Pitt notebook: Chryst explains controversial decision
• Pitt coach Paul Chryst explained why he called a pass from the 17 late in the fourth quarter of a one-point game against Syracuse. Quarterback Tino Sunseri was called for intentional grounding and lost 15 yards, and Pitt eventually punted in Friday's Big East game. “There is no guarantee if we scored a touchdown that we win that game,” Chryst said. “But it does keep a field goal from beating you. I'd like to say right now that I wish we had run it three times, but I don't second-guess the call. If you knew then what you know now, then, yeah, I think I'd quarterback-sneak it three times. It was just bad execution, which goes on us as coaches that they weren't able to execute versus what they did. It's on all of us.”
• When a reporter asked wide receiver Mike Shanahan if he was open for a possible score on the fourth-quarter play that resulted in a sack, he reluctantly confirmed it. “We had a good call, just a little mishap in the protection,” he said. “It happens. There are some times where the running backs and offensive line did a great job and we didn't get open. So, it works both ways.”
• Chryst said he has no problem with the 11 a.m. start time Saturday at Heinz Field against Louisville, pointing out that players don't have to wait as long for kickoff. “Remember, when you were a kid? We all got up early to watch ‘The Three Stooges,' something you were excited about,” he said. “We get to play early. It's awesome. We get to get up, jump in the shower, eat a little something, get on the bus and go play.” Chryst added that he was involved in several 11 a.m. start times when he was at Wisconsin, which is in the Central Time Zone. The game is starting at 11 so ESPNU can televise it and three other games Saturday.
— Jerry DiPaola