FanPost

Featured Fanpost: Embarrassing, yes. Unprecedented, not entirely.

Reader Lupper chimes in with another Fanpost - to write your own, use the link over to the right in the Fanpost area.

It happens once or twice every March in the NCAA tournament. An experienced and senior laden mid-major with decent talent and not intimidated by the venue plays a young, inexperienced team from a power conference that's tasting the pressure of the bright lights for the first time - the mid-major uses their experience and executes a well designed game plan to bounce the power conference team in the first round. Upsets are what makes for March Madness - in September and football, they're not nearly as much fun nor as welcome.

The basketball analogy is fair based on the biggest mismatch based on outcome from Saturday night, the Youngstown State run offense vs. the Pitt run defense.

YSU beat the eventual FCS (D-1AA) national champion on the road last year and barely missed the play-offs. Overall, they returned 10 of 11 starters on offense. These included Kurt Hess (QB) and Jamaine Cook (RB) both of whom were all-conference. The YSU O-line started 4 seniors and a junior and averaged 6'4" 307#s. [for a comparison, Pitt's O-line averages 6'5" and 317#s.] One of the O-linemen is a Penn State transfer and two are JC transfers - one was all-league. They all played together last year and have an average of 17 starts per man at YSU. Is it any wonder that their running game was so effective.

Pitt's defense included 8 first time starters and 6 players who didn't play at all last year. The front seven, who were particularly ineffective, started 3 juniors; 3 sophomores and a freshman. Across the front they averaged 6'2" 278#s. The only starters on Saturday who had previous experience as starters were Aaron Donald in the D-line with 5 and Shane Gordon at linebacker with 3. As a unit, the D-line 'contributed' 8 tackles; 5 assists; 1 tackle for loss for -1 yard; and 3 quarterback hurries.

With their experienced line, YSU was able to control the line of scrimmage and dictate the pace and style of play. (150 yards rushing and a 20:46 to 9:54 time of possession advantage in the second half alone.)

Let's hope the experience Pitt gained from getting whipped works wonders and does it fast or it's going to be a very, very long Thursday night.

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