POV: Tuesday Bits & Pieces

Let’s start off with the normal info flow from the Pitt Athletic Media Dept:  here first are the all-important Game Notes for the OK State Game.

OSU 2-deep.png

I was hoping to see an “or” after Max Browne’s name on this but there are some changes; no FB now but three WRs with Ffrench fleeting up; at RT we see Hodges under Bookser; at Safety we have Stocker above Garner now; Kam Carter is #2 NT under Roy.  See also Hamlin’s 3rd string at Free Safety.

Garner may be dinged up a bit if I remember correctly.  So, these changes are the two-deep shaking out due to what the staff has seen take place out n the field in the first two games.  I have heard that Aston should be back at FB by game #4 (we learned this at the tailgate last week ).

GAME STORYLINES

  • Pitt will play a Top 10 opponent for the second time in as many weeks when it hosts No. 9/8 Oklahoma State at Heinz Field. The Panthers are looking to bounce back from last week’s 33-14 loss at then-No. 4 Penn State.
  • This will be only the second all-time meeting between the Panthers and Cowboys. In the inaugural game last season, Oklahoma State used a late touchdown to slip past Pitt, 45-38, in Stillwater.
  • In Oklahoma State, the Panthers are facing one of the country’s most prolific offenses. The Cowboys are averaging 51.5 points and 572.5 yards per contest.
  • Fueling the Cowboys’ attack is quarterback Mason Rudolph, the all-time leading passer in Oklahoma State history with 9,352 yards. Rudolph’s top target is explosive receiver James Washington, who averages an incredible 30.4 yards per catch. Both players are All-America candidates.
  • The game will be a significant test for Pitt’s youthful defense. Through the opening two games, the Panthers have essentially been breaking in nine new starters on that side of the ball. This week’s two-deep lists only two seniors—end Allen Edwards and cornerback Avonte Maddox—on defense.
  • Pitt’s ability to possess the ball will be key. Through two contests, the Panthers have averaged 36:25 in possession time, the sixth highest average in the nation. In contrast, the quick-strike Cowboys average only 26:42 to rank 101st.
  • Oklahoma State is the highest ranked opponent Pitt has hosted at Heinz Field since a 42-30 loss to No. 8/9 Notre Dame in 2015.
  • The Panthers’ last win over a Top 10 foe occurred on the road, 43-42 over No. 3/2 Clemson last year in Death Valley. Pitt last defeated a Top 10 team at Heinz Field in 2003, a 31-28 win over No. 5 Virginia Tech.

SERIES NOTES

This marks the second meeting between Pitt and Oklahoma State…it is the final contest in a two-game home-and-home agreement…the inaugural game was played last year in Stillwater, a 45-38 Cowboys victory…the Panthers have played eight of the 10 programs in the Big 12, the two exceptions being Kansas State and Texas Tech.

…And in an ultimate smoke-blowing exercise Pat Narduzzi really, really likes Max Browne according to Batko of the P-G:

In the immediate aftermath of Pitt’s loss Saturday to Penn State, coach Pat Narduzzi was reluctant to lay too much blame at the feet of quarterback Max Browne. He’d have to look at the film, then would be able to give a better answer on how he felt about his play under center.

Well, Narduzzi looked at the film, and sounds as if he’s not down on Browne.  “It doesn’t change from what I thought after the game,” Narduzzi said Monday. “Matter of fact, I felt better after watching the tape. Obviously, he’s not perfect, but there wasn’t one guy, coach, player that was on Saturday.”

Wait – “it doesn’t change from what I thought“… but…  “it makes me feel better“.  OK – we’re getting into Lou Holtz territory here.  Well, I watched the game again and still think Browne played pretty poorly but then I don’t have to try to buck up a rsSR’s mental disposition either.

In the Thank God department I am so glad none of our POV’ers were severely injured up in State College last weekend…

In the ‘We have no real football to discuss’ department Meyer of the P-G feels this is (still) newsworthy...  Honest to God – no discussion of how Q. Henderson faltered in a big game, how well Ollison did and how he may fare against the OSU defense, or whether DiNucci may, or should, see some series early in the next game?  No, no real football to write about here – just gossip.  C’mon PG, get it together.

Like the Trib’s Jerry DiPaola did with this piece discussing what I mentioned above – Henderson’s non-appearance in the PSU game.

If Pitt All-American returner Quadree Henderson is getting frustrated with his lack of big plays, no one would be surprised.But coach Pat Narduzzi said Henderson’s demeanor is fine. Asked if Henderson is experiencing frustration after averaging only 20.8 yards on five kickoff returns, Narduzzi said, “Not really, no.”

But he added, with a smile: “I’m getting frustrated with him. How about that?”

Included in that article is this bit:

No excuses

Much has been said and written about Pitt’s inexperience, but Narduzzi doesn’t like that excuse, saying some young players have successfully stood up to the pressure.

Center Jimmy Morrissey, a redshirt freshman who was awarded a scholarship last month, is one such player.

“What’s Jimmy Morrissey going to look like in a year?” Narduzzi said. “I mean, that guy is snapping the ball, pulling around and making some great blocks on the edge.

I agree 100% that inexperience shouldn’t be used as an excuse – it is however a valid reason we barely beat YSU then lost handily to Penn State (and 19 points is ‘handily’ my friends).

There is a difference between excuses (to offer an apology for; seek to remove the blame of: )  and the reality of the situation – sometimes that gets confused and it is all in the way the speaker presents that issue.  Inexperience is a huge factor this year – but fans shouldn’t use that as any sort of excuse for losses.   If we lose games because of it – well, that’s what happens in life.

Now – at the end of the year if we have a poor record and fans want to shift blame from the team to the coach – or vice versa – then that would be excuse making.

My take? Same as it has been all along – some inexperience is OK as long as it is surrounded by more experience and good talent – something that right now our defense does not have.

Kev Gorman has a good take on a difference maker for PSU last week.

Barkley turned that third-quarter pass from Trace McSorley into a 46-yard touchdown and added a back-breaking 8-yard run in the fourth as the No. 4 Nittany Lions beat Pitt, 33-14, Saturday before 109,898 at Beaver Stadium.

Barkley wasn’t just the best player on the field — he had 183 total yards, with 88 rushing, 45 receiving and 50 on kickoff returns — but did more than anyone to dictate the outcome.

Essentially, Barkley did what the Panthers couldn’t: He made a momentum-changing play and finished a long drive by scoring in the red zone.

That’s just the nature of the game, explosive plays like that,” Barkley said. “When you get momentum, when you get it going and get it rolling, it kind of stops the defense from what they’re trying to do and changes their game plan.”

I bolded the part that is so true – and what we haven’t seen happen once in two games so far this season. Our longest run play from scrimmage has been Ollison’s 32 yarder. Our longest pass play(s) was again 30 yards to both Ollison and Flanagan – none of which were touchdown plays. Unacceptable.

It is OK to get by without big plays if you are consistent in creating long series that result in TDs but that didn’t happened against PSU – the one TD we had took place at the end of a long 75 yard series, but that was the only one – the other Pitt two scores were FGs.

Which is why Henderson’s inability to replicate last year’s success so far is such a big issue.  He has this for “longs” on the season so far: 17 yards in rushing, 7 in receiving, 28 on Kickoff returns and 0 on punt returns.

Man- -he’s averaging only 5.6 yards in 15 touches from scrimmage and only 13 yards per touch on special teams.  Let’s keep our fingers crossed that changes but remember this – he does not have the surprise factor any longer (from scrimmage) that he did last season.

Still – I scratch my head as to why Maddox took that first sweep call in the beginning series and gained 1 yard. Hell, Ike could have done that.

On a Separate Note:

One of the things our new AD Heater Lykes did in trying to improve our game-day experience was partner with a professional group – The Tailgate Guys – to allow more Pitt fans, groups and alumni to have a real tailgate on the ‘Great Lawn’ without the hassle of tailgating logistics. And wouldn’t you know, that company has a true Pitt football connection…

Central Catholic grad and Pitt football player alumni, Justin Acierno, who as you may recall was with the Pitt athletic administration as the Ass’t AD for Ticket Sale and Marketing back in Pederson years is their representative to Pitt.

One thing Justin did while at Pitt – love it or not – was integrate “Sweet Caroline” into the game day stadium experience. I was ambivalent about it – but the students sure loved it as did the majority of fans who were still around at that point.

Not only did Justin make that decision he also used great initiative in creating the U of P’s Marketing Academy.  Which I am very impressed with as a way to get business students real life experience.

The University of Pittsburgh’s Marketing Academy gives undergraduate students an internship where they do all of the above. The formal program, a joint effort between Pitt’s Department of Athletics and the College of Business Administration (CBA), assigns a student to one of Pitt’s eight Olympic sports. From day one, the onus is on the students. They must grab the reins of their team. No one holds their hands. The students, in short order, develop a full-fledged marketing strategy aimed at increasing attendance and improving the fan experience.

“It’s a win-win for everybody,” says Justin Acierno (A&S ’05, MBA ’07), who as director of marketing and ticket operations for Pitt athletics supervises the academy. “The students get the opportunity to oversee something and put their own twist on the sport. It helps us in athletics, because we don’t have the full-time staff for each Olympic sport. We need help because promotions and event planning are so time intensive.”

So now Justin is with tailgate guys and when I asked him to send me an overview about what he does with them I got this:

At the core, we are a hospitality company.  We specialize in customizable, hassle-free tailgating.  We work with each guest to determine the number of people they would like to accommodate and we develop a package that is right for them.  We can provide everything from tents, tables, chairs, coolers w/ ice and television packages. 

We also partner with caterers in the local markets to provide an easy food option for our guests as well.  If you still want to have the feeling of doing your own tailgate, we also allow you to bring some of your own items/food and we provide a bellhop service to help you move these items to your tailgate.  We aim to be a one stop shop for you and your guests.

In partnering with Pitt, we believe it to be a great fit.  With the tailgating options becoming limited based on new garages being built and the challenges fans face with arriving at the parking lot together to ensure a parking space next to their friend, our services are very attractive.  We have seen great momentum going into the season and the Oklahoma State game will be a great crowd. 

Many fans will need to see our set-up and operation in person to understand exactly what we do.  So, the Oklahoma State game will be a great marketing tool for us.

…and he goes on to invite fans to drop by and see him on the great lawn.

Now – it may be an advertising bit there but after all his job is to get Pitt fans under their tailgate tents – but anything I find in where a past player has gotten his Pitt education as Justin did, then work hard and succeed… and then gives back his efforts to make Pitt a better place then I want everyone to know.

NOTE: DO NOT use them instead of coming to the POV Tailgates – I had to throw that in guys…

 

192 thoughts on “POV: Tuesday Bits & Pieces

  1. Time Unveiled for Pitt’s Sept. 23 Trip to Georgia Tech

    The Panthers and Yellow Jackets to Kick at 12:20 on the ACC Network

    PITTSBURGH—The Pitt football team’s Sept. 23 game at Georgia Tech will kick off at 12:20 p.m. and be televised on the ACC Network, the Atlantic Coast Conference announced Monday afternoon.

    Set to be played at Bobby Dodd Stadium in Atlanta, the game will serve as the ACC opener for both teams, who each own a record of 1-1 after the first two weeks of non-conference action.

    A full listing of affiliate channels that will air the upcoming matchup between the Panthers and Yellow Jackets will be released by the ACC office later this week.

    Pitt and Georgia Tech will meet for the fifth consecutive season as ACC Coastal Division rivals.

    The Panthers have won the past two matchups against the Yellow Jackets under Pat Narduzzi on late field goals. Chris Blewitt kicked a 56-yard field goal to provide Pitt’s winning points in a 31-28 victory in Atlanta in 2015, and Blewitt also converted a 31-yard field goal as time expired to lift the Panthers to a 37-34 triumph last year.

    Pitt hosts No. 9 Oklahoma State this Saturday at Heinz Field for a Noon game televised by ESPN.

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  2. From the end of the last post……….

    September 12, 2017 at 11:29 am

    I need to pause and give Reed ‘kudos’ at this juncture of the season as thus far things are happening just about as his great research has shown him. Reed has been saying, concerning our first 2 games, that YSU is not going to be an easy game – which was exactly on the money; and that it was going to be extremely difficult to beat PSU at Creepy Valley with all the inexperience and unknowns on this Pitt team – right again! GREAT JOB O’ WISE POTENTATE OF THE POV!!! …….and thank you for allowing all of us to freely post 1,000+ comments over the weekend.
    Now, let’s somehow beat Okie State!!!


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  3. perhaps, the 3 WR lineup is designed to create the ‘momentum changing play’ as Weah, Henderson and Ffrench are Pitt’s biggest home run hitters.

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  4. although I think PSU’s focus had much to do with it, it appeared that Morrissey did do a yeoman’s job on Saturday as many of Ollison’s best runs came right up the gut, so to speak.

    I agree with Reed that Pitt needs some long scoring plays … a ground control game coupled with a few long plays (pass or jet sweep) sounds ideal to me.

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  5. Reed, I watched the video of the safety in the PSU game and you were so observant picking up the wide open short screen to the left side of the field with 3 OL leading.. too bad Max didn’t see it..looks like he locked on to the secondary receiver resulting in 2 for them- woulda been a big- gainer for us…

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    1. Max doesn’t see anyone beyond his primary receiver. He has no ability to extend the play from what I observed. The offense this year will be lucky to average half the points of the previous seasons average.

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  6. Hey Reed, that was a bull crap statement about Ike on the jet sweep…I bet he would have broke a tackle with a spin move and forward lean for 4 yards.

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  7. I was thinking the same thing Frannie, my motto is 4 yards and a cloud of bullschitt. 🙂

    PITT will be fine, Narduzzi was holding back plays for OSU. Take that Reed!

    If only PITT could win a bowl game under Narduzzi, he’s lost every one so far in his two year career at PITT. . . . . .Glad I could help… . . .ike

    Hail To PITT!

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  8. Narduzzi should issue a two deep on the coaching staff. Defensive Coordinator : Conklin or Partridge.

    I don’t get the Dinucci push. This is not a year to get cute at the QB position. Browne is okay. He had some dropped balls last game and what many don’t think through is that each and every play impacts the rest of the game and how it is called.

    I guess it’s okay if you think Dinucci is going to outperform Pickett and MacVittie next year. Candidly, if the coaches think Pickett will take over next year, he should play this year or we will have what we have now which is a 5th year freshman taking meaningful snaps. Browne is a 5th yr freshman fellas in game experience. After this game, the next 6 are winnable. Don’t get cute. WIN!

    You can start to see the influx of young talent. Next we will see Briggs as an “or”. Paris Ford vs. Rice. The tide of change is upon the team. Win a fair share now in prep for next two years.

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  9. When did Tuesday’s become bash ike day? 🙂 Lay it on me Reed I can take it take. I will have a nice brand new PITT script chair for you on Saturday. < Well to sit in, I want it back, it was a gift from my daughter that I didn’t burn….

    I do have a knee replacement so I may lean a bit at times. . . . . . . .. . ike

    H2P!

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  10. Huff you must have been watching a different Browne at QB than I’ve been watching. For another opinion on Browne ask Upitt what he thinks of him.

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  11. While I’m a little concerned as to what or how Browne will play or if he even does the rest of the season, I can’t make a judgement from the first two games and maybe not even after the Oak State game?

    The best thing about Upitt, we no longer need to ask him for his opinion. your truly . . . ike

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  12. For the comments on “the offense looking lethargic” Saturday…The offense widely takes on the persona of its QB. Browne is a laid back west coast kid that doesn’t display much emotion or fire in his belly. He may have it – just doesn’t display it. He must have something, however because his teammates voted him a “C”. In any event the O needs to find its identity and quickly. Two games in and it is not evident what it is.

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  13. One thing that I don’t think has been brought up enough is the fact that Weah (mainly) and Henderson often times stop running their routes if they don’t think the primary read is going to them – or often times will appear to be totally loafing or running half speed. Why aren’t they running full speed, full bore on every play?

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    1. JJ did you ever think that the very the reason for not running their routes is because they know Browne will never throw it to them. Also has anyone ever seen Browne complete a broken play pass this season? By a broken play I’m referring to the kind Big Ben often competes for the Steelers after he sheds a few tacklers and connects with one of his receives coming back for the ball or breaking down field after running their primary route.

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        1. No its not OK for our receivers not too hustle. But when their QB never extends the play to look for an alternate receiver its pretty hard to convince them to hustle when the QB is simply zeroed in on the primary receiver. Another test for the “give Browne chance crowd” bring a stop watch to the game and see how long Browne holds onto the ball before he throws it. Understand I’m not completely blaming Browne since the OL has to pass block much better than it has this point. But with Browne when the pass blocking breaks down he has little ability to escape the rush with his legs.

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  14. Jiminy crickets, two games in and Browne isn’t making plays like Big Ben?. ouch. Making excuses for receivers that break off their routes? …ouch again… If for no other reason a receiver finishes the play to draw a defender to him regardless of where the slacker thinks the ball will go. . < Hypothetical of course.

    The jury is still out on Browne though, I agree he looks a lot unsure of himself. Would really like to see Little Ben get a chance to come in and act like Big Ben. . . . . . . .ike

    H2P!

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  15. Henderson did not produce on offense because he wasn’t put in a position to succeed.

    The jet sweep looks out of place in Watson’s pro offense. Canada had many more formation where Henderson was in motion and more option off those plays. I think it is easier for defenses to read and attack now.

    They need to get the ball to Henderson other ways. Underneath, in the flats, WR screens, etc. line him up at RB and run the dreaded wheel route. I don’t see the sweeps being big this year.

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  16. Ike,
    That broken record of yours reminded me of a 45 my buddy “Hose” gave me! His parents worked in a record shop in Dormont in the 60’s and the 45 was titled “Listen to the Quiet.” Side B was in stereo. Both sides would play for a couple of minutes with absolutely NOTHING playing!!!! When I had someone come over the house I’d ask them to play it for me because I was busy doing something. Had a blast with that 45!!!!

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  17. Ike wouldn’t gain a yard. He would politely place the ball
    On the ground and tell the kids how blessed they are to be at Pitt and brag on Heather Lyke and Narduzzi and then tell
    Them all he looks forward to watching them all
    Play in the NFL and they are 4 stars in his book. He would then continue about Lyke and how it will be fair to judge her in 2030. LOL Ike you know it is true.

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  18. Huff – I start you over leadfoot browne ( Sounds like a Blues Singer) dinnucci is D2 worthy but has heart and hustle. If I’m OSU I put 8 in the box against that offense.

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  19. LOL Upitt, you are a real pip. Don’t really know what that means but Archie use to call Edith that.

    How dare you? If I ran that ball I would have carried all 11 psu players on my back all the way to the end for a PITT touchdown!

    I could really throw that speed ball by you when I was a younger man. You know, back in the day…..

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      1. Hey Upitt – do you have a foot fetish? I notice a theme with your names for people – “Rockport”, “Shoe Salesman, “Leadfoot”, etc

        LOL

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        1. Hahaha. Damn I guess a little bit!!

          Pitt marketing should get a sponsorship with Rock-ports. The Rockport Arena – Home of the Panthers and old sloppy head.

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  20. Hey all. Between work and cataract surgery, I have not had much time to keep up with your insightful posts.

    Thanks to Reed for sticking with it, despite his occasional moments of frustration. Love you Upitt—but, I am hoping your new wife is a very patient woman, or doesn’t understand English.

    Ike is my man. I would block for him, with all of my 154 pounds. I am (was) fast.

    H2P

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  21. HALL OF FAME ROUNDTABLE: wwb, emel, Upittbaseball, Ike and the Dark Knight.

    We could hold it homecoming weekend at Peter’s Pub, charge admission, and donate the proceeds to the Pitt Athletic Department to subsidize the losses stemming from the 32k average attendance at home football games and 3k average anticipated hoops home game attendance.

    I know that I’d pay to see it.

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  22. He thought that I was deleting his posts because of what he said which disagreed with my opinions.

    Of course that wasn’t the case as I don’t do that. So he took his ball and went home and we haven’t seen him since.

    The only time I’ll put anything the trash is if there’s swear words in it and it’s from commenters have done this time and time again or it is political.

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  23. MissingWlat, still upset I left you out of my round-table post. (sorry fellow LAY-Trobian)

    pmd, with you out in front blocking, who’s going to stop us?

    The Great Dark Knight needs to jump back on the POV. C’mon Darkie, you’re missed badly!

    Upitt and his foot fetish. LOL! Have you ever listened to the Eric Clapton album “Slow Foot”? << a meant hand

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  24. Pitt Joins Play It Forward Pittsburgh Campaign
    Panthers to Wear Special Helmet Decal for Oklahoma State Game

    PITTSBURGH—Pitt Athletics is teaming up with Play It Forward Pittsburgh to help establish the city of Pittsburgh as the national leader in organ donation and transform the way residents feel about organ donation and transplantation.

    At this Saturday’s football game against the ninth-ranked Oklahoma State Cowboys, the first 40,000 fans will receive a Pitt and Play It Forward Pittsburgh rally towel. In addition, representatives of Play It Forward Pittsburgh and members of the Pitt Student-Athletic Advisory Committee (SAAC) will be registering donors and helping raise awareness about organ donation and relevant policy updates.

    The Pitt football team will also wear a special helmet sticker to support the cause. See attached for the decal.

    “It is a tremendous honor and opportunity to support the Citrone family and Play It Forward Pittsburgh,” said Director of Athletics Heather Lyke. “Our city has an amazing history in the area of organ transplantation, and it would be fitting for Pittsburgh to be one of the leaders in registered organ donors.”

    Play It Forward Pittsburgh is a four-month, “season-long” campaign, organized and supported by philanthropists and Pittsburgh-area natives Rob and Cindy Citrone, to establish Pittsburgh as the national leader in organ donation, and change the way Pittsburgh residents feel about organ donation and transplantation. Campaign activation events include this Saturday’s football game vs. Oklahoma State, the Pirates vs. Cardinals MLB game at PNC Park on Sept. 22, the Penguins vs. Maple Leafs NHL game on Dec. 9 and the Steelers vs. Ravens NFL game on Dec. 10.

    “We are ‘Pittsburgh proud’ to work in our hometown and build upon the transformative work that Pittsburgh has always done in organ transplantation,” said philanthropist Cindy Citrone. “Being champions in medicine and sports is an integral part of our identity, and we’re leveraging that in order to educate citizens and ultimately register more organ donors.”

    Pittsburgh is uniquely positioned to lead the way in organ donation.

    The city is home to Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, which ranks highest in the nation for pediatric liver and heart transplant outcomes; UPMC, which completed the world’s first intestine, lung and pancreas transplants; and AHN Transplant Institute, which is ranked among the top 10 heart transplant centers nationally. Pittsburgh is also home to Starzl Transplantation Institute, which has led organ transplantation research for decades and is named after Dr. Thomas Starzl, a former University of Pittsburgh researcher who is known as the father of modern transplantation.

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    1. aren’t they art dealers from NYC who made big contribution to Pitt athletics? Pretty noble concept.

      I will call foul on the first POVer who says that the first transplant should be MacVittie’s legs on Browne

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  25. Volunteering myself for the all pov Pitt team.
    My job will be to run onto the field everytime we only have 10 players out there on D.

    After the snap, I will immediately run to our endzone and wait there to tackle the wide open receivers.

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  26. Hey diddle diddle Ike up the middle. Ready set hike, give the ball to Ike.
    Ike broken records can also get stuck on all is great at Pitt footb..all is great at Pitt footb…all is great at Pitt footb…
    Browne locks in on his primary receiver each and every day so hooray he is consistent..he is consistent..he is consistent..he is consistent
    All I can say for Browne is that last year some were down on Nate through 3 games…down on Nate through 3 games…
    All is right with the Pitt world tonight…all is well with the Pitt world tonight..All

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  27. Upitt, your number is low. Probably $1M, why? He convinced 10 kids to come play for him this year. A couple of them may be good.

    I think I am quicker than Browne but maybe not faster. For those that mis-took what I typed, it was not that I thought Browne is the answer. What I typed was that in all reality, he is a 5th year freshman with now 5 starts under his belt. 3 of those against top 10 teams. The 4th one comes Saturday. Name me one college QB that has faced that level of a team over his first 6 starts? I will wait.

    My second point was that Narduzzi should not get cute with the QB’s. If Browne is not the best option, pull him. The point is that Dinucci is not a long term solution and should stay in reserve. The Rice game is the key game to me. We should be 2-2 at a minimum after Rice.. If we lose to Gtech, than I am fine gong with option 2 which is Pickett, not Dinucci. We need a long term play at the qb position.

    As far as running routes, if the players aren’t maxing effort as a decoy, bench them, period. That tells me that they are not invested in the team and only invested in the me. Plays are designed to work where every player in the 11 has a responsibility. The minute they slack off, Bench! You want to run a team successfully Narduzzi, grow a pair and bench the slackers for lack of effort. If you don’t they will teach the younger ones it is okay to slack.

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  28. 3 WR’s listed on the Game Notes, suggest Pitt is going to try and spread the field and get Big Q and perhaps Moss into more Open Space situations. Also you could see the AJ (?) Davis kid used, as our new special weapon, since he’s not listed at all in the Game Notes.

    Watson and the Nard Dog either realize Pitt will have to score much more, by spreading the field with 3 WR’s or this is all a ruse. And Pitt comes out in a power formation and 2 TE’s to try and limit Okie State’s time of possession.

    However they should have learned from several games last year, Pitt can win that time of possession battle, and in some cases last year it was double that of the opponent, and still lose the game because of the sieve of the pass defense. Okie State is one of the ultimate, ‘quick-strike’ offenses.

    Maybe it will rain, which would slow them down, you would think.

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  29. They are down to their 3rd string safety, at least for the first half. Spread em out and hit the seams with the TE. Due for a big game out of that group.

    Defense must run blitz again. All game long. Downhill.

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  30. You’re right Huff. Pitt has to do something on defense, to not let Okie State get into their rhythm.

    In last years game, the Nard Dog adjusted at halftime, to limit Okie State to only 14 2nd half points, after getting shredded for 31 points in the 1st half.

    Either those adjustments worked or the Cowpokes were just exhausted from all the running they did in the 1st half, after the catch. 🙂

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  31. The Fighting Dairy Farmer High School plays number 130 ranked Georgia State this week. They should be penalized for playing them and Akron in the same year, but that is part of the PR scam. Easy OOC wins and a weak big10, big14 schedule equals a minimum of 9 wins per year and then you can proclaim yourself as back. And people believe it.

    Emel, funny you mention espn. I stopped listening to ESPN over one and a half years ago when they got into politics and trying to sway people instead of just talk sports. Not sure it was before Kapernick blew up his own career, but same issue around that time. A year and a half ago, wow. He has changed ZERO. That is what he has done. I only watch ESPN if Pitt is on. And I tell everyone i know why I stopped watching ESPN, politics BS..

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    1. Huff – that is how the magical pedo season played out last year as well. Their B1G Joke win vs tOSU was played up as beating the best team in the land. Remember, they got beat 52-10 by Michigan.

      That best team, tOSU made the playoffs and promptly got pummeled by clemscum 31-0.

      The B1G Joke conference somehow commands hyped up respect that usually is undeserved.

      My only hope is that the pedos lose to tOSU, Michigan, MD and Mich State and Pitt goes on to have that magical season that could have been in 2016. One loss teams make the playoffs – if Pitt runs the table, you never know. I’d take the psu abuse that the “we are” folks were the reason we missed the playoffs. Lol…

      I can dream.

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  32. rkb – PITT – Ga . Tech is on the ACC Network. The ACC network is for local TV stations. The watchespn is now call ACC Network Extra for ACC games. There is also an ACC RSN which is the cable sports channels. (Fox Sports South, Root – Pittsburgh etc.)

    The ACC website says to check back Wednesday 9/13 for a complete listing of local TV stations carrying the PITT game.

    Like

  33. Good points Huff. Kapernick, learned his lesson a little too late in life, the dummy. Then the Cleveland Browns had to learn the lesson already taught, The dummies. Don’t these people get it. Don’t Tread On Me! THE FLAG DOES NOT LIE!!

    Reed, you should stand proud tonight as the US Coast Guard is doing a great job helping out all the people that can’t really help themselves. . . . . . .ike

    H2P!

    Like

    1. Ike, next time we are together remind me to tell you about my experience down south after Hurricane Katrina executing search and rescue for the Coast Guard down there out of Mobile, AL.

      33,000 lives saved

      Like

  34. Speaking of Chapel Hell. The Holes hosted the #17 L-ville Cards with the Heisman Trophy winner.

    Announced Crowd of 47,000 (seems like everyone skews their head counts)

    Like

  35. More nonsense from Jamele Hall of ESPN. How she and that guy she shares a show with is beyond. Remember when Sportsencter was fun and cool. Like 10 years ago. PC Garbage now.

    Liked by 1 person

  36. Huff, we have bantered on the blog about OOC schedule on the past.. you want easier OOC (cupcake) schedule and I say bring on the big boys ( which we have) You reason it’s the easiest way to get to a 9 win season and higher rankings and I say I won’t waste my entertainment dollar on a cupcake team..with that premise P Finebaum, on his show tonight, thinks those cupcake games should be eliminated in the P5 conferences..I see both sides…I want college ball given back to the fans(ain’t happening)
    Speaking of “Take a knee” Kaepernick.. So I am the brainstorming GM of the 49ers ” I think I will trade Alex Smith…..” a great management decision… but I don’t care.. quit wasting my Sundays on that monopoly 5 years ago..

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  37. Dr Tom, happy you did okay during the storm. You can golf tomorrow vs running a chainsaw.
    You guys are a bit ruff on brother UPitt .. he is right more often tha wrong..Remember 2 weeks from tonight we will raise a glass and toast the newlyweds Mr and Mrs UPITT…hope he brings the wife and his mother-in-law to a tailgate..bought Rosetastone Estonian edition !

    Like

    1. Thanks Bernie. Didn’t even need to break out the chainsaw on this one. The only big tree debri on our property actually landed across our property line so that it will be removed by the Landings Club crews rather than by me.

      Power just came back on last night so we’re all good. Very lucky on this one. I think that all the weak trees succumbed to Hurricane Mathew last year, so the storm damage to trees this time around was minimized. Believe it or not,. the Island is still grinding up the debri fields that were produced by Matthew even as of today. That one was bad. lost over 4,000 trees on the Island to Mathew.

      See you at the GT game. That’s one we need to win!

      Like

  38. I say bring on the Great Danes!

    You know? The team PITT starts the season against at home next year.. Not there yet? The Fighting Great Danes from Albany!! Duh!

    BE THERE! I will.. (Gaad willing) Let’s sweep our own sidewalks. Hope some get the gist of this comment… . . .ike

    H2P!

    Like

  39. As you can see from all the half filled stadium pics I’ve posted this evening and last(and I have plenty more). Pitt is not the only football program in the nation not filling it’s stadium, as some want us to believe. Heck the LA Chargers of the NFL has only 21,000 in their home opener in the 2nd biggest city in America.

    We just have the misfortune of being between, 2 of the largest cults in college football. Programs that will do anything to win, no matter how evil, and cults willing to justify, that anything and evil, to win.

    Sorry but football is not that important to do the evil that Creepy Valley was involved in or what Ohio Fake does, or what Miami did or what Baylor did or Ole Miss or Vanderbllt or etc. etc.
    After all our school motto is:

    Veritas et Virtus

    Like

        1. Counting preseason! I don’t think anyone realizes what awful talent is on this team. No height…a point guard that couldn’t start for Bobby Mo…a couple of decent shooters maybe and a coach who simply doesn’t care. He is biding his time until Pitt fires him or another coaching opp opens up. 10 guys who are mercenaries and have never played a minute together.

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  40. Those stadiums are too big. Much like Heinz. An intimate 50k max OCS will do. That will mean some bleacher seating. Have at it student section and endzones.

    And we are between two Cults…I agree. I’ve already supplied the North Korean Dictator with the GPS coordinates.

    Edited

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  41. This constant bashing of Browne should be beneath us as well. The young man chose Pitt, when he could have went to many other schools. If other transfers/recruits see some of this stuff, on a daily basis, why on earth would they want to come to Pitt. I wouldn’t.

    None of these kids get paid to play, and the coaches are the ones who put them on the field. So they are saying they are our best option. Yea I like to 2nd guess the coaches as well, but we don’t have to bash these kids, day after day after day.

    They are after all, representing our school, our college.

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    1. Browne is a very nice guy and I feel bad for him. Having said that, I’ve fired lots of nice guys who could not cut it in the business world. He is what he is..a smooth handler of the ball who has a decent arm and supposedly makes good decisions. That will not cut it on this Pitt team..we need a QB who can lead…and move in the pocket. Max is Joe Flacco …after ten years.
      Unless he really shows all those things Saturday, it’s time that move on. If we are down 35-40 points in the 3rd Q and he sticks with Max, things will turn ugly. I like DiNucci but am willing to give Max one more chance….but that’s it. Ben does not throw side arm by the way. It’s 3/4 arm. Tino threw sidearm. H2P

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      1. Well I think you missed my point Dan72. It wasn’t about his shortcomings or lack of mobility. Because Marino had lack of mobility as well, Peyton Manning didn’t have mobility, more recently Tom Savage had no mobility. And if you have a good pocket passer, you really don’t want him running, as it’s much easier and safer for the QB to get the yardage thru the air vs getting clobbered on the run. Especially with all these new concussion protocols today. Heck Browne had to sit out, just for having his helmet pop off.

        But bashing this kid, with name calling and demeaning pics, etc. is really not called for. In fact it’s kinda juvenile. If you must bash, pick an opponent and have at it.

        As far as the other QB’s, I could care less who plays QB for Pitt. Whoever gives us the best chance to
        win. I’ve never commented on which way DiNuc throws the ball. Pitt needs to bring in someone that might possible bring in some elite QB talent. I see lots of colleges, even in the MAC, where they have
        a kid who can really wing it. Passing for over 300 yards is routine now in NCAAF, even 400.

        Again coaches are fair game, they are adults and they are professionals. The players aren’t.

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      2. @ Dan 72. Yep. Totally agree. 3 games is enough for Browne to prove that he is starting material. Building for the future can commence if he falters against the Cowboys as well. Playing a grad transfer is bandaid therapy for a program that historically has recruited poorly at the QB position.

        The real ACC season begins in a week and a half. Play a guy who is going to be around next year if the Cowboys kill our Offense on Saturday. Somebody should be in DiNucci ear explaining that his opportunity is there for the taking, even without injury to Max. Saturday is Browne’s final test IMHO.

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    2. They get paid to play…pitt education isn’t free. I think if you a recruit and see PN bringing in transfers that aren’t any better than what we have then playing them in front of kids that committed to pitt right outta HS that would be a huge problem for me

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  42. @BigB – the purpose of an easier schedule is to win 3 of 4. It is about creating a winning culture BigB. Why the heck would we be the only team in the top 50 that schedules the big boys when we aren’t a big boy program. We are a wanna be. Scheduling doesnt make you a player, winning does. It is a simple strategy to win, change a culture to that of a winning team and change perception to help recruiting. We will never get over the hump with a bunch of 8-5 seasons. We just won’t. Sorry.

    That is why you see the attendance pictures above. It isn’t about the opponent. It is all about the WINS!
    Alabama OOC – Fresno St., Colo St, Mercer, FlSt. 3 easy wins and a 50-50. FlSt – Alabama, Delaware State (not even delaware, ULMonroe). State Penn – Akron, GaSt., Pitt. OSU-Army, UNLV, OK. Scheduling is critical to future recruiting success. Wins = better recruiting. Pitt is the only team that schedules so stupidly with OOC, but I expect that as we are also one of only 4-5 schools that doesn’t play its games on its campus.

    Finebaum is a blowhard, but he has finally figured it out after 15 years of having the wool pulled over his eyes. What is happening, won’t change. It’s too easy to manipulate the networks and Pitt has fallen behind in the “game within the game”. Ohio State is perfectly fine with losing to OK because the BIG10 has so many people fooled that when OSU runs the table, beginning with Army and UNLV the next two weeks, the media will be back on the bandwagon. They only need beat State Penn and Michigan which will be easy and poof Playoff.

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  43. Don’t have to be evil to win emel. We can challenge boundaries. We can have talks with non-contributors to have them move on and be replaced with new schollies. We can schedule easier. I am perfectly good with scheduling Furman, Akron, Marshall and either WVUCC or Dairy High. At a minimum it is 3-1 Every year and the fanbase will be excited to go to the ACC schedule.

    Watch how many Stallings kids have the talk after this next year. At a minimum, 4 leave. Survival of the fittest. Natural selection.

    Like

    1. The only clean recent Top 10 programs I can think of is Stanford & Wisconsin. And the Cardinal are backsliding now. You have cheatin USC on the rise again. You have anything goes in the Big 12’s top programs, you have the cesspool of the SEC, where even a school as prestigious as Vanderbilt gets caught up in that cesspool. You have the money hungry, do whatever cults, as long as we win in the Big 10, sans Wisconsin. And you have the Florida State’s and Miami’s and UNC’s in the ACC, and Clemson just hasn’t been caught yet, since they can control the media 100% at that place and it’s in a very remote place.

      Pitt alumni from out of town are a lot less likely to come into Pgh. for games against Furman, Akron, Marshall and other rent-a-win type situations.

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    1. I deleted them…

      By the way I do not stay on this blog all day after I write an article.

      I come on maybe once or twice for the rest of the day so when you see something like that and you wonder what’s happening and why isn’t anyone attending to it it’s because… it’s the truth, I’m not attending to it, I’m attending to real life issues in my full life.

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    2. Is she in jail yet? Tried to contribute to the Clinton Foundation yesterday and they said they had closed up shop a week after the election. Inquiring minds want to know why. If you notice a trend, I’m the Upittbaseball of politics. I think everybody sucks!

      Like

  44. The bigger question is; why can’t Pitt recruit QB’s that can throw the ball routinely for 300+ a game.
    Chryst signed no one of note, his whole tenure here.

    You see dozens of them every Saturday on TV from Coast to Coast.

    What gives ?

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    1. Emel – My opinion is that Pitt has traditionally been a run first offense and that takes away from the passing yard totals.

      But the college game has evolved and maybe Pitt has not.

      If you want to be a running team, you better have a good D. That good D was the missing ingredient to a magical season last year – Oy Vey, was it ever.

      HTP!

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      1. And I’ve been saying this for the past two years – Chryst did not land a QB at Pitt while he was HC. Zero – nada!

        That didn’t help Duzz at all…

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        1. Hey EE, hope you are doing well my friend. Imo Chryst was pretty much a big zero at Pitt. No QB’s >and no defensive players. Like you said… had the Nard Dog been left with anything other than
          Whitehead on D, we might possibly have won 10 games, each of the last 2 years, which would have put > the program on a much different level.

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          1. No QBs???

            WTF Emei? We just heard you write for two years about how good Chad Voytik was.

            Has anyone considered that Chryst’s defensive players were severely under coached by this current staff and Josh Conklin in particular. We just had two of the worst defenses we’ve seen in Pitt history or at least one of them last year, and two years before that Paul Chryst and Matt House had a better defense than anything Narduzzi put up since.

            Now Narduzzi was working with PC’s recruits, PC was working with TG’s recruits and his own recruits and was putting on a better defense then Narduzzi is been doing. Enough PC bashing here folks it’s getting old…maybe it’s time to look the problem in the eye and admit that Narduzzi made a huge mistake with Conklin and that as a HC he’s failed on the defensive side.

            The truth is without those Paul Chryst players on offense last year we might have gone with two or three wins for the whole season, that’s how integral they were into making sure that we won football games with that 100 % crap defense Narduzzi put on the field…

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        2. Not true. Alex Hornibeck was a good QB recruit but he never signed his LOI after giving his verbal commitment to Pitt. He followed Chryst to Wisconsin instead.

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  45. Emel most are not bashing Browne on this board. Unless that is you consider bringing up all the shortcomings he brings to the table bashing. We need a QB that can extend the play and in Browne we don’t have that. Much like most of the shortcomings that Voytik brought to the table a couple of years back that you failed to see and I assume you considered bashing also.

    Like

    1. jrnpitt. Funny the year Voytik was starter the whole season, he extended many plays. Don’t know what you were watching. That was one of his strengths, extending the play.

      And I think you know what I mean by bashing a kid and you are right, most are not bashing Max on this board. And I never said that MOST were bashing, thank you very much for your additions.

      Like

      1. Truth regarding Voytik extending plays. I believe he was generally better as a passer in movement. He typically looked uncomfortable standing in the pocket and tended to stare down receivers. It seemed that was his undoing under Chaney/Narduzzi. The only plays Chaney seemed to design for him were QB sweeps some of which some may have taken as rollouts. Overall I suspect Voytik may have at least continued as a decent D1 QB if Chryst had remained. He may have even become a more sack resistant version of Tino (which ain’t bad at all).

        Like

  46. The problem was for years Pitt was in a conference with little to no fan based (Big East) so other than WVU and VT, attendance was tough. Play ND and you make up for poor attendance vs BC or USF. Now in the ACC we have opponents with larger fan bases and alumni so the need to juice up the OOC is not as important. Problem is the current opposition was scheduled when we were still a Big East school. New AD can lighten up a bit on OOC, keep a PSU or WV or ND and have 3 games you should win 75-80% of the time.

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  47. FWIW, Browne is scheduled to start on Saturday which will make it his 6th start in his career. Four of the opponents he faced or will face are Alabama, Stanford, PSU and Ok State. All of these were ranked in Top 10.

    Thus far, the biggest disappointment IMO for Pitt this year has been the pass blocking of the OL .. not the QB, WRs or the defense. Even in the second half of the YSU game when Pitt was unable to run the ball, Browne faced constant pressure.

    Last year, we usually had the early lead and rarely had to play from behind. Thus, we rarely faced obvious passing situations, thus, when we passed, it could have well been when the defense had every reason to suspect a run.

    The QB usually gets the brunt of the blame when the offense fails … that happens everywhere. But it’s amazing how much better they seem to perform when they are given time to do so.

    Like

  48. If the line blocked better and the receivers actually caught the ball and ran their routes no one would be down on Browne.

    It isn’t a one man show.

    Wouldn’t have matter who was playing QB against Penn State unless it was Lamar Jackson. Pitt still would have lost. .

    Much of the blame goes on Watson also. It is pretty simple. Wideouts are Weah, Mathews, Flowers. Slot guys are Henderson and Ffrench. You don’t run end zone fades with a short receiver.

    Henderson and Ffrench can do serious damage in the middle of the field and with other short passes. Get them the damn ball so the can use their speed.

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    1. OK thanks. I didn’t think it was Heather who is pretty thin …. unless she as been binging at the O or Primanti’s (or possibly all the free samples from The tailgate Guys.)

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  49. Emel

    Love the empty stadium pics. If people think that is just a Pitt thing they don’t watch other college games. I flipped through many games last weekend. Tons of empty seats every where. Of course The blue bloods have full stadiums but they are the minority and sadly dominate college football every year.

    It is far from being just a Pitt thing.

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  50. Emel and Huff,

    Being honestly critical of a player isn’t ‘bashing’.

    Earlier you said you don’t watch the Disney / ESPN Channel any longer and I assume that’s because of the pablum they put out on it but sometimes that’s what the media is like in Pittsburgh when it comes to Pitt players or Pitt coaches. They sugarcoat everything; they don’t show you the warts, they don’t talk about the shortcomings, they don’t even want to address the fact that a player might not be what he’s been hyped up to be by both the recruiting sites the fans… and then the course by the staff themselves.

    That’s exactly what we’re seeing with Max Browne now. It gets to be too much sometimes and I’ve written from the very beginning honest opinions about this player. Also Browne has practiced against some of the best football players in the country over the last 4 years at USC. Some of the best defensive players are on that roster and he was playing in 11 on 11 drills, scrimmages, practices and taken QB2 snaps during game weeks…forget about how many games Browne has played; he’s had 4 years of solid college immersion and the fact that he isn’t getting it done is pretty indicative of his talent level I believe.

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    1. Reed, I don’t think it’s the duty of the beat writers to critique the coaches and players. Their mission is primarily a conveyor of all pertinent information.

      Now the columnists and bloggers are another issue (Cook, Starkey, Gorman, Rossi, Vukocvan, Dokish, Whaley and Kohberger) … they can pretty much call the shots as they see them. But even then, the newspaper columnists are going to devote much of their opinions to the pro teams because that is just the way it is.

      Like

      1. And which of those above don’t have their noses up Pitt’s butt? Rossi? Maybe Gorman?

        I suggest we POV’ers take a rainy afternoon and read some of the best spotswriters there ever were like red Smith Frank DeFord, Grantland Rice and many others. You’ll find that in their articles even when they’re covering a singular match they are very much the critic of the play, players and coaching. That doesn’t mean being always critical of play but critical when it’s necessary.

        I do not pretend to be a journalist… but hope I’m a decent sports writer. At least that’s what I try to be and that’s what I enjoy. That’s what your opinions and contra information comes in that a lot of fans don’t like to read and a lot of coaching staffs and mainstream media want to ignore. But that’s telling only half the story if you don’t try to at least balance out what sports are with real-life thrown in.

        Pitt players are not acquired and discarded as athletes only, they are fully student-athletes and as such you have to consider that in your handling of them. If the “student” side isn’t evident at first then it is the university’s, and the coaching staff as employee of the University’s, job to make that a priority as much as the athletic side of the equation.

        As written above by another commenter I disagree 100% that you cut someone loose if they aren’t directly contributing to the football team winning. Every single person on an 85 man scholarship roster has a job to do and that isn’t always starting in football games.

        A lot of times as being practice player or being 3rd string players as we need those as much as we need other players. If you’re contributing to the football team as a whole then you stay, if you’re not making the grade due to academics or if you have discipline /attitude problems then you leave.

        If we lose sight of that and we become a business just like all these big ten schools and SEC schools that we criticize for making Intercollegiate Athletics a business, then too bad for us because then we’ve lost sight of the spirit of sportsmanship at the collegiate level.

        And spare me the ” but everyone does it” argument. That holds no water if we are serious about Pitt being an educational institution first and foremost.

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        1. Are you telling me that Cook has his nose up Pitt’s butt? He has been as critical of Pitt as anyone. Starkey has had his many moments also. They aren’t just as impassioned of Pitt sports like we are … but on the other hand, that may make them much objective than we are.

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  51. Obviously, Pitt doesn’t bring in the bucks that other Power 5 schools do. The question is, what is their recruiting budget and how does that compare? Emel, you are right about the bashing. I’ve said many times that these are college kids, not pros who make their living playing ball. This also goes for the sidelines demeanor of the coaches, who shouldn’t be tearing into kids in full view of the fans. I still remember Lou Holtz grabbing and shaking a kid by the face mask on TV. It made me sick.

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    1. Good question for Reed, mind if I answer? Right now I think DiNucci, and Pickett are both better than Browne. As for MacV I’m not sure but I’d bet he would give Browne a good run for the money at this point. Maybe Narduzzi will figure this out before mid season.

      Like

      1. well, isn’t it possible the majority of Pgh media (columnists and bloggers alike) have a total different view of Narduzzi and the program that you and Reed do? I have been contending all along that Reed has a personal bias against HCPN, and you are just plain negative … and even the bloggers don’t share your (both Reed and you) view points.

        Now I agree that Dokish is way too much the optimist but I don’t see the negativity by the bloggers who are free to express their opinions.

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        1. wwb, You Sir are a master of the obvious! Calling Upitt,” just plain negative” is analogous to informing us POVerts that Heidi Klum is a pretty good looking woman. LOL!

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    1. If the line is OSU -14, what do they know that we don’t? If PSU gives away 21, then OSU should be giving Pitt at least that many. IMO they’re a more high powered offense. Maybe it is the OSU D that Vegas feels is suspect, or perhaps a Home Field advantage going Pitt’s way?

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  52. Im sorry wwb. He barely beats ysu a D1AA team and PSU smokes him in the game and recruiting.

    Clemson and PSU great wins were last year and Clemson was due to fall to someone. Hell NC St. had them beat and missed a 22 yard fg.

    If people are happy winning 6-7 games in his year 3 with his players ans his recruits then have at it.

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    1. and the previous coach in his 3rd year lost to Akron by double digits, and Pitt didn’t even threaten the entire 2nd half …. and that was the the 5th game of the year … not the first game when many of these upsets occur

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    2. The only people I know who would be “satisfied” with 6-7 wins for Pitt this year are the realists who see the young team with no experience at key spots, lacking veteran leadership, facing a very tough early season OOC, and are practical in their expectations accordingly.

      Me I’m with you on a 7-6 season being the over/under, but that won’t keep me satisfied in Narduzzi’s third year. This team will be a lot different in November than it is here today.

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      1. DT, I had mistaken you as an unquestioning “In PN we Trust” guy. Your expectations for this season are squarely in line with mine. I expect to see serious improvement by November. Some suffering in September. Turning the corner in October.

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  53. The reality these homer reporters are happy to hang around players and don’t disrupt the boat and are happy they make 45k writing garbage.

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  54. What gives here? All spring and summer on this very site … most of us speculated that Pitt was going to have a rough September (and Reed himself stated on a number of occasions just how difficult YSU may be)

    So now that it is panning out exactly as expected … the program is now a massive failure?

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        1. Franklin is being paid > $5M; while Fraud is still the highest paid coach Pitt eve had.r

          When recruits go to PSU, they see 107,000 white shirted fans; at Heinz, they see 25,000 yellow seat

          When Franklin wants to impress a recruit, he hops on the helicopter which lands right outside of the high school field; while Narduzzi has to fight the Oakland traffic just to drive out of the area to get to a game

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      1. And Franky lost to Pitt in year 3.

        Duzz losses to Franky in year 3 and the program is a disaster? You are about as consistent as my golf game (no going pro for this guy).

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    1. Now that’s a definitive wait until next year, & the year after that attitude. Actually I WOULD be satisfied with a final 8-5 record for this young Panthers team in 2017. That is as long as one of those wins was against our bowl opponent or either VT or Miami.

      I also think next year will be the opportunity for this Narduzzi program to take it to the “next level” :if that is ever going to happen under his tenure.

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    2. Browne will get pulled in the Georgia Tech never to see the field again absent an injury to DiNucci. PN IMO wants to red shirt Pickett but may not have the chance to do if DiNucci is either injured or ineffective.

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      1. I am thinking this weekend unless there is marked improvement from him specifically and the offense in general. Some seem to forget, non-star QBs are frequently pulled for offensive ineffectiveness. That’s one of the reasons Browne was pulled last year.

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  55. @Reed – 8:59am – I bash players when they deserve it. When a WR doesn’t run his pattern at 100% because he is not the number one option on a play, they deserve to sit. That is selfish. It is up to the coaches to recognize that and if they don’t the program will suffer because it teaches the younger kids that they can do it too. That ain’t bashing. That is reality and how a coach should handle it.

    I stopped watching ESPN because when I turned it on to get away from politics, I was met with, we are not having our normal programming because we want to discuss black lives matter and the social implications. At that point, the light went on and I realized that sport media is trying to influence my thought process and so I stopped watching and listening to them completely. ESPN got away from what made them great. So did Pitt.Pitt hasn’t rebounded and I am not sure ESPN will either. When you veer from a proven strategy you get passed up.

    As far as cutting the chord with a non-contributor, we will disagree. There is nothing wrong with talking to an athlete as a junior or redshirt sophomore and say the following ” Look Joe, you have been passed on the depth chart and the chances of you seeing the field here are minimal at best. If you want to keep playing football, I will help you find a spot elsewhere”. It is the talk. The big coaches have the talk to free up schollies. Pitt has done that too, it’s just not phrased that way. You know, the Mark Myer talk, etc. We will we miss on a late bloomer every once in awhile, sure.

    I am of the opinion that if you are a redshirt sophomore or regular junior and you haven’t displaced someone in front of you or have been passed up by someone behind you, it is the right thing to do as a coach to help a kid move on and to help your team improve. It is a recruiting miss and you need to go get someone better. We will disagree…again on strategy. Would be interested how others feel as this topic fascinates me.

    There are a lot of complainers about our current lot in the football landscape and nobody has a viable solution except fire this guy, fire that one, need new AD, need new Administration, need new stadium, need upgrades everywhere. The fact is, we have no plan for success that is measurable. Competing for championships is BS. Win one. What do you need and how are you going to execute it. If Narduzzi says “this is what I need to win a championship and you give it to him and he doesn’t win in the agreed timeframe, he has to go. Alternatively if he says he needs X, Y and Z to win a championship and you give him W, that is on the AD and Administration and he stays and administrator leaves. It’s about accountability, measurement and execution.

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    1. Most of these non-contributors have been with the program 4 years and had access to tutors and counselors. If they haven’t earned or come close to earning their degrees, it’s on them.

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      1. Agree 100% here – after 4 years of time to get a Pitt degree then so long.

        But do not forget the promise we made to the HS SRs when we recruited them – that we would have them pursue a University of Pittsburgh undergraduate degree – not a Robert Morris or Allegheny CC degree but a Pitt degree.

        That is what we promised them and their parents and that is what we owe them – starting positions or not.

        I do not give a flying F what other schools do – if a kid is a good student /athlete and has no disciplinary issue then we promised them a degree and we have to keep that promise. If they agree to leaving, and some do with help from Pitt to land somewhere else, then all is satisfied.

        But if that player says “I want to graduate from Pitt on the promise you and I made to each other” then we are obligated to hold to that. I know there are exceptions and that other schools don’t care about this but we are not other schools… and before you say that is naive I understand Pitt does some things we don’t know about – but a promise upfront is just that.

        Now – that may not be the best way to win a championship – then again I say it doesn’t matter – if we cannot keep our promise – in writing BTW – then what is the use of all this? What matters for us – can we criticize politicians, professional sports, businesses, etc… for underhanded actions and not keeping to what they promise? Do we really, as people first and fans second, want Pitt to stoop to that?

        I do not.

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    1. The smart guy on the sidelines who’s adept at pointing out all the deficits of those who are actually putting in the time & effort on the front lines, has the easiest job in the place. Complaining is a no holds barred cop out when it is accompanied by a deaf ear & a blind eye to those things that are being accomplished by those who put their reputations on the line every daily.

      Like

  56. Frank Deford was a hack, Reed.
    Read his crap about the drunk linebacker who, in the early 80’s, jumped to his death out a Pitt window in an effort to flee campus police. Deford wrote about Foge showing up at Presby to have a hand-holding prayer vigil.
    Gag me. Complete lie.
    Lifting athletes onto miraculous, unreasonable pedestals.
    Complete trash!

    Like

  57. Wbb – you have some of the most selective reading skills of all on here. I have praised Narduzzi many times on here for being the very good 360° HC that Pitt needs at this time. His off the field leadership work has, I believe, been just what Pitt needs especially after the previous coaching regimes.

    He is quick to discipline and for all I gather the discipline awarded fits the transgressions. That is a big deal to me. I believe Pitt’s employees, and that is what he is, need for follow and embrace the University’s Mission Statement.

    As a pure FB coach I think he has some shortcomings as all of our HCs have had – every single one. When I criticize Narduzzi I always think twice before I hit the post button because i want to make sure my criticism is valid in my mind. That is why – as unusual as it was – I wrote that public apology the other day because I realized after the fact that I was unduly harsh and insulting – traits I work very hard not to have.

    For an instance before last season I said that I had to reserve judgement on his body of work until he won a big game – which he did against PSU and I applauded him for that. After we beat But after he on the PSU game and then again when we had beaten Virginia to go 6-2 I wrote that his coaching skills had improved and that the team was in good hands on the field – I believe that today.

    You don’t read me criticize his gameday coaching on here because I think it is inline with what we pay for – and that is the rub, isn’t it… what we pay for. Others do that here but i don’t.

    BTW – I was a pretty strong critic of Paul Chryst’s gameday coaching on The Blather while he was here. I certainly don’t think Chryst could do no wrong and wrote that way – but I will always give him huge credit for stabilizing the football program when it could very easily have slide way downhill.

    Now, I do have to say that I don’t believe Narduzzi recruiting has been all that good so far, but as a thinking man if his recruits play lights out and above what I thought they would I’ll admit I was mistaken – I have no problem doing that at all. I hope that come true but I wonder.

    I just do not get this Narduzzi’s “Midas touch’ in recruiting opinion that most Pitt fans hold with him- like just because he got them to Pitt they automatically have to be better 3* players than all the other 3* players other HCs get – that is patently ridiculous.

    And I cannot overlook Narduzzi’s blind spot toward defense for this team – we have seen a decline in it unlike any other time I can remember – and his insistence it cannot be the fault of anyone on the staff – even though after every poor defensive showing last year the first words out of his mouth were :That’s on the staff”… Hell yes it is on the staff and particularly on Josh Conklin – who any other HC in the land would have replaced after his horrid work last season.

    So yeah – I am hard on Narduzzi but a lot of that isn’t toward Narduzzi himself but in context to the huge pedestal so many Pitt fans have put him on – and their complete blindness to any faults he might have. And that is a lot of fans here and elsewhere Wbb.

    I do not play that game on here. If I think things are not what they should be I’ll say that, if credit is due I’ll do that also. So far I think he’s been a good HC for Pitt and I’d like to see him stick around.

    Isn’t that what most Pitt fans would say at this point?

    Like

    1. Reed, I was in the process of making a list of questions (see below) but instead I just have one question ….. why do you seem so darn negative of Pitt FB right now?

      1) why the constant criticism of the NW bowl loss when 3 defensive starters were missing, Conner missed the entire 2nd half, and Peterman and DJ missed the entire 4th quarter and some of the 3rd? and don’t tell me these aren’t key players

      2) why the assertion that Narduzzi is not a good recruiter when he is at the beginning his 3rd year? except for Boyd and DJ (both of whom were going to PSU until the sanctions), none of PC’s recruits contributed immediately and most of them redshirted …. Biz, Bookser, O’Neal, Officer, Jones-Smith, etc

      3) in fact, PC brought in a total of eleven 4 or 5 star recruits in his full years here (2012, 13, 14) and all but the 2 above and Chris James redshirted.

      4) of the above eleven 4 and 5- stars brought in by PC, why is only one a defensive player? (Dashawn Rippy)

      5) why in this offseason have you continually credited previous coach Chryst for the success of last year’s offensive success but blamed current coach Conklin for the defensive failures?

      Like

    2. Right Reed. You are the “show me” kind of guy, nothing wrong with that if it’s your style. Me I like to imagine where we are headed instead. I’m a big Narduzzi fan, for many reasons, but one of the basic one’s is that I just like the guy as a football coach. I think that he is sincere in his efforts and he gets the blue collar attitude that is Pittsburgh football to begin with.

      That being said, the guy is stubborn! It is the main reason that his defense has sucked for two seasons. He is teaching a scheme that he’s installed that doesn’t have the quality of athlete to perform it successfully up to this point. That hurts his body of work as a head coach. But remember this is a guy who has been a head coach for all of some 33 months. He will continue to learn if he really wants to become successful. That will play out over the next year or two. The Narduzzi experiment remains to have the conclusions written about. So far, so good, but there are plenty of places for improvements to be seen in the future.

      Like

  58. I don’t understand the Narduzzi bashing, what would our record be the past two years if he was not here? Do we have Peterman? NO, do we bring in Matt Canada? NO, does Whitehead stay? NO. Yes, recruiting has been tough but we are getting better players then we have since Wanny. I don’t know what some on here want, we aren’t going to win the ACC overnight, we aren’t going to overtake PSU, ND, and Ohio St in recruiting overnight. It is a process and yes, year 3 for Franklin was his best, but other coaches year 3 was not (Dantonio as an example). We are not in the Big East anymore, a young team is going to struggle.
    Watson has been a disappointment so far, but defense (without 2 starters at least) has played much better. We have a great coach that wants to be here for the first time since the ridiculous firing of Wanny and because Max Browne floats a pass or Avonte Maddox won’t turn his head some want him gone. I’m expecting 7 wins this year and a continued uptick every year after, if it doesn’t happen cry foul then, to do so today is beyond SOP.

    Like

  59. I get called a basher but it is year 3 and his defense is a joke. PSU was a rivalry game and we lost by 19.

    When OSU and Mason embarrass Narduzzi on Saturday and Maddox is beat repeatedly as are the LB’s don’t say a word about the defense.

    What you guys don’t see is that OSU has a good RB as well and have balance.

    #Year3

    Bashing =’s facts.

    Like

    1. No,,,,,,,,,, bashing equals criticism simply for the sake of criticism. One must comprehend the rational of the circumstances of which you protest. If you fail to recognize thecurrent place that Pitt football ball resides today, as being a better place than it could have been, since the firing of Dave Wannestadt, then you’re a moron. Does that mean there is no room for constructive criticism presently, absolutely not. However your criticism is rarely constructive..

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      1. You are the moron Tom. Chryst wins more with this team than Tweetduzzi. Hell his Defense was even better in Year 1! Facts. Sorry they don’t line up with your man crush. If Narduzzi was so good he would make more than Stallings. LOL

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  60. NotRocket – you asked about me what I think about our QBs talent levels…

    I would rank them like this as far as OVERALL QB talent – and that includes running and mobility as that is a big part of the college game today. it also includes intangibles such as control of the offense and decision making.

    1. Kenny Pickett – he has arguably the strongest arm and from what i have seen and discussed with others the most accurate. He has very good mobility also. But most of all he has the “It Factor” that a QB needs to succeed. I do not think we’ll see him this season unless DiNucci and Browne both cannot finish out the season.
    2. In a surprise for me at this point I have to believe the coaching staff when they said DiNucci has made improvements and list DiNucci as the 2nd best QB on the roster. I didn’t feel that way when he was first recruited but kids grow up – and apparently DiNucci has. His passing is accurate so far, his mobility is, I think, very good – as good as Voytik if not better, and he brings an attitude to the offense as we saw writ large last week. I didn’t think he played well in the bowl game as some do – but college ball is all about growing for a kid to a young man and getting better on the field while doing that. And maybe that is the case with DiNucci. As i said – I’m surprised by it.
    3. Max Browne – Pitt fans bought into the 5* best-in-nation recruit hype with this player big time. i don’t think he is a bad QB, as I have said I think he is, at best, an average D1 QB. His accuracy is suspect over 15-20 yards and his deep ball is poor. He has zero mobility and that is a detriment to the offense especially since we don’t have our 2016 OL. The staff keep saying his arm is ‘strong’ but I think it is not as strong on the out pattern as Peterman’s was. But the real problem about Browne is his under pressure play and his decision making skills – which is exactly what kept him on the bench for four years (less 2 games) at USC.

    4. Thomas MacVitte – he was over-hyped by fans when recruited based on a single phone call from LSU. no big programs wanted him and his only offers were “local boy’ offers from Ohio schools Cincy and Miami (OH). He played only one year in HS and for some reason Pitt fans thought that was somehow a positive, or not negative I guess, thing. But there was a reason he only played one year there – he wasn’t really good enough to start his JR year so they moved him to WR while still a back-up QB.

    Here is an interesting point about his recruitment:

    “The twist to the story is Pitt offered MacVittie (6-foot-4 1⁄2, 218 pounds) after watching limited game video: the little he played as a Moeller backup during his junior season. Stitzell sent a 30-minute workout video to Chaney, who also watched in person as MacVittie ran drills at Moeller.

    MacVittie played quarterback as a junior-varsity sophomore, but he was a wide receiver — just like the Steelers’ Ben Roethlisberger — during his junior year, making a series of acrobatic catches for the varsity team. “

    So – Pitt really didn’t know all that much about him – hadn’t visited to watch him actually play in a game in HS and offered, I believe, only on the strength of his attending top shelf Moeller HS. We offered based on a 30-minute Coach produced tape and then our only in-person assessment was during drills when he wasn’t even a starter.

    I’d say he’s the fourth most overall capable QB we have, he’s inaccurate on the deeper routes and not as mobile as fans think. He’s a proto-typical drop-back QB and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him transfer especially if DiNucci plays this year and looks to be the starter next.

    So – my two cents worth.

    BTW – I’m not advocating yanking Browne at this point – but I also think the staff will do that soon if he doesn’t make a drastic uptick his his play and most importantly in control of the offense where he’s not done very well.

    Like

    1. The speculative question would have been, “where would we be today if Max Browne had never shown up at Pitt in the first place? I doubt very much that our record would have been any different at 1-1 and whoever would have started at QB would have gained experience but at the expense of potentially having his confidence shakened by a solid PSU defensive effort on Saturday. Next game is not going to be a confidence booster either even if Pitt has the cajones to trade punches with Rudolph’s offense for four quarters.

      So the Max Browne verdict doesn’t come in for at least another game. Based on this, I’m still glad that the guy is dressed in a Panther uniform. Now does that mean we stick with him as the starter no matter what? I say no, he has to earn that starting position. DiNucci whether he is better than Browne or not will still be on the Pitt roster next year. So I say if it comes down to a Browne “OR” DiNucci at QB on the two deep come the GT game then give Ben his shot. Sounds to me like he’s earned at least that with his efforts since fall camp.

      Like

    2. Thanks Reed. Well written.

      I have not seen enough of any of the QBs to decide. I do think Browne will get better this week and it is too early to yank him. The O had too many issues last week to point the finger at him.

      I have to disagree on saying Browne does not throw a good deep ball. I think they are thrown great. Off the top of my head, Clarke (dropped), Flannigan, Weah (dropped). All perfect throws.

      Like

  61. Idowu is proving me wrong as his play as greatly improved.
    As for the other two linebackers – dreadful.
    Brightwell was flat footed as Barkley blew past him. And I only saw wheel-route Zeise make one tackle.

    Like

    1. it should be noted that Idowu is the only one above with more than one game at his position going into the PSU game. Again, we have talked all summer about the lack of experience, and especially at LB. Maybe if Wirginis was available allowing Brightwell to be at OLB like he was last year, things would have been different.

      Like

      1. Experience is a very valuable commodity. These Panthers are gaining that experience with every game. This team will be a different one in November than we are seeing now. Patience is a virtue.

        Veritas et Virtus!

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  62. Upitt posted: “I get called a basher but it is year 3 and his defense is a joke. PSU was a rivalry game and we lost by 19.”
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Now see Upitt, when you post something like that you lose a lot of cred with me. PITT probably held psu to their lowest total for the rest of the season. The 33 pts was partly a fluke considering the field position they started with thanks to bad turnovers.

    I’m really not that interested in trying to figure Reed out but he gave a little clue in a post above:

    Reed Posted “I just do not get this Narduzzi’s “Midas touch’ in recruiting opinion that most Pitt fans hold with him- like just because he got them to Pitt they automatically have to be better 3* players than all the other 3* players other HCs get – that is patently ridiculous”.

    I think Reed may overcompensate as he feels many on the POV overcompensate towards the positive side of things. I really do think Reed comes off negative at times but qualifies his position and he does it in a fair and balanced manner. Reed: you yourself pointed out the differences in star ratings. A 5.5 vs a 5.7 is a difference if you want to believe the scouting guru’s which btw, they are not right all the time. . . . . .ike

    H2P!

    Like

  63. This team will improve as the year progresses or Nard Dog will be taken to the pound. Nothing better that real game experience for these young players. Its building for the future. Hopefully it arrives next year.

    Like

    1. Nard Dog is a long way off from the pound unless he bites the hand that feeds him or he decides to drop a deuce in the house or do something else equally as stupid. He currently has a long leash with this administration. His seat gets hot only if he can’t win a half dozen games this year and then follows that up in season four with mediocre results yet again.

      Us hardcore fans may want results that are top 25 quality sooner rather than later, but the BOT and the University’s administration have no problems with 8-5 seasons right now. There is just no drive from the University to demand excellence. That doesn’t mean that Narduzzi can’t be the generator of that “demand for excellence” himself. it just means that he has pretty good job security here at Pitt, if he just keeps doing what he has done in his first couple of years.

      Like

  64. Something that I notice was missing from the line play was all the pre-snap shifts we had last year that would cause confusion for the defense. Reed – Any thoughts?

    Like

  65. Dr. Tom: I know that your area got hit pretty good with Irma. Hope that you are high and dry. I’m with you on your assessment of things. We have a very young team with the arrow pointing up. If we are losing to the likes of middle of the road ACC teams in November, I’ll be disappointed. But its not like the Dairy Farmers pushed us around all day. We gave up a couple TDs on broken coverages as a result of youthful mistakes. Time will tell, but I just don’t see reasons for doom and gloom yet. BTW, I’m heading to Hilton Head in a few weeks. Maybe we can work out a game of golf.

    Like

    1. We’re safe and sound. Thanks for your concerns. Power restored last night.

      To be truthful Eric, getting me off of Skidaway Island to play golf is a difficult task since I have six private courses at my beck & call here at The Landings Club. But I am always available to entertain those who desire to explore our Island paradise when visiting the region. If you’re interested in doing that, (since Hilton Head is only an hour or so from my home), that could be arranged. I’ve texted you my personal email. Let me know if you’d be interested in playing one of my courses as my guest while you are on vacation..

      Like

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