Sunday Podcast: NC loss

I’ll start off with the bad stuff and try to lighten it up toward then end of the article.  First off here is the Press Conference immediately after the game.  Honestly, it saddens me from start to finish.  Here is some of what I wrote in yesterday’s comments section:

Here listen to Narduzzi’s post-game press conference.  Not his most sterling moment…

After expressing his love for the team he starts off listing the plays that weren’t executed correctly and points his fingers at the players, again – this is his MO after a loss folks.

Jerry DiPaola actually does start off the questions part with a direct question “This is three weeks now, what are you going to do about the pass defense?” Narduzzi says – literally – “You can’t do anything about it” then quickly whips out the “We only gave up 18 yards rushing” and moves on…

The only time he mentions the coaching at all is when he says he “thought his coaching staff put the players (DBs) in a great position to succeed out there”.

Yes fellow Pitt fans, he actually said that when discussing giving up all those passes in the 4th quarter. Then he cuts off the presser after 4:04.

It’s a bit like saying “Hey, at least I quit beating my wife last year

This guy just can’t bring himself to be honest with the media about his losses – he even goes so far as to say that ‘we did better this week’ than against OSU because we ‘didn’t give up the long passing plays’. He’s deflected blame for two weeks now and I wonder just what he thinks his responsibilities as a HC is. He truly believes that it is only during the time the players are either behind closed doors or during a game and sees the media as an enemy.

You can bet Barnes and Gallagher are freaking out with that approach because Barnes was brought in specifically to fund raise and grow the donor base and you can bet donors look at these actions and aren’t too optimistic or eager to send in $$ or any other support for that kind of attitude.

Here are some facts about the game:

nc-stats-post

Here is where we stand nationally and our statistics in major categories.  Have a handkerchief handy when looking at the defensive stats.

natl-rank-nc

One last note in the text here and I’ll mention it in my podcast.  Isn’t it time Pitt fans quit looking down their nose and denigrating what Paul Chryst did at Pitt.  His tenure didn’t give us the number of wins we wanted but when it came to ‘big games’ he showed up – which is more than we can say about Pat Narduzzi so far.

pc-vs-pnIf We look at Narduzzi and feel good about the future prospects that’s one thing – I’m not sold on that issue at the present but looking at what transpired over both HC’s first 17 games there is really no comparison save one more win for Narduzzi.

But that ‘one more win’ was the PSU game this season and that was a great thing – maybe not the toughest opponent football-wise but Narduzzi delivered on a game that every Pitt fan wanted us so badly to win and we did – Kudos for that for sure.

I want to post this chart again to show that we, in essence, have the same personnel this season as we did last season in our defensive backfield.  I turned this problem over in my mind all last evening and really can’t figure why our play has dropped so horribly.

Year Passing YardsAllowed Passing EfficiencyDefense Main Starters at CB & Safety
2014 24th  –  198.9 43rd – 121.59 Vinopal, Pitts, Briggs and Maddox
2015 54th  –  214.7 66th – 126.97 Pitts, Maddox, Whitehead, Webb
2016 124th – 330.3 91st –  136.30 Lewis, Maddox, Whitehead, Webb

FYI: Here are Chad voytik’s stats this season at Arkansas State – he was benched in favor of a SO QB who has done pretty well…

cv

Onto Marshall back at Heinz Field and, hopefully, to get back on top in the win column – the game’s at home and the kids need their fans and supporters out there cheering them on.  It will be played at 7:30 so you’ll have time to visit and tailgate before hand – I’ll drive up and be in the press box.

Note: Received the prediction prizes the other day – I’ll take some time and figure out the winner for each game – unless a reader beats me to it (hint, hint).

129 thoughts on “Sunday Podcast: NC loss

  1. I always thought that they would move Whitehead to corner this year and have Hamlin at the other corner and Maddox at Nickel. Have Brightwell play strong safety and Mitchell at free safety.

    Obviously Hamlin is out, but think Whitehead would be a much more physical corner. Brightwell could get on the field as safety, with a move to linebacker next year.

    I guess the question is whether Whitehead would get torched as badly as either of our corners?

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  2. As CEO of the team, I would think he should credit the players ( and assistant coaches) on wins and take personal responsibility for the losses.
    That be the mark of a leader, Pat.
    There also appears to be a lack of introspection and analysis; what could we have done DIFFERENTLY as coaches to change the outcome?
    Unless that changes, he will not succeed as a head coach.

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  3. Prayers for your Family Reed!

    Marshall played a backup true freshman as stud QB had a previous concussion.

    They sacked Lamar a few times. No offense with that QB was the difference.

    Foster didn’t dress for Bama. Not sure if injured or what.

    Everyone in ACC will be getting better or already are and we continue to regress.

    I agree these losses are on Narduzzi. Insanity is doing the same thing daily. I’d start all backups at DB positions. Whitehead included. He has been C- this season.

    Ollison gets shaft. Connor is 1/2 of his former self and that is okay and expected. Not hammering him just the truth. He hopefully gets there with a full off season.

    French is slower than molasses.

    Do we have TE’s on Roster?

    We are more conservative than Ted Cruz at a Monostary.

    Marshall has some athletes.

    Baylor kicked OK St ass and shut down the studs who ate our lunch.

    Steelers win and cover.

    Jags win and are getting a 1/2.

    Love the Saints home Monday night.

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  4. The sad thing is that we had this game won and gave it away thanks to no offense again in the fourth quarter. Three games in a row. That is on the coaches, accept the responsibility and do something about it.

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  5. Team loss.. Peterman missed several EASY opportunities to extend drives. The offensive line said they want the ball late with a chance to grind out the clock and finish games- 0-3 this year when given the chance. The most obvious.. our DB’s simply aren’t good enough. Webb had some bad reads, one specifically for a touchdown. Our corners can’t play man.
    And most importantly, our coaches aren’t adjusting to our personnel. We put 9 guys in the box and play press coverage with guys that can’t do the job. Then, we take pride in stopping the run. You SHOULD be able to stop the run with your safeties in the box. The problem? No one HAS to run. We can’t defend the pass.

    This is going to be a 6 or 7 win team, at best, if we give up 350+ passing yards every game.

    Same old Pitt. Very disappointing.

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  6. It is interesting how we all watch the same game and can see things so differently. Many have called for Canada and Peterman’s heads. We may never know who is truly responsible for the conservative playcalling on the offense in the 4th qtr, but I suspect it is Narduzzi (for the 3rd consecutive game) so I place his responsibility above theirs. I like Canda’s playcalling much better than Chaney’s, at least for the first 3 quarters.

    As much as it seems inconceivable that Narduzzi would want to put the game’s outcome in the hands of such a porous defense, it seems he can’t help himself, coming from a defensive background. Regarding defensive responsibility/accountability, again it ultimately lies with Narduzzi but assuming that he is safe for this year, I would hope that Conklin and Hill may be held responsible if this defensive cluster shows no improvements over the next 8 games. (as compared to the previous administration that held no one accountable).

    Finally, I would hope that by this time a pecking order for running backs is coming together. Should be using Conner, Moss, and Ollison with Hill as the odd man out unless there is an injury. Okay, I feel better getting that off my chest!

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  7. So upset was I post game that I was afraid to drink scotch! Aside from my new job as a sales manager for Fortune 500 company, I am blessed to be musician. I compose choral music, play piano and am a past director of 2 choirs.

    On my way to church this morning I heard a Requiem and it gave me my outlet for my angst.

    I am going to compose a Requiem for the Pitt Football Fan.” Eadem Pitt! “(Same old Pitt)

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  8. Wanny was stubborn at Pitt, Narduzzi is stubborn and it’s borderline stupidity.

    I really thought he got it, he is destined for failure unless he really changes his system to fit the talent he has on hand now.

    When we go into the 4th quarter keep the offense going and go for the kill not go into predictable mode.

    On defense do they ever play nickle coverage?

    Why didn’t they put a db on Switzer in the slot and disrupt his route at the line of scrimmage?

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  9. Incredible how Carolina’s D is on the field the entire game and our O-line can’t assert itself and get one stinking first down. So disappointing but the program has sucked since 1982 and has mastered losing these types of games. That’s what bad programs do and some of the defenses that were called at the end were suspect indeed. The walk-on who earned a scholarship is covering Switzer on a fourth down? WTF?

    No having Hill, Hamlin and Hendrix hurts. Those are Narduzzi’s guys and he has none at his disposal and is forced to stick with Moose’s awful recruits. Seriously, Chryst couldn’t leave behind one quarterback who could throw the ball downfield? Thanks, Paul!

    Haver to win these next two at home then go on the road and defeat Virginia. Getting to 5-2 would be pretty nice.

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  10. There are 2 main differences between the secondary last year & this. 1. Pitts is obviously much better than Lewis. 2. Webb missed most of the year to injury & was replaced by Mitchell. It may be time to start Mitchell.

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  11. How many ways is Wannduzzi like Dave Wannstedt? Let me count the ways….

    1) He’s maybe even more conservative on offense with any lead in the 2nd half.
    2) He never learns from his mistakes.
    3) He never criticizes himself or his staff after a loss…only his players.
    4) He can’t win a big game in his conference.

    Hopefully he can recruit like him…he’s going to need it…..

    At least Wanny the First would game plan some and adjust his defense to the team he’s playing. Remember 13-9?

    I’m not even going to bother to listen to his tripe from the press conference….

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  12. Reed

    Total bullshit opinion on your part! What F..ing interview did you watch? Were you trashed?

    Narduzzi pointed no fingers, he praised the kids. You obviously are holding a grudge over your lack of media access. Never saw you make up shit like you have recently. Obviously, you love PC because he was a Teddy bear with the media.

    The D was improved, the offense cost them the game. I love the jet option they run. Teams are struggling to defend it.

    They have to get the ball down the field. Where is the long pass plays?

    Not – do you even remember what Chryst was like in his pressers and his interviews? he wanted nothing at all to do with the press and media.

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  13. Repost from last In Game:
    I have been a Pitt fan since 5, 56 years ago. I will be there next week with She who Must Be Obeyed(wife) wants to see Marshall which seems to be in common with other fans. Criticizing is not lack of support so here are some things I think I think 1) James Connor is not yet recovered from the grueling ordeal he went through and I dont expect he willl until next year – where is QO? Why isnt he playing – be honest Nard 2) Jordan Whitehead who has out of this world talent has all but disappeared, Last year teams did not pass at will against us and he was noticeable in run support. The question is he not reading correct or has our DC not put him in position to succeed 3) our secondary sucks and this is PN and JC supposed expertise, I a sick of excuses of not executing. While it hurt to lose Hamlin and Hall where are Thieren and the DB from FLA – they cannnot be worse 4) While NP was not great they have rarely thrown the 20 pass to attempt to get a first down or open up the defense 5) Somewhat related is shown in the post game presser posted by Reed where Nard says they practice a “4 minute” set, If the head coach tells OhCanada to keep it on the ground as defense coaches are prone to – dont risk a turnover, Thsi is why those short swing passes are thrown on third down – they are low risk but low return. The opposing defense doesnt have to worry about us beating them with the 15 yard pass like UNC did. This rests on the Head Coach.

    FINALLY, MY PRAYERS FOR YOUR SON REED AND YOUR FAMILY

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  14. Name one DC that has had success as a head coach? Most are failures and head back to their DC spots. I believe we should have hired a guy with head coaching experience. This learning on the job is bullcrap, especially for bull headed DCs.

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  15. Jackie Sherill was defensive coordinator but that was very different. In general it is hard to think of DCs who have had great success but I am sure someone will come up with someone.
    Dan72 if you capture all the emotions of being a Pitt fan in music you will be the next Mozart. and have written one of the most depressing pieces of music ever. 🙂

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  16. upittbaseball – you were saying the same things about moose – and he turned out pretty good in AN ENVIRONMENT WHICH IS CONDUCIVE TO HIS STYLE.

    Ditto for Wannduzzi. He’ll hang around as Pitt admin will be fine w/ 6-6 ad nauseam until MSU comes calling then he will move on back to his sandbox and success. Mark my word.

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  17. Do we need to help getting pressure on the QB? Is that one of Narduzzi’s keys to making the DBs assignments easier? I saw that UNC was smart enough to double team Price often. I know Connor is our leading receiver and the team’s emotional leader, but maybe we really need Connor at defensive end.

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  18. Not rocket I mean Mrs. Nardozzi are you serious? To say anything positive about this defense is ludicrous. We held them to 30 yards rushing ludicrous wouldn’t give up long pass plays ludicrous

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  19. @rkb

    Jackie approached his position as more of a CEO, and he had some great assistant coaches that he recognized their coaching abilities and gave them autonomy.

    JS was a great recruiter that aspect was overlooked by our administration and when he left we went from elite to an also ran pretty quickly.

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  20. Not Rocket – that’s twice you said the same thing and twice you are wrong. Here is what I commented back to you the first time a few articles back.

    “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…

    As to the presser – I have been on the phone all day with friends who went to Pitt and have season tickets and surprise! The saw the same things I did at that truncated press briefing (not even a conference really).

    I think you feel that a coach has to come out and actually say something for it to be true – Narduzzi is the master of inference.

    When you say those things – specifically “You can’t do anything about it” and more to the point he “thought his coaching staff put the players (DBs) in a great position to succeed out there”. That is exactly what he’s saying – he’s inferring that the staff had done all it can – did everything perfectly and that means the onus was on the players to execute and that didn’t happen.

    “Couldn’t have been the staff or even me… no Siree Bob, not us!”

    Again – you see one thing, I see another – but enough already about the closed practices – I think it is a bad thing for Pitt in general and no so much for me – as I said I’d have only driven up once or twice anyway. I went to Media Day, talked with the staff and players and reported that – that’s what we’ll get and I can live with that – when I criticize Narduzzi (BTW – obviously I’m not the only Pitt fan doing so) it is because I feel he dropped the ball…period.

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  21. Just listened to the Narduzzi presser.

    We only did better this week on defense because UNC had the ball approx. 3-4 minutes less than Okie State.
    Had they had the ball those few minutes more, they would have put up total offense-passing numbers similar to…….if not exceeding OSU.

    I’ll give him a pass on this presser, only because like most of us, the Dog had to be in near state of total dis-belief. And like most of us, had to be in somewhat in a condition, again like most of us after the game, that encompassed a whole range of feelings and thoughts.

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  22. When the hell did Manny Stocker play? Must have been on Special Teams…

    PITT: 2F-Ffrench, M., 6M-Mathews, A., 8S-Stocker, M., 12-Blewitt, C., 15-Mitchell, R., 18-Winslow, R., 20-Briggs, D., 21-Henderson, M., 22-Hall, D., 26-Moss, C., 29-Ibrahim, R., 31-Parrish, J., 32-Motley, P., 35-Aston, G., 37-Ollison, Q., 40-Folston Jr, J., 43-Stocker, J., 48-McAlone, K., 58-Wirginis, Q., 60-Reese, A., 61-Quirin, P., 72-Baker, C., 76-Dintino, C., 80-Challingsworth, 82-Araujo-Lopes, R, 84-Poker, Z., 93-Roy, S., 96-Edwards, A..

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  23. I get it from Pat Narduzzi —- Pitt held them to under 30 yards rushing, and made them totally one dimensional. If you sell out to stop the run, AND if you have the horses to cover back there (p.s. Terrish Webb and Reggie Mitchell are Pitt’s Free Safeties —- so deep balls are going to be wide open because they are both 2 star, zero offer, Chryst recruits) — then this defensive philosophy is great.

    Beyond Jordan Whitehead here (who’s doing great at his strong-safety, almost hybrid linebacker role, and he’s totally blanketing his-man in one-on-one coverage — Jordan Whitehead is NOT playing Free Safety) —– Ryan Lewis, Reggie Mitchell, Terrish Webb are all 2 star Paul Chryst players. They are all FCS level physical talents. AVonte Maddox was a Low 3 star recruit where Pitt was his only Power 5 offer.

    When Narduzzi gets his guys in there, the defense will be fine. Maybe Josh Conklin isn’t good enough, and Narduzzi will have to make a decision on him as well.

    —- @ Reed, btw: I know it’s gonna pi$$ people off to say, but : 2 million a year for a Power 5 head coach (Narduzzi) is a bargain. This is Indiana, South Florida, Oregon State, Washington State, University of Minnesota (etc.) level head coach salary. Lol: Urban Meyer and Nick Saban make like 6 mil+ — it’s relative here and you have to consider the context of the industry. Maybe others disagree with the “whole system”, but in-context Pat Narduzzi is pretty-much “on the cheap” for Pitt right now.

    Kirk Ferentz at Iowa gets like 4 million a year lol — Narduzzi right now is a dang bargain. I’m not saying I agree with the “System”!!! But you don’t think Pat Narduzzi gets irked that James Franklin has been getting 5 million buckaroos a year from Penn State???

    If Pat Narduzzi ends up getting brought-back to Michigan State (Dantonio retires — that is a very, very real possibility) , then Michigan State will bring him back for 3-4 million a year off-the-bat. It will be the Prodigal Son returning and East Lansing will build a statue already of Pat Narduzzi on campus. They already lament how their Spartans just lost so much Swag and IT Factor, and it’s just not the same since Pat Narduzzi left!!! They’ll pay Narduzzi twice the 2 million a year he gets here—at the minimum 3 million a year. It’s just how that system works.

    And if you think Paul Chryst is doing well up in Wisconsin, just wait until Pat Narduzzi brings in top 20 recruiting classes to East Lansing. That would be a nightmare.

    I personally think Pat Narduzzi can take Pitt to all that good stuff. Playoffs, National Elite…yeah, why not? I think I easier than others can keep it in perspective that this year’s team is 95% Paul Chryst, especially the woefully slow and untalented linebacking core and defensive backfield — harsh, but I think quite accurate.

    No point for me to continue harping on what I want to see happen to Spark-Up this season anymore, lol.
    — I personally think Pat Narduzzi needs to start squeezing some Magic outta Manny Stocker on designed runs, and I think Narduzzi needs to BLOW TORCH Thomas MacVittie’s redshirt and let him go make some magic happen.

    If you just don’t think Pat Narduzzi is “The Guy” to Ascend Pitt, then you’re feelings aren’t gonna change. But I think Pitt fans will be happy with a their patience once the starting secondary becomes Manned by a filled-out Damar Hamlin, and all of these 6 foot-plus, long, athletic young Defensive backs Narduzzi keeps recruiting. It’s gonna be something….In Time though, unfortunately. I believe that whole-heartedly.

    Ryan Lewis is a starting corner, and Terrish Webb is the starting free safety — it just is-what-it-is right now, and it Su*ks , we know, but Darrelle Revis doesn’t have any more eligibility, and Ed Reed ain’t gonna come enroll at Pitt to show Pitt fans what a real Free Safety is. It’s all dependent on the Youngin’s stepping up into the massive-voids in the defensive backfield.

    I personally really think Pat Narduzzi will get this Pitt-Show Rollin’ and Rollickin’, and I don’t want to see him get poached by Michigan State, the NFL or anyone!!! I want Pat Narduzzi to succeed and build here at Pitt!

    #HailToPitt ……ouch, that one last night HURT THOUGH hahaha

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  24. Oh ok Reed…haven’t listened to it as of yet. I will check it out. Still trying to get thru the litany of comments.

    We are all very experienced with the many many day after Pitt postmortems. We gotta have the most psychologically abused fan bases in all of sports.

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  25. I WOULD ALSO LIKE to see Jordan Whitehead play cornerback. I see him in man-on-man, and he’s so fast, he just out-classes all the guys he covers. Heck, Jordan Whitehead is out there sticking-on these 6’4” tight ends so well he takes them out of the play!

    Jordan Whitehead right now being used as a Hybrid Linebacker+Safety role, which would be great if Pitt’s defensive was stocked with talent and they could afford to use him like that. But Pitt Needs Cover Guys Desperately right now, and it would also do nothing but help Jordan Whitehead’s draft-stock, and improve his skill-set to let him work the rest of the year at cornerback — so it’s a total positive for Whitehead as well, if he would be willing to do this for his team.

    Jordan Whitehead playing Cornerback this year would totally-transform (in a great-way lol) this Pitt defense this year. Jordan Whitehead frankly at the moment, is being Underutilized (i.e., WASTED! haha) in his current weird pure Run-Support Safety role.

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  26. The main difference in the pass defense this year so far, are the opponents we’re playing.

    First 4 games 2015
    1) Youngstown State
    2) Akron (played with qb’s who never started another game #97 passing offense)
    3) Iowa (good team but #89 Passing offense)
    4) Va Tech (middling to bad QB, #64 passing offense)

    First 4 games 2016
    1) Villanova (wash with YSU)
    2) Pedo State (100 times better than Akron)
    3) Oklahoma State (#11 passing offense)
    4) North Carolina ( #13 passing offense)

    So I believe to this point in the season it’s pretty obvious, the reason we are more horrendous on passing defense in 2016 compared to 2015……….. we’re playing much BETTER opponents. When we start playing teams with mediocre or bad QB’s these passing defense numbers will come down. They have to, since we’re next to last in the nation at #127.

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  27. Nick Saban is one former defensive coordinator who has had at least moderate success as a head coach.

    Pete Carroll is another former defensive coordinator who has had some success as a head coach.

    I still find it difficult to believe that folks here, and HCPN, are blaming the offense for the outcome of the game. The defense has given up an average of 440 passing yards over the last three games including 8 touchdowns.

    The offense held the ball for more than 41 minutes yesterday and 37 minutes against Oklahoma State. The offense is going to struggle in crunch time if Narduzzi/Canada are going to insist on running on first and second down late in games and then pass on third and long. They are playing into the hands of the opposing defense. It started in the PSU game and has continued through to yesterday. Insanity.

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  28. @Reed spot on your comments in the podcast today. Love the passion. Personally, this game pissed me off more any any game in awhile. Then to top it off, I watch the 4 minute press conference and I was like WTF is he talking about. We actually have a HC saying there is nothing you can do to improve the pass defense. I COULDN’T BELIEVE HE SAID IT. I’m waiting for him to ban everyone from the press conference. Him and EJ can sit there and do it. Wow, he hates the press, and he will not answer questions honestly. He gets up and storms off after 4 minutes. You said it better than me……be a man Pat. Agree with you on this Reed.

    He cannot answer the question because he doesn’t have a freaking clue right now. After taking the job, he constantly mentioned that he would take a CEO role. Well Pat, it’s time you start acting like one.

    I was walking out of the game yesterday and all the UNC fans were giddy over their win. I heard several UNC fans commenting on that last drive and how many times they converted on 4th down. Other UNC spoke up and said, were just like the Pitt defensive coaches completely suck. They were going on and on about our bad coaching.

    Take a peek at how many yards, TD’s and points we’ve given up against our last 4-5 D1 games, I’ll warn you, it’s not a pretty site.

    This years recruiting is not good right now, none of the momentum from last year carried over to this year. We need more closers on that staff.

    Yesterday was a complete shit day.

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  29. Steelers down 3-20 now. Anyone that has followed them for the last 40 years knows, we hardly ever or never win in Philadelphia. (it’s against the law or something, like Pitt in Chapel Hell)

    upitt should have asked me before you bet. lol

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  30. I think those are fair points with respect to our opponents, although part of the reason their stats look so good must be because they played us during 1 of only 4 games. If GT passes for 400+ yards against us, then you know Pitt is forever cursed.

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  31. The Blundering Herd of Marshall have three starting WR’s with the shorter of the three at 6’1″.

    The tallest is 6’7″ and the other is 6’3″.

    Maddox is 5’9″
    T.Webb and Whitehead are 5’10”
    Lewis is 6′

    Pressuring the QB will be the key to securing a W.

    And, no lead will be safe until the final gun.

    I expect a stout defensive performance and a 2 minute post-game interview session.

    HTP!

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  32. Another thing needs to be said, I like the Nard Dog in regards to his enthusiasm and antagonism towards Pedo State. However building a great defense in the Big Joke, where you found very few high powered offenses, and why Urban Meyer was brought into the conference, to upgrade their archaic offenses that were usually exposed in the Bowl season against other conferences. And now even Pedo State has gone to a somewhat of a spread offense. Previous to this the Big Joke had the most archaic offenses of the Power 5 conferences. So building a great defense in that conference, against the likes of (for example – MSU’s schedule of 2014), Purdue(3-9)(97th worst offense), Indiana(120th worst offense), Maryland(#72 worst offense), Buttgers(#68 worst offense), a down Michigan(110th worst offense), a middling Penn State and this assortment of non-con scrubs, Jacksonville State(D2), Eastern Michigan(2-10)(125th worst offense) and Wyoming(4-8)(110th worst offense)

    This was certainly exposed by Baylor against the Nard Dogs defense in the Cotton Bowl his final season.
    Baylor threw for 603 yards in that game.

    In their other two games against legit teams. #13 Ohio State scored 49 points and had 568 yards offense.
    And #3 Oregon scored 46 points and had 500 yards offense.

    Sound familiar.

    Was it all Smoke & Mirrors ? We’ll find out.

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  33. Emel – great investigative reporting. Enjoying your posts on this day after…

    We need to get some nastier attitudes on D for the rest of this season. Guys that want to hit someone, like Wirginis, Caprara, Whitehead and Brightwell. Bring a different LB on a blitz every play. And when the LB sees a double team on Price, get on the QB right away, cause you know it will be a pass play.

    I personally like HCPN – he needs to watch the 4th qtr from each of the last three games. Adjustments need to be made on both sides of the ball to begin to close out games and move on from the disaster we just witnessed.

    Play anyone who is deserving of playing time, regardless of redshirt status. We need players and we need them now…

    HTP!

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  34. Thanks Erie !

    One thing you have to do on defense when you’re playing these high powered passing offenses is your standard defense HAS TO HAVE 5 DB’S. There is no question about that.

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  35. Nard Dog and Franklinstein got lucky with the Steelers getting routed by a team with a rookie QB from North Dakota State who’s playing like Tom Brady against them.

    In regards that the rage of the avg football fan will be directed towards Tomlin and not them.

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  36. Why Big Ben was still on the field on that last drive in a 34-3 rout, late in the 4th quarter, is a question Tomlin needs asked.

    With 90% of the season to go, you’re risking your franchise QB in a lost cause.

    Brilliant Tomlin.

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  37. Reed, Best wishes.

    Again, the only think I had against HCPC was his hiring of the most unqualified coordinator that I ever saw a P5 team make.

    If you watched the Thursday night game, Houston vs Cincy … you saw Todd Orlando as DC at Houston. I thought it was quite interesting when the announcers said that when Wisconsin lost its defensive coordinatior in the offseason, the first inquiry AD Alvarez made was to Orlando who said he wanted to stay at Houston. The very same Orlando who PC interviewed at Pitt before settling on Matt House about a month later.

    I can only wonder what effect our current team is suffering with that hire … except for Whitehead and Maddox, there is no speed at all at DB …. except for the new inexperienced players. Would Orlando have been able to pull in Dravon Henry (Aliquippa) , Demterius Cox (Jeanette) and Montae Nicholson (Gateway), etc.

    Like

  38. A CEO would sit down his junior officers and ask without prejudice: what can we do better? What can we do to insure a different result next time? That is the hallmark of a leader.
    Offensively, crawling into the groundhog hole was a mistake. We cannot spar with a good team without using wide receivers. This isn’t 1932.
    As for the defense, major changes need to be made. Personnel and schemes. I am not smart enough to ev n begin to suggest a remedy for that cluster.

    Finally, his salary is commensurate with his performance. He is not a bargain nor is he overpaid.mand to raise his salary to stop him returning to MSU, for a job that is already occupied, is ludicrous.

    Like

  39. Having the worst passing defense in the nation, and still almost beating o st and unc, I’m comfortable with where we are as a team at this point in coaches 2nd season.

    I’m realistic enough to know we won’t attract top talent players and coaches until we have 10 win or greater seasons.

    I don’t want our team to start all over yet again. I’m okay waiting to see where coaches ceiling is. Our team will need to start recruiting better than each previous year though if we want to rise to the top.

    Like

  40. from Dokish: Pitt finished 54th last year in Pass Defense but is 127th this year … despite having 3 of the 4 starting DBs returning.

    I think we all owe Lafayette Pitts a heartfelt apology.

    From Dokish? Wbb – WTF? I have been writing that same thing for a week and even have it in my chart in two articles…

    Like

  41. Barvo, you kind of contradicted yourself, We can’t blame the offense, but you admit it struggles in the fourth quarter. Maybe you mean don’t blame the players blame the coaches for the poor offensive performance in the fourth quarter. I am not really sure.

    In any case, Football games have 4 quarters. In fact the fourth quarter is the most important quarter. It is when most games are won or lost. Our offense has only been effective for the first three quarters in the last three games. All of them decided by less than a touchdown.

    Our defense, as bad as it is, has to play all four quarters no matter what. It makes it really tough on them when the offense quits after 3.

    Our offense, as good as it is lacks any semblance of a downfield passing attack. Which is a major factor in why it can’t score in the fourth quarter.

    It looks like Narduzzi has overreacted to the Navy game and has built a D to stop the run, and hangs his d-backs out to dry. They obviously can’t stop any decent passing attack. However, we just played three teams with accurate passers and some very good receivers.

    Losing the last two games was made much harder to take because we played well enough to win, but we could not finish them off. Yes the defense couldn’t stop them, but our vaunted offense pretty much crapped the bed when the game was on the line. With the exception of Price and Whitehead, our star players are on the offense. That is why I blame them more for the losses and the poor finish vs PSU.

    The best teams always finish strong.

    Like

  42. wwb – Dokish is misleading us with those stats.

    First 4 games 2015 (copied from Emel’s earlier post)
    1) Youngstown State
    2) Akron (played with qb’s who never started another game #97 passing offense)
    3) Iowa (good team but #89 Passing offense)
    4) Va Tech (middling to bad QB, #64 passing offense)

    He is not comparing apples to apples. Now, in the next 8 games if our D does not tighten up, he will have a valid point.

    I believe Hamlin and Coleman see the field at mid-season and we see instant improvement. What about Manny Stocker’s younger brother at Safety?

    Like

  43. Soto and Blair went down with injuries in the last minute of the unc game. Does anyone know if they are ok? Already weak and thin at DT and very thin at DE. I saw FR DE Weaver on the field in the 1st qtr along with FR DT Watts.

    Like

  44. ~ wwb

    L. Pitts was terrible too. Our first 3 opponents this year of the 4 are far superior to those of 2015.
    With Okla State and UNC being near Top 10 in Passing offenses (both pre-Pitt game as well). Now the Pedo State QB did have his season high passing against us as well by a good 50 yards.

    Based on my research of MSU’s 2014 season (see above), Nard Dog’s defense seems to only perform well against Dog Teams with Dogshit QB’s, of which the Big 10 had many of. His 2014 defense was Smoke & Mirrors.

    Will take a look at look at 2013 and 2012, etc.

    Like

  45. If Aaron Matthews is a good at WR as they said. Why isn’t he playing ? He was recruited as an athlete.
    At 6’5″ use him as the 5th DB, would love to see a 6’5″ DB on a Blitz from the edge.

    Like

  46. NP and these WR’s should have been tearing up this pass defense in the scrimmages.

    Did they ? The answer to that question will tell you how good NP and the WR’s are or aren’t.

    Like

  47. ” He is not a bargain nor is he overpaid.mand to raise his salary to stop him returning to MSU, for a job that is already occupied, is ludicrous.”

    I’m just being real here. It took less than A Weekday Rush-Hour, Manhattan Minute for Wisconsin’s Coach Gary Anderson to (outta-NOWHERE) jump ship to Oregon State, and subsequently for Barry Alvarez to bring-home Cheese, Bratwurst, and Milwaukee’s Best Lovin’ “current Pitt Coach”, Paul Chryst!

    **** ….Lol, how about Doug Marrone outta Nowhere getting plucked from Syracuse, after one decent 8 win season, to be the Head Coach of the Buffalo Bills? **** Syracuse fans were like, “waaaaaaaa???” lol.

    How many NFL teams are gonna soon be looking for a new coach: Titans maybe before the season ends, the NY Jets, Tampa Bay Buccaneers after their bad start, The 49’ers might just axe Chip Kelly after their horrid-start, The San Diego (or wherever they’re gonna be lol) Chargers, and more as the season progresses.

    also let’s really be realistic about what Pitt is paying Pat Narduzzihttp://sports.usatoday.com/ncaa/salaries —-Pat Narduzzi is getting paid At the very Bottom of Power 5.

    Many Pitt Fans Might Not at the moment — but when other people get a load of Pat Narduzzi, They love this Wild & Crazzzzy Guy!!! lol

    Only One NFL Owner needs to decide that they love this Firebrand guy at Pitt who doesn’t have time for Stupid, Obvious Questions after a Ridiculously-Tough Loss lol. “How do you fix the pass defense???” lol — Yo, that’s like asking a Surgeon after a marathon-procedure where the patient passed away, “What should you have done differently back there??” Yikes!, get away from me, give me some space!!! lol

    Would it have been better if Pat Narduzzi lost his temper, and Said the Obvious, that his defensive backfield players are awful, but he philosophically-refuses to go to a soft-zone to hide their incredible deficiencies??? I’m happy Narduzzi just walked-out, What the heck is there worth-saying in that moment? The man KNOWS he lost the game and that Pitt fans are so angry they want to break all of the family-heirloom Valuable China!!!

    I’m talkin’ about reality here. Pat Narduzzi is the one man who is getting Pitt National attention right now and the dude stands-out. He’s a Football-Obsessed maniac, and he’s awesome. Pitt can become a national brand again with winning ACC football (a la Baylor, Oregon, Clemson now — just need these young-guys to step up) — But it’s gonna take a (yes!) Stubborn-Azzz, Firebrand Coach (who is gonna make Pitt fans feel crazy sometimes lol) who will Not Be Denied to do it.

    We all know what Pat Narduzzi wanted to say last night, and it’s great that he just left the room, and tried to keep calm!

    Pat Narduzzi wanted to slam his meat-slab fist on the dang table, and scream, “Our Defensive Backs are awful, but when my guys bloom we’re gonna come back here to Chapel Hill and Destroy these Fools. I’m gonna come back here and beat these Baby-Blue Bastads* so bad, that I’m going to make sure every single North Carolina fan starts leaving the game by halftime……… But stop asking me stupid, obvious questions. NO, I’m not going to start playing soft-a$$ zone all game just because I have to play with Paul Chryst’s weak recruits!!!”

    Heck, Pat Narduzzi already called-out Nathan Peterman last week, then immediately tried to back-track. He just wants to keep quiet, because he knows from his perspective, “All these Vulture-Media and Crazy-Fans (haha) are gonna pin-point and obsess over every single word I say!” 🙂

    — Better Pat Narduzzi just did his absolute best to give media and fans, “What they want to hear”, because frankly 99% of people only want that, and to basically be fed “Platitudes” —– Because the Truth Hurts!!! Most people just want, * 40% REAL*, then 60% fluffy-filler! 🙂 haha :). Sometimes a Coach just wants to say, “Right now, I have to play with a bunch of guys I Never would have recruited, and they’re Awful!!” — But if he had nothing nice to say, better to just not say anything at all 🙂 .

    I thought Pitt fans were “past this”, and had the objective understanding, and obvious-acknowledgment, that Paul Chryst’s players on defense are all slow and bad!! The “Young-Bloods”, all the sophomores, RS frosh and younger, are the ones who will have to complete that Metamorphosis away from “Same Old Whack Pitt”.

    Liked by 1 person

  48. Pitt’s defense is next to last or so in Opponent Passes Attempted at 159, attempts by opposing QB’s.
    You would think we would have somebody, anybody in the ‘Passes Defended’ category.

    Incredibly Pitt doesn’t have a single defender listed. That’s kind of hard to believe(with 159 chances), but these db’s are so far out of position, so badly beaten they can’t even bat down a pass. Maddox had that one against the Pedo’s but he bunted it up like a volleyball and it went to the Pedo WR.

    http://www.ncaa.com/stats/football/fbs/current/individual/38/p1

    There is a serious design flaw with this defense. (stating the obvious)

    Like

  49. That’s sad, got to meet Arnie in Charlotte here at a Seniors Tournament. A true gentleman of sport and a great ambassador of the golf and Western Pennsylvania. Will never be another Arnold Palmer, truly one of a kind !

    Rip Arnold !

    Like

  50. All my cars the last 16 years I bought from Arnold Palmer Cadillac. It was kind of cool, having his name on your trunk lid, and they did it in a classy way.

    Like

  51. Adding to just a horrible Pittsburgh weekend, the death of Arnie! Played the best draw I’ve ever seen. A true ambassador for our great city. Better days ahead fellow Pittsburghers. It can’t get much worse.

    Like

  52. Dark Knight,
    Love your passion and enthusiasm,
    But you, my friend, need some lithium.
    Nobody is going to bust down the door to hire a defense-minded coach whose passing defense ranks next to last (127 out of 128).
    We sleep-walked thru Villanova.
    The Nits almost beat us…save for an overthrown pass.
    And the last two games were a pitch and catch – 1,000 yards, my little buckaroo.
    Hell, Switzer had 16 catches.
    So tell me again how Nardo needs a raise.

    Like

  53. LSU fires Les Miles after 12 years and FIU fires Ron Turner after only 4 years.

    Miles won a NC in 2007. LSU is 2-2 and FIU is 0-4.

    Didn’t Conklin and Harley come from FIU?

    Like

  54. While @ LSU – Since 2006 – Les Miles signed 9 Top-10 classes including the No. 1 class in ’09, No. 2 class in ’14 & No. 3 class in ’16.

    Get on the phone Herman !

    Like

  55. For Reed:

    Palmer, of Latrobe, Pa., attended Wake Forest University on a golf scholarship. At age 24, he was selling paint and living in Cleveland, just seven months removed from a three-year stint in the Coast Guard when he entered the national sporting consciousness by winning the 1954 U.S. Amateur at the Country Club of Detroit.

    Like

  56. Arnie was a class act.
    Emel I agree about the 5 dbs. While i enjoyed watching the great defenses of Pitt and the Steelers in the 70’s the game of football has totally changed. Today it is all offense. PN idea of loading the box and stopping the run is out of touch with stopping high scoring offenses. This is also why many defensive coordinators have trouble as head coaches IMO. They are so zoned in to turnovers etc that in the fourth quarter you get the kind of series we have gotten the last three games (he went into a shell against the pedos). AS much as I enjoyed to 70s defenses you must adapt and overcome. The great defense conservative offense worked for Majors 1 and Sherrill but you just cant do it today.
    As to Perry Mason they were great and all preliminary hearings where he beat up on poor HamBurger in 3 day prelims. Most last 20 minutes, I am an ada and have one on Wednesday where a young gangbanger shot into a crowd in downtown Pgh on 4th July – if it lasts over 30 minutes I am in deep shit – circumstantial video identification – adapt and overcome.

    Like

  57. Palmer didn’t lay up or leave putts short. His go-for-broke style meant he played out of the woods and ditches with equal abandon, and resulted in a string of memorable charges. At the 1960 U.S. Open at Cherry Hills near Denver, Palmer drove the first green and with his trademark knock-kneed, pigeon-toed putting stance went out and birdied six of the first seven holes en route to shooting 65 and winning the title in a furious comeback.

    “Palmer on a golf course was Jack Dempsey with his man on the ropes, Henry Aaron with a three-and-two fastball, Rod Laver at set point, Joe Montana with a minute to play, A.J. Foyt with a lap to go and a car to catch,” wrote Los Angeles Times columnist Jim Murray.

    Like

  58. Philly has always owned the Steelers. The only time the Steelers didn’t have to worry about them was during WWII when we were the Steagles.

    Like

  59. right rkb

    I grew up with those defenses as well. College football is pass happy today and has been for the past several years, outside of the archaic Big 10. You have to adjust your defense to a pass happy offense, as they don’t care if they run at all (see UNC and Okie State outside of the 1 long run).

    I’m afraid we’ve hired a guy out of touch with current offenses and what will be the future going forward. As the fans, the TV networks, etc…want high scoring, free-wheeling offenses. This is exactly why Urban Meyer was brought into the Big 10. To move the archaic Big 10 into the current. As I posted above, even Pedo State is running a spread offense.

    Nard dog’s defense only works against teams with shit offenses with shit QB’s. (see who we beat last year)

    Like

  60. Kind of crazy that Pitt is hiring guys from the Big 10. If it was Urban Meyer that would make sense.

    Trying to turn Pitt into a big 10 team makes no sense at all, since we play in the ACC. Look at who Va Tech brought in. Did they hand the team to defensive minded Bud Foster (who btw has a much longer and esteemed past than Nard Dog. No, they hired a HC known for his Offense. Justin Fuente.

    If Pitt was in the Big 10, I could justify hiring Big 10 coaches. They aren’t, so they shouldn’t.

    Like

  61. Arnie was the first great golfer in the TV era. The Father of Sports Marketing, and my guess is signed more autographs than anyone ever. A true Superstar.

    Like

  62. ~ PittPT no. There were 2 Arnold Palmer Cadillac’s in Charlotte, that at one time Arnie had an ownership interest in. They are no more. Arnie had a house in Charlotte in addition to the ones he had in Florida and Latrobe.

    Like

  63. Only team last year that we beat, that had a good QB (and even that kid was replaced ) was L-Ville.

    And that was with the once in the 3 decade offensive half Pitt had of 38 points. The coaches went into the Turtle offensive mode in the entire 2nd half and nearly blew that 42-17 lead.

    The rest of the wins were over teams with crap offenses and shit QB’s.

    Like

  64. As badly as the D-Backs, save Whitehead, have played, does anyone besides me think it is time to kick the tires on some of the freshmen? Hamlin (when healthy), Garner, and Coleman CAN’T be any worse than what we have seen these past 3 games, and no, I’m not subscribing to the theory that we have faced 3 good QB’s in those games. None of those 3 QB’s will be in the nfl unless they play Pitt 5 times a year to pad their stats. It’s just bad play and bad reads, plain and simple.
    Saving Red-Shirts at this point does nothing long-term to help build the program, winning games does b/c it will bring in more high quality recruits. It’s time to start burning red shirts and put the best players on the field, even if they are only freshmen.
    PS: it’s time to sell out and WHATEVER it takes to get Lamont Wade on roster. He is definitely not Avonte Maddox 2.0 He is a 5-star recruit for MANY reasons including his athletic ability, his technique, his game IQ, and he is built like a tank. Pitt cannot lose out on him, especially after what we have witnessed the past 3 games.

    Like

  65. Live in Highland park for a few years … right off Negley Ave on same road as the big Catholic church in Morningside. I would take a lot of walks in the actual park and you could really smell the Zoo.

    Like

  66. My buddies and I arrive very early at Oakmont in the 1983 Open and parked on the other side of the Turnpike … and the first thing you see as you enter by the 3rd tee is the Church Pews. We walked directly to the clubhouse where, despite being very early, there was a large contingent. As it happened, the 2nd round participants were just finishing up due to a Friday rain delay and, sure enough, the first group of pro golfers I ever witnessed live included Arnie. He made the cut but was not a serious contender .. but still quite a thrill.

    Like

  67. That’s it — Hampton St … not sure why I remembered Negley and not Hampton. Really liked the Park from the reservoir at the top to the wading pond at the bottom, and the tennis courts nearby. Do they still have jazz concerts on Sunday Ave in July and August?

    Like

  68. Spread teams are going to put up huge numbers against 95% percent of teams. Pitt’s horrible D numbers will come down. Oklahoma State put up almost 500 on Baylor.

    4th quarter conservative offense is killing Pitt

    Brightwell and Wirginis should be on the field the entire game. So much more athletic. Did you see Brightwell chase down Switzer from behind?

    Glad to see the coaches springling in the younger guys. Ffrench on some sweeps. Who said he was slow? He is very fast. Once he gets more comfortable it will show.

    Start giving the younger DBs some reps to see what they have. F the redshirts.

    Like

  69. What does our defense’s rushing yards allowed look over those three years? Maybe teams didn’t pass against us because they didn’t have to. I haven’t looked at stats just throwing out ideas.

    Like

  70. Enjoyed the podcast Reed. I put the headphones on in the den and had a cocktail “with you” late afternoon while scanning the Sunday paper.

    Immediately after the game Sat, I managed to catch Hillgrove interviewing HCPN him before the presser. He was clearly stunned and disappointed. I’m going to follow Emel’s lead and give HCPN a pass on the post-game presser.

    Like

  71. Oklahoma state almost put up 500 on Baylor, but only scored 24 points. I didn’t watch, but what explains the two touchdown scoring difference? Red zone defense?

    Like

  72. HCPN is like many other coaches and we are like any other fanbase. When the team wins. we overlook his gruff, aggressive style, but when we lose well ,,,,

    Like

  73. My daughter and son-in law just moved to Highland Park.

    With the success of Google and Bakery SQ, on one end and Children’s Hospital on another side the whole area is doing better.

    Nice restaurants on Bryant ST.

    Beautiful turn of the century housing stock getting updated.

    Highland Park a great community asset.

    Young people finally moving back to the city.

    Like

  74. Last year, when watching Pitt, 3rd and long didn’t seem like such a freaking struggle. In many games, I was confident as a fan, Pitt could easily complete a 10 yard pass for a first down. We saw Peterman throw just fine. Was it better receivers in Boyd, Holtz, Ford, a better offense, better routes?

    I say it is a combination of the above.

    Verses UNC, end of 3rd quarter, 4th quarter non-drives…

    3 and 4, incomplete pass
    3 and 6, incomplete pass
    3 and 6, incomplete pass
    3 and 8, screen to Connor, no gain

    There was only one 3rd and long Pitt was successful and it was on the 2nd drive, 3rd and 7 complete to Tipton for 12 yards.

    There was a 3rd and 14 first drive, incomplete

    NC dared Pitt to throw, stacking the line in the 4th quarter and Canada wasn’t aggressive. However, any freaking offense should be able to convert one of those four 3rd downs. Just one and they win the game.

    UNC’s offense, 4 for 4 on 4th down conversions. Clutch for them, a hideous stat fro Pitt.

    Like

  75. Peterman threw some fine passes in the first half. The problem with the passes in the 2nd half is that is that they were all on obvious passing situation.

    I made this statement after the Penn State game when we could have easily lost …. while protecting the lead, you need to pass on 1 st or 2nd down when the defense is not packed in

    Like

  76. 99% of all you guys had PITT right at 2-2 before the season and you were hoping for that. Now here they are at 2-2 and the sky is falling.

    All I asked out of PITT this year was for strong starts and effort throughout the entire game. I wanted to see a well coached team that didn’t shoot themselves in the foot all the time. I wanted to see a D-1 football team on the field. Some of you may say that you’re not seeing all that. I disagree. Sure PITT has warts but I expected that part of it. 12 games into his head coaching career and you guys are panicking. In one aspect Narduzzi reminds me of Wanny in the fact he does have a lot to learn about being a HEAD COACH in college. Give him time he is a football coach through and through and will be a faster learner then DW.

    Like

  77. Use to live in Youngstown, PA and would cut up through the drag past his country club. How many times I would see Arnie Palmer walking down the fairway alone and practically every time he would look to see who was driving by, often waving.

    Actually my sister in law graduated with him and knew him enough that he would recognize her when around town. (No, I’m not that old.) The type of man that deserved to be as highly thought of as he is. He was a good man.

    Like

  78. Wonder if on that last 3 and 8 if we had run to keep the clock going what would have then have happened? Pros run all the time in that situation.

    Like

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