POV: Know the Enemy; Syracuse & Game Prediction Thread

Byline: Chris Logue

Welcome back to yet another preview!  This time is quite a bit more cheerful than most, but is the glee warranted after achieving a low-lying win against some moist Asian cuisine?  Eh, I am not quite sure.

Syracuse at a Glance

Record: (2-3, 6th in Atlantic)

PPG F/A: 32.6/24.4

Leading Passer: Eric Dungey (63.7% 1437 yards, 7 touchdowns, 4 interceptions)

Leading Rusher: Eric Dungey (68 carries, 277 yards, 7 touchdowns)

Leading Receiver: Steve Ishmael (51 receptions, 632 yards, 2 touchdowns)

Quickly recapping last week against Rice.  The offense looked just okay, the defense was serviceable and exciting to watch, albeit in cruise control due to one of the worst opposing quarterbacks I have ever seen.  Max Browne still looks incredibly uncomfortable, and it’s almost in everything he does.  Walking off the side line to the huddle, breaking the huddle and walking into the locker room at half; he just doesn’t look comfortable.

Listen, his performance was nice and he showed some flashes with some mustard in his throws, but this week he could be the meat mashed between a hot dog bun if he doesn’t keep his head on a swivel against the Dino BabersSyracuse defense.  It’s not that Syracuse does much of anything special, they’re just considerably more athletic on the defensive side of the ball than last week’s opponent.

It begins and ends with senior linebacker Zaire Franklin who is a mauler at his position.  He brings to the table zero sacks to this point in the season, but is unabashed when it comes to sticking his nose in every tackle opportunity.  If the ball is within 1.8 miles, you can bet he will be around.  The rest of the defense is the same way, they flock.  There is nothing to suggest this game will be any different.  Babers has been outspoken this week in clarifying how ‘needed’ this game is for the Orange.  Coming off two straight losses to solid teams (jury is still out on LSU), it’s clear they have their eyes set on some Panthers.

The Orange defense is far from being a stud unit, but it’s a group that doesn’t back down to their opponents and are always able to keep their team, and especially the offense, in the game.  Two weeks ago, against LSU, the offense started sluggish and really did not find its groove until the second half.  Last week against NC State, late in the second quarter and into the second half.  What that tells me is that Dino and staff are effective at dissecting what the other team is offering in the moment and adjusts, but more importantly, the proper adjustments.  That could spell trouble for Pitt, on the defensive side of the ball.

I feel it’s forgotten that the Syracuse offense, the one that scored 61 points in Pittsburgh last season was directed by Zack Mahoney, the fifth string (quite possibly the sixth) quarterback on the Syracuse roster heading into the season.  It’s a different offense, a much more potent offense with Eric Dungey running the show.  Much, much more potent.

The corners for Pitt are going to best tested, quite a damn bit.  How good are they, well get ready to find out.  As described at the beginning, Dungey is the leading rusher as well as passer for the Orange, and that’s been heavily proven to be an issue for the Pitt defense in the past, but more recently, two weeks ago.  No, Dungey is not TaQuon Marshall, but he is sure better than Greg Paulus and his point guard instincts.

Anyways, back to the corners, it’s going to be tough when they are continually trotted out on their own island.  Whitehead will find himself in the mix in the box for a grand portion of the day with the escaping nature of Dungey.

Receiving is the only category in which Dungey doesn’t lead.  That crown goes to the 310-year senior, Steve Ishmael.  If that name isn’t familiar, how about his nickname: The Guy Who Likes to Play Pitt.  In 2014, Ishmael yielded six catches for 97 yards.  2015, seven receptions for 114 yards and a score. In 2016 he slacked, only due to the emergence of Amba Etta-Tawo who enjoyed 13 receptions and 178 yards to join his five touchdowns.

Ishmael remains as dynamic of a receiver as you’ll find in the nation.  It’s rarity for Syracuse, but is something they have enjoyed for two straight seasons.  If I had to compare his impact for Syracuse to a former Panther with the same impact for Pitt, it would be Dorin Dickerson.  Few can defend him and few can keep up, a deadly combination.


Ishmael lines up predominantly on the left, that means Dane Jackson will draw the assignment.  To be honest, I think it’s a better match-up than having Maddox shadow him all day.  Jackson has a better frame to deal with the 6-foot-2 receiver.  Look for Damarri Mathis to spell Jackson when he’s not on the field.

Going into the week, Syracuse has been unimpressive with their average yards-per-carry from the running back position.  3.5 is all they have been able to muster as an average, but are highly effective in using their fullback, like how Pitt used George Aston in 2016.  Babers likes to use a plethora of receivers in the running game, too.  The greatest difference in comparison to Pitt, they are calculated attempts that pay off.

This game serves more important to Syracuse than for the Panthers.  Now I am not saying that to act prissy and to use it as leverage for after the game should they lose. But, looking at the remaining schedule, this is quite possibly the last game they have a chance to win, or are favored until week 12.


Reed:  One of the great things about having this blog is that I have an opportunity to talk to hundreds of different Pitt fans and have an email correspondence with a lot also. Just yesterday I have received an email from a POVer who stated “Sadly I will keep predicting losses until our rushing attack gets better” … to paraphrase.

And isn’t that the truth in a nutshell?  I think we all expected a difference in our offense from 2016 to 2017 but I don’t think anyone truly expected our offense of line to be as bad as it is and that’s affecting the running game as poorly as it is shown up so far in our first five games.

They held LSU to 151 yards on the ground, then they gave up 256 yards to North Carolina State the next week which is their season average so far. So if we cannot run against the defense of Syracuse then I think we have insurmountable problems for the rest of the season against the other eight ACC teams that might be better than the Syracuse Orangemen are.

And since Pitt is currently averaging 69 yards per game on the ground, yes that is correct 69 yards total on the ground, in their first five games, it looks like we might get shut down again this week and I would not be surprised at all.

We talked earlier during the offseason and during the fall camp about the prospects of the Offensive Line and trying to replace Adam Bisnowaty and Dorian Johnson with Jared Jones Smith and Alex officer. Writing about them I was not convinced that we were going to see anything but a big drop in quality and speed in those positions.

Lots of Pitt fans saw things differently… but as it turns out it’s not just those two linemen; it’s across the board and the fact that we have no depth whatsoever on that line. Our  better OL players left over from Paul Chryst’s regime, Mike Grimm, who was shown the door after his hip surgery last year, and would-be rsSRs Aaron Reese and Carson Baker are all gone now having been told to get on with their lives by the staff.

Huh, sure as hell could have used those three guys now; or maybe two depending if Grimm could have come back from that hip injury.

But here is another aspect of the OL that we discussed sometime ago but haven’t brought up since and that is the OL coach John Peterson.  Again, Pitt fans felt he was the right guy at the right place and I had countered “Let’s wait see what he does with Narduzzi’s OL recruits” and Hot Damn!… now we are seeing it.

It was easy to produce a great offensive line when he had all those starting OL studs that Chryst recruited.  But now he’s having to deal with a mixture of Narduzzi’s OL recruits (and transfers)  also in the rotations and it isn’t working out so well.

Youth isn’t the excuse here either – eight of 10 OL two-deep players are rsJRs and rsSRs.  Folks – they are also the basis of our returning OL for 2018.

I suspected Peterson was an average coach but had fantastic talent on hand and I believe this season has confirmed that.  We have to give credit where due for his leading and coaching  that great OL last season – but we are in for a rough road ahead on the OL in my opinion.

Here is a list of our past three year’s opening game’s starting five OL – along with this week’s five going up against SYR…

Year Left Tackle Left Guard Center Right Guard Right Tackle
2014 Bisnowaty Johnson Rowell Rotheram TJ Clemmings
2015 Bisnowaty Johnson Officer Bookser O’Neill
2016 Bisnowaty Johnson Officer Bookser O’Neill
SYR O’Neill Officer Morrissey Herndon Bookser

But here is what worries me – the basis of the 2018 OL will be populated with names like Bookser, Drake, Dintino, Morrissey, Herndon, Pilato, etc… They do not strike fear in opposing DC’s hearts.

Notes:  Here’s a good piece on Penn State’s running back Shaquan Barkley and the history he has behind him with other Penn State running backs as far as making it into the NFL – written by Mike Wysocki of the Pittsburgh City paper.

A poster yesterday mentioned their “Mount Rushmore of Rock Bands” and I thought that was a perfect phrase that also got me thinking about which bands I listened to, saw in person and effected me the most when I was growing up. So here are my four ‘best’ bands…

  1. The Allman Brothers
  2. The Grateful Dead
  3.  Little Feat  Ahhhh… Bonnie Raitt
  4. The Band  Now you know why Bob Dylan asked Mavis staples to marry him

I saw all of these bands live and still listen today – honorable mention would be very long but I’ll throw out Santana, Bruce Springsteen and Bob Dylan (all who I also saw live).

145 thoughts on “POV: Know the Enemy; Syracuse & Game Prediction Thread

  1. I’ll throw up the first Friday Prediction:

    Sorry – can’t see us stopping their passing game or us getting a running game going. Those two things combine to say:

    SYR 35 – Pitt 28

    BTW – those last two losses by SYR were pretty close games… and both away matches in LSU and NC State’s stadiums. I think they will play much better at home.


  2. I’ll stick with earlier prediction that Syracuse wins by 3 touchdowns plus. Pitt will need a boatload of turnovers to stay in this game. Syracuse 45 Pitt 18


  3. I’ll be the first to predict a Pitt win – IKR.

    Pitt 35 cuse 25

    I think the O-line improves enough to keep Min/Max protected – RaRa Lopes, Mathews, Weah and Clark have good days catching the ball (no drops from this group) and AJ Davis rushes for 100 yards with J.Whitehead adding 50 yards rushing.

    The 5 Pitt TD’s come from the following (1 each) – Mathews, Weah, Clark, AJ and Whitehead.

    The Pitt D does enough to win the the game and frustrate Babers’ offensive scheme.

    Squeeze the juice out of cuse!


    1. Erie,
      Where are you watching the game? I have Erie Spectrum and it is not being shown. In a bit of a panic as I was originally going to game but had to bail.


      1. Atomic – I live in Central PA and was planning to play golf instead of watching the game. 82 and sunny 😎

        I’m originally from Erie – you could try Buffalo Wild Wings near the Millcreek Mall or downtown at Calamari’s – the owner is a good friend of Mark Stepnoski – if you call ahead, they would put the Pitt game on for you…

        I hope that helps –

        The web guys will chime in as well I’m sure with internet links.


      2. I live in Erie, I have it set to record at home. I have Directv, I think it is on Att Sports Network(formerly root).


  4. ‘Cuse is better than us. But, I’m a complete homer.

    Pitt 35 Syracuse 31

    I can hear the Pitt cheerleaders now… ‘interception, contraception, stop that ball!’


  5. Firstly, Zaire Franklin had PITT on his final list before choosing Syracuse. He’s a good one for sure.

    Everyone keeps saying that the Rice game wasn’t a big deal. Not so fast my friends. All of a sudden Max Browne is in the heads of opposing coaches and coordinators who must account for the PITT passing game. Result? It will finally open up PITT’s running game.

    I look for PITT to control the ball and clock to keep the score lower than some think. Being able to move the ball on the ground will also allow PITT and Browne to use the short passing game with some deep throws to keep the Cuse’s defense honest.

    My prediction is that AJ will get more carries and possibly Paris Ford see’s some playing time on punt returns and special teams.

    I think Kessman has NFL potential and he will kick a few Saturday afternoon.


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


  6. Until we are able to show a consistent running attack, I cannot pick Piit as a winner.
    Cuse 34 – 27

    BTW … to show how depleted our linebacking positions is … look at the Star LB chart above. We have (1) a walk-on, (2) a DB who was just converted to LB, and (3) a walk-on. Amazing!


    1. I like your prediction.

      Narduzzi has described Star as a hybrid sort of position requiring size and speed to play in space.
      1) Idowu sure earned his scholarship after starting every game last season and finishing 3rd in tackles. Leading the team this season. I guess Chryst found an athlete and Narduzzi developed him. Coaching.
      2) Miller is listed at 6’3″ and 205 pounds. He is easily the biggest DB on the team and was considered a strong safety exiting camp. Doesn’t seem like some desperate leap to move him. Perhaps he asked for it.
      3) Wasn’t McKee previously listed as #2? He’s a RS-Sophomore with lots of P5 offers and rated as a 3-4 star. I wonder what happened.


  7. I predict that the weather in Syracuse tomorrow will have little to no effect on the game’s outcome.


  8. I really like the Mt Rushmore of bands Reed (I assumed) posted above. FWIW, mine are

    1) Allman Bros
    2) Stones
    3) The Band
    4) Cream

    However, if this is supposed to be just American bands, then that eliminates 3 of the 4 above (note that every member of the The Band except for Levon Helm were Canadian)

    American Mt Rushmore

    1) Allmans
    2) Dead
    3) Little Feat
    4) Tom Petty (not a sentimental pick)

    Also Getting Votes: Santana, Steely Dan, Eagles, Dylan, Marshall Tucker


    1. Not to start a poll unrelated to Pitt, but my American Mt. Rushmore –
      1) Beach Boys
      2) Dead
      3) Chicago
      4) Billy Joel

      By the way, for all yinz former Oakland residents, there’s a new book out by the granddaughter of Dom DiSilvo (owner of the Decade) all about the Decade.

      Maddox plays his best game as a Panther, the running game is adequate, Kessman wins the game on a flat indoor field, Pitt 34 Cuse 31


  9. I like UPitts 44-40 score only I pick the good guys…hoping to see Davis more at RB. Also hoping to see Butler-Jenkins and Ford. Can be difference makers. Agree with Reed on the Allman Brothers as #1…,then the Stones, Santana, many tied for #4


  10. It is fairly certain that Hurricane Nate will swamp New Orleans. Us swamping Cuse is not so certain but hopeful. H2P


  11. Syracuse put up 61 on us last year and we can’t score 70 to out score them :<(
    Pittman4ever says:
    PITT: 27
    Cuse: 49


  12. Little Feat, now that’s a good pick. I seriously wouldn’t know where to begin with my Mt Rushmore. Music is a very close second to PITT football. A lot of people don’t like Tull but I’ll throw those guys name out there as well.

    Went to see Bruce at the Syria Mosque and sat in second balcony. After his final song with the house lights on we started down only to hear him playing again. Jumped back in on the first balcony and watched his last two songs. (we thought)

    Started down again with the house lights on only to hear him again playing. Jumped in the ground floor and watched his final final couple songs. We stood there for 20 minutes wondering if would come out again. He didn’t…

    Also saw Springsteen at St Vincent during his record label debate. His Civic Arena concert was good but not as great as the others. . . . .

    This will probably tell to much about me but I an a Big Big Lou Reed fan. I like almost all music. Stones in Cleveland is right up there as ell.. . .ike


  13. Pitt wins if the D holds the Orange under 24 pts…Final score 26-24 Pitt…Kessman kicks 4 FG’s + 2 points after TD, Henderson a TD on a punt or kick return and Max a TD pass to Weah H2P!!


  14. When it comes to predicting PITT’s outcome of games I must confess. I really am just hoping at this point rather than prognosticating.

    I can see (hope) PITT putting together a complete game on offense, defense plus special teams. I really do expect PITT to run the ball a bit better than they have.

    Controlling the clock is the biggest key for this game. It’s getting about time the kids show us what they are capable of.. . . ike



  15. ……Ike (@11:28). I fear they may have already shown us what they are capable of.
    Mt Rushmore bands:
    1. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
    2. Steve Miller Band
    3. Smokey Robinson and the Miracles
    4. Santana
    Note: Have seen all in concert.


    1. like the inclusion of Smokey. When I first really start listening to music in the mid 60s, in addition to the British invasion (Stones, Beatles, Kinks, Animals, etc), I liked a lot of Motown


    1. C’mon UPitt …. that’s all part of the hazing process of being accepted as a long time member of the Bengals. You will note that he was deactivated, and then when this announcement was originally released, he was re-activated.


  16. Big game for Pitt I feel closer than most of you pick. A lot of points. Upitt bet the over. Cause 41 Pitt 38


  17. Pittman, these are young kids on defense. Think about how you grew into a man between the ages of 18 and 22? Boom, it was like strange magic. 🙂


  18. OJ is out on parole….but the Orange get imprisoned by the Pitt D, as we see a combination of Island Hopping, Zone, and Blitz packages. We run for 150+ yards, and Max picks up where he left off – sans the drops

    I got my mojo back. Found the Kool Aid, and the glass is about 1/3 full, and rising. In a complete role reversal, the Good Guys wear white PANTS (ugh) and peel the Orange,


  19. Savannah – maybe AJ can be the next OJ on the college FB field…

    HS RB and track star Cole Beck from Virginia makes his verbal commitment today. I read this article from PSN today and my prediction is Cole does not pick Pitt – he made his decision a few days ago and informed all three schools of his decision – and no Pat Signal that I am aware of.



  20. Dokish had an interesting Mount Rushmore for Pitt:

    I would add Ditka and Goldberg


  21. Reed: That’s a nice POV shirt, thank you….

    Beck will probably pick his hometown team that didn’t offer him until very late. I like this a lot as you just can’t teach speed.

    Again, AJ gets more playing time this week. Narduzzi thinks he’s clever when he says why waste a young man’s redshirt when asked about Paris Ford. What he was really saying is the AJ carries the rock more the rest of the season. …. . . ike


  22. I had in the article Pitt dropping this one 33-18. We see the old Max Browne. Defense is tested too much at all levels to make critical stops on third down.


    1. how situations change. Last year Canada was praised, and Chaney was criticized … and this year, juts the opposite. Chaney has all of the sudden found the run.this year


  23. …. and Chris L. thank you for the “Know the Enemy” article. Good work

    PITT Mt Rushmore? The guys that just have to be on the top for me.

    A Donald
    So many more need to be recognized

    Mt Rushmore of music?

    I just can’t do it. It boggles my mind. .sorry . Hell I’ve been listening to a lot of John Prine. Is that crazy of what? . . … . ….ike


    The world I fit in……


  24. Pitt 3
    Other Guys 67

    Oh wait I’m a week early. The homecoming game is gonna suck. So. Hard.

    As for this week

    Pitt 31
    Formerly ‘racist’ mascot name team 28


  25. Carter Warren would be another O line possibilty…he was a well regarded recruit.
    Bob Seger would have to be on the Mt Rushmore rock band for me (1 of the best concert I ever attended)


  26. Hey I knew a Biff from Greensburg but you can’t be him. I don’t think he knew how to spell Biff?

    Saw Seger in Ohio outdoors << I think in Warren Ohio, on a rainy stormy day with bike riots and all and someone being killed. It was great.


  27. This game isn’t about the D.

    Can the offense actually sustain long drives and score?

    I saw they improve, but not enough. Syracuse 38 – Pitt 30

    AJ Davis get meaningful action.


  28. Both teams improve defense on a rain soaked day (sarcasm).
    Pitt 48 Orange 47 (aren’t many chances left to predict a win).
    Music is very personal 1)Stones ( Arena in 72 and Cleveland 75 with Ike and 7 or 8 others) 2) Fogerty and Creedence 3) Van 4) Doors. Honorable mention Tom Petty


  29. Good guys 38.
    Fellows in orange 35.

    Do i think we will actually win? No. But if we cant beat SU, then who will we beat?


  30. I say we don’t crown their asses just yet!! It’s a matter of believing. I might have to get my PITT gear on tonight to be ready to go in if the coach calls my number! Who’s with me?

    a need to know…. my number is unlisted . . . . . 🙂 .. . .ike



  31. rkb,
    Need to update your great list (as I saw Stones those both times too!)
    But this list is only for American bands, hence, “Mt Rushmore”.


  32. No run game. They tee off on Browne. Watson calls for a five yard button hook when it is 3rd and 12.
    Ishmael plays center against Maddox and wins every tip-off. Over and over. This will be ugly to watch.

    Syracuse 63, Pitt 17.


  33. Anyone see Pitt’s next opponent NCS beat up on Louisville last night? Portends a very difficult beginning of October for Pitt I’m afraid. And do we know why Paris Ford is not getting a chance to show his skills when Narduzzi has called him one of the best freshman ever he’s seen?


    1. Narduzzi told us why. In the same quote where he called him one of the best freshmen he’s ever seen.


      1. Not a very good explanation IMO. Said he could help at WR, RB and other positions. This Pitt team cannot afford to sit any of the special talent we have on this roster.


        1. The explanation that he couldn’t answer a simple question re: a certain coverage facing a certain offensive formation wasn’t good enough? It was plenty good enough for me. A physical superstar who doesn’t know what he should do in a given situation is just as useless as a DB who is a genius at reading offenses and knowing his proper assignment but who also has a 40 time of 7 seconds.


  34. Boy, I hope I can go back and reread many of these dire straits portrayed here today. Of course if PITT gets their heads handed to them I won’t bother. << This just in. I’m a homer and I like homers. Bill Hillgrove, Homer Simpson are my hero’s just like Archie, Ralph, Doug and Arthur.

    To the victors go the spoils. I’m really thinking PITT pulls this one out of their arse


  35. Looking at the Depth Chart for the Keystone Cop Defense. Our LB’s are tiny. And knowing how colleges fudge on heights/weights that aren’t even that big. These coaches really need to recruit some LB’s that actually have played the position BEFORE coming to Pitt. Novel idea I know !

    Have no faith in the DB’s as well, since Dungey is going to have time and can scramble to find wide open
    WR’s. Secondary will be Toast.

    Offense is better, but they won’t be able to keep up with Dungey & Crew 😦

    Syracuse Orangemen 48
    Pitt Panthers 38


  36. My Mt Rushmore of rock bands –

    The Altman Bros.

    Hoping for some young suprises tomorrow at the Carrier Dome!


  37. Emel, I have a great story about Skynyrd. I was sitting in the middle of the floor at the Civic Arena watching the guys warm up. My sister had become friends with a dude named Gene Odom, a childhood friend of Ronnie, Gene was on the plane that crash in Gillsburg, Mississippi. Later on, we went backstage while Johnny Van Zant rode his bike around the arena.

    It’s up there in the coolness rankings. Gene gifted us row 6 tickets right in the middle of the floor..


  38. I wish Pitt fans would quit putting out unrealistic expectations for the true freshman. How many time in the last 10 years has a true FR really come in and hit stardom right away – very few.

    We have had two 5* recruits and 38 4*s over those ten years and here who has hit stardom in their first year:

    Dion Lewis – 3*

    Jon Baldwin – 5*

    Ray Graham – 4*

    Tyler Boyd – 4*

    Maybe James Conner but I consider his true FR year a very good one but not a stardom turn.

    Four true FR hit it big guys – yet every time we get a good 4* everyone wants him to play right away…


    1. just to be an a-hole (I’m talking about me) about it …. Graham is English and Young is Canadian, But nonetheless, a great band.

      I saw the 4 Way Street Tour in ’74 …. Jesse Colin Young, Santana and The Band opened .. all for $12 (if memory served)


  39. On July 27, Chris Logue had an article about Predictions and Headlines. Syracuse was my 50/50 game prediction. My headline from that article was “System Guy: Babers’ Veer and Shoot Proves too Much for Pitt Secondary.” Erie Express thought I was crazy, but when you bet college football, you base predictions on logic rather than optimism.

    I think this is a must win game if Pitt has hopes of a making a bowl game. I expected the line to come out as a Pick-Em, but was really surprised when Pitt opened a 4.5 point underdog. That line has come down to Syracuse -3.0, so the betting public is on the Panthers.

    Syracuse is as enigmatic as Pitt. The Orange looked horrible losing to Middle Tennessee St. at home as an 8.5 favorite. The following week they obliterated the Chippewas as a touchdown favorite. They easily covered on the road at LSU and had a backdoor cover at NC St. last week. Safe to say, Syracuse is in a must win spot as well.

    Given the underdog spot for Pitt, I have a glimmer of hope the defensive coaches worked overtime this week to win their respect back after last year’s debacle. A repeat performance would be a justification for pink slips. The Rice win was a get right game for Pitt, but that Rice team is one of the worst in D-1, losing to Stanford, Houston, and Pitt by an average of 40.7 points. Rice lost to FIU at home so taper your excitement about the golden era coming back Ike. While Max Browne looked great against Rice, I was still disappointed at the 2.1 avg. yards per rush stat. That is not going to get it done against any ACC opponent.

    For Pitt to win Saturday, the offensive line has to figure things out IMMEDIATELY. If Moss/Ollison don’t get at least 175 yds rushing (combined), I see this as a loss. I wouldn’t touch this game with a 10-foot pole when it comes to betting, but I will stay true to my July prediction. Syracuse 34 Pitt 31.


  40. How do you not put Western Pennsylvania’s Stephen Foster on the Mount Rushmore of music? After all, he is the “Father of American Music.” But I guess in this day and age, the only thing happening to Stephen Foster is that his likeness is being removed from public places. Pretty soon the PC Police will make sure Foster’s songs are never heard again. Kidding….kidding….kidding for those that are offended.


  41. My great friend and true PITT fan Reed posted and I quote

    “I wish Pitt fans would quit putting out unrealistic expectations for the true freshman. How many time in the last 10 years has a true FR really come in and hit stardom right away – very few.

    “We have had two 5* recruits and 38 4*s over those ten years and here who has hit stardom in their first year:

    Dion Lewis – 3*

    Jon Baldwin – 5*

    Ray Graham – 4*

    Tyler Boyd – 4*

    Maybe James Conner but I consider his true FR year a very good one but not a stardom turn.

    Four true FR hit it big guys – yet every time we get a good 4* everyone wants him to play right away…

    Where do I start here buddy? First. Whitehead, he was a big time recruit and he played like one his freshman year at PITT. Conner was a 2 star recruit and a D-End at that.

    ….but that’s not why I’m calling tonight……

    I thought it was you asking where is Narduzzi’s ballyhooed recruits? Aren’t you always telling us that Narduzzi just hasn’t recruited the good players that me and some others think he has? << give it some time!

    I agree with you that it just hasn’t been enough time for the shifting of head coaches to take and make an impact on the ACC for the PITT football team.

    2 years and a handful of games is not enough time. RS sophomores are NOT the make up of a championship competing team when you are PITT in a conference like the ACC.

    Your message is mixed to me so I half agree and like normally, half disagree. What else is new? . . . 🙂 . . .ike . ……..for your pleasure


      1. The point is you have to play them to see if they can become that star. If they sit on the bench, you will never know.

        The RB position is a HUGE disappointment and problem.

        Play AJ Davis back there and sprinkle in 5 to 10 carries with your best athlete in Whitehead.

        There is not excuse to beating the cuse with this formula.


  42. Antonio Bryant was a star his freshman year in 1999 and was a consensus 1st team All-American his sophomore year.


  43. Interesting that 3 of the 4 guys Reed mentioned, all were recruited by Coach Wannstedt and Wanny had the knowledge/foresight to play them as true freshmen.


  44. Hey DallasMike, Foster actually lived in Greensburg for a short time right in my old neighborhood. or so it was told to me by a grade school teacher. Funny how I retained inane thoughts like that but can’t remember the English language and punctuation. ike


  45. Stephen Foster was blues, folk and country before it existed. That dude would rock with an electric banjo today.


  46. Oh American Bands for Mt. Rushmore…..silly me. The Revamp

    Lynyard Skynyrd
    Steely Dan

    *others receiving votes: Jimi Hendrix, Allman Brothers, Boston, CSNY (although I think Graham Nash was a brit)


    1. saw the Flectones twice ….Wooten is funky, jazzy and bluegrassy .. as is Bela. And Futureman (Vic’s brother’s) is a trip

      Jerry Douglas is from Warren OH not far from Austintown


  47. Revised American bands: Allman Brothers, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Santana (if allowed…Carlos born in Mexico) Steely Dan. Just had Bernie Big B deliver a bigger flag for the tailgate pole…what a guy! We need to do something special for that Thursday night UNC game he is attending.


      1. Carlos Santana became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1965.

        Also saw Graham Nash of CSNY became a US citizen as well. Actually a dual citizen.


  48. Hey Fran, I agree, you’ve already went over and beyond but the rest of the POVer’s need to show Bernie the love. Reed, how is that going?


  49. Hate to say this but if Pitt wins this one it will probably be a 3/9 season. I say this after watching Pitt and our future opponents play each week. Wish it were not so but thats it for this year. I am reminded of Steve McQueens last line of the movie after being fatally shot in The Sand Pebbles. What the hell happened?H2P


  50. Cuse – 38
    Pitt – 27

    Our O-line is playing poorly and we can’t run the ball. I doubt Browne will have time in the pocket like he did last week. Cuse has a pretty good QB too.


  51. Prediction: Running game still looks bad but passing game has some big plays with Henderson and Weah. Defense makes just enough stops and turnovers to win.
    Pitt – 34
    Cuse – 31


  52. Syracuse 38
    Pitt. 24
    Offense can’t keep up this year. My prediction. But if Pitt is going to have an upset this year. This is the game. It can happen. The optimistic side of me.


  53. It’s a given that PITT has a bad defense with little help from the offense so far this year.

    Also, Syracuse’s defense isn’t really a unit to be feared imo. What has to be figured out is which team and unit steps forward here.

    Browne and the PITT offense took a step forward last week against a weak opponent << I just hate to keep quantifying that same old song but I do. It is to my opinion though, that the PITT defense is coming around.

    Syracuse is an offense to behold and could very well make the PITT defense look super stoopid….. but.. The offense controlling the ball will help out this defense score a few points allowing a few major major breaks to roll PITT’s way.

    I think this is the game that breaks the doubts of Narduzzi. << Again I hope! . . . . …ike



    1. and Kwantel Raines was voted Homecoming King … not making that up

      maybe Heather can fix it so he wins two in a row if he commits


  54. Let me break this down for some of you guys to make it easy.

    Syracuse Offense > Pitt Defense

    Pitt Offense < Syracuse Defense

    Home Field Advantage – Syracuse

    Homecoming – Syracuse

    Coaching (Syracuse/Dino > Pitt/Twitterduzzi


  55. Kam Carter still on the PITT team. One of us POVer’s predicted with an absolute conviction that the young man wouldn’t last 3 games. This POVer’s has been known to be wrong and often! .. …A real pip he is!


    1. You are such a goof. Kam hasn’t done a thing Ike. You are the one who praised him. Does he even play??? Some stud and as far as Frauduzzi and the 2-3 panthers I have been right. Boyd right? I can go on.


  56. Been out for a couple procedures and am just catching up this week.

    This game will be all about the trenches. I may have typed that five times this year so far. Offensively, we will face a loaded box with a myriad of run blitzes sent our way. I like our OL in this game. They know their season is running out, particularly Oneill, Officer and Bookser. Not many OL highlights thus far. Saturday changes that.

    Defensively, I like the trench work of our DL for this game. We must get our hands up for the short crossing crap and slants. A deflection or three will lead to a couple picks. I like Henry MIller and Phil Campbell as LB’s, not DB’s. I mentioned this a month ago and we are starting to see that change. The reason is simple. The ACC is more spread as we know. It is really just taking your bigger db’s and moving them into semi-lb duties. Speed on defense is critical across the board. We will need to hit Dungey Hard and early.

    Pitt will be 1-0 tomorrow. Score Pitt 34- Syracuse 33. Syr FG kicker has a shankapottomous at the end and they lose.

    Will our AD ever just say we are now wearing the real colors of the team? I am growing tired of the BS choices we give the players to choose from.


  57. For those that are using last week’s game to convince themselves that this team isnt that bad, don’t. This is a bad team that lacks any identity on offense or defense. No real strengths, only weaknesses. Pains me to say, but true.


  58. @Ike – I wouldn’t be so proud of the Kam Carter lasting prediction and the upitt prediction he would be off the team. The guy missed the plane for the GT game. Who does that anymore in college? Lazy kids. Narduzzi could have gone either way on that one.

    My sense is that if he misses again, he will be off the team.


  59. Friend in Vegas says Pitt is still the hot game. May go off at +2.

    Maybe Ford becomes a star tomorrow. I respect gamblers more than pundits. Changing my prediction Pitt 35. Orange 21.

    Bet the house!


    1. I’d like that. I took the Panthers when they were still getting 3 1/2. Bet my entire stash that I’ve accumulated on my internet betting site.


  60. @pittgrad – i don’t think anyone is thinking Pitt is a great team. There are a few koolaid drinkers for sure and a couple of us just can’t pick against our team. That doesn’t mean we think they are actually going to win all these games, but rather supplies a glimmer of hope for a victory.

    It is easier to pile on when things are bad. Our Athletic Department and Administration are clueless and have been for 30 years. The sad part is that they pulled the wool over loyal fans eyes for all these years and have never told the truth or set expectations and held coaches accountable to those expectations.

    How many AD’s have said “we are all about winning championships here”. “This is why you come to pitt”. Seriously, they all speak AD, but they failed AD 101. Tell the truth!


    1. See Tex, I don’t get that. I think it’s one thing to really hope that your team wins and you want the team to win so badly that you would bet on them even if they were underdogs. But when you’re asked to do an objective pick on who you think will win the game… I just think it’s kind of silly that people cannot actually put down the words that they might lose.


  61. Pitt 34 Cuse 31 with late score by Cuse and failed onside kick to make it look closer and to make us all sweat it out. Hard to believe not so long ago the Aaron Donald game where Pitt actually used to defense to win.


  62. Reed – nice surprise in the mail today. Thanks for the t-shirt!

    Tomorrow would be a good day for the OL – and Officer in particular- to have a solid game. I don’t see that happening and Pitt cannot match Cuse’s offense point for point. We lose by 17 points.

    Mt Rushmore of American Rock

    Steely Dan
    Tom Petty

    Mt Rushmore all Rock


    (Amazing to think that bands such as The Who, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd don’t make the cut)


  63. Reed thanks for the shirt – way cool.
    I said at the beginning of the year that this was a transition year where Nard’s players would start to get experience. Transition to what is the question. I picked Pitt but everything tells me the Orange are looking to even the score like GT. Here goes


  64. A querry: In old Big East BB the Orange were a big rival. Is it me or is the football rivalry less than the BB rivalry in intensity? Is it that we just hated Blowheim?
    Working a midnight shift approving warrants to make an extra buck leaves me with too much time on my hands. 🙂



  65. Not that its any surprise but the only RB Pitt was recruiting this year committed to VTech. I guess Pitt was just hoping VTech wouldn’t offer him and or he would disregard the difference in attendance in games played in Pittsburgh and Blacksburg.


  66. Max Browne (aka Minimus Brownius) does NOT have the ability to LEAD Pitt to a win against a QUALITY Football Team.

    The Good News is that I’m not sure Syracuse is anything more than average.

    Yes, Pitt actually has a CHANCE Saturday!

    This coming from the Guy who said Pitt had “no chance” against Georgia Tech… or NC State next week.


  67. A fast Orange artificial turf might be just what the Doctor ordered for Players with names starting with the letter “Q”…

    … if only Narduzzi were smart enough to have BOTH of them on the field!


  68. “Something left the building in late December.. and it wasn’t Elvis.”

    Orangemen 38 …(who and the heck ever thought that was a derogatory word toward the Indian?)

    Pitt 24


  69. rkb… Cuse game is our rivalry game as designated by the ACC… when the split teams into conferences Carolina- State and Miami- Fla State were in different conferences and the leaders knew how important those games were to those schools and their fanatics.. so they made a cross rivalry game that would be played yearly. That’s how I interpreted it.


  70. jrnpitt, good comment and VT got on Beck late. I think they only offered him recently?? Big loss for us. Hope we don’t lose Raines.


    1. And VT had already landed a RB – Cole Beck makes it 2 RB’s in this class for the Hokies – Pitt none.


  71. Hear something about Paris Ford situation that most fans kind of overlooked. I don’t know if this is true of Ford but sometimes when a kid is delayed in being accepted to Pitt because of his grades through the NCAA Clearinghouse, it’s also a fact that his academics aren’t up to par when he’s actually in school.

    For his true freshman year he might need tutoring and other things and that could keep a player off the field too.

    It isn’t only about football sometimes.

    Again, this might not be the case with Paris Ford but it is the case sometimes with other players.


  72. Reed – good point, but what I think you are hearing from fans right now is “put the best talent on the field” and Ford seems to have a boatload of talent that is not on the field –

    Your scenario would never happen at bama or psu. Their players are football guys first and students second. Getting them on the field is a priority, the classroom work can be handled in the background “somehow – someway” – wink, wink 😉


  73. Bigger games out of the two Q’s today will keep Pitt in this one but I am not feeling it today. Low expectations at least mean never disappointed. I learned that here. One big positive is there will be no wind to knock over big Q unless they have fans on the sidelines. haha

    Dungey and Ishmail are going to be tough to shut down. May be close IF the Pitt O-line plays its best game yet.

    WTH Pitt 31 Orange 28

    Keeping HOPE alive for one more week.


  74. I have a few pre-golf notes on today’s cuse game –

    One of the orangemen’s starting DE’s is listed as doubtful for today’s game – K.Coleman has an ankle injury – #55

    Also, back-up DT J.Black is doubtful with a leg injury.

    Therefore, cuse will be thin on the D-line today – that should help pass blocking and the RB’s eventually.

    Strategy if I’m OC Watson – script your 1st series for heavy pass plays because your pass blocking is better than run blocking and be sure to put the best blocking RB in the game. That might be JW who is the middle blocker in the backfield on the punt team (recently replacing QO).

    With that strategy, JW is in the backfield early with no touches, luring the cuse D to pay extra attention to JW. With Weah and QH split wide, there are 3 key playmakers on the field, thus spreading the cuse D’s attention. Thus, Min/Max becomes a playmaker with his arm, lyke we saw with the Rice game.

    I still lyke TE Clark and feel he has big play ability – need to find out today.



  75. My pick is still Pitt 30, Cuse 27
    The smart money in Vegas is on Pitt with the spread coming down
    I think you’ll see Pitt establish a running game that will set up the passing game
    The line will open holes and give Max protection (still think 2 sacks)
    Our defense will throw some blitzes in. I think our secondary bends but doesnt break. Both receivers get over 100 yards though
    Our special teams will give Pitt the field position battle
    Comes down to a FG in last 30 seconds


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