As I wrote our 2017 home game tailgating plans are firming up nicely. We’ll be at every game in Red Lot 5A and will be there hours early and about an hour after the game.  I already put up one article and as we get closer to the end of camp I’ll pin the info to the top of the blog.

One thing – we’ll have a donation box for POV’ers who attend (and anyone else actually). One POV’er is donating a lot of time, effort and a parking space and the others are putting out some up front costs – so we’ll reimburse them… OK guys?

You all are the best and I have about another week before I settle in with my new volunteer work – I’ll try my best to be up to the Pitt Media Day on Tuesday then I’ll try to get more articles out on a regular basis…

Preseason Amway Coaches Poll

Typical Coach speak – RB coach Powell

Here is an example…




POWELL: I don’t know. He was a redshirt freshman and that was two years ago. So I think he can. That’s the bar. We’re trying to raise the bar. He rushed for 1,100 yards, a little bit wiser, a little ability to anticipate and see things before they happen, receiving the tips that the defense gives you, he could have had more yards.

Hopefully he knows those things now or is learning them now, and when it comes to the time to play, hopefully he’ll be a better player.

OK Coach – now tell us what you really think.


Aaron Mathews – two-week suspension? From  (Who will be WR#2 if Henderson is in the slot?)

Aaron Mathews was not, as the sophomore receiver missed his third practice in as many days Thursday. There had been no official word on Mathews’ status, so I asked Narduzzi prior to Thursday’s practice if he expected Mathews to join the team soon.

“I expect Aaron – he’s got some personal obligations he’s trying to take care of right now, as well as a lot of other guys, like I mentioned earlier a couple days ago. He’s got some things going on right now that he’s got to take care of. We expect to have him back there the end of next week. So he’s good.”

Well, I wouldn’t say “he’s good” if he’s not out there practicing. I have heard from a few people that Mathews was serving a two-week suspension; Narduzzi obviously didn’t use that language, but his timeline – saying Mathews will be “back there the end of next week” – fits the fortnight timeline I have heard.

Either way, he’s not there.

Here are some additional tidbits to keep the discussion juices flowing. 

We have said that this year is the season that Pat Narduzzi is going to have to play ball with the majority of his starters being Narduzzi recruits, and transferred-in players. 

I didn’t show the offensive chart below but at my best guess that out of 11 players only four are Narduzzi guys, with the OL being populated with Chryst recruits. I’m also assuming Ollison will be the RB with Aston.

So – Browne, O’Neil, Clark and Henderson, if he starts at WR, but all the WRs save Weah are Narduzzi guys. Total – four and all pretty talented.

On defense it will be a different, and let’s hope a better, story as we won’t have many starters who aren’t Narduzzi’s players, seven out of 11 there.  The Chryst guys are Maddox, Briggs, Folston and Oluwaseun to start the season.

That is just flipped from the offense – and remember these are just speculative starters at this point before camp.

When I dug a bit deeper to look at the starting experience side of things what I found was pretty eye-opening once I delved into the stat book. Here is what I think the lineup will be over the first three matches. And to answer a recurring question about whose players are going to be playing in the defense as starters and back-up the Narduzzi acquired player are in amber.

 Star Ranking & Starts  Star Ranking & Starts
DE Hendrix, Dewayne RS JR/TR 4*  / 1 Edwards, Allen RS SR 2*  /  4
NT Camp, Keyshon RS FR 3*  / 0 Herndon, Mike RS JR 3*  /  0
DT Watts, Amir SO 4*  / 1 Roy, Shane RS JR 3*  /  0
DE Folston Jr., James RS JR 3*  / 0 Rashad Weaver, RS FR 2*  /  0
MONEY Zeise, Elijah RS JR 3*  / 1 Anthony McKee, RS FR 3*  /  0
MIKE Brightwell, Saleem RS SO 3*  / 2 Pine, Chase RS FR 3*  /  0
STAR Idowu, Oluwaseun RS JR WO  /  12 McKee, Anthony RS SO 3*  /  0
CB Maddox, Avonte SR 3*  /  27 Damar Hamlin, SO 4*  /  0
SS Briggs, Dennis RS JR 2*  /  0 Phillipie Motley, RS JR 3*  /  2
FS Stocker, Jay RS SO 3*  /  0 Ford, Paris FR 4*  /  0
CB Jackson, Dane RS SO 2*  /   3 Hamlin, Damar SO 4*  /  0
Star / Start Average 2.8*  /  4
3.1*  /   6

As far as recruit rankings go our prospective defensive first string averages 2.9* and the back ups average 3.1*.

But the experience factor is what worries me.  We are so inexperienced in fact that if you take away our only truly tested by fire 1st string player, CB Avonte Maddox and his 27 starts, we then average 2.0 starts with the other 10 starters.

Of course because backups in the two-deep are normally populated by younger players our 2nd string guys there average only  0.5 (1/2 game) starts each. That is really low and let’s keep – fingers crossed for no injuries.

What really got me thought was that in a majority of these younger player’s games played (aside from starts) it was almost always in the special teams unit and not at an actual field position on defense.

So -three years ago we had one of the youngest teams in the FBS – and it is coming around again.  That 2014 team went 6-7 under Paul Chryst but I don’t think we’ll see that this season.  But it is pretty worrisome when you see it laid out like that.

But those players on the 2014 team also gave us 16 wins over the last two years also, so who’s to say we can’t do that again or win even more!  It’s a tough task I think but it wouldn’t be all that surprising.

Wisconsin’s Top Ten Spot


Preseason Amway Coaches Poll

Quarterback Alex Hornibrook is a talented player who struggled as he split time with Bart Houston last year. However, with just a bit of improvement in his decisiveness and accuracy, the Badgers’ passing game could improve quite a bit.

The running game should be sensational, as it usually is in Madison. While Corey Clement has moved on, Chris James has transferred from Pittsburgh, and he should be ready for a memorable season. He will be running behind a powerful and huge offensive line, and that unit should be able to open up craters while blocking for him.




166 thoughts on “POV Sunday Podcast; August 8, 2017

  1. I just finished watching the E:60 on my High School, Strong Vincent in Erie. Wow. A very inspirational and tragic story. I haven’t walked those hallways since I left many moons ago and now it’s closed for good. It was remarkable to see how the hallways and gym stood still with the passage of time. They don’t appear to have changed much in the past quarter century.

    E:60 on Twitter
    “A murder triggered a rash of violence that threatened to tear apart a team & their city, until 2 coaches at the center of it all stepped in.”


    1. I live in Erie, now, and while I wasn’t around when the entire event took place, it’s still hits home. Incredible piece.


  2. Reed, I believe Allen Edwards was a PN pick-up ….. and McKee is definitely a Narduzzi pick-up as you may recall Chryst continued to recruit him after he resigned from Pitt .. and even hosted a visit from McKee in Madison.

    One more thing .. about Aaron Matthews …. 2 week suspension? I think the ? must be emphasized here because unless you know something we don’t, it is difficult to speculate. For all we know, there may be an illness in his family or something. Note that while Pitt is mum on why players are suspended, they still do announce them (I think)


  3. I always though Chris James was a step away from having the ‘it’ factor. Don’t see the other three upper class men as having that burst.
    As for Mathews, if it is punitive, suspend him from games. But missing two weeks of practice is like missing two weeks of work.


  4. Again imo, I really am not worried about how, why and what the players were or are rated. I worry about how they play the game on the field. I understand all the breaking down of each player but those ranking are WAY to subjective for me anymore.

    Narduzzi won two 8 regular season games the past two years with a group of low ranked recruiting classes. Which I guess takes us back to Eric’s article.

    Program stability and continuity to me are the most important staples of a successful football college team.

    Thinking Ford is waiting on results of some kind and I get the feeling Paris and all PITT fan’s are in for great news.

    Grand kids over again and didn’t get a chance to finish the podcast. Check you all later … ike


  5. Is it me, or do things look like they are getting worse, conduct wise. Now we hear from Reed that Matthews is suspended for 2 weeks and cannot practice. I know there are outside temptations, and this could be the time when summer session grades are coming in, but maybe Duzz needs to think about how he “oversees” these kids during the off season and during off hours. Pitt doesn’t have the depth needed to withstand the loss of several key players due to disciplinary issues.


    1. I wouldn’t consider a Rivals forum as necessarily a credible source. I believe the “Pitt Administration is holding a meeting of all athletes to announce they are joining the Big 10” story which turned into a national news emanated from there


  6. Two thoughts regarding the projected lineup above, if it’s pretty accurate:

    The ‘stars’ beside the names strike me as largely irrelevant
    A starting safety combo of Stocker and Briggs would imply that PN has a long way to go on the recruiting front, and if those 2 are still there mid season, yikes… don’t get me wrong, I’ll be pulling for whomever is back there, it’s just that those are important positions in Narduzzi’s scheme


    1. I know of 6 since end of ’16 season. Taleni, Blair, Whitehead, Wirginis, Bookser & maybe Matthews. Who are the other 11? Are they starters? walk-ons? band members?

      20% of 85 scholarships is 17. 20% of 105 (total roster limit) is 21. Watch your hyperbole.


    2. 105 players on the roster. 20%=21 players.
      Taleni & Blair gone. Whitehead & Wirginis suspended for the first three games, Bookser for one. Who am I missing? That’s more like 5%.

      Fake News from Upitt.


      1. Comical you guys count team as 100 players. 70 will never smell the field. 20% of starters is all that matters not bench warmers.


  7. BTW – In the Bleacher Report Reed linked for a Chris James update, PITT is mentioned along with 4 others teams that are could exceed expectations. There is no write up like Wiscy, Houston & Army received.


  8. Why do I feel that the only reason we get these 4star kinda guys is because they are damaged goods. I know that is an exaggeration but, it feels that way.
    Reed, regarding the tailgate, parking passes are worth their weight in gold, so it may be tough to get another one. Plus you never know who is gonna show, especially when the weather turns, and if we start losing. At least we have 1 space, and we can stuff lots of folks in and around it.


  9. We had about 40 people for the Nittany **itters game last year and 5 for Duke…it is what it is. This spot can handle the crowd. The problem is I have truck and can’t lock a lot of stuff from pre to post game. That’s why my buddy comes as early as I do and parks in the first floor of the Red Garage on the Red 5A side…we are about 20 yards apart. Reed, there are entrepreneurs that will ride people to the stadium in a bicycle powered carriage. Don’t know the cost. Also, is there a T stop closer to Heinz Field?


  10. RE: Mathews… Pitt doesn’t announce internal discipline unless it is so obvious they have too – like 3 game suspensions. So I don’t believe we’d hear of it through those channels. Chris peak is correct in almost every bit of news he puts out so I don’t doubt that bit about Mathews at all. Plus I heard it referenced again just yesterday.

    “Suspended” can mean many things – I always use the word “discipline” or was “awarded discipline” if i think it was a serious a transgression of rules. Perhaps I should have said “barred from practice” which sounds less serious…

    It can even mean academics if the staff wants to ensure that that side of things is taken care of by the kid without the player being distracted by practicing. But I don’t think it was that.

    But if it was really serious it would have been made public with a game(s) suspension- even then those aren’t always made public as Whitehead’s missing a game last year has implied. You have to realize that there is a real mind game being played between the coaching staff and the media when it comes to these things – Narduzzi (and other coaches) would very much prefer not to have to say anything to the media at all – and especially about things that may shed negative light on his program.

    The only reason he made Boyd and Blair’s summer suspensions public were because their criminal incidents were serious enough that the media (and fans) demanded to know what he was doing about them – so he quickly announced the sanctions imposed for the off season – then waited until right before camp to announce the actual suspensions.

    From July 2015:

    “One of the top offensive players in the ACC will have to sit out the season opener. On Monday, Pittsburgh head coach Pat Narduzzi announced the suspension of wide receiver Tyler Boyd from the September 5 home game against Youngstown State. Sophomore defensive lineman Rori Blair will also sit out the game due to disciplinary action.

    “In addition to their game suspensions, Tyler and Rori have been, and will continue to be, subject to internal discipline and accountability,” Narduzzi said in a released statement. “The situations were very disappointing and both young men have expressed their regret. Our expectation is that each of them, as well as our entire team, will learn from their mistakes and be better for it moving forward.”

    Lots of different issues involved – but the basic problem is still there for Mathews – he’s fighting for a starting job and is missing two weeks of a 16 practice camp.

    Remember the two-deep is created after the first two weeks of camp so that the staff and players can focus on game conditions, and who they will be starters with out on the field, when the season starts.

    Even then again – I would expect Mathews to be a starter sooner than later.


    1. I am unable to read the link above about Mathews because ti’s behind a paywall. So Peak posted the suspension, and not a poster. If so, then I agree it is credible


  11. Rich Man, so since being to Cali you’ve decided to part your screen name in the middle. Has Pebble Beach gone to your head already?

    An extra parking space would be a luxury but not a necessity for sure.

    Hamlin wasn’t damaged goods and neither will Raines be. Camp and Watts were big time recruits last year.

    Good post PittCocks, All teams have trouble this time of the year. Things are bad enough without exaggerating them.

    My daughter stopped by today with two of the grand children for my upcoming birthday (I’ll be 42) I opened up a beautiful PITT script folding chair and a great light PITT script shirt. How in the heck did she know they are exactly what I wanted?? … ike


  12. Oh Ike – how do you ‘exaggerate’ on two dismissals of starters on a almost brand new DL and three game suspensions off a defense that was horrid the year before? No one needs to exaggerate that – it is pretty bad on the face of it.


  13. Reed: Don’t get so excited there big boy. PittCocks and myself were responding to a post that stated that 20% of the PITT team was suspended, in trouble or kicked off the team.

    I don’t poo poo the turnover for the PITT team this year. It will be a great challenge for Narduzzi and the PITT team for sure.. ike


  14. Watching the local news and they are talking about how much harder the psu schedule is in 2017 than 2016.

    They were picking the nits over Pitt by 14 and then they played the clip of Franklin proclaiming they were going to dominate the state.

    What a joke – they lost to Temple and Pitt, yet they still look down their noses.

    I hate penn state even more tonight!


  15. Its bad from a perception standpoint. Shows Pitt as a program out of control. Thats why these things are hidden at most schools. Not saying to hide things but its how you spin it and how serious your policies are towards infractions. I’m pretty sure many schools are far more lenient of reefer but it these kids have been warned and disciplined previously for the offense, its a matter of maturity and all on them. I just hope theres no more suspensions. Best to get them done and over with quickly. Unfortunately at Pitt, next man up has little experience and maybe less talent.

    Pitt football will win as many games as basketball this year…6


  16. It’s not even close to the 90s. I’ll say this again … Pitt may take its lumps, especially early this year … but they are a year away fro being a pretty good team. I fully expect them to be competitive in the Coastal over the next 2 years and (hopefully) beyond.


  17. ^ I agree that PITT will take some lumps this season but I also believe they will rebound and finish strong. Miami aside?? If Narduzzi gets some younger guys some real quality playing time this year, then next season should be the beginning of the real future for PITT football!! …………………and I’m not ruling out an ACC Coastal Championship this year!!

    Narduzzi brought in Browne for one reason. He believes that PITT can win every game this year. Hell, I can go along with that and why wouldn’t every true PITT fan believe it as well? There has never been a game I thought PITT couldn’t win in the last 50 years at least!… ….ike


  18. I didn’t even realize there was a space twixt Rich and man. Oh well. And to the contrary, after being in pebble area, the amount of money there is obscene and humbling. It is a playground for the rich and famous of the world not just the US. More expensive than DC or NYC, think stadium prices ;-). Think $30 for a freaking omelette. I would go again in a heartbeat, however it will take another couple of years to save up for it.


  19. Splitting the baby 6 of 22 potential starters is 27%, though not sure UPitt meant it that way.
    Question – if your grades are not up to snuff until posted can you scrimmage? When will the summer session grades be officially posted?


  20. A program out of control, wow talk about being drama… Collectively, we know just enough about what’s going on to be dangerous. Letting behavior slide because a coach is lax in that area (as some recent coaches have been) kills a program. Love Narduzzi’s (& the school’s) approach. Don’t live the over-dramatization.


  21. Hey Rich, if you would have bumped into a golf celebrity at Pebble and he asked to join in your group to golf with you. Who would it be?

    Mine? Bill Murray hands down.

    Yeah, way too much about PITT being some sort of an exceptional renegade football program imo.


  22. Don’t get excited. Upitt is in training camp also, just warming up for the season! lol
    All of it just gets me excited for the season. We will see if the Duzzer can coach. If he should happen to go 2-1 to start I would be shocked. Just think we’ll get hammered those first 4 games. Any truth to rumor the honeymoon will be on the Yough? lol, have fun!


  23. I’m sure other schools are spinning it as such in the recruiting wars. Pitt is often its worst enemy.

    I think this years basketball will actually be worse than the mid 90’s teams. Those Willard years sure were fun.


    1. TX, a little bit too much hand ringing for me. Everybody is back by the time conference play begins.
      A 1-2 start wouldn’t surprise me though.


  24. Ike, there is only one ‘celebrity ‘ that I would want to run into,….my dad. Would be great to have one more round with him. As for a true celebrity, I agree, Bill Murray or John Stewart, or my classmate Paul Giamotti.


  25. Richman, that’s a really cool response. I’m jealous of you and your great memories. I have no such memories…

    Wanny was fired because steve couldn’t take the competition, the self absorbed s.o.b!

    Prediction: Matthews and Ford will be eligible this season. .. ike


  26. –With Aaron M. Missing some time, I’m Hoping Flowers takes advantage of the practice time to make himself a contributor at WR.

    –Agree that we’re getting virtually no info from camp — and we have so many Questions and issues… Clark, Hendrix, Browne, Reeves, Hamlin, the center position, etc. — we’ve got mysteries galore!

    –Part of the fun of camp for me was always hearing who is doing better than expected — even if it was just mostly smoke said to motivate someone else. Pitt fans live on HOPE and the Pitt Hope Machine is getting no input right now…

    Wish Coach Duzz could find a happy medium…

    Go Pitt.


  27. Hey Richman, I think I almost hit Bing Crosby’s house while playing Pebble. I stink at golf now. I also left my dad’s putter on the 14th green and when I got to the 18th, I told my caddie that i left it on the fringe because I had pulled it out of the bag and then decided to pitch instead of putt. My pitch came up 4 inches short and I was given the putt, so I didn’t bend over and get my dads putter. Almost lost the bugger!

    Another WPIAL guy not participating. Time to move on with the season. Those that take care of their business appropriately, get an opportunity to play.


  28. No one is over dramatisizing the behavioral situation at Pitt, if anything there is a lot of praise being pointed toward Narduzzi for his handling of the discipline awarded. Although it is unusual in these last few years for Pitt to have four guys get in trouble all at the same time.

    Regarding DW; his problem was a series of violent incidences with his players and not issues like academic or smoking weed, but much more serious and criminal incidents by players on the roster…. and the poor way he handled those players before and after those transgressions.


  29. Here we are, Monday morning, and with Fall camp in full swing no information or articles over the weekend. Are they trying to obscure the Pitt program at a time when they should be selling season tickets? I just don’t understand the athletic department. Ironically, given the Matthews situation, I can see why they don’t open up practice more. People may start to see that other players are missing. At least that is what they choose to convey with their approach to publicity.


  30. Hopefully the discipline will pay off, but since most of these guys seem to be repeat offenders it doesn’t seem to be easy. Taleni Blair, Wirginis and Whitehead should have been providing leadership this year, instead two are gone and Whitehead and Wirginis are on a very short leash.

    If the rest of the team hasn’t got the message by now it makes you wonder.

    Who are the leaders this year, team captains?

    Character better be something that Coach is looking for in his recruiting.


  31. Agree VoR, how is Heather supposed to sell tickets with no PR. There should have been articles on Saturday and Sunday when more people read the Sports page. Let the public get to know the players. How are the position battles going? This cloak of secrecy may be good on game day, but absence from the sports page is just plain dumb. People are more likely to support the team if they know the players names and background.


  32. The common theme with the recent disciplined players is WPIAL connections with the exception of Taleni.

    The whole 412Crew promotion slowly withered and disappeared.

    I personally don’t think there is a big problem other than some of these young men are still acting like boys. Let’s face it, most of us did stupid stuff in our college days. Some of us did not get caught or if we did we weren’t a high profile athlete with a full scholarship to burn.

    Better days ahead – high stick the Penguins on our way to creepy valley.



  33. Some interesting pictures on PSN with the different units going out on the town to eat with their unit coaches. One shows the WR’s and it sure looks like Aaron Matthews in that one. So you guys can make of that what you will but I’m not overly concerned about AM being a bad bad boy at this time.

    I just hope the PITT football team doesn’t go into a panic mode so easily as some their fans do.


  34. What game day specials and promos is Heather and Co advertising to attract the general public to fill up seats for the first 2 home games? Any commercialsads seen on TV or the paper. How is the marketing they have a marketing program? Need to get 50k a game in those seats-that would be a damn good average.
    I am buying tickets for 4 family members for a couple of games…
    Come on Team..H2P- asses in seats!!!


  35. Ah, IKE, finally some perspectiive applied to the “drama”.

    And GC, I agree, recruiting character is key, it’s impossible to babysit 100 players 24/7/365. All D1 programs have the same challenges and problems these days, though it must be challenging to balance an incoming class with character and talent.


  36. I just find the non-love for Ollison interesting. His 1100 yards just not good enough.

    Of course he should be better, he is two years older, has not been injured.

    He is not and probably never will be a flashy runner. Just solid and dependable.

    He again is following a legend as he did two years ago. Not easy.

    Hall and Moss were both given chances last year and never really distinguished themselves either.

    Certainly not like Ray Graham when he backed up Deon Lewis.

    Sounds like the two freshmen haven’t shown any flashes yet either.

    But we have the speed of Henderson, the power of Alston, just need a solid, dependable guy to hit holes and pick up yards. Hopefully one of these guys separates from the bunch.

    But 1100 yards as a redshirt freshmen is not chopped liver. ACC Rookie of the year.


  37. Who do they make the marquis guys to sell this year besides Henderson, maybe O’Neil.

    Last year they had Conner and Peterman. No one on defense thanks to Whitehead’s behavior.

    Maybe Narduzzi, like PSU used to sell JoePa.

    Time is of the essence.


    1. Maybe the marketing was centered around Whitehead and QH. The recent suspension changed all of that and the AD is scrambling to re-do the presentation.

      Just saying…

      Makes sense and it would be a costly change at that.


  38. Hard to live up to Pitt’s recent running backs, Shady, Deon, Ray, and Conner.

    You knew the first time you saw them they had “It”.

    Overwhelming talent. None of our guys have shown that yet, even Ollison with 1100 yards.

    Makes you wonder if they will.


  39. I have been following the Browne saga since the announcement he was coming to Pitt. But I still have never seen on tape or live if he can throw the football. They are keeping this guy so under wraps that they are stifling the program and keeping the attendance down. Even if he becomes a future bust, tickets are sold on excitement and expectation, and Pitt just doesn’t get it. I expected a long, interesting story on Pitt camp and player performances in Sunday’s paper, but NOTHING!


  40. @wwb – I always carry 2 putters. My regular putter and my Dad’s putter that I take with me and use to putt at least one time during a round at every course I play. Richman was busting my chops about having too many clubs in my bag. I don’t take the game that seriously (3or 4 times a year), but used to play every day in my late teens and early 20’s when I worked at a golf course.

    Agree that Pitt is fumbling with how to promote the Team! I would think that Pitt could put together some video to promote the team without giving out secrets. C’mon now fellas….”Release some Film”.


    1. Yea Huff, after I posted I remembered that you always use your dad’s putter at least once a round. And it’s been to many of the world’s best courses.


    1. Nard noted that Allen Edwards is having a good camp. He mentioned Edwards several times in his Practice #6 interview noting his consistency… He also noted that Hendrix was doing well on the other side. When asked about the DTs he didn’t name any names and suggested that none of them had distinguished themselves yet.

      I agree on Pugh and think that it will be difficult to keep Pugh off the field this year, though he may not be a starter.


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