Pitt Football: Monday Notebook

Almost an afterthought, Paul Chryst addressed news that surfaced on Friday about three of his players allegedly involved in an off-campus incident. Chryst also had to address his thoughts on Tino Sunseri's post-game comments.

Aside from that little thing called a football game Saturday--a thrilling 29-26, three-overtime finish that resulted Ina Notre Dame win--there were a lot of other areas based on events before and after the game, that Paul Chryst had to address.

The night before the team was to leave, three starters were charged with an assault that took place off campus, two weeks before. All three players made an impact on Saturday's game--Ray Graham, Devin Street and Lafayette Pitts. Though the players were not offering comment on the incident, as instructed by Pitt media relations staff, Paul Chryst offered his thoughts on the situation.

Chryst made the decision to not suspend the players from any activity, specifically Saturday's game. In addition to that, it sounds Chryst has the full support of the Pitt administration with his decision.

"Friday, it all came out," Chryst said. "We feel good and fortunate in talking with Steve (Pederson) and the Chancellor's office, and making sure that we're doing the right thing. At this point, with the knowledge we have (of the incident), we felt like (letting them play Saturday) was the right thing to do. Whatever happens, we want the truth to come out.

"We appreciate the support and the advice; not just our athletic administration, but our school administration."

Is it a closed matter at this point?

"We're always gathering information," Chryst said. "We haven't heard anything more, but we're not just going to put our head in the sand. Anything like that, we'll try to be as proactive as we can."

After the game, when commenting on the loss, quarterback Tino Sunseri basically called out kicker Kevin Harper for missing a 33-yard field goal attempt in overtime. Harper made his previous seven attempts, missed a potential game-winning score in the second overtime, then did convert a 44-yarder after the miss.

"We missed a field goal. That's why we lost the game," Pitt quarterback Tino Sunseri said. "It came down to a special teams play, we didn't make the play. Give credit to Notre Dame for being able to finish it off."

No other way to take it out of context, other than the fact of what was said. Sunseri's quote even got national reaction from SI's Peter King, who called the quarterback's comments, 'not what the quarterback on a team should do.'

Chryst said he has talked with Sunseri about his comments, and will continue to hae discussions with his quarterback.

"I don't agree with (what Sunseri said)," Chryst said. "We all need to make sure everyone is squared away there. I don't agree with the comment. We all did some things that led to us not winning. It doesn't fall on one guy.

"Yeah, I will (have a conversation with Sunseri)."

Leading up to that missed attempt, it looked questionable as to why Pitt wasn't try to get the ball more to the center of the field, to make for an easier attempt. Chryst explained.

"I thought their guy made a play," Chryst said. "We had a double-team block that got split. That caused the ball to go back. You're on that fringe. You want to be cautiously aggressive. You still want to move (the ball), but preserve the right to kick a field goal."

Chryst was also asked about his thoughts on some of the officiating, specifically calls not made. For example, on the missed attempt by Harper, there were two Notre Dame players wearing the No. 2 on the field at the same time. There can be multiple jersey numbers on a team, as we've seen in recent years. However, they can not both be on the field at the same time. Notre Dame had a similar situation earlier this season with two No. 15s on the field at the same time. Pitt did the me last year with both No. 5s (Ejaun Price, Cameron Saddler).

That, and also a defensive delay of game call against Notre Dame where center Ryan Turnley actually had to inform the officials that Notre Dame defensive plays were trying to make calls to get Pitt to jump offsides.

Chryst expects to hear from the Big East on the matter; that and other questionable calls.

"Every week you have a chance to submit calls," Chryst said. "We do them to make sure what we're coaching is the right thing. There's a lot things that don't go your way. There are 200 and some plays in that game.

"They'll respond. They've been good about that. It happened. I don't know what else to say."

Despite having two new starters in on Saturday because of injury--Joe Trebitz in for Dan Mason at linebacker, and Arthur Doakes in for Ryan Schlieper at guard--Chryst felt pretty good about how both of those players responded. He said the team came out of the game relatively healthy. The only player he commented on for being out this week was Emanuel Rackard, who came out during Pitt's goal line stand in the first half, and was replaced by Shane Gordon. Another linebacker down, but Chryst only expects Rackard to be out this week. Despite coming in and making that big tackle for loss on Theo Riddick, as part of the goal line stand, we saw very little--if any--from Gordon the rest of the game. He should be back and ready to go this week.

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