What’s a Good QB and Do We Have One in Our Future?

Time to put the YSU game away and talk about something else for a while… Let’s look to the future.

We have seen some very interesting, and novel for Pitt, personnel moves with our QB units over the last four years. Under Paul Chryst we had Tino Sunseri departing after his statistically impressive 2012 season when he threw for 3288 yards on a 65% completion rate with 21 TDs and only 3 INTs. That was Chryst’s first year at Pitt and he knew that with the personnel he had returning he needed someone other that rsFR Chad Voytik to be the ’13 starter.

Voytik was by no means ready to play at that point – and as we saw later was basically an average D1 QB anyway so HCPC’s move to grab transfer QB Tom Savage made all the sense in the world then.  That started the trend we have seen since with first Savage then Nate Peterman and now Max Browne being enticed to start at QB in their turns.

Savage and Peterman worked out exceedingly well for us.  Big and strong armed Savage led the Panthers to seven wins in 2013 with almost 3000 yards and 21 TDs with 9 INTs. He did what was expected and it paid off. Voytik got his chance in Chryst’s last season but didn’t play well enough for in-coming HC Pat Narduzzi’s plans. That was evident when our-then OC Jim Chaney and Peterman decide to reunite.

The handwriting was on the wall the minute Peterman stepped off the plane – he strongly outplayed Voytik in fall camp and then grabbed the starting role (which he really should have had in the opener)  in the third game of the season and never looked back. That cemented in Narduzzi’s mind that 1) the QB was the key to offensive success and 2) he wasn’t going to wait for the younger QBs to grow into a starting role.

Hence his grabbing Max Browne out of USC when that opportunity arose.  Now – looking back on the success of our two previous transfer QBs it makes all the sense in the world to roll the dice on another and this season with Browne at the helm of the offense we’ll see it our string of luck holds true.

But it does have to end sometime doesn’t it?  or does it?

I would think that all depends on how successful HCPN has been at first recruiting QBs then, of course, coaching them up well enough to actually play at the D1 level successfully.  And that may be the rub after this season, and may be another big decision time for Narduzzi and Watson in regards to who they have to put out there for the 2018 season.

I have to say that with one exception I think Narduzzi’s QB recruiting has been poor. Ben DiNucci, who was less than impressive in his first play for Pitt in our bowl game last season (3 of 9 (33.3%) for 16 yards 1 TD and 2 INTs) raised eyebrows, and not in a good way,  among Pitt fans.

DiNucci’s recruitment was a last-ditch ‘We have an extra scholarship so lets use it‘ offer back in the 2014 recruiting class who was offered and accepted less than a week before LOI Day that year.  As a 2* recruit he had a single D1 offer (Pitt) and took it.  Now he’s a rsSO and working as the QB2 behind Max Browne. But here’s a problem – somehow he went from being an afterthought almost to have accolades thrown on his head every time his name was mentioned in this year’s fall camp.

OK – kids grow and get better and perhaps that has happened with DiNucci. It won’t be the first time a lowly rated kid become a real player in a few years. My opinion?  I’ll believe that when I see it and my real concern is that we might have to see that before its time.

Think back to last season when Peterman was in his SR year. Who was the QB2 for the full regular season? It sure wasn’t DiNucci – it was a middling to poorly talented converted WR Manny Stocker who only two passes, both imcompletions, in the last four years at the college level.  Get that – DiNucci wasn’t even on the radar last season until decided to get DiNucci ready before the bowl game… assuming there was no way in ell Peterman wasn’t going to take every snap in that game.

But that was then and this is now.

Let’s assume Browne comes around well enough to stay at QB and do OK for us this season. That’s what we all want correct?  I know I do.  The thought of DiNucci having to play behind this current OL, which I have thought suspect since spring ball, is unnerving as he’ll be running around so much he won’t have a chance to pass.

One thing that I have always been a bit pissed about was that no Pitt HC, current or past, every sees the need – no matter how badly we are losing or by how many points we are winning a game – to get the back-up QB some actual in-game experience before a crisis sets in.  It seems that they feel like the incumbent QB has to take every single snap or the wheels will fall off the bus.  I could see a reason for  that attitude from the staff for the first few games of this season.

But you can’t tell me that getting DiNucci established as the QB2 last season, if indeed he was in Pitt’s future plans for the QB two-deep, late in the schedule and getting him some real opponent-facing series under his belt wouldn’t have helped when he was called in cold off the bench in the bowl game – that bowl game we lost, remember?

Of course it would have – so my advice to Pat Narduzzi is this.  When Penn State starts opening up the score on us in the 2nd half Saturday, and they will, sit Max Browne down and get Ben DiNucci in their for real game experience but also for comparison notes as to which QB you want to choose from to play for the rest of the year if things get sticky.

That doesn’t mean you sit Browne down forever. It means that if you have to do that you’ll have some real-time current game film on DiNucci in action so you can make a well-informed choice down the road if Browne starts to falter.

Browne may steady himself and keep the job for the year – that is the plan after all, but HCPN has to have the guts to pull the trigger on Browne if his play goes south. I would like to think he’d feel that way – but I also understand that Narduzzi has one of the biggest egos we have seen on a Pitt sideline.

And that is what concerns me about this situation. Would Narduzzi, who is stubborn as hell, admit he backed the wrong horse with Browne and make a change if needed? I do wonder.  Ahhh, the beauty of college ball.  In the NFL you don’t have four or five QBs on the roster to choose from if the bad winds begin to blow.

He’s what I think happens after the 2017 season. At this point in time it looks like we’ll have at least four viable QBs to choose from after 2018’s spring practices are over – usually it is after that the HC and OC winnow two kids out of the pack for a fall camp competition.

The four will be 2* rsJR Ben Dinucci; 3* rsSO Thomas MacVittie; 3* rsFR Kenny Pickett (assuming he doesn’t play this year) and incoming 3* FR Nick Patti of the 2018 recruiting class.

Not exactly a Murder’s Row of quarterbacks there, eh?. But the thing about QBs is that with solid and effective position coaching they can flourish in a program.  But is Watson that good QB position coach we need? Again – I wonder, but he has a decent track record at it, at first glance anyway.


Watson was at Northwestern as a QB coach in 1999 when his two QBs, who rotated in as starters, had a rough go of it. As you can see at left.

When your pupils have a combined QB rating on the season of 83.2 that ain’t something to write home about. However…

He also was at Louisville in 2011-13 as a QB then OC/QB coach when the wonderful Teddy Bridgewater player QB for them and boy did Bridgewater do well there:

Bridge 1

But my feeling on this is that Bridgewater was an extremely talented 4* HS QB, rated #4 in the nation and that in itself was a great base for success regardless of whomever was coaching him. So I guess what I’m asking is just how much of a positive impact Shawn Watson is going to have on Pitt’s Group of Four future QBs – especially when it is a minor collateral duty to his main job as offensive coordinator?

And looking at those four QBs I see a group that will need solid coaching and will experience growing pains. I wish we had a young QB on the roster who was a Bridgewater-level talent out of HS but clearly we don’t.  The closest we come is my favorite, young Kenny Pickett.

So here’s what happens after this season. I see two different scenarios.

First would be that we get decent play out of Browne this season and that is good. It is a question however if we’ll see DiNucci get solid QB2 reps in-game but based on our  history we probably won’t unless he’s forced to play.  Let’s assume he doesn’t get enough and doesn’t play lights out enough to have a lock on the ’18 starter’s job.

Second is that these four QBs on the 2018 roster have to really battle it out for the QB two-deep.

The heir apparent would most likely be DiNucci based on his two-deep spot this year,  but I think it would be a real mistake for fans to believe that wraps up the issue.  It won’t. We’ll still have fan favorite Thomas MacVitte coming into camps as a rsSO who now has two solid years under Narduzzi and one with Watson.

Personally I don’t think MacVittie has what it takes to play at this level. His HS track record was OK I suppose – but no one really went after him in recruiting – forget about that throw-away phone call from LSU. If they had wanted him they wouldn’t have waited until just before LOI Day to get in touch.  Aside from Pitt his real offers were Cincinnati (a local boy with that) and Miami of Ohio (again, local).

No, I do not think he’s the QB of the future and neither do I believe the staff does.  That leaves DiNucci and Kenny Pickett – who after a full year in the program will be ready to compete for the QB1 job.  Not exactly what you want to see but it is what we’ll have.

This is where DiNucci’s play this season comes in. What may happen, let’s keep our fingers crossed it does not, is that both Browne and DiNucci play this season but for some reason we have to turn to a third QB for playing time – could be because of poor play with the other two or injuries… but sometimes it happens.

If it does I strongly believe we’ll see Narduzzi reach out to Pickett, even if he’s  a true FR.  We saw that 10 years ago with Bstick and in my opinion Pickett is more ready for FR action than Bostick was at that point. But true FR QBs do play college ball all over the country when needed – it just hasn’t happened at Pitt in a long time.

If you have a chance to watch Pickett in action at Pitt, and I did for an extra hour at a closed practice this spring in 11 on 11 action – he’s damned impressive.  Both physically as he’s a strong and accurate arm – but mainly as a presence out on the field.

Things seem to calm down when he’s in there and his demeanor is like that of an upperclassman with playing time under his belt.  The Coast Guard has a phrase when we get a sailor or young officer who just shines as soon at he reports aboard – and then keeps doing the best work.  We say “He has ‘It‘ “.  That’s exactly what I think of when I watch Pickett play… he has “It”.

So we are going to be in for a treat come fall camp if DiNucci ups his play from the ’16 bowl game this season, well – he has to or this is all a moot point and he won’t be considered for a starting job next season at all.

We’ll go into fall camp with our eyes on two QBs.; DiNucci and Pickett. Early times of course but if I was to bet a dollar today, and if Narduzzi doesn’t convince another transfer QB to come in (which would put a stake in the heart of our future QB recruiting), I see Pickett starting with DiNucci as his backup and MacVitte transferring after the season.

P/S: It is my firm belief that local all-everything HS QB Phil Jurkovich went elsewhere because of the transfer QBs we had come to Pitt.  If you look at his committment timing with ND we just had Tom Savage in 2013 then had gotten Nate Peterman in 2015 and Jurkovich committed in May of 2016.  When a school shows that it relies on transfers it hurts recruiting at those positions.




Y/A – adjusted yards per passing attempt: (pass yards + 20*(pass TD) – 45*(interceptions thrown))/(passing attempts). This stat was introduced, and the reasoning behind it thoroughly explained in a book called The Hidden Game of Football, by Bob Carroll, Pete Palmer, and John Thorn. Note that we are now using 20 yards per TD instead of 10, because of research by Chase Stuart at the p-f-r blog.


111 thoughts on “What’s a Good QB and Do We Have One in Our Future?

  1. Reed, in regard to your post from the previous blog ….

    your continued bias towards PC is amazing

    1) isn’t it something how much you praise the 2016 offense that included PC’s 4 and 5 year players (Johnson, Biz, Orndoff, Conner, Ford and Weah) and his 3 year players ….. but refuse to afford PN the same courtesy?

    2) and once again … you can’t continue to contribute the 2016 offense to PC, but blame the 2016 defense on the current staff. That’s pure hypocrisy.

    3) lastly, if it weren’t for PN, that great great 2016 offense would have been directed by …. Adam Bertke


    1. Pitt’s total offense for years 1-3 of Chryst and 1-3 of Narduzzi:
      2017 92 (Browne)
      2016 38 (Peterman)
      2015 82 (Peterman)
      2014 43 (Voytik)
      2013 98 (Savage)
      2012 71 (Sunseri)

      Pitt’s total defense for years 1-3 of Chryst and 1-3 of Narduzzi:
      2017 81
      2016 100
      2015 37
      2014 34
      2013 33
      2012 17

      If it weren’t for PN, Chad Voytik most likely would have directed Pitt’s offense in 2016.


  2. going back to Peterman … vs Akron in 2nd game of 2015, he was given 2 series (just like in the opener) and on his 2nd series, he gained a net -8 yards … yet by halftime, he was given the starting role. In his 1st start the following game, he threw 2 picks in the 1st quarter .. one of them in the end zone.

    Patience, people


    1. Browne is basically 22 years old. A man playing with boys and D1-AA boys. He needs 2 quarters to evaluate. He is a 5 star bust. Move on and get new qb’s reps. It will help them next year. This year is over have you seen the defense and Browne’s QB play.


  3. Wish I could say I agree with everything you posted in the article but You know what they about wishing in one hand? So here goes.

    I have no idea how good Macvittie is and he just may not be the answer. He’s a really good athlete though and may end up at another position. I haven’t ruled out the possibility he plays at QB either. I don’t get why you want to dismiss the LSU offer though. They didn’t offer on LOI day because they didn’t want him, it was legitimate period. Maybe their first couple choices didn’t sign or they just were taking a flyer?

    Ben Dinucci was the real deal QB in high school. He carried his high school to the state championship game. Again with the offer thingie, I don’t get it. If PITT didn’t think he was scholarship worthy they never would have offered. Why wouldn’t they just eat it? (save it) That makes no sense to me.

    It’s pretty much a known fact around WPA that Jurkovich’s whole family are Notre Dame fans. Phil is going to the one place he wanted and always dreamed of going. It has ZERO to do with PITT!

    Where is Pickett’s great offer list? Again, if KP duty is the QB that steps up and wins games, I’m all for it. I have nothing against the young man and boy wouldn’t it be nice to have a youngster around and watch him grow to be the star stud QB for PITT. Just like Danny Marino.

    All in all, I think the options at QB are a little or maybe a lot better moving forward. .. and BTW, it’s a great article and breaks it down really well, just some differences of opinions.

    The last thing here is if PITT only threw the ball downfield 3 or 4 times against YSU and we don’t think play calling was held back??? I’ve got some land down in the middle of alligator alley to sell you.. and it’s not the good kind. << It’s the same land I bought when PITT hired Foge Fazio.. ike


  4. If Orndoff catches that pass, PITT wins and we all are spared the bowl loss hysteria..

    Where’s Shane Roy, the new bowl loss whipping boy…. ike 🙂


  5. Ike – If you aunt had a d!ck she would be your uncle. Point is he dropped it.

    Remember when our offense was exciting. Baton Rouge does.


  6. Ike I left a comment at the end of the last blog? Site? Not sure what you call it can you move it to this section do not know how to give myself a name but most know me by doctor bone.


  7. Reed, Jurkovec committed two years ago when he was a soph …. and he did it for the same reason that the 3 Central Catholic guys from last year commited (none of whom was a QB) … because it was ND.


  8. Now the folks in the know can let the true story out about Wis’s suspension out for the year non footbal related injury. Maybe a fight got his ass kicked?


  9. When you click on as Upitt mentioned, the screen drops down and gives you options. As you wish fill in the blanks there Dr Bone. Sounds like you may be an orthopedic and a good chance that we may have crossed paths if that’s the case. No I’m not a doctor but a constant recipient dr care.

    I always check back in with word press so my screen name doesn’t go away. (too often) Oh and I did respond to you over in the other article as well. I just copy and paste to move an article and don’t normally reply to a post but do the same thing copy and paste otherwise a comment can get lost if it’s busy on here.

    Here was my reply to you

    My post “Mr Anony, certainly no need to apologize I was trying to be funny. Ha Ha! << old style LOL.

    Look down below right under from the comment section and you can type in anything your heart desires, just plug a name in and that’s if you want to. Hell, we all are pretty much anonymous, well at least until we show up at tailgates and round-tables.

    I really don’t get too upset at the negativity as we all have our opinions, I just don’t dwell on them. I guess they can bring me down a little but I get back at them with some positive vibe. That cut’s them like a knife.

    The POV is for all real PITT fans and I know after over 50 years of being a real PITT fan that we have all different types. Which is ok, Makes for better discussions….. and seriously, I wouldn’t want to meet a PITT fan that thinks exactly the way I do. I would probably hate him. 🙂 Have a nice Laborless day”.. . . . ike


  10. Wirginnis out for the year…non-football related injury. What did he do? Slip on an O fry?
    A lot of work to watch your senior year go up in smoke.

    And while I wouldn’t know Jurkovich if i fell over him, i doubt QB transfers impacted his decision to go to Dome. On the contrary: it indicates the talent at Pitt is woeful and the starting job is his for the asking.

    Finally, and completely unrelated, about time for AD to get in uniform.


    1. again, Jurkovec committed two years ago October when he was a soph …. well before any of us heard of Max Browne and when Peterman was still considered a reach. In no way, shape or form did the Pitt transfer situation affect his decision …. and it certainly wouldn’t made him commit to another school when he was just a soph …. that is just plain silly!!


        1. I’d like to add that I worked with Jerkovec’s cousin, and she told me when he was in middle school to watch out for him, that he was going to do big things. I said maybe he would go to Pitt, but she said probably not – he loved ND.


  11. Karma, Werginis out for year, non football related injury.
    Ike, just goes to show 2 people looking at same player have very,very different Evans. Ben DiNucci is not a D1 qb. Imthought that was obvious watching him many times in HS. Has a noodle for an arm. There is a reason he had no, repeat no D1 offers. Nice kid, good family, poor qb.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tipton’s injury was a bike accident – avoiding a vehicle per the Trib and P/G. Did new information surface?

      Inquiring minds want to know…


    2. WTF r u talking about? Tipton bailed off his bike to avoid being hit by a car. That’s how he hurt his knee.


  12. Don’t feel any urgency to Talk QB’s at this point. It will all play out over the next two games.

    If we make a bowl game, the battle for next year will begin then.

    Unless there are injuries, I think it is Browne’s job.


  13. Joe, I get you with concerns on Dinucci. BD does process really good leadership skills and the where with all the take his team higher. The arm? We are not born with good arms. It’s possible if given the right kid to work with the arm strength shouldn’t be a problem. < I threw harder than Upitt ever did.

    If Wirginis doesn’t take over the helm of the good-ship lollypop and sticks around and gets into ship shop shape (get it) he could actually still have a future in the NFL. I want to say he may not be too smart but I don’t know the whole story and that’s just not fair. I wish him good luck.

    Really, it’s not fair to a kid to judge before we know the story.

    Lastly Dinucci was anything but a poor QB in high school.

    Doing a little cooking outside, wish all you guys were here to share with you all. Seriously I do. . .. ike



  14. Can’t understand why Pitt cannot recruit linebackers. What is the linebacker coach there for? Looking at the lack of production, with a few exceptions, from this group, I’m seriously concerned at their ability to stop anybody, and there is no help on the way..


  15. Ike,
    I’d like to order a slab of ribs, smoked sausage, and 2 ribeyes. Call me (281-380-6890) when they’re done!


  16. Pittman you can stop by anytime, you have a standing invitation 4ever.

    BTW, the tailgate did have a nice fellow who went out his way to stop by and say hello for YOU. You were there in spirit for sure. Just burgers and ham steaks today with the corn on the cob. All smoked! Take care great care buddy. . . . . ike



  17. …..and Pittman…. expect an unexpected phone call some day and that was supposed to be take great care buddy but I guess the smoke got in my eyes. ike


  18. Some things I’d think I’d think if I only had a brain.
    1) Wirginis has toker’s elbow but at least medical marijuana will cure him. 🙂
    2) In the papers up here Tipton admitted he had a bike accident not hurt in BB game. Think pickup BB is smoke up your butt..
    3) Pitt has to bite the bullet and quit bringing transfers at QB. While Jerk would have gone to ND anyway if I were a QB I would go where they give me a chance and as long as we rely on Grad Transfers we will continue to not be able to recruit QBs. If Pickett is a success then other QBs will want to come here – my opinion FWIW..
    4) While I trust Reed on QBs and believe Pickett next year will be #1 dInUCCI did throw for 4,000 yards on a state championship team. The only PA high school QB to ever throw for 4K in a year (don’t look at the list as it isn’t all that impressive 🙂 I do not predict all world success but you need not mock and tear someone down to prove your point reed
    5) Shane Roy was everywhere Saturday (of course this is based on anonymous sources that I was smoking a Pitt strain of weed invented by Doc which had blue and gold smoke. Smoked it in Doc’s Pitt Bong.. I am sure Roy was everywhere, i know i saw it just before I streaked to the Quad. 🙂 Just having fun Doc, 🙂
    Don’t you press on the W WordPress button and create a free account?


  19. Ike,
    I would like to talk to you, in all seriousness!
    I believe we are both renal carcinoma survivors buddy.


  20. agree about the QB … unless Sam Darnold calls Duzz and says he wants to come to Pitt … I’m pretty sure that the QB transfers ends. It appears that Picket might be the man … but wouldn’t rule out DiNucci (and even think MacV can still be in the running.

    BTW .. new QB commit Pattie had a real good game this past weekend in leading his NJ team over a power from FL.


  21. Regarding the QB position – just give me the one who wins ball games. Min/Max is 1-0.

    I’ll judge him again next week after the “cat fight” in creepy valley.

    Regarding the QB position – Q.W. has yet to take his red shirt at Pitt – pulled this from PSN –

    “A 2014 graduate of Fox Chapel, Wirginis did not redshirt as a freshman at Pitt, so he could use his available redshirt this season and return as a redshirt senior in 2018. On Monday, Narduzzi said “that would be the plan,” adding that Wirginis is expected to graduate in December.”

    Slaughter the secret shower stewards of creepy valley!


  22. Ike, BTW,
    That nice guy that stopped by the POV Tailgate is my cousin Pete! He’s a Pitt grad, School of Dentistry!


  23. PittPT, I’m not so sure… see tweet below

    Jerry DiPaola‏Verified account @JDiPaola_Trib

    Narduzzi: LB Quintin Wirginis, still suspended, is out for year w/non-football related injury. “Disappointing, but something we deal with.”


  24. Rkb, where did I denigrate or tear down DiNucci in the article above? I didn’t do anything of the kind. I just don’t think he’s starting material at D1 level. That’s not saying anything insulting about the kid… that’s just saying what I think.

    There are tons of great players who come into college and don’t have a chance to start over their careers … some are fantastic leaders, some are fantastic teammates, some are fantastic students. Not everyone becomes a starter and I just think he might not be one.


  25. Min/Max will lead Pitt into the white out in creepy valley and make me a believer –

    Knee the nits where it hurts!


  26. Pittman posted

    I would like to talk to you, in all seriousness!

    I believe we are both renal carcinoma survivors buddy”

    Yes Jim,my diagnosis is RCC. I still have away to go yet but I feel I’m in good hands at UPMC. Would appreciate a back and forth with you on the matter. The first surgery was a tough one and I’m not looking forward to the next one. Jump on the round-table a little early Wed and we can set up a talk.

    …and I’m sorry to hear of your problems. Hope all is great. Toughest night of my life when I got the news. but you use a word we all love. SURVIVORS! My e-mail is ike210@comcast.net.. best to you . .ike


  27. Ike and Pittman. Really sorry to hear about this cancer stuff. You guys are both fighters, so I expect Ws! Especially you, Pittman – you are “4ever”!


  28. Thanks for the well wishes and I’m sure Jim does as well. I’m doing great! No sweat. Didn’t mean to make a thing of it. Ask Reed, I was about to throw the big guy around the parking lot but I showed more patience than Mercy Hospital, to coin a phrase.

    Tell you all the truth. I’m more concerned about next Saturday when PITT goes against psu. To hell with that team.

    I’ll have a bonfire (small fire in the fire pit) and maybe cooking Jim’s ribs and then eating them in his honor. 🙂 You are all welcomed over to Jim’s house. ..Love you guys…… ike

    It is….
    what it is?


  29. So much for beating GT this year. The snowball could be very hard to stop once it gets rolling. My 5-7 May indeed have been too optimistic.


  30. Sudden thought raced into my head just now. PITT will make a game of this. I really can’t see it happening but that was the thought. Possibly a hallucination.

    Reality as of today says PITT doesn’t have a chance but I’ll tell you more a little later in the week. Seriously, I’m starting to get a slightly better vibe.

    A rivalry game like this makes me feel like getting the gang together for one last sandlot tackle football game. The wife won’t allow it though. ( grounded) We can still get FIRED UP!.. .ike

    P I T T
    P I T T
    Let’s Go Pitt



  31. Funny part is we could’ve been over four start a funny part is we could’ve been 0-4. We won’t touch Georgia Tech down there not with these bums on defense.


    1. JW how did you react when we got taken to OT by Furman (the year we went to the Fiesta) or lost to YSU but basically beat down 6 other D1 schools? Were you also running around like a chicken with its head cut off back then?


  32. According to Cardiac hill Sept 2 post, several players admitted they eased up in the second half of the YSU game. What’s wrong with these kids? As an athlete, I would have NEVER mailed in a performance during a game. They aren’t good enough to take it easy on ANYBODY! Boy does this tick me off! I am not sending money to the athletic department to give players a free education so they can slack off during games. I am disgusted.


  33. Annie, again, if you tell kids you are not using all your playbook they take it as we can win this game with one hand tied behind our back. Last year they had the type of team and senior leadership that allowed them to do so. This is a very young team experience wise. You can’t do that with them or you get that type of result. It’s more on the staff in my opinion.


  34. Good article, but I disagree with you on three points. First, for never have taken a meaningful snap all season, I don’t think DiNucci did so poorly in the bowl game. Second, Narduzzi’s ego can’t come close to Todd Graham’s. Third, I think you are living in a dream world if you think Jurkovich was going to choose Pitt when Notre Dame came after him so hard.


  35. I am sensing that we recruit….and sign a 4 star qb with 15 p5 offers in 2020 class.

    I think our qb problems change for the better, starting this year. I don’t expect Browne to make it through the year with our OL pass blocking. Hopefully they mailed it in, but I sense a throwing shoulder injury.

    @upitt, i could hit the slider with a very good inside out swing to right center, just couldn’t make it to second after a gap shot. Since we are talking pitt qb’s, I remember the first time I got hit with a pitch. It was a fastball from Lindsay Delaney, square in the backside. It hurt. Now that dude was a strong armed quarterback. Played ball with him after I was washed up and he used to throw the ball over the backstop from center field. Frickin hilarious! Nicest family too. On our team, I was the smallest guy and good gosh we got in trouble when we traveled out of western pa.

    RKB- did Jeff Delaney graduate with you? Fastest guy i ever competed with. Ever.


  36. Pitt will live and die with Browne and DiNucci this year. IMO mostly die as I see very little possibility of Pitt becoming bowl eligible this season with that scenario out. They clearly want to red shirt Pickett at this point. But after watching some futile efforts from both Browne and DiNucci they may not have the luxury of doing so. Very few times have I completely agreed with Upitt. But on this subject matter I second his opinion without reservation.


  37. Sticking with the QB theme, Min/Max completed 70% of his passes and a few misses were into double coverage with Weah being mugged with no penalty.

    At FB, Colton Lively did a serviceable job blocking. If you watch QO’s two TD’s, Colton makes the key block in each, very Aston like.

    Regarding the wheel routes, which we will see vs psu – one quick fix without changing personnel would be to switch Maddox off the TE to the RB and have Zeise assigned to the TE. Much better match-ups for Pitt with those being two of psu’s best receivers.

    I’ll be playing golf Friday and Saturday morning with two different foursomes of psu friends. They are very confident as of last Friday – Saturday’s Akron drubbing and Pitt’s OT squeaker will only escalate that confidence.

    “We R” right where we want them to be 😅

    Smack the secret shower stewards where the sun don’t shine.



  38. As the blog’s Urologist, any advice you guys need, or just any curbside opinion regarding renal cell carcinoma, let me know what I can do for you.


    1. doc, since you’re offering …. I had a cancerous bladder tumor removed back in 2010, and I have been clean ever since (thankfully). I went thru 3-4 years of BCG treatments and currently only do an annual cystoscopy. I have my next one scheduled for February. I plan on retiring next summer and will be switching to Medicare …. in your opinion, can I forego future scans?

      And btw … like ike indicated above, this is not a thing. I am doing fine – no sweat. However. my sinuses lately are another issue ….


        1. Thanks Doc, for all I know you could be my doctor? Had a partial nephrectomy at Shadyside with a remaining tumor on the other side. Keeping an eye on that as the first tumor was ingrown and a difficult surgery for the doctor and myself.

          At this point doing ok and only have one question…. You think PITT can win on Saturday? … ike


  39. Annie, emotions are a hard thing to control. And football is an emotional game. I have seen any times when a superior team does not approach a game with the proper emotional level, and are not focused as they should be. Many times, they are good enough to turn things around by the 2nd half, but not always.

    Conversely, teams can be a little too emotional entering a game … and late in games, sometimes the emotional bank s closes down. I believe this was an issue for Pitt in last year’s PSU game, late in the 3rd and the entire 4th quarter after they built a large lead. And it might certainly have been a factor for Texas A&M on Sunday.

    These are natural emotions … and something that just can’t be turned on and turned off, like a switch.


  40. here is some fodder for Reed (and people of his ilk)

    Paul Zeise ✔ @PaulZeise
    Georgia Tech ran for 535 yards and held the ball for 56 minutes and lost. Dave Wannstedt’s head just exploded…..

    Liked by 1 person

  41. here is another tweet for Reed … and I am sure that he means Reed (and others of his ilk)

    Chris Dokish‏ @ChrisDokish
    Speaking of Pitt beat writers, there’s a lot of good ones at the moment. Good bloggers, too. Much better than when I was young.


  42. one last tweet — to support the claim of Pitt ebing vanilla on Sat

    Chris Peak‏ @PantherLair

    Jester Weah had 4 passes thrown to him all game. Quadree Henderson had 1. Chris Clark had 0. That (probably) won’t happen again this season


  43. Annie brings up a key point, emotion. I was very concerned about how the coaches were going to approach the YSU game. As it worked out, it became the trap game that I feared that it might in the 2nd half. That is all on the coaches!

    Now, another whole set of circumstances present themselves. Penn State is a rivalry, no doubt! Pitt has NOTHING to lose in this game. Based on the increasing line for the game, most have already penciled in the outcome. Even I realize that it should be a Pitt beatdown! penn state -21 sounds about right to me. Now the coaches have a chance for redemption. Can they get the Panthers prepared to win this one &get them to actually believe it!?

    Not so fast my friend, don’t forget about that emotional factor. I’ve seen this senario many times before. A mediocre Pitt team comes in as the sacrifical lamb for a team that has major aspirations at the national level. Yeah, that type of game should go the way of the Florida State game when Jamison Winston made his national debut at Heinz Field in front of a national audience, but the alternative, unexpected result has occurred so many times in recent memory.

    Yeah, I know the odds makers gave Pitt the pregame edge in our contest against our main rival last year, but really, deep down, us Pitt fans felt the underdog. And by season’s end we fully understood why. penn state was primed for a great season. But we got in the way. Don’t discount that “emotion effect”

    13-9, our last win over ND, that Penn state win and of course the Clemson victory. How Doe’s Pitt pull these wins off? Simple, on that day, during that three hour time frame, Pitt just wanted it more and played accordingly.

    This team has the talent to beat penn state, IF THEY WANT IT MORE THAN Penn State. This is another “trap game”. But it’s Penn State that could be the one caught on Saturday.

    Pitt seemingly has the knack to play up to it’s competition. I could see it happen. It shouldn’t happen, but we shouldn’t have beaten Clemson last season in Death Valley either!

    Emotion will be a factor.


  44. And if it doe’s happen, we will be putting “who is our best QB for 2017” question to bed. We beat penn state only if Max Browne plays a very very good game.


  45. McSorely was a three star recruit and is lighting it up. He has a three star arm.
    It is all in the OC and the system you play in and the skill around you.

    Still think Ollison and Hall are sadly average. That doesn’t give Browne the skill around him.

    Wow, Pitt is ranked 82nd in total D.

    I give PN until the ACC games to start to have this D playing well. I am not talking about dominating. They are young. How about just not looking like the Keystone Cops out there running around clueless. No excuses for it. Bad coaching. PSU is going to tourch them.


  46. By the way, Florida State is starting a true freshman to replace their injured QB. Where the hell is their depth at QB? They should be stocked with quality in each class.


  47. Min/Max will be on the mark to Weah, Henderson, Clark, Flannigan, Mathews, QO, Ffrench, Flowers and Arroyo, all the while or RB depth will explode behind a dominate O-line.

    Before you put me down with your negative comments – our production last year vs villanova was by far exceeded the next week vs the pedos. I believe that will be the case again this year. And as the good doctor pointed out earlier this morning, emotion carries a lot of weight at the college level.

    Min/Max will ignore the white out and lead this team to victory in creepy valley next week.

    That’s what I’ll be rooting for in Central PA – as a realist, my expectations were lowered substantially after the YSU win – but you know what, psu players, coaches and fans have raised their expectations to a guaranteed win.

    Really? In a rivalry game –


  48. As I said before, the coaches are largely at fault for the sluggish play of Pitt against YSU. Duzz was talking outright about going vanilla against them, and the halftime game plan and attitude adjustments were nothing to say the least. I’m beginning to wonder about DUZZ, both as a recruiter and as a game time coach. Not giving up on him for sure, but I think any talk about a top 10 program coming in and stealing him is a bit premature. I can’t understand how a bunch of farmers with Sandusky hanging over their heads can out recruit Pitt year after year. They are coming off of scholarship restrictions, and yet are still coming up with top 10 recruiting classes.


    1. I agree with your comments concerning PN’s approach for this past game. He made a sarcastic remark to the team at halftime that nearly backfired.

      However, I will not judge his recruiting until another year or so. His blue chips have all been sidelined for one reason or another … while 3 stars and even borderline 4 stars need time to develop and grow … especially if they are linemen. Biz was redshirted as was Bookser .. Dorian Johnson struggled when he was forced to play as a frosh. Soto and Jarrett had their best years as seniors, Price was not a factor until his 5th year (but in fairness, he had been injured.)

      The players that Pitt get need tim to develop … and this has always been the case, especially linemen.


  49. FSU QB is Cossatino or something like that from Central Catholic. He was a 4 star a few years back and committed to FSU early. If he doesn’t play at FSU, will he be the next 5th year transfer?

    Liked by 1 person

      1. He is a FR who will start for FL State – the announcement scrolled across the screen last night during the GTech game. I can’t remember his name either.


  50. Browne will have little time to complete any passes this week. And if his primary receiver is not open I’d expect we will see several PSU interceptions as he is very likely to throw into double coverage under pressure.


      1. Well last week he through at his primary receiver on almost every pass. And since Browne seems to see no need to come off his primary receiver whether he’s double covered or not I’m just projecting the distinct possibilities from what I witnessed last Saturday. Now those of you who hope he’s going to turn into Tom Brady come this Saturday may just be right on your Pitt PSU predictions.


  51. Without question, the most disappointing part of Pitt’s recruiting and development over the past decade has been at QB in my eyes. Savage and Peterman worked well. Browne? The jury is still out (though I am wondering how a kid who started at USC can come to Pittsburgh to play the lowly YSU Penguins and look like an intimidated walk-on thrown into a game against Alabama), but relying on transfers to lead the offense in Russian roulette at its finest.

    While the coaching carousel hasn’t helped matters, that alone shouldn’t have us in the predicament we are in at QB.


  52. I agree with your comments, wwb, and in fairness most people say to judge a coach by big game wins. Duzz has already delivered a couple big ones, so he checks the box on that one. But aside from defensive backs what are the big name recruits he as brought in? There are some linemen who may develop over time, but there have been no impact players at other positions, except maybe Davis at RB. Where are the linebackers? Everyone knows what a disaster Conklin has been, but Duzz seems to like him. Wasn’t he expected to teach turnover skills? Where are the turnovers? It may be time for POVers to really begin to evaluate what is good performance from a head coach, because we may be discussing it much more as this season plays out.


      1. VOR – below is a list of 4* recruits that Duzz is involved, with dating back the past 3 years –

        2014 Chryst’s last year
        A. Jennings WR – transferred to Temple
        A. Bookser OL – starter
        C. James RB – transferred to Wisconsin and fumbled in his 1st game last week
        M. Grimm OL – injured and retired from FB
        NOTE: no LB’s within this group nor any high 3* recruits for any position (5.7 on Rivals)

        2015 Chryst/Narduzzi transition year
        J. Whitehead DB – Starter currently serving a 3 game suspension
        D. Hall RB – 2nd on depth chart (4.0 average yards per carry last week)
        QH Ath – High 3* (All-American)

        2016 Duzz’s 1st class
        D. Hamlin DB – injured???
        A. Watts DT – Started a few games as FR – currently 2nd on depth chart (1 sack last week)
        Hill Ath – medically ruled out of FB
        K. Pugh LB – switched to DE? (buried on depth chart) Why???
        R. Flowers WR – 2nd on depth chart
        K. Camp DT – High 3* (current starter)
        Coleman DB – High 3* (buried on depth chart)

        AJ Davis RB – 3rd on the depth chart (1 TD last week)
        C. Reeves TE – Red shirting???
        P. Ford DB – Red shirting???
        D. Mathias DB – High 3* – current “Or” starter
        T. Sibley RB – High 3* – Red shirting???
        C. Warren OL – High 3* – Red shirting???

        Proof that this is a young team – the talent needs time to mature.

        Surprise the secret shower stewards this Saturday in creepy valley.



  53. Right, after what we witnessed last year the first two games you would think we would know enough not to put much stock in the YSU game. Let’s just hope it plays out the exact same way. Which was a very disappointing showing against a supposedly weak opponent first game and then BOOM!

    I’ve never in my life bet against PITT in my mind, heart and/or a bookie, that said, I’m not sure of the chances this week. I’ve been going up and down so far this week with my optimism but it has nothing to do with the YSU game. I think it may be the crappy weather today… ike

    speak softly and carry a big stick
    We All We Got
    We All We Need


  54. Sorry to bring me up again but want to thank you all for the kind words, comments, emails and well wishes. Mark,Ed, wwb all of you guys and gals. I’m doing fine and as I like to say, moving forward.

    Another adage I go by is, don’t look back, you can NEVER look back. Cause when you do? You lose the race. Maybe the reason Mr Reed and I bump heads and opinions every once in awhile. You would think some should have sore necks from looking back all the time.

    It’s the reason I hate the saying SOP, what the heck? Players change constantly so what does 4, 5, 6, years ago have to do with this PITT football team? You know what is the one constant? The fans. Us guys as they say. You point one finger and you have four pointing right back at you.

    Looks like lots of new screen names and that is great. Hope we have the old faces with some new faces tomorrow night on the round-table. The POV round-table is special, nobody else does this so we need to keep it rolling. In fact the whole concept of the POV is special. Nice to see it’s still growing.. ..ike



  55. OK – wbb – I believe that those receivers not getting passes thrown to them was much more about Brown’s ability to see the field then it was holding back on offense.

    C’mon guys – you are acting like there are major surprises up our staff’s sleeve when it comes to the offensive playbook – please tell me 2 or 3 plays that we didn’t have last season that have a realistic chance to be shown Saturday – and not the ‘Statue of Liberty’ plan either.

    No OC is going to be able to take Canada’s record setting offense and expand it – it was humongous and it worked. Watson is going to go with what set records.

    Also, I never said Jurkovich was Pitt bound – but get this also… kids decommit all the time and he has had two years to contemplate if ND is the right place for him. I don’t see us getting Kevin Doyle either and I think he’ll go elsewhere.

    But when we were grabbing transfer QBs over the years 20015-17 (recruiting classes) we had offers out to 1-5* and 8- 4* QBs and they all went elsewhere. Nine possible QBs and I’ll bet a dollar if you interviewed them some would say they crossed Pitt of the list because of the transferring QBs coming in .


  56. Reed – I was totally surprised last year by Canada’s play calling in the psu game and thereafter. I expect the same this year. I know that doesn’t totally answer your question, but then again I’m not a paid OC.

    Name one QB that Chryst landed at Pitt? – I can’t for some reason…

    That is what Duzz walked into at Pitt.


  57. PITT’s not getting Doyle because PITT decided moved on when he was dragging his feet. This was PITT’s decision. Nick Patti is every bit as good and his TE committed to PITT and Alamio’s younger brother is considering PITT strongly.

    What’s so hard to believe that PITT held some schemes back? It’s what they did last year and Narduzzi has stated they did.

    I do agree, it’s time PITT grew their own QB as well as stopping the OC merry go round… ike

    Continuity rules


  58. Erie, that’s a sad recruiting record you listed. They are bringing in 20-22 players each year. I’m watching football games and seeing how many top freshmen are getting significant playing time and even starting for highly ranked teams. Pitt is not getting that level of talent, at least to this point in time. Yes, it is a young team, but why are so many of the top recruits coming in with issues or are not starting if they are so good? QB is more of a head game. Remember that Browne was highly rated and threw for 13,000 yds, in high school. Yet he spikes a ball when a short run was clearly called for. What value was all of that experience?


  59. Erie – PC took the primary one – Horniebrook (sp?) With him to Whisky. Also he recruited the one who left because of abuse, and went to Akron. But your point is valid – no QB to Pitt!


  60. Well, I would take Adam Bertke over MacVittie for sure. Bertke had more physical skills.

    But it was pretty evident that narduzzi wasn’t going to play any leftover Chryst quarterbacks.


  61. Realism- no QB’s in the stable need to get transfer. Remember Central Catholic stud who turned down Pitt to go to FSU along with 4 and 5 other 5* QB’s. His name Conztradano (sp). He announced he wants to trans fer; has 2 years of eligibility.
    We have no choice as with Savage, Peterman, and Browne, offer him the job if he comes back home. Otherwise we are looking at 2 or 3 wins and Narduzzi being fired. Check for other QB’s. In the college game today the top schools stack up with 4 (4/5*) QB’s who end up looking to transfer at end of sophomore year or after graduation. This is reality in College football. Pitt will never attract a top high school QB so go this route. You can get a well coached QB’s who has, even if on the taxi squad faced better competition than they would would against Pitt’s first and second teams.


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