Submitted by Thomas Eicher (ike)

I just love this saying, I believe it’s a very important life lesson. It goes well with the “Keep your friends close but keep your enemies even closer” so as Jackie Gleason liked to say and here we go..

As we know, PITT will be traveling down to the rain soaked state of North Carolina to play the Tar-Heels coached by Larry Fedora. UNC plays their home games at Kenan Memorial Stadium in the heart of their campus at Chapel Hill NC, This is an old stadium built in 1926-1927. It holds somewhere around 51,000 people. Gee, this joint reminds me of another stadium I use to watch games in.

UNC has only played two games with this past weeks game being canceled against UCF and stand at 0-2. This is bad for two reasons. The most important being PITT coaches will miss a game film with UCF as well as UNC. Some think this also gave UNC more time to study and prepare for PITT, I don’t really buy into that too much.

About the team: I guess the big need to know is that UNC has had as many as 13 players suspended to start their season for selling shoes, nine of which will still be held out this weeks game. This includes their starting QB Chazz Surrat, I looked but couldn’t find if any other important starters remain out. Now I’m not sure about this but I think the starting QB Nathan Elliott was the QB for UNC last year which beat PITT. (remember Henderson’s fumble) So far, Elliott’s numbers don’t stand out. He’s 37-73, 356 yards with 1 TD and 4 picks. Not that great folks.

The starting RB looks to be Antonio Williams who has run for 143 yards on 23 carries. Again, that sounds like one good game but he’s played in two. Their leading receiver is Anthony Williams with 7 catches for 146 yards. Now it’s way too early to see much from these numbers but they are not eye poppers. (Editor: that is over 20 yards per catch and better than Pitt’s  leading receiver…pretty eyepopping to me)

On defense, UNC has their leading tackler from the past two years back and his numbers do pop out at you. Last year he had 93 tackles and the year before that…115. Cole Holcomb 6’1″ 235lbs. He looks to be a good one.

UNC played at California first game against the Golden Bears who look to have a decent team this year. UNC played a good game before losing 24-17 on their west coast trip. The Bears are now 3-0 so maybe that was a decent showing? They also lost to East Carolina 41-19, so hold on. So after just two games UNC is averaging 162 yards a game on the ground and 185 yards through the air. They are losing the time of possession battle 24.30 to the opponents 35.30. On offense UNC has averaged 348 yards a game to the opponents 395 yards per game.

Summary, this is a must win for PITT this coming Saturday. No if and’s or buts…. 

ike's pictures 045
The POVers at Famous Fran’s Penn State tailgate!
IMG951353001
Georgia Tech tailgate with the George Aston clan 

Just a reminder from Reed of what happens when the Pitt team gets cocky. If we remember last season Pitt was riding a two game win streak after beating Duke and Virginia when the Tarheels came to Heinz…

Lets be 3-1 when the whistle blows!

60 thoughts on “KNOW YOUR ENEMY………..North Carolina

  1. Thanks Eik! Enjoyed it very much.
    Also, watching that video of last years game made me break out into a cold sweat!!! That was a disaster, to say the least!

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  2. Good job, ike. You practice what you preach.

    (I won’t watch that video – too painful…)

    Even though UNC is wounded, I expect them to be fired up and I expect a nail-bitter…

    Go Pitt.

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  3. Great article, ike! Like fine wine, you never disappoint! (Notice I avoided saying aged wine). I think one of the most meaningful statistics you cite is that they are losing the time of possession. For some quick strike teams this may not be significant. But in this case it appears that Pitt should be able to run on them and control the ball. I’m looking for Pitt to control the ball and put up some decent scoring numbers in both halves.

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  4. Painful UNC factoid: UNC has set the school record for passing yards in 3 of the last 4 seasons.

    Unfortunately, Pitt has done more than it’s fair share to make this happen…

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Pitt needs to kick another team thats down. Last week it was Tech with a QB with a bad toe, missing leading rusher and best linebacker for 1st half. This week its 9 players and 2 are starters…QB and a DE that had 5.5 sacks last season. No excuses.

    Pitt needs to stop the run and establish the run.
    Team with the fewest turnovers wins and NC is turnover prone.
    Step up Pitt and dont pull a Steelers
    Pitt’s O should do fine…I’ll bring the coffee for the 2nd half.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Georgia Tech wasn’t down last week, that’s an exaggeration, they were missing their best RB, that’s it, they have a whole stable of excellent back and it’s all about their blocking and play-calling schemes anyway. Now NC is down, and if we lose to this team, even though it is expected to be close, then this will be a bad loss for Narduzzi.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Need some splash plays on defense to help beat the Tar Heels. That and not give up big plays to the Heels, which seems to happen far too many times in each contest versus these guys.

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  7. Hey, where has Mark (Upitt) been????? I’m worried he may have choked out on that monster cigar he was making love to! :>) Mark, you doing all right buddy?
    Jim

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  8. It’s really difficult to know how good or bad either of these two teams are so far. As Ike said – Cal is not a bad loss but East Carolina probably is. For Pitt, the manner in which we lost to PSU is bad and resilience and discipline the team showed in the win over GT is good.

    UNC has its share of really good athletes. UNC’s overall roster talent is probably better than ours based solely on recruiting stars. But, I think that Pitt will win this week in a close game and will show maturity and overall team improvement.

    I think that we will see a balanced attack from Pitt on offense, and a pass heavy attack from UNC until we (or if we can) shut it down some. And, I predict that UNC will get two or three big plays of 30+ yards. Still, Pitt will sustain enough drives to win.

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  9. Nice job Ike! Bring us home a winner POV attendees. I was able to have my tickets donated to be used by someone in NC. Had to set it up with the Pitt and NC ticket offices. Glad they will be used. H2P!

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  10. Rocky… IMO this is PITT’s #1 problem: for 3 consecutive years vs the Heels we did not finish. Currently, we have witnessed 3 straight games with zero output from the O.
    They have to play a full game.

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    1. BigB – I agree, Pitt has to play a full game. Key to that is adjustments. If we get a 21 point lead on UNC, then UNC will go pass heavy on us. We we adjust and play off the receiver in some sort of nickel formation? Or, will we stay in base 4-3, crowd the line of scrimmage to stop the run and give up big chunk plays? Finishing means adjusting. I think we will.

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  11. Annie.. you made someone happy down here in Carolina.

    We are going to try to get to Topsail Zisland to check on rental place tomorrow before heading to Raleigh.. got a tailgate to shop for…

    Pic of house.. to the left and behind the sandbagged house… took out about 40’ of Beach…

    IMG_6543.JPG

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  12. Give them a big dose of Ollison and Aston. Maybe Hall or Davis break one or two.

    Has Tipton been heard from since the INT? He was open and made a strong play to stop the INT but failed.

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  13. It’s a SMALL sample size, but based upon the numbers… even with MISSING Starters on Defense… North Carolina might just be good at stopping the RUN!

    That being the case… the first of coming weeks DEMANDING Pickett pick it up in the PASS Game!

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  14. Great to see Dintino get recognition, must feel pretty great after all those years on the bench. Good on him for sticking it out through the tough times.

    Taysir Mack was a real find, already our best receiver and only a redshirt sophomore. I think we are going to hear a lot of Pickett to Mack over the next two and 3/4 years.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. It strikes me that the issues surrounding this game realy bring out the optimist/pessimist in Pitt fans.

    They have not played in two weeks:
    Pessimist: no film to study, they have practiced to perfection
    Optimist: No better experience than game experience…and we have more. They come out rusty.

    The hurricane:
    Pessimist: They come out inspired
    Optimist: Meh. Not to underplay, bad things did happen…but this was not Katrina

    They historically have had Pitt’s number:
    Pessimist: Nards can’t beat them
    Optimist: We are due, Nards and last year’s players will inspire a sense of retribution for past losses especially last year.

    I think we win this one.

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  16. pitt 60,
    Pessimist: We haven’t played 4 quarters the whole year!
    Optimist: THIS is the game we play 4 quarters!!!
    LOL This is a blast! :>)

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  17. I am in a quandary here folks. Last week for the first time I can remember I picked against my beloved Panthers. Well I was wrong and glad of it. What to do, what to do? This could be Narduzzi’s biggest game since he arrived at PITT. The writing is on the wall and it is spelling out a PITT win. Do I take the chance to predict a PITT loss using my reverse psychology or do I play it straight and go with my feelings? I would love to be wrong all day if PITT wins this game. What to do, what to do? Just thinking out loud here. I guess I’ll ponder the issue and wait for the predictions article… ike

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  18. With a run heavy offense like GT, they are doomed if they get too far behind as they can’t manage the clock well enough. Teams with a balanced attack that are well coached can be effective in two minute type situations and end of game situations where they need multiple scores. UNC (like Pitt) feels like a team that will get better throughout the season. UNC has the capability to develop a dangerous deep threat. As others have said, Pitt needs to kick them while they are down with the suspensions etc.

    The best scenario is that Pitt jumps out to a solid early lead, makes adjustments and comes up with a couple of INTs as UNC attempts to throw the ball and make a comeback. But, who knows. Maybe it’s UNC who jumps out to a lead and Pitt that has to throw the ball… This will be an interesting game, no doubt.

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  19. Ike, I suggest you pick Pitt to win. Do you want to live with the stigma of picking them to lose if they win? Rather to be ridiculed for your unbridled optimism than to be horse whipped for gutless flip flopping and treason. Just my opinion… 🙂

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  20. Ike, thanks to you and many others for writing! For starters that is one horrendous logo you posted at the top, but you made up for it with some great POV tailgating photos! Speaking of ugly, check out today’s uniform reveal, I sure hope we make the switch over next year and we’re just sucking it up for one more year (if I had my way, I’d tweak the bright yellow on the throwback, but at least they’re still a big improvement over what we have). I noted the Upitt absence comments above, and my guess is he’s laying low until Fedora beats Narduzzi again, then he’ll make a showing- ha…

    It’s really hard for me to really gauge the team this year, part of it because we’re only 3 games in, with one game a fluke and the other just a game we couldn’t get up for despite the win, so I really only feel I have one true game assessment (the last one). But a few observations at least from my perspective: the defense will I think be very solid as expected, and the offense will be the weaker link as expected but not for the reasons expected. I thought the OL would be our biggest sore spot, and although not great, they really don’t look any wore than last year. More importantly this offense reminds me of the Chaney year, where we just seem to do different stuff with no real rhytm or identity. I’m not sure if that’s because Pickett is being brought along slowly/conservatively, or if play calling is weak, or if it’s due to some other factor.

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  21. Thanks to everyone and for 1618, The writing is mostly on me for the good or bad but Reed added the pictures which one I did send to him. But Reed gets all the credit for editing, adding to and making all of our entries look like Shakespeare wrote them. Thanks again Reed. iek

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  22. Oh and the dyno cat may have been Reed jagging me just a little bit…

    And I was reminded twice,, Jackie Gleason’s start to his show was “and away we go”

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  23. I figured you were going to like that Ike since you have always been a strong SP supporter.

    I think Pitt has to pass a lot better if we want to win against the stronger teams…but that isn’t NC. It will be fun to watch on Saturday.

    Narduzzi needs a personal coach to keep him from sounding like a fool sometimes….and to keep him from dumb penalty calls.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. I have refrained from picking any scores for the any game this season.

    I think this game will come right down to the wire.

    Pitt 28 NC 27

    I hope we get the win as it may be the last one we get all year.

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  25. I’m surprised no one has mentioned the really great series in the PG by Batko. It’s a 3 report series. The first laid out the entrance to the ACC and money. The second, the failure of the athletic program overall in ACC as opposed to the Big ?East. Showed us vsSyracuse and a couple other teams. Heathers reaction, coaching changes, etc. If you can get it, read it. It’s well done, and not a hatchet job. BTW, Batko is related somehow to Dan Marino. That may explain his coverage, which is pretty good overall. No, not very critical, but it’s at least better than before imo.

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  26. JoeKnew, I also read the first two parts with interest. They were a good analysis of the situation leading into and covering the first 5 years of ACC play. Where I thought it was somewhat deficient was in the analysis of the organizational and structural deficiencies that lead to such poor performance on the field. For example, it was pretty clear for sometime that the Big East was coming to an end as far as an all sports league, but there is no insight into why there wasn’t more planning for the future, or why they didn’t address the administrative and facilities changes that would be needed to compete in a P5 conference. The fact that nearly ALL 19 sports at Pitt (except for possibly BB) were mediocre at best going in says a lot about the management of the sports programs before Heather. Steve Pederson comes across as a victim rather that an incompetent fool.

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  27. ‘Toona J!? 28-27. Interesting. Can’t see it that close. I’m trusting that we’ll hit 30+. I worry we’ll give up some crap scores, though. 30 min of good D with 2 minutes of disaster

    I’ll have to mull on the score. We are certainly due.

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  28. VOR, ya, but I don’t know what the third installment will be about. It backs up statements with facts. Not guesses but real numbers, not cherry picked stats, but just the very, very, ugly numbers. I’m beginning to think they just stumbled into this. It’s pretty obvious long term strategic planning is not their strong point. “ Stumble along” should probably be the University’s new motto.
    I keep saying I’m stunned at the lack of planning, and I know Reed feels they just don’t care that much, but after recently attended a couple university functions, I wonder if they have a clue! And not just about athletics. Honestly, I don’t know why anything they do surprises me.

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  29. We probably need 6 Coastal wins to have a chance to get the title plus a bowl. A loss to UNC would put us in a big hole. This is a game we must win. Pitt 28 – UNC 21.

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  30. Sadly it feels like the only way we can score 34 is exactly how jrnpitt describes it…with some serious assistance from the defense (or special teams). I predicted 40 points last week and learned my lesson! But maybe Watson starts putting it all together soon…

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  31. Joe, I agree with you 100%. “Stumbling along” is a pretty good description. I’ve said all along that the Athletic Dept staff was substandard at best. Heather needs to clean house and bring in some professionals to upgrade all aspects of the dept (I still can’t find a decent Pitt T-shirt off campus 5 years into the ACC). We can all see how poorly they promote the Pitt teams and ticket sales. I’m guessing that the final part of the series will be about what Heather is doing to upgrade things.

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