I spent the day under the weather so had a full Internet surfing day to look up all the media stuff I can find on the Panther’s season to date. Here are some tidbits I found interesting.
Chris Peak of Rivals did a very good review of each of the 10 games we have played so far this season… which as you all know we stand at 4-6. Here is that article but it may be behind a paywall.
“Ten Thoughts from the First Ten Games” If you can see the linked content fine = if not here is a sampling of his breakdowns…
At the time, Pitt’s overtime win against Youngstown State was chalked up to a few things. Chief among those rationales was the notion that the Panthers held back on their offense, saving things for the next week’s game at Penn State; that made sense, since Pitt had done the same thing against Villanova a year earlier. Plus, the players seemed to let up in the second half, which allowed YSU to get back into the game.
In retrospect, the line of thinking about holding back the offense was not accurate. There were things Pitt unveiled against Penn State and beyond that weren’t present in the YSU game, but that wasn’t the reason the Panthers had to go to overtime against an FCS team. Rather, that outcome resulted from the issues everyone knew going in: Pitt was a young, inexperienced team with quite a few vulnerabilities stemming from that youth and inexperience.
Those elements caught up to the Panthers in the second half, and while it’s not reasonable to state is Pitt is equal to an FCS team, that game did show that if the 2017 Panthers didn’t play at or above 75% of their abilities on a consistent basis, they could be caught by just about any opponent on the schedule.
I agree with this assessment 100%. I can’t post any more than the above because that is Rival.com’s writing but I’ll say this as I have in the past – Chris Peak is the best sportswriter covering Pitt football today and I subscribe because he’s that good… and it is worth the $9 or whatever per month it is to read his balanced look at the program and team.
So there is nine more of those type reports and after reading those, and listening to his Podcast after the NC game it got me thinking about how my fellow POVers look at this season so far so I’ll ask a simple question. At which point did it become apparent to you that the 2017 was not what we hoped it would be and that we’d end up with a disappointing, or losing really, season?
Here is King Pat talking about the upcoming Hokie game: He kind of lost me there when he started of the Presser saying “A lot of good things… when you watch the film – a lot of good things.” I understand the need to inject optimism into these dark days but a shot of honesty every once in awhile from this guy would be so refreshing .
What I don’t get here is when he’s talking about the 4th & 19 punt from our 41 yard line to put our defense in the ‘win or lose’ position to have to make the stop and get the ball back.
He stated that if it was 4th & 10 vice 4th & 19 he would have gone for it… but this extreme risk aversion of his is what we have been talking about all season regardless of how far it was to the 1st down marker the ball still would have been in the same spot for the Tarheels to take over on downs.
Remember we were already down by 3 points – we didn’t have a lead to protect but needed a score to win or tie. And his decision to punt; rely on our defense then hope our offense could then get the ball back and score was made know that in our last two possessions we went for 3 plays for (-) 2 yards and a punt then 7 plays for only 16 yards and a punt. Not a good trend there.
But if he truly believed in our defense he would have punted no matter what distance it was 19 yards or 10 yards. Then of course we turn the ball over on the punt and NC promptly converts a 2nd & 18 play to shove the stake farther into in our heart.
Look – our defense had given up 34 points so far in that game (27 if you are splitting hairs with the KO return for a TD that wasn’t on the defense) – it wasn’t like we were playing so well on defense that we could in any way rely on them to shut the NC offense down.
I know that his decision was the ‘safest‘ one but that doesn’t always win games. Bold moves produce winning teams Pat, especially when you currently sit at 4-5 and have nothing to at all lose by taking chances.
Instead he plays it safe and we lose anyway… which you all knew we would as soon as he punted because that is exactly how this season has been playing out.
Narduzzi needs to get out of the obsessive Defense Coordinator mode he is in, and has been in for three years now, and act like an actual Head Coach. You would think after 35 games under his belt as a HC at Pitt Narduzzi would realize exactly what our defense could and couldn’t do. And of course it couldn’t deliver the goods right then just as it hasn’t all season long or in any game yet save for the last stop against Clemson last season.
I’d rather we try our hardest to WIN the games and not take the safest and most conservative approach ad nauseam to try not to lose them… which he always does.
This is another reason Pickett should have been getting some real series in these last three games. His arm is twice as strong and more accurate than DiNucci’s and so what the hell; throw him in there for that 4th down play if he had some PT under his belt and let him sling the ball downfield. At that point we had nothing to lose in going for all the marbles on that play.
Let’s be honest here though, Pickett even as a true FR would have had the same if not better results than DiNucci has had since he became the de facto starter.
This was yet another Big Ten mentality decision on Narduzzi’s part – rely on the defense to stop the opponent and get the ball back when the sad truth is that our defense sucks hind tit yet again this season and can’t make the stops when really needed.
Earlier in the year he was asked why he didn’t go for two point conversion after a TD (in a game we lost) and he answered “Because that is what the chart says to do” meaning the crib sheet that says “If down by XX points go for 1; if down by YY points go for 2″.
I think this is exactly how he coaches football games and is what led to his decision described above. He looks at what the conventional thinking is and does it 100% of the time when there is any sort of hard decisions to be made. Somewhere on that sideline there was a “Chart” that said ‘punt and rely on your defense’.
I don’t care what the smart move was – I want to see him have the stones to try to win football games.
If I had a full head of hair I’d be pulling some out right now.
Roundtable: We have our weekly Roundtable Call-in tonight at 9:00 pm. I think what we’ll do is stop these after the last Pitt football game of the 2017 season and then start them up again during the Spring practices and then again during the Fall camp.
Since I don’t really pay attention to Pitt BB I won’t schedule Roundtables during BB season these unless we can make arrangements for a POVer who is really into BB act as the Moderator for BB discussions and then I’ll continue to host the roundtable on Bluejeans, inc.
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