Pitt Style: Some obscure, some very easy… A quiz submitted by Andrew aka ajs32

How many can you get?

1)  I am a former Iowa State head coach who was a DC in Pittsburgh that had the famous, “read and react,” defense.

2)  I am the holder who botched a snap in the de facto Big East Title game that cost the Panthers a trip to the Sugar Bowl against Tim and Urban.

3)  I am a former Pitt starting QB in the 1986 and 1987 seasons who was so bad, I made Tino Sunseri look good.  Darnell Dickerson replaced me in the 1987 Syracuse game.

4) I am a former chancellor of the University of Pittsburgh who decided in the late 1980’s to make academic standards tougher, de-emphasize athletics, and anger Coach Gottfried to begin the Hackett years.

5)  I was one of the few bright spots for Pitt basketball in the early 1990’s.  I ended up getting drafted in the first round by the Milwaukee Bucks and finished my career with the Vancouver Grizzlies.

6)  After really struggling as a starting QB against Michigan State and Grambling, I gave up the football thing for baseball and I am currently the back-up catcher for the Chicago White Sox.

7)   I was recruited by Johnny Majors during his second stint and I was supposed to be the next Dan Marino.  I had a redshirt burned after a blow-out loss to Ohio State and didn’t feel confident in myself or my work habits. Then I transferred to Duqusene having one hell of a career and earning a degree in education.

8) We are the last two Pitt QB’s from the great state of Texas but we never got a fair shake. 

A.  I got to play in a bunch of games but that dang John Ryan kept taking playing time away from me.  I wore number 28.

B.  I was recruited in 2008 out of Houston because I am small and can run a spread.  Please don’t say Trey Anderson, that’s not the answer.  I never got a shot at QB and had stints on special teams and safety.

9)  In the 2000 Insight.com Bowl, I was the Iowa State QB who defeated the Panthers.  I jumped around several NFL teams without ever really making a mark.

10)  In the 2005 game against Nebraska we lost 7-6 when Greg Lee was pulled down by the slowest white guy ever and I had the most gruesome leg injury as a member of the Pitt secondary.

11)  Speaking of Pitt QB’s who never get a chance; I left all the fun of Kansas to come to Pitt and got one stinking moment in the sun on a scramble touchdown against Iowa.  I bet Pitt never beats Iowa again.

12)  In the 2008 Sun Bowl as a senior, I got my first start on the offensive line due to injury and things did not go well in our 3 to 0 defeat.  Even though I was six foot seven and over three hundred pounds, I was destined to just be someone that tries to block extra points.

13)  I was a third string Pitt QB behind Palko and Flacco and often sent offensive signals calls in for Coach Walt Harris.  I  saw snaps in only two games during my career (Kent State 2003 and South Florida 2004).  During the South Florida game, I came in during garbage time and fumbled my first and only snap of the day.

14)  Speaking of South Florida, I gave their fans the finger when I caught a touchdown against them during the Wanny years.  I turned down a scholarship from Auburn to play tight end at Pitt…was that a mistake?

OK – that’s the questions.  The answers are after the page break…

Answers

1) Paul Rhodes

2) Andrew Janoko

3) Sal Genilla

4) Wesley W. Posvar

5) Eric Mobley

6) Kevan Smith

7) Tony Zimmerman

8) A: Ken Ferguson    B: Kolby Gray

9) Sage Rosenfels

10) Mike Phillips

11) Greg Cross

12) Chase Clowser

13) Matt Flaus

14) Darrell Strong

189 thoughts on “POV Quick Quiz: Who Am I?

  1. 1) This one too hard
    2) Didn’t get this one but I do remember after looking at the answer
    3) Believe it or not, Sal’s name is stuck in my head. His last name was always mispronounced
    4) Posvar is infamous
    5) Easy one, my son (walt4Prez) still has a dog named after him
    6) Easy one, Seneca Valley product I do believe
    7) Zimmerman play at PT and I saw him play a bunch of times
    8) Forgot about Ferguson and Gray. Didn’t they move Gray to safety?
    9) Didn’t get this one either but I do remember the game well.
    10) I do not remember this kid. Blanksville
    11) Very easy one here.
    12) Chase is some sort of local legend like Pig
    13) Had no idea
    14) Finished with an easy one. O can still picture him flipping the bird to the crowd in the left endzone.

    Here’s one back at you…. Who were the two backups QB’s to come in after Matt Cavanaugh broke his wrist first game against ND? and witch one was harassed so bad the following week he dropped out of school all together?

    … and thanks aj, great idea to loosen things up on the POV!! ike

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  2. Hardly followed Pitt football from 1992 to 1997 ( good time not to….. right), after we moved to NC. So I would have never gotten…#7 Tony Zimmerman. No.’s 12 & 13 were very tough ones too.

    Fun article ! Nice job Andrew !

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  3. Kevan Smith had a big time arm, I do remember that pro football legacy WR(Oderick Turner ?) we had, who dropped a sure long TD pass from Smith against Mich State that year.

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  4. Nice article and idea! I only got five answers correct. After looking at the answers, I feel that I should have been able to get at least 7 correct.

    I remember, and was at Pitt, when Darnell Dickerson took over as QB. I seem to remember him fumbling on the one yard line through the back of the end zone negating a go ahead score. He was good, but for some reason I remember that one play. I could have the wrong guy…

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    1. Pitt is noted for fumbling, or being tackled from behind at/or around the 1 yard line.

      This year we added 2 more, QTip fumbling at the 1…and Jester Jester being caught from behind around the 1.

      I think I do remember that Dickerson blunder as well.

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      1. My memory was correct. It was in 1988 against Notre Dame at Pitt Stadium. Here is a portion of the article – see second paragraph below:

        Johnson scored his touchdown at the end of the first period and Dickerson threw his second touchdown pass to tie it again at 14-14. But with Notre Dame leading, 17-14, seconds before the end of the first half, Dickerson made the second big mistake that helped Notre Dame win.

        A 62-yard drive had taken Pitt to the Notre Dame 9. Dickerson, as good on the option for pitches or keeps as is Rice, decided to keep on this touchdown bid. He got clear and seemed to have an easy Pitt score for the lead.

        But just as he reached the goal line he lost the football. It was raining lightly by then. All alone, Dickerson fell into the end zone trying to regain possession. He batted, squeezed, slapped and even butted the football. But in a final dive, he only managed to fall on and thereby squirt the ball out from under himself.

        By this time Notre Dame players were all around and a few of them fell on it to prevent the score.

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        1. Some thing at Pitt never change 🙂 We had that magical decade and i guess that is what we will have to remember for the foreseeable future. I guess we should feel fortunate we even had that, or we’d have to go back pre WW2(1939) for any sustained Pitt success.

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  5. Dickerson was a good athlete but not a great or even good QB. He went onto play catcher for the KC royals. He had terrible downfield vision for a QB.. I guess he didn’t hit minor league pitching very well either.

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  6. EmeL.. I too dropped out of PITT football during much of that time period (even though I watched the games). The combination of Stevo ‘s arrogance and Dino-cat were too much for me to bear.

    If this was a licensing quiz to keep my PITT Panther Club card active, I would be a flunkie.

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    1. I remember driving over to this huge Sportsbar in Charlotte called the Scoreboard here in 1996 to watch Pitt/Ohio State. The Scoreboard was a huge circular bar/restaurant with a giant circular bar, where each section of the bar or your table had it’s own speaker, that you could then tune to the game that was of interest to you. It was quite something in 1996. Pgh had nothing like it. Damon’s Ribs had something similar to it but at a later time and on a much smaller scale.

      thankfully I had the wrong time start, so the game was ending when I arrived. And we made a u-turn and left. And that’s my Pitt/Ohio Fake story 🙂

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  7. After 70, people say your memory, concentration, strength, hair, etc. etc. etc. fade. They are 99% right. I’m looking for the 1%.

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    1. I’m not sure what you’re tryng to convey? You have me sratching my bald spot in my attempt to comprehend your logic. What were we talkng about? Is there ice cream for desert?

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  8. Sorry some of the trivia questions may be a little obscure. I was a student from 2004 to 2008 and grew up in the 80’s watching college football instead of cartoons so I was a Darnell Dickerson fan at age six.

    I think the Strong middle finger is the funniest moment I’ve seen in Pitt football history aside from being called for a penalty against Rutgers for having two men on the field with the same number.

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    1. It was Wayne Adams. He could not take a snap from Center w maybe 6 fumbles that game. We watched during ND possessions and he would practice on the sidelines ….. and drop those also. In college you have to move forward w the center. In HS not so much.

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  9. Terrible news, IMO, Renaldo Hill turned down a MSU offer to stay at Pitt.

    The cheerleaders (Dovish, Vukovcan, et. al.) think this is great news.

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  10. Right, Adams was practically run out of Oakland the week following. That was a shame.. Tommy Yewci also played that game and coughed up a fumble. PITT could have won back to back National Championships if Cavanaugh hadn’t got hurt.

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    1. Tom Yewcic graduated after the 1976 season. Therefore he wasn’t around for that game.

      Adams had trouble even receiving a snap from Center. Rarely have I ever seen anything like that.

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  11. Late to the party in responding to Reed on a POV thread from a couple days ago. This is the answer to his question about who are those “diamond in the rough” 3Star types who I think HAVE already or are going to end up as solid starters for us in the future.

    Proving their worth with playing time:
    Dane Jackson
    Dwayne Hendrix
    Rafael Arauyo-Lopes
    Elias Reynolds
    Rashad Weaver
    Patrick Jones II
    Rashad Wheeler
    Kenny Pickett
    Brice Hargrove

    New Hope, with the very limited body of work that they’ve had so far:
    Chase Pine
    Therran Coleman
    Damarri Mathis
    Bricen Garner

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    1. I believe the whole conversation wasn’t about starters but bonfide “star” players,

      So the question still stands – which of those to you seeing as having Conner, Boyd, Donald like impacts?

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  12. Ike your right about that possible back to back after that game next qb up freshman Rick Trocano he won 3 in a row before Matt came against Florida I think there were 11 fumbles in tie game

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  13. I guess Hill staying is a good thing if you figure he got a raise to stay. Our DBs haven’t played all that well under him though.

    2017
    Passing yards allowed – 105th @ 254 ypg
    Pass Defense Efficiency – 88th @ 136.42

    2016
    Passing yards allowed – 127th @ 333 ypg
    Pass Defense Efficiency – 106th @ 136.42

    2015
    Passing yards allowed – 54th @ 214 ypg
    Pass Defense Efficiency – 66th @ 126.97

    I think this is called “Trust the Process”.

    I hope he isn’t our next DC.

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  14. Reed, as far as Hill my biggest concern is that Whitehead did not improve (and some on here including me believe he regressed) under him. That was a lot of talent to work with. I don’t view him being back as good at all. Especially if we spent more money on him. Let’s see what he does with Ford.

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  15. Nice quiz! Thanks. For #5, I was thinking of Vonteego Cummings. Somehow I had forgotten about Big “E”. Man, if we had him now this team could have some wins. He was a presence.

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    1. Definitely the highlite of his career. As Pitt lost 3 games in a row after that big win against Ohio Fake and finished only 6-5 that year. Losing the final 2 games(after beating the Pedo’s) where a win would have meant a Bowl movement.

      Dickerson only threw 7 TD passes with 8 picks for the season. His last.

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      1. That’s what I posted Mike…we lost the final 2 games of 1988 after beating the Pedo’s.
        “Losing the final 2 games(after beating the Pedo’s) ”

        And btw those losses were to NC State and Syracuse. I usually get my data before I post info.
        I thought you guys knew that 🙂

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  16. Trocano was gutsy. At WV game Pitt Stadium I remember him getting yanked in 2nd quarter when we could not get going. We were using wishbone. Marino was sent in and we never looked back as Pitt went to the drop back pro O. Trocano convinced the coaches to let him go in as safety on D and he had a great game and that was the start of the Marino era at Pitt. H2p

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  17. Right Emel on Yewci. Lindsey Delaney was the QB I was thinking about.

    Hey PITT stepped up and sign an assistant coach (Hill). I hope this isn’t viewed as a bad thing?

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  18. Eric Mobley was great. All he could do was dunk and block an occasional shot, but he played with energy.

    POVerts, help me out. Which coach recruited Greg Cross and let him rot on the bench. Perhaps the only player in Pitt history who scored the only time he ever touched the ball.

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    1. Matt Cavanaugh, Bryan Bossard, David Walker and Tony Wise were offensive coaches that year under Wanny. Cross actually carried the ball 3 other times that year. The other ones didn’t work as well 🙂

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    1. After his first carry/TD, he went in a couple more times that season but naturally the D knew he was just there to run it so he went nowhere fast.

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  19. #7 – Side note, I was on the b-ball court with Tony Zimmerman when he blew out his knee. Summer league game. We knew it was bad right away…Tony wasn’t a bad worker, just really slow. Product of a high school run & shoot system that was way ahead of its time in a weak section.

    #3 – Sal Genilla – billed as the great California JUCO QB. That guy was so bad! Go watch the 1986 Pitt-Miami game in the rain. I think it was Genilla’s first ever start. Pitt runs the ball the first 20 plays of the game. Heyward had a huge game, but the inability to pass rendered them ineffective against one of the great Jimmy Johnson teams of all time. That season Pitt had to play both Penn St. and Miami, the #1 and #2 teams that played in the Fiesta Bowl to decide it all.

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    1. Yea that was Foge’s last year, Pitt finished 5-5-1. Pitt had a string of bad QB’s after Marino sans the first year of Congemi. And from what I heard Bernie Kozar wanted to come to Pitt.

      Can you imagine had we had Marino and then Kozar. Could have created a whole different past of Pitt football. But knowing Pitt’s administration past, probably not. lol

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  20. I don’t follow sports nearly as closely as I used to and here’s another reason..

    I just saw Dakich is playing guard for Ohio State after 3 years at Michigan. Ohio State?!!

    I mean transfer if you’re unhappy or want a better opportunity. But to go to your school’s SINGULAR and HATED rival?

    Kids today really do only care about themselves.

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  21. You could say no defensive coach at Pitt deserves a raise based on stats.

    Whitehead can blame himself for not improving his senior year. Suspension all on him.

    Dane Jackson and Maddox certainly improved.

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    1. Right, none do.

      Whitehead regressed from his true FR year. He shone then because the older Chryst’s DBs weren’t all that great, yet aside from him Narduzzi kept starting them his first three years (mostly).

      This is what worries me about his recruiting… WRs, RBs & DBs are positions where young FR and SO players can grab starting positions the easiest, but it wasn’t until year 3 that the turnover happened and we really sucked it ’16 and played poorly back there last season.

      In 2015 – one Narduzzi recruit in the eight DB two-deep
      In 2016 – three of eight DBs, all 2nd string
      In 2017 – five of eight DBs, three starting

      When you look at last season, with his players in the defensive backfield, and see we were 105th in passing yards allowed And 88th in passing efficiency it makes you wonder just how much better we’ll actually be back there in ’18.

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      1. I’m not saying that this year’s defense will be shutdown but I firmly believe that after last year when the younger recruits got some valuable experience, you will see a marked improvement in passing defense stats. Of course, it also helps that we don’t face Mason Rudolph who finished #1 in passing offense this year. (of course, Ok St is replaced by UCF which finished 10th in passing)

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    1. That’s what I thought. Did Wanny coach the 3-0 sun bowl game? Was Greg Cross on the roster? I know Stull played horribly that game, as did the whole offense. Do I actually remember thinking that they should have used Cross in that game, or is my mind playing tricks on me?

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  22. As I recall, Greg Cross scored a TD in his first play at Pitt vs Iowa on a designed QB draw which was instrumental in a close win for Pitt.

    He next saw action on a Thursday night game at So Florida and was dropped for a loss on an intended pass play (may have been a run play) … and he hardly, if ever, played again.

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    1. come to think of it … Cross’ TD may have been on a scramble (I’m pretty sure he was inserted on a 3rd down play) I just remember thinking that, after that, we would see him more in goal line and other short yardage situations, but we rarely did.

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      1. It was a planned….drop back and then he took off up the middle I believe. He pretty much was untouched.

        Pitt went ahead 7-3 in the 1st q with that play in route to a 21-20 win.

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  23. Just heard this on XM84 ESPN College Sports Radio –

    The hosts, Taylor Zarzour and Greg McElroy were evaluating the early entrants to the NFL draft and their chances for success.

    Nothing positive was said about the 3 Pitt players leaving early – O’Neill, Q.Henderson and J.Whitehead.

    As a Pitt fan I enjoyed all three in their short stay at Pitt. No doubt all three had down years last season and contributed to Pitt’s dismal and 5-7 disappointing performance.

    O’Neill probably never recovered from his shoulder injury and had trouble adjusting to the position switch.

    QH seemed banged up at times and not the usual lightning fast returner we all knew. WR skills need a lot of work to be an NFL player.

    JW – the 3 game suspension was bad for all.

    On to better things for all, hopefully.

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    1. It appears that O’Neill was more highly thought of after last season than this … and agree he just never adjusted well to LT this year. But he is scheduled to graduate this spring which probably impacted his decision.

      I agree Henderson’s thinking had a lot to do on how many times he was nicked up this past year … and remember, he missed much of his freshman year.

      I had always thought that JW would go when he became eligible.

      But I saw Mel Kiper’s listing of top 10 players for each position, and none of them are listed. They better kick some butt at the Combine.

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      1. JW no, because he will likely be drafted fairly high, if he grades out well. It was speculated that he would go before the season. Now maybe discipline issues forced his hand. But I think he was gone anyway. QH. That one is easier. He was being shown the door.

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  24. OK I’ll spell it out… A couple of the players who left early were facing some type of punishment at the beginning of next year. Case closed!

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    1. So with that statement, I now have a totally different (and negative) opinion of O’Neill and QH, when prior to this comment I was impressed by both young men.

      If I am a parent of either, I would be outraged.

      JW, with his suspensions, etc., not so much…

      I hope all three go on to have great NFL careers, but more importantly, they live life cleanly and to the fullest.

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  25. The play of DB’s improves in correlation to the play of the front seven. No one one covers well when a QB has all day to throw. Interceptions come more often when a QB is under pressure. Whitehead led the team in tackles his freshman year because the front seven was so weak. Think he may be a steal in the draft if he gets his head on straight.

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    1. So true and when looking at the prospective front four I wonder. Weaver at DE played pretty well, unimpressed with Hendrix and Folston, Roy is ridiculous as a two-deep player.

      Watts and Camp really need to step up their games and maybe Twyman at NT can do something but we had only 23 total sacks (74th). Our top two sackers were a LB and DB… But our DL had only 9 on the whole season.

      http://www.pittsburghpanthers.com/cumestats.aspx?path=football

      In our first three losses we had a total of 2 sacks… However in our last three games we had 8, including 4 against Miami and held those teams to an average of 24 ppt. So that’s a good trend for ’18….

      But this is what Narduzzi’s defense is based on and it has to work.

      http://stats.ncaa.org/rankings/ranking_summary?academic_year=2018.0&division=11.0&game_high=N&org_id=545&ranking_period=73&sport_code=MFB&team_individual=T

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  26. If Maddox was 3 inches taller we wouldn’t be talking about him. PITT wouldn’t have been able to sign him at PITT. He’s also a great teammate that everyone loves.

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  27. EE again, I get the fact you don’t care for negativity directed at student athletes and I respect you as well for feeling that way. Yet there is so much venom directed at the coaching staff at times I feel that the truth is the only way to defend them. Just so happens there was a major brain fart by a few players after the Miami game and there was going to be a priced paid for their indiscretions.

    It could be possible that the players could have still stayed and suffered the consequences but they elected to bail?? << Not so sure about JW as he may have struck out with 3 strikes?

    This coaching staff takes enough heat as it is, they don’t need to take the heat for players not living up to the required rules of the team. I believe Narduzzi deserves a lot of credit here with this issue.

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  28. None of that was made public and no one was arrested so whatever happened, and I’ve had discussions about it, the behind the scenes leadership by Narduzzi was not detailed. But it has been reported that the last four kids to leave pretty much had no choice.

    “Transferring” means a million things due to privacy issues. “Not welcomed back” is the case a lot of times…or it could be being faced with a suspension and thus deciding to leave is best for the personal image.

    Lets remember that while 10 departures are unusual the fact that a HC has a low tolerance for poor behavior is a good thing.

    As to in-season ‘suspensions’ and being forced to sit out games could be academic issues; suspended for three as we saw could be for testing positive for PEDs or the like… Not all discipline is directly tied to bad behavior on the players’ part, but really, most is.

    Also remember that only the NCAA mandated drug test failure requires a year suspension…school administered test failures are handled by the staff itself and can range from nothing awarded to dismissal.

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  29. t’s been 10 days since Josh Conklin was announced he was leaving Pitt and no DC yet.One would think that if Charlie Partridge was DC-in-waiting, it would have already been announced….even though HCPN is busy recruiting for the Feb LOI day. Suggests to me that they may be doing a full evaluation ?

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    1. That’s one way of putting it. Another way is finding any coach of quality willing to come to Pitt. We ain’t a desired destination at the moment… Especially having to inherit a defense that has been horrid in ’16 and pretty darn poor last year.
      The fact that our last DC went from being a DC at a Power 5 school to…HC at Wofford. That isn’t the type of career projection most decent DCs or young staff coaches wants to have happen to them.

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      1. Gazing through the lens you described, it would be even more curious as to why Partridge isn’t already in the DC role. If he wants Shafer instead, its hard to believe they couldn’t accomplish that in a 10 minute phone call and move on if Shafer didn’t want it.

        Allow me to channel my inner Ike – perhaps there is an up and coming defensive coach out there that HCPN has already offered it to, but they’ve agreed to keep it quiet until after LOI day. 🙂

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        1. Joe, I thought the same thing while waiting for the OC hire last year. I will leave all to decide if Watson was the hotshot we were waiting for..

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    2. Long delays in hiring coaches…..is part of Pitt’s M.O. And that makes it appear, that nobody wants to come to Pitt. Don’t they get this…..or is it true ? Cause it happens continually.

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  30. JoeL, I think the delay is Narduzzi has to wait and see if his coaching staff gets raided at all. Hill was the first to be lured and stayed. << This is a very positive sign for PITT, they stepped up.

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    1. If that’s the case (i.e. wait and see), I don’t agree with the approach. If you are going to promote from within and know who it is, do it now. It projects stability and MAY keep the person who gets the promotion from taking any calls this winter/spring.

      Every good AD has a succession plan for his/her coaches which includes external candidates. A good HC has a similar list. If one believes that Conklin was nudged out the door, identifying candidates could have started right after the Miami game. Contacting/interviewing could have started the day the announcement was made about Conklin’s departure.

      Everyone can have an opinion about Hill – but I agree with you that it s a good thing that they stepped up and fought to keep someone they wanted.

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  31. Why can’t young kids realize” decisions have consequences” ? Some good players gone down the tubes as a result and that is over the national scene. ps. Haygood ,Cavanaugh then Yewcic were the combo of QBs that kept the string going for 76 championship. Injuries to 1 & 2 deeps brought Tom Yewcic in to hold it together, which he did. H2P

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  32. See a good Pitt trivia name was the subject of a couple posts yesterday.

    2008: Played in two games at quarterback, including the Iowa and USF contests…on the very first play of his Pitt career, darted 17 yards for a TD on a QB draw against Iowa…rushed four times for 15 yards on the season overall.

    Cross never saw the field the next season (2009)(redshirted)

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  33. One or two finial comments on basketball. Talked to my buddy in Charleston today. He watched about as much of our game vs. Duke as he could stand. Then switched to Clemson- NCState. The announcers were saying how bad the ACC teams were when playing conference games on the road. Then they said, you have to throw out games at Pitt because that is an outlier and you would almost automatically get a win there. This is what we have become.
    Also, I will call out anyone who says this team plays hard. You play hard on the defensive end. All that takes is want to. You don’t need mega talent. And freshmen usually buy in if you demand it. I will question how much this guy places on that end. Watch the game with anyone who has played or coached. This team is just God awful on D. Slow, no rotation, just plain bad. I get sick thinking about where we were and where we are now.

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    1. Yep Joeknew…it’s an absolute farce. This current group wouldn’t finish in the top half of Robert Morris’s conference. The Northeast Conf.

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    2. Joe Knew. The team simply has no talent. These were all guys, 1s and 2s sitting around w no offers.

      Just cause they will be a year older next year…. they still have no talent.

      You can coach up talent but you can’t create. And this “they play hard “ crap is for losers.

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  34. Wow just heard the Carolina Panthers hired longtime ancient coach Norv Turner as new OC.

    These guys get recycled forever, in the great Coaching Fraternity.

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  35. This is Pitt’s worst basketball team since 1976-77 season. Gurg’s 2nd season. Pitt was 6 wins 21 losses.

    The next years, Gurg’s recruited Sam Clancy, who was a manchild similar to DeJuan Blair and Pitt improved to 16-11.

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  36. Reed

    Why is Roy your favorite whipping boy? LOL

    I believe he was a RS JR last season. He was a three star recruit. If you look at the roster, he is the the only upper class men on the DL besides two transfers Hendrix,Edwards. In a perfect world Pitt would have all Jr/Sr starting. He was just average this year and will be better for his senior year.

    Playing a 3 star recruit that has had three years to mature physically and mentally over freshman is hardly unusual and not a bad thing. He is there to hold down the fort while the young guys get some reps.

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  37. As for basketball…

    Have you all forgotten how Pitt basketball has to operate to win. Recruit mostly three star guys that will develop over three or four years and sprinkle in four stars. Pitt has zero three to four year guys on the roster. How are they suppose to win this year?

    Howland or Dixon or any coach Pitt can afford would not be able to completely bring in a new team, start five freshman and win. Couldn’t happen.

    Now, don’t get me wrong. I think KS is doing a bad job. The style of offense and defense does not fit a team of freshman and the fundamentals, like boxing out, are horrible. I DO think another coach could do a lot better with this current team.

    That being said, too many freshman is a legit excuse for a school like Pitt.

    The odds of Pitt, even when Dixon was in charge, pulling in a perfect high performing recruiting class is slim to none. If Pitt was not rebuilding the roster and they had to bring in only three freshman, probably one of those kids turns out to be a quality player, two if you are really lucky. Now, project those odds if you are bringing in nine new players. You are probably lucky if three or four
    turn out to be quality starters for four years.

    Some of these kids will be good ACC players. Of course all will not, many won’t be on the team in three years. It is all in the recruiting. You have to get three or so kids a year that will stick with the program and build depth.

    Don’t blame the players for this years record. Blame Gallagher and Barnes. After what they did, it can’t be fixed in one or two years.

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  38. On the other hand if you’re bringing in 9 new players…you would think at a major university in the best basketball conference, and with Pitt’s recent (like last 16 year) history of being very good. A couple of those 9 new players (thought it was 11 actually)….would be impact players.

    Imo, none of this current batch of players are ACC players. Unless you want to finish in last place.

    We’re not blaming these overmatched kids…we’re blaming first Pitt and it’s Bot for allowing this sham of a hiring process to take place and then we’re blaming this supposed quality HC for not being able to recruit even 1 ACC worthy player.

    Like

  39. Thing is, if you didn’t run off all of the kids that were here and possibly ready to contribute, then you wouldn’t have to bring in 9 new players.

    Not saying that Rosie Nix, Damon Wilson, Kithcart, Mannigault, ande Crisshawn Clark would be tearing up the ACC, but I doubt they could be worse. I wouldn’t doubt if some recruits saw the house cleaning that Stallings did and it made them leary to come here.

    Like

    1. I am loathe to defend KS, but Kithcart was presumably dismissed for cause and the only thing Clark tore up was his knee, repeatedly.

      That said, I don’t see a front court player among this group better than Nix would have been. Likewise I don’t see a freshman back court player markedly better than Wilson as a freshman although all have already played more minutes than Wilson did as a freshman.

      I see Carr, Stephenson, Stewart and Davis as good ACC bench players.

      Carr is clearly not a PG, which makes him a smallish combo. He is a fair to poor defender. He doesn’t handle the ball well. His shooting has tanked in ACC play and I believe hasn’t been particularly good against any P5 opponent.

      Stephenson plays a bull rush game. He is smallish for his style and I don’t see him developing a mid range. He is a poor 3P shooter. He doesn’t rebound consistently (another desire based stat).

      Stewart seems like an Ashton Gibbs type only a bit taller. Like Ashton, he could become a starter if he had four other very good defensive players around him to make up for his defensive deficiencies and a playmaker who can create open shots for him.

      Davis seems like the guy with the most complete game of the frosh but he has a tendency to disappear.

      Like

      1. Carr shows no ability to shoot from the outside at all. So he can’t play the 2. He’s loose with the ball as you noted too, so against the press and tough defenders he’s a liability. He could get to the rim against the Mount St. Mary’s of the schedule, that isn’t going to fly in the ACC since he’s doesn’t have the hops.

        Like

        1. Well actually he threw in some 3’s in the non-con garbage part of the schedule. But at only 6’1″ tall he’s kinda short for the 2 guard. The whole team is grossly undersized, looked like midgets against Duke and they for the most part were only 18 and 19 yr old’s.

          Like

  40. Well keep in mind Pitt would be losing these games by even larger margins without the juco kid scoring 15-20 points a game. And he is shooting a dreadful 37% FG and even far worse from 3 (28%). So the freshmen are even worse than most think. I don’t think any of them can create their own shot, which means nothing but jump shots or getting their shots swatted should they attempt to get to the rim.

    Now some of them were ok against Mount St Mary’s, McNeese State and other assorted rent-a-wins. Which weren’t rent-a-wins this year……. they were struggles.

    That should be a hint, if you struggle (at home) and even lose to some of the rent-a-wins.

    Like

  41. Way more embarrassing than Lyke, Fanta and certainly than HCPN.

    JD has to realize how this also reflects on him.
    Herman has to realize even more how it reflects on him.

    Does the BOT realize how it reflects even worse on them? And unfortunately THEY ARE STILL HERE and in charge.
    Hard to hail Pitt.

    Like

  42. Problem is, in 3 yrs these kids are not going to be any bigger or any quicker. If they are so lacking defensive fundamentals that falls on coaching. As poor as some player were,they still tried on D. Think Antonio Graves and Brad Wanamaker. First couple years they were awful, but still played hard nosed D.
    I really can’t see any of these kids being more than role players on a decent ACC team in the future.

    Like

  43. Funny, the fan is making or looking for excuses why the Steelers attendance is going to be so bad this weekend. That Nitter Eric Hagman suggested that they tarp off the upper deck. That’s the type of crap we have to put up with on our flagship station.

    Like

  44. I find the fact that Dantonio wanted to hire Nard’s DB coach to be somewhat fascinating? Could it be in return for Nard trying to hire one of MSU’s DCs?

    Note that this is total speculation …. I have no info

    Like

  45. Conklin is gone but he is not the only P5 coordinator to take a job at a FCS school this year.

    Eric Morris the offensive coordinator for Texas Tech for the last 5 years took the HC position at the University of the Incardinate Word. Tx Tech total offense has been top 20 & passing offense top 10 during his 5 years in the job. Unless he is Catholic, he has no ties or relationship to Incarnate Word.

    If you have ever heard of Incarnate Word, know the city & state where they are located & what conference they are a member, you are a true follower of college football.

    Conklin at least has ties to Wofford – coached there, wife from the upstate, in laws played there.

    http://www.cardinalathletics.com/news/2017/12/30/uiw-athletics-hires-eric-morris-as-head-football-coach.aspx?path=football

    Like

              1. Robinson’s final seconds as a Panther saw him run into his own man (Young) and throw a shot up at the buzzer versus Wisconsin. Not a great way to go out.

                Like

  46. Missing, some people didn’t realize or forget. There was a mighty cross wind for that Sun Bowl game that stymied both offenses that day..

    Like

  47. Not Rocket, re: Shane Roy…

    Maybe because he not very good? Roy played in all 12 games, had a total of 14 tackles, was the 15th leading tackler (with only 11 starters on defense) and had only one sack…. And didn’t tie up the opponent’s OLs as he is supposed to so our LBs could do their job.

    And how do we know he’ll get better from a JR to a SR? Many players reach their peak early and never get better at all…we just saw that with Whitehead, Henderson and maybe O’Neill also.

    Roy was a 5.5 3* kid who is not even average at best. He made one good play on the year and fans loved it…But really – he should have been recruited over two years ago.

    Roy, Briggs, Motley, Amara, Mitchell, etc. – all those poor players should have been sat down in Narduzzi 2nd year if his recruiting was as good as everyone thought but they were still the best of the roster, according to Conklin and Narduzzi, and played giving us terrible pass defenses.

    These exact reasons are why I’m so skeptical of Narduzzi’s recruiting…

    Like

    1. All Roy does is stay out of trouble, go to class, abide by the rules set in place by the NCAA and his coaches, bust his hump in practice and in games and he gets crapped on. Unreal.

      Like

      1. Crapped on?

        We talk about football on here and thus we talk about how talented and productive the players, coaches and staff are or are not.

        You haven’t been reading my writing and comments on her if you think those qualities you list don’t matter to me. But how about this?

        Tell me why every time Tino Sunseri’s name is mentioned on here and commenters flock to drag him through the mud with unfounded personal insults…you write not one word in protest?

        I believe I’ve read some harsh words about him from you also… So it’s OK to disparage Sunseri but not for me to give an honest assessment of Roy’s football qualities?

        Like

    2. Probably could have illustrated that point by noting that Roy finished right behind Watts and Camp in tackles, tied with Watts in sacks, and tied with Camp in tackles for loss. Camp and Watts entered the program with much bigger reputations than Roy.

      Similar thing with Folston and Hendrix.

      Other than Weaver, Narduzzi’s recruits with big expectations have not outperformed Chryst’s recruits with reduced expectations.

      Before it starts, Watts, Camp and Weaver are all 20 years old. Camp and Weaver will turn 21 next fall. Hendrix will be 23 in June.

      Like

  48. Hey Now!

    Look at what our next door neighbor the CMU Tartans did with their football program :

    Football recorded 35 non-losing seasons, spanning from 1975-2009, and has participated in the NCAA playoffs seven times, most recently in 2006.

    35 non-losing seasons folks.

    Like

  49. Not sure why, given our horrid pass defense, anyone is applauding Hill staying with Pitt.
    Moreover, if we paid him more money to stay, Heather should be canned on the spot.
    Who knows, maybe she could have tossed more coin at Conklin to get him to keep wearing blue and gold.

    Like

  50. Gasman, it’s obvious a difference in opinions. Either way, if Hill leaves for MSU the uproar would have been heard around the PITT football world towards PITT for being cheap. It’s become a no win situation for Narduzzi. I’m on record as supportive of the move.

    In order for 3*’s and marginal players to be able to compete, the one equalizer would be that they know what they are supposed to do and how they should play. Constant changing of coaches is a program killer for a school like PITT.

    Here’s the bottom line. PITT pays to keep a coach and half the PITT fans call them out for making a bad decision. It’s a no win….

    Like

  51. Ike,
    I favor rewarding for productivity.
    Not quite sure where Hill, if rewarded, qualifies as a productive coach. How do the stats/recruits support a raise?

    Like

  52. I get it G Man. I’m just one to stay the course… When I was young and lost at something, I tried harder… It’s the way I am… could be stoopidity?

    Like

  53. What’s the old saying – you are entitled to your own opinions but not your own facts. Shane Roy was rated 5.5 by Rivals… Now whether he is any good or not or worthy of starting is an entirely different question.

    My perception of PN is he REALLY puts a lot of stock in experience and seems to have a dramatic bias against young players. I am pretty sure deep analytics would say this is not a winning strategy as plenty of real powerhouse teams play freshmen. I can only imagine he was burned traumatically by an underclassman or two somewhere in his coaching history and now can’t help himself..

    Like

    1. Yes, I wrote he was a 5.5 recruit above.

      I think your assessment of why Narduzzi’s sticking with older players might be correct…on the other hand the recruits he’s pulling in just might not be talented enough to beat out the returning players.

      This will be a fun year to watch as we’ll see the majority of starters being PN’s recruits.

      Like

  54. Frosh can compete in most skilled positions. Its the lines where experience matters given weight training, and food program. These ‘skinny’ 260 pound lineman become 320 pound beasts before they leave.

    Like

    1. Can’t agree more. Last year, FR Moss played ahead of Ollison. This year, both natural FR Pinnock and Mathis got a great deal of PT. These two positions rely more on natural skills and instincts ….. linemen need to grow, get stronger and learn techniques … as opposed in HS when they could just over power people.

      While I agree HCPN tends to play the older guys (like many) there are some positions that are more easily adaptable for a good athlete

      And please don’t bring up the 5-stars Bama brings in every year … they are in another category

      Like

  55. Rosy Nix, who I really liked, could have helped PITT keep some games closer. At the same time PITT’s record would still be similar and he would have taken valuable playing time away from the young kids. Wasted minutes. Aaron Gray stunk his first two years at PITT. McGhee was even worse. but they both gave PITT great minutes later on in their careers. PITT has some potential big men but need more. Brown and Llegomah have some potential.

    John Lennon

    Like

    1. What development have you seen half way through the season? I’m seeing guys who don’t rebound or defend. The minutes they are playing could very well be wastes.

      Aaron Gray was seven feet tall and weighed nearly 300 pounds. He trained down to 280. McGhee was 6’11 and a chiseled 270 pounds. They were grown men who could toss this crew around like rag dolls.

      Other than Ilegomah chasing down a few wildly errant shots against Duke, Ilegomah and Brown don’t rebound. Chukwuka, who is even worse, has played almost as many minutes than those two combined. He’s robbing your promising big guys of minutes.

      I know you don’t believe in stats that don’t align with your eye test or don’t include deep analysis of related factors, but here goes. Ilegomah averages 1 rebound every 5+ minutes. Brown averages a rebound every 5 minutes. Chukwuka averages 1 rebound every 6 minutes. Luther had been averaging a rebound every 3 minutes for perspective. Nix averaged a rebound every 2.5 minutes last year. Pitt desperately needs rebounding and effort.

      Like

  56. Not when they were freshman Barvo and that is exactly what I said and meant. You actually made my point that this “crew” needs time just like the chiseled” Gray and McGhee as seniors took.

    Like

  57. Wasn’t it McGhee that was called for 3 fouls in 3 seconds his sophomore year? He absolutely stunk his first 3 years at PITT! and Gray was terrible his first 3 years.. Let’s get real here.

    Like

  58. Gray and McGhee were both legit college players by their junior seasons. To say those guys “stunk” or were “terrible” in their first three seasons is flat-out wrong.

    Like

    1. and that should go for the current Pitt players. At least McGhee and Gray had the advantage of playing with guys like Blair, Troutman and Taft, on the floor. The current frosh has no such luxury especially since Luther is gone

      Like

  59. Speaking of players physically developing….Pitt players used to get more muscular. Pitt needs a new S&C coach for basketball. Beef up the bigs.

    Like

    1. He was bad his first two seasons, but was a legit college player by his junior season. This current team could use a JuCo like Gary in 2018-19.

      Like

  60. Shane Roy – Clearly not a Power 5 DL Starter quality player (regardless of the silly 5.5 rating), my concern here then is why is he starting? Is it because we lack quality players at the position, or is it PN’s stubbornness? And hey, I like Narduzzi, I think he’ll prove to be the right guy for the program (like most of you do), but he’s stubborn to a fault, and the Pickett mishandling isn’t the only example. I do hope HCPN matures quick and can make the tough decisions going forward.

    Hoops- Boy, this roster is tough to call. As eluded to above, many of Dixon’s players were pretty poor as freshmen and developed into really good players by their Jr/Sr years. By comparison, we do have a few similar freshmen on this roster already, who could be solid upperclassmen in the right roles and with the right development (Dixon had a lot of role players). However, my concern with this crew is that they will not develop nearly as much under KS, because he just doesn’t look like a very good coach. Time will tell, but that’s where I’m at with it.

    Like

  61. Any ideas where Pugh and the other three landed?
    I suspect whoever takes them will want them for spring practice as opposed to sitting at home for a semester.

    Like

  62. I think the three big men all could have used a red shirt, to develop physically an d mentally. They are all pretty agile for their size and even dribble and shoot pretty well. In two or three years they could be ready for ACC play. They are all way too soft right now and need to develop that toughness to play underneath.

    I do agree that developing a defensive mindset is the most likely way to build a team (like Virginia) to compete in the ACC. Probably the biggest reason Stallings has no chance of making it. You will never outscore the elite teams in the ACC with an offensive minded coach at Pitt, because you will never get the needed players.

    Same thing in football, that is why I gave Reed the Siragusa picture and quote. Pitt used to be known for tough physical play. We need more guys that hit hard.

    Like

  63. Reed, I think Ben would be an unhappy camper if he was a back-up and that would not be good for the team. Most young people today are all about me. I see it in the younger generation who we now have to hire. Hope he does well.

    Like

    1. Ben displayed poor body language during the Miami game on the sideline. The program doesn’t need that from a quarterback, so best for him to transfer out.

      Like

      1. I’ll take poor body language over a three back up QBs who have never even worn a uniform in an actual D1 football game.

        Honestly, I wish Bertke would have been given a chance to get some snaps, he had a great arm on him but he’s long gone.

        I’m a big Pickett fan but the reality so far is that he’s thrown only one TD in 66 passes and that was a shovel pass. He’ll do well but if he goes down, or falters which, hey – this is Pitt, could happen… we have no viable backups.

        I am not impressed with Town regardless of his 4* rating (3* out of CC) nor the Erie CC kid… And Patti isn’t good enough to take the starters job.

        Here’s Town’s back story…

        “He’d committed to Alabama but flipped to USC, then transferred less than two weeks into training camp, to Arkansas. He never sniffed the field, but he worked hard and stayed out of trouble. Arkansas coach Bret Bielema wished him well as Town returned home to Ventura College, a junior-college stopover, to seek a Division I starting job.”

        This might be a major problem for an already weak (imo) offense for next year.

        Like

  64. Bertke didn’t belong in D-1. He’s at the D-II level for a reason.

    I wanted Ben to stay also but he looked out for himself and that is OK.

    Like

  65. I think there’s little doubt that Ben DiNucci could have came into a game next year and helped PITT more than the current backups will be able to do. Yet at the same time I have to ask, in that scenario, could PITT win that game? If not, then I’ll take the experience gained by the backups, Town and Patti.

    Like

  66. I don’t know, I kinda disagree with Reed about DiNucci, however,unfortunately, I think we will find out, as I’m not optimistic Pickett will finish the season upright.

    Like

  67. source: Pete Thamel@PeteThamel Yahoo Sports
    Source: Randy Bates will be the new defensive coordinator at Pitt. He was Northwestern’s linebackers coach

    Also
    RIP Keith Jackson 89 … great college FB announcer — the best IMO.

    Like

  68. If Randy Bates is our new DC, this reeks of SOP. 36 years of coaching experience and he’s only been a DC for one year at Louisiana Tech. It also tells me that Partridge and/or Harley may be going elsewhere. Or that Pitt would not pony up the funds for Shafer.

    Like

    1. I disagree.

      Bates has extensive experience coaching the secondary and linebackers. Partridge is a rock solid d-line coach. Bates can now mentor the most inexperienced asst coaches and not worry about the area where he has the least experience.

      Also the one year he was coordinated his defense lit it up.

      Would I have rather had a more experienced dc, maybe from a MAC school? Yes. But if I had to pick a position coach I think Bates is a pretty damn good hire.

      Like

  69. Nooooooooooooooooooooo!! What good does this do. 36 yrs as basically a position coach. And what good does this do outpr recruiting?? Every time I hear a new hire at Pitt I think it can’t be true, must be a joke. Please let it not be true.

    Like

  70. Northwestern fans (almost 100%) seem to believe this is a big loss for them with many stating that when they lose their DC it would be nice to get Bates back…eerily similar to what was said about Chryst.

    DiNucci, I would have liked him to stay but that said, if he wasn’t happy (which it looked like) and he didn’t look like he could win a game above a lower level ACC team why not try something new. Like all transfers I don’t expect much from Town but I think you have to try when you know what you got isn’t good enough. I actually think DiNucci as a senior would be serviceable but by then Patti will overtake him hopefully.

    To be honest, DiNucci should have been a little more grateful considering he was given a chance that nobody thought he would ever get and although he got that chance because McV. was even worse apparently he could have manned up and tried to help Pickett, instead he sat by himself at the end of the bench and sulked. I understand about being upset when you are pulled, that is understandable, but after thinking about it for a few minutes you have to man up and be a good team mate.

    I wish him well.

    Like

  71. Bates – Nobody has heard of him, just Noll, Cowher and Tomlin, who had 0 years of HC expierence yet all three won Super Bowls as the Steelers coach and all three will be HOF’ers.

    I have no idea about him but at least he recruits similar type of players that PITT does. If people think you get a coach from OSU and all of the sudden he will recruit the same players to PITT you are not being true to yourself. Recruiting to NW is even more difficult than PITT so it may be a good hire recruiting wise.

    Like

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