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November 30, 2013

When you spot a good opponent 14 points and you miss an easy FG, you won’t win many games. Those mistakes gave Miami a 17 point cushion and the final was only a 10 point difference. It’d be infuriating if it wasn’t so common. For some reason, this program likes to start games slow then try to crawl back. Unfortunately, they just aren’t good enough to do that. Maybe in a year or two they will be, but not yet. There were some positives and many negatives, but let’s look at both.

Positives:

-I said the following in my Know Your Enemy column about Miami: Their fatal flaw is run defense. 30 carries for 214 and a touchdown later, that proved to be true. Isaac Bennett had the best game of his career (not as good statistically as ODU, but consider the opponents) and Rachid Ibrahim scored his first touchdown.

-Tom Savage was sacked once and it wasn’t a devastating sack. It was on third down in the red zone, but it didn’t push them out of field goal range and since Blewitt made the kick, it didn’t cost points. An incomplete pass would’ve had the same overall result: three points. The clean pocket meant no turnovers while the game was still in contention as well. Savage’s interception wasn’t bad; he was forcing the ball to try and make a play late in the game. He put the ball where Garner could get it and in the end, Miami DB Artie Burns made the play. It’s not his fault poor defense and special teams play put them in that situation.

-Tyler Boyd. He broke Larry Fitzgerald’s freshman receptions record. He finishes the regular season with 77 catches 1001 yards and 7 touchdowns receiving along with 11 rushes for 108 yards and a touchdown. Over 1100 yards and 8 touchdowns for a true freshman? Incredible. He didn’t have his best game against Miami but he was keyed on all game and he still made an impact. The offense does need someone to step up across from Boyd next season. Whether it’s Manasseh Garner, Dontez Ford, a freshman, whoever. Someone needs to take the pressure off of Boyd in the passing game.

-The OL probably had their best game of the season. Dominating run blocking, a clean pocket for Savage, I don’t recall any false starts or holding penalties, and the offense scored 31 points even though they had bad field position frequently. This offense looks quite good when the OL is blocking. It gives me a little hope for next season because with better RB play and better OL play, this offense will look a lot better.

-Anthony Gonzalez had a great game and was one of very few players on defense who showed up. He was in on a lot of players and hopefully his second full season as a LB next year will allow him to become a very good LB.

-Did anyone else see true freshman Shakir Soto nearly run down Stacy Coley on his 73 yard touchdown? The coaches are high on Soto and you can see why with that speed. He’s one player the defense needs to really step up next season in order to replace Aaron Donald’s production. It’s obvious effort will not be an issue with him.

-The offense was missing its starting LT, LG, WR, and best RB (Conner) in the second half. They had a 10 play 92 yard drive and a 13 play 95 yard drive to get them back in the game. It was a bit slow, but impressive.

Negatives:

-Lafayette Pitts had one of the worst games I’ve seen an experienced player have. His kickoff return fumble was devastating and Miami clearly targeted him in the passing game with a lot of success.

-I’ll address special teams later in the week, but I’ll say this: it’s not a coaching issue when Pitts fumbles the ball. It’s a coaching issue when you have 12 guys on the field for a punt. The issue isn’t a lack of a special teams coach, it’s poor special teams coaching. That’s one area you can blame Chryst immensely for. Whatever they’re doing isn’t working and it needs to be changed in the offseason.

-You could easily argue that special teams mistakes cost this team two wins. Stop UNC’s punt return and don’t fumble the kickoff/the partially blocked punt and this team wins two more.

-I knew Miami would score points. I guessed 31 in my preview and I’m not necessarily upset that they were successful, but I am upset at how easy they were able to score. Coley was WIDE OPEN on the first touchdown and I have no idea why. Then his 73 yard rush was unforgivable. I give credit to Coley for making plays, but touchdowns of 32, 34, and 73 all involved defensive breakdowns.

-Matt House had built up a lot of positive capital since the Duke game. If you look, the most points scored by an opposing offense was 24 by ODU and Navy. That’s not great, but VT, UNC, Notre Dame, and Georgia Tech were all held to 21 or fewer points. You expect your offense to win when they only need to score more than 21 points. After the game Miami had yesterday, he lost a lot of that in the eyes of fans.

-Overall, this season was so Pitt. You can look at one or two times in each loss where this team shot themselves in the foot. Outside of Florida State, does anyone think there was a noticeable talent differential between Pitt and any opponent? I firmly believe this team was capable of winning 11/12 games on the schedule. Through stupid mistakes, bad coaching, and slow starts, they went 6-5 in winnable games. There’s no doubt the schedule was tough; a Syracuse win over BC would mean 9/12 opponents are bowl eligible. As of right now, this team has two victories over current top 25 teams (ND and Duke). Only three teams (Stanford, ND, and Fraud Graham’s Devils) have more.

I’ll have info on recruiting, some season awards, and I’ll dig up bowl info over the course of the next week. I’ll say this: root for Clemson and Boston College today. If Clemson wins, they’ll go to a BCS bowl and open up another ACC slot. If BC wins, Cuse only has five wins and won’t go bowling.





gc just this one thing do you think really think chryst hired the best cochs that were out there when he hired his asst do you really think he did.

Comment by Frankcan 12.02.13 @ 10:52 am

I watched Penn State vs Wisconsin. And I couldn’t help but think with all the crap that Penn State faced because of the Sandusky thing, recruiting limits, scholarship limits, no bowl games , … yet they still could put it together to defeat a ranked team.

I’m no PSU fan, but that showed me that they have a team, a school, a squad spirit that Pitt just doesn’t have.

Pitt’s failure: Is it the coaches, the Admin, the players, I don’t know?

But it’s depressing, damn depressing.

Comment by 17YearsAtPitt 12.02.13 @ 10:54 am

coachs

Comment by Frankcan 12.02.13 @ 10:55 am

Frankcan, I don’t think Pitt fans really care which of the poor excuses for a bowl game we go to. Pittsburgh as opposed to Pitt fans are spoiled with all the championships we have had.

I may disagree with you but I respect your love for Pitt. There are just not enough of us that feel strongly about Pitt Athletics. We are known for not traveling well with our teams. People flock to winners, not perennial underachievers.

I am just as disappointed as you are in the results we had on the field. Even on this site, it is the same names, and there are very few of us.
Pitt fans are frustrated for a reason, you have to be tough to weather the pain and anguish that is Pitt Football. A sense of humor helps.

Comment by gc 12.02.13 @ 11:03 am

here are the only 3 bowls we have a chance to get
1 beef o brady in st pete
2 heart of dallas bowl
3 little ceasars bowl detroit
i dont which one you want but i hope it is not
detroit.
they seam to be the only 3 that are open to us.

Comment by Frankcan 12.02.13 @ 11:09 am

Frankcan, No I don’t think Chryst hired the best coaches. I also would like to see a higher profile defensive coordinator. Particularly one that can recruit. One like Tom Bradley, but without the baggage. I probably would even take him with the baggage.

I just don’t blame everything on the coaches.

I would say it is 65% on the lack of enough good players and 35% on coaching.

But long term it is all on Administration. Stevie dug a hole that is going to take time to get out of.

Comment by gc 12.02.13 @ 11:12 am

gc i think you are right at least you and all of us care i will even meet you half way how abought this some blame on the player and some on the coachs

Comment by Frankcan 12.02.13 @ 11:15 am

Did you have a stroke this morning, FRANKCAN?

Comment by Dr. Tom 12.02.13 @ 11:15 am

Dallas would be nice. I will bring the smoker for the BBQ and the Shiner.

Comment by TX Panther 12.02.13 @ 11:19 am

@ gc, for loyal Pitt fans, a sense of humor is essential for survival. All of the Pitt fans who had no sense of humor have already committed suicide long ago.

Comment by Dr. Tom 12.02.13 @ 11:20 am

Dr Tom no but i wanted to play nice i still think it is 75 percent coachs fault 25 percent players but gc was being nice so i thought i would to.

Comment by Frankcan 12.02.13 @ 11:41 am

info for all of you next year 2014 the ACC has 10 bowl tie ins it wont help this year but just thought i would bring that up 8 was not enough this year. and in 2015 we have 9 then in 2016 it goes back to 10.

Comment by Frankcan 12.02.13 @ 11:50 am

What are the chances that Chryst actually fires House? Chryst is a loyal guy. So really I don’t see him firing him. If Chryst doesn’t fire him, there is literally no way that I will renew my season tickets. I’ll donate that money to the University instead.

I’m one of those bad fans that didn’t bother to show up on Friday. Why should I show up when the team under Chryst shows up maybe half of the time? At least when I watch at home I don’t feel like I wasted an entire day because I can get stuff done around the house. When I went to the games earlier in the year it was like I was paying to feel miserable and angry. Not my idea of a fun afternoon.

About the game, some on the penalties the team continues to have are definitely a reflection of poor coaching. Turnovers have nothing to do with coaching. I think some of the success of the offense is fools gold. When you are down 3 scores in the 4th quarter, the last thing you can do is have a clock eating 6 minute drive. One of the reasons Pitt was able to move the ball then was because Miami was playing a defense designed to not give up a big play. Pitt did a better job at killing the clock than Miami. The lack of urgency by the offense was insane. Also, there was the classic Chryst junk TD to make the game not look as bad as it was. Pitt’s offensive stats have been consistently inflated with these drives under Chryst.

Comment by Wardapalooza 12.02.13 @ 12:00 pm

@ FRANKCAN, I hear you. BUT, if we begin bringing in the kind of high talent recruits that I’m talking about, which is essential, then just watch how many of these coaching issues fade into oblivian. Speed, talent and athleticism in the two deep is the balm that sooths many a coaching illnesses.

Comment by Dr. Tom 12.02.13 @ 12:03 pm

Get over the image worries and hire Tom Bradley. He can flat out coach and he’s a great recruiter. I’m tired of the mediocre junk they put on the field.

Comment by jack 12.02.13 @ 12:14 pm

Dr.Tom maybe but but you and i know we wont get high talent recruits not with who we have as recruiters.
as i said we have 10 bowl tie in next year but we will also have Notre Dame which can take a spot

Comment by Frankcan 12.02.13 @ 12:14 pm

I meant Bradley as the DC.

Comment by jack 12.02.13 @ 12:15 pm

I’ve been kind of mum on the whole analysis of the coaching staff for the whole season. But after watching the 2nd half, specifically end of 3rd/beginning of the 4th quarter, I’ve come to the conclusion that they are just about all terrible. When you are trailing by 17pts with less than a quarter to play, you don’t huddle after every play and milk the play clock to the tune of a 7min scoring drive. Then when you kick off following the score, you don’t sit back on your heels and play prevent defense to the tune of allowing the other team to go right down the field. Play to win for once. Yeah we were down and yeah Miami had fast playmakers. But why even send out a defensive unit if you are going to play the DBs 15yds from the WRs. You have to go for the win, be the aggressor and turn the tide. Your losing already!! I just don’t get the mindset. There’s no fire, no passion, no energy shown on the sidelines. There are so many times when they seem to have no idea what the heck they are doing. I look at some of these other new coaches around the country, and I know there are 5 bad ones for every good one, and I just don’t understand why Pitt won’t have that.

Comment by JJ 12.02.13 @ 12:22 pm

jack i said 25 games ago when chryst was hired it should be tom bradley for DC but it wont happen even if it should.
chryst wont fire house it wont happenin fact he wont fire anybody even if he should.
but here is a thought he has one man coaching DE and one man coaching DT.
but here is a thought let one man coach both a D line coach.
and the outher man can coach the special teams that way we keep the same nummber of coachs but now every one has a coach.

Comment by Frankcan 12.02.13 @ 12:33 pm

@17YearsAtPitt, abso-freakin’-lutely.

Any first time readers, ask anyone on here, I am not a troll, die hard Pitt fan.

That is how bad we are. A school, that had one of the worst scandals in college football history, that took down coaches, administrators, lost recruits, bowl games, monetary penalties etc. etc. etc………………..

and their program is way ahead of ours, EVEN, after all of the above stated items.

Horrible, horrible, horrible. Makes my insides turn sour, but it is the truth.

I was thinking, they were gonna crumble, and when we started up in 2016, Pitt would easily be able to reel off 4 straight victories.

They’ve already eased the recruiting ban, the bowl ban will probably go this winter, and they have one of the best quarterbacks in the country, as a freshman????????

It sickens me, but it’s true.

That’s how bad we are.

Comment by Dan 12.02.13 @ 1:39 pm

@FRANKCAN, ha, ha, ha.

What’s the over/under for attendance, actual people’s ass in the seats???

Pitt vs. U. of Buffalo, played in Detroit??????

I’m gonna say O/U 5,000, and that’s being extremely generous.

Remember, not paid, and certainly not what Smug Smilin’ Steve says, when he announces 41,523 in attendance.

Comment by Dan 12.02.13 @ 1:42 pm

Pedo State would have won probably 4 games this year with our coaching staff. If we had their staff, I’m thinking we would have won 10.

Comment by TX Panther 12.02.13 @ 1:49 pm

@TX, yep, gives me no joy. Truth is the truth.

Hell, it’s like Pedo didn’t even miss a beat.

JoePa was going to retire soon anyhow.

My sickedness (lol), is only half for PSU. The other half is for what Pitt has become.

Comment by Dan 12.02.13 @ 2:00 pm

Dan if we go to the little ceasars bowl in detroit
here is what the players get they go to a city that is colder then pittsburgh.
they get a pizza party and go bowling sounds like the birthday party i had for my son when he was 10.
then they get to get up on xmas early and feed the homeless of detroit breakfest very nice thing but not much fun.
do to the fact half of deroit is homeless not becuse they are poor.
but becuse the city was bombed out bye the germans in WW2 and never rebuilt that is my story and i am sticking to it.at least that is how it looks.

i know i am a prick but what a place to put a bowl ugh .

Comment by Frankcan 12.02.13 @ 2:08 pm

Penn State is no better or worse than Pitt right now. I know, they have one more win.
Penn State hired their DB coach that had no Coordinator experience. Very similar to House. Penn State fans wanted his head after some of their losses.
Also, they have no designated special teams coach and had special teams issues this year.
Their talent is very equal to Pitt.

Comment by notrocketscience 12.02.13 @ 2:39 pm

Fingers crossed for beef bowl

Comment by John 12.02.13 @ 2:41 pm

john yes at least in beef bowl the players will eat stake and frech fries from beef o brady .
and be able to walk around in tea shirts in the warm sun and check out the ladys on the beach st pete in the winter or detroit easy pick for me and there you dont need a bullet prof vest that is a plus.

Comment by Frankcan 12.02.13 @ 2:58 pm

this week end in detroit temp
sat high 28
sun high 23
mon high 23
st pete this week end
sat high 71
sun high 81
mon high 77
which do you like.

Comment by Frankcan 12.02.13 @ 3:09 pm

Only subjective opinions certainly, but I’m not even going by record or one more win than us, I’m looking at the overall scene.

Penn State is picking up steam and moving forward. Still 100K crowds, top 25 or top 30 recruiting class (rivals) (fwiw), atmosphere, they’re right back on track.

And we sit in a perpetual state of stagnation. (at best).

Comment by Dan 12.02.13 @ 3:11 pm

Mueller just asked a great question on the radio.
Take any bias out of it.

Who’s gonna win 10 games again first??
Pitt or Penn State???

Pretty easy answer.

Comment by Dan 12.02.13 @ 3:15 pm

FrankCan, you know what worries me the most about your posts? That I can actually follow your line of thought and understand it. LOL!

BTW, I heard that the AKA of the “Detroit Bowl” is the “PACIYA Bowl”. So a bullet proof vest will provide little protection.

Oh I forgot to mention, PACIYA = Put A Cap In Yo A$$

Comment by Dr. Tom 12.02.13 @ 3:19 pm

What will it take to jump start the program? A high octane approach might have worked.

How does Pitt get that atmosphere?

How does Pitt overcome the gorilla in town that is the Stillers?

How do we convince kids to go to Pitt?

Comment by TX Panther 12.02.13 @ 3:21 pm

Here are some suggestions: First, hire an AD that seeks out unity and loyalty in the fan base, and yes, that includes playing and selling the tradition as well as marketing – Pitt Script and throwback uniforms. It certainly doesn’t include a screw you mentality.

Second, you sit down with the coach in the off season and say “we’ve got a darn good business school and communications department. You are going to work with so and so for a minimum of three weeks in private communication sessions. Next year no more shucking and avoiding and generally acting like you just arrived off a turnip truck and show some respect to the audience.”

Third, if you’re the AD you don’t schedule nonsense games like Oklahoma State. You do your best to get the backyard brawl going again, and if not able to, set some regional games or games that help with recruiting, like ACC states.

Fourth, you change or add to your offense to include two minute drill or do something different. Do you really think having an H line up, step back, shuffle in motion and go block for hundreds of times is fooling anyone? I saw no defenses even having to step over or adjust.

Fifth, if you are the AD, you ask what the improvement plan is for special teams. Blocked kicks in the last game, coaches yelling at kids to go on, then come off, is inexcusable. I was there and close to the field at Ga. Tech it was not the players fault it was the loons on the sideline arguing among themselves.

Sixth, I’d ask for an explanation on how we go an entire season and Voytek takes two or three snaps? Really? I see us getting gashed because we are throwing freshman out there, not ready, and yet at the QB position we can’t find time to get some experience for the backup QB? Really? Is that a good plan?

Seventh, what is the selling of the university on the recruiting trail. Skeptical about several of the assistants and wondering if we put these guys with their age, poor communication skills, how well it sells. Plenty of Pitt connections and we can’t find one or two assistants with Pitt background? Right now, it appears our best coach may be Engram, and he is PSU. Are we trying to hire the right way or does everyone have to be Wisconsin or some sort of friend of some sort.

Eighth, get a new strength coach. Now. Not even a question. I’ve heard from a few players from Wanny and previous regimes this guy needs to go. They don’t even come back to work out cause they can’t stand his attitude. Nuff said.

Comment by PittMan 12.02.13 @ 4:27 pm

PittMan that is great you nailed it wonderful but who will hear you i wish are AD COULD READ IT SEND IT TO HIM IN A EMAIL.

Comment by Frankcan 12.02.13 @ 4:34 pm

Dr. Tom play nice please i dont think i have said any thing bad to you in 8 weeks this is my cant we be nice day ,
the only one any one gets for 8 more weeks.

Comment by Frankcan 12.02.13 @ 4:41 pm

spiretofsection22 were are you i know we dont get along but you have been going for 2 weeks i worry when old timers are not on hope he is ok.

Comment by Frankcan 12.02.13 @ 4:53 pm

come to think of it i dont think JD has been on for ever not after the first football game was he kicked off our did he just leave any one know and pk has not been on.

Comment by Frankcan 12.02.13 @ 5:12 pm

i guess i should have said joe d not jd

Comment by Frankcan 12.02.13 @ 5:14 pm

@Frankcan, Thanks for the concern ,I have been busy over on the hoops side.

Comment by spiritofsection22 12.02.13 @ 6:57 pm

PittMan
Some good suggestions.
While throwback uniforms will not bring wins they could generate some excitement and dollars. I was reading why Phil Knight, the Nike kingpin, came up with the Oregon Duck uniforms. His thinking, there are maybe ten schools that the public view as having great uniform traditions. Alabama, USC, Penn State, etc. Can’t think of the entire list. You get the picture.
He wanted the Ducks to be different and it worked. A big part of that success was that they started to win at the same time and get more exposure on TV.
Why can’t Pitt change it up? We have a great, nationally known abreviated name for our school in Pitt. Script or non-script. Have some freaking imagination. Generate some money from merchandise. Just don’t do something stupid like Maryland. LOL.
Funny side note…I was looking for a Pitt lacrosse jersey for my young son. Google Pitt Lacrosse Uniform in images. Awesome helmets with the script and crazy stripes. Someone has imagination.

Comment by notrocketscience 12.02.13 @ 7:07 pm

A MAC opponent, Christmas in Detroit and free Pizza, toppings extra. With a couple more wins this could have been way better. Duke and North Carolina come to mind. We did beat Notre Dame though which makes it an overall plus.

Comment by spiritofsection22 12.02.13 @ 8:19 pm

spirit is back good deal even if we dont see eye to eye dont want to lose a old timer.

Comment by Frankcan 12.02.13 @ 9:02 pm

i know Joe D was kicked off the dockish site panther prey was he kicked off pitt blather to any one know he has not been on here for what 12 weeks or so.
i my self did not think he was that bad i thought he made this site kind of jump like upittbaseball
kind of the same we need that or we would be board .

Comment by Frankcan 12.02.13 @ 9:13 pm

Will any of us live to see another BCS game for Pitt? I was there in Arizona for the Fiesta knowing full well it may be another 20 years to get there. Let’s hope not. Nuff of being mediocre. Get a Chancellor with an athletic vision and an AD that is prolific at fundraising and skilled at hiring coaches. Tired of the excuses and pathetic results. My money sits on the sidelines until Pitt walks the walk.

Comment by TX Panther 12.02.13 @ 9:13 pm

watch me catch hell now spirit this is my kind of basketball this year you know more runing fast paced not as slugish as years passed more fun more like the ACC less like the old big east.
now you can jump on me go ahead but i do like the games better go pitt go.

Comment by Frankcan 12.02.13 @ 9:22 pm

TX Panther you and outhers are right but they the powers that be just dont hear us if only we could get are AD to read this site.

Comment by Frankcan 12.02.13 @ 9:27 pm

Believe me our AD does have his subordinates read this site and others. It’s part of their social media strategy…what are others saying about you. It’s managing the image or perception. There are some posters on this site most likely on Pitt’s payroll to defend his indefensible record. With a new Chancellor, the destroyer of football programs will be cut lose. We’ll all pay about 5 million for his sins but it will be worth it. Pitt cannot advance with this albatross. There are others who wield influence that will be unleashed when our Chancellor dearly departs. Times will change. Look for the signs.

Comment by TX Panther 12.02.13 @ 9:41 pm

@pittman

great comments.

Comment by goalie44 12.03.13 @ 4:56 pm

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