2010 Pittsburgh Panthers football
Big East Co-Champions
BBVA Compass Bowl Champions
ConferenceBig East
2010 record8–5 (5–2 Big East)
Head coachDave Wannstedt (6th year)
Phil Bennett (interim) [2]
Offensive coordinatorFrank Cignetti, Jr. (2nd year)
Brian Angelichio (interim) [3]
Offensive schemePro Style
Defensive coordinatorPhil Bennett (3rd season)
Base defense4–3
Home stadiumHeinz Field
(Capacity: 65,050)
← 2009
2011 →
2010 Big East football standings
v · d · e Conf     Overall
Team   W   L         W   L  
Connecticut §   5 2         8 5  
West Virginia §   5 2         9 4  
Pittsburgh §   5 2         8 5  
Syracuse   4 3         8 5  
South Florida   3 4         8 5  
Louisville   3 4         7 6  
Cincinnati   2 5         4 8  
Rutgers   1 6         4 8  
† – BCS representative as champion
§ – Conference co-champions
As of January 11, 2011 • Rankings from AP Poll

The 2010 Pittsburgh Panthers football team represented the University of Pittsburgh in the 2010 NCAA Division I FBS football season. The Panthers were members of the Big East Conference. They were led by the sixth year head coach Dave Wannstedt and played their home games at Heinz Field. 2010 marked the University's 121st season overall. They finished the season 8–5, 5–2 in Big East play to be champions of the Big East with Connecticut and West Virginia. However, due to loses to both schools, Pitt did not earn the conferences bid to a BCS game. They were invited to the BBVA Compass Bowl where they defeated Kentucky 27–10. Head coach Dave Wannstedt was forced to resign on December 7, 2010.

Previous seasonEdit

The Panthers finished the 2009 season with an overall record of 10–3, 5–2 in Big East Conference play. Pitt won the Meineke Car Care Bowl 19–17 against North Carolina for its eleventh bowl game victory.


Preseason player honorsEdit

File:Jason Pinkston.JPG

Six Panthers have been named to a combined total of 14 preseason award watch lists:

Senior defensive end Greg Romeus has been named to the Lombardi Award (down linemen), Chuck Bednarik Award (defensive player), Ted Hendricks Award (defensive end), Lott Trophy (defensive player of the year) and Bronko Nagurski Trophy (top defensive player) watch lists.

Senior offensive tackle Jason Pinkston was named to the Lombardi Award (down linemen) and Outland Trophy (interior linemen) watch lists.

Senior safety Dom DeCicco has benn named to the Jim Thorpe Award (defensive back) watch list.

Senior kicker Dan Hutchins was named to the Lou Groza Award (top placekicker) watch list.

Junior receiver Jon Baldwin was named to the Maxwell Award (outstanding collegiate football player) and Biletnikoff Award (wide receiver) watch lists.

Sophomore running back Dion Lewis has been named to the Maxwell Award (outstanding collegiate football player), Walter Camp Player of the Year Award and Doak Walker Award (top running back) watch lists.

Preseason Big East Media PollEdit

On August 3, 2010, representatives of the media serving the eight Big East football markets voted Pitt as the favorite to win the 2010 Big East Football Conference championship. The Panthers received 22 of 24 possible first-place votes, and 2 second-place votes.


The Panthers schedule was released February 10, 2010.[1][2]

Date Time Opponent# Rank# Site TV Result Attendance
Thu. Sep. 2* 8:30 p.m. at #24 Utah #15 Rice–Eccles StadiumSalt Lake City, UT Versus L 24–27 OT  45,730[3]
Sat. Sep. 11* 1:00 p.m. New Hampshire Heinz FieldPittsburgh, PA ESPN3 W 38–16   50,120[4]
Thu. Sep. 23* 7:30 p.m. #19 Miami (FL) Heinz Field • Pittsburgh, PA ESPN L 3–31   58,115[5]
Sat. Oct 2* 3:30 p.m. Florida International Heinz Field • Pittsburgh, PA ESPN3 W 44–17   45,207[6]
Sat. Oct. 9* 3:30 p.m. at Notre Dame Notre Dame StadiumSouth Bend, IN NBC L 17–23   80,795[7]
Sat. Oct. 16 12:00 p.m. at Syracuse Carrier DomeSyracuse, NY Big East Network W 45–14   40,168[8]
Sat. Oct. 23 12:00 p.m. Rutgers Heinz Field • Pittsburgh, PA Big East Network W 41–21   50,425[9]
Sat. Oct. 30† 12:00 p.m. Louisville Heinz Field • Pittsburgh, PA Big East Network W 20–3   48,562[10]
Thu. Nov. 11 7:30 p.m. at Connecticut Rentschler FieldEast Hartford, CT ESPN L 28–30   35,391[11]
Sat. Nov. 20 12:00 p.m. at South Florida Raymond James StadiumTampa, FL ESPN2 W 17–10   43,844[12]
Fri. Nov. 26 12:00 p.m. West Virginia Heinz Field • Pittsburgh, PA (Backyard Brawl) ABC L 10–35   60,562[13]
Sat. Dec. 4 12:00 p.m. at Cincinnati Nippert StadiumCincinnati, OH (River City Rivalry) ESPN W 28–10   27,496[14]
Sat. Jan. 8* 12:00 p.m. vs. Kentucky Legion FieldBirmingham, AL (BBVA Compass Bowl) ESPN W 27–10   41,207[15]
*Non-Conference Game. Homecoming. #Rankings from AP Poll released prior to game. All times are in Eastern Time.

Coaching staffEdit

2010 Pittsburgh Panthers football staff
Coaching Staff
  • Dave Wannstedt - Head Coach
  • Greg Gattuso - Assistant Head Coach/Defensive Line
  • Phil Bennett - Defensive Coordinator
  • Frank Cignetti, Jr. - Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks
  • Brian Angelichio - Tight Ends
  • Bernard Clark, Jr. - Linebackers
  • Jeff Hafley - Secondary
  • Scott Turner - Wide Receivers
  • David Walker - Running Backs
  • Tony Wise - Offensive Line
  Support Staff
  • Chris LaSala - Assistant Athletic Director/Football Operations
  • Bob Junko - Director of Football Relations and Program Enhancement
  • Eric Thatcher - Defensive Assistant
  • Luke Getsy - Offensive Assistant
  Strength and Conditioning Staff
  • Buddy Morris - Strength and Conditioning Coach
  • James Smith - Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach

Team players drafted into in the NFLEdit

Player Position Round Pick NFL Club
Jonathan Baldwin Wide Receiver 1 26 Kansas City Chiefs
Jabaal Sheard Defensive Line 2 37 Cleveland Browns
Dion Lewis Running Back 5 149 Philadelphia Eagles
Jason Pinkston Offensive Line 5 150 Cleveland Browns
Greg Romeus Defensive Line 7 226 New Orleans Saints


File:Pitt vs. Miami (2) - Sept. 23, 2010.JPG

The Panthers debuted at #15 in the preseason Coaches' Poll.[17] and in the preseason Associated Press (AP) Poll.

Sports Illustrated ranked Pitt #16 in the annual College Football Preview issue on August 16, 2010. listed Pitt at #14 in their preseason picks on August 20, 2010. ranked Pitt #13 in the preseason rankings of all 120 FBS teams on August 30, 2010.

Ranking Movement
Legend: ██ Improvement in ranking. ██ Decrease in ranking. ██ Not ranked the previous week. rv=Others receiving votes.
Poll Pre Wk 1 Wk 2 Wk 3 Wk 4 Wk 5 Wk 6 Wk 7 Wk 8 Wk 9 Wk 10 Wk 11 Wk 12 Wk 13 Wk 14 Final
AP 15 rv rv rv -- -- -- -- -- rv rv -- -- -- rv --
Coaches 15 rv rv rv -- -- -- -- -- -- rv -- rv -- -- --
Harris Not releasedA -- -- rv rv rv -- -- -- --
BCS Not releasedB -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
Rankings notes
  • A The first Harris Interactive Poll was released after the sixth week of games, and the final version will be released at the conclusion of the regular season but prior to the bowl season.
  • B The first BCS Ranking will be released after the seventh week of games, and the final ranking will be released at the conclusion of the regular season but prior to the bowl season.

Game notesEdit


by Quarter1234

<th width="20">OT</th>

Panthers 0 7 3 14


Utah 0 14 3 7



<tr><td style="border-top: 1px solid #aaaaaa; border-bottom: 1px solid #aaaaaa;"></td></tr> <tr><td>

Sophomore Tino Sunseri made his first career start at quarterback. Pitt trailed 24–13 halfway through the fourth quarter. With 7:11 left, Sunseri completed a 44-yard touchdown pass to Jonathan Baldwin, and a two-point conversion made it 24–21. Dan Hutchins kicked a 30-yard field goal to tie the game and end regulation. In overtime, Utah won the toss and elected to play defense. On the first play of overtime, Sunseri was intercepted by Utah freshman Brian Blechen. A few plays later Joe Phillips made a 21-yard field goal to give the Utes the 27–24 victory.

Sunseri finished 16 of 28 with 184 yards, Dion Lewis carried 25 times for 75 yards and one touchdown, and Baldwin led receivers with four receptions for 71 yards and a touchdown.[18]

New HampshireEdit

by Quarter1234 Total
New Hampshire 0 3 7 6 16
Panthers 10 7 14 7 38

<tr><td style="border-top: 1px solid #aaaaaa; border-bottom: 1px solid #aaaaaa;"></td></tr> <tr><td>

Pitt's first home game of the season was against the New Hampshire Wildcats, who at the time of the game were ranked as the #6 team in Division I FCS (I-AA). The Wildcats were able to contain Dion Lewis, who finished the game with 27 yards on 10 carries. However, sophomore Ray Graham had 9 carries for 116 yards and two touchdowns. Tino Sunseri improved in his second career start, completing 24 of 34 passes for 275 yards, 2 touchdowns, and 1 interception. The receiving touchdowns went to Cameron Saddler for 2 yards and Jon Baldwin for 56; Baldwin led receivers with 6 for 100 yards. Defensive end Greg Romeus sat out his second consecutive game due to injury, in hopes of returning against the Miami Hurricanes on September 23.[19] However, Romeus underwent back surgery to relieve a herniated disc and will miss up to 6 weeks. Pitt improved its record against FCS teams to 9-0.


On December 7, 2010, Wannstedt resigned as head coach, reportedly under pressure following a disappointing 7-5 regular season and having failed to advance to a BCS bowl during his tenure.[20] Wannstedt accepted a position as Special Assistant to the Athletic Director at the university.[20]

Following this, Michael Haywood, the former coach of the Miami University Redhawks, was hired as Pitt's new head coach on December 16, 2010.[21] Haywood was arrested on December 31, 2010 on a charge of domestic battery, which was later upgraded to a felony.[22] Pitt chancellor Mark Nordenberg announced Haywood's firing the next day, on January 1, 2011.[23]

Wannstedt announced on January 3 that he would not coach the bowl game and defensive coordinator Phil Bennett would take over the team on an interim basis for the BBVA Compass Bowl against Kentucky, which Pitt won 27-10.[24]

Controversy also arose when an investigation by Sports Illustrated revealed that the university's 2010 football team had 22 players with criminal records, the most by any team ranked in the magazine's pre-season top 25 rankings.[25] Athletic Director Steve Pederson called the number of incidents "totally unacceptable", stating that the athletic department was "addressing the situation" including having already instituted more intense "background research".[26] Ousted coach Dave Wannstedt defended his past "body of work" but acknowledged "an unfortunate stretch of incidents" the previous summer stating that "every player and each incident was evaluated on an individual basis" and that "we did our due diligence to make sure that we treated each player fair".[27] The Sports Illustrated report received criticism for its lack of context, methodology, and sensationalism.[28][29][30][31][32]


  1. Zeise, Paul (February 10, 2010). "Pitt, WVU announce football schedules". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved February 12, 2010.
  2. "Pitt Releases 2010 Football Schedule". WTAE-TV. February 10, 2010. Retrieved February 12, 2010.
  3. "Pittsburgh Panthers vs. Utah Utes Box Score". Archived from the original on September 6, 2010. Retrieved September 7, 2010.
  4. "New Hampshire Wildcats vs. Pittsburgh Panthers Box Score". Archived from the original on September 15, 2010. Retrieved September 12, 2010.
  5. "Miami Hurricanes vs. Pittsburgh Panthers Box Score". Archived from the original on September 26, 2010. Retrieved September 23, 2010.
  6. "Florida International Golden Panthers vs. Pittsburgh Panthers Box Score". Archived from the original on October 5, 2010. Retrieved October 2, 2010.
  7. "Pittsburgh Panthers vs. Notre Dame Fighting Irish Box Score". Retrieved January 9, 2011.
  8. [1]
  9. "Rutgers Scarlet Knights vs. Pittsburgh Panthers Box Score". Retrieved January 9, 2011.
  10. "Louisville Cardinals vs. Pittsburgh Panthers Box Score". Retrieved January 9, 2011.
  11. "Pittsburgh Panthers vs. Connecticut Huskies Box Score". Retrieved January 9, 2011.
  12. "Pittsburgh Panthers vs. South Florida Bulls Box Score". Archived from the original on November 26, 2010. Retrieved January 9, 2011.
  13. "West Virginia Mountaineers vs. Pittsburgh Panthers Box Score". Archived from the original on December 1, 2010. Retrieved January 9, 2011.
  14. "Pittsburgh Panthers vs. Cincinnati Bearcats Box Score". Retrieved January 9, 2011.
  15. "Kentucky Wildcats vs. Pittsburgh Panthers Box Score". Retrieved January 8, 2011.
  17. "Coaches vote Tide overwhelming No. 1". August 6, 2010. Archived from the original on August 7, 2010. Retrieved August 6, 2010.
  20. 20.0 20.1 "Dave Wannstedt resigns at Pitt". Associated Press. December 7, 2010. Retrieved December 16, 2010.
  21. "Pittsburgh hires Mike Haywood". December 16, 2010. Retrieved January 2, 2011.
  22. "Pitt fires new coach Mike Haywood". January 2, 2011. Retrieved January 2, 2010.
  23. "Statement from University of Pittsburgh Chancellor Mark A. Nordenberg". January 1, 2011. Retrieved January 2, 2010.
  24. Gorman, Kevin (January 3, 2011). "Wannstedt Will Not Coach Pitt in Compass Bowl". Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Retrieved January 3, 2011.
  25. Dohrmann, George, and Benedict, Jeff. "Rap Sheets, Recruits and Repercussions", Sports Illustrated, March 7, 2011, pp. 31-39.
  26. Zeise, Paul (March 11, 2011). "Pitt Football Gets Top Ranking in Wrong Areas". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA). Retrieved March 14, 2011.
  27. Wawrow, John (March 11, 2011). "Wannstedt Defends Pitt's Past". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved March 14, 2011.
  28. Hall, Spencer (March 2, 2011). "Hey We Can See The Whole World From Here". Retrieved March 14, 2011.
  29. Vint, Patrick (March 2, 2011). "CBS and Sports Illustrated Think Your Team Stole Their Wallet". Slow States. Retrieved March 14, 2011.
  30. Duffy, Tyler (March 2, 2011). "Sports Illustrated is Overstating Claims About College Football Crime". The Big Lead. Archived from the original on April 8, 2011. Retrieved March 14, 2011.
  31. Jones, David (March 4, 2011). "Commentary: At Least College Football Crime List is Topical". The Patriot-News (Harrisburg, PA). Retrieved March 14, 2011.
  32. "Sports Illustrated". College Football Examiner. March 11, 2011. Retrieved March 14, 2011.
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