Sunday, September 9, 2007

Pitt-Grambling St. Recap

Well some of my predictions actually came true. Shady looked great and picked up the first of many 100 yard games for him. Kevan Smith played a solid enough game to get the win, next week he is going to need to be even better. The defense played outstanding throughout the game of stopping the read offense. All around a pretty good performance much better than last week.

I thought I would focus more on the performance of Shady and what this means to the season. Early in the game Stephens-Howling was having a terrible time running the ball between the tackles. When he went down with the injury and Shady touched the ball the line and the team as a whole went into another gear. The holes that were there for Hot Rod were being used by Shady to score easy touchdowns. Shady hits the hole and immediately gets to that second level, most of the plays it took 2 or 3 tacklers to even slow him down. Watch those 3 TD runs and the plays all seemed like certainties to score. If Shady gets the ball in the red zone and gets a hole he is putting it in. A back that can put the ball in the end-zone from 5 and 10 yards out gives the offense a completely new dimension. Coach Wannstedt has to stop trying to limit his carries and give the keys to the offense over to him. It is quite funny how much better the offensive line looked when there was a back in the backfield that was hitting holes and making plays past initial contact. The future is now and Shady is the star of the program.

I also wanted to say a few things about the whole quarterback situation and how it played out yesterday. From the second that Bill Stull went down I think the coaching staff was already locked in on Smith being the starter. The amount of time he got in the game was very indicative of where Bostick stands in the eyes of the coaching staff. I believe now that the plan was to redshirt Bostick this year and when Stull went down it ruined that plan. I'm going to say that I completely disagree with the way the coaching staff has handled this situation and I think it may have effects on the program down the line, in terms of recruiting top-level players. Bostick and Smith are not on the same level as players, one is a prized recruit and the other is a guy with a ton of potential but wasn't as highly recruited. Star recruits have to be treated like star players, I'm not saying Bostick needed to be handed the starting job but he should have gotten an equal chance in the game. Now, despite the way I feel about the quarterback situation I think the coaching staff has to stick with Smith no matter what. If he comes out and throws two early picks at Michigan St. he should be left in the game. The quarterback situation has to be completely settled now and Smith can't be looking over his shoulder.

This was a good win the team played like they should against a lesser opponent. Everybody at The Cat Basket get ready for the real season opener at Michigan St. The games are now going to be for real real. Look for another article today with my review of the Grambling St. band.

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