Posted on: November 29, 2009 3:10 pm

Pitt wvu grades

Well it was a tough loss because Pitt didn't play well at all and they still had a chance to force overtime. I will say that it is kind of getting to be a broken record and getting really old in hearing after big games, well, they threw this at us or did this new or we weren't prepared or we took a long time to adjust or we didn't expect that. Well, that is coaching and while wanny can recruit, he gets outcoached in almost all big games and this one was no different. They were not prepared at all. And he got outcoached by stewart who has to be one of the worst coaches at clock management and game time management. I mean in the last two games how many times has stewart either cost their team or almost cost their team by going for it on forth down and long, not kicking field goals and letting time slip off the clock. I think wanny needs to let his coordinators make more decisions for him to be successful, because after 5 years in college, he hasn't learned that outscoring your opponents wins games and playing close to the chest and conservative only lets teams hang around and win.

So much for hearing how this team is professional and treats every game as the only game and they are great at preparation and are poised. Well, they looked like this was the first game of the season. If they were true professionals in the workplace, they would have been fired. All except probably lewis and baldwin.

So onto the grades. Well, lets start with special teams since both the offense and defense were mediocre at best:

Kicking grade B-  While hutchins missed 2 long field goals, I blame more that on wanny for having his kicker try a 46 yarder and an even longer 53 yarder with swirling winds. While that might be in hutchins range with no pass rush, in a dome and at 5000 feet, he won't consistently make those kicks. So why go for them and give up field position, either go for it on forth down or punt. On the first one, it was a 4th and 5 at the 29, I would have gone for it. On the second one, a 4th and 19 at the 36, punt. Because it isn't about the 3 points as much as the momentum shifter in this game and since pitt came out flat, any more momentum to wvu hurts. Hutchins did kick well on punts and Briggs did ok except the first kick out of bounds. I would like to see pitt get a punter that can boom them. Hutchins is good at location, but his leg is weak.

Punt return grade D
While aaron smith may catch the punts and not fumble he looks awfully slow back there and does nothing to gain yardage. He fair catches the ball way too often with nobody within 5-10 yards of him. Pitt is last in the Big East with a measly 4.9 punt return average. And Pitt is 107th out of 120 in division I.  Heck you get about two yards if you just fall forward, so that is pathetic. For a coach that plays field position, having a punt returner that does nothing, hurts you everytime you are kicking for field position.

Kickoff return grade B+ I would have given an A here but I saw ray graham carry the ball with not only one hand but basically palming it on one return. He didn't even cover it when he saw contact was coming, what was he thinking? Saddler is great on returns, he had two and averaged 40 yards. Did you notice how wvu kicked away from him when they had a chance, sure would like him to return punts also since are punt returns are non-existent. Hopefully, he can practice this before the bowl game and have a chance and if not, definitely in the spring.

Return Coverage grade A The kickoff and punt return teams have been good all year and this was no different. They held wvu in check and 23 yards on kickoffs and 3 yards on punts. They need to keep cincy in check next week.

Offensive Line grade C-
While they opened up holes for Lewis at times, they were too inconsistent and let alot of backside plays happen. How many times did a wvu player come from the backside gap and tackle lewis for a loss or no gain. Pass protection was mediocre, at times it was there but again inconsistent. That chop block was bs and lewis would have had another 20 yards and pitt a first down instead of 3rd and long and a long field goal attempt. There were some opportunities for plays, but pressure caused incomplete passes or bad throws. Now some of it was on the qb because at times, he could have stepped up or avoided the rush but simply stayed still or ran into the pressure.

Baldwin grade A
Why separate him out? Were there any other pitt wr playing? Why not an A+? Well, he made absolutely amazing catches but he seems to jump at times when he does not need to. Especially in the middle throws and what that does is allow the defender to catch up and tackle so baldwin does not get a chance to run after the catch. He is amazing even when double teamed and was open a lot more, but Stull underthrew him about 5 times and overthrew him once that I can remember. He is a heck of an athlete, while he doesn't look fast, he is.

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends grade C- 
Did Turner even play? I really mean that, I did not see him or one ball thrown to him. I am not sure he was on the field. Other than Baldwin was there any others that made a play? Dickerson dropped at least two easy catches. Mcgee made a nice catch but that's about it. Now, I don't know if Stull did any checkdowns or reads and seemed to key on baldwin. That is why it was a C- instead of a D

Running/Full Back grade A Lewis got off to a slow start and then was awesome. He set the big east rushing record breaking mccoys record two years ago. He needs about 250 yards in the next two games to break dorsetts, but he does have one more game than td tony had. And I am not sure the level of competition that pitt played this year was at the same level Tony had in 73. Hynoski was there but did not have a carry and only one pass thrown to him. I think he missed a few blocks because he looked out of position but that's wvu gameplan with playing a 3-5-3.

Quarterback grade D+ Stull did not have a good game. I have not been a big proponent of the guy, but this year he has played the game manager position great and I said as long as he doesn't lose games, I am glad he is our qb and will root for him. But, this game was just awful. He lost the game for pitt single handedly. He seemed to key on baldwin, underthrew him 5 times or so, and overthrew him on a open td. He seemed to have happy feet and ran into the rush a few times. The sacks he had, he didn't even bother to look downfield or run, he just fell down. He didn't seem to read what the defense was giving him and didn't do any checkdowns. Yes, he was pressured at times, but a qb has to learn a 5 yard gain is better than a sack or an incomplete pass of 20 yards. I hope he got his bad game out of the way because his play reminded me of the sun bowl last year, in training camp and why I did not want him to be the starting qb at the beginning of the year.

Defensive line grade B+
It seems at times this line either takes plays off or doesn't read well. If the two ends don't get with the speed rush or the spin move, they have a hard time putting pressure on the qb. Overall the line played good, Williams and Mustakas were sound all game. They were able to stop wvu rbs and qb for losses a lot. Too bad they couldn't get their hand on devine on that 88 yard run, that was a game changer. They are dominant at times but at times they are average. I would like to see some more consistency.

Linebackers grade C-
Other than Adam Gunn did we have any other linebackers play in the game? They seemed to disappear like our wide receivers. I did see Williams on a few but nothing else. Another awful game by Gruder, not sure why he is even playing, he is slow, out of position all the time, always behind the play and when in front of the play, he tackles by running backwards or standing still. I can't seem to find defensive stats in box scores I guess it is because the ncaa does not want to track them. Wanny needs to start recruiting better lb's. We used to have a good core set in the 2000's but it seems now it is a liability.

Secondary grade C- While they did not give up any long pass plays they played way off the receivers and let wvu complete tons of 5-10 yard passes because they were playing so far off. Dom missed the tackle on devine, and I would say most safeties would on a one on one in open field. It would have been nice to make that tackle but he has played well since starting out shaky at the beginning of the year. Fields seemed consistent and Holley was ok. I know Berry did not play but they seemed timid and not trying to make plays.

Defensive Coordinator grade B- Not much here, would have liked to get more in the face of the receivers and played more agressive but having your starting cb out might have something to do with it. Wish they were able to stop wvu on that final drive, but they played not to lose and the semi-prevent instead of the base. I would also like to see more blitzes at times especially when the ends do not get the speed or spin move to the qb, but I assume that is not Bennett philosophy since he works for a coach that does not believe in the blitz or why else would Bennett be coaching at pitt for wanny.

Offensive Coordinator grade C
- I have been impressed with Frank Cignetti for much of the year but not this game. At times throughout the year, the play calling seemed to be suspect at times. When they should pass, they run and vice-versa. I am not sure it is wanny influence or what, don't know if wanny tells cignetti what to game plan for or has influence on the calls at the time. But the play call for this game was too conservative to win and score points. It seemed to be baldwin or nothing and the qb certainly had something to do with that. But not many screens, no fb runs, no tight ends over the middle? We seemed to throw to the edge way too much. And could we call a pass on first down please? And not be so predictable at times. The third down efficiency was pitiful just 2 for 13.  Better open it up against cincy, because your gonna need at least 30 to be in the game.

Coaching D Well what can you say. Wanny gets outcoached again! And this time by a less of a coach in my eyes. In fact, Stewart reminded me of wanny at times, not taking the points, not taking chances, bad clock management etc. It is getting old that wanny in big games just does not seem to plan well or have any idea what the other team is going to do and when they come out with something new or different, he takes forever to adjust.  I am sick of hearing we didn't expect that. And his team was obviously not prepared and ate too much turkey on thanksgiving. What was up with the going for two long field goals? What about the conservative play calling. Even at the end of the halftime and start of third quarter he told the reporter we are tied at 3 and he told his players we are still in it? What kind of motivation is that, how about we had an awful half and now lets go out there and score 30 points and play some defense. You could see he was mad on the sidelines at times because he wanted his line to dominate. Well, if things aren't working you change, not continue to beat your head against the wall. His line was not dominating and give credit to the wvu defensive game plan, scheme and play. But, wanny, learn to change and adjust. You lost the game because of your stubbornness to adjust to the game.

Posted on: October 18, 2009 5:52 pm

The rutgers game

Good friday night setting. Weather looks gloomy, cold and a little wet.

Pitt wins toss but elects to defer to the second half. Rutgers drives the ball on the frist series but pitt forces a punt. Dom "DUMB" Decicco can't get away from the bouncing punt and rutgers recovers. Rutgers goes wildcat and outsmarts wanny and pitt def and runs in on first down for a score. I knew schiano would outcoach wanny again, pitt better get ready for a game that they have not seen on tape because that is what schiano does. RU 7-0

Pitt gets the ball back after a great kickoff return by ray graham. Stull throws to dickerson twice and then a good run by lewis gets them to first and goal, on 2nd and goal stull hits dickerson on a slant for a td. Tied at 7

Rutgers gets the ball back, does a wildcat again for some good yardage but has to punt again. Smith catches it again a fair catch, this guy is just ok, he catches the ball, does too much fair catching and he isn't a threat to break anything, we need saddler back there. Pitt drives again, with some nice short passes and runs and a big throw by stull on 3rd and 9 to shannahan. Stull has thrown a couple going backwards and got lucky. Stull misses a wide open dickerson and pitt has to settle for a fg try of 42, a miss, his first by hutchins, still tied at 7.

Rutgers takes over and decicco makes up for his mistake on special teams and picks off savage, his first int of the season. Pitt drives again, stull misses a wide open shanahan in the back of the end zone and overthrows him and then baldwin again in the end zone, way underthrown and should have been a interference call and pitt settles again for a fg try, hutchins makes a 45 yarders, pitt 10 ru 7

Pitt and rutgers trade possesions and pitt gets it back with about 7 mins to go in the half, a nice catch and throw from stull to shanahan and a pf on rutgers gives pitt the ball at ru 35, some good runs by lewis and pitt scores a td, pitt 17- ru 7

Rutgers gets the ball back with a little over 3 min and drives the field, some really stupid penalties by gruder and romeus and gruder misses 2 sacks and a tackle. This lb corps sux except for gunn, and their lineman can't get any pressure, well you know where that leaves the secondary, playing 10 yards off and missing tackles and rutgers gets a first and goal, but they can't get it together and settle for a fg, halftime pitt 17 ru 10

Pitt takes the opening possesion and does nothing, rutgers moves the ball a little but is getting conservative and has to punt again, pit takes over and after a good run and facemask on rutgers lewis breaks a 60 yarder for a td, pitt 24, ru 10

rutgers takes over in a diff wildcat but has to punt, pitt gets the ball back and then goes into the wanny stall, or wanny stumble and on special teams has a punt blocked recovered by rutgers at pitt 39. Rutgers gets sacked by a good play by williams and commites a 5 yard penalty and its 3rd and forever, savage almost hit brown right down the middle but rutgers punts.

Pitt goes conservative again and stull gets sacked and fumbles when he had a chance to throw the ball away, rutgers recovers at pitt 49 and drives down the field to score a td. Here we go again, letting teams stick around when we should be shoving it down their throat, when will wanny learn. Pitt 24 ru 17

Pitt takes over at the 27 and runs the ball at rutgers, only 1 pass a nice catch from a poorly thrown ball by stull and a great grab behind him by baldwin. Pitt runs 11 times to the ru 12 and tries a fg, another miss by hutchins that puts this game away, special teams are awful this game, a to, a blocked punt and two missed fg.

Rutgers takes over and drives to their 40 and a nice pass to sanu but a fumble and pitt recovers. Pitt tries to run out the clock but stull fumbles again and a good recovery by lewis, and they run out the clock, pitt 24 ru 17.

A nail biter again. And it should not have been. Getting sick and tired of hearing we haven't played that well, a whole game, or all sides of the ball, blah, blah blah, what the heck are they waiting for?

Category: NCAAF
Tags: pitt rutgers
Posted on: October 11, 2009 5:41 pm

The Pitt Uconn game

What a comeback, but it should have not been even close. In the first half Dion Lewis drops a sure td in the first quarter on the first drive. Pitt has to settle for punting from the cincy 42. Should have gone for it. If you have conf in your def and off, take it to them.

Uconns first drive and they seem to be taking it right to the panthers in the running game. But they have to punt. Pitt takes over and starts to drive down the field. Stull throws a duck deep to baldwin but its to the outside over his right should, if he throws it to the inside over his left shoulder, its a td. It allows the unconn cornder to recover and knock down the ball. Pitt thinks about going for it again on 4th and 2 and instead call a timeout and decide to get the field goal, pitt up 3-0

Uconns second drive shows they can run on pitt but it stalls and they punt. Pitt takes over and a nice run by graham gets pitt down to inside the 20. Pitt has first and goal and stull again misses a wide open bynam in the right side of the end zone. On 3rd and goal, again stull misses a wide open bynam down the middle in the back of the endzone and instead throws behind dickerson and it gets tipped and intercepted. Thats 14-21 points pitt left on the board, the drop by lewis, the bad throw to baldwin, the bad miss to bynham and the bad choice on the int.

On uconns next possession, they drive the field by mixing the pass and run well. The panther are not tackling and no surprise hear and not playing good on passing plays. their wr are open and pitt can't tackle. I can't tell if some it is on the lbs as well as the lousy secondary. The def line saves the day, sacks the uconn cb, he fumbles and pitt recovers.

pitt goes 3 and out for the first time on its next possession and uconn takes advantage of the weak secondary on its first play and scores with a 79 yard touchdown. Gary got beat big time by what I would consider not a fast receiver and it was only his 3rd catch of the year. Gary had no safety help so I am not sure if its part of a blown coverage or it was just man to man. Uconn leads 7-3

Pitt goes 3 and uconn both go 3 and out to end the half. Uconn leads 7-3 but pitt should be up 21-7.

Second half starts and uconn drives the ball but has to punt. Pitt takes over and vintage stull throws and ill advised pass across the field and it gets picked off and returned for a td. uconn leads 14-3.

Pitt gets the kickoff and decides to run the ball more, good choice considering the qb play lately. They drive down to get first and goal and getting to the 2 yard line, they decide to try a fade to baldwin which we know stull can't throw, it goes incomplete and pitt kicks a field goal. Uconn is up 14-6

A good runback from uconn set them up at their 40 and just like pitt decide to run and they take it to the pitt defense. 7 out of 8 plays are runs and they drive the 60 yards for a td, uconn up 21-6.

At this point, it looks hoeless. Pitt just hasn't scored td and hit the plays they had to take advantage of. Can't trade fg for td. Pitt takes over and drives the ball running again. A stupid penalty by bynam on a big run from lewis. Pitt drives and stull throws to a wide open baldwin for a td. Uconn leads 21-13.

Pitt comes up big on defense and holds uconn to 3 and out in the first series of the 4th quarter. Pitt mixes it up on its next possesion and a good catch from bynam and pitt is driving. Stull hits a wide open dickerson in the middle and its now 21-19 uconn, pitt decides to go for two and after looking right, stull throws left to mcgee for the conversion. Its the first score in the 4 year career of mcgee which is amazing. He had so much potential. Uconn and pitt are tied at 21.

Pitts defense comes up big again and holds uconn to 3 and out again. Pitt takes over at their own 25 with 6 minutes to go. Pitt mixes it up and a big play by Shanahan by making a great catch and tip-toeing down the sidelines and pitt is at the uconn 15. Pitt has first and goal at the uconn 4 but 2 straight rushes and a qb sneak leave it 4th down. Hutchins comes in and kicsk the game winning field goal as time expires.

What a great finish and comeback. Pitt took over and drove 74 yards in 6 minutes to win the game. The running game and offensive line took over in the second half. Their defense showed up to stop the run and an overall great win from behind.

What I don't understand is how you have a 6-5 monster of a wr baldwin and the goal line, and they don't throw to him. The one fade try was a pathetic pass by stull who threw it 3 yards out of bounds.

Category: NCAAF
Tags: pitt
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