Sunday Podcast; May 27th 2018

Sunday Podcast; May 27th 2018

 

Ricky Town Article

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Bios

11 si far with two scheduled for publication next week

Pitt vs Penn State

http://www.post-gazette.com/sports/psu/2018/05/24/pitt-vs-penn-state-2018-odds-point-spread-heinz-field/stories/201805240194

http://stats.ncaa.org/rankings/ranking_summary?academic_year=2018.0&division=11.0&game_high=N&org_id=539&ranking_period=73&sport_code=MFB&team_individual=T

http://www.gopsusports.com/sports/m-footbl/stats/2017-2018/psupitt.html

ESPN GAMEDAY

http://www.post-gazette.com/sports/Pitt/2018/05/17/college-gameday-schedule-2018-pitt-penn-state-rivalry-heinz-field-espn-abc/stories/201805170106

Some POVers photos from Pitt Golf Day

GroatPOVphoto
Mike Caprara, Fran, Rick, John, Dick Groat and Richman
POVwJerryO
Fran (Lastrow), Jerry Oslavsky, John (MajorMajors) and

Rick (Erie Express)

POVwCoachHarris.jpg
Fran (Lastrow), Rick Erie Express), Walt Harris and John (MajorMajors)

QB2 Ricky Town; Chapter 2

A TALE OF TWO TOWNS; Chapter 2

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…”

This second in a series article takes an in-depth look at transfer QB Ricky Town’s backstory and it is an interesting one. Usually when a player comes onto a school’s roster one takes a glance at where and when he played his previous football and moves on.  But in this case the more I read about Ricky Town the more interested, and then fascinated, I became so I started making phone calls to satisfy my curiosity about the young man and from there I felt his was a story that was waiting to be told in deeper terms. 

The first chapter of this story can be found here and I suggest you read it first if you haven’t already…

Perhaps in normal days a school’s back-up quarterback issue wouldn’t be something that warranted looking to in-depth but it’s importance will be magnified at the University of Pittsburgh this year because just last season we saw what could happen when your starting QB goes down with injury and your back-ups (QB2s) have to take control for the rest of the schedule.

That came to pass in 2017 at Pitt and the result was an overwhelming failure of the offense and was a key reason we dropped to a seven loss and five win season – the worse Pitt has completed in a full decade of play.

17 espn

The fact that ex-USC backup QB Max Browne, who transferred in for a single year of play, wasn’t talented enough to play successfully at the D1 level was written about on here extensively prior to the start of last season.  Before the 2017 spring practices started The Pitt POV reached out to two Southern California USC sportswriters and a USC football blogger to get their firsthand accounts of and a feel for what type of player Browne was previously and might be for Pitt. The feedback was surprisingly across-the-board negative and we saw that writ large when Browne started the season and played way below everyobody’s expectations.

Save for one four TD game against a truly bad 4-8 Conference USA Rice team, that ended up being ranked very low in all national passing defense categories, Browne threw exactly one other TD in the rest of the season. That lone TD was in overtime against Youngstown State. He didn’t throw any TDs in regulation play except for the Rice game.

When Browne went down in that sixth game with a shoulder injury Pitt was standing at 2 wins and 3 losses and it didn’t get much better under his replacement rsSO Ben DiNucciImage result for ben dinucci pittNot surprisingly with the acquisition of yet another transfer QB for this year in Ricky Town DiNucci has left the Pitt program and transferred out, along with the once highly heralded rsFR Thomas MacVitte who had hadn’t throw a single pass in a game while at Pitt.

DiNucci’s situation after the season ended was unique and unfortunate. After the last game of the season he was told that he was to be the second string QB behind starter Kenny Pickett (more on him later).

DiNucci’s transfer precipitated Town’s visit to Pitt. Dinucci heard Pitt was looking for more depth at QB and feeling mislead, and not for the first time because it happened twice before during the regular season, he abruptly left the team on December 14th.

Once he told the staff he was leaving, they scrambled to get Town on campus two days later. Town was actually on campus at a smaller school, I believe it was Stephen F Austin, for a visit when OC Shawn Watson called and asked him to come to Pitt. So Town left that visit and flew to Pittsburgh on a Saturday night and Town then signed his LOI on December 17th.

To quote Cardiac Hill on this issue:

The Panthers’ quarterback situation took another strange twist in Saturday’s loss to NC State. In that game, Pickett relieved DiNucci, despite the game being close and DiNucci playing relatively well. Afterwards, head coach Pat Narduzzi and DiNucci gave conflicting accounts about the plan for playing time in the game.

In his post-game statements, Narduzzi insisted that both DiNucci and Pickett knew of the plan to play both during the contest.

“It wasn’t a taking Ben out because he wasn’t getting the job done,” Narduzzi said. “We had talked with them prior to the game so there was communication prior to the game on what we going to do and what the plans were.”

His starter, however, saw things differently and was taken aback by being removed from the game.

“A little bit surprised,” DiNucci said in response to being asked about if he was surprised by being taken out of a close game. “I wasn’t necessarily aware going into this week that they were going to try to get him a series, but that’s ultimately their decision.”

A follow-up question was asked about any conversations he may have had with Narduzzi and offensive coordinator Shawn Watson, perhaps to jog his memory. DiNucci’s response?

“I didn’t know anything about it going in beforehand.”

That DiNucci was assured of the 2018 QB2 spot and was, again, mislead by the head coach was the final straw before his leaving the team.

So, the possibility of going into 2018 missing his two marginally talented backup QBs, and in DiNucci the only one who had shown any smattering of D1 talented to start with, was a question mark Narduzzi didn’t want hanging over the offense’s head so he welcomed Ventura CC QB Ricky Town to transfer in for his last two years eligibility.

Continue reading “QB2 Ricky Town; Chapter 2”

Why Pitt Is It For GC…

Why Pitt Is It For GC…

I grew up in the bedroom community of Penn Hills and graduated with 1000 other Penn Hills kids. Had a great time in high school, was too small for football and in the wrong clique for basketball, so luckily I excelled at high jumping and by my junior year gymnastics also. It was important in a class of 1000 to gain some notoriety if you wanted to date the more worthy girls. Funny story; I was voted President of the Varsity Club, but the Football coach didn’t approve and rounded up a bunch of his players then  took a second ballot. But I digress.

My first memory of Pitt is my Dad taking me to a game, which I vaguely remember that Paul Martha starred in, and who could forget their first visit to massive Pitt Stadium.  My Dad was the reason I ended up at Pitt. He was a research engineer at Westinghouse and went to night school at Carnegie Tech. One of my earliest memories is of him dropping me off at Skibo Hall and I rolled around on the gym mats while he was in class… I was destined to be a gymnast.

Anyway, I was having so much fun in High School that I never thought ahead to college. My Dad filled out the Pitt application and, had me sign it, so I went to Pitt. I did have good grades and a decent SAT, but probably wouldn’t be accepted there today.

Back then, Pitt had a several day summer orientation, I remember a particular evening on the Gateway Clipper. (Note: current Pitt LB Quentin Wirginis’ family now owns the Gateway Clipper line).

So in the fall of ’68, my folks dropped me off at Tower B where I was assigned a dorm room. Image result for tower b pittFor you young folks, those really were turbulent times with the Vietnam War raging, the assassinations of RFK and MLK, inner-city riots and student protests. The music was awesome though with Motown, the British Invasion and the start of Hard Rock. My neighbors in the dorms had a record player and played the Doors all day and all night. By the time I graduated everyone had their own stereos playing Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd. One night there was a buzz through the Towers, because “Paul Was Dead! so  people began playing the Sgt Peppers album backwards, etc.

I walked on the Pitt Gymnastics team, which was being reconstituted after a hiatus. I was a parallel bar specialist and fit in with the great bunch of guys. They took me to QuinQues where I had meatballs and cheese in a bowl and a beer. I had already started drinking when I was 15 and was bar hopping throughout the region when I was 16, but it was still cool have a beer with my new friends.

Continue reading “Why Pitt Is It For GC…”

Who in the Hell Does Ike Think He Is?

Who in the Hell Does Ike Think He Is?

Well to answer that question for a very long time in my life… I simply didn’t know who I was.

I wanted to contribute and be a part of the autobiographical articles on the POV so I had to ask myself, “Self, how did you become such a big PITT football fan and be so fanatical about it?” So I’ve started and erased around five different times wondering how I can explain all the past. I didn’t want to come off as a bleeding heart or too dramatic, yet at the same time my young life is what is most important in telling this story. There are no pretty girls and loves of my life involved; no romantic tales or mingling with the players from the team, this would be a long distance relationship.

I started off as a child born into a large family in a large house in Greensburg, PA which my maternal Grandmother owned. My family lived on one side of the house, grandma was on other and a couple was staying in the third floor two room apartment – they were Patsy and Ruth or “Do” as I called her.

Image result for james dean motorcycle imagesMy father was an alcoholic and people thought he was a James Dean type because he was the only person anyone knew of who owned a motorcycle back in those days. He worked for the railroad and in his spare time collected and worked on old cars that ended up littering our backyard like it was a junkyard.  This was complete with chained up mean-ass junkyard dogs that no one was allowed to go anywhere near. This was while we lived smack in the heart of Greensburg mind you… sounds like a white trash lifestyle to me!

Continue reading “Who in the Hell Does Ike Think He Is?”