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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.





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Justin: well stated. Anxious for a recruiting update. Getting
short list of local talent would be a coup. However after yesterday’s performance
Pitt’s chances must look dim. Most troubling to me: should
We believe in this coaching staff? Lots of questions

Comment by JR 11.30.13 @ 10:31 am

From a recruiting/playing perspecitve. What would you rather have? Go to Pitt and set freshman receiving records. Or go to Alabama, see the field who knows when but be in contention for the national championship on a regular basis?

Comment by Winedogs 11.30.13 @ 10:33 am

Got home last night from game and decided I was done. I have supported Pitt both as a student and with my family since 1971. I saw Majors 1 and Sherrill and have seen all the bums since. Believe me I am not a Steve P fan, but has anything changed since Marino hit Brown in 1981. We have had defensive guys, offensive guys and the next hot item from the lower levels. the only constant is they all come here and lose. I have to assume it starts even above Nordenberg, the board doesn’t care and will not authorize the funds necessary to be successful in football and quite frankly any sport. My season tickets are over. will most likely give in and need to see something next year, trips to Va or N.C. will work. No money to Pitt until they decide to try.

Comment by cas myzlinski 11.30.13 @ 10:51 am

When our DC position opened up quite a few names were tossed around as possible hires. Low priced, inexperienced House was Pitt’s choice and we all moaned and groaned. While there have been some positives on defence this year it is obvious that House is still in a state of “on the job training”.

FLASHBACK////one of the names prominently mentioned was Mike Elko the highly successful DC at Bowling Green. His record was excellent. Elko was also a terrific recruiter for a MAC level program/////TAKE A LOOK AT BOWLING GREEN’S RECORD FOR 2013!!!! We probably could have easily hired him at a reasonable salary….instead we settled for House. PITT IS GOING NOWHERE!!

Comment by isnore 11.30.13 @ 10:53 am

“we’re here to win championships”

Smug Smilin’ Steve

Comment by Dan 11.30.13 @ 10:59 am

Winedog,
In answer to your question, I would rather play every down and see the action on any team (including Pitt) than be sitting on the bench with a team winning National Championships. It is hollow to wear a championship ring for a team I didn’t contribute to its success.
That is why teams like Pitt continue to play the game trying to put the pieces of hungry players together to win a Championship whether ACC or National.

Comment by spindler's spirit 11.30.13 @ 11:15 am

Pitt fan in ATL – you stated earlier that fraud graham had a terrible defense. Maybe you are unaware but his D won them atleast 3 games this year and they are ranked 19 in the Country.

link to ncaa.com

Comment by Upittbaseball 11.30.13 @ 11:18 am

Spindlers – the kid foster is a RS Freshman. The SEC is full of studs that RS there first year. He will start next year and probably earn a ring or two before being drafted. I would take that all day long and playing in front of 100k instead of playing in front of 25k. Just my opinion.

Comment by Upittbaseball 11.30.13 @ 11:23 am

Players want to play. Period. They want to win too but no real athlete feels a sense of accomplishment riding the pines to win a ring. Pride? Yes. Accomplishment? No.

I was proud that this team didn’t quit at any time this season. They played to the last whistle in every game – even yesterday’s debacle.

This was more or less the record (although not the mix of wins and losses) I expected when the season began. I am immensely impressed (and, in some cases, surprised) with the contribution of some players and terribly disappointed in others.

I expect we will improve greatly next year but the sky did not fall this year. I hope these kids will have one more game to show us and others something about their skill, their talent and their character.

H2P!!!

Comment by Pitt Dad 11.30.13 @ 11:25 am

Coaching has been a problem all year. Now I fully recognize
The instability has caused major issues with perception and depth of talent but there are things that HCPC can and should fix. The first needs to be hiring a proven DC and ST coach. After that they really need to change up the recruiting focus. The offense has been the priority but you can’t have the type of offense PC wants without a very solid defense. They compliment each other and we haven’t really recruit defense.

Comment by Shawn 11.30.13 @ 11:29 am

Yes, I was wrong about the outcome on this one.

Miami is definitely beatable… and minus the early miscues and CONFUSION on DEFENSE… Pitt could have just as easily come away the winner.

And some were miscues by the Refs. Like the BLATANT HOLD (i.e. GRAB and PULL) that went UNCALLED and prevented Anthony Gonzalez from making the tackle on Miami’s Game-Changing Long TD run.

BOTTOM LINE… the Miami RUSH DEFENSE was who we thought they were. Unfortunately, losing Conner was a Big Blow to the Game Plan. Bennett and Ibrahim are to be commended for the way they sucked up in Conner’s absence.

Takeaways from Miami…

-Admittedly, Tom Savage has surprised me by the extent to which he has been able to MAGICALLY TRANSFORM himself from the first half of the season to where he is today… a “MORE COMPLETE Quarterback capable of running the Chryst Offense on all cylinders.” This includes his own running ability where he has become decidedly less hesitant and more confident in evading the rush and picking up positive yards.

That’s to Tom’s credit and certainly the credit of Chryst and Co. who once again have shown just how good they are in playing to the strengths of a quarterback and bringing out their best.

A strong message to any Quarterback with hopes at playing in the NFL.

– Some of the credit for Savage’s performance yesterday goes to Juantez Hollins. As predicted, he was a MARKED IMPROVEMENT over Bisonwaty or anyone else who we’ve seen at Left Tackle.

Maybe, we’ll eventually learn the real reason he’s not been on the field.

-Defensively, the pass coverage, especially early in the game… looked to be in complete disarray. This is disappointing considering how good of a job MATT HOUSE had been doing in winning the support of some of his doubters, me being one of them.

In my opionion, the jury is SITLL OUT. But I’m optimistic and believing he’s deserving of a second go around next year to show if he’s up to the opportunity Chryst has presented him.

– Lafayette Pitts… Where do you start? How about staring and ending with this. Mr. Pitts has got to decide whether he wants to GET SERIOUS about football and make his living at it one day.

– Aaron Donald… Before you leave, maybe you can teach Mr. Pitts a thing or two about NOT TAKING THINGS for GRANTED and the VALUE of HARD WORK.

– No need of a Pep Talk is the myriad of YOUNG D-BACKS from Clairton who took to the field yesterday. Mssrs. Coles, Howard, Webb… what a bright future they present for Pitt’s SECONDARY and OPPORTUNITY for HOUSE. If only he doesn’t mess it up.

And the Final Note again to Mr. Blewitt who did not have his best day.

For Chris, the best is yet to come.

Comment by PittofDreams 11.30.13 @ 11:29 am

Bennett and Ibrahim with solid games. Somewhat of an oddity, considering we didn’t run well most of the year. Was Conner injured again?

Does Conner go to defense next year?

Good pass blocking too, don’t think we got better all of a sudden. Must be a weak D-line for Miami.

Chryst needs to learn that Pittsburgh fans love defense. Better find some players.

Comment by gc 11.30.13 @ 11:33 am

From what I’ve heard, Conner is staying at RB. Next year let’s hope Bennett, Conner, and James form a nice 1-2-3 punch.

Comment by Justin 11.30.13 @ 11:42 am

Yes, Conner was injured early. Limping noticeably on the sideline.

Regarding whether Conner is going to Defense next year?

Uhh… that would be “NO.” Don’t know why that’s even a discussion point.

Conner has surprised many with the amount of ATHLETICISM and the NATURAL INSTINCTS he shown to be switched to D-End or Linebacker.

We also learned yesterday the value of having plenty of backs available to carry the rock in the Chryst Offense.

Now, if Pitt gets a back or two who really show something next year… like, for instance, James… then Conner might find himself becoming more of a short yardage or Power Back.

Comment by PittofDreams 11.30.13 @ 11:44 am

One thing was consistent on this team all year, NO PASS RUSH. We will not get better until we get one.
Soto and Price are not enough. If it is just them with Murphy and Durham, we will get lit up again, all year long. It won’t matter how good our backfield is.

Comment by gc 11.30.13 @ 11:44 am

One thing that showed yesterday… was just how much Pitt is LACKING SPEED in the backfield.

Ibrahim will never be confused with Tony Dorsett. But he did show the difference a “Little Speed” can make.

Hopefully James has some legit speed. His Coach claims he runs in the low 4-4s. That remains to be seen.

He seems more quick than Blazing Fast. Believe his official time is 4.5 which makes more sense.

But who knows?

Comment by PittofDreams 11.30.13 @ 11:49 am

With James and Ollison coming, if McKenzie joins them, I say move Conner to D. If he is a good pass rusher, he will be much more valuable than a full back.

Comment by gc 11.30.13 @ 11:55 am

Agree with the point on “No Pass Rush.”

That’s why I really believe Chryst would benefit from going to the 3-4.

It’s hard to find BIG ATHLETIC Guys who can play D-End. They are in High Demand.

However, there are a lot of Two or Three Star Linebackers in High School who can develop to become pretty good football players at the next level.

Miami’s No. 52 Denzel Perlman who was ALL OVER the FIELD yesterday… is an example.

He was a Three Star out of High School.

Comment by PittofDreams 11.30.13 @ 11:57 am

Apparently, a lot of top athletes don’t mind redshirting, sitting on the bench a year or two, to be part of a top program.

I mean, we can have wishful thinking, “hey, come here to Pitt, you can play right away”.

Reality says, that does not happen.

Maybe you catch one or two top guys once in awhile.

However, most of the top athletes are lining up to reshirt and then sit on the bench a couple years if need be, at Alabama, Ohio St., FSU, Clemson, Oregon, (top 20 programs) etc. etc.

Comment by Dan 11.30.13 @ 12:02 pm

The competition in spring ball at qb, will be Chad Voytik and Trey Anderson.

Just heard on radio, the two freshman recruits are not here early, won’t be here till fall.

Sounds great.

Comment by Dan 11.30.13 @ 12:05 pm

I may be alone with this point, which I’ve made a few times going back to last winter.

But, if anyone ends up playing on “D” in college… it’s going to be McKenzie… not Conner.

McKenzie runs like a “Linebacker” with the football. A very fast, powerful linebacker, but a linebacker. This will be exposed in D-1 where he’s not running against slow small defenders.

He could end up being a good running back. But should McKenzie (now with the knee) ever decide to switch to Defense… he’ll be a STAR in College and the next Level.

On the other hand, Conner runs like a Runningback.

However, time will tell if I’m right.

Comment by PittofDreams 11.30.13 @ 12:05 pm

Don’t count Anderson out.

Comment by PittofDreams 11.30.13 @ 12:08 pm

Good article Justin.

I’m surprised by the lack of love that Ibrahim is getting. IMO he was borderline sensational, and I’m surprised he didn’t get more PT on the last 2-3 drives. He was patient, he followed his blocks, he hit the holes hard and he made people miss. He also looks like he’s put on some weight during the course of the season. Next year we are going to have four solid running backs. Future looks bright.

Also agree that the O Line is improved with Hollins vs. Bisnowaty. Maybe it’s inexperience, maybe it’s Bis’ back, but it’s too bad they didn’t start Juantez from the get-go.

Comment by Atlanta Panther 11.30.13 @ 12:16 pm

POD – I’d love to see the scrappy, undersized and talented Trey Anderson win the starting job next year and lead this team to 8 or 9 wins. What a story that would be. LOL am I drinking major kool-aid? Yes I am. Does it taste delicious? Absolutely.

Comment by Atlanta Panther 11.30.13 @ 12:18 pm

Anderson will have a tough time playing and coaching. Every minute Chryst is over at Trey looking for advice. I think he is a great kid and very good. You dont win 5A in Texas and cant ball. The beat 5A texas schools would beat Cal U

Comment by Upittbaseball 11.30.13 @ 12:24 pm

Atlanta…

Anderson would be like a Coach on the Field. Everyone, including Chryst… seems to confer with Anderson during games.

Now at 5-11… he’s still not exactly tall. But at 195, a much bigger version of himself that was thrown to the wolves his freshman year by Graham.

He’s got a strong arm than Voytik… and likely more accurate. Remains to be seen if he’s over his problems with tendinitis in his throwing wrist.

I feel we’ve not seen the end of him as a starter for at least a game or two. Depends on if Chryst is able to land a “JC” transfer who can jump right in and compete.

Comment by PittofDreams 11.30.13 @ 12:25 pm

Pitt had 18 sacks all year, 10 of those sacks were AD’s. Opponents sacked us 41 times. We don’t keep statistics on QB hurrys but my guess is it would be the same ratio.

This was by far and away our biggest problem.

Donald is gone. I see nothing that will make us improve next year.

We will not win until this changes.

Comment by gc 11.30.13 @ 12:27 pm

The fact is that Pitt has long ago decided to put their efforts (read, money) into the basketball program and become a basketball school like Cuse & UConn. Trying to win any kind of championship in a 12 game schedule against the top recruiting schools is an exercise in futility folks.

Speaking of which….the City Game is in a half hour.

Comment by Jackagain 11.30.13 @ 12:36 pm

“Playing time vs. shot at a national title” is completely dependent on the kid. Did Tyler Boyd make the right choice for him? He proved to be the best natural playmaker on his hometown team that is hopefully building towards winning at least a conference championship during his collegiate career. By statements made to the media during the season, playing for Pitt and building Pitt to at least an ACC champion is something that this is clearly very important to him. At this point, I think it’s safe to say he did.

Did Robert Foster make the right choice for him? Bama is almost certainly going to play for a title this year. Given the support the program receives from the school and its alumni, it’s difficult to envision this changing with the next 3-4 years. I’m sure he will contribute on the field over that span. Foster may never be a focal point of the offense the way Boyd will for Pitt, but I’m pretty sure Foster hasn’t lost any sleep over that. He made the right choice for him.

Neither one is wrong.

The key is for Pitt to find kids who value the former rather than the latter.

And again, that’s not to say the latter is wrong. You can’t possibly begrudge a kid for doing what Foster did.

But that’s also certainly not to say Pitt has to settle for lesser kids because they focus on the former. Let’s not mince words here – Tyler Boyd could play at Alabama, Ohio State, Michigan, USC, Texas or whatever other Icon State program you choose to reference here. At most of those schools, he probably could’ve played this year one way or another.

But Pitt is never going to win a recruiting war for a kid with schools like Alabama if they try to recruit the kid going head to head with Alabama on what Bama can sell. Bama sells promises of multiple national championships, playing in front of 101,000 people every home game in the most rabid conference in the country. They sell training facilities that make some NFL teams look inadequate. Oh, and by the way, here at Alabama we’re the only game in town, so you never have worry about news coverage being taken away by some pesky NFL, NHL or MLB team.

Pitt has to sell something completely different, and that’s the promise of being an integral and immediate part of the building a program to a better level – one that results in a conference championship or two or even three within their college career. If it results in something even bigger, then bonus. But you sell the kids on being immediate and valued contributors to something like that, and there are a lot of kids – really good football players – who value that.

Proof positive of that exists with the best natural playmaker this program has seen since Larry Fitzgerald in Tyler Boyd.

Comment by Stoosh 11.30.13 @ 12:36 pm

Foster may find himself in a harder spot on the NFL draft if he gets limited playing time competing against the best receivers in the country. Not so with Boyd whom every scout and coach in the NFL will be completely aware of.

It depends on if one is interested in the college experience or the NFL job. Foster is taking a chance trying to have both at Alabama IMO.

Again though….college football is by far the stupidest sport in the history of sports. (sorry Beano) There’s only 12 games and rankings are set by biased sports writers even before the season starts….how stupid is that?!

Right now there’s a 2 team playoff decided by opinion only (no way Auburn should be #4) which will go to a 4 team playoff system.

In BB 64 teams get in and anyone of say 40 of them have a shot (ask Butler). Do you think a FB team like Butler would ever have a shot at the NC in CFB?

College football is about the individual games and hopefully a decent bowl game to cap it off except for the chosen few. I repeat….CBF is the stupidest sport overall in the history of organized sports.

Do yourselves a favor fellow Blatherites…..don’t get exercised over what Pitt does in the stupidest most futile sport in the history of sports…..it isn’t worth it…I know.

The way the system is set up now Pitt has zero chance of ever playing in another NC game and 1 chance in about 100 of ever winning the ACC.

Comment by Jackagain 11.30.13 @ 1:01 pm

@Stoosh, excellent points.

Problem with Tyler Boyd is, yes we do get him once in awhile.

The top 20 teams recruit 7 or 8 Tyler Boyds every year.

Top 20 teams have Tyler Boyds sittin’ on the bench.

We are never going to be a top 20 program getting one or two Tyler Boyds a year.

We get them, we all gush over them (me included), but at the end of the day, we get one or two of them.

Can’t compete with that number.

So, Stoosh, I agree with you. However, it is a MONUMENTAL task, to accomplish this at Pitt in it’s present condition let alone, finding that many top kids who say “ok, i’d rather play”.

These kids aren’t stupid. They see 25-30K in the stands most of the time.

Plus, a lot of the top players, also have a built in “I’m going to Clemson to start as a freshman” in them to start with.

So, that really widdles down the choices.

With milque toast support from the administration, to a coach who’s a nice guy, but his recruiting prowess is still open to question, how in the world will they ever get 7 or 8 Tyler Boyds to come here, every year, consistently.

Comment by Dan 11.30.13 @ 1:21 pm

I don’t, and I know that many on here feel the same way.

We don’t (myself and regulars I banter with) expect a national championship, or even an ACC championship.

How about a consistent top 25 team, and competent playing on the field and competent coaching???

Too much to ask for???

Comment by Dan 11.30.13 @ 1:27 pm

Regarding Conner, I would leave him at RB for a few reasons.

First, if Chryst is intent on building Pitt’s depth chart and offense the way he did at Wisconsin, he LOOOOOOVED to have stables of RBs. Pitt wound up with Zach Brown because he got caught on a 2010 Wisconsin depth chart that would feature nearly three 1000-yard rushers in James White, John Clay and Montee Ball (996 yds).

Conner nearly replicated Shell’s numbers from last year. Conner rushed for fewer yards (570 to 641) and fewer TDs (7 to Shell’s 9), but he had a better per-carry average (4.8 to Shell’s 4.5). Conner had three 100-yard games to Shell’s one, but Shell was more consistent game-to-game last year. Had Conner remained healthy, he likely would’ve surpassed Shell’s numbers from last year, and would’ve done so against slightly better overall competition.

Pitt will return its top three rushers next year in Bennett, Conner and Ibrahim, as well as Parrish, who started all year at FB. That leaves Crockett and the three current RB commits. McKenzie would obviously add to that if he commits.

Crockett is good injury insurance, but he also may decide to move on given the three RBs already committed in the 2014 class. Briggs may be asked to change positions even if McKenzie doesn’t come in.

Bennett and Conner would likely open as the 1-2 backs, with Ibrahim first off the bench. His nine catches tied him with Bennett for first among RBs in receptions despite playing much less, so he’s a good 3rd down option.

Ultimately, I wouldn’t move Conner to DE for the same reason I wouldn’t move Ibrahim back to DB – it takes them out of positions to which they’ve already contributed and pushes them each further down the depth chart at positions they’d have to learn.

No reason to move Ibrahim back to DB given the emergence of some of the young DBs like Howard, Webb and Coles.

No reason to move Conner to DE. They already have Murphy and Durham returning, but it seems like those two will be pushed hard by Render and Soto. And that’s before you factor in LaQuentin Smith, Ejuan Price and Devin Cook as guys at DE who contributed this year and last.

I don’t know that Conner would supplant any of those guys or contribute more at DE over what he did at RB.

Comment by Stoosh 11.30.13 @ 1:27 pm

As for Conner, it depends on how many of those good RB’s Pitt gets. If they get 2 (and they already have 1) I would move Conner to LB or DE where Pitt needs players more than any other positions.

Both Ibrahim and Bennett are good and they could be adding Shai McKenzie too along with Chris James. That’s 4 backs not counting Conner who could contribute right away next year. And with Bennett being a senior he will get most of the snaps.

What would you rather have, a good starting DE/LB or a Red Zone Redman type guy who’s hurt half the time coming off the bench?

I agree Stoosh except for the fact that Murphy and Durham both stink.

Comment by Jackagain 11.30.13 @ 1:59 pm

Dan,

Ultimately I do agree. To sustain a program as a top 25 team, you need more of those players.

But to become a Top 25 program you first have to get there, and about the only way Pitt gets there is to build to that. That’s where this ultimately depends upon the abilities of this coaching staff (or whoever succeeds them if this one fails) to recruit and develop the right kids for their respective system.

For that, it may not initially require a number of Tyler Boyd-level talents. Programs have done it with “lesser” players over recent years – the emergence of Duke over this year and last, for example. Or perhaps programs like Baylor, Missouri, Michigan State – programs that were considered second or third-tier programs in power conferences. They don’t get the quantities of elite talent that the Oklahomas and Alabamas get, but they did get a few upper-level players a year over the course of a few years, and then built up and sustained success over the last few years with good coaching.

Look at Louisville. Look at their last few classes on Scout and how they rank. There’s the perception that he’s pulling in highly-ranked players, but he’s not. Hell, his last few classes were ranked in that same 30-50 range by Scout, in some years worse than Pitt’s.

Now, that’s just one service and star rankings are never a be-all, end-all statement of a player’s career. But it’s proof of how it’s done. Charlie Strong has built Louisville up by selling kids from the Southeast on the very same thing I mentioned in the Boyd/Foster post above. Those kids went to build a program into a conference champion, a BCS program and – if a few things fell the right way – a potential national title contender because they bought into the idea of playing now and building something of their own vs. maybe playing in the SEC.

Now, I also recognize that Strong is having success in large part because 1) he’s a good coach 2) who carried a reputation as an excellent recruiter with ties to the most fertile recruiting area of the country.

Pitt needs to get there and they have some work. But I do like that Chryst has already acknowledged this. My hope is that perhaps this coming off-season and 2015 class begin to show results on that end. But because even in the Southeast there are also only so many good players, I also like that he’s focusing on other fertile areas of the country. I like the focus on the Virginia/Maryland corridors, as well as some of his old Big Ten stomping grounds (particularly Ohio and Michigan) and Western PA. I agree with Dokish when he says that there is still very good talent to be pulled from these areas.

As you said above as well, there’s no reason why Pitt couldn’t be a consistent top 25 team – a team that wins about 9 games a year with the occasional run at contention for a conference title. That isn’t too much to ask.

Comment by Stoosh 11.30.13 @ 2:15 pm

Let me rephrase the last statement in my 2:15pm post, because I can already see a pro-Wannstedt response to that.

There’s no reason why Pitt couldn’t be a consistent Top 25 team that does two things.

First, average about 9 wins a year, but never really drops below 7. That allows for the occasional run up to 10-11 wins once every 2-3 years and contention for a conference title.

Second, deliver on the effing conference title. Wanny won about 8-9 games a year over his last three years but as I mentioned in a post in the previous thread, his failure to win a winnable conference over that three-year span with talent that certainly should have merited at least one conference title was largely his undoing.

Comment by Stoosh 11.30.13 @ 2:32 pm

Pitt of Dreams, Anderson?!!! I don’t think so. I watched him loose a game against Rutgers a couple of years ago. Just don’t see him as a D1 QB. If this is our best choice next years, we will be even worse than I am guessing. Anderson needs to graduate early and leave a spot open for some talent.

Comment by Old Pitt Grad 11.30.13 @ 3:25 pm

It’s going to be Voytek and Chryst will sink or swim with him! I agree with the previous posts, we should be in the discussion for the division every year! No excuses! An occasional double digit win and even an ACC title game sprinkled in! But I’m telling you with this AD it’s not going to happen. Until we get a leader who will win at all costs and pay these coaches, we will continue to be mediocre.

Comment by Sweet Caroline 11.30.13 @ 3:56 pm

The goal is to win the ACC first. After what we’ve seen this year, how long will that take, moreover, what is needed to make it happen?

I think it starts with a new D coordinator. Then new position coaches who can recruit the ACC footprint. Then another year and judgment for Chryst is 2015. Boyd, Pitt’s most dynamic player, will be a junior by then.

Hopefully Pitt will also have a new AD and a new commitment to excellence for the program. What does Pitt want to be? Excellent or mediocre?

Comment by TX Panther 11.30.13 @ 4:08 pm

Foster may never be heard from at Alabama based on yearly recruiting with the Tide. He would have had every opportunity to display his talents as Boyd did. I wish Foster well and hope (his family) he makes the transistion to the NFL and the payday that comes with it.
It was well documented recently in the Trib of local 4 and 5 star recruits that missed at the Big Programs and now are playing below the Division 1 level.

Comment by spindler's spirit 11.30.13 @ 4:18 pm

@Stoosh, I got ya. Your points are well taken.

Yes, we do have to start somewhere.

He has some good players. You know, after the bowl game, he’s on year 3 already.

Time for his classes to start showing some top heaviness.

Who knows, if he gets a couple of those top guys out of the 4 or 5 left, then I’d say he might be moving in the right direction.

If he strikes out on all of them, we’re in the same spot we were in at the beginning of this year, and last year.

Treading water a’la Pitt.

Comment by Dan 11.30.13 @ 4:21 pm

UConn beat Rutgers, good for them

Comment by wbb 11.30.13 @ 4:48 pm

I agree, the star system is only a barometer.

I also agree, I’m sure there’s a litany of highly recruited players, who didn’t make it, or had to go to Div II or something.

Let’s make no misatke, and I can’t believe anyone would argue……………..

we have to get better players, and we have to get more of them!!!

It’s so simplistic, but yet, so very true. If we’re continuing to fight Bowling Green, Akron and Temple for players, we will be 6-6 forever.

I’m not saying you can’t have a couple of those players, but you can’t have the main body of your recruiting filled with them.

Hat’s off to them, grit, heart, determination, that’s fantastic stuff, it really is, I’m being sincere.

If we’re ever gonna make it to a top 20 team, then the recruiting has got to make a giant step.

Chryst gets 3 or 4 years, I’ve always said that about any coach, in any sport.

I’ll stick with it, however, it may or may not have snuck up you or us, but, shortly, it’s gonna be year 3!!!!

Comment by Dan 11.30.13 @ 4:58 pm

Last one, then out to dinner.

The reason I’m so down in the mouth, is not just the Miami game, is when you look at it, Pitt crapped the bed after the Notre Dame game.

The end of the season was garbage.

You want to hang your hat on one of the lousiest games of the year, two mediocre at best teams (Pitt and Syracuse), “battling” each other for a win, more power to ya because there is a W next to Pitt for that one.

We’ve not played well (and what an oppurtunity missed) after the Notre Dame game.

We’ve actually regressed at places.

That is what has me concerned about our coaching staff, from top to bottom.

That’s not a good sign, in any sport.

Have a good rest of the weekend fellas!

Comment by Dan 11.30.13 @ 5:09 pm

It’s true. I said early this year that I will not gauge this team not so much on W and Ls, but how much they improve throughout the season. The Syracuse game made me absolutely sick to my stomach

Comment by wbb 11.30.13 @ 5:16 pm

with you dan.

Comment by goalie44 11.30.13 @ 5:51 pm

This coach will not reach 6-6 next year. I haven’t looked at the schedule, but 5 wins will be max! The guy is a bum.

Comment by Old Pitt Grad 11.30.13 @ 5:55 pm

Gus Malzhan was coachhing at Ark state 2 years ago. Pederson has no clue whatsoever. Auburn won 3 games last year. This year 10 and he joined them 10 months ago. Foster is in a great spot. He will atart as a RS Freshman. Malzhan is a stud and has an exciting brand. Better than our potato farmer who has the personality of a 78 year old circus pony

Comment by Upittbaseball 11.30.13 @ 6:13 pm

I have little sense of humor after yesterday’s debacle and watching PSU, Auburn, and WVU tiday.
The state of those programs is siezmically different that Pitt’s.

Chryst is an apprentice coach as is House and they coach like apprentices!

Hiring Chryst was like dating the fat girl (and I do not mean to demean fat girls) in high school.
No worry about anyone trying to steal her/him away.

Can anyone imagine Gus Malzon coaching at Pitt and what a difference that would make???

Now were stuck with a coaching staff who even if we do get a great recruiting class (doubtful), it’s possible they will never be “coached up” properly.

I give just one of a thousand examples with the opening kickoff return by Pitts…carrying the ball like a loaf of bread in the wrong arm…begging to be stripped! It’s game 12 idiot!
and “idiot coaches”! Someone show some sense of coaching detail and accountability!

Praying with a Cuse win, we do not get asked to a bowl! End the embarrassment now!

Comment by Dan 72 11.30.13 @ 7:20 pm

pitt lacks this if the player had gone this if we had more speed it is all bull shit what we need is good coaching if we had good coaching we would have won at least 3 more games.

Comment by Frankcan 11.30.13 @ 7:41 pm

Those programs are different because they don’t accept being mediocre and more importantly do something about it.

They hire proven coaches and pay them. They have huge recruiting budgets. They have tradition and flaunt it. They help athletes all through school and once they graduate. They have on campus stadiums. Their Presidents get it. Their fans, alumni and boosters get it …the mindset. And they donate and attend.

They have competent AD’s.

They are well rounded in all sports. Moreover they are also pretty good at academics.

Our administration has let us down.

I don’t blame the fans or players. I don’t want my money going to a program not serious about winning. And the players can’t help it if they are two star talent coached by a bunch of bozos.

Comment by TX Panther 11.30.13 @ 7:44 pm

Smiling Steve got his contract extension, the Board is happy with the ACC money and stability, and the rest of Panther nation is totally screwed

Comment by wbb 11.30.13 @ 7:49 pm

Ohio State is the total antithesis of Pitt. Things always work out for them. Here is what’s going to happen …. they will play FSU in the title game, and Winston will be arrested and kept out of the game. The Suckeyes, the same team that gave up 41 points to anemic Michigan, will win the title.

Comment by wbb 11.30.13 @ 7:52 pm

TX Panther is right we are coached bye bozos for the most part.
there were at least 4 games were the players were not ready to play that is on the coachs there were to many screw ups that is on coaching.
i could go on and on the point is they did not play like a well coached team.
if it were not for poor coaching we could have won 3 more games easy.

i know chrysr is here for at least 1 more year but the asst coachs can and should be changed at least 4 of them need to go.

Comment by Frankcan 11.30.13 @ 7:55 pm

Interesting BCS stuff. FSU is probably in as I doubt they lose to Duke. OSU undefeated but their bad schedule may put SEC Champ in NC game even with one loss. A Clemson lose may put 2 SEC teams in the BCS. ACC would get only one BCS spot.

MD probably in Military bowl in Annapolis.

Comment by Frank MD 11.30.13 @ 8:48 pm

In the college game, it is all about the quarterback. Alabama will struggle next year unless they have a hidden gem at qb or get one soon. Auburn turned it around this year because the head coach brought in a stud qb…. and played him. FSU has a stud qb and so does OSU…..and so does Oregon and A&M. Notice the trend? If you can’t get a stud qb, you will be mediocre, period.

So talk about the running backs and receivers all you want. The college game is about the qb’s.
Chapman was a big kick in the shorts this year for the Pitt program and I put that squarely on Pederson. Chapman has completely turned around the Ashland program.

Secondly it is about the trenches. OL and DL are the next most important positions. Pitt and Chryst are upgrading the OL and need to go after some DL quality. What happened to Jarrett this year? Pitt can’t defend with Durham and Murphy, sorry. They have heart, but not enough talent. Perhaps some of the 6’2″ safety prospects have gained some weight and can play linebacker next year. Pitts is playing like he has a problem and doesn’t want to get hurt. He will play himself to the bench soon and may never get another shot. He read the clippings and others have his ear. That is a lethal, negative combination. To be great, you need to surround yourself with great people, not users. This is one of those areas where the administration has failed the athletic program. Yes Pederson, this is also on you. Go to a big time school and see how the athletes are mentored properly. They keep the problems out with a very in tune police department and a commitment from the academic side.

Finally, Pitt is soft. There is no intimidation factor for any opponent. Would you rather have a slower team that knocks the stuffing out of its opponents if it catches them; a fast team that can hit; or a fast team that gets it done in a pack like scenario?

Comment by dhuffdaddy 11.30.13 @ 9:42 pm

The Suckeyes have long had things break their way. They are in a conference that they dominate politically. Until the Nitters joined, Ohio was the largest state in population in the Big Overrated. Ohio is the second biggest state in population in that conference. This always gives them an advantage in football recruiting. Michigan was devastated in the last recession UM has always relied on Ohio recruits to play for their football team. Because OSU played in a conference, they could beat up on their conference weaklings for decades and get trips to Pasadena. When Pitt won it all in 1976, I heard from suckeye fans that Pitt played “nobody” – as if beating weak teams in a conference was better than beating weak teams as an independent.

Life isn’t fair.

Look, Pitt underachieved this year. As usual they let winnable games get away from them. It gets tiring. For what it’s worth, Chryst has stared out better than Hackett, Majors II, Harris and Wanny. He really needs a couple of more years. I hope Chryst realizes who the weak links are in his assistant coaching staff and recruiting.

As usual, Ron Shnook piled on the Panthers. Given that he was a Northwestern alum – how Shnook graduated from there I have no idea – I am not surprised.

Comment by Penguins Fan 11.30.13 @ 9:57 pm

Here is another negative about yesterday’s game: We did not play WVU or PSU. Seeing all of these great rivalry games played today really brings home the point that it is worth it to do what it takes to get one of those two schools signed to a long term deal for a yearly game.

Comment by HbgFrank 11.30.13 @ 10:25 pm

Duffdaddy – Auburn’s qb was a defensive player at georgia i believe before the transfer. He was unproven as a qb unless he had a juco stop i thought.

Comment by Upittbaseball 11.30.13 @ 10:44 pm

By the way Todd Graham is killing AZ. He will will 11 games and be a top 10 team. His best move was getting away from SMUG Steve.

Comment by Upittbaseball 11.30.13 @ 10:46 pm

Soto did show he has some speed. The odd thing about that is that whenever I watch him on passing downs, he always does a bull rush. We need him to learn some pass rush moves and I think we need him to keep his weight down so he can be quicker.

I also don’t count Anderson out at QB. I don’t think there’s much of any difference between him and Voytik.

Agree that lack of a pass rush really hurt this season – we got nothing from the DEs.

I will go out on a limb and predict that next season’s defensive line will be better than this season’s. We had one superstar, one OK guy, and two guys who didn’t do much of anything. Next season we lose big-time at Aaron Donald’s position, but we improve – as far as play-making – at the other three positions.

(If we go to a bowl game, Conner could come out cold at DE and have more of an impact than Durham will have.)

Go Pitt.

Comment by MajorMajors 11.30.13 @ 10:56 pm

when will you all get it what hurt us most was poor coaching you dont do the same dumb shit over and over if you have a good coach.

Comment by Frankcan 11.30.13 @ 11:07 pm

@@@@@@@

Don’t like the personal attacks posted. All,of us are frustrated.
The performance of the team is on the back of the head coach. Given the recent past coaching debacles PC
has at least 2 more years possibly three.

As one blogger mentioned exciting to watch the rivalry games yesterday. If PSU won’t commit to playing every year Pitt
needs to play the Brawl to end the season. The stadium would be filled rather than what we saw Saturday. Pitt FB is not as low as the Hackett days but frustrating 6-6 records year after year has all of us worn out.

Comment by JR 12.01.13 @ 8:22 am

Coaching and talent seem to be Pitt’s biggest problems. We’ve been saying that since Hackett. Show me different results with actions. Hire proven coaches. Hire strong recruiters. Fire the AD. Pitt’s teams outside basketball are poorly prepared for the ACC.

We also need to take a strong reevaluation of the game day atmosphere, the experience for fans and recruits, the venue and facilities, the pre day and game day traditions, the mentoring, the support system, the quality of student life, and the culture within.

If these things aren’t addressed, we get mediocrity and not excellence. It will take time, commitment, money, hard work and real leadership. But it can be done. All it takes is a first step.

Comment by TX Panther 12.01.13 @ 8:31 am

I can make the case that a six and six season is actually pretty decent considering the loss of two consecutive recruiting classes. Sure we should beat Navy and coulda beat GT or NC. Sure there were some coaching gaffs.

You can point to all the freshmen playing and say that it is great for the future, but it is a pretty strong indication of a lack of talent.

You can say that Chryst is no good, but if he didn’t bring in Boyd, Conner and Savage, how many games would we have won?

We are still going to be a very young team next year. More freshmen will have to play.

Special teams play was poor, was it bad coaching or a lack of depth and missed assignments. The coaches didn’t fumble the kick off or get the punt blocked. Was the 12th man a coach or an overzealous player. Sure the coaches can do better, but players win or lose games.

Injuries hurt more when you have no depth, we were lucky we only lost Street and Orndorf from a thin receiving crew, but it still cost us. We lost Price from our weakest group of pass rushers ever.

We were very lucky that Donald stayed healthy and Savage was a warrior. But both Conner and Bennett were dinged up on a thin group of runners.

Frankcan, Chryst is not Saban, or Meyer or even Malzahn, but he is not chopped liver. Saban lost yesterday and Meyer should have. By the way, how much is the Big Ten over rated?

I think for what we had our team gave a good effort this year. Great teams are usually loaded with seniors on the lines. It will take two more years till we rebuild our depth and one more till we can redshirt good players.

Chryst is building a program, I hope he sticks around long enough. House is definitely a question mark, more good players would help. We need some to mature from within, but we definitely need to recruit more good ones.

Or we could do like TX says, “Fire everyone” and lose another recruiting class.

Comment by gc 12.01.13 @ 9:22 am

Gc. Chryst has done zero in my eyes to deserve anything other than next season if it is more of the same expect more of the same. If we have to count if connor to be a D1 RB we are in trouble. He is a goal ljne back nothing less nothing more. He is way to slow for the ACC RB position.

Comment by Upittbaseball 12.01.13 @ 9:26 am

Maybe Smiling Steve did hire the right coach 3 years ago and after he saw the commitment left in the dark of night. There is no question that if Pitt made the commitment, and with his style of offense that we would be playing in the ACC Championship Game next week-end. So what if he would then leave for a better program. I may never see 10 wins again in my lifetime. The ASU program was in worse shape than Pitt’s when he took over 2 years ago. Now they are 10 – 2 packing the stadium (by the way the last time I looked Phoenix is also an NFL town where the college game will never be able to sell out)and hosting the PAC 12 championship game. I also don’t care if he is a sleaze ball since they are the ones that end up winning national championships like the Urban’s and Lou’s of college football. In this racquet nice guys don’t finish first.

Comment by JP 12.01.13 @ 9:42 am

JP. I agree graham would of been the beat coach since majors but that asshole pederson didnt let him have control. Potato boy chryst is a yes man and just wants to collect 1.8M till he is finally fired in 2016

Comment by Upittbaseball 12.01.13 @ 9:45 am

UPitt, that’s why we got two good ones coming. Wasn’t Chyrst’s fault that Shell was a turd.

I just think you guys expect miracles. You say we aren’t any good and then get pissed off when we lose. You can’t blame Chryst for thirty years of bad football. This was only his second year and other than Donald and a couple others, the cupboard was bare.

Blame Pedey and I’m with you, but Chryst deserves his chance and our support. It is fair to criticize his individual mistakes, but it is too early to evaluate his body of work. Let’s not throw the baby out with the bath water.

Comment by gc 12.01.13 @ 9:52 am

Almost everyone on this blog wanted to run Todd Graham out of town and look what he accomplished at ASU. Let’s not pass judgement too quickly on Chryst and Co. I too am frustrated but see progress in many areas. I will buy season tickets again next year and do the 600 mile round trip. I see us getting better.

Comment by barreman 12.01.13 @ 9:52 am

Yep, program is way better without Wanny. Thanks Steve for ruining a program that was on the verge of being a consistent top 25 team. Script-gone, Harris/Wanny-gone, what’s left??

Comment by John 12.01.13 @ 10:07 am

I too will buy my season tickets for the 38th year but have come to realize that Pitt Football is exactly what it is, mediocre. I got my first season tickets in 76 the first year out of school and other than those Major and Sherrill years it has always been the same. I always stay for the entire game but Thursday I couldn’t take it anymore and left at the half with about 50% of the other diehards that were there. We fit in nicely with the bottom dwellers of the ACC like Syr., BC, NC State, Wake. Maybe once in every 10 years we can have a Duke type season which could have been this year with better coaching and a few breaks. Miami is not that good, VT is not that good, GT is not that good, NC is not that good and Navy is well Navy not good. A few of those in the win column and we may be playing next week-end.

Comment by JP 12.01.13 @ 10:09 am

What is Pitt’s Athletic Budget this year?

Comment by gc 12.01.13 @ 10:10 am

Fraud is a good coach. Not great. His 10 (maybe 10+) win season is very impressive. I will say the Pac 12 was a little down this year, but 10 wins is 10 wins. Us Pitt fans would take 10 wins right now, and besides FSU (and maybe Clemson) the ACC wasn’t a powerhouse conference this year either. Fraud had the offensive system that it takes to win if your not an SEC powerhouse team. The open up spread option quick offense pace. You don’t need top 10 classes to pull that off. Chances are you won’t win National Championships but 10 wins is possible. You can recruit smaller just need speed. PC is a nice guy. Maybe even a good OC but I don’t see his slower recruiting class taking Pitt to more than 6 to 8 wins at most. The star ranking are not everything I agree, but you had better have tons of speed if you are not going for top 25 recruiting classes and expect to win 10 games.

Comment by Pitt Flunky 12.01.13 @ 10:14 am

Gc I’m not saying fire everyone. There is a D coordinator that should have never been hired. Chryst has two more years to prove he wasn’t a botched hire. And there are about three position coaches that can’t coach or recruit. And our AD should never have been extended. If you think all is well with our coaching staff, you may be delusional. This team was ill prepared and didn’t program progress as the season went on. Good organizations make significant changes when they fail. Pitt failed again this year. I don’t want to hear the poor excuses as to why. You address those problems.

Comment by TX Panther 12.01.13 @ 10:21 am

Are they calling for Kelly’s head in South Bend this morning?

Comment by gc 12.01.13 @ 10:24 am

So how did Gus turn around a terrible Auburn program in 10 months?

How did Fraud do it in 15 months at AZ ST?

Both programs were in disarray.

I think we need a Duke type offense to be successful in ACC. Got to have the spread. Unless you are Bama the Pro Style does nothing.

Put connor on Defense now. The kid has no chance as a RB whatsoever. Hell, I’d make him a ILB.

Comment by Upittbaseball 12.01.13 @ 10:43 am

No thoughts of attacking the other team, the mindset of the administration and coaching staff is just don’t embarrass us, ..this is 6-6 program for the next ten years. So tired of watching a crap product with no drive on the field.

Comment by Marco 12.01.13 @ 10:43 am

TX, House was not a strong hire, but we don’t know how much $ was given to Chryst for the hire. We do know that Pitt is cheap.

Chryst’s football strength is building a strong offensive line, unfortunately this takes time. Many of the great lines are made up of 5th year seniors. His highest rated recruits have been O-linemen. It will take time.

I have been critical about the lack of emphasis on recruiting defensive players and not having a seasoned defensive coach that can recruit. I am just not sure whether this is on Chryst or on Pedey’s budget. Many of us assume that Graham left because of a lack of commitment ($) from Pedey. But we really don’t know the details.

We do know that the perennial winners have budgets more than twice ours. This has an impact on coaches and recruiting, this is real and not a poor excuse.

Please don’t site the programs that have been successful on low budgets, they are the outliers that always exist. The perennial winners have big budgets.

Comment by gc 12.01.13 @ 10:46 am

Is Bama’s special teams coach available for hiring this morning?

Comment by Dr. Tom 12.01.13 @ 10:48 am

UPitt, we agree on Conner. We aren’t going to the spread unless and until Chryst fails. This is Western PA, home of power football. Also home of defensive football. We need some linemen and linebackers, may need to go south to get some.

Comment by gc 12.01.13 @ 10:56 am

Really appreciated Michigan going for it yesterday, gutsy call. Too bad it didn’t work.

Comment by gc 12.01.13 @ 10:58 am

i never said fire chryst but some asst coachs have to go, and if you cant see that there was poor coaching you are blind if that falls on chryst shoulders so be it.
but i would say this if there is not improvement next year not in the record but how we play in the games less fuck ups then he should be gone.
a good coach does not need 5 years to show improvement in style of play.

Comment by Frankcan 12.01.13 @ 11:03 am

and i need to say this i know we wont get a great
bowl but we better get a better bowl then syracuse
if any one is going to the detroit bowl it should be them not us what a fucked up place for a bowl.
any place half way warm is ok with me but not detroit.

Comment by Frankcan 12.01.13 @ 11:10 am

I am so tired of hearing that this is W PA the home of power football. Unless you recruit like Alabama and a few other SEC teams there are few successful college programs that are power football. Even the OSU’s run a form of the spread along with Mich., etc. and we know we can’t even recruit on even footing with them.

Comment by JP 12.01.13 @ 11:13 am

Talent, speed, budget, special teams coaches, blah, blah, blah

With the probable exception of FSU, Pitt could have won every game this year with better on field execution (fumbles, punts, interceptions, tackling) and coaching (personnel decisions, game management, game plans, defensive schemes). Even the FSU game swung on Savage interceptions. Pitt was driving for a second score on Savage’s first int in that game.

Dan, Aaron Donald was a three star recruit with offers from two MAC schools (Akron and Toledo). He was an very solid player who clearly worked out. Folks like you need to catch a clue before you resort to the same old diatribes.

I can honestly say that I did see significant improvement in guys like Anthony Gonzalez, Ray Vinopal and Bryan Murphy as the season wore on. Tom Savage also improved, but he’s gone. Pitt has young studs like Boyd, Conner, Holtz, Orndorf, and Price returning. They’ve got Grimm on the way. Their young OL alone comes in with plenty of recruiting stars. The future does not appear to be nearly as bleak as painted here.

If Pitt simply won over top WPIAL recruits every year they’d be a contender for the ACC championship. Please stop the southern, especially Florida, recruiting insanity. Miami was not markedly better than Pitt. Florida isn’t going to a bowl game. South Florida, please. Pitt could certainly hang with UCF. In Bowden’s last year FSU barely made a bowl game.

It’s any given Saturday. If you don’t give a solid effort you risk being beaten.

Comment by Barvo 12.01.13 @ 11:20 am

I agree. Pitt needs to pony up that budget. You can thank our AD for lowball offers and little money on hand. His primary job is hiring and fund raising. He has failed on both. Yes the jury is still out on Chryst and he has two more years. But do we really think he has the right stuff? With most great coaches, you get a feeling right away. I never got that with Chryst. I got that with Graham but never liked his personality or value system. But heck he wins and puts up points. It’s rare to get a coach with the class of Wanny and the coaching acumen of Graham. But Pitt should strive for it. I see Chryst as a coach to bring stability. I don’t see him as the one to take Pitt to the next level.

Comment by TX Panther 12.01.13 @ 11:29 am

you are right it was not the players it was poor coaching.fuck ups in games if they happen all the time are poor coaching.

Comment by Frankcan 12.01.13 @ 11:32 am

Barvo, Ricky Jackson, Jabaal Sheard, Greg Romeus, all from FL. Hugh Green from Mississippi. Sure there are linebackers from PA, Jack Ham, Sean Lee, but other than McKillop, they mostly go to PSU.

Plus we will never get all the kids from WPA. Many of the great ones will always get away. Jason Taylor, Steve Breaston, Ty Law, Terrelle Pryor, Robert Foster, plus the ones that go to PSU, Sean Lee and WVU Major Harris.

Comment by gc 12.01.13 @ 11:38 am

We won six games because of the players, we lost six games because of the coaches. You can’t have it both ways. I guess the players overcame the bad coaching in the six wins. LOL

Comment by gc 12.01.13 @ 11:45 am

I see a lot of high school football living in South Carolina; we need to recruit DBs and linebackers from this area,these kids can fly, cover, and hit!

Comment by PittSouthCarolina 12.01.13 @ 11:49 am

I guess all the missed tackles, missed blocks, 41 sacks, dropped passes, all caused by poor coaching.

Comment by gc 12.01.13 @ 11:59 am

JP & Upittbaseball – your points about AZ State & Auburn’s programs being in disarray when Fraud and Gus arrived overlooks one tiny little fact – both rosters were in good shape. Erikson and Chizek left those two guy with well stocked rosters – AND – the players were the right kind for “high octane”.

THAT’S how Graham was able to do what he has done at Tempe and was unable to do at Pitt.

Comment by Joe Lawrence 12.01.13 @ 12:31 pm

Any bowl gossip. I see there will be 3 more bowls next year. Maybe the NCAA should just let the schools schedule a 13th game in a bowl. The bowls can pick in August and change if their pick is one of the 4 playoff teams. If you are not picked you get an extra game. That way we can do away with this bowl joke stuff. The whole bowl thing is a joke anyway.

Comment by Frank MD 12.01.13 @ 12:47 pm

Pitt football is a joke so it’s perfect for the bowl system.

Comment by TX Panther 12.01.13 @ 1:33 pm

Fraud is in a place where he can now easily recruit Texas players. Take a look at his new recruits and you will see mostly Texas and Louisiana people, with some from Calif. He could not do this at Pitt.

He is also coaching in an overrated conference based on the fact that 2 of the 4 best P12 teams lost to ND (including ASU) and a third barely beat them on their home field.

Comment by wbb 12.01.13 @ 1:34 pm

Graham and Malzahn inherited much better programs/athletes. We need to realize that Pitt not being in the national media two years in a row for instability purposes is a great thing. Okay, it is an improvement. The qb position is the game changer in college football. Get a dynamic one and your program changes.

@upitt – the auburn qb did come from the JC ranks and it too may have been garden city cc, same as Cam 75k newton.

Pederson hand tied Chryst with the handling of Chapman , period. We are now in a position next year of having a qb with no collegiate experience and without a dynamic pedigree. I read where Golston at ND has applied for re-admission to their school. He served his time. Would Pitt allow Chapman to do that? If not, why not? Golstons guffaw was all about character flaw and making a wrong choice. No honor. Chapman couldn’t control his anger for 10 minutes. Each has learned a lesson, but only one gets to make good on his rehabilitation, in front of his harshest critics. One does not get an opportunity to completely change his life around. Funny how many on here call ND elitists. They are not. Pederson is. Hopefully Voytik is ready because one of the two freshman qb’s will not have thrown a football for about a year in a competitive environment due to injury.

Does anyone know if there will be any Early enrollees this year? I always thought that was a huge advantage for a player and a school. Would be good to get an update on the local recruits. Thanks guys!

Comment by dhuffdaddy 12.01.13 @ 1:55 pm

Can’t D II players transfer directly to FBS schools with no penalty?

Comment by Frank MD 12.01.13 @ 2:20 pm

Duff – he went to juco after leaving U of georgia where he was a DB. Thanks bud.

Barvo – i disagree completely. Leave the burg and watch football in the south high school wise. Way better than the wpial

Comment by Upittbaseball 12.01.13 @ 2:31 pm

Just some observations:
We all know Pitt counts tickets sold, or whatever, when coming up with attendance figures. The win over ND and a nice afternoon put 50,000 fans at Heinz.

An ugly win at Syracuse, no students, and a cold night brought out only 40,000 for Miami. If the numbers are inflated by 10,000 fans as a rule, the Miami crowd was closer to 30,000. From the telecast, though, it looked like a decent crowd.

We have no choice but to give Chryst time. Do you really want the current administration – Nordy and his lap dog SP – to hire another football coach? If Mike Haygood or whatever his name is hadn’t slapped the baby mama, he’d still be here. What would he be doing in terms of Ws and Ls??

Three coaches had Pitt moving in the right direction: Mike Gottfried, Walt Harris, and Todd Graham. I know Harris had his detractors, but the stupidest thing Jeff Long did was to fire him (as was Long’s firing of motorcycle romeo – Arkansas is even worse than Pitt).

If SP had shown any leadership with Wanny, his coaching tenure could have been saved. We had Frank Cigneti and Phil Bennett with the Stache, both quality assistant coaches. I’m a big fan of Bennett. Very high quality guy.

Excellent question asked by a Blatherite: Did the moron AD even inquire about Gus Malzahn?

Comment by TonyinHouston 12.01.13 @ 2:36 pm

*50,000 attendance in box score on ESPN for Pitt-NC.

Comment by TonyinHouston 12.01.13 @ 2:37 pm

My fear is 6-6 considering that we are losing our two best players with their replacements being significant drop offs in ability. I agree with Bostick who said since he has been here Savage has the strongest arm he has seen and is the toughest QB. He also mentioned that 70% of his passes were thrown while he was being hit.
Chryst obviously is not solid on Bennett or Conners as RB’s since he built the offense despite the OL weaknesses around his best players Savage, Street, and Boyd. Next year 2 of them will be gone along with by far the best D player Donald.
Pitt does not reload that is the problem. We have perhaps 4 players, at this time who could start at the top programs. We need to get at least 8 and have them coached well.
Next year I fear will be a rebuilding year from 6-6 but I hope we see improvement from the underclassman and some promising freshman.
We are all rooting for this

Comment by pittisit 12.01.13 @ 2:50 pm

Bowl projections from SB Nation:
link to sbnation.com

Pitt in Shreveport playing Mike Leach’s Washington State team? Huh?

Comment by TonyinHouston 12.01.13 @ 2:58 pm

gc the coaching was great are you jokeing read dockish read half the posts on here they would not agree with you i guess 2 punt returns in one game was good coaching or a dozen outher things that went wrong like game mangement.was not bad coaching time outs etc etc.

Comment by Frankcan 12.01.13 @ 3:16 pm

Tonyinhouston, I assume I was one of the 50K at the UNC game although I sat in my living room watching it on TV about 2 1/2 hours from the game site.

4 of the 5 OL returns plus D Johnson, S Johnson and a few redshirts. This has to be the #1 priority for next year, especially with a new QB. I am actually looking forward to see what a mobile QB can do … as I watched most of the good teams yesterday noticed most of them to be run first QBs. But pass or run 1st, they all need good OL support in order to succeed.

Comment by wbb 12.01.13 @ 3:31 pm

Frankcan, so it has nothing to do with the fact that we are young and thin, with a QB that didn’t play for three years, our best running back is a freshman defensive end. The coaches have made mistakes, but it is not all on them.

Do you really think this was a good football team?

Comment by gc 12.01.13 @ 3:37 pm

about the bowl projection, here is a tweet from the PG:

Paul Zeise ?@PaulZeise 39m
@SWernerPG Hey I see the AAC may not have enough teams to fill its spots – BACK TO BIRMINGHAM!!!! Lol

Comment by wbb 12.01.13 @ 3:46 pm

By the way, I never said the coaching was great. I do think that the results were do more to the lack of quality players than to coaching deficiencies.

I remember a lot of people used to say Chuck Noll was not a good coach, it was the players.

It takes both to win or to lose.

Is Aaron Donald a great player because he has a great coach? No, he is just great. Great players make great coaches, not the reverse.

Comment by gc 12.01.13 @ 3:47 pm

Watching Shady play Fitz. Great Pitt guys. Great Pros.

Comment by gc 12.01.13 @ 3:51 pm

At least the Independence Bowl is on New Year’s Eve.

Comment by Pitt Dad 12.01.13 @ 4:14 pm

Didn’t GC leave the Miami game at half? I stayed for the home games this year, not just for half and this was one of the worst coached football teams I’ve ever seen. Lots of offensive talent out there which was never utilized. Weapons on the outside and at tight end but did we ever line up with mulitiple tight ends and run some of the sets the Patriots used to run? No. We lacked creativity on offense and were boring. There is a reason the stadium is empty and people who used to watch Pitt during the Walt Harris years stopped watching. Defense lacked talent but the Matt House scheme exploited our own weaknesses rather than covering them up. Special teams like wow how many mistakes. How many false starts and illegal sub penalties at the end of the season. No discipline. Just not a well coached team. The coaching was mediocre and that explains the mediocre results against mediocre competition. Chryst deserves another year but he doesn’t deserve to have a say in the assistant coaches around him. Offensive coordinator should be out and same with Defensive coordinator. Get KC Keeler asap. Fans wont’ be getting tickets next year unless there are changes. How can you expect people to pay ez pass tolls and gas prices to come out and watch that pathetic product? I mean isn’t it pathetic when the one voice supporting Chryst was in his car on the way home by half of most of the games. That about sums it up.

Comment by druc 12.01.13 @ 4:26 pm

An 11:30 AM kickoff on ESPN.

Comment by Pitt Dad 12.01.13 @ 4:26 pm

Comment by Pitt Dad 12.01.13 @ 4:27 pm

Yes, Keeler. I wanted him for HC after Wanny but he’d be an excellent Defensive coordinator.

House for special teams coach?

Comment by Pitt Dad 12.01.13 @ 4:28 pm

gc with good coaching i think we could have won at least 8 games i think coaching cost us at least 2 games maybe 3 when kids fuck up more then once or twice yes they have not been well coached.
that is the point of coaching to stop the fuck ups and when it does not stop that is on the coach.

Comment by Frankcan 12.01.13 @ 4:28 pm

The offensive coaches are good. The D coaches suck. I said give House time…time is up!

Comment by notrocketscience 12.01.13 @ 4:57 pm

The coaching staff didn’t show much progress this year over last. That is a red flag. They aren’t learning from their mistakes and the learning curve was high to begin with. I say bring in some personalities who can coach and recruit. Chryst will have to learn to delegate and stop being a micro manager. Several coaches on this existing staff need to be held accountable for these bad results. Examples must be made. Heads must roll. Show me Pitt that you are serious.

Comment by TX Panther 12.01.13 @ 5:18 pm

Sorry, I did leave at half time. Didn’t enjoy sitting with the Miami Fans. I am 63 years old and have stayed to the bitter end many times. At least I showed up.

I am not saying Chryst is a great coach by any means.

I just don’t agree that all our poor play is on the coaches. And druc, this is far from the worst coached Pitt team, I have ever seen.

Frankcan, maybe we could have finished with 8 wins, but I am not prepared to say we should have.

We could have just as easily lost the Duke, ND, VA and Syracuse games.

You can’t credit the coaches with the losses but not the wins.

No one likes the procedure penalties, the holding the off sides call, but they are a part of the game, you see it in the pros. Even the best pros line up off sides once in a while.

I just don’t think we have enough good players.

Comment by gc 12.01.13 @ 5:29 pm

That is very true. All more the reason we need to find coaches who can recruit the south …Virginia is a hotbed for us. It doesn’t have to be Florida three stars. And we need a mobile QB since we’re most likely not getting solid five star linemen to protect and the college game warrants this extra dimension. We need to find more athletes. Bigger and faster. What can Pitt offer them to persuade them? Money, girls, fame? I jest but we need to find some good reasons.

Comment by TX Panther 12.01.13 @ 5:42 pm

You can blame the coaches, they are not without fault, but in my opinion, the reason we were not very good was inferior line play. Of course other than Donald. But he wasn’t nearly enough. We had no pass rush which killed us. A good pass rush creates turnovers, fumbles and interceptions. Much of the time we couldn’t stop the run either. You can blame coaching but players must make tackles.

An even bigger disappointment was the O-line they allowed 41 sacks which means they hardly slowed up the rush. And they were not good at run blocking much of the time.

Depth was also an issue, Street missed games, Boyd missed a game. Orndorf went down, King and Bisno went down. Gordon missed games, Price went down. Conner missed games, Bennett was banged up.
Yes all a part of the game, but on a thin team it makes a difference. Our two best gunners were out for the two fumble returns.

I know some of you will say these are just excuses for bad coaching.

But we really were not very good. Do you think we would beat Duke or ND if we had to play them again? I do think we beat Navy 4 out of 5 times, but that was our only bad loss and they should have beat ND.

I really don’t know if Chryst will be good enough and I would like to see more high profile assistants. But I don’t think Jock Sutherland would have done much better with this bunch.

Comment by gc 12.01.13 @ 6:15 pm

here is some good bowl data

link to blog.triblive.com

Comment by wbb 12.01.13 @ 6:26 pm

GC, we actually agree on this. Pitt is not good. Who from our starting 22, starts on a top 10 team? I might give Donald a chance and maybe Street as a 3, but nothing else, sorry.

We disagree on what is needed first however. Number 1 is a dynamic playmaker at qb. Second is OL and DL. Then receivers and db’s. Rest are fillers (RB’s,LB’s,Safeties).

Chryst is not the problem. How many coaching excuses does one need before it is realized that the AD is making those calls and has failed. The fact that he stayed with Berenato was testament to his inability to manage. Managers put their people in the best situations to succeed. Pederson has not done that with any of our programs, except the last 10 years of Bball. Even that was turned around by a huge donor gift (not because of Pederson, but despite him). His skill set would never be accepted in private industry. That is why he is attached at the hip with the Chancellor.

Comment by dhuffdaddy 12.01.13 @ 6:36 pm

Wall Street Journal ranked the value of college football programs. Pitt is not last, but very close.
link to online.wsj.com

Comment by TonyinHouston 12.01.13 @ 6:38 pm

TonyInHouston,

Malzahn left Auburn to take the head coaching job at Arkansas State job on December 13, 2011. That very same evening, Todd Graham orchestrated his resignation at Pitt and left for Arizona State, the texts weren’t sent to the players and the news never broke until the following morning.

My company has an office in Arkansas that is smack in the middle of Razorbacks country. When Wannstedt was first dismissed, I asked a few co-workers who I knew were big college football fans if there was any chance of a school like Pitt landing him if they expressed interest.

Basically, they said he never really had any interest in leaving the south. When he took the job at Arkansas State, he already knew he’d be on every short list for any SEC head coaching position that opened up.

Comment by Stoosh 12.01.13 @ 6:46 pm

Tony, that’s a fascinating piece, not sure what it means but it is obviously not good. If it is SP’s report card he should have flunked out long ago.

Everyone but Nordy recognizes it.

Comment by gc 12.01.13 @ 7:40 pm

Tony, that’s a fascinating piece, not sure what it means but it is obviously not good. If it is SP’s report card he should have flunked out long ago.

Everyone but Nordy recognizes it.

Comment by gc 12.01.13 @ 7:40 pm

dhuff, I don’t totally disagree, certainly about the QB. I do place more of a priority on linebackers and safeties.

Not many great teams without an outstanding QB. That’s why they usually win the Heisman.

Comment by gc 12.01.13 @ 7:45 pm

Give Chryst a chance by seeing he has the funds to hire assts. that are outstanding. A good head coach is a delegater and has a staff that is tops in their field of specialty. A good defensive coordinator has to be an outstanding chess player who is one move ahead of the opponent not one move behind like House. Look at Texas after a mid season change at D.C. What is frustrating is seeing a defense that gets egg on it’s face because it can’t get a pass rush, gives up big plays when in the wrong defense and has D- backs playing too far off. Add to this a special teams unit that is the gang that couldn’t shoot straight and you have 5 winnable games shot. Pederson is the root if he does not give Chryst the funds to hire top staff and if he threw Chapman under the bus as well he should be sent back to Nebraska asap.The hard part is seeing the same problems over and over not corrected.

H

Comment by Pitt 60 12.01.13 @ 7:56 pm

The staff is mediocre at best. The season is over and we ran no trick plays, no fake kicks, anything. The special teams were a downfall all year. Chryst said put that on him, so we should. It was quite fitting that one of our last drives was typical, it took 7 minutes or so off the clock because we could not run a two minute drill. Even with the huddle, we had guys walking to the line – so much for conditioning or expectations to hustle. Hiring your buddies and pulling these guys out of retirement or hiring vagabonds who have been castoffs from other programs is not a recipe for success. I think we have good players and they play hard. I think we help the other teams quite a bit because we are simple and predictable. Too much nostalgia for Wisconsin IMO.

Comment by PittMan 12.01.13 @ 8:03 pm

GC – I am also 63 and have some perspective on the coaching. I say Pitt’s Football team has the ‘appearance” of bad/awful coaching.

Coaching is a matter of imparting detail to your players to the point where it is second nature on the field. Did Chryst’s staff do that? How can you say they did when you see the play of the last 3 games/losses? A defensive backfield who’s greatest cry ‘hey, I thought you had him” as recievers race open by 10-15 yards, a punt returner carrying the ball in the wrong hand, a left guard missing a block (took the outside man nad let the guy inside free HS stuff) on an overload punt blitz on his side causing a Miami block, not having a team ready to match intensity from the opening kickoff….and on and on and on.
Do we have stupid players??….maybe…but there has been a total failure on this coaching staff and it is undeniable. I wish it wasn’t so. I like Chryst and he and House are not going anywhere but this kind of play is a disgrace to a D-2 team let alone Pitt. I don’t blame you for leaving at halftime. I wish I could have on the 5 games I made it to this year….cept ND.

I think HCPC needs a Slice…a Barry Rorshem who can just bang fundamentals into these kids heads and find a way to make it stick. If he can coach special teams and defense…then so much the better.

Comment by Dan 72 12.01.13 @ 8:09 pm

We had an elite QB this year, 41 sacks, rated only behind FSU and Boyd in ACC. Of the 3 Savage has best chance playing NFL.
I am not overawed by QB’s just because their mobile. I will take a QB with an NFL arm anyday if you have an offensive line.
Chryrs is in agreement apparently that’s whay the game was always in Savages hands and why he recruited 2 6’4″ QB’s.
Unfortunately neither had the pedegree Savage did coming out of H.S.
Unless one year makes a miraculous difference inthe play of the Olineman and the kid from Buffalo is a Connor with runners instincts, peripheral vision, and quick feet. He is 220 and runs 4.4 so maybe on offense we are going to have trouble scoring next year.
The charcter of the offense will certainly be different. The OL has to dominate the line of scrimmage so we can run maintain ball possession or it will be a long year.

Comment by pittisit 12.01.13 @ 9:02 pm

Dan, I guess we will have to agree to disagree. I don’t blame the coaches for Pitts fumble. He is a junior and has to know which hand to carry the ball in. Our offensive line missed blocks all year. Is that on the coaches or the players. Blown coverage by the defenders, Williams and Hendricks are seniors, Pitts and Vinopal are juniors. I don’t agree it is all coaching.

I’ll give you having too many men after a time out is on the coaches, and they have made plenty of mistakes for which they should be criticized.

But there were relatively few procedure penalties. There were few fumbled snaps.

I’m not sure about matching intensity, I think I would say that is on the players as well. I don’t understand how any college kids can come out flat.

Winning football players make big plays. Our guys just made way too few of them. Coaches may make the wrong play call, but either way players have to execute. I saw too many missed tackles, missed blocks, missed throws and dropped passes.

I am not giving the coaches a pass they share the blame, but the players have to execute, they did not, not nearly enough.

It’s easy to blame the coaches on the two punt returns, by why isn’t it on the players for not making a tackle. Maybe the kid was just better than us. Several games were there for the taking, Vinopal took a couple, not enough of the other guys caused fumbles or interceptions.

I like the quote above “The team with the better players usually wins” Not always that’s why we play the games.

Comment by gc 12.01.13 @ 9:53 pm

How bad were we, we had 8 interceptions and 8 fumble recoveries in 12 games.

How good was Aaron Donald, he had 10 of our 18 sacks and 16 of our 43 QB hurries.

Are these the results of poor coaching or poor play?

Comment by gc 12.01.13 @ 10:08 pm

Donald also had 26.5 of our 74 tackles for a loss.

Donald a superstar, but the rest of the results stink.

Poor coaching or poor play, you be the judge.

Comment by gc 12.01.13 @ 10:12 pm

i will poor coaching you miss the point which is that coachs are the ones who make sure that all the things you point out that the players do or did not do,
are fixed that is the point of haveing a coach to make sure you do it right and if you keep fucking up it is becuse of poor coaching.

Comment by Frankcan 12.01.13 @ 10:37 pm

Stoosh – Malzhan would never have left the south or the SEC. He knew Auburn would come calling. The ARK St. program is a nice little program and he did wonders there in a quick period of time.

But, you guys are right…Pederson had no clue about him or the coach at Ole Miss. Smug is the worst D1, D2, or D3 AD in the USA.

Comment by Upittbaseball 12.02.13 @ 1:44 am

Gentlemen. I went into Rivals and looked at the past 4 Auburn recruiting classes, and as suspected, I saw a bunch of 4 stars with a few 5 stars in each class.

Yes, Malzhan did a great job but nobody does it void of talent. Saban and Meyer are among the best because they recruit so damned well. FSU’s classes the past few years have also been ranked among the top,

This is why I never understood the firing of Wannstedt at the time. It seems that Pitt alums keep expecting this program to return to the late 70s quality … but that’s not going to happen.

There is a reason why the SEC has been so dominant; the best recruits are from that area … just like Western PA and eastern OH were back in the 70s. Even then. we got a handful of key recruits from the south (Green, Jackson, Walker to name a few)

Problem is that while Ohio is the best recruiting state in the North, it still doesn’t compare to Florida. Pitt would still be better off getting the 2nd wave from Florida like it did for much of last decade than the 2nd wave from Ohio which sees to be PC’s approach.

Comment by wbb 12.02.13 @ 7:53 am

The best coaching staff in the world can only coach up average players so much. You can’t teach height, size or speed into a player. You can teach technique and team strategy.

Pitt’s problems are both the overall athletic quality of it’s players AND the lack of coaching expertise.

To be really successful in the ACC, Pitt needs to upgrade both! This coaching staff is learning on the job. They’ll be better next season, even if the exact staff remains in place simply because of getting another year’s experience under their belts with the same team. RECRUITING however is the key. We need a major upgrade in the number of high quality recruits that HCPC brings in. IMO, the first priority with this coaching staff is to figure out a way to improve their recruiting results. Bringing in a dedicated recruiting coach might be the answer. That’s where I would spend my newly found ACC bankroll first!

This current group of recruits for 2014 looks just OK on paper. There are no Tyler Boyds in this group yet though. It is essential that we end up with guys like Henry and the other local 4 star recruits that are still considering Pitt, if we want to see this program improve significantly in the near future.

Recuiting is the life blood of any successful program. Chryst needs to get somebody at the helm of our recruiting efforts who knows how to promote the VISION of a future Pitt Football program that is a winner. This is the first step in realizing that vision, successful recruiting!

Comment by Dr. Tom 12.02.13 @ 8:57 am

So many opinions place blame on the players. I place blame on the coaches. I think all kids basically go to college as unmolded, raw individuals. It is up to the coaches to not only teach technique but create an environment of high energy and confidence. Some coaches, like Cutcliffe, have figured that out. He is positive and stays behind his kids, and tells them he continually believes in them. Yes, Pitt is not Auburn, we have only a handful of 5 and 4 stars. But you’re telling me Navy and Duke put better talent on the field than we did? I sat behind the Pitt bench. Lots of negative energy and chaos. I give our players credit for trying to get through that. Yes, this isn’t Pop Warner, but I also witnessed some pretty stupid things going on, and definitely an air of negativity. You guys expecting us to capture high profile recruits are dreaming. You have recruits talking, observing, and meeting some of these assistants and expect them to get excited about coming to Pitt? Would you?

Comment by PittMan 12.02.13 @ 9:01 am

No. So Pitt must give them several legit reasons. Having a vision and then getting the results to prove it is one reason. How can Pitt craft it’s own identity and differentiate itself. What can we offer.

Comment by TX Panther 12.02.13 @ 9:15 am

What we see in the interviews is what parents and recruits see.

As for a bowl game giving us more practices, I agree with one of the posts up top, that is hogwash. It is months away from a new season, two weeks of practices don’t make one iota of difference.

Comment by PittMan 12.02.13 @ 9:32 am

Pittman, you make a good point. Without great recruits, you need good coaching like Duke. Nonetheless, there still is a major difference between FSU and Duke, and FSU has a much higher ceiling.

Comment by wbb 12.02.13 @ 9:35 am

Pittman, Pitt will devote the first 8 (or so) bowl practices without the seniors as an early spring practice …. and then use the last 7 or so for bowl preparation.

TJ Clemmings first practiced at OT last December, not last march

Comment by wbb 12.02.13 @ 9:39 am

the players this year were good enough for 8 wins
the coachs were not.
if you want to win you need good coachs as much as good players.
do you really think we hired the best asst coachs that were out there or did we hire wisconsin frends and buddys who would not rock the boat the new coach was not looking for the best hell they might upstage him.

Comment by Frankcan 12.02.13 @ 9:54 am

Besides Donald, who trained and played himself into a 5 star type performer, who else on this team to you consider “5 star”, PittMan? We have less than a handful of 4 star players on our roster right now. You’re the dreamer if you are seeing those 4 & 5 stars on the field for Pitt this season.

Like you, I also feel that “team attitude” is so important. Does Coach Chryst & Co. have the ability to fire up this team? I’ve not witnessed it from the fan’s perspective, have you? I’d love to see more emotion in the coaching process. This may be a job for the coaches, but to get 100% out of 18 to 22 year olds on the field of play, emotions need to be stoked at some point. Winning at the major college level REQUIRE it. For the players, their efforts have to mean more than just doing their job.

Comment by Dr. Tom 12.02.13 @ 10:01 am

Frankcan, that is your opinion, hardly a fact. Is Aaron Donald a star because of coaching or his ability and effort? Same thing with Street, when he goes down, Weatherspoon plays, or Ed Tinker.

You are entitled to your opinion, but try to back it up with facts.

Comment by gc 12.02.13 @ 10:12 am

ESPN has Pitt in Detroit against Buffalo. Also has us 11 in ACC FB out of 14.

Not good first year in ACC with losing FB record.

Comment by Frank MD 12.02.13 @ 10:20 am

Every year someone points out the one or two teams that beat the odds and say why can’t we be like them.

This year it was Auburn and Duke, last year Vanderbilt and somebody else. Nobody says why can’t we be like Florida, or Tenn. or even WVU, remember how bad some wanted Holgerson?

One bad year and many were calling for Jamie’s head. A couple of bad games and it will happen again.

People are calling for Tomlin’s head, even after he went to two Superbowls and won one. You heard it, he did it with Cowher’s players. In any case it does prove the point that it is easier to win with great players and hard to win with average ones.

Chryst and Co. will get better results if they can recruit better players.

Are they superstar coaches, of course not. We have not had one since Jackie Sherrill. Are they good enough to get the job done, time will tell.

Comment by gc 12.02.13 @ 10:23 am

I hear Lane Kiffen is available, LOL

Comment by gc 12.02.13 @ 10:26 am

what bowl game i went to a few of the orange sites and the talk is what what bowl or if they will get a bowl.
and to outher teams sites and they wonder if they will get a bowl and whish one there are outher 6 and 6 teams.
what gets me is are sites talk abought coachs etc
etc but all most no talk abought bowls i wonder why.
i am not being a smart ass i really wonder why we dont seam to care that much outhers seam to care more then us as far as which bowl.
just the way it seams to me.

Comment by Frankcan 12.02.13 @ 10:46 am

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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