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December 8, 2013

As expected, Pitt is headed to Detroit, Michigan for the Little Caesars Bowl. Their opponent? MAC Champion Bowling Green.

While obviously this isn’t the most exciting bowl game, it’s a bowl game nonetheless. 

The former Motor City Bowl will be played on December 26th at 6pm. Here’s some ticket info on the bowl’s site. Here’s the link to buy directly from the athletic department. I recommend you buy tickets directly from the athletic department since they make money off of those tickets. The day after Christmas is not a bad option for Pitt fans. Most are off work and Detroit is only about a 4 hour drive. Since it’s a 6pm kickoff, you could leave that morning and get a hotel for the night. Drop the kids off with their grandparents and leave town for two days. It’s Detroit, so a hotel in a decent area shouldn’t be too pricey. I’d love to go but my wife is in her third trimester so I can’t be that far away from her. I’ll be there in spirit. Let’s hope this game is a little better than the last time Pitt played Bowling Green.

In recruiting news, Shai McKenzie and Jamil Kamara just wrapped up their official visits today. I got a good look at them and the other recruits at the Loyola Marymout game from the section above and the main takeaway I got was Mike Grimm is gigantic. He had a mohawk that only a guy that causes everyone near him to tremble in fear could pull off. Reports make it seem like the visits went well, but you rarely see a report that says anything else.

Aliquippa DB Dravon Henry will allegedly announce his college selection tomorrow and it’s still between Pitt and WVU. He has given Miami some attention, but it’s doubtful he’d head south. There are rumors Gateway DB Montae Nicholson could announce soon too but his recruitment has bee so quiet it’s tough to get a grasp on what’s going on. Shai McKenzie is still set to announce on the 20th of this month.

 





bgsu looked awfully impressive against niu…their qb was a monster.

Comment by goalie44 12.08.13 @ 6:39 pm

These are always trying times for me.

A fan of Pitt since the first college football game I was old enough to remember watching (Marino and Pitt beating Penn State).

A wife from Bowling Green whose has relatives who work for the University.

Oh, I should probably add I have two degrees from BGSU and used to work there as well.

If you see a really big guy with a long goatee wearing a Pitt t-shirt and a BGSU hat (or vice versa) it’s probably me.
Anyway, rooting for Pitt the whole way! A win would be big for BG but a loss would be killer for Pitt.
Pitt should dominate the line on offense but I look for BG to put up 20+ points.

Comment by Bowling Green Panther 12.08.13 @ 6:53 pm

at least the game is indoors but the thing is if we win they will say we should have and if we lose they will say we stink.
would have liked a named tean to play even washington st or some one from big 12 but it is what it is.

Comment by Frankcan 12.08.13 @ 7:08 pm

Yes ill start off ny saying my cousin is a coach at BG, as I mentioned here before..but pitt has their hands full. Better talent and overall coaching at BG will lead to victory for them. I saw them first hand on friday night, which was amazing btw..ford field is weird btw.

Pitt doesn’t give two shits about a bowl game after the
embarassment vs MIAMI

Comment by nope 12.08.13 @ 7:16 pm

Apparently the BG QB has an axe to grind against Pitt for Passing on him due to size !

Comment by Togatogatoga 12.08.13 @ 7:28 pm

Matty ICE Johnson BG’s QB was a Bishop McDevitt QB and the nick name is well deserved as that kid is VERY good and cool under pressure. Most Pitt fans should know the High School yes it’s the same one that gave us Shady.

This game is not gonna be easy by a long shot

Comment by Tony In Harrisburg 12.08.13 @ 7:37 pm

I’ll be watching on TV in my Pitt gear. Just like the last five years. Waiting for a bowl game of meaning.

Comment by TX Panther 12.08.13 @ 7:37 pm

Sure is a lot of disappointment expressed above and a downer of a response to date. Let me turn the tide here for a second.

1. Pitt is going to a bowl
2. Pitt is playing a champion from another conference with good team in it.
3. Pitt should win if they play disciplined, inspired football.
4. Discipline and inspired football is on the players, not the coaches.
5. Extra practices are always helpful in what has become a year round sport.
6. The lines of scrimmage are key. Aaron Donald can go out on a very high note….if he wants too! Let’s us talk football for another month which is always a bonus!

Hopefully we can wrap up a few recruits in the next week. If I was the recruiting coordinator, I would re-extend the offer to J Fields and Dravon. We need 3-4 star players. The more, the better. Chryst is smart. If we need room later, some can be shown the door for “behavioral issues” like every other big time program operates.

Comment by dhuffdaddy 12.08.13 @ 7:39 pm

Per Matt’s twitter:

Please be Pitt. Remember when I was too short to play for you
— TOOLIVE_MATTY (@717_mattyj11) December 8, 2013

Comment by Tony In Harrisburg 12.08.13 @ 7:42 pm

Penn State tops Pitt in wrestling, draws record crowd
link to triblive.com

Comment by TonyinHouston 12.08.13 @ 7:46 pm

Of course since I’ll be in st Pete area for holiday they go to Detroit instead…..same old Pitt

Comment by John 12.08.13 @ 8:01 pm

Any chants of flavor at that match?

And yes any bowl is better than none. Even a bowl in Detroit.

Comment by TX Panther 12.08.13 @ 8:02 pm

Glad I guess that we are in a bowl. It beats the alternative; unless you tell me the alternative would have resulted in a shakeup of this coaching staff – a recruiting coordinator, a special teams coordinator, and a defensive coordinator, and more emphasis placed on building a winning program.

I have no interest in this bowl and neither will the players. All the motivation is on the BG side. They are the MAC champ, and we are still Pitt. We all know who wins this game. I doubt it will even be close. Sorry to be such a pessimist, just so tired of the same old same old same old…

Comment by Iron Duke 12.08.13 @ 8:06 pm

Challenge is squarely on the defense. NIU offense played well despite some costly turnovers but they could not stop BG. House better start watching film now.

Comment by John 12.08.13 @ 8:06 pm

He’s a sophomore, so I guess he was passed over by Toad Graham? 6’0″ 222. Seems the same size as Mr. Voytik. Nice stat line for a 2nd year guy. Graham is f*cking idiot.

link to espn.go.com

Comment by Atlanta Panther 12.08.13 @ 8:25 pm

I have very mixed feelings about the bowl. The Pitt team that played these last 3 games doesn’t deserve to go to a bowl and has no chance of beating a very good Bowling Green Team..I would think BGU would be favored by 7.5 or so.

However, if we can get healty, put our O line back together and get Street back, we can hang with the Falcons.

Also, our special teams will have to be good, and healthy.

I remember the last Pitt BGU game at Heinz like it was yesterday. Pitt jumped out to a 14-0 lead and the game looked like it was ours in the 1st quarter. Then Pitt suddenly lost it’s confidence on defense and could not stop BG’s attack and it was another of many Wanny ugly losses.

Comment by Dan 72 12.08.13 @ 8:33 pm

Sagarin’s computer would have BG a 4 point favorite.

Comment by pitt1972 12.08.13 @ 8:34 pm

Not saying that Pitt will win, that they will be “up” for the game, or that they have more motivation than their opponents. I can say this, though. It is flat out wrong to say the players have no motivation or are disinterested in this bowl. If you are on twitter, then you would see that the players were immediately tweeting how pumped they were to be bowl eligible. These games are a big deal to them, even if they aren’t nearly as big a deal as if they were playing in a more significant game.

I am excited about this game though. I live four hours north of Detroit, have three kids 7 and under and a fourth one due in the next two weeks. The only way I am getting to see a Pitt game at this stage of my life is if Pitt comes to me- and they are on December 26. Conveniently, my mom will even be up here visiting for Christmas and she can stay with my wife and the new baby. Merry Christmas to me, and hail to Pitt.

Comment by kanyon40 12.08.13 @ 8:42 pm

Passing over this QB from Bowling Green doesn’t make Graham an idiot (a lot of other things do, though). People on this board complain over and over again that we are getting MAC recruits and that we need better to compete. Graham got us a QB with legit D1 interest (Voytik) and passed over a MAC kid and THAT is what makes him an idiot? Congratulations to this kid for being good at Bowling Green. But if we signed him, everyone would have complained that he was a MAC QB, and it turns out that is what he is.

Comment by kanyon40 12.08.13 @ 8:45 pm

The only idiot was Steve Pederson in hiring The Fraud.

Comment by TX Panther 12.08.13 @ 8:50 pm

Well said Kanyon…well said.

Comment by jbizz 12.08.13 @ 8:54 pm

Henry – Miami
Shai – Pitt
Nicholson – Oregon

Comment by Upittbaseball 12.08.13 @ 8:54 pm

Kanyon, glad you’ll get to see Pitt play live, hope your cheers make a difference. I’m not on Twiitter, but I’m sure the players are happy to be bowl eligible. Doesn’t mean they will be motivated to win this game. It is not uncommon for one team to show up disinterested in these lesser bowls, and its usually the one with less to play for. In this case, that will be Pitt.

Comment by Iron Duke 12.08.13 @ 8:56 pm

I’m in Columbus and if tickets are reasonable I will go and support the team. Haven’t been to either basketball or football since I gave up my season tix after I moved 6 years ago.

Comment by jbizz 12.08.13 @ 8:57 pm

link to ev12.evenue.net

Link to buy tickets from the athletic department.

Comment by Justin 12.08.13 @ 9:01 pm

Great opponent, great match up, great opportunity for Pitt to bring home a winning season!

Start preparations beginning tomorrow because this will be a difficult bowl game for the Panthers to win.

Hail to Pitt!

Comment by Dr. Tom 12.08.13 @ 9:07 pm

I know Chas says we should buy our tickets from the Athletic Department, but they are $45 and $60 through AD and $29 through the bowl’s site. Can’t imagine that tickets will be hard to come by, but don’t feel like paying twice the money just so the AD gets credit for it.

Comment by kanyon40 12.08.13 @ 9:08 pm

In other news…I guess it’s up to the ACC to do what no other conference has done in 7 years. Beat the SEC!

Comment by jbizz 12.08.13 @ 9:15 pm

It’s me saying that and the reason I say that is the way ticket allotment works.

Basically, the bowl allots X tickets to the university and they buy those tickets at a discounted rate. If they don’t sell a decent chunk of those tickets, they actually LOSE money.

Comment by Justin 12.08.13 @ 9:15 pm

Oops, sorry Justin. Didn’t read the byline on the article first time.

Sucks that they will lose money. But I would rather they lose it than I do. They will make up the difference with their extra 20 million from being in the ACC.

Comment by kanyon40 12.08.13 @ 9:27 pm

While our wrestlers did take an L @ Pedo SU today I commend our coaches for continuing to schedule meaningful matches against top flight programs. As expressed here on numerous occasions about other collegiate sports that’s the only way you get better! The #11 Panthers have a shot at taking the ACC title away from VT in only their first year in the league. It wont be easy. Hopefully the Blather will give the wrestlers some attention! H2P! UPone

Comment by UPone 12.08.13 @ 9:47 pm

were we are playing is one thing i dont like but at least we are playing but who we are playing is a no win thing if we win so what if we lose we will hear abought it all year.
it would have been better to play a big 10 team like the orange if they lose no shame becuse it is to the big 10 if they win that is great.
but not us.

Comment by Frankcan 12.08.13 @ 10:17 pm

Matty Johnson should be careful what he wishes for.

Comment by panther94 12.08.13 @ 10:35 pm

@@@@@@

Ok we are what we are 6-6. That said
we get to play another game, the game
is in an NFL indoor stadium, against a
quality opponent. Lastly we have a chance
to finish 7-6. No bad given our recent
history. Just win baby and recruit!

Comment by JR 12.08.13 @ 10:36 pm

@Dr. Tom, great opponent???

Great match up, ya, that’s sad that it is.

Great opportunity for a winning season, yes.

Also, I’ve always said, better to be in a Bowl, no matter how bad, than to be on the list of schools that got left out.

All in all, this could be a very good opportunity for Pitt, especially looking at it as Paul Chryst still building the program.

Hate to be a realist though.

Could be a great thing, as long as we don’t:

Get blown out.
On national t.v..
By Bowling Green.

Comment by Dan 12.08.13 @ 10:51 pm

Dan you are so right we play a MAC school if we win who cares if we lose the jokes start but what the hell pitt allways gets screwed.
the orange play big 10 us mac we cant win.
what a bad place to be in but what the hell we are recruiting mac players so we might as well play in the mac i guess i am just pissed it is so much were we are playing but who we are playing we are so screwed.

Comment by Frankcan 12.08.13 @ 11:11 pm

Not sure why people think that we are in a lose lose situation here. Bowling Green is a quality opponent. They are 10-3, we are 6-6. They are MAC champs, we are the 11th ACC team in. We are not a good program at the moment and really are right about where we have been for years. Winning does little more to help than losing does to hurt us. It is a low level bowl game. Winning isn’t going to land us the next 5 star recruit. Losing isn’t going to bring a rash of decommits. It will have little impact on anyone but those of us on the message boards.

The thing that blows my mind is people keep saying things like, “If we win, we beat a MAC team, if we lose, it gets talked about for the next year.” Talked about by whom? Other than those of us on these boards, who actually cares? I can tell you this- and this should be the thing that actually matters- no one is talking about Pitt nationally on any level to where there are expectations on us for a bowl game to either live up to or fall short of. Other than the bowl prediction shows that will predict every game, and the highlights on sportscenter the day of the game, no one will be talking about any bowl that Pitt is in until Pitt starts playing in bowls worth talking about. So if we lose 100-0 to Bowling Green, I am still not sure about who will be talking about it, or how it will haunt us for the next year. Aside from Pitt fans, Bowling Green fans, and Little Caesars, I bet there is no more than a handful of people who even care.

Comment by kanyon40 12.08.13 @ 11:19 pm

Great point, Kanyon.

Comment by panther94 12.08.13 @ 11:27 pm

@kanyon40, you make a good point.

I’d say it only matters to a handful also, you’re right.

However, college football fans pay attention to games and scores.

Guess I just don’t want to be the butt of more jokes and snickers on Sportscenter as they go over the highlights.

Personally, PSU, ND, and WVU family and friends will throw some barbs my way if we lose to BSU. Yes, I can fight back against all of them, plenty of ammo, but I don’t really want to hear it.

Actually, it’s probably just mostly me.

Don’t want Bowling Green to be added to the litany of embarrassing games Pitt has had the past 10 years.

Actually, Bowling Green is already on the list once!!

Just don’t want to admit that this is where we really belong.

Comment by Dan 12.08.13 @ 11:29 pm

At least we got a bowl game and extra practice time.

It is against a good team so it could be a good game.

No one will remember it a year from now so no big deal win or lose.

One more game to watch Savage, Donald, and maybe Street.

I always liked the Pizza Pizza Ads, don’t see them so much anymore.

Comment by gc 12.08.13 @ 11:31 pm

BG lost to Indiana 42-10 YIKESSSSSS (Indiana 5-7 and 3-5 in Big Ten). I thought it was bad when PSU lost to Indiana. Bowling Green not a good football team. GC can hype them up as much as he wants. When you lose 42-10 to Indiana you are not a good football team no matter how you slice it.

Comment by druc 12.09.13 @ 12:09 am

bull if you are in the ACC and lose to the MAC you are the butt of jokes konyon if you were a college football fan you would know that.
if you lose to a big 10 team or a sec or big 12 it is ok in peoples minds but if you lose to the mac or one of the outher small 5 you are a joke.
if you dont know that you dont watch sports center or outher sports shows or have frends from ohio state or penn state who will rub it in any chance they getthat is why we are in a no win place.

Comment by Frankcan 12.09.13 @ 12:22 am

What really matters is how this staff finishes recruiting. We’ll know about Henry tomorrow. Nicholson, Bookser, McKenzie, and Kamara also on the table.

Strike out on all 5 and win or lose this bowl game, hard to put a positive spin on this season…

Comment by Pap76 12.09.13 @ 12:40 am

While I guess it’s possible, I just don’t see them striking out on all 5.

Comment by Mailman 12.09.13 @ 12:58 am

I will never forget the last time Pitt played bowling green. I was on my first vacation with my now fiancée, we went to a sports bar in duck bc and commiserated with VT fans who were losing to East Carolina. One of those VT fans picked up our check.

Comment by Dacs 12.09.13 @ 1:08 am

@Dacs: The last Bowling Green was my first college football game as a freshman at Pitt. I was absolutely devastated. That same year Pitt lost in the elite-8 to Villanova at the buzzer. Let’s just say it was a tough year to be a freshman. Unfortunately, despite those two losses, those were the best two teams I got to see as a student in four years.

Comment by MikePITT 12.09.13 @ 1:19 am

Frank, first, you don’t set the criteria for whether or not I am a college football fan. If I choose to not overreact to the situation, or believe that Pitt is a bigger deal nationally than they are, that doesn’t make me not a college football fan.

Second, at this stage, we are not going to be the butt of jokes for losing to a 10-3 MAC team. Maybe, as Dan said, we will to friends and family members who are from rival schools, but ESPN rarely talks about Pitt football. They aren’t going to all of a sudden act like they think we are relevant just so they can mock us. And that is really the point. We aren’t in a position where losing to a MAC team is an embarrassment. A realistic look at our program would tell you that the bigger issue is that we won’t warrant enough time on ESPN to get embarrassed by losing to them. We are relevant to us because we are Pitt fans, and we aren’t relevant in football much beyond that right now.

To put it another way, earlier you said (and one of your grand overreactions) that we are so screwed because we are playing Bowling Green. I guess I would argue it this way: we are playing Bowling Green because we are so screwed. We are playing exactly where we deserve to be playing. No one screwed us. We (Pitt) need to get our program in order so that we can warrant games that give us a chance for credibility.

Comment by kanyon40 12.09.13 @ 2:14 am

As for friends from Ohio St. or Penn St., I am from a divided Pitt/Penn St. family. When Pitt beat Penn St. back in 2000, my brother refused to speak to me for days. I have several family members that went to Ohio St. as well.

I also live in Northern Michigan among Michigan and Michigan St. fans, and I can say this, during several of Pitt’s embarrassing losses the last several years, none of the guys up here has ever once bothered to mock me. We talk sports all the time- particularly college football. And Pitt isn’t something they spend much time worrying about, win or lose. They don’t care enough to mock us. However they do all root for Pitt to beat Notre Dame. I got congratulated a lot up here after that game this year.

Comment by kanyon40 12.09.13 @ 2:25 am

Bottom line is the players and coaches need to focus on the next step, a winning season, and start to prep. BG is not the same team that lost to Indiana-I hope they are-but I highly doubt it. Defense and special teams will decide this since I feel our offense should do well vs BG defense. Is it Pasadena? No. But after Navy loss did anyone think we were going anywhere?? By the way tix will be like $10 on stubhub week before the game….

Comment by John 12.09.13 @ 6:24 am

Kanyon have fun, if I was home this holiday I’d be there with you, but cheering from siesta key is a good second.

Comment by John 12.09.13 @ 6:26 am

BG is a good team. Much better than Pitt. But BG may not have their head coach. That’s the X factor.

Pitt needs to land at least three of the five remaining 4 star recruits. Can’t have another year of sub par recruits. Poor recruiting is bleeding this program to death.

Comment by TX Panther 12.09.13 @ 6:56 am

@@@@

Hoping for good news from Henry. Gut feeling he is going to
WVU. If so best wishes to a western Pa kid. That said
the staff has to move on aclosing the others
on the short list.

Comment by JR 12.09.13 @ 8:19 am

Greasy Pizza Bowl in Detroit, huh?

Sounds about right for Pitt – what would you expect? Truth is, they probably just landed this gig by the hair on their chinny-chin-chin.

But it’s Pitt. I’ll watch. Then win or lose, I’ll shrug. It’s Pitt.

Comment by BATR 12.09.13 @ 8:25 am

Justin – do you know who where the 8 prospects visiting Pitt this past weekend?

Comment by WINEDOGS 12.09.13 @ 8:26 am

BG is possibly better than Michigan this year, but the casual fan doesn’t know that. The Yinzer who attends one game every 2-3 years sees that Pitt lost to BG and says, “wow Pitt is awful”. If Pitt wins he says, “meh, who cares.” The reaction is not the same if its Michigan, not BG.

No shame in losing to a top tier MAC program. Greater programs than Pitt have done it, although it feels like no one this side of Purdue does it more often.

Undoubtedly this is the bowl that Pitt deserves. Pitt is middling and irrelevant. No one outside of us Blatherites cares if they win, lose or even play. And THAT is the problem.

Comment by Iron Duke 12.09.13 @ 8:29 am

Winedogs: it was 6 guys currently committed plus Shai and Kamara. Off the top of my head from the guys I saw in person, the other 6 included Connor Dintino, Mike Grimm, Rori Blair, Brian O’Neil, and Qadree Ollison. The last name slips my mind.

I was mistaken on Rasaan Stewart visiting. I don’t know why I didn’t just ask him.

Comment by Justin 12.09.13 @ 8:45 am

IDK – I think BG is winnable if we are up for the game. I agree that there is no shame in losing to a 10 win MAC team, but I also think that they probably aren’t that much better offensively than ODU. Their defense might be better. Certainly Bowling Green is well coached. We are *sometimes* well-coached. I do think we have the talent to beat them.

As usual with Pitt it will all boil down to which team wants it more.

HTP

Comment by Atlanta Panther 12.09.13 @ 8:49 am

@Justin

Do we know a time for the announcement by Dravon Henry?

H2P

Comment by pmdH2P 12.09.13 @ 8:59 am

Henry to announce @ 1 pm according to Mike White of the post gazette.

Comment by Nick 12.09.13 @ 9:17 am

kanyon40 is right, sorry the rest of you on his case are obviously yinzers

A crap bowl is a plus because we get to practice for next year, I’m in VA and don’t give a rats a$$ what Ron Cook etc. say in your backrupt little paper. I can’t believe you telling the guy “he doesn’t know anything about college football”. We are a medocre team right now, I don’t get the healthcare.gov approach to perception management, we need to improve the product. We are going to have a new QB next year, probably a new RB its all about the future.

Comment by Joe V 12.09.13 @ 9:19 am

Do you think Golden recruited Henry when Pitt played Miami?

Comment by Frank MD 12.09.13 @ 9:19 am

@Nick

Thanks

H2P

Comment by pmdH2P 12.09.13 @ 9:21 am

Its great that Pitt gets the bowl game… at least with the extra practices the team can build. PC really needs to get a winning record next year. Growing pains with Chad V aside, the team really needs to step up.

If PC doesn’t get at least 8 wins next year…its going to be some serious soul searching time.

Comment by Snala The Panther 12.09.13 @ 9:22 am

You are correct Iron Duke. This is exactly what I thought would happen. PITT playing the MAC. I think I honestly would prefer PITT not play a bowl game. Syracuse headed to the Texas Bowl to play Minnesota. The Orange will get beat BUT at least thay are playing a BIG10 school. I’m not dogg’n BGSU! I expect BGSU to be the favorite againt PITT.(that’s sad) This game does nothing for the PITT program!! Extra practices?? Yeah, extra practice will help.

Comment by DC33 12.09.13 @ 9:23 am

The other thing, if Henry goes to WVU. We are talking about a kid who’s first major decision in adult life is to willingly go to WVU, a crap school whos football program is in free fall. Does that fit the HCPC recruiting model? Seriously, my nieces and nephews grew up in WV, and wouldn’t go to WVU.

Comment by Joe V 12.09.13 @ 9:29 am

Extra money to be shared by the conference. That’s what this bowl gets us. Plus a reward for the players. Detroit is a just reward. And I get to watch them on TV, get frustrated, get mad, swear, and go through half a bottle of whiskey. That’s the Pitt experience.

Comment by TX Panther 12.09.13 @ 9:32 am

The game means a lot less than the practices. Voytik will get more snaps. All underclassmen will get more practice reps. Because we are such a young team, every practice rep is important, especially to the O-line that is really going to be young.

A number of the seniors will be suiting up for the last time. Guys like Gordon, Schlieper, Hollins, King, and Williams who may go to Pro camp next year but won’t be drafted and probably will get cut early have a chance to play in their last game that counts. Hopefully Donald, Hendricks, Street and Savage will want to go out as winners before they get their shot next year.

At least the string of bowl games has been kept alive (barely). We could have just as easily been sitting at home watching other average teams playing in less than average bowls.

Comment by gc 12.09.13 @ 9:54 am

No way Pitt wins this game

Comment by DocJLK 12.09.13 @ 10:05 am

Detroit bowl businesses will give gifts to the players.

Comment by Frank MD 12.09.13 @ 10:15 am

GC is right. The seniors deserve one more game. The young guys will benefit from the extra practice reps.

Say what you want about this team, but you also have to say they never quit. The UNC game could have easily been 41-10 if we’d given up at halftime.

Yes it was a frustrating loss, but not for lack of effort, at least in 2 out of 3 phases of the game. The Miami game could have easily been 41-10 as well.

The fact that we battled back in both of these games says a lot about team in the middle of a culture change / rebuild. Yep, their record could be a little bit better, and yep I was regularly frustrated this season, but at the same time I’m pretty proud of them and I’m looking forward to see them a year older and a year better in 2014.

This bowl is well deserved IMHO.

Comment by Atlanta Panther 12.09.13 @ 10:16 am

Food for thought, Although we have 24 juniors and redshirt juniors on the roster, there are only 10 sophomores/redshirt sophomores left.

No wonder so many freshmen had to play.

The other thing that stands out on the roster is that Chryst has stockpiled a lot of big offensive linemen. Hopefully this will payoff in a couple more years.

I am most concerned about the defense which needs more bigger faster guys that like to hit hard.

The thing that stood out most to me in the FSU-Duke game was the ferocious tackles. It is very rare to see a Pitt guy knock a ball loose from a receiver. Duke made the FSU receivers pay for their yardage.

Comment by gc 12.09.13 @ 10:28 am

Feeling feisty so I’ll throw in my take on recruiting.

We’ve got a legit shot at 7 Rivals.com 4-star prospects. That’s good.

Will we land all of them? Hell no. Will we land the majority of them? Probably not. Will we land at least one. Yes.

We’ll probably land two, and we might even land three. And you know what? I’d be all right with that, because that is two more four-star recruits than we had before. Would it be great to land four or five or six? Sure. But that’s not going to happen.

But Chryst knows how to recruit for his system.

Did anybody think Matt Galambos was going to be a contributor when we signed him in February? Did anyone think James Connor was going to make in impact at this time last year? How about Rachid Ibrahim? Rachid who? Exactly.

We’ve got a good base of talent, and say what you want about “Mac level guys”. They’re hard workers and they’re hard-nosed. Give us a couple more exclamation points to this blue-collar class and we’ll be just fine.

Here is the list of seven 4-stars.

Dravon Henry
Alex Bookser
Kiy Hester (recent decommit from Rutgers)
Shai McKenzie
Montae Nicholson
Jamil Kamara
Adonis Jennings

IMO, Bookser, Henry/Nicholson and Kamara/Jennings would be an outstanding finish to the class. Three areas of need would be addressed. Any two any two of the three would be perfectly acceptable, because we’ve got enough two-three star depth and somebody will step up.

Comment by Atlanta Panther 12.09.13 @ 10:30 am

Yes, I agree speed needs to be addressed in recruiting. The main difference between Pitt and FSU, Clemson, UNC, and Miami is simply speed.

Comment by John 12.09.13 @ 10:35 am

Regarding Henry, ESPN Insider has this to say: “The top player in Pennsylvania is committing Dec. 9, and all signs point to WVU. He had in-home visits with both WVU and Pitt the first weekend of December, and Henry left those visits with an even stronger bond with Mountaineers coach Tony Gibson. Expect some celebrating in Morgantown when Henry makes his commitment.” He was 1 of 4 players that ESPN was fully confident about projecting, according to their “confidence meter”. Glad we could get the #1 player in PA not to go to our hated rivals. Way to be, Pitt….. /s

Comment by MikePITT 12.09.13 @ 10:57 am

Foster lost a year at AL, talented recruits will play at Pitt now.

Comment by Frank MD 12.09.13 @ 10:59 am

Detroit is bankrupt, one of the least attractive tourist spots on the planet, and is seen as a dangerous place to go, yet they have a bowl game. The only thing Detroit has going for it is an indoor arena. Adding to the attraction we get to play Bowling Green a MAC opponent that will probably beat us. I suppose it is better to get invited than be left out but in this case it’s close. I guess we got what we deserve but I hope this inspires our kids to climb above this level. This feels as much like a kick in the xxx as a reward.

Comment by spiritofsection22 12.09.13 @ 11:01 am

Another 6 and 6 year. Another shitty bowl game. Poor, poor Pitt football. Looking forward to Pitt basketball starting the ACC portion of their schedule.

Comment by Don Walnut 12.09.13 @ 11:07 am

ESPN’s source is Jared Shanker and he’s a PSU fanboy. The more reputable sources say it’s completely up in the air.

Comment by Justin 12.09.13 @ 11:22 am

The team and the entire travelling party will be busing to Detroit.

Comment by hoopzebra 12.09.13 @ 11:34 am

@Emel and Frankcan, I was glad to see Ohio St get beat as I knew how much joy you two would take from them losing.

Comment by spiritofsection22 12.09.13 @ 11:35 am

This has depressing loss written all over it.

Comment by Chris 12.09.13 @ 11:57 am

spiritofsection22 thank you i am glad we are in a bowl never said i was not.
it is who we play that is a downer the reason NOTRE
DAME did not go to a warm weather bowl was becuse they would have to play a mac or sun belt team in thoes bowls.
i know we are not ND and have no choice in who we play but if we lose it will be a joke and if we win it will be said that we should have won i dont know how people can not see that.

lets turn it to basketball if we lost to say a point park people would say what the hell happened but if we lose to duke that is ok do you get the point .

Comment by Frankcan 12.09.13 @ 12:10 pm

Bowling Green opens as 5 pt fave LOL

Comment by BATR 12.09.13 @ 12:10 pm

Frankcan, Yea I get It

Comment by spiritofsection22 12.09.13 @ 12:20 pm

Dravon Henry is announcing at 1pm. If he verbals, I’ll make a post. If not, I don’t really want to make a new post that says “Henry goes to WVU” and the shitstorm that would follow it.

Comment by Justin 12.09.13 @ 12:27 pm

The kid could be special. Henry Island.

Comment by TX Panther 12.09.13 @ 12:30 pm

spirit thank you once more

Comment by Frankcan 12.09.13 @ 12:36 pm

Justin, you want have to start a new post if he chooses WVU. The comments that will follow on here will be enough.

Comment by JJ 12.09.13 @ 12:46 pm

@Justin

You don’t enjoy the “Well, the kid is an idiot for going to WVU… although he would have been super smart coming here. Cuz u kno. Pitt ‘n at.” ??

Comment by Benzene 12.09.13 @ 12:47 pm

@Justin: Thanks for pointing that out. It certainly explains a lot regarding his opinion. Hopefully he’s wrong.

Comment by MikePITT 12.09.13 @ 12:52 pm

I don’t know guys. It’s not typical for a Pitt fan to ever have a good feeling about something. So it’s quite natural to feel negative about this looming decision. I just don’t see this coming out in our favor.

Comment by JJ 12.09.13 @ 12:59 pm

Check this out – Derek Randall is suing Rutgers:

link to cbssports.com

Comment by KeyboardKev 12.09.13 @ 1:03 pm

From the “Take Whatever Possible Encouragement You Can Get” Department – BG’s coach may be jumping ship before the bowl.

link to sportsillustrated.cnn.com

Comment by jw 12.09.13 @ 1:20 pm

Henry commits to WVU

Comment by MikePITT 12.09.13 @ 1:22 pm

Have fun in the land of burning couches. You’re a damn dirty Hoopie now

Comment by Kenny Powers 12.09.13 @ 1:23 pm

I guess he wants frequent flyer miles, a bad education and no bowl games. Good luck to him.

Comment by Pittastic 12.09.13 @ 1:25 pm

Even though this was expected by many sites, it still stings losing a key recruit to WVA. Good luck to Henry in the future. For many, if not all, this is the biggest decision a kid has to make at this point. Hopefully PITT closes out strong on the rest.

H2P!!

Comment by VAYinzer 12.09.13 @ 1:27 pm

We are accustomed to not getting good news. This is nothing new. Bring on the 2 stars.

Comment by JP 12.09.13 @ 1:33 pm

Well there’s plenty of talent left if we can pick them up.

Comment by JJ 12.09.13 @ 1:34 pm

If he’s buddy-buddy with Shell, maybe it’s a good thing?

Comment by Mailman 12.09.13 @ 1:37 pm

Losing a top guy to WVU this year is a huge joke. As Pittastic eleganatly points out WVU flies a ton, has bad education and was horrible this year. It’s one thing to lose a recruit to say OSU or even PSU, but to WVU. Really neat recruiting by Chryst and his staff.

Comment by Wardapalooza 12.09.13 @ 1:40 pm

I wouldn’t go play for Chryst if I was 18. Watch the team perform, the mistakes, lack of coaching them up, etc. The guy has no personality and can’t coach and runs an archaic big 10 offense that has no chance of winning in a non big 10 conf. He is a OC and should stay that way. This kid not going to Pitt to play for WVU off a bad year tells you everything you need to know about what the local kids think of Pitt and Chryst.

Comment by Upittbaseball 12.09.13 @ 1:43 pm

This hurts and tells me what I already knew…House needs to be replaced. What a joke Pitt recruiting has become that we lose an elite prospect to the Hoopies. His mother basically flat out said she didn’t like House. Welcome to the club.

Comment by TX Panther 12.09.13 @ 1:46 pm

If Randall were my son I would want him to make those who mistreated him pay for what they did. So as much as I dislike the idea of bringing litigation and the bulk of the political correct crap we see going on today, I can’t say as I blame him. I hope the young man can regain his confidence and doesn’t let this abuse stop him from being his best. In other words, sometimes there is a fine line between blaming others for our failures and our own lack of conviction. My hope if he were my son is that he wouldn’t get so caught up in righting the past that he doesn’t fight his best fight for his present. Derek being the best you can be doesn’t always allow time for getting even, While fighting the old fight don’t let it cost you the bigger battle.

Comment by spiritofsection22 12.09.13 @ 1:48 pm

@Upittbaseball

You have so much knowledge of what local kids think. You should establish your own blog and see how many of us check out what your have to say.

I guess Mike Grimm is a nobody?

H2P

Comment by pmdH2P 12.09.13 @ 1:48 pm

When Pitt starts losing local elite kids to programs like WVU, you know our program is in a death spiral. Yet nobody will be held accountable and mediocrity will reign supreme.

Comment by TX Panther 12.09.13 @ 1:50 pm

Very emotional press conference for Henry, from how it sounds on Twitter.

And this is interesting.

Per reports of many on Twitter, Henry’s mom was quoted during the press conference with the following:

“I talked to a lot of the players on (Pitt’s) defense, and they didn’t like the way things were set up.”

That is one giant can of gasoline to throw on the fire that House’s critics (many of them justified) have already started burning. I don’t know details as to who she talked to but it may not matter – that’s a fairly damning statement in a business where perception is often reality.

I’m not going to lie. Despite the fact that Henry’s choice of WVU wasn’t really much of a surprise, this one has shaken my faith in the abilities of Chryst and his coaching staff to close to deal on some of these kids.

It’s one thing to lose one of the best local, state and national prospects to Alabama.

It’s another to lose one of the best local, state and national prospects to a program on fairly shaky ground with a coaching staff that may not even be there next year.

From most accounts, Gibson sold the hell out of WVU to Henry. He may not even be coaching at WVU a year from now, but he outdid House for this kid. And Pitt may not have helped themselves at all, given the talk that surfaced a while back about Henry placing calls to the Pitt coaches that went unreturned for a month.

The 2014 class isn’t lost by any means, and Chryst and Co. can still close the books on a very good one. Whether they WILL remains to be seen, and I’m quite a bit less confident of their abilities to get some of these other kids – particularly Nicholson.

Comment by Stoosh 12.09.13 @ 1:50 pm

Gotta stay positive despite the Henry news. One kid doesn’t make or break a program. We lost Shell, but highly doubt he was good enough to turn any of our losses into wins this year. Would’ve been 6-6 with or without him, and as long as we can close in on some of these other kids I’ll be satisfied.

Also, been seeing people say that between Shell’s departure and Henry’s WVU commit that Pitt has effectively lost its Aliquippa pipeline. Will be interesting to see how this plays out going forward.

Comment by MikePITT 12.09.13 @ 1:53 pm

Stoosh, Be serious, once the kid commits to WVU did you expect anything to come out of him or his family that didn’t berate Pitt. To take some statement from his Mother and say it is evidence of our failure is absurd. I sell cars for a living and I pray someone as gullable as what that sounds to me walks in today. I’ll take the rest of the month off on that commission.

Comment by spiritofsection22 12.09.13 @ 2:12 pm

Why would Momma lie? Chryst has bozos on his team. You cannot afford to lose elite prospects in need positions to a school like WVU. It has never happened before in Pitt history…until today. That should speak volumes.

Comment by TX Panther 12.09.13 @ 2:17 pm

UPittbaseball,

Give me a break.

Be critical of Chryst all you want, but there are plenty of local kids who are already playing for and committed to playing for Chryst, so let’s not revise history here.

Whether its scheme or gameplan or execution or his recruiting approach or his milque-toast personality, the fact is that he’s still lured good local players here.

Tyler Boyd had no issue. Holtz and Orndoff had no issue. Grimm seems to have no issue and neither did Dorian Johnson. He’s landed some of the region’s top local wideouts in Zeise and Challingsworth. They’re still very much in the running for Nicholson, Bookser and McKenzie.

This idea that local kids aren’t going to want to play at Pitt is a joke. The idea that high-caliber national players are turned off by any of the perceived deficiencies above is also a joke.

Henry’s recruitment was being handled mostly by House and Haering, not Chryst. The concerns that Henry and his parents voiced seemed to have with Pitt appeared much more directed at the defense schemes and – to at least some degree – House’s handling of his recruitment.

Yes, that all comes back to Chryst. Coaches delegate recruiting assignments all the time and Chryst doesn’t need to be the closer on deals (Gattuso was Wannstedt’s closer, for example). But he better be aware of where these kids stand and where there are problems.

Comment by Stoosh 12.09.13 @ 2:19 pm

Stoosh, if that is true about our players badmouthing the coach, it needs to be addressed.

You are never going to win them all, and who knows what they sold Henry, but offensive recruiting has been going well. Chryst better figure out what is going on with House and Co.

Comment by gc 12.09.13 @ 2:20 pm

Spirit,

Fair points.

I very well could be reading too much into that. I’ll also admit that I don’t know the context of the comment. I’m assuming it was in response to a question, but I’m not sure.

It’s a tough spot. I guess if nothing else, I was surprised by the element of candor in her response, particularly the comment about talking to other players on the defense.

I guess I would’ve expected a more diplomatic response. I can’t think of another instance where the parent of a recruit who committed to one school made a comment like that about another school that was in the running for their son. I’ve heard parents be complimentary or politely dismissive of other coaches/programs, but not really like that.

Again, though…maybe I read too much into it.

Plus, I’m still a little miffed at losing Henry to WVU. I was really hoping Pitt would’ve landed that kid, but they’ll move on.

Comment by Stoosh 12.09.13 @ 2:49 pm

If I were the coach and knew, or found out, which, if any, of my players told a recruit not to come because of their personal dislike of a coach or scheme they would be gone by spring. That kind of attitude is a cancer. Whether they are right or wrong about a coach or scheme they need to either get on board or be gone. No team can tolerate dissension in the ranks.

Comment by pitt1972 12.09.13 @ 9:06 pm

we can keep posting saying Bowling Green is good however if you watch them and watched them this season and look watched who they beat and who they lost to you just can’t say they are a good team. Got embarrased by a bad big ten team. big ten is horrible this year. BG not a good team.

Comment by druc 12.09.13 @ 10:46 pm

Indiana 3 wins in big ten and yet put up 42 and held BG to 10. I just can’t comprehend how that happens to a good team. It just can’t. They are clearly mediocre. Unless we just arne’t counting the games they played outsid the MAC. I mean geez if BG is good then Pitt must be a great team and Paul Chryst is the second coming of Jackie Sherill. Can i please have some of what you guys are smoking.

Comment by druc 12.09.13 @ 10:59 pm

I have a serious question for Pitt football fans. Why would a highly rated local kid choose to come to Pitt? I can understand choosing Pitt over Toledo and the likes, but I’m not talking about 3* marginal 4* guys. I’m talking about the “Big 4? WPIAL kids. These kids have offers from all over. If you look at US News best universities listings; NW, Michigan, North Carolina, PSU, Wisky, The U, Ohio St, Virginia, Syracuse are all rated better schools than Pitt. These schools have all had more success on the football field lately. Most of them have rabid fan bases and pack the home games. Most of them have had as much, or more recent success as Pitt putting people into the NFL. I look at the Bookser kids final 4 and I don’t understand what Pitt is doing there. OSU 102k for most home games. PSU 106K for most home games. Tenn 102k for most home games. Pitt 32k for most home games. Same types of offers for Henry, Nicholson, and Mckennsie. Paul Chryst and staff must be recruiting wizards if they are in the running for these four kids. If none of the so-called big four pick Pitt would any of you really blame them?

Comment by Bigdawg219 12.10.13 @ 12:48 am

WVU has beer in the stadium. Nuff said.

Comment by KeyboardKev 12.10.13 @ 7:57 am

@ druc, Bowling Green did lose to Indiana, true, but did you know that the MVP of the MAC Championship game didn’t even play in that first game against the Hoosiers? Also, Matt Johnson Bowling Green’s QB who won the MVP award, had to beat out Jordan Lynch the HIU QB for that honor. BTW, if you don’t know, Lynch is a finalist in the Heisman Trophy balloting.

Also NIU, was undefeated going into that MAC Championship game, beating both Iowa and Purdue in the process.

Bowling Green is ranked nationally in both offensive and defensive stats and depending on what poll that you want to consider, is ranked anywhere from the 24th to 32nd best team in the nation.

Any good coach will constantly stress to his players to never underestimate their opponent, NEVER.

Bowling Green has all the tools necessary to clean Pitt’s clock if we don’t show up ready to play football in Detroit in a couple weeks. Beating this solid MAC Championship team would be a fantastic way for the Panthers to bring home their first winning season for Coach Chryst.

Bowling Green is a good football team, and does not deserve your apparent disrespect.

Comment by Dr. Tom 12.10.13 @ 11:45 am

HIU=NIU

Comment by Dr. Tom 12.10.13 @ 11:47 am

@bigdawg219, why would a legitimate WPIAL HS football star want to attend college at Pitt and play for the Panthers?

Here’s my short list:

-He has a love for Pitt Football.
-He wants to play early
-He thinks he can help bring Pitt Football back into being relevant on the national scene.
-He is a Pitt legacy
-He wants to get a good education.
-He has friends/teammates that already attend/play for Pitt.
-He desires to be on an urban campus.
-He wants to stay close to home.
-He likes the coaching staff.
-He wants it to be easy for all his hometown friends and relatives to come watch him play in person.
-He likes the other guys currently on the team.
-He feels that the coaching staff is honest and has the best interests of himself and his family as a first priority in his recruiting.
-He likes the city of Pittsburgh.
-He wants to see the Steelers play in person.
-He wants to see the Penquins play in person
-And he has aspirations to someday to be mentioned in Pitt Football history along with other legendary names such as Pop Warner, Jock Sutherland, Marshall Goldberg, Joe Schmidt, Mike Ditka, Paul Martha, Johnny Majors, Tony Dorsett, Ricky Jackson, Elliott Walker, Hugh Green, Dan Marino, Mark May, Russ Grimm, Bill Fralic, Craig “Ironhead” Heyward, Jerry Olsavsky, Curtis Martin, Chris Doleman, Antonio Bryant, Larry Fitzgerald, LeSean “Shady” McCoy, Darelle Revis, Dion Lewis, Aaron Donald and soon to be legends such as Tyler Boyd. (Sorry to those that I missed).

Comment by Dr. Tom 12.10.13 @ 12:36 pm

Pitt’s bowl game is ranked #26 out of 35 by ESPN

link to espn.go.com

Comment by Jackagain 12.10.13 @ 12:55 pm

Thank you Dr Tom. You’ll never know how big a help you’ve been.

Comment by Bigdawg219 12.11.13 @ 12:21 am

Pitt has lost to Ohio, Bowling Green and Toledo recently so there is no need to speak poorly of the MAC.

Comment by move on 12.11.13 @ 2:07 am

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