Here are some links for discussion…
Here is a nice overview of Pitt’s prospects going into the 2018 season from The College Football News. Of course their premise is that we need to play every game the way we played against Miami last year. However, while that could, possibly, maybe happen more likely we’ll see the same things that we saw after we beat PSU, and Clemson and that is starting the season with no real push from the previous year’s big wins.
Don’t get me wrong – those big upset wins are one of the things, a big thing actually, that is keeping the fans opinion of Pat Narduzzi pretty high. If not for those three wins we’d have a whole different view of the football program at this point.
But we won those and they were great to watch unfold. I did think we’d get a bit of a recruiting bump in the next recruiting class after the PSU and then the Clemson victories… but I’m still waiting for that to happen with the Miami win also.
The publication Athlon Sports kicks in with their Pitt overview also:
Georgia Tech and Pitt: Sleepers in the Coastal Division
Miami and Virginia Tech were the clear picks at the top of the Coastal during Athlon’s ACC prediction meeting. Pitt and Georgia Tech led the next tier and both teams should improve after posting losing records in 2017.
The Panthers feature rising star quarterback Kenny Pickett, and the defense should take a big step forward with seven starters back. However, coach Pat Narduzzi’s team faces a brutal schedule. Pitt catches UCF, Penn State and Notre Dame in non-conference action and catches swing games against Wake Forest, Virginia and North Carolina on the road.
Athlon is a bit more optimistic than most in this regard. We may be sleepers but the money is, at this point, showing an over/under for Pitt wins at 5.0. Remember it has been at 5.5 then dropped last week as money flowed into the negative side of the equation. That sounds about right to me at this point.
In a bit of good news for Pitt football alumni TE Scotty Orndoff was just picked up by the Jacksonville Jaguars. Let’s hope he sticks around there for a while.
Orndoff originally signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers in May 2017 after going undrafted out of college. However, he was waived by the team three months later and was picked up by the Detroit Lions for a brief stint to close out the preseason. He then moved on to the Cincinnati Bengals practice squad during the regular season but didn’t manage to stick there either.
During his college career, Orndoff developed into a solid receiving option for former Panthers quarterback Nathan Peterman, and the pair played an integral role in Pitt’s 43-42 upset victory over eventual national champion Clemson at Clemson Memorial Stadium in November 2016. In that memorable game, the tight end compiled 128 yards and two touchdowns on nine catches.
That season, which was Orndoff’s best at Pitt, the former Panther amassed 579 yards and five touchdowns on 35 catches. He also proved himself as a big-play threat, given his 55-yard touchdown reception against Clemson and a similar 74-yard score against Georgia Tech.
Huh. We need to get back to that sort of production from our TEs. Last season with Clark and Flanagan, both transfer players, we had a total of 33 receptions for 282 yards and 1 TD. Big damn difference there from what just one TE did the year before. Let’s hope we can start grooming and growing TEs out of our own recruits instead of looking toward the bottom of the transfer barrels.
In some nice news (from PSN Sports) for Pitt’s past football players we have two of our own nominated for College Football’s Hall of Fame. Both Matt Cavanaugh and RB Iron head Heyward are listed but its a longshot for both of them I believe. Take a look at who they are up against.
Raghib Ismail from ND, Ray Lewis from Miami, Troy Polamalu from USC, etc… This might not be their year and I wonder if they will make it at all. Let’s hope they do.
This is an interesting website that break down the teams’ productivity as the season rolls along. I’ll include it here for the 2017 season stats as reminders for when we start discussing ’18’s versus ’17’s teams this summer and fall…
And here is Rival’s listing for Pitt’s 2019 commitments. I’m not trying to be funny here – I add it because you can use this page to see past recruiting classes Pitt has had or to check on how other team’s are recruiting at present (I don’t think it is behind a paywall…)
We have a few kids coming in on June 15th for official visits. One 4* recruit is Daniel Carter who is the 5th nationally ranked RB in the ’19 class. He’s out of Ft. Lauderdale, FL and would be an excellent get if we can swing it. Getting him up to Pittsburgh is a feather in Charlie Partridge’s cap.
Here is his video and he’s a good one…
Have to say though – looking at his offer sheet it’s a long shot but maybe Narduzzi is due for some success with the best of the best. Here is a listing from Rivals’ website of the visitors we’ll have on campus on the weekend after next.