PITT (2-3, 0-1 ACC) vs. SYRACUSE (2-3, 0-1 ACC); October 7, 2017 • 12:30 p.m., ET

Carrier Dome (49,262/FieldTurf) • Syracuse, N.Y.

LINK (PDF):  Pitt Game Notes (vs. Syracuse)

GAME STORYLINES

  • Following a 42-10 rout of Rice to close out its non-conference schedule, Pitt begins a stretch of seven consecutive ACC contests this Saturday when it visits Syracuse.
  • Pitt and Syracuse have played every year since 1955, when both schools were independents. Pitt has won 13 of the past 15 games in the series but tight games have been the rule. Three of the last five games have been decided by three points or less.
  • Last year’s meeting at Heinz Field was perhaps the wildest game of the 2016 college football season. The Panthers outlasted the Orange, 76-61, in the highest scoring Football Bowl Subdivision game ever (137 combined points).
  • The Carrier Dome was at one time a place of futility for Pitt. Since 2002, however, the Panthers are 6-2 in their last eight visits. Overall, Pitt is 8-10-1 all-time in the Dome.
  • Graduate transfer quarterback Max Browne is coming off the finest performance of his collegiate career and one of the best in Pitt history. Browne hit 88% of his passes (28 of 32) for 410 yards and four touchdowns with zero interceptions in the victory over Rice.
  • Max Browne is completing 71% of his passes on the season to rank 10th nationally and second in the ACC. Against Rice, he threw scoring strikes to four different players and connected with 10 receivers on the day overall.
  • Dynamic all-purpose player Quadree Henderson is fourth in the country with 465 combined kick return yards. Henderson led the nation in that category as a consensus All-American last year with 1,166.

Only two seniors—cornerback Avonte Maddox and end Allen Edwards—have appeared in the starting lineup for Pitt’s youthful defense this season.

SERIES NOTES
Pitt and Syracuse have met every year since 1955…Pitt holds a 38-31-3 advantage in the all-time series, which began in 1916…the Panthers have won 11 of the past 12 games against the Orange and 13 of the past 15…in 2016 at Heinz Field, Pitt outlasted Syracuse, 76-61, in the highest scoring FBS game ever…in their last visit to the Carrier Dome during the 2015 season, the Panthers triumphed, 23-20, on a 25-yard Chris Blewitt field goal as time expired…Syracuse’s last win in the series was in 2012, a 14-13 decision in the Dome, which snapped a seven-game losing streak to the Panthers…the 2012 encounter marked the final Big East game between the two schools…Pitt and Syracuse met 20 times as Big East members from 1993-2012 and the Orange owned an 11-9 edge in those contests…Pitt has won all four ACC meetings (2013-16)…since 1972 (45 seasons), 19 games have been decided by single digits (excluding a 20-20 tie in 1990)…the teams have played two double-overtime games and Syracuse won both (24-17 in 2000 and 38-31 in 2004)…both overtime contests were played in the Carrier Dome…Pitt is 22-11 against Syracuse in Pittsburgh…that record includes a 7-1 mark at Heinz Field…the Orange’s only victory at Heinz came in the stadium’s inaugural season, a 42-10 decision in 2001…the Orange hold an 18-16-3 advantage in games played in Syracuse…the Orange is also 2-0 against Pitt in neutral site games (the last coming at Shea Stadium in 1965)…Pitt is 8-10-1 all-time in the Carrier Dome, which opened in 1980…however, the Panthers have won six times in their last eight visits to the Dome.

Pitt’s Browne Named ACC Offensive Back of the Week
    PITTSBURGH—Pitt quarterback Max Browne has been named the ACC Offensive Back of the Week for his performance in the Panthers’ 42-10 win over Rice this past weekend.

Browne enjoyed the finest game of his collegiate career—and one of the most prolific passing outings in Pitt history—in leading the Panthers to victory. The graduate transfer quarterback hit 88% of his passes (28 of 32) for 410 yards and four touchdowns with zero interceptions.

Three of Browne’s four incompletions were dropped passes. In the first half, he was 14 of 16 for 247 yards with both incompletions coming on drops.

Browne’s passing yardage was the highest by a Pitt player since Tom Savage threw for 424 at Duke on Sept. 21, 2013. Additionally, Browne’s 28 completions were the most at Pitt since Savage also threw 28 at Syracuse on Nov. 23, 2013.

Pitt’s Browne Earns  National Accolades for Rice Performance
    PITTSBURGH—Pitt quarterback Max Browne, already named the ACC’s Offensive Back of the Week for his performance against Rice, received a pair of additional accolades this afternoon from two of the nation’s top quarterback awards.

Browne was recognized as one of the Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award’s “Great 8” performers from this past weekend. Additionally, the Manning Award, sponsored by the Allstate Sugar Bowl, named Browne one of its eight “Stars of the Week.”

The Davey O’Brien Foundation will select from its “Great 8” performers an overall quarterback of the week awardee on Tuesday.

Pitt fans can help Browne’s game against Rice be recognized as the Manning Award’s top quarterback performance of the weekend. Go to the Allstate Sugar Bowl Facebook page and vote for the Panthers’ quarterback. Voting for the Manning Award Quarterback of the Week closes on Thursday at noon.

October 2, 2017

Pat Narduzzi Press Conference – Syracuse Week

 PRESS CONFERENCE VIDEO: Narduzzi Syracuse Preview

Bowl Games: This is still an uphill climb but we can do it if we get to six wins.

Pitt-NC State to Kick Off at Noon                                                                                                

PITTSBURGH—Pitt’s October 14 Homecoming game against NC State will kick off at noon and be televised locally by AT&T SportsNet, the Atlantic Coast Conference announced today.

The Panthers’ remaining 2017 schedule with announced television coverage and kickoff times:

Oct. 7: at Syracuse* (RSN/AT&T SportsNet in Pittsburgh), 12:30 p.m.

Oct. 14: NC State*, (RSN/AT&T SportsNet in Pittsburgh), Noon

Oct. 21: at Duke*, TBA

Oct. 28: Virginia*, TBA

Nov. 9 (Thurs.): North Carolina* (ESPN), 7:30 p.m.

Nov. 18: at Virginia Tech*, TBA

Nov. 24 (Fri.): Miami*, TBA

*ACC game                    

132 thoughts on “POV Tuesday Bits & Pieces

    1. Agree, given what we’ve seen of Pitt and their upcoming opponents it’s difficult to see more than 4 wins on the upcoming schedule barring significant changes. Syracuse and Duke on the road. UVA and UNC at home.

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  1. Pitt has 4 RS-Juniors and 1 true Junior (and 3 year starter) in the starting lineup. They have 4 RS-Juniors among the second group. Missing 3 more seniors in Taleni, Blair and Wirginis.

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  2. Pitt still has to solve its running game problems. The OL hasn’t blocked well so far this year, a major disappointment. But they seem to have settled on a set lineup with Bookster at RT, which is good. So hopefully there will be more progress this weekend. It doesn’t appear that any of the RBs is going to separate, so we will probably see several RBs playing against Cuse.

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      1. Yes, seriously. Officer went from 2 year starter to struggling. Jones-Smith also with prior-year starting experience now also struggling.

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  3. I mentioned this is the game day article, I noticed a #58 standing near Narduzzi with sweats pants and a PITT game jersey on. Maybe Wirginis will be back next year? He does have a red-shirt left. I’m thinking he will.

    Only 2 senior starters listed on defense and one of them is Edwards who really is a co-starter at this point. That defense is super young and will get a lot better moving forward.

    Some good news, Phillipie Motley expected back this week. I believe he was the projected starter at CB opposite Maddox coming into this season.. . . . .ike

    H2P!

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  4. IMO the most excrutiating loss to Syracuse was 03 or 04 in the Dome when Tim Nunes went on the wildest scramble I ever remember and completed a pass that he threw from about 30 yards from the line of scrimmage for a TD. We end up losing in OT.

    Even though that game may not have been real important, that play itself should be part of the SOP hall of fame.

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      1. No shock, Pitt had a chance to win this in the first OT and missed a field goal. Plenty of kickers have choked games away for Pitt for a long time now. Another sign that you’re a lousy program.

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        1. One of my favorite Pitt Syracuse contests, despite the outcome, was 1997. That Pitt team with Pete Gonzales and Kevin Barlow had a lot of heart. Syracuse came to frigid Pitt stadium ranked. It was a windy snowy day (like Penn State in ’77) but the stadium was practically empty. Small groups of fans huddled together under blankets here and there. After spotting Syracuse a big lead, Pitt roared back and led briefly near the end but couldn’t hold on.

          In 1990 Pitt had been ranked at the beginning of the season. Syracuse tie was painful.

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          1. I was in the press box at Ohio Stadium as an intern for a Columbus sports radio station during that Pitt-Cuse game in 1997. There was a chalkboard for the media to see the scores of other games and some girl in charge of the board didn’t even have the Pitt game on there. I asked her to add it and she did

            I still remember the first update where Pitt was down, 19-0. Then as you said, Pitt took the lead late and the Cuse won with little time left. I recall reading that the Cuse fumbled on its last drive but the refs blew the call. Had the proper call been made, Pitt would have made the BCS game over the Orange I believe with a 7-4 record.

            That tie in 1990 was the start of a decade losing to Syracuse. Pitt’s loss to the Orange in 1991 was a heartbreaker. Cuse scores in the final seconds to win, 31-27. Syracuse turned the ball over six times and Van Pelt couldn’t capitalize.

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  5. I was living in upstate NY during those multiple Pitt loses in the Dome during the 90s. It was frustrating to say the least that the only Pitt contest that I could easily travel to produced only loss after loss. I learned to hate that place. Another thing is that the stands literally come right up to the sidelines nes and back of the end zones which gives them a loud home field advantage if the place is only two thirds filled with 30,000 fans.

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    1. Doc: The Dome is also the closest ACC/Big East venue for me here in NEPA. I echo your sentiment of hate. The only good thing about going is the pregame meal at The Varsity.

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  6. I think the Zeise experiment at OLB is a miserable failure. I think he had maybe one tackle vs. Rice. This is becoming the weak spot in the defense. If Carter gets back this week, they will have a little more depth in th interior line, which will help. Still no sign of Kaezon Pugh. Is he still on the team?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If you look at the stat sheet from Rice, our starting LB-ers had 8 total tackles.

      E.Z. had (1)

      The LB-ers are the weak link on D – even though the line gets very little QB pressure.

      The DB’s need to be fresh and rotate often vs cuse’s air attack.

      HTP!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. ike, this defense is so very young as you stated. Seeing a lot of these kids getting experience in the process though. Jalen Williams, Damar Hamlin, Kam Carter, Elias Reynolds, Bricen Garner & Rashad Weaver all saw playing time against Rice.

    The TV announcers made a point of highlighting a couple stops Elias Reynolds had, including the attempted Rice “flea flicker” that Reynolds blew up with a good initial penetration that resulted in a TFL for him when he sacked their QB.

    We knew this d dense was going to make a lot of mistakes being so inexperienced, & that’s what we’ve seen. Hamlin’s bad angle taken on the Rice sideline pass that went for a TD being a prime example.

    They’re learning. Like I predicted, we are seeing a progression of this group as they earn playing time. Syracuse will be another learning experience. Their QB is a true dual threat, the 1st one of the season really. That’s going to be a real test for our defense, no doubt.

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  8. I said the same thing VOR and here Reed glanced down at the stat sheet to reveal Zeise was second on the team in tackles going into last week. Although I thought he played a decent game last week?

    Did I hear the announcer say that Sean Idowu leads the ACC in tackles?

    Also, could have sworn a saw Carter in the game for a couple plays?

    I’m sure Pugh is still with the team as is Kam Carter. Didn’t someone want to bet he wouldn’t last 3 games?

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  9. Right on Dr Tom as you were saying that all along.

    I keep hearing and reading where are Narduzzi recruits that are supposed to be so good? Don’t look now but here they come. It’s why I said that 2 years and 3 or 4 games is way too early to judge a brand new head coach and his recruits.

    It’s not necessarily wait until next year but we have to temper our expectation with a team as young as PITT is.

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  10. 174, that’s the number of points that South Dakota State’s Offense has produced in their 1st four games. Their only loss, a close one, against TCU to open the season. Why do I mention this FCS accomplishment? Because they’re now 3-2 after YSU held these guys to a single TD in their win over South Dakota State.

    We tend to look down our noses at the FCS but I bet on a good day Bo Pelini’s Penquins beat most of the bottom half of the BCS crowd, which BTW includes the Panthers at this point. We were damn lucky that we’re not 1-4. That OT win is beginning to look like a valid accomplishment for Pitt as YSU strives to get back into the FCS playoffs again this season.

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    1. Don’t know where you are getting your information. South Dakota St. is 3-1. South Dakota St. did not play TCU this year. TCU played Jackson St. in the opener and won 63-0. They played South Dakota St. last year.

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  11. Surprised to se the betting line being only Pitt+4 1/2 with the game in Syracuse. That’s almost a toss up considering the Orange Home field 3 point advantage.

    What do they see that I don’t?

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  12. –Troy Nunes was always pulling plays out of his butt against Pitt.

    –Zeise seems to be playing okay to me. Learning as he plays. Weak spots are DE and safeties, but safeties are getting better with Whitehead and Hamlin, though Hamlin still on learning curve…

    –Good call on Reynolds; I was surprised to see him out there but he seemed to have some quickness.

    –I still think the team needs time – lots of promising young players; but still too inexperienced to have a big impact this season…

    Go Pitt.

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  13. With Tressel and Peluso, I suspect YSU will always have a good team — aided immensely by bringing in an annual bundle of talented transfers who for whatever reason didn’t stick at bigger time schools…

    Nice when the football coach has the full support (“wink”) of the school president…

    Go Pitt.

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  14. Good call on Elias Reynolds. He could be a good one in the near future.

    I noticed that when the Rice QB scrambled/got chased out of the pocket, he was able to make plays and find open receivers. It seemed like our DBs broke coverage (necessary at times to stop the running QB). This could be a problem against the Cuse QB… He runs but will also throw on the run… I feel like Cuse will be able to out score us.

    I also feel like we are getting better and building some depth. Slowly.

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    1. The DC needs to develop a plan to shadow the use QB. One example could be to have Whitehead shadow Dingy all game and hit him hard when legally possible. Another idea would be to get P.Ford some playing time with Dingy his main focus.

      Look, if we are relying on Conklin to game plan and slow down the use air attack, Pitt is in trouble. I’m counting on Duzz to be a big factor along with Partridge in the D’s game plan.

      On the O side, I’d bring in Marino this week and have him brain storm with Watson & Min/Max. But that’s me…

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  15. ike, I’m shocked to hear that Ziese is second on the team in tackles. His dad must be keeping the stat sheet 🙂 But MajorMajors is right that the DEs, who are seniors, have been the biggest disappointment since this is their last year and their time is now. I think that Hendrix has only one sack after 5 games.

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    1. Starting DE Hendrix is a RS-Jr eligibility-wise, but he is well into his 23rd year. Backup Folston is a RS-Junior. Other backup Weaver is a RS-Fr.

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  16. M&M, Do you mean Bo Pelini?

    PITT has liked Reynolds from the beginning. He’s been hurt a good bit up until now. Chase Pine got a good bit of playing time last week. Narduzzi is beginning to see the light finally and getting some of the younger players playing time and much needed experience. Heck, he even got the back-up QB more reps. That hasn’t happened much his first two years.. ike

    H2P!

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    1. Ike – Yeah, but I could have sworn that I typed “Pelini.” Oh well – getting old…

      I remember you mentioning Reynolds in the past…

      Go Pitt.

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  17. VOR Hendrix has one more season and 3 tackles for losses last week.

    Good call on big daddy Zeise keeping the score sheet, he’s a big tough man, Elijah is only going to get bigger and stronger. Zeise has that weird # 25 that just doesn’t stick out.

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    1. ESPN gives Hendrix credit for 2 TFL in the Rice game and 3 TFL for the season. In addition ESPN credits Hendrix with 1 sack and 7 solos with no assists for the season.

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  18. For those of you that played HS Football…..the single most disconcerting thing about playing in the Cuse Dome is the totally flat field! Like playing in a parking lot.

    My last conversation with Coach Wannstedt he talked about how it throws off your timing on wide plays and is a nightmare for kickers. If you’ll remember your HS days, all fields are beveled peaking in the center and dropping off on the sidelines. Beacause Cuse also plays Bball there, it was built flat.

    Should be a huge advantage for Cuse but because they’ve not been competitive….not so much.
    For a young poorly coached team like Pitt, everything new is a problem!

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    1. I am sure the indoor facility on the South Side does not have a crown. It is inside.

      All outside fields have run off sides, even baseball fields.

      That isn’t an issue.

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  19. Pelini was 67-27 at Nebraska and was fired. 2nd such firing this millennium that kicked them in the butt.

    These midwest schools should probably quit firing Western PA / Eastern OH coaches …. Pelini, Mangino, Solich, Holtz … (note that Stoops quit and wasn’t fired.at OK)

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  20. Dan72… high school field at Apollo had a 3′-4′ drop from end to end and a side to side tilt of 1′-2′ and no grass in the middle. Lot of fields were unique in high school -basketball courts even more so in the 60’s…

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    1. BigB….maybe at Clairton… bball courts had stages at one end as they doubled as theaters for plays. Made a layup once at full speed and slid accross entire width of stage.

      HS Football fields were supposed to be symmetrical to specs. Each one was different. Elizabeth Forward HS was so beveled that you could literally lie down if you were split wide, and the QB couldn’t see you if he was on the other side!

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  21. Some good points on here. Especially that tall glass of kool aid that Dr. Tom served up about YSU being a pretty damn good team.

    The fact is that yes we played like crap in our three losses. (Well actually not that bad against Penn State). But we also played 3 REALLY good teams. GA Tech will challenge for the Coastal title this year. I’ve been down here long enough to know when they have a good team and when they don’t. They have a good team.

    This game will be as much as a yardstick as we can hope for. Lets see how we match up against a team comprised mainly of 3 stars (that doesn’t run the triple option).

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  22. Syracuse L
    UVA L
    UNC W
    NC ST. L
    VT L
    Miami L

    My thoughts Syracuse HC will outcoach Narduzzi.

    We shall see.

    Tom / Savannah – You ever eat at The Grey in Savannah?

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    1. I cannot see the Pitt offensive line holding up against the Syracuse blitz packages. And as such I cannot see Browne not being sacked at least 3 to 4 times in this game. Also I believe we will see Browne checking down on many pass plays with the result being many those 3 to 4 yard completion plays. A repeat GT performance is in the cards expect that most Syracuse yards will come via the pass. The Cuse by 3 touchdowns seems a likely result IMO.

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    2. I’ve been agreeing with Upitt way too much this season.
      I’m also seeing this one as a close back & forth struggle.

      Probably comes down to who makes the least mistakes. A key turnover could be a difference maker in this one.

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  23. UPitt – I haven’t eaten at The Grey, but I’ve heard it’s quite good.

    I would have disagreed vociferously on your picks for the rest of the season ….. But I was at Ga Tech. That game has really diluted my Kool Aid. Trying to recover! Trenches are much worse than I could have imagined. Perhaps HCPN did Sims a favor by firing him last year – so this year’s DL is not on his resume!

    The Good: I still have 3 more days to rejuvenate the juice before I have to pick.

    Flat Field Theory would seem to indicate that hump-back fields would be bad luck for those of the orange persuasion. Any of you stat guys confirm or deny?

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  24. ^^Should have taken the POV perky expert Richman with you!

    Admit it, you were wrong about Kam Carter. 🙂 you crack Mark.

    BTW, where is Georgia Southern? I’m guessing south Georgia. I’m a detective like that.

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  25. Speaking of odd fields, I recall playing in the old cracker box BB court at Ambridge High School, with tight out of bounds and the balcony around the court. Visiting teams going for a layup would get a spitball in the eye from the balcony hangers. Talk about home field advantage!

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    1. Farrell’s gym was larger than Ambridge’s (which indeed was a bandbox) but you didn’t have people sitting right at the endline (as if playing against legendary Eddie McCluskey wasn’t enough). No lie, there would be people screaming at you when you were shooting fouls who were just about 16 feet from you.

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  26. Statesboro Georgia, mighty fine place.

    I had family in south Georgia in Ocilla.

    Greensburg Salem had one of the best high school football stadiums around. Anyone ever play there?

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        1. a fellow Bromberg fan I see. He still plays occasionally,. and shows up at the Fur Peace Ranch in southern Ohio to jam with Jorrma Kaukonen

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    1. Played there in 9th grade football only, and not very well.. What set’s it apart is the view of the illuminated Westmoreland County Courthouse dome from the home side grandstands. Other than that GSHS is a struggling football program. Seton Hills plays there home games there as well.

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  27. Most artificial surface fields nowadays don’t have much of a bevel (I always thought it was called a crown), although natural surfaces (like Heinz Field) might still have them for drainage purposes, I don’t know. But I don’t see why the carrier dome should be a big difference from say Boston College that has modern artificial turf.

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  28. Guys, this is Syracuse, no need to be intimidated. Some of us are acting like this is the 1996 Panthers going against Donovan McNabb. The 2017 Orange led by the ex-Mac head coach lost to Middle Tennessee State out of the Sun Belt AT HOME..a few weeks ago. LSU is in shambles so big deal, the Cuse hung in with them. I am calling a ten point Pitt victory on the one condition that Watson allows Browne to throw the damn ball deep.

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      1. Mr. Watson has twice previously denied my request to throw the ball downfield. I am a Pitt fan. I have accepted that to the important people in the University, my opinion doesn’t matter on issues like play calling, an on campus stadium, or even the damn uniforms.

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  29. I agree, artificial surfaces were fairly flat.

    If you sat in the dugout at Forbes Field you couldn’t see the other dugout and barely the third baseman.

    If any is interested. Google Offut field Greensburg and look for the picture with the courthouse in the background. awesome.

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    1. I’ve been there a few Fridays this early fall, Ike…on a pleasant night, the Greensburg sideline might have be the best football view I’ve seen. I can remember it having a big crown, but I’ll have to look and see if that’s still the case with the newer field turf they have.

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  30. I mentioned UTEP last week in correlation with how bad Rice was. Since the Owls beat UTEP(31-14) for their only win of the year. Somebody mentioned UTEP’s coach was from Pittsburgh, which I did not know.
    Anywho……Sean Kugler resigned after UTEP’s latest loss. His wiki page says he’s from Lockport NY, which I think is up around SUNY-Fredonia.

    https://www.minerrush.com/2017/10/1/16393858/utep-football-two-major-on-field-issues-force-sean-kugler-to-step-down

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  31. UPitt.. send pics of Georgia peaches.. how do they ” stack up” vs Estonian peaches?
    (Apologies Annie- boys being boys… Please come to the Carolina game tailgate.. want to meet you!!!)

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  32. Hey Doc, Petty was pronounced dead by the media, he hadn’t died. 12 or so hours later it became official. Petty played American rock and roll.

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  33. Great thoughts today on the POV.

    I hear and read the calls of “I’m not being negative”…. . . .but… Many of you seem to think that PITT is somehow inferior to a team that lost to Middle Tennessee State?

    OK I do get that after last years game against the back-up QB. PITT can very easily go up to Syracuse and lay an egg….. but isn’t that fence sitting?

    I agree with EE and others in wondering why in the hell are we crowning their asses?

    I have to ask, why is it so easy to respect another team that isn’t highly regarded throughout the main stream sports world and feel PITT is not worthy enough to win this game? imo the Rice game will go a long ways with building confidence, continuity and experience for this very young PITT football team.

    I can see a loss this week as well as a win. << probably and hopefully a win. It’s not going to be easy, I’ll judge by effort, coaching and the over-all game. Narduzzi said himself today. He’s not giving up on this season but this team will be one to reckon with next year. Paraphrasing of course. ike

    H2P!

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  34. As critical as I have been of Pitt this year, the thrust of that criticism was generated more by my ardent desire to see them win. The other part of me (the hopeful part) is guided by the circumstances that the team finds itself in.

    Fact: we are very YOUNG. Many of the players are playing for the first time. Penn State is full of seniors. They are where we were last year. But if we look closely at our team we will see that we are full of promise. In a strange way, our defensive backs/LBers are beginning to slowly gel, sort of like the Steelers.

    We have exceptionally promising skill players on offense. The OL and the DL need to vastly improve, but things are slowly taking shape. When Narduzzi came in, he had players pretty well established. It takes time for continuity to develop. Next year Penn State will not be so good, esp. if Barkley goes pro. Let’s win what we can now, and watch these players develop. I just hope Whitehead stays to give our young backs stability.

    If anything, we need more creative play calling from the OC. But if Browne and DiNucci can step it up, and the running game somehow take off, maybe the creative aspect will not be such a determining factor. I was wrong to over-react in one of my earlier posts, but just think how difficult our schedule has been. Penn State is #4 in the Nation. OSU is a juggernaut of an offense, which had many returning seniors and a very experienced defense to boot.

    GT well what can you say about their rushing offense. These three teams were UNUSUAL and DIFFICULT challengers for any team (esp. at the beginning of the season) let alone one as young as ours. Next year is now shaping up to be a telling year. I believe it will be determinative!

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    1. Good post livingcolor. I agree with you. We’d all like to see 4 and 5 star players, but that’s not going to happen with our attendance issues. And IMHO, that’s why we are struggling right now – because the types of players we are getting are players who will be very good when they are juniors and seniors, (versus the phenoms and athletic freaks who star as frosh and sophomores).

      I know many disagree, including Reed, but I’m encouraged by our recruiting under Coach Duzz (though I’m starting to worry about some of the coaching…:-)…

      Go Pitt.

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      1. Never said his recruiting was bad. I’ve said all along that I didn’t agree with most of Pitt fans who were thinking his recruiting was fantastic because all of a sudden we were getting kids with power 5 offers. That’s a lot of hype in my experience and I think it’s really too much to put on these young kids because it’s just unfair to them to be viewed that way in Pitt fans eyes.

        Even then I think that his recruiting has been about average for a D1 program and that’s about the best I can say. We’ll see more next year and the year after I suppose but this is the third year of his recruiting and some of his early recruits should really be producing right now and they aren’t to the level to field a good team.

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    2. It is an overused cliché. But with this team, considering the preseason suspensions & dismissals, the number of season ending injuries & the youth that are just now getting meaningful reps in real games,,,,,,,,

      Wait till next year!

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  35. ^^For different reasons, imo, there seems to be a bias against Narduzzi? I don’t get it and I don’t worry as I know the believers will get the last laugh very soon.

    Narduzzi has set this defense up with 10 underclassman starting. <<counting Weaver who’s going to be an All American. Get with it men and lady. The PITT program is on the rise like we haven’t seen since 1981!.. . . … ….. ike

    We All We Got
    We All We Need
    H2P!…………………………………………………..

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    1. Ike,
      I agree with you. There is something undefinable about Narduzzi that I like–even though I think he can be a bit stubborn. But he has passion; he has a certain something. I don’t know what it is. I think as fervent fans, we want instant gratification, and are prone to quickly wanna jump ship on him. But I believe it would be a foolish mistake. I just have this feeling about him, that possibly he can be one of Pitt’s greatest coaches. It might take a bit of time, but I believe it will happen. This is a time of patience!

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      1. Agree Pittinlivingcolor(were you a ‘In Living Color’ fan(Wayans Brothers). Looking back at another guy Pitt pulled the plug on early too soon…was another Italian DC, who loved Pitt like Wanny did.

        Unless they had the opportunity to get a really good proven HC….and I don’t see the cheapskates paying that kind of money. Hey…… we can only afford 1 Fanta for bribing purposes !

        Like

      2. I stated this last week prior to the Rice game that that upcoming game would demonstrate whether Narduzzi had “lost the team” or not depending on the play & outcome of the contest.

        The stubborn concept I feel is legit about Narduzzi’s personality, to a point and starting Browne for another game after being benched demonstrated that.

        I wish that Aston hadn’t had is suspect ankle rolled up on early in that game, since leadership is still sparse with this team. But the outcome demonstrated to me that these guys are still playing hard for their coach, although against a weak opponent. Coach Duzz has not lost this team.

        What more will we learn on this Saturday against stiffer competition?

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  36. One good game against a very poor team put many of the POV posters on another level when it comes to viewing the caliber of this Pitt team. For the most part this game is won in the trenches and from I have witnessed so far we are not up to par on either the offensive or defensive front in that area. Dungy will test our pass defense much like it was tested versus OSU and he is unlikely to be pressured greatly in doing so. And Browne will not have the time needed to complete the passes he completed last week. Sacks and turnovers on offense combined with a high powered passing offense from Syracuse will make for a very long day for Pitt I’m afraid.

    Like

    1. jrnpitt – The cuse D has 4 sacks in 5 games. Pitt’s D has 6 sacks in 5 games.

      You are half right with your comments – from a statistical standpoint. Pitt hasn’t shown it can pressure the QB, but cuse has shown even less ability.

      Like

      1. The Cuse hasn’t faced our offensive line yet. We’ll help them up that sack number this week. And even if they don’t quite get to Browne he’ll be checking down to those 3 to 5 yard passes all game long.

        Like

  37. Reed, just in case you’re interested, Bromberg is playing at Birchmere in Alexandria VA on Sat Nov. 25 …. since Pitt is playing on the 24th (I assume a noon game), you have plenty of time to return home, write your fire Conklin piece, and get to the concert

    Like

  38. The rest of this season is dependent on Pitt’s offense.

    If they can’t play ball control the game is over before it starts. Teams are going to keep stacking the box and make Max beat them. Pitt has to show for a second game that they can throw down field. Until that happens for a few games, the run yards will continue to suck.

    Like

  39. Emel,
    How can u possibly think they pulled the plug too early on Foge?
    Took a top 5 team and turned them into losers ( his final year).
    I recall players held a press conference complaining about the lack of discipline and accountability.

    Like

    1. Foge is just another great coordinator who apparently couldn’t succeed at the next level. There is a long line of them (Charlie Weis is first guy that comes to mind) Note that Foge had a pretty good career as an assistant post-Pitt.

      I think Emel is trying to emphasize the coaches who are loyal to Pitt and not treating this job as a stepping stone. Foge was a Pitt guy thru and thru. Narduzzi is a Youngstowner who shows a lot of enthusiasm for this job. Who knows what happens in the next few years but I’m pretty sure he will be give a decent chance to prove himself.

      I am still teed off that back when Wanny was fired and Graham left, that Teryl Austin wasn’t strongly considered. He did interview for the job ad reportedly did well …. but no offer

      Like

      1. I believe the problem is that the Pitt AD felt they could hit a home run with an unproven but “sexy” hire in their mind. The Pitt Loyalty card did matter to him as it certainly does to many of us alum and fans.

        Like

    2. Foge’s Final year we were 5-5-1. So in his 4 years we were : 9-3
      8-3-1
      3-7-1
      5-5-1

      Considering what happened, afterwards, Gottfried’s best team had 8 wins. And then the Hackett disaster.
      Would we have been better in long run sticking with Foge ? Perhaps

      Like

      1. No. Gottfried was recruiting QBs whereas Foge passed on Kosar.

        Mike G. signed Dickerson, Wanke (drafted) and Van Pelt in a two-year period. Maybe he gets Ron Powlus to take over for Pelty and Bulger later in the 90s.

        Such a shame what the administration did to football that decade.

        Like

  40. Greg, are you speaking about Haymaker? I don’t think anyone thought he was a sexing hire, in fact everyone was real happy when he reared back and……………..?

    Like

  41. Big fan of Sean Miller but worried that he may be in a situation.

    https://www.azdesertswarm.com/basketball/2017/9/27/16376992/arizona-wildcats-basketball-allegedly-offered-recruit-150000-fbi-documents-charges-book-Richardson

    Fans there seem to be restless.

    This kind of stuff reinforces to me at least that keeping it clean is still the most important thing for the university. We seem to be on track for that at Pitt so we got that going for us……..

    Like

    1. There is no way Miller didn’t know what was gong on. Same with the other head coaches.

      This isn’t the NCAA, these assistants will rat everyone out to avoid jail time.

      Like

      1. Hey, Tossing Thabeets …. you still out their?

        Shame on you for siding with Bilas and UNC on the Cam Johnson issue. Don’t these people profit enough and have gotten away with murder already?

        A UNC prof turns them in 5 years ago, exposing all kinds of improprieties and still the NCAA hasn’t done anything yet .. any you probably think they are squeaky clean

        Like

  42. It seems the support narrative this week is that Pitt is a young team rather than focusing on the quality of opponent (it is Syracuse after all and Pitt is coming off a big victory over Rice).

    I found the following in looking at the offensive and defensive two-deep for Pitt and Syracuse and counting up Freshmen, RS-Freshmen, Sophomores and RS-Sophomores:

    Pitt – 19
    Syracuse – 23

    For what it’s worth Penn State currently lists 22 such players on their two deep.

    Think about a RS-Freshman (or true Sophomore) for a minute. That’s a player who has been through at least 3 camps, a full season, at least a year with the conditioning coach and nutritionist, and a full year of school with academic support. Most of that assumes that the player didn’t take the red shirt because of actual injury.

    Like

    1. BARVO and others, quit comparing Pitt to schools that we shouldn’t be compared to

      Tell me where we even come close to comparing to the likes of pSU

      Athletic budget / football budget / coaching salary budget
      revenue
      attendance
      exposure
      publicity
      recruiting tools (like helicopters)
      location in NFL city

      Like

  43. Reed commented “Are you kidding me? Even narduzzi is playing the old Pitt fan saying wait till next year refrain? ”
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    That’s out of context Reed, I qualified the statement by Narduzzi as not giving up on this season at all just making a statement of how good this PITT team will become. …and BTW. Wait until next year is not a PITT refrain it’s an old baseball saying that applies to every MLB team. I sent you an Email…. . . ike

    H2P!

    Like

  44. Don’t see Pitt winning this game unless Browne gets his legs amputated and replaced by robot legs built by CMU, turning him into Max Cyborg. Then he throws for at least 300 yards and at least 4 TDs again because his robot legs turn him into young Ben Roethlisberger, avoiding murderous hits half a dozen times in the game and backyard footballing it for at least 30 yard completions every single time. And somebody breaks one of Dungey’s ankles AND one of his backup’s ankles. Accidentally of course.

    Like

  45. Interesting stats Barvo. I think the more important fact of the other teams two deep charts are how many are starters?

    Now when you talk about a backup who’s a RS sophomore I fully expect them to become starters next year. We’re talking 18, 19 and 20 year old kids here. These are young men still growing up physically and mentality. Hense the comment from Narduzzi expecting this team to grow into a realy powerhouse type team.

    That’s not saying wait until next year at all. It’s stating a fact or thought… ike

    H2P!

    Like

  46. Last year nard was asked on radio how long it would take until he had the team he wanted on the field. The interviewer suggested 4 years and Nard said ‘more like 5’. Not sure what he meant by that except recruits and enough experience. The interviewer did not ask a follow up.

    Like

  47. well year 5 is usually the time where it is all players you’ve recruited on the roster and the 2 deep is all players you’ve recruited with at least a year, usually more like at least 2, under your coaching tutelage (leaving super true froshes out of the equation).

    Like

  48. It’s hard to see Pitt winning this game given the history of the series It should be close..if not, we are in for a brutal stretch. Holding out hope for a 6-6 record and a bowl game…in some God forsaken place.

    Like

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