September 1, 2012; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Panthers linebacker Shane Gordon (44) sacks Youngstown State Penguins quarterback Kurt Hess (12) during the third quarter at Heinz Field. the Youngstown State Penguins won 31-17. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-US PRESSWIRE

Pitt Vs. Cincinnati: Panthers Lose Again, Fall To 0-2

Cincinnati handily beat Pitt Sunday, as Paul Chryst began his Pitt coaching career 0-2.

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Pitt Vs. Cincinnati: Reactions To Panthers' 2nd Loss

Following a loss to Youngstown State of the FCS to open the 2012 campaign, the Pittsburgh Panthers slipped farther into their early season hole after a one-sided loss to Cincinnati on Thursday night, 34-10.

Pitt never really made the game a contest, as they fell behind to the Bearcats early while surrendering big plays and coughing up turnovers in the process.

Things are only getting worse, writes SB Nation's Pitt blog, Cardiac Hill:

There's not even a good place to start and how a team that's been at least mediocre the past two seasons can completely sink to the depths of possibly one of the worst teams in the FBS is beyond me.

Over at ESPN's Big East Blog, Matt Fortuna writes that head coach Paul Chryst's tenure is certainly off to a bleak start:

Pitt needed to get back on the field and put a season-opening, two-touchdown home loss to an FCS team behind it as quickly as possible. Instead the Panthers were outplayed from start to finish, kicking off the Paul Chryst era with a pair of ugly losses.

Pitt's next chance to turn the season around comes with another stiff challenge when they face Virginia Tech on Saturday, Sept. 15.

For more on Pitt football, check out Cardiac Hill.


Pitt Vs. Cincinnati Final Score: Paul Chryst Era Off To Bad Start With Panthers 0-2

Pitt fans might not have been expecting a great season, but with an 0-2 start including a loss to an FCS program, things have been far worse than expected. Thursday night's tilt against the Cincinnati Bearcats saw more shoddy play on the part of the Panthers, but it also showed that the coaching staff still needs to make some strides to get better.

Over at Cardiac Hill, I discussed this a bit, but Pitt's coaches simply need to do a better job. Coaching is only one part of the game and the ultimate responsibility rests with the players, of course. But many of Pitt's problems can be directly tied to coaching.

Players exhibited a strong lack of discipline with silly personal fouls by Chris Jacobson and T.J. Clemmings. The defense also missed more tackles than could be reasonably counted and players were constantly out of position to make plays. The coaches also have the cornerbacks playing far too much off of wide receivers, giving up short completions routinely. And things aren't much better on offense where the playcalling has been stale and vanilla. Simply put, the coaches have at least as much work to do in terms of getting better as the players do.

Quarterback Tino Sunseri had one of the most deceiving box scores of all time. He completed 65% of his passes (24 of 37) for 278 yards and a touchdown. Unfortunately, he also had some of the game's biggest gaffes. Sunseri fumbled early in the game and later, with the team driving for a score, threw an interception in the end zone. He also suffered a mental lapse just before the end of the first half when with five seconds to play, he held onto the ball too long and threw an incompleted pass with time expired. That cost Pitt the chance to at least put some points on the board when they desperately needed them.

Part of that poor play had to do with the Panthers' offensive line, which struggled all night long. Sunseri frequently had little time to think and while some of his mistakes were on him, the offensive line was clearly exposed in this game. They held up fairly well against Youngstown State, but playing against a better defense, it was evident that they couldn't keep up.

Ray Graham, though, was a bit of a bright spot for the team. He had 19 carries for 103 yards and broke out for a big gain in the second half. In only his second game back since the devastating knee injury he suffered last season, he's proven he can still play even if he's not yet at 100%.

The frustrating thing for Pitt is that there doesn't appear to be any end in sight. Even in the down Big East, it's difficult to see them winning many games at this stage. The Panthers will try to rebound in a little over a week when they take on Virginia Tech at home.

For more on Pitt football, check out Cardiac Hill.


Pitt Vs. Cincinnati Final Score: Bearcats Blow Out Panthers, 34-10

The Pitt Panthers fell to 0-2 after getting demolished on the road by the Cincinnati Bearcats, 34-10, on Thursday night.

Pitt was never really close in the contest, falling behind 14-0 in the first quarter and trailing 17-0 at halftime. The Bearcats' first score came very early in the game when running back George Winn broke loose for a 58-yard touchdown run on the drive's first play. Winn finished the night with 95 yards on the ground on 11 carries with two touchdowns, the second of which he would tally in the third on a nine-yard rush.

The Panthers' first points of the game came about midway in the third on a 37-yard field goal by kicker Kevin Harper, making it 17-3, Bearcats.

Cincinnati opened the final quarter by cashing in on a 99-yard drive when quarterback Munchie Legaux hit running back Ralph Abernathy for a 12-yard touchdown strike, his second receiving score of the night.

With under a minute in regulation, Pitt notched their only touchdown, a nine-yard completion from quarterback Tino Sunseri to tight end Drew Carswell, giving the contest its final score, 34-10.

Sunseri was 24-of-37 through the air for 278 yards while throwing an interception along with the late touchdown.

For more on the Pittsburgh Panthers, visit Cardiac Hill. For more on the Cincinnati Bearcats, visit Down the Drive.


Pitt Vs. Cincinnati Halftime Score Update: Panthers Shut Out At Half, Down 17-0 To Bearcats

Pitt came into the game light underdogs, but are being absolutely dominated so far in their Thursday night tilt against Cincinnati. The Panthers are down 17-0 and it's difficult to find anything that's gone right for them.

The Panthers have had a few chances to score, but haven't been able to get on the board. Quarterback Tino Sunseri threw an interception in the end zone with Pitt deep in Cincinnati territory earlier in the half, but that wasn't the worst of it. Just before the half, Pitt again had a chance to get on the board, but with five seconds left, Sunseri dropped back, but held onto the ball too long before making an incompletion as time expired. Instead of throwing the ball away early and setting the team up for a field goal, the Panthers came away empty.

Pitt's defense has struggled to contain quarterback Munchie Legaux. Legaux is 8-16 for 107 yards passing and a touchdown, and has also scrambled well, picking up 33 yards on only four carries. The Panther offense had two costly interceptions by Sunseri - the aforementioned interception and a fumble earlier in the game.

For more on Pitt football, check out SB Nation blog Cardiac Hill.


Pitt Vs. Cincinnati 2012: Game Time, TV Schedule, Odds And More

Pittsburgh looks to rebound form it's opening loss to FCS Youngstown State.


Pitt Vs. Cincinnati: Panthers Travel To Face Bearcats

Will Pitt rebound against Cincinnati?

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