The question about the starting QB position appears to be answered. Even though I havne't seen an official announcement, here's what we know:
- Tino Sunseri took a greater number of the first-team reps in practice.
- Sunseri played much better in the Blue-Gold game.
- Comments by the coaching staff seem to slightly favor Sunseri.
As I alluded to yesterday, Wannstedt seemed like Tino was his favorite and in comments about Bostick, there was a lot of talk about, and I'm paraphrasing here, not to leave Bostick out of the discussion. I think it's a done deal. And I give Wannstedt credit for putting himself in position to do what he said he wanted to do - name a starting QB by the end of the Spring. He hasn't done that yet, but it appears he's in a position to do that. The advantage is that Tino can take the bulk of the snaps in the Fall and give himself time to get in sync with teammates. And if he really struggles early on, there's nothing that says he can't go back to opening it up (though I think once Tino is named, he'd really need to struggle for Wannstedt to do that).
Looking back at the Spring game, the easy observation is the whole caveman "Offense good. Defense bad" theory. But you've a few reasons that contributed to the defense's domination:
1. The offense was likely watered down due to the game being televised nationally:
"I don't think there was much concern about [scoring only one touchdown]," said quarterback Tino Sunseri, who completed 9 of 17 passes for 82 yards. He scored the lone touchdown on a 9-yard run on a bootleg.2. The offense's two stars, Dion Lewis and Jonathan Baldwin didn't play a whole lot. Lewis did nothing to make fans think he won't have a strong season with that long run yesterday.
"We wanted to keep it very simple because [the game] was on the NFL Network and things of that nature, and we wanted to establish the ground game and get certain guys touches and we wanted to spread the ball around and we did a good job of that.
"It was very vanilla by design. We wanted to come out here and just do some things that were very basic in our offense."
3. The wind didn't help.
Plus, I think defenses tend to do a little better in these types of games. It's early in the season and the offense is working with a new quarterback and many new players on the O-Line. It will take some time to grow, but I'm not concerned at this point.
Moving on from the final game, it looks like Greg Cross is finally going to get his chance. After scoring a TD on his first play with Pitt, I think it's safe to say that no one thought that was the last we'd really see of him. But that's exactly what happened. It's premature to think he's going to come in and have the same impact as Dorin Dickerson did in moving to tight end. Pitt has several quality receivers including Baldwin, Mike Shanahan, and Devin Street and it may be hard to crack that rotation. But I'm glad it appears he's at least going to get a shot.
Looking at tight end: Call me crazy, but while I don't expect the same production in terms of touchdowns from the position this year with the loss of Dickerson, I think Pitt fans will be pleasantly surprised by the the production the position produces this year. Much of the success at tight end had to do with Dickerson being an absolute freak. But I think Offensive Coordinator Frank Cignetti really knows what he's doing and I believe he'll find a way to again get good numbers at that spot.
Of course we'll know more once the Fall comes and we'll see if any incoming freshmen can make an impact. There's much work to be done and I can't help but think that Wannstedt would much rather have New Hampshire as the opener rather than a tough road game at Utah. Still, should be an exciting season.