Paul Chryst era gets off to sour start

September, 1, 2012
9/01/12
9:40
PM ET
All of those predictions touting Pitt as the darkhorse Big East title contender?

Well, they can still technically come true — they're just a whole lot less probable after what transpired Saturday.

Hours after new coach Paul Chryst announced the suspensions of six players, his Panthers were outplayed from start to finish in a 31-17 home loss to Youngstown State, marking the program's first-ever loss to an FCS school. The loss snapped the Big East's 57-game winning streak against FCS opponents as well.

There will be no names on Pitt's jerseys this season, and that may be a good thing for its players.

Ray Graham, the best of them, returned from last year's ACL tear and rushed for 71 yards on 14 carries, but he fumbled on the first drive of the game.

Pitt's defense struggled all night, allowing YSU to convert its first six third-down conversions in a first half that saw the Panthers trail 14-10 by the time intermission came.

Kurt Hess tossed the first two scores for the Penguins and, early in the third, Jamaine Cook took a handoff and tossed a 23-yard scoring strike of his own.

This is not the way Pitt needed to start the Chryst era. A short turnaround awaits Thursday at well-rested Cincinnati.

Matt Fortuna | email

College Football

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