Saturday, November 3, 2012

Pittsburgh 26 Notre Dame 29 (3 OT)

1.  Paul Chryst has been a disaster at game coaching this season and he proved it more than ever in this one.  He does get credit, however, for having his players mentally ready to go and not be intimidated, and his staff deserves credit for improving every unit on the team.  But the actual decisions that Chryst has to make during the game are a huge weakness.

2.  Ray Graham was spectacular and for the most part the offensive line played well despite the fact that Notre Dame has an excellent defense.

3.  The defense was not great, but they were okay.  They were clearly tired at the end when the offense gave them no help at all.

4.  Lafayette Pitts is already a star and K'Waun Williams is also good.

5.  Todd Thomas makes a big difference on defense with his mobility and Joe Trebitz was solid.

6.  Neither Mike Shanahan, who had at least three drops, and Devin Street, played particularly well.

7.  Robert Foster tweeted Pitt as "we" during the second half of the game, for what that's worth. Shai McKenzie also expressed disappointment in the loss.

Bottom line, the Pitt staff and players get credit for coming to play, but when they depended on the brain trust to help them out, they got nothing.

Edit:  We have some crybabies trying to post and apparently they aren't mature enough to handle Pitt losing so for the time being at least I will have to monitor the comments so that the mature people won't have to put up with them.

96 comments:

  1. They simply choked. They swallowed the ball in the 4th and were given - not created - endless chances to win this football game. They just aren't very good unfortunately and it starts at the QB position. Tino has truly been good this year, but when teams got after him, the OLine can't give him time and he can't escape the rush.

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  2. In three year's time, when Pitt is still struggling because Chryst hasn't recruited adequate players and is STILL making bafflingly stupid decisions in-game, we'll look back at this and say, "This isn't surprising. We saw all of this same stuff during his first year."

    A soul-crushing loss, one that destroys any confidence people should have in the head coach, and one that really highlights just how awful Sunseri and Harper are.

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    1. You really do suck with that comment. Go cheer for a different team because we don't need fans like you around. Pitt got robbed on several calls and nobody even thought the game would be close.

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  3. University of Choke strikes again.

    Please don't make the post about how much "progress" the team made. When you are up by 14 in the 4th, you have to close. No credit for this one.

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  4. The overall game plan was great. Definitely some questionable play calling along the way though.

    And the refs blew to many calls. That interference was just the worst one. There were at least 5 holding calls the refs could have EASILY made against ND that they no-called.

    The Pitt players deserved that win, unfortunately it was stolen from them.

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  5. well pitt got screwed on the pass interference call, who knows what happens if that ref does not screw us, but listen Pitt played great and Paul can coach. I think he is different then Dave W in the fact he goes for it on offense, something that Dave did not understand you had to do. I like Paul went for it at the end of the half, you can't play scared, and he does not. For a first yr coach that shows something.

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  6. I liked the game. As a team, we have improved significantly. We lost....we should have won...but most expected the score to be overwhelmingly lop-sided and in favor of the Irish. I am not ashamed of what happened today. I'm not happy, but certainly not ashamed.

    Art

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  7. There is an old saying from NFL Films that sums up Sunseri: "Great teams aren't always great. They're just great when they have to be."

    If they score to make it 24-6 when they were at the three yard line, game over.

    If they put the ball in Graham's hands after the endzone interception and run some more time off the clock, game over.

    If they run the ball to the middle of the field in overtime for an easier kick for Harper, game over.

    This loss is heartbreaking and gut wrenching. It's not as painful as the Cincy '09 loss, but it's pretty close.

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  8. Aaaargh!!!!!! I'm taking consolation in the fact they weren't supposed to win in the first place and I was just hoping they could keep it close. They played a great game well into the second half. Another bumbling end of the first half almost backfired again. I sensed trouble when Pitt failed to get a touchdown in the 3rd quarter and only lead by 14. The defense which looked great at times surrendered a 98 yard drive when they couldn't contain Golson. When they came up with the int. with 3:00 left I thought they would probably win. Suddenly Chryst forgets he has Ray Graham. I liked the 1st down call but second and third down should have been clock consuming handoffs. As the game wound down and into overtime Pitt unfortunately could not respond in the spotlight. Penalties, fumbles, sacks, etc. When Tino absolutely had to throw late and in OT the protection just wasn't there. Shanahan dropped his share of balls. It's incredible to think Harper could have won the game with a field goal after the ND end zone fumble. Another poor snap seemed to mess that up. Notre Dame tried hard to lose this game with three huge turnovers and a missed PAT. their kicker nearly missed his first OT try. They aren't that good. Pitt played a good game for three and half quarters and should have won this game. Their weaknesses which have been talked about ad nauseum were ultimately exposed

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  9. Why isn't anyone on here saying "Pitt got robbed!" Because that's exactly what happened.

    It shows just how pessimistic everyone can be in not recognizing Pitt was the better team on the field today.

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    1. One of thee worst interference calls that I have ever seen. That call cost Pitt the game. Even Mike Mayock said it was a bad call.

      Conversely, I was buoyed by the positive mention of
      Robert Foster and Shai McKenzie. Kudos to Dokish.

      Hail to Pitt.

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    2. And the PI call doesn't even take into account ND had 2 number 2s on the field for the missed field goal in over time which would have been a 5 yd penalty and a first down

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  10. I like having an aggressive coach, no Stache but u need to run the ball 3 times there I'n the 4rth and hope to get a first and possibly run out the clock in Graham's hands. Not 3 passes.

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  11. We should ve lost by double digit from what everyone is saying at the beginning of the week. A kicker should be able to kick from any point on the field. Definitely proud of our showing. H2p!

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  12. We played execellent up until 3:30 left in the 4th quarter, at which point we played on our heels. The O-line started to break down big time. Good effort though. That "pass interference" call was really the biggest reason why ND won. I know, I know, you have to look at the entire game, blah blah blah. But the reality of it is, Pitt can't play two opponents at once. This game should give them the confidence to win out, no excuses. They obviously would be able to.

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  13. No matter how you spin it, we should have one. I agree that I didn't think we had much of a chance going in, but the guys played hard and left it all out there. There is always going to be questionable decision making along the way during every game. A lot of you have pointed out some spots in this game where maybe that is the case. But bottom line, after the terrible call and all the other stuff, we had a short fg to win the game and we missed. If you would have known going into the game that we would have a fg attempt to win it, we all would have taken it. I hope we see the same kind of grit and effort in weeks to follow. If we do, we'll win the rest of our games. And as well as TS played for 3 qtrs, I have to agree that he just folds when the game is on the line and the pressure gets turned up. It seems like every time that he runs right into the pressure.

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  14. I guess it's good they played well for 3 quarters in a game they weren't supposed to win but man did PC blow that game. Who is the special teams coach? The one critical punt sucked and Harper has been bad this year.

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    1. There is no special teams coach!!!!! No I'm not kidding.
      KRF

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  15. Let's ease up on the criticism .. the boys played hard and lost a tough battle in extremely hostile territory .. was it disappointing .. certainly .. but who cares what all the couch-watchers feel .. let's think about the boys .. they gave it all they could and came up short .. it's got to be tough for them. Let's give em the support they need and get ready for next week. C'mon, even the announcers saw it as a great game .. and what college football is all about. Go Pitt! Thomas '79

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    1. Amen Thomas.

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    2. Concur, Thomas! I mentioned earlier.....I am not ashamed of the way our team performed today.....not ashamed at all.

      BTW - glad to see another '79er' here!

      Art (BSCE '79)

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  16. I thought that this showed the guys can game plan. Whether or not chryst learns from his in game coaching mistakes remains to be seen.

    I agree the game is if that phantom PI call isn't made but if Kevin Haper makes a 33 yarder, none of it matters...which should have been centered in the first place.

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  17. chriss

    what calls are u referring to with Paul, I might not be looking at the game objectively

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  18. Chris no review on tino's play? More of the same, gutsy for 3 quarters then folds under pressure.

    It also seem PC is trying to outsmart everyone. No need for that at the end of first half on 4rth down. Your rep is built on running so run the damn ball there under 3mins too. Why put it in tino hands.

    KRF

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  19. After the fumble in OT, did anyone really believe Pitt would make the FG if it came down to it?

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  20. Nobody's been harder on Tino Sunseri than me. And he's not the reason we lost.

    But I'd sure like to go back in history and put a wooden stake in the heart of whatever monster first told him it's better to take a deep sack than throw the ball away!

    And this is not exactly a new problem....

    HTP

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  21. Chris you are right about Chryst's decision making. After the great instinctual interception by Williams late in the 4th quarter Pitt got the ball at their 20 yard line with about 3:00 minutes left.
    In my opinion Pitt should have run the ball on each play and not snapped the ball until there was only 2 seconds left on the play clock. Also I would have put Schell in for Graham because Pitt need tough runnings yards by a tough vertical runner (someone who rarely losses a yard).
    At worst 3 plays run taking at least a minute or more of the clock before punting. This significantly limits ND options with 2:00 minutes or less.
    Good possiblity of no overtime and a W.

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    1. DRW - I think that would have been a perfectly reasonable approach and looking back at how shaky Tino was at that point, it was probably the right move.

      That being said, I wasn't against trying to get a big play on 1st, running on 2nd, and coming up with something else on 3rd. Tino just limits what we can do on offense so much. however, we probably would've had just as good a chance of getting the first down by running it three times.

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  22. When the game comes down to a capable college level player making a play to win a game Pitt is at a disadvantage because on every offensive play the ball must pass through the hands of somebody who does not meet the criteria of being a capable college player.

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  23. Actually Pitt surprised me today...
    they played better than I thought they were capable of..
    the could have, would have, should have beat ND...
    before OT... in OT (missed FG)... couldn't believe they didn't run Graham to the left so to line up in the middle of the field...

    I thought if Pitt beat the spread of 17... that was a good thing..
    I had this penciled in as a loss.

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    1. JoeD - my take on it as well and I appreciate your posting an encouraging message about our team. Too much vitriol out there and undeserved IMO. Wouldn't a win have been great - I would still be fired up. It's hopefully a step forward in a journey and they showed everyone who thought 2 wins max after the UCinn game that they can play better.

      Chris - I saw Chris Peak's tweet that your are the antIChryst. How funny!... And somewhat true. Instead of leading your post that Chryst and his staff had the team prepared and a good game plan to address ND's defense, you go right to the negative. I'm not saying your observation isn't valid, but if he doesn't have them ready and a good scheme, the stuff you are pointing out never comes into play.



      .... no mention of the bogus PI call in your points above...no one will convince me that wasn't every bit as big - if not bigger - than your other points. I know that good teams find a way...but we are deservedly unranked playing a top 5 team on the road. Its unfair to ask the team to play ND and the refs at the same time. And yes, I realize if Pitt does some things better after that call, the outcome may have been different. But if that call doesn't happen, the momentum shift to ND does not occur...along with the 7 points.

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    2. Where my thoughts are on the post has no rhyme or reason. When I wrote the post there was a lot of national and local sportswriters trashing Chryst for his suspect game coaching so I just put that on first since it was freshest in my mind.

      Look, bottom line, like I've already said, Chryst deserves credit for having the team prepared and ready to play. He gets major props for that. But I'm not going to pretend like he didn't make some bad choices because he clearly did.

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    3. Agree Chris...
      if readers want to read the cheerleader version...
      they can go read the PG...

      A win would have been great...
      but... really, how many people who read this blog had Pitt winning over ND...

      and to Joe L... albeit many call me a pessimist... or how I bash recruiting... I tend to think of myself as a realist regarding Pitt football... I call 'em like I see 'em. (my opinion of course) lol

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  24. Horrific stat from Chris Peak at pantherlair: On Pitt's last 18 plays of the game, they totaled 4 yards. That's unreal.

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    1. How many of those were dropped snaps resulting in neg yards?

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    2. That's why no running plays after the interception...Pitt had made no first downs whatsoever in the fourth quarter. Three running plays and out would not have used up enough time. At least with the pass, just one completion could get you a new set of first downs.

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    3. Agree with you, BOB. I liked the thought process behind the play call. If it works, PC is a genius. If not, well, you know the result.

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  25. Chris, you mentioned this week that if Pitt keeps it competitive that this would be a huge boost for the Pitt program and recruiting. Do you still believe that? I do.

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  26. Chris, you mentioned this week that if Pitt kept this game competitive that it will help boost the pitt program and recruiting. Do you still believe that after very close loss?

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  27. Chryst was suppose to be this big brain of a coach and he blew another one.

    Shame for not having Tino just kneel on the ball and kick from the center of the field. Harper is shaky, but you have the best chance of making that kick straight down the middle.

    You have to expect flags in South Bend. Did Chryst lash out in the press conference over the Williams penalty? Of course not. Another stiff who doesn't stick up for his players.

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    1. I had no problem with Chryst. The play calling at the end was made by a coach not afraid to win. The execution was terrible. Suneri can't breathe with the game on the line. He had a very good game in the first 3 quarters but when he could have made a difference he came up woefully short, AGAIN. And to blame the game on the kicker speaks to a real lack of character. He had the opportunity to show real leadership during and after the game yesterday and failed miserably in both instances. Shame on you Tino...shame on you!!!

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  28. Anonymous... you're clueless. I feel sorry for your dog if you have one. Tough getting kicked every day.

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  29. FIRST: the run in ot that went to the right was designed to go the the left.... the hole was to the left.... graham cut it back to the right.....

    SECOND: you guys are telling me, that with 50+ seconds left in regulation, game tied, and only about 50 yards to get into field goal range you dont want to try and get there? you want you run it three times and get to overtime, which happened anyways? that makes sense....

    there were things that could have been called better, but chryst wasnt playing qb and choked. chryst didnt drop 5 passes. chryst didnt miss the game winning field goal. chryst didnt snap the ball too high on sed field goal. chryst didnt give up a huge pass play that got nd a first and goal. chryst didnt rob pitt after that phantom pass interference call that also would have won the game. chryst didnt miss some of the most blatant holding calls of all time (this is not to say the refs blew the game, im not that guy, but........)

    the players lost the game. coaching was not perfect but it wasnt even close to as bad as you people make it out to be

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  30. please explain how Chryst's brain missed a 33 yard field goal? That was the ball game, not Tino, Dropped passes, play calling, etc....a MISSED FIELD GOAL.

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  31. The play calling in critical situations certainly was not great. As I've said before I can live with it in the short term since he is a first time head coach. I really hope he re-evaluates the defense he wants to play though. I do not like the bend but don't break style of defense being deployed. Sure, it generally keeps big plays to a minimum but it also keeps them on the field for long periods of time. It caught up to them in the 4th Q.

    I do feel bad for the players. They played hard and put themselves in a position where they should have been able to win. I think this is the biggest impact of the all the coaching changes ... the kids have not learned how to finish.

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  32. I have never commented on this blog before but I have to tell you how frustrated that I feel reading so many negative comments. Will you guys give PC a chance? He may not turn this program around in the 1st two years but let's give him a chance. Considering what he was walking into I'm surprised that he took the job. I can assure you that there are no Super-Coaches among us who could have done much better this year considering the coaching history and the players on the roster (especially among the ultra intelligent posters on this site). This team played their hearts out yesterday and I'm proud of them. They were out of gas in the 4th quarter because the team is not deep. Many of the bull shit comments that I read about lack of talent and poor recruiting choices makes me want to puke. Let's see how this team performs in 2014.

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    1. I agree Hagen.....I have been around college athletics all my life (my father was a trainer in athletics for 25+ years at more schools than I have fingers and toes to count on). I will say that Pittsburgh has the most negative fans that seem to find fault in EVERYTHING. Even if we won yesterday, there would still be people complaining. I know this program has been thru alot these past 3 years but we finally find a coach that respects his players and the Pitt tradition, has done great things at his previous schools, and comes with great recommendations from people that know how to build a program (Barry Alvarez) yet somehow he isn't good enough for our previous unstable program. We should be happy he doesn't run out of town after the season....but yet again, somehow, he is not good enough for our fans or program. Yes, this program needs to get out of it's funk and 4th quarter breakdowns but you can't ask a first year head coach to do a 180 change in the culture in less than a year....also, I think the fanbase that is negative should change their attitudes and culture as well and start supporting the Chryst process that is taking place. I can't wait until the negative fans are proven wrong in a few years.

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  33. Chris,

    You mention that Chryst is a "disaster at game coaching" so I'd like to know specifically what you think he should have done differently? I think the last few offensive series were a disaster but does that fall on him or his coaches who make the calls?
    I don't think you can blame Chryst for Shannahan's dropped passes, bad FG snaps, shanked chip shot kicks, and phantom interference calls.
    I guess we can criticize Chryst but I saw a guy like Les Miles make more mistakes vs Alabama last nite than I saw Chryst make vs. Notre Dame.

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  34. They have made some progress this season, they were not ready to play against YSU and UC. Since those 2 games they have been competitive and ready to play each game.

    Chryst continues to show a basic lack of game day tactics and very slow or no adjustment as the game goes along. That is very troublesome because Pitt has had a few of those coaches in the past and they were fired or forced out.

    I really don't see Chryst as a brilliant coach, he is capable, but he seems to make the same set of coaching blunders over and over again. We all learn from experience and good coaches learn from their mistakes and become great coaches. Poor or mediocre coaches make the same set of mistakes over and over again, so far Chryst has demonstrated the ability to come up short and that is very troublesome because Pitt cannot afford to pay him to learn as he goes.

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  35. I saw that same 4yard stat myself. I think it as simple as ND woke up on the 4th quarter, Tino was not meant to play in crunch time, a few bad game choices by the head coach, and lack of talent in relation to who we were playing. ND has better talent top to bottom than Pitt and it showed today. Pitt was +3 in turnovers had a decent lead in the 4th quarter and lost. When a team with better talent trys to hand you the win with turnovers and sleep walking for 3 1/2 quarters and you still can't win that's not a very good sign. This team is closer to Youngstown State than truely competing with the ND of college football week in and week out.

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  36. No one has mentioned yet that the refs screwed us before the phantom call on Williams. On the drive that we got our last field goal, the pass play to Holtz in the endzone should have been a pass interfernce call against ND giving us a first down on the 1 yard line. I know the ball hit Holtz in the hands, but it's pretty tough to catch the ball when the guy covering you is face guarding and you have two hands stuffed in your grill. They defender never looked for the ball.

    ND got a lot of help from the refs today. In fact, the game started to remind of the game that the refs tried so hard to give to WVU a few years back so that the BE could get a team in the national championship game.

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  37. The loss was definitely disappointing, but we beat this team in every facet of the game. The refs were horrible, the interference call was home cooking and they didn't call a personal foul when the irish d-linemen smacked JP Holtz in the head in the one overtime. Chryst is still learning how to be a head coach but he's the real deal. Outside the first two game debacles this team should be undefeated, they're a good talented team. Anyone who is a naysayer, pessimist is a fool who does know football or a fake pedo st. poster. HAIL TO PITT!!!

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  38. Paul Chryst is an absolute disaster as a game day coach (maybe as a coach in general). He inspires absolutely no confidence. Any time you can set the over/under on bad coaching decisions at around 3.5 every game and it usually goes over, well, that is just killer. Especially with where this football program in terms of talent. They are playing from behind against teams that have better players but to have your coach compound the situation is too much to overcome. I though from day one this was a TERRIBLE hire and nothing I have seen this year has changed my mind. Clock management especially is brutal. If you have been following Pitt and didn't think there was a 95% chance they'd blow that 4th quarter lead, well, you haven't been following Pitt. Is there a stat on how many 4th quarter gut punching loses a team has had over a 5 year period? Pitt has to be #1 in the country in that category.

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    1. How do you explain that such a pitiful coach nearly upset such a talented and highly ranked team with his ragtag team of minimally talented players? Just luck I guess.

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  39. Why didn't Chryst shake Brian Kellys hand after the game? Classless.

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    1. Good for Chryst, the one's who were classless was ND. They played dirty and were called for a penalty for yelling out calls and shifting on the D-line. That's the definition of classless, even the anouncers said they couldn't believe it. So do us a favor and go back to South Bend.

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    2. Yes he did...they showed the two talking at the end of the game at midfield when they were reviewing the game winning TD.

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  40. If you compare the first year game day coaching of Chryst versus the entire work of the Wannstedt game day coaching I will take Coach Chryst. Coach Chryst is still a work in progress and is making progress.

    As you pointed out much too briefly, the defense was tired at the end and that more than the coaching was why Pitt could not pull off the huge upset. Overall I am proud of the way the way the team played.

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  41. Chris,

    4-4 Pitt plays 8-0 Notre Dame to 3 OTs in South Bend.

    Conclusion... Yes, PITT has improved!

    PittofDreams

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  42. Just like Wannshaft showed his cards his first year and nothing really changed, so has Chryst. Louisville, Syracuse and now this. All featuring similar coaching gaffe's. He is who he is.

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  43. My wife watches all the Pitt football games with me including that tuff loss yesterday. She walked into the room where I was warching Alabama a d LSU last nigh and said "are u watching this game on fast forward..."
    Pitt is slow super slow watching graham get caught from behind and the defense inability to catch the quarterback cost us that game.
    We need speed and lots if it

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  44. I would have think that the more experience that Paul Chryst has as head coach the better he will be. Give him time to develop as a coach.

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  45. Buc, i agree

    pitt has lost all of its close games. that does not mean that they will do so in years to come. look at charlie strong at louisville. his first two years he was playing with teams that lacked depth and werent necessarily what he wanted and they lost pretty much every close game they were in. now, all those close games that were losses before are now wins and louisville is 9-0. louisville fans were also complaining about his gameday coaching and calling for his job. give the man time. he has by no means been perfect but the criticism he recieves is often unfair and for the most part, the blunders hes committed were because he is aggressive and displays trust (maybe too much) in his players

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    1. Difference is strong was smart enough to recruit speed Demons from Florida and other southern states and we recruit lumbering players from Pennsylvania...

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  46. Chris can you comment on how Tino blamed the loss on Harper? He went back and tried to correct himself but in my eyes the damage was done. That was pretty terrible on Tinos part.

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  47. Most of Chryst's "bad choices" were made as a result of trying to be aggressive and/or trying to show confidence in his players. If those plays had worked (and, with increasing talent, they will) he'd be fondly called a "gambler." I'd rather see errors of aggression than of passivity (as per Wanny).

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  48. Absolute disaster??? Uninspired??? Funny. We were inspired to a 2 touchdown lead going into the 4th quarter... That was inspiring to me! Chryst's game plan wasn't the problem fellas... The execution of it was... Smarten up.

    Pitt2Cali

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  49. By reading some of these comments you would think Pitt had Vince Lombardi as their coach. Lets's have some rationality here, people. Criticizing some aspects of Chryst's coaching doesn't mean I think he's horrible. I have to point out his weaknesses as much as I point out his strength. I swear to God that some people go into hysterics when any criticism is levied at Chryst. The truth is, I've said more nice things about Chryst than bad things, but you would never know it.

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    1. I think the crowd you are speaking of...
      they are "ok" with 8-4 or 7-5 records...
      they have "low expectations"....
      that is all they know...
      they never experienced the golden years of Pitt... the Majors/Sherrill era..
      Heck... Chryst wouldn't last 1 season at Aliquippa HC... Quip coaches and the fans have high expectations ... where a trip to Heinz is expected year in and year out.

      Chryst doesn't have any goals... that is what he said publically....
      only to improve every game... What???
      A Leader has goals.... and motivates to meet the goals... or else!!

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  50. Chris, why are you dodging the Tino post-game comments?

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  51. Chris, with all due respect, when the first line of your entry is "Paul Chryst has been a disaster at game coaching this season and he proved it more than ever in this one.", people are going to get that impression [that you think he's horrible and that you have said more bad than good].

    Having poster(s) - they all seem be named Anonymous - try to echo that statement, without giving any real examples to support that claim, doesn't help either.

    Aside from some of his clock management at the end of the half and regulation - which didn't affect the outcome of the game - I'd like to see some examples of his disastrous decisions.

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  52. "Disaster as a game day coach" is a pretty damning statement Chris. Any good that may have been said is pretty much eclipsed by such a bombastic statement after a big loss to a top 5 team.
    Could it have been the heat of the moment?

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  53. Dokish your thought process is what we should be questioning. How about the great play call on Holtz's TD? A missed FG lost the game, not a "questionable" call before the end of the 1st half or the lack of run play in the final series of regulation.

    There is no such thing as a moral victory in football but who would have thought Pitt didn't get crushed by 30.

    Again missed FG lost the game, period.

    - Mike

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  54. Okay, I guess reason is not something I'm going to be able to expect from many on here. Now I know. Let's just pretend that Vince Lombardi is coaching Pitt and deserves no criticism when he makes mistakes. And let's pretend that a large majority of national and local sportswriters wasn't ripping the hell out of Chryst's decisions. Because all is well, Pitt has the perfect coach and can not be called out on anything!!

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  55. Did anyone on here see that on harpers 33yard, game-winning field goal attempt Notre Dame actually had 2 #2's on defense? So regardless, make or miss, it should have been first and 10 Pitt at the Notre Dame 11..

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  56. "Paul Chryst's use of timeouts is beyond puzzling to me." Mike Farrell, Rivals

    "Chryst is just HELLBENT on having Tino losing this game, isn't he?" Dejan Kovacevic

    "For all his offensive pedigree and successes, it is more than fair to criticize Chryst (win or lose) for playcalling on past 2 drives." Colin Dunlap

    "The Pitt coach should be roasted regardless of which team wins. He's been embarrassing in the 4th QTR." Jason Whitlock

    "You won't see a more easily second-guessed playcalling series EVER than what Pitt just had." Dejan Kovacevic

    "I'm not used to Pitt managing a game so poorly and having to blame someone other than Dave Wannstedt." Bomani Jones

    By the way, I saw the guy from PittBlather, Chris Peak, and Paul Zeise also commented that Chryst made bad calls.

    So let's stop this ridiculousness and just move on!!! Saying Chryst made mistakes isn't the end of the world. He had the team prepared and ready to play, like I said, and he deserves a lot of credit for that. But they collapsed horribly at the end and that's on the head coach. That's just the way it is!! It doesn't mean he and Pitt are doomed, just that he didn't do well at the end. There's a big difference!!

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    1. Methinks thou dost protest too much.

      Before I go back to something more productive...I gotta know - how was "Flight"? worth the ducat or wait for cable?





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    2. Denzel Washington was excellent but it wasn't exactly a feel good movie. Washington's character is a mess. He's no Sully Sullenberger which is what I was expecting.

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  57. My poor father-in-law got to experience his first PITT game with me. He heard more top notch cuss words at the end of the first half than he had in his entire life. If ND isn't using their last timeout and letting the clock run down then please just punt the ball. You got momentum. I get the bravado coaching but not there. That was the 2nd worst decision by a PITT coach I have ever seen...just behind Wanny declining an offsides call on 3rd and 8 just so he could punt at WVU.

    I don't mind the 1st down passing play late in the game. ND had 10 in the box and he took a shot. It took the ND QB scrambling for 5 minutes and then throwing up a Hail Mary to get them in range.

    Tino shouldn't blame Harper. 2 missed FG's in that game were on high snaps.

    Tough loss for sure. Hopefully the recruits still got excited about PITT

    bdubb

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  58. WWWD-what would Walt do? On third down in second OT he would have had Tino move to center of the field, take a knee and then take the 35 yard chip shot --game over. But not really blaming PC, mostly blaming Graham; you HAVE TO center that field goal-- get whatever yardage you can but don't cut to the right. Harper was blasting them straight all game and blasted the miss too-- he just screwed up the angle. A straight on kick on that chip shot would have won that game.

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  59. Chris, I have to admit I was taken back by your opening statement only because you said ealier this week that if Pitt kept it close that it would be a big boost for the program & help recruiting. Do you still believe that? I look at glass half full and we had our chance to win. I know everyone is upset about the loss & likes to blame someone. But that game will build confidence down the road. Tomlin made a stupid call last night on the fake FG that could ve cost the steelers the game but the team bailed him out. Is he a bad coach? No! He walked into a great organization that knows how to win. Pitt is still trying to figure this out considering its past. We just did not make the plays at the end to win. Go Pitt!

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  60. Chris,

    Chryst has made mistakes but it's not playcalling, at least not the way the crowd of critics are so quick to conclude.

    Much of the criticism about Saturday has centered on the decision to pass on first down following the interception where Pitt had the ball with a lead and three minutes on the clock.

    On that last drive, all Chryst and Rudolph were doing was simply asking Tino and the offense to execute a play sequence no different than what was executed successfully on more than one drive earlier in the game.

    However, if there's a complaint to be made it is not the decision to pass or necessarily the exact plays called. It is Chryst's continued reluctance to recognize what has seemed so apparent since Tino started his first game at Utah... that is Tino's seemingly uncanny way of bungling plays at the most inopportune time.

    The final drive Saturday was no different then the end of of the first half against Cincy and the end of the game at Syracuse when Chryst also called on his quarterback to stay calm and execute only to see mistakes happen.

    The good news is the day will come when the Chryst who has always been a Gambler has a quarterback with enough ice in his veins and fire in his feet to make plays when it matters most.

    PittofDreams

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  61. I don't think anyone here is saying that Chryst can't be criticized. I'm certainly still not 100% sure that Chryst will be successful, though I think this past game is a good sign.

    But when a strong word like "disaster" is used in his criticism, and nothing is provided to illustrate why that was case, people are going to act with "ridiculousness"

    Most of us agree that his management at the end of the half in this game - and others - has left quite a bit to be desired.

    As for the playcalling towards the end, I guess most of it is falls around having Tino throw the ball. I get most of that, except that we've seen that Pitt has shown no ability to run the ball against ANYBODY in obvious run situations. See the Syracuse and Buffalo games for evidence. Despite Ray Graham's stats for this game, just handing the ball to him isn't that obvious of a move, even with Tino.

    For the last poster: it's been mentioned that Harper may have wanted the ball on the right hash; many kickers prefer tihs. It also has been noted that it looked like the call may have been towards the center of the field, but Graham cut to the right to try to (unsuccessfully) get the 1st down.

    Also worth noting that on that failed FG attempt, Notre Dame had two players on the field wearing #2, which was missed by the officals.

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  62. Yikes...some of you are acting like Chris is threatening PC children. PC is the head coach of a D-1 football team. Criticism is part of the job. What would everyone be saying if Wanny made those choices???? Bet it wouldn't be so much love.

    Passing it 3 times with 4 minutes to go is not a good decision and PC should be grilled. Yes you can say he was being aggressive but in that situation Pitt needed to eat the clock. On top of that, with the game on the line do you want 2 of the best backs in the country or Tino? The coach has to know his players.

    Defending PC for saying Graham cut it back? That is not going to cut it. The head coach needs to tell him make sure you center the ball, do not cut back, do not take it outside, center the ball.

    There is a time and place to take chances and he is not taking them at the right times.

    Take the love goggles off and look at the game. He had them coached up yes but made bone-headed decisions. I don't care that we played them close, Pitt is not Tulsa. We are striving to be a big time program and saying we played them close is loser talk.

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  63. Just curious, near the end of regulation should Coach Chryst have handed the ball off on consecutive plays ala Dave (too conservative, plays-to-lose) Wannstedt or should he have been aggressive, showed confidence in his team and played to win by trying to move the yard sticks a few times rather than turn the ball over to ND after yet another three-and-out series.

    In hindsight, it’s easy to criticize either plan if it doesn’t work...I just hope that the same people that are criticizing Chryst’s play-calling aren’t the same ones that use to bitch about Wannstedt’s polar opposite play-it-safe play-calling too.

    MC

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  64. Just curious, near the end of regulation should Coach Chryst have handed the ball off on consecutive plays ala Dave (too conservative, plays-to-lose) Wannstedt or should he have been aggressive, showed confidence in his team and played to win by trying to move the yard sticks a few times rather than turn the ball over to ND after yet another three-and-out series.

    In hindsight, it’s easy to criticize either plan if it doesn’t work...I just hope that the same people that are criticizing Chryst’s play-calling aren’t the same ones that use to constantly bitch about Wannstedt’s polar opposite play-it-safe play-calling too.

    MC

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    1. The job of the head coach is to make decisions at the end of the game to win it. If he does it, he gets praise as he should. If he doesn't, then he deserves criticism. Pitt failed at the end of the game. They had to milk a 14 point lead and had virtually no yards and wasted little time. That's failure. If Bill Belichick did the same thing he would have failed, too, and he has done it before I'm sure. Saying Chryst failed at the end of this game isn't calling a failure for the rest of his life.

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    2. True...but one big difference between the two coaches is that Belichick has players that can usually execute his plays.

      Chryst was in the unenviable position of calling more running plays that were being shut-down at the line of scrimmage or relying on Tino to actually make some plays under pressure.

      MC

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    3. The average fan is like "Pittsburgh Dad" watching a Steeler game. Loves it when it works, hates it when it doesn't.

      ANd I'm pretty sure the reason we lost on Sat. is that not everyone sat on the same side of the couch they sat on for 13-9.... you know who you are....

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  65. I'm shocked that hardly anybody has mentioned the play of Arthur Doakes. The kid had played no meaningful snaps up until this game and I thought he played very well for being thrown in the mix in a huge game. Sure he had a critical false start and a few breakdowns but he definitely played well. I actually think the only lineman we'll miss next year will be Turnley. Lumpy just hasn't quite lived up to the hype.
    Trebitz played his heart out too.

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    1. I agree on both. I'm actually in the middle of writing about how the personnel looks for the future and it's a lot of good news, including Doakes.

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    2. I've seen plenty of knee braces, but don't recall seeing too many elbow braces like the contraption Trebitz was wearing...especially at LB...

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  66. PC was not out there doing a woefully poor job of run and pass blocking in the 4th qtr and OT people. players have to make plays, even relatively simple ones. like executing a couple running plays to grind out 2 or 3 first downs to seal the game.

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  67. I'm proud overall of how Pitt played, but they should've won the game, despite the refs. They had their destiny in their hands, but failed to capitalize. Pitt could've made it 24-6, and effectively seal the win, or they could've hit the FG in OT. They didn't come through in either case, so they can look in the mirror for why they lost.

    The team is improving, which is a sign of good coaching. However, Chryst needs to improve his game-day performance. Not punting at the end of the 1st half was a mistake that he luckily got away with. The play calling was suspect at times also. Why did they pass with a few minutes left in the 4th qtr, instead of running the ball and eating clock? If the choice is putting the ball in Tino's hands or Ray Graham's hands, that's an easy call. There's no way I trust Tino in a situation like that.

    I'm glad there's only a few more games in Tino's Pitt career. I wish him well, but he's just not cut out to be a top-flight QB. His lack of ability to perform in crucial moments is not what this team needs. Pitt needs a QB who lives for those moments, not someone who will invariably crumble.

    The team is improving, and I'm hopeful for the future.

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  68. Again Chris,

    If you're gonna criticize Chryst why not go into the big choke some of the players displayed on the field?

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