Here is some info to chew on as we get closer to Fall Camp which starts not too long from now in the beginning of August.

I put these two tables in first to show how well we did at some things last season (most of first table) then… because nothing is ever all good with Pitt football… the second table shows what we were poor at doing. Remember there were 129 Division I teams total last season so that is the ranking we are looking at – from 1st to 129th.

Good news first:

As you can see we were a well-disciplined team as far as penalties go.  Not too bad with Passes Had Intercepted either even if we were somewhat low on the total pass attempts. Time of Possession was good (16th) with us keeping the ball 2:27 more than our opponents.

Rushing defense was OK at 41st; other than that we were in the lower two-thirds of the nation in almost everything else of note.

Top Half Stats 3

 

Which brings us to the next table (get the crying towel out).

Here I listed where we ranked among the worst nationally (123rd in Blocked Punts Allowed was our nadir) and then ascending to the lower third of the teams’ rankings.

Needless to say our special teams were horrid except for the Punt Returns.  Not much better was our defensive Tackles for Loss (TFLs) at 106th (Team Sacks made was 74th) and jumping over to the offense for Sacks Allowed at 101st doesn’t make me feel any better… That stat and TFLs Allows at 99th shows what a very poor job our OL did last season – throw in that we were 85th in rushing the ball and it scares the hell out of me for 2018.

Look at our special teams coverage units’ work below… and get your barf bag out.  We were 113th in Punt Return Defense and not much better at our Kickoff Return Defense either being five slots lower at 108th.

I have always thought these coverage teams are where young very athletic players can cut their teeth when they haven’t made a two-deep rotation spot yet… but looking at ours one has to wonder if we have any of those quicker and faster athletes on coverage teams at all.

The bad icing on the bad cake was having only a horrid 35% third down conversion rate (95th) – that was the root of a lot of our problems last year and absolutly has to get better.  The Top one-third of the 129 teams had a conversion rate of 43% or better.  On the flip side of third down conversions at least we were consistent with defense of them being crappy at 84th allowing 41% of the opponent’s conversion tried to be successful.

Bottom Half stats 2

I don’t think we are going to see much better work from the offense this season.  We’ll rise in the passing categories but I think we’ll regress in everything else the OL has a hand in. Which means QB Kenny Pickett will be running for his life and the RBs will find few holes to run through.  Our Sacks Allowed may be less given Pickett’s quick feet and ability to run though, but that impacts the passing results.

But this is also why I have been consistent in stating that our defense wasn’t as good as some fans made it out to be for last season.  We did a good job over the last two games but the truth is in the 10 games before those we really were sub-par on the whole.

Which begs the question if our defense, with a brand new DC and new terminology (spotlight on MLB Quintin Wirginis with that), is going to carry over the level of play we saw in games #11 (VT) and #12 (Miami) last year onto 2018’s schedule.

I do agree with some fan’s thoughts that Miami wasn’t as strong as a normal #2 ranked team usually is at the end of the regular season but that doesn’t take away the sweetness of the win.

Either way we were better on defense at the end of the year than we were at the beginning of it:

boo

Duke – 17 points allowed;  Virginia – only 14 points; then Whaaaa…? North Carolina – 34 points followed by VT at 20 points then the Miami win by allowing only 14.

That certainly looks like better play from the defense then we had seen over Narduzzi’s first 2.5 seasons, doesn’t it?

198 thoughts on “Where Pitt Ended Up Stats-Wise in ’17

  1. Reed, I think it is clear this defense has to be the best Narduzzi has had in order for Pitt to get to Birmingham again this year. Based on the last three years I do not have a good feeling.

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  2. Every team we played and lost to in 17 had a better qb. This year Wimbush is experienced, McSorley a three year starter, Dungey at SU a three year starter, Rosier at UM, Jones at Duke, Benkirk at UVA, and UCF McKenzie that is a neck of a haul. Remember what Rudolf did in his third year against Pitt.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. All that being said I’m extremely excited for this season. A lot of things have to fall in place, but as Jim Carey said I’m Dumb and Dumber so your telling me there is a chance.

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  4. I am on a conference call with a service provider. We are in sports protection business. The guy I am speaking with played at MSU and 7 years NFL Jags.
    Anyway, He says I can introduce you to Jackie Sherrill. Have you heard of him? I answer ya he went 50 and 9 at Pitt.
    Guy: I did not know he coached at Pitt.
    Next: Well I am going to introduce you to Tony Dorsett.
    Me: Well he won the Heisman at Pitt
    Guy: He played at Pitt? I did not know that.
    Me Yes and Marino was the Qb for Sherrill.
    Guy: Wow What the hell happened to Pitt?
    Me: We have been wondering that here for 30 years.

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    1. Does Pitt athletics have a marketing department?

      Kman – the next time you talk with your service provider, ask him about Aaron Donald, Larry Fitz and Shady McCoy.

      I hope you are hitting them straight…

      Like

    2. With all due respect kman but it sounds like your service provider had his head up his a** for a long time now. Let’s hope he knows what the he** he is talking about when providing you that service.

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    3. With all due respect to your service provider, I think that says more about his knowledge than Pitt’s marketing. Anyone following college ball would know those things.

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  5. Defense will be better. Still think secondary is a year away. I like the DE’s but I am still hesitant about DT (hoping Twyman can come through) LB’s are our strength – they should be special.

    Offense – I just have to wonder how it will shake out. Pickett adds another dimension but the OL scares me and receivers are still another year away.

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      1. Stats don’t tell the entire story. Stats are selectively and narrowly used to prove one’s point. Stats also don’t take 2017’s incredible schedule into account.

        The 2018 defense will be very stout with future NFL draft picks Hendrix and Wirginis leading the way.

        Ike

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      2. Watts and Camp should be our starting tackles, but if Roy does start it isn’t the end of the world. Who plays the more snaps matters more.

        “It doesn’t matter who starts the game, it’s who finishes that matters.” Or something like that.
        – John Wooden

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  6. Reed..what other “common descriptors” can we use ? Once and awhile I feel certain words help me release a little pressure…don’t want to blow a big artery…not to long from now and our Panthers will administer their weekly stress test to the faithful….

    Will get ot the article this evening. Thanks Reed.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Stats don’t tell the entire story and are typically selectively and narrowly used to prove one’s point. The stats from 2017 don’t reflect that amazing quality of the opposition.

    The D this year will be stout led by future NFL draft picks Hendrix at DE and Wirginis at LB.

    Ike

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    1. We play who is scheduled in front of us Ike we don’t compare ourselves to the Little Sisters of the Poor we compare ourselves to other P5 teams and the opponents on our schedule. That is becoming an excuse that too many people on here are using

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Plus Ike, I’ll bet you a bottle of wine right now that Hendrix and Wirginis will not be drafted at all.

    Maybe free agents but I even wonder if QW is going to be able to play out the whole season.

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  9. Here’s the dilio. That Mr Anonymous above who signed Ike, was not me. I’m supposing he or she is mocking me. I did get a good chuckle out of the attempt though. I spell my name with no caps (for next time)…. Reed check the address and I’ll bet you that bottle of wine that I can tell you who that was in three guesses or less.

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  10. BigB with a real doozy of a comment there. Just open up your big-ass suburban car window with 300,000 + miles on it and scream out anything you want. Take the load off Fanny

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  11. How many close games did we lose because we did not stop the other team on 3rd down? If they had the ball last they scored. If we had the ball last, they stopped us. Was it fatigue, missed tackles, missed assignments, our bad coaching, their smart coaching, etc? It probably cost us at least one game a year.

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  12. First and goal at the 2 foot line and couldn’t punch it in. Henderson dropping the ball at the 2 foot line, Aston slipping down at the 2 foot line, high school tack star Weah looking back and being caught at the, you got it, the 2 foot line. Narduzzi is such a horrible coach.

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    1. But none of our opponents had things like that stop them either, right Ike…only happens to Pittsburgh.

      Just ask Clemson in 2016 when they couldn’t convert to a 1st down late in the game… or ask PSU in 2015 when McSorley didn’t see the wide open receiver in the end zone on the last play of that loss for them.

      You don’t have to get blown out by 20+ points Ike. Close losses are losses.

      And how convenient that you overlook our terrible loss to a 2-8 NC team last year.

      Narduzzi is what he is. At this point he’s a HC coming off a 5 win and 7 loss season. The worse Pitt has had in a decade.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. And can you believe it? It looks like that soft defense was even targeting that Cali transfer QB. It only took a missed block by a NJ transfer for an opposing soft defense to take our Cali transfer QB out.

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  13. My only point there Reed was that PITT isn’t on the cliff’s edge. You know, like some want to portray it after a 5 win season. I’m saying there is a way to lose, the OSU game (terrible) and then there is another way to lose when the results could have been different. No one has to tell me a loss is a loss. The hysteria is mind boggling to me when PITT was just 2 or 3 plays away from winning a couple more games.

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  14. You are what your record says
    and only as good as your last record
    every school can say their team was only a play or two away
    concerning is that there is no buzz and no momentum with this program
    appears to be dead man walking

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  15. Tx. So the first two years are not what Narduzzi is? Two 8 win regular seasons? I hear the cries that they weren’t his players. Goal posts changing all the time on here.

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  16. ike, I once thought the same way, that except for a few bad plays Pitt would have finished the season much better. That over the years, they were the victim of bad luck and deserved better. Every coach was just about to turn the corner before being fired or leaving for greener pastures. But after 35 years of this, I have come to assume that Pitt is right where it deserves to be, a mediocre football team that on occasion can win unexpectedly and on occasion can lose to a team like Youngstown State. You are what the record is over time, and the record is mediocre at best.

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    1. Loss to YSU, home to Akron, a loss to Navy in a down year and not getting it done in what should have been a memorable win at Notre Dame in 2012.

      Narduzzi has three big wins at least. Chryst’s best win was over a mediocre ND team.

      Liked by 3 people

    1. 21 and 17 Ike.

      Two whole games better than the HC Pitt fans love to hate in PC

      Worst numbers of wins in a season in a decade with 5

      Two bowl losses and no bowl last year – first time no bowl in 9 years

      The loss to a 2-7 NC team cost us a bowl bid…worse than the YSU loss IMO

      Least number of 4* recruits in 12 years when he had one last year

      Zero 4* recruits so far this season.

      You have to look at both sides my friend… He’s had a bunch of low spots also

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I’d prefer to let this season play out before I pass judgement on a HC who only three years ago was an assistant.

      Beat psux and UCF – the team gains confidence to beat ACC Coastal level opponents.

      It is doable IMO.

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  17. We are better than 119 Akron so Franklin cant say Pitt is like playing Akron
    We’re pretty much ranked where our recruiting has been over the past 4 years
    For every good win under Narduzzi, there has been a bad loss
    And a sense of under-delivering on the promise
    I dont see things changing this year but I would be pleasantly surprised if Pitt could haul in 7 wins plus an extra bowl win for an 8 win season
    That would tell me that Coach has the right stuff
    Or he could be the Lemming above

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  18. Narduzzi’s record depends on what side of the fence you are eating your grass from. The record I produced was obviously from his regular season record. Who jumps in to correct that to his over-all record that is not as good, tells on themselves.

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  19. I love the lemmings picture. Kind of reminds me of a lot of situations. The ones in the upper left are probably saying, “Is this a really good idea?”

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  20. ike, yes Chryst is winning now IN A DIFFERENT PROGRAM built by a different AD. We were stuck with Cornhole for a long time and his decisions helped to keep Pitt in mediocrity for years. I’m not laying this on any one coach, AD or Chancellor. Who let Sherrill go? What about Gottfried? I have to agree with Reed as far as PN’s performance so far. 55% is mediocre no matter how you slice it..

    Liked by 2 people

  21. This is my first time to comment, but I have been an avid follower of this blog since inception. Thanks to Reed there is nothing to compare with this if you are a Pitt fan, and certainly more informative and objective than the media outlets which I read everyday here in Arizona. My wife and I would attend every home game when we lived in Pa. I truly miss them even though the atmosphere is not anything like Pitt stadium, the BigO,and Oakland after a game I live and breathe Pitt. As far as statistics from previous teams, I don’t put much stock in them. Each year brings a new day, new hope, and a new set of challenges that I have to believe we will overcome. Go Pitt and please beat Penn State!
    JCDMD

    Liked by 4 people

  22. That said, ike, I regretted the firing of every coach Pitt fired at least since Dave Hart, even Foge. This is because I know that they don’t perform in a Vacuum. We truly need for PN to be successful, because the alternative is 5 more years of, yes, mediocrity.

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    1. So true
      But you do get a sense of a coach after four years
      No excuses
      Heather is doing everything she can for football besides the aweful marketing.
      Again, no excuses
      If the coach can’t win, it’s on him
      In the past you could blame the administration. Not anymore.
      Show me what ya got Dog

      Tex

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Administration: Year 4 should be your breakout year, Pat. Here is your non-conference schedule. Go get ’em or we will fire you because it has worked so well in the past for this fine institution.

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      1. while his salary is more than we thought, it is not above average when compared his fellow Coastal HCs but does bring him much closer.. According to Trib article today, he received $2.98 M in total compensation, which includes bonuses and incentives. Note the same article also had Franklin receiving $5.5M which includes his $4.65 base plus bonuses. Coaches are likely compensated for running camps, reaching bowl games and other incentives and the salaries above reflect the 2016 season. (knowing Pitt, PN may have gotten a bonus if the FB team’s cumulative GPA reached a certain level)

        Johnson (GT) and UNC coach (forgot his name) has a base salary of around $2.9M while Mendenhall (Va) and Fuentes (VT) has a base salary of approx $3.5M, and Richt (Miami) base salary is over $4M. Note that these are not the base salaries so the total compensation for each are likely much higher.

        Having said all of this …. Narduzzi should not be paid as much as the coaches listed above because they all have much more head coaching experience than he does.

        wwb

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  23. Someone pointed out in this thread yesterday that in the title picture to this article, that a psux player was caught “targeting” our very own helmet-less Max Browne. So, of course I went back and took a look at what I originally missed.

    Blatant and obvious in the still photo. At game speed it was missed by the refs in creepy valley. I’ll take it a step further and call out the psux player – Nick Scott #4, who is a SR and a projected starter at S and punt returner.

    Note to coach Duzz: your good buddy (and ours too), Commander Reed just provided you with a locker room pin up photo. Use it if you think it will assist with motivating the troops and beating the hated creeps from dairyland, PA.

    H2P!

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Just catching up after a few busy days…love Erie’s idea using the photo to motivate against the hated PSUx cultists. Reed, your thought that Wirginis will not play the full year based on potential injury or character issue?

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    1. That or not being able to be the defensive captain out on the field because of the mental side of things.

      This is a player who, with obvious physical traits superior to Galambos, couldn’t grab the starting job from him over three years… And Galambos certainly wasn’t good enough to not be sat down if there was a decent alternative. Wirginis couldn’t ‘get’ Conklin’s defenses…so unless Bates has really simplified things I wonder how effective QW will be.

      I think it says volumes about the average at best recruiting PN has done when in year 4 we still have two holdovers starting in the three LBs. One a walk on and the other a 2* recruit.

      We can’t find anyone better to replace Zeise , Wirginis or Idowu out of all the LB recruits the Pitt fans were slobbering over as PN recruited them? Brightwell is the only PN LB recruit that has done anything at all and he’s a so-so player.

      Plus look at Roy on the DL and add Dintino and Herndon to that OL group also. They were average Chryst recruits who are now starting even after four years of PN’s recruiting. Not happy making for me.

      Makes you really wonder and this is a big reason I pay no attention to recruiting class rankings at the end of LOI Day.

      Which BTW for those who care we are currently at #35 and dropping.

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  25. Objectively, I do think Narduzzi is gone if he goes 5-7 or worse this year.

    But I don’t think that will happen. I say he goes 6-6 in the regular season (which buys him another year) or 7-5 (which buys him at least two), especially given the schedule. I’ll reserve an opinion on a bowl win or loss once we see who the opponent is.

    Lyke is not going to settle for losing seasons and she obviously doesn’t hesitate to can someone. Really like her as AD thus far.

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    1. I can’t see him being fired for another 5 win season … but probably for a 3 win season.

      In Chryst’s 3rd season against a MUCH easier schedule, he won only one more game than in PN’s 3rd season. In fact …. look at the difference in schedule between 2014 and 2015, and PN won 2 more games in his rookie season.

      Now, for the second year in a row, Pitt is deemed as having the hardest OOC.

      This is typical fandom …. a team doesn’t win as much as hoped, so get rid of the guy ….. and hire the 6th different coach in the past 9 years. And with that STAT, if you think Pitt has trouble recruiting now …. you just wait!

      wwb

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      1. And the schedule is the determining factor? Then how in hell did we beat PSU, Clemson and Miami?

        If the schedule is so damn hard then we had no right winning those games, yet we did and did it at the same time we were losing to teams like Iowa, NW, then SYR and NC last season…

        Its about time the PN to PC comparisons stop. If one can’t tell by now who the better HC is they should stop watching college football.

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        1. Reed, I will continue to say this …. with ll of the stats you throw out, quality of schedule/opponent is as important as any of them.

          Consider … you almost always use overall rankings of all of the teams. But wouldn’t it stand to reason that a Big 12 team would rank lower in total defense than teams in other conferences due to the high power offenses in that conference? OK State had the highest ranked passing offense last year

          This past season, I believe Georgia had the 5th ranked total defense going into the semi-final game with Oklahoma. Yet, the Sooners scored 31 points in the 1st half against them (and the Bulldogs has month to prepare)

          wwb

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        1. What mess? Who were all these problem childs? He inherited a team with future NFL players, including a Pro Bowler in Donald. He choked games a away versus average teams. He left Narduzzi with crap on defense. Thank God Narduzzi got Peterman because it would have been pretty awful without him since The Guru left nothing at QB.

          Moose was going to put his eggs Travon Chapman, who sucked at QB at Akron that he got moved to receiver. Those hands could catch just as well as he used them to beat up his girlfriend.

          Liked by 3 people

  26. Narduzzi has two years in the bank at least maybe even 3 all with losing seasons. That’s not being positive or loving Narduzzi it’s just fact barvo. Although I don’t think he will have a losing season this year and for sure not next. .. . .ike

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  27. One thing fans are not known for is patience. I do think that Narduzzi has to show progress this year and would say 6-6 is the bar. Although I still think he gets one more year unless there is a complete collapse.
    Pitt’s biggest problem has been instability and it certainly has not been caused by Narduzzi, yet he has had to deal with all the weaknesses caused by it.

    The schedule certainly matters, and the upsets against PSU, Clemson and Miami are positives, but PSU and Clemson were accomplished by an awesome offense which is now a distant memory and means nothing to this year’s campaign.

    Chryst is now a solid coach because he has all the benefits of Wisconsin’s system. Narduzzi still has to deal with all the Pitt negatives that no one has overcome. Even Wanny who was fired shortly after a 10 win season.

    Unless Pitt is willing to spend 5 mil on a coach with commensurate increase for assistants and marketing, nothing will change. Even then, there are no guarantees. We will still be talking about the same issues 5 years from now.

    There is no quick fix for Pitt Football.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Reading that reminds me of the constant reminders I keep reading about how PITT and Narduzzi “almost” lost to YSU. Yet PITT won. The other unmentionable coach lost to the same team. Yet when I bring up close losses last year in other games, it’s excuse making. Why do I always get the feeling that Narduzzi lives on a one way street and he’s always going the wrong way? Too many of you mistake the defending of Narduzzi as some sort of love for him as a coach. As much as some think I defend the guy some do the exact opposite constantly. Going out of your way to mow the guy down is not only obvious to me but many others as well.

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    1. I said that in Narduzzi’s first season after watching a game, “This is a game Pitt would have lost other years.” He’s beating the teams he’s supposed to beat. Well, up until last year with North Carolina.

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  29. I think that two of the most interesting pre-season story lines are 1) will the scheme on defense change at all given the new D coordinator’s background. As the linked article above hints at, the new DC has worked in a ‘bend-but-don’t-break’ type scheme rather than an aggressive 7 or 8 guys in the box with man to man on the corners… and, 2) will the scheme on offense change to more of a read option given Picket’s ability to run…

    I would guess ‘yes’ on number one and ‘no’ on number two. I believe that the O will be a run on 1st and 2nd down and pass on 3rd down power/pro style offense again. The D will be a combination of Narduzzi’s and the new guy’s preferences.

    Time will tell.

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  30. If Pitt runs on 1st and 2nd down then beating last years record will almost be impossible. The article had it right in that Pickett will have to turn into an All Star for Pitt to move up in the ranks. And as I have previously posted if Pickett stays healthy I believe we will see that All Star performance surface throughout 2018.

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    1. I agree that Pickett will be called on to make plays. Watson, even in the Miami game, ran a somewhat conservative (in terms of play calling) game. I think that we will see some screens and play actions to keep the opposing defenses off of Pickett, but in drop back passing situations, Pickett will run if his first and possibly second options are covered. And, he will take some hits in the process. But, we will see a lot of 1st and 2nd down running plays from Watson as well, IMO.

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  31. They have to be cautious about running Pickett or doing the read option because we don’t have an established backup QB.

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    1. I agree, but Pickett will likely choose to run in some passing situations when his first option (and possibly second option if he is mature enough to check down) is covered. And, he may get banged up a little in the process.

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  32. If Pitt cannot establish a solid running game, it will be a long season. The line does have the size and strength.

    Whether or not they have the footwork and finesse for good pass protection is doubtful.

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  33. PITT’s defense looks to be much improved. Yes I said it. Maybe we need to start a string of articles on the individual units on the team? or it may be a month too early? When and if that happens, I really hope some of the more realistic (negative ) posters would help out with an article. People who’s poster names start with an E or B or b or U. Stop waiting for something bad to happen and be pile jumpers. Speak your mind beforehand. I would love to hear from you guys so I know you’re real, instead of calling me out for my opinions with your condescending bs. . . . … ike ….<< with a small i

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  34. In seriousness, Pitt would have been placed around 55 in rankings if their damn foorball team went to a bowl and if their damn basketball team went to the tourney. But they didnt, so they are truly deserving of all the doughnuts in the world.

    But, there are some positive things.
    Basketball cant get any worse
    You’d think that Narduzzi can get back to 6 wins and finally win a crappy bowl
    Wrestling, volleyball and mens soccer are all trending up

    Pitt is probably a top 60 program
    Heather’s job is to make it top 40. Thats where you find most ACC teams
    Pitt should feel guilty about collecting nearly $30M per year from the ACC for results like this

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  35. Could it be all the pressure put on Narduzzi to recruit suspect 4* players instead of looking for the 3* players with potential on the football field and in the classroom? Some just want to complain. The kid didn’t go to class and I guess PN is responsible again? He had to been warned, reprimanded a few times before dismissal sigh. One way street…. ike

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  36. BTW guys, between now and the 22nd or so I’ll not be able to write much… Two funerals and a bunch of Veterans work.

    So kick in some articles to help out.

    Just don’t do them in the body of an email but as an attachment to it if you can.

    And if you include tables or graphics send them as attachments also.

    We’d all appreciate it if you can do something…

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  37. Seriously here folks. It goes to show us all, we don’t know everything that’s going on and how decisions are made. Pickett being the biggest case in point. Most people don’t know what went into the decision to wait and then play KP late in the season. ike

    with a small i
    I all I got
    I all I need

    H2P!

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  38. Back to the coaching point I made earlier, I’m not saying that I agree with Narduzzi getting fired for another down year, but I do think it could happen. Maybe the tough schedule gives him a little wiggle room, but I don’t think much.

    If Pitt really struggles and he is canned, my hope would be the new Pitt leadership would put out the money for a proven coach who can immediately recruit and continue building the program.

    Im not pro or anti Narduzzi. I just want to win. I’m willing to give PN a little more time, but not sure if he’ll get it.

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    1. When has Pitt shelled out the money for a proven coach in the last 35 years? The school had the No. 1 ranked team coming back in 1982 and decided to hire an assistant and the program hasn’t been the same since. Never mind hiring Jimmy Johnson or the guy from Western PA who wanted the job, George Welsh.

      Narduzzi better get three more seasons just because firing coaches after four seasons has never seemed to work well for Pitt.

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  39. One quick thought. We keep hearing about Narduzzi’s recruits inability to replace questionable holdover starters. Given Narduzzi’s penchant for secrecy, shouldn’t we wait til the season starts to see who is starting at each position ?

    Liked by 2 people

  40. Heard a top secret that leaked out of the southside today. PITT’s defense will be snapping their fingers and clicking their heels before every psu snap. You know, to upset the poor boys from the happy valley.

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  41. Room for another Grad Transfer or a walk on to pick up their game as we are now at 84 scholarships one under the limit. Maybe the Reeves dismissal will provide some added incentive for those walk ons to up size their game.

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  42. On a side note, for what it’s worth 24/7 has Daniel Carter 100% committed to Pitt…so something must have happened recently

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    1. sometimes you recruit bums. Just a bummer it happens to be a 4 star (high ceiling recruit) that we needed to make an impact. But below is my favorite Bum:

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  43. I get that stars don’t mean everything and many 3*s (and lesser stars) can grow into really good players, but the player ratings do have to count for something…even if they’re terribly wrong sometimes.

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  44. I’m not happy with snarky Pat, but I cannot blame him when a four-star recruit becomes a serious bonehead.
    Jeff Knox had issues before coming and ended up beating his pregnant girlfriend. Wanny should never have given him a chance. But Pugh and Reeves, to the best of my knowledge, were clean.

    Like

  45. No No Fade, didn’t have you in mind at all. People want to panic and scream for four star recruits but in my lifetime that is no guarantee. At this point and time PITT will not get a boat load of 4 and 5 star players.This is not where PITT football is currently. My real point is I’ll wait and see how the boys play and not criticize a coach when in my opinion it’s just not warranted just yet. It’s my IMO but I respect other views if that is how they feel and want to evaluate? It’s subjective up to this point but the stakes are raised this coming year for the king Pat as some like to call him, which I do have to say. That bothers me because it completely reeks of an agenda against the coach, again imo. ike

    Like

    1. But we have been getting 4* kids to come to Pitt Ike, just not in the last few years. In the 2016 class PN had five 4* kids commit and that was good.

      He’s just lost his recruiting mojo over the last three classes where he’s had the three then one and so far zero.

      Like

  46. I liked Reeves as a TE. I liked him as a football player having watched several of his senior high school games in person. He passes the football player test with me. Sounds like that may have been the last test he passed. If it was academics, he can be taught to pass with the right support. He will transfer to a lower level and then back again to the big leagues in my opinion.

    I want to see how Narduzzi uses the freshman 4 game rule to Pitt’s advantage this year, or will he not be able to play kids because of the difficult schedule.

    Our AD is lucky. She gets to follow several of the worst AD hires in the land and will reap the benefits for doing so. Many have already given a pass for the Hurley swing and miss. Our ranking of 90 occurred under her watch, so will it be viewed as an AD success if we get to number 76th next year?

    Any, and I mean any of the posters on here could get to an 80 ranking by next year without doing anything but spending the money that was just spent on Capel and maybe on Narduzzi and the baseball coach. Capel alone brings us to the 8- level and his was a miss-hire.

    Like

    1. Besides her marketing ineptitude and lack of fundraising prowess, I do give her credit for wanting to improve the overall competitiveness of the Pitt sports machine. I do give her credit for holding coaches accountable. And she did provide me with a picture of her vacation.

      Like

  47. If you watched Reeves in the spring game, he has an imposing looking body but he looked pretty slow afoot. He was not ready to contribute this season, IMHO. He reminded me of a guy learning to dance who was counting the steps in his head instead of cutting loose. Maybe he would have come around in another year or two…

    We’ve had poor results/luck with our highest rated Ohio recruits — I’m thinking of Reeves and Hill. Hill may have been the fastest player in the team, which makes his loss especially painful.

    Reeves could be a case where he dominated in HS because he was just so physically imposing, but not necessarily an elite athlete.

    My disappointment in watching Reeves in the spring game reminded me of my disappointment the first time I saw Pat Bostick play. (Sorry, Pat, but expectations are high when the stars are high…)

    Go Pitt!

    Like

  48. Based on the introductory presser, Bell really went hard after the Pitt Baseball job. Sent a packet of info to Heather, it sounded like…

    I guess it’s a nice raise for him, but I’m surprised he didn’t want to stay in the south. Whole different ballgame up here.

    Be interesting to see how long he stays around.

    Go Pitt.

    Like

  49. Head Baseball Coach Mike Bell came up with this at the intro presser:

    P — Players first
    I — Integrity
    T — Toughness
    T — Team

    He expounded on each of these themes — sounded pretty good.

    Go Pitt.

    Like

    1. I like his passion
      He wants to be here unlike Curley Fries
      Tough however to be successful in the North
      Name me 5 teams that have been recently (I know who they are)…maybe Pitt eventually becomes the 6th

      Retractable dome anyone?
      the multi purpose stadium from the 70’s will make a comeback
      with the ability to retract stands and easily reconfigure fan viewing these days depending on the sport, I wouldnt be surprised

      Like

  50. ike — hope all is well, or at least getting better…

    Excited to see what our Panthers can do this season, as I know you are…

    Hail to Pitt!

    Like

    1. I’m excited to see how the players have developed from last season, especially Pickett. That O-line worries me and if Pitt starts four seniors and the blocking is poor then it will be rough. Dintino and Herndon were Moose recruits who need to play like seniors with no excuses. Herndon at least showed he is capable of playing on defense, but it will be full-time at guard and a chance to go out with bang as a senior in 2018.

      Of course, if a younger player beats one of them out then that will be good news also. Not sure why Brandon Ford isn’t pushing for time because Moose offered him and there has been excitement over him ever since. Chryst recruited some busts on the O-line, so getting an offer from him guarantees nothing.

      Narduzzi’s offensive coordinator is going to have to understand the line’s weaknesses and work his offense around that, but Watson doesn’t offer me much hope. This idiot should have called a run fake and quick pass to a tight end at the goal line versus VTech last season. The play always works and the nimrod never went to it.

      As always, the administration is the one that is hamstringing the coach. Year four and that is the non conference schedule you have the team go out and face? Nice job, dullards.

      Like

  51. Thanks John, plugging away here.

    I still can’t get a feel for this team over-all except for the defense. If this unit doesn’t show marked improvement then Narduzzi gets a very low grade since he’s been at PITT. Time to put up. Hate to put it this way but again this season the final record and how I view it will depend on the way PITT plays the games. Having said that, PITT should be expected to win more of the close games and not get blown out of any like the OSU game last year. . . .. … ike

    Like

  52. To say the least. It’s going to be a major roller coaster ride. Pretty much could read the tea leafs last year. This time around will, in my opinion, stir up violent swings in emotion and frustration along with a chest pounding pride a time or two. I’m ready.

    As for Heather. She came to the point all of us(most of us) who had been around the program came to,along time ago. The dept. was a mess and major changes were needed. She wasn’t here so it took her awhile. Same conclusion, just needed to see for herself, and that’s OK. Now let’s hope the hires pan out.

    Like

    1. all these fires were coaches who could not win in the acc
      they all had losing records in conference play

      Narduzzis ACC record
      2015: 6-2
      2016: 5-3
      2017: 3-5

      Overall 14-10 but a downward trend

      Like

  53. For those that saw Reeves in the spring, was his perceived slowness because he was put on the OL and probably didn’t understand the position and had to think before acting? I watched him in high school as a TE and although not a speed burner, he was quick and dominant for his size as a TE.

    Maybe we get a signal here shortly about Carter.

    Is the difference between a 3 star we get and a 4 star, academic prowess? Or do we just make a bigger deal about 4 stars that leave the program just a pigskin (figment) of our imagination.

    Like

  54. Huff the third, take a 3* that we hear compliants about . Narduzzi gets another 3* oh no. Then PITT loses a 3* recruit oh no… and on and on it goes.

    Like

  55. Not to be negative, but I’m wondering a bit about Mike Bell. He leaves FSU for Pitt one year before the head coach is going to retire. Knowing that it would not look good for him to leave Pitt after one year to return to FSU, were some things going on at FSU where he didn’t plan to go back there, or maybe he wouldn’t be asked to come back?

    Like

  56. Chryst stayed 3 years which is slightly different than leaving after one year. Upitt, you’re probably right that he wasn’t going to be offered the job, but I’m guessing Bell didn’t plan on going back to FSU given his experience at other schools. It still seems like a great hire of someone who really wanted the job.

    Liked by 1 person

  57. Heather is doing a good job of replacing mediocre coaches. She also needs to focus on the Athletic Department that has done a very poor job of promoting Pitt sports teams and generating interest in Pitt sports. The few new hires from her old school are not sufficient, she needs to do some national searches for administrative positions. What happened to the recent hire who was supposed to energize the fund raising process? Never heard from him since..

    Like

  58. VOR, he could be doing nothing or he could be working his butt off making great strides. We don’t know what it is he’s doing. I will say I speak with a comment-er on here regularly by phone who’s in the know and I understand the commitment at PITT is making a slow positive turn.

    Like

  59. I was surprised to get an email from Pitt inviting me to attend Mike Bell’s introductory press conference.

    I would have gone if I didn’t have stuff going on…

    Will be interesting to see how Coach Bell recruits. Rarely do the best players in the area go to Pitt these days. If they have a chance, they go south, even if it’s not to a big-time school.

    Course when I was at Pitt, I don’t think there was any real baseball recruiting. Bobby Lewis just found the best players who had enrolled at Pitt, and that was his team. The stars on our team were local guys like Doc Medich, Ken Macha, and Bob Solenicke.

    Go Pitt!

    Like

  60. I thought I read on here that Reeves spent time at OT this spring. Oh well. I wish him luck and fear we will see him in another uniform in two years.

    I am going to put out a new thought. Should we judge Narduzzi on his two previous years under other AD’s with budget constraints and scheduling conundrums, or should he be judged going forward with one year under the new Ad that continues to schedule crappily but is being more financially supportive?

    I am trending on him being judged on one year performance right now with conditions (increased spending) that should make him more competitive in the ACC. I am not thinking he should be compared with prior non supportive years. Just a new twist on this.

    I can be convinced that this thought process is wrong as I had a late night yesterday in Indy.

    Like

    1. He should be judged by his record period. Wanny had an A-hole for a boss and much more difficult circumstances. Yet he overcame. If you ask me, nardoozle has it easy right now. No excuses. This team is his. He owns it. 6 win seasons won’t make the cut. I’m concerned that his higher comp won’t be a good value for Pitt and I’ll be the first to call him a thief. Much like I call Pitt a thief for taking ACC money and placing 95 out of 120 some programs. 111 ranking on directors cup. Does Pitt have no shame?

      Tex

      Liked by 1 person

  61. Do you really give a crap about Pitt’s ranking in the Director’s Cup, whatever that is?

    I don’t. I want to see FB and Basketball (men’s and women’s) do well.

    Shame on me, but frankly I really don’t care about how the other sports perform…

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I do care
      The ACC cares
      And any good AD does.

      Yes football and basketball drive the money

      But the brand is about all sports

      What message does it send that we’ve had a baseball coach for over 20 years whose produced crap results.

      A loser in just one program can damage other programs and your brand. Heather gets this.

      If you want to build a winning culture, you start at your weakest link. Strengthen all programs. Hold all accountable.

      Seriously, I’d rather attend a well played game by our champion women’s volleyball team than watch nardoozle lose to Albany.

      BIG Tex

      Like

      1. You may rather watch the volleyball game, but unless you actually do, and pay for a ticket, it is a moot point because the the sports that put people in the seats and generate revenue are the “front porch” of the sports department . My counterargument is, make strides in FB and Basketball , generating more buzz for the school , and better players will want to come to Pitt in the other sports too, and help improve the Director’s Cup Ranking. H2P!

        Like

        1. Heathers point is that success in smaller programs can rub off on other programs. Build a winning culture and attitude in one sport and then another and soon it becomes contagious. Its often easier to start with these smaller programs. Basketball and football have been successful for brief stretches but it never filtered down to the other programs. Most of their buzz has been nationally bad (0-25 in acc play, 5 football coaches in 9 years). Hence you see the focus on accountability and push for new facilities for these non-revenue/Olympic sports. AD’s are responsible for the entire sports program. Heather is the first AD that truly understands it and is doing something.

          Like

  62. I think 4-5 wins and he could get fired or at least will be on a very hot seat
    6 wins is the expected
    7 would tell me he has some coaching stuff
    8 and more would be very surprising. Like the Pirates sweeping the brewers in a four game away series.
    I expect bowl eligibility and a bowl win
    And I’m sure Heather does as well
    Now on to desert

    big Tex

    Like

  63. What I expect?

    A well coached team that can find a way to win the close games
    A much improved defense
    The elimination of costly mistakes
    A marked improvement by the entire coaching staff
    A win over UNC

    What I hope for?

    8 regular season wins
    A win over either Notre Dame, psu and or UCF. Hopefully the win is over psu
    A bowl game and a bowl win
    For me to be pounding my chest a bunch of times this season like JoeK mentioned . . …. …. . …ike

    Like

  64. Just a random thought here. I’ll take Carter, the four star back any-day but that really won’t make me jump up and down for joy. PITT needs more premium players at other positions already. Then I think, where does PITT really need a four or five star player to play? WR? D-Line, O-line? Narduzzi has developed depth on the team. How good are they? We shall find out. iek

    Like

  65. Today Fran, my grand kids went home and I’m bored, so I’m fiddling around. It’s a weird thing. You want them here and then want them gone and then miss the hell out of them when they do.

    Like

  66. @ Ike – games are won and lost in the trenches for the most part. I would focus on that. The Rb’s with 4 star talent will be average to slightly above with a 2-3 star OL.

    Missing out on coach Johnson’s son was problematic, but those things can change.

    Like

  67. I agree Huff the third. That said, imo, PITT has some good young O-line talent recruited. My stance on the O-line is that these 3* kiddie’s need to bulk up, grow and mature. In my view, the difference between these so called 3* star players are when they are ready to play. It’s the maturity level they are at. It doesn’t mean they aren’t as good as 4 and 5* players necessarily. This where we see if the coach has the recruiting eye?

    Reed. I realize you have much bigger fish to fry right now with the problems you are experiencing in beautiful downtown Columbia Maryland, and sorry to hear that but wanted to let you know I miss your Sunday morning podcasts. There will be more to talk about in the coming weeks for sure. I’m ready for some PITT football, let’s get it on. Not me and you Reed, the football season…….. ike Great Sunday night song my wife loves. . … .. ike

    Like

  68. Pardon me, but in my opinion the Barnes 5 year Plan totally sucks. Any one of us could have sat down and wrote that plan in a couple of days. I didn’t see one unique idea in there (other than giving the students Fanta to stay until the end of a FB game! – totally unique, no one else would try it). I have a good idea: why don’t the Pitt coaches all get together and discuss recruiting? Really? This is a plan? This is actually a joke.

    I just read that there are hundreds of thousands of Pitt graduates across all 50 states and 100 countries. What is being done to creatively reach out to them and to get them to give money and maybe provide some services to the University? Could a Texas or California business person who is a Pitt grad do something to publicize Pitt in some way? Maybe run some free adds in their publications? Recruiting in Florida might be a little easier if there was some publicity down there. I think TX mentioned the billboards in Texas. Where are the billboards here?

    Like

    1. is common sense and AD 101 stuff; But at least Pitt put it out in public 2 years ago
      No mention of facilities but Heather is somewhat addressing with Victory Heights
      No mention of fundraising which I guess is part of alumni engagement but you need more than that for $50M dollar construction projects
      Moreover, little mention of creating fans at an early age and engaging the community
      Lastly, no mention of changing the culture and how to weave athletics into the university fabric
      Being successful and winning by itself can help change the culture but a specific plan is still needed

      Like

    1. AKA Herman Munster

      Summer workouts for the OLine include heavy lifting, footwork drills and P&J samiches before bedtime.

      Three straight home games to start the Pitt FB season. Pickett to Aaron Matthews for 10 TD’s, George “the Animal” Aston for 10 TD’s (rushing & receiving) and the TE from Arkansas will catch 9 TD’a and rush for one surprising TD.

      The talent is there – need OC Watson to make the connection.

      H2P!

      Liked by 2 people

  69. I agree with the author: 1-11 is what Pitt will end up at the end of the season. This Reed guy is one smart Pitt fan (never thought I would ever say that).

    Like

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