(Photo: Falcons rush field as gun sounds. Recently emptied seats sit in mute testimony to Pitt's frustrations).
One of the really fun things when we nab one of these upsets is to go and see what they're local paper has to say. Since no one expected BG to win when they looked at Pitt's schedule (me included), its always fun.
First, let me say that we had a great time in Pittsburgh. Everyone was very nice and pleasant, and it is truly a beautiful city. Honest to god, I've only been there one other time, and each time, I think, this is one of the best kept secrets in the country.
We'll start with PittBlather, the lead Pitt blog, who we swapped questions with early in the week. He notes that the doubters in the Pitt program scored a point Saturday. He made the following salient comments, though I recommend you read his entire post...
From a marketing standpoint, this was an abject disaster. Bordering on a worst case scenario. The one thing that could not happen was Pitt to come out and flop. To lose at home to start the season. A team that showed very little that could be considered a positive. The team’s performance completely lost the crowd and turned them. A crowd that was looking to support, felt let down.
Pitt players and the defensive coaches did not adjust to the short tosses and having receivers all over the field. That’s why they call it a spread offense.
It’s hard to pinpoint when Pitt let the game get away from them. It was a slow fade. Started well, missed an opportunity, but still up 14-0. Then the Falcons found what was working. The short, underneath passes. Getting the ball in Turner’s hands.
This Pitt team came out and faded. They showed no heart, no pride and no clue. They seemed unprepared to actually battle for an entire game. They were a complete disappointment.
I also checked out the comment threads on PittBlather. You can see the game thread here, and the post-game thread here.
Wannstedt must go.
Cavanaugh must go.
Rinse and repeat.
That's why winning these games feels sooooo good. Because they don't think we should be able to win even after we did it.
Now to the MSM.
Joe Starkey had written coming in that the honeymoon was over, it was time for Wannstedt to produce. Today, he wrote about the "stone age" offense, and I think hit a major issue on the head----an NFL mindset with Wannstedt and Cavanaugh in a different game.
Once and for all, guys, this ain't the NFL. It isn't a field-position game, where any drive that ends with a kick is cause for celebration. It's a scoring contest.
Twice in the first quarter, the Panthers punted from Bowling Green territory -- once on fourth-and-7 from the 34; once on fourth-and-5 from the 35.
Wannstedt said he considered going for it both times but chose to punt because "we were playing the field-position game."
Bowling Green coach Gregg Brandon, whose creative offense provided a stunning counter to Pitt's, said his defense "blitzed on almost every single play."
Kevin Gorman hops in and notes that the momentum from the WVU win is now gone. Keyword: deflated.
The program-changing momentum from Pitt's monumental victory over West Virginia last December has disappeared -- with its national ranking sure to follow.
"We felt like we were doing what we had to do to win the game," said Wannstedt, who twice elected to punt from Bowling Green's 35 in the first quarter. "Then, we made some mistakes. They gave us some unusual formations, which we knew they would do. We had a tough time adjusting. That was the difference in the game."
Bowling Green coach Gregg Brandon, a disciple of Florida's Urban Meyer, unveiled formations that left the Panthers guessing on which receivers were eligible and who would cover them. (My note: this is MUSIC to my ears).
Paul Zeise called it the "fruits of caution."
One last thing. Ryan in The Blade had an excellent blog post, as well.
Call it an upset if you want, and technically you’d be right, but BG is clearly better than Pitt. Not just on this day, but almost all. The Falcons were another score away from being able to label this one a whooping.
Every time BG needed a big play something unordinary was devised
Diyral Briggs completely wore out the right side of the Pitt offensive line.