Notre Dame at Pitt Prediction Thread

I’m pressed for time so not a lot of meat on the bone here.

With that being said … I don’t think Notre Dame is as good as advertised, and we know Pitt always plays them tough.

We do know how bad Pitt is though … at least on offense. As does the rest of the world. Also I don’t see Pitt being able to fix its coverage issues.

And let’s not start in on the officiating

The Irish get lucky again.

Pitt 13, Notre Dame 20

Up Next: Notre Dame

By Richard Hefner

Pitt lost its third in a row last Saturday to Miami 19-31. That brings Pitts record to 3-3 (2-3 conference). Our next opponent, Notre Dame is coming off a barnburner of a game, that eventuality saw the Golden Domers emerge with a 12-7 victory over the Louisville Cardinals. The Fighting Irish are now 4-0 (3-0 in conference.) Touchdown Jesus and all Irish fans are gunning for a victory to keep their dreams of their first conference championship and a CFP berth that does not include a mythical girlfriend. (Those catfishing jokes never get old).

The game will be played at Heinz Field. It is scheduled to start at 3:30pm & shown on your local ABC station. Pitt will be playing in front of a home crowd of approximately 5,500 rabid fans (350 favoring Pitt & 5,150 Irish (subway) faithful, as we know from past experiences home games against WVcc, Psux and ND are away team sellouts).

Last week when I sent my Miami review to Mike, I made this statement in the email body:

Not sure if I will do something on Notre Dame. Never liked them, don’t watch them, don’t stats them, don’t care about them and I was raised catholic.

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Reading Between the Lines – Post Miami / Pre Notre Dame

Another week, another loss that can be chalked up to mistake filled play and an impotent offense. Call me pessimistic but I don’t think #3 Notre Dame is going to be the tonic that Pat Narduzzi’s team needs. Here’s the text of his Monday presser, and of course what he really meant to say.

PAT NARDUZZI: Obviously another tough weekend. Game of football, my dad always said half the teams win and half the teams lose every weekend. Always have to keep that perspective.

And look, we are now three and three so the math kind of works out, right?

Our kids are obviously looking forward to a great Notre Dame team this week. We didn’t play as well as we would have liked to play on the road against a really good Miami football team. There’s no doubt about their athleticism, size, obviously the way they’re coached.

But there is a lot of doubt about ours…

We made some mistakes in really all phases for that matter, things that hurt you as the game goes on. I really don’t feel any different from what I felt like on game day. A couple calls, obviously questionable, as far as penalties, those discipline things that drive you nuts as a coach.

I mean, there is only so much I can do as the leader of this football team around the discipline. Right?

Continue reading “Reading Between the Lines – Post Miami / Pre Notre Dame”

Pitt at Miami Open Game Thread

So much uncertainty around this game.

Will Pickett be able to walk much less play? Will Pitt fans end up Yellen for more? Will Beville take it to another Level or will he simply be playing Patticake on the sidelines? And then there is always the Wildcat wildcard. Perhaps a kind of Sibly rivalry?

Outside of the quarterback controversy get ready for a defensive battle, at least until our corners get torched in man coverage.

I’ll be listening into the radio feed for this one as I’ve been commanded to clean out the car den shed by The Boss. Maybe that will change the Panther’s luck.

Hail to Pitt…

Pitt at Miami Prediction Thread

I think to successfully understand a Pitt – Miami game, you have to look at the history of Pitt vs Miami.

For example Pitt beat Miami in 1976, a 36-19 victory at Pitt Stadium. Then they didn’t play again until 1984. Pitt lost that game, 7-27, in Miami. Pitt proceeded to lose the next eight games against the Hurricanes. (1986 though 1996)

Pitt did manage to upset Miami in 1997 on a nationally televised Thursday night game. That also happened to be my first-ever Pitt game as a student. In some ways it might have been better if Pitt had lost because then I might not care about the team and I would have saved myself much wasted time and heartache over these last twenty years. But alas, the Panthers won, and here we are.

Pitt then went on another eight game losing streak (1998 – 2013). They pretty much got boat-raced every single time. The only exception was 2002 when Pitt lost by only a touchdown (21-28).

Pitt managed to win in 2014, 35-23. They, of course, lost the next two games.

We all remember 2017 (Pitt wins!), and I also think we remember the Pitt’s dismal performances each of the last two years. (Two Pitt losses with a combined 15 points scored)

So if the current trend holds…

I kid. No mentally competent person could possibly pick Pitt to win here. The lynchpin of Pitt’s already one-dimensional offense (Kenny Pickett) is questionable at best, and even if he does play, his mobility will be severely limited and this throwing will likely be impacted by his injury. Meanwhile Miami’s offense is run by a mobile and athletic quarterback who’s looked like a world- beater against everyone except (eventual national champ) Clemson. Also, Miami’s leading receiver is their Tight End. Stop me if you’ve heard this before but Pitt seems to have a hard time stopping athletic pass catching tight ends. (Hard time recruiting them too…)

Miami’s lead running back is also very good. Pitt has done an excellent job stopping the run so far this season, but the talent level of the Miami O-line and CamRon (sp?) Harris are going to be a cut above what Pitt’s faced so far. That could lead to a few broken tackles and a couple long runs. (And yes I know Miami’s o-line may be a work in progress as far as technique and actual execution…but there is no denying that Miami recruits some of the best pure athletes in the ACC.)

So to recap: Pitt probably won’t have Pickett and if they do he’ll be less than 100%. Pitt can’t run the ball. Miami’s offense is great. Pitt’s pass defense sucks. Miami features an athletic tight end. Pitt can’t stop the tight end. The line is Pitt +13.5. Pitt never beats Miami.

Absolutely no reason to be optimistic about this one. And I haven’t even mentioned special teams.

Miami 35. Pitt 9.

Up Next: Miami (FL)

By Richard Hefner

Pitt suffered another heartbreaking, blood pressure rising, sleepless night inducing loss last Saturday to Boston College 30-31. Pitt is now 3-2 on the year (2-2 in conference). Pitt will face Miami (of Florida) in the sunshine state. Miami is now 3-1 (2-1 in conference) after losing 17-42 to Clemson. I guess Clemson is a step-up from UAB, Louisville & and FSU.  Win or lose, I believe Pitt will have a first this year – they may play in front of real actual fans.

This is another Noon game on the ACCN network. On a side note, all 14, 15 ACC teams are in action this week.

Miami (of Florida) is led by 2’nd year head coach Manny Diaz. He replaced long time Georgia coach (& Miami alum) Mark Richt (145-41 in 15 years). After a 3-year stint at Miami (26-13, 2017 ACC Coastal division champ), Richt’s 2018 retirement from Miami after a 7-6 season was triggered by a disagreement over assistant coaches including his son, the QB coach.

Diaz started his first season as a head coach (excluding his 2-week stint as head coach of the Temple Owls) with high hopes for returning the ”U” to prominence. Those hopes were dashed as a year ending 3 game losing streak (FIU, Duke, Louisiana Tech) ended in a 6-7 season.

Diaz is also known as the originator of the “turnover chain” during his 3-year stint as defensive coordinator under Mark Richt. While some on the POV consider any type of celebration as unnecessary hot dogging or showboating, I find the turnover chain & throne sitting as the ultimate sign of “meism”.  Compare that to Pitt’s team-oriented turnover celebration of a dunk, congratulations & back to the game.

As usual in my looks, I start with a review of the last 5 years of recruiting.

Continue reading “Up Next: Miami (FL)”