You can find previous Upgrade, Downgrade or Draw articles on the 2018 team units here:

2018’s Quarterbacks

2018’s Linebackers

2018’s Defensive Backs

2018’s Defensive Ends

2018″s Wide Receivers

Here are all the FBS scheduled games for the 2018 season:

http://www.espn.com/college-football/schedule

97 thoughts on “POV Sunday Podcast; Aug 4th, 2018

    1. thats because you agree with him. 90% of commenters do not. i liked it as well. But I’m a realist or what some may call a pessimist. I like it that way. Give me a reason to believe in fairies and unicorns. Narduzzi has to prove to me that he can win with his own recruits.

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      1. Tex – No wonder whether someone is a pessimist or a optimist one has to see Reed’s points as damn near facts. Football has slipped bad and it must stop.

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  1. My wife had what they called cement discs with a couple of screws at the Frederick hospital. I had to help her a lot for the first few days but slowly but surely she improved. It took weeks before returning to maybe 95%. The thing is do not rush it. Good luck Reed.

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  2. This will be my last comment- I am self-imposing a 5 week commenting ban (to the joy of some of you). But let me leave with this..

    We offered an OL who’s High School is so close to WVU that a Hoopie girl could hit it with her chaw-spit. And not only did he not have a WVU offer– he had NO offers.

    I know, I know. He’s another of Narduzzi’s “hidden gems.” There was even a post that said, “When you don’t need them right away, you can take chances.” Don’t need them right away? We were 5-7 last year. And the OL was atrocious. We recruited a Kent St. grad transfer. When do we need them to play- 2020??

    And for the last time..

    More 4-stars are productive than 2-stars (and even 3-stars). Obviously, recruiting is not an exact science and you can cherry pick all the individuals you want to prove whatever silliness you choose. But, if you can’t acknowledge that the success percentage of 4&5-star recruits is higher than that of 2&3- star recruits, than you are mentally deficient. And that’s actually the most ‘respectful’way I can say it.

    Using your sideways logic, NFL teams should consistently target running backs from Jackson State over those from UCLA because Walter Payton is in the Hall of Fame and the best running back from UCLA is Maurice Jones-Drew.

    It’s absolute insanity.

    I hear Pitt’s got 7 spits to fill. I’m hearing we’re targeting NO star/NO offer kids from Columbus, State College, Blacksburg and Chapel Hill to join the NO star/NO offer kid from Morgantown.

    Michigan had the Fab Five. Pitt has the “Narduzzi’s No Stars.”

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Of course statistically a 4* is more likely to be a successful collegiate football player than a 2*. All Optimistos know that. Every one of them. So why keep making the straw man argument that the Optimistos don’t? The question is: Can Pitt (not PN) recruit higher rated athletes? Maybe it can if it had a different coach. Maybe it can if it had any coach other than PN. But maybe it can’t. The WPIAL is not what it used to be and PSU is back and for a thousand reasons better situated to out recruit PItt. There’s the Ketchup Bowl. There’s friggen’ PSUers on Pitt’s B of T for goodness sake. I could go on and on. This is not to say PN is not part of the problem though I am not saying he is. From my perch it seems to me that PN was enormously perceptive recognizing early on that success wasn’t going to happen if Pitt relied on its geographics to build its program. You think PN is dumb? I’m hardly convinced of that. And for you guys who think he is a dislikeable misanthrope because of the private inside information that you know about but don’t articulate on the POV concerning this or that, hey I like the guy and I think a lot of football people do too. Do I have proof? No more than you articulate to the contrary.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Nice job Reed laying out what many of know is an obvious issue with the team, lack of real talent. I will remain optimistic and hope for an improved effort this year, especially given a true X-factor at QB.

    The objective truth however is that unfortunately there remains little to no evidence that our current head coach is capable of getting the team to a Top-25 level. Between coaching hires, lack of high level recruiting, engagement with local HS coaches, lack of rapport with the fan base, and an inability thus far to manage a bowl win, it just reeks of SOP.

    I give credit to him for the big wins but have my own doubts that will continue. Besides, I want a Pitt team where we expect to win the big games instead of hoping we don’t lose to the Albany’s of the world. We just are not on that path.

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    1. Because he is a very stubborn coach. That’s the best way I can put it.

      Word out of camp last year was the DiNucci outplayed Max Brown but because PN had Brown transfer in he stuck with him.

      Narduzzi loves ‘experience’ as we’ll see this year with two rsSRs in Herndon and Dintino. Your question is spot on and I think the answer is the PN is very much afraid of rookie mistakes so keeps them on the bench.

      Either that or the OL he has recuited are just not D1 level players…which maybe the case.

      All this makes me wonder how much any Coordinator or position coach can make their own decisions.

      We had PN announce Wirginis would start months ago without having given Rob Harley a chance to have camp competition at MLB.

      Now apparently PN has announced the starters on the OL …does the new OL coach Borbely have any say in the matter?

      Camp is supposed to be the unit players working very closely with the Position Coach so that after 3 weeks the coach can tell the coordinator and the HC who his best players are. But that has seemed to have been short circuited lately at Pitt.

      Keep an eye on the DBs… I wouldn’t be surprised if PN wants the SR Briggs to start the sesson. And from what I gather that would be based on experience and not respective talent levels.

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      1. DiNucci was not a D1 QB, but I don’t doubt that he may have looked better than Browne in practice. I’ve always wondered about the Palko vs Flacco competition, where one was probably promised the job and the other, lesser know player, was the better QB. I suspect this kind of things happens more often than we know, not saying that was the case with Palko/Flacco, and both were good QB’s, but again, since Flacco was better post-college, I’ve always wondered…

        And as I said earlier, no way Briggs is starting safety caliber, but I do fully expect him to start, so I agree with this projection as well. I hope I’m wrong.

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  4. Well stated on the podcast Reed. I do think that you may have misrepresented the rb’s just a little bit. We do have three 4 star rb’s in the stable. Unfortunately, when you have 4 star rb’s running behind 2 star OL, you can’t expect them to be great players, you just can’t.

    I think Davis saw most of his carries on 3rd and short or 4th and short, so his yards per carry is low. Not apologizing for his performance, I just think that our rb stable is getting a raw deal running behind a bunch of 2 stars and walkons, sorry! Hall is a straight on runner, no vision, no swervin and curvin.

    Glad you mentioned what I wrote this last week. The two OL evidently did great at Pitt camps. My point in my writing was exactly what you said today. They performed well in Pitt camp. What everyone failed to realize is that in the camps, most of the kids are not even 2 stars and some are three stars.

    “He’s a hoopie”, all time great comment on Nick Malone. OMG Reed you made me almost wet my pants I laughed so hard.

    Pitt will face 8-9 in the box and Picket will struggle if the line performs like we all think they will perform. We have no field stretchers!! It’s all about the trenches on both sides of the ball. Couldn’t listen to the full podcast as work got in the way…..just a few things happening in my neck of the woods!

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  5. Nice Podcast – very informative and thanks for pointing me to Peake’s podcast from Friday. He spoke a lot about the depth on D and how two things have to happen for Pitt to have a good to great season – the D and KP have to be the best Pitt has had in the past six years.

    Jay91 & Lastrow – I have a friend coming into town on August 17th to golf – either or both of you available? I have to qualify one thing, he graduated from psux – that may be a deal breaker for some…

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  6. Boy just another underwhelming recruit, it also looks like duzz is having trouble recruiting a venue for his coaches show since Richie cupka kicked his ass to the curb. Treat people like jag offs and that is what you get

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  7. Reed: “Narduzzi loves ‘experience’ as we’ll see this year with two rsSRs in Herndon and Dintino. Your question is spot on and I think the answer is the PN is very much afraid of rookie mistakes so keeps them on the bench.”

    Exactly! This may be his downfall. No way Herndon and DIntino should start. If they do, next year you replace the entire OL except center. He has to through in a RSFR or RSSO as a starter this year.

    Are we specualting PN is overriding his position coaches or do we know that is fact?

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    1. Both Drake & Warren were rated as 4* OL recruits by ESPN (3* Rivals). Both should see plenty of playing time, if not start at some point this season.

      Bryce Hargrove is another athletically talented OL-man who should see much playing time as well.

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  8. Great podcast Reed. You always do a great job.

    Rick, reread the article and I can see the time and effort you put into it Again Great job.

    Hey we still have the TE’s, DT’s and O-Line to go, next man up to help Reed? ike

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  9. Bright side for those who are not Duzz fans (or realists or Negativos)
    Urban gets fired,
    the team tanks this year as predicted by some
    Lyke fires Duzz
    Urban hired
    10 wins and @ least 5 5 stars by 2020

    The path to success is clear…

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    1. Pitt would never hire Suburban Urban. They learned their lesson after Haywood. Just like they never
      considered Tressel for AD. Pitt should have hire Justin Fuente. Need someone with the letter J

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  10. The last time there was this much pessimism going into a season, I had to go on my “10 wins is the expectation” rant for the entire camp and Pitt ended up winning 8 games in Duzz’s first year.

    Please, don’t make me do that again … for your sake and mine. Lol.

    Jay91 – Taking a 5 week hiatus is probably good for a Pitt man’s soul. I look forward to when you come back.

    We’ll know this season, what we have. Duzz’s recruiting will either be exposed or celebrated … but, it’s pointless debating it beforehand. Some posters will be justified. Some will be mocked.

    BTW, 10 games is still the bar I hold. Pitt hears from me every offseason, in writing, that until they win 10 games the season will be considered a disappointment on at least some level. I also accept that building a program is not an overnight fix. Especially a program like Pitt.

    I like the defense. I’m not as worried about the offensive line as the majority of you. I see experience and depth but I understand the reservations based on last year and that there are some unknowns.

    Historically, in college football, if you have a playmaking QB and a good defense you’re in pretty good shape.

    One thing that is not debatable is that the angry fan is starting to overwhelm the content fan. To me this indicates that Duzz is on the hot seat, regardless of what is said publicly. Once you lose the fans, you’re a deadman walking. He probably has to win at least 6 games to come back, unless there are some mitigating circumstances.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Pitt’s not going to buy out his extension, so soon after buying out Otis’s misguided contract. Dog is here for the foreseeable future. The other Pitt blogs, like Rivals and such aren’t nearly as negative.

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  11. The Nard Dog must have a deal with The Commander to keep feeding him, reasons why…..he can’t recruit top talent. Fess up Reed ! 🙂

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  12. tossing, I don’t believe you have to wait until this year or next year to comment on how good or bad his recruiting is.

    As I’ve said many times every other head coach we’ve had in recent memory has had somebody break out in his first or second year when they recruited them. This has not happened with Narduzzi’s recruiting yet. Not once, not one of his kids have played anything like Star Play.

    And that’s really disturbing because what we’re looking at them is a bunch of kids that are average ball players and hoping, keeping our fingers crossed, that one or two of them might break out in their junior or senior year. That is very, very rare to have happen

    Liked by 1 person

    1. How about Stone Hands turning into a pretty good WR. That would be Jester. And Ejuan Price did nothing till his 5th year. Lopes did pretty well his Junior Year. Peterman didn’t do anything till his Junior Year. Orndoff, one of your favs didn’t do much till his senior year. I’ll stop cause I could list probably dozens more 🙂

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      1. Emel is correct. PN’s philosophy was/is to redshirt as many of his recruits as he could. They don’t see first action until RSSO in many cases.

        You have to give him credit for the guys he did not recruit that his staff developed, which is many starters this year. That is why this year is the ‘show me’ year. Many of his recruited RS players are going to play this year.

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  13. In print, Duzz acts Like Ox Enright was just a great Pitt guy who happened to want to move on. In fact Duzz has a mean streak and bullied OX. that’s fact not opinion from someone who saw them interact everyday. Yes duzz can be a prick IF HE WINS. If we get more of the same then we are justified in hammering him. Reed was right about this 2 yeas ago.

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      1. That’s typical of you.. You don’t like what people say so you attack them, accuse them of lying and call them names.

        Ox was bullied for three years. That is a fact, and has been confirmed by reporters from the PG and Trib, as well as a number of players and staff. Narduzzi is not welcome at Cupka’s. That is also a fact.

        Like Narduzzi or not, those points are not in dispute.

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  14. Good recruiting article by Chris Peak. However, his bottom line is that as long as specific positions are filled the class should be okay. He doesn’t really address the possibility, even likelihood, that many of the unrated recruits will never see the field and will transfer out or will leave the program. Kids that play early, tend to stay and improve the most. Even if they leave for the NFL, it is hard to say that playing them early was a mistake. Recruiting a kid who the staff knows will not be ready for 3-4 years leads to a certain loyalty to play them (such as Herndon and Dintino) as Srs. even if there are better players in a younger class. Peak’s bottom line comes down to viewing through the rose colored glasses of hoping that PN and staff know what they are doing with these unranked recruits. We shall see.

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    1. You have to remember Peak has subscriptions to sell. When things are on a down tick, its not good for his business. Or when the head coach locks everything down and no information gets out.

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    1. Peak is a homer much like dokish. Great we fill positions of need with two and three star kids. It will take 4 years for them to get on the field. Pitt needs impact players now. Great we like a hoopie who also went to the hoopie and butgers camps. They didn’t make offers but Pitt did. We’re taking a Wvcc reject. A canadien that has never faced competition. And some other camp guy that has offers from holy cross. And peak thinks pitt will clean up with a 4 star flurry in the end. Talk about being optimistic.

      Tex

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  15. Hey here is my take on the great Tx.. he’s gone but we shall see…

    “If you love something, let it go. If it returns, it’s yours; if it doesn’t, it wasn’t. If you love someone, set them free. If they come back they’re yours; if they don’t they never were”.

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    1. Darth Narduzzi now has complete control over the program and his goal is to destroy all hope by recruiting two stars, transfers and playing 5th year seniors. But a small band of rebels have stolen plans that could lead to the destruction of the Dog Star.

      Tex

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  16. Hey Mark, I think that whisky you’re sipping down there comes from that muddy Rio Grande. You need to get yourself out on the la grange

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  17. Reed – We’ll just have to agree to disagree. I’m taking your advice 🙂

    My counterargument is below, if you’re interested. I understand if you’re not. Recruiting is obviously a divisive topic.

    4 and 5 stars start immediately. You 100% need some and Pitt has 4 stars starting on both offense and defense currently. I believe you need 4 stars at RB and WR on offense. LB and Safety on Defense. For the most part, Pitt is doing fine … in my opinion. WR needs some work but I wouldn’t be surprised with better QB play if a couple of kids break out. That’s another story, however.

    Back to my argument …

    The programs that have success with 3 stars like Michigan State and Wisconsin focus on redshirting and not moving most kids into the starting lineups until they are redshirt juniors and seniors. Depth is provided by redshirt sophomores and freshmen. This establishes leadership, continuity, experience and commitment to the scheme.

    Duzz has played some kids sooner than he’d like … Usually the 4 stars … but he’s also been able to redshirt most of his previous classes. Pitt’s O-line, a position of concern, has 4 redshirt seniors and a returning starter at Center.

    This season and especially next season, Pitt will be playing very experienced lineups. Most of this year’s class, because Duzz has redshirted so many kids, will not be needed for 3 to 4 years.

    All this is my opinion and how I make sense of how the roster is being built.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I agree with everything you said TT.

      One concern with that method is the OL for two reasons.
      1. Almost every other position it is easier to get younger guys some reps. Substituting on the OL with a RSFR or RSSO can get your QB killed. Pitt doesn’t have blowout games to get younger guys reps.
      2. By not playing a RSSO or RSFR on the line this year. Pitt will be replacing the entire OL except center next year with zero experience. A year when KP should be really good. I would rather Pitt replace Herndon and Dintino with younger guys. Bite the bullet now.

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  18. Hey TT, it makes sense to me brother. This is the process. What I have been saying all along. Narduzzi is going to be here for at least the next two years. Even though it looks like he’s trying to screw that up at times. Hopefully a few of Narduzzi’s boys step forward this year and they get to a bowl game and WIN IT! Next year is the 10 win or better year… ike

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  19. I sure hope Narduzzi knows something we don’t know about these recruits. But we’ve been there before. Time to move on to Fall camp for now.

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  20. ike and Emel – I don’t necessarily believe Duzz will be here for the next two years. Heather has shown that she’s willing to pay buyouts. The breaking point appears to be fan engagement. If the fans tune the program out because of the head coach, the coach will be shown the door. I think Duzz, unfortunately, is on the fringe of that right now. A poor season, in my opinion, would probably tip the scale towards a possible exit. It would have to be a really bad season though … less than 6 wins. I see 9 winnable games on the schedule so if he can’t win 6 of those I’ll be as disappointed as anyone.

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  21. NRS – Most of the replacements next season will be Redshirt Juniors and I think that you’ll see some of them rotated in for experience all year long. No way 5 guys play every snap this season. I also think Duzz probably has one more year of using grad-transfers to round out the line. Not having any recruits on O-line his first class really is hurting now. That was a casualty of a coaching change, not Duzz’s fault.

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  22. Concern with Dintino and Herndon starting is how much game experience do they have? Yes – they are 5th year seniors but how experienced are they in live game action??

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  23. Anon – Both have about the same experience that you’d expect for first time starters. Both have game experience. Both also are getting a full offseason of practice knowing that they’ll be the starters.

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  24. The Non-con is working against the Dog Star. Too bad he didn’t have Paulie’s Non-con.
    Gardner-DelWebb, Fiu and the Little Sisters of the Poor would be better than Penn State, Okie State and Notre Dame.

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  25. TT I know Narduzzi may be in the dog house down there but I don’t think they get rid of him with a first year starting QB with a big upside. I believe and I could be very wrong will be given next year. Also. Anything less than a six win season would be trouble for PITT but not disastrous sans a 3 or 4 win season..

    I’m just saying this and take it for what it’s worth people. I hear the coaches are liking the O-Line coming together. We shall see. ike

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    1. I would be curious where you are hearing this Ike and in what context. Remember Duzz was higher on the OL and then the spring game happened. We shall see when the games happen to see where they are at.

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  26. I am not overly concerned with Dintino and Herndon. My concern is with the tackles. Bookser has not played the position and the other guy is coming from Kent St. Will they be able to stop the rush and protect KP.

    Herndon and Dintino are full grown men at this point who should be able to open some running lanes and slow down a pass rush. It is finally their turn.

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  27. I think the coaches have to be optimistic about OL but I really don’t think they have that much of a clue until games start. It seemed that Duzz was optimistic about the OL until the spring game and then changed his tune. We shall see – but I would be curious in what context and from who you are hearing about the OL.

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  28. The good news is that KP can move unlike Brown or DiNucci. This is a big help to the O-line.

    I expect a lot of three step drops and quick passes, also roll outs and options.

    The big thing is to get the running game going. With Hall, Ollison,and Aston, it looks to be a power running game, with a few jet sweeps to Ffrench and possibly Ford.

    Unless Sallahuddin wows them in camp.

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  29. I think the big question is do they take the risk and make KP a big part of the running game?

    I suppose it depends on how the back up looks in camp.

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  30. It goes a little beyond the coaches but of course they may be buying into what the coaches are saying yet this is the word going about that it’s not the big question mark that some make it out to be. A good meshing is one phrase I heard. Like I said. Take that for what it is worth because I sure as heck fire haven’t seen them practice. These words come from privileged people who attend practice once in a while.

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  31. As far as KP running. They may not have many called plays for him to run the ball but I think he will have the options to do so if the play is there for him to take. I understand he had that very option all 4 downs last year with the VT game and didn’t take it. Interestingly he did the next week against Miami.

    I tell you all with complete confidence the Kenny wasn’t reliable enough the first part of last season. He was still fitting into college life and like most players it was difficult for him. The coaches had to give the majority of the snaps to the two QB’s they knew would be available. Everyone knew how good he was… Look for some great things in the next few years. oh and no, I don’t think he leaves early. ike

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  32. Regarding the oline, it’s not that important if Nard picks the starters at the beginning of the season. He’s shown a propensity to reward rs seniors for sticking around for their time at Pitt. See Dintino and Herndon, like he did with Briggs last year. The important thing is he does not interfere if Coach Borbs sees that one or both are not getting the job done and wants to change his starting lineup. Then that would be a problem.

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  33. Ike – Not getting to a bowl game in year 4 would be a disaster in the minds of a lot of people. Me included. He’s had his 3 year pass. It’s game time, now.

    gc – It’s the OC’s job to protect the O-line. Plays better be designed with the O-line’s strength’s in mind.

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  34. I find it hard to take anyone with the signature of anonymous serious. All you have to do is type in a word where it says name. Put in Lipshitz or Jack Mehoff or something but for goodness sake, don’t hide like a small abused child… ike

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  35. Are you day drinking Upitt?

    That was a negative and positive prediction all rolled into one. Never thought you would ever think a kid that bounced around would work out in any way. LOL

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  36. When was the last time western pa had such a miniscule percentage of 4 and and 5 stars, yet the coach was still able to bring a bunch in?

    If someone could enlighten us about when that happened I for one would love to read about it.

    Secondly, how many conference championships have we won in the last 30 years? What have other coaches given us Pitt fans over that time?

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  37. Not much talk yet about the RBs in camp. I wonder if they all arrived in good shape (including Ollison). If they need to break Salahuddin’s redshirt then we are in for a major disappointment this year. When one considers the large number of bowls available such that only a 6-6 record is needed, if Pitt misses a bowl for the second consecutive year, I think Narduzzi is gone. How could PN possibly recruit a better class or increase attendance at that point?

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    1. @Voice – they won’t need to break it. New rule this year allows all incoming freshman to play in 4 games max without burning a redshirt. For this reason, I would give all the freshman a taste of P5. The 4 games do not have to be the first 4 games if I recall correctly.

      All the other schools scheduled easier to allow their promises to recruits of early playing time, to be true. We will probably not be able to afford such a strategy, although I am all for it, especially if we are blowing out a team or being blown out. Would need to make sure that you are not putting a star player in peril by allowing a true frosh to protect the qb or something similar.

      Liked by 1 person

  38. Hey VOR, If PITT misses out on a bowl game maybe they should let Pickett go as well. After-all he guaranteed PITT wouldn’t just win 5 games this year. Put your eggs in the Pickett basket buddy.

    BTW, the answer to your question is indeed Pickett. That’s how PITT will market the team moving forward with a strong returning defense. Just watch . . . . . …ike

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  39. Nice writeup on Gonglaves the recent OL recruit from Long Island on PSN. The boo birds of course will let us all know that it was only his HS coach that was talking him up to PSN.

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  40. UPitt — sorry to read about your back trouble. Hope the problem goes away with some stretching / physical therapy…

    I’m disappointed in the sound of our OL recruits — but I think it’s real tough to recruit to Pitt right now when there are a lot of other options…

    Go Pitt.

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  41. Thanks for the clarification, Huff. I didn’t say it well, but what I meant was if they have to RELY on him for this year Pitt is in trouble. Pickett could be a rising star, ike, and I sure hope he is. But they need more than a QB, they need to protect him and actually count on the running game for 60% of the offense. Even 6-6 with a low bowl game this year would make the fans restless, but would probably get Narduzzi another year to produce.

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  42. VOR, if you want to feel down about PITT football read the POV…. If you want other info go on Pitt Live Wire and listen to the interviews that people will tell you it’s propaganda. I would link Idowu’s interview but not sure if that’s cool or not. Look for it….

    Liked by 1 person

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