Before facing UNC, Pitt players insist goals go far beyond 1 big victory
Pitt coach Paul Chryst has heard his players' promises so often they might echo in his sleep or appear to be bouncing off the walls of Pitt's practice facility.
“Don't worry, coach. We won't relax just because we beat Notre Dame. We'll be just as intense Saturday against North Carolina.”
“Oh, yeah,” Chryst is thinking. “Show me.”
That's the challenge awaiting Pitt at Heinz Field where it opens a three-game stretch run that will define Chryst's second season.
Win one, and stumble into a minor bowl for a fourth consecutive season.
Win two, and earn a winning record for the first time since 2010.
Win three, and move almost to the top of the ACC Coastal Division standings while shocking — and quieting — those critics who remain unsure of the program's direction.
“You talk to them and they are talking back at you what you want to hear, but you also have to go do it,” Chryst said.
The players insist there will be no hangover after last week's 28-21 win over Notre Dame.
“We are not where we want to be, yet,” senior wide receiver Devin Street said, “but we are working toward it. We can't get too high just on one win.”
Street and the seven other starting seniors will waste a variety of opportunities if they lack proper intensity in the three games.
• Some never will play football again after their final Pitt game.
• A few have a dwindling amount of time to impress NFL scouts in game situations, which is often the most important evaluation.
• All of them are fixed on earning Pitt's six consecutive bowl bid.
“You do want them valuing every snap,” Chryst said. “If you get that from your seniors and if that can trickle down, then I think you have something going.”
Said Street: “We can't settle.”
He has plenty to gain, needing only five receptions to reach 200 in a category where he already is the school's all-time leader. If he gets 249 receiving yards, he'll be No. 1 in that category, too.
Then, there is the NFL, another hurdle for Street to clear.
Receivers coach Bobby Engram, who played 14 seasons in the NFL, thinks Street might have what it takes.
“He's tall, he can run, he's got good hands,” Engram said. “It's hard to judge how guys make that transition, but he has all the attributes.”
Street's 63-yard catch-and-run against Notre Dame was a prime example of how he is getting stronger as he gets older.
“The thing you like about Devin, he is stepping up in the moments when a senior should step up,” Engram said.
Said Chryst: “That's something you are thankful for, and you need that.”
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.
- Despite being suspended, Boyd still making contributions for Pitt
- Pitt’s Narduzzi names 4 captains
- Pitt freshman O’Neill eats up switch to tackle
- Pitt junior RB Ibrahim out for season with Achilles injury
- Woodland Hills pipeline a great fit for Pitt defense this season
- Reports: Pitt’s Newkirk transferring to Indiana
- For freshman safety Whitehead, a role reversal at Pitt
- Pitt’s run-stuffing defensive line all ready to make a stand
- Pitt notebook: Offense starts slowly in final live training camp scrimmage
- Pitt notebook: Narduzzi says NFL scouts like winners