Usually at the midpoint of the season we like to look at where the team stands as opposed to what we thought the team would be and do during and after fall camp. We are a week late on that but who cares?

Suffice to say I think I can speak with certainty when writing that no one saw this first half (seven games actually) coming.  Two posters who I can remember were pretty adamant that we’d win four games at the most and they may be found to be right on the mark.

I thought that we would be 1-3 after four games but I figured we’d win enough to get up to my prediction of 7 wins (or no less than 6) that I stated back then.  I’m sure I’ll be wrong on that.

But most of us thought we’d see a dip from 2016 and not a nose dive. Every so often a poster would throw 8, 9 or 10 wins out there but we already knew they were crazy anyway.

But that said I did have some real reservations about this 2017 team that I wrote about and pretty much everything I predicted as far as play on the field has come true. I assigned red question marks to the negative predictions and green check marks to who I thought would do well.

Here are some of them, both things I got right (so far) and things I swung and missed on – and share your correct/incorrect thoughts you had earlier with us in the comments:

Max Browne was not going to play well for us.  I figured he’d have a poor outing and he did.  One key fact that jumps out at me when looking at his Pitt body of work is that, aside from the Rice game, he had no TDs in regulation play in his other five contests.  Not one.  He did have an overtime TD for the win against FCS Youngstown State but other than that he was almost totally ineffective.

The conversations I had with those SoCal sportswriters back in May were true as described – he was not going to be a successful D1 QB.

Our Offensive Line play was going to be poor.  I based this on two factors.  First being that we were replacing Bisnowaty and Johnson, both great college OLs, with untalented Jared Jones-Smith and Alex Officer, who I thought didn’t play all that well at Center and would not fare well with the switch to another line spot.

Second was that we have zero depth at the second string offensive line.  Both of those things have contributed to no running game whatsoever. Next year will be bad also I think.

Chris Clark was going to be a non-factor in our offense.  This partially because Watson doesn’t use TEs as much as Canada did and partially because I felt Clark’s history and his 5* recruit rating didn’t add up.  When Narduzzi got rsSR TE Mike Flanagan to transfer out of Rutgers I wrote that he was brought in to compete (and probably win) the starting job and not just add TE depth.

Quadree Henderson being given the starting WR2 job was a mistake.  I have felt for sometime that Henderson is not an adequate talent as a receiver to be taking this spot from another more consistent WR.  What we have seen transpire is that Rafael Araujo-Lopes has risen to the #2 spot and done very well there as our leading receiver to date as shown here:Pitt O 10-18

But since Watson will never use a double TE formation we will still see three WRs out there on almost every offensive formation we have.

The bottom line with Henderson is that the staff wants him on the field every play so they can use him as a receiver, running back or a decoy – and it is that latter role where he seems to be much of the time.  Last season at this time QH had 32 rushes for 349 yards and 17 catches for 174… way more used and productive last year than this.

On defense I felt that Elijah Ziese and Dewayne Hendrix would not play up to fan’s expectations and the staff’s hype.  First I don’t like switches from offense to defense.  it rarely works and a lot of the time the player’s talent is almost completely wasted.  We saw that writ large when Wannstedt took RB Dorin Dickerson and tried to make him a LB with zero results, then in his SR year finally moved him back to offense when he shone as a TE/H-Back hybrid and made All-American.

The Ziese experiment should be shut done at the end of this season – he’s been totally ineffective and a detriment overall in that Money LB position (left side LB).

Dewayne Hendrix, along with Browne and Clark, suffered from the star ranking system also and that led to way-too-high expectations from Pitt fans.  How many time did we hear …” Well, he’s a 5* recruit so he’ll be a star for us…” or something to that effect?

I can see that sort optimism when a kid is coming right out of HS but for transfers it is a whole different ball game.  They already went to a D1 team and failed in some sort of way, otherwise they wouldn’t be on the transfer market. Hendrix has been a non-factor at DE just as Ziese has been a non-factor at LB.

compare.pngOur defense was going to be as poor (or almost anyway) as what we had in 2016.  Statistically we fare a bit better this season than last at this point in the season.  In five defensive categories we are better in three and worse in two… especially the rushing defense.  To give up 77 more rushing yards per game is pretty bad and is a direct cause of lost games.

I did predict that our Pass Defense was going to hurt us again this year and be almost as bad as last season.  I couldn’t take hearing “It can’t get worse can it?” because it sure can – remember we have five games remaining against some pretty good passing teams.

The deal with the above defensive predictions though is that they weren’t that hard to see because my main beef with our defense is the Coordinator Josh Conklin.  When you have total ineptitude leading the troops bad things happen – especially if the HC is as stubborn and blind as Narduzzi is.

Finally, and back to offense, I wrote that QB Kenny Pickett would surpass Thomas MacVitte on the depth chart and that MacVitte would never start a game at QB in a Pitt uniform.  That obviously happened – as far as the depth chart goes.

Further I said that if the above happens that MacVitte will transfer out of the program and play ball elsewhere. We’ll see if that happens but the vast majority of QB transfers happen after their 3rd year of college ball.  I never understood the hype surrounding MacVitte in the first place – he had one Power Five offer in Pitt (with a short phone call from LSU ) and was a normal 3* kid.  This was another example of fan’s way too high expectations.

Some things I was completely wrong about fell on the offensive side of the equation.

I felt that Qadree Ollison would revert to form and meet or exceed his 2015’s 1,121 yards and 11 TDs now that he was the featured runner for us. Boy – that is a fail if ever. Now, there are reasons other than Ollison’s talents that made this dismal year happen – our rushing game as a whole is putrid.

Look at this comparison; in 2016 we were 28th nationally with 225 ypg.  Today we stand at 113th and 114 ypg – a drop of 111 yards !!  That is a killer right there.  But I said Ollison would hit stardom and was dead wrong.

I predicted All-American status for LT Brian O’Neill.  Far from this happening he’s having his worst season in a Pitt uniform.  He banged up his shoulder in spring practices and in fall camp but he and the staff assured everyone that he was 100%.

I wonder about that as I believe he’s injured again and playing through the pain.

Which leads me to this – I do not agree at all with Pat Narduzzi’s stance on not talking about injuries.  If you take what O’Neill’s season has been like at face value  as pro scouts are doing – then it looks like he just regressed badly as an OL.  But if he is injured and the staff makes that public then it provides reasoning for his poorer play.  That could make a big difference later on.  It isn’t enough to say on draft day “Wait, he was fighting an injury in ’17” because by that time he’ll be way down on the status boards.

I wrote that WR Aaron Mathews was going to be the solid #2 receiver and put up good stats.  That hasn’t happened and too bad because I had a great conversation with him at Tyler Boyd’s camp for kids.  He hasn’t done badly at all – just not what I expected.  His 15 catches for 80 yards (12.0 ypc) isn’t chopped liver – he’s the 5th leading receiver for us… but I expected mini-stardom.  maybe next year.

So win some lose some but I think I was pretty spot-on in the important stuff.

Here is an interesting chart found on one of my favorite sites – Teamrankings.com. This site breaks down a team’s season, starting in a detailed pre-season analysis, and updates the listings weekly based on how the team performs (not just wins and losses) against other ranked teams.

I know people love Jeff Sagarin and his numbers about our Strength of Schedule but I think this is more accurate at this point… but it is debatable. Sagarin has us at #63 and Teamrankings has us at #73 overall – either way we suck.

One fact is that for sure we are playing a schedule that is tougher than most Power 5 schools play.  Here are those charts:

TEAMRANKING

Rating Value Rank Conf Rank
Predictive Rating -2.5 #73 #13
Home Rating -11.3 #93 #14
Away Rating 2.3 #61 #13
Neutral Rating #60 #4
Home Advantage -10.1 #105 #9
Strength Of Schedule 1.6 #41 #9
Future SOS 3.9 #52 #12
Season SOS 2.6 #47 #12
SOS – Basic 2.6 #19 #4
In-Conf SOS 8.1 #30 #7
Non-Conf SOS -2.5 #42 #5
Last 5 Rating -5.7 #86 #14
Last 10 Rating -5.5 #86 #13
In-Conf Rating -4.6 #80 #13
Non-Conf Rating -6.1 #87 #14
Luck Rating -0.6 #102 #10
Consistency Rating 12.0 #63 #5
Vs. 1-10 Rating -4.9 #109 #11
Vs. 11-25 Rating -10.9 #115 #13
Vs. 26-40 Rating -5.7 #110 #13
Vs. 41-75 Rating 2.7 #46 #9
Vs. 76-120 Rating 5.2 #49 #9
First Half Rating 1.2 #58 #11
Second Half Rating -7.7 #106 #14

 SAGARIN 

Saragin.png

Want a glimpse of what I meant in the spring when I wrote that as I watched all the QB run plays in practice Pickett just stood way out from the others and that he seemed to have a ton of confidence?  Well, here is a quote that explains what I meant.

Pickett is also grateful for the opportunity. Pitt planned on redshirting him before Browne hurt his shoulder in a loss to Syracuse and DiNucci was forced to sit out the final play from scrimmage after his helmet came off on the penultimate snap.

Just like that, Pickett found himself in the mix. He completed 5 of 13 passes for 61 yards and tied for the team lead in rushing with 18 yards against the Wolfpack, drawing raves from his teammates for his poise.

“He came in and said, ‘What’s up? Let’s go,’” tackle Brian O’Neill said. “As a lineman, you’re kind of excited about that, a freshman coming in and he doesn’t care about the moment. He didn’t get all rigid and scared and nervous per se. He let it fly and we knew that’s kind of how it is and I give him a lot of respect for that.”

Ridged and scared and nervous” is exactly what we saw out of Browne when he was under Center this year – the future at QB bodes well in my opinion with Kenny Pickett getting reps now.

Here is that photo of the QBs at Kennywood I mentioned the other day- you can see that there isn’t a huge height difference – Browne and MacVitte are tallest (but the suck the most) and DiNucci and Pickett are about the same height with Pickett being a bit taller.  Plus

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Patti, MacVitte, Browne, OC Watson, DiNucci and Pickett

Remember that tonight is the Roundtable Call-In show at 9pm. Be there and you get you name mentioned in the next day’s article. Yippee!

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78 thoughts on “POV Wednesday Predictions Check and Roundtable Info:

  1. Good article Reed. Your analysis (with the exception of the Ollison situation) has been pretty much spot on. I would add one other point. IMO, Brightwell has been bad at MLB. He’s undersized for the position and frankly, doesn’t seem to have great instincts. He showed promise last year at OLB and I think our defense would be better if we benched Zeise, moved Brightwell, and inserted either Reynolds or Pine. Just my opinion.

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  2. Shocker that we are 2-5 and PittofDreams is back, looking forward to how awesome Chad Voytik is and how Paul Chryst is a modern day Vince Lombardi…..BARF

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  3. Russell Wilson is 5’11 and Drew Brees is 6′ … if Dinucci or Pickett doesn’t succeed, it won;t be because of their height. Because of the poor OL, I don’t think we can make a definitive judgement; hey, with good protection QBs look so much better … Max Browne was 28 of 32 vs Rice.

    The SOS rating above is puzzling. I will bet that the number of teams that have thus far played 3 teams ranked in the Top 16 can be counted on one hand …. with 2 fingers missing.

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    1. True, there are always exceptions for NFL level talent. Perhaps Max Browne was 28-32 against Rice because it’s Rice. Perhaps the good protection happened because it’s Rice.

      I’m not sure why something so subjective as the opponent rankings are so important to evaluating Pitt’s play. Plus we tend to pick whatever ranking timeframe suits the argument. Anyway, Pitt has lost to 2 teams that have never been ranked and was taken to OT by an FCS team.

      We can also add some fingers back. I didn’t have to look too hard as ACC members FSU and BC have each played 3 current Top 16 teams. Texas will have done so too after this weekend. Lots of other teams have played 3 teams that were ranked in the Top 25 at some point.

      Imagine what Rice’s blogs and boards look like. They can blame anything on their schedule.

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      1. Barvo, you’re just being obstinate now. FSU’s schedule is ranked #1, BC is 2 and Pitt is 3. Yet neither FSU or BC played against 2 Top 10 teams and 4 Top 30 teams.

        Here … look. https://www.usatoday.com/sports/ncaaf/sagarin/

        Now, you can say Pitt stinks and is disappointing … fine! Hard to argue. But don’t you dare imply that Pitt has not played a tough schedule. FSU is probably #1 because they only played 5 games, and 3 of them in the top 30.

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  4. PERSPECTIVE. I know Pitt fans, like many others, are generally negative and if you don’t believe me, look at this:

    Chris Peak‏ @PantherLair Chris Peak Retweeted PGH Sports History
    35 years ago, Pitt fans booed the team at halftime…as it was on its way to a 5-0 start and a likely No. 2 ranking.
    BTW, Pitt won that game 38-17 over Temple.

    1) On Saturday at Heinz Field, a team with 8 senior starters on defense and a 4th year QB, played against a team with 1 senior defensive starter and 2 QBs with less than half a season experience combined. BTW, NC State also had 7 fourth or fifth year offensive starters.

    2) I believe it was POV’s own guest writer, Chris Logue, who before the season cited an article that named Pitt as the 123rd Least Experienced team (out of 130.) And this team has thus far faced 3 teams ranked in the Top 16 … and of the other two teams it lost to, one just lost on the final play to an undefeated (current 8th ranked) team and the other just beat the previously 2nd ranked team.

    3) Speaking of guest writers, we had one the other day here who, among other items, suggested that the WR coach (Hill) be let go, citing the poor play by two proven, experienced players (Weah and Henderson). And many of you approved.

    I point this out because this same position coach was also the WR coach last year when each of them had their most productive years. How dare Hill turn into such an idiot over the offseason! Perspective …. PittPOVers … PLease!

    You’re disappointed, I’m disappointed, but things will get better. Maybe not so much this year as we still have to play the current 8th and 15th ranked teams. The last time I remember this site being so negative was back in 2014 when we lost at home to Akron. And then we went on to two 8-win seasons.

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    1. I agree with everything you said wbb. As being disapointed it only lasts for a minute at best then it goes away due to the fact there is nothing I can do about it. I roll with the punches and don’t let them get me down.

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  5. As I was reminiscing about the good ole days at Pitt, it dawned on me that historically, even when we fielded poor teams, we always had a hard hitting and Pittsburgh tough defense. This D is crazy soft, not one hard hitter in the whole batch! How is that possible????

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  6. At this moment and for dramatic effect I’ll say that only a handful of POVer’s make the cut on my team. If you don’t believe you can you won’t.

    ….but realistically thinking, the PITT football team seems a bit of a mess right now. I really misjudged the impact of losing the older guys to suspension and injuries. It’s been far worse and Narduzzi hasn’t been able to handle it well either. . . . ike

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  7. I believe Sherman is the WR coach and Hill is the DB coach. And I wouldn’t have a problem if either of them were replaced.
    I am surprised by the OL. When JJS played as a Freshman, he played pretty well. Maybe it was because we had better TEs and RBs to help him out that made him look like he was doing a sufficient job. But he has really struggled this year – and I thought he would be good so I was way off on that one.
    Also, I agree with Reed, if the OL sucks this year – next year could be worse. We’re going to be breaking in a new (or 2) lineman who wasn’t good enough to beat out someone playing this year – which is a scary thought.
    The O needs to recruit a stud WR who can keep the D honest and take their focus off of stopping the run and smearing our QB.
    I also agree with moving Brightwell to OLB and putting Reynolds in at MLB. This is another area where the recruiting misses have really hurt. And honestly – I’m not one who thinks PN has recruited poorly. But I’m not for getting that argument started.

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    1. FWIW, I’m all for playing for next year … using Pickett and inserting the youth. However, not sure about wasting redshirts on the young OL … Drake, Warren and Huoy, etc. We still can use Dintino, Herndon, and Pilato who we will have next year. Then we can ask Pitino the best way to keep guys like O’Neil and Bookser. (If they both go, we will be hurting)

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  8. Here’s a thought, I remember Scott McKillop getting early playing time due to injuries or something. I thought he look really bad. Sometimes first impressions can be all wrong. ike

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  9. I do think we are seeing a of of youth so far on defense, even those who aren’t starters ….. Weaver, Pine, Reynolds, Coleman, Gricen, etc

    Plus the LBs and all the starting DL will (except Edward) will return. Maddox is the only DB leaving.

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  10. Here’s a few predictions, Hendrix will become a fan favorite before it’s all said and done. The kid hustles and is getting close….

    Already have been saying that Reynolds will be really good…

    PITT’s defense will become a force in a year or two….

    Narduzzi will remain stubborn as hell. << that’s an easy one.

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  11. If you are predicting on just this season you are correct on Clark and Hendrix. I don’t think it will be true moving forward into next year.
    I expected more from Clark but that is not realistic considering his experience. Especially with how terrible the offense has been.

    Clark is in his first real season. He is a redshirt Sophomore with plenty of games ahead of him. I think he has ten catches. Flannigan (15 catches) was certainly brought in to be a co-starter because Clark is basically a freshman.

    Hendrix is a redshirt Junior with less than a year of experience. So lets call him a sophomore. He was slow out the gate but I think he is slowly improving and will be above average next year.

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  12. I predicted that if I watched the games, we would lose. I didn’t watch. We lost anyway. “Yoi and double Yoi,” he said in his best Myron Cope accent. – Hobie

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  13. Reed, in the last article you alluded to everyone does a little bragging on their prognostications which is very true. Why even bother if you can’t thump your chest when right?

    Couple differences here imo,

    You also mention in today’s article that your were wrong on a few predictions. Which we all are many times. It’s suppose to be a fun exercise to keep all the folks engaged in the PITT football program when they are not playing.

    I didn’t read where you ridiculed anyone for predicting a too high of a win season and being overly optimistic? Big difference there. Personal agenda’s, I have no time for. You have way too much on your plate to worry about senseless bickering and I cringe when I get sucked into stoopid comments.

    …but I can’t take being called out by anyone.

    You run a really nice blog here Reed and it does give me relief during my day. BTW Reed, this is in NO way about you. It’s about Jay. I have never said a cross word to the man or know him in anyway. but I do think I know what the J stands for… ike

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  14. Reed, I look forward to reading the blog on a daily basis…and sometimes posting comments…
    Hope to someday make it to another game and the POV tailgate. I am not a Pitt grad, but both of my daughters are…classes of ’10 and ’14. Keep up the good work!

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  15. Red 5-A. Mazeroski and General Robinson titleman.

    Don’t forget the POV round-table tonight. Hop on that and share your PITT thoughts. No down loading Reed does all the work… Be there at both. … ike

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  16. A little fun game…

    Comparative Analysis of 2 Football Programs Since 1990 (at least a 25-year sample set):

    Program A
    Record: 162-170-1
    Seasons of 9-wins or greater: 3
    Bowl Wins: 5 (NC St., Oregon St., North Carolina, Kentucky, Bowling Green)

    Program B
    Record: 139-185-1
    Seasons of 9-wins or greater: 4
    Bowl Wins: 6 (Kansas St., Ball St., NC St., Central Florida, Iowa St., North Carolina)

    Pretty similar, huh? Especially the bowl wins with each defeating UNC and NC St.

    From an objective perspective, who has the most desirable resume???

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    1. Answer: We all know Program A. However, some may be surprised that Program B is ……Rutgers.

      When you start doing this exercise with some of the middling to bottom P-5 teams, the data is sobering. I only hope the athletic department performs the same exercise.

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      1. Sobering indeed. Here’s one more:

        Program C
        167-156-3 1990 season through 2016 season

        Hint: they play in a dome, wear orange, and defeated last year’s national champs a little more than a week ago.

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  17. Reed,

    Good recap and I recall your skepticism this past spring and summer. In hindsight, I really wasn’t sure what to expect. The team had progressed in his first two seasons and although we were losing a number of our better players, I thought perhaps we’d be .500 with a slightly improved defense (emphasis on SLIGHTLY and before the news came out on the dismissals) and a serviceable offense (due to running back depth and some OL depth). Doing that was going to require beating Syracuse. I also thought back then that with some more experience on the D, the GT game might tilt in our favor. So, I was thinking 4-2 at this point, with a tough row to hoe the rest of the way (which I still believe).

    Just a couple other comments on some of your points:

    I don’t like that Watson isn’t using the TE as much as a receiver. I fully appreciate that this year’s version of the OL might prevent him from using Clark more if he wanted to, but the role Holtz and Orndoff played as drive extenders the past few years was invaluable to our offensive success. One of the bright spots for me in the 2nd half of the NCSU game was Pickett hitting Clark underneath for a nice gain.
    Qadree Henderson, for all the speed he showed last year, did not distinguish himself as a pass catcher and that was obvious to anyone watching last year. So, his presence as anything but a runner is a head scratcher.

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  18. Just an FYI/heads up, I will not be joining the round-table tonight giving others their chance. Look forward to the viewing tomorrow. So please jump on with Reed and have a blast. . . . .ike

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  19. Experience? A carload of nuns starting this year would suck. Two years from now, if alive, they would still suck. Experience counts but you still have to have the horses. I do not understand why we are not giving rsFR and up experience on the offensive line – I hope they are not worse than this mess.

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  20. as expected, TJ Banks committed to WVU. Pitt offered him and then withdrew after a TE from NJ committed. He was a 4-star with allegedly a lot of talent, but didn’t get the big offers 4-stars usually get for some reason

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  21. FWIW, Washington Wizards open tonight and Mike Young is listed on their box score roster. Of course, taht doesn’t mean he will see action

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  22. Just a word of caution. Some of the nasty comments we get occasionally very well could be PSU trolls. My friend trolls Black Shoes Diary. He is a Pitt guy. BSD deletes what they suspect as from a troll. They also try to ban. But there are easy ways to ‘catfish” others. Remember the linebacker from ND? By the way. Need to always wear throwbacks.

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  23. I have to admit to being pretty optimistic prior to the season beginning. I looked at the offense and I thought:

    We have a consensus all american in Henderson.

    We have a soon to be all american in O’Neill.

    Weah was projected by some to be a late first round pick.

    PN chatted up Ollison like he was going to revert to form.

    Browne was a former five star recruit.

    Even if Browne failed, many were over the moon with McVittie (and, frankly, 24/7 had him as a top five QB in their own analysis – not their composite).

    Even if Browne and McVittie failed, 24/7 had moved Pickett up to number 10 in their own, proprietary analysis.

    Clark was a former five star recruit.

    Bookser was a former four star recruit with plenty of experience.

    Officer and Jones-Smith were prior starters with some decent buzz.

    Aston was all world at fullback the prior year.

    So you look at this and say, the offense should be pretty good.

    My first doubts crept in when I first found this blog. I think I discovered it about the time Reed was assessing each position and asking if the position would be better or worse than the year before. After reading all the happy talk blogs on Pitt Football, I was shocked at how negative Reed was on so many positions… Then I saw UPitt inputs and he was HIGHLY negative but almost always in a funny way… I had to admit, there was merit in the arguments. Plus I became suspicious of Narduzzi’s lack of transparency… Closing the practices… Being a smart mouth to reporters… Never being quite straight about injuries or personnel assessments. I remember wondering what happened to Grimm and the other top recruit on the offensive line. They seemed to disappear from the roster in a position that was desperate for depth.

    The good news is that some things seem to be clarifying. The offensive line is miserable and the lack of depth and options is obvious. Henderson is a one trick pony – he should be used for his one trick. The hype on Browne and McVittie was just too much. Pickett on the other hand may actually come through given enough time and experience. Weah’s hands were a problem and still are a problem… The loss of Aston has been incalculable…. And the coaching – well, I’m all for holding million dollar plus guys accountable…..

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  24. Yes this season has had so many downers it has been hard to determine even for the ultimate optimists with how bad this could get. This season wasn’t a slam dunk failure at first glance but the problems kept on coming.

    I really don’t think even last years team would have fared much better considering the piling on of all the setbacks?

    Play the young bucks and learn learn learn and punt, the one thing PITT can count on this season ……… ike

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  25. Everyone gets lost on round-table night. That shouldn’t be a problem, if you don’t want to partake than don’t. No shame in that.

    The O-Line is somewhat of a mystery but imo the players are playing out of position. Too late for a change now I guess?

    Seems to me that Narduzzi on down just haven’t been able to make a commitment on offense and stick to a plan. Way too much subbing in and out and general chaos. Keeping it simple has it’s merits sometimes.

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  26. Hard for me to find time to keep up with the POV. By the time I read all the comments from one posting, it’s too late to comment because there’s a new post…

    Reed’s articles and the comments have been excellent.

    Couple thoughts:
    —Didn’t understand the criticism of Duzz for when he put Pickett in the game. We certainly needed a “spark” and I was happy to see what Pickett could do.

    —Duzz said that NCS blitzed every play that Pickett was in… Don’t know if he was exaggerating…

    —First downs killed us this game. Too many plays that lost yardage or gained a yard.

    —Going to the Duke game and hoping for a win.

    —Like the wheels and scrambling instincts of Pickett…

    Go Pitt

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  27. It is definitely time to play for next year. Get these guys the experience they need and play the ones who show the most promise. It seems odd that they will start DiNucci after what they did last week. Seems to make no sense. Is it time to burn Ford’s red shirt? Play Reynolds and Pine more and anyone else that has a chance to be a starter next year.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Narduzzi has been far from a failure. If you call a down third year a failure then many top coaches would be unemployed including Dabo Sweeney, Leach, etc. It is a long list.

    Until the University is all in on football, it is what it is. Around 8 wins will be normal with a sprinkle of better seasons and a sprinkle of worse seasons.

    Now if they go build an OCS and hire Chip Kelly the expectation should be different.

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  29. Reed,

    So far this year almost everything you have said has come true.

    I looked back at my regular season predication and of course assuming that Henderson, Weah, Brightwell, Ollison, and the D- ends played well I thought 8-4.

    Wow was I wrong. Even if I flip it to 4-8 that is overly optimistic. 2 wins 10 loses here we come!

    I wonder if we gave Ollision the ball consistently enough (like three carries in a row) if the running game may improve. I really feel like the coach has some kind of beef with him and he isn’t being given a fair shake. If you don’t believe me than answer this question. Why is Darrin Hall starting?

    I also wonder if maybe the issue with team chemistry doesn’t have something to do with the attitudes of a couple of guys in the running back room.

    Moss and Ollision.

    Like

  30. Haven’t had time to post recently but have read the comments, and the analysis and articles continue to be a cut above.

    Concerning the Duzz, as with anyone, he will only succeed in the future if he learns from his mistakes and makes changes to address them. I see no indication he is inclined to do so. I think it is really hard for those who were in the BiG or brought up around it to change. It is, after all THE BiG! I think even the most ardent supporters will agree some change is necessary.

    The classic definition of power is “ the ability to make someone do something they wouldn’t ordinarily do without your influence”. We need someone with power to suggest some change is needed. The Dantonio model may work in that conference or in the past, but you need the stars to align and I’m not so sure it can work here. 
    
    As far as scheduling, this is one area I believe theBiG is right. Godfather Barry has always, and I mean always had the right idea, cupcake city. Now he has the brand established, and it’s still cupcakes, but it builds a following. Winning does that. And as for schedules made in advance, just look to what the Nitters did to their schedule when they were sanctioned, playing down to a OOC schedule games that it was very hard for even that decimated team to lose.
    

    Like

    1. @JoeKnew

      You hit the name on the head! I am not seeing Duzz learn from his mistakes and grow. He is being perceived as cranky loggerhead…..and surprise the top recruits are staying away as a result. This is the exact point I was trying to make on last weeks round table when I said Duzz is going to learn the hard way.

      I think he will be successful someday, but if he doesn’t learn fast that success will only be possible at some place other than Pitt.

      Like

  31. Ollison has 34 more carries than Hall. How exactly does that show Narduzzi has a beef with him?

    He has gotten more than enough chances. Time to give another back a shot.

    Like

    1. Last game vs NCST his carry total was 2 for 17 yards. That’s 8.5 yards per carry for you Liberal Art majors.

      That warrants more carries for QO.

      Feed him the ball and you shall see…

      Like

  32. Ike, Title and others, yes, slight hyperbole, but after 3 yrs, what’s the big difference between 12-19 and 18-20?? That’s where we are headed!

    Like

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