PITT WILL BE JUDGED BY ITS FINAL THREE GAMES

 

By MARK MADDEN If pets grow to resemble their owners, it seems likely that football teams take after their coach. I don’t know what Dave Wannstedt’s dog, cat or goldfish looks like, but I know his football team has Wannstedt written all over it. Pitt will hit you in the mouth, and not wait for you to swing first. That may be Wannstedt’s biggest contribution since taking Pitt’s reins in 2005. Under Walt Harris, Pitt was an Xs & Os bunch looking for technical ecstasy, a bunch of four-eyed geeks with pocket protectors. Wannstedt has rebuilt both lines and the team’s will to fight. Given the relative lack of competition in the Big East – make no mistake, though; the Big Ten and ACC are no better – it’s difficult to buy Pitt as the true, legitimate eighth-best team in college football. I’m not even sure the Panthers would crackRead More »

NCAA BB: Mountaineers await decision from top basketball recruit

 

Mountaineers vying for Tobias Harris 6-foot-8 Forward Tobias Harris (Dix Hills, NY), a 5-star recruit and the No. 7 rated player according to ESPN ScoutsINC, will announce his college decision on Thursday, November 19th. Harris made an official visit to West Virginia on November 10th and the Mountaineers are among the front runners to land Harris. Other schools vying for Harris include, Maryland, Syracuse, Kentucky, Georgia Tech, Tennessee and Louisville. *On Wednesday, the Mountaineers received a verbal commitment from 7-foot-1 center David Nyarsuk. Nyarsuk is regarded as a 3-star recruit.

Panthers rally to beat Wofford 63-60 in regular season opener

 

Opening the season without a single starter from their 31-win team last season, the Pittsburgh Panthers Mens’ basketball team struggled early and often as the Panthers barely survived what would have been a shocking upset at the hands of Wofford college. In front of a sold out crowd, the Panthers raised their Elite Eight banner before the game but it took a 13 point second half comeback to hold off Wofford 63-60. Pitt trailed 31-24 at the half and Wofford jumped out to leads of 41-28 and 54-45 in the second half. The game time performer of the night for the Panthers was forward Gary McGhee who scored on a three-point play with 2.28 remaining in the second half to give Pitt its first lead of the half (59-58), then on the Panthers next offensive possession, McGhee came up big again, scoring on a putback to give Pitt a 61-58Read More »

Pitt hoops: Chase Adams stars in Blue-Gold Scrimmage

 

Pittsburgh — The Pittsburgh Panthers Mens’ basketball team took part in their annual Blue-Gold Scrimmage Tuesday night as senior guard Chase Adams starred, leading the Blue team to a 56-53 win. Adams, a senior transfer led all scorers with 21 points and was 5-for-7 shooting from three point range. Adams showed athleticism, good range, and was 8-for-11 from the field. While Adams was the star for the Blue team, junior guard Brad Wanamaker and sophomore guard Ashton Gibbs each had strong performances for the Gold team. Wanamaker, a player the coaching staff expects to play a big role for the young panthers this season, scored 19 points on 6-of-9 shooting and was aggressive driving to the hoop and creating his own shot. Gibbs scored 17 points and was 3-for-6 from three point range. Gibbs led all Big East scorers last season in three point field goal percentage. Top recruit FRead More »

STULL: TOUGH PAYS OFF

 

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. If Charles Dickens played quarterback, he would have been Bill Stull this past Saturday. Give Stull credit. He initially played so putrid, he was on his way to single-handedly sabotaging Pitt’s season. But Stull showed GUTS in the second half, undid his own damage and propelled Pitt to a crucial Big East Conference win over Connecticut. Don’t pity Stull because Pitt fans jeer him. It’s part of the job. Anyway, the barrage of boos at the start of the second half weren’t directed at Stull. The Heinz Field faithful were lamenting Dave Wannstedt’s decision to leave Stull in the game. It was a reasonable opinion to have. In the first half, Stull was as bad as a quarterback could possibly be. The Pitt senior made Kordell Stewart at his worst look like Johnny Unitas in his prime. StullRead More »

DON’T BOO STULL; WEEP FOR BALDWIN

 

Pitt fans booed Bill Stull. They cheered Tino Sunseri. They should weep for Jonathan Baldwin. Not too many truths became self-evident during Pitt’s season-opening win – it was only Youngstown State, after all – but the most worrisome was the minimization of Baldwin. Baldwin caught three balls, all in the second half. Only two passes went in his direction during the first 30 minutes, one a misfired screen that almost got Baldwin killed, the other an overthrown bomb. A press-box wag wondered aloud if Baldwin would transfer at halftime. Baldwin later hauled in a 42-yard aerial from Sunseri, but it was a balloon. Pure helium. Baldwin could have fair-caught it. Coach Dave Wannstedt cited the defensive attention paid Baldwin for the lack of touches provided the 6-6 receiver. But if new offensive coordinator Frank Cignetti Jr. can’t get Baldwin the ball against Youngstown State, what will happen against, say, Cincinnati?Read More »

Lewis rushes for 132 yards in rout of Youngstown State

 

By Dale Grdnic Dion Lewis enrolled at Pitt in January, and the freshman tailback has been ahead of the game ever since. As an early enrollee, Dion Lewis had a chance to learn the Pittsburgh offense in the spring, and he absorbed it. Lewis secured the starting tailback spot then and reenforced it during training camp. And he did nothing in the Panthers’ opening game to lose it. Lewis ran for 132 yards and two touchdowns on just 15 first-half carries and added another score on a catch to lead Pitt past Youngstown State 38-3 Saturday afternoon at Heinz Field. “We really were pretty simple with our running game,” Pitt coach Dave Wannstedt said. “I think we ran maybe four different plays the whole game. So, this was a good game for our offensive line. … I thought our offensive line did a very good job running the ball, butRead More »

Pitt Press Conference: Bostick likely to be redshirted

 

By Dale Grdnic PITTSBURGH — For those who wanted a different quarterback to play for the Pitt football team this season you got your wish. Redshirt freshman Tino Sunseri will play as much as possible, but as the backup to starter Bill Stull at least at the outset this fall. A fifth-year senior, Stull is the opening-game starter for the third straight season. “I sat down with (offensive coordinator) Frank Cignetti, and we talked with all three quarterbacks,” Pitt coach Dave Wannstedt said. “The plan is, as we know, is that Billy is the starter. And Tino is the No. 2. They will get the work in practice. I told Tino that the wish list is to get him playing time. “How much and when is in as many games as we can, but we’ll take it one game at a time. (Junior) Pat Bostick’s status is that we wouldRead More »

Pitt Training Camp wrapup

 

By Dale Grdnic The Pitt football team is going into the 2009 regular season the same way that it did the previous two, with Bill Stull as the starting quarterback. A fifth-year senior, Stull earned the No. 1 job in 2007, but was injured in the opener and missed the entire season. He won the top spot last year and was ineffective after the Rutgers game with an especially poor performance in the Sun Bowl. So, Panthers coach Dave Wannstedt decided to throw junior Pat Bostick and redshirt freshman Tino Sunseri into the mix in the spring. “We went into spring practice, and I opened it up,” Wannstedt said. “We obviously keep track of everything every day. And I thought coming out of the spring, that all our quarterbacks got a little better. But when we evaluated completions, interceptions, decision-making, everything involved with it, checks at the line of scrimmage,Read More »

Pitt Saturday Scrimmage: Graham rushes for 128 yards

 

By Dale Grdnic PITTSBURGH — If Dion Lewis already secured Pitt’s starting tailback position with his consistency during training camp, fellow freshman Ray Graham moved into the backup spot with his performance during Saturday’s scrimmage. Graham ran for 128 yards with a 65-yard touchdown burst on 14 carries in the Panthers’ second intra-squad scrimmage to probably move past redshirt freshman Chris Burns. Graham also had one catch for a 24-yard score. “He had a good day today, and he’s had a pretty good camp,” Pitt running backs coach David Walker said. “He has shown us why we recruited him. He makes people miss. Toughness. So, we’re pleased with Ray’s performance.” Graham also played a strong role in another scoring drive where he had 44 yards rushing on nine carries to get to the goal line. He couldn’t punch it in, but redshirt freshman quarterback Tino Sunseri did from the 1Read More »