Answer the Question Please

During the April Spring Practice Media Day I attended a Pat Narduzzi press conference and asked him a pretty simple question: “What do you see the difference is between defending against Big 10 offenses and now that you are at Pitt, defending against ACC offense?”

The answer was, not so surprisingly, a minimal and rather snarky response where he said (to paraphrase) ‘There are no differences in college football offenses, we’ll line up and play them as they come.  which was an eyebrow raiser for me and for the other media types in the press room. 

Why?  Because everyone and their brother knows that the Big Ten offenses rely on the run first and foremost and the ACC is almost the exact opposite.

Let me steal a couple of charts from that article linked above.  It was written in 2015 but my follow-up research shows its messages haven’t changed much at all. This is a preface to the charts –

“S&P+ strips out garbage time possessions, so efficient offenses that run the ball a lot are not necessarily more efficient just because their teams win more blowouts.

Each conference seems to form its own identity. Do you see any trends beyond the conference level?”

OK?  Good. Here goes…

Here you see that the Big Ten is more efficient when on the run heavy side… in essence the teams in the Big Ten run more than in the ACC.  That’s pretty much a no-brainer.

Now here is that same chart broken down into individual conference teams.  This one is the ACC:


Actually that isn’t surprising at all.  Gee, six of those pass reliant ACC teams we play this year…go figure.  But hey, let’s sell out to stop the run at all costs.  Uhhh, look how very efficient Miami, Clemson and NC were in the past.

And here we have the same breakdown with the Big Ten teams that Narduzzi was facing in his last year as DC at MSU.


Again – not surprising.  In the 2015 season the Big Ten had two teams in the Top 50 for passing offense while the ACC had five; in the rushing offense’s Top 50 the Big Ten had five teams. 

Last season the Big Ten had six teams in the Top 50 rushing and only two in the passing offense list.

All this points to things we already know about the two conferences, the Big Ten is and has been for years run heavy and light on passing and the ACC puts out a different, more balanced offense with a lot more reliance on passing.


I’d seen these charts earlier and after watching this Narduzzi put out these rather poor  defensive results last season…:

2015 Total Defense 37th 363.2 ypg
Rushing Defense 40th 148.5 ypg
Passing Yards Allowed 54th 214.7
Team Passing Efficiency Defense 66th 126.97
Scoring Defense 57th 26.1

… I felt it was valid and was the basis for my question to Narduzzi this last spring.  Compare the above defensive numbers to today’s:

2016 Total Defense 70th (-43) 415.5 (-52 ypg  from 2015)
Rushing Defense 6th (+34) 103.3 (+45 ypg)
Passing Yards Allowed 125th  (-71) 312.3  (-98 ypg)
Team Passing Efficiency Defense 114th (-48) 145.34 (- 18.4 points)
Scoring Defense 99th (-42) 32.4 (-6.3 ppg)

It becomes an even more important question given the big drop in defensive results this season with basically the same defensive team intact.

One last thing I’d like to address to a commenter on here.  It keeps being repeated that HCPN doesn’t “throw his players under the bus” and he might not do so by singling them out by name… but when we keep reading this type of comment in his press conferences you have to wince just a little every time you hear it:

“Our corners were in position to make plays and they’ve got to make them. We had our chances out there. You’ve got to make a play. It’s what you’ve got to do.”
That was after the latest loss to VT (406 yards passing) but he has said the same thing after just about every game where we have given up big points on big passing yardage.
I’ll say this again – when you have three out of four starting DBs returning from 2015 (we lost only L. Pitts this season) and you give up 100 more passing yards each game and a TD more each game you better look at the staff before you look at the players.
NOTE: Here is a good article about Narduzzi’s defenses when he was at MSU.  This bit jumps right out at you…
“The first thing worth noticing is that Michigan State’s corners are in press coverage against the receivers, a tactic not terribly common with college defenses because of the inherent risk that comes from a receiver escaping the press and blowing past the corner for easy touchdowns.”
So NarDawg hasn’t learned any new tricks yet. 
I get that he wants to make the other teams’ offenses one-dimensional – I just think he is blind to the fact that he obviously picked the wrong dimension. But hey, he can always blame the refs…

91 thoughts on “Answer the Question Please


    To win the Natty it already comes down to Beat Nick Saban’s freakin’ Alabama Squad — which is Pure Pro-Style, Run-Heavy, play-action pass scheme.

    So Pat Narduzzi knows what he’s doing.

    Or — Let’s Jerry-Rig this defense for one-year before the IMMINENT Reinforcements come-in…to maybe not even get another win, but to Compromise Pitt Football’s future in order to give up less yards for our Stats. lol

    Pitt’s gonna get to a solid bowl game this year an finish at 8-4, or at the very, very least 7-5 so, I disagree with the whole-tone and “Argument” of the last 2 articles.

    haha: #PatNarduzziDon’tTakeNOSH8t and that Swag and straight-up ATTITUDE is What Pitt (Football, AND THE SCHOOL) can appreciate 🙂 . Sorry @Reed —- I vote NAY to your recent view-points ALTOGETHER post-Va Tech loss 😦


  2. This is exactly what I’ve been posting about over the last several weeks. Wow if he doesn’t see that the ACC is a far differ conference than the slow, archaic offense Big Joke, this defense will never get any better.


  3. Who really knows what’s going on inside Narduzzi’s head? The one thing I’ll give you all is that he needs to slow down in just about everyway. He responds to everything by either not responding or adrenalin induced short sharp answers. He needs to think before talking and acting. He does have a lot to learn about being A HEAD COACH. …..but what’s going on inside that type A head of his? We really don’t know. I see the point here and it is valid. It’s just he has done such a wonderful job over-all this year I can’t reconcile with picking the guy apart when I don’t know what his big picture angle is. I just don’t know?


  4. The charts are very interesting. The one thing I would caution is that many inefficient teams become pass heavy because they usually are playing from behind.

    Also, funny what a year does:

    VT, Syracuse and UVa has gone from inefficient to efficient
    OSU’s running attack is now inefficient, and has become pass heavy, and PSU and Michigan now have efficient offenses
    note that Iowa made the inefficient offense quadrant last year but made the B10 championship game and the Rose Bowl (finished 12 and 2)


  5. What’s interesting also against schools that have a run offense, which is supposed to be ‘our bag’, we literally got ‘run over’ .

    Last year GT gouged us for almost 400 yards rushing (376) , ND ran for almost 200 yards and then we got gouged again to the tune of an incredible 417 yards rushing by Navy and their 1 & 2 star players.

    So it appears when teams want to run, they can, against this defense designed to stop the run. And we know when they want to pass, they can pass …… will.


  6. ^^^^ Clark Gable —- Fellow OHIO BOY!!!! 🙂 🙂 — Mark My-Words here: NFL and SEC / Pac-12 / Michigan State soon are coming for him, so UNDERSTAND that at the very-least. 😉


  7. We were better this year against GT, allowing 241 yards instead of 376. The rest of the teams didn’t really try to run often since they could move the ball downfield, at will, via the pass.

    Last week, we knew VT was going to run the ball at the end and we couldn’t stop them from getting a first down via the run.


  8. Reed

    Do you really think Narduzzi (or any Pitt coach) doesn’t know the difference between a more pro style offense and a spread offense? Come on, lighten up Francis, the negativity is blurring your judgement.

    He was making a general statement. There are no differences, as in, he has seen all the offensive varieties in college. There isn’t a team out there that runs an offense that has a unique set of plays that no other team runs. They all steal from each other and mix and match plays. There are Big 10 teams that are spread, there are ACC teams that run pro style.

    You need to surround your self with more positive people…oh, nevermind, that is impossible if you read the blog all day. LOL


  9. Lastly, when comparing last season to this season, you completely ignored the difference in schedules between 015 and 016.

    2015 Non-con: YSU, Akron, Iowa, Notre Dame (1 good passing team)
    2016 Non-con: Nova, PSU, Ok St, Marshall (all but Villanova pass heavy, and all 3 are rated in Top 50 passing offenses)

    Also, both VT with Evans and UNC with Trubitsky are much better passing teams this year than last .. not even close

    Finally, in 2015 regular season, we played 3 teams that finished ranked (Iowa, UNC, ND) .. (plus Navy in the bowl but they were the ultimate running team)

    But by the time 2014 regular season is done,we will have faced 5 ranked teams — all pass-heavy. PSU, Ok St, UNC, VT and Clemson


  10. Hate to break it to some but charts like that change yearly if not all the time. To use this information it has to include all the variables. As mentioned above all things change and or look different depending on the weather of all things. How about how if a certain conference known to be a running conference brings in 3 stud QB’s who can throw the rock all over the field. The WAC conference was not known to be a pass happy league years ago. (u can thank Leach for that) For these type of stats to mean anything to me is if the college football season was 162 games long. Then I would glance over them and go forward accordingly. Kind of like baseball does.

    I will look at stats like this but only with a very cautious eye. What did the Villanova game teach anyone? How about the hurricane games? Playing teams like Navy, Army and GT?


  11. This board would be very interesting had not, Ryan Lewis made a once in a career interception and Paul Johnson made a major coaching blunder.

    I’d prefer to stop the pass over the run, as teams can score very quickly with the pass, as we saw in the OK State, PSU & UNC games, even though Pitt had the ball approx. twice as long as those teams. Long drives on the ground can be stopped, with one holding call, a fumble or a long down & distance on 3rd down.

    And the whole trend in college football (other than the BigJoke) has obviously trended to passing offenses, most of them in the Spread variety. We now have 3 more yearly opponents who have Head Coaches, who are pass happy Spread guys. Fuente at VT, Mendenhall at UVA and Babers at Syracuse.

    Perhaps Pitt should apply for BigJoke membership


  12. LOL:

    “Perhaps Pitt should apply for BigJoke membership”

    ^^^ I really think you didn’t surmise that I was implying that you’re sound like a “Skipping Record” lol 🙂


  13. Ok I see so many on here pine for the days of “ho hum” PC and Out House not closing on 3 star recruits. Do you even remember getting trucked by the vaunted YSU offense?? Do you recall getting pushed around by mighty Akron?? So Pat is nuts, GOOD I’ll take it over a cheese sauce stained sweatshirt and feeling lucky to be 6-6.
    Reed and Emel I don’t know what your beef is with Duzz, but it seems like if he said the sky is blue you would find charts and graphs or another coach saying that’s it’s a touch of bluish gray. Sheesh


  14. The reality is, when I talk to fans of any other college they all say Narduzzi is a great hire, he will turn it around, and Pitt finally got it right if they let him do his thing. The only fans that say the opposite are HERE. Amazing


  15. @Reed just watched the whole Pat Narduzzi press-conference from a few days ago —–

    Essentially: “I love my Team, We didn’t pay perfect against a great team, but there are so many things WE can do better to make sure we wins these games!” …… to you equals negative????

    …..Dunno what to tell you, I have ZERO IDEA what B$ Diplomatic, “Political Correctness NONESENSE” you wanted from your Pitt Head Ball Coach” ???


  16. Even if the ACC is completely different from the Big 10 talent-wise in terms of the offensives, I’m not sure it’s possible during the 8th game of the year to implement a philosophical change in your defensive strategy. Maybe that’s something you need to think over during the offseason, but it would be hard to do now. Among other problems, it would send a message of panic to the players and I don’t think you want to do that after losing to 3 quality opponents by a combined 11 points. Let’s see what happens the next 2 weeks before going into a panic mode. If we win those two games, we’ll feel as giddy as the PSU fans are feeling right now (although I fully expect Dabo to have Clemson better coached than Meyer and OSU, and we know we won’t get any help from the refs, so the chance of 2 wins for us during the next 2 weeks is slim).

    I still think we can try some smaller things like playing off coverage sometimes, and perhaps some different play calls on defense in certain situations. But it doesn’t strike me an effective option to go nuclear at this point and blow up everything you have worked on.


  17. Huh?
    Reed’s charts are only affirming the FACT that we (Pitt) are the worst passing defense in the entire nation. No one gives up more passing yards, no one, did you hear that? No one! Chew on that a while.
    Regardless, please keep your head buried in the sand because it’s much more comfortable down there.
    Oh yeah, I forgot. You can pull them out in year 4 because by then our run heavy scheme will magically stop the forward pass. How so? Just keep your head in the sand and everything will be just fine!


  18. IMO, Reed brings up many valid points and they can’t be argued on their merit. The thing that bugs me is, not just Reed, but some of the guys also, just by the way I feel, don’t like Narduzzi, although they say they do. I don’t buy it. The fact that they can’t see clear to the many positives over rides what they are saying. Narduzzi has warts but they are only surface problems that will be worked out. I can be as stubborn as Reed and know he is stubborn at times (even though he doesn’t think so) He just plain don’t like Pat and they got off on the wrong foot.

    Now the incoming from the hippie sailor.


  19. I agree with Narduzzi. There are no differences in offenses… if your defense is good enough to dictate what the offense must do.

    That’s a great strategy. There are differences in offensive players. But if you can force the offense, any offense, to play how you want them to, then ultimately, there are no differences.

    The only difference after that is the players playing for both teams.


  20. senior Terrish Webb, RS Senior Reggie Mitchell, Junior Avonte Maddox, RS Senior Ryan Lewis, **and yes, even 5’9” Redshirt Sophomore Phillippe Mottley, are all the players who have played almost 100% of the defensive backfield snaps – SANS – True Sophomore Jordan Whitehead** .

    If one cannot “Fill In the Blanks” there — especially considering that RS Freshman Dane Jackson looked Fast and Damar Hamlin looks like a Top-Shelf D-1 ‘guy’ already — then All is just Doom-N’-Gloom for you lol and there is zero point trying to make a valid argument that Pitt’s Defense will very soon be Nasty.

    First great point: after this last game: the Time of 6′ foot Dane Jackson and 6’1” Damar Hamlin is **now and both guys very well may be ‘de-facto’ starters the rest of the year.** That is at least an exciting prospect to Yours Truly lol.


  21. We have NO idea how our freshman recruits are going to perform in the coming years. Some of them may never leave the bench their entire career at Pitt. So there is no guarantee that the Pitt defense will be any better in 2017 versus 2016. In fact with the loss of Soto, Jarrett and Price there is a distinct possibility that our defensive line pressure will diminish from what this years team has accomplished. Thus our young DB’s may be under even more pressure than this years Db’s.


  22. They are 5/3 and could be possibly 8/0 or as bad as 3/5.

    They have been competitive in every game due to the offense but what is mind boggling is the horrible pass defense for a defensive minded head coach.

    If Pitt had an average pass defense would they be 7/1 or 8/0?

    We have went back and forth on this blog regarding the scheme and personnel and some of us just state just wait until Narduzzi gets his guys.

    What if Narduzzi never gets his ideal recruits on the defensive side of the ball?

    You can make the argument that kids see the opportunity and will come but there are no guarantees that kids develop or pan out.

    The offense this year has played well and has performed above expectations but the pass defense is extremely poor. Statistically we are near the bottom in FBS.

    My take is the coaches on the defensive side of the ball have really underperformed and it shows. My bet is there will be defensive staff changes after the season.

    Sure coaches coach and players play but have you ever witnessed anything like our pass defense?

    We have seen some poor Pitt pass and overall defenses recalling the Paul Hacket and Majors 2 area but this bad?


  23. @wwb Not sure why you want to play subjectively with year over year OOC schedule and relative passing competency. Also do you have anything to back this up “Also, both VT with Evans and UNC with Trubitsky are much better passing teams this year than last .. not even close”?

    VT averaged 221 passing yards per game in 2015 and 264 yards per game in 2016.
    UNC averaged 254 passing yards per game in 2015 and 278 yards per game in 2016.
    UNC passed for 453 yards against Pitt in 2016 and 277 last year.
    VT passed for 406 yards against Pitt in 2016 and 91 last year.
    Pitt had seven sacks against VT in 2015 and crushed their QB.
    So what is NOT CLOSE is that VT and UNC passed for WELL OVER their averages against Pitt in 2016 and AT OR WELL BELOW their averages in 2015.

    Oklahoma State is averaging 339 passing yards per game in 2016. They passed for 540 yards against Pitt.
    Penn State is averaging 231 passing yards per game in 2016. They passed for 339 yards against Pitt.
    So both OSU and PSU passed for WELL OVER their averages against Pitt in 2016.

    @John Take a look at what Emel wrote. If PSU doesn’t drop a TD pass or make a stupid choice to chuck it to the end zone while well within FG range and plenty of time remaining, and Paul Johnson doesn’t make a stupid decision to go for it on 4th and short at his 35 late in a tie game, then Pitt could be 3-5 and hoping to be 6-6 at best by year end. At that point the only difference would be the cheese soaked sweatshirt.

    @DK It must be great to be oblivious. Any guys coming next year are true freshman, unproven red shirts or guys that have played this year and demonstrated that they have a lot to improve upon. Narduzzi’s scheme is being exposed and he needs to adapt if he’s not going to play some of those guys this year.

    I don’t have any interest in Pitt separating with Narduzzi. I like him and enjoy the enthusiasm I feel from the team. I don’t care if he jumps around on the sidelines. I don’t care if he won’t disclose injuries. I don’t care that he closes practices. I just want him to acknowledge that there is a problem and do something about it rather than hope against hope that it goes away. He’ll appear to be a far better coach if he at least tries something different and sticks with it if it works.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. BTW, I felt the same way regarding change and Jamie Dixon after the last basketball season. However that ship sailed and a new coach washed up on shore. Back to the late 90s.


  25. Thanks Barvo and Dr. Tom, good words. It is true that almost all of us want the Duzz to be successful because there’s much to like about him. I think this is why so many are so frustrated that we have the worst pass defense in the country.
    Like my Uncle Elmer use to say: “Hey kid do something, even if it doesn’t work, do something! Duzz, what you’re doing ISN’T WORKING! Take Uncle Elmer’s advice! Do something else! Please!


  26. Also, remember the years of no recruits. I agree we need to provide help now but at the same time does that provide our youngsters with the challenge long term? They aren’t a RB whose knees will be blown out in a year and we have a highly rated (albeit short) corner who may see playing time quickly if he chooses the school who can spell his name (cough cough Tenn. cough cough)


  27. Guys – you act like I’m the only person with this point of view about Narduzzi’s stubbornness to change defenses to at least try to know down the passing yardage.

    If so then this must be the only Pitt football info you read.

    Let me ask you a question – when you watched all those fade patterns on Thursday night did you see any help at all on the cornerbacks that were covering those receivers.

    It wasn’t like they were beating us with a spread offense with 4 or 5 receivers out there. Most time then ran two WRs and maybe the TE or an RB out of the backfield – which would be picked up by a LB.

    I’m kind of shocked fans are saying just because Narduzzi “knows what he’s doing” that everything is hunky-dory… because it obviously isn’t.

    Guys – we only gave up around 40 more rushing yardage last year yet we are giving up over 100 more passing yards.

    Last year we gave up a total of 18 TDs on the ground – this season we are already at 16 with four more games to play.

    He’s damned lucky our offense is what it is because he’s dropped the ball completely on defense over all.


  28. “We have NO idea how our freshman recruits are going to perform in the coming years. Some of them may never leave the bench their entire career at Pitt. So there is no guarantee that the Pitt defense will be any better in 2017 versus 2016. In fact with the loss of Soto, Jarrett and Price there is a distinct possibility that our defensive line pressure will diminish from what this years team has accomplished. Thus our young DB’s may be under even more pressure than this years Db’s.”

    All excellent points jrnpitt

    Half the kids (or more) anyone recruits, don’t contribute, other than to provide blocking dummies and such in practice. Heck we lost several top recruits this year before they even put on a practice uniform.

    And just who next year is going to provide the pass rush, since Price is gone. Price IS the pass rush from the edge.

    And with the Pass Happy Spread offenses come the 3 step drop and Throw. Very hard to pressure that.

    It’s a flawed defensive scheme against those type of offenses. And it’s being proved over and over.


  29. ~ John. I’m not in the ‘narduzzi acted inappropriately on the sideline’ camp.

    When you’re getting ‘jobbed’ by the refs, you gotta make some noise. Pitt kid’s don’t quit regardless of how many times they get torched because of the Nard Dog’s fire. Got to him credit for that. The scheme, not so much. 🙂


  30. Reed, I completely agree with you in that Narduzzi’s defense will have to change. Hopefully he sees that too (if not we better start recruiting all world corners!). Unfortunately we are stuck with this defense for the rest of the regular season. As I mentioned previously, Narduzzi would have made the adjustments during the long break before the Virginia Tech game. Also I think we should be fair to Conklin and not blame him too much as this is evidently Narduzzi’s scheme and it is Narduzzi who is dictating we run it without modifications.

    One thing I do not understand is why some bloggers are in denial about this defect in our head coach. It seems self evident. I want Narduzzi to succeed as anyone and believe he will. If next year we are still having this very same discussion this deep into the season, then I think we have a problem with the hire of Narduzzi. Until then expect more of the same because I don’t think the coaching staff has the wherewith all to implement a quick fix before the end of the season. Hopefully we will face a run heavy offense in the bowl game.


  31. Excellent post Barvo.

    All these teams are setting team passing records and receiving records against little old us.

    And yet the insanity continues, week after week.

    At this point you can only hope….that the opposing QB has a bad day or an ‘off’ day.


  32. Perfection in the college game is non-existent. Clempson could easily have three losses, but they don’t. Ohio State could have three losses, but they don’t. We can all play what ifs and shoulda woulda coulda. BillBelichick takes away the opponents running attack and then he studies the trends in the passing game to determine which top flight receiver to take away. Pitt takes away the running game of the opponent, agreed.

    Where we struggle is taking away the first passing target of VT which was Bucky. He should have been doubled up all night. Like a box and one in bball. Frustrate their purpose and make them beat you in a way they are not accustomed to doing…..or even practicing. We do have the DB skill set if you look at the game closely.

    Our guys were in position to make plays and for some reason, it didn’t happen. It will. For instance, there was a long pass down the sideline where VT had it, we tipped it in the air and it looked like either one may have come up with the ball. Unfortunately, they got it. All the passing breaks are going against Pitt right now. It will balance out..

    Secondly our passing offense has been terrible. Whoever said we would be better in the passing game this year was wrong. We are similar. I don’t look at yardage stats because all the stats in the world can’t change that we are 5-3. Stats are numbers. I do not feel comfortable at 3rd and 6 or above on offense this year or last year. Until that changes, we will be inconsistent. 3rd and 6 is not a lot of yards to most teams but to ours, it seems like a mile. We need to jump on Miami early as they have lost four in a row to quality opponents.

    Early this year, I put this game as a win because of the stretch they played and that I thought they would be struggling with confidence. Unfortunately, both teams are struggling with confidence. Whichever team comes out ready to play, will win. So it is written.


  33. Reed – I thought the X/Y charts were interesting. Did not get to read the related article – were the placements of the teams objectively placed with data or were they subjectively placed using “feelometry”?

    A true indication would cover multiple years, although the flaws are of course change in coaches, players and opponents. Trubisky is a great example of a kid that Carolina got that hasn’t necessarily reflected where they have been as a program – and based on the way he is playing – they may may not continue that way when he’s gone to the NFL. Having said that, a 2-3 sampling would be reasonable.

    In any event, Im not buying that Narduzzi’s scheme can only be effective in a run oriented conference the B10/12. But then, Im a Jimmies and Joes are more more important than the X’s and O’s kinda guy.

    Emel jr – “Time for your meds DK ” – LOL


  34. I was only defending his comment about college offenses.

    The secondary blows and he needs to adjust until he gets better DBs. The VT game has to be eating at him.
    He has nothing to lose starting Hamlin and Jackson. I believe the are a tad taller than what has been playing.

    If they stop some earky throws against Miami it will stop the bleeding some but you know Miami is coming out throwing deep.


  35. Reed has finally broken Narduzzi for doing what he said he would do before he was hired. I stick with a coach for 3 or 4 years barring complete collapse. Aah Humphrey Bogart, THE MAN, before Clint Eastwoood, became THE MAN. Is Reed Keefer? 🙂 We are all the officers; Who is Jose Ferrer -me?
    Keep looking for that Quart of Strawberries Reed


  36. Does Pitt play this week? Sure would be nice to move on. This is as bad as the campaign commercials. At this point your in one camp or the other.


  37. Those graphs are nice for showing trends but they don’t tell the entire story. It’s cliche to say Narduzzi’s defense is designed to stop the run. I say it too because it’s easy and it gets the point across. What it also does, however, is stop all the underneath passes and quick strikes in space.

    College football in general is in more of a pass happy phase right now but outside of a few of the Big 12 teams, the passes are not deep routes. College football, right now, is about hitting players in space quickly. It’s why the option is so popular. Hand off or pass within 3 seconds. One read and go while playing uptempo.

    Pitt is stopping more than just the run playing this defense. PSU, OKST, UNC, Marshall, UVA and VT all would prefer to play this way. Pitt forced them out of it and to their credit, those teams made plays. The defense is working in that regard.

    ACC wide receivers are not that much better than Big 10 wide receivers and, besides, it’s not really about the wide receivers. It’s about getting pressure on the QB and making him throw it before he’s ready too. That’s been the real crux of this defense as of late. Yes, the corners are on an island but the goal is to make the QB make a bad decision.

    By moving the defense to help the corners, all you do is expose another part of Pitt’s defense … a defense with little depth to face a heavy dose of the run and LB’s too slow to cover players in space as well … as playing right into our opponent’s hands and their wheelhouse.

    All I see happening is other teams scoring slightly less but higher times of possession putting even more pressure on Pitt’s offense to do more with less time. Pitt’s scoring would also be lower.

    Playing the way a lot of you want to play, all it does is turn this defense into the House defense … and we all know how that turned out. The fact of the matter is that there just aren’t enough player makers on defense. That will be changing over the next couple of years though … starting next year.


  38. God..if you are listening, please let Pitt win this weekend so we can move on from these nauseating discussions about how bad our DB play is. We all know.

    Amen. Oh, and Hail to Pitt!


  39. Barvo, I did not intend to say our pass defense doesn’t stink … that’s very obvious. The point I’m making is that any comparison between last season and this one has to consider (1) strength of schedule and (2) quality of opponents QBs when comparing pass defense.

    And there is no question we are facing better passing offenses this year .. and better teams this year.


  40. HCPN seems to agree with me … (From Pantherlair):

    Q. Was last year’s Pitt defense better than this year’s Pitt defense in any certain area?

    PAT NARDUZZI: You know, it’s hard. I don’t compare year to year because they’re different teams. They’re different — you’ve got Lafayette Pitts, one of our corners, obviously is with the Dolphins now, so obviously you lose him in the secondary. But better — the question is are some of the offenses better. You’re defending different offenses. I know Virginia Tech’s offense is better than it was last year, so is it the defense or is it the offense.

    And I think the ACC is very explosive, been very impressed not only with the quarterback play that we get in this league but also the skill that you have to defend compared to what maybe you see in the Big Ten.


  41. wwb:some would say those teams are ranked so high because they played Pitt!! Lol.
    Reed, you put your finger on something that bugged me for along time. When HCPN was hired someone posted a bunch of videos of his interviews. I even posted that something about him bothered me but I couldn’t put my finger on it. Snarky, that’s the word I was looking for. That type of attitude. Sort of like Bill Belechak without the resume so far.
    I do feel the best coaches are stubborn to a fault in regards to their system. No better example than Dean Smith. Successful but should have won many more NCs.
    This weekends game is very interesting to me. Miami has great talent, speed, and athletism, but one one the most overrated coaches in college football. MR did little with talent at Georgia and continues with Miami. Like Chubbs, he is an example of how people cream themselves over a guy with an SEC background. That said, if they get it together on Sat. It will be a blowout of epic proportions. Like last year, if they get on a roll you can turn it off at halftime!
    Finally, for everyone out there, What did you think you were getting with Narduzzi! All you guys,UPitt included, loved the hire(yep, you did and said so) well, this is who he is. Will he evolve? Don’t know, but ya, snarky hits it right on the head!


  42. wbb,
    Thanks for just proving the point that were playing the top passing teams in the nation and our D is concentrating on the run!!!!


  43. Narduzzi must be good. We’re bitching up a storm and our record is 5 and 3. And we haven’t lost a game yet to a team that we were favored against.


  44. wbb,
    very true wbb. And by the way I always appreciate what you have to say! For me, yes we are 5-3 and that is a good thing but the bad thing is we are no where near the top 25 and PSU is #12. With just a little better pass D we would be 8-0. And that’s very frustrating to me.


  45. While we can debate all day on Narduzzi this and that, I don’t think it can be argued that Narduzzi is NOT snarky. He sure is and he’s rough around the edges for sure. Doesn’t it seem like a long time since PITT has had a head football coach that was actually a tiny bit articulate?


  46. Ike,
    Reminds of the old story of when the Nebraska HC was personally taking the most prized RB recruit in the nation on a tour of the Nebraska campus. When they got to the huge football stadium and went inside onto the field the kids eyes light up as he looked around. The HC asked him if he had any questions and the kid asked: Coach, what’s that huge red “N” on the wall behind the end zone stand for? The HC, with a big smile on his face said: “Son, everybody knows that the big “N” stands for “knowledge.” We are after all, a higher school of education!


  47. Most of us think we are very fortunate to have Narduzzi and even more fortunate to have Canada.

    If Chaney was still here we would be lucky to be 3-5.

    The only loss that still bothers me is UNC because we could have won that one if they would have not used the turtle offense.

    VT could have put us in a really good place, but the early turnovers crushed us.

    Miami is winnable and very important if we can get it done we can still have a decent season.

    We need a stronger pass rush and just a couple of pass break-ups.

    I think Miami is too fast for the jet sweeps, so we need a big dose of Conner and some good throws by Peterman. He has plenty of targets with Ford back, Weah, Henderson, Orndoff, Tipton, and Conner.

    Just has to find the open man.

    We need to score big and keep scoring through the fourth quarter.


  48. Narduzzi is stubborn and snarkley … that has been established for some time now

    Pittman4ever, if we had PSU’s schedule, we would be 6 and 2 … and probably ranked. Do you know that Western Michigan has as many B1G wins as does Maryland, Purdue, Mich St and Rutgers combined? And of course, all 4 are on PSU’s schedule.


  49. Wisky has 185 TFL’s vs Pitt’s 55. I would say their front seven puts a lot of pressure on their opponents.

    They also don’t put their corners on islands. We blame all of our problems on our DB’s largely because of the scheme we play. However there is plenty of blame to go around.


  50. Ugh.. it is all about the talent. Cover-4 is cover-4. You know why Pitt is able to run the ball even when the opponent KNOWS PItt is going to RUN the BALL? Because Pitt has some talented OL and RB’s. Everyone knows that. We knew that when they were recruited just like we knew the LB’s and DB’s being recruited by House and Chryst were MAC-level. Now they are being exposed by some pretty good offenses.

    Oh and newflash… this is not 1996 and we just didn’t get blown out 72-0. Holy crap… 3 losses to ranked opponents by a few points and everyone is looking for the pitch forks.


  51. ~ ROC2

    A better one is how did Wake Forest’s 2 star recruit DB’s hold Florida State to 17 points and the nation’s #5 passing attack, Syracuse to 9 points ? When everyone knows you can’t win with 2 star recruits.

    Or can you ?


  52. According to friends at Michigan State, the reason Narduzzi plays press coverage w under talented corners is to show recruits they can come in and play immediately. That, they say, is the only reason! He drove them nuts for three years doing it until he got studs in position.

    His ego seems to have forgotten that the ONLY thing that counts are wins and losses!


  53. I advise ppl to take a look at MSU’s non con and con schedule during those years. It’s filled with patsies, rent-a-wins and BigJoke cupcakes. Remember Michigan was average at best and stunk in a few of those years as well.


  54. lol Pittman4, Sounds like a Lawrence Phillips story? To be honest, I don’t know if the coach knew what the N stood for either. Although Osborne was a very shrew coach.


  55. It’s the Jimmies and Joes. Go back and look at the games where Pitt gives up huge point totals.

    It doesn’t matter if Outhouse and a high school coach are leading your defense – or a seasoned group of defensive specialists lead by Broyles award winner Narduzzi, and finalist Conklin. Ballers are gonna ball all over no talent defenses loaded with 2* and 3* players that didn’t have any P5 offers and shouldn’t be in the ACC.

    2012 – Teddy Bridgewater and Devontea Parker go off on Pitt.
    2013 – Jameis Winston, Rashad Green, and Nick O’Leary have career days. All in the NFL.
    2013 – Who was covering Jamison Crowder? Probably not someone heading to the pro bowl..
    2013 – Allen Hurns, 9 catches 173 yards – now 3rd year in the NFL working on 1,000 yard season #2
    2014 – Crowder does it again
    2015 – Will Fuller, Deshone Kizer, and Josh Adams go off. Fuller’s in the NFL, the other 2 will be.
    2015 – Jamarie Staples 9 catches, 194 – will absolutely play in the NFL.
    2016 – Look at the guys that killed us this year. James Washington, Switzer, Isiah Ford, and Buckey Hodges… All projected to go in the top half of the draft.

    Scheme is important – but if you’re trying to defend against NFL talent with with guys that shouldn’t even be in the ACC to begin with, it doesn’t matter what coverage you roll with….

    You can say, ‘Well just modify the scheme to take those guys out of the game…’

    I’ve been watching teams try to take a Pitt receiver out of the game for 15 years – Fitz, Bryant, Baldwin, Street, Boyd all got theirs… Coverage didn’t matter. Ballers gonna ball.


  56. @John Ramella
    November 3, 2016 at 1:30 pm


    Safe bet 4 of 5 starters on Pitt’s line get drafted. Little early to tell yet with Bookser, but he’s got the pedigree.


  57. Did anyone notice the size of VT’s D-backs. They all were 6-1 6-2 or taller. They were able to contest the catch. Our corners had good coverage just like coach said. They just were unable to contest the catch.

    This is what we are missing. This is why just like many others have said on here I agree that D Jackson and Hamlin need to start the rest of the year.

    Say what you will about L. Pitts but he was rarely out of position and he could contest the catch but he struggled to turn his head around which resulted in a maddening number of PI calls.


  58. Hey Emel, how did FSU’s Travis Rudolph – projected to go day 2 in the draft this year – do against that vaunted Wake Forrest D?

    13 catches, 238 yards


  59. The way things are shaking out, it appears the Pedo’s and their joke schedule, are going to supplant Michigan State now in the 2nd tier teams of the BigJoke.

    Michigan goes up ^ MSU down , Pedo’s in between, as they like sandwiches.


  60. ~ BC……wise guy eh. How about this one.

    The vaunted Wake Forest defense is #2 in the Country in Redzone defense, Pitt is LAST !

    Yards that don’t equate to points(FSU scored 17), are useless, thought you knew that. 🙂


  61. Guys, I reported those fines on here several months ago. It is ot a surprise in the risk and compliance space. It will be another black eye for the dairy college. So the fines used to be maxed at 27k per violation but have gone up to 38k per violation. They successfully pushed back the announcement until after the Mcqueary trial. Had that information and subsequent investigative facts been disclosed, the old coach could have received over $10M. Dairyland will have trouble appealing McQueary based on the new information, but will do so in an effort to settle the case for $5m or less.


  62. There’s a stat to fit every narrative, Emel.

    I’ll take NFL talent over crappy players every time, regardless of scheme – and as much as Narduzzi might not want to admit it, I bet he would say the same thing.


  63. psu gets a slight reminder and poof! All will be forgotten tomorrow morning. Horrible horrible people.

    Tickle or Torture? There is literally nothing you can’t make a statistic say. They are very easily manipulated. 8 samples of a football team is way too small to judge considering all the variables.


  64. Yea well I would too, who wouldn’t BC. 🙂

    The point is, with this defensive scheme you have to constantly recruit NFL talent or be great at coaching them up. And we haven’t seen the latter to be the case this year, have we ?

    Pitt hasn’t consistently recruited NFL talent on defense since the Majors/Sherrill era. So why would they start coming now ? To play on the worst pass defense team or close to it in D1 or play at Ketchup Bottle.


  65. Emel – everything you need to learn is contained in Three Stooges shorts. We will pay the fine as it just comes out of state funds given to Ped State.


  66. Emel – I think if we even had ACC talent on the defensive side of the ball, we’d be 8-0. That’s the point I’ve been trying to make.

    Pitt has fielded a defense this year that has about 4 ACC caliber players… and it’s gotten torched by a handful of NFL caliber receivers… That’s the real lasting gift from HCPC. All Americans on the Oline and in the backfield. And a bunch of guys that shouldn’t be in the ACC on defense. Everyone said it was a problem when he was doing it, and it was gonna be a problem down the road… And now that they’re all upperclassmen, it’s a problem.

    If Narduzzi can bring in just ACC level players – which I think he can, will, and is – his scheme is going to be fine. Just need to turn that side of the roster over.


  67. It’s the same reason why teams like PSU and Virginia are doin go well against us. They might not have NFL guys running around, but they at least recruit at a P5 level.

    The gap in talent on defense is just too large right now.

    I expect Miami will suddenly snap out of their scoring drought this weekend, too.


  68. NP Ted – I put it out there probably two or three months ago. The only question was the actual dollars. Government compliance is becoming too intrusive in university activities which is making universities hire more and more compliance people. There is no return on investment and universities eat the expense or increase tuition. Clery compliance is stupid. Nothing stops the dairy college from doing the same thing tomorrow. They can get away with the same stuff if people in the right positions make bad decisions.

    It’s about checking the boxes and scaring administrations. If you do what is right from the start, there should be no need for all those folks checking the checkers. It’s almost embarrassing.


  69. I’ve tried and tried and tried… but honestly someone has to censor “Dark Night.” The guy is painful to read. He makes almost as many excuses for Narduzzi as Narduzzi does for himself.

    Flat out.. We run a scheme designed to stop the run in a league where most teams prefer to pass. We have given up significantly more passing yards, with the same players, as we did last year. We get extremely tight and conservative late in games and have blown many games we should, or at least could, have won.

    Look, I like Narduzzi’s energy and I think he’s got a chance to do some good things here. I hope he stays and is successful. But, right now he’s Wannstedt- minus the ability to recruit big-time talent… Or coach defense.


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