First off let me give you a great example of generosity from a reader and a great opportunity for any Pitt fan. Our friend Jason Smith (Jay91) has graciously donated a signed Ricky Jackson Pitt uniform shirt to the cause for auction…
In lieu of my pessimism and negativity surrounding this game, I would like to extend an offer to POV’ers only. I would like to offer an Autographed Rickey Jackson Pitt Jersey (with COA) in an open auction here on the site. The ENTIRE amount will be donated to the charity of Reed’s choosing or the POV itself, whichever he prefers. We sell them for $129.99 in our store but remember, this is for charity/donation… and few are readily available
Rickey Jackson won TWICE in Happy Valley (1979 & 1980) and perhaps this little show of altruism will please the football gods. Anything it takes, right?
Bidding starts at $0
Guys – I’ll put any proceeds of this directly into the POV tailgate funds so that we can all enjoy the purchase. We’ll keep this action going for a week… best offer gets the shirt. Just bid via comments and I’ll try… try that is, to keep track.
Back to present day football. I’ll post up the normal Game Thread article this afternoon an hour or so before kickoff – but I want this piece to stay up for at least a few hours.
To get you in viewing mode here are some media highlights from the Pitt website to get the blood flowing.
Jerry D. at the Trib kicks in with this piece about the importance of this game. This quote is rather ironic in light of what Paterno insisted he didn’t hear years later when the subject was much more important than a football game:
Moments after Pitt’s most recent game at Beaver Stadium — a 20-17 loss to Penn State in 1999 — Joe Paterno was asked about keeping the dying series alive.
“I’m a little bit hard of hearing,” he said.
Kev Gorman of the same paper has this to say about the match:
The Pitt-Penn State rivalry should return to being an annual affair, one that benefits the state.
Consider: The 2016 game drew a record crowd of 69,983, the largest ever for a football game at Heinz Field. Another record will be set Saturday at Beaver Stadium, which has expanded from a capacity of 93,967 since the last meeting there in 1999 to its current 106,572.
There are lots of reasons the Pitt and Penn State series won’t continue, but none of them good.
“It’s the battle of Pennsylvania; winner takes all,” Conner said. “We’re the top dogs in Pa., so we should play every year. Whoever wins gets bragging rights.”
For now, we get a Grudge Match.
So true and what a shame that college football has gotten so big and so financially important to universities that a hundred year of tradition is just completely ignored. I feel the same way about the Backyard Brawl with West Virginia.
You know that even with my running this Pitt football blog and going to as many games as I can make – I’ll be the first to say that it isn’t half as much fun as it was back in the late 60s and ’70s when things were smaller, slower and just more enjoyable – and when a rivalry was on the field only and not people from one group hating people from another after the game was over.
Brian Batko of the P-G has an interesting look at today’s game:
So, what can the Panthers do except focus on what’s ahead?
“You know all about their stadium, and all that stuff, and all that hype,” said quarterback Max Browne, perhaps the best embodiment of the new-look Panthers. “So, we’ll have to go in there with our heads down, but I’m excited. It’s a great opportunity for us.”
Preparations for this rivalry redux have focused on more than just Trace McSorley’s deep ball, or Saquon Barkley potentially running wild on a wheel route. And it has been about more than just blocking a defensive line Narduzzi has praised every chance he gets, or figuring out a way around experienced linebackers Manny Bowen, Jason Cabinda and Koa Farmer.
Actually Browne might be on very intimate terms with those LBs by the end of the day.
Linked in the article above is this good bit from Omari Sankofa II of the P-G about PSU’s McSorley’s deep ball ability. He’s a new writer there and this is a nice bit of work…
Specifically, he wants to silence the concern that he throws too many deep balls. He is one of the best in Football Bowl Subdivision at throwing them, leading FBS with 16.13 yards per completion in 2016. But some fans saw an over-reliance on his arm last season.
At Penn State media day, offensive coordinator Joe Moorhead gave an impassioned defense of McSorley when asked what the quarterback’s next step will be in his development as a player. A quarterback who set as many single-season passing records as McSorley did a year ago couldn’t do so by dropping back and repeatedly chucking the ball to the farthest receiver, Moorhead argued.
“This thought process that’s prevailing that you hear about — and frankly, this is gross mis-characterization, No. 1, of the application of our offense and the role of the quarterback — that Trace just drops back and picks the deepest receiver and chucks the ball up and hopes the guy makes the play,” Moorhead said, “that’s, in a lot of ways, ridiculous at best and, quite frankly, asinine at worst.”
Well, except this afternoon in Happy Valley – I think he’ll do just that, pretend he’s 10 years old playing street football and chucking it as far as possible… wouldn’t you against our pass defense?
Here is an awesome look at Pitt Football from Lexi Kendall of The Pitt News and a different take from what most fans think about when it comes to our team.
Sporting black long-sleeved turtlenecks and dark pants, Pitt’s 1899 football team looks like a bunch of brooding postmodern writers. But the beatnik era didn’t happen for another 50 years, making our athletic predecessors look like fashion-forward icons.
And as our school went from the Western University of Pennsylvania to the University of Pittsburgh, football fashion trends shifted. Gone were the days of our subdued, minimalist uniforms. Touchdowns and tackles aside, Pitt will always look swankier than Penn State — even dating back to 1890 — so take a look.
Another Pitt News article written by Mackenzie Rodrigues piece draws from the sentiment I expressed above about sportsmanship and common ground. Here is a true example of one fan dragging others above the fray when it comes to Pitt-PSU.
“One night I saw on Twitter all the Pitt-Penn State hate, and I wished people could get this excited about helping people,” Handyside said.
Handyside decided to create a GoFundMe page and call on all Pitt and Penn State fans to donate money to Hurricane Harvey relief. She wrote a note explaining what she was doing and reached out to both the Barstool Pitt and Barstool Penn State Twitter accounts.
“It was out of the blue,” said Connor from Barstool Pitt, who asked that his last name be concealed for privacy. “There’s a first time for everything though!”
“@PSUBarstool and I have decided to put our differences aside for a good cause, RT and donate #HurricaneHarveyRelief,” Barstool Pitt tweeted on Wednesday, Sept. 6, at 11:18 a.m. The tweet then linked to a Handyside’s GoFundMe page.
Fans are encouraged, on the donation information page, to donate the monetary equivalent of their team’s points. The goal is set at $10,000 and, as of Thursday night, fans have raised $410. The funds raised will be donated to the Houston Food Bank.
I just dropped $25 into this worthy cause and challenge POV readers to match… or any amount. This is what is good and great about our youth.
OK then – that’s a bit of news and stuff to get you in a Pitt frame of mind for this afternoon’s game. We had a lot of honest predictions yesterday and I know it wasn’t easy for some readers to pick against Pitt in any game, let alone a Penn State one – so thanks for your real look at what might happen.
Hey, if our OL can play way above what we saw last week we may have a chance. We are going to have to somehow match their scoring – which will be a lot – because I think our defense can’t stop them. If the OL men can keep Browne upright and get some consistent running lanes for our ‘regular’ RBs then we could pull it off.