POV: Tyler, We Hardly Missed Thee.

Now that the season is over I though we should take a look back at some predictions we fans made before the 2016 season started and see if what we thought would happen actually did happen.

One key issue I wrote about in detail was that I thought our offense wouldn’t miss our star wide receiver Tyler Boyd as much as some fans and media writers thought we would. 

Image result for tyler boyd

The phrase I used to describe our receiving corps last season was “Boyd was the elephant in the room“,  meaning that when when Jim Chaney was drawing up his offensive game plans or when Boyd was out on the field the main focus pointed directly to Boyd in the passing game.  He was the turbo fan that sucked the air from the other receivers on the roster.

As well it should have given the great season he had for us previously in 2014.  To recap, here is his  statistical production for that season:  78 catches for 1,261 yards (16.2 ypc) with 8 TDs and a long of 53 yards.  Wow, pretty fine year and no wonder why we all felt he would be the prime target in ’15.

But let’s remember that in 2014 Paul Chryst was the HC and Joe Rudolph was our offensive coordinator… with Chad Voytik passing the ball and a healthy James Conner churning out 1,765 yards and 26 (!) TDs alongside Boyd.  With those numbers that great running game really helped out our passing game .

But something happened along the way to derail those very big expectations we had for Boyd in ’15.  Most notably was the change over in the coaching staff with Chryst and Rudolph leaving and Pat Narduzzi as HC and his bringing along Jim Chaney as the OC.

On top of that Narduzzi and Chaney weren’t happy with Voytik under center and elevated  newly transferred Nate Peterman into the starting role.  So there were big differences between the two years.  Not the last was that after that sterling sophomore season Boyd had he was being doubled teamed almost constantly in 2015.

All that combined together and show a rather precipitous drop in some production categories from Tyler Boyd in his last year at Pitt.  Here are those 2015 stats set alongside his previous two years:


First things first – Honestly, every one of Boyd’s years at Pitt were good ones, but the preseason question was if Pitt’s offense would miss Boyd’s receiving production in 2016.  I said I didn’t believe we would and I think the final results bear that out.

In the table above we see that he fell off in yards per game by almost 20 yards; that’s a big difference.  But what really jumps out is his large dip in the all-important yards per catch were he went from a bit above average in his SO year at 16.2 to a very poor 10.2 the year after.

Which is why I thought we’d make that up rather easily and wrote so.  I did that for a few reasons.  First was that Dontez Ford had a truly excellent 19.2 yards per catch in ’15 and I thought he replicate that – it didn’t happen.

But I also felt that Peterman’s second year as a starter would mean something because of game experience and that Jim Chaney’s departure, taking along with him his addiction to Tyler Boyd, would open up the passing game for our other receivers who hadn’t had a chance to show their stuff when Boyd was here.

Here are two interesting stat tables – this shows the distribution of the completed passes between last year and this season. Take a look at how many more receivers had over 15 catches this year compared to last. It went from only three to six and that was all because Boyd wasn’t here:


What I didn’t see clearly was Jester Weah coming into his own in such a big way.  He put up numbers that is some ways totally overshadowed Boyd’s 2015 output.  Most noticeably is his yards per catch where Boyd had only 10.2 yards per reception and Weah had an amazing 24.2.  That along with the four more TDs by Weah and the distribution to the wider group really support the answer to the original question of if Boyd was replaceable or not.

I remember when I first wrote the article asking if Boyd would be all that missed some other media writers jumped on me for even thinking that.  But at the time I was making the point that Boyd’s 2015 (that stand-alone year only) wasn’t very good overall and I felt it was even detrimental to the passing game due to Chaney’s insistence of looking at Boyd first second and last on the passing game.

Note that this isn’t a negative look at Tyler Boyd by any means.  He was certainly a star player for us and did great things at Pitt.  But in college football especially no player is irreplaceable not matter how much the fans love him and want to think the world stops turning as soon as he leaves the team.

Well, the world didn’t stop and our passing game was truly much better without Boyd’s huge influence on the coaching staff and the QB’s post-snap decision-making.  It made things much easier for Peterman to know that he had all the receiving weapons at his disposable rather that one huge target and two afterthoughts.

Now looking at the 2017 season we see this situation in reverse. We’ll have the receiving corps in place but will be replacing a star at QB.

114 thoughts on “POV: Tyler, We Hardly Missed Thee.

  1. Reed – nice article on our receiver corps, which by the way only loses Ford for next season (as of right now).

    Speaking of losing players, three ACC opponents lose their QB to the NFL next season:

    Tribinsky – unc
    Evans – VATech
    Kaaya – Miami

    All three torched our secondary this past season – this could change my win prediction/expectation for 2017.

    Who would have ever thought The Jester would be a difference maker? I’m a believer…

    Back to work after the holiday break – keep us informed on the OC and AD searches. ikr


  2. GTech – QB Thomas will also graduate.

    Areas needing to improve for 2017 imo:

    bye week prep, which could also translate to bowl game prep.
    pass coverage.
    LB play in general.
    time out usage when the other team has the ball.
    win total.
    retaining the OC for continuity and stability, only if productive.
    game day experience inside Heinz Field (too many changes needed to list).


  3. The pieces are in place to reload and move forward… pitch and catch will continue to improve in 17 ..Canada was an excellent co-ordinator who distributed the ball very well and developed an offense that was nearly indefensible while using that forward pass sparingly the 1st 4 games..I see improvement on both sides of the ball going forward… Matthews will be a bigger target… little disappointed in QH as a receiver… don’t remember him getting any downfield balls.. any insights on QH receiving skills ???


  4. Reed, I was thinking about the WRs the other day and remember you saying in the pre-season that other WRs would step up. Well, Jesper Weah did indeed show up, and for me was the pleasant surprise of the year. But how about the true freshman Mathews? This kid definitely has some game!

    Then you add Henderson, Tipton and Ffrench … and Narduzzi mentioned Flowers (redshirt frosh) by name the other day. Then we finally get to see the 4-star TE.

    I must admit I am looking forward to our receiving corp this coming year (unlike this season)


  5. Erie, not sure Trubicksy has declared quite yet (I am sitting in Mentor OH as I type this — his home town). But your point is well taken … about the ACC QBs leaving and yes, D Watson has already declared!

    However, the bane of our season next year will be the 2nd and 3rd games when we meet McSorley and company (PSU) as well as Rudolph and Washington (Ok St) .. both groups looked great in their bowl games vs good competition. Our inexperienced secondary next year will be schooled, but hopefully live to tell about it.


  6. I would expect the tandem of Clark and Reeves to take over for Orndoff’s production and Mathews to replace Dontez Ford’s stats in the coming year. Will be interesting to see who replaces Conner’s catches out of the backfield moving forward.


  7. I’m glad all these guys declared for the draft after Max Browne made his decision to transfer to PITT. The competition for him would have been more intense.


  8. wwb – I read an article this morning saying Tribinsky declared for the NFL draft – if I have time at lunch I’ll try to find it.

    I did not include Watson because Clemson is not on Pitt’s regular season schedule.

    Not too concerned yet about psu and ok state as they are not ACC games, but big stage non-the-less.


  9. Erie, if you just read it, then he did declare. I haven’t seen anything in Plain Dealer but read that he probably would declare. Good, pne less headache.


  10. With the addition of a competent OC, Pitt’s offense should be very good next year. There are no glaring holes to fill since Browne is there to save the day.

    Pitt’s defense has many holes that will be filled by inexperienced first time starters. Losing Soto, Jarrett, Caprara, Galambos, Bradley, Lewis, Webb etc. is a bunch of experience. The first half of the season is going to be very challenging for the young replacements to say the least..


  11. I apologize to Jester Weah about implying that he had hands of stone last preseason. He proved me totally wrong. Besides that Weah’s YAC was also impressive. The guy knows how to break a tackle, plus he is F A S T ! !

    Next season Chris Clark makes us forget about a very reliable Orndoff that has graduated and by mid season Heinz Field’s new nickname will be “Thunder-dome” after our grad transfer Mad Max lights up opposing defensive secondaries with his repertoire of deep ball throws.

    Aaron Mathews has already proved his athletic ability with his gunner contributions on special teams. The guy is fast and not timid about laying the leather on people. At 6’4″, he will be a breakout player for Pitt come 2017.

    Our passing game will not miss a beat come 2017.


  12. Can we stop blaming the game day experience, the stadium location, the AD, etc. for no fans in the seats?

    It is simply lack of interest and commitment from alumni and Pittsburgh fans.

    I realized this on Sunday as I turned on the TV to check the Steeler score for the hell of it. There was no way I was watching the game. To my surprise, the stadium was filled. Filled for a meaningless Steeler game, against the worst team in the NFL with Landry freaking Jones playing QB. Pathetic.

    An enthusiastic crowd is what makes the game day experience good. Pittsburgh fans are just not interested in Pitt football at this time. Pitt was never a big draw in this town and will never regularly fill a stadium the size of Heinz. Just like Miami and the other college teams in a major city.

    I think it will slowly get better, but it is what it is.


  13. After watching the bowl games, one thing is clear…defense is pretty bad in most of college football with the exception of Alabama.

    Pitt’s lack of talent on D is really obvious when you watch the top college teams. Especially at linebacker.

    Caprara and Galambos are great kids, but they were painfully slow sideline to sideline. Watch Miami’s freshman LBs that are complete studs. Fast as hell.

    Narduzzi will never change his D scheme, but he needs to!


  14. Welcome back notrocketscience. Where you been? You hit the nail on the head. Pitt has a core of loyal fans in Pittsburgh than can fill Heinz Field’s lower tiers. That’s 40,000 on a good day. That’s it!

    Get a good opponent, on a nice day and the place seems full with the casual fan showing up too, even when it’s not. Put Norte Dame, Florida State, West Virginia or Penn State in there and the place fills up with their own fans. That’s the benefit of Heinz Field, it’s a good payday for the big game sellouts that come around.

    Now, if Pitt becomes relevant again and starts winning the ACC Coastal for instance, then the interest & attendance goes up accordingly. This is exactly what happened back at the Cincy game a few years ago when we played them in what was the de facto Big East Championship game. The place was packed and the atmosphere was electric, same feeling at our home opener against Florida State a few years ago too.

    What we have to get over as a fanbase is the fact that we play in a stadium that simply has a larger capacity than our fan base needs. This results in a partially empty venue on a consistent basis. Who cares? The 40,000 fans that are there are the ones that count, not the 25,000 causal fan who decides instead to cut their grass on Saturday.

    Hail to Pitt!


  15. Good article. I again eat crow on Jester Weah, I likewise thought he had hands of granite. I didn’t see that one coming. The LB corps will change significantly for the better – especially in speed and athleticism. It is much too early for me to predict. NCAA FB scoring rises every year. Back to work, ugh.


  16. I have had season tickets since 1990 and Ketchup Stadium sucks, we are treated second rate. While Pitt doesn’t have a huge fan base – 35 K so what, should we not dream of better. The people showed for Steelers because some are rabid and there were probably many seats given to people who cant otherwise go.
    For those who love Heinz your remind me of Candide “This is the best of all possible worlds.” Not familiar with Voltaire then “The Emporer has beautiful clothes”


  17. I think we didn’t miss Boyd more because of the upgrade in OC. I think if we had Boyd this year we win 10 games. If we had Chaney we win 5 or 6.


  18. Good Article Reed!

    Nottocket – I disagree. You have to give them a reason to want to invest. Most of the schools I recruit I see such passion and pride in football. Is it Chicken or Egg? Pitt must give an experience and part of that is a good product on the field but the pride in school and program is just as important. There are kids I hire out of UF, Clemson, LSU and as soon as they graduate they buy Season Tickets and give to the program. I rarely see that at Pitt because I believe the connection to school and pride isnt there as much to the general student. To me it has a lot to do with playing off campus and all the other options in a pro town. I don’t have the answer but you can’t just blame fans. I also feel
    like pride comes from playing local schools and the spread of these conferences geography wise is crazy. It would be different if Pitt, OSU, PSU, WVU, etc were all in same conf.


  19. Better point to ponder is was Boyd worth a 2nd round pick? Not sure his stats speak to that but not sure they don’t either? Doc/Reed?


  20. edr brings up an interesting point here. How do we really know if we missed Boyd or not? With Boyd and Canada working together that may have pushed PITT over the top for a few more wins……and I think that could have been possibly the case. Especially with Ford getting hurt early that would have allowed Weah to have his shine time. I think you always miss a great player. The one guy PITT didn’t for sure this year is Chaney.


  21. Boyd was missed most in the second half of the OKST and UNC games when Canada /Narduzzi would not let Peterman throw to pick up a first down. After that not so much, but he would have been a great guy to have on third downs.

    But in college football players leave early or graduate. It happens every year.

    This year it will be life after Conner, how much will we miss him? Unlike with Boyd the cupboard does not appear to be empty. But on third and short, Conner may be missed quite a lot. The biggest question this year is who will be our go to guy guy at running back?

    Still really disappointed that Conner did not show up as a superstar should in NY. He gets a pass for all he has been through and what he has meant for Pitt, but very sad to see him on the bench in the second half at Yankee Stadium.

    Weah was the most unexpected star on the offensive side and Soto was the same on defense. Great to see both of these guys end up in the most improved category. Who is it going to be next year?


  22. I think the QB Peterman improved his game remarkably over last year. He really seemed to come into his own by mid-season and now may possibly be considered for the NFL. Now whether this is due to Canada or just part of the maturation process .. I don’t know. I just know he was heads and shoulders better this year


  23. wwb, I think it was all of the above with Peterman. Canada and his offense made him better, the offensive line gave him more time, play action is effective with a great running game, and he had a whole year as the starter. Having Conner also helped. I think Conner as a receiver was a new wrinkle that also helped overall.

    We are going to miss Peterman and Canada.

    Peterman’s interception vs NW was so frustrating because he did that so rarely all year, if you notice he also had Conner wide open on the play with one guy to beat for a TD. Just a horrible decision and throw.

    Or as the announcers said, a great defensive play, really!


  24. Which brings up the stellar play of the O-line. A line that could run block, pass block and block down field.

    This was the gift of Chryst, but Canada certainly knew how to use them.

    With all that motion, they rarely jumped off side, few holding calls, they were terrific.

    Should be again next year if they stay healthy.

    But a line that can pass protect makes all QB’s better.


  25. As a side note, we had Peterman 2 years. The expectations for Browne are high and he only has one season. I think 5th year senior or not that is a lot to expect of a kid playing his first year in a new program. I think we can hope but be realistic is our expectations of him 5 star or not.


  26. The one good thing about Browne is that he is arriving today at Pitt, and will participate in spring drills. My understanding is that he is not promised the job and will have to compete with MacVittie … we’ll see


  27. I threw a question out on an earlier post this morning but haven’t had any feed-back yet so I will re-load the question…Q Henderson as a downfield receiver- except for passes in the flats and near the LOS, I don’t recall him being targeted downfield all year and I watched all but one game and was mostly sober, most of the time..anyone have any insights on his receiving skills i.e. running routes, hands ???? I expected him to be more of a Ryan Switzer type and even a bigger threat than he has been….


  28. good observation BigB .. I also don’t remember any long passes to QH. I guess the only response is that since the O was so productive this year, it wasn’t necessary … (kind of like why Ollison didn’t carry the ball more)


  29. What still makes no sense is that we play in an oversized pro stadium with many empty seats. So why doesn’t Pitt open the whole upper deck for $1.00 or even free for everyone: school kids, Boy Scouts, cub scouts, youth football teams, nuns….. heck, even a day out for prisoners, lepers, hookers, street people, etc. etc. etc.!!!!! Fill the stink’ top bowl up with corpses even – just get it filled for Pete sake!!!!


  30. BigB, Narduzzi’s own words, #10 is one of our “Little Panthers”, not a slight on Henderson, just a point of fact. When you have guys that are 6’4″ (Mathews) and other guys also over 6 feet tall, those are the ones that you want going downfield one on one, not Henderson at 5′ 9” on a good day. Get him the ball on the flats and in crossing patterns where his speed is a mismatch with most LBs and once the ball is in his hands watch the YACs happen. That’s the flanker position for him. That spot also sets up well for mis-direction plays, jet sweeps, all kinds of motion pre snap, etc.


  31. he caught passes downfield on wheel routes … but they were mostly 20 some yard passes that he turned into longer games. The long bombs were mainly to Ford and Weah as I recall .. and a couple to TE


  32. PITT having only Browne for one season is not a whole unlike Peterman with Canada for only one year. Yet I find it hard to believe that PITT can find that kind of magic two years in a row. The defense will most definitely have to improve greatly next year.


  33. OSU’s Tim Beck to Texas.

    Now OSU will be looking and our search is nothing but crickets.

    Man I smell a promote from within after they conducted some interviews. I just feel it. Then Narduzzi will sell it as a way to keep things consistent.


  34. wwb..Thanks, that’s the only passes I remembered as well but couldnt recall throws to him past 5 0r 10 yards past the LOS except for maybe one in the Carolina game..My memory could be a factor…
    I think we will be fine on offense and we all that a passing game by committee is way more effective than having 1 high-level receiver…I wonder if Chaney and Boyd were here this past season how the offense would have compared to the spectacular show the boys gave us week after week in 2016 under Canada..one can only speculate..hpoefully Duzz gets it right with the OC hire with no inside promotions..a person he likes working with and trusts..someone who’s a player’s coach with an imagination using the available cast of characters in a pro-set. Looking forward to this year!


  35. Dr. Tom
    Took a break for the holidays, didn’t want the negativity of the board to bring me down, LOL. Went on a ski trip.

    You make a good point. One big difference. Those students live in a college town. For 4 years, the entire town and everything they do is the university experience. All day, every day, 24/7 they get a University brain washing. That isn’t the case at Pitt. I know I did shit all over the city, hung at CMU, went to bars in the suburbs, Steeler games, Pirate games, etc.

    Take away Penn State and State College does not even exist. There is literally nothing else to do on a Saturday in State College (for students and residents) or any other college town so all the energy funnels into the stadiums.

    City universities are different and football attendance reflects that. Plus, Pitt only has 18,000 some undergrad students, many of which commute from homes in the suburbs.
    Pretty sure schools located in college towns double that undergrad number.

    There is a solution, but I am not sure what it is. A 45,000 seat on campus stadium would help with student pride and experience, but would probably scare away your average Joe Pittsburgher because they may have to sit in traffic longer and would have to actually walk a block or two, LOL.


  36. Proctor is still visiting Pitt. It’s not officially dead that he is set on going to Tech.

    Kevin Wilson was just hired to be Ohio State’s OC. Great move by Meyer. Of course football factories don’t worry about negative headlines for some people. It’s a business for a few big boys while the rest of the colleges are happy to collect a conference revenue check.

    Great news with all the ACC QBs in Pitt’s division declaring. Now we just need the PSU receiver and tight end to declare.

    The first three games next season are shaping up to be tough ones: YSU, PSU and Oklahoma State.


  37. notrocket – I agree 100%. We are absolutely in a special situation. I even think a 45k stadium near Hot Metal Bridge would do the trick I really do. Grow the Campus up the Mon River.


  38. Reed.. thanks ahead of time for researching QH’s receiving in 2016… if I run into Matt Canada at our Topsail Island watering hole I will ask him …I wondered if QH didn’t have longer routes/plays which targeted him or if he had plays but has trouble running routes/difficulty getting open…


  39. A smaller stadium approx 50k may be a big help …. but an OCS is absolutely no solution. Oakland is hard to access, there is no room, and the majority of Pitt FB attendees DO NOT RESIDE IN OAKLAND.

    And I totally agree with notrocket @ 9:10 and 9:20


  40. Upitt

    Agree with the location. It is there for the taking. Bridge to the Southside bars, practice facility, on the river for docks…it is perfect and will never happen, lol.


  41. Pitt missed the boat again, could have moved all sports venues to the Hazelwood site and had an athletic campus with dorms classrooms etc. Develop a people mover like at WV. Room to expand, would have done wonders for the local economy.


  42. A high speed gondola from behind Frick Fine Arts down through Panther Hollow would be really cool to the lower river front campus. A second gondola to the SS practice facility.


  43. Have a little different take on this concerning the loss of Tyler Boyd. I think we most certainly did miss him immensely in the early part of the season. And I think our passing totals for those games bare that out.

    175 yards vs. D2 Villanova and only 5.5 yards per completion
    91 yards vs. Creepy Valley State and only 6.1 ypc

    Better against Okie State, but we were only 14 of 29 passing and we couldn’t move the ball in the crucial 4th quarter. I believe had we had Tyler Boyd that game we would have won.

    And then UNC game, we only threw it 18 times for 140 yards. Again we couldn’t move it on offense thru much of the 4th quarter. Add Tyler Boyd, I think we win that game.

    So while we might have not missed Boyd about mid-way and later in the season. But we most certainly did miss him in the first 4 games. Where passing was limited and Peterman was sort of on a leash.


  44. I like the idea of a OCS down by the Mon river that many on here have proposed.

    The VA hospital that is located above the stadium/Pete is an older hospital facility. I’m sure that it has been upgraded a time or three. But, at times these older hospital have a useful life even with upgrades. If, by chance, the Oakland VA is at the end of its useful life, then perhaps the University could purchase the property. This would seem like another ideal site for an OCS. I realize this is a Yuge stretch of an idea…

    An observation from last night’s Rose Bowl: McSorley throws about one-fourth of his longer passes up for grabs. This mostly works for them in one on one coverage, as PS has a couple of big receivers. But on obvious passing downs USC (and hopefully Pitt next year) would bring a safety over the top, making McSorley ripe for throwing an INT. Here’s to hoping that the Pitt defense was watching this game with next year in mind…


  45. Too bad Jester Jester couldn’t catch in 2015. Him and Boyd would have made a nice duo. Opposing teams probably couldn’t have doubled Boyd if Jester would have been playable and viable.


  46. I don’t think one can say having Boyd this year would have won us another game or two. It might have hurt the development of Henderson & Weah. Peterman had the tendency to always look for Boyd & throw to him even if he wasn’t open. I believe Boyd also ran the ball a fair amount of plays, this taking carries away from Henderson. I believe Boyd also returned punts & had the ‘muff-il-itis’ at times. We have seen throughout the season, especially on defense, that some of the seniors got the starting nod, even though, we as fans felt the ‘next man up’ was a little better.


  47. Dokish just posted …. send Weah, Henderson and Foster long on every play and have Browne just throw it down the field.

    I believe PSU #12 Godwin just declared. Thought he didn’t get the credit deserved with all the focus on McSorley and Barkley .. and he will be missed. His ball skills and strong hands reminded me of Larry Fitz.


  48. Henderson was hurt in the opener last year and missed most of the year. I believe he returned for last 2 games … and returned opening kickoff vs Navy for a TD


  49. QH 26 receptions for 280+ yards…(Cardiac Hill) as I thought -not much of a
    contribution as a receiver from one of the most explosive offensive threats in the country


  50. It clearly took Pitt several games to get the passing game going. And in those first 4 games we lost 2 games.

    That is not debatable.

    Unless you consider 91 yards passing, 140 yards passing and 175 yds against an FCS team, really winging it around. lol

    I would suggest that Pitt would have had much more yards passing with Boyd on the field in those games and I doubt it would have retarded anyone’s development. As for instance Weah was a DNP against Pedo’s, had 2 catches for 14 yards against the Tarholes and 4 for 35 yards against Villanova. He did get a gift TD against the Cowpokes for long yardage.

    Henderson’s development wasn’t retarded either as Big B points out since he only had 280 yds receiving for the entire season.


  51. Weah was either a DNP or didn’t log a catch against Pedo’s. Had no stats for the game and I can’t remember. Either way he was a total non-factor in the game.


  52. I agree. Took a little while to get this offense rolling. Would have liked to have Boyd this year…no doubt. But I would much rather have Henderson running the jet sweeps & returning punts instead of Boyd. It was nice to see more pass distribution to the other receivers & to the running backs this season rather than Peterman always looking for Boyd. I think it helped in the development of the entire offense & especially the progression of Peterman by not always relying on one main target.


  53. Chris Dokish had a tweet about Browne, Foster, Clark, and Hendrix being transfers 3 hours ago. My brain may be old but I’ve already heard Mad Max, so how about Clark Kent and Jimmie Hendrix too. It wouldn’t hurt to have Superman next year.


  54. I think you can make the argument that the loss of Boyd helped the development of Weah and the other guys. Certainly Peterman without his security blanket. Plus Boyd was ready to go, but it would have been interesting to see what Canada would do with another big time weapon.


  55. PittPT, no I don’t think directly. I think the connections are BIG coach and Canada’s past with Indiana. Kevin Johns replaced Canada.


  56. More on Johns. Obviously Narduzzi had to game plan against him and here Kevin Johns was job hunting while employed at Indiana. (sounds like canada) This could explain the slow search for a new OC seeing it’s a lateral move for him. Some think Narduzzi and PITT wouldn’t be interested in another job jumper but this seems like a fit to me.


  57. The OCS discussion is really interesting – if only because it is only from online diehard Pitt fans that it is even discussed…

    I went to UNC as an undergrad…beautiful on campus stadium. Set in the trees with the Bell Tower overlooking it – students sat on the 20-30 yard lines — great tradition and hoopla and ceremony…and it was only full for rivalry games and top national powers. I tend to believe that is true for 90% of all college stadiums – with the mega schools with yuge attendance being the exceptions – PSU, Ohio State, Michigan, Alabama (well, Bama is a different beast – I spent a month in central Alabama for work and besides the occasional isolated ‘gentlemen’s club’ there ain’t crap to do if in that state imo). And of coarse they all publicize this to make their rivals (‘lessers’ in the case of PSU who of coarse has no rivalry’s, as we all know) blue with envy.

    Fact: There will not be an OCS, or a new stadium anywhere in Pittsburhgh, in the productive lifetimes of any of us here. Let’s talk in 20 years. The WILL of the commonwealth, the politicians, Joe Sixpack and more importantly the money just are not there. But it is fun to talk about, I’ll stipulate that.

    Fact: Heinz Field is what We’ve got for the foreseeable future. Deal with it. We should spend our energy on making the experience THERE one to remember. We need to draw the general public out – there is just not a big enough alumni and diehard fan base to fill more than a large fraction of the available 70000 seats.

    My Solutions:
    1) Tarp off the Upper End Zone completely. Only sell to PSU zombies or Hoopies. In fact, this is the only area of the stadium one can wear those schools gear. Violators will be subject to having to do community service cleaning what’s left of the outer parking lots.

    2)Tarp off as much of the sideline Upper decks as practical. At least the top half of all 200# sections.

    3)End Zone logos. Screw the Rooney’s – we share the facility – we want Panther Script not diagonal lines. Mid field logo. Make it larger than an internet avatar. Goodbye Dinocat.

    4) Pricing – largely do away with ‘giving levels’ for non club seats. Make the Goal line to 30 yard line seats open and AFFORDABLE to the public. Price the beer reasonably for an average working class Jane to sell to make up for the difference. Make the game affordable for FAMILIES…under $120 for 4 inclusive of everything.

    5)Students. Give them lower seats between the Goal line and 30 yard lines. Move the band into the angled corner. Give them a leader with a microphone to lead cheers. Raffle a scholarship every game at the end. Give them free popcorn. Give them massages. Give them free sex. Give them whatever it takes (legally) to get them to stay through the 4th quarter.

    6) Move the main TV camera’s to the current Visitor’s side. Show the mostly full seats on the Home side of the Big K and highlight the Pitt bench and OUR kids , not the visitor’s, to get constant exposure on the TV – stop highlighting the mostly empty corporate seats on the current visitor side. Perception is everything.

    7)Giveaways. Give swag away every game to entice Joe and Jane Sickpack to come. Wouldn’t owning a Pat Narducci Bobble-head doll be dope?

    8) Keep building parking garages outside in 90% of the current lots – you can still ‘gate in the garages. Build more Hooters, college bars, high end chic clothing shops and sports apparel shops(good looking women draw men; more important daughters who want to be good looking women someday draw dad’s $$$ and attendance), sports bars, and steakhouses in the current lots. Make it THE DESTINATION PLACE for the IN Young crowd and the working class slobs to be in Pittsburgh 24/7. Hold other food festivals besides the Rib Fest on other Saturdays to draw the hungry.

    9) Huge mega perks for all media attending the game. Leather recliners in the press box. Free booze, free perogies, free massages, hell, free happy endings. Just get the ALL the press on our side for once.

    10)Win, Win and Win some more. Most importantly gotta win the last game of the year EVERY year. No bowl is irrelevant for a program like Pitts.

    AS always, just my humble opinion.



  58. Indiana: Rivals.com reports Tennessee offensive coordinator / quarterbacks coach Mike DeBord will join the Indiana staff as offensive coordinator. DeBord spent two years at Tennessee. He has previous coordinating experience at Michigan from 1997-99 and 2006-07. He was also Central Michigan head coach from 2000-03.

    Pittsburgh: another miss by Pitt – Tennessee’s O was high powered.


  59. You drew me out.
    Heinz will have outlived its life in 10 years. It will be 25 years old. It will be outdated. All engineers…those that built the shit hole along with architects tell me this.
    Therefore there will need to be major renovations or implosion or walk away.
    Walk away is cheapest and allows a new build out with major tax breaks
    New build out is Washington County
    Pitt then moves to a 80k domed stadium 30 miles from home
    How bout them apples???


  60. Houston: Athletic director Hunter Yurachek has signed a new 5-year deal with a $100,000 increase to $450,000 annually, according to The Houston Chronicle.

    Indiana Wesleyan: Wheaton College (IL) quarterbacks coach / pass game coordinator Eric Terrazas has joined the Indiana Wesleyan staff as offensive coordinator, and Wheaton graduate assistant Josh Aldrin has joined the IWU staff as defensive line coach.

    Wake Forest: Dave Clawson has signed an extension through 2024. Clawson is 13-24 in three seasons, including 7-6 this year, though it was revealed that some gameplans had been leaked to opponents during the first two-plus years. Clawson currently earns $2.1 million annually.

    Richmond: Jeff Huesman has announced the titles of the following additions: Jeff Durden (offensive coordinator), Adam Braithwaite (defensive coordinator), Sparky Woods (running backs), Adam Ross (offensive line), Carey Bailey (defensive line), Rod West (dimes), Dave Legg (defensive backs / special teams).


  61. TX – any chance we strike a deal with Carnegie Mellon to build a domed stadium and share it with them? Scheduling could be tough…


  62. Pitt needs to at least commission a feasibility study. I’m hopeful that our new AD will see how an OCS can lead to increased donations and school spirit. And its really a student multi purpose center. More than just football…classrooms/dorms, business/commercial, other sports, other entertainment, rec center.

    And yes I’m diehard. Thats why I post here and am so critical at times. Pitt has spurned me and beaten me as a lover throughout the years. But I still come back.


  63. So, it sounds like there only a precious few quality P5 OCs around. Are there any quality non-P5 OCs that might be available? That wouldn’t tarnish our rep, of course


  64. Fans of psu complained about Washington’s SOS being weaker than theirs and how that should have been the reason they were in the CFB – forgetting the fact that Michigan beat them by 39 points.

    So, let’s look at some facts:

    Nine nitter opponents played in bowl games, finishing 2-7.
    Their conference division (B1G Ten East) was 0-5 in bowl games.

    I hate to rail on the B1G Ten too hard because Pitt lost their bowl game to 6-6 NW (NU).

    On Facebook the nitter fans are calling for Franklinstein’s head again because of the loss to USC – reason is “poor coaching & specifically play calling”.

    Can we please keep him a nitter for three more years, please…?


  65. Not saying I am endorsing Kevin Johns at the moment just sharing a hunch I have. Although I would hardly call his offense a slog-fest.

    Indiana’s offensive numbers: Out of 14 big Ten members.

    Total offense……………………3rd
    Rushing offense………………11th ** < red light
    Pass offensive…………………2nd
    Pass efficiency…………………5th


  66. My hunch is that the Duzz’s pick for OC still has a game or two to coach before he can announce the hire.

    My guesses:

    Brandon Streeter – QB coach – Clemson
    Alex Van Pelt – QB coach – Packers
    Luke Getsey – RB coach – Packers

    Shane Montgomery – OC – YSU
    Donnie Kirkpatrick – OC – JMU


  67. The dead period for recruiting ends next Wednesday, January 11th, I believe.

    PittPT – the Pitt OC position would be a promotion & pay raise for any of the five. I’d think they could start the day after their season ended…

    But, I’m no expert, as I don’t work for one of those hit shot search firms.


  68. Erie – Wouldnt want any of them.

    I see Bo Pelini to replace Conklin.

    Tressel as AD.

    JuJuan Seider – WVU should be OC. He owns SFLA in Recruiting.


  69. JaJuan is a former wvu QB – do you think the lure of OC money would attract him?

    If he were a candidate, why the delay? The hoopies got rocked by Miami last Wednesday.


  70. Erie – He isn’t probably I just think he is good and he married a friend. He is a class act and hits SFLA hard for them. He is from there.


  71. I would say done deal as to Erie’s list.

    As for Boyd, I agree that the development of Weah, Henderson and possibly Orndoff would have stalled with Chaney but I think with Canada they would have been a lot better offensively in the pass game in the first half of the season. If O’Neil could get 4 offensive plays I am fairly certain that the guys who produced this year would have got the ball. I think the plays that went to Lopes, Tipton, Ffrench and Henderson (passing game) game would have gone elsewhere though.

    I like Johns and Montgamery…if they can recruit. Would love to see Hefley return as a secondary coach because he can recruit.


  72. Not a fan of that list. Tell me that Pitt can do better.

    If we partner with CMU, expect to see fembots serving alcohol and cheering on the field.


  73. Allow me to recognize Tommymac for his great Heinz Field post. Hell, I’ll help administer the happy endings in the press box if it’ll get Pitt some good press around here, lol.


  74. One that got away?

    Ryan Ehrie was introduced as the Director of Athletics for Mansfield University by President Fran Hendricks at a press conference in the Traditional Reading Room of North Hall on Tuesday afternoon. Ehrie comes to Mansfield after serving as the Director of Athletics, Intramurals and Recreation at Penn State Hazleton since September of 2014. While at Penn State Hazleton, Ehrie oversaw the addition of the women’s soccer program and acquired funding for a $1.2 million soccer field renovation.

    No relationship by the way…


  75. I don’t know about that EE. Raising a million or two is no sweat up there at happy ending valley. I worked with a young woman years ago who’s father gave a million bucks for new tennis courts. If you want his name just look up the name of the center court.


  76. Tennessee: Multiple sources confirmed former Oregon coach Mark Helfrich will be atop the Vols’ wish list; look as well for current staff members Larry Scott and Zach Azzanni to get consideration as well.

    Tennessee’s offense averaged 36.4 points per game this season, rushing for 2,668 yards and passing for 3,100. The Vols had 28 touchdowns through the air and another 31 on the ground.


  77. My Thought on OCS
    1) Location on Mon near 2cd and Hot Metal Bridge Perfect. UPMC has a huge parking lot on 2cd Ave already. Would just need to upgrade exit of Parkway. Adding Light rail would be dope. Build Bike lanes to campus that could also fit electric trams for student use on gameday.

    2) 35,000 max. Future crowds will be smaller for lots of reasons – mostly the new Virtual Stadium Man Caves that every sports fan will want to have in their basement.

    3) Ultra modern amenities and throwback architecture. State of the Art. (High Def scoreboard at Yankee Stadium was AWESOME – I want.) Charm and river view essential for getting National publicity and exposure. A Panther Club to make Jerry Jones blush with envy. Wouldn’t mind being served by CMU Fembots dressed like cheerleaders lol. Onsite masseuses.

    4) Critical – partner with WPIAL. Local western PA high schools would use it for marquee games on Friday and Saturday’s Pitt was away; and for playoffs. This way the local area school booster clubs could be involved in fund raising – thus gaining ownership interest and thus increasing the likelihood average fans would attend. And support bonds for road and infrastructure improvements.

    5) Critical – area around stadium would get other improvements as part of the deal – tennis courts, playgrounds, a little league field or 2. Again got to get the locals to buy in.

    6) Don’t wait for Pitt to do feasibility study. Someone with connections, influence and desire needs to start that part now – involve alums now; involve administration once the study shows it can realistically be done.

    7) Self fund stadium itself. Control our own destiny. Use bonds and donations for infrastructure and community improvements.



  78. Happened to have to go over Hot Metal Bridge last night. If there is one place more congested than Oakland itself, that’s it!! Have any of you been on Bates street lately?? Or the Southside?? The infrastructure would cost more than the stadium. That’s always been the problem, more so than land. And no way Pa. taxpayers will ever,ever go for it.


  79. Would love to see what Bill C. Would say after both Sec and BiG powerhouse got whacked. Funny looking back on this shit. More conference games mean more inbreeding, making the best conference the one who promotes loudest and most frequently, therefore it has to be true.


  80. Ford getting injured early in the season also helped with the development of the younguns’ or young guns.

    Is Pitt in the running for any late 4 star commits like Camp and Watts last year?


  81. There has to be an OC that runs Canada’s offense at another school. All the bowl games I watched I didn’t see the same offense. Maybe in a non-P5 conference.


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