Wasn’t Dr T’s article great. Thanks so much for that Tom. I disagree with 56.8 % of it though.
One thing a lot of Pitt aren’t really considering when discussing our problems with opponent’s passing games is that the defensive backfield talent level may go up this year … but the problem will still be the coaching.
Here’s the thing – Paul Chryst was as good a OC before coming to Pitt and Narduzzi was a DC and still our offense never came around to the level of his offenses at Wisconsin – they just didn’t.
For instance Chryst’s last three years as OC they scored: 31.8, 41.5 and 44.1 ppg.
Narduzzi’s defense gave up: 22.3, 18.3 and 16.3 ppg.
All very much Top 10 years in the NCAA respectively…
Now –Pitt fans point to Narduzzi’s first three years as the DC for a blueprint for what we’ll see at Pitt. He was giving up 26.6, 23.9 and 26.3 ppg for an average of 25.6 ppg. A nice slim increase then back again but still pretty good…
Well, throw that positive creep out the window as we have gone from 26.1 ppg to 35.2 ppg with him as the HC and DC Josh Conklin.
His first two years at Pitt we are seeing much the same thing so far – even more so actually – with Narduzzi’s defenses at Pitt. They are nowhere near what he had when he was hands-on as the DC at MSU. Not even close to his first two-year average when he was putting defenses on the field with other people’s recruits at MSU.
Now – we can cross our fingers and hope to heaven that it is not having the ‘personnel to fit his system‘ but honestly, I don’t buy that 100% at all.
First off we are going to be very inexperienced in the D backfield this year. Last season we had guys with multiple years starting.. and before 2016 those years were seasons that we gave up a ton less yards in the air.
OK – why weren’t we bitching about a total lack of talent in the D backfield last season. honest to god – was Lafayette Pitts that good? No – he was the focus of Pitt fan’s ire and he should have been.
The common denominator is the Josh Conklin at DC and Pat Narduzzi insistence to stop the run. Tom makes this point –
“Narduzzi’s defense is a “stop the run first” mentality. And in that regard we were pretty successful throughout the season, with the exception of the Miami game. So as I see it, stopping the run and forcing the opposition to throw the ball, actually was a fairly valid philosophy that kept Pitt in every game that they played. “
OK – that to me is pretty weird. It wasn’t stopping the run that kept us in games – it was the most highly potent offense Pitt has ever had that did that. In our losses we gave up this:
OSU – 540 yards and 2 TDs ; Lost by 7
NC – 435 yards and 5 TDs; Lost by 1
VT – 406 and 2 TDs; Lost by 3
Miami – 356 yards and 4 TDs; 23
NW – 216 yards and 1 TD; lost by 7
How in the world can anyone look at the OSU, NC and VT games and think that the ‘stop the run first’ helped us in a big way!! I say “stop the pass first, second or third” would have easily won those games, given us a 11-2 record and possibly a playoff berth since we beat both Clemson and PSU.
Instead in those first three losses we gave up an average of 460 yards and 3.3 TDs per game. Please allow me to repeat that for the hard of hearing…
460 yards and 3.3 (24 pts) TDs per game !!!
In each of those three losses even one less TD per game would have given us two wins and an overtime shot at a third win. In other words one less TD in those games gives us at least a 10-3 record.
Have to stop the run…
Have to stop the run…
Have to stop the run…
You are getting sleepy…
Hell, even in the bowl game we give up one less passing TD and we are in overtime. But that may be asking too much from a DC who is going up against a passing attacked 53rd in passing. so I’ll give old Joshua a pass on that one. But only that one.
We have a fleet of ships full of Narduzzi/Conklin apologists when it comes to our defensive play over the last two years, especially last year. It isn’t even a matter of looking at the glass half full – you fans who defend this horrendous showing on the HC and DC’s parts don’t see that the glass has anything missing at all.
Guys – it is OK to honestly criticize someone for something when they truly screwed up – it doesn’t mean you hate them or aren’t a true Pitt fan. It just means you ain’t Dr.Magoo… whoops…I mean Dr. Tom.
P/S: Can we get off the 8 wins is so great kick? I like 8 wins too but some fans act like we were the bottom of the NCAA barrel in the recent past. In 2103 we had 7 wins, beat ND and had a bowl win – which is a win that has eluded Narduzzi so far in the worse ways.
I think our program is on an upswing but c’mon – give some credit where it is due to the past coach also. As much as we want to point fingers at PC’s defensive recruits being the reason for our crap showing, then let’s give PC credit for the bulk of an offense, nine of 11 starters, who put 40.1 points up per game also.