Pitt’s Problems

Byline by Lee Pickens

While watching a recent documentary about 100 years of Pitt football that Bob Jeffery had posted on his “Real Pitt Football Talk” Facebook site – something came to me in a flash like Curtis Martin running wild against Texas in ’94.

I realized something very simple.  We have a real disconnect between the coaching staff and the players.

While watching a game the other day our opponent kept scoring against us, and my Dad, a rabid Pitt fan, kept asking me “How do we stop these guys? Should we blitz the gaps? ” or “why did we run a jet sweep on 3rd and 1?”.

Thinking I knew the answers I explained the sets Pitt’s defense were in and plays we were calling and how these players just couldn’t execute.   I wondered if that was the case over the last five years also… that was until I watched that documentary from 1990.

If it is really apparent that the players aren’t bad or not good enough to compete, then I’ll agree that recruiting is all-important.  But if you are only going to get only  three star or a sprinkled few four star talents like Pitt has done over the last few years then COACHING is the key…

Now this doesn’t mean Pitt’s coordinators have run complex defenses or trick plays on offense. It comes down to the Coordinators ensuring that the position coaches teach fundamentals such as efficient running, blocking, tackling; coming back to the football to make the catch and how to lead the receiver by the QB.  Throw in other basic football talents like knowing when to call for a fair catch or to throw the ball away to avoid a sack.

These are all things that can be coached up, but many times aren’t, at least not well enough to show a consistent high quality of play on the field.  This is a real part of Pitt’s problems in this ongoing 2017 season.

Pitt’s coaches these days work hard putting in new plays and going over film but are they focusing on the correct things with such a young football team? The answer appears to be ‘no’ based on what we have seen so far in this year.

I’d like to take a step back and speak about the current state of the program.

We recently started tapping back into Pitt’s great tradition of getting players from around the Pittsburgh area and the outlying towns in Ohio.  Recent WPA recruits Safety Jordan Whitehead, LB Kaezeon Pugh, DB Damar Hamlin and Safety Paris Ford were great ‘gets’ as recruits but no matter what their HS talent level was highly rated recruits have to turn into good college players – and that is where effective coaching comes in.

This combination of talent and coaching is what made Pitt a powerhouse during the 70’s through the mid 80’s. As was stated earlier we are not always going to get too many five-star kids from around here, when there are some that is, to come to Pitt. Look up WR Robert Foster’s college career; he chose to be a depth player at Alabama rather than an almost sure starter at Pitt  and potentially being a star and segueing  into the NFL – he was that talented.

Pitt has a lot of players get drafted in the last five season – it isn’t a stretch to think Foster would have been one of them:

Pitt Draft 5 years

That said even in Pitt’s worst years you can see how many Pitt players of all recruiting rankings are in, or have been in, the NFL.

Pitt NFL 2106

This year  there were 17 returning players in NFL camps this summer (above), along with the many guys who were picked up by NFL teams after last season. All this shows we have had a lot of physical talent on our recent rosters.

So I believe the biggest issue facing this team right now necessarily isn’t being younger; it is the coaching staff.  I believe Pat Narduzzi  certainly is  the right man for the job.  He has the potential to be a lifer at Pitt and not run for the first opportunity elsewhere like his predecessors with  their “High Octane Offense!” have done;  nor does he have  a “Chryst like demeanor.” He is a motivator and an emotional coach who cares about his players. His downfall however could be his unswerving loyalty to his coaching staff.

At what point does he hear jet sweep being called through his headset on 3rd and 1 and just says NO! and then request a change to a simple dive or QB sneak?

It’s time he starts to live up to the promises he made to the student athletes in their living rooms when he recruited them.  And that is that they would get the best coaching staff available.

Some of the staff’s personnel decisions have been productive like using DB Jordan Whitehead on offense. He has amazing vision and acceleration yet after the game Coach Narduzzi said “The line seems to block better for him!” Sorry coach, but whether that is tongue-in-cheek or not maybe the problem is the Offensive Line coach himself, John Peterson, who has his OL players rotating  in and out all game.

If the OL kids are not in shape enough to play the entire game that is a problem…  a coaching and strength and conditioning problem. I know one of them was recently converted from the D line.  How about moving him back there and picking your best five actual OL players so they can develop into a cohesive unit.

Some of the blocking schemes are so ridiculously complicated they had the strong side tight end try to block the weak side defensive end? That play was the direct result in leading to QB Max Browne getting hurt in the latter half of the Syracuse game.

This in turn led to Kenny Pickett, who is the future of the program, losing his redshirt on a single meaningless 13 yard pass. But had we put him in the first to run the offense when DiNucci’s helmet came off the first time we could have saved that time out maybe we could have got into field goal range later in the series?   Again questionable staff calls.

The coaching staff also has decided we should have converted WR’s playing linebacker. Look at Syracuse’s rushing TD in the second half of last week’s game. A WR trying to take on a 275 pound fullback on the goal line? If the coaches weren’t trying to be geniuses, Sean Idowu Pitt’s best defensive player, wouldn’t have had to put on weight and could have been a phenomenal Strong Safety. That move would have allowed Whitehead to play Free Safety and DB’s coach to rotate in Hamlin when necessary.

Pitt needs to get back to fundamentals of football, learn and practice those to effectiveness and stop creating situations on the field where we are beating ourselves.  If you watched the Pitt-PSU game can you say honestly say now that PSU looked like the #3 team in the country? Not even close.

Sure they have one of the best RB in college football but he was a non-factor for the most part.  It was Pitt’s questionable play calling and defensive formations that helped us to lose that game along with the three others we have dropped.

Before I began writing this I was convinced that the right plays were being called but just not being executed by Pitt players. So I re-watched  a few of the games again.  Indeed with a closer second-hand look a lot of the play calling on offense was, well, just offensive.  For instance our OC Shawn Watson has continued to use shovel passes on 3rd and long yardage when we showed that play so many times last season and again earlier this year that it takes no one by surprise any longer.

Is it any wonder that our 3rd down conversion rate is an absymal 34% and ranked #103rd nationally?

Watson insists calling screens inside the red zone which lead to a safety. It didn’t help when the QB forgot that the screen play call was actually passed  by himself to the 10 others in the huddle just seconds before, but that is a risky play to call so deep in your own territory regardless.

In every game we see players not lined up in correct formations on defense when the ball was snapped. Not because they weren’t smart enough to run those formations  but mostly because the coaches were not getting  the sets called into the defensive captain in time!

And over and over we are seeing missed tackles on defense and on offense blockers using bad techniques.   We’ve watch  our  supposed star WR Jester Weah dropping passes or our heralded Special Team’s returner Quadree Henderson letting the ball bounce down to the 5 yard line on a punt return.

These are all things that can, and with the upper classmen, already  should have been coached firmly and thoroughly.   So I think the unit position coaches need to start being held accountable for most of these problems.

I know people will say it’s not the “X’s and O’s” so much but is the “Jim’s and the Joe’s”! Well when the Jim’s and Joe’s can’t block, run, tackle or catch properly at this level of play does it matter what play is called?

Regardless, it’s time for the coaches to get back to the basics and focus on fundamentals and not their ego’s…

407 thoughts on “POV NCS Game Thread and Guest Author

  1. Here is a website that is predicting all the week 7 ACC scores…

    http://www.sportsline.com/insiders/25822784/cfb-acc-week-7-projected-final-scores-revealed/?ttag=SL17_nl_247_pitt_1013

    …and here is what they said about the Pitt-NC State game:

    “Saturday, Oct. 14

    N.C. STATE AT PITTSBURGH, NOON ET

    SportsLine Projection Model’s score: N.C. State 34, Pittsburgh 30

    Vegas line: The Wolfpack are at -12, from the opening line of -10 (O/U 56)

    Projected Statistics: For the Wolfpack, Ryan Finley passes for 393 yards and 2.43 TDs, with Kelvin Harmon catching 5.5 passes for 83 yards and Jaylen Samuels 7.3 passes for 71 yards. May Browns throws for 254 yards and 1.83 TDs for the Panthers.”

    Huh? Mays Brown must be another Narduzzi last-gasp QB transfer… Interesting that.

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  2. Conklin and Hill should have been ‘left go’ at the end of last season, after a comical season of supposed defense, with several players that made the NFL. So what does that say. I believe Price, Jarrett and the 2 LB’s stuck with NFL teams. So you had 4 of 11 on defense that were NFL worthy or (close if they got cut since) and you had one of the most putrid college defenses in Pitt history,

    Not to mention the 61 points given up to Syracuse with their 3rd string qb.

    No accountability gives you what you got….a Keystone Cop Defense.

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  3. And the HC’s for the most part over the last 35 years haven’t been real hot either. Again cheap gets you 2nd rate coaches.

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  4. Lee
    An outstanding article! (must be the first name) I like the analysis of individual plays and players and BTW I’m sure the line does block better for Jordan. 🙂

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  5. I’m not convinced BD is not a D1 qb. He did unload a 60 yarder from the end zone which is a lot farther than a lot of us might have thought him capable of. Then again he hardly has me believing he is D1 capable. Not sure today is a fair test with our OL and NCS’s DL.

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  6. fortunate to get out of that series. pay close attention to our D Line today. So far, no push so we have to get that going. This QB is too good.

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  7. Speed wins — we look like we are stuck in mud. Last night was a true eye opener because Syracuse is not loaded with 4 and 5 star recruits— coaching/coaching/coaching we are a disaster.
    The Wolfpack shows Pitt no respect and tries a play on 4th down and 4.

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    1. Great points but the plays and personell have put the Panthers are just not given a good chance to win with these decisions.

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      1. Agreed 100 per cent and it’s happens again today. 14-14 at halftime.. that in itself was a miracle. The kids played their hearts out. I hope coach duzz does something.

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    1. Still felt like he wasn’t used in the right way, AJ Davis got a few carries after the game was out of hand once again. Personnel, decisions kill me……

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      1. Yes this is plaguing this team. The only drive in the 3rd quarter I saw Coach Duzzi grab Whitehead and send him back out there. Then once the play was called he was brought out, while leaving the field I watched him wave his hands like “what” and Narduzzi put his hand on his hips and just looked down…

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  8. That Syracuse loss doesn’t bode well for our program going forward. If you look back at our records against them you will see looong periods of dominance by one team or the other and it is about time for our recent dominance to expire.

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  9. i said watch the DLine…..big strong guys at NC State against slow weak guys at Pitt. Simple formula. we are 2 yards off the line at the snap.

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  10. whitehead is one guy. the rest of them suck. Sorry Ike. I want to be positive on this beautiful day. this team has very little talent.

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    1. Do they “suck” I mean can you blame a kid when when Araon Mathews has dome great catches in the first half and hard fought YAC!? Then he is MIA for the second half? I think he got back in in the 4th?

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  11. Unbelievable, yet again Pitt is relegated to streaming on ESPN, even against a ranked team and the damn game is blacked out here (Atlanta). What the hell is the point of streaming if it’s blacked out?

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  12. Henderson is kind of a lazy route Runner and I think he could have definitely turned it in for a first down on that last catch of his . But he seems to be taking it kind of easy when he’s in the receiver role.

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    1. They all are. Lopes is about the only one who runs crisp routes and seems to know where the chains and sidelines are.

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    1. Any LB’s we have over 205 lbs Narduzzi switches to DE. Or, how to recruit 2 star guys and still get a little speed….

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  13. The color commentator just said that the Pitt defense should be really happy with how they’ve played — they’re on a pace to give up 800 yards in this game.

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  14. you have to admit – even the biggest supporters – that this coaching staff sucks and never has these kids ready. they absolutely suck. NC State staff -like every other team we’ve played- has no respect for us so they run whatever plays they want and experiment since we’re worse than their 2nd team practice squad.

    Also ask you pay attention to the receivers. Easier to do here in person than on TV but they are very lazy route runners if they aren’t primary.

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  15. They just played Sweet Caroline and everyone was singing. I thought everyone hated it? Oh that’s right it’s the people that don’t go to the games who hate it. And the band is mic’ed up in my section. I guess it isn’t mic’ed up on a couch in NC

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    1. There is no way that is accurate. ESPN reported 41,124, which I believe is still optimistic. The upper deck couldn’t have had even 5000. I had empty seats all around me. My daughter arrived with her boyfriend right after NC State’s punt return (problem catching Red LIne T). They both had Conner bobbleheads and said that there were stacks of boxes outside of Gate C.

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  16. Keep the opposing QB asleep……

    Punt less….

    Game not on in my location. Going off comments, so no say much. Will listen the 2nd half. Keep protecting our qb.

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  17. I worry that the State quarterback is going to pick up where he left off on that last Drive where he was passing pretty well. If we see that in the second half we might be in trouble but so far so good huh…?

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  18. Thanks for the link emel. Got it running just to see a throw off the back foot by our qb.

    Good news is i also got to watch briggs get beat on a wheel route but their receiver dropped the ball. Lets move it! Max protect and attack their corners.

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  19. That was careless ball security by our QB

    Keep your eye on their NT. He is blowing up our center every play. Disruptive. Granted, i have only watched a handful, but the Hall run and the passes this last series seemed evident of a problem there. C’mon, let’s hold em!

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    1. Joel – we all went in early to get our Conner bobble head gift.

      And yes, Fran hosted a nice post-game discussion/tail-gate.

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    1. Agreed – DiNuch played well and should have been given a chance to win the game.

      The other QB did not score for Pitt. Nothing Lyke throwing the game away – might do that with my remaining tickets.

      Oh and the traffic was horrendous coming on 279 – thanks for the warning Heather. You cost me an hour of tailgating. I heard for the 1st time on the Fan 93.7 after sitting in the jam for one hour. Had the Fan on for two hours.

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  20. Narduzzi lost his mind. Start him or let Dinucci finish te game. This done ZERO for either kid but destroy confidence. Narduzzi is a very bad coach.

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    1. Although we still may have had questions, at most Pickett should have been in literally for the first down play that gained 5 yards and then put DiNucci back in. Then it might look more related to protecting a QB unit that has been affected by injury.

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  21. I am okay with the qb change. We really haven’t had any sustained momentum or flow. OL getting no push in running game and that starts at center. Put officer in at center.

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  22. Stadium looks empty.

    Want to get a headstart on the Fanta and not watching Narduzzi do anything else stupid.

    Start Pickett if you want him to play. This bush league swapping is silly.

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    1. I like making moves but Pickett is 19 and can lose confidence quick. Gotta let him start his own game and get even field. NC State know will hammer down on the expected pass.

      Love the Obama Bottle Heads in a Connor Uni.

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    1. But Narduzzi won’t be able to brag we held them in rushing even though giving up 700 yards in passing. Haha

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  23. Agree on the qb analysis. Dinucci doesn’t prioritize the ball and is just whipping it when he gets pressure. Floaters.

    He will probably go back in.

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  24. Sadly we really don’t have anyone who stands out on the field. No. 34watts looked good on the DL. Our defense doesn’t even tackle the ball or try and strip it. They seem happy just to make the tackle.

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  25. Good Arm but missing wide open wr. Expected as a young kid. Reason to play him rest of year then maybe he wont stink next year.

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    1. I love the move. Glad he is in now and getting game experience. DiNucci’s decision making was starting to falter. And for a kid making his first start, he’s doing OK. He is our future- happy it’s here.

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  26. We need a 7 there not three.

    I think Pickett looks pretty good and he stays in control of what he’s doing which I like and instead of throwing the ball away which are other two quarterbacks would have done on that last play. At least he tried to get the ball down field to a receiver…

    I think he’s going to be a good one for us

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    1. I agree and that is why he doesn’t come off the field all season. If he doe Narduzzi needs canned. A village idiotic sees he is our best QB after 2 series.

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  27. I think on the double move, lopes was held just a bit. Still overthrown but not as bad. I like that the moment doesnt look to big for him

    Expect ncst to keep throwing a huge rush on him… gotta max protect here or a TO is likely.

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  28. Interesting game though. Not bad for the young inexperienced kids. The D is improving every week. Next year might have some promise. Need to get the O-Line going though.

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  29. 2-5 Narduzzi. Earning that 2M. Not.

    Terrible play calling 2nd half Watson.

    Thank God for Pickett. Play him now!

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    1. Pickett enrolled in January, but he is a true freshman. Had to play Browne. I would have made Pickett the back up though.

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  30. I think many will argue that the play-calling has technically been better today. Nonetheless, there are still run blocking issues.

    However, I wonder if another argument for having started.played Pickett earlier this season is that they seem more willing to open the playbook. (It is hard for me to assess if it is simply game-situation. Even PITT knows to open it up to have a chance to win. Watson, however, may have been more poised as a playcaller earlier in the season if Pickett were in there).

    But since I am a slow-typer, I have seen a few throws fro Pickett that have been too strong.

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  31. 4th and 12 and we call an option? Narduzzi. Younand your buddy I get fired everywhere Watson should be ashamed. I think we lose most games becasue of Narduzzi. Seriously. He could mess up a one car funeral.

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  32. Interior defense of line is looking much better so are the defenselive backs …can’t say that about the linebackers are the defensive ends…

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  33. Narduzzi – i’m proud of these kids they worked her tail off out there today. He also won’t commit to pick it in his press conference because he has no balls

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  34. look the D Line and LBs are a major problem. physically dominated every game and bad tackles. tell me what is in the cupboard for the next 2 years at those positions? Almost rhetorical if Duzz doesn’t fire his best friend Conklin.

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  35. Well folks, i do think we have found our qb going forward. Arm strength, poise, prioritization of football…check.

    I think we found our uniforms. Keep them. check.

    Did anyone watch winslow on that punt return? He was so busy looking at who was going to block him from the side, that the guy just ran past him. Funny view, but he is 6’5″.

    Dinucci had lopes on a wheel and held it there…ugggh

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  36. DiNucci doesn’t have half the pocket presence of Picket. The dummy runs right into the only guy who could tackle him.

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  37. And thus ends the short QB controversy. I told you DiNucci is a fumble waiting to happen. Carries the ball like a loaf of bread….

    Play Pickett!

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  38. May have mentioned football prioritization 5 minutes ago. Dinucci does not have that and it is obvious.

    I think Narduzzi just found the reason to make the switch and the details prove that out.

    Overall good game for a loss. But it was a loss.

    Take our 180 pound center out. It’s not his fault he is smaller and a walkon. I am glad for his effort, but we have to be bigger and better there. Same with 55. If we don’t have at least two OL that can supplant those guys now, we are in trouble for years to come. Play the young OL and give them something to improve upon during the offseason.

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  39. If I remember correctly freshman Danny Marino was inserted against the North Carolina Tar Heels in Chapel Hill during his freshman season… He never looked back… Of course the cast of supporting characters was really strong

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  40. I really dont think Narduzzi will sniff an 8 win season again.
    Time to start looking for a new coach
    Next year 6 wins, bowl loss
    Following year 7 wins, bowl loss
    We are an average program not coming close to realizing its potential
    The BoT is fine with their $25M each year from the conference regardless of wins.

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    1. Well last year it was more like Canada. And the year before Chubbs brought Peterman. Cheesehead Paulie had nothing to do with that.

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      1. You mean except the 9 starters he recruited and coached. Pitt’s offense was just as good with Voytik running it.

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  41. I was close. I picked 34-17 and I damn near hit it..

    Blame DiNucci? I didn’t watch the game, just listened on the radio but correct me if I’m wrong here- we scored 14 of our 17 pts with him under center, right? Hillgrove and Osborne HIGHLY questioned the move to Pickett (on the radio.)

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  42. But we as Pitt fans cannot live with the BoT. How does one impeach BoT members and those on the board that colluded with Pedo State to keep Pitt’s program from reaching excellence?

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  43. I hope all who went to this game have plenty of beers left over for the funeral after the game. The Pitt program is dead.

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  44. They went back to JJS at RT and Bookser at Guard. O-line was terrible. Even Whitehead only had 18 yards on 8 carries. Hall 9 carries for only 17 yards.

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    1. Yea ikr…..Little Q did have one nice 15 yard reverse. Jet sweep only works if you can run between the tackles. And we never have established that this year.

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  45. Agree with Hillgrove and Osborne on this questioning the qb change. Pickett played OK and yet not as SPECTACULAR as posts above would make it seem. Was Narduzzi needing to justify his burning the redshirt?

    Overall best progression was by the o-line and then Dinucci…both have a long way to go.
    I think we may see 2 more wins this year with the first one next week.

    I am sure everyone saw the Pitt player going up to Dinucci after the switch and them both shaking heads. If he is ever to be THAT GUY, this can’t sit well with him. This week will show and if not, I am all in with Pickett.

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    1. This season is over. Want to go 4-8 next year? No? Then Pickett better get some experience now for next year. Maybe we can squeak out 7-5 that way.

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  46. Pitt needs good recruits and coaches. Not just one and not the other. You need to average 3.5 stars to be competitive. Need to have good coaches on both sides of the ball. Need to have a QB.

    Also need to have an administration that supports athletics, big money boosters, a large fan base, and a culture that nourishes sports. Pitt has none of these things.

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  47. Just back from the game, some observations:

    1) Wife was running late, arrived at gate at 11:57, LOTS of bobble heads left!!

    2)There cannot be a good reason Zeise is playing. Specifically focused on him. Slow, weak, and out of position. Guys, he is really lost out there.

    3) Hate to harp on it, but we are so small and weak physically, it is very,very noticeable. Looked like men against boys.

    4) Effort, some guys really tried, others just wanted to get out of the way!

    5) Coaching, I do not feel I even need to address this. Period!!

    6) Other than that it was a really nice day.

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  48. I think it was an objective commentary throughout the game. Mainly because their first 2 td’s were just huge plays and not 6 bad plays in a row with the same net result. The last TD didn’t matter. Still soft as far as hitting on defense.

    I don’t think anybody blamed Dinucci for the loss. He did throw an awful interception before he was first pulled if I remember correctly. There were a few other times where he avoided a rush and then floated balls that just made it to the sidelines. There is no controversy here. You have to go with Kirby Pickett going forward. No question.

    Pickett missed on a double move and we all called it out. That is practice. There was actually a slight pass interference on Lopes that slowed him down, but the ball was already in the process of being thrown to a spot without modification. Another ball hit Darren Hall in the face because he wasn’t ready for it and was actually loafing his route because he wasn’t primary and he was a bit covered. Other than that, there needs to be some reason to be excited. Pickett seems to give a look of something better, so I support that.

    Need to replace a minimum of two OL. Morrissey got pushed backwards when they lined a nose tackle over him and it disrupted the running game. Solve the OL and win the trenches, you win the games.

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  49. Just back from the game….my thoughts…..

    Beautiful weather, about 40,000 live people in attendance. Pitt D secondary played their best game of the year. Hamlin was terrific. Camp had a good game except for the long TD where he got pancaked in a double team and Whitehead dove at the runners feet and missed. Need some big immovable bodies on the D line. The NCST O line towered over our pathetically small D lineman.

    I think if you asked Nard and staff if they had it to do over…..they never would have moved around the Pitt O line. What a mess. Actually they blocked for pass protection very well but the frosh center was literally overrun trying to run block. If the O line of Pitt wasn’t getting pancaked back into the backfield they were whiffing on blocks.

    I’m very prejudice because I know Pickett is the future but Nucci has a HS arm …Pickett has a Canon plus he’s lightning fast. Start him and play him. Coach Nard said that he put Ben back in because Pickett doesn’t know the fast snap offense? Who the hell is that on?
    The 4th down option play would have worked …it was well blocked. Bad lateral.

    Pitt is a very young, small, inexperienced team. You can blame the coaches all you want…but that’s who we are. I saw massive defensive improvement out there today. This is the worst O line I’ve seen at Pitt in 23 years. No excuse for that!

    The roads and bridges in the Burgh are a travesty. I swear they close them on purpose tp piss off Pitt fans on game day!

    Brother in laws heart valve replacement went well. 7 hours of surgery! Put game into perspective.

    Meeting frat brothers wives, mistresses for dinner at Mitchell’s. H2P

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    1. Hey, Narduffis believe that Pugh should be on the D-line……at 210 lbs soaking wet. Of course there’s always Oakland pizza….

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  50. Warning to POVerts easily offended by strong language, get kids away from this screen.I got seriously hurt today and Heather its your fault.

    Today this 62 yoa double Pitt grad, soon to be 63 on Halloween, went to Homecoming. I have two total knee replacement and on a good day I can keep my balance and not skuffle my one foot on the ground often. I tripped on a black wrestling mat in the Great Hall that was left there after your great wrestling exhibition to make the day brighter for us FB fans. It was unattended, not a Pitt person in sight, nor SEA personnel. It was forking embarassiing enough to trip and fall face first on the mat but I am pretty sure that I have fractured by sternum – xrays tomorrow.

    First off you Forking Moron who in the f wants to see a wrestling exhibition in the dark Great Hall. What forking genius decided on a black mat? Why was this hazard deserted and left there for old farts like me to trip over. There was not a single forking Pitt coach or player or manager there to warn people like me. Just a hazard left in the middle of the floor. No cones around it, nothing except one usher who warned me in mid-fall there was a 1/2 high hazard left on the floor. Not even a person to file a report with. I guess you and your coaches etc had to run to the field to hand out awards and trinkets – you looked like a slut. I have repeatedly complained about this forking stupid “partnership” with the cheap STeelers. When it comes to you Heather, the Steelers and the SEA all I can say is FU FU FU.

    Perhaps we will discuss this monumentally stupid decision to hold a wrestling exhibition and its lousy effects on an average old fan. I will file a lawsuit and we can finally meet you ignorant slut. FU FU FU Oh brush up on the thin skull rule and hazards in tort law you moron slut.

    Sorry Poverts I really needed to vent before the juniper berries and lime kick in.

    Oh Heather, those 30 K bobbleheads, there were cartons and cartons left at my noon arrival. What a shootshow you are. Perhaps at Fargo they would have enjoyed this stupid day of the dangers of wrestling. YOU ARE AN IDIOT.

    Okay time for jokes on me guys I am self-medicating from my extreme pain. I actually have thoughts on the game for another day. Sorry if I offended anyone but gosh I needed to vent.

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  51. DiNuch will be a seasoned, competent back-up..

    We need linebackers…tough guys who can fend off a block, stuff a hole and make a viscous hit…

    We need DEs who can bring the HEAT…

    Hamlin over-rates his island.. slow and can’t tackle..

    OL would ” look” better if Officer would lose 75 lbs, JJ lose 50 and little Jimmy gaine 40.. can you believe he’s listed @ 3oo

    Why did JW run the same quick pitch over and over… answer – same reason QH only runs a jet sweep… How is that working ?

    We beat Duke, UNC and Va during the extended spring practice…

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  52. Anyone else see mighty Boston college beat Louisville?? It’s official, we’ve become worse than Bc. Thanks pitt

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  53. Raines can see he starts for Pitt ( if he has a FB IQ) and commits on Halloween weekend…

    Franklinstein is in it for the $$$$ and follows Jackie Sherillls lead to Texas AM where hookers are utiilized in recruiting..lessening boring copter travel…

    Nit fans are elated by the Frankenstein move, hire Jay Paterno to be head coach… Sandusky is released and given orders to check on Emel and UPitt who were last seen in the shower….

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  54. rkb… u sound like an f’ing lawyer.. cry baby.. whining wussy.. act like a man.. you experienced a gravity storm!!!! Send me you address- I am a physical therapist and want to send you my business card- call for a free consultation…

    See you in s few- you betta B dare

    Like

  55. Wow, Dan we must have had different seats. Hamlin played OK, barely. Talk about waving at runners? That option had NO chance, 2 defenders waiting. 35k max. As bad as roads and bridges may be, I will tell you this was the best all year! Rest I agree with.

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  56. RKB…I had a neutral opinion of Heather until today. She gave out 7 separate arawds and had her acne scarred face on the big screen 7 times. The lady behind me asked “ who is that awful woman?, I thought this was a football game?” Is she really that insecure???

    Not to be maudlin, ( and no I haven’t started drinking yet!) but I’m 67 ..never know when this will be the last trip to the Burgh. You would think Pitt could make it a better experience for us. UPitt ..it was the Carrick 3rd grade class that created that Godawful halftime patch at mid field. Classless Pitt ..just classless..

    Get better RKB!

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  57. And did anyone see that BC running back shed that Louisville kid?? That’s what being physical can do. And yes, we are officially the worse 2major sport program in the conference. How quick it can go downhill.

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  58. Dan72.. I hear you .. stop the stupid awards… today’s game is literally ruined with all of the extraneous stoppages of play… Heather- sit your A$$ down – we ( Dan 72 & BigB don’t give a damn)

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  59. I also get sick of the BS awards. Also, with the midfield logo, this was the first time I remember seeing the Steeler logo showing through. Does anyone there know what they are doing. And does anyone there actually care??

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    1. No bc they are morons. Couldnt run a hotdog stand in a homeless part of town and giving them away free.

      2-5 Year 3. Keep the excuses coming Pat. You dork

      Like

  60. All you POVerts… GETUR A$$E$ to the Duke game.. great venue.. go through Duke U ticket office$40 includes a large drink, hotdog or pop corn…

    We need to do our part.. Pickett Charge.. winning streak starts next weekend…

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  61. Just watched the replay. Pickett’s stats look not so great and look, a lot on this blog seem to be pro-pickett for a while and I am not one of them. But middling stats don’t tell the story. He is head and shoulders above dinucci. Arm, accuracy, foot speed, pocket presence. Two drops, like 4 hurries and incompletions on 20 yard attempts more playable than dinucci missing 7 yarders. I have no dog in the show…I think I am completely u biased in this, and I think there is no comparison. Pickett looks very promising.

    Now we just need an OL and DL! Not east to just “get” unfortunately.

    Like

    1. He has a quick release and a cannon arm. He can run and avoid sacks. I don’t care about his stats. And most of all he’s our starter next year. Want to start out 1-4 or 3-2 next year?

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  62. DD.. your right on about Pickett.. he is # 1 going forward… we need line backers.. receivers.. we have young studs who will step up for the Obesity Factor” on the OL next year…

    I have concluded QH is not a receiver or RB… he will return next year.

    Q Wirginis will not be back… he will be Captain Wirginis of the Gateway Clipper Fleet… hope to get a selfie with him when he pilots me to the Ketchup Bottle next year…

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  63. OL – even the great Tony Dorsett couldn’t get positive yardage.

    LBs – WHY is Zeise still on the field. PN has him on the wrong seat on the bus.

    I honestly don’t see another win this season. PN will have his hands full trying to keep this team together.

    Duke will dominate us.
    UNC will look like super bowl contenders.
    Miami will make us look like 5th graders.

    Play Pickett. Play all the frosh in the house. See who wants to win. See who has attitude. See who has character! See who are Pitt men!

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  64. I know us fans too easily say, play the young now. Coaches have pressure to win every game and don’t do it. I get it. But I agree with other posters, I just don’t see much to lose at this point. Play the young to maximize success next year.

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  65. Good to see Pickett get snaps but here is the problem. At 4:04 to play in 4th quarter Pickett came in. HCPN admitted in post game interview that Pickett had NEVER practiced a hurry up offense. There was no excuse to have him in there at that time. Say what you will about Nooch ( whose passer rating was 110 vs Picket 77) you cannot put a player into a situation he has not practiced for, it is not fair to the player or the team. Yet another coaching blunder. Seriously, PN had no explanation for his decision, like a deer in the headlights.

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  66. To be clear PN should have put Nooch back in for the good of the team.
    Lee outstanding article, put many of my ideas in a clearer light. Rotating OLs half way through the season, bye bye OL coach.

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    1. I don’t care a bucket of spit for the good of the team….I care about the good of the program. If Pickett rides the pine this year we start out 1-4 next year. 2 years in a row like this and this crap program will not be able to survive.

      Maybe you need to take another look at the programs surrounding Pitt. I agree that our O-line coach needs to join half the staff on the unemployment line. Maybe get a job at Shaler HS.

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  67. That “quick snap offense” substitution of DiNucci makes more sense now.

    Boy, I have a lot to discuss in tomorrow’s podcast… But quick thoughts…

    We have to remember that this is the first week that Pickett took even QB2 snaps between games. If Narduzzi has his head on straight and Watson isn’t a fool completely then Pickett will take the QB1 snaps this week and from now on and believe me that makes a difference in how somebody plays on Saturday.

    Our defense is still very bad… That last NCS TD wasn’t garbage time… we were still in the game and the have a chance to win mode before we give that TD up. That was a vital time and our defense failed and the game was Out Of Reach after that.

    The statistics against us as far as defense goes were as bad as they get pretty much except for maybe Oklahoma State. A small bit better on passing but we will revert in that probably.

    248 yards rushing at a 6.5 clip; 35 points allowed – exactly what NCS has averaged all year, etc. Just because we didn’t give up 50+ doesn’t mean we did well. Doing well in a few series does not mean you are good… It just means that you were better than our normal for short periods.

    And again, I just do not see the young ‘talent’ that everyone’s saying we have on defense. I see a bunch of average at best 3* kids getting their asses handed to them week after week. Starting in the 2nd half of the YSU game when we gave up 285 yards and 28 points in 30 minutes to them.

    Still averaging 31.4 on defense… only 2 points less than last year. Please tell me again why Conklin shouldn’t have been fired in January???

    Just a terrible year, both players and coaches, all around.

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    1. The pass defense is improved, but the front 7 is garbage. Especially the front 4. Yeah Narduzzi…..we could sure use a fast 205 lb DE right about now….

      Like

    2. I thought NC State left several passing plays on the field through missed throws and drops, particularly in the first half. In looking at the play by play it appears that Finley was 2-9 for 13 yards until their final drive of the first half.

      I was absolutely shocked that the referees called the offensive PI on NC State on the denied TD. I saw it happen live and thought it was clearly a penalty but it is called so infrequently.

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  68. Sorry, I didn’t see the obvious superiority of Pickett. And he looked 6’ 1” in heeled shoes. Not saying he does not have talent. He just isn’t as good as DiNucci as of the moment. Don’t care if I’m the only one who feels this way. And by the way, if the tipped pass to JW had been intercepted as it should have been none of you would be saying how great Pickett looked especially if that interception was run back for a touchdown. Actually I think putting Pickett in when he was was plain stupid. The game had not been lost as of the moment. Dinucci had played well to that same moment with a dummy OC calling the plays and a horrible OL. No we were certainly not the better team but with a break or two and the team rising to the occasion who knows what might have been. SW is the CEO of our offense and he is not a bright guy. He’s handsome. But he ain’t smart and good looks get you nowhere in football. Sorry for speaking so bluntly about what I think is the obvious truth about Pickett, Dinucci and SW. I do agree with everyone about HL. One more thing: the remark about her complexion was beyond disgusting.

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    1. Spot on. Honestly, DiNucci didn’t deserve getting yanked. What kind of head games is Narduzzi playing with the young man? I watched BD during his HS career, and I can say with absolute certainty, He’s got MoJo! What he doesn’t have is a coaching staff. Put a decent OL in front of him, let him run a no-huddle O, and this young man will create many believers!! Best wishes Sir Ben!

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      1. Pickett was 5-13 for 61 yards. QBR of 29,2. For comparison, DiNucci had a QBR of 53.2.

        It’s possible DiNucci was talking about something other than being yanked on the sidelines while Pickett played, but he seemed frustrated about something while talking to other players.

        Like

  69. Narduzi approves of back up kicker kneeling during anthem. I’m done with this coach, no matter how they play! God Bless America.

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  70. I don’t trust this staff to do the right thing and start Pickett the rest of the way.

    Narduzzi has to clean house with his staff. Both coordinators have got to go for starters.

    Just disgusting how this team can’t run the ball. Peterson has done a terrible job with this O-line unless it’s all on the running backs.

    I actually like what I’m seeing with the younger defensive linemen. Edwards and Folston don’t do much and Hendrix is just another guy. Jones and Wheeler have to make strides next year.

    These linebackers, ugh. No freaking way can Idowu and Zeise be the starters next season. Pine and Wirginis with Brightwell next season. Disappointed that McKee is hurt and MIA.

    Good to see Kessman hitting more field goals but Winslow didn’t do so well.

    Can this team beat Duke, Virginia and Carolina?

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  71. rinse and repeat every year with this program
    things wont change until change happens at the top
    the fish rots at the head
    id like to throw a horse head in someones bed tonight or mail a dead fish to someone
    because this program is dead
    and those in charge….

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    1. “I’m never going to tell a guy you can’t do something,” he said. LOL, then how come you keep suspending our star players? We should have kept Wanny then…

      Of course Pitt can afford to lose more fans…. (cough)

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      1. BTW, read the comments.

        “This is great news. I was going to buy four tickets to the upcoming Virginia game, but now that I know that Narduzzi and the Pitt program support this protest, I can save the money.”

        “Pitts attendance is horrible now,last thing they need is to turn more people away.”

        “There you go maybe the coach and players should worry about winning some games. Now they will lose more at the gate attendance will plummet even further. Lastly no more support from this Veteran.”

        Well, scalper ticket prices will go down….

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  72. Only watched part of the second quarter today. After watching NC State vs. Louisville, I was pleasantly surprised that the game was competitive until the 4th quarter. Looked like an awesome day for Homecoming! A long punt return for a TD and a long rushing TD..This team can’t afford to make these mistakes and expect to win. Even though I would like to see Pickett start, I can’t see PN starting Pickett on the road at Duke….will probably give Dinucci a chance at the start but sub Pickett if he doesn’t play well. The rushing game is troubling given the talent we have at RB. Or maybe the RB’s are just average and not the caliber of Connor, Shady, Graham, Dion et. al. I put the losses this year on the offenses lack of establishing an identity and the lack of sustained drives. The last three years were good years (8-5, 8-5 and 6-6) that would have been great years but for terrible defensive play and bad losses in bowl games vs. Navy and Northwestern. Hoping that this year is just an off year that teams have every once in awhile. The schedule has been very tough so far…’Cause beating Clemson takes some of the sting out of last weeks loss. The next 3 games vs. Duke, UVA and NC will say a lot about this team. Final thought…the UNIS ARE AWESOME…burn all other unis…H2P!!

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  73. Unfortunately, I don’t get the opportunity to see the games in person due to geography. With 2 kids under the age of eight weekends are filled with activities piled on activities.

    I watched as much as I could on my phone but maybe the folks that were there could comment on halftime adjustments?

    Changing QB’s aside- were there significant schematic changes on either side of the ball? I can’t recall when Pitt under HCPN dominated a second half? Maybe the Clemson game last year?

    Don’t mean to sound pessimistic, and I’m more of a lurker but frequently read what you guys have to say. Thanks Reed for all you do and Hail to Pitt!!

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  74. I find the National Anthem to be ridiculous and the Pledge of Allegiance to be a farce (I pledge allegiance….sounds like a line from the Hitler Youth).
    HOWEVER,
    If i call for the police, they will arrive promptly at my house, no matter what danger exists. Firemen (and women), often times unpaid volunteers, will do the same.
    Those in the military- of which i was a member – continually risk their lives, are stationed thousands of miles from home and family, and are often paid less than minimum wage.
    So, when the National Anthum plays, I stand up and show respect for the people who, at the drop of a hat, will give their life for yours and mine.
    That said, if you don’t want to do that, then don’t come onto the field.

    Sorry for the diatribe.

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  75. I find the National Anthum to be ridiculous and the Pledge of Allegiance to be a farce (I pledge allegiance…sounds like a line from the Hitler Youth).
    HOWEVER, when i call the police, they promptly arrive at my house, regardless of what danger confronts them. Same with firemen and firewomen – most of whom are unpaid volunteers.
    Members of the military – of which i was one – routinely risk their lives, are stationed thousands of miles from home and family, and can be paid less than minimum wage.
    All of them will risk their life for mine.
    So, in a nominal token of my deep appreciation, I stand.

    If you feeel contrary to that, while you receive free tuition, room, board, medical care, books, money, and food that surpasses anything the verge student receives, then don’t come out of the locker room.

    Sorry for the rant.

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  76. Look at the Hipster Mascot 2nd string Kicker. Yes. He has faced a whole life of racism and injustice. What a farce.

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  77. With all due respect, get a grip! The young man’s issues are not with the responsible honest police, firemen,and military personnel who serve honestly with bravery and integrity. The issues are with the corrupt moronic folks in political leadership positions putting our honorable military and police in harms way for their own personal gain.

    I have not forgotten sitting through the national anthem in Pitt Stadium in 1971 myself while doing everything in my power away from the games to end that deadly debacle so my best friends and neighbors might come home alive. Hell, we’d still be in that one if it was left up to the “my country right or wrong” crowd. Oh and don’t even get me started on Iraq. If you have forgotten or are too young just dial up Vietnam by Ken Burns on the tube for a history lesson.

    What goes around comes around!

    At ease. Carry on.

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  78. I also watched the Nooch in HS. One thing hasn’t changed and that is his poor footwork and fundamentals. They break down badly when he is under pressure. That much should be plain to anyone. And talk about throws that should have been picked, the Nooch had at least two that should have went the other way.
    That said, I wouldn’t have put Pickett in at that point in the game.

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  79. Thank god we did have young men who stormed beaches and jumped out of airplanes who did who did think their country was right.

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  80. I lean toward 6&34 and DaCoach on the QB situation. Pickett looked good but not clearly superior to Dinucci IMO. Both are young and maybe Pickett has a higher ceiling, but there is plenty of season left for him to get real game reps and prepare both for next year.

    I hope to see Dinucci respond this week and take the position for the remainder of the year and be the leader this team needs. If Pickett were to do the same, I am all for it and would look forward to 3 more years with him there.

    Unfortunate that the ugliness of the anthem protest is rearing its head now here. I certainly don’t care to read about it here. As much as civility has improved which is great and should be maintained for Reed’s sake, I think this discussion is getting way too much exposure and hope it doesn’t continue to get more here.

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  81. And to be clear, I would never sit or kneel for the anthem but do believe peaceful protest is fine. Not sure all protesters are on the same page with what is being protested.

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  82. More awesome Leadership by Narduzzi.

    “I’m never going to tell a guy you can’t do something,” Narduzzi told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review after Pitt’s 35-17 loss to NC State.

    LOL.

    Way to be a leader and Head coach. No wonder you lead the league in penalties and have players suspended every week. No leadership.

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  83. Let Mr third string kicker and JJ who had his hand on the little
    Mans shoulder take a knee in front of one of the policeman who are st the game protecting
    them… they both need a weekend camping trip in Southside Chicago….

    Pickett is far better than DiNuch from a fundamental standpoint…. need to keep him on the field…

    We beat Duke next week!!!

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    1. Duke only lost 10-17 to FSU. The Noles would beat us by 30+. Tarholes represent the only chance for a win of remaining games. I had pegged UVA as a win pre-season, but they are now 5-1..so that is a loss.
      And we are a total mess. Their QB today was really off his game and they still won handily.

      Like

  84. Narduzzi better hope the early LOI has signatures. don;t care about Raines headed south to the gomers. But Narduzzi has to fire the staff except for Partridge. Can’t see any reason to bring anyone back.

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  85. Narduzzi, unfortunately, is still learning how to be a head coach. To admit you put a qb in the game late whom you hadn’t taught the up tempo offense is an admission you for whatever reason …don’t know what you are doing…or you simply hadn’t thought out your decision…or…you blew it under
    Pressures! None of them good things to say to Pitt fans who pay your salary.

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    1. Shows that neither him or Watson know what the heck is going on. Even Takeo Spikes(was the color announcer for the game today for you gents that were at the game) knew the deal ! sheesh

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  86. Another horrible coaching performance …. and they keep stacking up. Can only blame this on the pathetic assistants for so long. Where is the “CEO”…? Other than Whitehead, what legit player do we have on D at the ACC level. D line. No. LBs.. No. DBs. No. Hamlin is a bust. Slow and small. How does this get better next year? This does not even consider that you can’t compete at any level with a bad offensive line – and ours is one of the worst in the FBS. With no help on the way.

    Help me understand how this program is headed in a positive direction?

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    1. Htp123 ….you are quite correct…the entire mess falls on Narduzzi..I was never a ceo but I reported to 4 of them. I didn’t matter if the finance department was stealing money, the sales department had Alzeiheimers, the building was on fire and his wife was leaving him for the stock boy! He is responsible and his sole mission is to make the company work. No matter what. At that, Narduzzi has failed miserably!

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  87. It isn’t whatsoever. He will be back to a DC in Big Ten after he is fired in 2 more years. I was wrong on Paul Chryst he was building a good team even though he sucked as a in game coach he could recruit Lineman and skilled players.

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  88. During a week when a 20 year old white female PITT student was allegedly murdered by a black male, this action protesting racial injustice seems at best, ill timed, and someone in a leadership role (preferably the kids parents) should address it.

    I think many are mis-reading the Pickett v. Dinucci comments. It is obvious Narduzzi does not care for Dinucci’s non-prioritization and security of the pigskin. Narduzzi and Watson need to make a long term play and it is Pickett. He is their recruit. I will go a bit oppositional and say that Watson stays as OC as we need continuity as a coordinator. I also think we 2-1 during the next three.

    Need new OL (Morgan, Drake or Carter now, plus Owen Drexel should unseat the walk-on next spring.

    LB’s are a do over. Start Pine and Brightwell. Two LB”s only and use 5 db’s with 3 safety’s and two cb’s. That will help against these spread type teams.

    Agree that Pitt Soccer has had some nice wins, but are they really 8-6? With all the jabber on here, I thought they were going to be like 11-3 or something. Still, a good run.

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    1. That girl was butchered. Disgusting animal. And this tard Troost has the nerve to protest about racial injustice. The truth is black on white crime in this country is astronomical.

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  89. Watched the whole game and unlike the previous weeks, when the announcers didn’t even bother to broadcast who made the tackle for Pitt…….THEY DID TODAY.

    And I don’t remember them calling out Elijah Zeise’s name once. NOT ONCE.

    But probably if you check the Pitt stat chart, he gets credited for tackles and assists. You figure it out !

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  90. Football is a game of moments and I feel the Narzuzzi era missed its moment by seeing Canada leave and not signing Jurkovec. Those two are the types that win the coastal. Watson and Dinucci get you 6 and 6 or worse. Hope I’m wrong but I don’t think this ends well

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  91. This was the first game I got to see this year not counting YSU. Did not like the benching of DiNucci, that decision cost any chance to win with the three and out. However, I do like Pickett moving forward, better arm strength and legs. Accuracy and decision making may be a problem though. DiNucci was playing OK except for the one bad throw.

    The two big runs were killers and reminded me of past Pitt teams.

    After watching the game, I am not as down about the future. Saw some pretty good individual plays, especially by the young D-linemen. They are the key to the future. The O-line looked a little better as well. Better coverage by the D-backs than last year too.

    Not enamored with Watson’s play calling, seems pretty generic compared to last year, but some of it is execution. No doubt, the talent of the O is definitely down from last year, starting with QB play, which makes everything harder.

    Obviously NCST is a much more talented and experienced team. At least our guys played with them for a while. Maybe something to build on.

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  92. I see Emel is back with his political commentary, not sure what any of of it has to do with Pitt Sports.

    Isn’t that why you left last time, touting the underground pizza thing?

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  93. Sorry JoeL…(from previous post) …we start packing the truck 40 minutes or so prior to kickoff. That’s why you didn’t see the flags. They flew from 7am to 11:15 or so and we had a good turnout. Still had mucho food left over. May go back to the early years of 5 cases of beer and a bag of chips. 😃

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  94. Post game tailgate rolled on for almost 2 hours…until we ran out of beer. Had a blast other than the outcome of the game. Allman Brothers “Whipping Post” played in the background as we discussed the game. Seems fitting…plans to attend the Duke game with RICHMAN and meet up with Big B.

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  95. Woke up to read what my POVerters thought about yesterdays game…I went to log on to the PittPOV but I think the Russians hacked it and now it is the MakeAmericaGreatAgainPOV!

    Honestly, I love what you all think of Pitt football. Can we all just stick to that on this blog? I don’t think anyone comes here to read what any of us think about politics. Fast way to totally ruin something I love very much…the PittPOV. So there you go I say all that respectfully.

    As for football, I am starting to agree with some of you in that sometimes people need the people above them to hold them accountable, or else they don’t change….they rationalize that they really are doing OK when they are not. Hell that is a coaches job to the players. But I suppose it is also the AD’s job to the coach, yes? Maybe Nards knows full well how he is falling short but at the same time it is hard to have confidence those above him and making sure that is true. HTP

    EDIT: I closed the comments on this article just a few minutes ago – as I said above this blog is about Pitt football and not about politics or racial issues. Getting tired of this type of interactions on the POV when it has been made clear many times what the parameters are on here.

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