When I took a look at the Pitt’s football schedule and saw Virginia Tech penciled in I automatically chalked up the win to the Hokies. The horrible losses Pitt suffered at the hands of Youngstown State and Cincinnati certainly reinforced the logic behind my prediction. You can now officially gloat, boys and girls; the “great Swami” was wrong. Pitt danced all over VT, 35-17. Next up is Gardner-Webb. Gardner, who? Well if the Panthers don’t experience a significant letdown, all indicators point to their record being elevated to 2-2 on September 23, the day after they face who? Gardner-Webb.
Is this a tale of two teams or a team that is on a road with various speed bumps, unscheduled rest stops and breakdowns? Pitt head coach Paul Chryst had this to say after the game, “A season is a journey. You can’t get to one part of it without getting through others. This one day, we did what we needed to do and came out with the victory.”
Chryst is of the correct mindset that turnovers are sequential as to how they occur and are always team oriented. He asked and then answered the following question, “Why do you get a pick? It has everything to do with everyone on the field. It can be a defensive back away from the ball. It can be pressure away from the ball. It can be pressure on the quarterback. Those picks are team takeaways.”
One of the reasons Virginia Tech head coach Frank Beamer has been successful throughout his coaching career is that he has almost always created game wreakers and really has never been much of an excuse maker. “I have to give Pitt lot of credit,” he said shortly after the game concluded. “I thought they were well-prepared. I thought (number) four (Rushel Shell) was hard to bring down and I thought there were hitting on all cylinders.”
It appeared that Pitt had an engine replacement. To turn such an ominous beginning of their season around against a team as good as Virginia Tech was surprising, very surprising to say the least.
My congrats to the Pitt squad, but I must caution QB Tino Sunseri who seemed to be a bit terse in his responses when questioned after the game. My perception was it was like a few moments of “I told you so.” Young man here is some advice from an older fellow. “Be careful how you respond after a win because one victory does not define a season.”
Men at Work…Being in the Press Box at Heinz Field sometimes causes you to miss small nuances of a Steelers game, such as watching “Steely McBeam” parading throughout the stadium causing some female fans to get “excited.” I am also certain that the smell of ‘pierogies’ and ‘ I.C. Light’ was more welcoming to the nostrils of the Pittsburgh faithful as opposed to the aroma of one of the favorite dishes served in Denver: Bison (buffalo) in a mustard cognac cream sauce. The Steelers should have easily concluded any item topped with mustard cognac cream sauce would upset the blue collar gastronomical balance of their team. There would be no Pepto Bismol requests put forth from the Pittsburgh sideline last Sunday afternoon after the Steelers dismantled the NY Jets, 27-10.
The Steelers had just been smoked by Peyton Manning and the Broncos on the preceding Sunday, plus two of their All-Pro defensive players James Harrison and Troy Polamalu would not dress for the Jets game. I had all sorts of dire predictions for the Black and Gold. I envisioned the Jets head man Rex “Tyrannosaurus Rex” Ryan dialing up blitz after blitz and stunt after stunt bewildering and befuddling the sore and outmanned Steelers front offensive “five.” I now realize why Steely McBeam was not as visible as usual. The reason is that the Steelers donned hard hats instead of their normal football helmets, put out the sandwich board “men at work” sign and got very, very, busy. After the game concluded there were empty cardboard boxes littering the Black and Gold’s sideline bench area. When I inquired as to what the empty boxes had contained, I was informed by an anonymous source (me) that the Steelers had stolen and smuggled about one hundred cases of “whoopa—” from Manning’s “whoopa—” warehouse. When I asked did they use it all up. I received a very clear response, “hell no.” Matter of fact something tells me that they are going to need more than a few cans next Sunday when they travel out to the “black hole” of the NFL to face the Oakland Raiders. They cannot rely on UPS, Federal Express or USPS Priority Mail to deliver their surplus supply of “whoopa—” to “Cali” for fear of it being lost or stolen. They had better take it with them because if not, they won’t be ‘California Dreamin, they’ll be “California Steamin.”
(Aubrey Bruce can be reached at email@example.com or 412-583-6741. Bruce can also be heard on the ‘Odd Couple Sports Show’ where he is the AFC North and NFL analyst. The show is hosted by Adam Ragle streaming live on the WCWA Fox Sports Toledo 1230AM Wednesdays at 10 am during the regular season.)