I was sent this list from a reader who found it on the Pitt Panther Phanatics Group on Facebook.  It is a big picture look by one fan addressing the teams (and program’s) ills to date. I have made my rebuttals in italics.

A short list of everything that went wrong for us in 2017 in no particular order”

1)  Matt Canada leaves the program after one year to take a job at LSU. This comes a year after our previous OC, Jim Chaney left us after one year to take a job a Georgia. No continuity in the most important coaching position outside of the HC.

Plus this is what a program gets when the HC hires old buddies instead of doing the hard work of trying to find the best OC for the salary… or even, heaven forbid, lobby for a (legitimate) pay raise at that position so he wouldn’t have to hire a retread.

“This wasn’t the first time Pat Narduzzi or the program he was with took a shot at hiring Shawn Watson.

When Narduzzi was there, Michigan State tried to land Watson, but he was too busy with a winning situation at Louisville. And when Narduzzi became a head coach for the first time at Pitt, he tried to pry away Watson from Texas, but no luck.

Now, the two old friends are reunited with a little more on their plates than coaching wide receivers at Miami (Ohio), where they met. On Thursday, Narduzzi made Watson the Panthers’ offensive coordinator, and Friday morning he talked at length about that decision.

“It’s about the people first, then let’s find a coach after that,” Narduzzi said of his process. “I knew Shawn was a great person, so I didn’t have to investigate that.”

Well, Pat maybe that should have been your JOB ONE priority and WTF does this mean anyway: “It’s about the people first, then let’s find a coach after that” ?  Good God man! You are spending the University’s money to hire a highly qualified coach – not someone you can drink a Schmidt’s beer with and reminisce about the good old days at Miami of Ohio (where you may just end up again).

2)  When Paul Chryst left us to take the Wisconsin job he was followed by our QB of the future Alex Hornibrook. Had Alex stayed we wouldn’t have had to take a flyer on Max Browne.

Maybe that would have worked – if Hornibrook would have been willing to sit behind Peterman for two years which I doubt.  I wouldn’t have traded Nate Peterman’s transfer in and his good 2015 season followed by his great 2016 season for Hornibrook. 

Narduzzi’s QB recruiting back in 2014 and 2015 was bad and left us with DiNucci, who I believe doesn’t have D1 skills, and MacVitte who I feel the same way about.

If we are pointing fingers about the current poor QB situation let’s remember that Narduzzi basically ran off QB Adam Bertke early last year in favor of future trivia-question answer Bo Schneider.  Bertke would have been the QB2 behind Browne this season if we had a HC who didn’t play favorites among his players.

Bertke was, in my opinion, a better QB prospect than both DiNucci and MacVitte and had a better arm than all three of the QBs we have seen so far in 2017… but wasn’t a Narduzzi ‘get’ so had to go.

3)  A young team like ours needs all the seniors it can get. Before the season started HCPN dismissed senior D lineman Jeremiah Taleni and Rori Blair for unmentionable transgressions.

True and a very valid point- but the trade-off is not having Narduzzi apply discipline when needed which is a large and important part of what a Pitt headcoach is hired for.

4)  Our most experienced LB senior Quinton Wirginis is suspended for the first three games and before he can return has a non-football season ending injury.

He would have started this season and would have provided that experience the current young guys around the MLB position need. Personally I think he may be moved on as a 5th year SR after this season.  I think his dad jacked up the prices on the Gateway Clipper boats after his son was suspended – I believe his ship Captains were told not to allow any passengers wearing Pitt gear onboard.

5)  Perhaps our best player, junior Jordan Whitehead, is suspended for the first three games.

This kid has some problems off the field – this last suspension wasn’t the first bit of corrective discipline handed to him by the staff.  On the field he’s not regained his FR form and it shows.  But since his return our pass defense has lifted from 126th (349.0 ypg) to 115th (280 ypg) and that is something to hang a helmet on.

6) Senior O lineman Alex Bookser is suspended for the first game of the season.

And when he returned has played like crap – but that’s OK because the rest of the starting OL has done the same.

7)  Our No. 1 recruit from 2016, CB Damar Hamlin battles a sports hernia injury and starts to see regular game action this year in only the 4th game against Georgia Tech.

Fan expectations for this kid were off the charts and now that he’s playing like a regular rsSO it seems disappointing.  But, that’s OK because as with Bookser’s case above all the other DBs look like hell out there also.

8)  Our No. 1 recruit in 2017 Paris Ford, a projected freshman starter, has to overcome some NCAA Clearinghouse issues which effectively has ensured he will redshirt this year.

I wrote earlier that it may not be just being behind with grasping the defensive playbook as originally stated by King Narduzzi and Prince Conklin– because after all there isn’t one. 

I think he’s been given time by the coaching staff to fully acclimate as a freshman student so that his academics are up to par and stay that way.  I’m not 100% certain this is the case but I do know that with less heralded players sometimes they don’t see the field for just that reason.  Either way the main thing is to get Ford on firm ground as a student/athlete.

9)  One of our few experienced receivers Tre Tipton sustains a season ending injury in training camp.

Avoiding a car”… and if you believe that I have some oceanfront land in Nevada to sell you (word is that it was a pick-up BB game). This is a big loss though because I think he would have done much better in the #2 WR spot than Henderson has done so far.  I advocate dropping Henderson from the receiving corps totally as he’s been less productive there than other ‘real’ WRs who have had less playing time than him.

I advocate playing these two guys below because, well – the season’s most probably in the crapper anyway and it would be fun to watch.  The top guy looks like the first person you want to slap at a fraternity party and the second one looks like he’d eat a live toad if you dared him to:

whire WRs

10)  Our offensive returning player with the most TDs – fullback stud George Aston incurs an ankle injury in training camp. Although there is word that he won’t return for the season he plays in the Georgia Tech game and hurts it again.

…And Narduzzi and Watson immediately proclaim the TE Matt Flanagan will fill Aston’s role as a H-Back hybrid to provide additional pass blocking in the backfield and lead blocking on some run plays – which was an experiment we saw very little of.  That was mainly due to the other TE, Chris Clark, failing to perform in any of the aspects of TE duties so Flanagan had to be dedicated back onto the LOS.

11)  Perhaps our No. 2 recruit from 2016, athlete George Hill, is diagnosed with a career ending heart condition while getting his pre-camp physical. Junior D Lineman Justin Moody diagnosed similarly which also ends his career prematurely. Another fairly highly touted recruit Pitt legacy Zack Gilbert is diagnosed similarly, but given a year to possibly recover. After a year it is apparent he too will never suit up as a football player again.

Luck of the draw and in Hill’s case his good luck he had UPMC doing the physical as his condition was caught on a test that almost no other schools administer to their incoming recruits.

12)  Our most effective RB in the season thus far, Chawntez Moss, is suspended indefinitely just before the Syracuse game.

This is no great loss to my mind – with our crap OL and Watson’s very questionable play calling every one of our regular running backs are under producing this season. Moss has been in the dog house before and I’m wondering if he can stay a full four years here.

What I don’t understand, and this is another weird move by Narduzzi, is why he burnt true FR A. J. Davis’ redshirt for minimal appearances in only three games.  Davis played against the weakest teams on our schedule so far and still didn’t do a damn thing…

aj davis

Yet the fans are clamoring for him every game.  I suppose there  nothing to lose since he’s used this year of eligibility so we might as well give him the ball on a regular basis.

You just can’t make this stuff up. We’re not Alabama or Ohio State. We don’t have the depth to recover from this many bad things. I admire HCPN for staying positive when so many Pitt supporters want to take a flying leap off the Fort Pitt Bridge.

Staying positive?  OK, if you say so – but you are watching and reading different media items about Narduzzi’s reactions to these losses than I am.

NOTE: I received about 20 emails in support of the comments’ closure yesterday – and most asked me to ban the commenters who repeatedly hijack the comments string with their personal attacks.  I have never done that before but now I will – but only after emails and/or phone calls have been made to the offenders.

About half of those emails I received were from readers who used to comment but stopped because of what has been happening on the blog lately.  Let’s not assume that any one or two commenters are more important to me than those who read but feel they can’t comment for fear of being personally attacked – you are not.

Please don’t make running this blog a chore for me. It is a non-profit (big time) hobby I do for all of us to enjoy and to be brutally honest sometimes is just a pain in the ass.

145 thoughts on “POV Tuesday Bits & Pieces; 10-10-17

  1. Pitt’s Kessman Named ACC Specialist of the Week

    PITTSBURGH—Pitt redshirt freshman placekicker Alex Kessman has been named the ACC Specialist of the Week for his record-setting performance against Syracuse this past weekend.

    Kessman (Clarkston, Mich./Clarkston) displayed a long-distance leg while converting each of his four placements at Syracuse. He boomed field goals of 56, 49 and 42 yards, while also making his lone PAT kick for a career-high 10 points.

    Kessman’s 56-yard field goal is the longest in Carrier Dome history, eclipsing the 55-yarder by North Carolina’s Dan Orner in 2002. Kessman’s 56-yarder also tied the Pitt school mark originally set by Chris Blewitt in 2015 at Georgia Tech. Additionally, Kessman was a defensive weapon against the Orange by recording five touchbacks on his six kickoffs.

    On the year, Kessman is pacing Pitt in scoring with 34 points (6-of-10 field goals and 16-of-16 PATs). Since missing his initial two field goals in the opener, he has gone on to make 6-of-8 kicks, the two misses coming from 49 and 50 yards.

    In addition to his school record-tying 56-yarder, Kessman also owns the second-longest field goal in Pitt history, a 55-yarder at Georgia Tech on Sept. 23.

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  2. PITT (2-4, 0-2 ACC) vs. #20/20 NC STATE (5-1, 3-0 ACC)
    October 14, 2017 • Noon, ET
    Heinz Field (68,400/Natural Grass) • Pittsburgh, Pa.
    RSN (AT&T SportsNet) • Pitt IMG Sports Radio Network

    PittsburghPanthers.com • @Pitt_FB • #NCSTvsPITT

    LINK (PDF): Pitt Game Notes (vs. NC State)

    GAME STORYLINES</strong

    • Pitt and NC State meet for the first time in eight years when the Panthers host the Wolfpack. The Panthers and NC State have played nine prior times. The 2017 encounter will be the first ACC game between the two schools.
    • The Panthers will anticipate being without starting quarterback Max Browne, who was injured in last week’s Syracuse game. Browne is the ACC’s leader in completion percentage (.711) and has thrown for 997 yards with five touchdowns and two interceptions through six games.
    • Sophomore Ben DiNucci came on in relief of Browne in the third quarter and completed 6-of-10 passes for 55 yards. DiNucci led Pitt to 11 fourth-quarter points but the Panthers’ rally fell just shy, 27-24, in the Carrier Dome.
    • DiNucci has played in five games this year with one start (at Georgia Tech). He has thrown for 442 yards with two TDs and two INTs.
    • Pitt’s rushing attack has received an unlikely spark from junior safety Jordan Whitehead. Pulling double duty in last week’s Syracuse contest, Whitehead rushed seven times for 73 yards (10.4 avg.), including a 35-yard touchdown, and also ran for a 2-point conversion. On defense, he collected nine tackles.
    • Redshirt freshman placekicker Alex Kessman has displayed a powerful leg in his debut season. He has made four consecutive field goals covering 55, 49, 42 and a school record-tying 56 yards.
    • Only two seniors—cornerback Avonte Maddox and end Allen Edwards—have appeared in the starting lineup for Pitt’s youthful defense this season.
    • Pitt is 7-2 all-time against the ACC’s Atlantic Division. The two losses came last week against Syracuse and in Pitt’s very first ACC game, a 41-13 setback to eventual national champion Florida State in 2013.

    SERIES NOTES

    Pitt holds a 5-3-1 advantage over NC State in a series that dates back to 1952…this will be the first ACC meeting between the two schools…the last time the teams played, in 2009, the Panthers were members of the Big East…NC State won that ’09 encounter, 38-31, as quarterback Russell Wilson rallied the Wolfpack from a 14-point deficit…this will be NC State’s first visit to Pittsburgh since a 34-0 Pitt victory in 1987…Pitt is undefeated at home against NC State (4-0) and winless on the road (0-2-1)…the teams have split two bowl matchups…Pitt and NC State twice played in the Tangerine Bowl in Orlando, Fla. (1978 and 2001)…NC State, along with starting linebacker Bill Cowher, won the ’78 meeting, 30-17…the Panthers triumphed in the 2001 Tangerine Bowl, 34-19, behind receiver Antonio Bryant’s MVP performance.

    Broadcast Info:

    Television • RSN (AT&T SportsNet in Pittsburgh)
    Evan Lepler, play-by-play
    Takeo Spikes, analyst
    Amanda Kuhl, reporter
    Pitt Radio • 93.7 The Fan & the Pitt IMG Sports Network
    Bill Hillgrove, play-by-play
    Bill Osborn, analyst
    Larry Richert, reporter
    SiriusXM Satellite Radio
    Sirius Channel 108, XM Channel 193, Internet Channel 955
    WPTS Radio (Pitt Student Station) • 92.1 FM
    Pitt IMG Sports Network Online Audio Options
    PittsburghPanthers.com
    Pitt Panthers Gameday App
    TuneIn (free live and on-demand content)

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  3. October 9, 2017

    Pat Narduzzi Press Conference

    NC State Week

    PRESS CONFERENCE VIDEO: Narduzzi NC State Preview

    PAT NARDUZZI: Another tough one for our guys. Three-point loss up in Syracuse, left a lot of plays out there, and really went through the facts last night with our guys really of what we did and really what we didn’t do to win that football game. But they’re scoring touchdowns, we’re kicking field goals, three of them. I tried to do some math with them last night, you turn one of those field goals when you get down in the red zone into a touchdown, what do we win by? It’s like, you win. And they got the point total correct, too. Smart guys at Pitt.

    But there’s a lot of little things that we just don’t do out on the field to make those plays, and you can’t — against anybody in the ACC, and Syracuse continues to get better. They’re a good football team. It was a great game for sure for the fans to watch. Much better than last year, I might add, as far as just watching a game and being competitive and more of a defensive game I guess than an offensive game. Lots of three-and-outs in the first half for both defenses.

    But you know, there’s a lot of things that we need to do, offensively, defensively, to get a lot better. For example, I mean, just — they made some great catches. They got a couple of phenomenal catches, and we got opportunities to make the same ones, and we don’t make them. What’s the problem there? We’ve just got to make plays, and it’s really what it comes down to when you have opportunities; you have to make them. You’ve got to attack the ball and high point it, and the same thing on defense. I think we started off with a bang, and then 98 plays later we’re a little tired. Jordan Whitehead probably gave him too many reps for any of you guys who want to start them both ways. When you take 80 snaps on defense and eight or nine on offense and special teams, as well, you’re the person to protect on the punt team, he’s got too many and you don’t see it because he keeps going, and he’s never saying, ‘Coach, I need a blow.’ He just keeps going. But when you start missing tackles, then it affects everybody. Those are some of the things that we’ve got to make sure we don’t continue to do. That’s on coaches and players.

    But we play a fantastic North Carolina State team, a team that as a voting member of the USA Today, I’ve been voting for them since week one. I can show you my results from week one, but I’ve voted for them all along because I’ve watched what they’ve done during the summer on tape. They’re a physical football team, they’re a veteran football team. They’ve got, I think, 18 returning starters, eight on defense and 10 on offense. Their entire line is back from a year ago. And any time you have that consistency and guys that have played around — Dave, Coach Doeren, is going into his, I think, fifth season here, and the program is very, very stable at this point, and that’s what happens when you give a coach — I knew Dave back when he was at Northern Illinois. When you give a guy that much time to do his deal, and my hats go off to those folks there for hanging in, and they’ve got a good football team, from skill all the way to the line, on both sides of the ball.

    It starts up front with those guys. Chubb, Street, Hill, Jones across the front, they’ve got one of the best D-lines you’ll see in the country. I saw that last year. I saw that they were good.

    Questions?

    Q. What’s the situation at quarterback for you guys going into this week?

    PAT NARDUZZI: Keep practicing. Our team is continuing to grow in a lot of different spots, and it will have to go faster there. I feel bad for Max. We’re still evaluating his body, so that’s still in evaluation, but Ben DiNucci is the guy. I’ve had a meeting with Ben this morning about preparation and putting as much into it as he possibly can, and Ben has got a ton of ability. We’ve talked about that, and he needs to relax in the pocket and identify who he’s supposed to read and throw the ball and manage the run game properly so everything clicks. We’ve got faith in Ben, and Kenny Pickett will be his backup. I don’t know if I mentioned this at staff meeting or to our team or to my wife, we’ve got a lot of confidence in Kenny Pickett, as well. That’s why I had no — when Max went down, you can’t hesitate, you’ve got to know what your next move is, and Thomas MacVittie, again, is another exceptional athlete, but Kenny Pickett is just a little bit further ahead of him mentally. Thomas played receiver for a long time in high school and doesn’t have a lot of reps there, but is a talented kid. So we still have faith in him, as well.

    But Kenny is probably as mentally prepared as any freshman quarterback in the country, I think. He’s way ahead of where DiNucci was when he was a freshman mentally, so he’s a guy that we had confidence in from the beginning. He pays attention to details, as well. So he’ll be our backup, and we’ll progress that way.

    Q. The decision — is there a scenario where he could even have a package or two?
    PAT NARDUZZI: Who’s that?

    Q. Pickett?
    PAT NARDUZZI: Well, I have a lot of packages, like the entire package. He’s smart enough to know the entire package.

    Q. Are you going to try to get him playing time? To burn him for one snap, you would need something miraculous to happen no matter how strong kids are on this team. I assume there’s a long game you’re trying to play.
    PAT NARDUZZI: It’s a long game, it’s a developmental game, and it’s a guy that’s ready. We’d like to play him, put it that way. We don’t want to play him for one play and then burn a redshirt. But I’ve seen guys think redshirts are burned, and to me — when you talk redshirting, it’s about when your opportunity arises, and there’s nobody that turns that down. There was a receiver a long time ago at the University of Rhode Island who had to play in the last game of the season against Hofstra I believe it was. He hadn’t played all year, we had the Delaware game the week before, had a bunch of guys get hurt, kid’s name was Ricketts, I believe, and burned his redshirt year that year, played one game, last game of the season, caught seven balls. Then next year, those other receivers that got hurt in that game weren’t hurt, okay, and he ended up redshirting the second year, okay. Didn’t play a down. That’s what it was.

    So you never know. When your time is called, you’ve got to play. Kenny is a team guy. I’ve talked to his dad. He understands the process. He understands — he’s understood that sitting in that room. You’re one snap away from being a backup, and that’s at every position, that happens. Quarterback is not a position you’re trying to rotate and get guys series. We’ve got to get Ben in the rotation and — excuse me, get Ben in the flow of the game and let him go.

    Q. When you talked to Ben this morning in that meeting, do you tell him to approach this week any differently? He says he’s been approaching every week the same, but obviously it’s not the same when Max is definitely not going to play.
    PAT NARDUZZI: Yeah, but told him to take it better than he has. I think you can always get better. I think everybody can get better. I can spend more time in the office. I can spend the night again. I mean, everybody can give you more, okay, and I just told him, hey, listen, we need more. What you’ve done so far is okay, but you need more. It’s the same thing for everybody. Everybody needs to give more. When someone goes down, it’s the next man up, and he’s got more, okay. I might take his phone away from him. Does he tweet, Jerry?

    Q. He has a Twitter account, but not much.

    PAT NARDUZZI: Not much? That’s good. Whatever I’ve got to do, I’ll take something away from him. Maybe I’ll take his video games.

    Q. Have you had a chance to look back at the play that Max got hurt on and see what happened there?
    PAT NARDUZZI: Yeah. It was a real wide end, coming off the field side, and Matt Flanagan is coming across the line of scrimmage or coming across the formation to block him, and Qadree was kind of — they brought a blitz at the same time from the field. A backer was coming, and if it was just a D-end they both would have blocked him, but Qadree kind of got just a little bit in Flanagan’s way, and they couldn’t pick him off the edge. I don’t know if I’d say nice job by them. They did it by accident, but just didn’t — Flanagan couldn’t get over tight enough, unfortunately.

    Q. Over the last — the previous two years, you haven’t really had to discipline that many people, but now it’s six guys in the past five months. When something like that happens, are you fearful that the message isn’t getting across to some guys?
    PAT NARDUZZI: Everybody is different. You know, the message is getting communicated, I can tell you that. Like I said in the past, we will be a disciplined football team. We’re going to do little things right, from tucking our shirts in on trips — we’re going to do the little things right. I think, again, as soon as you let some of those things go, and obviously this was not a tucking your shirt in problem, but those are how small the details are that we’re working on and developing, and I think when you’re a young football team and you don’t have a lot of seniors sitting in that front row that have command of the room like we did a year ago, that there’s always going to be those issues, and it’s the age these kids are growing up in nowadays. You look around at some of the bigger things happening in the world, and they just trickle down into smaller things here. I mean, you look at Las Vegas, who would have ever thought that would happen 15 years ago? There’s little things that our kids are growing up in the world that we didn’t have to, and we’ve just got to stay on the little things, details, and again, if you aren’t detailed off the field, you won’t be detailed on the field, and that’s the emphasis we’re trying to make.

    Q. Do you address things with the team when this kind of stuff happens?
    PAT NARDUZZI: Yeah, no question about it. It gets addressed really quickly.

    Q. When you see Dave Doeren’s defense, what’s stood out to you about things they did schematically?
    PAT NARDUZZI: Well, Dave Huxtable is the defensive coordinator. I think you guys have some history with him. But he’s very detailed. Got a great plan, just playing sound football. I mean, they’re not complicated when you look at them, but they have a system, and they run the system, and they fit their players into the system, and they’ve got some cats up front that are really good that make everybody else around them really good.

    Q. How much better does your offensive line have to play in this game compared to what they’ve been doing the last couple of weeks?
    PAT NARDUZZI: They’ve got to play like they did against Penn State. They’ve got to be able to rush the football. So we’ve done that in the past, and they’ve got to play good. But quarterback has got to play good. Running backs got to play better. Receivers got to make blocks and catch the ball. It’s 11 guys, it ain’t just the offensive line. You know, I think that’s evident when you watch Jordan Whitehead run. I mean, I think if you interviewed an offensive lineman, hey, are you blocking any different when Jordan Whitehead is in there, and they’d probably tell you no. I don’t think they get in the huddle and say, ‘Oh, number 9 is in here, let’s block for this guy today.’ There’s some blocking going on. It can be better always, but our run game has got to be better, too.

    Q. Are you hoping to settle on five guys on the O-line and in that Syracuse game it didn’t happen?

    PAT NARDUZZI: No. Again, we’re rotating guys around. Still trying to find out who they are and giving them opportunities. The only way you get better is to have opportunities to play. You know, if there was five beasts up there, then we’d keep the five beasts and you can tell the guys that haven’t been out of the two deep or been out of the starting lineup, so we’re looking for the five consistent guys, and if it’s all average, then keep them fresh and give them an opportunity to go play.

    Q. How close do you feel like you guys are to finding success?
    PAT NARDUZZI: Well, when we rush for 300 yards this weekend, if we rush for 300 yards, I think we’ve found — how close are we? We’re probably not going to know until next spring, you know. Think about it. It is what it is right now. I mean, we’re not going to go off the free agent wire and see if we can pick some guys up. We’ve just got to keep coaching them.

    The great thing about our kids is they care. They’ve got a great care factor. They want to get better. They sit in here with their eyes up, and they want to get better. That’s the important thing, and they’re having opportunities to play and prove that they are the guy, whether it’s Brandon Hodges and Jaryd Jones-Smith and Mike Herndon, Dintino, they are all having opportunities to go out there and put their pads on somebody.

    Q. Any combination that’s standing out to you, especially on the right side?

    PAT NARDUZZI: I don’t know. Maybe.

    Q. When you look at NC State, do they sort of — what Dave has done there, they’ve taken that step from not great to first year to where they are now, is that a model for a program like you guys and the way that they’re playing, is that a model that you kind of want to follow?
    PAT NARDUZZI: I mean, I think anybody in the country wants to. Consistency and getting your guys in place, and every place is different. Every situation is a little bit different that you walk into. I think here we walked into a pretty good situation with some pretty good players. Paul did a good job recruiting, but they were all older guys that had played a lot of football. I think time is to tell there. I think some people lose patience. They have it down there, and Dave has run his course. He believed in what he’s doing, and he’s done a nice job. They’ve got a great pool of kids around their area, and obviously it comes down to recruiting and getting the right players in that program. They’ve done a great job.

    Q. That nickel defense — Is that encouraging for you as a coach that you can deploy that in the future when you see these four-, five-wide receiver teams?
    PAT NARDUZZI: The what defense you said?

    Q. Using five defensive backs.
    PAT NARDUZZI: It’s encouraging, but we knew we’ve had that, use it when you need to or you feel like you have to or the run game is not what it is. I mean, they didn’t really start running the ball until the second half. If they just want to throw it every down, then you kind of build it off of that, and we had base in there, as well, so you just kind of do what they’re doing.

    Q. When you went one running back down this Saturday, I thought maybe Davis would play but he only played one carry.

    PAT NARDUZZI: He had one carry, and you want him in there. He has one carry, and he’s supposed to break it outside, he cuts it back inside. He’s still a young guy that I want to get him more carries, and I told him before the game we want to get you more carries and then — I’m not subbing guys in. I’m not the sub coach on offense, but they’ve got to go with who they feel understands what they’re doing. They know what the game plan is offensively. But we’d like to get him more carries. I want to see the guy go and see if he can be a difference maker for us. But I wish he’d get more reps. I really do.

    Q. Is practice going to be any different for Jordan Whitehead team wise?
    PAT NARDUZZI: Probably not, no. He’s a smart guy, plays both ways every week.

    Q. Were there plays that he was in that you guys didn’t give it to him Saturday?
    PAT NARDUZZI: I think one. No, I think we gave it to him every time, and they probably knew that, too.

    Q. How do you find that balance for Jordan on offense and defense?
    PAT NARDUZZI: You know, I’m over balance right now. You don’t want to use him like you were using him. You don’t want to wear him out. I don’t want to wear the kid out. He’s a great kid that wants to go. He comes off yesterday all smiles, and I said, hey, just keep going. We’ll do what we need to do. But he’s a super kid that is all in.

    Q. You’re halfway through now. If you look at it, you guys got a streak of having reached a postseason game nine years. Do you try to block out big-picture stuff when you’ve got the tough schedule the rest of the way?
    PAT NARDUZZI: One at a time. One at a time. If we start looking ahead, we’re going to be in big trouble. We’re not smart enough. We’re not mature enough to ever look ahead. We’ve got to focus on North Carolina State. We’ve got a great football team coming in homecoming weekend, and it’ll be a great challenge for us this football team. Top-20 team coming into Heinz Field.

    Q. Do you have to sort of revisit or look at the amount of jet sweeps and shovel passes or the way you use them?
    PAT NARDUZZI: Yeah, again, with the way they’re playing, we should have more effect inside. It’s all based on how they’re structured defensively, and we’re not getting it out to Quadree, and even when he does get out there, we’re getting one-arm tackled and put on the ground, so we’ve got to make something happen when we do get the ball in our hands, and that loosens some other things up. But yeah, we look at that every week.

    Q. When you look back at the film of the run game from the past few games —
    PAT NARDUZZI: It looked pretty good when No. 9 was in there, didn’t it? Didn’t struggle when No. 9 was in there, did it?

    Q. When you look back at the film, I guess what do you see? Is it kind of more on the backs? Is it the line not getting opportunities?

    PAT NARDUZZI: I think it’s a little bit — it’s a great question, and I think I answer it every week. It’s a little of everything. You know, it’s a little bit of the backs. Sometimes it’s a quarterback making the right check, depending on the game and who made that call. Max has been really good at that. And then sometimes it’s the offensive line. It only takes one. When you put them all in a box and you’re in a two-tight end set and one guy misses a block, it can look like an ugly play, but four other guys really blocked well, but if you miss one block, then it all goes downhill, and it doesn’t matter. It makes them all look bad, and that’s why you count on that guy next to you, whether it’s a center or guard or tackle that’s next to you to do his job and focus on that, keep your head up and use your hands and don’t block with your flippers and your arms, and that’s what it comes down to.

    But if you miss one block, it could be fatal. That’s been the problem. So it’s not one thing you can point at, just the running backs, and it’s not just the offensive line, it’s a combination, and that’s why they call it a team game. If we played football with one guy out there, it was one-on-one, it would be pretty easy to say who didn’t get it done. But one play this guy is good, one play it’s not.

    Q. Is Therran Coleman sort of in the lead for that third cornerback spot now after how much he played Saturday?
    PAT NARDUZZI: You know, he is. His stock has risen. I told him it was going to be important, him getting an opportunity. He won that position; it wasn’t a, ‘Here you go, Therran, go be the guy.’ He won it in a competition like we do every week. We try to compete — we’re going to compete at quarterback this week. Kenny is going to compete. He’s going to try to look better. We’re going to compete at every position like we do every week and find out who’s going. But Therran competed and won that spot and did a nice job at it.

    He was physical, he tackled well when he was out there. It was your fear; I yelled at him on Thursday because he did a couple of those whiz tackles where he pretended like he tackled the guy but he didn’t. I was like, ‘Dude, you’re too young to do that. Don’t be doing that on Thursday practice. Thud him up.’ And that’s your fear, the guy goes out there and doesn’t thud it up. But Therran did a nice job. It was good.

    We’ve still got our two starting corners, so it’s hard, and we’ll do some nickel this weekend, as well, so he’ll have opportunities.

    Q. What does NC State do offensively?
    PAT NARDUZZI: They are a big, big zone team. Their offensive line is big, physical. You guys are asking real football questions. I like it. Thanks, guys. They’re a big offensive line physically. They run a lot of outside zone. They’ve got some RPOs involved, as well. Finley is a very smart quarterback. I don’t think he’s thrown a pick this year. He manages the game well. He’s a transfer from Boise. He does a great job of just managing the game. He doesn’t try to do too much. He’s obviously very intelligent. I don’t know what his GPA is, but based on watching him and what he does, how he manages the game, you can tell he’s probably a 4.0 guy that pays attention to details. He’s probably in the film room right now trying to dissect our defense and figure out what he can do and how he can do it and what tells him this, what tells him that. That’s what he does, and you can see it on tape.

    Q. The challenge of Samuels, they use him a bunch of different ways.
    PAT NARDUZZI: He’s all over the place. He’s their H-wide back that will play fullback, play wide receiver, throw him bubbles. He’ll get 12 carries a game probably. He’s a guy that they utilize. He’s a good football player.

    Q. What can you say about Kessman and his improvement since the beginning of the year?
    PAT NARDUZZI: He actually hasn’t gotten any better. He’s been the same guy. The uprights just move every once in a while and they go through. I almost called the punt team out for that 56-yarder when I saw their kick returner go back there. I’m like, ‘Oh, my gosh, our O-line better cover here.’ When you’ve got a punt returner, kick returner back there that’s a 100-meter guy standing at the end line and you’re kicking — you line up for a 56-yard field goal and then you’ve got to go — it’s not like your punt team is out there or your kickoff team. It’s our field goal team. You’ve got a lot of beef out there that you really don’t even have to block them to make them miss. So it was a little scary. I had the punt team called up just in case. I changed my mind at the last second. Glad I didn’t. But that thing would have been good from 56 and a half yards probably, and I think, gol-ly.

    Q. O’Neill could run down one of those guys maybe.
    PAT NARDUZZI: One guy. That feels pretty wide.

    Q. You mentioned Pickett’s mental acumen. Can you give an example of maybe some things you’ve taken up in the film room?
    PAT NARDUZZI: He’s just a detailed guy. He’s a very detailed student of the game is what he is. He’s obviously been well-coached in high school. I think it starts there. You don’t — you don’t develop overnight at quarterback, and he’s developed while he’s here and Coach Watson enjoys him in the meeting room because he can answer a lot of questions. He understands the game.

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  4. Reed — good to see the blog back in operation.

    Very frustrating season for all Pitt fans. Think I’ll skip the during-the-game comments in the future — too much piling on of the negativity for my taste…

    Has been quite a train wreck of a season — which just got kind of interesting because of Mr. Pickett’s debut. I still say this season was torpedoed by Coach Duzz’s decision to bring in Max, who doesn’t fit this offense at all…

    We could add one more “unfortunate” for this season — we get NC State when they are having one of their better teams… An expected W goes to another L…

    Go Pitt.

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  5. Reed,
    I’m glad to see you enforcing civility on this blog. Perhaps you should remove the “and don’t hold back” as people may point to that and say they’re justified in saying/typing whatever they want.

    As far as the team goes, I’d play the younger kids now…the ones who we think will be the future. With quarterbacks, there’s always the fear that they’ll be overwhelmed and “ruined”. I’m not sure about that, but one way to go could be to start Dinucci and then after we’re getting blown out and the other team has taken their collective foot off of the gas, put Pickett in.

    Who knows at this point. It’s been a crappy season so far. I wish I could say I had hope for the game against NC State.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I advocated for the termination of the comments section previously (admittedly somewhat tongue-in-cheek) but I’m glad it’s back. Suspending/terminating contributions by repeated offenders is likely the best option. I’m sure you read all of our comments thoroughly (particularly mine) smile so the task shouldn’t be that labor intensive…

    Look, we’re staring at a dumpster fire here. While some may think it was an inevitable part of the process, as Narduzzi’s players are young and inexperienced, many others feel quite a bit worse. Who among us can actually watch these games and not be concerned?

    I was a student during Hackett’s last season and the glory of Majors II. This just has that same feeling. We can debate perspectives but I can tell you this.. during that time, attendance started a steep decline. Student apathy toward the program increased. All but the most optimistic fans showed up expecting a loss, or just stayed away.

    Does that sound familiar?

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  7. I stopped reading and posting on this blog due to the foolishness and insulting players calling them fat slobs and other personal attacks.

    Maybe I’ll be back next season, it’s only football, a game, not life and death. I have too much to do in life and too many things to see. I’ll still go to a few home and away games to meet friends and family and enjoy the overall experience.

    Best of luck to all.

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  8. I sure hope that we don’t only see Pickette when DiNucci’s helmet gets knocked off this week. Pitt needs a spark on offense so lets see if Pickette can provide it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Narduzzi said he would play Pickett. I guess he’s figured out that a bowl game is out of the question now and he needs to get Pickett some experience for next year. Hopefully not to back up the next QB transfer though.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Reed, thank you for all you do!

    My next door neighbor is a Baltimore City cop. If he was writing up this Pitt season as a car accident report it would go like this “driver was hi on speed intoxicated 3 x legal limit, stupidly driving in the wrong lane, veered in front of tracto trailer, side swiped School bus, ran 3 lights, and drove off bridge!”

    On a positive note, our young kids seem to be catching up with the speed of the game on defense and we have a great punter and kicker! That’s it for the good news!

    Cringe at having to watch this train wreck in person Saturday.

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  10. Yes, I need to let things roll off my back more. It’s not in my general natureto not fire back but that stuff is not fun to read. So I move forward and onward. Sorry if I was the cause of any consternation. My deepest apologizes to you all

    M&M, I’m with you, no more game threads for me, I’m cured.

    Rumor spreading, I’ve heard that Moss, Whitehead and Wirginis problems are all kind of interlinked. Not suggesting they were all together but the misgivings are similar and it was’t pot. From what I heard but I don’t want to bash the kids.

    PITT really misses Wirginis Taleni and Blair though.

    I said this before and I mean no disrespect but Canada is a friend of Narduzzi as well. Now Watson is wearing me down but I have to seriously consider if his hands have been tied considering the success PITT had last year with the playbook? Pretty sure I read where he was given a prerequisite of keeping some Canada stuff in this years playbook.

    Browne has proven to be no Peterman and last years play are game planned against.

    We do miss Tipton but Lopes if really good and needs to have the ball thrown his direction earlier in the game. I feel bad for Max but PITT needs to get some of the younger guys more experience. Not just playing time but honest to goodness game action.

    Pickett needs to play now that his redshirt is burnt. Same goes with Davis

    Repeating my self again and again but O’Neill, Bookser and Officer need to be moved back to their positions they were the most effective. This O-Line is making QB’s and the OC look terrible.

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  11. This is Dave Doeren’s 5th year a NC State

    2013 NC State 3–9 0–8 7th (Atlantic)
    2014 NC State 8–5 3–5 5th (Atlantic) W St. Petersburg
    2015 NC State 7–6 3–5 4th (Atlantic) L Belk
    2016 NC State 7–6 3–5 T–4th (Atlantic) W Independence
    2017 NC State 5–1 3–0

    And it appears that it may be his best … due in large part to the fact that he has 16 starters returning.

    Note that Pitt is the antithesis of that with only 8 starters returning which includes Bookser and Whitehead (but not Aston).

    Next year … Pitt should have 13 or 14 returning … and I didn’t include O’Neil or Whitehead. And it will bring back players who has seen a good amount of PT … Ffrench, Lopes, Hall, Davis (?), Wirginis, Carter, Pine, Coleman, DeMathis, etc.

    I’m making this comparison because I think Wolfpack program to be somewhat similar to PItt’s … Yes, Doeren is paid more and it’s not in a pro city, but it’s certainly not on a level with Clemson, Louisville or FSU with regard to budget and success.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I had looked this up during the NCSU-L’ville game last week. I had thought Doeren had a better record than this. Then I wondered whether Doeren may just be having one exceptional (i.e. outlier) year.

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        1. Indeed time will tell. I just saw that Doeren is reportedly negotiating an extension. This then led me to look up the record of his predecessor (Tom O’Brien). O’Brien finished 9-4 in year 4 and 8-5 in year 5. He was dismissed after year 6 finishing 7-5 (didn’t coach bowl game).

          NC State still has to play ND at South Bend and Clemson at home. They’ve already beaten FSU on the road and Louisville at home.

          The hopeful part for we Pitt fans is that the largest point differential for NC State against a P5 opponent is 14 against Louisville at home last week. They only beat Syracuse by 8 at home.

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  12. IMO, Pitt players appear to be learning and getting better in most cases. As long as their collective attitude stays positive, they can continue to improve through the next six games. It’s fair to say that this season didn’t pan out as I expected it to, but all is not lost if some young guys improve significantly.

    We are coming off two eight win seasons, I believe we will again win seven or eight next year, and possible 8 or 9 the following year if some pieces fall into place, and a few tweaks are made to the coaching staff.

    NC State is a tough match-up for Pitt. They have a solid D and efficient O. Our QB is going to be running for his life in this one, I’m afraid. More quick (short) passing routes will be necessary so that Ben lives to play another game. He won’t have time to stand in the pocket. I’m not even sure how I’d game plan this one.

    NC State fans had better enjoy this year because NC State will drop off to 5 or 6 wins next year. They (like Pitt and a lot of teams) are not a team that can just re-load after a bunch of graduations. They will need to rebuild similar to what Pitt will be doing this year and next.

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  13. On a great note I am picking up PittMan4ever at BWI airport and taking him to his daughter’s hose in Reisterstown… with a lunch stop along the way. Never met him in-person and really looking forward to it.

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  14. Reed, I find it interesting that you think Bertke was/is a better prospect than MacVittie. The article you linked and many Blather and POV posters seemed to think very little of Bertke. On the other hand they’ve consistently thought much of MacVittie. Why do you think that is? What did you see in Bertke?

    For the record I’ve seen nothing more than them warming up on the sidelines. Plus my son threw with Bertke at a fanfest a few years ago.

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  15. For you old timers..the Wolfpack’s were the 1st to wear white shoe and were nick-named “God’s Chillun” (slang for Children.)
    Denny told me when they were in their goal line defense with the opponent threatening to score the coach told tell’em ” don’t let the ball get beyond those white shoes !”

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  16. Reed, after a few miles with Jim your head will start spinning. Just kidding, he’s a great guy and a better man…. Have a great day with Pittman. He told me he was headed up your way, so happy you guys hooked up!

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  17. Volvo, I watch bertke in practices under Crist when they were open and I thought he was pretty decent quarterback that obviously needed to wait a couple years but he had a pretty good Motion in a really pretty good throwing arm his long ball was okay better than browser dinucci’s but his short game was really pretty good I thought he might be good, starter in his junior senior year but like I said narduzzi doesn’t play guys if he can get someone else in place and that’s why we got Schneider that’s the story there.

    Ike, this is why I said that I had heard that Wirginis’ suspension should have been more than three games.
    So that obviously is not drugs that’s some sort of Behavioral thing and the people I talked to were surprised that it was only three. That’s why I think this “season ending injury” is maybe a bit of a Smokescreen.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Two thoughts on Wirginis, I hear it may have been drugs but not the kind we are thinking of. Also I heard he did get hurt on the river during his suspension but who in the heck know’s, acting like a young kid acts.

    I could be all wrong but I have heard from some semi reliable people that it wasn’t pot but enhancers and not the first time for all three.

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  19. Hard as it is for me to say, I’m still not sure if Watson is a bad coach or not.

    The reason: he’s been tasked with running Canada’s offense. This presents at least two major problems. 1. He could never do it as well as the guy who invented it. 2. Canada simply had better and more experienced players.
    I think he needs to invent his own, new style of offense. If that doesn’t work, then send him on his way or demote him to qb coach.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. SW called a QB option run with a pitch out to QO from inside Pitt’s 10 yard line I think on 3rd down. We all saw the play. I find that play call irresponsible and just plain dumb. I am not impressed with a lot of other things SW does but that play tells me everything there is to know about our OC.

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  20. Crying over a kid losing his redshirt is a bunch of BS. If Pickett, Davis get any playing time it is well spent. If they turn out to be that good, they leave school early any way. Let’s hope that happens.

    Davis has had minimal carries but I think that will increase over the second half of the season. Ollison is just terrible.

    I hope Pickett plays often. DiNucci runs from the pocket too fast, never steps up into the pocket to give his receivers more time in their routes. Brown started doing a better job at it before getting hurt.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. There have been a multitude of 3 start QB’s who develop further when they get to college, become capable starters and many end up in the pros. Hornibrook was a 3 star and he is doing well at Badger U. Pickett to me will most likely be one of them. The kid takes the positon seriously and he is always striving to learn and be better.

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  21. Throwing this out there but Hall hits the hole much quicker than the rest of the backs. imo, A running back needs to run the ball and run it often. << It’s a groove thing, ask L Bell

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    1. And somehow this feels very snarky, even in light of Reed’s advisories. Did you happen to internalize a legitimate question from me to the author as a veiled attack on Narduzzi and you felt the seemingly involuntary instinct to jump to his defense?

      The irony for you could very well be that Bertke’s career as a college QB (yes, even at Findlay) rises above that of MacVittie. However I continue hoping that MacVittie will prove to be a productive QB at Pitt. For that matter I hope that any underclassman on the Pitt roster becomes a productive QB.

      For what it’s worth Reed I had since read a similar assessment of Bertke after the 2015 spring game. I do sometimes wonder what Chryst could/would have done to develop guys he recruited like Voytik and Bertke. On the other hand I suppose if he had truly thought enough of those two he would have pursued them when they transferred out.

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      1. It wasn’t meant to be snarky at all … it was meant to be humorous but I guess it missed the mark. FWIW, I am with you on this one … I think MacVittie was a much better prospect than Bertke … although the only I think I could go on was high school highlights. They are both from western Ohio but MacVittiie played a very high level of classification against a national schedule, while Bertke played at the lowest level (I believe)

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  22. One comment on comments. I think the comments were fine personally. Most of what is typed are things that would actually be “said” if we were all sitting at Reed’s Pub throwing down some beers, etc. At least that would be my hope. I enjoy you guys and admit that typed words aren’t interpreted the same as spoken words. We should be mature enough to know the difference and that although we can respect the other person, we can differ. Sorry.

    I don’t believe in personally assaulting a player. Nary a kid has walked onto the field of play and tried to get embarrassed, or suck. They try hard just like we did. We never went to the plate and tried to strike out! (Almost got in a fight with a parent who was abusing his kid for looking at a called 3rd strike years ago in oklahoma city and I said just that). Sometimes you just aren’t talented enough, which is different then being talented enough and not put in a position to succeed by someone that gets paid to figure those things out.

    Reed, you never let in a soccer goal on purpose. Anyway, if I can’t type the things I would say to your face if we were having a beer together, that would just stink. My only difference is that I don’t swear and wouldn’t to your face either. I will say your crazy. Typed maybe means one thing but with a smile on my face and a beer in my hand having a discussion, might mean something else. Just my thoughts to my fellow cupcakes.

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  23. Understanding that Reed has intentionally moved on from his hiatus without a mention today. So trying to not bring too much attention to some sniping over the weekend and that is what it seemed to be.

    Sometimes it’s not how one person feels they mean but how the other people perceive thoughts and how they feel. << This here is important to know.

    Reed has a bigger picture to worry about considering the POV and that is, it’s not about me, you or your dog named Lou. Reed has stressed this so many times and we all need << (me included) to understand this isn’t a one trick pony blog or a screaming message board.

    I just hate to hear some readers backing off and tuning out because of some terse off the cuff behavior. Lets’ all go back and rethink what we write before sending. Yes I’m guilty as well…

    THIS ISN’T ABOUT US, IT’S ABOUT ALL OF US!

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  24. Did you all see that the Oregon State Football HC Gary Anderson just quit mid-season, leaving $12M on the table for just walking out?

    Do you think that this was genius on new AD Scott Barnes’ part? And if so, why couldn’t have done that to J Dixon?

    Anderson left Wisconsin for OSU allegedly because of the micro-management of AD Barry Alvarez … wonder if he is sorry now. Say what you want about Alvarez, Wisconsin is and has been a Top 25 team for most of the time under his realm … either as HC or AD.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Huff, didn’t see your comment and I do agree with you do a good degree. Upitt and I had a good talk and we are all good. Some other comments from some unknowns are really not called for.

    Here’s the problem. Many many readers don’t want or need the ole boy ribbing or insults that you described very well. They want to read about PITT football, how they suck, how they are young or how this or that…

    The POV isn’t an equal universe so to speak. Most importantly, Reed literally busts his ass for all of us. << no I didn’t see his crack but it’s broken. No world is perfect and I have proven I sure as heck am not as well.

    Look at Reed picking up and having a great lunch with the Reverend Jim, how cool is that? << This is why I’m a devout POVer….

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  26. Just got my Pitt homecoming email telling me the first 30k get the James Connor bobble head, I was going to make a snarky reply asking what they were going to do with the 15k left over, but thought better of it.
    Glad posts are back, will try and keep it civil, and remember not everyone has the same sense of humor.
    The season is going just the way I feared when we walked to the stadium that first game. I said then, and I still believe they will be a good team next year, but some changes are needed. Let’s try and get two more wins this year, lick our wounds, and go get em next season.

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  27. Reed thank you for all your hard work. I stayed off for awhile due to a lot of negatives. I feel today’s article sums it up well. We all hate to lose and pay money to watch losers. It will get better. Looking forward to Saturday and great agame atmospheres H2P.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Heather is trying to get the women there early… love seeing the wrestlers in their singlets!! Haha, now you guys know what it feels like for me when you make comments about scantily-clad cheerleaders!

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  28. Thought that the game changer on Saturday was the roughing the passer penalty…Rather than 4th down and we get the ball back…Syracuse keeps the ball and scores a TD. Thought that the D played well overall…too many missed tackles though and wish that they would have had someone spying on the Syracuse QB, who happened to be their leading rusher…The O line looks really good when Number 9 is running the ball. Our QB’s need to tighten their chinstraps so that their helmets stay on. When was the last time during a season that Pitt QB’s helmets came off 3 times (Browne once vs. PSU and Dinucci twice vs. Syracuse). Also, it seemed to me that not many passes were targeted to the wide outs. Our kickers have been a real positive this year. Kessman is a keeper. Agree hat the younger guys should play more and gain valuable experience for next year. The one pass that Pickett completed looked mighty fine. Yes, the Syracuse D was playing prevent but to step in on short notice and complete a pass says a lot for Pickett’s maturity. If Ford is that good, he should play…if he is really good, he probably won’t stay for 4 years anyhow.
    Hope that somehow, some way this team gets bowl eligible to give the younger guys more practice time and game experience. Maybe beat UVA, NC and Duke for 3 W’s… and hope for a surprise W in one of the other
    3 games. Saturday’s los really hurt Pitt’s chance to get bowl eligible.

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    1. You’re right about that penalty .. a very key play.

      IMO the defense played really well the 1st half except for the last minute TD. But then the TD started to wear down late in the 3rd quarter and 4th quarter. This is what happens when the offense cannot sustain drives with any regularity.

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  29. Regarding comments…the only time I have an issue is when a poster attacks another poster- that’s just wrong and rarely occurs. As far as negative comments and the style of some of the regular posters- that doesn’t bother me one bit and there has been a lot to be negative about with Pitt sports for a long time, more so, recently.. I enjoy the comments and interaction with the group. Heck, I have met a bunch of them personally and all have been enjoyable company. Like someone mentiioned- it’s like sitting with a bunch of fans having a drink and BSing Pitt football.

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    1. Exactly. Usually we’ll criticize coaches or units like the O-line, linebackers, secondary, etc. Unless the gaff is so bad an individual gets called out.

      My suggestion is the football & basketball players should stay away from here for a year or so. (snicker)

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  30. I attended the Pitt bowl victory over NC St. back in the day. Haven’t been to another bowl win since. Reed, I would have been email #21…glad the POV is back on track. I need a head count for the tailgate. Last game I took more food home than I brought ( like the miracle of the loaves and fishes). Plus I will unveil the new flag Big Bernie donated and delivered to my door from Carolina!!

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  31. Reed, Bertke stinks. He left because his play was below the line. I love you dude but you haven’t picked a qb right since the days of tino the turtle. titleman

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    1. Except for Voytik being average at best, Peterman winning the starting job and playing well and Browne sucking … And DiNucci not having a D1 skill level I guess.

      In my book that makes me 4 for 4 in our last 4 QBs.

      Make it 5 for 5 when Pickett plays as well as I said he would.

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      1. Come on Pickett and make it 5 for 5! I think it is going to come true (has to come true) as BD is in over his head with trying to be a capable FBS quarterback.

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  32. Glad to be back to reading comments. Your writing is great Reed and Chris and others, but the comments are where I learn and enjoy just as much getting perspective different than my own.

    As someone wrote above, different folks have different senses of humor and that is one way to view things. I think it is pretty brutal here at times, but fortunately I am one of the more thick skinned types and maybe thick headed too, so I actually enjoy MOST of it(Upitt and just a few rare others being the exceptions). That said, I really wouldn’t personally need it to change. There is enough balance and sanity to the negative hyperbole(please don’t leave Ike!!!).

    So other than you(Reed) wanting to steer this ship into calmer waters for sanity, which I absolutely understand and will respect, I hope everyone reengages and just keeps in mind the civility mantra as laid out here….and DO HOLD BACK, with a bit of forethought if needed. Even I have been a little snarky to the big guy in the recent past and will no more(hopefully).

    Lastly, let’s get all these jagoff whiners that write to Reed directly with complaints out in the open and posting their thoughtful and civil ideas here and actually CONTRIBUTE SOMETHING USEFUL. Oops, that probably isn’t the way to proceed. Sorry and sorry in advance for my future screw-ups;>).

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  33. I have no opinion about BErtke but Findaly University is pretty far down in classification playing the likes of Alderson Broadus, no offense to either school. Sometimes decent kids get churned up and spit out in NCAA FB. As to overweight linemen I will not give them names but not to point out that we have two starters that are grossly overweight 60-80 pounds is an observation about the OL line coach allowing this to occur. Rkb

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  34. Reed it’s good to see you are in good spirits. I appreciate your commentary. We may not win another game this year, but I’ll remind the faithful that Walt Harris wen 2-9 in year two behind a sub-par quarterback and bad offensive line, and we came back the following year to go 7-4. Hope springs eternal.

    Liked by 1 person

  35. Wwb … that situation with Scott Barnes and Gary Anderson blows my mind. At Pitt, Barnes can’t get Jamie to pay his full share of what his contract said he owed to the university but, as SOP luck would have it, Barnes is able to finagle $12 million back to his current school. Incredible!

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  36. Year 5 for Doeren at NC State. Have some friends that are NC State alumni. They wanted him fired last year. Amazing how keeping him has worked out.

    Narduzzi MUST get his classes lined up. Playing tons of young guys on D, he must go with Pickett, Davis and other young guy that can replace an upper classmen under performing. Right offensive guard comes to mind. Herndon and Hodges are not playing well.

    Like

  37. Problem on the offensive line is that most of the backups are Freshman or RS Freshman. That’s one position were most decent OL’s are made up of JR”s and SR’s after spending 3 years with the trainers in the weight room building up their bodies.

    Like

  38. The O-Line wizard Chryst recruits. I still hold out hope but the hope is waning.

    The catch 22 with the O-Line is that you want the players to grow up, become mature through lifting weights and such. You don’t want their bodies to break down in the meantime.

    If a player is proven to be a good left tackle, right tackle, center, or either guard, then play him there. This PITT O-Line has some talent but they are not all great on down the line. It’s called setting them up to succeed.

    The other off season changes have hurt the team as well

    I remember Nate P being labeled as a game manager his first year at PITT, which wasn’t totally untrue. The most true statement anyone can say about football is, it is truly a team sport….

    Like

  39. Maybe just maybe we can keep up with NCState. Their defense is rated 88th nationally while ours is 120. The big concern is they are averaging 35.5 points per game.This according to ESPN.. but if you remember last year, Ollison had a pretty good game.

    Like

  40. –Will be interesting to see if Wirginis is back next season. Now I’m wondering if Coach Duzz decided it would be best to redshirt him after that suspension, considering the outlook for this season.

    –Wirginis sure would help because our tackling has been just plain awful — everybody seems to be getting at least 3 or 4 yards after contact…

    –Reed – I just cannot agree with you that Coach Duzz would not play a kid (like Bertke) just because Coach Duzz didn’t recruit him. That makes zero sense to me given the premium on winning. Do you really believe that??

    Go Pitt.

    Like

  41. To summarize our woes:
    Downgrade in OC (also hamstrung by making new OC use old OC’s playbook with different chess pieces on the board)
    Poor QB recruitment leave cupboard with stale fig newtons (trip to the store – Sign on a transfer billed as a Banana Split with a cherry on top turns out to be warm rice pudding)
    Discipline problems rear their ugly head again and force HCPN to jettison senior players and suspend others – lack of depth bites hard
    Injuries to key players and potential key players
    Career ending health issues
    I think missed in the article is the woeful play of the O-line.
    Can they stop the shuffle, pick the top spot for the top guys and just leave them there. Building depth for positions for injuries to players that “Might” happen is absurd at this point. How about some consistency and work on the basics – Run blocking and pass protection.
    Is the team snake bit or cursed? Can these issues be avoided or overcome next year?

    Like

  42. –And I meant to post this before — UPitt had posted about the email sent by the baseball coach urging us to buy some Pitt gear. UPitt nailed it. I went to the link provided and there was nothing related to the Pitt baseball team — they do have T-shirts which say “Pitt Baseball” on them, and I probably would have bought one — but they were not part of this special offer. Huh?

    –And one other point — I’m old, so it likely is my fault –but I needed to call the ticket office one day and I searched for a long time on Pitt’s web site to find the phone number — and never did find it. Had to look at the literature that came with my season tickets.

    Small frustrations add up…

    Only posting this because I understand AD personnel might read it here…

    Go Pitt.

    Like

  43. Mr Majors. I hear you loud and clear. Remember though, The POV can be a good source to rely on for help in these issues. You keep up being the great PITT fan you re and I really hope to see you at the POV tailgate this coming Saturday.

    Reed, Seriously. Fran needs some sort of head count for this coming week. Count me in as two. Although that’s early for my digestive system as I am old as father time.

    Fran, let me know if I can bring anything, I’ll be coming down that morning.

    To all the POV brothers and sisters, BE THERE!! we will…….

    Like

    1. Ike – I’m not getting into that with house guests here and all my other obligations. I am 50/50 if I can even make the visit to PGH anyway with the better possibility that I won’t.

      Sorry – but as you can probably tell I’m doing bare bones stuff on here for this and next week.

      Like

  44. Bertke was not D-1 material, period.

    NC State has been just as mediocre as Pitt as a program. Maybe the team is due for a letdown. Pickett has to get some snaps and then possibly take over as the starter the following week. Of course if DiNucci plays well and Pitt wins then it’s looking like the Pickett play last week was a huge mistake.

    Pine, Wirginis, Brightwell as the starters next season would be nice. Still hoping to see Henry Miller on the outside. Reynolds is gaining some good reps also.

    Like

  45. Honest to God, if there is a premium on winning then why has narduzzi stuck with Josh Conklin all this time?

    Head coaches play these games all the time with their recruiting and their rosters they want players that they picked to be on the roster they do this all the time.

    Remember that Bo Schneider was brought in by narduzzi before bertke left which made bertke the odd man out.

    Schneider was no ‘premium on winning” type of a player he was somebody that narduzzi wanted because narduzzi did not want bertke

    Like

  46. I’d like to see a good, honest comparison between Pitt under the Duzz, and Wisconsin under Chryst over the past three years. Since both are in year 3, they should be getting contributions from their own recruiting classes by now. Wisconsin strikes me as a program that is similar to Pitt, and Chryst is, as we say, personality challenged so to speak. Yet the results are so different. I hear that Wisconsin is playing a lot of JRs and SRs, so how do they keep kids after a coaching change?

    Like

    1. Wisconsin has had a system in place since Alvarez took over in 1990. A man with a plan that the school has stuck by. No reason for kids to leave after Andersen left because the system, i.e., the plan was in place.

      Pitt has had like 19 systems in place since 1990. Mickey Mouse operation so let’s hope Narduzzi wins some games so he and the system stays.

      Like

  47. I never said bBertke was going to be a star. I said that I thought that had he stayed he probably would have been the number two quarterback behind Brown because he’s better than Dinucci.

    Pretty hard to argue that point now. He’d be a rsJR this year and was a Rivals 3* s and 5.5 recruit just like MacVittie.

    Again I watched Adam Bertke throw passes in many PC’s open practices in both the spring and fall Camps of 2014 and I can tell you now he has a better arm and better throwing motion than any quarterback we have on the roster right now except for Pickett.

    Like

  48. By next year at this time, Conklin will be considered to be quite adept and Reed will find something else negative about Narduzzi or his staff …sadly it might well be the OC

    Reed, take a gander at the attached and see how 9 current players on the Wis defense are either 4th or 5th year players, and about the same for 4 or 5 on the offense. PC acquired these when he came. Narduzzi was not so lucky. This is how you build a program

    http://www.ourlads.com/ncaa-football-depth-charts/depth-chart/wisconsin/92545

    Like

  49. Glad the comments are up and running again. For what it is worth, I really liked the back and forth (or the yin and the yang going on with the blog). Without diehard optimists like Ike the blog might have become unrelentingly dreary during those awful game performances. He reminds us there is always a brighter tomorrow. UPitt on the other hand is the “in your face” realist who kind of tells it like it is directly from the heart. Plus his bluntness is kind of funny sometimes. Like the yin and yang – they are not really opposites but rather complements to help us see the whole picture… I think where the wheels came off the wagon this last weekend was a poster simply going by “anonymous” picking fights and throwing insults…

    Save our dismay for those who deserve it – the coaches – lol……

    Like

  50. Reed, I appreciate your willingness to put a stop to the out of control comments by people attacking other people for their comments instesd of focusing on Pitt football. I quit responding because most of what I saw was childish and way too mean for me to be involved with.

    Justin

    Like

  51. Despite my better judgement, I’m considering heading to town for the game. Anyone have an extra parking pass, close to the tailgate? My usual spot is Green 22 and I’m not walking a 2.5 mile round trip.

    Like

  52. OK, Here’s a question (not meaning to step on toes) and it is legit as no one knows who’s given up on the PITT football season. Anyone who plans on going to the POV tailgate this week sponsored by BigB and Fran, who is a blast of a host and entertainer. Fran is a real hoot!

    Give a shout out if you can or think you may make it. Fran puts a lot of hard work in the tailgates and literally gets up at the crack of dawn to secure a great parking spot for all.

    and……….. I’m sure he would welcome anyone who walks up and joins in.

    Reed appears to be a no go and family always comes first…..

    Red 5-A next to the Residence Inn, stop by and say hello.

    Guys and Gals, PLEASE don’t give up on these kids. We All They Got! . . . . .ike

    Like

  53. Trying to avoid my NC State pal this week. The Pack hasn’t had this good of a team for awhile. Bad luck to get them as the ‘Crossover’ game this year. Pitt seems to have the luck of the Irish. Still chasing that Pot of Gold over the Rainbow !

    Like

    1. Emel, I think he did wear #13. His dad coached him as a kid and made him take the last jersey. #13 was all that was left, so that became his number.

      Like

  54. Jay, I have one for the taking at some place called the blue garage nova parking garage if that could help you. I’ll work on something closer and let you know.

    Now that I looked closer, green is probably closer.

    Couple things. Lots of rickshaws over there and the other is, go in gate C and walk around to your seat inside.

    Like

  55. RIP Jimmy Beaumont. Pittsburgh’s own.

    Pitt could play the classic “Since I Don’t Have You” at the start of the 3rd period and it would apply well to Nate Peterman, or James Conner, or Coach Canada, etc. etc.

    Go Pitt.

    Like

  56. I, too, don’t mind the chirping at one another; it’s all in good fun if people dont get carried away or too personal. And, i suspect most, if not all of us, would go significantly out of our way to help a fellow POVer. That means a lot more than someone getting their panties all bunched up.

    As for the mystery of retaining Conklin…
    Simple:
    He is the buffer. Bitch about the defense all you want and it gets deflected to Conklin. If Narduzzi fired him and the defense remained putrid….then who you going to blame?
    He’s the fall guy. He gets credit for the worts, but not the wins. In Narduzzi’s mind, that is an asset.

    Like

  57. As far as comments go, I was criticized for seeing some positives from the game. It really didn’t bother me at all, I know people need to vent and it’s better doing that here than at home. The negativity bothers me at times, but I fully understand it. On the plus side I believe I may be able to make it to my second pov tailgate this weekend. Lastrow count me in for now. I’ll let you know if my plans change.

    Like

  58. Its not like this is a Nitter site where nobody dares say anything critical.
    We’re not a bunch of Kool-Aid drinkers over here.
    And its not wrong to be bitter after the 35 years of Hell unleashed by Pitt’s incompetent administration.
    Support from the top and stability are the keys…Pitt hasnt had that since Majors and Sherrill.
    I truly dont think Pitt will ever create the culture for sports to flourish and have a chance at excellence.
    We have every right to be frustrated this year and its not even basketball season yet.
    I agree to sticking with civility and not name calling or personal insults…somebody on Pennsylvania (in adult daycare) already has that down pat

    Like

  59. Fran the Man — I hope to stop by your Fran/POV tailgate with the wife — but we don’t need any food, we’re just stopping by to meet and greet the nutty and awesome POVers who are still going to Pitt FB games…

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 1 person

  60. Pitt mens soccer beat Penn State
    Pitt womans volleyball first in Conference

    Too bad those programs need supported by the Football program
    Just when Pitt sports might be turning the corner in the ACC, Pitt football will ruin it.

    Like

  61. Look no further than our current RB depth chart to see that one coaches recruit will trump someone elses. That is Darrin Hall, who was a 4 star Youngstown kid. A great get at that time. He has great straight ahead speed, but lacks vision to be D1 star. He didn’t redshirt if I recall. That’s a Narduzzi recruit that everyone wonders how he keeps getting carries. Simple fellas. narduzzi has to keep giving him touches as the Youngstown OH area will produce more D1 talent than Ollisons back yard.

    Continuity and patience is critical to success in any sport unless it’s football and you are the Bengals. I go back to the Plan. If the Plan is to redshirt a bunch of kids and then start playing rs Soph’s next year, that is fine.

    One part of Narduzzi’s presser that was most confusing to me was when he was addressing the OL and said that it might be until the spring to get the best OL and he mentioned Hodges, Officer, JJSmith and Herndon. I’m sorry, but aren’t all those dudes outta here? Now if he meant we are going to see Brandon Ford, Justin Morgan, Jerry Drake, Carter Warren and others going forward so they get some game tape to analyze and improve upon, than I am all in on that. Get the kids that will be here for the next 2-3 years on the line some experience. That is exactly what you are seeing with NCState on DL and Wiscy on OL and DL.

    Wirginis is not his. He won’t be back. Coaches will play their recruits if they are almost as good or better than another coaches kids. That is how it has always worked and always will. That is why kids love and follow coaches so often. Most 4 and 5 stars don’t go to school for academics. They go for coaches who they believe will get them to the next level.

    That is why Coaching Budgets are so critical. Our OC and DC have no “good will” built up and are relying on Narduzzi to close deals. SChedule 3 OOC rent a wins and that starts a change.

    Like

  62. Emel , Danny indeed wore #13 at Central. Saw one of his hs jerseys on eBay. Damn, my 50th Central reunion is next year. I went to school with a bunch of old guys. 😃 Looking forward to meeting the POV crowd and some new faces on Saturday. Keeping a tally per responses on the blog…thanks all. Ike, see you at dawn. Haha.

    Like

  63. Hall is not a good example of PN playing favorites. Ollison has clearly received more opportunities this year along with Moss. Neither has produced.

    Wirginis needs to move on. Play Pine, Reynold this year and they will be fine next year.

    Liked by 1 person

  64. Also, Officer, JonesSmith and Herndon are PC guys. If PN played favorites they would not be playing.

    20 some PC guys that play on this team. Besides ONeil, Maddox, Winslow, they are all average at best.

    Liked by 1 person

  65. When the news of George Aston’s injury broke, that was the last straw for my optimism.

    What we got here, halfway through the season is a young team trying to find itself. The coaching is suspect, there’s no leadership from Senior veterans and the early schedule was a meat grinder. So at 2-4 there are those who are ready to throw in the towel. Not so fast my friend.

    I refuse to accept the fact that a 4-8 season, or worse equates to a futile attempt at playing football. Every single game so far this year has provided a measuring stick for our Panthers to gauge where they are as a team. Other than against OSU, they haven’t been blown out of a game and they’re learning what’s required to put one in the win column.

    That being said, guys like Ford, Pickett & Davis need to see the field as much as possible going forward. These youngsters are Pitt’s future stars and now is the time for them to gain experience. Ford is the most intriguing. I hear that he is a born leader, well right now this team is devoid of leadership, other than Maddox. So get Ford on the field and see what chemistry is produced with himin there.

    Sooner or later this team will gel. With our current talent level it probably won’t be a 10-3 team but I wouldn’t mind seeing us break back into an over .500 squad next year, after witnessing this clusterphuck of a season so far in 2017.

    Still gotta win two more just to get to 4-8. Does Saturday produce a surprise Homecoming victory? Probably not but it will provide yet another lesson on what it takes to win. I just hope that these youngsters are all taking good notes.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Doc I agree with much of what you said. Just the fact of that so many young relatively, inexperienced players had to play this year was mitigation against Pitt winning many games this year. It is spot on that the grind mill this young team is going through this season will pay dividends for many of them next year.

      Like

  66. Reed’s comment about Hornibrook relative to Peterman;s arrival and the faux exchange about Bertke above made me ponder the career arc of Chad Voytik.

    For the record I had no issue with Narduzzi bringing in Peterman. He obviously didn’t think Bertke had a future at Pitt even as a backup. He therefore needed a backup at the very least in 2015. I assuming that was his minimal motivation in 2015. It has been speculated that he intended for Peterman to be the starter all along.

    Peterman ultimately showed that he was a very good D1 QB in 2016 as the leader of an offense that made Pitt an 8 win team. He made himself a 5th round NFL draft pick.

    However, I looked at Voytik’s stats from 2014 as a RS-So (starting 13) and compared those to RS-Jr Peterman’s 2015 (starting 11) and didn’t see a material difference:
    https://www.sports-reference.com/cfb/players/chad-voytik-1.html
    https://www.sports-reference.com/cfb/players/nathan-peterman-1.html

    Before it starts, Voytik played behind a line of RS-So Biz, So Johnson, RS-Fr Officer, RS-Sr Rotherham and RS-Sr Clemmings. He had So Boyd at WR and So Conner (All America) at RB. I believe he also played with Jr Holtz, RS-Sr Garner and So-Parrish.

    Pitt ranked #43 in total offense in 2014. Pitt ranked #82 in total offense in 2015. Pitt ranked #38 in total offense in 2016.

    Voytik was supplanted by Peterman as a starter in 2015 and finished his career at Arkansas State where he played very little.

    Like

  67. Following up on the Good Doc’s comment…I really believe we lost real on the field leadership from last years group that couldn’t be replaced. There was obviously a discipline problem with upper classman including Wirginis and Whitehead who were suspended. Good for Duzz. The younger guys knew what was going on so I don’t think there were any players, since removed, who could have changed the chemistry of the current young players. The new leaders will grow on the field of battle-they will emerge as this season progresses.

    I want to see competitiveness and growth as the season progress> I will not measure this group with the # of wins vs losses. Hopefully, recruitment will remain intact and we get a couple of quality players late as schools fill their rosters.

    I continue to support Duzz. Face it, PITT FB has been a total mess for years. If my kid was a 4 or 5 star I
    would suggest he look at all the possibilites based on Pitt’s history and my own experience in an urban environment which isn’t the choice of many young people.

    As far as coaching changes- I don’t see it happening this year. Instability is not the answer. Good management with commitment is the answer.

    Liked by 2 people

  68. Some great comments this morning. Just a simple thought. Last we saw Hendrix cashing Dungey towards the sideline when he flips the ball away in desperation. Fourth down, right? Most thought the penalty was on Hendrix but the young rs- freshman Pine was the guilty party.

    That play has a couple different aspects. First, that one single play could have cost PITT the game as Syracuse went on down to score 7 pts. ….. but two Hendrix the older player (without much experience) was able to stop himself and peel off the QB where as Pine the young man hit the QB late.

    It’s just one example of this PITT football team being young, undisciplined, and inexperienced.

    I’ll say it again, this season was never meant to be “The Year” then when the suspensions and all happened, that was the straw. The last straw.

    Like

  69. I think you’ll have to wait for DiNucci’s helmet to get knocked off first before you see Pickette. Then if DiNucci can get the helmet back on after one play you’ll see him return to the field. Pickette may have to throw a touchdown on his only play to make Narduzzi to have to think twice.

    Like

    1. The POV equipment manager will be on the sidelines of Heinz this weekend if Pitt cares to have a chance to neuter the wolf pack.

      The cats beat the dogs this weekend!

      Like

  70. I don’t follow recruiting closely but from the outside the gamble on MacVitte seemed like a good one. Hoping for a Big Ben part 2…..big Ohio kid who doesn’t start until his senior year and was coming in under the radar. For those who watch more closely, does MacVitte need more time, or is this going to be a gamble that didn’t pay off?

    Also, I posted previously, 4-8 is not the end of the world. Plenty of big programs (ND, Michigan, Florida, PSU) have had 4 win seasons or worse in the 20 year time period where we never won less than 5 games. We are spoiled by our “success”. The key is how you bounce back from 4-8 (look most recently at PSU and ND this season).

    Which actually begs a question. Would you prefer 9-4, 3-8, 4-7, 11-1 four year period or 9-4, 10-3, 8-5, 6-7? I think that is what frustrates Pitt fans, we are never terrible but can’t have that one nice season like PSU & WVU always seem to get every couple of years.

    Like

  71. I hear (not just here) lots of talk about Narduzzi being dumb. I really can see why some may say that although it’s not mt belief. However I do feel Narduzzi is as inexperienced as the team is, in regards to learning and growing into a head football coach.

    We know the two big examples concerning the freshman Davis and now Pickett. I think some may sell Pat short when it comes to these two decisions.

    I’m thinking Narduzzi had a hunch of Moss’s impending suspension and he tried to work Davis into the rotation sooner than later

    I can say I am almost 100% sure that HCPN had talked with his staff in case of a Browne injury, which seemed inevitable. Obviously they had agreed on Pickett as their 3rd team QB. So when Browne goes down that pretty much blew Pickett’s rs. It wasn’t because of the one last play. He was going to see some playing time at that point

    I look to see him playing this week and he may eventually take over the full time starting QB duties. I think that would make everyone happy.

    I don’t look for Thomas MacVitte to move along, I think he stays at PITT and at QB for one more season then moves to some sort of split end/TE hybrid. The kid as athletic as heck.

    Those wanting or expecting Wirginis to leave the team are being a little short sighted. What does this PITT team lack the most? That’s right, senior leadership and I would love to see him back for one more year.

    Most thought Ollison would transfer but I could tell by his body language on the field and in the locker room he was staying. I same the same thing in Wirginis…

    Like

  72. Lastrowofsection4, my wife and I will be coming in for the game on Saturday…. our annual trek in for a game. Would it be possible to include us in your head count? It will be great to put faces to the names.

    Looks like we will be missing out on “Mr. Reed” …. seems like that man could use some R&R that does NOT include Pitt Football.

    Like

  73. Don’t count Reed out yet. Closer to game time he gets more into PITT game mode. I understand he’s needs to be with family and the POV wears him out every so often but I’ve found that just when you don’t Reed will be there. Boom! << He’s crazy like that..

    Hey Fran, a chance that my son walt4prez may be there with someone but that will only be for appearances, he’s another mover and shaker. I never know what he’s doing next?

    Like

  74. Got all the responses for the tailgate…keep em coming. 17 POV’ERS / guests so far. Plus my usual dirty dozen or so. Welcome to the first timers.

    Like

    1. Lastrow – you can count me and my wife for a visit at the tailgate – you are a great host.

      My wife believes you are all nice guys and gals (she met Annie). But she doesn’t read the blog – you mean SOP’s.

      Like

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