Panther Rants is The Onion of Pitt Sports. Formerly a serious recruiting blog written by a serious recruiting writer, the site was taken over by mediocre bloggers that provide satire, sarcasm and anything but serious information. Everything on this site is tongue-in-cheek and is not meant for serious consumption.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

James Laurinaitis, All-American

We here at Panther Rants couldn't be happier that a stiff named James Laurinaitis, owner of an astounding 14 solo tackles in his 4-year career at an Ohio State University, was named Associated Press 1st Team All-American at linebacker. We couldn't agree more with the collection of adroit reporters who think that it takes intestinal fortitude, athletic prowess, and guile to be the last guy in on every tackle. Without Mr. Laurinaitis' efforts, that running back who has already been tackled and has four 300-pound guys sitting on him may very well get up and run for a touchdown. But not on Mr. Laurinaitis' watch!

So to James Laurinaitis, we say, "Bravo!" for watching your teammates do all of the work while you relax and and collect all the accolades. You have a great career ahead of you as the next Junior Seau.

Friday, December 5, 2008


Well it's been a while since we've done the "BUTT ROCK FRIDAY" segment on this blog. There's been a lot of talk of where Pitt may end up. Charlotte, Birmingham, Toronto, and the list of shitty cities and shitty bowl payments go on. If Pitt win this Saturday, they may be headed to the Sun Bowl. If not, see you in hell my friend.......

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Pitt-UConn: A Half Assed Preview

This weekend, Pitt heads to Storrs were second place in the BE is on the line as well as their bowl destination. The last time Pitt was in Storrs, they were leading 31-17 and a possible bowl bid on the line. That's until they tried running Larod Stephens up the middle about 15 times and UConn came back to send it into overtime. Pitt ended up losing in overtime where the message boards had a meltdown. The famous phrase "WE NEED MORE TIME!" was created.


Pitt is 8-3 and 4-2 in Big East play. They are coming off a big win against West Virginia where they have guaranteed bowl bid. They're just not sure where they're going yet.

Pitt's offense is led by LeSean McCoy who has been the backbone of the offense for the whole season. Bill Stull is coming off a shaky start last week and hasn't really been the same since the Rutgers game. He's unsettled in the pocket and has made throws where you'll be shaking your head.

Pitt's defense is led by their front four and they have the depth as well. At Linebacker, it's Butkus Award snub Scott Mckillop whose a tackle machine.

Their secondary has been shaky at times this year. No worries as Eric Thatcher graduates this year.


For the Huskies, it's the same story. Donald Brown leads this offense. He averages 5.4 yards per carry and he's another awards snub.

Connecticut has been unhealthy at quarterback to the point that it became a QB carousel. Tyler Lorenzen has been injured most of the year after a productive Junior year. Pitt is no stranger to Lorenzen. He picked us apart last season. He won't back down this year either.

On defense they are led by DE Cody Brown. Cody leads the team with 10 sacks. At the other end, Julius Williams has 6 sacks. Both of these plays can disrupt an offensive line. Lindsey Witten is their backup and he has 5 sacks on the season.

The Huskies allow 166 yards passing per game and 119 yards rushing. In other words, they're pretty good.

Key Matchups

Pitt's Offensive Line vs. Huskies' Defensive Line - This matchup could make or break Pitt's chances. If the Huskies get a good rush, look for Bill Stull to throw errant passes like a drunk guy trying to throw darts. If that happens, Pitt's line will need to create room for McCoy to run the ball.

Huskies' Offensive Line vs. Pitt Defensive Line - UConn is big up front, but Pitt's defensive line is no stranger to big lines. They have the ability to wear down offensive linemen. This will be key as they'll need to stop Donald Brown from running loose.

Tyler Lorenzen vs. Pitt Secondary - Chances are, Pitt will focus on stopping Brown. Chances are, UConn will take a page out of the Rutgers game and go after the secondary with playaction passes. If that's the case, let's hope Pitt's secondary tries to bat down a pass or two. They'll need to.

Pitt Receivers vs. Huskies Secondary - Pitt has a height advantage on UConn's secondary. A few jump balls to Jonathan Baldwin won't hurt. Porter and Kinder will have to step up as well.

Other Things of Note

Turnovers - Pitt can't afford them. They need to create them.

Austin Ransom and Greg Williams - Can they help contain Brown for 60 minutes?

UConn Passing Game - Can they take some heat off Donald Brown and copy what they did at Heinz last year?

Storrs - Can Pitt finally win there? Do they still blast "Welcome to the Jungle" during the huddle so no one can hear?

DJ Hernandez - Let's hope we don't see much of him on Saturday.

Prediction: I'm not good at these. Watch the game and find out.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Slap 10!

10. Texas

Yeah...we had to add you on this list despite your record. Despite the fact you beat Oklahoma head to head. Despite your only loss was due to a desperation pass to Michael Crabtree. Despite your quarterback and a high powered offense. Despite all that, Oklahoma is playing in the Big 12 title game and you're not.

9. Georgia

Nice showing against Navy-South. There's a reason for pre-season hype and you're one of those reasons.

8. Central Michigan

Great showing against Michigan. Wait a minute, Michigan sucks. I mean Michigan State. Wait, you didn't play them either. Oh, it was Eastern Michigan!

7. June Jones

Sometimes the grass isn't always greener. I mean who would leave Hawaii for Texas?

6. LSU

Great game against Arkansas. Yeah we's the SEC.

5. Wes Lyons

When you committed to WVU, your dad compared you to Larry Fitzgerald. How tall are you?? 6'5-6'6? Would Larry Fitzgerald let a 5'6 corner push him around? Does Larry Fitzgerald have the concept of out of bounds? Yeah, put up some stats and maybe we can do the comparison. Last time I check, Fitzgerald is a Pro Bowl receiver

4. Oregon State

You didn't think you'd be heading to the Rose Bowl did you? Penn State throttled you the last time you played them. The PAC-10 has a lot more sense than to let you into the Rose Bowl.

3. Auburn

Glad to see your new defensive coordinator is working out. Have fun watching Bama in the title game.

2. Pat White

Boy did Bill Stewart F' you up. They tried to convert you from a runner to a passer. It didn't work out too well this season. Looks like you'll be hanging with Major Harris signing autographs in Morgantown next season when your NFL career is short. You can always meow for us one more time.

1. Notre Dame

We just heard Weis is back for one more season. We're happy to witness another miserable season for the Irish. Maybe you'll score more than three points against USC next season where it can deemed as "progress".

Monday, December 1, 2008

Pitt-WVU: The Aftermath

Let's take a look at some old video. Here's Pat White in 2006:

Here's Pat White in 2008:

"The tears in West Virginia quarterback Pat White's eyes told the story.

White made a critical mistake, one that handed Pitt a 19-15 victory against West Virginia Friday afternoon in the 101st Backyard Brawl before 63,019 at Heinz Field.

"I've been balling my eyes out," White said after the game. "I felt my mistakes hurt us. Those two picks were the game.""

Can you see the difference? This was a Pat White who not only use to ran past us, but had his fun in mocking us as well. On Friday, the Pitt defense sent him back to Morgantown crying like a little bitch. WVU fans thought 2007 was a fluke and their former coach blew the game. This year proved it was no fluke. In fact, look at the game film from the 2005 and 2006 brawls. Pitt may have surrendered tons of rushing yards, but they were in those games mathematically until the 4th quarter. Maybe Pitt knew what they were doing all along, but just couldn't "run faster".

WVU didn't beat themselves either. Actually both teams were beating themselves. Each team had opportunities to put the game away.


Pitt left a good share of points for the taking in first half. They were on their way to 14-0 when a penalty sent them for a missed field goal. Then before halftime when Shady was running all over the WVU defense, Pitt calls a fade pass that got intercepted in the end zone. This was one of those Pitt games we all know and love. The ones where your hands just shake and you need some pills or a bottle of Jack. Maybe even both.

I'm not mad at Bill Stull's pathetic attempt of a fade pass. I'm not mad at Jonathan Baldwin for not being "more aggressive" to get the ball or bat it away. Neither player should have been in this position. The reason is that call should have never been made in first place. I can just imagine the conversation between Wannstedt and Cav on the sideline when they made that call. It reminds of the scene from "Airplane" when it was suggested to Rex Kramer (Robert Stack)
on whether they should turn on the search lights or not.

Wanny: You know Matt, Shady's been running well. We have some timeouts. Maybe we should let Shady run it in.

Cav: No! That's what they'd be expecting us to do. F' it. Run the fade to Stull.

After that it was downhill...until.....


I enjoy hearing when WVU fans mention Pat White's statistics as a passer. Pat White makes plays due to his ability to run around. You just don't know what he's going to do at times. When he's in the pocket, it's a different story. He didn't get much help from his receivers. They dropped a touchdown pass which would have given them the lead at one point in the 2nd half.

Speaking of that play, I didn't understand why the DB's and safeties were playing close to the line. It was a bullet they dodged.

Late in the fourth quarter, White had a chance to eat the ball and keep the clock going. Instead, he handed Jovani Chappel an early X-mas gift.

Then it was downhill for WVU.......


Bill Stull hasn't been the same since Rutgers. He played so badly in the second half, that the staff gave up on him and just pounded the ball. His last interception made people say "WTF?!?". Right now, he's all we have at this position.

The defense is what won the game for Pitt. They made Noel Devine sterile, except for when he has his next date. She'll find out in nine months. When Wes Lyons committed to WVU, his dad named him "The Next Larry Fitz". Instead, he's just a useless tall receiver who has no concept of white lines. He couldn't get out of bounds on the last drive. Two passes that went to him in the endzone, he was out of bounds on both plays and came back in. It's pretty bad when you get manhandled by a 5'6 cornerback. At least he's seen the field more than his older brother did. He can brag about that at family dinners.

If you're a hoopie, you feel bad for Pat White. This is not the way you saw his final season. The staff did him in and tried to make him a passer. He's Mike Vick without the illegal activity.