It’s that time again where we finally get to look, objectively, at our opponents and it starts this week with an anticipated re-match with a 2015 foe. Yes, Pitt did win that game, closer than desired, but this time around, for growth and the loyalty of fans, it must be a blow-out. But, how does Pitt stack up against this FCS power?
Youngstown State is coming off a season where they went 12-4 and amassed that fourth defeat in the FCS Championship where they fell to James Madison. Still, it is a program reborn under Bo Pelini, who more than doubled their win output in just his second season.
YSU is a senior-laden team (20) that drives on experience and discipline, but now lacks a running back duo that vaulted the Penguins into contention last season. That being said, YSU will trot out a running back that is looking to complete a dream that extends back to high school. If the name Tevin McCaster sounds even the slightest familiar, you’ll know that he grew up and attended high school at New Castle.
His dream was to play at Heinz Field and win, as far as the Panthers are concerned, they want to wash that dream away. The most crucial position on any field is the quarterback, and YSU returns a solid one in Hunter Wells. This will be Wells’ second trip to Heinz Field where he started in 2015 and went 19-38 for 274 yards and a single touchdown – which equates to a 119.3 passer rating.
Note: I started drafted this piece immediately after I posted the preceding article.
I wrote an earlier article detailing what I think are the major question marks found in Pat Narduzzi’s YSU two-deep that was just released by Pitt’s Athletic Media Department. They are many and I think they are compelling in the sense that it really highlights the lack of experience we will be fielding at Heinz field on Saturday. Here is that listing again:
But that two-deep, as in anything regarding Pitt Football, doesn’t tell the whole story. While I can’t really wrap my head around the fact that the HC and DC feel that SR DL Shane Roy is a starter, I can also look at the list and see things that I feel will be working hard for us to get a victory in this game. I’ll start with the offense.
Three players whom I feel could also have question marks next to their names also (but I didn’t award them that) are more in line for the positive . That would be Chris Clark at TE; Max Browne at QB and rsJR Qadree Ollison at RB. Now, I have written in the past that I have major reservations about Max Browne so let’s start with him. Continue reading “YSU Two-Deep; On the Flip Side…”→
OK… I’ll say weep… or scratch your head maybe. There are some real surprises and concerns here and unless this is a some-what joking attempt to rile up Pitt fans I see some scary issues in front of the opening game.
First off I am actually not that surprised that SR Mike Flanagan is listed before rsSO Chris Clark at TE. Regardless of that 5* and #1 TE recruit ranking Clark was given years ago Narduzzi always goes with real game day experience if he has the opportunity to do so. We see that now at the TE position for the opener.
Most specifically it is because of Flanagan’s blocking abilities. He’s a big and proven guy and, again I don’t care what the Pitt people say, Chris Clark is on the thin side. Pitt needs bulk for that 6th offensive lineman this season.
Jim Morrissey over both Conner Dintino and Alex Officer (who played Center last year) is disturbing to me. I have said repeatedly that I have real concerns about the Offensive line. A rsFR with absolutely zero game experience beat out both of them… not good at all. Hey, you can believe Morrissey is some sort of Fall Camp superstar if you wish – but the real possibility is that the other two guys sucked at playing Center.
Here is the lineup as of Monday afternoon…
And what do the first two paragraphs of this article have to do with each other?
I have never played Fantasy Football although I’ve always thought it would be a great thing for a sports blog to do with it’s readers. So, I believe we should develop a Fantasy League for Pitt football – I just don’t know how to do it.
Can anyone suggest a good fantasy site and/or moderate such a thing for the POV? I looked at various sites on the Internet but since I have no knowledge of how these leagues work I’d like to defer to someone who does.
Of course, I will provide a cash prize at the end of the season to whoever wins all the marbles. I promise to keep the prize low enough so that you don’t get kicked up into a higher tax bracket.
Here is what I found in just a short search – I’m sure some POV reader knows a better free site that we can use.
I didn’t begin that league yet. From what I gather we would have individual teams owned by our POV readers; for example “Reed’s Renegades” and then we’d do a ‘draft‘ for players – then who ever gets the most points at the end, based on our players’ performances during each game, wins… is this correct? Continue reading “New!! Pitt POV Fantasy Football!!”→
“I’ll just reference one of our ACC officials that comes out and works our practices every day. I didn’t ask for it; he just said, ‘Hey, that Maddox is different than he was last year.’ So for whatever that is – maybe you guys can find him somewhere; I’m not going to give you his name. But it was good to hear that from somebody else that watches every day.”
That’s a big question for me, too. So much of this defensive scheme is geared toward stopping the run, but the DTs are a big part of it; are these young guys up to the task? Charlie Partridge says they’ve done a good job learning their assignments and filling the right gaps and all of that, but I think that area is where Pitt has taken the biggest hit with all the departures on defense. Shakir Soto and Tyrique Jarrett were really good against the run.
Losses on the defensive line have forced shuffling and resulted in the emergence of junior defensive tackle Shane Roy, who was repeatedly recognized by coaches for his efforts in camp. Roy also needs seasoning, but he may start next to redshirt freshman Keyshon Camp.
Pitt needs a pass rush to offset deficiencies in its secondary, but not even Ejuan Price’s 13 sacks could help last year. With Price in the NFL, that task is passed on to Dewayne Hendrix and Edwards. Hendrix is another of those players whose potential — due to injury — has been talked about more than put on display.
Both players are transfers, which says something about Pitt’s recruitment of defensive linemen before Narduzzi arrived in 2015.
I have three more full-sized Pitt POV car magnets that attach to the sides of your car – I’ll mail them out to the first three POV’ers who promise to use them while driving to and from, and at, the home games.
Anyway – if you want one then send me an email ASAP with your address and “CAR MAGNET” in the subject line and the first three get one. I’ll say this though – the tiebreaker will be if the requester is a past donor to the POV.
I wish I had extras and am now in the process of begging money off my darling daughter so I can afford a few more… but she’s being a hard ass. That ‘Just think how much I spent on you as a child‘ argument is not working with her any longer.
But I will get a few more if these go quickly – so send me that email if you want one now and I can get it to you before the YSU game… firstname.lastname@example.org
I just mailed two to Fran (Lastrowofsection4) as thanks for his hosting the POV tailgates this season – remember that we’ll be in Parking Lot Red 5A right next to the Red 5 parking garage and the Renaissance Inn… and right where the North Shore Light Rail stations steps are.
Fran gets their five (5!) hours before game time, it starts at 1pm this week, and I am driving up from Maryland and will get there around 10am.
Here is something for the Pitt fans attending the Penn State game in Naysayers Valley:
The Pitt football program added its second recruit of the week Thursday, as local product David Green committed to head coach Pat Narduzzi.
A 6-foot-1 defensive lineman from Pittsburgh Central Catholic High School, Green chose the Panthers over Virginia Tech, Minnesota and Rutgers, among others.
He is rated a 3-star player by 247Sports and is the fourth defensive lineman in the 2018 class, joining fellow WPIAL products Noah Palmer and Devin Danielson and Maryland native John Morgan.
The trio of players will be critical in rebuilding depth on Narduzzi’s defense after the coach dismissed two projected starters this summer — seniors Jeremiah Taleni and Rori Blair. A number of young, inexperienced players will be expected to step up this year, but the team will need to recruit the position heavily to get back to a healthy number of players.
In total, the class of 2018 now has 14 players, with all 14 ranked as 3-star recruits by 247Sports. The website currently has the group ranked No. 53 in the country and No. 12 in the ACC.
There’s still a long way to go though, and the class could come a long way by the Feb. 7 signing deadline.