Pitt Notebook: Chryst Shoulders The Blame

While Pitt is focusing on Georgia Tech this week, its next home game with Notre Dame has been announced as a sellout. Game time won't be known until Sunday around noon.

Pitt head coach Paul Chryst said he places blame for Saturday's loss solely on on his shoulders.

The Panthers took a 21-14 lead over Navy with just over eight minutes to play, even converting a two-point conversion for added insurance.

Navy was able to answer with a pair of scoring drives--a touchdown drive and a game-winning field goal as time expired.

After the game, players shouldered the blame.

"Coach Chryst puts a lot of time and effort into this, he loves us, we have to make him proud," Street said. "We just have to come together as a team. We shot ourselves in the foot."

Monday, it was Chryst saying the blame goes directly to him.

"Any team can become complacent in a game, and that's on me," Chryst said. "

Chryst wants is players to have the type of confidence to hold on in situations like this. While he agrees that part of it is a maturing process. Even in that sense. He feels the blame should go directly to him.

"If you have a genuine confidence, you're never overconfident," Chryst said. "A genuine respect for the game would never let you get complacent in a game, and that's on me. I have to do a better job."

Linebacker Shane Gordon, who missed the Virginia game earlier this season, missed the second half of Saturday's game. Gordon had four tackles in the first half. He did not return for the second half. His status for Saturday's game has not been determined. Left guard Cory King missed his second straight start. His status also has not been determined for Saturday. Devin Street and James Conner returned after being held out the previous week.

Street led the team with nine catches for 96 yards and a touchdown. Conner fumbled in the first half, and did not touch the ball the rest of the game. Chryst added that wasn't a factor in Conner not carrying the ball again.

"Then we only had seven plays in the third quarter," Chryst explained. "James ran really hard; I like the way that he ran. But we have to keep talking to him about taking care of the ball. It gets lost that Isaac [Bennett] had a pretty good week the week before [against Old Dominion]. We like how James is running, but we wanted to make sure Isaac had enough kicks at the can."

There wasn't a hit to the helmet questioned this time around. There was, however, a would-be interception by Ray Vinopal that came into question. TV replays looked as if it was a reviewable play.

"I did [think he made the play]," Chryst said. "I thought he got the foot down and was communicating with the official. It doesn't matter now. We're supposed to review all of those, so you don't want to waste a timeout. I thought that it was a heck of a play by Ray actually."

Looking ahead to Pitt's next home game against Notre Dame on November 9, there are some things we do know. There are more things we don't know.

The ACC has exercised its six-day option with ESPN. The game will be televised by either ABC or ESPN. However, both parties will wait to see what happens in other ACC games this weekend before making an announcement on the kickoff time.

All eyes will be on The Miami-Florida State game at 8 pm this Saturday. This game also could be replayed in the ACC Championship game. A Florida State win would put Miami against Virginia Tech the following week, in a game that will decide the ACC Coastal Division title. Wake Forest takes on Syracuse this Saturday. A win for Wake Forest may be enough to clinch third place for them, already with wins over N.C. State and Maryland. They take on Florida State the following week.

A Florida State win over Miami, combined with a Wake Forest win likely makes that matchup on Novmber 9 the top choice for prime time, being that it's still a shot for the Demon Deacons to challenge for first place in the Coastal Division. A Virginia Tech win over Boston College and a Miami win over Florida State, makes that the prime time game with the Coastal Divison up for grabs. If Pitt were to win, with a Wake Forest loss and a Miami loss, makes the Pitt-Notre Dame matchup suitable for prime time, as somewhat as a showcase for the ACC with the Irish now joining for conference tie-ins.

All things aside, Pitt announced Monday that the game with Notre Dame is sold out. A limited number of standing room only tickets are now on sale.

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