POV Sunday Podcast; Pitt Loss to UCF 45-14

POV Sunday Podcast; Pitt Loss to UCF 45-14

GAME STATS

ucf stats 45

 

Pitt v UCF stats

DRIVE CHARTucf drive chartINDIVIDUAL STATS

Week 5 team stats

NATIONAL RANKINGS

Pitt Season 1

 

14 = Lower 25%

11 = Mid 50%

0= Upper 25%

“I’m not worried about the points, I’m worried about the losses,” Narduzzi said, adding that he believes UCF will again go unbeaten and finish in the top 10. “They all count as either a win or a loss in the column. The points don’t matter to me. Matter of fact, last week was harder than this week.”

Given that special teams provided all the points while the result was still in question, go ahead and take your pick for biggest letdown by the two-touchdown underdog visitors in their miserable first half.

Running game? A whopping 36 yards. Passing game? That would be 78, but with a back-breaking interception. Penalties? Pitt struggled on the discipline front yet again, getting flagged eight times for 92 yards in the first 30 minutes, helping out a UCF team that needed none of it as it tries to replicate last year’s undefeated season. The final tally was 11 penalties for 125.

1ST Q

 

Pitt vs UCF Game Thread; 9/29/18

Pitt vs UCF Game Thread; 9/29/18

We all laid down our predictions in Friday’s Prediction Thread and now it’s  game time.  Here is some info to have on hand while you watch the match starting at 3:30 on ESPNU.

This is Pitt’s site with the info on all the games.  Here are Pitt’s offensive stats.  Here are Pitt’s defensive stats.

Here is the two-deep and here are the Game Notes for Pitt in this game.  This is apparently only the Three WR Set two-deep, you know Aston will be in there for the running plays:

Pitt UCF 2 deep

Here are the future opponents we face. Everyone has a winning record but Wake Forest.

Future opponents

Have at it….

Pitt’s New Master Plan

Pitt’s New Master Plan
I just read a well researched and succinctly written review of the University of Pittsburgh’s new “Master Plan” for its main Oakland campus.
It was written and posted by a Pitt alumni who goes by the screen name “Paco”.
Paco posted the below on Rivals.com message board titled Between Fifth and Forbes.
This is so very impressive and because I agree with everything he has not only said in this piece, but also with his ideas and opinions about Pitt as a whole, I’ll  reprint it for a larger audience.
I responded to his post on Rivals by suggesting he both submit his ideas directly to the Chancellor’s  Officer but also start a petition concerning saving the historically significant buildings that should and must remain extant to continue to tell Pitt’s glorious history via the architecture built in its early days.

Thank you Paco!

So there are some MAJOR changes and I have some BIG concerns about historically significant buildings, but also some exciting things. But these plans are also very vague. Except for the “Innovation District stuff, they also detail zero additional land acquisitions (which is probably a smart thing).

Below are the major changes that I see. The first three are very troubling.

Absolutely idiotic if true:

  • The 1884 Richardsonian Romanesque Music Building by Longfellow, Alden & Harlow, the oldest structure on Pitt’s campus, looks like it is to be replaced. This is the former William Jacob Holland house, a renown zoologist and former Chancellor of the university, and the original studio for WQED and Mr. Rogers’. A Schenley Farms Historic District Contributing Property, this is simply an unacceptable, contemptible loss. Hopefully they are just building around it (they have the entire parking lot there to build on). Build around it, or even get rid of the 1950s addition, fine, but hopefully this gets nominated for historic protective status or the city’s historic review commission blocks it. Just so stupid.
  • The O’Hara Student Center, formerly the Concordia Club, looks like it is being torn down. This is a 1913 Romanesque Revival building by Charles Bickel and is also a Schenley Farms Historic District Contributing Property and an absolutely unacceptable loss. Just 7 years ago Pitt put a lot of money and care into the restoration and preservation of the interior of the building, which contains chandeliered ball rooms and beautiful deep oak paneling. A giant WTF to the planners on this one and hopefully the city never lets this get touched. Historic societies need to draw up the nominations for protective status.
  • In the same horrendous destruction plan along O’Hara St, the Gardner Steel Conference Center also looks slated for destruction. This 1911 early modernist Kiehnel and Elliot structure features Art Deco detailing. It was originally the Central Turnverein, a German-American club, that also served as a venue for Pitt athletics and a dental school clinic during the university’s early days in Oakland. It is also Schenley Farms Historic District Contributing Property and absolutely asinine to destroy. I know for a fact that the city planning commission blocked the alteration of an entrance on this building because it detracted from its historic integrity too much, so I can’t imagine they’d let any of these three buildings come down. The interior of this one could be gutted, as could the Music Building, but the exteriors shouldn’t be touched. Whoever signed off on a plan to remove these three historic buildings is a flat out idiot.
  • Concept sketches show no attempt to preserve the facade of the former Allegheny Public Health building on Forbes. The building shouldbe demolished, but the facade needs to be preserved and incorporated into the new structure. A major shortsighted architectural loss.

Not sure (will have to see final product):

  • Bouquet Gardens townhouse buildings all look to demolished and replaced by dorm style buildings. The current plot also seems to be sliced through by an extension of Roberto Clemente Dr. If that is open to vehicular traffic, that is a big mistake. Pitt does not need to create more of a grid. Not sure if I like this plan. Bouquet Gardens is nicely done area of campus if you ever walk through it. I can see replacing the townhouse units, but not sure about these large dorms structures are the right way to go about it.
  • For the “Innovation District”, it looks like they are targeting the entire block that McDonald’s, Dave & Andy’s, Fuel & Fuddle, and the Garage Door/former Decade sit on. Also the half block of the former IGA/Attic and Loeffler Building. If they were smart, they’d preserve some of the facades of these buildings. A lot, if not all of the character of Forbes will be lost if they don’t. Unfortunately, I don’t think they are that smart.
  • New building going up between Hillman and the Barco Law Building. This has been long planned. Will be interesting to see the design here as it is going to be in the midst of a brutalist paradise. This has to be done carefully and designed to complement the existing architecture while not being beholden to it. In general, they do need to put something here, but IMO the design is going to be tricky and it is such a central part of campus, it could easily be botched.
  • Expansions of Posvar (taking out the Bouquet side plaza). This, again, could destroy the exiting architecture grouping and may result in a much more grided, less campus feel because you are losing the set back there along Bouquet which helps transition into Bouquet Gardens and the residential neighborhood. This expansion, along with the new dorm complexes, I fear will in no way soften the urban grid feeling.
  • The 1965 Tasso Katselas designed Information Science Building. A brutalist structure, it is also one of the more interesting modern buildings on campus. The ground floor was already significantly altered. I think they’ll eventually regret getting rid of this one. I’m not sure if you truly need to replace this, so it better be replaced by something architecturally significant.

Not ideal, but necessary:

  • Learning Research and Development Center is bulldozed to make way for a new student rec center (the O’Hara St parking garage is also lost). The LRDC was an award winning building by Harrison & Abramovitz and is one of Pitt’s only interesting modern buildings. This is a moderate, but acceptable loss. A new student rec center is much needed.
  • Falk Clinic, which is actually a Pitt building, looks to be lost and replaced. Falk Clinic is actual a 1931 Edward Purcell Mellon building. It’s original style and facade was largely obliterated by a modernist glass addition to the Forbes Ave entrance. Because of that, it is not much of a loss.
  • Redesign, but not closure of Bigelow Blvd: this goes with their zero acquisition of new properties theme in their presentation but not pushing for a full closure is a failure. Slowly squeezing it is closed may be the way to proceed.

Applause:

  • The Space Research & Coordination Center, a 1965 monstrosity that obliterated the classical facade of the main entrance of Thaw Hall, looks to be coming down. A new building appears to replace it on the parking lot. It looks like, and I really hope that, Thaw’s facade could be restored. Great move if so.
  • Two buildings are going up on the former Syria Mosque site, too long a surface parking lot. Long overdue. Nice to see they’re incorporating a quad feature. The design of these buildings is critical. Hopefully they don’t skimp and make some lasting, signature buildings that complement the campus.
  • The Center Oakland Apartments and Oakwood Apartments are demoed and replaced by dorm like structures. Also a building is placed on the Sennot Square parking lot. These changes are all long overdue as the existing apartment buildings were worn and dated, but I can see substantial push back from community residents. Also the student micro farm on Oakland is lost, which is not unexpected and never meant to be permanent, but I imagine that will cause some students to raise a stink.
  • New housing (likely in the style of Irvis and Panther Halls) going up on the former site of the Mineral Industries Building/original dental school. About time.
  • Crabtree Hall (which is an annex to the Public Health building) is being demoed and rebuilt as tower. This is a good idea and replacement of that building is long overdue and its surface lot has been an eyesore on that corner.
  • New building going on the former Burger King site/current parking lot across Bouquet from the Towers. This has long been planned and way overdue.
  • New building on the PNC Bank site on Fifth and Craig. Long overdue.
  • Previously known expansions of Scaife Hall and WPIC are shown. Victoria also getting an addition.
  • The plaza around the Towers looks like it will get a major rennovation/rebuild.
  • Lothrop Hall looks like it will be demolished and rebuilt.
  • Forbes Hall looks like it is targeted for demolishing and rebuilding as an Innovation District building
  • Looks like chunks of Montefiore Hospital along 5th are targeted to come down.
  • Salk Hall Pavilion (the 1967 annex in front of the landmark hospital, but thankfully not the historic hospital building) looks to be redone.
  • Frick Fine Arts Building annex: this has long been in the works, overdue, and needed, so I’ll assume they build something complementary to FFA and not something that ruins or detracts from it.

Athletics (I see no problem with any of these):

  • Most of Trees Hall (except for the pool which looks to get an addition, probably a diving well) is bulldozed and replace by an indoor facility with an apparent glass covering. It looks like its front lawn is lost.
  • Major development on the OC lot
  • Fitzgerald Field House is bulldozed and rebuilt as flex support space with a quad.
  • Expansions to the Pete and and PSC.

Pitt vs UCF Predictions Thread; 2018

Pitt vs UCF Predictions Thread; 2018

Pitt and the UCF Knights square off late Saturday afternoon, 3:30pm exactly, down In hot and humid Spectrum Stadium in Orlando, FL.

Not too many writers are choosing Pitt to win this match. So, do we Pitt fans think we can pull out what will be a suprise upset?  If so let us know why in some detail.

If you think Pitt won’t win this tough game then let us why about that also. In other words enlighten us with your football wisdom!

Here’s my take. I’ve felt since fall camp that our defense wasn’t going to be as good as the propagandists on the coaching staff wanted us to think. Not with the LBs we field and Briggs and Motley in as DB starters.  With that I figure UCF is going to pretty much score at will against us. I won’t be surprised if they have 27 or 30 points at halftime.

They will strike fast and often because we won’t be able to change our defenses to match their hurry-up offense. They stay in formation and snap the ball between 12 and 15 seconds.

Our OL will not get any better at pass protection and since I think we’ll be playing catch-up ball, especially in the 2nd half where a good passing game is needed to quickly close a bigger scoring gap, its unlikely that that part of the offense will be able to do what it takes to win.

We’ll  run well in the first half but UCF will adjust at halftime and, as said above, we’ll need to abandon it to make quick scores and save clock time in the 4th quarter. So I think the Pitt running game will look good statistically butit won’t have much impact in the final score.

This is the game we’ll see Pickett throw more INTs than TDs.  UCF gives up yards passing but they are 4th in the nation in Opponent’s QBs’ Passing Efficiency Ratings holding them to an average 91.19 rating which is very low. In other words that 91.19 rating would put the opposing team at 128th nationally… very telling what.  They will harrass and disrupt our young QB and impact our passing.

UCF 48 – Pitt 21

Give us your take on the game!

 

Know the Enemy; UCF Knights 2018

Know the Enemy;  UCF Knights 2018

Saturday we face off against the  University of Central Florida’s Knights football team in an out-of-conference game and will be trying to get back above water in the win column.  Currently we are 2-2 and will be facing a very good team in their house.  The Knights are coached by new hire Josh Heupel (after going 13-0 under Scott Frost and being screwed out of the playoffs by the pollsters).

Even though they are in Football Bowl Subdivision’s American Athletic Conference (AAC) with what remains of the old Big East teams we Pitt people should never look down our noses at that – after all they have been regularly beating the teams we use to lose to.  The fact that they aren’t a Power Five team means nothing when it comes to the quality of football they play.

For instance this season the beat UCONN 56-7; last year they beat Maryland B10’s 38-10 then ended their season with wins over #22 USF (49-42) then #16 Memphis (62-55) and in the Peach Bowl handled the SEC’s #7 ranked Auburn 34-27.

They have had six 10 win seasons over the past 10 years and here is what UCF has done over their last five seasons:

UCF history.PNG

Everyone knows UCF can score tons of points – at present they are averaging 50.0 ppg in their three wins to open the season.   These are their offensive rankings:

ucf o2

Read that and weep thinking about how poor our defense has been against the big pass plays. Add to that these guys rush the ball as well as anyone in the country and there is nervous-making in abundance.  Offensively UCF is just about the best team in the country.

Their two major weapons are SR QB McKenzie Milton’s great grasp of the QB position in their hurry-up offense and his ability to accurately put the pass onto his receivers in every route pattern, including the deep ball.

Milton PassYou can see that his yards per attempt is a very good 8.7 but what jumps out is his yards per completion at 13.5 and his Passing efficiency of 160.1.  Remember how well Peterman played for us in 2016?  Well, his QB rating was 160 also.

The other weapon is RB Adrian Killins who is a workhorse at carrying the ball for them.  His numbers aren’t as gaudy as some others have but he plays on a team that is a pass-first offense. Last season he averaged 6.5 ypc on 122 attempts. Here is what he’s done so far:ADBut Killins isn’t the only running threat – QB Milton can motor also.  Take a look at what he’s done with his legs over the last two season (’17 and now ’18):Mk2He’s averaging 6.4 ypc and that isn’t just a scramble or two – he’s carried the ball 23 times in three games – they have the QB keeper in their offensive game plan just like we do.  Compare that to what our QB Kenny Pickett has done so far with his feet and you’ll see Milton is a real and dangerous threat. Here are Pickett’s rushing stats:

KP rushNow, where our kids may be able to take advantage in this matchup is twofold – UCF’s offense isn’t out on the field all that much where they are almost dead last in D1 with only 24:51 minutes time of possession.  Of course, that means they score so quickly they get it done and the “O” goes back and sits on the bench to flirt with their Dance team.  But… it also means that our defensive players will be fresher in the 2nd half of the game.  For what that is worth given our weird 2nd half play so far.

 

All that info is so impressive college football fans tend to overlook what they do on the other side of the ball – which isn’t so eye-opening.  Here’s what I mean.

Below are UCF’s defensive stats – notice something that I think it vitally important on a defense – the ability to make their opponents QBs passing game less efficient.  They basically lead the country in that also…along with not allowing opposing QBs many yards passing. We certainly should be able to run on that defense and if we can sustain long time-consuming drives we may have a chance at a win.

ucf d2

I think that’s our only real shot at winning this one. Here’s a look at the Knights’ head to head statistics with their three opponents so far.

UCF Team Stats

The fact that they are currently holding teams to 17.7 points scares me because our offense has truly sucked against D1 teams.  Even with the 33 points against an FCS team – with zero in the 2nd half we are scoring 24.5 ppg which puts us at 102nd (out of 129 teams) and is darn low.

But against other D1 teams we are scoring only 21.6 ppg  Here that is again:

Total Offense – 101st @ 61.0 ppg

Rushing Offense – 35th @ 212.3 ypg

Passing Offense – 117th @ 148.8 ypg

Scoring Offense – 102nd @ 24.5 ppg and against D1 teams 21.6 ppg

Rushing well will help us but 22 points is not going to win the game for us on Saturday.  Here are the odds as of today – we are getting 13.5 points and that sounds low to me.

odds

We’ll run the Game Predictions thread on Friday but my gut take – especially after researching all of the above – is that we are going to have our asses handed to us on a silver platter.

Let’s Predict Our Remaining Wins!

Let’s Predict Our Remaining Wins!

I think we all know we’re not going to end up the season with only two wins on the year. I’m not sure how many more we’re going to get than that but I do believe we are going to get more.

Let’s look at the schedule and you Pitt fans tell us how many games you think we’re going to win and who the wins will be against in your comments.

As we know so far we are 2-2 with wins against mighty Albany (33-7) and against Georgia Technical College (24-19).

On the other hand we lost a squeaker to arch rival Penn State 51-6 then stormed Chapel Hill and allowed a crippled by suspension North Carolina team to come from behind and beat us 38 to 35.

Is your stomach upset yet?

Well, our next five opponents are a combined 18-1 on the season.  OK then!

Here’s the full schedule with what happened and some info about the upcoming opponents.  Name the wins…

For a bit of early season help here are the current ACC standings and info after Week 4…

ACC Standings

OK – here are my future wins.  During this last offseason I looked at the Pitt football program, the team and the coaching staff from every angle I could think of, really researched what I could and wrote about what I found.  I came away unimpressed and unconvinced that we would get back to the seven or eight win level of Narduzzi’s first two years.  I pretty much felt the same way at the same point in time last preseason also and so predicted a five win season (with a ceiling of six)  – but that was mostly because I felt the QB position was going to be major hindrance.

This season I feel better about the QB situation but worse about the overall talent level of the two-deep.  I’ve never felt Pitt’s coach staff – from the head coach on down – was good enough to scheme and game plan to mask deficiencies in talent on-field.  That is showing up big time so far this year.

This preseason I again predicted five wins but after watching our kids play their first four games I’m going to have to (for the sake of this particular article) revise downward.  Here who I think we can beat.

Win #3:  Virginia in Virginia.  Currently they are 3-1 and have beaten both Louisville and FSU.  In any past season that would be pretty eye-opening but not this year. Both those teams stink.  They also lost to a rather poor Indiana team so I’m giving our Panthers a shot at taking that match.

v sked

Win #4: Wake Forest at Wake Forest.  So far in 2018 this team hasn’t been real impressive beating Tulane and Towson.  They played a very good Boston College team to a 41-34 loss then got soundly trounced by Notre Dame. I think we can go down there and come out with a “W”.

WF Sked

I’m scrambling around trying to find a fifth win somewhere but can’t put my finger on one at this point.  Perhaps we’ll pull an upset somewhere down the line and that would be good.  But the way this team has played so far I’m hard pressed to feel good about figuring another win out.  When we lost to North Carolina the way we did – allowing a team that was heavily impacted by suspensions with a 2nd string QB who had done virtually nothing in his career up to last Saturday (except beat us with a decent game last year) – that was the handwriting on the wall for me.

I could be wrong with this – I often am, but isn’t that the beauty of college ball?  You never know what you’ll get week to week.

How do you see the rest of the year playing out and against who do we put a “W” in the win column after the game?

 

 

 

A Deep Look at Stats and What Others Are Saying…

A Deep Look at Stats and What Others Are Saying…

Before I get into all that you should listen to Chris Peaks’ podcast of this morning.  Here is the link:

https://pittsburgh.rivals.com/news/podcast-what-s-next-for-pitt-after-losing-to-unc-

Here is the telling points Chris makes about Pat Narduzzi’s won / loss records (Ike, you may want to avert your eyes at this point).

Since he’s been the Pitt head coach Narduzzi’s W/L record is now 23-19.

Against FBS teams it is 19-19

Against Power 5 teams it is 16-18. In 2017 it was 3-7. So far this year it is 1-2.

Narduzzi has won a total of five of his last 15 Power 5 matches for a winning percentage in that time period of 33.33%.

He’s 0-2 in bowls game and didn’t get selected his third season.  OK Ike, you can start reading again. 

Forgive me if I am not shocked by this but as much as I liked those wins over Penn State, Clemson and Miami, especially the PSU win, it’s his losses that tell the story of his time here

So, Pitt’s loss to North Carolina opened up some eyes among both the local and national media.  here’s some different takes on what happened and what might be in store.

The Post-Gazette’s Brian Batko hits the nail on the head with this:

Wondering about Pitt’s weekly preparation and whether the players are focused enough to be disciplined for a full game seems to be fair, at this point, and the biggest question is how much of that falls on coach Pat Narduzzi. Coaches coach and players play, of course, but after taking 14 penalties in that prime-time rout Sept. 8, Pitt was much cleaner in the Georgia Tech win, with just four. The Panthers were sailing smoothly again Saturday, going flag-free until midway through the second quarter when a personal foul on defense gifted a first down to the Tar Heels, who scored on the next play.

Continue reading “A Deep Look at Stats and What Others Are Saying…”