Here are some pieces of info and links to prep you all for the game on Thursday night… one thing to remember, I think, is that NC’s record of 1-8 is valid, but that doesn’t matter when the whistle blows. At this point Pitt is giving away 9.5 points to the Tarheels.
PITT (4-5, 2-3 ACC) vs. NORTH CAROLINA (1-8, 0-6 ACC)
November 9, 2017 • 7:30 p.m., ET
LINK (PDF): Pitt Game Notes (vs. North Carolina)
• Pitt looks to continue its recent momentum when it hosts Coastal Division foe North Carolina for a Thursday night ESPN national telecast. This will be the Panthers’ 23rd all-time appearance on ESPN’s Thursday package.
• The Panthers are coming off a pair of impressive wins, 24-17 at Duke and 31-14 against Virginia. A victory over North Carolina would extend Pitt’s winning streak to three games and even its record at 5-5 on the season.
• Narrow margins have been the rule during recent Pitt-UNC series history. The past six meetings have been decided by a combined 25 points, an average of 4.2 points per game. The Tar Heels slipped past the Panthers in Chapel Hill last year, 37-36.
• Since 2013, North Carolina is the only team in the Coastal that Pitt has not beaten. The Panthers are 0-4 against the Tar Heels in ACC play. North Carolina also leads the overall series, 8-3.|
• Pitt’s last victory in the series occurred in the 2009 Meineke Car Care Bowl in Charlotte. Coach Dave Wannstedt’s Panthers edged the Tar Heels (coached by Butch Davis), 19-17, on a field goal with 52 seconds left.
• Junior tailback Darrin Hall has reignited the Panthers’ rushing attack by averaging 182.5 yards over his past two contests. Hall had 254 yards at Duke, followed by a 111-yard effort against Virginia.
• Junior all-purpose player Quadree Henderson had a 75-yard punt return touchdown in Pitt’s last game against Virginia. Henderson has seven career kick return TDs, two shy of the national record.
• Quadree Henderson leads the ACC and ranks seventh nationally in punt returns with a robust 16.1-yard average. North Carolina, in contrast, is 112th in punt return defense, surrendering 12.4 yards per return.
(MORE INFO AND VIDEOS AFTER THE PAGE BREAK)
HERE IS THE TWO-DEEP FOR NC:
Hard to read above, sorry. Here is the actual link to the Game Notes – the real sized two-deep lineups are on page 3.
HERE IS NARDUZZI’S NC PRE-GAME PRESS CONFERENCE:
Hey – we have a QB coach? Details of presser text in first comment….
Here is a good piece by Batko in the Post-Gazette about the drop in play by Weah and Q. Henderson from ’16 through this season…
Indeed, Henderson does have 25 rushing attempts on the year, but only six have gone for double-digit yardage, and four of those came in the season opener against Youngstown State. As for the passing game, it’s still a bit of a mystery as to why he has just 13 catches for 140 yards, both of which rank seventh on the team.
“I feel like I just need to work in open space, get open for the quarterback, make plays whenever I get the ball,” Henderson said. “I don’t feel like [getting open] is the problem. I feel like everybody on the team is getting open, so Ben is going through his progression reads, reading the safeties, reading the linebackers, and just getting the best player the ball on the field, whoever’s open.”
In some cases, that’s been Weah, but not as often lately. He’s still the leading receiver but has just four grabs in this two-game winning streak, and he’ll have to really get hot down the stretch to surpass his 870 yards and 10 touchdowns from a year ago.
CHANGE IN THE STARTING TIME FOR VT:
Pitt-Virginia Tech to Kick Off at 12:20 p.m.
The Nov. 18 game will be televised locally on WTAE-TV
PITTSBURGH—Pitt’s November 18 game at Virginia Tech will kick off at 12:20 p.m., and be televised locally on WTAE-TV, Channel 4, the Atlantic Coast Conference announced today.
The Panthers’ remaining 2017 schedule with announced television coverage and kickoff times:
Nov. 9 (Thurs.): North Carolina* (ESPN), 7:30 p.m.
Nov. 18: at Virginia Tech* (WTAE-TV), 12:20 p.m.
Nov. 24 (Fri.): Miami*, TBA