Here is last night’s Roundtable video for your viewing pleasure… we had Matt (PittintheVille) and Mike (TX Panther with us again with a late appearance by Missing Wlat.
Some things we discussed was that Ollison was in the backfield for Hall’s long runs – we went to the familiar two-back set that we used so well last two seasons with Aston at FB. Ollison was more in the H’Back role but sprung blocks for Hall. Kudos to the staff for doing that i think – it worked for the big gainers.
Q. Follow-up on Darrin’s performance Saturday, once you reviewed it and watched the tape, how realistic is it — 250 is one thing, but how realistic is it to expect him to stay being the guy, and stay providing that run game that you need?
PAT NARDUZZI: Right now, he’s the guy. It’s his job. You know, I think he’s got a lot of confidence right now. I think he feels good. I think he’s playing fast. I think he’s kind of in the groove a little bit. You saw him make cuts that he doesn’t make very often, and Coach Powell’s been preaching, preaching, preaching, about making somebody miss and getting yards after contact so it’s good to see someone take to it, and something happens.
But that doesn’t go without Qadree (Ollison) also blocking his tail off for him. There are a lot of two-back sets in there where Qadree’s in there also blocking his tail off. So we have an unselfish football team that guys play for each other. Whether it’s Qadree running and Darrin blocking or vice versa. Our guys are out there playing hard.
So Narduzzi has stated that Hall is going to be the primary RB for at least the VA game and perhaps we found a combination that will work in this stretch run. However, as we discussed on the video aside from those great long gainers from Hall we ran the ball 55 additional times for only 82 yards – a poor 1.42 yards per carry average and that won’t do it.
I hate to think that we have to rely of Hall’s springing long TD runs for our running game though – he did a great job but we have to get better as a running offense if we want to keep winning games – especially at VT and against Miami.
This will be a fun game against Virginia on Saturday. the weather at this time (11:00 am Thursday) looks wet for game time with 100% chance of up to a half-inch of rain over the day. So who does that give an advantage to? Usually the team who runs better overall has the advantage in these conditions but not always.
We were discussing recruiting the last few days so I doubled back to Chris Dokish’s Top Ten PA players for the years 2017 and 2018. I thought we had gotten more of these players but we have been dragging behind.
We have two so far with a possible third in Kwantel Raines who is making his choice Monday. He’s leaning toward WVU but let’s cross our fingers he looks more for Pitt that afternoon because he looks like a good one.
What really hurts is that in 2017’s class we had eight kids from immediately around Pittsburgh on that list and only one came here (Ford). That was why Narduzzi himself mentioned in an interview with Rivals that they were disappointed in that year’s class – too many big fish got away.
2017 & 2018 BEST PA RECRUITS
1. D’Andre Swift, St. Joseph’s Prep (Philadelphia) RB- GEORGIA
2. Lamont Wade, Clairton Area HS (Clairton) CB- PENN STATE
3. Paris Ford, Steel Valley HS (Munhall) FS- PITTSBURGH.
4. David Adams, Central Catholic HS (Pittsburgh) LB- NOTRE DAME.
5. Donovan Jeter, Beaver Falls Area HS (Beaver Falls) DE- MICHIGAN
6. Mark Webb, Archbishop Wood Catholic HS (Warminster) WR- GEORGIA
7. C.J. Thorpe, Central Catholic HS (Pittsburgh) OG- PENN STATE.
8. Josh Lugg, North Allegheny HS (Wexford) OT- NOTRE DAME.
9. Kurt Hinish, Central Catholic HS (Pittsburgh) DT- NOTRE DAME.
10. Kenny Robinson, University Prep HS (Pittsburgh) LB- WVU
1. Phil Jurkovec, Pine-Richland HS (Gibsonia) QB- NOTRE DAME.
2. Micah Parsons, Central Dauphin HS (Harrisburg) DE- PENN STATE.
3. Isheem Young, Imhotep Institute (Philadelphia) FS- PENN STATE
4. Kwantel Raines, Aliquippa HS (Aliquippa) S- ???
5. Matthew Bauer, Cathedral Prep HS (Erie) LB- NOTRE DAME
6. Zack Kuntz, Camp Hill HS (Camp Hill) TE- PENN STATE
7. Darryle Simmons, St. Joseph’s Prep (Philadelphia)- VIRGINIA TECH
8. Kevin Doyle, Malvern Prep (Malvern) QB- MICHIGAN
9. Shaquon Anderson-Butts, Harrisburg HS (Harrisburg) WR- PENN STATE
10. David Green, Central Catholic (Pittsburgh) DE- PITTSBURGH
Don’t forget we have a tailgate going on at Red 5A lot in the corner adjacent to the Red 5 parking garage – I’m driving up Friday evening so I’ll be there with raingear on.