Saturday, November 2, 2013

Georgia Tech 21 Pittsburgh 10

The Panthers fall to 4-4 overall and 2-3 in the ACC by falling to Georgia Tech in Atlanta. Some thoughts:

1.  Aaron Donald is the best Pitt player since Larry Fitzgerald and he will be Pitt's first consensus first team All-American since Fitzgerald. He had a game for the ages tonight and if he was on a better team people would be talking about him for decades.  Unfortunately for him he's on this team.

2.  The offensive line was again atrocious. Dorian Johnson started for the injured Adam Bisnowaty and got beat like a drum.  The truth is, the skill positions and the defense are good enough to win at against most teams but the line is so bad that the rest of the team can not pick up the slack enough.

3.  Tom Savage was okay, especially the few times he had time and could get into any semblance of a rhythm.  For the game he completed 25 of 37 passes for 233 yards. He also threw a touchdown pass to Tyler Boyd in which he displayed perfect touch. He also threw an interception late, after the game was decided, when he and Kevin Weatherspoon were not on the same page.

4.  Boyd led all receivers with 11 catches for 118 yards.  Devin Street was mostly quiet and added 5 catches for 45 yards.  The tight ends combined for 7 catches with J.P. Holtz and Manasseh Garner each catching three, and Scott Orndoff catching one. Orndoff's went for 15 yards and he showed how quick he is for his size. He's somebody that they have to find more often.

5. The running game was awful because the offensive line did nothing. Isaac Bennett had 16 yards on 6 carries and James Conner had 8 carries for 3 yards.  Because of the sacks, Pitt managed to run for -5 yards on 21 carries.

6. Other than Donald, Todd Thomas also played well, and the defense was at least not horrible. Like they did against Navy they faltered in the last drive again which ended any chance of the Panthers pulling it out in the end.

Bottom line, Georgia Tech is just an okay team but Pitt acted like they were playing a National Championship contender. it was like pulling teeth to sometimes accomplish even the simplest plays.  This team isn't good but with three home games left, and some winnable games in the bunch, they amazingly may find themselves in a minor bowl again.

97 comments:

  1. What do you think the problem is with the OL, and how do you fix it? Is it just a matter of talent (which seems odd, because most of the OL were legitimate D1 recruits), or coaching (which also seems odd, because Hueber's not exactly a slouch)?

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    1. The problem is that they're trying to protect a QB that holds the ball too long waiting for the big downfield throw. If you watch the defenses Pitt faces, the secondary plays a ton of cover 2 so that they don't get beat over the top, while Savage holds the ball waiting for receivers to get open. Savage is a sack machine, he was at Rutgers which is why he lost his job.

      Mike W.

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    2. He holds the ball too long but most of the sacks are jailbreaks.

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    3. Savage lost his job at Rutgers cause he got injured. Then couldn't reclaim it because Dodd had a few good games for big yardage. This O-Line is terrible, they can neither run block which then allows the defense to forget about the run and rush Savage. And neither can they pass block. This isn't a spread offense where the QB is taught to get rid of the ball in 3 seconds or less. It's an archaic pro-set, that's a lot easier to defend if you can't run the ball. Ask Ben too.

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    4. Most of the sacks are jailbreaks because he doesn't force the defense to defend short and intermediate routes. If he would take that at the begining of the game it wouldn't be so bad.

      Perfect example was the first drive of second half; Savage took his drop, read the defense and got the ball out. Big surprise, they moved the ball, Savage stayed clean and they put six on the board.

      Whether you run a spread or pro-set doesn't really matter in this case; both Savage and Ben get beat up for the same reason, they hold the ball too long. At least in Ben's case he's a little more athletic and can move to make a play, Savage can't.

      Mike W.

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  2. Chryst should absolutely be on the hot seat going into next year if we miss a bowl this year. He just appears to be in way over his head. Should have known there was a reason he kept getting passed over for jobs. PC is a great guy but it is looking like he should just stick to being an OC. This team has regressed in all areas. The scary part is the supposed "offensive genius" and builder of great o-lines has done nothing of the sort. The offense is abysmal and o-line atrocious. I really don't see Pitt going bowling.

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    1. The offense is abysmal because the QB is abysmal, plain and simple. Savage is a one trick pony that ends up being a scak machine becaus he holds the ball too long. It's rather damning when opposing head coach points that out while being interviewed before running into the lockerroom at halftime.

      Hate to say it, but this offense was better last year with Sunseri at QB, the line hasn't changed that drastically.

      Mike W.

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    2. The OL was horrible last year too. They are by far the worst part of the team.

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    3. Surely you jest Mike W. The offense was better last year because of the weakest schedule in PITT history. And it was still hardly good. Scored less than 20 and lost to Syracuse, 23 against Buffalo. Lost to a terrible Uconn team who's coach is now fired. 10 against Cincy and 7 of those were late meaningless TD, same thing against Ole Miss.

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    4. That was my point Chris. The OL was horrible last year, with Rotheram and King being oversized guards attempting to play OT and a mess everywhere else. It wasn't going to get better moving those two inside with an undersized center in Rowell and two novices playing OT.

      The point is that given the line is still horrible, why in the world is Savage STILL holding the ball to long and not taking what the defense is giving him? This is why you're not seeing production from the TE, because Savage would rather not read a defense and get pummeled waiting for Boyd and Street to break open long when they're not going to against cover 2 coverage.

      Mike W.

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  3. I'm not impressed by this offense. Chryst was hailed as an offensive genius but I don't see the points. Is this more a function of the players or his play calling abilities?

    Unfortunately, I don't think Pitt will be anything more than mediocre until they find an excellent coach and have a competent AD and a Chancellor that values the football brand.

    Just another kick in the groin tonight. We Pitt fans are used to it.

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    1. Nordy made sure the next Chancellor is stuck with Stevie P for a while with that contract extension. A nice parting gift to the Pitt fanbase.

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  4. Tonight's game a SCREAMING ADVERTISEMENT for more talent on DEFENSE. I know these are just college kids and we're not supposed to single out individual poor play -- but in this case (again)...sorry to make an exception. Ray Vinopal tries and misses an arm tackle on the left side sweep that goes for a Tech TD in the 2Q. Then with the game on the line.....RV is too slow and has and 2 inch vertical jump on a 3rd and 17 with the game in the balance in the 4Q.

    If Dravon Henry (Aliquippa), Montae Nicholson (Gateway) and Florida's, Marquese Dudley-Gordon want to start for a D-1 college.....just look up that PITT defensive backfield for prime opportunity.

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  5. No premier players will come to Pitt. As Dokes said above, too bad Donald is playing for us or he would be a household name.
    We will continue to get the average players and continue with average or below average results.

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  6. Chris,

    Fair and accurate assessment. I think the lack of experience is hurting the team on the OL. Their is a huge gap in talent between the true freshman and the RS Juniors and Seniors on the team. We need to replace a couple of the coaches on the staff with some guys who can recruit.

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  7. It's quite possible Pitt loses the remaining games.
    The only games remaining where Pitt has a shot is Syracuse and UNC. Neither are pushovers.
    Doubtful Pitt goes bowling.
    There has been no improvement this year from last year.

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    1. Thay still have a shot at 7-5. ND is not impressive by any stretch, the Cuse flat out stinks and UNC isn't much better. Considering they have 3 out of the last 4 at home, I expect them to win at least 6 games, but losing the Navy game really hurt them.

      Mike W.

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  8. we know paul can coach an offense but it must be difficult when u have no line up front and stops probably one half of the play book, we simply need better talent, im not sure if paul can get that or not

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  9. This game was fixed again. Why not kick the fg and go for the td later with 1 minute left? Oh because of the line! Not the offensive line.

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  10. A team like this does not deserve a bowl bid.

    Obviously, there is a lack of athleticism on the line - watching them get beat before they are even out of their stance… but they seem to get rattled easy. I am starting to doubt this OL coach should be around. His players have not gotten any better and if anything they have regressed.

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  11. Don't let the final score fool you(like Va Tech did), this coaching staff is clueless.
    This team is terrible and as Chris posted before we have 4 wins because at the time we played 4 horrible teams. Had the UVA QB played like he did last week against VT. we lose that game and had Duke had their 1rst string QB we lost that game. So it would really be 2-6 and that's really about how good this team is. Worse when the MAC 2 stars hit the 2 deep.

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  12. Chryst & Co. continue to be clueless - incompetent coaching and inadequate recruiting give you what you see on the field. It is a sad, sad state of affairs

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    1. Where are all those Chryst supporters predicting 7 or 8 wins?
      Where are all those saying the Wisky coaches will coach 'em up and will do well with 2 star players.
      Next year will be worse with all those Mac or 2star players.

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    2. Joe D if you are going to sneak into here anonymously at least don't say the exact same thing you've said for a year.

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    3. LOL!!

      Yep, you nailed him Chris - good job. Actually, he's pretty easy to identify come to think of it.

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    4. So, if you think Anony is JoeD, why are you posting his comments.
      Unless you agree.

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    5. I want him to know that I know it's him.

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    6. pittmaverick13,

      I see you found a new home to beat your drum of negativity, over and over and over again. I haven't seen you on the Rivals message boards in a long time so I gather they got tired of your act. I'm sure Chris and the rest of the posters here will get tired soon as well.

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    7. See, here is the thing - you call it negativity, I call it being honest and realistic. I told everyone when it happened Chryst was a bad hire, and that half the assistant coaches hired were unqualified and only got the job because they were buddies of Chryst. Alas, Chris Peak and the lair psychophants did not want to hear the truth.

      I also pointed out that the recruiting has been terrible and that you can not compete in the ACC bringing in a bunch of 2 star MAC level recruits. Again, there were the usual kool aid drinkers and cheerleaders at the Lair who shouted down anyone who was critical of the recruiting. Too bad we are now seeing the roots of that failure to recruit.

      And it only will get worse. Chryst is lost and does not appear to have it in him to make the changes he needs to make on the coaching staff or to bring in some top notch recruiters

      So you can either continue to pretend all is well and enjoy the mediocre results or you can be honest and know we have a bad team with bad coaches

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    8. Pittmaverick13,

      Everything you posted has yet to be determined. It is only opinion at this point. Players win games not coaches. Between 2001-2003 PSU had 3-4 losing seasons. Did JoePa and staff suddenly get stupid? Was Belicheat considered a genius before Tom Brady??? Did Chuck Noll become stupid after his HOF players retired? Chryst was a highly successful OC for years, now he doesn't know anything. Huber was a highly successful OL coach, now he's a dummy. A few years ago, nobody talked about Tomlin's clock management, now it's a big subject. Players win games. Some posters amaze me.

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    9. And in College, coaches are responsible for recruiting the players and coaching them to play the game. I do not know how any objective observer can say that Chryst & Co have done a good job at either.

      They have underwhelmed at recruiting.
      They have done a terrible job at coaching and gameplanning

      Oh, and you know what amazes me - those posters who have to hide behind an anonymous tag. You have an opinion - be a man and put your name to it

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    10. It's amazing that some posters definition of being a man is posting on a message board using a fake name instead of posting anonymously. In my opinion, it's a little sick for a person to continuously post negative comments about a school he professes to love on one Pitt message board after another after another.

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    11. Pittmav, no use in arguing with flatearthers. Too many happy with a minor bowl game to put pressure on pitts admin. Just comment on good/bad of game and don't let it frustrate you.

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    12. Thanks. I am not frustrated at all by what some folks post. If they want to delude themselves, they are welcome to do so. I prefer to deal in reality. What does frustrate me is watching this Pitt football team continue to be mired in mediocrity. Until Pitt makes a full commitment to football, this is what we fans are left with. Inept coaching, poor recruiting and bad results in the field. I would hope as Pitt fans, we want more than this. And if you do, you have to be willing to speak out and not accept the status quo

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    13. Talk about a Kool-Aid drinkers...Unless you are a big time donor like Armand Dellovade, your so called pressure on the Pitt Administration will fall on deaf ears. Money talks. Repeating constant negativity is counter productive. Say what you have to say, negative or positive and be done with it. Beating the drum only can cause more harm than good.

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    14. What are you doing to "not accept the status quo"? Because if you think positing on a message board has any bearing on what the Pitt administration is doing with regard to their decision making process.... well it appears that you are the delusion one not dealing in reality.

      This is a place to talk Pitt sports. Not the direct line to Steve Pederson

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    15. Pittmaverick - I'll post the same question to you as I did on a previous article where you stated your genius in knowing PC and company would be failures.

      Who would you have hired?

      And remember, per your standards this coach must have had head coaching experience, only recruit 5*'s to Pitt, hire only the best coordinators in football, win every game, and finally not make one questionable decision while winning every game.

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    16. What's delusional is posters who sit at home in their bath robes, drinking beer and eating popcorn, yelling at the TV and demanding that Pitt give them better entertainment value and expecting to get it. And if they don't get it, they spew venom about Pitt on one message after another. In the meantime, that same fan contributes nothing to the cause (doesn't go to games, donate, etc...)

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    17. Why do so many ppl jump on someone with a dissenting view? He wants a new coach, big deal. Pitt is not nor can they fire chryst yet even if he loses every game but why not let someone say he sucks so far?

      Art Briles does make you wonder though what a coach can do.

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    18. Why should they contribute to the cause?
      Isn't that contributing to mediocrity??

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    19. To those who say expressing a negative opinion can do more harm than good, answer me this What has all of your cheerleading and sugarcoating in the past 30 years accomplished? 30 years of bad to mediocre football.

      To Kent, you have clearly missed the point and simply want to attack people for wanting better than the poor product that is out there on the field. Sorry, I have no inclination to play your games. But if you are happy with the status quo, so be it. Cheers

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    20. Chryst supporters are NOT stupid. We have our doubts as well. However we choose to stay positive, support the program and hope for the best. We don't go around on message boards screaming the sky is falling. The only thing that does is put doubts in the minds of recruits considering Pitt. The administration doesn't care about what is written here. If you are a big donor, they will listen

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    21. To pittmaverick13, unless you are a big donor that can open your wallet and tunr the program's fortunes around, you're being rather delusional. The chances of this prgram returning to the glory days are pretty much non-existent for many reasons, tops on the lsit being that outside of university funding, the prgram doesn't have big time donors throwing cash into the coffers.


      If you want a big time program, that's what it takes first and foremost. The donors are the ones that hold the purse strings as far as hiring big name coaches and pushing the program, and that just isn't going to happen here. Supporting PC doesn't make you a kool-aid drinker, it's accepting reality.

      Mike W.

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    22. Mike W - did Pitt not just receive over $20M a year for joining the ACC - which is over a $15+ Million increase over what we were making in the Big East.

      Don't kid yourself - the money is there. $15+M just in additional annual revenue from joining the ACC alone. Pitt could seriously upgrade the coaching staff with just some of that money.

      As to donor's not throwing cash in the coffers - well they certainly have been throwing it into the endowment. And most of those endowment dollars are unrestricted

      To say the University does not have the cash to compete at a high level in college football is intellectually dishonest

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    23. Pittmaverick13, the facts don't back up your claim that Chryst can't recruit. He's produced 1 recruiting class, this year's true freshmen. Rivals gave that class a top 20 rating, and more importantly ESPN and your eyes tell you that Pitt has the #1 producing freshmen class in the ACC. And don't talk to me about this year's class until it's done. Until National Signing Day. We could have another half dozen 4 star guys coming in. Just because you repeat the lie over and over and over again doesn't make it true. There is no data to support your claim that Chryst and Co can't recruit. None. If you expect true freshmen to come in and win games for you, you know even less about college football than it seems.

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    24. For those automatically trashing non-4 star recruits I invite you to examine the offers and rating for the MAC recruit Devin Street http://espn.go.com/college-sports/football/recruiting/player/_/id/65233/devin-street There is more to recruiting than simply relying on recruiting service websites.

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    25. Pittmav - Sorry, I don't see asking someone to support their opinion as an "attack". To me, calling PC and his coaches childish names is an "attack".

      So the reason I ask for your feedback is it tells something about you. Shows either a) you have a reasonable logic on the subject, or b) you have no clue and are just spewing negative BS.

      So reply to me or don't, either way I get my answer.

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    26. You can't point out a 2 star prospect who ended up a good college player without mentioning that for every time this happens there are 20 two star players who do nothing. You can't use the exception as the rule.

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    27. Chris,

      That is true, however there is a large percentage of 4 and 5 star players that don't play up to their ranking either, especially in the WPIAL. Yes, your chances are better for success when you land 4 and 5 star players . But if you land them and they play like a 3 star player, then the gain is negated. That seems to hold true in the WPIAL. For every Donald and Boyd, you get a Saddler and Hale.

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    28. Pittmaverick13 - If I'm reading you correctly, your master plan is to go from message board to message board and pontificate your displeasure with Pitt athletics in the hopes that the administration will read it and make changes and in the meantime, contribute nothing to the university because you believe that would be supporting mediocrity, when the truth is you haven't contributed anything in the past and won't in the future no matter what happens?

      Good Luck...

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    29. Anon #1 - Just because this freshman class has played a lot does not make them "the #1 producing freshmen class in the ACC.". If they were that good, our product on the field would not be as bad as it is. And please, save it with the rivals rated our class #20. You know that is a bunch of BS. That site awards ratings based on quantity - so a team that takes 25 or more 2 and 3 star players gets ranked higher than a team that only has room for say 13 four star players.

      Anon #2 - as Chris points out, you can not pick an isolated success of a 2 star recruit and say that proves they are better than 4 star recruits. It has been proven time and time again that the higher a recruit is rated, the more chance he will become a successful college player. There are exceptions to every rule, but you can not ignore the facts.

      Anon #4 - First, I have posted on two sites - previously on the Rivals site but not for some while now because it became clear that site was full of people who could not handle any opinion that did not drink the kool-aid and was critical of Pitt. Now I have posted here because Chris Dokish is one of the few in the media who is willing to call it like it is and he does not sugarcoat Pitt's failings in order to gain inside access like Chris Peak does. Second, it appears you and some of your brethren, who like to hide behind the anonymous tag, have continued your campaign to try to shout down anyone with an opinion that points out the facts that this team is not good, our coaching staff is not good, etc. I ask you again, have you really enjoyed 30 years of mediocre football that you feel so compelled to defend it and try to shout down people who rightly criticize it?

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    30. Pittmav, while money does pour into the endowments, those are either dictated by the donor as to where the funds are to allocated or are at the discretion of of the chancellor. While Nordy could just throw money at the football program, take into consideration that the athletic department does have to fund ALL varsity sports, not just the football program.


      Pitt's reputation is not built on the football program like some 13th grade schools like Bama and WVU. It's a highly rated university, and they're not going to go outside their budget for the program unless they have boosters willing to write the check, which they don't. The last time they went outside of the budget and went to the boosters for additional funds to sign a coach and his staff, we got Fraud Graham. You're not likely to see that happen again, which is why you have the boosters hand picked man in PC.

      Mike W.

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    31. Mike

      Actually $1.7 Billion of the nearly $3 Billion endowment at Pitt is unrestricted - unencumbered by any donor designations. So the money is there. And that is not even addressing the extra $15+ million annually brought in by the Athletic Dept in joining the ACC. So Pitt can not cry poor. Far from it.

      And while it is common for people with bad football programs to attempt to denigrate those like Alabama who have good football programs by attempting to insert some holier than thou they are not academic argument, lest I remind you this site is focused on sports.. By the way, the College Board ranks Pitt as somewhat Selective in admissions, the same as Alabama

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    32. While that 1.7 billion is unrestricted, I agree, it's at the discretion of the Chancellor, not the athletic department PittMav. I'm not saying Pitt cries poor, far from it, but they do focus on more than athletics.

      This isn't a holier than thou argument by comparing academic standards of Pitt vs. Bama or WVU, it's the truth and quite relevant when comparing athletic programs. Also factor something else in here too that is quite relevant; while Pitt may be mediocre in football, the fact of the matter is that they aren't the only game in town, which does influence monetary considerations when funding the athletic department. Schools like Bama, for example, are the only game not only in town but for miles around, and always have been. Pitt isn't.

      I will tell you this; I'm old enough to remember when Pitt football was more popular than the Steelers, who were considered to be a joke. Pitt wasn't that great then either for the same reason as today, they weren't the only game in town and financially, the university can't go into the red then as now on the program and won't consider it.

      That's just the reality of being a Pitt fan, PittMav. I don't begrudge your opinions and like you would like to see a more competitive program on the field. I'm just stating why they won't do it.

      Mike W.

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    33. Gee, JoeD leaves and Pittmaverick13 replaces him..... Hmmmmm...

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    34. Mike, your point about Pitt not being the only game in town is a good one. That is indeed one of the challenges Pitt faces. And yes, Pitt focuses on more than just athletics. However, if done right, a successful athletic program can generate both positive cashflow and PR for the University. The recent 60 Minutes story about Alabama showed this well. Where people fell good about their University because of its Academic success to donate money for academic uses. Plus the buzz helps generate interest and applications from prospective students.

      Now I am not saying Pitt could do the same things Alabama does, but Pitt if they wanted to, could make the investment and choose to compete much better than they do today

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    35. I completely agree with you PittMav. I think what we're dealing with in regard to Pitt football is a catch 22 situation, almost the same thing that was happening with the Pirates. They'll spend more on the football program when they have more guaranteed revenue (i.e. season ticket sales), when that won't happen unless you are spending more to gain that level of success in the first place.

      Mike W.

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  13. You are optimistic if you think this team will win another game. I don't see it. I predicted 4-8 before the season. Still sticking by it. This has to be one of Pitt's worst offenses ever.

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  14. Couple of thoughts Chris:

    #5 - Savage was better than OK especially considering what he has to work w/ other than Boyd.

    Your Bottom Line: - Pitt won't win another game this year.

    Chryst was a horrible hire - just in way over his head.





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    1. Agree, we'll be starting all over again in a few years albeit the next coach will have Chryst's predominately 2 star MAC recruits to work with. Unless it is a really very good to great coach we could be looking at 1994-1996 all over again. One Paul + one Paul = Program Disaster.

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  15. So proud of Penn Hills' Aaron Donald. Great desire, drive, motor. Wish that half of his teammates had that approach.

    Heck ....wish half of the Steelers had HIS approach !!! Hope that the local pro team finds a way to keep him playing at home next year ==> DRAFT HIM EARLY !!! Don't let him get away.

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  16. we are who we thought we were...quarterback playing linebacker,defensive lineman starting on offensive line,defensive lineman recruit playing running back and on and on. This team is not a two deep team,the nagging injuries that have hit have depleted the slim starter roster that we had. there are no excuses for the poor line play, the answer is better depth / coaching. tom savage had another great statistical game. however even head coach Johnson said some of their first half sacks were because savage held on to the ball to long. savage is a trooper, he is taking a beating back there and when he has time he can connect but unfortunately his line is not one where you can rely on the same time in the pocket every snap, he just needs to deliver the ball quicker. Again he has not played in several years hopefully last 4 games of the year this will improve.tt another strong game. Donald best game he has had this year..kudos to him. boyd involved in offense and street as well. I thought turning point of the game was the fake punt. Pitt was turning momentum but hats off to gt for scouting that play.. special teams have killed pitt for years when will we ever get this right? it is now gut check time for the team in the locker room. they are no longer playing for championships but they are playing for each other and pc. after watching nd yesterday with two winnable games on schedule they could be 7-5. how bad do they want it? will the staff have them prepared? will they coach like their jobs are on the line? the effort out of the team in second half was better than they have displayed in awhile. I hope the trend continues. H2P...
    Gary from Cleveland

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  17. As Myron could would have said ... Yoy and Double-Yoy

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  18. Game management is awful. Why doesn't designate someone on the staff that can tell him when to take a time out. We leave TOs at the end of the half repeatedly. Special teams are another issue. Why didn't anyone on staff alert for a possible fake punt. GT has used this alignment in the past.
    There is a reason why the Badgers didn't go after PC aggressively and it's from the goodness of their heart.

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  19. Takeaways from Georgia Tech...

    - Savage continues to improve as a MORE COMPLETE Quarterback. Maybe it's a result of Chryst giving more personal attention to his play or being more involved in the playcalling which was evident last night. Who knows?

    Still, despite the progress... Savage is simply not showing himself to be the kind of QB capable of leading a team to a WIN unless everything else is working to perfection. Unfortunately, with this team... it ain't happening against the better teams.

    The said news is that last night Savage did play well enough to HELP LEAD the team to a win. The problem is that the O-Line and specifically the running game did not hold up their end.

    - As for the O-Line... well we learned why Dorian Johnson has been sitting the bench. How many "Stars" did he have? Really, the guy looked completely out of place at Offensive Tackle. Besides struggling with the speed of the outside pass rush, Johnson does not look t have the body for the position. His future looks to be on the inside. My guess is Center. Maybe there his stardom will come?

    Now, Attaochu, the guy who was beating Johnson "like a drum" also gave TJ Clemmings a couple of tough go arounds on his way to sacking the quarterback. There was the one where Clemmings tried to push Attaochu past Savage but failed... and another where Clemmings got his feet caught up and fell awkwardly to the ground in an attempt to stop Attaochu. But outside of those two down moments, Clemmings again showed hiimself to be Pitt's BEST Offensive Lineman.

    Still as a whole, the O-Line again failed to live up to play well enough to let Savage be his best or create the kind of HUGE HOLES Bennett and Connor need to be effective.

    - Speaking of Bennett and Connor. What can you say? It was no secret going into the season that Pitt's backfield lacked speed, even if Shell were here. The problem is Bennett and Connor, while to be credited for their toughness... do not have the kind of moves or cutting ability to make big plays like you see with backs on numerous other teams.

    - Now for the Defense. No need to talk about how GREAT Aaron Donald played or how well the Defense played overall.

    What deserves mention is the fact that MATT HOUSE finally did something SMART. Instead of just forcing players to adapt to HIS scheme, he played to the strength of his players. Learning from Navy a week earlier, House opted to line up Nicholas Grigsby SEVEN YARDS off the line of scrimmaget at Middle Backer instead of either Galambos or Gordonr. Against Navy, Galambos and Gordon struggled to cover the ground necessary to make plays from the NEAR-SAFETY LEVEL where House placed them. Against Tech, it was not a problem for the more athletic Grigsby who made a BIG DIFFERENCE.

    If only the same could be said for Ray Vinopal. Lacking the athletic ability to cover the ground necessary to make plays is one thing. MISSING TACKLES and MISPLAYING PASSES that help win the game for the other team are another. They call them "SAFETY" for a reason.

    A change should have been made before the season even started. Maybe it will happen now.

    - A couple of positives...

    Prior to the season, much was being said here and elsewhere about PITT having to adjust to the SPEED of the ACC. Well outside of an exception or two on Defense and the lack of speed of the backfield... PITT and its WPIAL All-Stars to compete in the ACC. Now it we can only get the blocking and tackling down.

    And a final note...

    Despite continued challenges with getting kickoffs into the end zone... Chris Blewitt again showed why he's destined to become one of the most RELIABLE field goal kickers in Pitt history.

    The GAME WINNERS are coming. Maybe the first next week against Notre Dame?

    PittofDreams

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  20. First off, I attended the Georgia Tech game and would like to thank the six recent Pitt graduates that sat in front us for making the game a much better experience than it deserved. They displayed a great irreverence for Pitt football which allowed one to sit there and not go crazy watching this game. We sat in the Georgia Tech end zone and the whole game day experience from parking, to the view of Atlanta, and finally to getting out of Atlanta after the game was a very pleasant surprise. I plan on making this a biannual event along with attending basketball games there.

    I agree with all the points that you made Chris. Even the Georgia Tech fans were talking about Aaron Donald. The offensive line was atrocious. Good old number 9 on defense had two very visible lapses, one on the running touchdown where the back ran right through his tackle and then on the long pass at the end of the game that led to the back breaking final touchdown.

    One thing Pitt did seem to do is that they made some offensive adjustments at half time that led to our long 3rd quarter drive for a touchdown. Unfortunately the offensive line could not hold it together after that. With each game my enthusiasm for this coaching staff wanes. My only hope is that these games get converted into lessons learned.

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  21. Don't completely dismiss this team out of hand. They get to play a team that lost 56-0 to Georgia Tech.

    But someone on this coaching staff has to be accountable for this OL play. WTF.

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  22. Chris - If I'm a big time recruit why should I choose Pitt over PSU?

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    Replies
    1. If ur a big time recruit you don't go to psu either
      KRF

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    2. I have no idea why anybody would choose Pitt over PSU but thankfully they do sometimes.

      Delete
    3. Because:

      - Penn State is literally in the middle of nowhere
      - Pitt sends better players to the NFL
      - For all of its triumphs under Joe Paterno, there's no denying Penn State is one of the more overrated programs in college football history. Its greatness is measured by the number of delusional idiots in the stands than what it has accomplished on the field (feasting on the de-emphasis of Eastern football during its rise to power)
      - Penn State plays in the lowly Big Ten
      - A culture of insularity that led to a monstrous pedophilia scandal within its football program, that led to the deposement of its greatest hero
      - Matt Millen
      - Hugh Green
      - When Pitt tries, it's been better than Penn State has ever been (in football of course)
      - Because Pitt has 9 national titles and Penn State's 2 were on the backs of the blown call that was the McCloskey catch versus Nebraska (following a 42-21 drubbing by Alabama); and a one out of a hundred chance that Miami wasn't even paying attention.
      - Is there even an interstate that goes by State College?
      - During the offseason, I can take in a game from a top-20 basketball program (the type where dunking is prevalent), or any number of other entertainment activities outside of football
      - Pitt isn't a filthy land-grant college in the middle of a cow pasture
      - Pitt is near an airport and rivers
      - The law of averages says by your senior year at Pitt, you'll be playing under a new coach with renewed enthusiasm among the fanbase. At Penn State, you'll be playing under a new coach with tremendous pressure and angst amongst a fanbase itching for a return to Paternodays.

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    4. Please note, Sterling Jenkins of Baldwin.
      His top 2 are Michigan and PSU.

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    5. "Delete

      "Anonymous November 3, 2013 at 4:15 PM
      Please note, Sterling Jenkins of Baldwin.
      His top 2 are Michigan and PSU."

      Thanks JoeD.

      There's something a little sick about a poster who has nothing better to do than post negative Pitt news and comments continuously under different names and then claims to be a Pitt fan...

      Delete
    6. Ok even as a pitt fan those reasons why make no sense. There is a reason why PSU, OSU, MI, and other big time schools are the best. Pitt isn't in that class. I think doki tweetted about it.

      Delete
  23. Chris....any thoughts on how Nick Grigsby played last night? I thought he displayed some excellent athleticism and closing speed. He looks to be developing into an above average linebacker.

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    1. He definitely flashed every once in awhile.

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  24. Chris if this coaching staff cant coach up these lower rated kids is it possible that we end up with teams of the early to mid 90s? I dont think I have another Johny Majors II in me.

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  25. I agree with most everyone's comments, except the one saying "Don't let the final score fool you(like Va Tech did)". After an awful first half, for a change Pitt improved after halftime, and was one play away from having a decent change to pull out a victory.

    About the 3rd and 17 play, you have to give the GT receiver credit for making a great play. He went up and got the ball. You also have the give the Pitt D-coaches credit for the scheme and also the players for the execution. Everything defensively worked well on the play, except for the fact that the receiver made a great play on the ball while the two defenders did not. Their "jumps" were horrible, but they were in the right position.

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    Replies
    1. Since I made that comment I'll reply. lol It was nothing more than an alley oop pass which should have been easily knocked down. However GT has a real coach who found a matchup situation which greatly favored them. A 6'5" in WR and he found a way to use him. And while Pitt's D did play better in the 2nd half, it wasn't the entire 2nd half. That catch did not win the game, Pitt's D could have held for a FG and it's only 17-10 and still a ballgame. No, they folded on the very next play just like did on Navy's final drive.

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    2. They actually folded 2 plays later - but yes… that is what bad teams do. They fold.

      Delete

  26. A couple of points Chris...

    1) Chryst's early struggles have much to do with the limitations of his quarterback and lack of talent and depth in a few other critical positions. On the other hand, O'Brien's minor early successes have more to do with the talent he's been handed than anthing he's done as a Coach.

    2) While it may look now that Chryst is the one destined for failure, my prediction was and continues to be that O'Brien will ultimately have the shorter lifespan.

    And, by the way... Pitt wins Saturday.

    PittofDreams

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  27. Another illegal substitution penalty (there was one in Navy game) following a timeout is absurd.

    We have now played poorly against UVA, VTech, Navy, and GTech - all mediocre teams. We seem to be regressing. I would not be pissed off if they were showing modest improvement each of those games but still losing because I don't think Pitt is very talented at almost all positions.

    Is it unrealistic to think that Pitt should move Johnson inside to left guard this season, assuming Bisnotawy returns. Whatever option exists at left guard is not good enough. I'd rather play Dorian with promise than what exists on the interior line at the moment. Likewise it was good that Render got many more snaps than Ty Ezell.

    Screen Pass please.


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    1. Johnson should have been redshirted. First he isn't big enough or strong enough yet which is why most all good FBS programs redshirt their freshmen O-lineman. 2nd, one kid even if he was great is not going to change the overall effectiveness of this horrible line. 3rd, playing a kid who is not ready yet, can effect his overall confidence. Which then has to be rebuilt.
      Which leads to this question. Juantez Hollins seemed to be a serviceable OT when he played a couple years ago. Why isn't he getting a chance to be in there, when you have a jailbreak, weekly assaulting your QB ???

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    2. Interesting point about Juantez anonymous. I was thinking the same thing, they must be trying to get Johnson experience. Reading some of the posts about an 18 not being effective at OT by "experts" on some of these boards, just wow!

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    3. Agree about Hollins as an option and Johnson should have been redshirted. But Johnson is playing as it is until Biz gets healthy so plug Dorian in at guard when Biz is back. i agree it likely won't change the line much this year, but that is the point. It might help more for next year. I'll concede the move to guard for Johnson might not be best for game vs. Notre Dame but in long run I do think it could help Pitt greatly.

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    4. If they can land Bookser to go along with Grimm, I'd think it's a certainty that Johnson moves inside to guard. That where his NFL future would be, anyway.

      Mike W.

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    5. Mike W - I'll admit to not having studied Johnson closely. Is you assertion about a future at guard due to size, speed or both?

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  28. Positives:

    - Aaron Donald, what an amazing game.

    - 8 of 25 completions went to TE's so looks like they're diversified the passing game.

    - Boyd again shows playing as a freshman in the ACC isn't too much for him.

    - I too liked the play of Grisby. Would also like to see more Bam Bradley.

    Negatives:

    - All the DB's continue to be less than impressive. Since 3 of them played really well last year I'll have to say the scheme doesn't bring out their best abilities. That's on the coaches.

    - The only thing consistent about the OL is their inconsistency. Those asking for Hollins, he's a RS Senior and has no future on this team. Playing Johnson was the right thing to do.

    - The RB's seem to be getting worse and not because of the OL play. They're not playing with any patience or understanding of following blocks. They both seem to just run into the nearest pile.

    Overall:
    Can't say I'm overly disappointed in the game. Figured with the hot streak GT was on, it being homecoming, and Pitt not playing well would result in a blowout game. But they had multiple opportunities to take the lead and win the game but they didn't get it done.

    And anyone who thinks Pitt can't win at least a couple more games either doesn't watch other teams play or is just clueless. ND, NC, SU, and MI are all beatable. Especially interesting will be how MI recovers from their FSU beat down.

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  29. I like Joe's prognostications. He shows hatred towards the program. Others complain as if they could do better than our coach. Good luck with that fellers. Seriously, Pitt doesn't get it and I mean it seriously. The Administration is okay with athletic mediocrity. Don't blame Chryst, blame Pederson. If Pederson was confident, he would have issued an ultimatum to the Administration that he would not have his legacy be that of a failing program at the expense of academics. Pederson could demand both if he was confident and competent. He is neither.

    Saban has an interesting slant on mediocrity. Nick always says that if you want to be mediocre, "get away from me". He lives it. If you are not making your organization better, than do yourself and the organization a favor and move on. That is why your OSU's and Alabama's and Oregon's and FSU's, do well in a myriad of sports. Their Chancellor's, President's, Athletic Director's and Coaches are expected to lead towards excellence, not mudder around in mediocrity.

    If fans are sick of it, like Joe, don't watch it or comment on it. I won't be hurt by your lack of commentary. As a fan, it would be great to see a commitment to excellence instead of mediocrity. Leadership expects mediocrity because they don't know how to be excellent at both. So they do what they think is right, hence the middle ground athletically.

    Should we expect mediocrity? Absolutely. The Administraion requires it. The truly sad part of that is that Steve Pederson could have actually created a great legacy had he only been more confident and competent. He is a walking example of mediocrity.In my opinion, Paul Chryst will be successful. Every year he goes around .500, his stock rises at other programs because Pitt is a laughingstock at other institutions where sports and academics co-exist at the highest levels. What a flippin concept!

    Pitt can beat ND. Why not.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah… sure. Signing Dixon to a long-term contract shows Pitt is not interested in success and makes Pitt a "laughingstock". Wow… your statements are so ridiculous… please… stay anonymous because only an anonymous fool would write anything like that.

      Delete
  30. Kent - you say "ND, NC, SU and MI are all beatable". Yes they are - just not by Pitt.

    4-8 guaranteed.

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    Replies
    1. Agree Zatiti, they are all beatable. FSU could beat them all. Handily I might add as they did Miami. ND & Miami will steamroll Pitt, if Syracuse was at Heinz, I'd say 'yes' but it isn't and UNC will be on a roll by the time they get to Pgh. They have better athletes, and better coaching,. so that's a L. I predicted 5-7 pre-season so I guess I was an optimist after all.

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    2. Zatiti - Guess that's why they play the games.

      Sorry, but posting guarantees on a message board is about as stupid as trumping up your preseason prediction while posting as Anonymous.

      Good to see you two die hard Pitt fans supporting your team.....

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    3. Zatiti, I guarantee that I will remember your guarantee, and I will remind you and everyone here of it by the end of the season. I sure hope you're wrong, but even it you're right, I'll give you the credit you deserve.

      Delete

  31. You know what cracks me up?

    It's all the Chryst Haters and Doubters who are actually excited about a Pitt Basketball Team that has ZANNA starting at Center!

    OMG

    PittofDreams

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  32. Chris, any chance Aaron Donald becomes Pitt's first round pick since Jon Baldwin? We need some positive vibes around here.

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  33. I predicted 4-8 before the season started. Seems impossible that it could actually happen, but this team continues to have more breakdowns each week. It's not an awful team like Dave Hart's or John Majors II, but it's a bad team, somewhere between Harris' second and third year squads. What's really frustrating is watching Pitt QBs get sacked and it's been going on since 2010. Three coaches settled on turncoat Sunseri as the best option and Chryst has turned Savage into Tino Two.

    Brian Kelly will outcoach Chryst. Chryst could pull out wins against North Carolina and Syracuse, but Syracuse plays Pitt tough at the Carrier Dome. If Pitt is 4-7 when Miami comes to town, there won't be much of a crowd on hand anyway.

    Am I being negative or just realistic?

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