How about that new logo, huh? After another disastrous weekend of Pitt football, Cardiac Hill's sleek, redesigned logo is about the only thing I can get excited over. After the Youngstown State game, I was willing to give the team another week, hoping I could just dismiss the miserable opener as a bad game. As soon as Cincinnati scored a touchdown on their first play from scrimmage, however, my fear was confirmed. This team is that bad. With Pitt's stock plummeting, are there any bulls on Paul Chryst's squad right now? Find out after the jump.Bull (upward trending): Linebacker Shane Gordon
Gordon, a redshirt junior, was the only player who stood out to me - in a positive way - during Thursday night's game.
Linebackers: I thought Shane Gordon probably had the best game of any Pitt defender. He racked up seven tackles and had Pitt's lone sack of Legaux. In the second quarter, he was just a split-section of reaction time away from an interception that very well could have gone for a touchdown.
On a defense that gave up 464 total yards and 34 lopsided points to the Bearcats, he was the only consistent defender who created disturbance throughout. With defensive coordinator Dave Huxtable's 4-3 setup, the linebackers need to be versatile in the middle. Unfortunately, thus far, they've struggled hugely as has the rest of the defense. At this point, Gordon looks to be one of the few established guys in that unit.
Bear (downward trending): Quarterback Tino Sunseri
Generally I try to stay away from openly criticizing Sunseri. With a crumbly offensive line and lackluster receivers, Tino doesn't have much going in his favor and he's unfairly maligned often enough. That said, he made some astoundingly stupid decisions during the game that don't fall to anyone but himself.
Here’s the situation: Five seconds to go, football at the 2, Pitt down, 17-0. Pitt needs a touchdown desperately.
Surely, Sunseri knows there is no time to waste. Take the snap, drop back quickly and throw. Make sure you save a second to kick the field goal or try another throw. Instead, Sunseri hesitated before throwing the ball incomplete in the direction of Mike Shanahan. The ball went through the back of the end zone as the clock expired.
In the end this didn't matter, but had the Panthers punched it in they would've gone into halftime with the score 17-7; suddenly we have a game. The lack of basic clock management that Sunseri displayed during his double-clutch disaster is inexcusable for a third-year starter. Inexcusable.
Believe me, Tino wasn't the only reason Pitt lost this game. There are bigger problems with Paul Chryst's squad than quarterback right now. But as long as Sunseri continues to make poor, enigmatic decisions like this, my confidence in him is quickly eroding.