December 20, 2013

Defense Under Pressure

Filed under: Assistants,Coaches,Football — Chas @ 8:24 am

Even before the recruiting miss yesterday there was going to be pressure on Matt House and the defense. There was the Miami game to end the season.

The defense allowed the same amount of points it surrendered in the opener against Florida State, a team that advanced to the national championship game.

Miami is good, but far from the Seminoles’ caliber, and the poor performance could be seen as an indication of a lack of progress on Pitt’s defense this season.

“I feel like we got embarrassed out there,” Donald said of an effort in which Pitt (6-6) allowed five touchdowns and 476 yards of total offense in its 12th game.

“Could be seen as an indication of a lack of progress?” Could be?


“A lot of little mistakes piling up early,” said safety Ray Vinopal, repeating a theme from most of Pitt’s losses this season. “It’s always hard, especially against a talented team that is coached well, to recover from such a deficit so early.

“When they grab the momentum so quickly, you really have to dig down deep and get it going. I think we did get it going, but it was too late.”


It wasn’t just the Miami game. The final three of four games saw Pitt let a team jump out on them in the first quarter or half. Heck, you could even toss in the ND game since the Irish missed chances with a missed FG and a fumble in the redzone that may have made it a blowout early.

This was a defense that was ill-prepared for the start of each of the final four games. They looked lost and out of position. Unmotivated.

And it doesn’t help when the defensive coordinator says things suggesting he is ignoring that common theme.

He also noted, though, that he was pleased with his players’ reaction to the slow start.

“You could tell that guys truly were disappointed and irritated with themselves,” House said. “Also, you’ve seen the tempo in our practices now be cranked up. I think part of that is we have set a bar and an expectation and throughout the year we’ve improved, improved, improved — with that last game being an aberration. I think it truly ticked the kids off.”

But the slow start in the UNC game. The GT game. Or even — for god’s sake — the Syracuse game didn’t?

One game should not determine a coach’s fate. But this game is the culmination of a full season of the Matt House defense. We know there is a superlative player in Aaron Donald. There are players who have improved over the season like Ray Vinopal and Anthony Gonzalez. But as a unit, not so much. And this was a veteran group. Donald, Ezell, Gordon, Hendricks and Williams are all heading for their final game.

At the very least this game has the dire potential of sealing the perception of Matt House.


Comment by alcofan 12.20.13 @ 8:43 am

The defense and special teams were partners in crime in both the Miami and UNC games. The slow start in the Miami game was aided and abetted by two negative special teams plays that gave Miami a short field. Of course the D was a sieve and did nothing to swing momentum, as they did again in the second half when Pitt had a shot to make it a game. And we all know about the 2 UNC punt return TDs by Wes Welker Jr.

Not happy with House, particularly his passive coverage scheme, but there are just not enough athletes to work with on that side of the ball. And I fear it will get worse before it gets better.

Comment by Iron Duke 12.20.13 @ 8:53 am

It shouldn’t seal his perception, it should seal his fate.

Comment by Pittastic 12.20.13 @ 9:01 am

House never accepts blame and deflects it on the kids. Even if at times that was the case you just dont do that. Own it man and get better. House hiring his “yes sir” friends will be his demise.

Comment by Upittbaseball 12.20.13 @ 9:02 am

I’m not sure I get all the angst about House. Your criticisms here seem reasonable, but let’s not forget the offense wasn’t a whole lot better. It took a whole team effort to create this mess of mediocrity; I don’t see the need to single out House.

Comment by Jeff 12.20.13 @ 9:43 am

***Chryst I mean – Hiring all his Yes Sir Friends..***

Offense was also very bad. Hell so was Special Teams..

Comment by Upittbaseball 12.20.13 @ 9:46 am

House was a bad hire from the start. Many on here pointed that out. We passed on Orlando and Elko. Chryst is special teams and offense. Yes he deserves blame. But mainly his blame lies in not hiring proven experienced coaches who can also aggressively recruit and close. He needs help but refuses to recognize he has a problem.

Comment by TX Panther 12.20.13 @ 9:52 am

For the guys first year, the D wasn’t that bad.

Special teams cost Pitt two wins in my book.
No one thought we could be 8-4 at the start of the season. So why the berating now.
The team had no linebackers which was exploited
every game.
In the Navy game the D couldn’t stop the last drive, but other than that we didn’t lose to anyone that wasn’t expected.

NC States D sucked, so much for sticking with that coach, which is what most people complained about before House’s team even took the field.

The running game dried up to nothing and our QB got killed every game.
We need Lineman that can block and pass protect
NOW!! That is where we need big recruits and guess what we have. This coaching staff get’s an A
in my book and 2 years from now I think we will
be looking at 8-4 or 10-2.H2P

Comment by Tackle made by Hugh 12.20.13 @ 9:57 am

The House defense might be mediocre but the special teams are a frickin train wreck. On Thursday, Blewitt should be able to boot kickoffs into the endzone for touchbacks, considering the indoor venue, and please please, please, just punt the ball OUT OF BOUNDS!

House has gotten a lot of heat this season. His resume is light for sure. We’ve already paid those dues to give him his rookie initiation as a DC. There is a slim to none chance of him being let go now. He gets one more year, so let’s hope that he figures it out and shows some improvement next season or else he will be toast, IMO.

Now concerning Thursday’s bowl game. The special teams and the defense will win or lose this bowl game. House has the opportunity to quiet some of his detractors with a good defensive effort by Pitt against a very good Bowling Green offensive unit. This game is important for Pitt, irrespective of all of the negative energy some people have thrown at this bowl game. Just win baby win. Pitt just needs to take care of business, because it is hard to argue a negative point after a win.

Hail to Pitt!

Comment by Dr. Tom 12.20.13 @ 9:57 am

Hugh – These big soft and chubby and slow OL that Chryst gets will get blasted by smaller tough speedy DL like we saw all year long. The ACC isn’t the same as the Big Slow Big 10. Just my opinion and what I saw all year.

Comment by Upittbaseball 12.20.13 @ 10:00 am

We are playing Bowling Green and we aren’t favored by 30. The Pitt guys who were around when we were good would shit their pants if they woke up today from a 30 year Coma. All is fine though at Pitt… Let’s extend all the under-performers another 20 years on contracts.

Comment by Upittbaseball 12.20.13 @ 10:01 am

Pitt needs:

1. A better and more organized approach to recruting that fits into the ACC. We are not playing in the Big 10 …and are not playing in the Big East.

2. That approach should recognize that SPEED is a key ingediant and that is found in the state of FLORIDA and deep southern states; presently we have a coaching staff that has minimal contacts and/or results producing results in those areas.

3. The current coaching staff is led on the defenisve side by someone not experineced enough to produce accptable results.

4. The team requires a full time SPECIAL TEAMS COACH — get one, now!

Comment by The Truth 12.20.13 @ 10:02 am

House needs to become spacial teams coach/coordinator and a real DC needs hired.

Comment by 2$Chuck 12.20.13 @ 10:03 am

well for one thing, UpittBB, the defensive coordinator for Bowling Green this year was SUBSTANTIALLY more qualified than Pitt’s

Comment by wbb 12.20.13 @ 10:05 am

The Truth hurts some people. Some people can’t handle The Truth. You are so right The Truth.

And anyone awakening from a 30 year Pitt coma would not recognize the new Pitt. We’ve become Temple.

Comment by TX Panther 12.20.13 @ 10:08 am

Fact is that there is a handful of WPIAL players on the defense … from the Beaver Valley to Clairton. And if you don’t think they communicate with other WPIAL players about their frustrations with their defense, I believe you need to get your head out of the sand.

A lot of people here poked fun at Henry’s mom for comment about this … but it just may well be a real concern. If we lose much of the WPIAL, we are in a heap of trouble.

Comment by wbb 12.20.13 @ 10:11 am

House blows deal with it he really sucks will he be here next yes.
might he turn it around yes and if he does not he needs to go and fast fired.
but we should not have to wait to see if he turns it around a real DC should have been hired in the first place.
this is all on chryst these asst coach might be his down fall.
but put it on the AD TO he approved the hire

whart needs to happen is for the pittsburgh sports writers to get on the the AD and chryst and house like they got on wanny then things will change.
i went back and read what they wrotr abought wanny years ago it was mean and led to his down fall and when they do it to chryst pitt will hear it.

Comment by Frankcan 12.20.13 @ 10:30 am

I think Pitt finally has some certainty in the FB staff for the near future except maybe for some of our unhappiness. WVU and PSU maybe not so much and this should be made known. I assume the local kids who are coming to Pitt have made their thoughts known to other future recruits.

Comment by Frank MD 12.20.13 @ 10:31 am

Comment by Upittbaseball 12.20.13 @ 10:01 am

Every guy on the oline this yea, sans DJ (who is not big slow soft or chubby), was not recruited by Chryst. So if you’re complaining about fat slow guys on the current roster, those should be directed at previous coaches, or the current S&C coach, or the players themselves for being lazy.

Now, for the guys that Chryst recruited who spent this season red shirting… We’ll see if they show up next year as big slow chubby guys, or if they spent 18 months getting stronger and faster?

Comment by BostonsCommon 12.20.13 @ 10:34 am

The bowl game needs to serve as make or break for House. If defense can’t stop BG then foreclose on house, hire someone who will recruit and coach

Comment by John 12.20.13 @ 10:39 am

Is the reason we don’t have a special teams coach financial? Does anyone ever get the feeling we are running our football program on the cheap?

Comment by spiritofsection22 12.20.13 @ 10:48 am

Boston – i am talking about most of these OL recruits coming next year and the current guys. Give me fast and tough and quick feet and hands vs. 6-7 310lbs. VT had them on D and so did most ACC schools. Hell AD would have destroyed our OL.

Comment by Upittbaseball 12.20.13 @ 10:49 am

Hell hire Emel and give him 125k for his efforts. Thats chump change. It would be better than the current no coach.

Comment by Upittbaseball 12.20.13 @ 10:50 am

I’m all for Emel taking over the reigns!!

Comment by Dan 12.20.13 @ 11:00 am

@FrankMD, maybe with WVU brother.

Penn State, not so much. Unless you’re referring to their coach possibly going to the pros??

This sickens me, and will piss people off on here, but here it is

link to

They have one of the best qb’s in the country, as a freshman mind you, with a lot of other standout players.

Now add this recruiting class.

I really thought PSU would be decimated by all of the scandal. A small bump in the road, that’s all it boils down too.

I had visions of us waxing them 4 straight games starting in 2016!!

Plus, sometime on a late afternoon in Jan or Feb, a little news blurb will probably come out, that PSU’s bowl sanctions have been lifted.

They have a huge scandal, 50 million in penalties, sanctions galore……………

and still get a top 20 recruiting class.

Makes ya wanna vomit doesn’t it????

Comment by Dan 12.20.13 @ 11:10 am

***Chryst I mean – Hiring all his Yes Sir Friends..***

Offense was also very bad. Hell so was Special Teams..
Comment by Upittbaseball 12.20.13 @ 9:46 am

Chryst is a ‘yes’ man himself, i believe this is why he was brought in here…to just run a clean program with high character kids who will hopefully stay out of the papers. Remember the arrest report a couple of yrs ago? Pitt Admin hated that im sure, as most schools would. Remember the heavy-handed wife beater and then the slick talking coach who followed him? Just bad press all around.

They wanted a guy who had an upside from a great program who will coach up high character kids. Wont open the checkbook for top notch coordinators; content with 6-7 wins and a bowl game.

In all honesty, can anyone argue against that notion?

Comment by NOPE 12.20.13 @ 11:13 am

@UPittbaseball, not so fast my friend, you can’t just flip flop about your recruiting predictions without getting called on them. 10 days ago McKenzie was a Pitt get in your opinion, now as of 7:49pm yesterday, he goes to VT. BTW, you weren’t correct on the Nicholson or Henry predictions either.

And your comment on our players awakening from a 30 year coma, made me laugh, like we only suck this year, get a grip on reality. That would have been the best 30 year nap these guys could have taken. Over that timeframe we’ve been beaten so many times by inferior programs it’s ridiculous. South Florida, Ohio, Toledo, Temple, East Carolina, UConn and more games than I WANT to remember dropped to only slightly better programsthen those, like Syracuse and Rutgers.

I get it, we want to have a good football program and Chryst & Co. are the current guys who get our flak when it isn’t happening for one more year, but keep it real. We’ve sucked for a long time and it’s not all Chryst’s fault. He gets a couple more years to show the Panther Faithful what his version of Pitt Football is going to look like. If we still suck in 2015 then please just induce me into another 30 coma because that trend won’t be reversed any time soon after we fire him too and start over yet again.

Comment by Dr. Tom 12.20.13 @ 11:20 am

And BTW, I could give a $hit that we come into the bowl game as the underdogs to a MAC program, even if they are the MAC Champs. It’s the score at the end of the game that counts. Just beat the bastards and begin the next season on the right note. Programs turn around one game at a time. Beating a good Bowling Green team would be a step in the right direction.

Comment by Dr. Tom 12.20.13 @ 11:25 am

According to the PG today, young players looking good are D lineman Justin Moody and red shirt frosh Zach Callingsworth. Devin Street is wait and see.

Comment by alcofan 12.20.13 @ 11:29 am

AT the end of next year chryst will have coached pitt in 38 games if there is no improvement bye then how many more games do you want him to have 100 or 200 .
if there is no improvement after 38 games there never will be.

Comment by Frankcan 12.20.13 @ 11:30 am

Upittbaseball, Please, you can’t get a top football mind like Emel for a measley 125K.

Comment by spiritofsection22 12.20.13 @ 11:33 am

@Emel, Let me negotiate this for you Emel, Don’t worry old pal I’ll get you the kind of money a top guy like you deserves.

Comment by spiritofsection22 12.20.13 @ 11:47 am

I am confused a bit. Is Emel going to be the DC or the special teams coach?

Comment by Dan 12.20.13 @ 11:49 am

@DAN,Coach Emel has no comment at this time concerning the rumors swirling around the Pitt Football program.

Comment by spiritofsection22 12.20.13 @ 11:56 am

Dan – Both

Doc – LOL – Best Coma Ever! LOL

Doc – My predictions suck… I changed Shai because all those kids locally are down on Pitt.

Comment by Upittbaseball 12.20.13 @ 11:58 am

Emel – Could you also handle Game Day Events and be an Assoc.AD?

Comment by Upittbaseball 12.20.13 @ 12:06 pm

Welp, I’m done supporting Pitt football until Chryst is gone, which by the way things are going with recruiting will be 2 years max. It’s pointless to even care. This team is going nowhere fast.

House is everything that is bad about Chryst that’s why he is a focal point. Chryst hired his buddy with no experience because he was his buddy. All Chryst does is hire buddies. The one buddy he didn’t hire, Engram, might actually be the best assistant. And to people who think the D actually got better it didn’t. They couldn’t get stops at all. And let up tons of yards to teams with a half decent offense. People after the ND game said oh D was good it didn’t let up that many points. Yeah right. The D was horrible. It got bailed out by the combination of Vinnopal and mainly Reese. Relying on turnover isn’t good D, it’s hoping to be lucky.

Comment by Wardapalooza 12.20.13 @ 12:11 pm

So Pitt should be favored by 30 but should hire the Bowling Green DC sorry that doesn’t make any sense to me. The UNC game wasn’t a slow start by the D the O was inside the 10 twice and only came away with 3 points the fumble by Savage swung momentum and opened the flood gates. The D other than Miami got better as the year went on if House is gonna be the DC I say give the guy more one year if coarse everybody here was great at what they did as soon as they hit the ground running

Comment by Steve h 12.20.13 @ 12:13 pm

Dr. Tom, if Pitt is 6-6 or worse next year you would seriously keep him as coach? The more Chryst recruiting classes Pitt gets the harder it is for the next coach to dig Pitt out of it. But hey I forgot Chryst inherited the worst football team ever, except for having a NFL receiver and one of the best defensive players to ever play at Pitt.

Comment by Wardapalooza 12.20.13 @ 12:14 pm

What time is Shai McKenzie announcing today? Is it 2:00pm? Seems like they all announce at 2:00pm.

Comment by VAYinzer 12.20.13 @ 12:17 pm

When does Shai announce today? I want to know when to begin pouring my shot. I don’t expect it to go down well.

Comment by TX Panther 12.20.13 @ 12:17 pm

we dont need shai any way if he comes ok but we need the 2 DB that went some were else.
as i said the 4 star WR is the only good player we still have a shot at.
if chryst takes 25 recruits this year the rest will be 2 star and some 3 star.

Comment by Frankcan 12.20.13 @ 12:28 pm

FRUSTRATION—- That’s what everything on here boils down to. We wanted to see more of the close ones go our way that didn’t (Wanny and Harris). Instead we see more games go the other way that should not. Any normal person can see the problems D,special teams and o line at times .That’s a lot! Question.What caused the D,which was ok up to the Bowl to disintagrate even last game last year?Why did our excellent defensive backs start playing so far off rather than successfully aggressive as before. Scheme and coaching appear to be common denominators. Special teams is a snafu… Which brings us back to FRUSTRATION.

Comment by Pitt 60 12.20.13 @ 12:33 pm

TX,1:30 McKenzie to VT. But RB least of Pitts worries.

Comment by pd 12.20.13 @ 12:44 pm

pitt 60 so true frustration.

Comment by Frankcan 12.20.13 @ 12:45 pm

Gotta give House a chance. I’m not happy with him either, but the advantage of “growing your own” is that you get loyalty as a reward. So *if* he does ever develop into a worthwhile coordinator (and that’s a big if) he’s not going to cut and run for some bigger offer. At least that’s the theory.

Comment by Atlanta Panther 12.20.13 @ 12:47 pm

Another possible transfer from Pitt assuming Wayne Capers from Bridgeville. 6-1 200# safety.

Comment by pd 12.20.13 @ 12:51 pm

Steve – My point is how far we have fallen that in a Bowl Game we aren’t favored by 30 to a MAC school. Yes, BG is WAY better than us and has better coaches. My point is the old greats would shit in there pants if they saw how far we have fallen. Praise Nordy all you guys want. He is also over AD Smug and that is part of his job. If you think building hospitals all over SW PA deserves praise (That’s a good thing) but the academic rankings keep falling and so do sports.

Comment by Upittbaseball 12.20.13 @ 12:57 pm

AD Smug will be here for 5 years even when the new man takes over.
he has a contract the new man wont eat that money if he gets his own AD it wont be till the contract is up.
so we are stuck with the bozo .

Comment by Frankcan 12.20.13 @ 1:06 pm

@Upittbaseball, Emel probably wouldn’t be interested in the Associate AD position but if there were an opening at the AD slot he might be persuaded to at least consider the possibility.

Comment by spiritofsection22 12.20.13 @ 1:10 pm

He’s building a monopoly and will live at Park Place as a result. He’s a lawyer by trade. And his idea of sport is probably fox hunting. I want our next Chancellor to be an educator by trade. I want him or her to know the rules to American football. I want the person to be a beer drinker. And I want the person to have a vision to build the schools brand by providing both academic and athletic excellence. Those are my simple qualifications for the job. I’m reaching for the Scotch now.

Comment by TX Panther 12.20.13 @ 1:12 pm

thought it was interesting that peak tweeted that after his second year..wannstadt only got 3 of the top 10 wpial recruits. Chryst as of now has 3/10 also.

Wannstad’s first two years 11-12
Chrysts – 12-13

Comment by rhyno527 12.20.13 @ 1:15 pm

Shai McKenzie heading to Blacksburg.

Comment by Mailman 12.20.13 @ 1:16 pm

So Pitt lost 3 top local kids plus at least 1 last year. Let us hope Chryst knows what he is doing.

Comment by Frank MD 12.20.13 @ 1:16 pm

Also not at all worried about shai today, would be nice but we certainly don’t need another back with conner and Ibrahim as freshman and 4* chris james coming in.

Kamara would be a much better get in my opinion.

Also don’t sleep on ATH Maddox. watch his highlight film, super athletic

link to

Comment by rhyno527 12.20.13 @ 1:18 pm

I bet Chris James ends up being the better college RB.

I’d still like to get Leggett, but it seems he’s a Georgia Tech lean.

Comment by Mailman 12.20.13 @ 1:18 pm

I like chris james better as well mailman.

Comment by rhyno527 12.20.13 @ 1:20 pm

Someone better let EMel know that he has been installed as the new DC and Sp Teams Coach.

He’s down in the Carolinas’, gonna need some time to get to Motown in time for the game.

Comment by Dan 12.20.13 @ 1:21 pm

The hits keep comin. Mercy!

Comment by TX Panther 12.20.13 @ 1:23 pm

Tx Panther, The University will never sink to the level of such a proletarian choice. The next chancellor will have made his mark in law or medicine, won’t own a jock strap, and will have way more interest in the business page of the aper than the sports page. He will be 10 times as likely to prefer badmitten to bowling.

Comment by spiritofsection22 12.20.13 @ 1:26 pm


Glad you mentioned Maddox. He is one of the fastest kids in the nation and Detroit tough. People don’t know a ton about this kid but he is legit. Him and Weah are going to have some great battles in practice. Mark my words Blatherites teams will be crying that they slept on these two extremely athletic, explosive players. Solid characters off the field from what I hear as well.

Comment by Gordo 12.20.13 @ 1:29 pm

DAN, He’s recruiting in the south.

Comment by spiritofsection22 12.20.13 @ 1:29 pm


Thanks. We need someone to have something positive to say on here.


Comment by pmdH2P 12.20.13 @ 1:33 pm

Too bad but not the end of the world. Worst thing is that he was another local 4**** star kid.

James might be better, but it still sucks.


Comment by VAYinzer 12.20.13 @ 1:38 pm

As for Henry, Nicholson, and McKenzie, I wish them luck. I think Henry wanted to play with his friends at WV. His decision good luck. I don’t think people understand how important track and field was to Nicholson. Pitt just doesn’t have the team Mich St. or Fl State does. I think he will thrive at M State and good luck. McKenzie I’m not worried about losing. Good luck to him, but my gut says that this is actually a positive. His attitude is not conducive to successful team football. Chris James is a better back imo anyways. Ollison looks to have some real potential as well. Stop and breathe the fresh air guys. We have a bunch of solid recruits the past two years that no one wants to talk about because they’re too busy obsessing over stars and twitter feeds. I’d be happy to provide a list. A lot of Pitt fans sound like Pirates fans 3-5 years ago. Overeactive complainers with no idea how to stick to a plan and gut it out for the overall success of the future. That being said there is always room for improvement and I understand criticisms of House/special teams. Dudley-Gordon would do a lot to avail some of these anxieties.

Comment by Gordo 12.20.13 @ 1:41 pm

Well the Local Kids are speaking. They aren’t interested in playing in the Big 10 2.0 slow boring potato offense or the defense coached by a 29 year old who previously top role was a ball boy at Chatham.

Comment by Upittbaseball 12.20.13 @ 1:45 pm

seriously UPittbaseball. last time i checked Michigan St was in the B10. Last time I checked NFL pro offenses cater to big maulers on the line. Last time I checked so did teams like Alabama.

Comment by Gordo 12.20.13 @ 1:51 pm


To Upittbaseball: disagree with you comment
Kids want to play for a winner and go to
meaningful bowl games. Until Pitt becomes
a consistent winner more kids will
leave the area. By the way don’t bet
your life savings on the recruiting star
system…..beyond the top 50 the rest is
someone’s best guess.

Comment by JR 12.20.13 @ 1:51 pm

Wardapalooza, when Fraud Graham collectively kicked all of us square in the nuts on his way out the door in the middle of the night two years ago, that probably marked the low point of Pitt Football in the modern era. So please spare me the references to “the next coach needing to dig Pitt out” being so urgent to consider.

Coach Chryst has been digging out, himself, since the day he arrived on campus and so far has only gagged the big one in his debute against YSU. He probably sealed his own fate that day by disciplining a half dozen players hours prior to the game with suspensions, who knows the inside story, Chryst was probably digging hard himself at that very time looking towards the future.

In any case, here we sit 25 games later with an average around .500 and apparently, we’re FRUSTRATED. Sorry, I’m not buying it. You want to be frustrated? Then have Gonzalez NOT intercept that pick 6 against Duke and have the Savage to Spoon pass transformed into an incompletion instead to lose the Duke game. Then let Virginia grab one away from us at home by Voytik screwing the pooch at the end of the game or have Ibrahim NOT run that solid 16 yard gain at the end to close the Cavs out. And wouldn’t it have been supremely FRUSTRATING to have Syracuse win their game with that last minute faked special teams play that we dodged with the TO?!

So while you “half empty” guys are complaining about how we let two or three games get away, IMO you should be remembering that we were that close to being a 3-9 team this season. And if things would have been going in that direction early, you probably could have kissed the Notre Dame upset goodbye as well, since the team’s confidence would have been shot by then.

This isn’t any Pitt Koolaid rant about how frickin good we are, it is just a reality check on who we actually are right now, FOR REAL.

Therefore, IMO, Chryst gets another year, if he’s 6-6 in 2014 his seat gets hot but his head isn’t on the chopping block before 2015 at the soonest, because he is trying to build this program from the ground up since that time of Graham’s departure. The Low point of this program in like forever.

And BTW who is the NFL receiver of whom you speak???

Comment by Dr. Tom 12.20.13 @ 1:53 pm

Gordo – Big 10 2.0 – As in Chryst’s Offense.

Comment by Upittbaseball 12.20.13 @ 1:58 pm

How will the attitude of Pitt fans be when Bowling Green with NO Coaching staff, whips the hell out of Chryst and Co.

Think that might seal some opinions?

Comment by Dan 72 12.20.13 @ 2:00 pm

McKenzie decision not a surprise. It’s been pretty clear all along that VaTech was his first choice.

Also not a big loss… UNLESS he decides to make the switch to linebacker.

Comment by PittofDreams 12.20.13 @ 2:02 pm

@Dr Tom


And, let’s get talking about the game next Thursday. Last chance to watch some of our guys who have lived through one of the craziest four years imaginable.


Comment by pmdH2P 12.20.13 @ 2:02 pm

On Panther247 via a tweet: McKenzie felt snubbed when he hear PITT was recruiting other RBs. Felt the “loyalty” wasn’t there.

This might be best everyone. Best of luck at VT. luck.


Comment by VAYinzer 12.20.13 @ 2:05 pm

on the plus side .. Pitt girls lost to (previously ranked) DePaul yesterday by only 4 pts, and look to be pretty improved

Comment by wbb 12.20.13 @ 2:06 pm

At least this should put to rest the ridiculous notion that playing at Heinz Field is such a GREAT ATTRACTION to recruits.

Obviously, Winovich, Henry, Nicholson and McKenzie weren’t all that impressed.

Comment by PittofDreams 12.20.13 @ 2:08 pm

As I mentioned before and Frankcan agrees with, the McKenzie loss is nothing to concern ourselves with. I like Ollison and James, especially James and who knows Briggs may surprise as well. Plus I think that we haven’t heard the last of Ibrahim either. So Bennett, Crockett, Conner, Ibrahim, James, Ollison and Briggs keeps me sleeping very well at night, thank you. I just hope that McKenzie isn’t hanging 100 yard games on us over the next few years to remind us that we missed on a good one in the 2014 class.

We do need Jennings or Kamara though. We have to get one of them, that is essential! We swing and miss on both of these guys too, well then, “Houston we have a problem”.

Comment by Dr. Tom 12.20.13 @ 2:09 pm

@UPittbaseball…I get it. The same base offense that Michigan State, Alabama, and nearly every NFL franchise uses at the highest level. I wouldn’t lose too much sleep over Pitt’s offensive line. Stick to your House bashing, it at least has some semblance of validity, which to be honest is hard to gather from your comments these days. but hey it’s just our opinions man.

@Dan 72
This bowl game is huge if only for AD, JH, DS, and the rest of the graduating seniors. Fans perceptions be damned, because many Pitt fans wouldn’t know their arse from their elbow (or are just trolls) (neither directed at you btw) There are some really knowledgeable and dedicated Pitt fans that know and respect the University’s history. I understand that, and all of these people know how important this bowl game is to this team.

Comment by Gordo 12.20.13 @ 2:10 pm

As always doc well said.

Comment by pd 12.20.13 @ 2:11 pm

Heinz in my ipinion has to be in the top 5 worst current nfl venues. It ws done on the cheap and it shows. With that said PNC is one of the Top 3 bedt in MLB

Comment by Upittbaseball 12.20.13 @ 2:11 pm

@ Dan72, EXACTLY!!!!! And that is why this low life bowl game is so important for this program. IT IS A MUST WIN for this team, for this coaching staff and for this fan base, we’re just too ignorant to realize it.

Comment by Dr. Tom 12.20.13 @ 2:13 pm

Gordo – yes that same one. Oh and we recruit just like Alabama and OSU and M ST. Right??? We come nowhere close. They get top talent we dont. So you need a different offense. We also play in the ACC and you see very few pro sets.

Comment by Upittbaseball 12.20.13 @ 2:14 pm

Well I for one am glad we can’t land any of these weak 4 stars. We have a few and they will turn out great without any needed competition in training camp. Not…looking…good

Comment by Shawn 12.20.13 @ 2:15 pm

PITT is number five on the conference realignment analysis, if it mean anything:

link to

Comment by Pittastic 12.20.13 @ 2:17 pm

think abought this Mckenzie said he heard pitt was recruiting outher RB so he felt the loyalty wasnt there so he goes to VTECH.

WELL VTECH had all ready signed 2 RB before he commited.

so did he not know that did he not check who they signed is that a dumb reason or what

dont get me wrong i am not mad we dont need him any way it just seams a dumb thing to say
and if he had commited 8 weeks ago as he could have we might not have signed outher RB who told him to wait all this time it is his own fult.

Comment by Frankcan 12.20.13 @ 2:20 pm

of course we don’t recruit like those teams. Where do people get the idea that our recruiting should be on top tier level when we don’t win games/titles? Seriously, I don’t get it. You just don’t win those battles without putting in the time and work to get the more underrated recruits to help you start winning some ballgames. It’s pretty simple actually. As for pro sets in the ACC, just to turn it around…can’t we use that to our advantage. We offer a pro offense that many in the league don’t. What’s the endgame for many of these recruits? To play college football or to get better and make it to the NFL? I don’t know. It’s been proven time and again that you can get there going either route. However, Pitt and Pittsburgh teams in general have always done it the smash mouth way and it suits this city. Pretty damn successful too!

Comment by Gordo 12.20.13 @ 2:22 pm

So if we lose our bowl game it will significantly set the program back. Can we just not show up for it? Win or lose it does us little good. And I think the chances are we lose. I’ll watch anyway. Need an excuse for the next day hangover.

Comment by TX Panther 12.20.13 @ 2:26 pm

Pittastic, I think the last sentence of the realignment analysis is very poignant … “The opportunity is there for Pitt to make the next step. Only the Panthers haven’t shown signs they will be able to take advantage.”

Comment by wbb 12.20.13 @ 2:26 pm

If you thought we were going to get McKenzie after we signed Chris James then I think you weren’t really thinking.

We’re solid at Running Back. Really do need a WR though. Jennins and/or Kamara would be a nice way to cap off this class.

I also think there is another three-star athlete who played QB but projects to a safety / WR that we will pick up. Can’t recall his name though.

Don’t worry everyone its a solid class. Now if we didn’t have Bookser and Grimm, I’d be worried.

Comment by Atlanta Panther 12.20.13 @ 2:27 pm

Reportedly McKenzie is saying he felt betrayed by Pitt for its recruitment of other backs.

If true, he might have good reason to feel a little insecure about competing with Connor and some of the other backs coming in.

McKenzie is simply not a great back. A good back, yes. But not great.

Brian Davis… now that’s another story.

Comment by PittofDreams 12.20.13 @ 2:27 pm

@ Frankcan

He knew very well that there were other RBs in their class. He even went out of his way to insult one of them on twitter for being a 3 star. Sorry, I know he’s just a kid, but what a self centered jerk thing to say. I think tearing his acl may be the best thing to happen to him in football if it brings him down off his high horse to learn what it truly takes to be the best. Talent and swag will only get you so far. Ask 99% of the players in the NFL. As I said before, I think it is a positive that we got James and Ollison.

Comment by Gordo 12.20.13 @ 2:30 pm


So if Shai felt betrayed by the recruitment
Of others why didn’t he
committ to Pitt early? Should the coaches for
him to decide? Don’t think so.The staff couldn’t get
a committ so they recruited other players
Good luck to him. We are moving on
with players who committed to Pitt.

Comment by JR 12.20.13 @ 2:36 pm

Gordo that is my point what a dumb thing to say when the school you pick has all ready signed 2 RB he made him self look like a ass.
i mean he made it sound like he was the only RB vtech signed did he think we would not check
glad we did not get him.

Comment by Frankcan 12.20.13 @ 2:38 pm

Agreed Frankcan

Comment by Gordo 12.20.13 @ 2:45 pm

Imagine being 18 years old and talented enough to be courted by several major college football programs. You can go to whichever one you prefer. You want more than anything to play professional football but you don’t really know which is the best path to your dreams. All kinds of adults keep giving you advice but you don’t know who to trust or believe. One team has a coach who is smooth and slick and he paints a great picture of how wonderful things will be, but you aren’t sure you trust him even though you want to. On team has a coach that is kind of plain and he claims he s trying to make things wonderful and although he seems trustworthy you aren’t sure he is capable. Which school do you choose? The answer is simple the school with the hottest girls.

Comment by spiritofsection22 12.20.13 @ 2:51 pm

@Dan72 and Doc, absolutely is correct.

Some laughed when we said it is an important game before.

Hear me out fellas, that laughed at that.

Is the game important or relevant in the world of college football, no, of course not.

For me, personally, it is important for what I see going on at Pitt.

That’s all. It will tell ME a lot about the team and the coaching staff.

Meaningless game, a great and fantastic time for the coaching staff and HCPC to shine!!!!!!!

Show me that you haven’t mailed it in. Show me that you haven’t tanked. Show me that you can get the kids fired up, to play a “meaningless” game in Detroit.

Show me how great of a coach you are.

That’s all I’m saying.

Do we win, or even I’ll give them a very close loss in a greatly played bowl game.

Or, is it 28-0 Bowling Green with 10 minutes to go in the 2nd quarter?

I think it’s a great litmus test.

At least for myself.

Have things changed and/or changing, or is it

S.O.P. ??????

Comment by Dan 12.20.13 @ 2:52 pm

I’ve awoken from my 30 year Coma….wtf is going on?

Who is this character named Chryst and lordy a NFL video boy as DC.

Somebody call me a Nurse ! (a hot one please)

Comment by Emel 12.20.13 @ 2:56 pm

Agree with many of my friends above — if Shai is/was afraid of the competition @ a school that has produced a tremendous NFL legacy like Dorsett, Curtis Martin, Shady McCoy, Ray Grahahm, Heyward, etc…….then let him go to Blacksburg & BEST WISHES…….

Comment by The Truth 12.20.13 @ 2:58 pm

UPitt – USA Today had a rating of the top 10 NFL stadiums in today sport section…Heinz was rated #5.

Comment by markp 12.20.13 @ 2:59 pm

@DAN , This game doesn’t matter and we are among a miniscule group of mutants who care who wins. Come to think of it I’m not even sure we care that much. We are so used to being disappointed that caring is too high a price for showing interest in the outcome. It would be nice to win but if we don’t, it won’t matter, if we do, great.

Comment by spiritofsection22 12.20.13 @ 3:01 pm

Pittastic, I think the last sentence of the realignment analysis is very poignant … “The opportunity is there for Pitt to make the next step. Only the Panthers haven’t shown signs they will be able to take advantage.”

Comment by wbb 12.20.13 @ 2:26 pm

We had a once-in-a-lifetime chance to take advantage with the turmoil at both Pedo State and WVCC and didn’t take advantage of it.

Somehow I don’t get a real good vibe on us taking advantage of the mediocrity of the ACC Coastal Division.

May be the 30 year coma thing !

Comment by Emel 12.20.13 @ 3:17 pm

Mark. I have been to lots of them and that is a farce. Heinz has no personality or aesthetics.

Comment by Upittbaseball 12.20.13 @ 3:20 pm

As far as the playing field itself, Heinz has to rank at the bottom.

It’s nicest feature is being situated next to the River and across from Downtown.

Oh and all the yellow seats at most Pitt games are real clear to see on HDTV’s.

Probably Heinz Company (ketchup, pickles, etc.) advertises with USA Today a lot. haha

Comment by Emel 12.20.13 @ 3:25 pm

Boys it took Neil Huntington 6 yrs to turn that around.

Comment by alcofan 12.20.13 @ 3:25 pm

I’d only take the AD job btw fellas.

Cause I could sure not work under Cornhole !

And we would have a Campus stadium within 5-10 years. And a first rate football team again !

Comment by Emel 12.20.13 @ 3:28 pm

All you need to do is win, it solves all problems. Or at least be exciting. Two back-to-back 6 – 6 seasons and not looking all that good or innovative on O or D doesn’t help. The elite players will stay home and go to Pitt if we matter. Right now we don’t.
MSU beats OSU to knock off the #1 team and go to the Rose Bowl. The coach says do you want to be a part of this?
VT in a down year is 8-4 and 2nd in the Coastal Div. The coach says with you we win the division and content for the national title.
Where do you go?
It isn’t like Chryst came in and the O is lighting it up. The D is a mess. We look average and not well coached. And tack on the ah shucks approach to recruiting we are going to miss on good guys…until they win or look much better losing.
No one is saying Pitt has the hot head coach…they are saying that at Duke right now who had 3 four star recruits on their entire roster from 2009-13 that went 10-3 losing in the ACC Championship game to the #1 team in the country.

Comment by artj25 12.20.13 @ 3:32 pm

You blew it Emel, I had the AD job contract with a great package just about rapped up for you and you had to wake up and start posting. We had a nice Cordaroy sportcoat with patches on the sleeves picked out for your press conference and everything. Now we get stuck with Smilin’Steve for another 5 years. There goes the future. What a putz!

Comment by spiritofsection22 12.20.13 @ 3:38 pm

article from ESPN talking about winners and losers of realignment…has us at #5 above Nebraska, CUSE, WVU

link to

Comment by rhyno527 12.20.13 @ 3:39 pm

yes i am a mutant and a psycho but i am one for pitt and EMel i think you would be a better AD then smug peterson
any one who cared abought sports would be better then him. just give the paper work to your ASST .

Comment by Frankcan 12.20.13 @ 3:40 pm

As far as selling Pittsburgh, like I said it’s an ‘easy’ sale.

Even the Huffington Post thinks so:

link to

Comment by Emel 12.20.13 @ 3:45 pm

Spirit – LOL

Comment by Upittbaseball 12.20.13 @ 3:46 pm

Actually if you think about re-alignment.

Pitt and Cuse should be #1 & 2.

To get off the sinking ship known as BigEast football was much the bigger move for Pitt & Cuse than A&M, and Mizzou going from the Big 12 to the SEC. Utah would then be #3 to get into a BCS conf. like the PAC 12. Although you could make an argument for Utah at #1, since the MWC was a non-BCS conf and they got into a BCS (big 5) Conf.

Granted A&M & Mizzou have done better on the football field but that’s looking at things from only one sport and 2 years, kind of short sighted.

Comment by Emel 12.20.13 @ 3:51 pm

I’m suggesting that Emel and SofS22 get together to exchange the numbers in their little black books, two peas in the same pod, skirt chasers never change, they just become DOMs. You guys keep me laughing, I’m partial to redheads myself, Emel.

In case you didn’t know already, DOM=Dirty Old Men

Comment by Dr. Tom 12.20.13 @ 3:52 pm

Cal Poly only lost to Arizona by 11. I would be disappointed if we don’t beat them by a lot more than that. After Tuesday nights game I would like to see our kids make a statement. I would like to kick the living poly out of Cal Poly. There is no better way to erase a loss than by a very dominant victory. I think tomorrows game will tell us a lot about what we can expect from here.

Comment by spiritofsection22 12.20.13 @ 3:55 pm

Cordaroy with patches…..lmao

Never owned one.

I was thinking of wearing a Lite Gold Blazer (like Jackie use to wear on the sidelines) & Blue & Gold striped tie. As AD I got to look good right !

And whoever was representing the UP along the football sidelines would be required to as well.

Comment by Emel 12.20.13 @ 3:56 pm

Emel – Sure beats the shit out of a 1983 Rocky Balboa Nasty Homeless Gray Sweat Shirt Potato Paul wears.

Comment by Upittbaseball 12.20.13 @ 4:00 pm

Glad you clarified that Doc.

I was like wtf is DOM. (other than the opposite sex one, lol)

DMAM would be more apropos.

Comment by Emel 12.20.13 @ 4:03 pm

Boy Emel just think how much fun you could have had filling the graduate asst. AD position. You could have set up a little casting couch for female applicants in your office at the Pete. Wait a second isn’t that how the best AD Pitt ever had Cas Myslinski lost his job? Didn’t he get in trouble with the cheerleading coach?

Comment by spiritofsection22 12.20.13 @ 4:03 pm

EMEL – actually Heinz has been in it’s best shape ever and looks good in person and on the tube – hence the high rating this year – and Upitt – I thought you were going to school to be more positive – enough of the grey sweat shirt already – it’s not his call to wear it.


Comment by markp 12.20.13 @ 4:04 pm

For all those of you clamoring for an elite college football program. Ask any “elite” football program’s players, coaches, administrators, students, alumni and wider fan base, what unimportant games are on their schedule. You will always get the same unified reply, there is no such thing as an unimportant game. That’s called attitude.

You want reasons to why Pitt’s road back to prominance is a steep trek uphill, then go look in the mirror first, especially if you feel this bowl game is insignificant.

“We have met the enemy and they are us”!

Comment by Dr. Tom 12.20.13 @ 4:06 pm

Potato Paul….lol

The Pizza Bowl thing is inside so wonder what dirty gray jersey PC will wear at Ford Field.

And the big question…..will it be hooded ?

Comment by Emel 12.20.13 @ 4:06 pm

I forget her name but she had to be spotting him 25 years and she was pretty hot too. I can’t remember the name though. Was it Candy? Well at least you couldn’t have caused as much of a mess as Cas did. WE were good then, we don’t have anything to lose now.

Comment by spiritofsection22 12.20.13 @ 4:07 pm

DR Tom EMel and outhers check this out except for the 4 star wr.
if you go to scout which is panther digest or pantherlair to the part they call prospects
or to panther247 and the part that they call targets
you will see that the only players pitt has left that they can recruit or sign are 2 star or 3 star players.

so f chryst wants to have a class of 25 or 26 players there will be only 2 star or 3 star
we have missed the boat on big time players.

check it out.

Comment by Frankcan 12.20.13 @ 4:09 pm

@ sos22

I thought that was Gottfried.

I would hire a really good looking cheerleader coach though and Pitt cheerleaders would be more on the order of the appearance of the USC songgirls and the UCLA girls.

No chopped liver !

Comment by Emel 12.20.13 @ 4:10 pm

Thx Frankie.

I don’t want to get too depressed this early in the day.

Have an engaging Friday nite planned !

Comment by Emel 12.20.13 @ 4:13 pm

Dr Tom, Yea sure rah rah rah , but it’s the friggin pizza bowl. If we win what do we get an order of wings and 2 breadsticks.

Comment by spiritofsection22 12.20.13 @ 4:14 pm

@Emel , I heard That about Gottfreid too but Cas started the tradition I’m sure. Meanwhile I can’t take anymore sweatshirt talk I’m still laughing about your Maid Of the Mist post. I had this vision of the guy on the cover of the Gordon Fisherman Box.

Comment by spiritofsection22 12.20.13 @ 4:18 pm

You have to be on a real serious complaint “bender” when you reach the point that you are complaining about Heinz Field as a football venue.

Comment by HbgFrank 12.20.13 @ 4:18 pm

DR Tom yes and no when NOTRE DAME was thinking of which bowl to go to this year and they only had 3 or 4 to pick from they wanted a warm weather bowl but they took the bowl in NY .
they did this becuse the teams in the warm weather bowl were from the MAC or the sun belt or cusa
they wanted to play a name team you know big ten or big 12 but got a team from the american conference rutgers at least a name team.
they were very careful they did not want a small time conference as the team they played.

Comment by Frankcan 12.20.13 @ 4:23 pm

In keeping with the Christmas spirit.

Here’s a little ‘pick me up’.

Happy Holidays !

link to

Comment by Emel 12.20.13 @ 4:25 pm

HbgFrank, “real serious complaint bender” If they ever decide to rename the Blather that gets my vote.

Comment by spiritofsection22 12.20.13 @ 4:25 pm

While we are on the subject at the Penn St game they had a coed dance team perform at the half and they weren’t the Laker Girls but like Emel says they weren’t chopped liver either. These weren’t the regular cheerleader dancers that are at every game. It was a good routine.

Comment by spiritofsection22 12.20.13 @ 4:33 pm

Mark – He doesn’t have a fashion coach. He can pick the polo’s, etc. I don’t think a Nike guy lays it out on his bed in the morning you know. I am trying to be more positive but losing the only good talent in the state is tough. It’s not like studs from other states want to go to Pitt as option #1

Comment by Upittbaseball 12.20.13 @ 4:37 pm

@spirit, you don’t think the game matters to show what kind of coaching staff we have??

I said at the beginning, the game itself is pretty much meaningless to all in the college football world.

Only a few of us mutants care, couldn’t agree with you more.

Let me put it another way.

How we play is very important in my eyes and view of the coaching staff.

The game itself, sure, it’s garbage.

Will tell me a lot.

Comment by Dan 12.20.13 @ 4:39 pm

If anyone thinks it was a tough night Tuesday how about the Tarheels. With wins over Louisville, Michigan St and Kentucky they sport 3 losses to unranked Belmont, UAB, and Texas. If it weren’t true who could have imagined it.

Comment by spiritofsection22 12.20.13 @ 4:41 pm

To put it another way………..

a great coach, would have his team ready to play.

Whether it’s Detroit, Pasadena, a sandlot or in a parking lot.

I guess that’s what I’m waiting to see.

I believe, I already know the answer.

Comment by Dan 12.20.13 @ 4:42 pm

DAN, I’m sorry because I know how annoying it is when people just don’t care, particularly about things we hold dear. I tend to get over extended on the hoops team because football has broken me of any optimism one too many times. I do understand though. Keep in mind you might well care more than them, and they are getting paid to.

Comment by spiritofsection22 12.20.13 @ 4:48 pm

The real reason Mckenzie chose VT is…..

link to

Comment by Upittbaseball 12.20.13 @ 4:49 pm

The problem I think everyone knows is we had the Cincy game as the ‘circled’ game on the non-con.

And it was an Epic Fail….at exactly the wrong time.

When all the PITT media naysayers were questioning our validity as a Top 20 team.

Not much you can say. They played one of the worst games I’ve ever seen from any team I’ve watched. In front of the NYC media, in the Mecca of College basketball and with a National TV audience.

That’s really the trifecta in wetting the bed.

Comment by Emel 12.20.13 @ 4:49 pm

DAN, For your sake I hope they bring home the breadsticks.

Comment by spiritofsection22 12.20.13 @ 4:53 pm

@ FRankcan, I thought Bookser was a 4 star.

Comment by spiritofsection22 12.20.13 @ 4:54 pm

SofS22, no rah, rah, rah. Champions, practice like they play and they play like every game is a must win, because in fact it is. So there are no mailed in half a$$ed efforts permitted. Not by the players, not by the coaches. Aaron Donald gets that. That is why he is the performer that he is. He has the correct attitude, is committed to putting forth the effort and never takes a play off.

Cherish the opportunity to play every game,and respect the opponent, no matter who it is. This game is no different than playing FSU in our first game of the season.

Either you get it or you don’t. If you get it, you should expect nothing less than a win from Pitt. If you don’t, then you deserve what you get, as well as your right to complain about the result, but in the end you’ll still not get it.

Comment by Dr. Tom 12.20.13 @ 4:56 pm

@ Upitt

Is that a Virginia Tech hostess ? Like the ones Oklahoma State has.

She’s nice But I like my Santa Elf better, don’t you ?

Comment by Emel 12.20.13 @ 4:57 pm

Emel, you are giving the short version. They reverted to 40 pts a game from 80 , choked at the line when they had been great at it and got doubled up off the offensive glass which they wrote the book on. It was so bad that it has to be an anomele.(sp) abstraction

Comment by spiritofsection22 12.20.13 @ 5:00 pm

Hey ok back to football (if we must), anybody hear how the ticket sales are going for Pizza Pizza ??

Haven’t heard or read a peep.

Comment by Emel 12.20.13 @ 5:01 pm

RB CJ Leggett, who I think Pitt may have stopped recruiting late, is now a Yellow Jacket.

Comment by Mailman 12.20.13 @ 5:01 pm


yep it was the short version. The long version was too painful to reflect on. lol

If you look back at the previous 5 games I believe pre-EpicFail, the shooting has gotten progressively worse.

We won’t know if that trend continues until NC State & Maryland. Neither of which are great, but they aren’t Cal Poly, Albany or any of the other litany of rent-a-wins we play.

Comment by Emel 12.20.13 @ 5:05 pm

When Bill Fralick signed with Pitt he spoke and answered questions at the East Suburban Golden Panthers. My Dad ( God rest his soul) and I were there and he talked about the recruiting process. He was asked if any of the schools did anything that we should do for recruits. He paused a moment and then talked at length about the “Huricane Honeys” that met him at the plane and escorted him on his Miami visit.

Comment by spiritofsection22 12.20.13 @ 5:10 pm

BG is favored by 6…wow…

link to

Comment by Jackagain 12.20.13 @ 5:12 pm

I think Emel should offer to set up a new recruiting group to serve as an extension of the football program. The Panther Pussy Cats could meet the recruits and serve as escorts and aid 4 and 5 star players making them welcome and comfortable throughout the visit. Those Miami girls don’t hold a candle to the Steel City sweeties. It couldn’t hurt.

Comment by spiritofsection22 12.20.13 @ 5:21 pm

Now you’re onto something SofS22, a constructive suggestion, the “Hurricaine Honey’s”, sex sells I guess.

Now let’s see, we could start up a “Panther Kitties”, no, that doesn’t rhyme. What has a feline reference and starts with a “P”???? THAT’S IT! LMAO!

Have a good weekend fellas.

Comment by Dr. Tom 12.20.13 @ 5:26 pm

LOL Spirit – The Brazilians in South Florida make the best in the Burg look like rubbish. I just flew back yesterday and let me tell you Miami is loaded with talent.

Comment by Upittbaseball 12.20.13 @ 5:27 pm

I can see 4-5 girls from Carrick with Aqua net galore meeting those boys at the airport in their pontiacs with 3 car seats in back. LOL

Emel – Who knows man but I can tell you everyone else has sizzle and sells and our guys act like we are Bama and don’t need to sell or add sizzle.

I do like the sound of the Panther P***Y Kats! Haha.

Comment by Upittbaseball 12.20.13 @ 5:30 pm

FRom that PG article, thx Jack:

“Pitt’s 2013 finale against Bowling Green in the Little Caesar’s Pizza Bowl is less than a week away, but early bowl practices have allowed the Panthers coaching staff to take a tiny peek ahead.

Like a year ago, Pitt coach Paul Chryst and his assistants have used some of their early bowl practices to give younger players more practice snaps than they might get in the usual game week.

“I think the right way to go about the bowl is to take advantage of the time,” Chryst said. “You’re not going to reinvent who you are as a team, so you’ve got to keep guys going and try to improve on who you are.”

After Pitt’s regular season ended with a 41-31 loss Nov. 29 against Miami, the team had the next weekend off. Over the ensuing week of practice, Pitt’s bowl opponent was still to be determined, so that time was dedicated primarily to developing younger players.”

Ok I agree, play the younger players for the future.

But why not any discussion or even a thought, apparently, of giving next year’s QB at least a half game of playing time. You know,,,,Chad Voytik, the odds on favorite to be the man behind center next year.

If we’re going to be forced to play in this 4rth tier bowl game, at least use the thing to get Voytik some playing time.

Comment by Emel 12.20.13 @ 5:30 pm

Upittbaseball, No wonder Florida State is playing for all the marbles.

Comment by spiritofsection22 12.20.13 @ 5:34 pm

I’m shocked, no comments on my little Christmas gift to the Blather faithful.

Maybe you missed it.

Happy Holidays !

link to

Comment by Emel 12.20.13 @ 5:35 pm

@SOS22, gotcha and good points.

No, no problem at all. I don’t really care about the game that much either brother.

I get that. Who really does?

And I don’t care anymore than anyone else on here. We’re all great Pitt fans, but, I think we know bunk when something is bunk.

I’m strictly talking on the “HCPC is gonna be a great coach and he’s building something” crowd.

Do we play well………..or get waxed??

That’s all.

Comment by Dan 12.20.13 @ 5:36 pm

I don’t remember Mrs. Claus looking quite like that.

Comment by Dan 12.20.13 @ 5:37 pm

@Emel, I have to disagree on this one, Assuming we the game is competitive Chryst should do all he can to send the seniors out with a win. The extra practice time is great for the players coming back but the game should be a last game reward for those who earned it. 4th tier or not play the game to win with the best you have. It would really bother me if he did it any other way.

Comment by spiritofsection22 12.20.13 @ 5:42 pm

Emel….FRANKCAN look good in that outfit…

Comment by Jackagain 12.20.13 @ 5:43 pm

We could have the Panther Pussy Cats dressed in those outfits for our Holiday Bowl game.

Think the recruiting might pick up, just a tad !

Comment by Emel 12.20.13 @ 5:44 pm

DAN EMel DR Tom big news read this and weep
Dokish said the pitt staff did not return henry calls for a month and he knows this for fact then you wonder why he went to WVU

Comment by Frankcan 12.20.13 @ 5:44 pm

Ticket sales Emel?? I think they’re up to 17.

Comment by Dan 12.20.13 @ 5:45 pm

Sory…should say “wouldn’t look good…” LOL

Comment by Jackagain 12.20.13 @ 5:45 pm

DAN, I’m part of the hope he is building something great but would amazed if he did crowd. I bet he gets them to play hard and lose. He still did better than I thought they would this year.

Comment by spiritofsection22 12.20.13 @ 5:49 pm

lol Dan-o

Does that include the cheerleaders ?

Comment by Emel 12.20.13 @ 5:51 pm

The PPC recruiting team could deliver a national championship in 2 or 3 years. A relatively small investment with huge results. To heck with these 4 star local kids for now on let’s just go after the top 5 star superstuds.

Comment by spiritofsection22 12.20.13 @ 5:54 pm

@Frankcan, I don’t know much about Dokish.

Is he a BS’er, or is he pretty reliable.

I don’t know how the recruiter and/or the head coach could ever “lose” tract of a recruit for a month.

I’d have to hear the whole story from both sides.

I find that very hard to believe.

Don’t get me wrong, if it’s true, it’s absolutely ridiculous.

Again, if true.

Comment by Dan 12.20.13 @ 5:56 pm

Emel – If Santa had an Elf like that he wouldn’t leave the North Pole and all the Kiddo’s wouldn’t get presents this year!!!

Comment by Upittbaseball 12.20.13 @ 5:59 pm

DAN i read something like that last year so i think it could still be true abought a different recruit i think one of the TE.
I think you should go to his site and read it your self it is the post abought mckenzie in the coment section were he answer qustion from the people .
in panther prey

Comment by Frankcan 12.20.13 @ 6:11 pm

NEWS info maybe could be there is a rumor that pitt
strength and conditioning coach has been fired.
dont know if true was on a tweet or what ever you call it.

Comment by Frankcan 12.20.13 @ 6:28 pm

Andrew Taglianetti used to play for pitt am i right he just tweetd that the pitt strength coach was incompetent so if he was not fired there will be hell to pay becuse the sports writters know what the pitt players thought of him .
and now you have to ask why chryst kept him around for 2 years.
and you have to wonder if that was what was wrong with the O LINE

Comment by Frankcan 12.20.13 @ 6:39 pm


Comment by Frankcan 12.20.13 @ 6:40 pm

A pitt coach fired maybe and no one has anything to say were the hell are you all.

Comment by Frankcan 12.20.13 @ 6:50 pm

Frankcan, a tweet just showed up on PG:

Werner ? @SWernerPG

Todd Rice has indeed resigned as #Pitt’s strength and conditioning coach.

Comment by wbb 12.20.13 @ 6:53 pm

Well with the way the O-Line has been pushed around the last 2 years, even by a D2 team like YSU, he should have been fired last year.

Guy didn’t have a great rep at NC STATE either.

Another PC bad hire. Go Figure !

Comment by Emel 12.20.13 @ 6:58 pm

Time to break out some spirits…

After the Bowl Game, House needs to go too !

I understand the Jacksonville Jaguars need a new Coffee Boy for the coaching staff.

Comment by Emel 12.20.13 @ 7:00 pm

I want one of those in my stocking this year. I’ve been a naughty boy. I deserve a naughty elfin toy.

Comment by TX Panther 12.20.13 @ 7:00 pm

did you read what the ex pitt player said abought him
Wbb did you read what tags said

Comment by Frankcan 12.20.13 @ 7:02 pm


Chris Dokish is very good at what he does. He is pretty high on Dixon at this time and he likes the way Jamie is recruiting.

Dokish thinks Chryst’s staff is, for lack of a better work, incompetent. He has praised Chryst’s knowledge of the offense, even though this year’s numbers don’t show it.

He has pissed off people in the Pitt administration so he is a little less critical.

Comment by TonyinHouston 12.20.13 @ 7:06 pm

Dr. Tom:
You are right about the bowl. Aaron Donald is kind of an aberration in an inconsistent, under-coached program that is on the decline. This observation is based on the ACC blog on ESPN and other prominent sources not my opinion.

Pitt needs to win for us to gain any respect going into 2014. I’m not bashing HCPC but a poor performance in Detroit, coupled with the poor performance in Birmingham (Myerberg of USA today faulted Chryst for never adjusting in the loss to Mississippi) will set the perception of Pitt football back. It will be worse than if Pitt had not been invited to a bowl.

We all should be watching come Dec. 26.

Comment by TonyinHouston 12.20.13 @ 7:14 pm

Maybe those Pitt people in the admin would listen more if they got pissed off more. And Tags tells it like it is. Bring back Buddy but remember Cornhole canned him. Wonder whose call made that. If Chryst, kudos and keep em coming. Better have a replacement in mind and lined up first.

Comment by TX Panther 12.20.13 @ 7:15 pm

At least he did the right thing and canned the guy.

Comment by pd 12.20.13 @ 7:22 pm

pitt brothers please read this the pitt staff did not return henrys calls for a month the 14th best DB in the country and no one call him back .
a ex pitt player taglianetti says the pitt strength coach was incompetent.
how can you not think that things at pitt are a joke
things are poorley run face it it is a cluster fuck

Comment by Frankcan 12.20.13 @ 7:26 pm

Andrew Taglianetti @Andrew_Tags

Rumors Todd Rice is no longer head strength coach at Pitt. Hallelujah. He was incompetent

Retweeted by Paul Zeise

Comment by wbb 12.20.13 @ 7:29 pm

I was under the assumption, that Chryst fixed the recruiting blunders by putting some guy named Desmond as Recruiting Coordinator.

What….these guys don’t know how to email, phone or text ?

Although I do understand Paulie made a in house visit to Shai. Thank God for Navigation in new cars. Or he would have ended up in Sheboygan or Oshkosh.

Comment by Emel 12.20.13 @ 7:36 pm

The program is poorly run so what else is new and now we start hearing what insiders have always known and what only us outsiders can physically see or imagine. Saban wouldn’t tolerate it. But Saban doesn’t have an incompetent boss or non supportive university President.

I feel bad for Chryst. He surrounds himself with bozos. His boss is incompetent. And then his bosses boss is fine as long as players stay out of police blotters. The recruits must see and hear it as well. We don’t drink the Kool Aid and this site doesn’t censor opinions or ban posters. So different and refreshing from other school sites. You’ll find more of The Truth on Blather than other blogs. All is not well with Pitt so I don’t blame the recruits for running away.

But does anyone in power positions…real decision makers listen and understand and agree. And then are willing to do something about it. I know that answer.

Comment by TX Panther 12.20.13 @ 7:47 pm

A 12 year old with a Outlook Express Calender could keep track of these recruits apparently better than our 15 man coaching staff.

Pitt Football, indeed a Black Comedy if ever there was one.

Comment by Emel 12.20.13 @ 7:55 pm

And on that note, My Santa’s Elf has arrived.

Have a good nite guys ! Cheers.

Comment by Emel 12.20.13 @ 7:56 pm

i have from time to time said things on asst AD borghetti twitter my be you should to they might start to listen if outhers beside me said things.

Comment by Frankcan 12.20.13 @ 8:05 pm

Don’t fret we will get 4 star players. Local kids who bomb out at the college of their choice will transfer to Pitt for a second chance. That is how you get 4 star recruits! Yeah right!

Comment by JP 12.20.13 @ 8:38 pm

So let me get this straight…we find out that Henry called Pitt and no one called him back for 20 days or so, the totally hated and incompetent physical trainer and weight guy is allowed to resign and it makes the front pages and AP Sports news tonight with a big splash, the Vegas line has moved to 7 on Bowling Green and they have NO coaching staff….(can see the headlines now “GHost staff crushes Chryst and Co”.)ah yes, what a thrill it is to be a Pitt Alum and Fan.

When my brother and Wannstedt were being recruited (both were all WPIAL and a bunch of other honors, I asked him why he took all the recruiting trips (he ended up at Rutgers his first visit)and he told me story after story of the female escorts (all friends with benefits)assigned to every recruit and the $$ money handed out under the table with promises of more to come. Only Pitt played it straight up and this was in 1970 and we can all remember how that went for Pitt.

I am sure that some of it has changed today but doesn’t Pitt Recruiting staff have a good CRM (sales contact and organizing tool) I have run 5 sales forces in my life and would not think of running a recruiting force without one. Again Beano was right, “same old Pitt.”

I am actually thinking of coming out of retirement and wagering on Bowling Green because I cannot stand to watch another game where Pitt running backs and punt returners carry the ball in the wrong hand, players don’t know who should be on or off the field, Pitt gets called for too much time after a TO, et alia! Maybe we should just wear the Three Stooges (Steelers Jailbird) striped Uni’s/ What utter incompetence!

Comment by Dan 72 12.20.13 @ 9:12 pm

I put BIG money on Ole Miss last year and knew they would win bugtime about 6 minutes into the game.

Comment by Upittbaseball 12.20.13 @ 10:05 pm

Why not come out and state the one over riding fact, Chryst is the problem. He can’t recruit, can’t pick a staff, can’t keep players, doesn’t project a positve image. He is a bum! The only thing he has going, is he stays. He knows the University can’t make another change this soon. It’s a shame, because it’s what Pitt really needs to do. We have had bad coaches before, but this guy is beyond bad. He is doing serious harm to what’s left of the School’s reputation

The morale at Pitt is at a all time low. I rarely read any thing positve about the school including this blog.

Comment by Old Pitt Grad 12.21.13 @ 12:44 am

I’m sorry guys, but I’m just not buying half the stuff that is being sold hard here. Really, think about how out of this world the accusation is that one of Pitt’s main recruiting targets was abandoned during the recruiting process. Come on? If you’re really buying that, then I’ve got a bridge for sale in NYC that you just have to see!

Now, I’ll give you the McKenzie comments having some validity, the “loyalty” comment was kind of interesting coming from Shai though, considering his own evasiveness concerning his lean towards Pitt early on, where was his loyalty? He never gave any indication that Pitt was a heavy favorite as his top pick early. So instead, Pitt successfully closes on two other guys, Ollison from NY (so Syracuse can’t keep their own backyard recruits?) and Chris James from Illinois (I think that there are some B1G schools around his hometown that unsuccessfully recruited him too, 6 offers from the B1G).

Confirmed, not getting Henry hurts, but consider that his buddy Fields was a lock already at WVU, plus Rushel Shell apparently has some relationship with Dravon that goes back into their HS days too. So Henry could have his own reasons for becoming a Hoopie that made that pick right for him. Yes, not getting Nicholson REALLY HURTS! But we are in some elite company considering he snubbed offers from FSU, Ohio State, Oregon, etc. besides mighty Pitt too.

Losing those guys is not good for the perception of Chryst’s recruiting prowess for sure, but let’s not simply ignore the successes that he has had on the recruiting trail in this class.

Bookser is a great get, and although it probably won’t come to pass, Alex could pan out to play on the DL if asked to. That makes his commitment even more attractive considering our lack of depth on the DL in this class. Another guy like that, who got taken out from under VT’s nose, who also offered him, is Mike Herndon. I like this kid. I think this OL prospect ends up on the defensive side of the ball when it’s all said and done.

Then we see our 3-4star QB commit Wade Frebeck coming out of Florida, which we all agree is a state Pitt has to hit harder in the future, and then just recently, a much needed LB target in the form of Folston from Florida shows up to commit recently too. That is a positive trend.

Now we still need to get either Kamara or Jennings, getting both would be super sweet, but one is essential. So, of the big 5 that were left to decide as of last week, we’ve gotten 1 out of 3. Realistically, if we get 2 out of those 5 you would have to be happy for Pitt. If we miss on both Jennings and Kamara too, then I’ll be pissed and whining right along with the rest of you that we have to figure out why Pitt can’t close on these high level prospects. Let’s see how that goes first though with Kamara and Jennings prior to passing final judgement.

Now on to the bigger Pitt picture, we have two ADs, one we love to hate and one we just LOVE. In unison now, FIRE PEDERSON! Good, we got that out of the way. Now can we at least appreciate the unheard of success that one of our own home grown products that did stay local to earn his fame in the ALL EVERYTHING Aaron Donald? From the defensive perspective, Aaron stands shoulder to shoulder with the offensive player that won the Heisman, Jamis Winston. In essence Donald won the individual National Championship as the best defensive player in the nation hands down, no questions asked while playing on a mediocre 6-6 team that has been irrelavent on the national scene forever. An unprecedented accomplishment!

Now lets bash Matt House, he should not have been hired as DC! Chryst fumbled the ball on that one, agreed. But you know what, as was demonstrated in a previous investigative type article, considering the upgraded competition in the ACC, House was kind of a lateral move when compared to our previous DC in our last season in the Big East. We could have gotten a better hire I think, but his rookie year just wasn’t a complete diaster as it could have been. Now our special teams were that cluster fu*k however. Coach Chrsyt, YOU GOTTA FIX THAT!

Rice is gone, is that good or bad? probably good. So Chryst can fire somebody on his staff after all!

So here we stand at season’s end at 6-6 in a minor bowl game against a MAC team that supposedly is a no win contest for Pitt. Can we all at least agree that if in fact we just go out and take care of business and bring home a win that in fact it will go into the books as a bowl victory? Now all you whiners out there can spin that $hit anyway you want to but in my book beating a very good MAC Champion team is no slight to this program and can only benefit the mindset of this young team going forward. It also gives us a winning season, Something that very few of us anticipated in the preseason when considering our first ACC schedule.

Therfore, I would suggest that we start looking at this bowl game as a must win situation, if for no other reason then to send off our most decorated defensive player in the history of Pitt football on the right note! The sky is not falling, there is plenty of work to do however, the most pressing of which is to beat Bowling Green!

And BTW, we beat the frickin Domers! Any season that includes a win against those pompous a$$holes can’t be viewed as a complete failure, IMO. Hail to Pitt!

Comment by Dr. Tom 12.21.13 @ 10:07 am

@Dr. Tom. Why would Dokish lie? He’s a Pitt fan….

Anonymous December 20, 2013 at 2:50 PM
Henry’s parents and MacKenzie generally feel disrespected. They both feel they weren’t getting enough love. How dare they offer Dravon so late? How dare they recruit more than one running back? Issues with the Pitt staff and the locals (with the exception of DW) goes back to the days of Walt Harris. Nothing new here…

Chris Dokish December 20, 2013 at 2:51 PM
The staff didn’t return Henry’s calls for a month. That’s a fact.

Zatiti Moody December 20, 2013 at 2:56 PM
Chris – Meaning that they had lost interest in Henry or that they were slack?

Anonymous December 20, 2013 at 2:59 PM
And that’s shocking considering the Quip pipeline and the fact that LaSalla is at PITT.

Chris – how many more recruits can PITT bring on this year. They have 17 seniors leaving.

Chris Dokish December 20, 2013 at 3:00 PM
They definitely didn’t lose interest in him. Their methods are poor. Multiple times over the past two years there have been miscommunication problems between the staff and the prospects.

link to

Comment by Jackagain 12.21.13 @ 1:00 pm

Never said Dokish was not reporting what he sees as the facts, Jackagain. I just find “those facts” very hard to swallow as the entire story. Something just doesn’t smell right, if you catch my drift? Could it be that the Pitt recruiting process is disorganized and needs to be improved? Could be. If so, better get that problem fixed ASAP because I’m fairly certain all on the Pitt staff have received the memo that successful recruiting is the lifeblood of any good football program. But I’m pretty sure that Pitt’s recruiting efforts had somebody responsible for keeping in touch with Dravon Henry, don’t you think? The other 21 recruits that are committed to Pitt seemed to find a way to continue to stay in touch. See what I mean?

Always two sides to the same story.

Comment by Dr. Tom 12.21.13 @ 1:58 pm

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