Know Your Enemy: Oklahoma State

(We’ll have a predictions tread up tomorrow morning – here is a short preview of Oklahoma State.  as always here are the Pitt Media Dept Game Notes which has tons of info on the upcoming game))

We are in the midst of that four game run that we Pitt fans talked about over the offseason as being hard opponents and important wins.  As I said in an earlier article I count Marshall as one of the four, along with PSU, OK State and North Carolina because I think that Marshall is an excellent FCS program and that their HC Doc Holiday is one of the best in the business.

But first we visit OK State (OSU) and then North Carolina in our ACC debut this season.

So as of today we sit at 2-0 and are loving it,  Especially because that second win was a sweet one over our in-state rival Penn State.  It was a good, exciting game and one that we held on to win – something that we didn’t always do in the past.  It was a great game for other college football fans to watch also as it had all the elements of a great match-up.

For the Pitt fans, most of them anyway, Penn state was THE big game of the year and that is understandable.  I personally think the conference games are just as important though because that is the stated goal of our program – to win the ACC.  I savor that PSU win though.  Nothing feels better than shutting your rival up.

Well, we will see in three weeks how well we start off in the ACC games that but first we have our third out-of-conference match in a row when we travel way out to one of those flat states over there where the wind comes sweeping down the plain. (Shirley Jones – a PGH girl!)

That state would be Oklahoma and the football field is in Stillwater, home of the Oklahoma State Cowboys. The Brokeback Boys are in the Big 12 conference along with our old nemesis West Virginia.  I love these conferences with numbers in them.  The Big 12 has 10 schools in it and the Big 10 has 14.  At least the ACC knows how to count.

 They had a good, but strange season last year in that they ripped off 10 straight wins (and beat WVU in overtime) until they got stopped by #12 Baylor 45-35.  That started a three game slide where they lost to #5 Oklahoma 58-23 and then lost again in their bowl game to #12 Ole Miss by a score of 48-20.

Something to notice, and granted this was last season so it might not carry over, but they ended the ’15 season by giving up an average of 50.3 ppg.  This year, against  FCS team included, they have given up 37 points at a 18.5 ppg clip – but the first game was against a poor SE Louisiana squad… much like us giving up seven to Villanova.

Their QB, Mason Rudolph, has done a good job so far and did very well the last two seasons also:


He’s a passing QB and is currently sitting at 26th nationally in passing efficiency.  You can see that his OL hasn’t been very protective of him over his career in allowing an average of 2.3 sacks per game this year.  We can get to him by our DL; Jarrett and Soto have been playing very well and with our DEs Price and Blair.  

We are averaging 5.0 sacks a game and have only given up one and boy, is that a change from years past! It’s about time we flipped that script.  I expect some play action passes on the Cowboy’s part to try to keep our LBs out of their backfield.

We’ll need to have that quick pressure as our pass defense has been poor all year.  This Cowboy QB is probably a better passer than we have seen yet – although McSorley was a surprisingly good one also.

Here are some numbers comparing the two teams on offense, then on defense (Pitt’s better ranking in blue; OK State’s in Red).

When Oklahoma State Has The Ball…

 Oklahoma State Total Offense Per Game – 367.5 (87th)
Pitt Total Defense Per Game – 289.0 (30th)

Oklahoma State Rushing Offense Per Game – 97.0 (116th)
Pitt Rushing Defense Per Game – 63.5 (11th)

Oklahoma State Passing Offense Per Game – 270.5 (39th)
Pitt Passing Defense Per Game – 225.5 (70th)

Oklahoma State Turnovers Lost – 2 (29th)
Pitt Turnovers Gained – 6 (6th)

Oklahoma State Field Goals/Season Long – 4-for-4/Long of 53 yards

Oklahoma State Net Punting – 38.67 (54th)
Pitt Punt Returns – 11.8 (32nd)

Oklahoma State Kickoff Returns – 10.00 (125th)
Pitt Kickoff Return Defense – 18.44 (44th)

When Pitt Has The Ball… 

Pitt Total Offense Per Game – 346.5 (99th)
Oklahoma State Total Defense Per Game – 310.5 (37th)

Pitt Rushing Offense Per Game – 213.5 (44th)
Oklahoma State Rushing Defense Per Game – 77.0 (19th)

Pitt Passing Offense Per Game – 133.0 (120th)
Oklahoma State Passing Defense Per Game – 233.5 (80th)

Pitt Turnovers Lost – 3 (53rd)
Oklahoma State Turnovers Gained – 6 (6th)

Pitt Field Goals/Season Long – 0-for-3/Long of 0 yards

Pitt Net Punting – 33.91 (104th)
Oklahoma State Punt Returns – 24.0 (7th)

Pitt Kickoff Returns – 43.20 (2nd)
Oklahoma State Kickoff Return Defense – 17.25 (34th)

There are a few caveats we need consider.  The numbers for our passing game is, I strongly believe, based on the HC and OC’s choices rather than poor play.  We Pitt fans get that Narduzzi wants to established the run then keep running until it isn’t effective – which in our only FBS game didn’t happen.  We kept the strength of the run game for 60 minutes against PSU.

Because of that our passing game has had efficiency as its main product rather than gaudy numbers – except for the passing TDs which at five is very nice so far.  I expect that we’ll see Peterman putting the ball up more Saturday than we did last week when he had 15 attempts.

In our two games there has been a cause and effect going on with the playcalling – against Villanova our run game sucked and Peterman passed 32 times; against PSU our run game clicked so Canada kept the ball on the ground and only called 15 passes. 

But it is going to be a different story this week in Stillwater.  OK State has played well against the run (remembering that it was against two weaker teams) so it is pretty hard for me to project what will happen.  Especially because they were not so good doing that last year in giving up 186.9 ypg (87th).  But I’ll try.

I think we’ll see a lessening of the rushing numbers this game; in others words we won’t get 300+ yards.  But we’ll maintain our yards per carry between five and six yards per carry which will allow us to control the clock again.  Last week we did this: 


56 runs for a 79% ratio is very lopsided but it worked against the Nitters.  I don’t think it will work against the Cowboys.  I expect it to be more like 70/30 or even 65/35 which is still a high ratio.

But that also depends on other factors.  If OSU gets a couple of quick TDs and we go into the 3rd quarter down by 10+ points we’ll see more passing.  Plus I think we’ll see something along the lines of what we say Saturday when we used the run game to get into the red zone then passed for the scores (three passing & three rushing on the day).

But Narduzzi is smart enough to ‘dance with who brung ya’ and will run until it doesn’t work.  I’d like to see a bunch of play-action passes Saturday in addition to everybody and his brother running jet sweeps. 

What I am really worried about is the Pitt pass defense.  We have to see an improvement from the horrid showing against PSU,  much like we saw the OL achieve from Game 1 to game 2.  Our DBs need to take a great leap in execution or we’ll be in big trouble.

PSU threw the ball 14 times in the 1st half.  Then when they realized we were holding off their run game, and being down by 14 at the half, they threw 21 times and did very well.  That makes sense as an approach in a come-from-behind situation.  But Penn State had a better run game than OSU has (116th with only 97 ypg against FCS teams) so we may see them just come out throwing and keep doing it.

I believe Narduzzi and Co. have enough confidence now to take this team anywhere and play OUR game and make the opponent adjust to it.  That means we’ll be running more than passing.  What I hope though is that Narduzzi and Canada have enough confidence in our passing game to go to that as a good complement to the run.  It has been very effective so far and we can score points passing.

Odds & Ends:

If you have the time here is an hour-long press conference with the staff and players from OK State discussing last week’s screw job they got but also talking about playing Pitt – it starts at about the 48:30 mark (really the 50:30 mark).  I really like Mike Gundy and watched this whole video – very level-headed and gracious toward Central Michigan.

Here is an article from their media about this game.  They are warning OSU about Scott Orndoff

Then we have the latest odds on the game… I’d take the points if I was betting, and here are the Power stats;


Here is the prospective Two-Deep for Pitt.  No real surprises here except for maybe rsFR Saleem Brightwell backing up Mike Caprara at Star LB.  It would be nice to see both Camp and Watts get some playing time this week.


Their fans love to tailgate before the game, sometimes sleeping overnight in two-man tents and dress the part of the Cowboys and Cowgirls the morning of the games.

The Cowgirl is the one on the right.

67 thoughts on “Know Your Enemy: Oklahoma State

  1. On Sunday, I was convinced that Pitt may lose by double digits due to a letdown while playing against an angry team. Now maybe I am starting to be convinced that OSU may be a bit overrated .. at least I hope so And if we can continue to run the FB, we just may be OK.

    I too am a Mike Gundy fan …. and especially his “I’m 40” rant. Nice to have a college HC who protects his players instead of throwing them under a bus.


  2. Dontez Ford out with a broken collarbone that required surgery. Hope Challingsworth is getting healthy. Probably going to see three running back sets with one or two going out wide. Also do not forget our not shown fullback, George Aston, has good hands as well. We will have a passing attack this week but most of it is going to be within twenty yards of scrimmage. Weah and Henderson will have the stretch the field for us to make that sort of attack work. Conner leading the ACC YAC!


  3. That “Cowgirl on the Right” will soon be able to use the ladies shower here in the Bible belt if the NCAA has it’s way..

    @wwb..Can’t ya feel IT…Big Physical PITT controls the clock with their contrasting style..passing game comes out from under the wraps and a new star is in the making as someone steps up to take Ford’s place…I am starting to feel like “I expect us to win!!”


  4. If I’m Conklin and Narduzzi, I’m developing a defensive game plan of constant pressure on the quarterback. Just constant QB pressure with safety blitzes, LB blitzes, being as creative as they can be.

    We’ve seen what such an attack can have on a passing quarterback with producing turnovers. I take my chances on getting burned over the top two or three times if it will result in turnovers caused by the defense with the QB making mistakes.

    If anybody is currently playing angry, it sure feels like the Panthers are. No letdown game here. Keep the Panthers hungry. THE PURSUIT!

    BTW Reed, pretty sure that Marshall is a FBS program playing in Conference USA.


  5. Reed,
    The Okies are not laughing at your 2 cowboy/cowgirl picture above! The vast majority are “straight arrow” red necks (where the name red neck came from- the men working the oil fields). So you just gave them some post board material. Maybe not a good idea :>)
    Concerning the passing game, no doubt in my mine Duzz knew he could successfully run the ball down the Nitters throat, which we did. Now, everyone knows we can run with wreckless abandon, which opens all the ACC conference games up for the forward pass. Brilliant!!!!


  6. I also like Mike Gundy. I watched all the presser the other day and while Gundy obviously wasn’t happy with being hosed the media was downright obsessed with it. I will be interested to see if we reduce jet sweeps and/or shovel passes and replace them with something new as good OC’s throw different wrinkles in depending on the opponent’s weakness. There is a way to go in the season but already Canada has shown more variety than same offense week in and week out Chaney – give it to Boyd, pass it to Boyd etc etc.. HCPN in discussing Brightwells penalty on the ped kicker he also praised his play in practice so upping to second team was not a surprise.
    I wonder what attracted our Potentate to the man on the right?


  7. OK, the appropriately name CowPokes seem to have a porous defense, can PITT keep the offensive pace though. Play action will be PITTs friend I believe.

    Shirley Jones from Smithton.

    I think we will find out how PITT starts in the ACC next week.

    Nothing about this weeks practices and how Narduzzi is handling them, are they open?

    Nice write up and I agree that I do feel better about PITT’s chances right now.


  8. HCPN didn’t comment about Ford’s injury when asked today. He has to understand that he is no longer in East Lansing where the college can better control the press, since it is the reason many of the media there are employed.


  9. Well… Gotta hope Challingsworth can fill in! If Weah doesn’t show something soon, get Matthews out there. And, of course, we already know what Henderson is capable of… What about getting Whitehead some more looks on offense? Say 5 to 10 snaps a game? And, honestly, Ibrahim is 5th on the RB depth chart. Dude’s got a decent pair of hands and is elusive… So, might as well split him out some as well. Canada may have to get creative but there are options available. Looking forward to see his plan in the coming games.


  10. Reed, I disagree about the DB poor play with exception of the few long passes completed.

    Oklahoma State is a different beast. They are the old run and shoot. Pass, pass, pass. They are going to put up lots of yards.

    I hope after the game we have 300 yards rushing again, that means we won. Pitt needs to control the ball all day.


  11. A couple of admin items:

    We added a “HOME” button right under the logo and to the left so that you can get there in a click or two.

    We also changed the default font color so that it is black and thus the links show up better.

    Someone asked about being able to edit your comments – you can by clicking on the ‘Edit” that is under your name and to the right of the date and time. When in edit mode you can bold, italicize, and insert links much easier.


  12. Reed, I’m doing something wrong? My screen is pushed to the right side and I can find no edit button. Trying to shift/scroll over to further to the right but can’t seem to do it? Help out an old man please. 🙂


  13. wbb sorry to say (well not really) but Pat Narduzzi is in the same position as any other coach at a P5 school who has the fans happy… he is King, and the media aren’t even serfs.


  14. In order to pass you need some ends that are on the same page as the QB. Timing is critical on almost all pass plays. Our inexperience at the receiver positions will limit the effectiveness of Pitt’s passing game I’m afraid.


  15. @ Emel, regarding Upitt’s expertise. I ‘ll guarantee you that if there is a Twin Peaks in Stillwater that Upitt will know how to get there. On other subjects, his expertise may be questionable. Haha.


  16. Could this Ok State game be considered a “trap game”? It’s SANDWICHED between a huge rivalry win and our first ACC conference game against a big time opponent, North Carolina??? I hope we don’t look like BOLOGNA!

    We have to have a more balanced attack to be successful the rest of the season, clear and simple! If you think of it, we beat Villanova with “Vanilla” ice cream and Penn State with” Rocky Road”! We now need “Vanilla Swirl” (vanilla, chocolate, fudge, and nuts with a waffle cone)!!!!
    …….Well I got to go now to Baskin Robbins, see you guys later!


  17. On defense, Pitt will run blitz to control to OKSt jet sweep and to pressure the qb. My key to this game is not necessarily sacks, but “Hard” hits on the QB every time we can. Hit him hard and his accuracy fades. I previously thought that Orndorff would be the key to Villy and Dairy, but not this game. To me, this is the freshman that make the difference on offense. Moss and Mathews (M&M) are the key.

    OkSt is fast on defense. Fast should control Conner and Ollison. Fast doesn’t beat vision in my opinion. Vision beats speed coming at you. Now Mathews. Big, physical and fast, with great hands. My concern is that he might struggle in the blocking game because he doesn’t know all the plays and defensive formations and how to attack them.

    From a recruiting standpoint, both schools recruiting stars look very similar over the past four years. Very even.

    Hamlin and George Hill being out is problematic. We are not deep in the Dbackfield. Our front 7 need to win in order to help our back4.

    I am all for supporting the state of NC. This is not about inclusion. The state decides their laws in accordance with how their people direct the legislature. Having 1/10th of one percent control things is ludicrous.NC got it right. That is how it is supposed to work. The NCAA messed this up. They can’t get their own shop in order. Stay out of politics NCAA. Idiots.


  18. C’mon &Reed — you never saw “Brokeback Mountain” ?????

    Actually a great, great movie lol.

    And from that picture the “girl” was Jake Gyllenhal to the left hahaha Heath Ledger on the right was the definite “Man” in that relationship in the film.

    —– Relevant because: Between Okie State and PITT, we KNOW who the MAN is in this relationship!!

    #HailToPitt !!!

    Lol…..what was with all that North Carolina bathroom convo on the last thread haha — only Politics that matter here is: “Pitt Is IT” !!!!! 😎 Lol

    @Jester Weah —— gotta show ’em ‘what’s up’!!! Your time is most definitely NOW — go finally become Peterman’s “Deep Threat”! 👍👍


  19. Here’s a thought. All the while PITT was keeping the psu game plan of exclusively running the ball a secret they were also keeping the OSU game plan under wraps. Who know what they come out with this coming Saturday? Maybe it is Weah running deep all day and throwing the rock all over the field. Anyway which way I trust these coaches and head honcho Narduzzi. that is win or lose.


  20. ~ ike
    Pitt’s going to come out in the Wishbone offense with Manny at QB. Since we’re playing an old Southwest Conference school. This version is the Canadian Bone ( in honor of the Pokes). ha


  21. @Emel:

    “Pitt’s going to come out in the Wishbone offense with Manny at QB. Since we’re playing an old Southwest Conference school. ”

    Honestly, that is legitimate genius —- to actually see some of that would be AMAZING — lol 👏👏👏

    Calling It: Jester Weah: 100+ yards receiving, and 2 TD’s (40+ after the catch on wide receiver screens, 45 yards on a bomb TD catch).

    Quadree Ollison also lights it up with a huge day.

    Nathan Peterman FINDS HIS GROOVE with his top-2 wide receivers, and we-all Pitt fans get to enjoy it in a Huge way all year.

    #HailToPitt 👍😎👍


  22. Another plus for PITT is that they have played in the heat the past 2 weeks and the temp for Stillwater is not calling for their typical higher temperatures. We will see if PITT has the speed that is needed going up against top competition.

    Emil: lol about Manny but hey wouldn’t that blow OSU mind’s?


  23. Late to the party but will start by saying that (until saturday) Ryan Lewis embodies all that is right about college football:

    “And then we stroll in here a year ago, and he had talent. He had to sit behind Lafayette Pitts, who’s on the practice squad with the Dolphins, last year and he gave us a few plays, and he battled all camp to win the starting job. He’s just in shock. It’s amazing when you sit behind a good player that’s playing in the NFL and then you finally get your opportunity, you have to take advantage of it, and that’s exactly what Ryan has done. He’s taken advantage of it. He’s making plays, and again, he wasn’t one of those talented five-star guys that comes in and has all the bells and whistles and just goes through the motions. That guy has built himself to where he is. He’s worked hard, and you couldn’t be happier for a guy like that. He’s not one of those guys you expected to come in and be a Thorpe Award guy in the first week. The other corner is a better player, but this guy is a football player, and he’s really turned himself into a great starting corner.”

    And secondly, if Pitt can get a pass rush on those cowboy lovers then we have a fighting chance. If those Okies figure out how to get us blocked it’s going to be a long, long day.

    Hail 2 Pitt. and Screw a Cowboy (but not like that)


  24. Forecast is 86 degrees with 68 percent humidity. We should be fine with that weather.

    Ok st. has a large drum they beat and all of there fans thump the walls creating a low pitch rumbling in the stadium. That’s the only nuance I can think of.


  25. In the Wishbone, you always had 1 WR who you could go deep with. And you only had WR period.

    So like DK said…..Jester Jester could be that guy

    Then you have Manny at QB, with a combination of either Conner, Ollie, Aston and Hall in the backfield.
    If you wanted to run the true Wishbone you would use Aston as the lead blocker, dive back, FB with two of the 3 (Conner, Ollie or Hall) as the halfbacks. You could also pass out of this formation to the halfbacks swinging out of the backfield

    You could also run the Full House backfield with 3 RB’s lined up straight across, without a FB in the up position. Say JC, Ollie and Hall straight across and substitute with Moss and Ibrahim. You can shoot RB’s out of the backfield in all different directions for passes in the flank, in order to get them in space.

    Could be all sorts of fun and Pitt would become a haven for RB’s even more than it is now.

    Especially since we can’t seem to land an elite QB since really Marino. Or at least land one that ‘panned out’.


  26. ^^^^ @MattCanada —- take all this from “Emel” into account!!!

    Be Creative! Be a Trailblazer!!

    These ideas are Awesome!!!

    I know Pat Narduzzi will be down with some $mash-Mouth wishbone + Triple Option with the athlete-Manny Stocker, and obviously so will the offensive line!!

    Lol: Talk about a Change-Up!
    Why not, c’mon @Pat Narduzzi, You’re Not Boring-A$$ Nick Saban, let’s make this wishbone / triple option with athletic Manny Stocker (give him a shot!) part of Pitt’s game plan, it WILL WORK !!


  27. Emel, and sorry for misspelling your name earlier. (still can’t find that edit button) I thought you were joking and still think a wishbone offense would be impossible to implement but I think people’s heads would explode if this happens. The main thing is, I think it would work if PITT were to be practicing something like this all along.

    That said: Narduzzi is more slanted towards the conservative side and we all know that. It’s going to be another grind it out type of game but the pass will play a much bigger part this week. OSU would be crazy not to try their best to stop the run at all cost. This game should be real close..


  28. ^^^^ Duh lol, not Every Play lol…

    But think about last year —- Pitt doesn’t win the a couple games if lil’ – Scrapper Chad Voytik doesn’t come in and break-off a couple huge ‘Read-Option’ runs against Virginia Tech as a huge change-up.

    !!!! —- perfect example: @Emel, genius! :

    lol Tyrone Swoopes, QB (former 5 star, top 25 overall type-guy) is super strong and athletic, but the dude just cannot pass —- lol, like, at all.

    So a 5’11”, skinny young true freshman comes into Texas and becomes unanimous, game-one Starting QB — but Charlie Strong utilizes Swoopes — his big athletic QB —- ALL GAME IN HUGE MOMENTS as a Pure Read-Option Runner and he makes HUGE plays all game to beat Notre Dame!!!

    —– How about some straight-up wishbone, triple option offense a-la Georgia Tech and Navy with super-fast Manny Stocker ( 🙂 …..hahaha — who cannot throw let’s be honest) just as a monster change-up + total change of pace in games, with Pitt’s great O-line and great runners!!

    Let’s do it @Matt Canada!!!

    #10WinSeason !!!!! + Our Bowl Game 🙂 🙂


  29. I am guessing that only Reed as an admin has an edit button.
    He is supposed to get me privileges as I am the story proofreader and editor. Right Reed? ;.)


  30. ~ ike
    No problemo bro. I was joking but then DK called it a stroke of genius. So let’s roll with it. 🙂
    The Wishbone offense is the most conservative offense around, so the Nard Dog would be good with it. Heck I even think NP could run it. Kid is a much better runner than many thought, including me.

    I think part of the game is doing the unexpected and keeping the other team guessing and confused.

    Pitt has been predictable for way too long. So hopefully Canada has some tricks up his sleeve.

    Broke back the Cowgirls !


  31. ^^^ Sorry, I meant “Duh” only to my own previous-comment —-> if anyone actually reads my comments at this point (lol 🙂 ) I would not disrespect any other poster like that, only my-own endless comments! 🙂


  32. Pat, don’t know if you meant me, Emel or someone else but I am uninsultable. There I just made up a word no one has ever said or heard before. boom…..


  33. A Super-Duper, Luper-Disappointing 9-3 season on this vs. one great Russell Wilson (Hail to the Under 6′-foot guys @ Reed haha)

    PAT NARDUZZI so, so, so, much>>>>> (Luv’ Ya’, sorry 🙂 ) Dave Wannstedt as Pitt’s Head Coach (does Wanny ever come back home to push-the-cause? — please make this happen Mr. Narduzzi!)

    Guess What?? Nathan Peterman IS >>>>>> (than) Bill Stull, and I think Bill Stull would want-that.

    Tino Suneri <<<<<<<< (this video is burning trash lol —- just put up the video link for the Pitt Lovers who are Really Mad that TINO SACKSERI started for the Pitt Panthers for THREE EFFIN’ YEARS)



  34. @upitt – Our crossgender kicker would be useless because he/she wouldn’t be able to kick against NC, NCState, Wake Forest and Duke. Well, wait a second. The NCAA would step in and say that Pitt couldn’t play against those teams on the road because of that idiotic rule. Yeah, four home games for us!

    Seriously, I’ll stick with Blewitt. He should never have been sent out onto Heinz field to attempt a 50 yarder into the wind and with Dairy College getting great pressure on every kick. That was a bad coaching decision. Better yet, had the offense got a first down instead of moving backwards, it wouldn’t have been a problem. He will be fine. Support the kid and have the tall lanky scribe who owns this site warm up his leg in the bullpen.


  35. Chances of Manny getting the game at QB are ZERO if Peterman stays healthy. He chances of coming in at WR are greater than him coming in at QB.


  36. Our D will be the key to winning this game vs the cowgirls. Look for Blair and Price to get a combined 3 sacks and 2 or 3 LB’s to pitch in with one of their own (Caprara, Bam or Wirginis).

    There will need to be constant pressure on the QB with different blitz packages with fresh personnel. That will allow our DB’s to fight for every ball. They may lose a battle or two, but keeping the long ball TD’s to one or two will help the whole team’s mental approach.

    On the O side, feed the ball to the RB’s with some various different pass plays & trickery mixed in to keep the cowgirls honest. I look for Conner to get 150 yards on the ground, 50 in the air and three TD’s. Aaron Mathews makes his first catch of his young career and also throws his first completion – ala T.Boyd days.

    Blewit makes his first two FG’s in Stillwater and gets primed for the ACC championship run.

    Crush the cowgirls – I’ll save my score for the next article (but Pitt wins…)



  37. Peterman and the passing offense step up early then we go old school Bus offense of the Cowher era and pound away with Conner and Ollison in the 4th. D struggles at times but hangs on again. Don’t want to get too excited, but something special could be brewing this season….


  38. The U is playing AT Appalachian St; I kind of admire them for that but it also may point out the issues teams sharing an NFL city has in attracting fans.

    Miami is only a 3.5 pt favorite. In addition to App St playing Div 1 for the first time last year and winning double digit games, they almost beat Tennessee at UT 2 weeks ago.


  39. Huff and UPitt – I think we could have a cross gender kicker if he/she “held” it and didn’t go to potty. Hey maybe that would make all games in North Carolina moved to home games at Pitt. Wish I’d been near a computer last night you all were on a roll – Reed’s trans gendering and the Wishbone.


  40. deepemblues. in one of the Pgh paper’s today, Ford’s high school coach is quoted that Ford had surgery on his collarbone. If this was East Lansing, Ann Arbor or State College and for whatever reason they didn’t want any injury reported, that article wouldn’t have been printed. In those areas, the local media is entirely dependent on the university.

    Remember, it took a bold female reporter at the State College paper to uncover the Sandusky scandal after it had been suspected locally for years. Seriously, if a local (PIttsburgh) college assistant coach was being accused of sexual assault as Sandusky was back in the 90s, do you think it would be covered up in Pgh like it was in State College?

    Remember, it was the Post-Gazette that uncovered (1) the story of the governor’s daughter being presented an unearned MBA by WVU (she is now Mylan CEO), and (2) Bill Stewart soliciting the WVU beat writers to uncover any dirt they could find on incoming Coach Holgerson.


  41. Now we have lost two of top guys we could ill afford to lose. Feel really bad for Ford, this was his big opportunity. Hendrix should be back net year. This is the nature of football. Next man up.

    Is this the week we see the passing attack unleashed? Should be a really high scoring affair.

    A women that accused a UNC football player of rape was on TV yesterday. Bad enough to get raped, but then she is verbally raped by the police. Much more dangerous on college campuses than in women’s rest rooms.


  42. Watched Blewitt’s extra points, balls are going every which way, kind of like my tee balls,

    hooks, slices, pushes, pop ups. I have all the shots.

    Hope he is getting some specialized coaching and a sports psychologist.


  43. @ John, it’s OK to verbalized your feelings, I feel it too. Maybe this fan base just doesn’t get it yet, maybe not until the Panthers spell it out for them on the field of play deeper into the season, but it’s palpable. This is a Narduzzi team now, even with the majority of upperclassmen who came on board with Chryst because “they want to be at Pitt”.

    What does being a member of this Naduzzi team mean? It means being in a family atmosphere that HCPC initiated by recruiting the “right” kind of kids and cutting those on the roster that were part of the issue with the SOP selfish mentality.

    Then Narduzzi shows up with the attitude of self-confident swagger that we haven’t seen since our own “Pitt man” Wanny showed up with his, “I know what it takes to win championships” acceptance speech. Problem back then though was Wanny didn’t have the ability to back up his attitude until he filled out the roster with his own troops. Still that win over UNC in our bowl game sure felt good getting to our 1st 10 win season since Pitt’s last glory years in the 80s.

    But this Narduzzi Era feels different. It’s palpable but nondescript. It’s due to a lot of different factors, many beyond the scope and control of HCPN.

    The changing of the guard at Chancellor and his subsequent hiring of a new AD after ridding the University of Smilie Steve was a huge step in the right direction. Having Pitt landing on their feet in the ACC during the musical chairs of conference realignment was a godsend that injected big time $$$$ into the Athletic Dept. and let us not discount the fact that the SCRIPT is back! And we LOVE the SCRIPT!

    When you consider Narduzzi’s influence in light all of these other changes, his presence has served as a special catalyst to get this football program going in a direction not seen by this current generation of Pitt students during their lifetimes.

    If you’ve watched that Penn State Livewire put out after our win over our rival, you know what I’m talkin about.


    Narduzzi is building this team from the inside. Winning the minds of his guys with a quiet confidence and by challenging his troops to reach for goals that haven’t been strived for since we failed to beat Cincy in a great game during the Wanny years.

    And talking of great games. That game last week was big time college football in every sense of the word. Fantastic atmosphere, electric energy during the game in a PACKED stadium that was rocking to the very end! In a phrase, PITT IS IT!

    Pitt is also being inspired by a guy named James Conner. I petitioned during fall camp not to discount this “Conner Factor”. I felt it would have implications on how this team performed this season. We are seeing how that is effecting this team with our very eyes this season, game by game. Yes we have a long way to go but when the Panthers go out to Stillwater tomorrow and bring home their first underdog win of the season, then one more step in that journey is successfully completed. More fans then get on board and more people take notice. Winning breeds winning and this team wants to WIN.

    It’s no different than witnessing what occurs with a pro golfer who gets going on a winning streak. Winning on the tour is extremely difficult, but how many times have you seen a guy come out of a crowd and win once and then just get going on a winning streak? It’s a mental thing, it’s a confidence thing, it’s a mojo thing, it’s magical!

    The Panthers are on the cusp of pulling off some magic! Win this one,,,,,,, and gentleman, “start your engines” because then,,,,,,,these guys will soon be expecting to win every game that they play, and why not? Because Coach Narduzzi walked into the program with that exact attitude from day one over a year ago.

    Let’s go Pitt, win our most important game of our season tomorrow, our next one! The Pursuit!


  44. wbb’s absolutely right, Many football scandals have been covered up in college towns over the year’s, when you have little or no press and a cooperative police force.

    Even worse when the football coach is more powerful than the University President.

    Harder to do these days with the internet, word tends to get out.


  45. Dr Tom, I would argue that the only difference between that 2009 game vs Cincy and last week’s game was a dropped TD pass in the final minutes by a PSU WR. Well, another big difference is that Cincy’s passing attack was much more potent than PSU’s is.

    This is the reason I was so upset after the game that we played so passively and ‘not to lose’ in the entire 4th quarter. We should have won by 10 pts.


  46. wwb let’s not forget that PITT too had a touchdown pass dropped. Only theirs should have been an interception return that would have really sealed the game. If you play the what if game long enough things seem to sort themselves out.


  47. ike, I don’t disagree but that doesn’t mean that we didn’t play with fire in the end … it was IMO unnecessarily too close for comfort, and we should not have been in the position to lose.


  48. I saw UConn name above and immediately thought “even UConn is rated above PITT by the latest US news & World Report rankings”.

    As far as football, guys it is only the second year for Narduzzi. Six yrs. of Wannstedt recruiting was wasted by the Hayward, Graham, and Chryst era. Though Chryst did manage to recruit offensive linemen. It must be easy recruiting offensive linemen.

    Again, we are going in the right direction and let’s see where we are in two more yrs. The schedule looks harder this yr. and we don’t have the horses. However, I thought the DB’s would be better considering Narduzzi’s background. QB, WR, and pass play calling needs immediate attention.

    My biggest disappointment now is in the metro NYC area, nobody, young or old, talk or think about PITT. It’s like we never existed. During Big East days we were in the sports section all the time. Academically we aren’t what we were and the kids here are choosing different directions. I noticed Brigham Young was ranked above PITT.

    PITT is a regional school again at least undergraduate level.


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