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Orange Crushed: Pitt Has Big Weekend With Wins Over Syracuse And Tennessee

Pitt had a busy weekend with games against football and basketball games against Syracuse and Tennessee, respectively. Here are my thoughts on the football game:

  • There was virtually no chance the football team wasn't coming away with a win on Saturday in my opinion. The game was at home and as I wrote in the preview at SB Nation Pittsburgh before the game, Todd Graham is a master motivator regardless of how else you might feel about him. I fully expected the team to be prepared and knew he'd have them up for the game. Six Syracuse turnovers, though, helped the cause.
  • Tino played pretty well - he completed nearly 75% of his passes and threw for more than 250 yards. If there's one thing I'll remember from this year about Sunseri, it might be that regardless of how well he's played at times, the fans haven't given him a break - not a single one. If he plays well, silence. But when he's awful (and he has been awful at times - no one's disputing that), the boo birds are out in full force. Tino isn't great, but to dismiss the fact that he's had good games this season is utter nonsense. I'm far from convinced he's the ideal fit for this offense, but he deserves credit when he plays fairly well - which he has in games against Notre Dame, South Florida, UConn, Louisville, and Syracuse.
  • One thing I'm particularly encouraged about is that I think Todd Graham's system really could work well. Zach Brown and Issac Bennett aren't Ray Graham, but both have had success this year after his injury. I'm not to the point where I'd call the offense a 'Plug and Play' type, but it's really easy to see how very good players can put up video game numbers in it when things are going well.
  • Brandon Lindsey's had two huge games against Syracuse and West Virginia and showed me just how much I'll miss him next year. With the loss of Myles Caragein, too, it will be interesting to see what the defensive line looks like. But Aaron Donald's return definitely helps.
  • I mentioned this on Twitter (follow us at @PittPantherBlog, but the way), but Devin Street had what was the only spectacular catch I can remember him making this season. All of that clearly isn't his fault as Sunseri has had so little success putting the ball in the vicinity of receivers this year, but it is still fascinating to me that it took that long to see a big time catch out of him. And if you told me he'd only have two touchdown catches this season, I'd have thought you were nuts.
  • Was good seeing Anthony Gonzalez get some meaningful time in the wildcat with Ronald Jones' injury ... but man, did he look slow. I'm not sure if it was him, or the fact that Jones is so fast, but he looked to be running in cement on that touchdown run.
  • Glad to see Kevin Harper kicking all those field goals, but that's part of the reason Pitt's season ended up the way it did. The team too often had to settle for three points because they couldn't score touchdowns and it really cost the team this year.