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Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

On location: No. 11 Florida State 41, Pitt 13

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Looking ahead to kickoff …

Game: Pitt vs. Florida State, season opener for both

Time: 8 p.m.

Site: Heinz Field

TV, radio: ESPN (national), 93.7 The Fan, Pitt IMG Sports Network

Here is the official live summary.

Here is our Pitt page. Jerry DiPaola and I are on the scene.

Author: Dejan Kovacevic

Dejan Kovacevic, a lifelong Pittsburgher, is an award-winning sports columnist for Trib Total Media covering the Steelers, Penguins, Pirates, Pitt and, recently, his fourth Olympics in Sochi, Russia. He also appears on WPXI-TV's 'Subway Final Word’ and hosts a weekly show on TribLIVE Radio. For 2011, he was named one of the country's top four columnists by the AP Sports Editors. For 2012, he was named one of the country's top three columnists by the National Headliners. For 2013, he was named the state's top columnist by the Keystone Press Awards and top columnist in Western Pennsylvania by the Golden Quills.


  1. JohninOshkosh says:

    Yippeeeee! It’s finally here. Hashtagyeah!

    My only regret is that Bobby Bowden won’t be coaching in his stupid straw sun hat and won’t get to see Free Shoes University upset by the Panthers.

    GO PITT!

  2. cmat0829 says:

    predicted score… FSU 46 Pitt 13

  3. JohninOshkosh says:

    Pitt 17 FSU 14

    FSU’s well paid freshman phenom QB turns it over 4 times.

  4. Lad9 says:

    LETS GO PITT!!! Heading down in a few hours and hoping for a good showing from the Panthers.

  5. pattonbb says:

    Easy on the Bowden hatred. He was a good guy, and a seriously big tipper.

  6. Lad9 says:

    I won’t predict because I am a jinx, but I like yours John! Love Paul Chryst btw.

  7. Brandie says:

    GO PITT!

    As a Penn State Grad it chokes me to say that (coughs up own tongue).

  8. JohninOshkosh says:

    Just having a little fun. Nothing personal-just hate all Florida schools with every fiber of my being. :)

  9. Lad9 says:

    Why do we have a link to the Trib’s Penn State page on this thread? Has to be a simple mistake I would think. No conspiracy theory here. :)

    DK: Sorry. Thanks for calling attention to it, Laddy.

  10. Lad9 says:

    There, there now Brandie. You don’t have to change your spots. I understand how difficult that is and I couldn’t do it in reverse. My whole family wore orange on Saturday. :)

  11. JohninOshkosh says:

    Have a blast, Laddie! I’ll look for you on the TV!

  12. pattonbb says:

    A friend of mine is on Jimbo Fisher’s coaching staff. They’re definitely not “over-confident” about tonight’s game.

  13. cmat0829 says:

    it is ‘free shoes university’ for a reason, but pales in comparison to the SEC and how much they pay for play there.

  14. Brandie says:

    Dum da Dum Dum.

    Dum da Dum Dum – Dum!

  15. JohninOshkosh says:

    Good stuff, patton. Thanks for the insider info!

  16. pattonbb says:

    That’s the most ridiculous thing you’ve ever posted.

  17. Arriba Wilver says:


  18. Lad9 says:

    I’ll be the one in the second level of the north end zone wearing a Pitt shirt and …. well I’ll be there!

  19. War Horse says:

    In one of the sweetest plays of the summer, with Aokui on third and one out, Pedro picks up a grounder hit by Lucroy, throws home to get Aoki who turns back and is caught in a rundown, Martin throws back to Pedro who chases Aoki down, tags him and hurriedly throws to Walker at 2B to nip Lucroy. Wow!

  20. theplanisworking says:

    Before I get to anything Pitt, i would like to post the following……………..

    I am putting out an APB for Milo Hamilton.
    The blog isnt doing good without you.
    Get better soon. Come back.

    Thank You.

  21. Lad9 says:

    I second that!

  22. theplanisworking says:

    Now for the topic at hand………

    I am hoping for a Pitt win tonight.
    Pitt’s D is strong, just hope they can keep up with FSU’s speed.

    I was at the game the last time FSU came to Pitt.
    Pitt was an underdog then, too.
    54,000 fans. We were on our feet the whole game.
    FSU had a difficult time hearing, and resulted in turnovers.
    Oh Yeah, Pitt won that game.

    Man, now I feel old, remembering I was a student at Pitt 30 years ago. :(

    GO PITT !!!!

  23. Jandy says:

    OK what did I miss? Is Milo ill??

  24. Jandy says:

    Gosh, you ARE old ;)

  25. Jandy says:

    Hey Crue !!!

  26. theplanisworking says:

    No, a mini-kerfluffle, or misunderstanding on the blog a couple of days ago.

    Hope he returns soon.
    He is a good guy.

  27. theplanisworking says:

    Hi, Nunsense.

    Your thoughts on tonights game?

  28. DemonDachshund says:

    Instead of joining the ACC, could Pitt just shut down their athletic programs instead?

    This game will make Wanny’s debut look good, I’m afraid. Chryst may be a nice guy, and may be a good coach, but I’m just not seeing the talent there to compete with the better teams in the Big East, nevermind the ACC. Not that the ACC is amazing either, but the Panthers have a long way to go to compete.

    At least they should be better than Duke.

  29. Brandie says:

    :( Hope Milo is okay.

  30. Jandy says:

    Oh JEEZ!
    C’mon Milo, git ur butt back here!!!

  31. Jandy says:

    Pitt? I hope they win. I’m not into college football by much, but I’ll root or Pittsburgh over Florida :)

  32. theplanisworking says:

    Good Girl.

    This game will either be a close Pitt win, or a FSU blowout.

    Maybe we can borrow your camel for good luck? ;)

  33. Jandy says:

    woop woop!!

  34. Brandie says:

    Thank you Lad. You are generous. Syracuse gave it one heck of a shot, though.

  35. theplanisworking says:


  36. JohninOshkosh says:

    Milo is a Pitt guy, too. Hope he drops in tonight with some insight.

  37. JohninOshkosh says:

    For unexplained reasons, my avi disappeared.

  38. theplanisworking says:

    The Brewers stole it……….

  39. Jandy says:

    friggin p*ssies ;)

  40. theplanisworking says:

    SPELLCHECK !!!!!!!!!!!!!! ;)

  41. likeabugonarug says:

    The positives – a really good defense. Potential Pitt-fall is do they have the speed to keep up with FSU.

    The negative – the offense. Start at QB, unsure at RB (health and depth), only 1 tested WR, and a raw OL.

    The key will be Pitt’s OL. If they have any kind of game, Pitt has a chance. If they don’t, the defense better create a LOT of TO’s or they will be on the field forever.

    This is a game for Pitt that you really don’t want to be first on the schedule with so many question marks.

    And Hippo, it was 31 years ago for me.


  42. JohninOshkosh says:

    What’s the scoop ? Bad weather at Heinz ? Will I be up late tonight ?

    DK: Lightning temporarily cleared the seats. Students now back. Rain supposed to subside soon.

  43. JohninOshkosh says:

    I gotta believe rain favors the Panthers. And thanks, Dejan.

  44. JohninOshkosh says:

    If this game is played in a torrential downpour, then I just don’t think I could love football more!

    Wish I was at the game if only so I wouldn’t have to listen to Mark May and Lou Holtz bickering. Good gravy.

  45. Drew71 says:

    This is gonna just about kill me. But.

    I despise the Slime-anoles.

    So. Go (pause) (gag) (sigh) pitt.

    (I think I’m gonna throw up.)

  46. Brandie says:

    Sorry about that Drew-k. I already had my choking episode earlier in this thread. I despise Free Shoes University.

  47. theplanisworking says:

    Do we need to enroll you in a 12-step system, Drew-k?

  48. Brandie says:


    Felony State University.

  49. Brandie says:

    Rooting for Pitt is the 13th step!

  50. Eric Bowser says:

    Tonight is going to be awesome and PITT doesn’t have to win the game.

    I won’t have to see a child-like QB on the field for PITT as Tino Sunseri is gone and Tom Savage has an arm and good size.

  51. theplanisworking says:

    FIRE BYL……… oh nevermind, Eric……….. ;)

  52. theplanisworking says:

    +13 !!! :D

  53. theplanisworking says:

    PennStateBrandimal, play nice.

    Your Hippo is a Pitt grad………… dont want to have to go all Ghost on you. ;)

  54. Eric Bowser says:

    Actually, working on an article about the Penguins while watching this game and I won’t be calling for Bylsma’s firing but will be hitting a nerve with many fans on here, I suppose and anyone else that reads it.

  55. Brandie says:

    So scared of the holy uniform.

  56. theplanisworking says:

    No matter whether I agree with your opinions or not, I always respect them. And, I always look forward ro reading them, because it makes me think. Fire extinguisher optional…………..

  57. theplanisworking says:

    SECONDED !!!!!!!

  58. Barb says:

    GO PITT, HAIL TO PITT. Sorry Brandie and Drew.

  59. theplanisworking says:


  60. theplanisworking says:


  61. Brandie says:

    My dad went to Pitt!

  62. Brandie says:

    You wouldn’t have it any other way!

  63. theplanisworking says:

    I like him already. ;)

  64. Brandie says:

    You are forgiven…this time. :-)

  65. Lad9 says:

    From section 223 on the North Side:

    Kickoff delayed until 8:10 due to earlier bad weather

    Atmosphere is great. Lots of FSU fans and very friendly. Common sentiment is welcome to the ACC Pitt.

    The students are as wound up as I have ever seen. The highlight (or lowlight) was the no more Tino chant

    FSU has some very large student athletes, but it is the speed that worries me.

    There are two advertising “signs” flanking the scoreboard in the south end zone that make the Pirate Charities sign look good. They look awful.

    No first game suspensions that I know of yet

    Looking forward to the ACC. It feels very different than the Big East. LETS GO PITT!!!!!

  66. bizrow says:

    Welcome Lunatics, if you don’t see your current location below, please add a reply to this post

    Dejan’s Lunatic Nation – at the Trib,
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    395 confirmed locations represented in the blog, and a couple of strange places
    Lunatic Nation Hall of Fame, people that have, in our opinion, made a difference, either thru talent or character or deeds.
    Nominations are always welcome
    Any Allegheny, Pirate, Crawford, Gray, Steeler or Penguin player in the League’s Hall of Fame, although if Jagr makes it some day, we gotta talk
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    Asterisks denote confirmed hero’s, military, police officers or firemen/ladies
    9/2/2013 7:53 PM

  67. theplanisworking says:

    Hail To Biz !!

  68. JohninOshkosh says:

    Great post.

  69. JohninOshkosh says:

    Samantha Ponder, y’all.

  70. Barb says:

    I promise I will try not to rip on PSU.

  71. theplanisworking says:


  72. Barb says:

    Yes let’s all of us ladies were heels on the sidelines. What odds will you give me that she loses one of her heels>

  73. JohninOshkosh says:

    Lou Holtz reminiscing about Pittsburgh. He grew up in the same town as one LuckyNKentucky.

  74. Barb says:

    That should be wear.

  75. JohninOshkosh says:


  76. JohninOshkosh says:

    Hot dang this is exciting! Nothing like the start of a football game!!

  77. pattonbb says:

    Good stuff Lad! Have fun.

  78. Barb says:

    I guess Pitt doesn’t matter according to ESPN.

  79. JohninOshkosh says:

    I love Pitt won the toss and elected to receive. Straight up NFL-get your offense out on the field first!

  80. Brandie says:

    It’s okay! I know it’s good natured.

  81. pattonbb says:

    Right on!

  82. Brandie says:

    Be safe! Have fun!


  83. JohninOshkosh says:

    Devin Street!!!! Backing up the talk!

  84. theplanisworking says:

    Savage has a better arm than 100 Sunseris!!!!

  85. JRay3 says:

    +15….like getting Boyd involved early as well.

  86. theplanisworking says:


  87. JRay3 says:

    He looks good….TOUCHDOWN PITT!,,m

  88. Eric Bowser says:

    Impressive drive for PITT

  89. Barb says:

    That’s the way to do it. YES!

  90. JohninOshkosh says:

    Impressive drive!!!

    Bennett running sets up Savage to Street for a 9 play 80 yard drive. Great execution. Classic Chryst.

    7-0 Pitt

  91. Eric Bowser says:

    Unreal… Savage throws ball away, Sunseri would’ve taken sack.

    Savage throws impressive out to Street for big gain.

    Savage throws quick slant to Street for 1st & goal.

    Loved the play call to get the ball into Tyler Boyd’s hands….

  92. Drew71 says:

    It is The Last Step. Ever.

  93. JRay3 says:

    Could not have scripted that any better, put pressure on true freshman QB early….time for Pitt D to take momentum offense created.

  94. theplanisworking says:

    Nice to have faith in your QB.

    This is exciting!!!

  95. JohninOshkosh says:

    Winston sets up in empty backfield. Gutsy play call for first play as a college QB.

  96. Brandie says:

    Pitt is doing well so far. I am impressed.

  97. theplanisworking says:

    Thanks, Brandie! :D

  98. Brandie says:

    That’s very Dramatic Drew-k!

  99. JD says:

    Hey OshKosh, thanks for t posting the Rush song on earlier thread. My favorite band of all time.

    Great start by Pitt! Hope they keep it up.

  100. Kevin says:

    Hey, WE (Pitt) stopped them from scoring on FSU first poss. Go us!

  101. Barb says:

    Yes they are looking good. I am impressed in their effort so far.

  102. Eric Bowser says:


    Been years…

  103. Brandie says:

    Keep it up and I may have to become a closet fan!

  104. Brandie says:

    I am listening to WPTS on the IHeart Radio app.

  105. JohninOshkosh says:

    No problem, buddy. One of my favorites as well.

  106. theplanisworking says:

    Our O-Line looks better than the Steelers! LOL

    Very encouraging.

  107. Eric Bowser says:

    The amount of freshmen in the game for PITT is unreal.

  108. JohninOshkosh says:

    Yet, the Seminoles look like the nervous ones.

  109. Kevin says:

    Wow driving down the field. I second Planimal’s emotion. Wish/hope steelers could do this.

  110. pattonbb says:

    I hope they stay nervous for the rest of the night.

  111. Brandie says:

    Pitt is moving the ball well and chewing up clock. So far, so right.

  112. radio wave says:

    I came in late. How did they score? And a quick note to John and Oshkosh; yes I know Ohio got pounded yesterday. I expected that.

  113. theplanisworking says:

    Well, that wasnt very good…………

  114. pattonbb says:

    Pitt D needs to stand up right here.

  115. Kevin says:

    Bah there’s a steeler lookalike result to an offensive series.

  116. Brandie says:

    Damn, spoke to soon. C’mon defense, crush the Noles!

  117. theplanisworking says:

    X2 …………

  118. JohninOshkosh says:

    Winston who we thought he was.

    7-7. FSU exploits the Pitt interception.

  119. Brandie says:

    SMH…Ty Ballgame!

  120. JohninOshkosh says:

    First and goal from the five. Savage pass to former Wisconsin Badger Manasseh Garner.

    Yes, Teddy Bridgewater looked very good. Ohio was completely overmatched.

  121. J Walter Weatherman says:

    Looking like the O-line’s may be the key to this game – especially in pass blocking. Winston getting much more time to throw than Savage. Winston’s mobility is a problem for Pitt too.

  122. pattonbb says:

    Here come the ‘Noles…..

  123. JohninOshkosh says:

    Need to sack Winston or get a TO and rattle the kid’s confidence.

    Now, 2 personal fouls already on Pitt. Stupid.

  124. theplanisworking says:

    That interception seems to have energized Florida State……..

  125. theplanisworking says:

    ……….. a bit too much.

    14-7 bad guys.

  126. JohninOshkosh says:

    Pitt having trouble handling the TE’s.

    14-7 FSU

  127. JohninOshkosh says:

    Boyd and Street look like a good combo.

  128. theplanisworking says:

    And I dont know how many games Savage will win, but he is a HUGE upgrade at QB !

  129. JohninOshkosh says:

    Yes sir!

    Are we the only ones watching this ? lol

  130. theplanisworking says:

    I think that INT chased the peeps away……… ;)

    or they are afraid of DK’s bold reaming…….

  131. JRay3 says:

    Big bounce back drive by Panthers to get points. Really impressed at the balance the offense is showing, that kid Connors is running hard.

  132. J Walter Weatherman says:

    I’d like to see Boyd catch a pass before anointing him as a good WR, but he looks like the real deal running with the ball

  133. JohninOshkosh says:

    Blewitt did not blow it.

    14-10 FSU

    Former The Bachelor, Jesse Palmer, calls Pittsburgh an underrated foodie city.

  134. JRay3 says:

    Winston 11 for 11 to start, defense needs to step it up, so far the supposed strength of team does not have answer.

  135. theplanisworking says:

    For the first time in years, Pitt looks like it has hope going into a season.

    The players, and the schemes look better.

  136. JRay3 says:

    Ugh got to get stop on 3rd and 17….DB’s giving too much space.

  137. JohninOshkosh says:

    Ugh, D needs a stop here or force a turnover.

    And, finally, a sack.

  138. theplanisworking says:

    Pitt’s strength on D is the line and LB’s

    This secondary looks sofffffffffffffff

  139. J Walter Weatherman says:

    Was just about to say that. Either Winston is as good as advertised and the Noles’ WR’s are all NFL prospects, or PItt’s secondary is overrated.

  140. J Walter Weatherman says:

    What is as advertised is Aaron Donald is very good and the rest of the D-line is very suspect.

  141. Eric Bowser says:

    Could someone on D make a play?

  142. Barb says:

    It would be nice if they could tackle someone.

  143. JohninOshkosh says:

    Backbreaker. Winston keeps it for a 5 yard TD.

    ‘Noles starting to pull away.

    21-10 FSU

    Pitt needs to answer with points.

  144. J Walter Weatherman says:

    Seemingly not. Very disappointing performance by the secondary tonight. That was the only edge I thought Pitt had coming into this game.

  145. JohninOshkosh says:


    (cute kid) It’s “queen” to make it funny.

    He doesn’t get it.

  146. pattonbb says:

    Jameis Football.

    FSU gets the ball 1st in the second half. Pitt better do something with this 2 minute drill or this one is going to get away from them.

  147. JohninOshkosh says:

    Yeah, FSU’s WR’s way too open. Winston handling the blitz very well.

  148. theplanisworking says:

    YIKES !!!!!!

  149. Eric Bowser says:

    At least it was tied after 1st quarter…..

  150. JohninOshkosh says:

    At least 2/3 of the first half was fun.

  151. JohninOshkosh says:

    Oh just give away the Heisman now.

  152. Eric Bowser says:

    TD FSU

    Game. Set. Match.

  153. pattonbb says:

    Game over.

    Welcome to the ACC Pitt. Don’t let them score 60 on you tonight.

  154. J Walter Weatherman says:

    I’m speechless … and changing the channel. What happened to this secondary? Doesn’t help that there’s rarely any pressure on the QB. Could be a long season if those aspects don’t get better quickly.

  155. pattonbb says:

    Don’t laugh. Some folks feel he has a legitimate shot since they gave the award to a freshman last year.

  156. theplanisworking says:

    I dont care if we lose 116-10.

    This team looks better than previous years.
    And, Sunseri isnt the QB !

  157. Barb says:

    The Heisman and we can crown him King. Oh well I am going to bed 5:00 a.m. comes real quick.

  158. JohninOshkosh says:

    I’m sure a believer, Patton. ACC teams are going to have their hands full this year.

    Of course, they won’t learn much from studying Pitt’s game film. The secondary has been yuck.

  159. JohninOshkosh says:

    I think Samantha still has her high heels, Barb! Good night.

  160. pattonbb says:

    They’re worried about FSU’s speed. Safeties are back and corners are playing soft.

  161. theplanisworking says:

    Night Barb.

  162. florida steeler says:

    FSU has too much talent. Once Chryst is able to attract some four star recruits, Pitt will be a force. Glad Pitt has him.

  163. theplanisworking says:

    I’m back, and we are still down 31-10.

    This game started out so promising, but FSU simply has way too much talent.
    Chryst will need 1-2 more years to see the results he desires.

    But he will get them.

  164. JohninOshkosh says:

    I agree, Plan.

    Already, more fun to watch than Sunseri regime.

    Pitt retired Larry Fitzgerald’s number tonight.

    Glad, they had a nice crowd despite the weather.

    Lots of positives going forward.

  165. Reading says:

    Boyd: outstanding.

  166. pattonbb says:

    Why didn’t espn cut back to the game in time to see the field goal?

  167. theplanisworking says:

    I like the fact that Pitt is recruiting great players from small schools.
    I think 4 or 5 Clairton players are on the team.

    They know how to win, and are great athletes.
    And, yes, a great crowd, is there because there is hope…….. unlike the past 3 years.
    Sad part is, Chryst needs 1-2 more years to fully implement his system.
    But you can already see it will be worth the wait.

  168. theplanisworking says:

    Because it want the Yanks-Sox. ;)

  169. CWalton_67 says:

    Steve Pederson should be directing nothing more complex than restroom cleaning at Heinz Field. The Pitt football program is again a laughingstock on a national stage. Utterly amazed that this guy has a job.

  170. theplanisworking says:

    Pitt hasnt covered the TE all night.

    I dont know if they are getting confused, or FSU is just scheming that well.

  171. Reading says:

    Teams don’t game plan on defense for the preseason. Right?

  172. Baywatch says:

    One of my smart-alecky friends from North Carolina on Facebook just now: “Welcome to the ACC, Pitt!”

  173. Reading says:

    Pitt will get revenge someday.

  174. theplanisworking says:

    Well, they were who we thought they were.

    At least Pitt showed they werent afraid of a much higher ranked opponent.
    Great start to the game.
    Savage will improve.
    Running game looked good.
    Street and Boyd looked good also.

    For the first time in years, there is hope.

  175. Reading says:

    Nice pic of Kaufmann’s original wooden escalator in ESPN’s pre-game show.

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