2017 Spring Game Impressions

I invited readers to send in their impressions of the Spring Game and Eric Wassel took advantage.  I will put his article up under the Monday Morning QB piece that will be posted tomorrow morning.

Well, after all that talk from me about ‘if you are going to discuss the Pitt team in detail after the offseason then you really should get to the Spring Game so you know what you are talking about’… I missed the whole day even when I was up in Pittsburgh just this morning.

But we here at the POV had our “stringers” at the game so you know we’ll be getting detailed reports as soon as they put the beer cans down.  Here is one group who showed up at the modified tailgate: see if you can guess who they are (I’ll answer in the comments section later):

Spring Game Tailgate 2017.JPG
Lastrowofsection4/Dr. Tom/Craig Richards (Tom’s Son) /MissingWlat/Richman/RayinPGH/Sorry Spaced on this one and majormajors

Bunch of blood thirsty SOBs right there I tell you.  BTW – I’m doing up a separate Golf Outing article today also – pretty interesting and fun as hell day for everyone – I’m really proud of the turnout at the golf club but also at the number of commenters who wrote me saying they wished they were there.

We’ll find something else to do during the season I’m sure.

Here are the Pitt’s detailed stats for the scrimmage this afternoon.

as provided by the Post-Gazette’s Craig Meyer on his Twitter feed.


Alan Saunders of Pgh Sports now has a detailed article about the kids’ performances also.  In what is always a topic of conversation during the Spring Practices the four scholarship QBs went out to do their best. Here is what Alan has to say about that:

Max Browne got off to a slow start that was hindered by some questionable protection and a couple of drops, but he got going by the fourth quarter, leading a late touchdown drive and connecting on a perfect 27-yard pass to Tre Tipton.

Browne was playing without either of his starting receivers, so it’s pretty hard to evaluate his performance. But his passes looked much better as the game went on. He finished the day 13 of 28 for 144 yards.

 Ben DiNucci was incredibly efficient, going 5 for 5 for 60 yards. Kenny Pickett showed that he still has some things to work on in the passing game, particularly downfield, with a 6 of 13 for 36 yards day. But he was able to make contributions with his legs, rushing for 35 yards on four carries.

Thomas MacVittie attempted just one pass and was sacked twice on three drop-backs.

Aside from the cautionary “It is still only spring and only a scrimmage”  advice we always throw around at this point I’ll add this. Our QBs were throwing against the NCAA’s (almost) worse pass defense so take all of it with a two grains of salt  not just one.

You all will chip in with your own comments on the day but when I see that Thomas MacVitte did so poorly in taking two sacks on three drop back plays I have to think it means he’s having a harder time with the new offenses.  And I haven’t read anyone saying they think that Max Browne will have actual competition in fall camp – but apparently I’ve been underestimating how the staff feels about Ben DiNucci obviously.

But I’ll bet a dollar right now that it will be Browne as the starter and DiNucci as the backup going into the YSU game on Sept. 2nd. I’d have said MacVitte three weeks ago but after reading and listening to everything out of camp and then reading about this scrimmage I’m thinking it will be Browne and then DiNucci as the two-deep going into fall camp.

Now things can and do change during the month of August so we’ll see what happens then.

Oh – and there is another reason not to read too deeply into what happened this afternoon and here it is…the Pitt QBs’ stats from the 2014-15 Spring Game:

spring QBs

We saw what happened with both of those guys by the end of the 2015 season – they took off and didn’t look at Pitt in the rear view mirror.

Other than that not much at all jumps out at me looking at the final stats except that when all the other WRs were catching just about every ball thrown to them Tre Tipton caught just two of the seven throws he was the target for.

Other Stuff:

Here is an interview with Narduzzi talking about our new AD.

21 thoughts on “2017 Spring Game Impressions

  1. the starting OL was split up, and the Blue side had Dintino and Jones-Smith (the two less proven projected starters)…. while the Gold had O’Neill, Officer and Bookser. This may have been the reason that “Max Browne got off to a slow start that was hindered by some questionable protection” and “Thomas MacVitte did so poorly in taking two sacks on three drop back plays”


  2. Seemed to me that they had Max throwing a lot to Avonte’s side of the field and Avonte was all over his guy whether it was Tipton, or Flowers or Lopes…

    Max did seem to throw some nice deep balls in that the ball was a nice spiral and the point of the football turned down. The exception was the first pass (flea-flicker) which fluttered and hung up.

    BTW, Weah looked like the 2014 -2015 Weah version today. Dropped a short pass and really wasn’t a factor… Hopefully the coaches were kind of keeping him under wraps on purpose…


  3. Dline looked pretty good. Neither team having the whole first string OL had something to do with that but the dline and the LBs on both teams were getting in the backfield pretty consistently.

    Except whenever Quadree touched the ball and brownes last drive the defenses pretty much shut things down. Dinucci was the most consistent passer except brownes last drive, MacVittie looked totally lost out there, pickett was the best at avoiding the rush and making plays after. He looked like a pretty fast and tough runner.


  4. Browne didn’t impress me today. But as others mentioned, he didn’t have a great line ahead of him. Plus his receivers were dropping a lot Of passes. Dinucci and Pickett looked really promising. Both are very quick and seem like tough players. When they scrambled, they kept their eyes down the field. T-Mac looked like the clear 4th string QB.

    Moss looked better than ollison, and I definitely think that Davis or Sibley could play a lot this year. Unfortunately, ollison looked slow, and he had a fumble.

    The kicker looked really good as well. His kicks seemed to have good power. His 60 yard attempt may have had the distance and he was kicking into the wind.

    It was a good day.Hoping everyone improves over the summer


  5. Reed — No. 5 in the photo is Larry, Fran’s friend. Larry was not at the golf event. When I met Larry at the tailgate, I realized that Lastrow and Larry both sit in the same section as I do. And I can tell you from first-hand observation of him at Pitt games that Larry is a big-time, passionate Pitt fan…

    Hope your wife is doing better and your daughter cooled down…

    Go Pitt.


  6. Reed, sorry you couldn’t make it, hope your wife makes a full recovery. Anyway, we had a couple of beers in your honor. Thanks to Fran for being so generous with the tailgate. I think moss will be the starter on day one, just looks like a faster more confident running back than Ollison.


  7. Up early searching for my Easter basket…Reed and BigB, prayers for your loved ones. Had a GREAT time at the golf event and tailgate. Looking forward to any other POV events this summer. Wonderful group of guys that I met the past few days. H2P.


  8. OK the Spring Exhibition is over . It seems to me that the better team yesterday had the better pass protection …. and that’s the only thing I took out of it.

    Ohio State’s first team played 2-hand touch yesterday — not making that up. I’m thinking that HCPC had the right idea about the Spring Game back in 2014.

    And Happy Easter to all!


    1. P.S. — if the spring game led to the the 1st Annual POV Golf Outing, then indeed it served a purpose


  9. I concur with all of the above. Really interesting to put faces together with so many screen names from the POV.

    On the negative side, we saw two injuries. Therran Coleman got a leg rolled up on but managed to limp off on his own after being checked out on the field & Brian O’Neill tweaked up his right arm/shoulder but he walked off as well. Hopefully neither was a major injury.

    On the positive side, it was an absolutely perfect weekend weather wise to meet up with friends, tip a few beers, play some golf, begin working on your tan and attending the Spring Game. And the best thing was, just like I guaranteed my prediction at the tailgate, Pitt did in fact bring home a win.🤣🤣🤣!

    Happy Easter to all.


    1. post-game tweet:

      Brian Batko ✔ @BrianBatko
      Pat Narduzzi said it was just a little tweak for Brian O’Neill. Nothing to worry about.

      Didn’t hear anything about Coleman


  10. Appreciate the eyes on reporting. Was there any good secondary play besides maddox’s 2 pbu’s? Did anyone else stand out in a good way in the secondary?


  11. Happy Easter everyone and sounds like all you golfers and tailgaters had a great time. Great weather for it that’s for sure.

    Hey guys, an old message board friend has come over to join us at the POV. Giant PITT man and super poster. He goes by “Pitt75” I know he will fit right in with all the great guys here at the POV. Welcome Pitt75, FF. ………. ike


  12. Reed, James Fanning and Patrick Casey stopped at the tailgate and asked me to let you know they were looking to meet you.


  13. Couple things for those not at the game. Just before the game they did a brief tribute to Dan Rooney and then had a moment of silence for him. Following that they did the same for Henry Hillman.

    After the game, I’m pretty sure it was Coach Powell who got the Gatorade bath on the winning side.

    A large group of former players attended the game and came on the field at halftime for a photo. Several were interviewed during the game including Boyd, Sheard, Palko, Fitzgerald…. And Walt! I’m still a big Walt fan.

    It was windy – especially at the beginning of the game. Don’t know if that affected Max’s slow start. Max didn’t exactly engender a lot of confidence by the way he played in the first half – course a few dropped passes didn’t help him. He did come back and do some nice things in the second half, but sure left the door open for speculation/competition regarding the QB spot in the fall…

    Also, Max doesn’t move nearly as well as DiNucci or TMac or Pickett. If Max gets pressure I can see a lot of those plays where he runs toward the sideline and ends up throwing the ball out of bounds. So he’s going to have to win the job based on a combination of him being decisive and doing the right things – and getting rid of the ball quickly – and him having a decent offensive line.

    Go Pitt.


  14. Max needs to shave his head and grow a little facial hair before everyone starts calling him Opie.

    I don’t think the QB position will be locked up until later in fall camp

    Same goes for the RB spot but Powell did mention the need to get Hall back.

    It was good to have football in the air on such a fine weekend but I don’t think we can take much from the spring game. With the exception of a few sore backs (golfers) and hangovers (tailgaters) or both. 🙂


  15. Thanks Fran.

    I’ll have a follow-up article about the Golf Outing up soon – with a lot of photos…

    So if you attended and took photos please email them as attachments to me at rkohberger@gmail.com and I’ll get them in the article.

    Right now I am doing up an article by Eric Wassel along with the Sunday Podcast…


  16. Happy Easter from some of yinz southern brothers. Spring games I value based on getting the second stringers getting first time reps potentially and both lines being able to make calls and adjustments which w should hear about later in the week how that went. If you can’t block or rush the passer, everything else is down the drain.

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