We are ensured a second straight winning season.  That was the biggest takeaway for me when this game ended. Here is how our seven wins have played out… W2-L2-W3-L2-W2.

2016-season

Not that it wasn’t a fun game to watch – it sure was, but we are becoming happily predictable in our high scoring and the only question remaining for a viewer seems to be what number of points we’ll allow the other team.

Seven offensive points for Duke was an answer to that question and 14 overall sealed the game. It is almost beginning to feel like another day at the office when we play our offensive game plan to perfection.  But surprisingly enough the time of possession was almost equal… that is kind of strange when you put up 56 points.

But then again when you score that many it usually means you have some quick-strike points as we saw with the long passes to Weah and Orndoff… and both of Henderson’s scores. To wit:

Let’s get right into the Positives and Negatives.

POSITIVE:

* Nate Peterman’s second straight very good day at the office.  The offensive playcalling over last two weeks have been what I expected Canada to do from the beginning of the season.  We all figured we’d have a strong running game , especially when Conner came back and rounded into form.  But even without his being 100% we were getting great yardage on the ground once we got the opener against Villanova under our belt.

That seems like ages ago and I had forgotten this but we only had 86 yards rushing against the Wildcats in that game – on 34 carries.  Of course the next week we ran all over PSU to the tune of 341 yards.  Canada and Narduzzi wanted to get the run game going and they did.

But I hoped we’d see the passing game be partners in the offense and that took some time. Fans tend to forget forget what a nice year Peterman had in 2015 (61.7 %, 2287 yards with 20 TDs and 8 INTs for a 139 rating).  That was a good base for springing into his second season as a starter and I expected he’d do well.

But that is hard to do when it is obvious you and your receivers are 2nd fiddle in the offensive game planning.  It worked out for us then and now the passing game is an important as the run game.https://i0.wp.com/grfx.cstv.com/photos/schools/pitt/sports/m-footbl/auto_player/12153206.jpeg

I had bet a beer with you guys in the preseason articles that Peterman would better Tyler Palko’s best TD production year of 2006 when he had 2871 yards, 25 TDs / 9 INTs for a 7.8% TD ratio and a 163 QB rating.

Given the way Peterman has played so far – in the last two games he’s 33/55 for 545 yards and 8 TDs to 1 INT – he may just match up to Palko’s year. At least in the yardage, TDs and INTs columns – getting up to a 163 rating won’t happen (probably).

Against Duke Saturday Peterman had a 21.5 yard average per completion – doesn’t get any better than that folks.  Here is how they stand side by side now with two games left for Peterman to play:

pvp

We’ll see, but even with that slow start Peterman is having one of the best QB Rating years a Pitt QB has had.  His 14 wins in 24 games isn’t too shabby either.

* Q. Henderson… again. It is becoming a bit repetitive but he was showcasing his talents again Saturday in both offense and special teams. He had the most all-purpose yards again, this time with 162 that included a 65 yard TD on a punt return and  52 yard run for another TD.

He is currently #1 nationally in KO TDs with three; #2 in all-kick return yards with 967; #4 in KO returns with 773 and #12 nationally with all-purpose yards with 150.9 per game.

Wow!

 

* Coaching preparation for this game.  Say what we will about senior leadership or players’ maturity, to get fired up and sustain that for 60 minutes after a game like we had in Death Valley last week is a real coaching achievement.

The kids were ready to practice and play hard, the coaching staff had specific goals for their units (Canada challenged the Offense to score 40 points – which they did in less then 45 minutes).

Let’s give Narduzzi et al. all the credit deserved for having two hugely successful weeks like we did after being shellacked by Miami.  The season may have turned south after that game easily enough – sheer will and detailed preparations made sure that didn’t happen.

Honorable Mention: We didn’t give up our normal average of 343 yards passing… only 243 which still sucks (we averaged 214 last year).  I know I harp on this but the truth is that had we any sort of passing defense at all we may well be 11-0 at this point.  And don’t give me the party line that you have to sacrifice run stopping for stopping the pass – I don’t believe that one bit.

NEGATIVES:

* Crap attendance again.  If we can’t get the fans and casual visitors out to watch Pitt after knocking off the #2 team in the country then we aren’t ever going to fill up Heinz on a regular basis. Here is the bill of sale for the bridge Pitt wants us to buy:

Scoring Summary (Final)
The Automated ScoreBook
Duke vs PITT (11/19/16 at Pittsburgh, PA)

Duke (4-7,1-6) vs. PITT (7-4,4-3)

Date: 11/19/16  • Site: Pittsburgh, PA  • Stadium: Heinz Field  •  Attendance: 35,425

Do not believe that for one second!  The Truth is Out There!

It was embarassing to look out and see so much yellow – but that’s a refrain we Pitt fans say and hear all the time. Like it or not but we have also heard that recruits want to play in front of huge crowds and as much as we don’t want to acknowledge it that plays a factor in recruiting.

AD Scott Barnes better get his fundraising skills well in hand because aside from the ACC shared money we ain’t getting anything from the box office sales.  I’ve been skeptical of actually getting an on-campus stadium and still am.  But when I walked around the stadium pre-game and saw all the construction it is plainly evident PGH doesn’t give any concern at all to tailgating – which should be the life’s blood of football fandom… especially in college football.

I would like to have a sold out some-what smaller venue than a half empty bigger one – but the ACC has other ideas about that I’m sure.

The bottom line is I believe Pitt is, at best, 4th in the minds of not only sports fans but of the politicians and the financial movers and shakers in PGH – they just don’t give a damn about us at all.

* I missed tailgating before the game.  I left Maryland early enough but crap weather slowed me down over the mountains of the turnpike.  I didn’t get parked and out of the car until around 2:30 or so and pretty much had to go straight to the press box.

I wanted to see friends but even after the game I had other obligations in PGH.  I did have dinner with friends at The Porch at Schenley Plaza on campus – just when it started to really snow hard.  I left the table and took my drink outside and stood for a while looking at the Cathedral of Learning and the Pitt campus in the falling snow.  Have to say it took me right back 40 years in a split second.

And yes, that was melted snow on my face when I sat back down to dinner.

* Still no beer in the Press Box.  It’s ridiculous that Heinz Booze Nazis allow idiot 21-year-old students who are already half in the bag to buy beers during the game but adults doing a job in the press box have to lie, cheat and steal their way into the North Clubhouse to get a few drinks.

Get on that E.J. will ya?  Honestly and seriously – I don’t get the reasoning.

BTW – those guys in the beginning of the video below are Jerry DiPaola and Chris Peak.

 

 

 

 

 

117 thoughts on “POV: Monday Morning QB; Duke

  1. Read the Trib this morning where Narduzzi cites a strong friendship with Canada.

    Had to laugh when he mentions Chaney and “getting snowed” I don’t know about that. They sure didn’t look like friends on the sidelines last year.

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  2. I am with you Dr Tom. I think that the Duzz, having grown up in Youngstown, knows why Pittsburgh is a special place—and will stay here, as long as he has support from Barnes and Gallagher. And, of course, from people who will give money to the school for both academic and athletic programs.

    So, is Syracuse now slotted as our “rival” game by the ACC? If so, let’s hope that Notre Dame really joins the ACC someday and we can focus on them at season end. In the meantime, let’s imagine Jim Boeheim’s face on the jersey of every player.

    H2P

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  3. To “Anonomous” and others:
    The University of Pittsburgh is not some local community college. It has fans all over the world, many, like myself live over 1000 miles away. That is a tribute to the school. Those of us who are avid Pitt fans love the POV to stay in the loop with our team.
    To be bashing fans around the world sounds like something WVCC graduates would do.
    As a Pitt graduate try representing your school with a little class, please.

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  4. Reed, one thing I have noticed which out of towners may not see is the gradual increase in people wearing Pitt gear around town. Even noticed it in church Sunday!! It’s not just kids but adults of all ages. It is a slow process, but I think the first thing is that someone with clout must address the snarky media, if it takes some financial pressure so be it! You don’t want Kool Aid but left handed snarky comments, or worse, no real mention is wrong, especially on the flagship station. They may say no one calls on that topic but you need to put it out there on a regular basis.
    Also, does anyone know, is there history with employees of the Fan? I ask because it is not just the on air guys but program managers who seem to have an issue. And they aren’t all Nitters.

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  5. I find it amazing that anyone thinks we will ever have an OCS.

    Also that the Steelers will ever move to Washington County.

    We are lucky that Pitt has got into the ACC and will hopefully spend enough money

    to keep us competitive in Football and Basketball.

    The fact is that right now our deal with Heinz Field is a financial winner and that is pretty much all that matters to the powers that be at the University and to the City.

    No one is clamoring for an OCS, except a relatively small group of diehards on these blogs.

    We are lucky to have Pitt Football be a topic of conversation around the water coolers (ancient reference) of the corporate offices. No one at the University or at City Hall has an OCS on any agenda.

    Most people that even remember Pitt Stadium will be gone in twenty years.

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  6. Reed, you are way off base on how this town reacts to a winner. There are tons of Yinzers out there that would identify with the hometown school if it was a consistent winner, just the nature of the beast. That won’t produce sellouts on a blustery November day against a losing program like Duke but it will produce enough interest in both the Pitt Alumni base & the causal Pittsburgh sports fan to make attendance at games respectable all season long.

    Like I just posted, Pitt will always be Pitt. But there is nothing wrong with that. Why many tend to magnify the negatives while discounting the positives with Pitt football is an illness that is not terminal. You can be cured.

    Just keep winning Panthers and good things will continue to occur for the program, whether others want to fully recognize it or not.

    Myself, I’m just loving this season. Conner’s story is a fairy tail, now with ACC records in hand too. The early season win against PSU shut those assholes up about Pitt for this year plus I love the satisfaction of knowing that our win against them is keeping them out of the Playoff discussion. Then you have the emergence of the next generation of Pitt stars. Weah proving me wrong by becoming Pitt’s go to WR, Ordoff making it easy to forget the contributions that JP Holtz made over the last four years. A guy named Aston who surplanted Parrish at fullback, & Parrish himself is no slouch. Aston’s exploits though come from a kid who started off as walk on student athlete though, less we forget. And while we’re forgetting, who remembers the excitement that Tyler Boyd created when he touched the ball on kick returns now that we have Q Henderson making a national name for himself as our premier return specialist. Last but not least, KUDOS to the DL this season. Hendrix out for the season in the first game, Jerrett out for the biggest game of the year. Watts down with an injury in that very game too. No depth and only unprovened scrubs to plug into that line. Hail to guys like Taleni, Herndon, Guy, Edwards & Blair all of who have accepted Narduzzi’s coaching to be a top unit in stopping the run. And stopping the run TWICE in that Clemson game was a thing of beauty!!!!!

    So I’m happy, yes I am. It’s good to be a Panther fan again. These guys are thirsty for more! Good, come Saturday drink some Orange Crush!

    Hail to Pitt!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Pittman4ever is spot on about the wide reaching geographic web that the Pitt Alumni create. We are everywhere. I’ve been involved in a couple fan clubs, one in Hilton Head Island, one in my own Savannah community.

    Since we moved to Savannah, I’ve experienced away games at Duke, UNC, GT & Clemson. The Pitt fans that I’ve met over these last couple of years may be transplanted but still “Hail Pitt” as very proud Panther fans. The Clemson game was simply unbelievable on the unity that the three separate Pitt fan sections demonstrated during that game! All three sections were heard loud and clear in Death Valley. It was an experience I will never forget.

    I don’t know what others expectations are when they decide to attend a college football game in person, but I know what I expect and my expectations have been realized in great wins at GT last season and at Clemson this year. Even with our two heartbreaking loses to the Tarheels at Chapel Hill, both games were super exciting even in defeat. Pitt football is fun again! What more do you frickin want? Folks around town are stopping to talk to me after the Pitt win against the Tigers when they notice my Pitt gear that I often wear. Pitt is generating a buzz and I think that buzz is only going to get louder!

    Let’s Go Pitt! Our most important game of the season (our next one) occurs on Saturday!!!! Slam Syracuse!

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  8. Rare article from Ron Cook where he actually provides some info we’d didn’t know and he doesn’t take a shot at Pitt. Maybe things are changing for the Panther’s program.

    http://www.post-gazette.com/sports/Pitt/2016/11/22/Ron-Cook-It-could-be-a-tough-emotional-goodbye-to-James-Conner-this-week/stories/201611220070

    Good posts Dr. Tom… I happen to think that last year’s recruiting class was the best we’ve had since the glory days. Now we lost one or two really good players due to medical conditions, but if Coach Duzz can bunch 3 or 4 classes of that quality together, we are going to be a force in the ACC.

    Hail to Pitt.

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  9. Yes…Heinz can be tough to get to. It is really enjoyable though to walk to Heinz from downtown on a beautiful fall day. Let’s focus on making Heinz a better experience now. Perhaps have all sit in the lower bowl for games vs. Duke, Cuse, and similar teams and open the upper sections for games vs. FSU, ND and PSU? Also, schedule WVU again. Thought the pictures of less than sell outs at WVU, TCU, Minnesota, Illinois …were interesting…only 10-15 teams sell out in the 80-100 K range for most games. Do like the idea of a smaller domed/retractable roof facility on campus and play bigger games at Heinz. Hey, somebody stepped up to build the Pete…Must be somebody out there to step up for an on campus facility.
    H2P always!!! Beat the Bulldogs tonight!

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  10. Joe L – Thank You!!!

    RockyMtnhigh – Yes when the best looking women in Pitt convo comes this cat is definitley not been around.

    Anyonomous – I read 10 or so of your posts. You call me out and I have no clue who you are. Have some class. Thanks for your service. You are old enough and if you truly served you would have more class.

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  11. Upitt – I make the 30 mile trip up to Boulder from time to time to see a game or hangout with friends (went to grad school at CU). Some good looking ladies in that town for sure. The Buffs are having a good year (finally). They may end up playing PS in the Rose Bowl. Wouldn’t that be something if both of my schools beat PS in the same year!

    Like

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