There are lots of theories on why Pitt has been so bad and it's definitely not something that can be boiled down to a single thing.
My theory? In a nutshell, Pitt's a really young team who lost two key cogs to the team. I know other programs can play well with young freshmen, but having a Kentucky team with several All-Americans is slightly different than Pitt squad that now has none. The gist is that all freshman aren't created equal, shall we say.
But Pitt's problem isn't merely that the team is young. They also lost one of their already small number of upperclassmen, Tray Woodall, to injury. This wasn't the same as playing without starters Lamar Patterson and Dante Taylor as Pitt did in brief stints earlier this season. Woodall ran the offense and it can be argued that he was Pitt's best player early this season when he went down to injury.
Now, though, Woodall thinks he might be back ... maybe even in time for the Gameday contest this weekend against Louisville.Woodall hinted that he may play this weekend against the Cardinals:
Will he play Saturday? "Yeah. I definitely feel like I'm ready to play. I'm not going to beat around the bush."
Asked the same question again: "I'm going to go through two more days of practice, see how I'm feeling. Whenever I'm ready to go, I'm ready to go."
"College Gameday it doesn't get better than that. It's a special moment right there. Maybe I'll come back this weekend."
Woodall's been practicing, but is still having some pain. Also in that interview, he mentions not wanting to come back until he's at least 90%. How far away from that he is is probably anybody's guess.
So why is it taking so long? Woodall says this hasn't been a typical injury:
"I worked with some of the Steelers doctors. They said it's an unusual injury. They don't know how I got it. They think I might have torn my ab before I tore my abductor. We're still trying to figure it out."
I want Woodall back as much as the next guy, but his health should come first. Not to mention that the last time he came back, he wasn't effective at all. As frustrating as this is for us, though, it's got to be even tougher on him. He was having a great season when he went down and to have to watch this steaming pile of crap that's been on the court ... well, yeah.