The first Pittsburgh Panthers football game is in the books, and what looked like a somewhat easy win going into the game, turned into a disaster. An offense that never got on track, a defense that couldn't come up with the big play, and 4 turnovers proved to be the difference in a 27-17 loss to Bowling Green, dropping my Panthers out of the national rankings, and to 0-1 on the season. Nobody looked sharp in the game, from the players to the coaches, which I guess can be somewhat expected in the first game of the season, but not to the extent that it was. Pitt opened up a 14-0 lead early in the game moving the ball at will up and down the field. From that point on, we would be outscored 27-3 the rest of the game, in what was a painful game to watch for all Pitt fans. Stull was forced to throw the ball 51 times for 264 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT. LeSean McCoy could never get it going, and ended up with 23 carries for 71 yards, and 1 TD. The play calling was equally as bad as the play on the field. Pitt punted twice from the Bowling Green 35, and punted in the 4th quarter on a 4th and 1 from their own territory while down 10. LeSean McCoy, who can carry the ball anyway he is asked, simply ran the ball up the middle every time he seemed to get a touch. With his speed, you need to give him carries to the outside, and he will most likely break one. Bowling Green has run a spread offense for the past couple season, yet Wannstedt stated after the game, "They gave us some unusual formations and we had a tough time adjusting to it." Are you freakin kidding me? It looked as if Pitt didn't do any game planning at all for this game, and was not ready to play.
The most obvious thing to say after this loss is to fire Dave Wannstedt, and even offensive coordinator Matt Cavanaugh, both Pitt graduates. I am trying not to jump to these conclusions, although it is hard not to. Dave Wannstedt recruits very well for the University of Pittsburgh, yet can't seem to win. I know I sound like a broken record, but you have to give Wannstedt this season to see what he can do over a full season. This season can still be a success, I believe we can compete with anybody in the Big East, and can still be in a decent bowl game, which would be an improvement over the past few seasons. I place a lot of the blame of this game on the scheduling. It is simply not smart to schedule this game, even if it is in our back yard; only bad can come out of this game for Pitt. We win, no one cares, cause all we did was beat a non-BCS team that we should beat. We lose, and it is the biggest upset of the week. You don't schedule a very good non-BCS team if you can help it, it is common sense. For example, Pitt basketball played at Dayton last season. Dayton was a very good team, however, no one cares or knew it, because they are not in a major conference. If you don't win a game like that, even if the other team is very good, you are going to get destroyed by the media. Instead of scheduling a good non-BCS team, you schedule an average BCS team. We play Michigan State in week 1, and lose, it's not a good thing, but it's not real surprising, we lose to another decent BCS team.
Either way, it is a tough loss to swallow, and made for a tough weekend watching college football. We still have a lot of good games left, and plenty of time to get back in the mix in college football. Next game, 09/06 at home vs. Buffalo at 6 p.m. Let's hope this turns out a little better.