Dave Wannstedt said Thursday that he hasn’t talked about West Virginia or the Backyard Brawl during Pitt’s bye week, believing that spending too much time on an arch-rival can be counterproductive.
“I think the worst thing that you could do in an emotional game like this is to start too early,” said Wannstedt, who will give the Panthers off Friday and Saturday. “Right now, it’s just important that we line up and practice hard and we work. Come Sunday, we’ll start talking about it.
“As the physical work decreases, the emotional work and mode increases.”
* Wannstedt and his staff spent the early part of the week while checking in on players in their classes. Wannstedt said he enjoys spending time in Oakland, especially with Pitt’s practice facilities on the South Side.
“With us being removed, I don’t have as many opportunities as I would like to just go down there and walk through the Cathedral and walk across campus,” Wannstedt said. “It’s a nice opportunity for me to do that during the season. I get to see a couple professors who come to the games during the season and get a chance to interact with them. It’s all good.”
· Quarterback Bill Stull can only laugh that his downfield block on Ray Graham’s 53-yard run against Notre Dame has drawn so much attention from fans and the media, especially since the player Stull attempted to block — strong safety Sergio Brown — eventually tackled Graham at the 2.
“I didn’t hear too much, except for ‘nice try’ and things like that from my teammates. They said, ‘Hey, great effort, but you didn’t get him down,’ ” Stull said. “I kind of wanted a block like Navy last year, when I got the guy on his back.”
Instead, Stull credited fullback Henry Hynoski for throwing a ferocious block that knocked helmet off a Notre Dame defender.
“We fast-forwarded and rewound that one a couple times,” Stull said. “That’s great effort. We thrive off each other’s energy, doing that.”