Pitt football notebook: Chryst tempers expectations
By Jerry DiPaola
Published: Monday, Oct. 29, 2012, 12:01 a.m.
Pitt coach Paul Chryst isn't one to joke about football. So there was a shred of truth when he said after a 47-17 victory against Temple, “I'm always surprised when we get a first down.”
Many reporters laughed, but Chryst said he wasn't trying to be “a smart aleck.”
The Panthers gave Chryst 24 reasons to be surprised in Saturday's game.
But his point was this: “You never want to take anything for granted. I've always been like that.”
Pitt's offense was clicking against the Owls, running up 528 yards and six touchdowns to mark the fourth time this season the Panthers scored at least 35 points.
Yet Chryst is never sure how a game will develop.
“You never go into a game thinking, ‘Boy, this is what we are going to do.' If you do that, you disrespect the game,” he said. “You go into every game confident of the plan, and you're always appreciative when players execute it. But it doesn't just happen. I've never been one to expect anything.”
A week after labeling the running game “inconsistent,” Chryst received one of his best efforts of the season from Ray Graham and Rushel Shell, who combined for 188 yards and three touchdowns on the ground.
“I thought Ray ran really well,” Chryst said. “I thought he hit some things. Rushel had some runs. That energizes your team. That doesn't happen if guys (linemen) aren't throwing it around up front.”
Despite the showing, Pitt's running game is still ranked only 77th in the nation and sixth in the Big East (150.4 yards per game).
Making it count
Graham has scored at least one touchdown in all but three games (total of seven) and Shell has four, including one in each of the past three games.
Nice job, sort of
Temple coach Steve Addazio praised Pitt quarterback Tino Sunseri, but he tempered his remarks.
“We had some man coverage breakdowns,” he said. “We call it mental error, and it happened a few times. I thought going in (Sunseri) was a heck of player. He is a veteran senior guy. We had some breakdowns in there that helped him, but he was still able to make plays.”
By the numbers
Redshirt junior receiver Devin Street recorded a career-high 140 receiving yards, his third time over 100 this season and the sixth of his career. ... Senior Mike Shanahan continued to climb the all-time reception list with six against Temple to pass Derek Kinder, Gordon Jones and Dwight Collins and move into fifth place with 134. ... Defensive end Shayne Hale, who started in place of T.J. Clemmings (back spasms), had three tackles for a loss. It was his first start in five years at Pitt. ... Middle linebacker Dan Mason had a double-digit tackle total (10) for the second consecutive week. He also shared a sack with former Penn Hills teammate Aaron Donald.
Jerry DiPaola is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at email@example.com or 412-320-7997.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Former Pitt captain Cavanaugh blazes trail as entrepreneur
- Pitt wraps up spring football practice with closeness, competition
- Pitt displays football program for fans as spring practice closes
- Pitt QBs show they can adapt to change
- Pitt football notebook: Bennett to undergo shoulder surgery
- Injuries provide Pitt RB Ibrahim an opportunity to impress