I like Dave Wannstedt, I really do. But some of the stuff he says ... I don't know. I'd like to take him at face value, but it's hard to do so.
Two weeks ago prior to the Miami game and after the New Hampshire game in which Ray Graham played well, Wannstedt said he would play the hot hand. As I went over in detail over at SB Nation Pittsburgh, nothing could have been farther from the truth. Graham repeatedly took a backseat to Lewis in the game even though Wannstedt said he would stick with the better player.
Last week it wasn't a factor as Lewis was injured, but here we are two weeks later and it's the same story from Wannstedt:
Although Dave Wannstedt said Lewis will start, the Pitt coach doesn't have a set rotation planned for his sophomore tailbacks.
"We're going to play the hot hand," Wannstedt said. "They're competing in practice. I wish we had the depth and talent to compete at every position like we have at tailback. We'll see how it unfolds on Saturday, but there's no plan designed to get one guy X amount compared to the other."
If Wannstedt were really doing that, he'd be playing the guy who's fresh off three consecutive 100-yard games and a 277-yard effort.
I think no matter what, we'll see a decent dose of Lewis. Personally, I think Wannstedt thinks he owes something to Lewis to a degree and I don't really have a problem with that. Deep down, I believe he probably subscribes to the theory that you shouldn't lose your job due to injury. I've never heard him say that, just a hunch. Graham nearly rushed for an all-time school record and think of the guys in just the past 30 years - Tony Dorsett, Curvin Richards, Kevan Barlow, Lesean McCoy, and of course, Lewis. It will be interesting to see just how much Lewis plays if he starts off slowly and Graham comes in and moves the chains.