Here we are in the last Saturday of the regular season and this game is not looking like it’s going to surprise anyone. At least it doesn’t feel that way.

Let’s hope Pitt plays to form today against Syracuse.  If so will have our eighth win on the season to match the winning total of last year, something that clearly shows progress from 2015.

We had our predictions posted  yesterday… I didn’t see anyone picking Syracuse to win so it’s pretty much a sure bet we’re going to take this game.  Then again we’re talking about Pitt football and there isn’t a college team anywhere who is so good as to not lose a football game given the right circumstances…right Clemson?

We won’t see that today. I think we’ll pull out a good win and get us on the road to preparing for a good Bowl showing unlike Navy last season.

And hopefully we can send James Connor out of Heinz Field with rousing ovations of genuine thanks at the end of this game, his last one at home.  Although Aaron Donald did return for his fourth year… remember?

Let’s hear what you guys have to say as things unfold.

HTP !!!

439 thoughts on “POV Game Day Thread; Syracuse

  1. Funny you mentioned that Emel. I was checking out Temple’s record and was thinking that maybe they would slate us up against Temple in the Pinstripe Bowl.

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  2. Big plays today

    Henderson 66 yd TD
    Ffrench 77 yd TD
    Conner 34 yd run, 2 rushing TDs
    Peterman two great runs on for a TD another for 42 yards
    Conner 38 yd TD catch
    Weah 59 yard TD Catch plus a great 3rd down TD Catch
    Ford 79 yard TD catch

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  3. For what it’s worth, I had us winning 9 games during the regular season with my preseason prediction.
    Hence, I’m OK with 8-4 but we all know deep inside we should of won more than 8!

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  4. A big ten offense would be just the ticket for this D.

    Northwestern has the 102nd ranked scoring offense in FBS.

    Then again, cuse had the 113th going into yesterday…

    Kinda hope Pitt gets a bigger name opponent than northwestern anyway.

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  5. Deep – careful what you hope for – last year we kinda looked down on Navy when the bowl was first announced.

    We know how that turned out. No matter who we play in the bowl game, beat them and graduate this D.

    HTP!

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  6. Mornin all! Just put my Nitter brother into his SUV for trip home after holiday visit. Amazing how they live in an alternative reality. You do know they really won the Pitt game, right! Or it was a fluke, or they would win easily if we played them now! I’m sure some of you have Nitter family too, and I bet they say the same(you know the cult!!)
    I would love the talking heads for once to say the truth, the BIG is overrated. Teams SOS is a bigger joke than the teams. No wonder they want to play 9 or more conference games, then no one will know how bad they really are!
    Hey, UPitt, ya, I knew CS was a joke, just yankin you. I do think the Duzzer is sick after yesterday’s game. Will it be enough for him to change, that would be an ephinany.
    One thing that really bothered me about yesterday that I forgot to mention,when we got up by 28 and they ran that pass by Oneil, they were jagin around like it was all a joke. Did not like it, and game wasn’t all that funny in a little while.
    Pinstripe is probably the best we can hope for, easy travel, fun place. Just hope it is a Power 5 team and let the chips fall.

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  7. JoeKnew – great description of the B1G Joke conference. Thanks for sharing – I live in central PA and am surrounded by the Cult thinking.

    Pitt beat penn state and for that I am truely greatful.

    If HCPN loses OC Canada to a top program then he MUST make changes to the D staff. Here is hoping AD Barney has a nest egg stored away with the Canadian flag stamped on it.

    HTP!

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  8. Inconceivable I can witness a FOOTBALL game where my team gives up 61 and you can say you never felt there was a chance you would lose…..
    ….I thought it was fantastic, then I checked here;>(.

    Really glad we made the trip, no traffic in the morning from Maryland, filled up 5 yellow seats and endured the cold which really wasn’t bad especially when the sun peaked out in the 2nd half. I am sure it had a lot to do with the fact that there was plenty to get up and cheer about every few minutes. Cool to have witnessed history being made although I too would have preferred us give up less on D.

    So looking back, got to see 2 wins this year, GT and SU – good games both(any win), but of the other 2 great wins, if you could pick one, which would it have been to be in attendance?

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  9. 8-4 regular season record, wins over both Penn State & Clemson, Conner breaking ACC records, ending the season on a three game winning streak, the emergence of Q Henderson as our next offensive juggernaut, all things Pitt fans could be celebrating.

    However, our attention is diverted to a incompetent secondary that is populated with senior players who are gone come Spring drills with our best defensive player on the sideline with a cast on his broken arm.

    This defense will go through a metamorphosis during Spring drills and the difference come next season will be dramatically better. Meanwhile, fans are also already worrying about what next year’s offense will look like?

    And I thought SOP was dead and buried after this team accomplished so many positive things. NOPE, SOP is alive and well, but only in the psyche of the downtrodden Pitt fan. Time to figure out how to create a winning attitude in the minds of this fan base, since this is now the only sanctuary remaining where SOP has a safe refuge. Get on board with reality, because next year is going to be an even more exciting ride for our Panthers than this year was.

    Hail to Pitt!

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  10. Pitt will be starting a rookie QB next year and losing Conner. The O will take a step back. But hopefully, the D will take a huge leap forward with injured players coming back and some new blood. Pitt needs to pony up more money for Canada and get rid of the D coordinator. If need be, have Nard Dog do it.

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  11. So many complaints about this team. Maybe I’m the only one who feels this way, but I wish Pitt had a shot at Alabama or Michigan or one of these highly ranked teams that have an outstanding defense (and maybe an inconsistent offense). I feel that right now we could score enough to beat any of them. I guess that Clemson win got me feeling that way.

    Sure, the coaching staff has their work cut out for them next year. If we really want to compete for championships, we need to strive for improvement in all three phases. D obviously needs to vastly improve. I’d love to see our offense pick up where it left off this season, but that will be difficult losing some key seniors (Peterman, linemen, Conner, etc.), and maybe even Canada too. Is QH graduating? It will be hard to improve in special teams without him. Perhaps we can find a replacement for Blewitt who is a little more consistent but equally as clutch as he has been the last 2 seasons.

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  12. Tx Panther, I agree with most everything you said above with the exception that Pitt’s offense takes a step backwards next year. Why?

    You site Thomas MacVittie as a deficient, since he will be a RS Freshman starter. Nope, he’ll prove to be an upgrade over Peterman in the passing dept. The big difference being the receivers that he’ll be throwing to. Both Ffrench & Mathews have gotten major experience this season and Flowers is just waiting in the wings to make an impact next season. Then you have Weah just destroying my opinion of him as having stone hands this season, plus Q Henderson free over the middle for an easy pass reception under secondary coverage is a scary thought to keep opposing DCs up at night.

    As you infer, I also think Conner is gone next season, but let’s not pencil that in as fact just yet. But even with him gone, you make it sound like there is nobody to step up in his place? Enter Ollison, Moss, Hall & Sibley, and let us not forget about the forgotten Ibrahim. Coach Canada has a cupboard full of talent to chose from to replace Conner’s production.

    What will be difficult to replace however will be Conner’s leadership & inspiration. Those factors are irreplaceable!

    Yes we lose Johnson & Biz on the OL but Jaryd Jones-Smith has been riding the pine all season waiting to get back into the starting line up and guys like Grimm, Paulina & Pilato will be ready next year to shore up the OL as replacements.

    We’ll miss Orndoff, but Chris Clark will make us forget his contributions just like Orndoff gave us amnesia on the solid stats that JP Holtz produced at Pitt over the previous four years.

    Even more important regarding next year’s squad is that “intangible” factor. All of these youngsters will be one more year divorced from the SOP mentality of the past. Us old Pitt fans have years of mediocre Pitt football seasons to reflect on to darken our expectations. These kids who will be in there producing Pitt wins next season will only have memories of Pat Narduzzi’s encouraging coaching and the subsequent results of big emotional wins over the likes of Clemson and PSU to draw from. Winning begets more of the same and this program is getting used to winning.

    Mark my words, I’ve already said this before, Pitt is top 10 material in the near future, maybe not next year, but give Narduzzi a couple more recruiting classes and “Pitt is It” once again. No later that 2019, Pitt returns to elite status. You heard it here 1st.

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  13. I looked at 4 different bowl projection sites and each one had Pitt in a different bowl… V Stanford in the Sun Bowl, Northwestern in the Pinstripe , Kentucky in the Belk Bowl, and Temple back in the Military Bowl. Crazy.

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  14. Question for anyone who cares to answer: do you think Syracuse would have scored 61 had we not scored 76? I didn’t get to see the game yet, but were there early substitutions, lack off focus…was the defense winded? Just curious because it sure takes the air out of those 76 points if they were legitimately beaten all day.

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  15. Looking at the ACC bowl selection guide we are 5 – 7 in line. Clem, FSU, UNC, Mia, VT, Lou are ahead. Also the southern schools have an edge. Better bowls are near them. We would need to either win the Division or more to get one of the better ones in the future. Sad to say. My guess is Pinstripe with Conner a NYC favorite personality.

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  16. http://www.cbssports.com/college-football/news/tomorrows-top-25-today-alabama-on-top-big-ten-has-half-of-the-top-eight/

    Pittsburgh (NR): The Panthers made history against Syracuse setting the record for most points scored in an FBS game in the 76-61 shootout. As impressive? Another eight-win season for Pat Narduzzi with a chance to get a bowl win after a another second-place finish in the Coastal Division. The goal was for ACC championship contention, but record-setting offensive numbers and a signature victory at Clemson makes for a strong body of work for the 2016 regular season.

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  17. QB and leadership are key. I would love to see a dynamic frosh QB. Maybe Pitt gets lucky next year and the O doesn’t regress. But with a much improved D, Pitt wont have to score 30 points each game to win. Probably a more ball control O next year with emphasis on running the ball. I dont expect our new QB to really begin airing it out until later in the year. Coaches will probably keep things simple initially to build his confidence. An easier schedule will help.

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  18. I see a big upgrade in PITT’s defense next year and the way Canada gets this team prepared is truly amazing. For the amount of movement and shifting the penalty rate is very low. I think he will have the starter next year ready to go day 1.

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  19. Dr. Tom I share some of your optimism but not all. First as to SOP, I dont think criticizing what is obvious is SOP. The secondary is horrible and on post game radio Duzz admitted the secondary has problems They need to be addressed and wont necessarily be rectified by new recruits. I hate to paraphrase Pedder McSorely but he stated that his eyes lit up at the one on ones with the DBs on an island versus MSU where PN defense was torched in second half. (Agree with above, BigJoke is overrated I believe they lose more bowls than they win). There is a weakness in this approach and Duzz would be wise to find ways to modify it – go with it at times, not so on others, keep em guessing whether safties drop into pass support and when,. College football has made it too easy to throw as witnessed by scores every week. I expect better LB play – not taking a shot at Caprara or Galambos but they are not as quick as PH defense requires.
    Second – I think JC coming back is 50/50 – we get so enthused by what he has done the pro scouts may see him as needing another year – some have mentioned he is not as fast – bless him whichever decision he makes but IMO he comes back to improve his draft ranking – 1060 is nothing to sneeze at but not enough to get you first or second round dough.
    Third, not sure that I put as much faith in McV who only QB one year in HS but if Oh Canada here I feel better about the competition.
    HAIL TO PITT!! PITT IS IT!!! GO WUPS!!!!

    When Pitt was Western Univ of Pa they were known as the WUPS, went to Panthers when they became Pitt. Believe Reeds ancestors or Reed himself attended WUP. :)yards

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  20. Canadas biggest mistake this year is he didn’t air it out with Peterman until the season was halfway through.

    That mistake needs to not be repeated next year.

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  21. Comments about next year’s offense reminds me EXACTLY of what was said last year (and this past summer) about how there was no way we replace TB’s production! Well, yesterday I heard mention our passing yardage and running yardage for the year were within a couple of yards of being identical.

    I think, no sweat with next year’s offense. Plus, don’t forget, we have a 6’5″ QB who runs a 4.5 40. and likes to throw on the run (correct me if I’m wrong on any of this – a mind is a terrible thing to waste!) Imagine what OCMC can do with that added to his bag of tricks!

    As stated -ad infinitum – we need new D. But I think most critical is a DL and LBs who can get to the QB FAST – take pressure off the DBs. We sure made life easy for a lot QBs this season!

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  22. Panther94, to your earlier question , no I don’t think Syracuse would have scored like they did if we hadn’t been scoring at record pace. If we had more controlled scoring drive we would have eaten more clock and the D would have been fresher. I do think they would have scored in the 40’s though.

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  23. I’ll throw out the name of Max Browne, who will be a grad transfer from USC, next year, one more time. A former top recruit in the US, never quite fit the ever changing Trojan styles. Might be a good mentor for one of our young guys.

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