|Where's the Wildcat? Pitt not using offensive tool|
|Written by Admin|
|Wednesday, 24 September 2008 22:30|
Brown was most effective running out of the Wildcat formation, one in which he lines up in the shotgun as a quarterback with the ability to run or throw. He did both so well, and it was almost as if the Patriots had never seen such plays before.
Wannstedt, now the coach at alma mater Pitt (2-1), used the same formation last season with running back LeSean McCoy. Even though McCoy was no threat to pass, his ability to accelerate immediately upon taking a direct snap proved worrisome to opposing defenses.
With Pitt's offense struggling to produce yardage and points this season, more than a few Pitt fans are asking: Where's the Wildcat?
lf while rushing for 172 yards and a touchdown and Pitt nearly pulled off an upset.
Pitt recruited a junior college quarterback, Greg Cross, who proved adept at running the Wildcat and some spread formation sets during spring practice. When he finally got into a game Saturday against Iowa, Cross ran 17 yards for a key touchdown during the 21-20 victory.
``Every time he gets the ball in his hands, he is a threat,'' Pitt offensive coordinator Matt Cavanaugh said.
He's not much of a threat when he's on the bench and, given starting quarterback Bill Stull's struggles against Iowa, Wannstedt is being asked why the ball wasn't in Cross's hands more. Pitt had seven three-and-out possessions during the game, including six in a row at one point.
Stull was 11-of-25 for 129 yards and an interception. Cross was sacked for a 10-yard loss on the only other play he had the ball.
``We do have a series of plays for him other than the two we ran last week,'' Wannstedt said. ``We'll see how things unfold. He's been practicing and doing everything since Day 1 in camp.''
McCoy also hasn't been used out of the Wildcat this season, even though defenses are stacking the line of scrimmage to contain his running. The sophomore has 242 yards in three games, down from 347 yards last season - even though he wasn't a starter at the beginning of that season.
110.7 of his freshman season. He doesn't have a 100-yard game, although Pitt opened with Bowling Green (1-2) and Buffalo (2-2). Pitt is the only team Bowling Green has beaten.
Using the Wildcat on Saturday at Syracuse (1-3) might seem practical, given the artificial turf in the Carrier Dome makes it conducive for speed plays such as those run out of the formation.
``He's close to it,'' Wannstedt said of McCoy possibly getting close to having a breakout game. ``He has to be. He's too good of a player. ... We're trying all kinds of different things to allow for a big play. Sometimes I think it might be too much, but we're working on that.''