It's officially over. 7 losses with the 8th only a few days ahead will end what has to be the most disappointing season in recent history for our Pitt Panthers. We've all had our expectations and opinions change throughout this season and it has been an interesting ride. After a 2-0 start and a close loss to MSU, I really thought this team was on the right track. Kevan Smith played an awful game and we all thought it was Bostick or Williams time. Bostick came in and didn't play all too poorly for a freshman. After last game, the same fans who turned on Smith have now turned on Bostick. It's a shame because Pat is only an 18 year old freshman who was expecting to redshirt this year. Instead he was thrown to the wolves on a team with a horrendous offensive line. I don't expect to see Pat play qb for another 2 years as he will most likely be redshirted next year and have Bill Stull be the qb until the end of the 09 season.
Shady McCoy was a very bright spot on this team. He, like Bostick, was allowed to play thanks to an injury to 2nd string running back Kevin Collier. Against MSU, Hot-Rod was hurt and Shady won the starting job. After some fumble-itis, a strong rumor went around that the coaching staff was going to bench him in favor of Hot-Rod. Next year will be interesting as all 3 running backs will return and all deserve some playing time. Along with the backs we will have an interesting situation with Conredge Collins and Henry Hynoski. Hynoski, as far as I know, should still be inline for a redshirt. Mix this in with Collins (hopefully) coming back for his senior season we may have a problem brewing. Collins should be seeing more time, but we go without a fullback on many plays. Next year we will have an outstanding core of running backs and fullbacks but who knows how it will be split up.
The wide receivers will get a major boost with Derek Kinder coming back for a senior season. TJ Porter will hopefully remain as the teams number 2 WR with Mo Williams and Aundre Wright battling it out for 3rd and 4th spots. Pestano and Turner have been major disappointments and I really can't see any reason that would justify either of them having a top spot on the team.
At TE, Nate Byham should be on the field for every play. This year he has had to take a backseat to lazy Darrell Strong. Strong has run poor routes, taken plays off, and been the reason why Nate was not allowed to go over the middle to catch passes since Strong's inadequate blocking made him very 1-dimensional. Nate, Pelusi, and hopefully a 3rd TE can be brought in (Mike Cruz, wanna come back?) to help the line with blocking as well as improving the offense with more passing options.
Our offensive line has killed us ever since I have been at Pitt. It seems like we always have one or two guys that are very good, but the other three just completely ruin the line. This year the combo of Otah, Davis, Vangas, Thomas/Bachman, and McGlynn have been awful. Otah is the only one with NFL hopes. Yes McGlynn, I am saying you will not be in the NFL, sorry. Next year, a healthy Jason Pinkston and Chris Jacobsen will return to help bolster the line. Lucas Nix should be a starter too, but I say SHOULD BE, not will be. We all know that Wannstedt loves to play the older, and in most cases, shittier players. Next year's line must be this going from left tackle to right tackle: Pinkston, Jacobsen, Davis, Thomas/Bachman, Nix.
If we go with that our offense should be good enough to win 6 games on talent alone regardless of poor play calling. Cavanaugh will most likely be in the NFL. If he can't find a job there, expect him to be back in the blue and gold calling more draws and bubble screens.
Hill, Walker, and Angelichio will all be fine and should keep their jobs. Paul Dunn is the only casualty that the offense will and needs to see. If Dunn is not fired at the end of this year then we have no one to blame other than Wanny himself. I do believe that Nordenberg will meet with Wanny to say something needs to happen, so Dunn will be what happens. We also need to have a quarterback coach that isn't also our offensive coordinator. If we keep Cavanaugh, bring in someone to work with Stull, Smith, and Bostick that way he can devote the required time to work with these guys and make the most prepared they can possibly be.
I will get to the defense and special teams later, as well as my thoughts for WVU.
BEAT THE HOOPIES!