Well, what can we say that hadn’t already been said about this last game?  The POV Podcast article made my thoughts pretty clearly known – but I do want to emphasis one thing.  I do not think Pat Narduzzi has lost the kids, lost the season nor should he be fired as I have read elsewhere from upset fans.

I have always known that Pitt fans knee-jerk week to week if a game is a win or a loss, but even I’m surprised at the level of disappointment and even hatred directed at him by Pitt fans on the internet.

Granted most Pitt fans don’t feel this way but a whole lot do and while I am as level-headed when it comes to Pitt football as I can be, at least as I try to be, it is a bit shocking that to me that after only four games some fans are throwing in the towel on the season.

Not me.  Now is the interesting part IMO. This is going to be Narduzzi’s defining season as far as I’m concerned.  I don’t really buy into the “It takes time for his own recruits …” stuff when discussing new HCs because some new HCs do well after a year or two and some don’t.

Right now he’s playing, and winning, with Paul Chryst’s recruits and the bulk are from a #35 and #45  ranked recruiting classes Chryst had… which is about as good as it gets for Pitt football.  So we’ll see just how good a coach he is this season.

Now here I have to be honest because I think, as far as actual football coaching and Xs & Os go he is not very good.  We see that with poor HC decisions made during games on a regular basis. 

Case in point was last week’s loss when he took a penalty and gave NC an extra play when they were marching down the field and in his using all our 2nd half Time Outs too soon and not having them when needed to stop the clock on Marshall’s last drive – thus depriving ourselves of an extra minute or so after we received the NC kickoff to try to regain the lead with at least a FG..

But he was pretty poor in this area last season also and still;  1) he won 8 games and 2) almost won the Coastal division.  So he can still make a run at a good season – although I think we can almost forget about a division championship at this point, chances slin to none I think…. this is not a championship team in any sense of the word.

OK then – since we lost this last week we star off with the three negatives then follow-up with the three positives.


֍  Passing Defense of course. Gee, I wonder if anyone can come up with something else – if so I’d like to hear it.  Here what we have done with our pass defense – which any right thinking Pitt fan knows was the cause of our loss against NC.  you don’t give up 435 yards and 5 TDs and not point a finger directly there.

Matter of fact here is just how much the other teams have benefited from playing against our defense.


Team Rank  / Pass Eff Before Pitt Game Rank . Pass Eff after Pitt Game Rank / Pass Yards before Pitt Game Rank / Pass Yards after Pitt Game
PSU 76th – 129.54 58th  – 141.43 73rd  – 209 ypg 39th – 270 ypg
OSU 56th – 142.97 37th – 152.72 40th – 270 ypg 9th   – 360 ypg
UNC 17th – 165.99 9th   – 175.16 24th – 294 ypg 13th – 334 ypg
Marshall 32nd – 153.25   39th – 272.7 (12 TDs vs 4 INTs

 Hell – I wouldn’t be surprised if teams not on our schedule are trying to bribe our ACC opponents to swap places with them just to pump up their passing numbers.

֍  Nate Peterman’s play – again.  His trend downward has to stop if we are to win any games against decent opposition – and I don’t see any cupcakes left on the schedule, Marshall included.  np-ncHere is what he did Saturday and on the face of it the numbers don’t seem too bad – what you can’t see are the blown 3rd down passes which would have used up the clock and taken us, possibly, into FG range. From the P-G:

Quarterback Nate Peterman and the offense converted 10 of 13 on third down through three quarters, but went 0 for 4 in the fourth quarter. They flamed out on their final two possessions, holding the ball for less than two minutes each time while failing to gain a first down.

“We’ve got to be better. Offensively our goal was to have the ball in our hands at the end of the game and bring it into Coach Narduzzi in the locker room,” Peterman said. “That’s obviously something we didn’t do

֍  Pat Narduzzi and his coordinators game day coaching.  Not sure what to say about this but it appears that he didn’t go to Head Coaching Clinics over the off-season.  Nor did he hire a consultant to tutor him on what actually needs to be done by the HC during a game.  The two main things a HC is responsible for are calling timeouts (F-) and deciding whether or not to go for 4th downs and FGs (C+)

He just never seems to have a handle on the big picture then stumbles and bumbles his way through post-game press conferences.  As much energy and excitement he may bring to Pitt I don’t think he brought a strong ability to make the quick and tough in-game choices.


֍  Our Offensive Line play.  Our running game was effective again this game to the tune of 55 carries for 281 yards, 5.1 ypc and 4 TDs.  Anther good day at the office for those guys.  And they gave Peterman time to pass the ball – he just couldn’t do it accurately.

֍  Our Defensive Line play.  Not only did we hold NC to a minuscule amount to net yards on the ground – 18 yards on 22 carries foe a sub yard .8 ypc., but we did so while harassing the NC QB – especially in the 4th Quarter.  Just as our lack of a Pitt passing game isn’t on the Pitt OL – the success of the NC passing game can’t be laid on the shoulders of the Pitt DL.

֍  Quadree Henderson’s ability across-the-board.  This is getting to be a weekly occurrence and thank God for it because we have needed practically every yard Henderson has given us.

He led our rushers with 109 yards on nine carries for a 9.6 ypc which is exceptional. He gave us a long 46 yard kick off return that gave us that last glimmer of hope that we could pull the win out of a hat when he took the lateral from Ibrahim – who actually received the KO then sprinted until time ran out and he was tackled.

Henderson is the main producer for us given the rather low number of touches he had with the ball from the LOS:


Will have the regular articles up during the week – update on the Game Thread is that we almost made 1,000 comments.  Thanks guys for all the great and thought-provoking discussions we have on here.



127 thoughts on “POV’s Monday Morning QB: NC Loss

  1. My three negatives are related –

    All three 3 and outs by our O to end the 3rd qtr and throughout the 4th.

    NP for his lack of execution on those 3 series.
    O’Canada for his unimaginative play calling during those 3 series.
    HCPN for not insisting our O step on the tar heel’s throats.

    Honorable Mention – DC Conklin and his band of DB’s

    Positives –

    Juan Price, Soto and Saleem Brightwell – all with stellar play on D.
    Q. Henderson and James Connor – both with tremendous efforts
    Blewitt for splitting the uprights when his number was called, every time.

    Honorable Mention – Jordan Whitehead for his explosive play on offense and defense.

    Pitt better hope we get the Blundering Herd’s 2nd string QB who lost to ville and not the #1 QB who threw for 743 yards in their 1st two games – double OY

    Rumor that Hamlin may play this weekend. Welcome back – should be worth the price of admission.



  2. Upitt – I’m not a betting man, but I’m sure a lot on this site rushed to put their money on Pitt if the line was -1.

    If -14 is the line, Vegas may know who the herd’s QB is going to be…

    If I’m HCPN, I’m pushing full throttle, all out, bruising FB to get this team back on track. He needs to fire up his players and the fanbase on Saturday night.

    Take no prisoners…

    Hammer the herd!


  3. Ike – I don’t dislike Narduzzi – I’m just not that excited about the guy and honestly haven’t been for some time. He’s sitting at 2-4 in the last six games and hasn’t beaten a really decent opponent yet. Penn State was an emotional win but gets us no closer to an ACC championship. When he starts beating the tougher ACC teams maybe I’ll perk up a bit.

    Pitt fans saying ‘we were supposed to lose those two games’, as if that makes it OK to get beaten by non-Top 25 teams and then think that takes the heat off Narduzzi for the losses is the definition of SOP on the fan’s part.. a phrase BTW that I haven’t used to describe this year’s team at all – even though other other fans are saying that.

    I think Pat Narduzzi may be in over his head and that sometimes happens with the older lifetime coordinators who late in their career get jumped to HC. Ever since he was hired Pitt fans have assumed he’d be ‘the one’ because of his energy and… hate to say it… his use of Twitter. As if that makes any difference what so ever as to results on the field.

    I believe the kids like him, he seems to be able to get them up to play this season (as opposed to sometimes last year) and it is unfortunate that his coaching hasn’t supported the players’ efforts. Last year we came out flat and seemed to rise up a bit after halftime, but sadly that wasn’t enough and we lost games.

    This season we are coming out of the gate like gangbusters (save the Villanova game) and the coaching staff has coached so poorly that it effects the players and their results as the game goes on and in the last two weeks that has allowed the opponents to score in the 2nd half and win the games.

    I questioned his choices of staff coaches when hired also – Conklin has done nothing for us since his hire and that is even with Narduzzi’s help. Canada – even with a great running game and points scored isn’t all that impressive.

    He’s taken a kid at QB who played pretty well last season at QB and mishandled him and the passing game completely so that it is totally ineffective. Peterman passed for 2,287 yards (61.5%) with 20 TD to 8 INTs last year and played beautifully in two ACC wins against Louisville (our best ACC win to date) and Duke – his play won those conference games for us.

    Then Peterman starts off the season throwing three TD passes in the opener and since then the passing game has been poorly used. Peterman needed to be part of the offense from the beginning and instead was used 11 times total in the 1st game – sending a message that it was going to be the poor stepchild to the run game instead of a full partner. Players need 100% support to play to the best of their ability – Chaney at least knew that and the passing game was integral in 8 wins last season.

    Even with eight wins I still am waiting to see if Narduzzi is going to be able to turn the corner and beat good opponents and ACC teams when it matters. When he does that then I’ll be more excited about him – right now, to me, he’s another in a long line of Pitt HCs.

    It’s still early yet and he could go on to have great seasons and I hope that happens. But right now he’s an average D1 HC.


  4. Reed, you talk about NP’s two good games last year but forget how he finished. His performance the last couple of games left much to be desired.

    That doesn’t mean that I think he is terrible QB, by no means. I am a bit disappointed by his arm, but he remains a good decision maker. Also, he is put in a bad position in the 4th quarter because the pass plays called were on obvious passing downs.

    He’s good but he was never the savior as he seemed to be deemed by many posters during the last season IMO.


  5. If Narduzzi wins eight games again it would have been another incredible coaching job. The lack of talent left behind by Chryst, who I should just call Christ due to the way some think he did such a great job, is staggering. The recruiting done by that clown was the worst since the end of the Hackett and the Majors era.

    The good news is I think some more of Chryst’s recruits can be purged and Narduzzi will have 23 scholarships to give. Pat needs a JuCo D-tackle for starters.

    Narduzzi needs to break the rules and call Malik Zaire now and convince him to come to Pitt as a grad transfer in 2017.


  6. I believe we will see a more diverse offense this week vs the herd. More throws on 1st and 2nd downs to keep the opposing D guessing. Plus we should then see more short yardage 3rd downs so we can the play to our strength.

    Even though our run totals are impressive this season in the first 3 qtrs of our games, I think the Oline is a big disappointment. These guys are NOT creating holes as we thought they would. Is that on O’Canada?

    NP is another disappointment. Many thought if he got hurt, the season would be lost. I’m not feeling that way right now – in fact, if he has 3 consecutive series of no TD’s, I’m suggesting we change QB’s (just to change). Prefer MacVitte, but I’ll take Manny or DiNucci.

    I’m looking for a win against the Blundering Herd with new faces in the defensive backfield.



  7. Peterman is what he is as a quarterback, and it’s clear Boyd really bailed him out last season.

    I agree on the O-line. Carolina’s D was on the field a long time Saturday and the line couldn’t take charge and lead the way to a win? So much for our NFL left side of the line. Play calling is questionable also so it’s definitely a team effort contributing to these late game meltdowns on offense.

    One game at a time, so let’s beat Marshall!


  8. wbb – you are correct. I never though Peterman was going to be a star QB – he played about what I thought he would last season overall – except that I didn’t see the late season swoon coming, especially after the two good games he had against UL and Duke and that was some bad play.

    And I did think that he’d play better this year than last – I even bet he’d get 28 TDs on the season. So I’m wondering what happened to make this season so different for him.

    During fall camp last season Voytik, quite honestly, never handled the pressure of competition well and it showed in his play in camp which was poor and over those first two games. So that was somewhat understandable if we know anything about human nature.

    But by all accounts Peterman was thought to have had a decent season in 2015 and again by all reports, had a very good fall camp – so what has made these last two games different?

    As I said above I think it is the approach Canada has had with the offense. Even after the very good game against Villanova Peterman had – not a lot of yardage but remember he was 11/15 with 3 TDs and 9 out of those 11 completions were for 1st downs or TDs… that is excellent QB play and he did exactly what Canada called on him to do with his play calling.

    Also if we remember his receivers dropped 5 easy catches in the first two games – one to Weah that would have been an easy TD and would have put away the PSU game for good. But he had 5 TD passes in two games which again was productive and came in two wins.

    But in the last two games Peterman has failed on the occasions we really needed him to succeed in – I’ll be writing about that in my article this morning that I’ll post later. I just wonder why. And there is no other way to say it but he choked when needed three series in a row last week.

    Maybe he has the yips and plays out of it and maybe he can’t and it would be time for a change.


  9. Reed – regarding NP and the yips, we saw that with kicker Blewitt to begin this season. Blewitt seems to have played out of the yips, let’s hope NP does that this weekend. Seniors should be able to play through it.

    If not, I’m with you, time for a change. And let’s not wait for that change – set a standard that MUST be met by NP and follow that plan. My standard would be, the first time NP directs three straight series without a TD, we make the change.


  10. I agree that Chryst’s recruiting has left us with some (arguably many) holes on defense that still haven’t been filled. I disagree that he left the cupboard completely bare. He recruited a pretty good o-line and the line has to be part of the explanation for our success on the ground, so we should thank him for that (although I think the o-line might be a bit overrated).


  11. from Jenn Menendez PG twitter today: DB Damar Hamlin looked like a full practice participant this a.m. during media window. Narduzzi said yesterday he is “progressing nicely.”

    This would be the perfect game to break him in, and maybe one or two others


  12. Reed, except for the 4th quarter of the last 3 games, I have no issue with how the offense is run. The team’s best assets are OL followed by RBs. — use them! And as we have seen, their utilization has nearly made up for all the team’s other shortcomings by using up the clock and scoring.

    I believe we have only made 1 or 2 1st downs in the 4th quarter of the last 3 games. This is our downfall of course. Our offense needs to continually produce to ensure victory but it’s hard to criticize when we scored 42. 35 and 36 in these games.


  13. There needs to be a huge amount of focus on both sides of the ball when the 4th qtr begins this Saturday, regardless of the score. The O needs to get into the habit of closing out the game as we have shown in the first 3 qtrs of the P5 games this season.

    Welcome back Mr. Hamlin – in case you haven’t notice, we missed you, big time. Now go out and make a name for yourself and entertain us loyal Pitt fans. Be the “shutdown” CB we know you can be. No pressure…the cast before you has set the bar very low.


  14. Reed while Chryst’s recruiting might have been in the 35-45 range his defense recruits were probably in the 80’s if not lower. Pitt is starting guys with little to no offers… Webb, Maddox, Lewis and a walk-on LB. These guys would not start on any other team in the ACC.


  15. 2 thoughts

    1) Hamlin and Coleman will bring much needed speed to DB. But it’s hard to play natural frosh in critical situations especially when they even hadn’t gone thru spring practice.

    2) Narduzzi’s style not only depends on one-on-one coverage, it also is necessary for the CN to be physical with the WR right off the LOS. This is probably where Maddox struggles


  16. Not saying Lumpy was a good recruiter by any means but go back and look. AM was one of his top recruits that year. He was a star coming of Detroit I think.


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