We had a great, but small, Roundtable Call-in last evening with Richman, Pittman4ever and myself… and Pitt-Cocks was in at the start but had to attend other duties so he helped me set things up then signed off.
Here are the questions I had scribbled down before we started…
⊗What was your previous season prediction for the Panthers and are you revising that after this last game against YSU?
⊗Are there any changes you would make to the two-deep that Head Coach Pat Narduzzi put out last Saturday?
⊗Who was the hero of the YSU game? Who was the goat of the game?
⊗What do you see as the score against PSU?
⊗How important is this PSU game for the whole of the 2017 season?
⊗What are your first memories of Pitt vs Penn State?
What are your takes on those?
We should have a new article by Chris Logue sometime today or tomorrow morning, I’ll post that as soon as I get it. Here are some Bits & Pieces to tide us over:
I see P-G’s Joe Starky’s point about a PSU upset maybe being bigger than 13-9, but don’t agree 100%.
Pitt sports historian Sam Sciullo would list a win Saturday as the fifth-biggest upset in school history. His top five:
1. Pitt 13, WVU 9
2. Pitt 13, Fordham 0.
3. Pitt 43, Clemson 42 (Pitt was around a 21-point underdog in that one, too).
4. Pitt 7, Georgia 7, 1973. A tie? Sciullo recalled that Georgia was a 17-point favorite at home in the first game for Johnny Majors and Tony Dorsett, so I guess I’ll buy it.
5. Pitt 22, Notre Dame 19, 1952, at South Bend.
Read the article – good food for thought and discussion in comments.
Here is a weird source for opinion on the upcoming game, but I must say I do agree with the silliness of this 100% media blackout by Narduzzi. But then again, he has made so many media missteps with a program that is desperate for competing media attention with the Steelers and Penn State in the local papers and with trying to grab much-needed new fans and alumni donations that now it is just par for the course.
“A generation later, he thinks Pitt coach Pat Narduzzi’s media blackout has the potential to rob the series of some of that past character as it tries to regain its footing as one of college football’s premier blood feuds.
“I think if you want to play the quiet routine to too much of an extent, you’re not promoting your rivalry,” Parlavecchio said. “
I always like Brian Batko’s P-G’s Pitt mailbag pieces and this week is no exception. Here it is and see if you can find the common thread of utter frustration among Pitt fans after last week’s less than ideal effort by the Panthers. This one is funny:
H2P333: Don’t you think that recruiting matters?!?! Pitt struggled against a FCS opponent! It comes down to the material and/or coaching. I expected better from both fronts in Year 3 of Narduzzi. Neither appears to be getting better and that is concerning.
Brian Batko: Recruiting very much matters, but I suspect that was a rhetorical question. YSU recruits much better than the average FCS school; if I had a dollar for every time Pat Narduzzi mentioned the amount of FBS transfers on Bo Pelini’s roster last week, I might’ve quit this damn job (kidding).
Oy Vey! Too bad Pitt doesn’t recruit much better than an average FBS school…
Jumping over to the Trib, Jerry DiPaola is fun to read – here is a piece on Narduzzi opinion of our practices since Saturday:
Pitt coach Pat Narduzzi closed practice and eliminated media access to his team this week, but he gave a glimpse Wednesday (albeit a small one) at how preparations for Penn State are progressing.
“I think we had two of the best practices,” he said on the ACC coaches conference call, adding this disclaimer: “That doesn’t always equal a win, I can promise you that.”
Well – I can promise you that after all the hype about how great Fall Camp went that doesn’t equal even average play against a FCS team. Man, I’d give a dollar a word if he’d just come out once and give us an unvarnished true personal opinion about something negative that happened to his team or his program. I get he’s a morale builder and keeper but I think the fans deserve a clean look at issues sometimes.
How many years has Narduzzi been involved in the defensive side of college football again? Here is an article talking about how crappy our defense was against the Wheel route (broken record sounds…) .
Pitt coach Pat Narduzzi said his team wasn’t prepared for the wheel routes Youngstown State used successfully Saturday in the Panthers’ 28-21 overtime victory.
“We did a bad job as coaches,” he said. “It starts with me.”
He also said there were some illegal pick plays that might have helped YSU pass catchers get loose on the wheel routes in which the pass catcher cut toward the sideline, caught the football and quickly turned upfield. YSU running back Christian Turner had five catches for 124 yards and scored twice on wheel routes (25 and 42 yards).
But there might have been more to it.
“There were a couple picks,” Narduzzi said. “They did a good job acting. Picks are illegal, only if they get called. And we didn’t do a good job adjusting; one time it was a miscommunication, really twice.”
Heavens above – YSU actually used the Pick Play against our LBs. Pitt would never in a million years try that in a game – its unethical!!! So – it really wasn’t Zeise looking like he should have stayed at WR out there? I’m confused.
Leave it to youth to deal in simple truths. They aren’t beholden to any masters yet…
The Pitt News has the best headline regarding the YSU game that I have read. “Max Browne buckles in Panthers debut“. Well – as we said in an earlier article and in the video above stats do lie sometimes. If you look at Brown’s passing line for the YSU game you’d think he did reasonably well. If you were at the game and watched him in action? Different take altogether.
As redshirt senior quarterback Max Browne hit wide receiver Jester Weah for the game-winning touchdown this Saturday against Youngstown State, Panther fans saw a flash of what made Browne a five-star recruit coming out of high school.
But that wasn’t an accurate representation of Browne’s Panther debut. If anything, it was an outlier. Throughout the game, Browne looked uncomfortable in the pocket and relied on simple throws to move the offense.
Spare me the ‘we held back our offense for PSU’ drivel. First off Browne threw four passes over 30 yards and completed one. All those other completions were either locked-in to the primary receiver or safety valve short throws.
Browne will play better later in the season, I believe that and have said that I think he’ll have played much like an average D1 QB when the dust settles – I just think we’ll see more of the same play we saw last week again this weekend against that stoudt PSU defense. He didn’t stink out the joint against YSU, but he didn’t play anything like a fifth year rsSR QB should play at all in my opinion.
OK – we’ll have our Know The Enemy piece up soon and then we’ll get into our game score predictions on Friday – then will follow that up with an open Gameday thread starting at 3:30 on Saturday afternoon.
Enjoy the video above and I’ll be mailing out some blue shirts today. One thing about them – I mentioned the shirt company screwed up the silkscreen printing on my first order but some were OK enough not to donate to charity.
I’ll mail those out today – but if you get one that is screwed up please let me know ASAP via email and I’ll replace it from my corrected order which I should receive soon… and I’ll be passing those and some of the white shirts also out at the OK State tailgate.