We will be starting the round table call in on Wednesday nights at 9 p.m. rather than 8 p.m. to get people with things to do earlier in the evening back on board so they can contribute to the call-in. Here are the details for this evening:
Some topics to discuss:
Max Browne is the starter. Real or was it set from the start…why?
Narduzzi and Conklin will stay in Cover-4 for pass defense. Is this the right way to go given the lackluster results of the last two years? Or do they have the talent and personnel they want in the backfield now to keep going on with it. Here are some good links to refresh your memories
“Narduzzi is going to stick with the Cover 4, but it remains to be seen if it can be successful in the spread, pass-happy ACC. This coming season may be another one where success or failure may be determined more by how the players on the field play than it is to any particular scheme. But at some point, Pitt needs to prove it can stop the pass along with the run.”
Here is a bit on pre-season rankins and Pitt’s place at #39 – which sounds about right to me.
USA Today’s computer college football ratings, which are compiled by Jeff Sagarin, came out this week, and Pitt ranks 39th in the country.
They’ll play six games against teams ranked higher than them, visiting No. 10 Penn State, No. 22 Virginia Tech and No. 29 Georgia Tech and hosting No. 11 Oklahoma State, No. 15 Miami, and No. 38 NC State.
That leaves Sagarin predicting Pitt to finish with roughly 6.5 wins, with the NC State game as mostly a toss up.
Here are our neighbors in that not-so-lofty placement:
37 West Virginia
38 NC State
41 North Carolina
H2P: With Macvitte running with the punt team do you think he is in for a position change? Or is this just a testament to his athleticism
Brian Batko: I did see redshirt freshman quarterback Thomas MacVittie out there this morning running down on a punt coverage. Do I think that’s a big deal? Not necessarily, but it is intriguing. He’s 6-5, 225, and was known as a decent speed guy in high school. I think it’s more testament to his athleticism and the Pitt coaches appreciating that/trying to find a way to use it.
JoeScaz: Do you think the attendance problem at Heinz Field really bothers Narduzzi and recruiting as much as some have claimed?
Brian Batko: I think every coach wants his stadium to be full every game. Based on some insight we’ve gotten from AD Heather Lyke out of conversations she’s had with Narduzzi and people around the football program, they believe they get a huge jolt of energy and confidence from the well-attended games. So, that leads me to believe that yeah, lots of empty seats might grind his gears a little bit deep down. But then again, my high school hoops coach used to tell us to never play for the fans.
Moops: Watching the Clemson replay and seeing again how bad the pass d was, its nearly amazing Pitt won 8 games. There’s no way it can be that awful again, right?
Brian Batko: Good day, Moops. And good question, but heaven forbid this becomes a “famous last words” situation, right? I still think this secondary might struggle. It’s quite inexperienced beyond senior corner Avonte Maddox and junior safety Jordan Whitehead, who you might recall is suspended the first three games (two of which are probably the two best passing offenses Pitt will face). Sure, the premise is sound that it would be tough to be worse, but I’d be surprised if it’s much much better.
Regarding DL recruit David Green from Central Catholic
You know just about everyone expects you to announce for Pitt on Thursday, right? Yeah.
That’s it, “yeah”? I don’t know why everyone thinks that. Pitt is a good school, but I’m really torn between that and getting away from home.
On playing other teams in the fall Camp preseason:
“I’m OK with it,” Narduzzi said of some type of college preseason. “We can bring Duquesne over here, whomever. Let’s bring Robert Morris over. It would be great, just to go out and hit somebody different.”
Narduzzi said outsiders always ask, “How do you look? Oh, you look great against each other.
“What’s that matter? How do you match up against somebody else?”
During an appearance Tuesday on “The Rich Eisen Show,” Swinney was asked if he would support college preseason games.
“Man, I would love to have the opportunity,” he said, “even if it wasn’t in public. I’d love to have the opportunity to go scrimmage another opponent. Someone you don’t know much about. (Teammates) know all each other’s nuances when you’re on a practice field day in and day out.