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Pitt kicker Chris Blewitt plans to let his kicking shut people up about his name

What’s in a name? Pitt fans are hoping absolutely nothing. The Panthers recently received a commitment from a class of 2013 kicker that goes by the name Chris Blewitt. For obvious reasons, Blewitt has been the talk of the internet over the past several days and was even mentioned on ESPN because of his unfortunate last name. To his credit, Blewitt said he is used to hearing about his name and knows it means he has to perform well.

“With a name like that, I guess I have to be good,” Blewitt told TribLIVE while mentioning how he has gotten grief mostly from teammates and not opponents. “I just embrace it. I’ve been living with it all my life. I knew this day would happen eventually. It’s nothing new. I think it’s kind of funny that it’s happening.

“It’s probably a little bit trying to show people that it’s just a name. People don’t know all the hard work that I’ve put in, what I’m capable of doing now. All the hard work, I’ll just let that show. And that’ll shut them up.”

If Blewitt enjoys pressure, he’ll thrive on the college scene. Division-I kickers are under enough pressure as it is to make big kicks with the entire student body breathing down their necks, let alone ones who have insults built in to their last names. Because of his name, Pitt may have landed a kicker that will be slightly more focused than his counterparts across the country.

H/T Sports by Brooks Live

Pitt will have a kicker named Chris Blewitt in 2013

If the best kicker in the world was named Chris Blewitt, would you trust him? Pittsburgh fans are going to have to. He may not be the best kicker in the world, but Blewitt has to be pretty good to be offered a scholarship by a major Division I football program. Many schools don’t like using scholarships on kickers and punters, so if you’re going to use one on a guy named Blewitt you must be fairly confident in his abilities.

Obviously, Pitt fans won’t have to try very hard to heckle this poor kid if things don’t go his way. If he winds up being the team’s placekicker, Blewitt is going to miss a crucial kick at some point in his career. Everyone does, but not everyone has to deal with “You blew it, Blewitt” or “Blewitt, That’s a perfect f***in name!” when they make a mistake.

Chris will inevitably hear something along those lines from Panther fans at some point. Considering he’s gone through his entire life with that last name and still managed to land a scholarship to a D-I school, my guess is Blewitt can probably handle it.

Hey, as far as sports names go, it could be worse.

H/T Throw the Flag

Backyard Brawl Debacle Likely Cost Dave Wannstedt His Job at Pitt

From the day he got hired by Pitt, I thought it was a bad decision by the Panthers to make Dave Wannstedt their head coach. Now, six years after I felt Pitt made a bad move, they have finally decided to fire the Wannstache.

Wannstedt seemed to get the benefit of the doubt everywhere based on his relationship with Jimmy Johnson, yet he failed in Chicago as a head coach and was fired after 1-8 start with the Dolphins in 2004 (he had winning seasons the previous four years). Regardless of his performances he seemed to consistently land jobs; Pitt hired him immediately and he began coaching in 2005.

The Panthers struggled in Wannstedt’s first three years on the job, going 5-6, 6-6, and 5-7. While I was convinced they had made a bad hire and should have fired him, the team turned the corner in 2008 going 9-4. Last year they went 10-3 and enjoyed their first double digit win season since 1981 when Jackie Sherrill was coach.

Pitt appeared poised to win the weak Big East this year entering their home game against West Virginia. They were 4-1 in conference play and hosting the Backyard Brawl against the Mountaineers, but they got embarrassed 35-10. Had they won the game and beaten Cincinnati as they ended up doing, they would have won the conference and received a BCS bowl berth. It wasn’t just losing a rivalry game that cost the team the conference title that hurt Wannstedt’s job status, but it was how they lost it.

Pitt put the ball on the ground six times and lost three fumbles, getting hammered by 25. Geno Smith went 9-12 for 212 yards and three touchdowns against the Panthers in the win.

After sticking by Wannstache for three mediocre seasons at the start of his tenure, it’s hard to believe they finally decided to can him during a 7-5 bowl season. I didn’t see this coming, and if they weren’t beat down at home by West Virginia it probably would not have. Who Pitt hires next is uncertain, but what is known is that Wannstedt will get another good head coaching job elsewhere. He always does.

Pittsburgh Linebacker Nasty Knee Injury

There isn’t much to see right now in the Pittsburgh vs. Miami game as the Hurricanes have dominated the Panthers from the opening snap and lead 17-3 in the fourth quarter.  Overall, it’s been a pretty boring game.  If gnarly injuries are your thing and you’re watching this game, you probably woke up when Pittsburgh linebacker Dan Mason went down with a gruesome-looking knee injury.  Mason dislocated his knee and the trainers weren’t able to re-set it on the field.  He had to be carted off.