Monday, November 24, 2014

The place to rant or cheer

I'm going to be visiting my wife's family in North Carolina until Sunday afternoon so I won't be able to write much about the Miami game or Maui. I will have my phone with me and I can write comments or confirm or deny comments, but it's pretty impossible to write a long article on a phone. So if you want to make any comments from now until Sunday, this is the place. Oh, and Happy Thanksgiving to you all.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

My All-American picks

As a member of the FWAA, I get to vote for both All-American as well as some major awards. If anybody is interested, this is how I voted.

QB- Marcus Mariota, Oregon
RB- Melvin Gordon, Wisconsin
RB- James Conner, Pittsburgh
WR- Amari Cooper, Alabama
WR- Kevin White, West Virginia
TE- Clive Walford, Miami
OL- Brandon Scherff, Iowa
OL- AJ Cann, South Carolina
OL- Cedric Ogbuehi, Texas A&M
OL- Spencer Drango, Baylor
C-  Reese Dismukes, Auburn

DL- Joey Bosa, Ohio State
DL- Shane Ray, Missouri
DL- Leonard Williams, USC
DL- Shilique Calhoun, Michigan State
LB- Scooby Wright, Arizona
LB- Shaq Thompson, Washington
LB- Hau'Oli Kakana, Washington
DB- Gerod Holliman, Louisville
DB- Senquez Golson, Mississippi
DB- Kendall Fuller, Virginia Tech
DB- Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, Oregon

P- Austin Rehkow, Idaho
PK- Roberto Aguayo, Florida State
Return- J.J. Nelson, UAB

Bronco Nagurski Trophy (Best Defensive Player)- Gerod Holliman, Louisville

Outland Trophy (Best Interior Lineman)- Brandon Scherff, Iowa

Eddie Robinson Award (Best Coach)- Dan Mullen, Mississippi State

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Pitt 63 Samford 56

This was not a good performance by the Panthers, who were favored by 30, but to be honest, they weren't blatantly awful. In fact, it seems like they won by 25 then 7, but that wasn't the case. Mostly because of Samford's Tyler Hood making six three pointers.

1.  Mike Young continues to be aggressive offensively and the result is 20 points on 10-13 from the field.  He also had 5 rebounds.  For the season he is averaging 13.5 ppg and 6.0 rpg.

2.  Jamel Artis, Durand Johnson's replacement at small forward, again had a good game with 12 points and 5 rebounds.  On the season he had 13.0 ppg and 4.5 rpg.

3.  James Robinson did not shoot well going 2-6 from the field, but he was 4-4 from the line and had 8 points, 6 rebounds, 8 assists, 2 blocks, and a steal.

4.  Cheick Diallo was visiting with teammate Damon Wilson and it's obvious that somebody like him is needed. Joseph Uchebo and Derrick Randall combined for 4 points, 3 rebounds, and a block.

5. Sheldon Jeter was impressive off the bench with 8 points, 5 rebounds, and 2 blocks. he was also 3-3 from the field, including a massive dunk.

6. Pitt shot 51.1% from the floor compared to Samford's 32.2%. Pitt also made two more FTs. The problem was that Samford out rebounded the Panthers 33-31 and 8 three pointers to Pitt's 3.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

North Carolina 40 Pitt 35

Stop me if you've heard this before- Pitt offense did well, especially James Conner and Tyler Boyd.  Pitt's defense is awful. The Panthers have now lost 6 of their last 7 and they would have to win at Miami to make a bowl. In other words, this year was a disaster.

1. James Conner and Tyler Boyd are superstars. Both maybe among the top 10 to ever play at Pitt. And their reward is a losing season. I can't help but feel awful for them.

2.  Conner was his normal superman self with 220 yards and 4 TDs on 30 carries. Boyd had 5 catches for 160 yards and a TD.

3.  Chad Voytik was his normal up and down self. He had some bad throws and fumbled to end the game, but he also 11-16 for 218 yards and a TD. He had no interceptions and also ran for 41 yards on 10 carries.

4.  The defense doesn't have the talent or the coaching. If Pitt does not make drastic coaching changes on the defensive side of the ball then the program is doomed.

5.  I don't really have anything else to say. I'm just disgusted by the Pitt football program. The leadership is incompetent.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Pitt 78 Niagara 45

For at least one game, Pitt showed that it is more than just Durand Johnson. Obviously this was bad competition, but the Panthers played well. Some thoughts:

1. The best thing in this game is that the four Panthers in double figures are players that will get more minutes with the absence of Johnson. It's always nice to have a veteran scorer, but the truth is, Pitt has so much depth that his loss may not be a huge deal. That's if there aren't more injuries, suspensions, etc. 

2.  Johnson's replacement in the starting lineup, Jamel Artis, led the Panthers with 14 points.  He also had 4 rebounds, 4 assists, and made 2 of 4 three pointers.

3.  The biggest surprise (though maybe it shouldn't be) is freshman Cam Johnson, who had 11 points in his first game, including 4-5 from the field.

4.  Josh Newark came off the bench to get 12 points and 5 assists. James Robinson had 8 points and 7 assists. Chris Jones, starting in place of injured Cameron Wright, had 10 points.  Combined, the guard trio had 30 points and 13 assists.

5.  Mike Young was not needed but had an efficient 7 points and 7 rebounds.

6.  Joseph Uchebo started at center and 1 point, 8 rebounds, and 2 assists.  Backup Derrick Randall added 4 points and 5 rebounds.

7.  Sheldon Jeter pitched in 7 points in reserve.

8.  The Panthers shot very well going 52.6% from the field, while making 7-18 from three, and 11-14 from the line. Five different players made a three pointer, with Artis and Jones both having two.

9. The Panthers out rebounded Niagara 28-16, and held them to 25% from the floor. In fact, Niagara only had 12 field goals in the game. 

Durand Johnson suspended for the season

Pitt head coach Jamie Dixon just announced that Pitt junior forward Durand Johnson has been suspended for the entire season.  Obviously that's a bad blow for the team. Jamel Artis and Sheldon Jeter will have to pick up the slack, and now Cameron Johnson may get more time.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Panthers offers Temple Gibbs

Jamie Dixon finally got around to offering Temple "T.J." Gibbs.  The 6'2" combo guard is the younger brother of former Pitt star Ashton Gibbs. Like his brother, Gibbs plays at Seton Hall Prep in Scotch Plains, NJ.

Gibbs is generally considered a top 50 prospect (Ashton was not in the top 100), and has offers from Georgetown, Virginia, St. John's, Boston College, Miami, Georgia Tech, Providence, Virginia Tech, Auburn, Oklahoma, USC, and Xavier, among others. His offer list should be even more impressive as he's still in the 2016 class.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Duke 51 Pitt 48 (2OT)

Another day, another loss. Unlike like last week when Pitt just didn't show up, this time at least the offense did show up. The bad news is, the defense, the kicking game, and the coaching did not. Some thoughts:

1. James Conner is a manchild. I don't know how many times I can say it. He's now on pace for about 1,800 yards this season and he's doing it without a passing game. Today he ran for an incredible 38 times for 263 yards, a 6.9 avg., and 3 touchdowns.  He's an absolute superstar.

2.  Speaking of superstars, in the last two seasons Paul Chryst has had three of them in Conner, Tyler Boyd, and Aaron Donald. His record with them is 11-11.

3.  Speaking of Boyd he had 7 catches for 140 yards.

4.  Chad Voytik is still improving but he's not yet at the stage where he can win a game all by himself.  His running is still very good, but his passing is still just okay at best. On the day he was 16-24 for 236 yards, 2 TDs, and 0 TDs. He also ran 14 times for 58 yards, and ran for another TD.

5. Pitt had an incredible 594 yards and still somehow managed to lose the game.

6.  Chris Blewitt, know the rest. He's been great all year. It's too bad that he chose this time to realize that he plays for Pitt.

7.  I can't point out any defensive standouts because there weren't any.  Duke had 438 total yards.

8.  Chryst again made some curious (bad) decisions.  The hash mark on the potential game winning FG was an obvious one, but in the 2nd OT Conner didn't touch the ball, which was also not smart.