There is always a lot of talk and writing in the media generated after a big win and that sure is the case with our Pitt team this week.  Let’s get to some of it:

As this is a current topic of  discussion on here, this is what Joe Starky of the P-G thinks about Pitt’s “All-Time” wins and where this last Clemson game land on that list:

5. Pitt 41, Notre Dame 38, Nov. 13, 2004: Like Tyler Palko, all Pitt fans were so “proud of their $#*@!@#$%%^* football team!” Pitt hadn’t won at Notre Dame since 1986. Palko became the first opposing QB to throw for five TDs at Notre Dame Stadium. Once again, we must leave out some classics here, including Pitt winning at Notre Dame in four overtimes in 2008, Pitt beating a top-3 Virginia Tech team in 2002 (and the Lousaka Polite game against the Hokies a year later), and even Pitt 12, Penn State 0.

4. Pitt 42, Penn State 39, Sept. 10, 2016: What a game! Glorious day. Rivalry renewed. Stands packed with fans from both sides. Tons of big plays. Think maybe they should play this game every year? Penn State, are you listening?

3. Pitt 16, West Virginia 13, Nov. 26, 2004: Against a ridiculously talented WVU team, Palko capped a dramatic late drive with the winning score. That put Pitt one win away from the Fiesta Bowl and its only BCS bowl bid (remember the BCS?).

2. Pitt 43, Clemson 42, Saturday: “The Rally in Death Valley.” One of the finest college football games I have ever seen. I still can’t believe ol’ Dabo, after throwing about 347 passes, decided to run it twice in a row. Pitt played utterly without fear.

1. Pitt 13, West Virginia 9, Dec. 1, 2007: I still put this game slightly above “The Rally,” because it was an ancient rival, because WVU needed only this win to play for the National Championship, and because Pitt was a 28.5-point underdog. The game will reverberate in West Virginia for decades. Maybe centuries.

It’s hard to argue about any of those entries – commenters on here have their own minds about these things.  For me though any major conference win has to be given higher priority than out of conference ones – but that’s just my take.  I think the seasons are all about conference play.

The Tribune-Review’s Kevin Gorman, who used to have the Pitt football beat, put up an interesting article about the importance of the Clemson win:

(Pat Narduzzi) “Based on my phone blowing up,” he said, “it was bigger than the Penn State win.”

I’ll go a step further: It was bigger than Penn State’s 24-21 victory over No. 2 Ohio State, as the Panthers ended the nation’s longest home win streak at 21 games at Death Valley while the Nittany Lions won at home in Happy Valley.

And it has the promise to be even bigger than Pitt’s 13-9 victory at No. 2 West Virginia in 2007, which knocked the Mountaineers out of the BCS Championship Game.

But Pitt is at a point where it shouldn’t be satisfied with serving as the spoiler.

I believe Gorman feels that way because Pitt has a better winning record this season than we did in 2007 when we ended 5-7.  At the very least we’ll be 6-6… but really more like 7-5 or even 8-4 again.  I’m leaning toward 8-4 but the good passing Syracuse QB scares me with the defensive backfield we have.

So even if we go 7-5 the bowl selection people will allow our Clemson upset to weigh heavily in where Pitt finally ends up.  Here is why – both times Pitt has been featured as a national TV game (Penn State and Clemson) we won both games… and both were very exciting nail-biter games to watch

That will mean more viewers will be inclined to watch Pitt in the middle of all those post-season bowl games (of which there are too many) and thus the bowl itself will make more money.

Even if the PSU win wasn’t actually an upset for us it was a well-known rivalry game and a lot of long-time college football fans remember what they watched around the Thanksgiving football game year in and year out when the two teams played on a regular basis.

On another note – I want to take a minute to rebut what one of the POV readers, a long-time Pitt friend of mine, has said on here earlier. That being that I have constantly picked against Pitt in my game predictions that we post up  the day before the game.

He’s referenced this to somehow allude to his belief that I don’t like  the team or the head coach – neither of which is true.  But below is how I predicted each game would play out and how the games actually finished. One caveat here – I pretty much suck at predictions:

rhk-pred

So you can see here that I favored Pitt rather heavily in the first part of the season, even against the favored OK State and North Carolina teams… until I began to realize we have the worse pass defense in Pitt’s long football history.

Even with that in the 2nd half of the season to date the times I predicted against Pitt I was correct 2 out of 3 times – missing only the Clemson game.  Of course I now realize that I was the only Pitt fan to feel that we might actually lose that game… 🙂

Anyway – I don’t think this team is poor at all but I do think that had we a semi-decent pass defense we may well be 9-0 at this point.  For that I do lay the blame on the coaching staff. If we don’t make some changes with that elephant in the room issue over the off-season I think we’ll waste games we can win again next year just like we have done this season.

It is great we have six wins, I truly feel that, but I also have to be honest when I write my thoughts and opinions on here.

I have been waiting for Pat Narduzzi to show me something concrete that he’s a better head coach for Pitt that the previous regimes were.  Winning eight games last year was nice – but really it was only one more than Chryst had a few years back.  One thing I needed to see from HCPN was a big conference win and he did that last Saturday. 

So – now that is accomplished I feel more comfortable in my thinking that he may be the HC to take us to a conference championship in the near future.  You may remember that very many Pitt fans pointed to the lack of doing that, winning the BE conference, as the reason Wannstedt was fired after the 2010 season, so obviously that meant a great deal to Pitt  fans then.

Which is why his beating Clemson last week means a great deal to me now.  Pitt usually loses when they are underdogs in important conference games (Hell, even as favored ones also), but not so much now though, eh?

I’m looking forward to the Duke game and driving up to see another win in-person at Heinz.  We’ll have the normal schedule of pre-game articles starting Thursday with a “Know the Enemy” piece up then.

HTP !!! and here’s to 7-4 !!

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88 thoughts on “POV’s FB Bits & Pieces; 11/15/16

  1. Reed, I just purchased a new flagpole for Pitt tailgating. Did you ever think of using the POV logo on a flag that we could purchase and use as identifiers for meeting areas as we convene at game sites?

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  2. Couple things….

    rkb, good one cause it was freaky. I was there and wrote a short story about an experience at the game on here recently. I think PITT was down 35-7 at the half. PITT played a very similar game years before against Navy

    The flag pole idea is great and I was going to ask if the POVers are still tailgating down at the Clark Bar and Grille lot? Haven’t been feeling great but I still have my ticket and reservation on the North Shore. I hope to meet up in one of the two last games.

    Over the years Reed and I have agreed on just about everything and I would think you would say the same thing Mr Kolhberger. Although I get the feeling you think I’m kinda of nuts. Why? Because you have said as much. What was it? Passive/aggressive/bi-polar/jr psychologist? LOL! 🙂 You know it’s all good and true.

    The two things I love best about last Saturdays game was, naturally PITT football winning the game…but…also the way the fans have come together. The fact there is tension again this week to win the game is a thought no one was expecting after the Miami loss. What a welcome feeling!…ike

    H2P

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  3. So Duke’s QB for Saturday was unranked by the recruiting services and the only offer I’ve been able to find on any of them is one from NC State and one from Duke. Yet he looks to be a pretty darn good QB so far. Maybe part of that is he’s new and fresh and that gives you an advantage until teams get a look at you and start to figure your game out…

    But it sure would be nice for Pitt, once in a while, to find an unheralded recruit like that who works out (maybe it’s premature to say right now that Jones is working out for Duke but whatever) at a skill position. QB’s the most important skill position but hell I’d take a completely unheralded WR who turns into a monster pass catching machine, or a TE, RB, DB, whatever.

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  4. Errr nope I was wrong he didn’t have an offer from Duke or NC State, he’s a walk-on. Guy had no offers from anywhere, just a little interest from NC State that didn’t go anywhere.

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  5. Reed… there is a custom flag maker on the Outer Banks … want me to get a price?? I would contribute and so would others if it lead to a watering hole!

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  6. Re: POV tailgating… we haven’t really started that yet as the POV is only 4 months old but I’d be glad to meet some people in the parking lot or at a bar before the game on Saturday.

    Since its at 3:30 we will have a lot of time to kill… why don’t we say the Clark Bar in the Clark bldg at 2:30 or so…

    That is my suggestion, if somebody has a better idea let’s hear it.

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  7. i don’t think so, seeing what canada’s passing offense looks like now that he’s cracked the playbook open all the way. a lot of deep balls thrown vs clemson in particular and a lot of quick strike passes designed to get lots of YAC. plus a lot of responsibility in running the offense, peterman is making a lot of adjustments at the line pre-snap. there’s a lot to like as a QB about canada’s offense. and if you’re a QB that has some legs, we’re gonna see next year when a QB who is a better runner than peterman gets in there whether it’s schneider or macvittie that canada gives his QBs a ton of opportunities to make plays in many different ways.

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  8. deep – ever heard of James Conner from Erie, PA – 3 star DE with a small handful of offers. Many said he belonged in the MAC. Completely unheralded?

    He’s currently having a nice career at Pitt as a RB. Broke a few of Tony Dorsett’s records and was the 2014 ACC POY and an All-American.

    This week against Duke, he needs 2 TDs to break the ACC career TD record.

    HTP!

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  9. Conner was not unheralded the way this duke qb was. I mean absolutely no one was interested in him except NC state for about 2 seconds and duke was willing to take him as a walk on. Conner wasn’t blowing up with interest but he did have a lot more interest than that.

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  10. Just because you pick against Pitt doesnt make you a hater. Makes you a realist. And not a homer or Kool-Aid drinker. We need more of that.

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  11. When you only have 2 games over the past decade to brag about, you know its been tough times. Normally Pitt shits the bed on national TV. We need to change that.

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  12. while I agree with Reed’s Top 5 picks … the 2 large comebacks vs WVU (the one rkb listed above in early 70s and the one engineered by Van Pelt circa 90) must be considered.

    But one that will always be big for me is 9-9. signifying the beginning of the Majors – Dorsett era. For some reason, even though it it was just one game, I really believed at the time it was the begining of the renaissance (although I never thought it would lead to NC in just 4 years)

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  13. Wwb — I like that nickname for Aston. I believe it was McShay who was gushing about him being our all around most versatile player or something like that. And he’s a walk on, I presume he had no power 5 offers. Reed did that fine write up about him a few months back.

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  14. It was that butthead Griese I think who said Aston was pitt’s most versatile player despite “not being the most athletic.” That’s when I knew pitt was gonna win. You don’t throw shade at george aston. YOU JUST DONT.

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  15. Deep.. in reference to George the Animal – we know white men can’t jump and will never possess athleticism..not enough fast twitch muscle fibers- it’s totally physiological.. He is just a damn hard nosed kid who is a real football player.. would love to have 3 or 4 more “George’s.” I bet he would be one helluva middle linebacker!

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  16. all-time we have 9 championships so (life-time)yes it’s big.
    Wish I could read Benno Cooks list.
    He would of liked this win.

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  17. I guess my Pitt games that are good or bad.

    Good means 13-9 WVU, 43-42 Clemson, 27-4 (PSU in 1976), but my memories also include 29-14 (at PSU in 1979) and 14-9 (at PSU in 1980).

    Bad means 7-17 (at UNC in 1979), 22-36 (at FSU in 1980) and 14-48 (PSU in 1981). Those 3 losses cost us 3 possible national titles as we finished 11-1 each year.

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  18. rkb – 36-35, Bowden said, was the game where he learned that no lead was big enough. He said he’d never sit on a lead again! Or, something to that effect. And as best I recall, he never did. Lord knows, he had plenty of lopsided victories after that!

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  19. Retro Saturday in Pitt Stadium at Heinz Field –

    https://mobile.twitter.com/CoachDuzzPittFB/status/798713948849786881/video/1

    Another reason amongst many to come see the Pitt Panthers entertain their fans at 3pm vs the Duke Blue Devils. The start time is perfect for a fun afternoon to tailgate with friends and support the team.

    See you all at the ketchup bottle for some Canadian, I mean college FB.

    A little rain NEVER hurt anyone. Now lightning or a hurricane, that is a losing proposition.

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  20. When Reed starts believing in the intangibles that currently surround this team, then you KNOW that the Panthers have turned the corner!

    Let’s not squander Reed’s blessings thrown Narduzzi’s way and win out for the season!

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  21. BTW, I haven’t been to a Pitt home game since I left the area (many years ago, but saw away games) but I’m flying in and going Saturday with a cousin and a few friends – the interest is back.

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  22. Savannah ur correct that game cost a lot of future opponents some humiliation. After he retired I believe he addressed the accusation he ran up scores for the polls and he said he learned after 36-35 never to let the pedal off the metal.

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  23. I don’t really remember anything prior to 1983, which is a shame because those were the glory years. Foge is the first head coach for which I have any memories.

    wwb mentioned it, but the 31-31 tie with WVU in 1989 is a favorite of mine. Down 31-9 after 3 quarters.

    That was the last season that Pitt accomplished anything until Walt surprised us with the Liberty Bowl season.

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  24. Retro Uni’s Saturday. What a great idea! Someone on here suggested just that to draw a max crowd!

    Wow…upset of Clemson and now Pitt Admin actually listening to fans! Which is the bigger upset?

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  25. Reed, I was in the Corps for the Sugar Bowl. A lowly Lance Corporal. My bunky who was from Tacoa, GA. wanted to bet me on the game. I said a months pay (back then it was around $250 to $300 a month) on the game. He was so sure of himself he said he couldn’t take my paycheck but would put his check up against a case of beer form me. I was humble in my victory, I let him buy us two cases of beer and a bottle of Beam and we drank it together over the weekend. After that its no wonder I drink the Pitt Kool-aid!!!!

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  26. If Pitt has to play in El Paso I’ll be driving a van w/ co workers from DFW to El Paso and your all welcome to join the drive. Primantis and pierogies and foreign to them but I’ve got a few that haven bitten the Pitt bug where they may fly to NYC.

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  27. Interesting tidbit I just saw on Twitter:

    Narduzzi is 10-1 when Pitt is favored before a game. Chryst was 14-9.

    Progress! Next step: improve to the point that Pitt is favored more often. If this stat is correct, Pitt has been an underdog in 12 of 23 games (52%) under Narduzzi.

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  28. Mark P, Zane Zandier, 6’4″ 215lbs WR/Safety. Projected to play safety. I wondered the same thing. His bigger offers were, WVU, Syracuse, Mich State BC and Kansas among any other smaller schools including Ivy league.

    I wondered the same thing. These types of players are needed back at safety (heady) and he’s supposed to be athletic enough as well.

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  29. I’m shocked none of the 0-0 ties with Fordham came up on the list.

    Personally I had a tough time deciding between the 1935 0-0 tie, the 1936 0-0 tie or the 1937 0-0 tie.
    But I decided on the 1937 0-0 tie since that team won the National Championship and Pitt went undefeated that year at 9-0-1 and was Jock’s last undefeated team and next to last season.

    Pitt’s Dream Backfield vs. Fordham’s 7 Block of Granite. Truly epic struggles between the 2 best teams East of the Mississippi in the mid 30’s.

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  30. National Football Foundation: College Football Hall of Fame

    Greatest tIe Games In College Football History:

    Oct. 16, 1937, New York, Polo Grounds – Pittsburgh (3-0) vs. Fordham (2-0)
    Final Score: 0-0

    It was Pitt’s “Dream Backfield,” featuring Marshall Goldberg, against Fordham’s
    “Seven Blocks of Granite,” featuring a center with the name of a symphony
    conductor, Alex Wojciehowicz. It was also the third scoreless tie in a row
    between the two teams. In the tie of ’36, Vince Lombardi had been one of the
    granite blocks. The tie in that game put Pitt in the Rose Bowl. The tie in this one
    kept Fordham out of the Rose Bowl. In the end this defensive struggle was
    decided by mishaps. Fordham end Johnny Druze missed three field goals. Marshall
    Goldberg’s 5-yard touchdown run for Pitt was nullified by a holding penalty.
    Later a holding penalty on Fordham stopped a Ram drive at Pitt’s 4-yard line.
    Don’t you hate it when the refs decide an outcome? At least they balanced this
    one out.

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  31. No concussions claimed during that season either. They were taught how to tackle back in the day. Arms were used for wrapping up, not tackling….or waving at an opponent as they broke the arm tackle.

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  32. Championship selections
    Selectors that named Pitt the 1980 National Champion:

    *1st-N-Goal
    *Angelo Louisa
    *ARGH Power Ratings
    *College Football Researchers Association
    *Foundation for the Analysis of Competitions and Tournaments
    *Harry DeVold
    *James Howell
    *Jeff Self
    *New York Times
    *Quality Champions
    *Sagarin Ratings
    *Steve Eck
    *The Fleming System

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  33. In reference to the Pitt/ Fordham games above; we sold my mother-in-law’s house and I was going through clutter and tossing stuff in the dumpster, when I came across a Pitt/ Fordham October 19, 1940 game program in great condition. My father-in law who graduated from Pitt as a mining engineer probably went to the game. He had his (2) $2.75 game tickets attached to his 25 cent program.

    Inside the program, an ad invited fans to come down to the Roosevelt Hotel 6th Street downtown for “excellent beverages at the Hide-Away Bar and enjoy the sounds of the 4 Gentlemen of Rhythm.” Hail to Pitt 1940 AD!

    PS: I was a Freshman Engineering student at Pitt in 1970 and am sorry to say that I left the 36-35 WVU at half-time.

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  34. Through my keen deduction process I’ll say the 1935, 1936, and 1937 PITT games did not have 7 lead changes like last Saturday’s game did. Yet very important game’s in the grand PITT history.

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  35. Maybe someone can correct me but when did college football change from I believe 3 substitutions per quarter to unlimited substitutions. I attended Pitt games when the players could hardly stand up after a game. Early 1960s maybe. I know we have experts here.

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  36. ~ ike true enough. But you know in a scoreless game, it keeps you on the edge of your seat, cause you know that 1 big play and possible TD could win the game.

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  37. ~ Tony in Hampton. That’s really cool. So the tickets were $2.75 each and now 70+ years later you can get tickets for $6 on stubhub. Not much inflation on Pitt football tickets. A great entertainment value.

    Pitt btw lost that game 12-24 to #11 Fordham.

    1940 was Pitt’s first losing season since 1912

    Pitt only had 2 losing seasons from 1905 to 1940, a span of 35 years. And won 8 National Championships. H2P !

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  38. emel1981 – Actually the ticket was $2.50 with a $.25 Federal Tax for the $2.75 total. You had until Monday Oct 14, 5 pm to return the ticket (the game was Saturday Oct 19, 1940). Pitt’s heaviest player was 210 lb tackle Allen Gartner. Fordham’s heaviest player was 218 lb tackle John Kuzman.

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  39. Reed – “Why is no one talking about our 27-3 Sugar Bowl win over Georgia for the National Championship?

    That is #1 with me by far.”

    It was top on my list in your last post. Everyone has their favorite games, but hard to argue that winning the National Championship isn’t on one’s list if you were over 10 yrs old in 1976.

    Joe Starkey – is a mere lad, and from Buffalo at that. So his perspective differs a bit from those who were around back then.

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  40. Tony..that was when it was all about “our school vs. your school” Would have loved to seen football and that atmosphere..hell the Yale bowl held nearly 71,000 people in 1914…maybe the college (NFLminor league) will again rise as the NFL loses viewers….just a thought…wouldn’t it be nice to turn back the clock since we can’t be time travelers.

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  41. Gotcha there EMEL. Don’t forget, I grew up with the Steelers sucking and witnessed the turn around with the Steel Curtain. I can appreciate a great defensive game.

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  42. Not just one game, but (I believe) the 1910 season, we were UNSCORED ON! Would loved to have had season tix for that season! Would have been my favorite!

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  43. Well Savannah P, we were unscored upon in the 4th quarter of our last game which was pretty gosh darn exciting! My favorite quarter of Pitt football this year.

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  44. Reed I was there in New Orleans for that Sugar Bowl game for the National Championship and it was my #1 Pitt game until Saturday.
    This one was better on sooooo many levels. Just a great game!

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  45. ~ likewise ike
    The Steelers were quite bad and not many in Pittsburgh were interested them in the 1960’s.

    It took the ‘Immaculate Reception’ to turn them from perennial losers into perennial winners.

    In the modern football age, Pitt’s 27-3 beatdown of Georgia in the ’76 Sugar Bowl was obviously THE GAME !!!! Not even close !!

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  46. Clemson hardly fell in the rankings so, while the beating of them was very satisfying for sure, our 13-9 win over WVCC KNOCKED THEM TOTALLY OUT OF THE National Championship PICTURE. Plus I don’t really hate Clemson.
    Hoopies, well that’s a different story.

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  47. Listening to the ‘This week in the ACC’ radio show on the Tarhool Network. And guess what, Pitt got the short shrift on this stupid show too ! I hate the main stream media, all forms of it.

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  48. emel – problem 1 for any ACC media programming is that the folks are based in Greensboro and think the sun rises and falls over Tobacco Road alone.

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  49. Ike – Any of these dudes sound familiar. Pulled it off the post gazette from awhile back.

    Denny Ferris and Dave Garnett scored on touchdown runs in the third quarter and Tony Esposito scored on a short dive early in the fourth, while the defense kept West Virginia at bay.

    With about nine minutes left, Pitt got the ball, behind 35-30, at its 30. Havern pushed his team downfield, making what he called “a dog throw, a bad throw” to Bill Pilconis for a 5-yard score on third-and-4 with 55 seconds left for the victory.

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  50. Dear Lastrowofsection4,
    If you are referring to Section 4 of Pitt Stadium, I had season tickets in section 4, three rows from the top during the consecutive years of Dorsett and Marino ending at the end of the 1982 season. Was I sitting 2 rows in front of you?

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  51. Yes indeed Pittman4ever. Loved those seats…could stand the whole game. Graduated in 73 and have had season tickets every year since. Currently in 536 at Heinz.

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  52. Huff video of that 70 PITT -WVU game on YouTube with Ed Conway calling the last drive… that was as exciting as last Saturday … both were unexpected

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  53. Pulled this from the Trib –

    “Conner is on the cusp of three milestones as his third full season nears its conclusion. He needs 156 yards for his second 1,000-yard season and two rushing touchdowns to break ACC career records for TDs (52) and rushing scores (49).

    Against Duke, Conner has 436 yards and 4 TD’s on 64 carries, in two previous games.”

    Game #3 for Conner vs Duke is this Saturday, in Pitt Stadium at Heinz Field. Great entertainment to bring friends and family to – plus tickets are still available for a fair and reasonable price.

    I for one wouldn’t miss it – we may be witnessing something very special in Pitt’s RICH history of great players and teams.

    TT – one thing the scouts cannot measure at the NFL combine is a player’s heart. I think there are two NFL coaches who are very interested in James “the beast” Conner – Mike Tomlin and Pete Carrol. Tomlin won’t be allowed to draft Conner because of the Steeler ownership, but Carrol sees a gem and has much freedom and success to back up his choices come draft day.

    HTP!

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  54. Huff, thank you. I keep thinking about this WVU game and another ne I went to year apart. The Navy game and come back. The final score was very similar as was the halftimes scores. So I may be getting the two mixed up? Although Bill Pilconis doesn’t sound the most familiar. Did he also run for a lot of yardage. Thanks again Huff……ike
    H2P

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  55. Over on the Pitt Blather Chas recounts all of the SOP loses after big efforts the week before by the Panthers. This is going to be a week where this Pitt team can further distance themselves from those previous teams by no allowing a letdown performance to creep into their psyche before they ever take the field.

    This team has shown resilience in their ability to rebound from adversity. Lots of injuries to key players, heart wrenching losses and even major in game setbacks like the Clemson game’s 14 point swing when the Tigers were awarded a TD instead of a goal line fumble has shown me that this team will come out ready to play this Saturday. (BTW, the replay officials got that play right IMO).

    If Narduzzi & Co. are doing as good a job behind the schemes as I think they are, then mentally, the Panthers will be ready to take care of business against the Dukies. Henderson had a very quiet day against Clemson and he will be ready to jump back into the headlines come Sunday morning press time. I also see Conner getting stronger & more decisive in his running technique in every succeeding game. This one is ours to LOSE against the Blue Devils. If we are actually poised to take our game to the next level, games just like this one, coming on the heels of a huge emotional win need to be dealt with definitively. No excuses, no mailed in the forts, no letdown.

    Come on Panthers, bury DOP a little deeper come Saturday! Devour the Devils! Hail to Pitt!

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  56. Ike ..regarding that Navy game..their punter ran a fake punt into the end-zone right before the half ( Me thinks) He ran right past our defensive tackle big Howard Broadhead who instead of rushing or blocking from his DL position turned around and started to WALK down the field…….

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  57. OK BigB thanks and I think I’m on the right page now. Thinking it was the Navy game when the unknown bigger white running back took over the game second half. That was his 15 minutes of fame and also, weren’t those two games very similar?

    Like

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