POV’s Bits & Pieces; 11/8/16

The Post-Gazette has a piece on the state of the team at this point.

Pat Narduzzi’s opening line in his Monday news conference might have said it best:

“Another Monday here, another tough loss to a really good football team.”

Since the 2016 schedule was released, a sizable asterisk marked this current gauntlet of opponents on the Panthers’ schedule — Virginia Tech, Miami, Clemson — because of its ability to possibly make or break the season.

Now that consecutive losses to the Hokies and Hurricanes have extinguished the team’s ACC Coastal Division title hopes, Pitt has one biggie left Saturday, and it’s the toughest of them all.

Another good point made was that against Miami our offense only scored 21 points – and seven of those were on a defensive mistake to not cover a Pitt receiver at all – thus a 75 yard TD pass. 

But for all intents and purposes when looking at last Saturday’s offensive work in terms of production and seeing only 14 points put up in offensive drives, helped along by Miami’s 15 yard ‘roughing the passer’ penalty in one series and their 15 yard ‘personal foul’ in the other,  is damned scary when facing a great defensive team in Clemson (#8 in Scoring Defense with 15.1 ppg; #11 in Passing Defense with 180 ypg and #12 in Total Defense giving up only 323 ypg).

The Tribune-Review states something that we all pretty much know about all ready – Pitt rotated four CBs into the game and it didn’t do jackshit…

In a perfect world, Narduzzi doesn’t like to rotate cornerbacks. But he used four against Miami: starters Ryan Lewis and Dane Jackson and later Maddox and freshman Damar Hamlin. It might have been five, but Phillipie Motley is injured.

Maddox missed the previous two games with an arm injury. He returned Saturday to record one of Pitt’s two pass breakups among 47 Miami attempts. Lewis had the other.

Asked to describe his physical state, Maddox said, “To an extent, I can do everything.” He said Miami’s speed at wide receiver shouldn’t have affected the game by itself.

“They got good speed. We have good speed,” he said. “It’s just who can make the plays. We have to make a play when the ball is in the air.” The 51 points marked the most allowed by Narduzzi’s defense in his 22 games as Pitt’s coach.

Well folks, I wouldn’t bet a dollar that the 51 points against Narduzzi’s defenses bench mark doesn’t get shattered on Saturday – it could be a veritable bloodbath.  Especially when we read this:

Injuries to several players, including defensive tackles Tyrique Jarrett and Shakir Soto and defensive end Rori Blair, and spotty play from others place Pitt in an uncertain situation while preparing to play undefeated Clemson.

Coach Pat Narduzzi’s depth chart lists co-starters at seven positions on defense, including all four in the secondary.

For a trip down memory way… Do you remember what Josh Conklin’s selling point was when he was hired on as Pitt’s Defensive Coordinator before last season?  It was based on the fact that in 2014 FIU, his old team, was #8 in the nation in turnover margin with +11  – which was almost one extra series for the good guys and one less for the opponent per game .

However in the last two years as Pitt’s DC we have been #64 in ’15 with an even 16 taken and 16 given and now this season we are #54 with 11 taken and 10 given for a +1 overall.  Blah…and not what we had hoped for from a Conklin defense at all.

As above we are currently #92 in ‘turnovers gained’ with only 11 grabbed all year:

“Pitt is ranked 92nd in the nation and 11th in the 14-team ACC in turnovers gained (11, seven fumbles and four interceptions). In the past five games, the only turnovers forced by the defense are interceptions returned for touchdowns by Avonte Maddox and Jordan Whitehead.”

Now there is nothing wrong with Pick-6s, and good for Maddox and Whitehead, but we need more that just two turnovers in five games  and we need to better our opponents in turnovers not just keep pace with them.

Let’s end with this from the Pitt News:

The Pitt football team and head coach Pat Narduzzi have taken a lot of flak for the way the defense has performed this season, especially when defending opponents’ passing games.  Despite the criticism, Narduzzi made a couple of late-game decisions Saturday against Miami that required a lot of faith in his defense. The problem is, he may have shown too much faith.

With under nine minutes left in the fourth quarter, Pitt trailed by 13 points. After a 1-yard gain by running back James Conner, the Panthers faced fourth-and-1 at their own 10-yard line.

Rather than give one more handoff to the team’s All-American tailback and trying to pick up one yard behind All-ACC offensive linemen Adam Bisnowaty and Dorian Johnson, Narduzzi decided to punt the ball back to Miami.

The Hurricanes then put together an eight-play, 41-yard field goal drive to extend their lead to 16. More importantly, they milked almost five minutes off the clock, and Pitt got the ball back down 44-28 with only 3:21 left in the game.

Narduzzi has a lot to learn about the decisions a game-day HC makes.  Last year I’d chalk it up to being a novice.  This year I chalk it up to his stubbornness.  After all we have seen from our putrid defense this season – he still put the ball in Miami’s hand when we desperately need to put points on the board.

In other words he distrusted our great run game and trusted out porous defense.  Here is the sequence that led up to his decision to punt.

punted

It certainly was terrible field position to give the ball away if we failed on that 4th down conversion but a HC has to take risks sometimes and not just when we are at midfield in the middle of the 1st quarter (that fake punt/pass which didn’t work).

But we were down by only 13 points with 9:41 left to play in the game and had we won that play there was a shot that we could then control the clock and be down by only six points at the end of the ensuing TD drive.  That’s how a HC should think.

Narduzzi should have had the guts to allow the kids to get that one I believe. 

Funny thing about players – they want to play and not only on the easy plays and in safe circumstances.  They would rather fail out on the field then have the staff take the shot away from them.  In other words they are Alpha competitors… you don’t get on the field as a Power Five player unless that is how you approach the game.

I think what bothers us fans the most is that there was an appearance of giving up the ghost with that safer decision – almost like the staff, and then the team, felt they were going to lose anyway and sojust wanted to get off the field.

Not a good way at all to set the stage for the toughest game of Narduzzi’s career as HC so far when he goes into Death Valley on Saturday.

Note: This is a reminder that this The Pitt POV is now, and will be, a politics-free blog.  We’ll all have strong opinions about what happens today I’m sure but I’m asking all of you to find other venues to vent or celebrate.

I haven’t ever censored or deleted anything on here and really don’t want to do that but I am serious about this rule.

 

107 thoughts on “POV’s Bits & Pieces; 11/8/16

  1. I’ve been a solid supporter of Pat Narduzzi this first year and a half but I was very disappointed in last Saturday’s display by the entire effort. The one thing that stood out to me was the head coaches demeanor. He barely said a word and looked like a scolded little boy who was told to pipe it down on the sidelines. imo way too much was made of his sideline behavior a few weeks ago. I thought the meddling administration left town already. Let the man coach and figure it out for himself.

    I’ve also said all along that the psu game was indeed a big if not a signature win for PITT, looking more like that every week.

    I have to laugh when I hear how PITT offense only scored 14 legitimate points. Henderson return and the play that Miami gave them on the uncovered Weah’s catch and run. All year all I’ve read is how McSorely missed a wide open receiver down the sidelines on that interception and how Nate didn’t see this guy or that guy but when he does see the guy it’s not a good play but a gimme or a breakdown and shouldn’t count. Always so critical of PITT, it wears me down.

    I guess PITT shouldn’t even bother to fly down to South Carolina for this weeks game but the ACC won’t pay them unless they show up and get their asses kicked. You know where I will be Saturday? Right in front of my 55″ TV with my PITT script shirt on and do what I do every game PITT plays. Cheer for my beloved PITT Panthers football team unconditionally…..and without the dogged critical eye.

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  2. It’s a conspiracy against Narduzzi!!!!! This site is rigged.,

    But seriously … as far as the offense vs Miami, if you are not going to honor Pitt’s 75 yard TD, you may want to regard Weah’s drop on what looked to be an apparent TD. Also, Pitt was deep in Miami’s territory on 2 other occasions but came away with 0 points …. intercept and missed FG. Long story short … Pitt’s offense did as well or better vs Miami than any other team this year.

    On the defensive side, however …. I have nothing! (maybe a rash of injuries …. there are 7 unsettled defensive positions on this week’s depth chart)

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  3. One more measuring stick for our team.

    Our only hope is to get the running game going.

    Trick plays will not work.

    Hopefully we can come out with no more injuries or Duke and Syracuse who come here with nothing to lose will finish us off.

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  4. I am going to Clemson to support our boys..we all need each other. None of you are ever giving up on our school and team..admit it !! I was too rough on Duzz’s sideline behavior during the VT game and figured he got called into the office and now say let the man be himself..our team needs his fire..and so do we..blog has sounded like a bunch of quitters this week..
    We left a lot of points on the board against Miami -a chance for 17 more and our turnovers gave them points..it could have been a tight game but we lost..move on ! Hail to PITT

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  5. Guys – I only used Weah’s being open in reference to what I was saying about Pitt’s ability to move the ball offensively in regard to facing a great Clemson defense – or didn’t you read this part:

    “Another good point made was that against Miami our offense only scored 21 points – and seven of those were on a defensive mistake to not cover a Pitt receiver at all – thus a 75 yard TD pass.

    But for all intents and purposes when looking at last Saturday’s offensive work in terms of production and seeing only 14 points put up in offensive drives, helped along by Miami’s 15 yard ‘roughing the passer’ penalty in one series and their 15 yard ‘personal foul’ in the other, is damned scary when facing a great defensive team in Clemson (#8 in Scoring Defense with 15.1 ppg; #11 in Passing Defense with 180 ypg and #12 in Total Defense giving up only 323 ypg).”

    I try to look at aspects of the team and games that aren’t readily apparent or found in other media reports. if it sounds like I’m negative Ike – it is because this is a pretty strange season with a ton of negative stuff going on in it.

    Hell, no one even noticed I didn’t discuss our amazingly bad pass defense in this piece at all…

    BTW – I keep telling you guys that any Pitt administration is going to have a very low tolerance for anything that reflects poorly on the university and finds its way into the media – thus the behavior change in Narduzzi’s sideline demeanor from the VT game to the Miami game.

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  6. I’ll be drinking a beer with BigB before the Clemson game.

    This game will be one that I just want to experience in person. Clemson is a great team. I have no expectations of Pitt keeping it close.

    Now, knowing Pitt, somehow they figure out how to hang around with Clemson long enough for some of that diehard Pitt hope to bubble up not my consciousness come the 4th. Q. Then of course they let it slip away at the end for another heartbreaking loss while we debate all of the could ofs, should ofs & would ofs of our 3rd loss in a row.

    We’ll see! The good thing about this one is that the Pitt Alumni sponsered tailgate event includes the beer & wine in the admission price!

    & finally just because I’m a rebel to authority,

    “I meant what I said Tom”

    In your face Reed!

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  7. Duzz needs to find that behavioral middle ground.. somewhere between Bobby Knight and Paul Chryst…love his fire just keep it under control..got a bit of hot-headed Italian in him,,

    FREE TICKET for Clemson game..last call…

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  8. OMG my thoughts have been hacked by wwb and The Russians! 🙂 Echo on the no-poiitics, besides I am always right in that area. haha
    Narduzzi did look like a whipped puppy. My understanding is that the big alums who light cigars with thousand dollar bills didn’t like a show of emotion – Majors and Sherrill weren’t little kittens guys.
    The problem with TV is that I could not see what the subs were doing when the coaches and players quit. The worst behavior I have ever witnessed was how the subs took a 70 pt thumping late in Majors2 at Pitt Stadium, an OCS, for you young ones. I am pretty sure the team will be ready as they can be to play emotionally. Unfortunately talent beats the lack thereof every time. Remember a few years back Clemson sucked. The worm always turns just not this week I’m afraid.

    On the fourth quarter punt I initially wanted him to go for it as given our performance at that point but it was not a decision that will haunt my dreams.
    I do think we need to eat clock this week more than in any other game this year. It’s time for that supposed good OL to put up or the media to shut up.
    HAIL TO PITT!!!

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  9. There is nothing wrong with emotion and passion, coaches blow up all the time.

    But sustaining that anger towards the refs for the whole game was over the top.

    Seems that his sideline behavior in Miami might have been passive aggressive, nothing wrong with showing positive emotion and some negative.

    Part of coaching is working the refs. He needs to work on that skill as well.

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  10. Pitt it Is… Pitt never played OSU under Walt. That debacle was coached by Johnny Walker Majors. Please get your facts straight before posting.

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  11. Guys,
    If you want to refer to a guy like me, who has been a died in the wool Pitt fan since having season tickets starting in 1973 go right ahead. Be my guest.
    I can tolerate losing. Been watching it for 30 years now. But I got frustrated when opposing teams, especially VT just threw jump ball after jump ball down the field to score and we say ” we can’t do anything about it” I just needed a break!!! Speaking of break, if it takes breaking the WR’s leg break it!!!! Do something!
    Any way, it’s out of my system now and I hope we can win 1 or 2 more games and go to another crap toilet bowl. I’m back to being the normal Pitt fan again. Thanks for your patience.

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  12. Biggest Positive for Myself after the Miami Loss ……

    Is knowing that Pitt sports has some serious DIE HARDS who know matter how frustrated they get —- IN THE END ARE GONNA KEEP COMING RIGHT ON-BACK AND SUPPORTING THEIR TEAM TO THE END lol

    My perspective on Pitt Football is very different than many here, because I only personally-witnessed ONLY ONE SINGLE losing season for Pitt Football EVER (YUP) —- and that Season ended in a Fairly Nationally-Important and Big-Upset by a score of 13-9……So the expectations for many Pitt fans now is, “Why Can’t Pitt Football be Up-There with Anybody??? (MOST ESPECIALLY all the “Younger Folks” who’ve honestly now only really known Pitt Football as an ACC Coastal School!! Crazy how times change, no more Big Least !!)

    Man this site is the best @Reed & fellow posters —> Sincerely, from a “Millennial” who SCOURS the entire internet like Indiana Jones looking for Invaluable Relics lol.

    And: HAIL TO PITT !!!! 🙂 —- (EVEN with the upcoming “Sacrificial LAMB week” — But at least Pitt Fans get to witness Rare True Greatness destroying Pitt’s defense in QB Deshaun Watson 🙂 🙂 🙂 hahaha instead of Pitt making another Mediocre-to-Decent -guy look like Tom Brady!!!).

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  13. The Clemson score won’t be as bad as you think. With nobody on the DL they’ll just run the ball and get 10-15 yards or however many they can drag Whitehead down the field.

    I’ll be there with the other 20 Pitt fans in the sea of orange.

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  14. On Coach Duzz’s sideline behavior — I think what you saw at Miami was just resignation on his part. I think deep down he knew we were out of that game after the fumble to open the second half. The VT game he knew was winnable – big difference.

    Let’s get some passes to Q. Henderson. With his quickness, he shouldn’t disappear so much from the passing game – course he does need to work on securing the ball…

    I like seeing Taleni and Watts in there. Good experience for them and Taleni can make some plays.

    Would like to see Wirginis get more playing time but Galambos is the defense’s “computer.” Oh well.

    Let’s hope we can keep it competitive against the Clemsons.

    Go Pitt.

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  15. @JoeL:

    I say, “Relic”, but I could never associate that with any person out there especially and wonderful visitors here! lol —– sometimes that word gets associated with possibly “negative” ideas of something of “by-gone eras” or “out-molded times”, etc. —–

    So I want to say I think here are many people who are “Monuments” instead: “an outstanding, enduring, and memorable example of something.” — Especially to the many who visit this site who have seen the great days of Pitt and are still going strong now! — My Advice : Keep strong! And make sure that you get to experience the Great Days of Pitt Ahead! 🙂 lol lol

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  16. North Carolina State had Clemson beat and Blewitt missing a last-second field goal… I would say the Wolfpack has a better defense than us but we might be able to hang… Never give up hope as long as there is alcohol 🍻involved

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  17. Majors – that was part of the reason Galambos kept his starting job – he has a better grasp of the defense than Wirginis does. I do think Wirginis is physically a more talented player though. Most probably Wirginis will start as a SR next year.

    I actually don’t think Clemson will score 70 against us and even though I said that 51 points against record will fall I wouldn’t be surprised if we held them under 50.

    Which is saddening even while typing that. Here are Clemson’s offensive stats nationally.

    http://stats.ncaa.org/team/147.0/12424

    Stat Rank Value
    Total Offense 24 488.4
    Rushing Offense 71 168.2
    Passing Offense 13 320.2
    Team Passing Effi 19 151.52
    Scoring Offense 21 38.6

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  18. A lot of focus on our Defense so far this year, understandably since its obviously our weakest link, however the QB position is also a concern of mine. In contrast to PSU, they have a young QB that has grown from mediocre to pretty good through experience, whereas we have a veteran who reached his ceiling a year ago and is ready to graduate. Narduzzi is doing what most coaches would do, playing his best, most experienced QB, but I’m personally a little envious of programs that play younger QBs, take a few lumps and build for three future. I don’t think we’re in the position to do that unfortunately, but even if McV doesn’t beat out Bo next year, I hope he at least gets decent experience.

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  19. Look – if Narduzzi can win this game it will silence a lot of critics who point to his not having a signature win in two years.

    Yes, PSU was great and fun but it didn’t have any impact on the National scene or in the Conference scene. He needs one of those badly and if he can’t get it Saturday he’ll go into his 3rd year here without one.

    Why is that important? Because Pitt fans tend to compare HCs from one period to another. For example Paul Chryst – in his 1st year as a HC – beat #13 VT 35-17 then beat #21 Rutgers 27-6… while almost beating #4 ND 29-26. That was impressive even though he only won 6 games overall.

    Todd Graham beat #16 USF (while giving up only 22.8 ppg on the season – 15 ppg less than we are now). Again he only won 6 games but beat a ranked team.

    This is what Pitt fans want to see – we want to see Pitt at least reaching above their station and winning underdog games to ranked teams.

    All we have been able to do this is is point to close losses to ranked teams.

    I’m not saying Chryst and certainly not that Graham are better coaches than Narduzzi because I don’t believe that… but they did things that made the fans sit up and take notice. In the past two years we got ours asses handed to us bu #15 ND and then in the bowl by #21 Navy.

    This season we lost to the only ranked team we faced in VT.

    Narduzzi needs to change that next season ASAP or the drums will sound.

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  20. This isn’t a new thought, and Reed summarizes it well above, but the 4th quarter punts drove me crazy.

    When Pitt started their drive with 9+ minutes left, they had a 3% chance of winning the game according to ESPN Win Probability %. Not encouraging but not 0% either. After punting, the % chance of Pitt winning was reduced to 2%. You could say that it was only a 1% difference in the grand scheme of things, but again, 1% isn’t 0%.

    Of course, this was all about trying to make the final score look better at the expense of trying to win. And it wasn’t even successful in achieving the meager desired result. The Miami two possessions after those punts resulted in 10 points anyway.

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  21. ^^^ @Reed………….Rutgers??? That 6-6 Va Tech team? …….. USF, like, the University of South Florida??? ….. urgh….I would more compare until how James Franklin seemed like a lost cause, but then when his squad beats #2 Ohio State (in a COMEDY OF ERRORS, Gift-Wrapped win from the Buckeyes but it makes no difference lol) his entire tenure seemed totally Adrift….then, BOOM, CAPOW! after that win it finally seemed like his team, GOT-IT.

    But this Clemson team is unfortunately HEAD-AND-SHOULDERS above this year’s Ohio State team.

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  22. @Reed **North Carolina is ranked 14 and Oklahoma State is ranked 17, Virginia Tech is 18 ……all of those “SIGNATURE WINS” were teams that finished 7-5 or worse and ‘Obviously’ finished unranked????

    …..Sometimes…..No Comprendo…. 😉 lol

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  23. Sure, I’d like to see a win on Saturday. But realistically, my minimum expectation for the Clemson game is that no one really “notices” it.

    35-17. 38-21. 30-14. Ho hum. Nothing to see here. Just your average chalk game.

    Loser talk? Maybe. I’ll hold out hope until Pitt literally can’t win. But a scenario that is at least as likely as winning is losing 70-7. This would magnify the narrative that Pitt’s program remains lost at sea. With key recruits farther from reach. Which is a far cry from where we were just a week ago. Yes, we were sour about the narrow VT loss, but we had our moral victories (“3 by a combined 11!”). And the perception of our program was strong enough that 3 of 4 ESPN experts picked Pitt to go on the road and hand Miami its 5 straight loss.

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  24. Flying back to Texas with little girl. Hard knowing may be last time I see Mom. I think we cover against Clemson. Any lines yet? Id guess 16.5

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  25. Reed, all due respect … rankings don’t mean a damn thing until later in the season. Current example … both Notre Dame and Mich St were ranked in the Top 10 in most pre-season polls.

    And also …. any comparison between past schedules and this one must also compare the offensive efficiency(and ppg) of teams Pitt played. I honestly can’t remember when we played so many high scoring teams and high caliber passers. This is not giving a pass to our pass defense — it stinks, but by the end of the year, we will have played 9 QBs who are the Top 50 in overall passing.

    http://www.cfbstats.com/2016/leader/national/player/split01/category02/sort01.html

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  26. It appears that the complaints about how the defensive backs are not supported has been spent. I have only one insight. Since we have successfully shifted from the sweeps that were so prominent in our first games after the opposition began to look for it, why can’t we shift a safety over to assist the CBs for certain passing situations to throw off the opposition? As of now they expect single coverage..

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  27. Just saying if PITT were to be playing psu this week instead of week 2? With the exact same results it would be a HUMUNGOUS victory. A signature win if you will? I don’t grasp the fact that it is not? Color me confused………….again.

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  28. I went back to the pre-season AP poll for this year .. and there are 11 teams listed on it that are no longer in the Top 25.

    I also figured out why PSU jumped so much in Selection Committee polls … it gives them a reason for ranking OSU over Lousiville. OSU’s only loss was to an unranked PSU team (But now 12th) … while Louisville only loss was a close game at #3.

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  29. UPitt – just went through that with my mom. Its very tough, no matter how old they are. Hang in there and I will light a candle for her this Sunday.

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  30. I too am going to the Clemson game. I’ll be sitting in the Pitt section enjoying the atmosphere of Death Valley. I am hoping we can keep it competitive but otherwise have very low expectations. I’ll be sitting in that section at end of the game as well so I should be easy to spot when everyone else has left🙂🙂 Come join me and we can discuss how badly we again defended the pass.

    I think Narduzzi needs to be adaptable but do not think he will change his defense next year though. Next year is going to be be a tad easier with NC State replacing Clemson and Rice replacing Marshall. With the same defense we lose to PSU in State College so we will end up either 6-6 or 7-5. Everyone keeps saying wait to 2018 as if we have a choice. We do not. We have to put up with Narduzzi for the next two years to see if he, indeed, turns it around in 2018. We do not have to be silent in our displeasure though.

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  31. Joe L -Many thanks Brother. I would love to meet you as well one day. You in Pitt or somewhere else? Im in Texas but usually am moving around somewhere on a plane.

    Ike – I think it is simply bc PSU is a much better team and have honestly improved. Plus they got healthy. I love we beat their ass but if we played them now I see them winning by 10-14.

    We have regressed.

    Narduzzi will realize it is easier to win in the Big 10. I can see him taking a position in the Big 10 before people realize he is a lifelong DC only in the Big 10. In a conf that scores he can’t compete. ACC or Big 12. Hell he would be okay in the SEC as a DC. He is a John Chavis without the success. A lifer DC. Just my 2 cents.

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  32. @pitt is it

    It was Johnny Majors 2 not WLAT that was destroyed by tOSU. WWB is correct.

    Narduzzi will make the Panthers great again !!

    Hopefully

    Clemson 52
    Pitt 44

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  33. UPitt – I live in Richmond, but am up for every home game and my travels take me through your Fayette County. I occasionally stop at the Summit Inn to wet my palette due to passing through the high altitude at Keysers Ridge.

    First drink is on me if we ever meet!

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  34. I’m going to the Clemson game too. Just there to enjoy myself and the atmosphere at Death Valley. Any recommendations for dinner and watering holes Fri/Sat?

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  35. If we score 44 on Clemson then we would have surpassed any point total a team has put up on their D. I don’t see that happening. I think this is a closer game than people think. In fact I have a strange feeling we may pull a shocker on this one somehow. I don’t think our guys will quit.
    @Reed, I’m sorry but I can’t take “ranked” and “Rutgers/USF” in the same sentence seriously. And as was pointed out above, while they were ranked when we beat them, they ended up the year rather average. Stats can be manipulated so many ways.
    We haven’t faced a schedule this tough in a long, long time. And as wwb keeps repeating and most keep ignoring, we haven’t faced this many high quality QBs in a long, long time either – if ever. Give it time. It will happen.

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  36. JoeL… did a weekend at Summit in with my wife… great spot..:
    Got my parking pass, ticket to the alumni tailgate and going to have a beer 🍻 with Dr Tom… for as much as we piss, bitch and moan all the POVers I have met are fun to share beers and BS with… see you in Clemson

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  37. @ p.s. just so we fully understand how bad Pitt’s QB struggles have been until 2017-18, i.e. : “The Dawn of Thomas MacVittie” 🙂 lol — Pitt’s Marcus Mariota 2.0 — Taller and 15 pounds stronger

    —- We’ve come to accept “Who Nathan Peterman Is” —- But one player named Chad Voytik — who do not LIE — many even here tried to RATIONALIZE FOR lol — was succinctly benched at Arkansas State after Torpedoing their team — and since his benching the team has absolutely taken-off under their new starter.

    I would have loved to see just a bit of Ben DiNucci this year in the multiple (many* 😦 ) instances unfortunately when Nathan Peterman was struggling — but nonetheless he never got a shot. **You guys enjoy the next 2-3 years when Thomas MacVitte Tears it up 🙂 as it’s gonna be a Thang of Beauty.

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  38. Here is the complete transcript of HCPN’s post-Miami Monday press conference:

    COACH NARDUZZI: Another Monday here. Another tough loss to a really good football team.

    As I told our kids last night, I think Miami could have beat really anybody that night. They played really, really good and we didn’t play as good as we need to against a good football team. You know, you can’t make mistakes against a team that’s on fire and win it but there’s a lot of good things, when you look at the tape, there’s a lot of positives to bring from the tape that you saw, and you know, just not enough of them.

    With that, you’ve got another great football team, and I know you guys talked a lot about it preseason, about the schedule we had, and we’ve lost some close games and a year ago we were able to win some of those close games and this year, we’re not winning some of those close games. But with Clemson, you know, next on the schedule here, our kids get an opportunity to go on the road, play in a hostile environment against a really, really good football team that’s ranked two or three in the country, wherever you guys have them, maybe No. 1 in the country in some rankings.

    But a great football team that’s won a lot of games; that knows how to win close games. They have been in some battles. They haven’t blown everybody out. They have blown out half the teams and there have been battles with the other games.

    But Dabo does a great job coaching. They have got a great coaching staff on both sides of the ball. They have got athletes like we faced the last couple weekends, and it’s obviously a challenge for us. So with that, I’ll open up for questions.

    Q. To close the book on the Miami game, do you think you could have run the ball more and the other thing is, do you think maybe you didn’t have to punt on third down in the fourth quarter?
    COACH NARDUZZI: Yeah, you know, you could do that, you know. But you know when you’re punting five times in the second half or six times in the second half, I don’t want to put our defense in another tough situation.

    You wish you’d go three-and-out and not miss a tackle and we don’t do that, so you could always second guess yourself, should you punt or not. I don’t have any regrets at all based on the way we were moving the football. You know, I have no regrets there about that.

    Your first question —

    Q. Did you think you ran —
    COACH NARDUZZI: You get behind, you don’t block them all the time, and you miss some things. You miss some reads with your running backs and you miss some blocks. And all of a sudden, you’re certain — second half, can’t get it on the passing game against these guys so we did still try to mix in the runs and not get into a two-minute situation. That’s what we do is run the ball. You know, at times we didn’t do it well enough.

    Q. Before the season started, you mentioned how you thought the knowledge on defense might lead to more explosive plays on defensive turnovers. What do you think has attributed to the lack of turnovers?
    COACH NARDUZZI: The last couple weeks we haven’t been able to get any. We dropped one a week ago, I think [Terrish Webb] had an opportunity to catch one in the end zone, so you have to make plays when you can. One hit Maddox in his hands last week, put it on the ground, that attributed to we’re not hitting them hard enough, or they have got good ball security, one or the other.

    But you know, we’ve got to get them. We talked about that, turnovers are a two-way street, you can see how critical they are when you lose them, it’s going to help you lose the game and it’s critical when you don’t get some. Anytime we talk as a team, it’s, hey, you can’t turn it over here, and we have to get more. Let’s balance it out and get two. Sometimes that comes with luck, I hate to say it, sometimes you’re lucky and you know, as far as getting them. And sometimes you’ve got to make a play.

    Q. Just on the punting again, fourth quarter, what kind of message do you think that sends your team, you’re down two touchdowns, 16 points and you punt away with three minutes left without really a chance to get the ball back does that send a message?
    COACH NARDUZZI: Well, we had three time-outs left, okay. We had three time-outs left. Now if you don’t want to punt the ball when you’re on your own 20-yard line — I mean, we were inside our own 20. I mean, if you go for it and you don’t get it, and you had three downs already to get ten yards and you don’t get it, you might as well just grab a knife and stick it in you right there and start twisting it and pull it out, in my opinion. That’s how I feel about it.

    I have got faith in our defense. I think when they were going to get the ball back, they ran it three straight times. We got three time-outs. We can stop the clock on offense by running the ball out-of-bounds, we can stop it on defense with time-outs. We used two of them, and everything perfect; they ran the ball three times like we wanted to.

    We had a chance to make a play in the backfield on third and three, call another time-out and we get what we want. And maybe Quadree takes one to the house and you kick an on-side kick and you’re good. Now if I had known they were going to score, you know, like the armchair quarterback guys, if I knew they were going to score, I would say, shoot, might as well just have an 18-yard run instead of a 55-yard run. But you don’t know that.

    I knew, I believe that if they ran the ball, if they ran the ball three straight times, if we didn’t have three time-outs, it’s a whole different story. You have to judge that, and it’s easy after the game to sit in that chair and say, well, why did you. You know, I think you can ask the offensive guys, you’ve got to be smart, and it’s team football. It’s not just one side.

    Q. You said the defense has had its struggles this year getting stops in crucial situations. In that situation, I guess you are in a way, aren’t you sending a message that despite what the evidence says in terms of stopping the ball —
    COACH NARDUZZI: Well, we’ve been a good run defense. We’ve been a good run defense. We have got to be in the top 20 in run defense, and have we been a great pass defense, no.

    But we’ve been a great run defense and I thought we could stop it. We did the week before. I thought we would learn. And again it looked pretty good for two downs, and for three downs it didn’t. But you can say the same thing about getting a first down. You can’t always have four downs to get a first down. You could say the same thing.

    Q. The missed tackles, and obviously some of their success running the ball, was that a particular point of frustration for you, when you went back and watched the film?
    COACH NARDUZZI: Yeah, I mean, they had two big runs. Two big runs and they are all missed tackles. I mean, one time they chopped Tyrique and take Soto down, prepared right there to make a play and we miss it and again give that guy credit. He’s an athlete. He’s made people miss all year. But we’re there, but we gave up two big runs, we’d have under a hundred yards rushing if we stop those two big runs. And one of them is obviously at the end of the game if we talk about our third down stop and we are getting ready to call another time out, and about 35 seconds might have run off, two series. It was nice that we had our three time-outs, and I think that’s critical. But those two runs, yeah, that would drive me nuts.

    Q. [Question on needed depth at defensive tackle]
    COACH NARDUZZI: Jeremiah, first of all did a heck of a job. I mean, he was impressive. He played great leverage. And you know, he’s got a chance to start next week I think. He played with a flat back. He penetrated. He made plays in the pass game, he got I think a hurry, at least a hit on the quarterback and pass, which we haven’t got a lot of that inside. So I really like the way he played leverage-wise.

    And Amir Watts like I told you the week before, I was upset that he did not play and he obviously got his opportunity and I thought he did some good things. He popped out of the gap a couple times late like freshmen do; and when you get doubled, don’t spin out. When you get double teamed, if do you this (spinning), probably not a good thing. He did that a couple times but that’s a freshman mistake. But that’s why he needs to get reps and continue to play. I was happy with Amir and Jeremiah. I think Herndon got a few snaps. It was good to see the young guys.

    Q. Are there other young guys you might be thinking about playing in the last three games? Guys who haven’t played?
    COACH NARDUZZI: No. Not unless we have to. Not unless we have to.

    Q. But Brightwell played more than he played the other day?
    COACH NARDUZZI: Brightwell started against [North Carolina] and we wanted to get him in there. We think he’s got a lot of ability. Been wanting to get him in there. All depends on the game plan of what someone is doing offensively. We know there’s some…mistakes he’ll make being a redshirt freshman. We try to put guys in based on what they can do and what they can do well. Miami was a good team he can play against and be in the right spot most of the time.

    In a year, it will be totally different. He’ll be able to play every game. He’s still learning. There’s times in practice where the ball is going that way and he’s running that way. We have to make sure it doesn’t happen on game day. If that’s going to happen, he can’t be in the game.

    Saleem when he’s played and we’ve put him in a position to be successful, he’s done a nice job for us, as well and so he’ll continue to play.

    Q. In your depth chart, you have a lot of “ors” on defense; is that too much uncertainty going into week 11?
    COACH NARDUZZI: We’re competing every week, and I think, you know, there’s some guys banged up and there’s some guys that have got to practice well to continue to keep their position.

    I think that’s what’s — it’s not because I’m trying to mess with your mind. It’s just because it’s what it is right now at this point. We’ll find out who practices best.

    And again, it has to do with how healthy a guy is and you know, Price is not slashed because he feels good. He’s back there ready to go. But you know, it’s all based on what we’ve seen so far. But that doesn’t mean — the guys know. The guys know who will be ready to go.

    Q. [Question on the defensive line personnel and inexperienced depth behind Jarrett]
    COACH NARDUZZI: We’ll make some little adjustments, but Tyrique has been a beast in there, and he’s also gotten worn down. It’s a long season for him.

    I don’t think particularly — I really don’t feel bad about those guys going in. Like I said, Taleni, he can play against anybody. If he can play against Miami, I think he can play against anybody. Watts, he is a good football player. I’ve seen him get off the ball; he’s got about as good a takeoff — you ask those guys, Brian O’Neill, he (Watts) can get off the ball. He’s got a ton of talent so he’s only going to get better.

    But it is the next man up philosophy, but I’ve got no — if it was a different situation we were in right now, I mean, Jeremiah has come a long way from preseason camp and if those two guys weren’t there – I’d be like, oh, boy, what are we going to do – Brian O’Neill would probably be playing some three technique instead of catching touchdown passes.

    Q. There have been a lot of challenging quarterbacks you’ve faced these last few weeks and now you have another one coming up, Watson. What kind of challenges does he present to you guys?
    COACH NARDUZZI: He’s special obviously. I don’t know if he’s still up for the Heisman or how politics go there, but he’s a great football player. They are undefeated. He leads their offense. Deshaun is not only an excellent thrower, but he’s got a strong arm and throws darts. But he’s got the run threat, too. Kaaya really didn’t, even though he scrambled on some third down passes to gain yards last week, this guy is a threat on every down to beat you with his arm and beat with you his feet. That’s going to change some things for you on defense. We have got 11 monsters out there and we’ve got to line up with our best 11 monsters and go after them.

    Q. Did you watch any Clemson film from last year? Do they look any different?
    COACH NARDUZZI: Look, they are very talented. You look at Christian Wilkins, one of the defensive ends. Great football player. Got a true freshman D-tackle, and Dexter Lawrence, true freshman, might be the best player they have on defense. They have got some guys — I talked to a D-line coach in the conference that said, guys, their second line looks better than our first D-Line in the ACC. So they have got some guys up front.

    But so did the guys last week and so did the guys the week before that. So it will be a challenge to block them, but I think our guys like challenges.

    Q. You guys have been starting fast for most of the season. Last two weeks slow starts, any constant you’ve found watching the film?
    COACH NARDUZZI: No. I mean, a little bit of bad luck. A little bit of missed execution. We’ve just got to go out and play our game and do what we know how to do. You know, there’s nothing you can do about that. Got to make plays.

    Q. Does Matt Canada have some familiarity with this defense?
    COACH NARDUZZI: He does. He’s played against Venables before. He’s been okay with it. It will be a chess match for sure.

    Q. Damar Hamlin played a lot it seemed. What is your evaluation?
    COACH NARDUZZI: I think he’s a true freshman. I thought he played pretty good. Could play with better technique, as always, like every one of our players could on offense, defense and special teams. But he’s a true freshman going in there against skilled receivers in Coley and Richards.

    You know, can’t be disappointed. I mean, he’s thrown in the fire there. He’s a young guy, and I think he stepped up, played with an attitude, too, which is good. Had a little dog in him a little bit.

    Q. With him and Watts, freshmen who haven’t played a lot — saw more reps on Saturday than they have seen all season. Did you see them get better as the game went on? Did they get more comfortable and get used to the situation?
    COACH NARDUZZI: Yeah, I think so. Again, defensive line is a little different against the DBs so you see a little bit more. I think Amir certainly got better and I think Damar stayed about the same the whole time. It’s a little harder, you can see when you’re making contact every down with somebody, as a D-tackle is, it’s two different positions to look at. But Amir did get comfortable out there, which was good, and I think Damar was solid all day based on what he did out there.

    Q. I know you don’t pay much attention to the rankings, but you mentioned it’s a top-three team. Does that excite you as a head coach, a chance to go get a signature win this year?
    COACH NARDUZZI: No doubt about it. I think any time you get to play one of the top teams in the country, play the spoiler and go make something happen on national TV, I think that’s what players play for and I think that’s what coaches coach for. That’s what you want.

    If we were going to play the 128th team in the country, and you guys see the same thing. Like how do you go against Villanova in the opener and compare it to Clemson, they are just complete opposites. They have to be ready regardless and hope they play the same against Villanova as they play against Clemson but I would hope we’re going to get the best ball out of our guys.

    Q. [Question about Pitt’s 2007 upset of West Virginia and parallels to this game.]
    COACH NARDUZZI: You guys can put it in the papers if you want to, I don’t know, what happened back then doesn’t really matter, what’s happening now or who we are. I think our guys know, that have been given Saturday, and if you play the best you can play, then you play lights out, you can beat anybody. That’s a fact. I mean, you can go look at all the numbers. That’s what we sell, not what happened back in 1978 or ’76 or ’09. It’s what happens, you know, this Saturday. We’ve just got to play the best football we can on Saturday. Nothing else matters.

    Q. Is it a test of maturity, though, you mentioned the word spoiler, I’m sure it’s not something you want to talk about in the middle of November. With the preseason goals sort of maybe out of reach at this point, do you have to sort of refocus, and is it a test of leadership to get the guys ready?
    COACH NARDUZZI: Of course you do. It’s always a test of a coach. That’s what we coach for. But that’s where we are and you refocus your goals every day.

    Every day we come out, the kids come out, they have goal sheets. They fill out personal goal sheets, and I think as the season goes on and you’re winning and losing, you have to adjust your goals. To sit here and say, hey, we still have a chance to be ACC champs — I don’t quite, no way to say it, you know what I mean, yeah, we refocus our goals.

    Q. Looking at the big picture, how do you compete with a program like Clemson, not just on the field, but in the National Championship Game last year, maybe again this year. People gravitate to them. Recruits gravitate to them; how do you compete as a program.
    COACH NARDUZZI: Little by little. I could maybe see if we can go to your bank account (smiles), see if we could get some extra money and start buying players, but if we did that, it would probably be the wrong way. But you slowly — you’re not going to get there overnight and we know that. You know, they have got some good players. They have recruited some of the top players in the country.

    But you know what, right there in the chest cavity, guys that go out and play with heart and get after it and give you everything they’ve got, have a chance — you slowly peck at that and try to become the best football team you can.

    Q. How would you assess the job Matt Canada has done with the offense so far, particularly creativity as the season has gone on?
    COACH NARDUZZI: I give him an A Plus. I mean, really, when you look at the points we’ve scored, Matt’s done a great job with our guys and kids believe in what they are doing. Scored a lot of points. We haven’t had many sacks. I think we’ve had maybe five or six sacks on the year.

    We turned the ball over, you know, probably compared to — our giveaways, I would say we are in the top 20 as far as giveaways. We are not giving away some of the critical games we have, whether it be on special teams or on offense, you know — Saturday gave away twice but we protected the football. You score a lot of points and turn it over a lot, it’s probably not very good. But Matt’s done a great job.

    Q. Going back to July when you found out that you’re going to lose some players, career-ending illnesses, all the injuries you’ve had, have you ever coached a season like this where the season did not go according to plan?
    COACH NARDUZZI: Yeah, of course. We’ve had years like this. You have years — we’ve had teams like this, we’ve had years like this, we’ve had defenses like this. You just keep pounding away.

    Q. Do you expect more from this defense, though, when the season started?
    COACH NARDUZZI: Yeah, but you never know how it’s going to go, I mean, I think offense is pretty good. I think the ACC conference and the receivers and the skill and the quarterbacks, I mean, we play an excellent quarterback every Saturday or Thursday night, whatever it may be. But you know, you obviously always expect better. We still expect better this Saturday. We expect the best on Saturday. That’s how we’re coaching.

    Q. You spoke about saying goals being out of reach —
    COACH NARDUZZI: Goal is to beat Clemson on Saturday. It’s a one-game season. That’s our goal.

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  39. wbb – I’ll disagree 100% with your contention that the rankings don’t mean anything until the end of the season. When you win early on against top 25 ranked teams the national sportswriters take notice and start voting you into the Top 25.

    We’ve seen this year that doesn’t happen when you beat the teams you should beat – you get left out in the cold. If we would have beaten either NC or OSU when they were ranked in the Top 25 we’d have jumped up in the rankings when we hit our 5-2 record for sure.

    Dark – you line up and play who is in front of you. The fact that they were ranked at game time is what matters as I stated above. Pitt can win against unranked teams all they want and because of our middling reputation won’t get anywhere near the Top 10 – from which the powers that are choose the playoff teams. To quote:

    “Four Teams

    The selection committee ranks the teams based on conference championships won, strength of schedule, head-to-head results, comparison of results against common opponents and other factors.

    It is that strength of schedule that has to work in Pitt’s favor. We won’t get any poll recognition at all if we don’t start beating ranked & stronger teams.

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  40. For IMMEDIATE Release

    November 6, 2016

    Pitt-Clemson will be full national telecast on ABC

    The game will be shown in Pittsburgh on WTAE-TV at 3:30 p.m.

    PITTSBURGH—Pitt’s Saturday game at Clemson will be a full national telecast on ABC (WTAE-TV, Channel 4 in Pittsburgh) and kick off at 3:30 p.m 
    

    The Panthers’ remaining 2016 schedule with announced television coverage and kickoff times:

    Nov. 12: at Clemson* (ABC), 3:30 p.m.

    Nov. 19: Duke*, TBA

    Nov. 26: Syracuse*, TBA

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  41. Yeti and Joe – They sank some money into the remodel at Summit. It is a poor mans nemocolin. Haha.

    Red Rum!!

    Landed in Texas. Colder here than PA.

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  42. I Like Ike! (woops….sorry….)

    UPitt, prayers for you and yours.

    When I liked in Boulder in the mid ’80’s I went to Estes Park many times and had a few at the Stanley Hotel. It’s where the Shinning was inspired when the author stayed there once (he has to be a sick boy…). It wasn’t filmed there though. The guy who invented the Stanley Steamer first owned it. They actually have an old Stanley Steamer in the hotel lobby.

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  43. I agree w/ Ike. I am sick and tired of reading crap like “defensive mistake to not cover a Pitt receiver at all”, “helped along by Miami’s 15 yard ‘roughing the passer’ penalty” followed by “their 15 yard ‘personal foul’ in the other:”.

    If you hate Pitt and hate Narduzzi… go do something else in your retirement years! Newsflash… us Pitt fans… we don’t want to read crap like this. Somehow insinuating anything good Pitt does is some kind of gift from the football gods. I’m out.

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  44. @ Tx Panther, is that a rhetorical question? Of course the Dark Knight is from the dark side of the moon, DUH?

    He probably listens to Pink Floyd when he smokes his medical marijuana too

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  45. John – it helps if you read things in context and don’t cherry pick.

    But I do wonder why you are affronted by my writing “a defensive mistake to not cover a Pitt receiver at all” that I put that in when discussing Pitt’s SUSTAINED drives for TDs… or lack thereof. That was a one play TD that was made possible by a huge Clemson mistake. I think we all can agree on that, right?

    Again – I was discussing what we did in our multiple play drives that ended in TDs. Do you think our offense showed anything that makes you think we will be able to keep our offense on the field and get a bunch of TDs against a very good Clemson defense. We have to do so because they will score a bunch of points against us.

    We sure did get lucky on that Weah 75 yard TD reception I believe and If you don’t think that play was way more luck than skill then we certainly see things differently.

    I’m not saying we can’t win against Clemson – I’m saying that in my opinion what we saw out of our offense last Saturday won’t be good enough to win the game THIS Saturday.

    I listed what I thought were positives yesterday in the MMQB but let’s be honest – when you lose to a conference for by 23 points there ain’t a lot of positive stuff to discuss – at least I think so.

    You have all the options in the world when it comes to reading and discussing Pitt football and I’m sure there are many sites whose writers are more positive in their covering the program. I don’t want you to leave but I’m doing exactly what I said I’d do with this blog when I started it – I’ll lay out my thoughts, knowledge and opinions and you all read it and agree, disagree or not give a damn.

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  46. Jackagain – re: Pitt ‘staying the course’… That is exactly what Narduzzi needs to do for the big picture. He obviously is recruiting for the future (which is rather silly to write actually as all HCs do that) and he has a vision as to what he wants the team to be and do in years 3 and 4.

    I do feel though that he can change staff coaching and still ‘stay the course’. That will be interesting to watch right after the last Pitt game is played. sometimes a HC sticks with something for various reasons when a trigger should be pulled.

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  47. JohnR please don’t be out. Opinion’s drive the message sites and we can disagree. Yes the hidden agenda’s get me a little bothered but after-all they are just opinions. (it’s the fact that they can’t admit to it)

    Having a place to read and vent is invaluable and you add too much to pull away. I got your back and PITT football hasn’t quit so don’t you dare!

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  48. Football is a game of mistakes. You usually win or lose by which team makes more than the other.

    Nothing wrong with admitting that we scored because they blew a coverage. Other teams score us when we blow coverages.

    There are great plays like Henderson’s runbacks and his block on Conner’s touchdown and poor ones like his fumble. Was the INT a poor pass or a great defensive play? Could it be both?

    Winning requires you to take advantage of the other teams mistakes as much as it does making great plays.

    I don’t think there is anything wrong with Reed’s analysis, not negative just the truth.

    It’s all in your perspective, did Webb miss the tackle or did their guy make a great fake? Did our D-Back blow the coverage or did their receiver make a great catch?

    Is it the coaches game plan or the player’s execution, or both?

    Plenty of room for discussion and not necessarily a definitive right or wrong.

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  49. Well, a win by Pitt on Saturday will need our best effort and all of the mistakes in the game being made by Clemson. Definitely possible, but very likely improbable.

    Thing is, a win on Saturday by the Panthers changes everything for the program in a flash! National exposure, huge upset with playoff implications, bowl eligibility Pitt and a signature win for Narduzzi while using a whole bunch of “next man up” troops.

    As I said, improbable, at best, but then again who saw 13-9 coming a few years ago?

    In any case, I’ll be there in person to witness the outcome, although a cat from got in which a Panther fights a Tiger seems a daunting task for our guys. We’ll see. H2P!

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  50. Jerry DiPaola ‏@JDiPaola_Trib 16 hours ago
    More Conklin: Brighest defensive coach I’ve encountered at Pitt (by a longshot) and that’s not damning him with faint praise. He’s a thinker

    The above was written by a PSU alum so take if for what it’s worth. There is also an article by DiPaola in the Trib sayng that Conklin is going to stay the course and building for the future

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  51. WLAT and wbbb. You are all right was majors2. I was quickly and so eloquently corrected by “Craig”. I have to get my facts straight.

    Again, everyone please accept my humble apologies.

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  52. The part that’s nagging at the back of my head is….. PITT has not been as crisp the past couple games as they were earlier on even through the two losses to OSU and UNC. Narduzzi needs to get that cleaned up this week. In year two, imo, it’s still about the win but it’s also about how the team presents itself on the field. Penalties, turnovers and stupid play calling can be corrected with attention to detail. If HCPN doesn’t do that, then he really is slow in learning to be the big true leader, necessary in D-1 college football.

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  53. 🙂 And a fine day to you Emel. I too am now feeling optimistic about America the world and PITT. Thanks for the weather report Frank – though I would prefer a muddy track. For those going to Death Valley – drink plenty of liquids. 🙂

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  54. While beating Clemson this Saturday wouldn’t Trump 13-9, it would be a Hillaryous victory, a victory which the people will have spoken, for the Panthers. :>)

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  55. Thought this was supposed to be a politics free place – don’t need any passive aggressive political bullshit from any side – here for sports only……lurked for a while but outa here now

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  56. So Dokish says Whitehead is playing out of position but doesn’t say what position he should be playing?

    I have been saying for a month he should be at corner and Brightwell at safety (at least for this year)

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  57. Used to read Dokish when he wrote on Panthers Prey but made the mistake reading his twitter.. that’s where you go if you want to get a dose of his view of politics when searching for sports..
    @Tommymac… 1st post I have seen from you so welcome.. jump in anytime

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  58. I’ve said for some time that Whitehead is being misused on defense. Since we can’t stop anyone consistently anyway, I’d say his speed opposite Henderson on the offense might just be the ticket. With our defense we have to score MANY points in each and every game just to be in the game. I think Canada just might like having the Whitehead option on each and every offensive play.

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  59. Good point jrnpitt.

    The defense can’t be any worse than last with or without Whitehead on defense. This team can win, ONLY when it OUTSCORES THE OPPONENT. So therefore it would make sense to put another weapon on the field on OFFENSE. Seems simple enough. You could have 2 playmakers on opposite sides of the field as WR’s and either one could run reverses, jet-sweeps, etc. And of course be harder to defend on passing plays as well.

    After reading the mind-blowing trib article on Conklin and the defense, only raises more questions about this staff.

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  60. It could be that Narduzzi thinks he doesn’t have anyone else to play SS. Maybe that will change and he will come to his senses and move Whitehead to corner next year. Or at least to FS. But he doesn’t have any speed in the middle right now to stop the run other than Whitehead.

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  61. You could also insert Whitehead back on defense at the end of game, if it warranted it. Same with Conner.
    You have to do desperate things sometimes under desperate circumstances. And our defense is certainly a desperate circumstance

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  62. ~ Jack….somebody played SS against Marshall when Whitehead sat out. Webb can’t pass defend, so he would be logical choice. Mitchell at FS.

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  63. Pitt needs good coaches and good players. That means we need Trump to bail out Pitt. We need the money or else we will be mired in mediocrity. I’m not confident that Barnes can raise the money needed. The money is out there…sunken treasure, politician pockets, Swiss bank accounts, Leprechauns.

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  64. Playing Whitehead on defense on the worst pass defense in D1 reminds me of the story of what Branch Rickey told Ralph Kiner when he came into his office at the end of the season to re-up his contract.

    Son, you can really sock those Home Runs, but we finished in last place with you and we can finish in last place without you.

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  65. Yup Emel the snowflakes in Oakland had a meltdown – sorta like Pitt v Miami second half, only with tears. This is my “safe space” so no criticism of me or Pitt. Waah

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  66. PittPT – We are having a terrible time getting good hospice nursing and really need a night nurse. Do you have any leads. We will pay upfront and really need good quality help. It is hard for my Dad and she needs true professional help. If you have any leads text me. Thanks! 305.808.2047. I was there 3 days and tried to get good help but Jesus is it hard to get good quality help in home nursing. Thanks.

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  67. ~ Upitt…..sorry to hear about your mom’s condition worsening. It seems like I just went thru that with my mom back in 2013. I sincerely hope her condition improves and for you to rest easy brother.

    Growing old in this country is no picnic. Look forward to meeting up with you !

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  68. All I heard about was the golden years being so great……Men it’s not all what it is cracked up to be. I have friends and family passing away at a depressing rate it and plain sickens me. Then again I guess it could always be worse I suppose. Although a PITT upset this week would be nice. It’s a place to hang my hat.

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  69. You’re right guys. My 88 yr old mom is on hospice care in an Assisted Living facility in Vegas and my 90 yr old father in law has Living Angels come to the house in Pittsburgh. And we live in Texas. It’s tough!

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  70. Upitt – thoughts and prayers for your mom….always.

    Gents – Part of the problem which is often not discussed is the lack of quality depth on the squad. That takes time. Notice, I wrote quality depth, not just bodies. We have bodies, not quality bodies. For example, Ryan Lewis is good, but not great. If he was great, he would have played at some point in his last four years. This speaks directly to the problem. Folks that have started and need to be replaced are Maddox, Webb, Galambos, Blair, Caprara, Bradley in addition to Lewis. Many could look at the list and say that we are in serious trouble because the new recruits haven’t supplanted these other players. I think that Narduzzi has some new recruits that will not only take the place of those listed, but will improve the positions. PATIENCE is demanded here. We will be fine.

    Pitt will find this weekend that the DL from Clempson is just as quick as our TE, FB. We won’t beat them on sweeps. You beat speed with power and some misdirection (because of over pursuit). I don’t like rolling out Peterman because he seems less accurate when he goes right….and definitely left. I think the trump card is Conner and Ollison straight on. Expect a good game.

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  71. UPitt, stay strong. Great article – independent view of Pitt Football…really can’t say it isn’t true.

    I was traveling last weekend (in Fort Lauderdale) taped the game and watched the 1st half last evening…where were the Miami fans? I like the gold & white uni’s…Miami was blitzing every chance they could – Pitt didn’t. Miami OL held a lot – no calls. Our D can’t stop anyone…it may be talent – but there is a way (stunts, blitzes, etc…) to try and confuse the other team, it looked like they stayed in the same base defense.

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  72. Thanks, I think, for the link UPitt – sadly the guy sums up the current state that is Pitt football. Gonna be patient. Prayers to your mom, you and family. Been down that road with 2 parents and brother and it aint easy.
    wwb thanks for you link, sad to see our Canadian pg is out again with same tear – I just don’t see Artis a point guard but Stallings keeps insisting.

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  73. I expect true frosh Justin Kitchcart to eventually get a lot of PT at PG. Probably not start, but get more ane more minutes as season goes on.

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  74. Huff – I think some doses of Aston are in order as well.

    UPitt – that Clemson blog was a dagger. The Fitzgerald comments were particularly painful. I hope it finds its way to the Pitt locker room.

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