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.