Friday, October 3, 2008

Friday Morning Hangover Thoughts

Well it's a little over twelve hours after the giant win over USF and I'll try to do a cleanup of my thoughts from the live blog of the game. In one word I'm shocked about the outcome of this game, seeing as nothing from the previous weeks had shown signs of this gameplan. I was so impressed by everybody involved with Pitt football last night and finally we have a national profile again. This is going to be a great 16 days to prepare for Navy.

Matt Cavanaugh really deserves all the credit in the world for a perfect gameplan last night. We ditched the stupid wide receiver screen pass and replaced them with shovel passes and screens up the middle. He found a way to completely negate the speed of the USF defense. Also he didn't lose faith in a quarterback who looked shaky and overwhelmed the entire game. Finally, we are giving the playmakers a chance to win the game on the field and Cavanaugh really drilled it home last night with his playcalling.

Shady really announced that he was back in full form last night. After the early fumble I couldn't have been more down on him but it seemed that a switch flipped inside and he found that gear that had been missing in his game. His running in the second half is what won the game. Big 3rd down runs and the fact that he finished with touchdowns inside of the 20. Hot Rod also made some huge plays in the passing game to keep the clock running and getting first downs. The running game is only going to get better and more dominant as the season goes on which is a great thing to think of as a Pitt fan. 

Defensively we finally saw the team that we all predicted in the preseason. Phil Bennett finally dialed up the pressure and it neutralized the USF offense. The key to his attack was the blitzing of Scott McKillop up the middle of the USF offensive line. McKillop has become a legend at linebacker in the past two seasons and he is always at the heart of our defensive success.  He had a tremendous game and is just furthering his repuation as an All American and Butkus Award Candidate. A bunch of praise needs to go to the defensive line who did a great job of containing and putting Grothe on the ground. They are another group that had a coming out party last night. The pressure on the quarterback seemed to really help the secondary minus one broken play. 

One last bit of praise has to go to Conor Lee who has become a great clutch kicker. I have a feeling Lee is going to make a run at the Groza Award and being an All American. He is automatic which has helped us so much.

Overall what a great win and this is a new era of Pitt football. We have went through some intense growing pains but the corner has been turned. All respect to Wanny and his staff for a great gameplan and great motivation of his players.


johnny said...

I think we also need to give a little love to Buddy Morris. We were all a little ambivalent about the "leaner and quicker" logic in regards to how the players maintain their strength and stamina. His system seems tailor made to keep Pitt competitive against fast teams in vicious heat and humidity.

I have been skeptical about the role the S & C coaches play for some time, but Buddy (via the defensive line) made me a believer in his system.

Also, great call about Bennett. That's the kind of aggressive defenses that I remember him coaching at K-State. The guy proved he could coach talent in the past, like Terrance Newman, and it was a pleasure seeing how some of the younger guys are developing under him.

Michael said...

Remember bowling green. keep it in mind whenever you play, panthers. remember what it was like to get knocked off the cloud and get a cold hard dose of reality. stay grounded. stay focused. do not take this win for granted

J Jones said...

My whiteness will not allow me to praise Buddy Morris. DPJ is the Morris lover at The Cat Basket. I'm still not sold on the much smaller players but we really brought it late in the game last night.

Just trying to savor it all today.