(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.
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.
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.
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.