12 November 2010
If it's an exaggeration to call last night's game one of the biggest embarrassments of the season, it isn't so by very much. In a season full of embarrassments, blunders and missed opportunities, last night's defeat at the hands of .500 UConn would give the Miami game a run for it's money.
There's almost too much to get into - and for the sake of my sanity, I won't try - but there is simply no excuse for a team with as much supposed talent as Pitt should have lost to UConn last night. UConn lost to Temple. UConn lost to Louisville badly.
UConn had one weapon on offense and Pitt let him put up over 200 yards on them. After not allowing a single 100 yard rusher all season, Pitt gives up 222. Just incredible.
Pitt is now 0-4 on national television this season and is something like 3 - 172 when having extra time to prepare. It's becoming clearer and clearer that these teams let the hype of what is expected of them get in the way of their everyday prep. ESPN's Jenn Brown said during last night's broadcast that Wannstedt called an "impromptu" five minute meeting with players to warn them about taking this one game at a time. That should have been the focus of the entire week. Maybe it was, but it sure seems that whenever expectations begin to pile up, this team reacts to the pressure. It happened last season, it happened at the beginning of this season, and it's happening again now.
So Pitt is now hoping for an 8-4 record and the ability to limp in to a BCS bowl game. I've been a big defender of the Mustashed One. It's been slow, but there had always been progress. 9-3; then 10-3; then the supposed break-out year. This year - BCS or not - has been a step backwards.
Although the argument could be made that those seasons weren't even much in the way of progress. Ask yourself, when was the last time Pitt beat a quality opponent? North Carolina maybe, but they certainly weren't a top-25 caliber team. Last season, Pitt had 1 quality opponent in Cincinnati and lost (plus a mediocre WVU and a TERRIBLE NC State team). Before that, they lost to a terrible Rutgers, a MAC team and Oregon State in embarrassing fashion. The last quality win was.... 13-9. No one loved that game more than me, but that's a long time to be living on one game (not to mention that it was part of a 5-7 year).
It's becoming harder and harder to defend this coaching staff.
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