Sunday, September 30, 2007

Pitt fans upset me

Well, i used the word upset instead of just swearing like I want to. Anyways, I was frequenting the pantherlairs babies just to see what people were saying following the nuclear fallout that is the pitt football season and I see a nice big thread about the inspiration for Cat Basket, Pat Bostick. My complaint comes in here, he has a very easy name to read, write, and pronounce. Since that is all true, why the hell can't you people spell his name. I get so sick and tired of seeing his name spelled BOSTIC. THERE IS A K IN THERE PEOPLE! If you're a Pitt fan you would be able to spell his name. I bet you can spell Roethlisberger, but you can't spell Bostick.

So true Pitt fans, if you want to see a coaching change, you want to bring back the script, you want an on campus stadium, well then please start spelling our starting Qb's name correctly, it's not that hard.

~ The One and Only ~

Rock Bottom

Well I thought I would come back this morning and do another article when I'm in a better state of mind. I'm still angry and embarrassed by how bad the program is right now. I really don't see a way out of this hole with the current coaching staff. We may not win another game all year.

The only benefit I see to us being at this point is that the entire program is going to get shaken up. No way does the administration allow our football program to continue on this path. Moustache Jones has eroded all the work of Walt Harris to turn us into a legitimate football school. Whoever, is hired as the new AD needs to make the football team priority number 1. The basketball program is fine and is in great hands, that will run itself.

I never thought I would miss another Pitt home game but against Navy, a game we will surely lose, I'm hoping I get a student rush Penguins ticket so I can watch a organization that cares. No way can we continue to let this happen and make excuses for poor and unmotivated coaching. The whole staff needs to step down if they have any pride in their own reputations.

We are at absolute rock bottom don't worry about it getting worse because it can't possibly be any worse than it is right now.


Saturday, September 29, 2007

Thanks For Ruining Our Program (Part 1 of Let's Get Moustache Jones Fired)

So at 2-3 with every piece of talent we could ever want, we should re-up our coach who has sent us down the shitter. This is the lowest point in Pitt Football ever, don't say Pitt Athletics because we got 2 top 25 programs at this school. Hey is the WPIAL not enough because Johnny Majors won without the talent you had. If we make inroads into Florida or Texas you can ruin 5 star recruits from around the country.

Honestly, do you guys really give a shit about this school at all. I mean I know you both went here but its because you got free scholarships. Do we have any profile over IUP or Grove City to you guys, because I love this school like you guys love your overpriced contracts? You realize every game you keep half-ass coaching you have fans like me that want to leave early and stop supporting our team. Keep being smug and lazy because I love having a top-25 recruiting class blown every year. This is kinda funny like maybe we can find more Western PA recruits to ruin. Hey look at me I'm Kevin Collier I was an awesome running back who can't get on the field because LSH had a good game once.

This is awesome can we somehow keep this going for the next 10-15 years, what a great job your doing. Tony D called and he said guys should take off your national title rings especially you Matt because he carried your ass all year in 1976.

Edit at 1:00 am.
I've read this for the fourth time and this still sounds completely reasonable, if we had coaches that cared they wouldn't put us in this position. I hope you enjoy your 2.5 million you are stealing from this school. I'm glad Nordenberg loves you because 2008 is going to be more of the same greatness, I hope you can find a way to make us go 0-12. Coach Wannstedt I'm talking about you and your offensive coordinator Matt Cavanaugh. I'm ashamed of myself for helping get Shady to come to Pitt. I wish I could go back in time to that Gameday last year against UConn, in basketball a game we won because Jamie Dixon gives a shit about this school, and not cheer. I know we have influential readers and take this as coming as nothing but me, DPJ is out of my comments completely, I am embarrassed and ashamed. Instead of using the school we all love as a launching pad to a pro career that doesn't exist give us seven weeks of your life. Try next week guys seriously give us one week where you give a shit but again I'm talking to myself because I'm stupid. Of course a coaching staff full of Pitt guys wouldn't do this to us oh wait they have and they will keep doing this until we all speak up.

My mission for the rest of the year is to get our entire coaching staff fired, we shouldn't be in this position. Our coaching staff doesn't care and why should you? Well you should care because when all of our shitty coaching staff is out of football and sitting at home we will still be Pitt fans.

DPJ's Rant

Ok, let me say this. 2 years ago, when i heard that Wanny removed his name from consideration I was very very happy. I felt that he was a poor nfl coach and would not be a good fit for the team. After a while, I started to buy into his "wall around PA" and "winning a championship".....Well after this game, we have the talent to be a successful team. What we do not have is the coaching staff to win. I am going to say this right now. Cavanaugh and Rhodes need to be fired right now. It wouldn't make a difference to move someone up or let Mustache Jones coach both sides of the ball.

Matt Cavanaugh - your shitty NFL style offense won't work here. The only reason you won a superbowl with Baltimore was because you had the best defense in the league (special thanks to Jermaine Lewis). You have been incompetent at your job since you were hired here. You can be a great quarterbacks coach, but offensive coordinator is not your specialty. You either need to be fired or step down. You helped Tyler become an NFL qb, but you did not help our offense. You are by far the worst offensive coordinator in the big east. The coaches I know say that you want to go back to the NFL game, well sir.... I say, have a good rest of your career in the nfl. You are not fit for the offensive coordinator job. Thank you for the national championship and for your loyalty to Pitt, but this is not a fit that is working here. It is time to move on with your life's work.

Paul Rhodes - Today, Wanny put you in a tough spot making you stop the very short drives for touchdowns. The defense has been looking better this year than it has in the past, but you need to be fired. Wannstedt won't let himself go down in flames, so you and Matt will be gone following this season. Your inability to design blitz plays has cost this team many games and has prevented us from stopping our opponents on 3rd down plays. You could have had the easiest job in the world. All you had to do was knock on the door of Dick LeBeau and ask him how to get the most of the defense, yet you did not do that. You had an opportunity to leave in 2002 and guess what buddy, you should have taken it. I understand how hard it is to coach Hayes, Harriott, Moore, Spencer, and Torrie Cox but hey you stayed loyal to Pitt and we have since regretted it. You are wasting so much talent on the defensive side of the ball. On 3rd downs we are only rushing 3 guys and letting the opposing quarterback rush for 30 yards. We are probably the worst 3rd down team in the entire NCAA on defense. I hope you are fired and find a nice new job somewhere else. I hope your replacement understands that in order to be successful you have to BLITZ AT LEAST ONCE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Coach Wannstedt, you will have the best team on paper in 2008, and you will have to bring in a new offensive and defensive coordinator to save your ass. If you keep Cavanaugh I hope you are fired on spot. If you want my advice, steal the coach staff from TCU. They are able to do much with very little talent. Don't be so stubborn. The college game is very different from the nfl.

I still think we are a better team than how we are performing, but I know that it is only the coaching that is holding us back.


I think we had about 3 attempts in the first half. All night they were mostly screens. The one time you did let him throw deep he hit Turner near the goal line. Bostick is the best quarterback you have ever had in your head coaching career Wannstedt, let him play the way he knows how.

I'm gonna sit here with Jason Jones and come up with ways to improve this team while watching some music on demand and call my hoopie girlfriend.

Fix your shit Wannstedt, I mean really, it's only your Million Dollar+ job that is on the line.

~ The One and Only ~

Live Blog: UVA vs Pitt

Since this is first game DPJ and I aren't at this year I thought we try a little of the live blogging that kids are talking about. Tonights game is going to let us know what we have this season and for the future. Due to Comcast being a great internet provider (FU ESPNU) The Cat Basket will be listening to the great Bill Hillgrove on the radio while playing a 4 year old baseball game on the Gamecube. This could either be the best idea ever or I will say something that causes our loyal readership to completely abandon us.

3:38 PM: We are under 4 hours to the kickoff and I'm doing what every Pitt fan should be doing right now, drinking Natty Light and watching a complex British sitcom. DPJ is napping like the South Oakland wussbag that he is. Do me a favor Cat Basket and go to BBC on Demand and watch one episode of Coupling you will enjoy it. Back in an hour to update whats going on in the dirty dirty.

4:42 PM: You've got DPJ! Jason Jones is on beer 7 or 8 at this point and I'm gonna tell you how I really feel. I just want to go up to the mountains and sing the songs I want to sing but I can't do that. So, after a few good Nickelback video's, Traitor DPJ is gonna give you some thoughts about today. I'm feeling really good. Not just about this game, but about life in general. I really think we can get our shit fixed and make this a good game. Hopefully the team comes fired up and shuts down the Fighting James Farrior's. We all know that we think Nate needs to be more involved for this team to win, but for us to win this weak and throughout the year Mr. Pestano needs to come up big time. A few quick passes to Pestano could give Bostick a go to guy and help out the running game. I'm going to go back and watch MSU beat Wisconsin and we'll be back with another update soon.

5:45 PM: Outkast is the greatest band in the history of recorded music. Jones back for the update on whats up tonight. It has basically degenerated into me trying to get DPJ down on every Outkast song on the youtubes, babies. Under an hour and thirty until kickoff, DPJ is being way too optimistic about tonight. I'm very glad about the fact that every rival has fell today and last night was like Christmas for me watching WVU lose. Cooler than Freddie Jackson sippin' a milkshake in a snowstorm.

6:56 PM: DPJ is back and my house is starting to look like Hillgrove's on an off night. Wings and empty beer cans downed by J. Jones. As Jones said, all of our rivals lost tonight and the hoopies fell yesterday which put me in an awkward spot (jason will explain later). My radio is kinda full of static at the moment so we gotta fix that. Hillgrove is saying how Rhodes isn't blaming himself for the defensive problems.......i guess the last few years weren't his fault either. Eh, doesn't matter. I think we're going to win. Until the next Jason Jones update. LETS GO PITT!

7:06 PM: Are we seriously trying to lose this game already? Onside kick Moustache Jones on the opening kickoff. This is terrible, apparently an onside kick doesn't work. Looks like a TD this drive. Thanks coach who isn't in over his head.

7:10 PM: Hey I got an awesome idea let's give them awesome field position. Great job Tommie Duhart on the blocked extra point. Our coach is doing an awesome job. I'm excited.

7:20 PM: Hey secondary, this is DPJ. I have a request, please wake up and start playing some defense. You can't be that bad can you? I understand you're not as good as Revis, but don't fall down. Its 13-0 right now. I'll give you a break on the first drive, that was Mustache Jones' fault for that idiot onsides attempt.................. This is ridiculous. We need to make something happen on this drive. PAT BOSTICK, WE BELIEVE IN YOU!

7:24 PM: Jones back in your spot. Do you realize what this coaching staff has relegated us to? We are getting dominated by a team that is barely passable in their conference and we play in a much better conference. Wannstedt is doing a great job, you make me embarrassed to be a Pitt fan I'm glad you rode on Dorsett coattails and won a national title. This makes me sick really really sick, I love this school and you have turned us into an embarrassment.

7:31 PM: Well 7:31 is my favorite number (thats the day i was born) but nothing happy to post here. We are down 20-0, UVA just returned a punt back a long ways, the offense loves penalties, the defense is lost, and after this drive the game will be over. I laughed at the obituary spoof that Panther Rants had last week, but they're right. This coaching staff has took GREAT recruits and have turned us into a joke. Cavanaugh has never been able to coach an offense, Wannstedt has set us back. Think about this, we said that WLAT left the cupboard bare and Wanny would save us. Well, Wanny stocked the cupboard but guess what, HE CAN"T COOK IN THIS KITCHEN! I hope he takes the AD Job before the 2nd quarter begins and we start the coaching search. Call up Bo Pelini, Sal Sunseri, Tony D, who gives a shit, get a pitt guy in here who can win. Bring back Wlat, would would have thought that. I swear Wlat, we wont rat on you about your love of secretaries. This is awful. I'm going to listen to the rest of this game, playing some MVP baseball with Jason Jones and just be happy on the inside that my girlfriend is a WVU grad and at least together we have something in the college football world that can win some games. Jamie Dixon, thank you for being a great coach. Lets find ourselves a new coaching staff.

7:49 PM: This is not even funny now. I don't know how Hillgrove and Fralic can get through this on the radio. Our team and coaching staff is embarrassing our University, seriously this is what we accept. Lets flash back to 1995 but guess what that team had nothing. We got our pick of the WPIAL and we have nothing, nothing at all. This makes me so sad that you guys have let us get to this point. 9 national titles and every smart coach in the Big East has been a able to turn it around. You embarrass me Wannstedt and Cavanaugh no way you give a shit about this school or else you wouldn't do this to us.

8:10 PM: You know whats great the fact that without letting Bostick getting a shot we are doing the Wildcat. Shady thanks for coming to our school but man you made the wrong choice. Again coaching staff you wouldn't let us get to this point if you cared. Really Cavanaugh, you played with Tony D, and you let us get to this point. Virginia is a bad ACC program and you guys are getting housed by a second rate conference and a second rate team from said conference. Thanks for making me feel like shit to go to Pitt guys good job.

9:15 PM: How great is this, huh? These are the glory days of our school. DPJ convinced me to do something extremely bad. Also Hillgrove do me a favor and get drunker in the booth, can't tell the difference between a guy who is well over six foot tall and a guy who is 5'8 tops. Pat Bostick is showing up big time right now.

p.s. Phillips just got called for pass interference. Enough of this crap, but Dom Dicicco in. This is a joke.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

UVA-Pitt Predictions

Well I'll its time for the controversy to begin again. Hopefully, I won't state the painfully obvious and get everybody riled up. This game is going to give us a glimpse into our future with Bostick and Shady finally getting the starting jobs. At 2-2 this season is at a complete crossroads and this coaching staff is in the same position. We are not favored to win this game which means by the usual Moustache Jones standards this will be a loss. I have absolutely no idea how this team will come out and play, all my predictions are a complete guess.

1. The number 1 space is all about the number 1 guy in the program, Shady. I won't go over what happened last game for the 20th time but that will not happen again. I would expect the first two series of the game Shady will get over 5 carries. The coaching staff has taken so much heat over their mis-management of the running back situation. I expect a fairly big game for Shady because he will be looking to lock in his starting position.
Stat Line: 29 carries, 165 yds, 1 TD

2. I think Pat Bostick will play significantly better than he has in his limited time this season. I expect him to come out and show why he was a highly rated player coming out of high school last year. This is all contingent on the offense line not getting him killed by the skilled UVA defensive line. After this game I think there will be a bit of a situation developing, do we keep Bostick in or do we go back to Bill Stull when healthy?
Stat Line: 18 for 30, 200 yards, 2 TD's

3. I have absolute no idea what the offense or defense, outside the defensive line, are going to do. I'm expecting that Bostick's ability to accurately throw the ball will mean a increase in production from the wide receivers, but who knows. The group has looked sloppy and lazy all year, hopefully the ball in put in the hands of the tight-ends who have played well whenever given the chance this year. I hope the secondary starts to play up to their talent but again who knows. Perhaps, the real Aaron Berry will show up at UVA and make some plays but nothing from this year has indicated this will happen. The linebackers need to have a big game to keep the UVA attack from getting big plays.

I'm not as optimistic as DPJ about this season. Finally, giving Bostick his chance to start is going to benefit us down the road. Shady is Shady so unless we decide to sandbag him again he will get his numbers. The offensive line can't play any worse but I say that every week and they some how prove me wrong, there needs to be some sort of improvement here. Defensively, we need some sort of improvement the UConn game can't be a indicator of future play.

Pitt 24 UVA 31. Please let me be wrong.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Pitt vs UVA Preview

Ok, it's wednesday and you might be asking yourself, DPJ WHY POST THIS SO EARLY???

Well, I have a full day of classes tomorrow followed by a night on the town with Jason Jones. Plus, as Rage against the machine said "What better place than here, what better time than now?"

SO AWAY WE GOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The first thing I have to say about this preview is, while we may have lose to Uconn, UVA lost to frickin WYOMING!!! Yes, that Wyoming who is always ranked around 110 come the end of the season. I'm shocked they still play football there, there's about a combined 13 people that live in the entire state, yet they play football and were able to beat UVA.

UVA's other top opponents include Duke (win), UNC (win) and GTech (win). Not exactly the toughest schedule, but I'll give some credit for the GTech win. Following us, the only real tough teams that UVA has are UConn, Miami, and VTech. Outside of that I could see them winning the rest of their games. Giving them a 7-5 record.

Now incase you forgot, last year we played the Fighting Earl "Heath" Miller's and won fairly easy. This season though is different. Pitt is fresh off of a tough loss (msu) , and an embarrassing loss (uconn). UVA is coming off of two big wins. When you have situations like this, predicting the game becomes a bit harder because UVA could be ready for a let down and Pitt could come out pissed and take over the game. So to better look at this matchup, lets go a little in detail.

UVA returns all 11 starters on defense. Now usually that is a bad sign for an opponent, but UVA hasn't been tested this year, and we destroyed that defense last year. Granted, Palko and Kinder are gone. Instead we'll be inserting Bostick and McCoy. I really think that these two should be able to put up 28 points on a bad day vs. this team. If the receivers decide to come around, or if we put in Wright and Williams, then Pitt should have some fun putting up some points.

On offense, UVA will be facing a much tougher defense, one that I hope features Dorin Dickerson and "The DOMinator" Dicicco. A big factor for this game is UVA's offensive line. Pitt's DL has been playing very well this year and UVA is facing the possibility of not having their starting LT for the game. Another injury problem for UVA will provide Pitt with a huge advantage. In case you haven't noticed, our secondary hasn't been that great this year. Kennard has been inconsistent, Aaron Berry hasn't made the plays he should, and Mike Phillips is not playing good football at this time. BUT! UVA's will be without two of their top WR's this week. One is out with an ACL injury, the other with a busted up hand. This will put more pressure on UVA's running backs which plays to the favor of Pitt. UVA has one main runner, Peerman, a junior who has played well so far this season. The next leading rusher, Pearman (no relation) has very few carries and doesn't pose to be a threat in this game. UVA's qb's are a Sophomore and a Freshman who split time, much like Pitt should have done with Smith and Bostick earlier in the season. Both have been able to move then ball when they have been in the game but will be without some WR's.

Based on what we have seen thus far in the season, it is completely reasonable for UVA to be the favorites. They have a lot of experience, 3 wins in a row, and are at home. Their disadvantages are a mental disadvantage from getting destroyed by us last year, lack of a passing game, and an offensive line injury that could have a huge impact on the outcome of this game.

My guess is that the Pitt D stays strong and shuts down UVA's running game early on. Depending upon the pass and unproven WR's, UVA falters and their offense isn't able to maintain consistent drives. On the defensive side of the ball, UVA's prepares for another "Shady" day and lines up 9 guys in the box. Pitt busts out the play action, and uses Strong and the wide receivers to stretch the field. This gives room to Shady who picks up another 100 yard game.

Pitt wins 34-10 and Pat Bostick silences all of his critics.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Pat Bostick threw 3 Interceptions.

Following the MSU game, people were still not ready to admit that Bostick and Shady should start. Jason Jones took crap from a few idiots who thought that Hot Rod should start, because he is a junior instead, of Shady. Now, after getting embarrassed by Uconn at home, people finally admit that Shady should be the starter. With that issue resolved, people are still bashing Bostick!! WHY???

When was the last time we had a Qb as prized as Bostick? Palko? not quite. Rod Rutherford? Nope. David Priestly, Pete Gonzalez, Alex Van Pelt??? Nope. Dan Marino? BINGO!

Dan Marino did not make his first college start until his 4th game his freshman year. He also threw an interception on his very first college pass.

Pat Bostick will be starting in his 5th collegiate game and also threw an int on his first pass.

Now, expecting Bostick to be on the same level as Marino is simply not fair. It is fair, however, to expect that Bostick will eventually lead this team to a BCS bowl win. Yeah I said it, by the time Bostick is gone, we will have won a BCS game with him at the helm.

Bostick came to Pitt with everything needed to win. Yeah, he had that breakdown early in august, but he is back now and seems to have all of his issues resolved. When I first came to college I had a rough time. I spent many nights on the phone with my mom, crying, unsure if I was in the right place, wondering if I made the right choice in life. I got through it and Pat will too. It isn't an easy transition to make.

Back to Pat's natural abilities. The kid is a gamer. At home, he would come up with plays and draw them on his wall so that he wouldn't forget them. He would then put them in a book then paint over the wall and start the whole process over. Pat knew the playbook inside and out from his first day on campus back in May. I bet he was one of the few recruits in Pitt history that has actually ever memorized the entire playbook before even stepping on the practice field for the first time. If you are wondering why I keep praising Pat, here is what was said about him in scouting terms.

"Bostick has all the intangibles to be a great quarterback. he sees the field well and reads defenses as good as anyone. He does not have a cannon of an arm, but it is above average, his strength is his quick release and accuracy. He is not a sprinter by any means, but his game speed is faster than his forty-time. He can get out of the pocket and has the ability to feel the pocket collapse and escape the rush." -

If you don't like that piece, well.... Here is what his high school coach had to say about the great Mr. Bostick.
“I’m not sure what they are going to do with Pat as far as a red-shirt goes. I think that when he gets on campus and starts working out with the team, a decision then will be made. I know this. Pat is talented enough to compete as a freshman if the coaching staff at Pitt feels that they want to give him a shot next year.”

He added, “Pat has all the intangibles to be a great quarterback at the next level. He sees the field well and reads defenses as good as anyone. He doesn’t have the strongest arm, but it is above average, and his strength is his quick release and accuracy. That is what separates him from the others.”

If you actually saw the 2nd half of the game (we did, we stayed till the end), you could have seen the next great PA Qb in action. Bostick was hitting receivers in stride, had zip on his passes, and made good decisions. If this team can give him any time at all to drop back and pass, this team can still make a bowl game.

One last thing about Pat. I recently had the chance to meet his father, and I must say that Pat comes from a great family. His dad was very nice and it's easy to see why Pat is such a good person too, he got it from his father. Pat will always have my support because I believe that all Panthers deserve it, but I'm rooting extra hard for Pat to be the greatest Panther, Person, and Future NFL star he can because if there is one person on this team who deserves good fortune because of the good person he is, it is Pat.

Salvaging the Season (UVA Edition)

The last couple of days has been a pretty bad time to be a Panther fan. Nothing appears to be going well and this season looks to be completely lost. 2-2 is a terrible situation to be in but we can still have a positive last 8 games, if some things turn around. I'm going to focus on each game for the rest of the season and what the team needs to do.

This is a pretty good situation for Bostick to get his first start. On the road, at 2-2, everybody will be picking against us. All in all this is a no pressure situation for him, he isn't replacing a quarterback that had success. What Bostick needs to do is get the passing game going in some way. He has already thrown his first touchdown pass and he needs to get at least one or 2 more on the road.

Shady will get a chance to get his carries back after the debacle on Saturday. Moustache Jones isn't arrogant enough to keep him under 20 carries again this game. Plus, having his carries stolen from him is going to give Shady a bit of a chip on his shoulder. UVA is going to focus all their defense on him but I see this being another chance for Shady to show the ESPN audience what he can do.

Our offensive line has to find the right combination to go from atrocious to just below average. If they can give Bostick some time we may began to have success in the passing game. Keep a tight-end back to block or use Brooks and Collins. This group can't get any worse so I think its logical to see some improvement.

GET THE BALL TO NATE BYHAM. We here at The Cat Basket will keep harping on this, give the kid his chance to make plays. Our wide receivers are playing very badly and Nate has made plays every time he has touched the ball. So why not design some plays to get him into the game early and often.

Defensively the line needs to keep up what they are doing. This along with the punting unit has been some of the bright spots this year. Keep it up defensive line.

The linebackers are playing well in spots but I wouldn't mind seeing a blitz with Dorin or Murray. This is the one group where we actually have some speed why not use some of it to create pressure on the quarterback. Scott McKillop has been, in my opinion, the best player on the defense not on the defensive line.

Secondary wake the hell up and play up to the level you can. Cox has been way to inconsistent for how much experience he has. Aaron Berry hasn't lived up to one ounce of the hype he had on him, his play has been downright bad and is hurting our defense. Ricky Gary has been good in spots but he needs to play better. I completely agree with DPJ about Mike Phillips if he continues to whiff on tackles put in Dom DiCicco and get him so experience. Thatcher needs to play like he did before the injury last year.

Special teams are perfectly fine they need to keep up the same level of play.

I don't think we need to win at UVA to get us moving in the right direction. What needs to happen is the coaching staff needs to play this game like we want to win. Give Bostick a chance to make plays in the air, let Shady get as many carries as possible, find the right setup for the offensive line to be successful, and get the ball in our playmaker's hands. The defense needs to have a big game this weekend and create some havoc.

Just a suggestion and I know it won't happen how about playing Aundre Wright and Mo Williams at wide receiver this week maybe they actually want the ball in their hands.

Monday, September 24, 2007

What Can Be Done

Well two days later and I'm still mad and confused about the coaching of the game against UConn. So many questions have gone through my mind; Why did Shady get 11 carries, Why did LSH start, Why did Kevan Smith get so much time, and Why wasn't the offensive line changed in the first half. Anyway you look at it our offense is in shambles but on the other hand we have the best weapon we have had in 4 years. This is an extremely odd dichotomy which shows the ineptitude of our offensive coaching staff.

I thought I would give a couple ideas on how to get our offense moving in the right direction:

1. Shady needs to average 25 carries a game. At no point should he be under 15 carries like he was against UConn. How about to share the load in the running game we institute a ratio of Shady carries to LSH carries of 4:1. Shady is the only player on our team that can produce regardless of the offensive line play, he makes his own plays. Hey diddle diddle Shady up the middle (and to the outside) needs to be our new motto.

2. Get Nate Byham involved in the passing game. With Bostick at the helm I'm assuming that we will be able to throw the ball more. Design plays to our biggest playmaker through the air Byham, perhaps short out routes so he can catch the ball and turn it up field. How about getting Nate up against the safety down the middle of the field. Byham is a big-time player who is being completely under-utilized.

3. Find a way to help of the right side of the line. Sacks are leaking through that side of the line and for Bostick to be successful he needs some semblance of time in the pocket. Maybe use Pelusi as a max protect tight end or have Collins chip the end to slow up the rush.

4. Use variety in the play-calling. This is the most important thing for the game this week. Bostick memorized the playbook back in May so you can unveil the entire offense for him. Take the hand-cuffs off the quarterback and let him sling the ball around. Playing conservatively has lost two in a row for us so lets go down fighting.

These are just a few ideas for Coach Cavanaugh and his staff. Our offensive problems have a great deal to do with our offensive line but creativity can take the pressure off this unit. Establishing Shady will force the defense to commit to the run and Bostick will have space to hit the open receivers. I'm just hoping we come out with a performance on Saturday that has some sort of fire and passion. Shady needs the ball in his hands as much as humanly possible.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

The Sky is Falling

Day 1 following the black eye of the 2007 football season and attitudes haven't changed. People are trying to find positives from this game, but guess what, there are none. Our #2 quarterback got hurt paving the way for the much needed Bostick era. The coaches really limited what he was able to do, so we still have no idea what he is or is not capable of doing. In his limited time, he made some very nice short passes and completed his first (of many) td pass as a Panther.

As of today, like I said, nothing positive has come from this loss. Now, if we look back on this game in february, something positive may have come from the game. This is the first game where Mustache Jones has lost the faith of the fans. When something like this happens, a change is put in place, and we all know what that change will be. Before the coach is gone they always allow him one more shot and that involves change.

We have found through our research that the Wannstedt administration is ripe for regime change.

Now i'm not saying fire Wannstedt, I still believe with his experience, recruiting ability, and commitment to winning that he can turn us into a winner. I just don't think that he has the right tools around him. For this change to work, the right people must be brought in. We certainly have some of the people involved, but we are missing some key components. Aubrey Hill, David Walker, Chris Ball, Bob Junko, and Brian Angelichio are the right guys for their respective jobs. The others, well.....they are replaceable.

One of Wanny's biggest downfalls is his determination to bring the nfl style of football to the college game. This will not work and needs to be changed immediately. Our conservative offense and defensive schemes can be adjusted around the talent we have now. On offense, Shady and Hot Rod make up a dangerous 1, 2 punch and Collins and Brooks are excellent fullbacks. The Wr's are not the best we have seen, but they are certainly capable of producing. Porter, Aundre Wright, and McGee are being under utilized. I understand about holding back Wright since hes a freshman but I think that Ced and TJ could be built into an offense that would be more effective. Turner and Pestano are exactly what they are. They are good enough to have earned starting jobs, but aren't quite as dynamic as the other 3.

The same goes for our tight ends. Nate is a great tight end and we need to figure out do we want him be a blocker or a pass catching tight end. Our line limits what he can do since we need him in as an extra blocker, but holding back opportunities for him to catch the ball eliminates a huge threat our offense could possess.

Our line, well I'm not sure what more we can do here. Otah and CJ Davis have their spots locked up. Vangas, Thomas, and McGlynn really have been disappointing this season. Struggling against MSU's dline is slightly more acceptable than being dismantled by a less talented UConn defense. Bachman played decent in the little time he was in there, so let him start at guard next week. Craig Bokor......Poor poor Craig. He really deserves a chance to play. He keeps getting moved back and forth and never gets a chance to see the field. My suggestion, The line should be Otah and Davis on the left side, split time between Vangas and McGlynn at center depending on who is playing better. Let Bachman start at right guard, and put Bokor in at right tackle. Would it really be that bad to try that out? I don't think it would be that big of a drop off. If you're against that, we still have Chase Clowser who if anything will give Bostick time in the pocket because it would take forever to run around him since he is so big.

The Dline is fine as is, keep it that way. The linebackers should feature more Dorin. McKillop has played decent, and I would like to see Nate Nix get some time, but he's been battling the injury bug, so we will have to wait it out.

The secondary will be better off with Elijah Fields out there, but we have to take what we are given. Ricky Gary has been a pleasant surprise this season. He didn't have his best game vs UConn, but how many Pitt players did? Aaron Berry hasn't lived up to what I personally hoped for from him this season. A few costly pass interference calls and not looking back for the ball on a few plays, including one touchdown, shows that since he is only a sophomore, he still has some areas to improve on. Kennard is streaky. When he is on, he is a great corner. When he is off, he looks pretty average. I have always rooted for Pitt ever since I met him on his recruiting trip a few years ago and I really hope he can get his game turned around. Other than that, we don't have many others that can take over at corner. Jovanni and Lowell are there in case we need them, but right now aren't ready to take any jobs away.

Thatcher and Phillips have been less than extraordinary. I would like to see Dom get some reps out there so that next year we are experience and ready to go with our two best safeties, Fields and DiCicco.

With those changes this year and next we can at least start to be respected again.

We have the talent, open up the offense and defense. Get aggressive. We need to have the mentality that we're not going to beat you, we will destroy you. Run more 4 wide sets, take advantage of Shady's amazing game breaking ability, BLITZ FOR GOD'S SAKE!

We are too predictable now and that must change. If it doesn't, then its going to be the Same Ole Panthers.

Let's Go Pitt Huh?

DPJ did a great job last night putting the despair of being a Pitt fan right now into context. This is just a tiny preview of what I'm going to do all week. There is no reason for us to be in this situation right now with our level of talent.

Coach Wannstedt makes me embarrassed to be a fan of the Panthers and to go to games. His game management and player selection is so bad, I long for the days of Walt Harris. If he couldn't recruit so well I would say fire him now but....The way he wasted the only option we have on offense last night is criminal. I know I'm the most hated guy in the world because of my opinions but how great did Hot Rod play last night, I mean really. To waste Shady the way you did Coach Wannstedt, seriously, should put your position as head coach in jeopardy. I think your an awful coach and you make me feel ashamed to be a fan. I sincerely hope Chancellor Nordenberg wakes up and fires you, I don't think you could possibly do a worse job. Thanks for ruining a talented team Moustache Jones.

Quick preview of my thoughts on the players yesterday. Joe Thomas played the worst game of football I have ever seen in my entire life last night. Mike McGlynn might be the shittiest tackle I've ever seen in my life as well. The right side of the line couldn't have played any worse, you guys got both our quarterbacks killed last night. Jason Pinkston needs to recover as fast as humanly possible if we want to keep Bostick alive.

This season is pretty much gone, not because of the 2-2 record, because our coaching staff has shown themselves to be completely incompetent. Oh and we had a great student section last night guess what some of those kids are never coming back with that performance. Way to show off in front of the recruits too Wanny, I hope Hubie Graham likes playing for UCLA because he sure as hell isn't playing for you.

Main idea is that we need a completely new coaching staff, WaHa got us winning seasons with nothing and Wanny can't win a game with a team loaded with talent. Hey but do me a favor and keep playing Hot Rod so Shady isn't touching the ball enough. I'm absolutely sick of thinking about this.

What the *^%@

Usually I never post until a day after the game, but I am breaking my own rule. Tonight was PATHETIC!! This was a Uconn team that we should have dismantled. There was no reason at all to lose this game, but we did. I hate to say this, but Pitt football really has been the most disappointing team to follow since at least 2001.

Here is some history. I hated college sports until I actually enrolled at Pitt. I thought that college football was only here for the NFL draft and that college basketball was taking up space on the ESPN ticker which prevented me from Penguin's updates.

I am now one of the biggest Pitt fans that you will find but seriously, why is it that every Pitt team ends in disappointment?

I really thought that we would be the sleeper team of the year. The offensive line would be improved, Aaron Berry would step in for Revis and not miss a beat, Bostick would make us all forget about Palko............. Nope.

I hate to say it, but this is only a filler year until next year.

Next year's team will be scary good, if and only if the Oline gets their shit under control. Yeah there you go, DPJ's first curse words. Losing Otah will be a killer. However, Joe Thomas, Chris Vangas, and Mike McGlynn should really try to be shittier offensive lineman. John Bachman, who from his video intro looks like a dick, played a solid second half tonight. I was hoping that Chase Clowser would get some earlier PT tonight at tackle but it didn't play out the way I wanted.

Basically the fact is, our Oline is still a HUGE weakness. Our DLine didn't create the pressure like we did against MSU. Mustache Jones (a.k.a. Wanny) promised that our lines would be superior to those in the past, yet they still under achieve.

Our passing game without Kinder has gone to shit, and Shady is the only bright spot for the season on offense.

Okay, enough bitching.

Here's the point of this article.

2008 will be a great season for the Panthers. There is no reason at all why we should not win the Big East next year. White, Slaton, Brohm and etc. will all be gone from the conference. We will have Shady, Hot Rod, a healthy Stull, Bostick (who will redshirt), Kinder, Byham, and etc etc etc.

The only thing that can hold this team back is the offensive line. I hate to say it, but they need to step up big time. Paul Dunn really screwed up and should be out of a job come January 1. How do you not know that Pinkston has a severe injury?

Anyways, next years team should feature these starters.

Qb - Stull. Say what you want, we are HUGE Pat Bostick fans, but Stull will play since Mustache Jones loves upper classmen, and guess what. STULL CAN COMPLETE A SCREEN PASS! Sorry Kevan Smith. You are as good right now as you were with Seneca Valley, and you will be just as good when you graduate with that free degree in 2010. Shady needs to be the starting running back. I like Hot Rod, but Shady is a game breaker and needs to get the most carries possible. The starting fullback should be Conredge, he is a beast and should get at least 5 touches a game.

Here's a surprise. Next year's starting WR's should be Kinder and Wright. T.J. Porter should be benched for his huge fumbled, Turner should be benched for his drop against MSU. Aundre Wright is a great WR and provides more speed, catching ability, and flexibility compared to the Wr's on our roster. End arounds, reverses, and HB Option passes are all available when the Pride of Perry is on the field.

Nate Byham WILL be the starting tight end, and should get a minimum of 5 catches per game. Nate is a game breaker and we are truly lucky to have him on the team. Nate can be the best "high flyer" (pun) tight end that has ever played at Pitt. So Cavanaugh START USING HIM THAT WAY!

Next year's line should have Jacobsen and Nix on it. If it doesn't then we are just trying to lose for the hell of it.

The defense will be solid in 2008 aslong as we feature Dorin, Ba Ba Booey (gus mus), McKillop Jr, Fields, DiCicco, and Tommie Duhart's Babies!

Sorry for the rant, I try to let Jason Jones handle that but, this team has underachieved thus far. Pat Bostick, we here at the cat basket love you and hopefully you take the reigns and run. Remember, Marino also threw an int on his first pass, and didn't become the starter until week 4.

Good luck and god speed.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

In search of the new AD

Well this is sort of a continuation of my Legends of the Athletics department series, but it also relates to the search for the new athletics director.

This week's focus is on Derek Morel.

Before I go any further here is his bio from,

"Derek Morel joined the University of Pittsburgh Athletic Department as senior associate athletic director for external affairs in August of 2006.

In this capacity, Morel will focus on Pitt's athletic fundraising efforts and supervise all external functions of the department. He arrives at Pittsburgh after serving the past 2½-years as an assistant vice president with International Sports Properties (ISP), Inc., a national leader in collegiate sports marketing.

Morel, a native of New Orleans, served as general manager for ISP Sports at the University of Georgia this past year and Tulane University in 2004-05. As general manager for Georgia Sports Properties, he was responsible for the sale and management of the University of Georgia Athletic Association's multi-media rights.

Prior to ISP, Morel was the associate athletic director for external relations at St. Bonaventure University from 1997-2003. His responsibilities included solicitation of corporate sponsorships, fundraising, marketing, licensing and community relations. Morel additionally had administrative responsibilities with men's basketball, including game scheduling.

During his tenure, the Bonaventure Athletic Fund experienced a 150% increase in membership and 50% growth in gifts. The athletic department also benefited from a 150% increase in sponsorship revenue during that time.

Morel organized and developed the Varsity "B" Club for former varsity letterwinners and also initiated the "Bona Pride II" campaign that focused on facility renovations for athletics. In the area of licensing he was responsible for the development and launch of St. Bonaventure's new athletics trademarks in 1999.

From 1994-97 Morel was an assistant athletic director for development at Northwestern State University in Louisiana. In this capacity he administered all development efforts for the athletic department and also served as the executive director of the Northwestern Athletic Association. Morel additionally implemented a corporate sponsorship program and assisted with men's basketball and football scheduling. He also was the head men's golf coach for three seasons.

Morel is a 1992 graduate of the Louisiana State University with a bachelor's degree in journalism. He earned his master's in sports administration and facility management from Ohio University in 1993."

Now with that out of the way, let me make this plain and clear. Derek Morel should be our new athletics director. He has the experience to earn the job. He has dealt with tough times (at St. Bonaventure) that he knows how to deal with adversity. He has shown success in implementing programs to bring the alumni and students together.

All of these are qualities that the new Pitt athletics director must possess. In addition to this, Derek is one of the nicest, most genuine men I have ever met. I believe the university would do well to seriously consider Derek as a candidate for the AD job. I am also surprised that he was not named interim a.d. but if he gets the job in the end, then I think Pitt has made the right move.

Pitt-UConn Predictions

Well the best column on the site is back again. Last week I almost got Shady's rushing yards and carries exactly right. The defensive line played the best game they have in years. What is bouncing around my Rainman-like brain this week?

1. I'll start off with the usual guess of Shady's rushing attempts, yards, and TD's. This week is going to be a little tougher because our genius coaching staff may start Hot Rod. Shady is definitely still going to get his carries but he won't be the only person on the offense touching the ball for a quarter like last week. His numbers may suffer a little bit this week with the carries being spread between two backs, not equally of course.
Stat Line for Shady: 21 carries, 155 yds, 2 TD's

2. I'm going to go out on a limb here and say the passing game gets it shit together Saturday. Now don't expect any big statistical improvement or multiple touchdowns or anything. I'm talking we might get a third down. Our line is going to have to keep Smith upright, which probably won't happen, but I don't think we can get any worse. Oh and Bostick won't see the field until the 4th quarter take that one to the bank.

3. We will not see the Wildcat offense once. Our coaching staff doesn't want to run this type of offense and despite its effectiveness against MSU it's going back in the play book. Hopefully, things won't get so bad with the QB that we need to see another play ran for a quarter like last week.

4. Our defensive line is going to continue to get pressure on the quarterback and create sacks. Last week the D-Line controlled the veteran MSU line and that shows me these guys are for real. I think we get another 3 or 4 sacks with a turnover caused by the pressure.

5. The receivers will have a comeback game this week. All of them, save Strong, had bad games and made mistakes last week. I look for Turner to show his talent this week with a big touchdown. These guys have too much talent to be the non-factor that they were last week.

I think we are really heading in the right direction. The problems with the offense are well documented and need to get better this game. Shady can probably win this game by himself on the offensive side but it would be nice if he didn't have to. Do me a favor and when LSH starts don't hold back, boo like crazy and chant for Shady. I know this is isn't the best fan behavior but when something so ridiculous happens let your voice be heard. Shady earned his job by absolutely carrying our team on the road last week. Just give him what is rightfully his Coach Wannstedt.

Final Score: UConn 7 Pitt 28

*EDIT* I'm not telling anybody to boo LSH personally, the guy has done a great job for us the past two years. If you read what I'm saying is boo the decision and chant for Shady. I got no ill will towards LSH at all and he is going to be a great back-up for Shady. I just don't think there is any reason to keep the facade of starting him, when Shady is going to get the majority of carries on Saturday. I like LSH and don't point at me like I'm a guy trying to undermine players on our team. My anger toward this decision has nothing to do with the player but the idea of the move. THE BOO"S ABOUT THE DECISION NOT THE PLAYER, READ THIS VERY CLEARLY.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Sound familiar?

Just like any good Pitt fan, I like to read up on the opponent before we play. This "fan scouting" consists of looking at stats, projected lineups, and other on the field stuff. I also like to read the opponent's message boards. Today I was reading and came across this dandy.

"Game of the year" "Attendance of 33,000" "Program on the rise"

Sure sounds like the way we spoke last week doesn't it? Uconn is a desperate team looking to prove something. They embarrassed us last year on the road and made our defense look completely incompetent.

We can't let this game become a trap game. We are 9 point favorites and we need to win by more than 9 points to prove a point. No matter how they did it, UConn is still 3-0 and beating any D1 3-0 team is an accomplishment. We dropped over 10 spots in last weeks's poll despite playing a solid game. If we play a superb game this week, we won't move up that much, but if we lose, all hell will break loose.

I don't think we will lose, I actually think we could run the ball every single down and still win. Lets just not take things for granted. This years panther team is very talented and we need to prove it to everyone.

p.s. I hope DJ Hernandez runs a route over the middle and Eric Thatcher sticks him.

Want To Kill Recruiting Momentum

This week has been a little bit negative in The Cat Basket but all that negativity goes out the window when thinking about Shady and his bright future. From just three games he looks like the natural progression in the Pitt running back tradition. Everything that our team has been on offense the last two games has come through him. Last game he got his chance to show the national audience what all of us at The Cat Basket have known since we recruited him. Lee Corso at halftime said that Shady was "worth the price of admission alone". Therefore we would expect ol' number 25 to be the guy behind Conredge and big Kevan, NOT SO FAST MY FRIEND.

It appears that the coaching staff is going to stick with LaRod Stephens Howling as the starter, despite Shady dominating the last two games. I realize that Shady is still going to get well over 20 carries this week and that he will need to share the ball at times with Hot Rod. There is a very scary symbolism in this move if the early reports are true. Being the starter here probably means very little to Shady because he knows that all eyes are on him and his carries are going to be there. Who Shady not being the starter is going to effect is all those kids with name tags walking around the sidelines at Heinz Field?

When a star recruit is figuring out which school to commit to they invariably look at how other recruits of similar stature have been treated at that school. What message are we sending to the 5-star recruits of the world? No matter what you do if we have an established solid starter you can't beat him out. Most big time recruits you get in modern college football are only going to be in school for three years, playing time is crucial. At running back its fine but other positions need to be the starter to get their playing time in. I think Coach Wannstedt has done an amazing job recruiting with what he was left with.

I'm going to give you three people on the current squad that we have treated oddly. Nate Byham last year got little to no playing time but still had his redshirt blown, he was the top tight end in Pennsylvania out of high school. Dorin Dickerson got very little playing time last year and lost a redshirt, was the top wide receiver in PA but is now playing linebacker. Kevin Collier was a top 10 running back in the nation when we recruited him and he has got little to no chance in play and now he has lost this season to injury.

Star recruits need to be given a chance to prove what they can do during games. Experience is great but talent needs to rise to the top of the depth chart. I hope that behind the scenes we are keeping these guys happy.

Basically just start Shady for no reason other than every carry he misses early is wasted.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

O-Line Problems

If anybody wants to find the core reason Kevan Smith is playing so badly look no further than the offensive line. Against Michigan St. our pass blocking, especially after Jason Pinkston went down, was completely none existent. On the final drive in the 4th quarter Smith was sacked twice both times he was completely sold out by the right side of the line. Mike McGlynn can't play tackle at all, his pass blocking is a liability. Chris Vangas needs to stop the mistakes or get benched, he did a good job of costing us the game too. If we are to protect the ball this week the line can't let the other team get so much pressure on Smith.

I feel that this situation would have been much better if we didn't lose Chris Jacobson to a blown out knee in training camp. He was slotted in to play guard but was a highly recruited tackle in high school. Anybody would be a upgrade over McGlynn at tackle so I think this injury has caused more damage than even the loss of Gus.

Smith shouldn't really in any circumstance be our starting quarterback but our line allowing him to get plastered pretty much every time he drops back isn't helping. Somebody on our coaching staff (Buddy Morris I'm looking at you) needs to get into the collective asses of our offensive line and light a fire. Letting weak side defensive ends blow by you every single play is unacceptable, offside penalties are unacceptable, and getting stupid red zone penalties is unacceptable. This group needs to show that they want to win the game. Shady is getting his yards no matter what you guys do but you can't allow our quarterback situation to get any worse. Since Coach Wannstedt insists that we have to run the west coast offense the line won't get any respite.

I really hope Jason Pinkston can play on Saturday if not look for Smith hitting his back over 5 times.


While we are all complaining about the offensive problems we had last week, lets give some cred to the defense. I thought with the loss of Ba Ba Booey (Gus Mus) we would give up a ton of rushing yardage. I was wrong. Malecki, Duhart, Duncan, McKillop and Mick Williams all showed up big time. They were able to get pressure on the qb despite Rhoads refusal to blitz. Even with out the top dlineman in the game, the running game was snuffed out. When is the last time you could say that Pitt's front four was a solid unit that impacted the game in a positive way? Kudos to all of you keep up the great work.

The linebackers, while still young and green played a solid game too. Everyone is complaining about Dorin messing up one arm tackle, but he also played a good game. He was rarely out of position and covered his assignments well. Dell and McKillop played well also. Heading into the this season we all knew that Qb and LB would be our two biggest question mark areas. After 3 games though, I think that our linebackers are all starting to ease our fears a bit. I'm just wondering is this whole improvement to the defense a credit to Paul Rhoads? He did take over coaching the linebackers, so there has to be some impact. Maybe P.R. just needed some quality defensive players under Wanny to do what he told us he planned on doing.

The Cb's and Safeties did not have their greatest game, but they were far from horrible. We are all spoiled with having Revis, Torrie Cox, Shauntae Spencer, and the other recent defensive backfield greats over the last few seasons, but the new guys aren't playing too bad. Ricky Gary, despite having some criticism from us at Cat Basket has really played great, yes I said it, he has played great. Kennard is playing exactly like we expected him too. I'm not sure how much Aaron Berry's injury is hampering him but once he gets to 100% I believe he will step it up and over come some of the early mistakes.

Thatcher and Phillips are solid at the positions. It hurts not having Elijah Fields back there but it is not a huge drop off in talent. Phillips should have had an int last game, but if he was so good at catching the ball he would be a WR instead of safety. Thatcher is still one of the biggest hitters on the team and I'm glad I will never be asked to go over the middle against him.

Overall, a great job thus far by everyone on the defensive unit. I hope we are able to carry this through the rest of the season, and I hope D.J. Hernandez has to catch a ball over the middle while being shadowed by Thatcher.

Personal Issues

This is the saying that everybody keeps pushing out when talking about Pat Bostick and why he hasn't been given the chance to take the starting job. Every article mentions that week that he left training camp like he some how broke down and now can't be a Division I quarterback. The guy had a problem which hasn't yet came out in the media and I hope it doesn't. Since that week off Bostick has gone nowhere and put his head down and went to work. That week off couldn't have put Bostick that far behind in terms of time with the team. Coach Wannstedt has been quoted every week in saying that Bostick has been given a chance in practice to win the job, I personally think this is a lie in order placate the loud disapproval of the way Coach Wannstedt has handled this situation.

So can everybody do me a favor and next time they tell me why Bostick isn't getting playing time don't mention about his personal issues. Its a ridiculous argument at this point and lets focus more on what the situation is in practice and regards to the coaching staff's plans for him. Today again in the Post Gazette Wannstedt is quoted as saying the Bostick and Smith will get equal time in practice *wink,wink*. Perhaps, this week the competition is real but we all know its not and I'm staying on the Mo Williams train.

If You Believe This I Got A Bridge To Sell You

Would the real Pitt fans please stand up.

I'll tell you what my friends, going to Michigan State was a real eye opener. I always knew our tradition lacked behind, but I had no idea how terrible it was. I don't think that Pitt should strive to "be like" another school in terms of fans and support. I believe that Pitt fans should go about it in a unique way. That's what real tradition is. I really think that Pitt (we the students and the athletics dept) may have the wrong approach to creating a better fan base and home atmosphere. Now I'm not criticizing anyone working in the A.D., but think about this. Every time we have had things forced down our throat, it hasn't worked.

The first thing that comes to mind for me is the Panther Zone. I was at some of the meetings where this was being planned out and to my knowledge it isn't as great of a success as it should be. I have never gone to the Panther Zone once, but that is only because I choose to wait at the gate to ensure a front row seat. I'm sure there are a variety of other reasons why other people don't go. The only time I have heard of the Panther Zone filling up was when Tony D and the 76 national championship team was there.

In addition to the Panther Zone, we've had Walt Harris telling us to make noise every time the Panther growls, we've been given tons of Panther Pitt towels, Code blue shirts are being sold at 5 bucks a pop to students, and yet none of this catches on.

This is where I blame myself. I am always trying to come up with ways to improve Pitt's tradition. When I started to push for the Cat Basket to become more recognizable I wanted to make sure everyone knew about it and thought that maybe it could be used for football. Now, my attitude is changed. We will be receiving our Cat Basket shirts on Monday Sept 24, and I will be giving them to people who have asked for them. I am not going to try and make Cat Basket the Oakland Zoo of football. Rather, what I am going to do is wear my shirt, cheer for Pitt, and continue to use this medium as a way to provide discussion, opinions, and news about The University of Pittsburgh football team.

I hate to keep mentioning Michigan State, but it is the freshest in my mind so I keep coming back to it. During their Alma mater everyone puts their arms around each other and sways back and forth. The visual effect of that is amazing. Right before kickoff, the student section passes down two huge banners from the top of the section to the bottom. One says Go Green, the other says Go White. They also have this tomahawk chop motion that it looks like they copied from FSU, but everyone in the student section is doing it. Also, their alumni clap, sing, and cheer along.

C'mon Pitt fans where are you? How many of you can sing Pitt's Alma mater? Do you know what the actual words are to the bridge in the fight song? Have you seen the students run on the field with the Hail to Pitt flag?

I really wish Pitt would find a way to boycott tailgating in all of the parking lots around the stadium. I'm sorry if it would take away from your game day experience, but I think that people do not understand how large the number is of students who come down to tailgate, get black out drunk and pass out in the parking lot or just end up heading home. Maybe even have just a season ticket holder or alumni section where tailgating (with alcohol) is allowed and ban adult beverages from every other section.

It really is sad that when the Michigan State gates opened there were about 2000 students waiting to get in. Here at Pitt, we have about 11 and I can name all 11 of them who are there.

So what will it take for Pitt to become a school with a good atmosphere and tradition? Well first off, these fair weather fans need to become everyday fans. Against Miami, WVU, VaTech, and Louisville, Pitt has had some of the greatest crowds I have ever seen. I really hate fair weather fans and their attitude of coming to games just to see the opponent or to try and get on tv, but at least they bring great enthusiasm. We really need those fans to turn into full time diehards. My guess is that there is about 10k - 15k of die hard fans in the stadium who aren't afraid to stand up, clap, and make noise. It's just a shame when you have the idiots around you telling you to sit down and be quiet. I don't want to sound like a dick......wait......yes I do. When I finally graduate from Pitt after 10 great years, I will be a season ticket holder for Mens and Womens BBall and for Football. If at anytime someone tells me to be quiet or to sit down, I'll tell them to go home and watch it on TV that way I won't be there to bother them. If people are so offended by those around them, STOP COMING TO GAMES! No one is forcing you to be there, and if you do show up, you obviously have an interest in the team, so SUPPORT THEM!

What I really think needs to happen is more students need to get creative. We need something to organize the student section. Something we can all get behind to have our own unique traditions. Think about what we have, Lets Go Pitt, PI-TT (for bball only), and that's about it. We stole the Hail To Pitt flag idea. The drum major touching his hat down to the the ground is not unique to us. We lost the bridge to the fight song. The hey song isn't played anymore. Our intro video is eerily similar to MSU's (I was hurt). And we have nothing to unite us. I love coming to games and seeing people wear steelers jersey's or just regular clothes with out any blue, gold, or Pitt stuff on it.

This is my challenge to you fans. Create some tradition. Lets have a chant that we can do that is unique to us. Come up with an idea for a video that we can rally behind like the "Spartan's what is your profession?" clip, find a way to get everyone to just at least clap along with the fight song. Panther fans, I will continue to my party to try to create and inspire better tradition for Pitt, however it won't work if it is just one person coming up with everything. We need to work together and unite. Make Pitt football the most exciting thing in the fall. Make it so that if you are not at the game you feel left out. Make it that people want to come to games and want to cheer for their school just because they love it.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Enough is enough and it's time for a change

First off, let me say that to the people who created and are in the facebook group F*** Kevan Smith, you are disappointments to the university. Kevan is a Panther, and while we may think he should not be starting, I don't believe we should be attacking him like that. If you want to blame someone for a major screw up, then point your fingers at the coaches. Kevan did what he was told and did it to the best best of his ability. I'll be the first to tell you that I'm hoping for a change, but I will never attack a fellow Panther the way you have.

Now with that out of the way, we can focus our attention on what should be discussed.

What should be done about our Qb situation? Well the biggest factor in all of this is Jason Pinkston. Without him it doesn't really matter because as we saw with the MSU game, every time Jason was out of the lineup, the Spartan's 4 man rush was able to create too much pressure. Even with our without Pinkston we still need to figure out what to do with the Qb's.

So Cavanaugh and Wannstedt, LISTEN UP!!!!!

You have 2 quarterbacks who can lead this team to a 9-3 record right now. They are both on your bench and have a combined 1 pass attempt between them. It doesn't matter who you put in there, Bostick and Williams can lead this team until Stull is back. We all know Pat Bostick is highly decorated, so I'll save you all of the awards and stats that Pat has accumulated over his career. We also know that for some screwed up reason, the coaches don't want him to play. So, if you don't want him to play, I don't want to waste everyone's time making my case of why he should play since you aren't listening. Instead, this is my plea for Mo Williams to be our quarterback.

Mo Williams was a starting qb in high school. He had a few offers to play qb in college, albeit not from big schools. The fact that he did have some offers should be an indication he can play at this level. He also gives you more opportunities to be creative with your running game. In the 3rd quarter you weren't even letting Kevan Smith lineup under center. If you can't trust him to do that, why not let Williams in there to run the option? Williams can run atleast a 4.4 40. He can also throw a bit too. Imagine Shady coming in motion on the wildcat offense with Williams under center. You hand it off a few times and the opponent believes you will keep doing that. But then, OOPS POW SURPRISE! Mo throws a pass, and now the defense has no idea what to expect.

To everyone on the Panthers football staff. If you want to win, you will start Mo Williams (since you won't play bostick at all).

Get Well Soon Billy Stull. We really need you.

Questions To The Coach Cavanaugh

I'm going to try to write this article in the most polite and respectful way I can possibly do. Also before I'm going to accept the fact that under no circumstance Pat Bostick will be allowed to play. Well here is a couple of obvious questions to the man behind our offense Matt Cavanaugh.

1. Why once we used the Wildcat offense was Kevan Smith on the field? He was always the far receiver on the right side every time the play was ran. What was the point of this? First off, he was so far from under center that he couldn't possibly be a decoy. There was no way that he could have gotten back to the ball to perhaps do a trick play and throw. Also if Kevan Smith is so important to this offense why risk him having to be out wide blocking every single play. What was to stop the corner in front of him for smashing into him every play? This package makes absolutely no sense with him out wide. Why not have Mo Williams who can throw the ball out there during the play to keep the defense honest? This package worked so well but I have no idea in hell why Kevan Smith was out there, it made no sense.

2. If we had the Wildcat spread in the offense for a situation like the one we encountered on Saturday, why was there only one version of the play with the same snap count, motion, and everything? The setup to the play was completely the same to the point that I was yelling out when the snap was coming to DPJ and the guys around me. Just notice the one play where Porter came in motion too early and Shady had to send him back out in order to keep the same rhythm to the play. The shocking thing was that this play worked and helped us move the ball in the third quarter. Why would you have a play like this in the play book that was only practiced in this one specific way? You used to coordinator in the NFL how are you this under prepared for a game with a quarterback you have seen play badly before. How did you not put in at least a wrinkle or two into this play? Hopefully, you can be bothered to look at the personnel you are using for the Wildcat and correctly install the play to both sides and with a different player at the far right wide receiver.

3. If we can't trust Kevan Smith to throw the ball 5 yards why not just go all out and do the spread offense. I assume that we have been practicing for teams with a spread offense after playing Grambling St. and later in the year WVU. So why not take that preparation and use this weeks practice to install a mini-version of the spread offense with Mo Williams playing quarterback. Our quarterback position is basically in shambles until Bill Stull gets back, so use the spread option to get us through the game with UCONN. Does anybody on your staff think that Kevan Smith is going to play any better this week than he did at Michigan St.? He can't handle the pressure so why make him do it. Our whole offense is our running game so bring in Mo and run the option.

4. Without Jason Pinkston, hopefully he is back, we can't run the west-coast style offense that you have installed. Did you see how easily Michigan St. got pressure on Smith in the 4th quarter. McGlynn is an awful tackle and can't pass block against the edge rush, so why make him. Just have the line run block for Shady and Mo in an option offense. Spreading out the defense will allow the line to get favorable position to lay down their blocks. You can't expect this line in its current form to give the quarterback time.

5. If Stephens-Howling is back this week than you can get what you want and play him and Shady equally. The option would make it necessary for two backs to get carries in the game, so we can use our two options at running back like you want.

I don't think that anything on the offense is beyond repair. This group has talent and the coaching staff needs to get creative. I hope that our coaches aren't as stubborn and arrogant about the style of play as they seem. Why try to force this team to play a style thats obviously beyond the quarterback. Give up on Smith right now and use Mo Williams to get us to the return of Bill Stull. Hopefully the offense will at that time be capable to run the offense you want, since Stull can complete a pass.

Pointing the finger

Well, I promised Jason Jones, myself, and the Cat Basket faithful that I will not post directly after a loss to ensure that I don't come off too angry. This also gives some time to collect my thoughts. So here's what I think after a great weekend.

First off, Michigan State has the nicest fans in the nation. They were very courteous, they treated us with respect, and I can only hope that one day Pitt fans can become more like Spartan Fans. Also, thanks to the MSU Kappa Sig fraternity for letting us hang out with you friday night.

I will write more about the game tomorrow, but I feel certain things should be mentioned right now. Pitt should have won Saturday's game, but specific mistakes and players prevented that from happening. Pitt had control of the game and should have been able to put more points on the board, but here is what stopped us.

Kevan Smith. All he needed to do was let the running game carry him and make a few passes to sustain drives. Instead he under-threw and over-threw passes to the intended receivers. His over-throw on the screen pass led to a pick 6. Without that over throw, Pitt wins the game. We did not convert any 3rd downs. When you can't move the chains, you don't win games. Smith was so bad that we had to let Shady take snaps in order to get the offense going. I will give credit to smith on one play. He had Oderick Turner wide open and got the ball to him in the end zone however,

Oderick Turner - The big drop in the endzone killed us. If he catches that ball, we would have won the game. I understand that he isn't Bryant, Lee, Fitzgerald, or Kinder but that ball needed to be caught. Don't worry though Oderick, you weren't the only receiver who messed up.

TJ Porter - ..........Momentum gone....... We have MSU stopped on 4th and short and then one play later a fumble kills us. We may not have scored on that drive but needing a field goal instead of a touchdown is huge. On our last drive we were very close to being in field goal range but we needed 6, not 3. Turnovers killed us this game and that fumble pretty much took away our momentum and any chance for a comeback.

Chris Vangas - I was at the game so I didn't see if you actually grabbed the facemask. BUT, you're an offensive lineman. Your hands should not be near the helmet at any time. When you're learning how to block you get low and hit the chest. That 15 yard penalty ended any chance we had for a TD. That TD would have been able to tie the game.

Mike Phillips - Please hold on to that interception. We needed that and I believe it would have turned the tables.

Basically what we have figured out is that Shady is incredible, Jason Pinkston is much more valuable than McGlynn at tackle, the DLine is playing solid. We also learned that WE NEED STULL BACK NOW! If we can't have Stull and you are so against playing Bostick, why not put Mo Williams in there? That wildcat option would be much more efficient with Williams in there instead of Smith. Guess what? Mo can throw too. How can a team defend against that? They can't!

I really hope we see someone new under center. I hope Pinkston is ok. I hope that the receivers show up for the next game.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Super Shady

I thought I would focus the first article after the Michigan St. loss on the most positive development coming out of the game. Shady is absolutely the real deal in every sense of the word. His performance in his first road game at a packed Spartan Stadium was amazing. For 1 quarter of the game he was our entire offense running that sprint option. The whole offense has been thrown on his 19 year old shoulders.

25 carries 172 yard performance was the only thing that our offense had going for it. Our quarterback situation is a huge problem but Shady has been consistent. Everybody in Spartan Stadium knew the ball was coming to him pretty much every play and it didn't matter. 8 and 9 men in the box didn't seem to have much effect on how effective Shady was. He is a complete running back with speed, vision, and moves. The way he hits the hole and runs at angles makes him a difficult player to tackle. Every time Shady touches the ball he is a threat to score, we haven't had that type of running back since Kevan Barlow.

Until our offense finds a way to throw the ball Shady is going to have to continue his amazing play, the thing is I don't think we have seen half of what he can do. He is taking this bad situation we have with the offense around him and making this team his. Right now, Shady is on his path to super stardom and the nation got their first chance to see him at MSU. I think he is becoming part of the national college football scene. He needs to be mentioned in the same breath as the other top line Big East running backs. The sky is the limit for Shady and he seems completely comfortable in his increased responsibility. Enjoy this while it lasts because Shady is a level of player that only comes around Pitt once in a while.

Quick Update

Our thoughts on the Michigan St. game are coming later in the day. Going to East Lansing took it out of us and we need to just relax and watch the Steelers game. We have a bunch of opinions on where the team stands and we will have articles all week. I promise you will get our unique perspective on everything.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Predictions for MSU

Last week I got a couple things right and I hope that this will continue. This game is an unknown since neither team has been tested or has shown their true identity yet. Injuries have been the big story of the season for the Panthers. Grab ahold of something sturdy, the real season is about to start and its going to be a bumpy ride.

1. Shady will get a significant amount of carries even more than last week's 19 carries. He showed his brilliance last week and look for it to continue. I've said it again and again he is the engine for our rushing offense. Look for a couple of highlight reel runs and plays out of him this week. Also I would expect more swing passes and screens to him this week. The coaching staff apparently has adopted the plan of getting the ball to Shady early and often.
Stat line: 25 carries, 175 yards, 2 TD's with 3 catches 28 yards

2. The running defense is going to step up and answer the challenge. Michigan St. wants to run the ball and I have a feeling we will be able to stop them. The player I look for to have a big game is Scott McKillop at the middle linebacker position. Stacking players in the box will happen most of the game and those first level guys need to contain and get to the running back.

3. Nate Byham is going to have another great game. Our tight ends have been getting open continuously in the middle of the field. Kevan Smith needs to continue to look for Byham as a security valve. Hopefully, he has another big play in him this week, the passing game needs him.

4. The secondary will continue to play solid football. Tackling needs to be there this week against the run. I look for Thatcher to have a huge game coming up in the box and stuffing the run. Hopefully we will get to see how the corners handle being left alone on the oustside in man to man coverage.

So what do all my predictions lead to? I see this as a game that is well within our reach. Don't let the fact that we are firm underdogs fool you, we can win. Kevan Smith has to play within himself and manage the game. No turnovers on offense and creating turnovers on defense has to be the goal. This game is going to be a slug fest and we will know after Saturday where this season is going.

My prediction: Pitt 24 MSU 17

Where The Game Has To Be Won

Last week versus Grambling, the defense lost its most talented player, Gus Mustakas, for the entire year. This is bad news for Pitt as Michigan St. returns four starters on the offensive line. In addition to this, MSU's new head coach, Mark Dantonio, has installed adopted a power running game plan and philosophy to the Spartans offense. Everyone remembers Drew Stanton and the Spartans moving the ball at will in last years contest at Heinz Field. If Pitt has any chance of winning, then it starts with the defensive line. However, the big question is: how much better is this years defensive line.

I think in the first two games the defensive line has looked much better than our teams of the past. Obviously, Mustakas played at an All Big East caliber, but other than him Greg Romeus and Joe Clermond have both played very good football. Pitt has created pressure without blitzing which has led to turnovers and rushed passes. Michigan St. has an offensive line that is leaps and bounds above what we had already faced but I'm not convinced that they will be able to handle the rotation that we use on the line.

What the defensive line needs to do is get pressure on quarterback Brian Hoyer. When he drops back, get a hand in his face or get a hand on his body. The defense needs to take away the pass so that we can stack 8 in the box to shutdown the running game. Speed, strength and conditioning is what has been emphasized and that's what we need to bring against Michigan State's offensive line. Buddy Morris has turned this group into a 4 quarter presence, where every snap has the same intensity. If we are able to take away any semblance of a passing game without too much blitzing, then Michigan State's offense can be contained.

Turnovers, turnovers, turnovers are the best 3 ways we can neutralize the Michigan St. offense.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Pitt-PSU Rivalry Suggestion

I didn't want to keep focusing on this topic but there was a little debate with DPJ and me in the comments yesterday and I thought I would flesh my argument out a little. I promise tonight the focus will completely shift to the game against Michigan St.

First things first the fact that Penn St. won't go even 1 for 1 with us is completely ridiculous. They are treating this rivalry without any respect and by association our school. The article today in the Post-Gazette talked about how Paterno is kicking around the idea of bringing back the rivalry on a 6 home game for Penn St. and 4 home game for Pitt schedule over 10 years. Penn St. needs to hang it up on their crazy self-importance. Hey JoePa, call up Notre Dame and demand the same game structure and see what happens. Before I make my argument realize that I think this is ridiculous and I'm not saying give up to Penn St. just to get the game started.

Here is my proposal and its on a 15 year structure to hopefully outlast a certain old man with incontinence problems:

1. Play the first game at a neutral ground. Lincoln Financial Field in Philly would be a good place for the first neutral ground game of the series. Then perhaps move the second neutral ground game of the series to Cleveland, then Washington D.C. or another close NFL stadium. Play the neutral ground games in NFL cities as to not have to worry about scheduling at a different college stadium.
2. Give PSU the first home game in the series to shut them up.
3. Second home game of the series is played at Heinz Field, therefore giving us the final home game of the first agreement.

There you go we are 15 years out and somebody is gone. After the initial agreement we just go back to the real world and play the 1 and 1. I know this won't happen but I was just trying to think of a way to circumvent the old man and get the game back on track. Just an idea for everybody to chew on.

Paterno Showing His Arrogance

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

What the New Athletic Director Needs To Do

Well the story has broken of our Athletic Director Jeff Long moving onto Arkansas. I thought I would put together some ideas as to what the new Athletic Director needs to do for the football program. Cat Basket readers you can thank the most boring class in the entire world Astronomy for the length of this article but I'm going to like that pretty much guaranteed A from the class.

1. Pitt-PSU rivalry has to be restarted, no matter what the cost. Everybody knows that the reason the game isn't played anymore is Joe Paterno. What the new AD needs to do is get an offer together that can't be turned down by Penn State. I'm not saying give into all the demands that PSU wants but give up enough to get this back on the schedule. We all know that the game will restart once JoePa is no longer around but why wait, he is seemingly never going to just go away.

2. Scheduling quality non-conference opponents needs to be a priority. This means that we are going to have to play tough games on the road early in the season. Teams that win National Titles test themselves out of conference to get valuable wins over ranked opponents. I'm totally for a season opener where we travel to a difficult place to play a ranked team. To win like a big time program our schedule needs to reflect a big time program out of conference.

3. High expectations need to be in place for the team every single year. Coach Wannstedt has been given adequate time to turn this program around. Winning seasons have to start this year, no excuses. Wannstedt has done an amazing job at rebuilding the team on the recruiting trail but the results need to start to show on the field. Another losing season and there needs to be consequences handed down to the coaching staff, maybe a shakeup in the assistant coaches.

4. Improve the aesthetics of the uniform and the team logo. Whatever you do don't bring back the script and the old colors, we aren't the Steelers and our jerseys can change to look modern. Work with Adidas to give the team a look that combines the past and present into a pleasing design for the team. I have wanted to buy a jersey since I got to school but I couldn't imagine wearing any of the designs we have had for 5 years. New attractive jersey's can give the team a new identity and give the fans a new perception of the team.

5. Continue to keep the athletics department accessible to the student. As DPJ has said Jeff Long always acknowledged and engaged us in discussion whenever we talked to him. The students need a voice in the decision-making of the athletics department.

I personally think that Jeff Long did a great job and I'm sad to see him go. I hope the new AD is ambitious and ready to continue the growth of Pitt athletics. Oh and I hope he is hired before the basketball season is over so somebody doesn't come in and steal Dixon and his staff.

Good Morning East Lansing

Well, I was surprised as anyone to see that this morning, a Michigan State Spartan fan named Steve had some questions about the Cat Basket and about the upcoming game on saturday. So, while I responded to Steve, I figured I would share the same information with our readers. This isn't really a preview, but more of a what Pitt is and what Pitt needs to be for saturday.

I'll use some of Steve's questions and i'll throw in some tidbits of my own.

How are you today?

Well, I can't speak for Jason Jones, but DPJ is fine and dandy thank you for asking.

What do you believe Pitt's biggest strength's and weaknesses are at this point?

I think this answer is best suited looking at the offense and defense. Offensively, Pitt's new found rushing game is by far our biggest strength. Pitt has a full compliment of running backs that can be very effective on saturday. Everyone is finally realizing that Shady is all we expected him to be and then some. Hot-Rod, LSH, is a quick back who is dangerous on sweeps and screen passes, he is a great side to side runner and plays very well in the open field. Conredge Collins and Shane Brooks are the fullbacks who are both above average blockers (at least I believe so) and they both can run the ball very well. Pitt has needed this type of rushing attack, and it is hard to fathom that in one year, we have turned a weakness into our biggest

Our biggest offensive weakness is Qb experience. Billy Stull was the opening day starter but was forced out against Eastern Michigan with a hand injury and will be out 4-6 weeks. Kevan Smith right now is the starter, but he only has a total of 13 career starts at the high school and college level combined. He played well enough to move the offense against EMU and had a very nice 50 yard touchdown pass to Pitt's big tight end Nate Byham. Behind Smith is true freshman Pat Bostick who many fans criticized for throwing an interception on his very first pass. Dan Marino did the same thing in his first game at Pitt, but I don't expect to see Bostick much this week just because he is a true freshman.

On the defensive side, our secondary is our biggest strength. Kennard Cox, Mike Phillips, Eric Thatcher, Aaron Berry, and Ricky Gary make up one of the Big East's finest secondary's. Cox and Gary have seen the majority of time at CB this season due to a leg injury suffered in camp by Aaron Berry. Thatcher is a ranger over the middle who will always make the big hit. Phillips is a solid player who is technically sound and plays the position very well. Most people remember him from a very bad injury a couple seasons ago.

Our weakness is the linebackers. Most of the linebackers were converted from other positions (WR and Safety). To this point they have played well, but have not really been tested. They have allowed very few rushing plays to break into the secondary, but then again, it was only GSU and EMU.

Do you expect many Pitt fans to make the trip to East Lansing?

I don't expect many Pitt fans to be there. We do not travel well, and even our home attendance is poor. I personally know many people going to the game, but that is only because they are die hard fans. The Cat Basket will also be there. We'll have our standard Cat Basket sign over in section 27.

What is your opinion of Dave Wannstedt?

I think Dave Wannstedt thus far has been average. Now don't get me wrong, I think he is a good coach and I do believe he will have Pitt atop the big east very shortly, but he did have some trouble early on. When he came in, he brought a completely new mentality to this team. Instead of relying on the pass and a crazy offense, Dave wanted to adapt a run first offense. When he arrived, our offensive line was in terrible shape. Dave has recruited some great OLinemen and it takes a few years for them to develop. This season we are starting to see the team become what Coach Wannstedt wanted them to be since he arrived. Adding Shady to the mix only helped us reach this goal faster than planned.

Any predictions for this weeks game?

Well I do have a prediction, but i'm going to save that for a later post. I don't want to show my hand too early and my opinion could change between now and saturday. I do hope one thing happens. I hope that neither team has any injuries. We have been plagued by injuries since the beginning of camp. Pitt can not afford to lose another player at this point. Another important factor is that these kids are more than just football players, they are also students. It isn't easy balancing life and school, but adding football into the mix makes it even more difficult.

I hope you enjoy the game and if you do come up, make sure you enjoy the pregame atmosphere.

I'm guessing you mean tailgating. I'm sure we will hook up with some friends of Pitt's program and hang out some where, but plans aren't set in stone yet. I do look forward to seeing how your pre-game festivities compare to the Pitt's lack of tailgating. Jason Jones and I aren't really into it that much, but then again we're usually waiting for our seats 2 hours before kick off so I'll use that as our excuse.

Thanks to Steve for the email. Hopefully everything will be alright this weekend. When MSU played at Pitt last year I met some of the nicest people. Hopefully those who I have met from MSU are just as cordial as the rest of the 70 some thousand that should be at the game on saturday. This is my first big ten road game and we will be bringing you pictures and updates lives from the road, so keep checking back.

~ The One and Only ~