Know Your Enemy: North Carolina

(First off here are the Pitt Media Dept.’s Pitt-NC Game Notes for reference.)

Pitt is sitting pretty at a 2-1 mark three games into the season.  One of those wins was GGGGGreat! One was a good start to the year and the loss, last week to Oklahoma State in their hometown, raised a lot of questions.  It wasn’t so much that we lost the game – it was how we lost the game.  After all most Pitt fans figured we’d lose that away game to a good, strong offense

We fans have each season’s games ‘circled’ for various reasons be it for payback, rivalry or championship competition.  Penn State was probably the most circled game by Pitt fans for obvious reasons.  That was the GGGGGreat! win.

I wrote earlier during fall camp what I felt about the importance of that game and while it is fantastic we won I have had this upcoming North Carolina Tarheels game circled as I believe a win this Saturday will set the stage for a run to the ACC Coastal Division winner’s spot and then to a full ACC Championship.

I wish I could point back in time and show you what a Pitt conference championship season paid off in dividends later on – but the only example we have in modern history is Walt Harris’ 2004 co-Big East championship season.  That sharing of the title and getting completely whacked in the ensuing BCS game by Utah to the tune of 35-7 was not as happy-making as a co-champs season should have been and ultimately led to Harris’ departure.

So now the task ahead for Head Coach Pat Narduzzi to complete is an outright path to the ACC Winners Circle co-shared with nobody but his Pitt family.

To do that we have to start with beating North Carolina on Saturday. That is no easy task though and because of the way the Pitt squad has performed – hot and cold, up and down, unit by unit’s success and failure… we seem to have a hard time defining just how really talented and well-coached this 2016 team really is.

So it is hard to get a handle on what to expect our Panthers to accomplish in two days. For me an answer to that question, especially the last part of it addressing the coaching, will answer itself at about 3:30 in Chapel Hill, NC.  When I say ‘coaching’ I mean from the HC on down to the equipment manager all either doing well or falling short.

Properly cleated shoes might help for one.  For another a pass defense that can work together as a unit instead of all four kids playing their own separate football games out there is necessary.

This is a Big Game and one of the four season starting matched I targeted as ones against the opponents we really needed to bring our “A” games to win.  Penn State was first, then OSU, soon NC and then my ‘hinge’ game against Marshall in two weeks at home- an overlooked program in most Pitt fans eyes.  That won’t be an easy game to win I think.

All four of those games could and can go either way IMO – but I guess you can say that about any college football game no matter who is play who.

So what is the North Carolina football team all about and what have they done so far? Lets look at the basic comparisons first:

nc-compare

You can see that NC outshines us in every category save the running game as we are pushing the ball downfield on the ground to a tune of 239 ypg.  That is very good and we broke down that statistic in yesterdays article on here.  But NC isn’t too slouchy in that area either with 176 ypg and what jumps out at me is that their leading rusher, JR Elijah Hood, has been hitting an average of 6.1 ypc and five TDs.  6.1 ypc is exceptional.

Our run defense has been sterling though giving up only 75.7 ypg at 2.1 ypc .  We need that to happen again if we want to win this game because NC’s QB, JR Mitch Trubisky and his passing game has shown it works well so far this year and that will be the NC staff coaches offensive emphasis in this game.

Trubisky is a darn good QB.  In relief duty last season he knocked the socks of the pass defenders he faced while doing this:

trubinsky

His 2015’s 85.1% completion rate and his 226.4 QB rating was astronomical and he hasn’t dropped off much as a full-time player this year either.  On paper he is far and away the most talented passing QB we have faced yet and might be the same all season.  Although we did a good job of making Trace McSorley of Penn State look like gangbusters and get to his current 20th ranking in Passing Yards.

It isn’t a good idea to assume things when discussing college football because one never knows, do one?  but I think it’s a safe bet to think NC is going to be passing like crazy against our beleaguered defensive backs.  d78941d210f43e9e72d4adf8622ebd66Unless a coaching miracle has happened and our DBs have learned that to turn and look back for the ball is not going to transform them into a pillar of salt like Lot’s wife – we’ll see much the same horrid results we saw in the last two games.

Defensively NC has shown weakness in both their pass and run stoppage.  I think we’ll rack up some yards Saturday – but by whom is a different story.

We have just lately seen articles where Conner’s RB coach, Andre Powell has admitted he may have misjudged Conner’s stamina:

Position coach Andre Powell admitted that much Tuesday, vowing to be more cognizant of his star tailback’s workload after relying on him through three games.

“I think in retrospect he’s probably played too much,” Powell said. “It’s one of those things I wish that last drive [at Oklahoma State], man, I wish I would’ve had a fresher guy in the game. But it’s hard to take an All-American out of the game when the game’s on the line. It’s hard.”

Conner broke for a 21-yard run in the second-to-last drive against the Cowboys and punched in a second-quarter touchdown from the 1 on fourth down that had to be reviewed.

“Last series and a couple other times. Down on the goal line,” Powell said. “Maybe I should’ve taken him out. It’s easy to make those decisions when you’re looking at the video on the plane.”

This quote from Powell floors me…“It’s one of those things I wish that last drive [at Oklahoma State], man, I wish I would’ve had a fresher guy in the game. ”  You have to be kidding here right?  We had an All-ACC awardee in RB Quadree Ollison sitting on his ass and not carrying the ball once in that loss – yet Powell wishes he had some relief for Conner.

Well, Powell is either blind or stupid or both not to know what quality talent – proven talent BTW – he had in reserve.  It is instances like this that make me think the deal with Ollison being thrown to the bench comes from a higher pay-grade than Powell’s or Canada’s.

We’ll do up a prediction thread tomorrow…

HTP!!

P/S: Here is a season’s predictions from a betting site… TIFWIW.  I think we’ll be better than this:  Right now ESPN has NC’s chances of winning at 70.3% over Pitt’s 29.7% with an over/under of 60 points – I’d take the over on that.

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63 thoughts on “Know Your Enemy: North Carolina

  1. Wow Reed I agree Powell’s comments floor me. After the 21 yard run by Conner it was easy to see he had nothing left in the tank. He is a great kid is playing wonderful considering all he has been through but god dang put Quadree Ollison in the game.

    I also think on the last series or two that it would have helped to put Whitehead in with Q Henderson at the same time. Even if Whitehead was just a decoy.

    As far as the cleats go…..that just screams SOP to me. I bet you that OX didn’t travel cuz he was probably on maternity. Can someone confirm that the head equipment guy didn’t make the trip?

    We should be able to run the ball up and down the field on this team. Can you image their defense is statiscally worse than ours. I didn’t think it was possible.

    This game will come down to will we be able to make a pass or two when we have too. We shouldn’t have to make many. However, when they are there we need to make them.

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  2. I’ve stated it enough already this season, so we all know that I feel this “next” game is the most important game of the season.

    What this game will demonstrate is if the staff can solve the riddle of how to stop the bleeding in our defensive secondary. This will be a huge test in that regard.

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  3. gc
    September 22, 2016 at 10:10 am
    Hope I’m wrong but I can’t imagine Hamlin being much help this year.

    Hasn’t practiced enough to even learn the defense, let alone cover D-1 receivers.

    I also think the d-backs problems are due to the scheme and strategy.

    When they made the halftime adjustments things dramatically changed.

    The backs didn’t suddenly get better in the second half.

    They are not big or fast enough to cover one on one.

    If they can’t execute the scheme, it is ludicrous not to make a change.

    You have to adjust to the talent you have, it is called coaching.

    The best adjustment we can make with the talent on hand is to score more points.

    Especially in the fourth quarter.

    One or two sustained fourth quarter scoring drives in the last two games and we are in the top twenty.

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  4. Don’t tell me that “Coach knows best” when it comes to Ollison.

    They benched him vs Iowa and Miami last year, we lost both games.

    There are plenty examples of guys in the pros that change teams and are suddenly stars.

    Jerome Bettis, a great example. Didn’t fit in St. Louis, became a HOF guy in Pittsburgh.

    Todd Thomas was one of our best players but House’ scheme put him on the bench on third downs.

    Why no third down throws to Orndoff over the middle?

    Coaches make mistakes too.

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  5. That quote from Powell is infuriating. Very, very odd. I really hope Ollison’s done something to deserve the cold shoulder from Narduzzi and Co. Otherwise, this is nonsense. I’m still not convinced, until Conner’s back in the condition he was at the outset of last season before the injury/cancer, that Ollison isn’t the BEST back of stable right now.

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  6. Best I can guess is Ollison needed to first prove he could/was willing to block.

    Hoping he did enough last weekend. If so, he should be in for a big dose of carries this week.

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  7. Comparing the stats, ummm let’s not build UNC into some juggernaut based upon those just yet. They played Georgia tough but I think the first game versus a big time opponent can be deceiving as you have an offseason to prepare and get hyped up and ready. The other two opponents are JMU (on par but probably slightly better than Villanova) and Illinois which might be one of the worst P5 teams in the nation…my point being they better have some nice stats versus those two teams when compared to Pitt who has played a common level opponent and two easily above average P5 opponents. Going to be a tough game but I am not sure you can just compare the two from that and say UNC is going to run them off the field.

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  8. “You can see that NC outshines us in every category…”
    You’re comparing apples to oranges here. Pitt has faced a clearly more difficult schedule through the first three games. I get that you want to provide some quantitative analysis, but looking at team stats and where they rank nationally should probably be saved for later in the season.
    Also, are you not aware of what happened to Marshall last week?

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  9. How has Pitt faced a “clearly more difficult schedule” than UNC. Both have faced two Power 5 OOC opponents and one FCS creampuff. Seems pretty compariable to me.

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  10. I hope your last paragraph was a mistake. Calling a Pitt Assistant Football Coach “stupid” is uncalled for. Just be an adult and point out his mistake – calling someone “stupid” just shows the rest of the world who actually is “stupid”.

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  11. Penn State beat Illinois 39-0 last year. Illinois stinks. Rutgers is better than them.

    Also, Georgia has looked awful the last 2 weeks. They should have lost both of those games to Nichols State and Missouri.

    Pitt’s schedule has been way harder than North Carolina to date.

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  12. Reed – good post. I agree with most of your points. This week is the game that I’ve been waiting for aside from the Nits.

    Regarding Powell’s comments I’m not infuriated or floored. Mildly surpised? Yes. Mostly, I’m relieved and glad. He acknowledged what we all saw and knew. Would we be happier if he was in denial or said nothing?

    The question is – now that Powell realizes Conner is still healing (and even at his best needs a breather occasionally), will he do some thing different this week? Otherwise that realization is wasted and insanity rules.

    Regarding Orndoff, NP threw a couple to him last week, but it looked like the throws were bad to me. He’s proven to be a clutch receiver and I hope they call his number more this week. I would go to him early and often and not just on third down when I needed to convert.

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  13. Just a comment about Conner. A great athlete, but still a guy recovering from a sh1tload of poison in his body. Its gonna take him some time to regain the 2014 form that some have noted here. He will need to be spelled regularly on Saturday as its still warm in Chapel Hill.

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  14. Walt, who resurrected a football program on life support left Pitt (which was even harder now knowing what an obstructionist Pederson was), or was pushed out, prior to the bowl game. My wife and I went to the game and sat by a couple Stanford fans and they were asking about their new coach.
    As a 7YOA informed by recently the pc for “stupid” is “silly”. “Blind” is “sight impaired” I am going to my safe space where micro aggressions won’t trigger me. These cupcakes wouldn’t have made it in my day. 🙂 – not directed at you John. Overly pc just drive me to rants.
    Apparently Powell doesn’t do many interviews. Pitt has simply not worked JC back in slowly and it is not unexpected that he would be rusty and not in the prime shape he was a year ago
    Doc: Is Marshall in the ACC? I am coming “unhinged.” 🙂

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  15. Dr. Tom, this is a ‘hinge’ game because if we lose and the defense gives up another 500 yards in the air the fan base will become unhinged.

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  16. Do I have this straight, a position coach is deciding who plays and who doesn’t ?

    “Last series and a couple other times. Down on the goal line,” Powell said. “Maybe I should’ve taken him out. It’s easy to make those decisions when you’re looking at the video on the plane.”

    Says it twice.

    It’s one of those things I wish that last drive [at Oklahoma State], man, I wish I would’ve had a fresher guy in the game. But it’s hard to take an All-American out of the game when the game’s on the line. It’s hard.”

    Isn’t than an OC’s job ?

    Get Ollison in the game, the kid is not only a good runner, he can break off some long runs and get to the Endzone !

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  17. And no Doc I don’t trust the coaches to have the best players in the game. Coaches have quirks and deficiencies like any other person. And they have their favorites and their scapegoats.

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  18. And anyone that has been on athletic teams, that is honest and willing to be forthcoming, knows exactly what I’m talking about. There are lots of factors besides talent, of who gets to play and who doesn’t.

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  19. Not only get Ollison in the game, give him the ball. Are we trying to win games or pad coach’s egos.

    Wasting 3 carries on Rafael Lopes at the expense of Ollision possibly breaking one off, is not trying to win games. It’s trying to prove a coach’s point.

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  20. They certainly don’t. And, even “Pitt men” have their favorites. I’m with you, Harmon. That said, it’s frustrating to see the others not getting carries especially in moments when Conner is obviously gassed.

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  21. Emel, are you serious?
    Are you saying that we purposely gave Lopes 3 carries just to spite Ollison? And that if Ollison would have had those 3 carries that he potentially would have taken 1 for a score?
    Did I read that right?

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  22. I don’t get it.
    PN wants to win every game. The university has entrusted him to turn around the football program and win. So he is going to do what he thinks is best to win. Anything short of that would be reducing the stability of his own job security and also reducing the ability for him to “promote” himself down the line to a higher position – be it a bigger P5 school or NFL. SO, to say that he is purposely not playing the best players just because he didn’t recruit them is just plain crazy to me. There is a reason Ollison didn’t get carries – we don’t have to know that reason. It happens all the time in the business world. CEO makes a decision that the “front” line employees don’t understand and think is stupid – not having any clue as to what all goes in to that decision or having the knowledge to understand the intricasies of the business.
    If you don’t trust the coach already, then that’s your decision. I’m not there yet. I think he’s going to get it done. And I’m sticking behind him and the team and see where this season goes.

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  23. A couple of things. .. Powell has made stupid decisions this season therefore is stupid sometimes… that isn’t a curse but a observation.

    I know Marshell got beaten… that doesn’ t mean they wont win games. “”Hinged” means that a season could swing on the game… go either direction as it were.

    Position coaches do make personnel decisions when their input is allowed by the coordinators. The OC &DC do the planning and adjustments to the plans along with actual playcalling. The position coaches are the staff coaches who are keeping play by play track of how well their own players are doing and if they are diinged up or not.

    That is why to have a really good program you spend enough money to hire the best staff and position coaches you can… guys who were prior coordinators at other schools are prime targets for important position coaching jobs.

    Pitt hasn’t put that kind of $$$ out there yet.

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  24. While The Duzz isn’t technically a Pitt guy – he is the next best thing: growing up in close by Youngstown admiring the national power Panthers of the late 70’s – early 80’s.
    That’s a win/win for us all.
    If holding QO out was strictly to prove a point to him, which resulted in potentially losing a winnable game because of
    it, that is the definition of insanity. There’s much better ways to prove a point without costing the team an opportunity to win the game.

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  25. JJ- just because we are second guessing PN doesn’t mean we aren’t with him or want him to do well. This is what sports fans do. .. we discuss things and wonder about decisions made.

    But don’t kid yourself that these coaches don’t have huge egos… Narduzzi sure does and you see it every time he’s asked a question about something he did that didn’t work out.

    He’s as human as it gets – that riff on not following or reading anything the media writes or says? That’s a load of crap… he references articles in the newspapers all the time or says he heard some Pitt football issue on the radio. He even jokes about it with the local beat reporters in press conferences.

    He sure would sit somone down over a personal issue if he felt that strongly about it, just as every other college HC will do. The best coaches can get past that but new ones do it all the time. Narduzzi holds grudges strongly… and we saw that over the off season.

    Hell, everyone’s favorite son Dave Wannstedt wouldn’t,t play Bostick to save his life after the 2007 season because of what happened with Bostick when he was driving to the fall camp that year. That was a major grudge held though hell or high water…then he burnt Bostick’s redshirt for a handfull of plays later on.

    Again, he’s human and has good and bad traits like all of us.

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  26. Good place for Pitt fans to gather is the Carolina brewery on Franklin St.. Lots of TVs to watch ball games .. Even have a free shuttle going to n from Kenan

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  27. Doesn’t matter who was out there on those last couple runs to the left side. Nobody blocked. Agree we are underutilizing our talented stable of backs. I don’t care who’s fault it is. I just want to see it fixed.

    And where the hell was play action off the Jet Sweep at the end of the OK State game????

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  28. HCPN is as close to being a Pitt man as some alumni, since his dad was an assistance coach at Pitt when he was a young boy. He loves Pitt and is proud to be the HC of our university.

    I know in my heart of hearts that this staff will be ready for unc and there will be plays from the playbook that none of us have seen yet in 2016. Look for an entertaining game and a “no-quit” Pitt team to take the field on Saturday.

    They will play 4 qtrs of rough, hard nosed, pound the ground football that will make Pitt fans proud.

    Watch it and cheer loud and proud.

    HTP!

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  29. Also, regarding JC being gassed – let’s look at the personnel who are on the field when JC is – we only have (3) offensive “threats” (Conner, Henderson and Whitehead). You must have 2 of those 3 on the field to keep the D from keying on our “threat”(s).

    Orndoff and QO are legitimate “threats”, but because the staff underutilizes them both, they no longer are considered “threats” by the opposing D.

    Let’s change that this weekend…

    Hammer the Heels!

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  30. Is JC gassed or is he the only “threat” on the field and the D is keying on stopping him?

    The Oline has not been consistently good this year – they need to get mean, nasty and push the unc Dline all over the field. Let’s see the (5) or (8) Olineman live up to their preseason #4 ranking among P5 schools.

    We need all cylinders firing this Saturday – that includes the coaches and their rapid fire decisions during the game.

    HTP!

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  31. I don’t care if HCPN was born to a Taliban mother and raised in North Korea.
    Just win.

    Luke Finkel (sp?) is an OSU man, and they plunked him out of the head coaching spot for chest-pain-in-Florida-but-I-am-miraculously-fine-now.

    So, who cares…unless you are Whiskey and Uncle Barry comes a calling

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  32. FCoaches have no monopoly on egos. All of us do, some more than others. People see things one way and wonder why everyone doesn’t see it their way. Call names, make dumb comments.v used to deal with it daily,for years. The good coaches, and best leaders in general, eventually recognize this, modify positions, and gradually change. Subtle, maybe minor, but flexible. HCPN gets it honestly, if anyone watched the MSU-ND game, boy did that remind you of anything?? Narrow minded and pig headed only get you so far. Let’s see if our coach will grow. He did OK in first year, let’s see if he is the real deal.

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  33. Emel’s point is not crazy talk.If talent is close, and if you were Narduzzi, would you play your 4 star recruit from a football hotbed in Ohio or would you play a 3 star kid from NY that you did not recruit and where 10 other kids are considering Pitt? The longterm answer is you pick the kid from OH. Again, if the talent is similar. I am not sure it is as they have different styles. I like Hall for his speed. I like Ollison for his toughness. Neither has great vision. I think Moss does. Shady did, Dion did, Ray did. I prefer vision over speed.

    Upitt will agree…I think. From a baseball perspective, it is the same thing. Coaches have favorites for whatever reason. That is why “travel teams” started. One of the biggest farces in youth sports that got its start because of favoritism by coaches. When I played, your travel team consisted of 1 guy from USC, one from Bethel Park, one from Baldwin, etc. and you actually traveled. Now it is all about favorites and if you are not one, you start your own team. Favoritism will never go away in a subjective business.

    Whoever wins the trenches, wins the games.

    Pitt will be 1-0 on Saturday! For me, I am in Vegas this weekend!

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  34. I wasn’t necessarily talking about the Nard Dog. But he clearly has his favorites, as Hall is always talked about in ‘glowing terms’. It’s all on video for those that care to watch.

    And yes JJ, Ollison could have very easily broken one of the 3 rushes given to Lopes, into a long gainer or TD. Why would you think he couldn’t ? He had plenty of long runs last year.

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  35. If you had to bet $1000 on either Ollison or Lopes to break a run on 3 rushing attempts who would you put your money on. We’ll see who exactly is crazy on here ?

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  36. Man….just reading @ Reed your articles and reading every single one of these comments — top-tier entertainment!!

    I hope not only people from Pitt’s athletic department, but also someone on Pat Narduzzi’s staff (Or ‘Duzz Himeself! lol) read this — some incredibly honest, and legit-legitimate ideas here. Especially from so many who are kissing zero-tush and expect a lot from Pitt. That’s the greatest thing — there is zero rationalization, or willingness to accept less than Pitt is capable of. Even if Oklahoma State has a “Cinderella Season this year and wins the Big-12, etc. — I know so many here will just be EVEN MORE PI$$ED that Our Panthers didn’t win the game they shoulda, outta, and deserved to win!!!!

    Great to read all this, we all-know We’re on the Absolute-Upswing, and we expect nothing but Progress 🙂 🙂 🙂 — #HailToPitt!!

    P.S., haha, @Upittbaseball and @Emel…. (along with many lol) you two “pees-in-a-pod” do not hold-back, ya’ll do Not Give a….Hoot!!!

    Pitt wins this game, and *** 1-3 *** vs. the Tar Heels is MUCH, MUCH better than 0-4 against these guys….in Football no less! 😦 😦 😦 lol.

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  37. Busy day planned, so I’ll drop my prediction here and hope it counts in Reed’s world.

    Pitt wins 38-31

    Conner with 2 TD’s,150 yards rushing and 75 yards receiving
    Orndoff with 10 catches for 100 yards and 1 TD
    Hall carries the 4 times for 12 yards, 0 TD’s and gives up a QB sack (all in the 1st half)
    Ollison sees limited 1st half action, but Powell adjusts at halftime – (10) 2nd half carries for 75 yards and a 30 yard TD
    Q.Henderson has 200 APY’s and 1 receiving TD.
    Blewitt is 1 for 1 in FG’s as HCPN limits his chances by going for (2) 4th down short yardage plays, thus passing on (2) FG’s
    NP is 19 for 25 for 225 yards, 2 TD’s and 0 INT’s
    Price and Blair record 2 sacks each
    Whitehead and Maddox both snag INT’s
    unc QB’s are hurried ALL game long by an aggressive Pitt D

    Player of the game : Punter Winslow with his high, booming kicks away from PR Switzer.

    In otherwords, the entire team plays well. The equipment manager is accused of deflating the game balls by Fedora and HCPN laughs through another post-game press conference.

    HTP!

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  38. I’ll leave my prediction here too. As much as I love my Panthers, they have to show me vs their Kryptonite , NC. Pitt loses 35-31 in another nailbiter.

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  39. My thoughts are that Conner was on the field too much, but, Ollison had the third most snaps of all other backs behind George Aston in the game. [Running Back Snaps: James Conner (55), George Aston (38), Qadree Ollison (20), Chawntez Moss (11), Darrin Hall (9), Jaymar Parrish (19)]The offense is designed for Peterman to make the read to either hand it of on a Jet sweep or give to the power back.

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  40. Reed

    Now Narduzzi holds grudges, has a huge ego and favors players. You are building quite the list of character judgements on the man. I don’t get it. Criticizing play calls or playing time is one thing; creating conspiracy theories based on a man’s character is complete bullshit.

    You would be offended if I were to write you hold the grudge for not getting enough time to watch practice and for the PSU media ban because you have an egotistical media elite attitude and think you are entitled to all team information (which I do not believe).

    There is so much complete bullshit posted on here it is pathetic. Reality check…..NO ONE ON HERE HAS COACHED DIV1 FOOTBALL, we don’t have access to coaches meetings, film break down, practice habits…..but still people post complete crap like it is the truth. Fact is, the coaches know so much more than any of us.

    While I am on a rant….

    Ollison is getting his carries, this is a non-issue. You ride the horse (Connor). Period.

    Ollision is not a home run back, give me a break. Lopez deserves a shot at some carries and has every bit the same chance to break one. Probably more so. He relieves Henderson and ran jet sweeps. If he didn’t, people would bitch Henderson was tired at the end of the game.

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  41. That’s ridiculous nonrocket…..Ollison had many a long run last year. I could post them all and really make you look foolish.

    And why does Lopes (not Lopez) deserve carries ?

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  42. Here you go, even for you this shouldn’t be rocketscience.

    2015: Began his first active collegiate campaign as Pitt’s third-string tailback but finished it as an All-ACC honoree and 1,000-yard rusher…was thrust into a prominent role when starter James Conner was lost for the season due to a knee injury in the opener against Youngstown State…Ollison seized the opportunity by becoming just the fifth freshman in Pitt history to achieve a 1,000-yard season…rushed for 1,121 yards and 11 touchdowns on 212 carries (5.3 avg.) and also had 14 receptions for 77 yards (5.5 avg.) and a TD…selected the ACC’s Offensive Rookie of the Year by the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association (ACSMA) and league coaches…was a co-recipient of the coaches’ overall Rookie of the Year award with Pitt safety Jordan Whitehead…selected All-ACC (second team) by the media and coaches…was twice named the ACC Rookie of the Week (for his performances against Youngstown State and Syracuse)…in his Pitt debut, Ollison ripped off 207 yards and a touchdown on just 16 carries (12.9 avg.)—all in the second half—in Pitt’s 45-37 win over YSU…it marked the most rushing yards in a season opener by a freshman in school history and the fifth most by a Pitt freshman overall…Ollison’s TD against YSU was a 71-yarder on just his third career carry…was awarded a “Helmet Sticker” on ESPN College Football Final for his dazzling debut…facing the nation’s No. 11 rushing defense in Louisville (108.9 yards/game), Ollison churned out 152 yards and a touchdown on 28 carries (5.4 avg.), sparking a 45-34 win…in the Panthers’ 17-13 victory at Virginia Tech, rushed for 122 yards and a TD on 19 carries (6.4 avg.)…had 111 yards and a TD on 26 carries (4.3 avg.) in Pitt’s 31-13 win at Duke…netted 103 yards and two touchdowns on 23 carries (4.5 avg.) in a 23-20 win at Syracuse.

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  43. NotRocket – you can think or believe whatever you want but I’ll venture to say I have a lot more conversations about Pitt football with people who know a lot more than both you or I do and that is what helps me form my thoughts.

    Again – if you don’t believe the college HCs don’t play favorites – and those are a lot of time kids they want to be starters later on in their careers at the school they are currently coaching at then you are very naive.

    Oh – plus you must have never read anything I wrote about DW either and I had full media access to open practices and to the players back then – closed practices don’t impact what I say or think about Narduzzi and the job he’s doing – I just don’t agree with them that’s all. BTW – the reason I don’t agree isn’t for my sake – I live 4.5 hours away and wouldn’t go to all that many anyway. I think it benefits the Pitt program as we need to get every bit of football info out to prospective donors. We cry poor mouth then make it impossible for people to want to donate to the athletic dept.

    Again, closed practices don’t benefit Pitt at all in the long run and the athletic department would much rather they be opened to the media and families, HS coaches, friends (donors) etc…

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