POV MMB: Virginia Win

Monday-Morning-QBAs I said on yesterday’s podcast I’m going to make it a short and sweet Monday Morning Quarterback for the Virginia game this week.

First off I think the game was a fun one to watch; it was a good win and showed a team that is solidifying for the push for the last three games of the season to try to get back up to respectability.

All in all it was a good day at the office for those guys.  Here’s my thoughts on some small items that I noticed during the game.


Running back Darren Hall came through with another good game on Saturday with 111 yards rushing. Those two back-to-back hundred plus yard games is the first we’ve had since last season.  He is a true Junior this year so I don’t know if he’s going to be the feature back or not for 2018… but you can bet that he’s going to be the feature back for 2017’s last three games.

We showed a true balanced team for the first time this season in my opinion. We had a pretty decent running game with Darren Hall leading the way, but with also Ollison chipping in for a nice 25 yard  scamper for a TD.

Ourp passing game wasn’t great but it was enough to get some first downs and to get a nice 19-yard TD to Jester Weah for a touchdown.

Our special teams play was pretty good on the return side with Q. Henderson’s nice 70-plus yard punt return. Our defense played well also and that showed in the final score… when you can hold a team in college to 14 points something must be going well.

The slant pattern touchdown pass for 19 yards that went to Weah from Ben DiNucci to give us a 14 nothing lead was a very good play. What I really liked about that pass is that it was one of the first ones I’ve seen this QB throw where it hit a receiver in stride so he could use his talents to take the rest of the way.  It was actually a 4-yard pitch-and-catch and a 15-yard run.

DiNucci doesn’t have a big arm; he doesn’t have a consistent long ball and his intermediate throws from 20 yards to 30 yards are rather spotty so he’s got to be able to connect on these quick passes and he’s got to be able to lead these guys so they can get as many yards after the catch as possible.  That’s what he’s going to have to do to be a successful D1 quarterback and we saw at least one play Saturday where he accomplished that.


Instead of actual bad for this item I’m going to say this is medium and that would be Ben DiNucci’s play at quarterback. It might just be the nature of how he plays football but there’s always an element of his being not in control of what he’s doing out there which I think leads to missed opportunities on his part.

Just like Chad Voytik did I think DiNucci tends to pull the ball down and start scrambling before he really has to sometimes and when that happens he tends to lock onto one receiver as he’s rolling right or left instead of tryingto see the whole field… so he left some very wide open receivers out there on Saturday.

He needs to be able to determine exactly when to scramble and when he does scramble and he’s getting forced out-of-bounds he needs to get rid of the ball before he loses yardage on the play. We saw that happened on Saturday and it’s happened many times earlier so that’s something he’s going to have to grow out of.

Ryan Winslow’s punting Saturday was pretty bad as it has been almost every game this season. I’m not sure what’s happening with him but what was the strength of our team last year has turned into a liability over the course of one season. It’s just not enough to average 35 yards per punt.

I could understand the low yardage if he was trying to have pinpoint accuracy on the kick so that he’s putting it in within the 20-yard line or placing it out-of-bounds of the certain spot.

But that’s not what’s happening with him this year. He’s kicking straight ahead punts and they’re just not going anywhere but  he’s also kicking them low enough so that the receiver has time to get it  and then make a play on the return. As opposed to Winslow’s putting up hang time and having our defense cover the receiver to force a fair catch or maybe a tackle for loss of yardage.


Two things combined for me here. The weather was pretty bad for a football game even though it’s mid-October when you can sometimes expected to be chilly but with the rain on top of it made a pretty miserable.

Along with that was the attendance issue. I touched on this in my podcast yesterday but no way in the world was there  30,889 people actually in the stadium on Saturday.  Maybe 30+K tickets went out from the ticket office but not that many human beings showed up.

That was even with giving out a ton of free tickets to HS cheerleaders and families…

We are used to seeing yellow seats at Heinz but when Rich and I came back after the halftime festivities and sat down in our seats it was just yellow everywhere. You couldn’t hardly imagine even five thousand people being left in attendance. The student section was empty. It was as low attendance at  any point of a game or a season that I’ve seen since I’ve been going to Pitt football games.

OK, Give us yours…


146 thoughts on “POV MMB: Virginia Win

  1. gc
    October 30, 2017 at 9:21 am
    I don’t agree with the clamoring for Pickett. We know what we have in DiNucci.

    Yes Pickett appears to have a stronger arm, quicker release, and better legs.

    However, we have no idea what command of the game plan he has, can he read defenses,will he panic under pressure, is he accurate, will he throw it up for grabs?

    There will always be someone calling for the second string QB, but now when DiNucci has won two games,
    and appears to be gaining confidence, is not the time, to bring in another guy.

    Bringing in Pickett last time cost us the game. His three and out did us in. We will never know what DiNucci might have done. We do know he brought us back vs Duke, on the road and salvaged some semblance of dignity for this season.

    I don’t play Pickett unless it is in a mop up role or in an almost inconceivable blowout.


    1. Or after two consecutive 3 and outs in the unc game.

      The tar holes are coming to Pittsburgh to play a football game and beat a team they have owned since joining the ACC.

      The Panthers better have their “A” game that night.


      1. Just don’t agree, that is too short a leash.

        The goal right now is to get a bowl game, not to get Pickett ready for next year.

        If we lose to UNC, give Pickett the next start if you think he is ready, but he is too much of an unknown to roll the dice, while DiNucci is playing well enough to win.


        1. My point is with two consecutive 3 and outs, DiNooch is in a struggling mode. Insert a change with Pickett at QB and DiNooch on the sidelines watching the action with headphones and Watson coaching him up.

          If Pickett lights a fire and the team responds positively with a score, then ride that MO. If Pickett struggles, return to DiNooch and hope he rebounds from his struggles.

          Two consecutive 3 and outs is an insane way to continue with the same “old”- the season ends if you ride that horse.

          Just my opinion…


    2. I merely wanted Pickett to some experience if the season is over as far as getting to a bowl game. Not to start and get most of the snaps.


  2. I’m glad you noticed that DiNucci is often too focused on the prime receiver, and doesn’t see the open one. I noticed this when at the OSU game … and then heard it mentioned by game announcer when I watched replay. This is common for young QBs but he needs to improve.

    Good: the team continues to improve as a whole …. whether it be the DL, the DB and the run game. Hall finally beginning to look like 4-star. And Zeise played his best game yet.

    Bad: Winslow’s punting. UVa’s QB in first half except for final drive

    Ugly: weather / attendance

    Excellent: what Reed did on Friday before coming to the Burgh


  3. The Good:

    We played a pretty complete game

    It looks like we have a defense for the future, multiple guys making plays.

    O-line is opening holes, and Hall and Ollison are taking advantage.

    DiNucci is playing well enough to win and gaining confidence.

    I like having Ollie and Hall on the field at the same time

    The Bad:

    DiNucci’s INT at the end of the first half was pretty stupid.

    Their QB had a pretty bad day as did their receivers (bad for them, good for us)

    The Ugly:

    Our Fanbase


  4. Yes we are told DiNucci understands the playbook better than Pickette. But what’s his upside? Do you really want to go into next season thinking he’s our QB of the future. Pickette clearly has more upside IMHO. We need to get a better look at him over the next 4 games. —-And yes Reed Winslow’s punting this year is simply awful. He’s suffering from the “kickers disease” which translates into thinking too much about the punt before he kicks.


  5. Folks – there is breaking news on the political front today. I want to remind you that this site and comments section is Politics-free and will stay that way. Our team is on the rise, let’s discuss that.

    Thanks –


  6. Good: Defense. OL and Hall. Watson (the roll outs, the shifting, the slants. I think he is tweaking the play book.)

    Medium: As Reed said, the throws when DiNucci stepped up in the pocket. It is critical to the passing game that he stays in the pocket long enough for the receivers.

    Ugly: DiNucci scrambling too soon and running out of bounds to take a big loss. Just stupid.


  7. “Wishful thinking” Reed? How about just thinking,

    Unquestionably, DiNucci did step it up Saturday.

    Here’s another thought. How about Narduzzi staying committed to DiNucci for another Game just to see if more improvement is to come?

    The reality is… DiNucci has SO LITTLE experience at this point it only makes sense that we’ve not yet seen the BEST of Ben!


  8. Great: The goal line stand with the game still on the line in the 4th quarter. What an outstanding effort by the much maligned defense.

    Good: Seeing the nitwits & WVU lose. Sorry to include that, but I thoroughly enjoyed seeing the nits come from ahead defeat. Couldn’t happen to a more deserving fanbase. Nice Trifecta weekend!

    Good part II: The play of the O-line. Clearing holes for hall, giving time for DiNucci.

    Bad: Weah still needs to make more plays. If Weah makes that catch in 2nd quarter before half, it is a first down, we might score again, or at the very least run down the clock. Instead Virginia gets ball and scored right before half. Plus they were going to get the ball to start 3rd quarter. Fortunately we held them to start the 3rd, and scored on the next possession to get that TD back. But Weah could have made things a lot easier by making that play.

    Ugly: Pitt fanbase. Anyone ever read the lair? They post about attendance being bad while watching the game on TV. There were plenty of seats available under cover if you were bothered by the rain. No excuse for leaving early or worse not showing at all. Heck even that noted Pitt blogger never attends a game in person. Can’t they reinstate a home TV blackout? And anyone who thinks attendance would have been better at Pitt stadium if the game was magically played there is fooling themselves.

    It has been debated ad-naseum the problem, but bottom line is Pitt is in a pro-city with a pro-mentality, I guarantee if the Steelers went 30 years with 8-8 records and making the playoffs 3 times in that stretch you would see the same sea of yellow at Heinz. Winning cures a lot of problems.


    1. Not sure who you mean by noted Pitt blogger but I know the owner of the Pitt Blather goes to some home games even though he lives in Cleveland.


  9. As for the comparison of Ben DiNucci and Chad Voytik?

    BIG DIFFERENCE when it comes to the Bottom Line. DiNucci has consistently shown himself to be a WINNER.

    Voytik failed to live up to the title going all the way back to his days in High School and ending with his brief stint at Arkansas State which saw him being sent to the bench in favor of the other Quarterbacks on the roster.

    So far, DiNucci has done nothing to say he has lost the ability to WIN! Until he does, why not give him and Pitt the chance?


  10. By the way,,, Watson seemed to go back a bit to the Offense he is accustomed to running instead of the Offense he has attempted to emulate (i.e. Canada 2.0).

    That SHOULD play to DiNucci’s strengths. We shall see.


    1. I agree. Thought we saw some new plays.

      Canada’s offense was more about attacking the edges. I like them running between the tackles. More power football.


  11. Good – give him credit, Weah pinballing through the defense to score. It seems like he catches better when he doesn’t have time to think.
    – the balance on the offense
    – the linebackers played their best game. Zeise lit up the QB at one point.
    Bad – punting. Winslow hasn’t been good since a couple games ago, when NC State had some return success and he started trying to up his hang time
    – Virginia’s QB. If he hit receivers early in the game, it might have been a little different.
    Ugly – the fact that the stadium was so empty in the 4th quarter that when the dance team and drum line took the field for a routing, the drums echoed throughout the stadium. I think I could have yelled across the field and had a conversation.

    By the way, Reed, as the parent of a high school cheerleader (whose squad did NOT go this year) the tickets are not free. It is $25 for a “clinic” on how to do the Pitt cheers, plus a game ticket and a T shirt (so it’s not a bad deal, but it’s not free).


    1. By the way, that’s “routine” above. A drum line and dance team routing is a very different animal.


  12. Nooch so far is 2 -1 for us. Sometimes it takes awhile to see how a kid and team response under fire. H2P


      1. gc – good point. He could be 3-0 except for some very questionable coaching decisions. Very questionable…


        1. A source so know that is close to the team says Pickett is not happy with the current situation.

          Could he transfer at season’s end and sit out a year (redshirt) to get a “better” shot somewhere else?

          I sure hope not…


          1. Sad if true. No problem with a kid wanting to play, but he hasn’t proven a thing yet.

            DiNucci has been a Panther for three years and just won two games.

            How does he get a better shot by sitting out a year?

            He will definitely compete for the job here next year and it is still possible he plays this year.

            No one is anointing DiNucci as the QB of the future, except for POD.

            He just seems to be the top choice for the next game.

            Until you lose a game, why make a change?

            If Narduzzi is dumb enough to make the change and Pickett flops, he looks the fool.


  13. The Good:

    Obviously the win which is always a good thing.

    The coaches including Watson and Conklin. Keep hearing how Dinucci is not this and not that but PITT has one the past two games. One of which PITT was a large underdog on the road (Duke) so by my theory of deduction Watson must be doing a good job.

    The offensive line has not been as offensive lately and the D-Line also played well. Lots of players came out of the woodwork against Virginia. Zeise and Roy were visible so maybe Conklin isn’t so bad when his players finally understand what it is they are supposed to do?

    The Bad:

    Not getting Pickett one or two packages to help him get his feet wet.

    Dinucci does need to hang in the pocket longer.

    The Ugly:

    The two obvious ones were indeed the weather and attendance.


  14. The good…Pitt continues to improve in all facets of play…all anyone can ask. . Narduzzi has held this team together in the face of getting crushed by superior teams early in the schedule.

    The bad….the disgrace that is Steelers Heinz Field which barely changes on game day for Pitt games.

    The ugly – 35 years of utter mismanagement by Pitt Administrations which has caused even the most diehard Pitt Grad fans to only casually care about Pitt Football. We have probably lost 30 graduating classes due to utter idiocy, stupidity, ego driven AD’s who think THEY know better what’s better for Pitt Sports than the fans. The biggest mistake by far, and one which Pittt Football will NEVER recover from….tearing down Pitt Stadium and cutting a deal with Heinz’s!


    1. Just to play the devil’s advocate, good chance we would not be in the ACC if we didn’t tear down Pitt Stadium and build the Pete. The Oakland Zoo is probably the best thing that has ever happened to school spirit. If we stuck with Pitt Stadium and Fitzgerald Field House we might be playing Carnegie Mellon and Duquesne again.


  15. when Reed and I came out at half time,..no one else did. they were all holed up in the club. I wanted to yell at everyone to get out there and support the team. wusses.


  16. The good: thought are running backs and offensive line are really stepping up. Them seem to be running harder right now than any other point of year stats show that
    The bad: the receivers and tight ends routinely give up on routes and do not fight for the ball. The denucci interception our tight end believe it was flannigan all he had to do was reach for the ball I thought it was a good pass. Ffrench had a couple plays he left on field as did weah aside from his td.
    The ugly: I agree with you Reed Ryan Winslow punting was terrible. Put Virginia in short field situations the whole game made the game feel closer than it was.


  17. For this 50+ year fan of everything Pitt, our current football team had to EARN its way back to get my attention. For the first SEVEN games they were terrible and the best game they played was losing handily to our arch rival PU. Against Duke in game 8 we started to resemble a descent football team and now in game 9, yes 9 games into the season!!!!!!!!! – we look like an actual D.1 ACC football team. So, the panthers have, at least for me, earned their way back to Pittman4ever. Here’s what I saw against Aunt Virginia

    1. The offensive line is finally gelling and thus the entire O looks much better.
    2. Having a lead runner blocker is greatly helping the run game (Watson finally woke up and smelled the coffe.)
    3. Our D made some great STOPS and looked like they are also coming together as a unit.
    4. The POV tailgaters/tailgate. You guys are AWESOME!!!!!

    THE BAD:
    1. The Duzz. He’s lost his gonads IMHO. Instead of building experience now for a strong team next year he’s running like a scared rabbit trying to win 5-6 games and go to a toilet bowl. That, my friends, is the definition of MEDIOCRACY.
    2. Winslow forgetting how to punt. You’re throwing away an NFL career, Ryan.



  18. GOOD
    The fact we are still seeing a good rotation of players on defense. All this experience is going to pay off in better competition and depth next year at each position. Wish we were sticking a guy in on the Oline every once in a while.

    You gotta love the stops on 4th down, which we just haven’t seen against any level of competition for the past 2 years.

    BN’s interception. You hold your breath every time he throws the ball. It is like watching Landry Jones to a degree. He is consistently inconsistent.

    I would have liked to see Pickett get a series.

    It will interesting to see where Raines decides to go tonight. If he was waiting for the outcome of this weekends games to decide, well we couldn’t have timed it any better. It would be nice to add a gem to this recruiting class.


  19. —Don’t know what punter you guys are watching but this is the first game Winslow didn’t bomb the punts. In fact, the trouble with the NCS return was that he so far out kicked the coverage. He struggled Saturday and was working on his drop at halftime…

    —Reed, when BD rolls out, he cuts the field to about one-quarter because he just doesn’t have the arm to throw back across the middle, IMHO.

    Good – QH’s exceptional return; Hall continues to run hard; Weah’s slant route – let’s see more of those; play of the Dline, especially the DTs; and we got an INT!!!!; Zeise continues to play better as he gains experience..

    Medium – BD really needs to set his feet to have any chance to put any zip on the ball; QH was 3 steps behind his guy when BD threw deep down the middle and incomplete to a tighter covered Weah…

    Ugly – the weather, the wife and I were there in our ponchos to the soggy end, but I can’t blame anyone for staying home for this one…

    Go Pitt.


  20. I don’t think anyone should expect Raines to pick Pitt tonight. Let’s hope I’m wrong – but everything I’ve read and all the subtle “hints” are that it is going to be WVU.


  21. MajorsMajors @ 11:47,
    Thanks for mentioning QH’s punt return (I forgot). It was truly AMAZING!!!!!!


  22. M&M, I agree about Winslow. He was pretty good earlier this season, it’s just been the past couple games where he’s hurt the team. He was really bad this past week in the sloppy mess.

    Also I’ve been wanting to write about Dinucci rolling out. That type of play is for QB’s who can really run and are runners or QB’s that have stronger arms. Still don’t if Dinucci ‘s arm is weak of his mechanics are just really bad?

    JJ, Raines did mention getting a good education, so what does that mean the community college in Morgantown? ike


  23. Good
    QH punt return
    Weah YAC TD
    Defensive stops at crunch time
    Productive run game
    Dinucci passing mechanics and overall ability, Pitt can’t beat VT or Miami or any good team throwing less tha 200 yards. We are kidding ourselves pretending that it matters if we win 6 games this year. Pickett has to get reps and experience or we will be hoping for 6 wins AGAIN next year.
    Sat thru till 7 mins left in 4th qtr, but it was miserable. Pitt students are a pathetic joke. Raines unlikely impressed by win in empty stadium. Same for any 4*.


      1. He had two outstanding games against Ok State and GT. Fairly ordinary for the other games since then. Poor against UVA.


  24. It would have been far easier and cheaper to tear down Fitzgerald Field House and replace it. Heinz and tearing down Pitt Stadium has reduced student school spirit. Busing to a game is unthinkable.


  25. Raines decision covered live on Pittsburgh Sports Report at 7:00 tonight.
    Good: we win, met new POV friends, didn’t get arrested yet for domestic terrorism.
    Bad: missed the Halloween party in my neighborhood because I decided to stay at the tailgate post game.
    Ugly: the crowd… especially the students.


  26. Lucky Sunday’s weather in da Burgh wasn’t on Saturday. Burgh’s high was ONLY 40 degrees yesterday and extremely damp. As fog lingered thruout the day.

    So you guys that went…..got off easy 🙂


    1. It didn’t feel easy. My crew were all shivering. Steady rain and I think it was like 45 by the end of the game. Plus the wind kicked up before halftime. We went to the snack stands at halftime for some warm drinks but the wind was much more chilling out there.

      I sat threw my son’s soccer game late yesterday afternoon and was quite comfortable by comparison. The air was still with consistent drizzle.

      Agree with Reed about the attendance. A good rule of thumb seems to be an actual of about 10K less than announced.


  27. I personally had a nice time in downtown Pittsburgh this weekend. Good food, good company at the two tailgating events we attended and a good Pitt football game. The weather was tolerable…

    GOOD –

    The D with 4 stops in 5 attempts by uva on 4th downs.
    Lil’ Q and his electrifying punt return. (Credit Emel’s call out)
    Big Q and O’Neill for filling voids with leadership roles.
    The RB tandem of Hall and Ollison.
    Meeting Jester Weah’s mom after the game.

    BAD –

    Kicking game – Winslow was off all game and Kessman with another missed FG.
    Playing Sweet Caroline before the half.

    UGLY –

    Weather and attendance.
    Play calling on the last (2) series right before the end of the 1st half. Seemed too conservative and allowed uva to score a TD.


  28. Couple of comments..

    After the rough start I wanted to see a young team that would improve each week and keep up the good fight… it’s happening

    I mentioned several times there was a void of real leaders because of a small senior class many who were kicked off or were hurt… I don’t count a 5th year transfers as leaders…. the leaders are developing on the field of battle- Its happening before our very eyes.

    EEs comment about Pickett not being onerjoyed with the current situation put a knot in my stomach….

    From what I saw of Kenny in his brief appearance…poise and good leg work- he is the QB of the future and needs to be playing NOW…. DiNucc will be a serviceable back-up


  29. If PITT can manage a win next Thursday I may have to go into my full blown, I told you guys so, mode. Youth, inexperience, suspensions, injuries and a difficult schedule has some using the words like, PITT is terrible and all kinds general PITT sucks, thoughts and comments.

    Some are even finding reasons to be somewhat on the downside with PITT after the past two wins. Some should try and walk a mile in my shoes because I’m having lots of fun this year. Something like Reed mentioned on the Sunday podcast.


  30. I agree with the comment that Narduzzi is running scared right now after the 5 early losses. That IMO is why DiNucci with his better knowledge of the play book is playing right now. Narduzzi is fearful of Pickette and turnovers and thinks DiNucci will make better decisions.—That said I wonder how much of the playbook Dungey knew at Syracuse when he started as a freshman 3 star recruit from Oregon. If Narduzzi can’t envision Pickette’s upside than I’ll join the chorus that’s calling for sending him back to MSU.


    1. Syracuse didn’t have two eight win seasons in a row, a lot less to lose.

      The only dumb thing Narduzzi did was to burn Pickett’s redshirt.


      1. There was nothing dumb about burning Pickette’s red shirt. Obviously Narduzzi doesn’t have much confidence in MacVitte and so Pickette was his choice as the back up he wanted. So he had no choice but to play Pickette. Now if you don’t think DiNucci will not get his helmet knocked off any more this season and he’ll lead us to 4 more victories this season you may correct about it being dumb to burn that Red Shirt.


  31. TxPanther,
    I know a guy who knows your original source who knows another guy who knows your second source, who, of course knows a guy who knows your third source, YOU KNOW?


  32. FWIW, I have a friend who also is a Pitt fan, and was told by Robert Foster himself that he will be pleased with his selection only a few days before. But then again, he told his parents Pitt before he went to be the night before but woke up to Bama.

    It’s a tough choice for a 16 /17 year old.


  33. Great good medium and uglies you guys.

    I would add Ollison to the list of good. He has been blocking well and when he does get the ball, he has a really high yards per carry the past two weeks now.
    Shows me that even though he doesn’t get it often, he is still running hard.


  34. Let’s not sweat it, as they say the sun will come up tomorrow. It just may not be shining brightly on Pittsburgh?

    wvu, not a good school to get a great education
    psu, not a moral institution by any stretch
    Florida, just lost their head coach
    PITT, early playing time and they send their players to the NFL like a river flowing down a mountain.


  35. Tx, you piqued my interest. I assumed he was all in for the Hoopies. Guess I’ll watch at 7.


  36. It would take that many sources to go all the way from Pittsburgh to Texas. Question Tx_ does your rumor involve a mailman’s neighbor?


  37. I think the Duzz is putting together a solid class but we need a few guys like Raines to spruce it up and for perception…

    And we need some good news – been a tough season…

    Hoping the “stay home” angle wins out with Mr. Raines…

    Hail to Pitt!


  38. Seriously, I have a one source rumor claiming PITT is back in the running for a bigger type recruit. Not say if it’s Raines or not?? It could be a plan B player?


  39. If Pickett transfers after this year – I’ll be surprised. Hardly any QBs play as true FR. While he’s not really played, the opportunity is there for him to grab the starting spot next year. There would have to be much bigger underlying issues for him to transfer, I would think.

    My source says Raines to WVU. I think there were a number of subtle hints in the PSN article/interview with Mr Raines. Getting advice from Dravon Henry and his family – mentioning his son wants to play CB or S but Pitt wants him to play LB – no Pat signal today. Hope I’m wrong.


  40. Good1) Pitt WON
    2 Nooch was the winning QB – you can push Pickett without dissing the Nooch Reed – you hated Voytik then tore into him for transferring after he graduated, now you compare Nooch to Voytick . Dont be a H8ter to prove your point
    3) Shane Roy – to get Reed’s goat
    4) Improving defense even if opposition is not great
    5) Hall and QH
    6) Those of us in attendance, agree with Reed 30K you gotta be kidding. Students did not leave early, they never showed

    Bad 1) WR have an inability to get separation, no matter who the QB the receivers must get separation – on those plays you say Nooch focused on primary receiver who else was open – answer nobody. Dont worrry Picketters he will play the last two when the Nooch limitations are exploited
    Ugly 1) Winslow punting – is he injured?



  41. Good

    The defense keeps improving.
    The OL – back to back good games. Both Hall and Ollison were effective as a result.
    “The Good DiNucci” – made some good throws downfield that weren’t there just a few weeks ago.
    Meeting some of the POVers pre-game.

    Punting – perhaps it was the miserable wet and cold condition, but it stunk for sure.
    “The Bad DiNucci” who panics under pressure and scrambles, often failing to throw the ball away.

    The rain was one thing, but then the temps dropped quite a bit during the game. Regarding the fans, hard to expect anybody showing up on Sat if they don’t show up the week after the Clemson win. We won’t see it change unless the program wins consistently and gets into the ACC Championship game.


  42. The good… Henderson back on track, Hall and Ollision running, Weah’s TD and DEFENSE,

    The Bad…Missed field goal and inconsistent play at QB

    The ugly…The weather and the all blue Unis (who decides what unis are to be worn for games?)

    Also, IMHO…too much worrying about redshirting…if the boys are ready to play and contribute,,,let em play!!!!
    I hope the rumors are legit about Raines…Pitt has so much more to offer…better education, better city, close to home, better football heritage. How many DB’s from WVU,or for that matter how many WVU players, are playing on Sunday? Good to see Dion Lewis doing well, even if it for the Patriots! He was a solid RB for Pitt and exciting to watch.


  43. THE GOOD

    Defense. Defensive line got penetration and finally some sacks(!), the LBs for once did not look slow and weak, the DBs continued playing well. Dane Jackson and Damar Hamlin are gonna be really good next year.

    Offensive line. Who knew that sticking with the same 5 linemen would work when one of them was JJS? Who. Knew. Jimmy Morrisey continues to improve and is looking like he’ll be a solid center in the coming years.

    RBs. Hall continues looking good, and Ollison has really stepped up his blocking game and is making the most of his carry opportunities.


    WRs. Drops and route running still a huge issue for any WR not named Rafael Araujo-Lopes. 1 nice catch by Ffrench and 1 nice catch and run by Weah doesn’t outweigh the disappearance of Mathews and the inconsistency of the rest.

    The TEs. They were okay in run blocking and pass protection Saturday, but they are nonexistent in the passing game outside of a play or two a game. That’s not enough. A real pass-catching TE threat opens up so much for the offense (see Holtz, JP, and Orndoff, Scott), pulling safeties and LBs away from the LOS.

    DA NOOCH. He was close to being if not in THE GOOD at least in THE NEUTRAL, he looked more comfortable surveying the field going through his progressions, but that interception was just really, really bad, he still holds on to the ball too long too often, he doesn’t have the athleticism to turn a negative play into a positive one with his legs and his accuracy on any throw longer than 15 yards is consistently iffy. He had some good runs yesterday but to my eye they all looked like plays that were designed for him to have running room if no one was open downfield, they weren’t making something out of nothing. His decisionmaking is just too slow.


    Like everyone has said, the weather and the crowd. Can’t do anything about the weather, and some people have said there were a LOT of people on the concourses the whole game watching on the TVs, but still, even if there were 10,000 people on the concourses, no way there was more than 25,000 people total. Can’t do anything about that either but string together some 9, 10+ win seasons. That’s the only way respectable attendance is gonna happen whether Pitt is at Heinz or at some fantasy 45,000 seat on-campus stadium.


    1. Deep….Pitt could run the table and be undeafeated and draw 38,385 of actual bodies unless it’s ND, the Peds or WVU.

      Sad but true. There simply is no attachment by Pgh residents, past alumni classes or youngsters. No one at Pitt seems to care or have any solution…nor do I.


      1. Pitt averaged 59,900-something attendance in 2003. 4 games over 60,000 attendance. 1 game 56,000 the other one 44,000. Because of Larry Fitz and people thought Walt was about to take Pitt to the next level.

        Get people thinking that again and they will come. Pair it with another electrifying player and they’ll definitely come.


        1. in 2003, Pitt was pre-seasoned ranked #10. The schedule also included home games with Notre Dame, Va Tech and Miami.


  44. The good: We’re still alive for a (crap) bowl

    The bad: We’ll lose the bowl game (as usual)

    The ugly: We have to beat a highly ranked team to make a bowl game.

    The Game:

    Good: Hall picked up where he left off and got 111 yards on the ground.

    Bad: The passing game – 134 yards in college ain’t gonna get it…

    Ugly: The ESPN crowd shots. Ouch…


  45. There’s an old axiom, the tightend is the best friend of an inexperienced qb. Watson are you listening?


  46. THE GOOD- 1-Pitt won, 2-PSU & WVU didn’t, 3-multiple fourth down stops by our defense, 4- doubling the amount of sacks for the season by our defense IN ONE GAME!, 5-Henderson’s most impressive punt return for a TD yet by breaking seven tackles along the way to paydirt, 6-all of the POV faithful that showed for the tailgate & the game.

    Straight to THE UGLY. 1-the awful weather, 2-the even more awful fair weather fans who failed to show up for the game. 3-the fact that Upitt goes into hibernation whenever Pitt wins a game, not to emerge again until his vitriol can be applied to the fresh open wounds of the Panthers next loss.


  47. Good—seeing Wanny on the OSU-PSUcks post game high fiving buckeye fans while wearing a gray suit and red tie. Plus to a game where offense did better, special teams was ok, and defense looked great.
    Bad—starting the game with a quick 3 and out. Need to get some early momentum for Noooch next Thursday.
    Ugly—our fans, especially those that can’t stop the hate parade on Duzz.


  48. Agree with Major Majors… perception is huge. I see Raines pulling out a Hoopie hat, then taking it off and firing on a POV t-shirt. Those shirts are everywhere baby!


  49. It is really simple. Just win. After 3-4 yrs of 10-2, 9-3 you will gradually increase attendance. It will take a decade. No quick fix. Do NOT play a brutal OCC, you will get relatively the same numbers for cupcakes. Then when you are more successful you can add on. Use the blueprint developed by JoePa and perfected by Barry.


  50. JoeKnew… I see future attendance at Pitt modestly improving… maybe averaging 40-45k per game. Fewer kids play with all the mergers and decreasing population in general, kids on cell phones, marching band are way smaller .. kids would rather be on cellphones … soccer is king…and wwe old guys can still hold up our end of the deal at least until we are hanging with our ole pal FRANKCAN… the times they are a changing… maybe the Steelers will re- locate the next time the workin man doesn’t want his tax dollars spent on a new stadium for the Rooneys …


  51. a domed stadium would have only drawn about 35k to the game and not the 20k that actually showed. Face it, Pitt is maxed at 50k on a perfect day against a perfect opponent. Fan base is only so big yet we play in a stadium 2 times bigger than we should.


  52. He’s a Hoopie. Best of luck young man. That hurts. And dont get me started on my sources. There will be a reckoning.


  53. Move on – nothing to see here. Duzz needs to land a few 4*’s before this class is finished. There is time to make that happen. Partridge and Haley were off on the recruiting trail this morning.

    Pretty much set the tone that K.Raines was not committing to Pitt with no Pat Signal.

    Pitt ain’t it tonight!


  54. Come on guys cut the Raines family from Aliquippa some slack… join the Big 12 and see the UDA… Dana probably covering airline expenses… that’s the least he could do….


  55. Yeah it bothers me a bit (Raines) more about a local going to a second rate college in academics and the perception of not landing a local. (although I’m not sure if Oakland is much closer than Morgantown?) Breaking the quip pipeland as well.

    Where and who was he going to beat out at PITT though?

    Still hear there may be a good recruit on the cusp….??

    Reed never too early to start taking a tab on the UNC tailgate attendance. Hopefully it’s the biggest and best yet. . . . . …ike



    1. fyi.. Aliquippa is 31 miles from Oakland.. 90 miles from Morgantown.

      My math says that’s 3x’s as far.


      1. That was a big time loss last night. That’s 2 WPIAL 4 star players that chose wvcc, with Pitt having not one recruit above a 3 star rating.

        Now, that could change by signing day, but there currently is no evidence that a 4 star is even interested in Pitt right now.

        I know ratings can be meaningless and what matters is what you get on the playing field. My expectations may be set too high, but I lived through three 11-1 seasons and the bar was set high. Pitt has not done it since – in fact only one (10) win season in the last 35 years.

        Kick the tar out of the heels!


  56. I’ve digested most of the comments, and agree that Pickett needs to play- and this should be pretty obvious to most of us. Nobody is calling for Pickett to start, but he needs valuable reps, his redshirt is burned, and it’d be unconscionable to not give him meaningful reps at this point. I admire what DiNucci has done, I really do, but he he’s not exactly been Joe Montana out there. No good reason not to give Pickett valuable minutes. Narduzzi is a millionaire, he’s needs to man-up and make forward-thinking decisions, that’s what he’s paid for. And I’m saying this as a fan of Narduzzi. I hope he proves to be a leader.

    Too bad we lost Raines, he’s going the way of Foster and Schell, nobody will ever hear of him again.


  57. A bit off topic, but perhaps worth bringing up…

    When I returned from Pgh on Sunday, a brochure from the Panther Club was waiting for me.

    It is informative and eye-opening; perhaps more so than what has been sent to me in the past several years.
    Page 5 is downright depressing. Pitt ranks dead last in the ACC in fundraising at just over $10M. The top 5 are between $30-40M, so there is quite a gap.

    Perhaps it’s a chicken-egg thing with on-field/court success drives the higher donations at the likes of Clemson, Louisville and Duke, but that doesn’t explain how smaller schools like BC, Wake and even Miami are outperforming Pitt in donations.


  58. Early prediction:

    POVers will see plenty of Pickett against VT and Miami when both games get out of control in the 3rd quarter.

    KP will get a TD or two in each as experience.


  59. Where’s Chris L been?

    The UNC game has me a bit concerned. Will PITT pull a PITT? The coaches are on the road recruiting when I think they should be game planning which I’m sure some are. This PITT football needs total focus.

    I know some are critiquing/criticizing Narduzzi thinking about winning this year and not for the following years. << not starting Pickett. I don’t get that? HCPN is trying to change the perception about the entire PITT football program.

    In order to move forward you have to do your best not to take a step back. PITT and Narduzzi, I will add, are no position to not play the players they think will give them the best chance to win the next football game.

    It should be all hands on deck and the best players, right now, play right now. Let’s worry about the next game and next year when that bridge pops up in front of them.. . . . . .ike



  60. At least Kenny Wilson Pickett will have gotten back-up QB reps for several weeks, but we need to get him some game time. It’s not like DiNucci is scaring our opponent every series. Remember his third down pass on the first series against UVA, where a simple short pass got away from him…

    I suspect they’re trying to coach KP up on handling the blitzes a true frosh is bound to see…

    Ideally we’d get out to a nice lead against UNC and get the back-ups in, but when’s the last time that happened???

    Go Pitt.


    1. I’m dressed as an Ohio State fan with Woody Hayes black rimmed glasses.

      Two of my pedo workmates just frowned and walked away without saying a word.



  61. JoeL.. doesn’t surprise me one bit considering the road the BoT has taken the Faithful” down the last 35 years…


  62. The BoT has themselves to blame. They have destroyed any sports culture the university ever had. Sports is a dirty word to them. The front porch talk is BS. You cant ask fans and alumn to give if the top doesnt create the environment for giving.


  63. Losing Raines hurts….but you can’t fault PN for what happened. Pitt probably invested more time and effort in to recruiting him over the past couple years than any other recruit. There’s not anything else they could have done (legally). In the end, the kid felt WVU was better for him. Sometimes that happens and yeah it stings. But another part of it is we’ll never know what all went in to the kid’s decision. We’ve seen in the past where the kid wanted to come to Pitt and the family/handlers decided for him that he was going somewhere else. I’m not saying that happened here – just that we’ll never know what goes in to a lot of these decisions. In the end, you just have to wish the kid good luck and move on to the next one.


  64. The reason he picked WVU is because he was being recruited as a LB …. and this staff cannot recruit a high prospect LB if their lives depended on it. And the one time they allegedly did, they moved him to DE.

    It reminds me of Jaimie trying to get a legit center after S Adams (who only stayed a year) For the last 3 years JD was here, his staff couldn’t recruit a legit if their lives depended on it.


  65. Raines cousin is Dravon Henry (an ex-quip) who starts at WVcc. The Henry family trashed-talked Pitt at the time of his decision; it sure had to be a factor.


    1. That’s the thing that burns me up the most. The Matt House hiring continues to haunt this program. Both Montae Nicholsen (Gateway) and Dravon Henry (Aliquippa) were considered big Pitt favorites … and then all of a sudden, they weren’t. Narduzzi and Gibson came into town and snatched them … both were well documented in the local papers.

      Do you think they would have helped last year’s team? Nicholsen is now in the NFL and Henry is in his senior year … a 4 year starter.


  66. If you don’t think the rival recruiters aren’t reminding these local star recruits constantly about the lack of local support for Pitt FB, then name your bridge and how much you want to spend.

    The top 4 years of Heinz attendance were 2003, 2009, 2013 and 2008. 2013 was the first year in ACC and included home games with FSU and ND. The other years involved a pre-season ranking and/or being ranked for much of the year.

    I would hope next year signals a rise in the Pitt program. Holgerson went 4-8 in his 3rd year at WVU but has been winning since … of course, he will always benefit by decent fan support


  67. My last thoughts on Raines and Narduzzi

    Narduzzi recruited him as hard as any other school. << Is that all he can do?

    There was someone else recruiting Raines and he is the cousin of KR, Dravon Henry the starting safety at WVU.

    It is bad from a perception point no doubt about it.

    imo, losing KR is still a result of a trickle down effect still hanging over the PITT football program. Is it really Narduzzi fault that less than 30,000 fans showed up at Heinz Field last Saturday to see PITT play a 5-2 conference foe? All the while WVU gets almost 70,000 every home game.

    This recruiting loss has less to do with Narduzzi and more to do with the lack of interest in big-time college football from the PITT administration..

    BTW, some of you guys that bumped into Heather Lyke in Atlanta. What kind of suggestions were you able to convey to the new AD? If you don’t mind me asking. . . . .ike


  68. Ike..haven’t run into Heather yet but speaking of donations..if any of you run into her tell her BigB will donate $1000.00 if Pitt puts the banned chorus back into the Pitt Victory Song…and tell her I will send $10,000.00 if PITT returns to the exact uniforms of our championship era under Majors and Sherrill…

    Unfortunately, they can’t get simple $#@t right. Pat and Heather are advised to check into the POV periodically to check the pulse of the diehards.

    Pat and Heather need a sit down with UPITT..I am serious…Mark would do a better job of running this show..


  69. Raines is one kid. There are as many kids with his star rating that fail as there are ones that succeed. Pitt will find a Florida kid that is better.

    You all are obsessing over a teen like Jerry Sandusky. LOL

    On to another subject.


    1. Well, for Jerry it was/is 12teen, 13teen and 14teen, this “kid” is a man teen and would have ended the JS evil. Too bad that wasn’t the case.


    2. This from PSN –

      **Late last night, Pitt offered a big-time junior from Maryland. 247 Sport 4-Star wide receiver/safety DeMarcco Hellams picked up the offer. Hellams (6-foot-2, 215 pounds) is from Dematha Catholic in Hyattsville, Maryland and has already been offered by schools like Clemson, Michigan, Michigan State, Notre Dame, Penn State, Virginia Tech, Tennessee and Wisconsin.


  70. The current throwback uni colors are selling big. No reason to go back to baby crap mustard, it will not sell like the bright colors. It is all about the money and God knows, Pitt needs a lot more of it for sports.

    Also, everyone I watch the games with, especially younger folks, love the all blues with the matte helmet.

    Sometimes change is good even if you are stuck in 1976.


  71. Personally, if I was a hot shot FB prospect, my number one criteria would be academics. Nothing in life is more important than earning a living through a job that requires one to be educated and happy in a specialty. In FB you are one injury away from not playing FB.


  72. With the off week for Pitt football (not a good time for an off week IMHO), I thought that some of you might be interested to see how Sports Illustrated ranks Pitt basketball and its non conference opponents:
    Pitt is ranked 212 (no real surprise) and picked for last in the ACC (also no real surprise)

    Navy – 182
    Montana – 178
    UC-Santa Barbara – 289
    PSU – 54 (Really?)
    OK State – 71
    Lehigh – 194
    High Point – 253
    Duquesne – 238
    Mount St. Mary’s – 253
    WVU – 11 (could be last year’s Louisville home game all over again)
    McNees St. – 310
    Delaware State – 346
    Towson – 121

    If you go by chalk, 6 Wins and 7 losses going into the ACC schedule.
    Perhaps the over/under for the season for wins is at 10?

    Reed, are you going to run a thread for basketball?

    H2P always!!!


  73. grizzly1 @ 11:02 am,
    The only thing those blue pajamas are missing is little cute panther cubs all over them………


  74. Narduzzi can not keep missing on WPIAL top guys and turn this program around. What about the buck stops here? Yes, there are a lot of factors that go into recruiting and Pitt negatives, but the top guy is not getting it done and Raines is not only one guy, there were many last year and there is that QB for next year.

    Quit making excuses for Narduzzi. They may have had Henry, but we have Dorsett, and Ditka, two HOF guys and Revis soon to be HOF. Not to mention, Whitehead, Hamlin and Ford.

    I hear Henry, I hear House, I hear attendance, no OCS, bad colored uniforms, no fun fight songs, EXCUSES


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