Saturday, December 28, 2013

Final Season Grades for Pitt Football

Quarterback:  Tom Savage started out having fans thinking he was going to be a star, then struggled some, before finally winning most over with his toughness.  After slumping in the middle of the season Savage rallied and had a significantly better second half of the season.

In the first half, Savage was 4-2 because of an easier schedule overall, but still connected on 88 of 155 passes, a 56.8%, for 11 TDs, 6 interceptions, and 1,383 yards.  He was also sacked 23 times.  In the second half of the season he threw the ball more often and completed 142 of 221 passes, a 64.3%, 10 TDs, 3 interceptions, and 1,451 yards.  He was sacked 18 times in the last six games.

Not only did Savage get better, but he impressed with his leadership and toughness, even winning over the fans along the way.

In the bowl game, Savage made some beautiful throws but left the game at halftime because of an injury.  Redshirt freshman Chad Voytik, who rarely saw the field all season, entered the game and led the Panthers to the victory.

Bottom line- Even though Savage's numbers weren't as good as Tino Sunseri's numbers, he was a better passer and a better leader.  If he had one more season he really could have been special, but now it's Voytik's time.


Last Season's Final Grade: C
Preseason Grade: C
Midseason Grade: C
This Season's Final Grade: B-



Running Back:  When Rushel Shell unexpectedly transferred at the beginning of the season, many thought the Pitt running game was doomed. While they running back was not great this season at least they weren't doomed either.  Isaac Bennett was the second leading rusher with 797 yards, a 4.7 avg., and 7 touchdowns.  Most of that yardage (240), however, was against Old Dominion, and 101 more came against a bad New Mexico team.  He also ended the season with 141 against Miami, but for the other ten games he averaged just 31.5 yards a game.

True freshman James Conner was a big surprise as he came up with 799 yards, a 5.5 avg., and 8 touchdowns.  At times he looked like a future star, like when he rumbled for 173 yards against Duke or 102 in just 19 carries against North Carolina.  He also ran for 119 yards against New Mexico in just 12 carries.  But it was in the bowl game that Conner showed he may be on the verge of stardom as he rumbled for 229 yards and became the talk of the college football world for a few days.

Rachid Ibrahim only carried 27 times but he had a 5.0 yard avg., and showed he was a nice scatback option to the more between the tackles style of Bennett and Conner.

Ultimately the running attack actually got worse as the season went along with the running backs running for 784 yards in the first six games of the season and 625 yards in the second six games. But Conner's performance in the thirteenth game showed that the future is bright.

Bottom line- While the future may be bright, a poor offensive line and inconsistency from Conner and Bennett, especially early, has Pitt currently with the No. 103 rushing offense in the country. If you take away the sacks from Savage, the Panthers would currently be No.77 so obviously that makes a difference.


Last Season's Final Grade: B+
Preseason Grade: C-
Midseason Grade: C-
This Season's Final Grade: C



Wide Receiver:  After Michael Shanahan left to graduation there was worry that the receiving corps may not be as good.  Then came a freshman superstar named Tyler Boyd.  The sensational former Clairton Bear led the Panthers with 85 catches, 1,174 yards, and 7 touchdowns.  Unfortunately, though, after averaging over 20 yards a catch at the beginning of the season he ultimately averaged 13.6 yards a catch.  Needless to say, somebody with his ability should be given the opportunity to have bigger gains.

In the first six games of the season Boyd had 31 catches for 491 yards, a 15.8 avg., and 4 TDs.  In the second six games, he caught 46 balls, but only for 510 yards, an 11.1 avg.  He also added 3 TDs.  Clearly the staff's desire to get the ball out of Savage's hands quicker meant lesser big plays for Boyd. In the bowl game, with Devin Street out, Boyd came up huge with 8 catches for 173 yards.

Injuries cost Street a great season and in the second half of the season his production plummeted in a startling fashion.  He caught 26 passes in the first five games, and 25 passes in the second five games (one game was lost due to injury in each half), but his yardage total dropped from 549 yards to 305 yards, and his average per reception dropped from 21.1 to 12.2.

After Boyd and Street the production dropped off a cliff.  No. 3 receiver Kevin Weatherspoon was hit or miss.  He only had 14 catches for 155 yards, an 11.1 avg., and no touchdowns.  But he did have some big, important catches at times.  The only other receivers who caught a pass were Chris Wuenster and Ed Tinker who each literally caught just one pass.

Bottom line- Despite have a quarterback and two wide receivers with NFL ability, the Panthers are currently No.60 nationally in passing offense. Ultimately, that has to be somewhat disappointing even with Boyd becoming a star.


Last Season's Final Grade: B
Preseason Grade: B-
Midseason Grade: A-
This Season's Final Grade: B



Tight End:  For the first year and a half that Chryst and Joe Rudolph were at Pitt there was big disappointment when it came to this unit since while at Wisconsin their tight ends were such a big part of the offense. But finally in the second half of this season the tight ends started to get the ball more.  A lot of that was because the staff finally figured out that Savage has to get the ball out much faster.

The starter, J.P. Holtz, was as tough as ever while blocking or running after the catch but unfortunately he still only caught 23 passes for 209 yards, a 9.1 avg., and no touchdowns. But the good news is, Holtz had 19 of his 23 catches in the second half of the season.

Manasseh Garner actually led all tight ends with 33 catches for 391 yards, an 11.8 avg., and 3 touchdowns. Like Holtz he did much better in the second half of the season as he caught 24 of his 33 passes after the midway point.

Big true freshman Scott Orndoff missed the last four games because of an injury, but contributed 6 catches, 2 for touchdowns, and 50 yards.  His future is bright.

Bottom line-  A lot of talent with this trio but they still seem underutilized.


Last Season's Final Grade: C-
Preseason Grade: A-
Midseason Grade: B
This Season's Final Grade: B



Offensive Line:  Pitt's old nemesis strikes yet again.  Eventually, maybe soon, this will be a team strength, but right now it's killing the offense and the team as a whole.

At tackle, redshirt freshman Adam Bisnowaty had a lot of problems on the left side before his season ended with an injury.  True freshman Dorian Johnson tried to take over but he wasn't ready and it showed.  Eventually the staff moved previously exiled senior Juantez Hollins back into the starting unit and he actually helped stabilized the unit some.  On the other side, redshirt junior T.J. Clemmings moved over from the defensive line and showed some promise.

At guard, Cory King was the starter until he was injured. Then Ryan Schlieper took over. Both are average, at best.

Center continued to be a problem.  Redshirt freshman Gabe Roberts looked to be the starter for much of the preseason but eventually was overtaken by Artie Rowell.  Neither distinguished themselves and Roberts eventually was lost for the season with a back injury.

Bottom line-  Despite having some good skill position players the Panthers are currently No. 97 in total offense and the main reason is a poor offensive line.  It took the coaches half the year to help the line by changing the offense but when they did it did help.


Last Season's Final Grade: D
Preseason Grade: C+
Midseason Grade: D
This Season's Final Grade: D+



Defensive Line:  Without Aaron Donald it was a below average line but Donald was arguably the best defensive player the Panthers have had in over 30 years.  I won't go into how great he was because if you are interested in Pitt enough to have read this far you already know how great he was.

Outside of Donald, things were very different.  Senior tackle Tyrone Ezell played very well in the bowl game but otherwise didn't do much.  What made that especially troubling was that Donald was double and triple teamed all year.  For the season Ezell had 34 tackles, 3 tackles for loss, and 2 sacks.  The top reserve, sophomore Daryl Render, showed some flashes and came away with 25 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, a half of a sack, and 3 pass breakups.

The ends were equally disappointing. Bryan Murphy missed three games due to injury but even in 10 games he still managed just 15 tackles. Amazingly, though, 6.5 were tackles for loss and 4 were for sacks, but almost all of his production came in the first half of the season.  When he was out, true freshman Shakir Soto came in and showed a lot of promise. In 12 games he had 20 tackles, including 4 tackles for loss and a sack.  At the other end, new starter, junior David Durham was virtually non-existent with 21 tackles, no sacks, and just a half of a tackle for loss. Ejuan Price only played seven games, starting four, before his season was lost to injury. He played well when he was in there, though, with 23 tackles, 4 tackles for loss, a sack, and a pass breakup.

Bottom line- Due to injuries and lack of quality play, this unit would probably have a D grade if it wasn't for Donald. He was that good.

Last Season's Final Grade: B-
Preseason Grade: B-
Midseason Grade: B
This Season's Final Grade: B


Linebackers:  This is another unit that has been a thorn in the program's side for years but they actually got some decent play out of some players, especially Anthony Gonzalez.  The junior was the Panthers No. 3 tackler with 79.  He also had 3.5 tackles for loss, 5 pass breakups, and an interception returned for a touchdown.  He wasn't great but he definitely got better and is now a plus player at the position.  Todd Thomas didn't begin as a starter but ended up playing in all 13 games and started 10. He responded with another good season. He was the No. 4 tackler with 72, including 6 for loss.  However, he still should be better because he has a lot of talent.  In the middle Shane Gordon started 9 games and came up with 56 tackles, 3.5 tackles, a pass breakup, and an interception. The senior never really got over the hump to be anything more than just an okay player.

In reserve, true freshman Matt Galombos hit everything that move.  He started 2 games and came up with 38 tackles. Not bad for such a young player.  Reserve outside linebacker Nicholas Grigsby also showed some flashes as the redshirt sophomore started twice and came up with 23 tackles, including 4 tackles for loss, and 3 sacks.

Bottom line-  Still not great but at least none of the five players who played the most were horrible and that has to be seen as progress.


Last Season's Final Grade: C
Preseason Grade: B-
Midseason Grade: C
This Season's Final Grade: C



Defensive Backs:  This was by far the most disappointing unit of the season.  The safeties, senior Jason Hendricks and junior Ray Vinopal, played well, which is amazing to say considering the latter was a train wreck during the first half of the season.  But he did end up with 83 tackles, second only to Hendricks, including 3.5 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks, 6 pass breakups, 3 interceptions, and 2 forced fumbles. The fact that he came back and played so well was a miracle and he deserves praise.  Hendricks ended up with 85 tackles, including 4 for loss, 6 pass breakups, a sack, and a forced fumble.

The cornerback spot was a different story, though.  Both Lafayette Pitts and K'Waun Williams entered the season with a lot of buzz but both played poorly.  Pitts, who looked like a possible future All-American someday even lost his starting job once.  Williams played much better in the second of the season and came up with 36 tackles, including 4 for loss, 7 pass breakups, and 2 interceptions. Pitts did start 12 of the 13 games and came away with 44 tackles, 3 tackles for loss, just 4 pass breakups, and no interceptions.

In reserve, it was pretty much all Clairton underclassmen.  True freshman Titus Howard played a lot, which was a huge surprise. He started two games and totaled 21 tackles and 2 pass breakups.  Also at corner was redshirt freshman Trent Coles who came up with 9 tackles in 13 games.  At safety yet another Clairton freshman, Terrish Webb, played in all 13 games, starting one, and came away with 18 tackles.

Overall, the pass defense is No. 40 nationally, but they were also No. 50 in 3rd down efficiency, No. 97 in interceptions, and No. 81 in pass efficiency defense.

Bottom line-  With Williams, and especially Pitts, flopping, and so many young players playing, this could have been a total disaster.  However, Hendricks and Vinopal played well enough in the second half of the season to salvage some of the unit's reputation.

Last Season's Final Grade: B
Preseason Grade: B
Midseason Grade: C
This Season's Final Grade: C


Special Teams:  This was a mixed bag all season.  True freshman kicker Chris Blewitt was mostly good making 14 of 18 field goals.  Senior Matt Yoklic was No. 29 nationally with a 43.0 yard average but he was inconsistent all season, and sometimes awful.

As a unit, the punt return offense was No. 35 nationally thanks by a big return each by Weatherspoon and Boyd, but if Boyd was returning punts all season the unit, and the team, would have been much better off.  The kick return offense was led by Pitts and Boyd, and the two did all they could do to make Pitt No. 57 nationally because the blocking was mediocre at best.

Return defense is another matter all together.  The kickoff return defense is No. 67 while the punt return defense was an abysmal 117th out of 123 teams.

Bottom line- Simply put some of the special teams were good and some were bad.  That's how you get a mediocre grade.


Last Season's Final Grade: C
Preseason Grade: B-
Midseason Grade: C
This Season's Final Grade: C



Coaching:  Paul Chryst still makes some curious decisions.  His staff is a mishmash, especially on defense, but it's the offense that he runs that's been worse than the defense.  Special teams was a disaster at times and there's no coach on the staff that concentrates on that unit.  The recruiting is also still suspect. Chryst is proving that he can find some diamonds in the rough but his style is not working with the elite prospects.  He lost almost every top WPIAL prospect and for a month the top local prospect, Dravon Henry, wasn't even sure if Pitt was still recruiting him.  The most frustrating part of Chryst's weaknesses is that they are all correctable, but one wonders if he even has the desire to do that or if he's going to stubbornly stay the course.

On the other hand, he seems to be slowly building an offensive line to go with some potentially excellent skill position players and despite not getting elite recruits on defense he has found some promising players, and developed others.  And at the end of the day he went 7-6 with a team that has a big gap between some talented seniors and an awful lot of freshman and sophomores.


Last Season's Final Grade: C+
Preseason Grade: C
Midseason Grade: C
This Season's Final Grade: B-







38 comments:

  1. So you gave Coach Chryst a B-. If he would have lost the bowl game it would have been a C and you would have gotten a lot of negative feedback for that. Going from a C+ to a B- must mean he is progressing ever so slowly. Those two lost recruiting classes really hurt this year. We know you do not care much for the recruiting potential of Inoke Breckterfield but based on how Aaron Donald developed under him, it will be interesting to see what the defensive line does next year especially if Ejuan Price comes back healthy.

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  2. chris what do you say to those that say conner wont be playing RB for pitt next year becuse he is to slow or that a unteasted freshmen will keep him on the bench.

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  3. Disappointing year for me .. unfortunately, based on your grades (which I pretty much agree with), I don't see a dramatic improvement next year although our schedule may help out a little. I'm looking at the 2015-2016 season as the breakout year.

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    1. Until Pitt can start recruiting elite players on defense, Pitt will be 6-6.
      The offense will be fine.
      We knew that at the beginning of this season.

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  4. My God, how could you give Chryst anything better than a F! He drove off 23 some odd players including arguably one of the best running backs in the country. He can't recruit worth a shit. What I dislike the most is his taking away, so early, hope for a better team. By the way, have we lost Murphy too?

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    1. Uh...if you give the coach an F for going 7-6, what do you give to a guy who goes 5-7 or 4-8? F Minus Minus?

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    2. Shell wasn't one of the best running backs in the country. He had one good game against VA Tech. He hadn't proven anything at Pitt. I'll take James Conner anytime.

      With a new coach, some attrition is expected. That's just the way it goes. Some players just don't fit into a new system, or can't adjust to a new coach.

      7-6 is about average, and not while not outstanding, certainly doesn't merit a failing grade.

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  5. Tomas, you mention about an easier schedule for next year. Just the fact that we don't play the Nat Champs, FSU (I'm a homer for the ACC), makes it easier, but do you know who we play as the cross-over game and our non-conference schedule?

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    1. My understanding ..

      ACC Away: Boston College, Miami, North Carolina, Virginia
      ACC Home: Duke, Georgia Tech, Syracuse, Virginia Tech

      Delaware, Akron, Iowa (home), FIU (away)

      http://www.fbschedules.com/ncaa/acc/pittsburgh-panthers.php

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  6. Can't argue with any of these grades. What really stands out is the need to get better play from the offensive and defensive lines. I think there's reason for optimism next season. Let's hope for a quiet off season where the focus is on academics, strength and conditioning, and exhibiting good behavior.

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  7. Thank goodness Chryst fired the yoga instructor. We need a serious S&C coach who shapes up the OL… and now! This OL has the potential to be one of the all-time Pitt great OL's. Everything will fall into place if this happens.

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    1. I heard UPMC had a lot to do with that. It also has Pederson's thumbprint on it.
      It will be interesting who the replacement is and the connection, if any, to Chryst.

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    2. Chesapeake Bowl North Top Performers:

      1) DT Courtel Jenkins, Wayne, N.J. - Miami Hurricanes

      2) DB Monte Nicholson, East Lansing, MI – Michigan State Spartans

      “Nicholson projects as a Safety at the next level, but could be a productive WR and that’s where the Rivals 250 prospect practiced on Thursday. Nicholson doesn’t run very crisp routes but was able to create separation using his fast long strides and his shiftiness in the open field. The Michigan State commit made a number of tough catches over the middle.”

      3) DB Patrick Amara, Philadelphia, PA – Pittsburgh Panthers

      “Amara was very physical with the wide receivers throughout practice. The Pittsburgh commit knocked a lot of receivers off their routes which allowed him to knock a lot of passes down. Amara will be playing safety in college, but showed some promise in man-to-man coverage.”

      4) RB Ray Lawery, Woolwech, NJ – Old Dominion

      https://twitter.com/_PatLiveFrom215/status/417371202752360448/photo/1

      So...How much better is Nicholson compared to Amara????? One is a 4 star player that has a press conference to tell everyone he's leaving town. The other is a 2 star recruit who had no press conference (I guess he didn't want to offend the local Temple fans - very classy) and not only decided to go to Pitt but is not shy about how excited and proud he is to be a Panther and is actively recruiting players. Hmmmm... Again is it any wonder local fans are fed up with the local players?????

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    3. If Amara had 50 offers like Nicholson he would have a press conference, too, and wouldn't even consider Pitt. You're stretching quite a bit.

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    4. Anony 5:37 is BurgerCzar.
      The #1 koolaid drinker of the scout and rivals forums.

      Delete

    5. Chris DokishDecember 29, 2013 at 5:45 PM

      "If Amara had 50 offers like Nicholson he would have a press conference, too, and wouldn't even consider Pitt. You're stretching quite a bit."

      You mean like Bookser?

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    6. Still stretching. Bookser is a local kid. Amara isn't.

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    7. apparently Nicholson is not a local kid as thought

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    8. While I agree with the fact that he is stretching a bit, I do think there is a valid point in there that pertains to Pitt and especially Pauly C.

      We are in a time when we want information immediately, however we also want to have these kids to remain humble. I think we are past the stage where this can happen. These kids as early as 15 and 16 are made out to be heros. Saviors of a program, elite talents where their crap smells like rose petals on a summers day.

      So how do you have a kid who has people telling him how great he is for the past couple of years and laying on pins and needles waiting for him to decide if he is going to go to your school and expect him to be humble about it and just bring his lunchpale and hardhat to school.

      Do I think these highly touted players are primadonnas? sure do. Do I think that we are all partly to blame? sure do.

      So how this relates to Pitt.
      Why does a kid hold a press conference? For attention, whether it be that they just want the attention or whether it has been forced upon them so that they believe that is just the way it is supposed to be. Right now, Pitt is not a program if you want a lot of attention you are going to go. You also don't usually hold a big press conf. and say "Hey guys Im going to stay close to home." Sure it happens, but most times these kids are announcing I'm taking "my talents" elsewhere.

      Here are the issues.
      1. Pitt recruiters don't play into the arrogance of these young kids. They either buy in and want to come to Pitt or they can become excited about all the smoke other schools are blowing and go there.
      2. This is a team game. You can't tell me that some kid holding a presser about where he is going to school doesn't think in part that he is better than the rest of the guys coming in. They believe they have already proven something or else why would they have gotten so much attention before hand. Just look at Shell.... he was made out to be the next coming of TD, and he didn't want to earn his stripes at the next level.

      I think the point he was trying to make in comparing Amara and Nicholson is, that a lot of kids go under recruited and work hard and outshine some of the big star players. Does Amara have the talent of Nicholson? I have no idea, but I will defer to the experts and say no. Does that mean Nicholson is a sure bet to be a better college player? Absolutely not.

      I am all for the kids who decide where they are going and figure that people can learn their names on Saturday.

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  8. I agree with the grades that you have given the team,I am not understanding the final evaluation of the staff.
    - to many penalties for to many players on the field
    - to many inconsistencies with clock management
    - to many special teams gaffes all season long
    - and I could go on reviewing the season but for times sake I wont. I am a PC supporter and with the turmoil that was inherited I think he has done as much as can be expected through the first two seasons. However, while an entire house cleaning is not called for when he returns from his vacation after his first bowl victory he needs to address the weaknesses he has on his team of coaches. I am no expert but does the administration want a winner or just a continuation of mediocrity? open up the purse strings,hire an assistant head coach with a strong defense background and tutor our current dc(if pc does not want to remove) and improve our defense, review each coach offense and defense alike and make the tough decisions about continuing with the university. Standing pat with the coaching staff after this season and hoping that a final purge of the roster will push the Panthers over the hump will not be a long term solution to what is needed to be a consistent winner in the ACC. So while I do not grade as high as you on the coaching staff my hopes are pinned to possible improvements in the near future. Any thoughts on this really happening?

    Gary from Cleveland

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  9. Pitt trades Old Dominion for Delaware, Navy for FIU, New Mexico for Akron, and Notre Dame for Iowa. The crossover ACC opponent is BC, losers to Syracuse in the final game. So no Clemson, Florida State, Louisville, or Notre Dame.

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    1. With a first year QB, we need the downgraded schedule. Perfect timing !

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  10. Surprised by the grades a bit, especially the B- for Chryst.

    Pitt Football is trending upward under Chryst... slowly but surely. But the games that were very winnnable but lost this year like Navy and UNC suggest a C grade in my opinion. And this coming from a BIG Chryst supporter.

    Other grades that should be higher... Running Back a B. Both Bennett and especially Connor did a solid job all year considering the fact that the holes just weren't there a lot of the time.

    A couple other points... Blewitt was mostly REALLY good. Yes, his kickoffs left a lot to be desired. But critical kicks made when it meant the most including the Bowl. A major improvement over Harper a year ago.

    And T.J Clemmings. I predicted success for him in the switch to offense long before the season began. Turns out he was the most reliable O-Lineman throughout the season and got steadily better game by game.

    Great size and quick feet with an attitude... Clemmings will gain recognition next year and find his name called in the 2015 NFL draft. Likely a third but possibly a second round pick. You heard it here first.

    Overall, good work as usual Chris. It's appreciated.

    PittofDreams

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  11. Doke, any change pitt can hire jeff hafley back? He was biggest loss when they fired Wanny.

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  12. Is there any talk of Aaron Donald moving to LB at the next level? Steelers have drafted under-sized linemen and moved them to LB. Just a thought.

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    1. Donald is not undersized.
      He may be short but he is 290#. What you refer to are those that play DE in a 4-3 that weigh 250ish.
      Donald will probably play DE in a 4-3 defense. I don't see him in a 3-4 but possible.

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    2. Thanks for the clarification. Good points.

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  13. Chris, how stromg is Apke's commitment to PSU? Any chance that he may reconsider & go to Pitt during the coaching change?

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    1. Don't know but he committed pretty early so he may like them enough to want to stay there.

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  14. My biggest fear if O'Brien leaves PSU, is that PSU hires James Franklin.
    Franklin is from East PA. Went to East Stroudsburg. Coached at Maryland.
    He is doing a hellava job recruiting and coaching at Vandy, can you imagine what he can do at PSU with all his HS contacts!! He will own PA, MD, NJ in recruiting.

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    1. Penn State beats Pitt in all of those places already. Nobody who they hire they will continue to beat Pitt there.

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    2. Penn State is a mess right now, and they have an temporary Athletic Director and President. A coach taking the job doesn't know who his new bosses will be.

      Franklin is a bit of a head case, but his stock is still in decent shape. I think he stays away.

      Personally, I think it will be the newly unemployed Greg Schiano.

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    3. I "hope" that it's Schiano but I'm betting it's Munchak. I'm still not sold on O'Brien leaving.

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    4. I don't even think of PSU anymore - because of thoughts of what they did just disgusts me. In my mind - that place doesn't even exist anymore.

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  15. To some of the Doubters and Haters who LOVE to jump CHRYST on his mistakes.

    I challenge you to identify an IN-GAME mistake made by Chryst that compares to the MAJOR BLUNDER by Toddy GRAHAM in the loss his Sun Devils took against Texas Tech last night.

    In case some are unaware... with time running down in the first half and THIRD DOWN and GOAL from around the seven... GRAHAM, in all of his "GENIUS"... rushed the field goal team out in a frantic state to put three points on the board before time expired. The kick went WIDE LEFT!

    Amazingly, it did not occur to GRAHAM to have his Quarterback take another shot at the End Zone or simply Clock the ball to stop the clock and allow plenty of time for the field goal attempt.

    It was SO BAD, SO AMATEURISH... that it drew the scorn of not one but all of the ESPN Hosts at Half Time including Mark May.

    Who here believes Chryst, on his WORST DAY... would ever be guilty of such a Coaching BLUNDER?

    The fact is... few Coaches ever would.

    This should put to rest once and for all the RIDICULOUS NOTION put forth by some of the Chryst Doubters and Haters that somehow GRAHAM was the FOOTBALL GENIUS that got away.

    PittofDreams

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    1. Did I miss people calling Graham a genius? I honestly never saw that.

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    2. I think if you look back, you'll find some sentiment along that line.

      PittofDreams

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  16. I thought Graham's in-game strategy while at Pitt was questionable at best. Most glaring example was the Pitt v. Iowa game. We had a 17 point lead well into the 4th quarter. All we had to do was allow the clock to run and we would have started the 2011 season out at 3-0. But Graham "kept the pedal down", never got out of his hurry-up offense (often leaving 20 seconds or more on the play clock) and kept giving the ball back quickly to Iowa to enable a comeback. Simply awful.

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