POV Bits & Pieces; Sept 12th

(I’m posting this earlier as I’ll be tied up all day tomorrow)

The team was back at practice on Sunday but before we get too deep into what might happen this Saturday – we’ll do that in detail later this week – here is Narduzzi’s presser after the Big Win.

Well, I’m not the only ‘realist’ that writes on Pitt football – here is Jerry DiPaola’s reminder that we’ve blown games after big wins before.

Recent Pitt football history is littered with tales of big victories and an even one heroic losing effort in South Bend, Ind., immediately followed by deflating defeats:

• Pitt dragged No. 2 Notre Dame into double overtime before losing in 2012 and fell flat at Connecticut six days later, 24-17.

• Defeated Notre Dame in another stirring victory at Heinz Field in 2013 before giving up 34 points at North Carolina in a loss the following week.

• Upset Miami in the south Florida heat in 2014 to become bowl eligible before being embarrassed in a 35-34 loss to Houston in the Armed Forces Bowl after leading by 25 in the fourth quarter.

• Dominated Louisville under the current coaching staff last year to improve to 8-3 then allowed a total of 73 points in the next two games (both losses).

Dontez Ford is day-to-day with an arm injury.  I thought he just sore hands from that bullet Peterman threw him that Ford played hot potato with.

Just as Narduzzi said that Conner’s injury was minor after the opener last season now we find out both Hendrix and Zeise are out for the season. 

If you remember I did a ‘get to know our players’ article on George Aston back in August.  I wrote that I had overlooked his work at FB last season and how it surprised me when I watched the tapes on him in researching the article.

Well, he’s done nothing but impress this season also.

snip_20160912193207

Guys – I’m thinking Aston just might be a better all-around FB than even Henry Hynoski was in college.  I wonder.

Aston has been the point of attack and opened up some great holes for our RBs and he’s an turned into a viable offensive weapon.  Here are Hyno’s stats to compare.  we’ll have to see what he does over the full season but Aston is becoming a very valuable part of our offense.  Hmmm, I’ll have to do a FBs comparison article later on.

hynoski

Here’s an interview with the young man:

This Jerry D. article in the Trib reiterates what I said yesterday about hearing up in the press box that we’d run almost all the time.

Is offensive coordinator Matt Canada holding back quarterback Nathan Peterman? That was the game plan against Penn State.

Pitt ran 71 plays while beating the Nittany Lions, 42-39, and only 15 were throws (21 percent). Quadree Henderson (three) was the only wide receiver to catch a pass, and the weekend ended with Pitt ranked 120th of 128 FBS teams in passing yards per game (133), ahead of only Wake Forest and Georgia Tech among ACC teams.

“Coach Narduzzi said, ‘You know what? If we can run the ball every play (against Penn State), we’re going to,’ ” offensive tackle Brian O’Neill said.

Rob Rossi of the Trib has a nice piece about the two head coaches for last Saturday’s game:

Give the game ball to Pat Narduzzi. From his sound-of-silence mandate for players to in-game wrinkles to the post-game chatter, Narduzzi proved himself a better coach and leader than Franklin. If our commonwealth’s best prep players were paying attention, they won’t have a hard call to make in choosing between these programs.

Pitt should be it.

Narduzzi said it all when he flippantly dismissed Franklin’s claim that the Panthers’ clapping on defense disrupted the Nittany Lions’ offensive cadences in the first half.

“That’s just another excuse,” Narduzzi said.

New AP poll

Pitt received 39 points in the Associated Press Top 25 poll that was released Sunday, good for 31st in the nation. Oklahoma State dropped from No. 22 to 32 (22 points).  Beat OK State and we’ll be up there.

 

 

89 thoughts on “POV Bits & Pieces; Sept 12th

  1. As emotionally impressive as the victory over PSU was, I don’t consider it a big win–we were favored, after all. We may get beaten by OSU–they’re favored–but it won’t be because of a big win letdown. I’m pretty sure we’ll play well enough to win.

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  2. lege, per wiki answers:
    Eugene “Stoney” Willis, quarterback for Western Maryland College against Boston College to tie the game that was featured in a large photograph appearing in The Boston Herald on November 12, 1932. As noted by team captain, Hal Kopp (Class of 1933) this article proved that the WMC quarterback “was the first to use the famed ‘Shovel Pass’ in its present form.” The Boston Herald article noted , “Just as Flavio Tosi appeared to have Willis in his grasp, tall Gene popped the shovel pass to Dunn and Jimmy was off again.”

    It is a useful play, no doubt, and technically a forward pass.

    Doesn’t require a whole lot of skill by the QB, that’s why I consider it more of a running play.

    Especially when it is tossed underhand, or like a shot put.

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  3. Reed I do agree that Peterman’s redzone production was excellent. One Shovel to Conner, a nice rollout to Henderson, and a superb throw to Orndoff.

    My critique was more about the third downs that weren’t picked up because they didn’t let him throw. on several occasions. Also that they gave up on the jet sweep in the second half.

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  4. “Dontez Ford is day-to-day with an arm injury. I thought he just sore hands from that bullet Peterman threw him that Ford played hot potato with.”

    @Reed: Lol 🙂 haha —- hope it’s nothing serious though for Ford, the training staff will take care of him, as with all the Pitt players. Pitt’s players are in the best-of-hands in terms of Pitt taking care of their health and healing them-up. No school (or probably even NFL team honestly) can offer their football players better training and medical care than Pitt 🙂 .

    —- When I saw that interception, my heart skipped a beat —– the receiver looked a little bit too short and definitely way thinner than him….but I thought for the briefest-second I thought that our Future All-America Jester Weah might have been who knocked-up that ball —– like a newlywed bride tossing the bouquet up to a group of lovesick bridesmaids / like a zookeeper tossing-up big, fresh-cut of beef to a pack of hungry lions / etc. —- up to the penn state defenders!!!

    I was like, “Jester, you’re killin’ me!!!” —- then I quickly saw the receiver was a smaller player —– then I felt really-bad for RS Senior Dontez Ford. I think he may have pushed-himself off the field with Matt Canada after that —- Jester Weah, Quadree Henderson, and Aaron – “Dang He Looks The Part” – Mathews are probably now the Top-Three receivers Canada is going to build and plan-around here in Okie State week and in the future.

    P.S. — Nathan Peterman needs to start completing some balls to wide receivers downfield. Yes, he’s had to deal with pressure at times, but Quadree Henderson especially (so, so quick!!! Elite Quick and Fast!) has proven himself to be a real-deal receiver. He’s just something else, I’m talking a revelation in how fast and explosive he is in Real, Live-Game offensive situations.

    Jester Weah is 6’3” + legit and he’s big and thick — and Nate Peterman’s “new-toy” Aaron Mathews looks like he was designed by an NFL scout —- 6’5”+ inches tall, long, athletic…..

    —- Peterman has the talented weapons in The Revelation: The Speedy-Quadree “Gingerbread” Henderson / Big, athletic, freak-athlete Jester Weah and young hopeful-phenom Mathews (Wide Receiver U!!!!) — but Nate Peterman needs help from Canada: with well-designed, ** not too-slow developing ** deeper pass plays — to get these guys the ball downfield.

    Jester Weah needs to get into some of this action from Matt Canada too. Against Penn State Jester Weah dwarfed all of their defensive backs, but essentially he was sent-out running total “decoy” routes all game. Just kind of sent off in the wilderness on routes where it appeared his only purpose was to drag-away penn state defenders to clear space or serve as a distraction. On Quadree Henderson’s easy TD reception, Jester Weah lined-up wide by the sideline, ran a deep In-route back into the middle of the field, which made the deep safety And Weah’s man-on-man corner both come down with him while Quadree Henderson ran across Weah’s path and came wide-open, for example….Whatever, we’ll see!

    #HailtoPitt !!!

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  5. LA- I’m assuming that you were not one of the nearly 70k in attendance on saturday. The bookies’ opinion not withstanding, that was a big win.
    Players left the field on a bigger emotional high than most have ever experienced. That makes it a big win and the letdown potential is real.
    But I’m counting on our HC to prevent that.

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  6. The shovel pass was always considered a pass even though not too many thought to use it. Kind of like a screen pass where you can block the defensive back while the ball is still in the air as long as it’s behind the line of scrimmage.

    The one interesting thing about PITT is, don’t try and figure out what they are doing. Narduzzi is being private for a reason. It’s a novel approach and I for one am all for it.

    Georgie is a player.

    I understand that Allen Edwards had a good game? I look for him to be a big time player.

    imo this team and players like HCPN and that said is very refreshing. That doesn’t win games but does make recruits think a little harder.

    Good nite……………………ike

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  7. As always, great articles Reed.

    3 positives:
    1) 1st drive, 10 plays 109 yards (there was a 10 yard holding penalty), only 10 yards passing.
    2) Quadree Henderson
    3) No snapping issues, good job by Officer to get that corrected.

    3 Negatives
    1) Penalties, especially the personal fouls. That “toughness” excuse is absolute BS. 10 penalties for 79 yards, when the passing yardage total was only 91 is not acceptable.
    2) Pass coverage, Barkley was a mismatch on the LBers, but Pitt didn’t adjust. Safety help? Put a spy on Barkley? Don’t just watch Caprara get beat. Giving up 4th & 16 is bad, but the receiver was wide open. How does the team blow the coverage coming out of a timeout?
    3) 2nd Half Coaching, overly conservative play calling, failure to adjust to Penn State’s passing attack, send out Blewitt to attempt a 50 yarder. As much as the creativity and coaching were an impressive positive in the 1st half, the 2nd half coaching, offense, defense & special teams, almost cost us a victory.

    Good teams win even when they don’t play their best. Pitt has done that twice so far. Hopefully next week, they play a complete game against the Cowboys.

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  8. Gasman — Per Vukovcan, the “Pat Signal” recruit doesn’t want it announced until the end of the month when he will have a presser.

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  9. First-the Dark Knight’s comments are some of the best stuff on here-other than Reed’s skillful work.
    3 positives

    1) James from State College’s 2 min offensive play calling–if we threw that pass in that situation this blog would be nuclear
    2) o line–my goodness between Pitt on Saturday and the Steelers last night the good ole days are back in the Burgh of ground and pound
    3) kick return team–I used to cringe on punt and kick returns now I look forward to it. Henderson is the real deal and Maddox isn’t as terrible as previous years

    3 negatives

    1) depth on d–we clearly were gassed late due to not having enough players on d, fortunately we pulled it out
    2) Blewitt–at this point I would take Josh Scobee
    3) conservative play calling–Barry Goldwater would have said we went too conservative on o and d late in the game, need to stay aggressive a little longer

    Great win, still in Pitt gear and hoping to send the Pokes 1-2!!

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  10. John – I like your James Franklin 2 minute O comment. Right on the mark…

    But your reference to Maddox and punt returner skills is not a positive in my book. He needs to practice his fair catch skills – he cost us about 30 yards late in the game Saturday by letting the ball hit the ground (for no reason).

    Another glorious day in Central PA amongst the pedo enablers.

    Clobber the cowgirls on Saturday.

    HTP!

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  11. Positives: Narduzzi, Canada, Connor, Henderson, Price, O line, D line

    Negaitves: POV posters that found anything negative to say about the game, LOL. Not the same Pitt, but SOP fans.

    Since the important topics have been beaten to death I will bring up the uniforms.

    They were fantastic. Total opposite of the PSU all white. The matte helmets were the best part. Pitt looked awesome and actually up to speed with the landscape of what is now college football while still looking like Pitt and very unique. It looked great on national TV!

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  12. GC – The deep out pass to QH would probably have been the longest “in air” pass of the day. 20+ yards in air with a little YAC on top of that. Just guessing.

    Positives :
    1. Canada – His play calling and the execution of plays by the offense was fantastic. Conservative nothing. There is not one amongst us who would have ever guessed we were going to tally 42 points. Total domination of the Dairy College, but not a complete game. We could have had more but took some losses on the series where Blewitt tried a 50 yarder into the wind….and also after being run into by a Dairy College defender earlier in the game and drew a 15 yard penalty against them.
    2. Q Henderson – He is a game changer ala Tevon Austin. We need to keep getting him in space and the playcalling allowed for that. See Canada.
    3. Defensive Line – Jarrett and Soto controlled the opponent running game. I re-watched the game last night and they almost always won the line of scrimmage battle with penetration. Great Job.
    3A. Offensive Line – Officer is the key to the line success. If he remains aggressive and nasty, our road graders will win the trenches. It starts with him.

    Not as Positives:
    1. Defensive backfield – Sure we had a great pick-off at the end, but our problems can’t be masked much longer. Losing George Hill and Damar Hamlin out of the DB corp is hurting us. With one lock down corner, the sky is the limit even against these spread teams. Hearing me Lamonte Wade?? Getting two lock down DB’s would be even better.
    2. LB’s – We lack speed and coverage skills here. Galambos, Caprara and Wirginis are good, but we need to be great. That is our next positional upgrade that is coming…i hope! On the 4th and 16, our LB’s looked lost. Wirginis couldn’t decide whether to rush or drop back and he took himself out of that play, by not committing to either. Watch it. There was too much room between LB and DB on their drop backs. Need to shore that up or we will be seeing seems exposed left and right.
    3. POV- I watched the game back again. Blewitt had a real nice game. Too much emphasis on the FG miss. He was kicking into the wind at Heinz Field people!! Also, the protection was not that good on his PAT’s…and he drew a personal foul for us when the Diary defender ran into him. Y’all gotta lighten up. He isn’t bad at all. I logged his kickoffs and the return yards for each. When they weren’t touchbacks, only one got back more than the 25 yard line and two were within the 20. Lighten up folks. He is solid!

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  13. P.S. @ Erie – Wise pick-up regarding the non fair catch by Maddox. That mistake put us in a hole late so that we HAD to be conservative. It was a 15 yard mistake and would have started us out around the 25-30 yard line. That said, he fumbled his prior fair catch so it was probably better that he let it go.

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  14. Breaking news down here in North Carolina..NCAA is pulling tournament games from several sports from our state because North Carolina passed a law that made men pee and shower in the man’s room and ladies pee and shower in the ladies room… “Activist “NCAA over-reach..Feels so Sanduskish….

    Beat OSU! I am anxiously awaiting the deep ball TD pass..

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  15. Biggest disappointment so far is Ford. A non-factor in two games and now injured.

    Still lots of time left, but missing his opportunity to be the “man”

    Obviously not a big part of either game plan so not all his fault.

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  16. Henderson is obviously the “go to” receiver, but hopefully Weah, Tipton, Lopes and Challingsworth will see something coming their way. Mostly blockers and decoys so far.

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  17. Thanks Reed! Just checking in and like the looks of the site.

    Regarding Blewitt and the kicking game….he was kicking into the wind, and it may have been the most inconsistent wind I’ve experienced at Heinz. Changing direction, speed, all the time. (But it kept us from baking on the sunny side of the field).

    Interestingly, I told the very nice group of young Nitters sitting next to us about Henderson’s kick return ability, only for PSU to squib their first kickoff. Then the rest of their kicks were with the wind for touchbacks….until the big return at the end of the game. They looked at me and shook their head, and blamed it on Franklin.

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  18. If Ford can’t go, I’m thinking Challingsworth will mostly go in his place.

    As for Weah, I’m assuming they’ll continue to roll with him. But, I have a feeling they’ll have a quick hook as Aaron Matthews improves and grows into his role.

    I see the WR corps being Ford (unless his injury is serious), Matthews and Henderson by mid season.

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  19. Thanks for all you’ve done here Reed the site looks like a big success so far.

    Hate to be asking but I haven’t seen a list of recruits that attending the game last week or maybe even a synopsis of how the recruits were acting and talking about PITT? or not I know you’re a busy man and have a plan and formula each week.

    H2P………………….ike

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  20. Reed – Good call on Aston. I remember being impressed by him last season. I remember being puzzled as to why he was in that role instead of Parrish. So I watched him some and he is an exceptional blocker. Anytime I have keyed on him, he takes his man out of the play. Then he showed he can catch the ball. And now he shows he can run it.

    Especially impressive to me was his run where he gained about 8 extra yards by tip-toeing down the sideline. Pretty agile for a kid his size and he obviously has some speed.

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  21. Thank you, thank you wwb, Yes I’m lazy and getting just a little tiny bit old.

    Also read a tidbit about former PITT players in the NFL and Todd Thomas’ name jumped out at me. Always thought he was a great athlete but had bum knees, Great to see him making some dough in the NFL and not in a pizza parlor.

    H2P…………..ike

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  22. I did not like the darks UNis on Saturday but don’t care if Pitt plays in bras and girdles each week if they win!

    Maddox scares me to death both at his position and punt returner. No excuse for giving up + 30 yards letting that punt go over his head late in the game. Just added to the Nits momentum.

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  23. Oh, I loved the jerseys. Looks sharp as hell. I’d still add a stripe to each shade of pants that matches the motif of the numerals. Kind of like last season’s pants but a thinner stripe. Probably something that can easily be done with the next iteration.

    Blue matte helmets looked awesome.

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  24. Reed, like the black print +

    As unfortunate it is that Ford is injured, I’m excited to see Aaron Matthews get on the field. Imagine QH with his speed, Weah with his speed and height (6’3″), and Mathews at 6’5″ – that is an NFL grouping!
    Plus, I believe Duzz knew without a doubt that he could run thru PSU, which we did. Because of this, after only 2 games, the rest of the teams we play (almost all ACC conference opponents) are now FORCED to pay extra attention to our ground game. Hence, now this NFL-like WR group will have a distinct advantage.
    In conclusion, while some of our SOP fans were criticizing Duzz for his “over the top” concern with the dairy school, in reality he was priming our conference opponents to be terrified of our running game, leaving the air attack wide open for the ACC. BRILLANT!!!!!

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  25. I get the fact that the ball wasn’t fielded by Maddox’s and gave up all that yardage but again the wind was a little strange Saturday. I would call it occasionally blustery. The other point I always try and make is that he is playing for a reason. The coaches trust him and have decided he is the best player for the job he performs. If you have problems with his play, blame the coaches not A Maddox. He is doing his best. I still say the young man is around the football almost every play.

    H2P………………………ike

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  26. I support Maddox as well. I was at the game and the punt in question late in the game was a boomer. It was at least 15 yards over his head in addition to 20 yards to his right. Trying to catch it would have been too risky. He made the right choice by letting it drop. Credit to the punter for crushing it.

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  27. The ‘clapping’ bs excuse by the Pedders is a classic. However I would counter, it had nothing to do with them giving up a record 42 points to Pitt.

    Creepy Valley Sore Losers !

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  28. I’m with Reed and Dan72, those mono blue uni’s would have looked much better had the helmets matched the gold numbers/trim.

    Although with the ’76 Nat Champ team there, would have been the opportunity to wear the throwbacks.

    I’m really not into to a change of uni’s every week, as it builds no branding for Pitt.

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  29. I don’t think Oregon, WVU, Baylor, VT, Michigan State, it is a long long list, have brand issues.

    Neither does Pitt now that the script is in place across the University sports.

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  30. So long as there’s a nice big script PITT on the helmet, Pitt’s branding is fine. Stanford also has a sweet black matte helmet that bust out. I thought it looked awesome. Again, slap a decent looking stripe on the pants and we’re really talking.

    Totally agree with notrocketscience… Totally agree.

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  31. pd, let’s hope that 247 is correct on that Wade prediction. If nothing else Wade certainly witnessed Pitt’s need to shore up its secondary on Saturday. And given the fact that his fellow schoolmates Boyd and now Mathews got the chance to take the field as freshman could be a positive in whatever decision he makes.

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