Since Pitt decided to allow the students a fall break which conveniently fell on Columbus day, I was able to get some news and notes from the Wannstedt press conference as we head into Navy this weekend.
Just like last year, we are very very concerned about their ability to run the ball. While he wouldn't come out and say that the fullback option is the key of their offense, coach Wannstedt certainly talked about it at length during the press conference.
He also made it a point to make us aware that while Navy's main quarterback is hampered by a hamstring injury, he feels that both of the Navy quarterbacks are capable of hurting us with the passing game. I found this very funny as Navy has barely thrown the ball much this season. Going back to the 70's, Wannstedt said that Navy is similar to Oklahoma of that era.
The one thing that scares me and something I hope we are prepared for is Navy's ability to adjust. Coach Wannstedt made a very good point of how their formations are very similar but their blocking schemes and run designs are very different. He also said that he does not believe that there is a defense that they have not seen. I hope that Wannstedt is not lying to us when he says we have to mix it up on defense to keep them confused and keep them guessing.
Wannstedt also said he was expecting a hostile environment at Navy this week. I don't necessarily agree with that. I have a feeling we will be seeing many Pitt fans making this short road trip. Given that Navy's stadium only holds about 35,000 seats plus Pitt selling out our allotment, I don't believe the crowd will be as big of a factor as he does.
I've had the opportunity to meet Coach Wannstedt several times, but at this press conference I noticed he was wearing a blue bracelet on his right arm. If any of you know what it is or what it is for, I sure am curious as to what it stands for.
All in all, this press conference was almost exactly the same as we have seen in the past. Very little detail was given, many compliments were handed out to our own players as well as to our opponents, and the standard lines were in full force. I expect next week to be the same style after we win against Navy. Should the outcome be less favorable, I'd expect to see a little bit of a different tone coming from Southside.