Pitt notebook: Savage defends ejected ND player
When Notre Dame defensive end Stephon Tuitt was ejected Saturday night for a helmet-to-helmet hit on Pitt quarterback Tom Savage, the ACC officiating crew had no choice.
Tuitt was ejected, per the NCAA's targeting rule.
Savage, who suffered concussion symptoms Sept. 28 when he was hit by Virginia linebacker Daquan Romero, suggested the rule might be excessively harsh.
“Obviously, they are trying to protect the players,” Savage said, “but I think you hate to see someone get ejected for the game, especially like that.
“I put my head down, too, just to try to get the first down. He was just playing ball, and he hit me. It's tough for defenders to control themselves like that when I'm running at them and they are running at me. It's a split-second thing.
“It just stinks because he's a good player, and you would like to play against their best.”
Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly protested the call but softened his stance after the game when he said officials were following “the letter of the law.”ACC coordinator of officials Doug Rhoades told the Chicago Tribune he agrees with the ruling.
Tuitt is the second Irish player ejected this season for targeting (linebacker Ben Councell was thrown out of the Oklahoma game). Kelly said at his weekly news conference that the rule needs to be reviewed.
“Clearly, when a 320-pound inside player is running from the hash to the numbers at full speed and trying to make a play and he gets thrown out of the game, I don't think that's what the rule was intended for,” he said.
“We're going to have to look at the rule in greater detail after the season because we don't want to take (aggressive play) out of the game,”
Pitt coach Paul Chryst said he has been told that the rule will be “revisited.”
Hold your breath
The other angle to the story is Savage's willingness to run when a play breaks down. Not counting the opponents' 30 quarterback sacks, Savage has run out of the pocket 27 times for 123 yards.
“Tommy has had some interesting scrambles,” offensive coordinator Joe Rudolph said. “You don't question his toughness, that's for sure.”
Asked if he holds his breath when Savage runs, Rudolph said, “Sometimes.”
Backup cornerbacks Trenton Coles and Titus Howard, former teammates at Clairton High School, won't play against North Carolina, Chryst said. Howard has an unspecified injury, and Coles left the Notre Dame game after a helmet-to-helmet hit with Pitt safety Jason Hendricks.
Redshirt freshman Jahmahl Pardner, who was playing in the nickel packages last year before suffering a serious knee injury, and Montour graduate E.J. Banks will be the immediate backups to starters K'Waun Williams and Lafayette Pitts.
Chryst said tight end Scott Orndoff is questionable.
Chryst was captured on video dancing with great enthusiasm during the postgame celebration in the Heinz Field locker room.
The video went viral, which didn't please Chryst, but he said he learned a lesson.
“The locker rooms used to be sacred,” he said, “and shame on me for being so naive. But we're taking care of measures to make sure that doesn't happen again.”
Chryst said he hadn't seen it. “My kids looked at it and said, ‘Thanks a lot, Dad.' ”
By Thursday afternoon, the eight-second video had 27,019 views on You Tube.
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.
- Defensive woes resurface for Pitt men’s basketball team
- At Pitt, a chance to make early impression under Narduzzi
- Pitt’s weakness ‘pretty obvious’ to all
- Role change suiting Pitt’s Jones just fine
- Pitt women end regular season with win over Clemson
- Pitt’s NCAA Tournament hopes take a hit with loss to Wake Forest
- Improved play against zone keys Pitt’s turnaround
- Against Wake Forest, Pitt looks to reverse fortunes on road
- Pitt takes care of business in a victory over Boston College
- Pitt’s Young leaves impression with inside game