Before the season: We’re going to have a high-octane offense, we’re going to score points and we are going to be beasts in the Big East.
Mid-season: The offense hasn’t shined, the defense stinks and I better think about leaving before I look like a fool.
End of season: It’s time for me to bounce, I can’t take the pressure of Pittsburgh and this team isn’t making me look as smart as I pretend to be.
Who is this? Todd Graham, former head coach of the Pittsburgh Panthers football program. These aren’t his words, but I’m going to take a guess that his thoughts kind of went this way.
After leaving his team in the dust for their BBVA Compass Bowl against SMU, Pittsburgh didn’t have the necessary stability and talent level to compete with the Mustangs. The 28-6 score line proved it.
The Panthers gave up 21 points in the first quarter. It was time for Tino Sunseri to take over the game and march a Panthers comeback, right?
He has struggled all season long and it continued to an extent against the Mustangs. He went 19-28 for 183 yards and one interception.
It surely wasn’t all on Sunseri. The defense wasn’t great and their lack of a rushing attack was pathetic.
10 yards on 30 carries was all the Panthers recorded. They averaged .3 yards per carry. It’s almost laughable.
You aren’t going to win many games with that stat line. Certainly Sunseri’s -33 yards didn’t help the equation, but injuries have killed the rushing total all season with the loss of Ray Graham.
You thought that maybe, just maybe, the Panthers would rise to occasion and get the victory over SMU. It just didn’t work out that way.
They finished the year 6-7 and have a new coach in Paul Chryst, former offensive coordinator of Wisconsin.
He has a lot on his plate to get this storied program turned back around. It’s going to be a difficult task. We’ll see if he’s up to the challenge.