Big Lead Sports Bar

10/03/2008

THE PITT ROLLER COASTER CONTINUES

PITT (4-1) 26
10- SOUTH FLORIDA (5-1) 21
STULL 16-27, 228, 1 TD
MCCOY 28-142, 2 TD
TURNER 3-60
Well, I guess I'm happy to report that 64.3% of you were wrong in this week's poll question about who would win the Pitt-USF game last night. Of course, I couldn't blame any of you for voting that way, because as I mused last week, my feelings on Pitt seemed to change with each drive this season.
But it's sure hard to find too many complaints about what happened in Tampa last night. Sure, it wasn't a perfect game: there was a blocked punt returned for a TD, there were mental errors, there was that fake punt debacle, there was another Shady McCoy fumble...but there were a lot of positives, too. We saw the re-emergence of McCoy, who has been truly dominant in Pitt's last two upsets of top-10 teams; we saw gutsy play-calling from Matt Cavanaugh, who was being praised by the ESPN announcers throughout the game (and yes, I thought I was in Bizarro World all the while); we saw big plays from young WR Jonathan Baldwin, who was a matchup disaster for USF; we saw the continued maturation of Bill Stull, who thew for 228 yards and a touchdown; and we saw the defense step up when they needed to on numerous occasions.
So where does that leave us, as Pitt fans? Should our expectations be raised back to their preseason levels? Sure, I'll have another tall glass of my favorite drink, Wannstache Fruit Punch.
I think we can take from the first five games that Pitt's conditioning is excellent, due greatly to the presence of strength & conditioning coach Buddy Morris. They're outlasting teams in the fourth quarter, and they're finishing strong. This is not a coincidence. Last night makes three consecutive games that they've won while trailing at some point in the fourth.
Last night's game was kind of like a microcosm of Pitt's season. It starts bad (Bowling Green) and gradually gets better. Unfortunately, football fans are about as impatient as a group of people that you'll ever meet in a lifetime, and are willing to write off a season after one bad game.
Fortunately, Dave Wannstedt, his coaches, and his players don't subscribe to that theory.
Game Notes:
--Tampa Rays rookie hero Evan Longoria and his female "friend" were at the game last night, much to the enjoyment of the announcers.
--Pitt is off until October 18, when they play at Navy, followed by Rutgers at Heinz Field on the 25th.
--The Great Greg Cross Experiment netted two carries for eight yards last night. OK, it's a work in progress.
--Don't look now, but Conor Lee is becoming as consistent as Skippy Reed. Wanny has too feel very confident in his kicking game.
--Many of you probably missed at least parts of the VP debate last night due to the Pitt game, but I'm guessing Tina Fey will fill you in tomorrow night on SNL. If I may inject some opinion, that skit was really funny for the season premiere, but if they go to the well too many times, it will become about as fresh as a Najeh Davenport poop joke.

2 comments:

bohica said...

I was at the game last night. The USF student section sucks.

P Niddy said...

Penn State.