From the Pitt Media Dept:
Head Coach Pat Narduzzi on today’s scrimmage, won by the defense (55-52):
“It was really competitive. It was a tale of two halves. I thought the offense did a good job moving the ball down the field. We were able to get a lot of quarterbacks work today. We wanted to come out to Heinz Field and find out who our backup QB was.
I’ll have to go back and watch the tape, but I think we will be able to find out what we have there. I was happy with some of the things the quarterbacks did. I think we are a step closer to finding out who that top backup is.
James Conner had some good runs. We tried not to wear him out—he might have had 15 or 20 reps. Jester Weah made a really nice catch.
“Defensively we played a much better second half than first half. They really came alive at the break. It is a game of emotions. You have to be ready to bring it, and then bring it back again. I like how we finished defensively. It came down to a two-minute situation at the end of the scrimmage.
I didn’t know if the defense had a chance to win it at the end, but they came back to edge the offense on the final drive of the game by three points.
“In the kicking game, Chris Blewitt and [freshman walk-on] Alex Kessman didn’t miss a field goal today. We gave them 12 opportunities before the main scrimmage started where we worked third downs and then lined up for field goals. Both of them looked good and we now have a backup to Blewitt in Kessman.
Note: Here is an article about K Alex Kessman from his HS days… he could be our 5th QB in case of flash flooding along the Mon.
CLARKSTON >>> Just when Kurt Richardson thought he had seen it all in his nearly 30 years as head coach at Clarkston, along comes senior Alex Kessman for a couple of different reasons this season.
One is that twice this season, Richardson has found himself sending out Kessman to try field goals so long that some NFL coaches wouldn’t let their kickers attempt them, let alone tries Richardson has given the go-ahead for during his coaching tenure.
In the season opener against Macomb Dakota, Richardson sent Kessman out to try a 56-yard field goal in the final minute of the first half, and there probably was collective snickering among a crowd that must have assumed Clarkston had a fake up its sleeve because there was no way a high school kicker would make one from that distance.
There was no fake, and that crowd had a mixture of “oohs and ahhs” and stunned silence when Kessman drilled that attempt through the uprights for the fourth-longest field goal in state history.
The punting game really looked good. Ryan Winslow came out and smacked a couple. They were big-time punts. “We got in a lot of good work today but, as always, we will want to clean up a lot of things on both sides of the ball as well.”
On other subjects…
Here is an article from the P-G that is a dollar short and a day late. Her opening is about news from about three months ago.
The Tribune-Review has a two=part series that will engender some good discussions I think. It is titled: Can Pitt become a national power in football, men’s basketball?
I will write a piece on the 1st part for tomorrow’s article. But just for fun take a look at this section of the opening article… Sound familiar? I wrote an article just yesterday on this issue, and have been writing about it for years…
Making Pitt a ‘brand’
Luginbill said any program seeking to contend for conference or national championships must fight the battle of perception.
“How are you perceived by the public?” he said. “How are you perceived by the recruits? Everybody is trying to advance their brand, whether that’s in facilities, whether that’s in satellite camps, whether that’s in stadium upgrades.”
Almost from the day Barnes was hired to replace Pederson in 2015, Pitt has been trying to develop its brand, punctuated by the return of the Pitt script logo.
“It’s a way to unite your alumni base, and with that comes all the opportunities to add that ‘wow’ factor,” Barnes said. “It’s one of the deficits we had. We weren’t branded.”
Luginbill pointed to Oregon as a program that has made itself relevant. Unranked through much of the 1970s, ’80s and half of the ’90s, Oregon and its flashy uniforms (courtesy of an influx of donor dollars from Nike cofounder and Oregon alumnus Phil Knight) have been in the top 10 of the final AP poll six times in the past eight years.
“They did it by creating a wide recruiting net,” Luginbill said. “Being everywhere, kind of creating a cool factor with everybody around the program.
“You have to try to differentiate from everybody else, whether it’s as simple as a uniform or a unique tradition.”
Huh – when you have a moment you can look at these two articles for some more discussion about the need for a true Pitt brand
Look Back: Uniforms Seem Familiar? – a Pitt POV article posted yesterday.
A Rebuttal or “What Are We wearing This Season Dear?” – a Pitt Blather article posted on May 19th, 2016.