and will have a winning record in the ACC! But hoops, men’s and women’s might be te only ones for the next couple years! I hope we transition better than BC did! I hoped for a better feeling after sleeping it off but I’m still aggravated! And now hearing what Fraud Graham is doing makes it worse! At least WVU is terrible! This fall can’t end soon enough!

Comment by Sweet Caroline 11.17.13 @ 10:01 am

Unless he or she can actually go out and make a tackle, I think the whole, “we need a special teams coach” thing is a bit overstated/overvalued.

In my opinion, special teams is about the “the things you can’t coach”. It’s all about having the guys with the “god given athleticism” and the “will/heart/desire”, or whatever you want to call it, make a play.

The only thing a “dedicated” coach would be good for is a punching bag for the fans when our players don’t make tackles.

Comment by Pitt2Cali 11.17.13 @ 10:03 am


Comment by Oklahomeboy 11.17.13 @ 10:04 am

Look Pitt finds way to lose games they should and can win every year, which is maddening, and our our coaches are very questionable with their in-game decisions (House and SP coach have to go) but the silver lining is our schedule is pretty tough. We played two teams so far with a losing record. The combined record of our opponents, removing those two teams, is 57 – 25 or a .695 win percentage. There was only one game we were not in (played poorly in several)… I’m as frustrated as any fan but this gives me some piece of mind. What mind I have left being a Pitt fan.

Comment by artj 11.17.13 @ 10:07 am

Pitt’s inability to get in the endzone after two beautiful drives was a disaster and has happened repeatedly this season. Savage fumble was a killer, and a very bad mistake for a senior.

But offense is going to be up and down, what is dumbfounding is the poor defensive showing in the first half. We had no answer for an average offense. We had no pass rush at all. The schemes were pathetic. It was like they knew what D was called and took advantage. Too many wide open receivers, their poor running attack had no problem finding the holes. No third down stops for us. Nobody making a play. The Coup de Grace, a puny return.

How many big plays have we given up on special teams? How many games has it cost us?

The lack of a pass rush must be fixed or we will get no better. We need better linebackers, or we will never stop the run. The lack of any pass rush made an average QB have a great first half.

Say what you will but this game was over at half time.

The only positive out of this game was that they did not quit.

Comment by gc 11.17.13 @ 10:24 am

Special teams are like the farm system in baseball. It takes time to build your depth. See Neal Huntington.

Comment by alcofan 11.17.13 @ 10:25 am

Alcoa. Only took the Pirates 18 years to have a winning season.

Comment by Upittbaseball 11.17.13 @ 10:29 am

Then the starters should be playing on special teams. I blame the coaches, not the kids.

Comment by gc 11.17.13 @ 10:30 am

Agreed, gc

Comment by Pitt2Cali 11.17.13 @ 10:38 am

Really glad we have two running backs coming in next year. Hopefully with break-a-way skill level. Conner is strong, but we need guys that can go the distance.

Other than one game Bennett has been a disappointment. He had a hole yesterday that any of our three previous backs turn into thirty yards if not a touchdown. With him it was a 5 yard gain.

He did have a nice touchdown catch yesterday. He is good player just not a game changer. We need more of them on both sides of the ball. Particularly on Defense.

If you count his unrequited interception vs. GT Ray Vinopal has 5 turnovers in three games. He has become a game changer.

One last comment, Hendricks could not cover Ebron, by himself yesterday, where was his help?

Comment by gc 11.17.13 @ 10:45 am

You guys are right. Need Studs on special teams especially when it kills us weekly. I also question why our punt returner is big and slow with no speed. Get a crafty kid like UNC and or Edelman.

Comment by Upittbaseball 11.17.13 @ 10:47 am

Whoe’s ready for a little Howard today. And I don’t mean Stern.

Comment by alcofan 11.17.13 @ 11:26 am

The only big name college football coach Pederson hired was Graham who ran for the desert at the first opportunity.

No surprise he is winning. He took a perennial loser in Rice and turned them into a bowl team.

Wannstedt was a first time college head coach and it took him four seasons to win nine games.

If Graham were in year three at Pitt, he would be winning big here too.

You deal with the cards you are dealt.

Comment by TonyinHouston 11.17.13 @ 11:27 am


sorry if you didn’t understand my last post. I’ll dumb it down for you next time. Thanks

Comment by goalie44 11.17.13 @ 11:57 am

I’m tired of hearing how Chryst inherited a bad program. Pitt isn’t losing to teams because of a lack of talent (minus FSU who everyone loses to). Pitt beat the second best team on their schedule on the road. They are losing because coaches aren’t putting the players in the best position to win. Team could have won 10 games this year with excellent coaching.

Comment by Wardapalooza 11.17.13 @ 12:06 pm

4 plays – settling for 3 on the first drive, fumble in the red zone and two punt returns for TDs. Change those four plays and the outcome is different. That’s the nature of the game. Coaching. Play selection. Ultimately it comes down to execution. And a fair amount of luck. (And, while I’m at it, a few missed calls by the refs but I’m discounting that because we got some of the bad calls our way this time as well.)

So, as always…


Comment by Pitt Dad 11.17.13 @ 12:26 pm

Tonyinhouston, I firmly believe Graham left because he knew he couldn’t get the kind of players he needs for his offense here. If you look at his roster and his commits, you will see recruits mainly from Texas and some from Cal.

Comment by wbb 11.17.13 @ 12:44 pm

Wah, wah, wah!! ?????

Ok, got it.

Wow, did Pitt look fantastic yesterday!!! Can’t wait for the next two games, should be blowouts and on to a big bowl game to blow out an SEC or Big 12 team.

This team really excites me. The possibilities are endless.

Just an absolute pleasure to watch each and every Saturday.

Can’t wait till next year. With a new explosive quarterback, I’m thinking 10-2, 11-1.

We should be in competition for the Coastal division championship and a slot in the ACC Championship game against FSU or Clemson!!!! Woo Hoo!!!!!!!

Year 4 and 5, we should then settle into a consistent top 20 team by that time, and have reasserted ourselves as a yearly top college football program!!!

woo hoo, H2P, who knew it could ever get this good again!!!!!!!!!

Comment by Dan 11.17.13 @ 4:26 pm

right there with ya dan!

Comment by goalie44 11.17.13 @ 6:23 pm

If Puke can do it, why can’t we??? 🙂

Comment by Pitt2Cali 11.18.13 @ 6:49 pm

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