Saturday, 05 January 2013 16:40
With the Tino Sunseri era at Pitt officially over, one question:
How is it possible that in the three years he was a starter, Pitt could not do better?
Surely, there had to be a junior-college quarterback or a disgruntled transfer somewhere in America who would have grasped at the chance to win the starting quarterback job at a BCS school.
But, no, Sunseri prevailed. Three different coaches thought he not just good enough to start but to take, if memory servers, virtually every snap in 2010, 2011 and 2012.
At best, he was average. But it wasn’t often that he was at his best. In the BBVA Compass Bowl yesterday in Birmingham, Sunseri, clearly, was not at his best. In case you missed the first three seasons of his career, it was all there yesterday:
The horrific interception; the careless fumble; the unnecessary sack.
And so it was on an afternoon that the defense was no better than the Sunseri-led offense, the Panthers were rocked by Ole Miss, 38-17, with a late touchdown serving to make the final score less lopsided. Pitt finished with a 6-7 record for the second consecutive season.
Sunseri completed 16 of 32 passes for 186 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. He also lost a fumble with careless ball possession.
As the game -- Pitt’s last one as a member of the Big East Conference -- wound down, Bill Hillgrove and Pat Bostick did what home-team announcers do as such time: They talk about the future. It’s par for the course. But Bostick’s pronouncement that ``the future is bright,’’ was hard to take.
Pitt moves to the Atlantic Coast Conference next year where the competition will be more difficult than it has been in the Big East.
The man likely to fill the teeny shoes left behind by Sunseri is Tom Savage, a transfer from Arizona, who played with some promise at Rutgers in 2009. Yes, Pitt will be his third school.
If ever there was a number that proves there are lies, damn lies and statistics, it is this:
Sunseri finished third all-time in passing yards at Pitt -- seven fewer than Dan Marino.