Wrapping Up Rutgers

With more top 25 losses this week, Pitt was able to get into both polls, moving to 19th and 20th in the USA Today and AP Polls respectively. They're also #5 in something called the ESPNU Fan rankings at the time of this post. I say that because five minutes ago, they were #10. Not sure exactly what that is, but if you look at the rankings, it's clear to see that it's not real indicative of the two main polls. Pitt is also #20 in the CBSSportsline.com (Non-blogger) 120 poll.

After the win, Brian Bennett at ESPN.com give Dion Lewis another weekly helmet sticker and says Pitt might be the one to spoil Cincinnati's season. As he points out, Pitt still has games AT WVU and home against South Florida. Um, let's worry about those two games first as neither will be easy games.

Pitt's win probably meant a little extra to Dion Lewis who was from New Jersey, but wasn't recruited by Rutgers. You can't beat up Rutgers for this - schools miss on kids all the time and it's hardly an exact science. And even though Rutgers' running game could surely use the help, as Jim Calhoun once said, you can't go after every kid. Would Schiano like to have Lewis? Sure he would, but no one recruits perfectly.

Anyway, Lewis and his 180 yards were clearly the story. And Rutgers players were quick to reconigze that he is a real talent.

Sticking with Lewis, Beano Cook doesn't think he's in the top five Heisman candidates yet. Many voters have already shown they're unwilling really to give an underclassman a chance at the Heisman, let alone a freshman. It would be tough for him to even crack the top five unless Pitt would have an unbelievable one or two loss season. And even then, he still might not get much consideration. But raise your hand if at the beginning of the year, you would have even thought this would be discussed this year?

And I'm glad I'm not the only one who thinks Pitt is capable of playing much better than they have so far. Paul Zeise in the PG blog also goes over Pitt's many miscues that kept a close win from potentially being a blowout, including the Jovanni Chappel missed interception near the end, which should have been a pick six. If Rutgers goes on to win that game, I think it would have been fair to place just as much blame on him as Dan Hutchins. In a close game like that, you've got to shut the door.

Here are some other links:

Rutgers, while acknowledging the conference crown has probably been lost, was pleased with their effort. A Bergen Record columnist thinks it might be time to change the goals for the season.

Dom DeCicco was able to get a small measure of revenge from his early miscue.

Gene Collier in the PG has a somewhat interesting stat:

When freshman Dion Lewis took one 58 yards around right end for a two-touchdown lead in the third quarter, it did a lot more than fulfill one quirky requirement of this still very promising Panthers autumn -- Pitt needs either a 100-yard game from Lewis or a 100-yard game from wideout Jonathan Baldwin to secure a victory; the only time it got neither it absorbed its only loss.


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