Saturday, September 28, 2013

Pittsburgh 14 Virginia 3

And you thought last week was ugly.  Some thoughts:

1. The offensive line was atrocious. No other way to say it.  The running backs had nowhere to run and Tom Savage was constantly under pressure.

2.  Savage completed 13 of 31 passes for 191 yards.  He also completed a TD and threw 2 interceptions.  Both interceptions were nice plays by a very good Virginia secondary.  Savage also was sacked 8 times.  Some were his fault but most weren't.

3.  James Conner ran hard but had no room at all.  He carried 15 times for 27 yards.  He also ran for a touchdown in which he trucked a Virginia defender.  Isaac Bennett ran 5 times for 5 yards.  Rachid Ibrahim ran well, mostly late in the game, and had 4 carries for 26 yards.

4.  While Savage did mostly struggle he also made a handful of gorgeous passes, usually to Tyler Boyd, who once again was excellent with 7 catches for 111 yards. He did have a fumble, however, in Virginia territory.  Devin Street added 4 catches for 58 yards.  There were a few drops, though, and the tight ends, considered a team strength, had no catches.

5.  Defensively, the Panthers were much better but it remains to be seen how much better just because it was obvious that Virginia is terrible offensively. The Cavaliers had 188 total yards (compared to Pitt's 199 yards).

6.  Aaron Donald was again the best player on the field for Pitt.

7.  The kicking game was bad again.  Chris Blewitt missed a very makeable field goal and punter Matt Yoklic continues his very poor season.

8.  Pitt is 3-1 but it's still a Jekyll and Hyde team.  They may be one of the worst 3-1 teams in major college football but at that same time they are at least 3-1.


  1. After the first quarter I thought the Quacken would be pleased. But now it is gearing up to destroy the city. Evacuate while you can, for soon all will be lost thanks to this crime against football.

  2. Virginia D was really good. Pitt needed to go to quicker throws slow down their pass rush. Seems like Pitt loves the long ball. Pitt needs to get the TE more catches. Pitt's defense much better but Virgina offense is probably the worst in Division 3 ball. They could not catch a cold. But a win is a win. We will see what happens in two weeks.

  3. Great to be 3-1 at this point. Virginia's inept O was the cure for the third win by our Panthers. Is this Cavalier staff worse than Majors' II? Probably not, but it is close.

    Good to have a bye week and get some players healthy. It is the last bye week of the season, so the players need to make it a good one. Savage needs it most after the beating he took today. Corey King never had the type of game Biz had today at left tackle yet Corey was never appreciated. I'll be curious to see if the O-line makes major strides after the bye.

    Kudos to the defense. Holding even the poorest of offenses to three points is quite an accomplishment.

    The wins need to come from ODU, Navy and either Syracuse/North Carolina. Getting the sixth win versus Syracuse and going into North Carolina with a chance at seven, with all the young players abound in the two deep would be pretty damn impressive.

  4. Ugly win, but it was a win. The stadium was half empty on a great day, nationally televised game, and Homecoming. Where are all the Pitt fans?

  5. Pitt won right? Sometimes it is hard to tell here.

    1. that's because theres less to complain about after a win. I still don't know how good pitt is. the defense played better today but the Virginia receivers dropped probably 10 passes.

  6. Not a masterpiece by any means, but Pitt won. They capitalized on UVA turnovers, and made enough plays to win. While it wasn't pretty, they found a way to win, instead of giving the game away as might have happened in past years.

    The defense played better, but with how bad UVA is offensively, it's hard to know what this game means for them. However, at least they showed improvement. Vinopal also had a much better game than he's had prior to today.

    The O line didn't look good. Hopefully, they'll put it behind them and learn from today's game.

    As Chris said, Savage made some nice throws, with the O line struggling, he struggled as well. Gotta get the big boys up front to keep defenders away from him, and open some holes for the running backs. There was no room at all to run.

    Hopefully, these games are building blocks for the more difficult part of the schedule still to come.

  7. Well put ...I also used the J & H analogy in another post. Any info on whether TS has a concussion ? I certainly don't look forward to an offense w/o him. We are 3-1 but I'm still not sure how good we are .. perhaps the VT game will be telling.

  8. Pitt is 3-1 after four games. I got to see today's game in person. By now I thought we would be able to tell what kind of team we had. At this point it is still hard to tell. Virginia's offense was just terrible. One good thing in a bad way was that Savage had "concussion-like" symptoms. He just did not look good in the game in the second half. Hopefully he fully recovers during the next two weeks.

    Based on today's other results in the ACC we will probably end up at least 7-5. We should beat Navy, Old Dominion, North Carolina, and one other probably Syracuse. If Savage recovers, I see us possibly upsetting Notre Dame or Georgia Tech.

    People are complaining about us being an ugly 3-1. I will take it. This team is one that has learned not to lose which is different from Pitt teams in the past. Street said this week that in the past that Pitt would have found a way to lose the Duke game. The same could apply for today's game. So I guess I stand corrected on my initial statement about this team. This Pitt team knows how to win garbage games like today's game instead of losing them. For us long term Pitt fans that is very refreshing!

  9. chris i think you are right 99 percent of the time but not this time pitt is not the worst 3 and 1 team dont even know why you would say such a thing they will be 7 and 5 this year.
    most times you are right but you missed the boat on that.

    1. I said one of the worst. And when you are near the bottom of pretty much every statistical category despite playing 3 bad teams out of 4 then you aren't that great of a 3-1 team. I'm not saying they won't get better but they've been lucky so far that most of their opponents stink.

    2. They're opponents stink?? All I've heard was how the ACC had much better middle/lower level teams vs.the Big East. But now that Pitt's beaten two of them, it's not what a resilient bunch this Pitt team is showing itself to be, but just bad opponents?? Sorry, I agree with Anony on you missing the boat here.

      How good is Pitt? 3-1 good. They've shown the ability to win shoot-outs or grind out wins. If they beat VT, will it be what a great job by Pitt or just another example of VT's flaws?

  10. I was screaming at the TV here in Atlanta when we didn't call time out after the big sack toward end of 1st half. We let about 35 seconds go off and called after next play. Horrible clock management as we could have had about 40secs and great field position to score and take a lot of momentum in 2nd half. It boggles my mind that you can have about 10 coaches on staff and let that happen. 3-1 is nice and expected with level of competition. The o-line needs a kick in the rear.

    1. Well they only had two timeouts so even if they used one there the same time would've run out later in the drive.

  11. This season is a difficult one to get a true feel for. Pitt is winning the games they are supposed to but they are winning ugly. While the defense had a good overall game statistic wise I agree Virginia is inept offensively. Positives from the defensive play would be the big stops on fourth downs throughout the day. Vinopal who has been vilified this season played his best game this season. Offensive line play was poor th8is no running game letting defense tee up on Savage. Virginia did just that with their different blitz packages,and different adjustments that kept Pitts offense off step. I think overall this is what you should expect playing so many freshmen. They all can not be Tyler. There is a two week layoff to prepare for Va Tech...Lets see what the coaching staff and the team do with this time to prepare.I think this will say a lot about the team and the staff going forward for the rest of the season. Two more is better to be 3-1 at this point than 1-3 so while Pitt is winning ugly they are winning ..last year I don't know if they would have..also , Lane Kiffin just was fired...Penny have any relatives in California??a dream job awaits...

    gary from clevelad

  12. Gary ... Yes, P has relatives wherever they need to be ... like him or not, TG seems to be doing ok ... I'm assuming ASU had better talent in place to run his schemes, compared to what was at Pitt already when he got here ... plus ASU is willing to accept guys that could have academic issues at Pitt ... Chris, thoughts ?

    1. Tomas
      it is not a matter of like or dislike for the former coach of Pitt. It is how he sold himself to the administration(who should have done a better job of character checks after the prior hires issues) the players and the fan base. The former coach at Pitt who now coaches ASU has just signed a long term extension. We shall see his character come through when Texas opens up as well. My focus is the continued growth of the Pitt program who the former coach left in a shambles.

      Gary from Cleveland

  13. Positives:

    - Pitt is 3-1 and handling that "ACC Speed" pretty well.

    - The team has shown the ability to put up big points or grind one out. Love the flexibility.

    - Couple more turnovers that were turned into points, D won them the game so gotta give them and House credit for a job well done.

    - Donald was a monster again and I felt the LB's played better as well.


    - The young OT's struggled but I'm more inclined to say growing pains vs. a major issue.

    - Would have liked to see the O go to shorter passes as well when it was obvious the OL was struggling.

    - Even with little room to run, this would have been a game I'd like to have seen Conner do some special things to make yards. But he's young and growing.


    Great win that keeps Pitt towards the top of their division. I feel Pitt/VT will be an excellent game and Chryst will need to improve the protection scheme as they'll bring it too. Overall, I feel Pitt matches up real well against them though.

    The haters have to stay hidden in their basements for another couple weeks!!!!!!

    1. Kent Bowler

      You have to be joking or you have a very short memory about the ACC Speed.

      Florida State was a great example of ACC Speed. Miami and Clemson are also perfect examples of ACC speed.

      Virginia was not a good example of handling the ACC speed.

      The Duke Blue Devils were just a touch of what's to be expected in the ACC

    2. Is that the same ACC speed VT brought last year when Pitt won??

      Oh, that's right, ACC speed only applies to those teams who beat Pitt.

    3. I didn't speak on V Tech, G Tech, BC, NC or NC State because those aren't the ACC Speed Teams, those are all teams similar to Pitt. The Clemson's, FSU's, and Miami's and soon to be Louisville's are known for their speed.

      Get your facts straight Kent Bowler

    4. Mr Anonymous - You say Duke is just a "touch" of what Pitt can expect to see of that ACC speed, then eliminate 11 of 14 schools in the conference as NOT having any speed??? LOL!!! I can get you a drug hotline # if it would help.

      With that logic, I'm guessing your a big Joe D fan.

      Also, adding a generic name, I suggest Clueless, to the bottom of your posts before clicking the publish button would help us become better associated with your ongoing insights. You know, so I can "keep my facts straight" in the future.

    5. Kent Bowler

      Duke isn't known for their speed, they were just another average team that the average Pitt Panthers played

      You were wrong in the first place for saying the"ACC speed". That term doesn't refer to the conference, it refers to 3-4 teams in the conference: Clemson, FSU, and Miami, maybe the soon to be departing Maryland or definitely Louisville, who's coming next year.

      When was the last time you watched a GT, NC, NC State, Wake Forest, Duke Pitt, Syracuse, BC, VT, or Virginia game and spoke on their speed and been able to Compare it to the big 3 (Clemson, FSU, and Miami)?

      Truthfully speaking, YOU HAVEN'T.

      So if you're gonna keep using the term ACC speed, at least refer to it with the right teams, not the whole ACC

    6. Mr. Anonymous - So truthfully speaking of course, you know for sure that I haven't discussed or talked to anyone about the speed any of those teams vs. FSU, CL, or MI. Just wondering, have you been following me my entire life? I have to assume so as you cite the assumption as a fact. Maybe you should stick to stocking high school football players...So pathetic.

      Moving on. So in your mind, I just don't understand what the term "ACC Speed" means? Really..Can you find me the Webster's definition of "ACC Speed" and post where it says "applies only to FSU, MI and Cl in the ACC Conference".

      And the final fun fact I'll share with you. It's amazing you exclude VT as one of those "ACC Speed" teams. Why? Maybe because they've won more games than FSU, MI, and Clemson over the last 4 years.

      Wins 2009-2012:
      VT: 38
      FSU: 37
      Cl: 36
      MI: 29

      BOOOOM BABY!!!

      After reading your insights, it's now perfectly clear why you post under Anonymous.

    7. Kent Bowler

      You obviously have never played, coached, or even watched football in your lifespan to even make that last idiotic, statement. VT wins doesn't make them a speed team.

      No one said they have a bad program

      This is a down year for VT but they'll still finish ahead of Pitt, just because they play Beamer Ball. A speed team is based on your personal or coaching style, not your wins Einstein

  14. No haters here just realists especially ones who gave been supporting Pitt for 50+ years. A win is a win but putting it into perspective:
    Latest rankings from ATHLON sports -
    UVA #53
    NM #104
    Duke #69
    Pitt #53 and VaTech #28

    1. Your reply is all I need to know about you fandom. But I'm sure when they win a big one you'll be on here saying you knew it all along, Mr. Anonymous...Later Hater

    2. I think most people, including me, expected Pitt to be 3-1 at this point.
      However, hard for me to see them win more than 6 games for the season based upon what I saw in the games they did win. I did not see the Virginia game though.

    3. Don't use numbers and stats, kent doesn't like facts.

    4. Joe D - You've posted so many various predictions on how Pitt will do it's comical. So I'm sure in your mind, at some time, you had Pitt at 3-1, and 2-2, and 1-3, and 0-4. SMH, LOL!!

      Mr. Anony(12:24) - I love numbers and stats. Let me give you the most important one, Pitt's record: 3 wins vs. 1 loss.

      Not good enough for you, how about these: Rivals recruiting rankings: 2013:VI-28, Pitt-35, 2012:VI-27, Pitt-47, 2011:VI-25, Pitt-58...Scoreboard: VI-3, Pitt-14.

      Listen Haters, sorry "Realists", I'm sure Pitt will lose some more games. So you can spend the time until then to practice writing up those hate, sorry "perspective", filled posts you'll fire off to tell us all how you knew it all along....

    5. Kent,
      I'm on record saying Pitt would win between 5-6 games for the season.
      I never listed the teams anywhere.
      Last year I said Pitt would win 6 games and I was spot on.

    6. Thomas Jeff has some good players. Go watch some of the top players their Kent and tell me it doens't matter who is recruited.

  15. CD: Can you explain your comment "near the bottom of pretty much every statistical category"? Before the UVA game, according to this blog, Pitt was 40th (out of 123) in offense, and 102nd in defense. I'm guessing now they are around 60th in offense and 90th in defense. Nothing to be excited about, but definitely not near the bottom of EVERY statistical category.

    1. "pretty much every" isn't "EVERY". They were 100 or worse in eight categories. What I said was 100% accurate.

  16. As a lifelong Pitt fan, I much rather prefer to read comments from realists than biased ones from fans.

  17. Is there a good chance we see Dorian Johnson in the line-up against V-Tech? It would seem that a 5 star offensive lineman recruit would/should be able to crack the starting line-up...especially after last week's performance...any word on his progression Chris? Thanks for all the updates, really appreciate it...

  18. If USC and now UConn can fire their HC after 4 games, why can't Pitt fire it's DC House?? Just ask'in.
    Keeping him is negatively affecting recruiting on the defensive side of the ball.

    1. Can you give specific examples or facts how keeping House has cost Pitt a recruit over the past 4 weeks of the season?

      I'm not saying House is a great DC or even a good one. And if the D fails the rest of the year then yep, he needs to be fired.

      But wondering if you have specific facts or are just throwing out more Joe D doomsday BS.

    2. Kent, I think the answer to your question is self-evident considering the source of the statement. Most everything he says should be taken with a large grain of salt.

    3. Reason #1: When you fire a coach mid-season, you almost always promote someone from within to replace him. Is there a defensive assistant at Pitt that would be an improvement (for both game performance and recruiting)?

      Reason #2: Firing a DC after the team just gave up 3 points would be laughed at, and that for sure would negatively affect recruiting.

    4. The proof is the fact that no 4star defensive recruit has committed to Pitt in either 2013 or 2014.

    5. Joe D - Thanks for confirming that you're doing nothing but trying to spread more doomsday BS. What a true fan you are.

    6. Just the FACTS.
      Sorry you don't like the FACTS but they are what they are.
      House should be fired alongside Breckenfield and Haering. Then Pitt may have a chance assuming they bring in better coaches that are not somehow linked to Chryst.

    7. Reason #3: UConn is 0-4. USC is 3-2 (0-2). Pitt is 3-1 (2-1). Two of these teams are desperate to salvage their season. The third is a half game out of first.

      These 3 reasons are why House will not be fired during the season. He may be let go at the end of the season. Then again, he may turn things around defensively like Huxtable did last year. But barring a string of Duke-like games, his job is safe till the end of the season.

    8. Joe D,

      You are confused again; let me help you clear this up:

      FACT: No 4star defensive recruit has committed to Pitt in either 2013 or 2014

      SPECULATION: This is because House is the DC

      The latter is NOT proof of the former. You would have to know for sure that some 4* would have gone to Pitt if House were not there. Unless you have spoken directly to every 4* and they specifically told you they are not going to Pitt because House in the DC then you do not have any proof.

      Also, this “proof” would breakdown if any of the current 4* guys Pitt is recruiting would commit to Pitt (something I think is a real possibility, but that is pure speculation on my part).


    9. I can tell you for a fact that prospects do not dislike House. And this is from somebody who didn't agree with hiring him.

    10. Chris,

      Now that is a FACT I’m very happy to hear! Hopefully, that will help Pitt land some 4* recruits on defense.

      I am skeptical of the House hiring, and the initial results are troubling, but I’ll see how the defense improves throughout the year before making any final judgments.

      Many of comments about the Davidson commitment also speak highly of the coaching staff. He and his HS coach seem to really like PC and his staff.

      Recruiting is getting better because: a) the staff is changing its tactics; b) their approach is working better than some people have thought it would; or c) a little of both.

      Which do you think it is, Chris?


    11. JaQuan Davidson is Elijah Fields little brother

    12. Chris, any idea to what defensive recruits think of WVU's defensive staff?

      You know, the one that gave up 56 points to Baylor in the first half, and something like 860 yards total.

  19. Hard to tell if Pitt is recovering defensively or not after UVA. New Mexico was as talent deficient on that side as UVA. Duke not that much better. Will have a more clear picture, I hope, after VTech - a team with limited skill players but is playing a bit better than last season. Cannot let Logan Thomas make big gains on draws or option. I don't know if Pitt's DE's are up to that. We will see. An adequate defensive performance against Tech might indicate that the defense can get better each game. Pitt does not have enough speed to be just a good defense but improving every game will likely mean winning an extra game or two that we otherwise would have lost based on performance through the first 3 games. That is not meant as an endorsement of the House hire. And I agree that this D staff negatively impacts recruiting not to mention game performance and scheme.

  20. I'd rather be one of the worst 3 - 1 teams than one of the best 1 - 3 or 2 - 2 teams.

    Stats are easily manipulated and damn near meaningless, imo. Just win baby. Finding a way, be it ugly or easy - is still getting it done.

    I understand what you mean...projecting out a victory when the stats say what they do is hard. Im taking the approach of find a way to win. They have 3 times.

    Still, good stuff - I just dont put too much stock into stats w/r/t win loss

  21. No bulletin board material for Virginia Tech I guess. This is the longest I've seen without a word, a subject, or any opinions