Who is the next Pitt BB Coach?

Let’s let the Pitt fans decide. So far there has been no public movement toward a new hire shown by the Pitt administration as to who will step into the big pair of Rockports left behind  by the departed Kevin Stallings… who took the money and ran.

Give us your thoughts:


Pitt Football Bits & Pieces; 3/16/18

Pitt Football Bits & Pieces; 3/16/18

Pitt Spring Football Day 3
March 15, 2018

Post-practice Interview Session Videos & Coach Pat Narduzzi Transcript


Coach Pat Narduzzi

Assistant Head Coach/Defensive Line Coach Charlie Partridge

Wide Receivers Coach Kevin Sherman

Tailback Darrin Hall

Wide Receiver Tre Tipton


 On whether the team had a good practice, its first in full pads:

“I wish we had a good day. It got better. But usually that first day in pads, guys are going crazy. We’ll look at the tape. I probably shouldn’t say it was bad without looking at the tape first. Sometimes you look at the tape and it’s clean. It just wasn’t as crisp as you’d like it to be. But it got crisper as we went, that’s for sure.”

 On if he believes the defense is ahead of the offense at this point:

“You would think so. But, you never know. I was impressed today. I will go back and watch the tape. We had a couple thud periods and we had a couple live periods, but I was impressed with our offense, the way they ran the ball. They were just doing some different things. I think our offensive line played good. I thought the run game was probably pretty good. We’ve still got some things we need to clean up in the pass game, but I was impressed with how we ran the ball and what we did offensively, so that was really good to see. I would say the offense is ahead in the run, defense ahead in the pass.”

 On the offensive line:

“I thought they did a nice job in the run game. I thought in the pass game, we still have some work to do. We did a two-minute at the end, and there was probably more pressure on the quarterback than you would want. You try not to put yourself in a two-minute situation. It’s hard to run the ball in that period. Like I said, I was impressed with the way we ran the ball and the run blocking. We seem to be moving a lot faster to where we are going.”  Continue reading “Pitt Football Bits & Pieces; 3/16/18”

POV Spring Game Tailgate and Bits & Pieces

POV Spring Game Tailgate and Bits & Pieces

Spring Game Tailgate

Let’s do a roll call to see who will be attending the Pitt Spring Game on Saturday, April 14th…  I’ll make the drive up and Fran will, I understand, do his great and wondrous tailgate again.

I’ll pin this when the date gets closer but for advance purposes please give us a quick answer and ID yourself if you would in the “Other” choice comments.

POV Golf Outing

Here is some preliminary info: I discussed this with Erie Express (Rick) last week and there is going to be another POV Golf Outing.  However we are not going to hold it in conjunction with the Spring Game this year – we decided we lucked out on the weather last year (and it was perfect for golf) and we don’t want to chance it again.

So we are thinking late May or early June for 2018’s version. With this I am going to call E.J. Borghetti and see if we can’t get a guided tour of Pitt’s Southside Football and Weight Room Facilities in the afternoon of Golf Day.  I can’t promise this will happen – but if I let Pitt know there will be donors in our group it may smooth the path.

We’ll see on that but I think we can make it happen as long as it is organized.

We have not hashed out the details of the Golf Outing as yet so here is another poll asking about your interest in doing this again. Last year we had 24 golfers and it was a truly wonderful day of fun and fellowship.

So – let us know for planning purposes.  If you think you may do it then comment your thoughts in the “Other” box provided.

Spring Drills so Far

Here are some links to wet your Pitt football whistle:

Continue reading “POV Spring Game Tailgate and Bits & Pieces”

This is Interesting… and a Good Thing

This is Interesting… and a Good Thing

It’s no secret by now the AD Heather Lyke and Pitt have secured the services of Folger Consulting to help in the search for a new basketball coach to replace the fired Kevin Stallings. From today’s Post-Gazette:

Pitt has turned to consultant Eddie Fogler to assist it in its search for a men’s basketball coach, according to sources with knowledge of the situation.

Fogler was a Division I head coach for 15 seasons, leading programs at South Carolina (1993-2001), Vanderbilt (1989-93) and Wichita State (1986-89). He was named coach of the year in 1993 by the Associated Press and the National Association of Basketball coaches after leading Vanderbilt to a 28-6 record and an SEC regular season championship.

In 2006, he founded Fogler Consulting to help universities with searches. On its website, Fogler Consulting boasts to have “successfully placed dozens of college coaches across the nation at all levels of Division I basketball.”

That move isn’t going over so well with a lot of Pitt fans given the borderline unethical ‘conflict of interests’ search that was railroaded by our old AD Scott Barnes and his hiring of the Collegiate Sports Associates search firm, who he had prior business dealings with, that delivered Kevin Stallings to us in the first place.  But there is a twist involved in this current go-round.

I get periodic phone calls from a friend who is much more intimately knowledgeable about Pitt sports than I am and who is a wealth of information when it comes to the inner workings of the athletic department and issues that surround the athletic programs… and no, he doesn’t work for Pitt.

But this guy hasn’t been wrong once when he’s told me details of something that has happened or if something is about to happen within Pitt athletics whether is has been made public or not.  His ear is to the ground in many different places and I trust his information.

Which brings us to what is so interesting about the hiring of Folger Consulting – in that while it was done with an eye toward who will be a good, or even the best, head basketball coach for Pitt , more importantly it is being done for strict vetting purposes to ensure that any prospective head coach doesn’t have any skeletons, large or small, in his closet who will turn the door knob and step out to throw egg on Pitt’s face.

Apparently a large part of the Folger’s work is in extensive background reserach which go much more in-depth than the normal vetting process a university will usually do for new hires.  It is reported that Folger has contacts in various law enforcement agencies which can provide him background information not readily accessible to others and not found in regular background checks.

This isn’t hard to believe one bit the more you think about it – especially with the current investigations into collegiate basketball being done by the NCAA and the FBI, and the long tentacled #MeToo movement that has heightened institutional interest in any hire’s harassment infractions no matter how minor or how far in the past they were committed.

And we know how sensitive the University of Pittsburgh is with these issues as a normal course of athletic department business anyway.  Hell, three of our most successful modern-day football head coaches were fired while clouds of suspicion regarding inappropriate behaviors or off-field issues swirled around their heads.  This consulting hire makes perfect sense in light of that and how we know Pitt ‘s reputation is first and foremost the driving force in the university’s decision-making.

This isn’t really breaking news on any scale really and it makes sense.  But it does magnify just what Pitt is contemplating about  a new coaching hire- as opposed to what Pitt’s Basketball fans may be thinking – when it comes to candidates to replace Stallings.  While fans are looking strictly at any prospective head coaches’ actual on-court coaching and recruiting abilities the university is drastically expanding their search criteria to encompass the whole 360° of the candidate’s life and past actions both on and off the field.

With the hire of Folger it appears that Pitt’s look at possible future coaches surpasses the coaches’ profession characteristics and is being viewed through a high-powered microscope. That is not a bad thing to do.  Of course, it may winnow down prospective candidates and may even exclude some coaches who otherwise would be good for the basketball program as far as playing the game goes.

But it is Pitt’s way of doing business.


POV’s Take: Pre-Spring Practice – Defensive Line

POV’s Take: Pre-Spring Practice – Defensive Line

 Here is a piece by our long time reader Ike on the Defensive Line going into Spring Practices.

First off, who will not be back this year? Well going all the way back to  PITT’s spring roster at this time last year there are a few names you probably have forgotten about it were expected to contribute.

1) Kam Carter… no, not him, you most likely remember him.
2) Allen Edwards… ditto for Edwards, he didn’t play up to expectations.
3) Rori Balir….. maybe you forgot about this guy who let the team down.
4) Devon Edwards…. yes, he was listed at DL last spring.
5) Kaezon Pugh…. 4* recuit – this is too bad..
6) Jeremiah Taleni.. last but not least. Taleni did help PITT go 5-7 last year by not playing for us.

I’d say those guys disappointed us last season. Nothing much to miss but their smiling faces and their love for PITT. Good luck young men.

Who’s in the middle of the DL for 2018?

1) 3* Shane Roy is back and I do expect to him help out a whole lot.
2) 3* Mike Herndon.. who know where he lines up but he did play some last year on the DL but could also be moved back to the OL.
3) 4* Amir Watts….. did not RS his first year. It’s time for him to start really contributing.
4) 2* Rashad Weaver… This young man looked good and lined up all over the front line.(Weaver started at DE last year but Ike wants him inside so that’s where he’ll be listed)
5) 3* Rashad Wheeler.. Played more as the season went on and as the defense played better.
6) 3* Keyshon Camp… Need him to step up after getting his feet wet last year.
7) 3* Jaylen Twyman.. The expectations are high with Twyman.

Continue reading “POV’s Take: Pre-Spring Practice – Defensive Line”

POV’s Take: Pre-Spring Practice – Special Teams

Here is yet another great piece from MajorMajors, this time discussing who we may see in Pitt’s Special Teams’  play in 2018.

Well, Isn’t that Special?”  — A Look at Pitt’s Special Team

My apologies to “The Church Lady,” but special teams are called “special” for a reason.  You can win a game with a kickoff return; you can lose a game by giving up a punt return.  You can win a game with a 50+ yard field goal; you can lose a game by missing a chip shot. We’ve done all of the above in the last few years.

Really though, we’ve been pretty hot on special teams lately, with some heroics from Chris Blewitt, Alex Kessman and Quadree Henderson.  Where do we go from here?

Punter – Out with the Old; In with the New

Well, we lost a good one.   Ryan Winslow was a first-team All-ACC selection last season.   His average of 44.5 yards per punt topped the ACC, and he dropped 16 punts inside the 20.    He was the only player to punt for Pitt last season.

We will miss Ryan’s punting, but what about his passing?  Who can forget his TD pass to Nathan Bossory against Virginia Tech on the fake field goal – oops, sorry to bring that game up.  And I didn’t realize it, but Ryan was our holder on placekicks for the last four years.

I still remember his critical pass completion on the fake punt at Syracuse in 2015.  The pass went to Matt Galambos, of all people. Talk about catching the ‘Cuse by surprise.   I remember thinking that, succeed or fail, I like this kind of gutsy call by this Narduzzi guy.  Pitt ended up with Chris Blewitt kicking a game-winning field goal later in that drive.

Our new punter will be redshirt freshman Kirk Christodoulou (pronounced “christo-doo-lou”).  Billy Hillgrove should have fun with that one. Kirk is from Melbourne Australia. And as a freshman, he was 20 years old.

His bio says he “worked with the renowned Prokick Australia program that has produced many successful collegiate and NFL punters…Prokick Australia’s “exports” include Pittsburgh Steelers punter Jordan Berry and all three 2016 Ray Guy Award finalists: winner Mitch Wishnowsky (Utah) as well as Michael Dickson (Texas) and Cameron Johnston (Ohio State).   Well, sounds like Kirk had some good teachers.

I found some interesting information about Kirk in a Pitt News article from last season by Steve Rotstein.  For example, Kirk knows Steeler Jordan Berry from their days in Australia “It’s great to have a friend,” Christodoulou said. “I’ve known him for a few years now, so, funny enough, moving halfway around the world, you end up having another Australian next door, so that’s pretty cool.”

More from the Pitt News article: “Kirk Christodoulou didn’t grow up around the same game as everybody else on the Pitt football team — to him, it’s called “footy.”  He doesn’t say he’s going to go practice some punting — he’s going to “have a kick.” He wears cleats just like his teammates — but to him, they’re his “boots.”

“The first night I got here, I didn’t have any sheets or bedding or anything, so I slept on just a plain mattress with a jacket. So then the next day I sent [Jordan Berry] a text, I was like, ‘Jordan, please take me to get some sheets. I’m freezing,’” Christodoulou said. “So we went to Walmart and Target and bought some pillows and stuff so at least I’m a bit more comfy.”

Continue reading “POV’s Take: Pre-Spring Practice – Special Teams”

POV’s Take: Pre-Spring Drills – Quarterbacks

POV’s Take: Pre-Spring Drills – Quarterbacks

This is an overview of the QB roster players we have at this time.  I will follow this with an in-depth look at our new transfer QB Ricky Town in a week or so.  His back story is rather fascinating.


Here are the two-deep listings for the opener against YSU (on left) and then the last game against Miami (on right).

YSU QB.png

Miami QBs.png



As in any year our fans’ eye turn directly to the QB position as a first response when we ask the question “How good will the Panthers be this season?”  For the first time since the 2016 season the other question “Who will be the starter at QB?” has already been answered – it will be SO Kenny Pickett.

That second question really should have been asked at this time last season also, but

So how did I do?

when head coach Pat Narduzzi brought in transfer QB Max Browne from USC it was assumed that he was the player who would take the reins and that is what happened.  The problem with that however was the doubt brought forward toward the end of last year’s fall camp when rsSO Ben DiNucci began to outplay Browne.

Narduzzi wasn’t going to sit down the player he handpicked and trumpeted to be the starter so that is how that played out – until Browne went down with a season ending shoulder injury in the 3rd quarter of the Syracuse game and DiNucci was the next man up. Looking up exactly when Browne went down I ran across this gem from the post-loss coverage:

Pitt didn’t record its first third-down conversion until midway through the fourth quarter and finished 3 of 13.

“When you come in at halftime and see the opposing team has not converted a third down, that’s absolutely amazing,” Babers said.

Suffice to say neither of Pitt’s two ‘best’ QBs distinguished themselves out on the field.

Browne had one decent game against the Rice Owls, who finished 1-11 and had one of the worst pass defenses in D1 football (although not as bad as our 105th ranked pass defense which is hard to type). Other than that singular game Browne threw exactly one TD pass in regulation for the rest of his season.  DiNucci didn’t fare much better either as he ended up with only 1,091 yards on 88 of 158 passing with 5 TDs and 5 INTs.  His QB efficiency rating was a dismal 117.9.

Overall our total passing game was poor and ranked 73rd because of this:  224 of 362 for 2,612 yards with 12 TDs and 8 INTs for an efficiency rating of only 129.01 and that is with those four TDs passes against Rice in that one game.  Subtract that game and we were 196 of 330 (59%) for 2,202 yards, 8 TDs and 8 INts for a rating of only 118.8.

Here are the total passing stats for the Panthers in ’17:

2018 QBs

Continue reading “POV’s Take: Pre-Spring Drills – Quarterbacks”