Saturday, December 3, 2011

Pittsburgh 33 Syracuse 20

A much needed win and now the Panthers will make a bowl.  If the Panthers can win that they will be 7-6, just one game less than last year which is absolutely amazing considering all they went through.

Despite his 259 yards passing, Tino Sunseri again frustrated with his awful decisions.

Unbelievably idiotic play call on 3rd and 1 late in the game when Anthony Gonzalez was pulled for Sunseri who promptly led an ill-advised and poorly run screen to nowhere.  But Gonzalez is also to blame for diving short of the first down.  Dumb little plays like these are why the Panthers have struggled all season.  But it also shows that Graham had no faith to get one yard rushing when it counted, and the truth is, he may be right.

The fact that Todd Graham went to the wildcat to seal the game is all you need to know about how much he trusts Sunseri.

Isaac Bennett may never be a star, but even when the team's talent level rises, he should be a very good four year contributor.  He's a tough straight line runner and I love to watch him run with his old school style.  He also showed he's a threat in the passing game with a team leading 7 catches.

Corey Davis can be a weapon out in the open.  His speed is impressive.

The receivers again were hit and miss.  Devin Street was not bad, but once again Michael Shanahan's hands disappointed.

Kevin Harper made 4 field goals but missed a 44 yarder and kicked one out of bounds.  He still frustrates me because the talent is there.  I don't know if the head is, though.

Brandon Lindsey had an excellent game and was all over the field. Needless to say, his play at the end was the game winner.   The truth is, I had little faith that the Panthers were going to stop the Orange on that drive.  Todd Thomas was also excellent on defense.

Looking at the starters today, I realized that no more than 5 of the 22 will be starters in two years.  Keep the faith.  Things will get much better.  Not only did this team have to learn a completely different system that does not match up with their ability, but they also had a lot of injuries.


  1. 3 beasts on D for the next few years in Donald on the line, Thomas at backer and Williams in the secondary. D looks to be shored for the forseable future. On O running back looks great and recievers and O line have plenty who are at least capable. I agree that the future looks good, but still a huge unknown at QB. Unless Voytik can be productive as a True freshman, could be another frustrating season next year.

    Chris - I would love to see Dayne Crist here next year. Any chance of that happening, or is it a pipe dream. Heard on the radio that they may be looking at a JUCO QB as well, but can't remember the name. Any information on the JUCO QB?

  2. Pitt had a lot of turmoil over the last year, starting with the firing of Wannstedt. It was good to see the team play hard today, especially compared to the end of the year efforts over the prior couple of seasons. I thing Graham has his players' trust, and it's going to get better from here.

  3. Rumors (Serious)- Sunseri looking to transfer

  4. completely agree with you, that play call on 3rd and 1 was a terrible call, even if you dont have faith in your run game you still run in that situation cause it kills more time as where an incomplete pass stops the clock

  5. The JC is Deon Anthony. He's very athletic and is used to running the spread. You never know what you'll get with a JC. He could be a Godsend or he could be a flop. Sorry I don't have a more definitive answer but he really is an unknown. If I had to guess I wouldn't think he was somebody that was going to come in and star in his first year, if ever.

    As for Crist, I have no idea what he's thinking. He would be great as would Texas Tech backup Jacob Karan who actually has two years of eligibility left because he graduated in two years. Both both will be in demand so Graham would have to be aggressive in getting either.

  6. Anthony should, at the very least, be better than Tino. He is certainly a better runner. I think we should grab him, and then also go after Crist or Karan or another 5th year.

  7. Hopefully this will be the last mention of Sunseri and we won't have any need to trash his performance next year- because he won't be starting. But if Pitt did not get 6 turnovers I think they likely would have lost the game to a team they should have beat by at least two scores, with an average qb in any event and not the one playing this year.

  8. two words on JC transfers: Sal Genilla (or Sean(?) Fitzgerals from the MII era)

  9. Karam is a RS Soph, so he would have 2 years. He stated that he will enroll at his new school in January.

  10. Pitt had horrid play calling on almost every 3rd and short today. Twice we had 3rd and short decided to have Tino throw the ball. The other 3rd and short we do wildcat and Gonzo makes the wrong read..
    News flash to the coaching staff..stop the foolish calls and perhaps try something as novel as giving Bennett up the middle a try?
    It's calls like this and other things that really make me question the wisdom of this staff.

  11. I agree that Sunseri's talents probably could not possibly be utilized in this offense and TG has had me scratching my head a few times but he has me excited about the future, something another 8-5 or even 9-3 season from DW would not have done. What I can't understand is what the PPG has against Graham? Reading Ron Cook's article online, you would think that was written by Sal himself. What a crock of horsecrap. Make football fun again? Really Cook? Criticizing Graham for being honest and candid about performance rather than the typical coachspeak BS we hear is welcomed around here. It may not produce results, we can decide that in a few more years, but has the Pittsburgh media become the ultimate Old Boys Club, not accepting an outsider, constantly clamoring for someone from western PA because they know the 'way' things are done around here, how to speak with HS coaches, how play power football. How'd that work out for DW? For as tough as TG has been on Sunseri, perhaps the PPG needs to look in the mirror and ask themselves if they've been too tough on him. Is Pittsburgh so colloquial that we can't find some unbiased sports writers from different parts of the country with fresh perspectives.

  12. As the ever wise Lou Holtz once said... football is football, spread, or prostyle... if you can throw you can throw and if you can catch you can's something these guys have been doing since they were 7 years old... or at least he said something to that effect.

    The kid is a poor QB period.

    And what's with the congrats on being 6-6?? Two of those wins came against Maine and Buffalo...barely. This season was a disappointment. In my book you don't get a trophy for showing up!

  13. And several of the losses were by razor thin margins - so lighten up. Considering all of the drops of catchable balls, all of the bad passes to open receivers, all of the "deer in a headlite" sacks, and all of the other countless missed plays by the guys on the field, I'm very excited about the future. Once our guys start executing consistently, the Todd Graham era is going to be a lot of fun.

  14. 3 assistants leaving. Thats not good news when you lose 3 coaches in year one like this. No way to slice this as something good. Those guys were tied to good recruits which is awful news for Pitt.

  15. Optimism for next year is easy: Todd Graham went 6-6 (maybe 7-6 if we can beat SMU in the bowl)with this island of misfit toys.

    Had he somebody/anybody else to insert at QB to [trash]-can the worst QB in the program's modern history (since Jonny Major Part 1 in 1973...), this team is at worst 10-1 and Pitt fans would be joining Okie State in griping at being left out of the NC Game instead of Alabama.

    With even a barely inept QB, I have no doubt Pitt would have closed out Iowa, ND, Cincy and WVU. Keeping with the toy theme, I think Todd "Gipetto" Graham would have beaten Utah with a "real boy" at QB.

    But since Pitt is typically good for one egg-laying per year, let's say we still would have lost to Rutgers on that day.