Sunday, December 2, 2012
Pitt Season Thoughts
The Pitt Panthers finished the 2012 season at 6-6 and are eligible for a Bowl game. They managed to lose two games then win two games three times is season. 2L-2W-2L-2W-2L-2W. It was a very up and down season but one in which the team improved in many ways.
The biggest improvement was on the defensive side of the ball. In Pitt's 6 wins the defense gave up 47 points total. That is 7.8 points per game. They also played well enough to win the Syracuse and Notre Dame games but came up short in the end. The defense is young and will return essentially the entire unit plus get some young talented linebackers back healthy. They have two of the best corners in football in Lafayette Pitts and K'Waun Williams. Aaron Donald is a monster on the defensive line and linebackers Todd Thomas and Shane Gordon really played well when healthy
On offense it was great to see Ray Graham return to health and have a 1,000 yard season. Freshman Rushel Shell put together a nice season and will be the featured back next year. Devin Street showed flashes that he can be an elite receiver and Mike Shanahan was the go to receiver all year. the Offensive line improved throughout the year and actually had games where they dominated the line of scrimmage. The issue with the line was consistency.
What can you say about the job that Coach Chryst did with Tino Sunseri this year? 18 TD's and only 2 Int's. The only complaint about Tino this year is that he may have been too conservative with the ball and should have taken some more shots to what looked like open receivers.
The coaching staff looked over their heads in the first two games of the season but really showed that they can coach their guys up and get them to buy in. The defense and offense improved as the season advanced.
The Bowl game for Pitt is really secondary to the 15 extra practices that the staff gets with the players. This is especially important for the younger players who will be expected to contribute next year.
Pitt will move to the ACC next year and it will be very interesting to see how the stack up against the ACC teams.