Folks – as has been the case this season our Know the Enemy articles have been done by Chris Logue – and here is another good one.

Georgia Tech at a Glance 

Record: (1-1, game canceled last weekend)

PPG: 39  PPG Allowed: 26

Leading Passer: TaQuon Marshall (10-16, 3 touchdowns, 0 interceptions)

Leading Rusher: TaQuon Marshall (57 carries, 274 yards, 6 touchdowns)

Leading Receiver: Ricky Jeune (4 receptions, 105 yards, 2 touchdowns)

Call me crazy or just flat-out stupid, but I am taking a different route with this edition of Know the Enemy.  This week, we have no guest, and it wasn’t because I couldn’t find a qualified person to do so, but because I think we know what we are going to get from the Yellow Jackets on Saturday.  Run, run, run, five-yard pass, run.

Okay, so it may be more involved, but it’s a dangerous cocktail of options headed by head coach Paul Johnson.  Far from an original architect of the Run-Pass Option (RPO), he has adapted to many years of different playmakers and this could be his most dangerous team yet.  Everything we need to know is contained in their season-opening game against Tennessee.  Which if you didn’t watch, do it.  It’s scary.

It was a disgusting how great their new quarterback, TaQuon Marshall, was at being efficient with each of his opportunities.


Not bad, eh?

Shaking off some Canadian verbal tendencies, there’s nothing foreign about Marshall’s ability to produce.  Granted, he wasn’t in the scoring column as a passer, it was everything else he was able to do that made him special.  If it wasn’t for running the same play twice in three attempts in overtime, Georgia Tech leaves that game 1-0 rather than staring at a frustrating defeat.

Count those carries, all 44 of them, a daunting number and their outcome of 249 yards, especially when you consider the RPO’s “Option” part.  That part was all the other carries by six different rushers who gained an additional 286 yards at an almost 7 ypc clip.

Oklahoma State was successful at executing last weekend en-route to nine consecutive scoring drives.  Was it a perfect storm of offensive everything against the Panthers possibly, but a lot of it has to do with our inability to just be competitive with such a young defense.  That being said, this GT offense isn’t blessed with bucket full of talent across the board, but just enough talent at the right positions and an offense that makes who has the ball a secret.  It’s going to be a test this week for the defense, and I would attest to that even if we played GT 12 times a year, each game it would still cause us fits.

QB Marshall is his own beast and a diverse one at that. Here are his passing stats for this year and over his career.

Marshall Career

Sure, he isn’t a gun-slinger, but he is as smart as they come in determining when to hand it off and when to tuck it back in and take off.  If Saleem Brightwell, Damar Hamlin and Jordan Whitehead were wanting to make their presence felt as ‘stout’ defensemen, it will have to be this week they display that.

While others may hold a different opinion, I fully believe the most pressure will be on those three to combat the rushing attack by the Yellow Jackets.  Marshall and running back KirVontae Benson (37 carries, 150 yards, 3 touchdowns) will put a great deal of stress on the ends, it will be up to Brightwell and the safeties to, from a distance, keep an eye on where the laces of the ball are at on each play and rotate to the ball.

That’s football 101 I understand, but there has yet to be a defensive position that displays that sort of technique and overall fundamentals. You can buy into Paris Ford making our defense put in constructive work this week while mimicking the Yellow Jacket signal-caller, but until you face the real thing, it’s all empty hope that it will work.

Okay you negative goon, lighten up,” I am sure you are all thinking.  Fair assessment, but ill-advised.

One thing that draws me to the POV every day is the ability for Reed to be incredibly objective with his opinions and not withholding punches, even at the expense of the program, and that’s refreshing.  The comments from all of you hold the same weight.  Keeping that in mind, there’s plenty of reason for optimism for our offense this week.

Yeah, I said it.  Optimism and offense with limited space in between.

Consider how Tennessee was able to be effective in almost everything they wanted to accomplish.  They weren’t other-worldly in doing so, but they were well-balanced.  John Kelly, the Tennessee tailback was especially effective when the ball was within the red-zone and was able to gash the GT defense with a couple of big runs to get them into position.  Kelly is built similarly to Pitt running back Chawntez Moss.  Both are under 6-foot and both have great patience.

Where I like Moss to be the bell-cow for this week (should be especially effective in the middle), I also like the chances for Quadree Henderson to break out of his shell.  I will stick to my guns from last week; Shawn Watson must find other ways for Henderson to acquire the ball and lining him up in the shotgun next to DiNucci (presumably) is just the way.  Pitt could possibly be able to expand on the RPO’s themselves with DiNucci at the helm.

The biggest question on the Pitt offense isn’t the quarterback, I think we know what that answer is.  I’m also not concerned about the offensive line because it seems like there will be holes to fill all season… I look at the wide receiver position.  Personally, I will confess that I love Maurice Ffrench, maybe slightly more than Henderson at the receiver position – if he could just keep his balance.  Neither possess the prototypical height and that’s a real issue.

Aaron Mathews, Reuben Flowers and even a split-wide Chris Clark should be the difference going forward.  Along with a quarterback that can put the ball in the right spot, those three are crucial to opening the rest of the offense down the seam, on post-routes and the occasional fly-route.

It’s boom or bust this week for the Pitt offense. Either they get it, or they continue to play catch-up.  One thing standing in their way is the fact that Georgia Tech has been preparing for this game for two weeks with their most recent game being canceled due to Hurricane Irma. Its funny, sad and about everything else in between, but Georgia Tech has yet to see an offense like Pitt, while we, too, haven’t seen an offense yet either, this should be the week we crack the top-100 (snicker) in total offense.

Pitt and Georgia Tech could provide for a hurricane of points. Neither defense is well-groomed to this point in the season.  Even with the addition of Jordan Whitehead in the defensive backfield, it’s still going to be a defense in limbo until they can figure out who the leader is.  Was it Whitehead the whole time?  We will see.

Predictions, anyone?

Chris Logue – This is the ultimate coin-flip after what we have seen the first three weeks.  Pitt hasn’t demonstrated the ability to stop the run, or the running back in general, in any of the contests so far in 2017.  This week, it’s not the running back who presents the issues, it’s the do-it-all transitioned quarterback.  I think this is a game where Pitt can possess the ball better than the first three weeks and are able to get the receivers involved more in the offense.  Something idiotic happens on the side of Georgia Tech that makes us still wonder how good we are after a victory.

Pitt pessimistically wins 37-35.

Reed Kohberger – That is a lot of great points but as I do I’ll go into the rebuttal mode and state my look at this Pitt – GT matchup… and of course I’ll add statistics into this as those are the factual measures teams have.

There is a lot of talk this week about Georgia Tech’s running game as there should be – that is the basis of what will be an impressive point scoring offense for them against the Panthers tomorrow.  But what I’m as afraid of, especially if we are in any kind of close game, is their passing attack – such as it is.

Their QB Marshall obviously runs the ball well and conducts the RPO play extremely well and yes, that has to be the major thrust of our defensive game planning.  But I believe our young and inexperienced defense is not smart enough (yet) or talented enough (??) to not be fooled over and again when that RPO turns into just a “P” for passing the ball.

This is the thing with their QB.  He is #123 in passing nationally but then look at his passing efficiency rank of #1 and that is because those passes are more effective because they come out of nowhere after the opposing  LB and Safeties are practically living on the LOS for each play trying to stop the run option.

GT Offense 17.png

But when Marshall pulls the ball back in and throws he passes for a TD almost every three completions and once in every five attempts.  The GT rushing game will be death by a thousand cuts in their running over us – but the killing blows, and the plays that help to demoralize our young defense, will be his passing.

Pitt fans point to how we held the Penn State offense to lower yardage than last year and that is true, but they gloss over the fact that PSU ran only 52 offensive plays (college teams usually have between 75-90 offensive plays per game).  That low PSU yardage actually added up to a very good 6.1 yards per play (ypp) for them when you factor that number of pplays in.  OSU the next week had 9.3 ypp on an amazing passing game.

So in our three games we have given up this as yards per play averages: YSU – 8.0, PSU 6.1 and OSU 9.3… all the while Pitt’s output on offense has been 4.7 over our first three games.

We’ll see GT get closer to that OSU output I think because right now GT averages 7.3 ypp and I don’t see that changing this week.

On the flip side, I do not think our offense is capable of “breaking out” of what some fans think is just a poor start to the season on that side of the ball.  I believe what we have seen is exactly what we have… and that ain’t all that good.

Over the offseason we discussed on here the fact that I thought our offense was going to really suffer with the loss of Peterman, Conner, Orndoff, Bisnowaty and Johnson (and Matt Canada) in particular and it sure has.  We do not have the offensive firepower to keep up with what will be a GT scoring machine tomorrow… The kids will play hard for 60 minutes but be completely unmatched when we are on the defensive side of the line.

Georgia Tech 44 – Pitt 20

What about you readers?  Tell us who, what and why…

178 thoughts on “Know the Enemy; GT and Prediction Thread

  1. Pitt-North Carolina Kickoff Time Changed

    The Panthers and Tar Heels will now have a 7:30 p.m. start on ESPN.

    PITTSBURGH—The kickoff time for Pitt’s home game with North Carolina on Thursday, Nov. 9, has been changed to 7:30 p.m., the Atlantic Coast Conference announced. It will be nationally televised by ESPN.
    The game was originally scheduled for an 8 p.m. start.


  2. The only good thing about this season is the stink of it may force the Pitt Bots to get off their lazy asses and throw some much needed cash at their stepchild football program.


  3. Hope I’m wrong. Ga Tech 38 Pitt 20. We miss a ton of tackles and Dincucci is finding his way as a passer.

    Ga Tech 38 Pitt 20.


  4. If you happened to catch this Georgia Tech team a few weeks ago in the thrilling Double OT loss to Tennessee, then you would know this is a VERY Good Football Team.

    Starting Quarterback TaQuon Marshall actually better than Justin Thomas… and we know how he gave Pitt and everyone else fits.

    The only chance Pitt has is for DiNucci to start and answer the call with an “error-free” Game.

    Even then the chance is a SLIM one.

    Anything less… and it’s NO chance!


  5. OK, before we move on, I would like to point out that when SP scheduled OKST I said it was extremely dumb and would be of no value since we joined the ACC.

    Sometimes it feels good to say I told you so. Where we’re all the fans that said we need a tough OOC schedule to fill seats. If that game keeps us out of a bowl it just wasn’t worth it. OK, maybe a mute point, but a cupcake would have been more valuable to get this team ready.

    Another reason to be happy SP is gone.

    Play PSU, WVU and ND and anyone else that fills seats, but don’t set yourself up for embarrassment.


    1. Pitt had a tasty cupcake in YSU scheduled in week 1 and played them into overtime. They have another coming up next weekend in Rice. Last year they played Villanova and Marshall at home. As a season ticket holder I don’t have much interest in seeing those games, but I will attend nonetheless.

      ACC teams play only 8 conference games. Pitt doesn’t play FSU or Clemson this year. The B1G, Big 12, and PAC 12 play 9 conference games. The mighty SEC plays 8 conference games and teams typically feast on 3 cupcakes, including one in November to pad their records. It seems the SEC fits your model.

      Also, I suppose Oklahoma State’s AD must be just as dumb as Pederson. Same with Georgia Tech who played Tennessee and will play Georgia this season. Actually pick any ACC AD (as of 2012) whose team isn’t playing ND this season and they’ve probably scheduled only two OOC cupcakes.


      1. If Tenn or Georgia came to Pitt we get 55,000 +. What did we get with OKST? If you want to schedule tough teams at least get ones with some history, and with fans that travel.

        Okay gave us nothing but a drubbing.

        If we start to consistently win 8-10 games fine, but we have been rebuilding for 30 years. Joepa built a legend beating lesser teams. We just need wins if we want a strong franchise.

        What matters most is getting competitive in the ACC Coastal, and getting to 9-10 wins.


    2. Didn’t Pederson schedule the Okies to put his finger in the eye of WVU as he refused to play the Mounties? We all knew the joke would be on Pitt as Oklahoma State wouldn’t draw fans – WVU would.

      The Okies played here in Houston before about 35,000. Pederson was so concerned about being spiteful he cost Pitt gate revenue.


    3. Don’t forget that if the defense was merely average last season, Pitt would have been a one-loss team and in the playoff because there was a quality OOC opponent.


  6. The preseason is over, hopefully coach has found players to run his scheme. Conklin is 2 and 0 against the jacckets. The offense needs to run the ball for TOP and to set up the pass.

    Pitt wins 28 to 21.



  7. It’s hard to be optimistic in the face of what we saw the past 3 weeks. Unfortunately, I think that Reed is closer to the outcome. They have had 2 weeks to work on their passing game. Who wouldn’t?? I thought I heard on the news last night that DiNucci was going to start. If Pitt is to have a change, they need for him to run at least 10-12 times to sustain drives and keep the ball away from GT.


  8. Here’s a question, what if the last two losses were sprinkled in throughout the season, would we still be as down-and-out about the team?


  9. Maybe with all the run plays we can keep GT from scoring in the 50’s since the time clock may run out before they hit that number.

    GT 49 Pitt 17


  10. Savage had an arm, Peterman had accuracy and pocket presence. Browne appears to have none of the above. It only took one game to see that.

    I’m with Wbb, the offense is even more disappointing than the D., but not by much.


  11. I think if nothing else, we learned we are sure as hell not a top-5 team like our competition. I think we have seen the worst of what the team has to offer and that’s solely because each phase can’t get any worse than it has most recently been.


    1. Once again I side with Upitt. 37-27.

      If Pitt can start causing some turnovers, we might be able to hang close with the Yellowjackets, but we haven’t seen that happen yet this season.

      GT 37 – Pitt 27


  12. I had counted this as a probable win before the season because it was our 4th game and HCPN has a 2-0 mark vs GT. However, I did not know then (1) how talented their QB would be, and (2) how untalented our QB would be.

    GT 34 – 17


  13. GT is good on offense and mediocre at best on D. Pitt will need to play assignment football while on D. When GT runs to the right, their right guard will seal off (and vise versa when going left) while the other guard, tackles pull in the direction of the play. One of the GT RBs typically heads up field to target the OLB. The other RB is available for the pitch, though Marshall (QB) likes to keep it what seems like half the time. Basic option football. Pitt’s DEs and OLB will be key. Run blitzing can work on GT. The corners will need to fight off blocks. Our DLs will need to move with the play (fight through blocks) and not get sealed from it.

    GT will also option in the middle, but they appeared to be most dangerous when running to the right or left (against Tennessee).

    I’d like to see Pitt switch up our D formation frequently. 3-4, 4-3, everyone up on the line of scrimmage before the snap, LBs back a step then crash, etc. GT’s OLs like to know who they will be blocking pre-snap. Don’t let them….

    Marshall (QB) is really fast, but he fumbled a number of times in the Tennessee game. He holds the ball loosely. Pitt will need to hold him up and strip the ball. Marshall will get his yards. Pitt just needs to keep up with the scoring and make a stop or two in order to stay in the game. Playing with 12 guys on D wouldn’t hurt either.

    Result: Pitt plays its best game of the season and has a chance to win. GT’s QB shows that he is much like Navy’s QB a couple of years ago and GT gets the win.

    GT – 45 Pitt – 38


  14. I’d like to think that our offense is better top to bottom than the GT defense (I might be delusional though) and that a good game plan by Watson will allow us to stay in this one.


  15. Tech eats the time clock on 8 and 9 minute drives. Pitt 3 and out all day. Tech opens up its long passing game and crushes Pitt’s secondary off of play fakes.

    GA Tech 45 Pitt 0.

    Folks – this is the power of Pitt football. on last Saturday evening Dan72 was DONE! with Pitt football… but it does keep pulling us back, doesn’t it?


    1. Pitt 3 and out all day? Did you see the GT defense against Tennessee? Not exactly an SEC offensive juggernaut and they still couldn’t stop them. Pitt will score, hopefully win a shootout 38-31.

      Pitt 38 – GT 31


      1. Last week has really done a number on a ton of minds, lol. Yes, Pitt did look horrendous, but Marshall isn’t Mason Rudolph and their backs aren’t Dorsett, Sanders and McCoy. Yeah Pitt legitimately and in every sense of the phrase ‘ate )(^(*&’ last week, but that’s an anomaly, at least to that degree.

        Edited for swearing…


  16. Narduzzi leaves Hotlanta with his 1st 3 game losing streak but will have the team pumped/stoked heading into the ” Super Bowl” match vs the Mighty Owls at home before a sold out lower bowl… everyone is onboard the Fanta Train….”all aboard!!!”


    1. For the tarpers out there. If you haven’t visited the football board (free) on rivals Pitt site there’s ongoing discussions about how Pitt should tarp Heinz to deflect from the glare of empty yellow seats. Rice plays in a historic 75,000 seat stadium (site of an early NFL championship game) and now tarps all the upper decks. They draw about 15,000 fans and still have tons of empty seats. They won’t bring any fans to Pittsburgh. Strictly a revenue game for them. Rice is a very rich university that spends next to nothing on sports. Sound familiar?


  17. I can’t see our O scoring more than 23. And I certainly can’t see our D holding them under 23.
    So I guess I’ve got my prediction.

    GT 33 Pitt 20


  18. Not much optimism on the board today.

    We’re off to Atlanta, hooking up with the likes of BigB & Savannah Panther to represent the Pitt POV @ Bobby Dodd Stadium tomorrow.

    If Aston is healthy again, he could be a difference maker of n Offense. Whitehead could add some spice to the Offensive Playbook himself.

    Tomorrow will be another learning experience for this team to grow on. It will be interesting to watch. I don’t see a blowout like some of you others have predicting.


    1. Dr. Tom: An inner city historic college football stadium in a city three times the size of Pittsburgh? OMG, how will you cope with parking? Will you have to circle around to find a place? Bleacher seating? OMG the Heinzers said they just can’t cope with that. And Atlanta is not flat. You may have to walk up a hill. Be sure to pace yourself. Take your heart medicine. Good luck with that.


  19. possibly, GT may be closest school to Pitt as far as similarity …. enrollment, urban NFL city location, ACC, etc. Here is an excerpt fro the Trib today which had a Q&A with a GT writer

    In the past five years in Bobby Dodd Stadium (55,000), there have been two sellouts and one near sellout. Two of them were against Georgia, which brought a lot of its own fans, and Florida State.


  20. I predict Upitt will have a ring on his finger by the end of the night and have a little one on the way shortly, while Pitt puts in a solid effort but comes up short as Whitehead and Hamlin shake off the rust, 32-21 GT.


  21. FWIW, in the NFL game last night, Kwuan Williams registered 7 tackles while Aaron Donald had 3 … but Donald ended the game with a sack


  22. GT has scored a bundle every time they’ve played us. In the last two, we’ve scored a bundle + a 3. I think there’s no pressure on the D – they’ve proved they can’t stop the RPO, and they won’t tomorrow.

    But, the same is said about GT. Therefore, it’s a shootout (or rather, a grind out) and Pitt wins with a 50 yard FG as the clock expires. DiNooch has a field day – air and ground – and solidifies his #1 position. I’d guess 41-38.

    POVers continue their cry for Pickett, so Heather complies by supplying Bobby Boris Pickett (Monster Mash) at the end of the Q3 of all home games! After all, it’s almost October!

    Pitt – 41 GT – 38


  23. Chris L, we learned that we were not a top five team against PSU, but we learned we were not a top 100 team against OSU…I don’t care when in a season we lose lose like we did on Saturday, it sucks! Now, the irrational Pitt sports fan in me is calling for a Pitt victory tomorrow, 34 – 30.

    Pitt 34 – GT 30


  24. To quote Mr. T…. my prediction is…. “PAIN!!!!”. As in, it will be painful for the POVerts to watch our defense try and stop Georgia Tech. Even if our offense comes out of its coma and produces some points, it wont be nearly enough. Hopefully we wont fumble five times in the first quarter (most amazing quarter of football I’ve ever seen) like we did a few years back. Regardless, I don’t see us keeping up.

    GT 45 – Pitt 23


  25. I see the young defense struggling with assignment discipline defending the triple option….GT wins and covers 31-20.

    GT 31 – Pitt 20


  26. Normally when even the optimists have become pessimists is when Pitt all of a sudden pulls a performance out of nowhere to draw everyone back in…think back to the 0-2 Pitt team that lost to YSU and Cincinnati and looked utterly lost (sound familiar) and then they came out and handled a top 25 team V-tech pretty handily.

    Now of course everyone will come back with Pitt was at home and I believe V-tech did not end up being that great that year. When everyone is counting Pitt out, that is when they do their best Un-Pitting. Seems like they have no chance because offense sucks, defense sucks and special teams is pretty lousy too. So I’m going opposite of what I feel…Pitt 28 GTech 17 (what I feel is 28-17 G-tech).

    Speaking realistically I think if G-tech scores above 24 I can’t envision a scenario in which Pitt can win because they just haven’t shown the ability to put points on the board. H2P!!!

    Pitt 28 – GT 17

    Edit: If we hold GT to 17 points I’ll buy The Ghost all the beer he can drink next we meet…


  27. Aston makes a difference, especially in his blocking prowess. DiNucci is serviceable, throwing for 2 TDs, but does throw a late INT. Our young defense is better (how could it not be) than last week, but lacks the discipline to limit big plays from the RPO
    GT 35-24

    Reed/Chris: Thanks for the wonderful content. I look forward to reading your pieces every week

    GT 35 – Pitt 24


    1. Reed is the man behind it all, he just makes me look decent with my contributions. We look forward to more of your feedback, input, and everything else!


  28. I hope I’m wrong, but this season has the makings of an absolute disaster.

    I wasn’t thrilled with the Shawn Watson hire and his playcalling has done nothing to change my mind. I said this before, as crazy as it sounds, I am more concerned with the offense than the defense. With Jester Weah, Aaron Matthews, an Reuben Flowers you have three receivers 6’4 or taller. No reason you can’t stretch the field.

    Throw in speedsters Ffrench and Henderson and two talented tight ends. Not to mention a talented stable of RB’s. Anyone want to tell me why in the hell we burned AJ Davis’s redshirt to not have him touch the ball since YSU? The offense has been terrible and the playcalling unimaginative and bland.

    Maybe Ben Dinucci is the answer? I feel bad for Max Browne, but the team seems to respond better to Ben. I’d love nothing better than a homegrown fellow piasono lead us to glory. I don’t doubt Ben’s heart and the kid had Ivy League offers, so we know he’s smart. Unfortunately I just don’t think he is a legit P5 QB.

    This game really is a must win and a bad loss, this season can get out of control. My heart tells me this team comes out fired up and Ben Dinucci provides a spark and our talented RB’s show they are the strength they were supposed to be.

    Sadly my head tells me, we get down early and have to play catch up. Thus rendering the rushing attack ineffective and Ben throws 3 picks.

    GT 55- Pitt 13


  29. We got lucky beating GT last year. Paul Johnson going for it, at his own 35. lol

    This year we get hammered. (no explanations needed)

    GT 42 Pitt 20


    1. as bad as our defense was last year … we made two very important 4th down stops. (but of course, we failed on 3 tries on UNC’s final drive)


  30. Or I guess I should have said….that was a Gift last year. Gift’s in football generally don’t happen in back to back years. Unless the Nard Dog has some pics of Paul Johnson or whoever is the chancellor of GT 🙂


  31. Watching Pitt’s Keystone Cop Defense should be comical tomorrow. Especially the LB’s.
    Every Which Way, including Lose !


  32. I agree with Reed. This one won’t be pretty.

    I will be at the game though. For at least as long as I can bear to watch.


  33. Emel:

    My favorite movie as a kid. I only sort of remember but my Dad said I used to make him act out scenes from the movie. He basically had to be a punching bag. I was maybe 8 yrs old when that movie came out. I think Tony Danza did a movie called “Going Apes” that I loved too. Apparently casting stars with primates was the rage in the early/mid eighties…


    1. Yep Ape movies were big back then. You had the 3 Planet of the Apes movies as well. I think they remade 2 of them. No Chuck Heston though 😦


    1. Any Which Way You Can was the 5th highest-grossing film of 1980.[5] The film has had total gross receipts of $70,687,344 in North America


  34. Either close (Aston, Whitehead, DiNucci), or a blowout (Conklin, Conklin, Conklin). It’ll be a blowout, GT covering the O/U of 55 by themselves.

    GT 56 – Pitt 13


  35. Thanks for the sticker for sticking with it. I’ll always be there, getting an ulcer and bitching, but doing what little I can to support the team!

    Liked by 1 person

  36. Before the season , I had this game penciled in as a W after a 1-2 start, But as bad as Pitt has played I can’t pick them to win until they show me SOMETHING positive. Thus my score predisposed GT over Pitt 45-28.
    By the way , Chris Logue, were you at the POV tailgate last weekend ?

    GT 45 – Pitt 28


  37. I am in Atlanta for tomorrow’s game. I desperately want the good guys to win badly…………BUT until the O can prove that they can score more than 14ppg I can’t give them the nod.

    GT 34 – Pitt 24


  38. I have the odds at 5-1 that Ike returns before the Rice game. GT 44 Pitt 23. Does loser of Pitt-Rice go to bottom 5?


  39. Glad you liked the notes…

    For those wondering yours are in the mail and should get to you tomorrow.

    I tried to mail them early enough so you all would get them before the GT game… But after it might even be a better time.

    Liked by 1 person

  40. We’re talking Pitt football here not Pitt basketball. I could understand 3 out of 4 picking against Pitt bb this year. Can’t quite fathom it against the footballers. Maybe more like 50/50. Just sayin’.


    1. I watched the GT – Tenn game. I also watched all 3 Pitt games. This is not last year’s team.
      GT 45 – Pitt 24.


  41. Pitt wins 35-33

    5 rushing TD’s – Aston, Whitehead, QO, Moss and QH

    Edit: Only if Pitt buys five new Offensive Lineman the morning of the game… love your optimism Erie!

    Pitt 35 – GT 33


    1. Wow, we do seem to be in some sort of parallel universe with Neckbraska (Cornhole) and Wisconsin.
      Some might call it …..hell.


    2. The bad news we’d receive with Duzz to Nebraska would be Riley to Pitt. Nebraska wins 10 games in his 1st year and Riley loses 10 games at Pitt.


  42. There may be now 10 POV’s that call a Pitt win but in the end I believe the battle will be lost. But the war for the division title is not.


  43. It’s still true …. Tarkanian circa 1989 when Kentucky basketball was caught cheating red handed … “that’s going to make the NCAA really mad. Fresno St better watch out”


  44. Georgia Tech 45
    Pitt 23

    EDIT: Thanks for coning onboard Longtime – don’t be a stranger!

    GT 45 – Pitt 23


  45. Great time tonight in Mid-Town Atlanta with Dr. Tom, Big B, Sarcastic Panther of the South, and mates, and my roommate and a buddy I grew up with in Bradford! Met a few Pitt faithful, drank a few libations, spoke a little BS. Bloody Marys in the AM. Can’t wait for Sat afternoon! H2P ….. Jackets break out in a case of the HIVES!


  46. UVA putting a whooping on Boise State on the blue turf. The Cavs offense looks much better than Pitt – at least by my eye test.


  47. Has any Pitt team ever stopped the option? Nope. And it amazes me every time – different coaches, different players, same result.

    GT will score points. Our offense continues to sputter and underachieve. Our defense is downright offensive.

    GT – 38 Pitt – 27

    Welcome aboard PittGradx3 – if you want send me your contact info via email so I have your address, etc to mail stuff … (and to all the other new guys also…)


  48. Revised season prediction after watching Bronco and UVA in the first half on the road at Boise State:

    Pitt 4-8 for the season.


  49. Note that Fuentes, Richt and Mendenhall make well over $3M … the UNC HC (forgot his name) makes $2.8M and it wouldn’t surprise me if Babers was being paid higher than what Pitt is shelling out. Not sure what Johnson GT is getting, but like Wanny in the BE, pretty sure HCPN is at or near the bottom … and sure that asst coaches salaries and recruiting budget follows suit


    1. Wbb – I made some calls earlier about this – the best we can figure out is that Narduzzi is around $1.8M to possibly $2M… but more likely $1.8 and that was with the pay bump of two years ago. Of course like any HC he gets extras like radio shows, but he may not have incentives built in like some do.

      I may be off on the $$ but if so just a bit – he’s low paid at about 64th out of 128 schools. This will be a continuing problem for Pitt if they want to get to the next level… and one of the reasons HCs look at Pitt as a way point.

      I always laugh when reading the OCS comments when Pitt fans expect Pitt to shell out $40+M (or a lot more maybe) for a OCS when Pitt won’t pay an extra $1M per to get a good, solid and long-staying HC.


  50. I sure have missed all the comments. After two tough weeks with an inexperienced team minus a few starters on suspension i think Pitt is as good as QB and defense. Hang in there guys we have only better times ahead. GT is sound and we will have some difficulties but if new QB plays well he could inspire the team if he plays poorly let’s go freshman and build for next year Gt35 pitt31 H2P

    GT 35 – Pitt 31


  51. Really wish Coach Johnson would get hired by someone outside the ACC. Total pain in the butt to play this offense every year.

    I was at the bowl game against Navy — I expect similar results tomorrow.

    DiNooch will need a couple games to get rid of the bugs; Whitehead will be rusty; so

    GT 44 — Pitt 30.

    Go Pitt!


  52. One possibility — the GT QB carries the ball a lot and isn’t very big. No way he finishes the season healthy, IMHO.

    If Pitt gets some good hits on him and knocks him out of the game, then Pitt has a chance.

    Go Pitt.


    1. Agree. Pitt should look to hit the GT QB (legally) on nearly every play. The beating will wear on him. I don’t necessarily see it happening, but that is what any team should do. I’d tell Whitehead that he goes wherever Marshall the GT QB goes.


  53. I haven’t gotten a pick wrong yet this season.. put it on the board- GT 41 Pitt 17

    This season is going to be ugly. Sad to see it.

    GT 41 – Pitt 17

    BTW folks – Jay91 is who donated that great Ricky Jackson signed Pitt jersey that went at auction for $220… thanks again Jason!


  54. Thanks for the note Reed. I’m gonna make my first prediction:

    I just don’t have much faith in the D’s ability to stop anything, Whitehead will help a little. I’m guessing he’ll need to get some rust off and not be used to game speed yet (hope I am wrong!). DiNucci will provide a little spark, Aston helps the cause. Pitt looks better than last week. Progress is seen- hope springs eternal.
    Go Pitt.

    Annie’s 1st prediction! Drum roll please…..

    GT- 38 Pitt – 24.



  55. Welcome aboard Annie.
    Pitt 31 GT 17 I still do not have confidence in the defense and QB position and offense still in disarray. While my brain says loss I am going over the board optimist with this pick. Time to go for the ACC and it starts today.

    GT 31 Pitt 17


  56. Is their any reason Pitt is holding some of best athletes back from playing? This team can ill afford to save any player for the want of Red Shirting them. We need all the best talent on the field and as such true freshman should not be off the board when we are in need of any game changer to come to the rescue.


    1. Yes, because according to the DSM-III manual Pat Narduzzi has been diagnosed with a “Withholder Deluxe Personality” characteristic.

      That means he withholds good offensive plays for the next game even when his team was in danger of losing to a FCS team. He withholds defensive strategy from Penn State so he can sneak up and roll out a new and effective passing defense against OSU… and now you have figured out he’s been withholding all those super talented recruits he convinced to come to Pitt over the last three recruiting classes because, well – he feels we just don’t need them this season and they are such great 3* recruits he wants to surprise everyone next season when he finally let’s them play.


  57. You’ll probably see AJ Davis today (FR RB) – if not, it is a real head scratcher why he played in the YSU game and has yet to appear again, when our O is struggling mightily.

    Game day talent and practice talent are two different looks – I think this coaching staff has trouble distinguishing the difference. I believe they put too much emphasis on practice (at least in the past two seasons). This year I can only point to a few players, like Ffrench, RaRa Lopes and Mathews – both IMO, clearly making more plays and giving better efforts than QH and Weah in games. The game day performance has been awful for most of the players on the field, along with the coaching staff.

    But then again, we don’t know anything about practice, so shut up, sit in your little yellow seat and let the coaches decide who plays. And take it in, as painful as it might be, like you did for the past 34 years.

    My optimism is fading with Pitt FB, to the point that I’m considering not renewing my season tickets for next year. The psu game will probably bring me back one more time.

    By the way, I beat two nitter friends on the golf course yesterday – they ribbed me on the 1st tee and I proceeded to shank my 1st shot. I regrouped and shot back to back 43’s on a tough 18 hole course (86 total for the liberal art majors). Back at it again this morning on the golf course with two other nit friends.

    Beating the nitters in golf has not resulted in Pitt FB wins this year though.

    Prediction: Iowa 24 – psu 20


    1. For a second there EE, I thought you meant that literally. I read on expecting to hear the blow by blow of how you pummeled them Nitters within an inch of their lives with your Driver by the third hole or so, just to shut them up after they kept repeating multiple times that defeating Pitt felt as blah as their win over Akron!

      Keep the faith EE. Got the word direct from NiNucci’s Dad via BigB reporting (we’re all staying in the same hotel here in Atlanta), that Little Ben gets the start today@ QB. Hopefully Aston & Whitehead provide the spark & leadership that this young crew desperately needs to get this train back on it’s track.

      Game day! Hail to Pitt! Hope springs eternal! Back in November of last season I awoke on another beautiful Fall gameday morning with the identical expectations of watching a Pitt beatdown, getting easily handled by a superior team at their house. Who knew what was to transpire that day in Clemson? H2P!

      Liked by 1 person

  58. We had trouble with the pitch last year. They do a deep pitch that puts the back pretty far outside. Though we did stop it during crucial situations late in the game.

    But what they love to do, and were unable to do last year, is run the dive up the middle. If that is successful for them, then it opens up the rest of their offense.

    I’m hoping we can stop the dive, and if so, then we can win this one.

    I’m hoping we have installed plays and formations that provide us with a better opportunity to score touchdowns in the red zone.

    Lots of hope here and an optimistic win by Pitt 34-28.

    Pitt 34 – GT 28


  59. To get to ten wins, even the hard way, we need to go at least 7 and 2 over the next 9. Tomorrow could be one of those 2. GT looked crazy junebug good against the vols. But Pitt is due. Due for some meaningful special teams plays that lead to 10-12 points, one 50 + scoring strike, a couple of three grinder drives for 17 points, and a timely stop and a takeaway or two.

    Pitt 35 – GT 23


  60. The vibe here in Atlanta is weird. Maybe it’s just that we’re talking to the people who are wearing their Blue-Gold glasses & have vested interests in the program being parents/friends of the actual Pitt players, but the feeling of Panther Faithful is very confident here this morning that these Panthers have a game plan that will keep the Panthers in this one against the Yellowjackets.

    We’ll know soon enough. By the end of the 1st Q, the die will have been cast, IMO. If Pitt is hanging with GT when the 2nd Q begins that will be a very encouraging development.

    H2P! Swat them Yellowjackets!


    1. Much like the Pitt vibe in the NYC hotel where the players, family and fans were staying before the Pinstripe bowl I’m sure. Let’s hope all of you feel that good walking out of the stadium at 3:30 this afternoon.


    1. I got a “Buzz” on tailgating, then I went out hunting for that mascot. I had no problem “pulling” this guy’s stinger!


  61. Pittfan28 – Wanny used to say that you had to stop the fullback up the middle every down. I had a good friend who played DE for UGA, and he said the same thing – in fact he said that if you didn’t, he’d kill you over the course of the game. I didn’t ask, but I assumed that if the DL can stop the FB every play, that frees the LBs to pursue the motion going wide. Let’s hope we can seal off the middle!



  62. The QB, Marshall, carried the ball 44 times against Tennessee and is far and away their leading rusher so apparently he likes to keep the ball. I worry about the inexperience today like most of you, PITT players need to do their jobs and only their jobs. I think Whitehead makes a big difference.

    Pitt 31
    GT 28

    Gt’s field kicker is not very good who’s long is only around 30 yards or so. Not that it matters as Johnson likes to roll the dice and go for it that close in. So fourth down success for the Panthers is critical today.

    Going to spend the day at walt4prez’s (bobfree) home celebrating my grand-daughters birthday while watching PITT pull off a big win. << That works out pretty good as everyone already knows what I’ll be doing this afternoon.

    Have fun down in Atlanta guys, hope Pittman can find and hook up with you guys. Doc, hope you yanked that bee’s stinger out . . . . . . .. ike RKB, it’s all good

    We All WE Got
    We All We Need

    Pitt 31 – GT 28


  63. Welcome back Brother Ike! Come on DK, jump back in so the Pitt Universe gets back in sync and the Panthers can get on a roll!


  64. Doc T looking like he is about to get a kick to the groin….

    Pitt will be 1-0 today. I am not sure how, but I can’t go against em. Pitt 29, GT 28.

    Look, Pitt isn’t as bad as everyone thinks and GT is not as good as many believe. We have played against 2 top 5 teams and looked less than average. Our d is worse than we thought and our o is worse than we thought.Therefore, we win in a classic Pitt/GT field goal (maybe a miss by GT) at the end.

    Narduzzi is playing a bad mind game with the team and our QB’s in my opinion. If Dinucci plays and Pitt wins today, we will win again next week. This, against two lighterweights with a third lightweight in Syracuse to follow (although Syr may give LSU a battle tonight). All this may be mis-leading to the squad and the fanbase. Smoke and mirrors. Narduzzi should be forward planning to the next tough game which will be NCSt.

    Any true freshman that has already burned his redshirt…was good enough to burn his redshirt so they better keep playing. If not, that is a big mistake on Narduzzi. Sear and Davis on offense. Mathis on D. Might be missing one or two.

    Pitt 29 – GT 28


  65. Think you can play a little in first few games and not burn redshirt. Know it’s far less than in BB. So I wouldn’t look to see Davis unless injuries.


    1. No – not unless you are asking the NCAA for a Medical Redshirt waiver.

      If a player is played for even one down during the whole season (including bowl games) they lose their redshirt and that season counts as one of the NCAA’s four years of eligibility.

      If a player is injured and cannot play for the rest of the year he can be granted an injury redshirt year as long as he didn’t play over 30% of the teams snaps (all plays offense, defense and STs).

      Note that the player’s injury has to be season ending – not just that the coach decided not to play him again once healthy.

      So those players mentioned above have already had their redshirts burnt .


  66. I’m thinking we see both Dinucci and Browne in that order.

    BTW, Tyler Sear looks like a brute in street clothes. I also look for Clark to have a somewhat of a breakout game. PITT really needs to keep up their above average TOP this game.

    My opinion on Davis is very high but I agree with not seeing him today. It’s not like the other backs are terrible they just need holes to open up for them. Today’s the day for that as the competition should be a little less competitive than psu and OSU. . . . . . .. .. ike



  67. Hey EE above, I think Ollison and Hall were banged up in the YSU game and could be the reason Davis saw a little action and actually scored a TD?


  68. OK guys – I just finished drafting the official Gameday Thread article and it will publish at 12:00 EST. Until then, and through the game, please keep leaving your predictions on this tread so that it is easier for us to figure who the predictions winner is.

    So – see you all at 12:20 for the start of our second win!


  69. UVA Destroyed Boise State.

    They are no longer a gimme.


    We lose today and this season is over.

    Good Luck in ATL. I think we lose by 9

    Wish me luck tonight. Haha


  70. Good to see that Ike is back, but troubling — with a capital T — to read that ErieExpress, of all Pitt fans, even is entertaining the thought of not renewing his season tickets next season. YIKES! And double YIKES!

    Or should it be IKES!

    It’s tough being a Pitt fan…

    Go Pitt.


  71. Reality setting in for me and objectivity coming with it. We will know with the first series on defense how this game will go and whether Pitt has a chance. If GT has success, we lose by 14 or more, if we stop them, although I have absolutely no confidence in our offense, I think between special teams and lapses by GT defense, we can score 17. Soooo, I am predicting 35 to 17 for the bad guys.

    Whitehead makes NO difference and Dinucci and relatively ineffective o-line and pre-season over-rated rb crew leads us further down the Upitt hell hole that is this 2017 Pitt football.


  72. I’ll be rolling out of Latrobe fairly soon so I didn’t want to miss giving my blessings to the very soon to be Mrs Upitt and you Mark. Have a great day and take it easy on the little lady tonight…. 🙂 .ike


  73. Tyler Sear does look very very good as a true freshman and 2 star recruit.
    My head says this could be brutal but my heart is all in with ouR gang Marching Through Georgia.


  74. after the first quarter – Pitt’s D is doing well, but they’ve been on the field too long. Pitt’s O had a great first drive. The next two times that our O had the ball were just plain bad playing calling The strength of GT D is their slow, big middle LBs who can stop the off tackes runs…. And yet we continue to try and run off tackle.

    Our D is getting tired.

    Do we have any body on D that can really hit somebody?

    The chop/dive block sucks but has been really effective against Pitt We will be lucky if we don’t loose two to three guys to knee injuries.. GT is litterally diving at our LBs knees on every play.


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