WVU's win over Pitt: Some thoughts on the matter

Written by Colin Dunlap on .

Some quick-hitter thoughts from West Virginia 35-10 victory against Pitt in the 103rd edition of the Backyard Brawl:


* If Tino Sunseri could throw an accurate deep ball, this game could have been very different. But, credit the West Virginia defensive staff for forcing him to throw an accurate deep ball.

* West Virginia possessed the football for about 20 of the 30 second-half minutes. There's your biggest difference.

* Chris Neild just tweaked his hamstring. Nothing to worry about.

* Anyone else think that the move to going with Shawne Alston a bit more should have been made, oh, about a month or so ago?

* Alston had more yards than Dion Lewis and Ray Graham -- combined.

* Seemed to me that the best play(s) Pitt made was a busted play. Well, two of them, actually. When Tino Sunseri scrambled for long runs, after the WVU defense locked down the Pitt receivers, those were a few of Pitt's best plays. That stuff just happens, nothing much to fret about if you are a WVU fan.

* The Matt Timmerman false start was terrible; cannot do that in that situation.

* While Timmerman jumping was awful, on the play before, Geno Smith needs to know exactly where the sticks are and not step out of bounds a quarter-yard short of them.

* Other than his Franco Harris move of stepping out of bounds before the first down mark, Geno Smith played a wonderful game.

* I'm back on the side that Tavon Austin needs to stay at receiver next season. That feeling has just as much to do with what Shawne Alston is doing as it does with what Austin is doing.

* I don't hear all those people now who said that Bill Stewart should have kicked Brandon Hogan off the team earlier this season.

* There might not be a season in recent WVU defensive history that has been as unexpectedly stellar as this season turned in by Anthony Leonard. He hasn't just been a difference-maker, he has been the difference-maker in some games.

* Everyone notice, again, where the offense went on the ground when it needed to make yards? Yep, over that left side.

* Could it be a case of Bill Stewart having this unyielding allegiance to Noel Devine, and that's why -- even with Devine obviously hurt -- that Alston wasn't the feature back until today. Stewart is a gentleman, and maybe this is a case where he was loyal to a fault.

* Jon Baldwin made 5 catches for 76 yards --- but none of those were big-time splash plays. West Virginia could not afford Baldwin making a play of huge consequence, and he didn't.

* How about this quote: "I really thought we'd play better today. We didn't." Dave Wannstedt said that. Quite honestly, I don't know what to think with that one.

* If anyone told me at 11:59 a.m. on Friday that Casey Vance would have made one of the game's most important plays, I would have bet my mortgage it would have been on special teams. Never, ever, ever on defense. Good for that kid.

* There is absolutely, positively, no doubt in many people's mind about the following: West Virginia is the team you want representing the Big East in the BCS game. They have the least chance of getting blown out and, quite honestly, the best chance of winning such a game. There were people from Pitt and national media types who said that to me after the game. It is one thing for some WVU people to say it, but for those other factions to fully understand --- and they were people who have seen Pitt, WVU and UConn --- that means a little more. 

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