Paul Zeise's Pitt football transcript
Share with others:
Bob_Dylan: Hi Paul: In view of the need to dramatically upgrade the quarterback position next year and the possibility that you noted in the last chat for Pat Bostick to begin to realize his potential with another off-season of work with Matt Cavanaugh, have you changed your mind and do you now think that there will be an open competition at quarterback during spring drills? If not, do you think that it is all on Bill Stull's shoulders, i.e., either he gets a lot better or Pitt can forget about competing for the Big East championship next year? Or if Bostick cannot provide the competition that Stull badly needs, do you think that Tino Sunseri has any chance of being a factor in the quarterback mix for next year? In short, do you think that our hopes for dramatic improvement at quarterback rest exclusively with Bill Stull or are Pat Bostick or Tino Sunseri realistic alternatives?
Paul Zeise: I think the competition will be open -- I've never said it wouldn't. I'll try this again -- it will be open from the standpoint of every player will have a chance to win the job. Now pay attention -- BUT GIVEN THE VALUE THAT THIS COACHING STAFF PUTS ON EXPERIENCE, PARTICULARLY AT THAT POSITION, if someone is going to beat out Stull they are going to have to be so much more spectacular than Stull that it isn't even close. If it is close, knowing what we know about this staff, they will err on the safe side and Stull will be the guy. I don't know if Bostick can make that kind of stride in a few months but we will see. I do agree that Pitt has no chance to win the Big East next year if the quarterback play isn't significantly better than it was this year.
pitt1973: Has Pitt met their quota on Sun Bowl ticket sales?
Paul Zeise: There is no quota, this is not a game that relies heavily on the team's selling tickets because it is such a huge event for El Paso that most -- more than 80 percent -- of the ticket sales are to local fans. This game is a huge deal down here. I talked to the executive director of the bowl two days ago and he told me he expects a crowd in excess of 49,000, which is pretty close to capacity considering it is only a 50,426-seat stadium. I do know that Pitt has sold more tickets than Oregon State and unless things have changed in the last 24 hours, by a lot.
SDWC: With all of the extra time to prepare for the game, do you expect to see any new wrinkles installed by the offense to mix up the play calling and take some pressure off of Stull?
Paul Zeise: Perhaps a few little things but for the most part the Panthers will go with what got them here -- handing it to McCoy and hoping Bill Stull makes enough plays to generate a passing threat. I don't think we will see a heavy dose of Greg Cross or anything like that but it wouldn't surprise me if we saw a few trick plays or whatever.
SDWC: Adam Gunn's chances of a 6th year, slim to none?
Paul Zeise: Dave Wannstedt said the other day that it is clearly a long shot but they'll give it their best shot.
frustratedfan: Paul: What is your prediction for this game?
Paul Zeise: I'd say low scoring because both teams have good defenses, suspect quarterbacks and thus both will try and pound the ball with the run game some. Pitt's chances of winning improved some when it was made clear that the Rodgers brothers weren't playing for Oregon State so if I had to pick I'd say something like Pitt 20 Oregon State 17.
frustratedfan: Any idea of how many Pitt fans will be at the bowl game?
Paul Zeise: Last number I heard was that the school had sold about 3,500 tickets (out of about 7,500)-- but some of those were bought by donors who have donated them to troops in El Paso and their families --so it is hard to say.
worksux: Are our DB's up to the challenge of Oregon State's passing game?
Paul Zeise: Great question, I watched the Beavers practice several times and I can honestly say that their receivers impressed the heck out of me. I think this is an area Pitt could have some problems, though again, it helps that James Rodgers is out and it also helps that the Beavers quarterback, Lyle Moevao, is similar to Bill Stull in that he is a little erratic and at times underwhelming.
worksux: Being that I have to work ALL day tomorrow, is Pitt's website or ANY radio station carrying the game?
Paul Zeise: Yes, the Panthers radio network -- WBGG-AM and WWSW-FM -- will have it live as will the Panthers All-Access at www.pittsburghpanthers.com.
shady4heisman: What kind of QB is Lyle Moevao? Can he get out of the pocket and hit passes like Pike? I believe he will have to step up his game to pick up the slack for their offense.
Paul Zeise: Well he seems to be more resourceful than actually good and he doesn't seem to scare anyone with his arm -- but he can make plays and he is certainly a mobile player than he looks. He can clearly get out of the pocket, throw on the run, make a play down the field when the primary play breaks down -- he is tiny though, like 5-foot-10, so he could struggle in the pocket to throw over Pitt's defensive ends.
NewCastlePanther: Happy Holidays! Can we expect to see Greg Cross and some WIldcat formation in the game? How have the players looked in the practices thus far?
Paul Zeise: Doubtful -- but we can always hope that he'll get the ball a few times. They've toyed some with putting him on defense, returning some kicks and even at receiver but I doubt we will see much of Cross, if any at all. The defensive line looks ready to go and the specialists have been sharp.
shady4heisman: How big is the Pitt contigent in El Paso? How about compared to the OSU fans in town? Is it a festive atmosphere down there?
Paul Zeise: There are clearly more Pitt fans here than Oregon State fans and the city does an unbelievable job of making sure there is a festive atmosphere. This is the town's big event -- it is clearly something that brings the city together and you can't go anywhere and not know there is a bowl game going on.
PrincellB: Paul, any thoughts on Wannstedt's comments about Larod not "catching" punts, but doing things we haven't seen him do before? Or am I just reading too much into this.
Paul Zeise: It just means he'll be back there and he will get some tape of him blocking perhaps and maybe we could see him take a reverse or something as well.
Shady4Heisman: From what I've heard and read, it seems like the players might be enjoying the bowl trip a bit TOO much. Do you think the focus is there? I can just see it now - we come out expecting to win because the Rodgers brothers are out and OSU surprises us.
Paul Zeise: Early on in the week they were clearly enjoying themselves but I think as it has worn on they have slowly but surely gotten into work mode. I think this bowl is a little more relaxed than most because the hospitality is so unbelievable and the town really rolls out the red carpet so I could see where that can be a problem but this team has been pretty good about stuff like that so I'd expect them to play hard.
Scott: If Pitt beats Oregon State and finishes in the top 15 at the end of this year, where will they be ranked at the beginning of next season assuming Shady returns?
Paul Zeise: If they finish in the top 15 and McCoy returns, I'd say they'll be ranked close to the top 10, perhaps the top 12. If they lose and McCoy returns, I'd say likely preseason 15-20. No matter what they'll be preseason top 25 or at least they should be.
NewCastlePanther: Paul, any more information on Phil Bennett?? Is he staying or going elsewhere? If he does leave, is it your feeling that Gattuso will be promoted to DC? Finally, is it possible that Matt C. will moved to QB's coach and we hire a new OC?? Thanks and enjoy the game.
Paul Zeise: He'd leave if the right opportunity came up, the problem is there just aren't many jobs out there he'd find attractive. LSU was one but they hired someone. I'm not sure who else in the Big 12 or the SEC West is looking for defensive coordinator so he can be closer to home.
First Published December 30, 2008 7:19 pm