OK folks – I screwed up the recording so you’ll have to listen to two of them instead of one long one.  Disappointing loss on Saturday and a hard road to hoe or the rest of the season for Pat Narduzzi and our kids out there. Let’s hope things turn around and fast but I think the handwriting is on the wall for another down season.

It’s just like potty-training a dog,” Narduzzi said. “He might not get it the first time. He’s still going to pee on the floor, but sooner or later, he’s going to go take that dog outside and get it to go to the bathroom where it’s supposed to, period.”

Yikes – and that’s him talking about his own players.  Kenny Pickett weighs in with this nugget in his post-game interview:

“I can’t see what’s going on,” Pickett said of the sacks he took, “all I know is I’m getting rushed. I’m just trying to get away. I’ll have to watch the film, then we’ll see what happened.”

Here is a quick look at our loss yesterday.

Here’s what we have in front of us for the next three weeks – #16 UCF who is giving up only 157 yards passing per game (14th nationally) while gaining 587 ypg (5th nationally) and scoring 50.0 points per game.

Syracuse is #13 in the country in offensive production with 523 ypg and 49.5 ppg.

Then we get a small break with Notre Dame who is not so effective on offense scoring only 31.5 ppg but their defense is top shelf in allowing only 19.3ppg.

Of course those are all Week 4 numbers and will change as more games are played. Here are the current standings and records of the ACC as of tonight.

ACC Standings Week 4

As far as the Good, the Bad and the Ugly goes I’m tapped out with Pitt football right now so how about you all letting us know what you felt happened in those three areas in you comments?

Thanks all and let’s hope we see some improvement in coaching and on-field play before the wheels completely come off the Pitt football bus.

 

 

169 thoughts on “POV Sunday Podcast & MMQB; NC Loss 38-35

  1. Good: The RB’s. Once again a pretty good game.

    Bad: Giving up 20 on 3rd and 17.
    Bad2: Dropping an easy pick 6 that would have given Pitt a 14 point lead going into half time and probably would have been the end of UNC.
    Bad3: Special teams. Coaches always give lip service to this, but Narduzzi actually gives no service. Punters in the WPIAL are better, it is really a problem. And you need an onside kick but instead kick it out of bounds? And Ffrench Ffumbling? That pretty much turned the game around.

    Ugly: Officiating. Almost like the 13-9 WVU game levels of bad. How do you miss a blatant holding call on the UNC touchdown? At one point in the 3rd, Pitt had 5 penalties and UNC had 0.
    Ugly2: Losing 6 in a row to UNC. And being their only P5 victories in almost 2 years. It’s almost spooky how one program can so dominate us. Not even Penn State or ND had that much success.
    Ugly3: Wirginis and Briggs taking terrible angles and terrible coverage. If this is the best we’ve got, we are in trouble.
    Ugl4: The scores that Syracuse, UCF & ND put up against this defense. They may hit 200.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The Pitt bus hit a big ole pot hole and blew out a tire.

    As they were changing the blown tire, they noticed the three other tires were flat. So they called for another bus and left the broken down bus on the side of the road.

    When they came back the next day to tow it to the shop, it was gone.

    That’s the Pitt football program for you.

    Tex

    Like

  3. The Good:

    We’re one game closer to the end of yet another disappointing season.
    Ollison ran hard.

    The Bad:

    Everything about the defense.
    Losing 6 straight to a very mediocre program.

    The Ugly:

    Narduzzi throwing everyone under the bus except himself.
    Heather’s extension of Narduzzi
    The thought of going through yet another coaching change
    Having to listen to the talking heads at the Alumni homecoming tent tell us how committed the University is to the football program.
    The thought that I’m beginning to accept the fact that Pitt might NEVER be any good again within my lifetime.

    SantaCruzer

    Like

  4. After all the “I’m the better Pitt fan” comments after yesterday’s loss, I need to share where I AM PERSONALLY at on this issue: I’ve taken 1 vow, before God, in my life “….for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, til death do we part….” AND that was to my wife over 41 years ago.
    I’m sorry, but personally I have not and will not make this kind of vow to a football team! Yes, I am a big Pitt fan, BUT I am not married to Pitt – My vow is to my wife and no one else. SO, if you believe you are a “real” or “better” fan than me and many other Pitt fans so be it! I will continue to root for my team AND also call them out when necessary if they are stinking up the joint. That is my prerogative as a fan, And I ask that you please accept my level of fandom. Thank you.

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  5. Where is our second half play? Why do we screw the clutch plays? Why are we the gang that can not shoot straight?? Getting outcoached , preparation and recruiting. etc, It’s all been said here already. No D no O line and poor special teams!!! In business this would warrant replacing the CEO. Hate to say but other problem is our brand may be irreparably damaged therefore no good new coach available and inability to recruit. All I know is I have now given in to my pre season fears 3/9 probably or 4/8 maybe this year at best. Yeah, tell me about University commitment when you can’t even win the gimmies. I now know I will probably never see Pitt football resurgence being 80 yrs of age. They have screwed the poch tooooo long ‘

    Like

    1. Ike – Pitt is a great place. The atletics dept is still a mess. Some improvements but no clue how these assistants she has hired will do as Head Coaches.

      The Pitt problem was Stallings and it got fixed and is Narduzzi. It is time to fix that problem. Heather extended him and that is on her and her lack of being a big-time A.D. Time for someone to take ownership and cut the cancer out. I know plenty of god men that are coaches and who exube confidence not arrogance. Don’t you want to give Pitt the best chance to win?

      Analogy time.

      Pat’s recruiting is like buying skirt steak, rotten potatoes, 5 week old corn and expecting it to taste like Filet Mignon at Eddie V’s. The cook can’t cook and can’t buy proper ingredients. But yeah he screams he is the greatest Chef and gonna win awards or in his case we are gonna be in the ACC Championship.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. The more I watch this team, HCPN defensive scheme does not work against team from the ACC or other P5 teams that employee the fast paced passing offense, If he’s going to succeed here, he needs to change his defense, or he should ne fired.

    Like

    1. Should have seen the warning signs in 2014: Oregon, Ohio State and Baylor scorched his defenses.

      His schemes are archaic and he refuses to change. Stubborn coaches are the worst.

      Like

  7. The defensive scheme needs a radical change. Immediately if not sooner. It has to be scheme. Athletes are there to be better than this. Elliott looked all ACC. Wife open. Our of position. Good God change up.

    Like

  8. Narduzzi demands accountability but doesnt hold himself accountable.

    What’s sad is that the coach in the middle of the state, who I truly cant stand, has addressed the media after a loss and said something like “My guys werent ready – this falls at my feet ”

    We’re never gonna hear that are we?

    Like

  9. If this season goes down the tubes I would think a change may/could be in order but not suggested. btw, 2-2 is not down the tubes just yet. The schedule does look formidable though.

    is it me or does it seem like Reed just doesn’t like Pat Narduzzi? I kid I kid, I know he does NOT!! I get it, he really isn’t all that much to like. PN that is… . .

    How do you hire a FCS coach on the cheap and expect him to hire really good asst coaches? That is not a good plan. Who wants to buy into that?

    Make Partridge the next head coach and maybe you can convince a couple good asst coaches to come on board?

    Like

    1. Gotta hire a bigtime name. If they are willing to spend on basketball then football should only cost another 500k to get a stud. 4M should get a proven winner. Screw FCS. Get a HC that is a winner and young and energetic.

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      1. We had a big time OC and let him walk. Now the school paid off Stallings, soon Narduzzi for both sucking but we let a productive assistant in Canada walk? How about paying people who actually produce? What a novel concept.

        The Pitt way I guess.

        Like

      2. It has to be bigger than a big name.
        It has to be Kiffin. The program needs to be seen.
        Kiffin generates news.
        Football comes second at this time because the program is dead.
        Kiffin can bring back some life and then hopefully start to win.

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  10. My 2 -5 start was based on us losing to PSU, GT, UNC, UCF and ND and wins over Albany and Cuse. I felt this team was just not ready for this kind of schedule and KP would still be learning. We won the GT game because GT is not up to their standard. Hopefully as the schedule lightens up and KP becomes what we hope he will be, we will learn enough to challenge for the Coastal. Otherwise …

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  11. Never Partridge. That would be a major mistake. Problem is it would take a boatload of bucks to get anyone decent to take over this dumpster fire. BUT, I do believe it’s come to the point that high school coaches, parents, and recruits do not like/trust the Duzz. I think the reports we’ve heard are true, and that will never get better. It’s just how many classes go down the tubes before he’s replaced. BUT, does anyone have faith they can get a hire correct. You’d think the law of averages would finally be in our favor after so many swings and misses. Then I think of how very lucky we were that Heather whiffed on her first choice for the b-ball job. Oh well, Stumble Along.

    Like

    1. Have you seen what schools we’ve been losing recruits to lately? Narduzzi’s recruiting is dead…gone…kaput…toast. And I mean from this point forward, not looking back.

      Like

  12. Good: Not a lot to choose from, but the team is resilient and reasonably good at run blocking considering there is virtually no passing threat to take the pressure off.

    Bad: The abysmal pass defense.

    Ugly: The refusal to adopt a style that can mitigate the impact of Pitt’s underwhelming recruiting. As others have noted, unless you recruit like a top 25 team or excel in developing linemen, you need to be more inventive than the traditional pro style offense with an occasional jet sweep mixed in.

    Also, if you are going to play old-school ball control football, you need to augment it with strong special teams. Between the fumbles and short punts, Pitt probably gave up 150 yards on special teams exchanges. This team isn’t built to overcome that. Get even average special teams play and they win this game.

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  13. Good—they scored 35 points!
    Bad—LB’s were out to lunch
    Ugly—Pass defense is an absolute abomination

    Time to get on the Lane Train, Heather PLEASE take a long weekend in Boca soon!!

    Like

  14. Good… tailgates with friends. Good running game against a very bad Carolina team.

    Bad… Kenny is a gamer but not living up to the hype.

    Ugly… I keep going back to Kenan for a beat down…90% of us had PITT winning this week and losing last week.. ha ha.. smart bunch that we are.

    I predict we lose the next 3…maybe enter into the Dave Hart/Carl DePasquale zone before we see the Promised Land!

    Like

    1. UPitt nails it when he says two years and a LOT of money would have been saved had the “Homer writers” just listened (i.e. read the Blather and POV).

      Personally, I would have saved them FOUR years. Narduzzi was EASY to see through. Not Head Coaching Material. Barely Coordinator Material.

      There’s a reason why someone spends their entire Coaching Career as an Assistant. This was something I posted more than once back when Narduzzi was rumored to be “first in line” for the Pitt job.

      Gallagher and Juhl should have HUNG up the phone when Narduzzi called begging for an interview.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Pitt will be the underdog in all their remaining games.

    This season ends 2-9.

    Shortly thereafter Narduzzi is let go. Heather hires an Offensive Minded, EXPERIENCED, HEAD COACH, and provides him with enough money to hire a PROVEN, EXPERIENCED DC.

    Probably dreamland, but why not?

    Like

  16. People have complained many times about Pitt letting Canada walk … I know I’ve heard that we simply wouldn’t offer the salary that LSU offered, but has anyone thought that Canada wanted out of Pitt, no matter how much money was thrown his way but Pitt?

    Like

  17. We avg’d 5 yds a pass completion. This is why we can’t run in the 2nd half of games. There is no Vertical threat to stretch the Defense.

    I’m thinking Pickett does not have much of an arm. Which would explain why his best offer, other than Pitt, was Temple.

    We’ve seen this oh so often before, you can tell who can wing it and who can’t. Boy George to the rescue 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  18. The Good: Freshman running back looked decent. Quick and at least knew to cut upfield on jet sweep. The Oline is better than expected( still pretty bad, but expected worse)

    The Bad: My attitude toward Pitt football. It disgusts me to be like this, but it just drives me nuts.

    The Ugly: Pitt football. Beware, a perfect storm is brewing, and hard times are ahead. A win or two will have some excited, but will change nothing in the long run, just delay the inevitable. My mood reflects today’s weather.

    This situation has to be hard on the administration. Those who know sports,( and some do) are in a bind. Even in the days of Dave Hart and Carl DePasqua Pitt landed solid local talent. Now, the little talent won’t give us the time of day, and I have little faith this staff can recognize those under the radar kids who can excel. All the capital wasted on kids like Jeter. He was a stiff in HS and they treated him like a king. I honestly and sincerely question their ability to evaluate talent, let alone sign it. Stumble Along.

    Like

  19. Good:
    The Running Game.
    Taysir Mack Circus Catches. (Kenny needs to throw it up to him more and let him make a play.
    Offensive Play Calling in the first half (Tailored to our strengths and correctly anticipated how UNC would play us defensively).
    A brief period of time at the end of the 2nd half where we actually looked like we knew how to play defense.

    Bad:
    Dropped INT’s
    Kenny’s mental mistakes (yes this is only game 4 and yes he’s on the road. He’ll learn but it’s frustrating)
    Nonexistent Pass Rush

    Ugly:
    Special teams play all around
    Dumb Penalties that can be avoided
    Pass Coverage
    Pat’s 7 year extension also looking pretty ugly right now.

    I agree boys we are in for a long season.

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  20. ECU only has 1 win…a rout of the Tarholes(41-19). They got beat by NC A& T (yes really, that is like Pitt losing to Duquesne) and USF beat them on SAT. They were 3-9 last year.

    Even their bad QB who is avg’g 5 yds per completion for the season, avg’d 10 against the Holes.

    Like

  21. I’d love to see a pass chart where they show the number of attempts and completions for different parts of the field (short left, short middle, short right, deep left, deep middle, deep right). Pickett doesn’t go much over the middle … I think he had a ball or two batted down over the middle against Albany, one getting picked off.

    Like

  22. Pitt’s punter is avg’g 35 yards per punt, many of them line drives. With a sieve of a defense you can not afford short fields.

    Surely these is someone with 150 HS’s in and around Pittsburgh who can punt farther than that !

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Reed,
    I am in total agreement with you I can’t even watch Narduzzi anymore. His antics have worn thin on me. I still had hope until last year played out the way it did. He routinely mismanages timeouts formations, and personnel. Salahuddin should be playing etc. Recruiting is terrible. The list keeps pulling up. I was bursting with laughter the whole time I listened to the podcast. This program has become a comedy. I do not see another win on the schedule.

    Like

  24. The Good:
    The offense is better than expected, Ollison and Hall contributed mightily.
    KP picks up third downs with his legs and finally had a nice down field throw.
    Mack had another good game with one great catch. Ffrench made some plays.

    The Bad:
    The defense had no answer all day, worse game since Syracuse two years ago.
    No pass rush, runs up the middle, runs outside, receivers wide open, missed tackles, the d-line getting manhandled.
    You name it, could not have been worse.
    Inept special teams, even though Ffrench got away with it no one should run out of the endzone, ever ever ever. Awful punting.
    Lopes has disappeared.

    The Ugly:
    Wirginis totally losing his man on two touchdown plays.
    KP giving up two long sacks, giving up field position, especially with our punting. Throw the ball away, you are not Fran Tarkenton.
    Loss of all momentum and anything positive moving forward.
    The lack of any big defensive plays in critical situations.
    Our entire defensive coaching staff should be flogged.
    We just lost to the worst team on our schedule(Albany don’t count) and we are still playing the toughest schedule in the land.

    How bad would it be if we didn’t have such a defensive Guru for our coach? snark

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  25. I started this year with enthusiasm and was hoping for a great year for the team but I believe Narduzzi should be shown the door. He’s been here 4 years and the defensive breakdowns are mind boggling. If the kids can’t cover man to man then change the scheme! I think good coaches adjust to their personnel instead trying to shoehorn a round peg in a square hole. Imagine if he was flexible in his schemes when the offense was prolific in his first 2 years. Imagine a 9 or 10 win season. The recruiting would have taken off. Unfortunately he wasn’t flexible and his recruiting has been subpar. It’s time for a change.

    Like

  26. I read the PSN article last night. Well written and a good point. Pitt is not any better now than they were four years ago. That is a fact, which means PN is not doing a good job.

    I don’t see PN getting fired. However, I think he should be forced to fire the DC and give up any control he has over the defensive scheme. It is a joke. Make him hire a new DC with a different scheme.

    There is enough talent on this team for them to be at least an average defense. The coaching is just terrible.

    Like

    1. Just read the article and agree with it. PITT is in neutral or go backwards. If PSN is writing this you know the seat must be getting hot!

      Like

  27. @Reed. Its 2018, next season is 2019. Your out of touch with reality if you think any coach worth his salt is taking a ACC HC job for 1.5. Its not happening.

    Thanks for doing the podcast.

    Like

  28. Was at the game and not much for replays at Kenan but Kenny doesn’t appear to be very accurate on medium and longer routes…my Carolina buddy Greg, who QB’d in HS played at Appalachia State for a year before transferring to Carolina on was practice meat for a year, commented l when we were leaving the stadium the PITT QB was a “gamer” but not a very accurate passer…Looked like he missed several open receivers watching it live.

    Like

  29. If Narduzzi is potty training his dog and it goes to the bathroom in his house instead of going outside, does Bates or someone else have to clean it up? I don’t think Ox is a possibility.

    Just the fact that he brought this up the way he did, if his bosses are even paying attention, they are not happy.

    Narduzzi throwing previous assistants under the bus. Now, he’s throwing the players under the bus. Whoa Narduzzi, what comes around goes around.

    Pat “its never my fault” Narduzzi

    Like

  30. Stallings came in during the Herman debacle and tho he did coach em up, was regarded as a decent human being.
    Nardo has been arrogant, demeaning and obstinate to the point of lunacy.
    We are significantly worse than we were three plus years ago.
    I will be shocked if he is screaming along our sidelines next year.

    Like

  31. Pitt made the USAToday misery index:

    “Pittsburgh: The textbook example of how not to be an athletic director was authored last December by Heather Lyke when she gave Pat Narduzzi a seven-year contract for reasons that remain largely unknown. At that point, Lyke was relatively new to the program. Narduzzi was coming off a third year in which the Panthers struggled to a 5-7 record and failed to make a bowl game. Even at the peak of his tenure, the Panthers were an 8-5 team that could occasionally upset someone (like Clemson in 2016). Last fall, his name wasn’t coming up in any coaching searches, meaning Narduzzi had no apparent leverage. So why the long extension? “There’s just a confidence that you know that you have the right leader and he’s gonna build it the right way,” Lyke told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, “and you’re doing it together.” They’re also going to suffer the oncoming apathy together because Pitt isn’t very good, the fans know Pitt isn’t very good (they knew it long before Saturday’s 38-35 loss to North Carolina), and as much as they want Narduzzi to be on the hot seat, he’s not going anywhere because of that contract he signed just nine months ago. Meanwhile, North Carolina is 2-9 in its last 11 ACC games with both wins against Pitt.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That last sentence tells the state of the team perfectly.

      We have beaten a FCS team and a 1-3 GT team so far.

      We got our assets completely and utterly handed to us by an arch rival on prime time TV…then we lost to a poor and personnel crippled (9 starters suspended) 0-2 NC team with a 2nd string QB making his first start and made him look like Dan Marino out there.

      Oh Vey indeed.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Pitt can always eat his contract. Will lost revenues (tickets sales, donations, licensing) be more than the buyout? Most likely not, but why allow the program to stagnate for another year or two. Recruiting will become more difficult and the Pitt brand will be tarnished further. Pitt will have a harder time winning back fans. Why dig a bigger hole if you dont have to.

      Lyke was wrong in extending him as the article mentioned above. However, Narduzzi was doing things right by keeping players out of trouble, having them go to class, obtaining good GPA’s and running a clean program. Thats how a Compliance person thinks.

      Narduzzi is failing in other critical aspects such as recruiting, player development and winning on the field.

      Pitt fans will be even more miserable if Narduzzi is allowed to continue coaching. Find the money for the buyout and begin the search for a new coach.

      I would recommend consultants that know football. Heather has never played the game or coached the game. You really need some people who know what to look for and has connections.

      I think the general criteria should be:
      a proven head coach…not assistant
      someone who can run a modern offensive scheme
      someone who is familiar with the ACC footprint
      someone who understands the importance of recruiting and player development and can excel at it
      someone receptive to bringing in staff outside his circle of friends

      Like

  32. Anyone know how much it is for Nard’s buyout and how much to buy out those awful pants/jersey combos from the athletic department? I’m starting to think the lousy uniform combos are done on purpose just to show us, the fans, that our opinion doesn’t matter….just like Nard Dawg running this same perpetually awful defense and refusing to change just to show us, our opinion doesn’t matter.

    Like

  33. I didn’t mean limit the HC search to only FCS candidates, I think a successful smaller school D1 HC would be good also. But we have to pay less than 3.5M to save $$ for really good coordinators and staff coaches.

    Anyone can recruit better than PN because of the way he has burnt bridges with local WPA high schools and his negative reputation elsewhere.

    gc – 21.9 points against D1 opponents is not a “better offense” than we expected. At least not to most Pitt fans and media. I expected it to be down this year because of poor pass protection and Watson’s poor playcalling and non-adjustments at halftime and that is what is killing us.

    My point about the TEs not being part of the passing game speaks volumes about how bad the OL is in pass protection. Watson has to cut out what should be a very effective weapon on offense because of it. Opponent’s LBs can drop back into coverage when they don’t have to worry about covering the TEs on pass routes.

    Yes, its gotten to the point that I activly dislike the HC because of his antics on the sideline and his constant deflection of blame. It isn’t enough to one week say “It’s my fault” then two weeks later after a horrible loss pull out a notebook and read off all the plays the kids screwed up on before he does anything else at the press conference. His job is to put them in the best position to succeed and he’s not doing that.

    And yes again, I don’t believe he’s very intelligent. Otherwise he’d be able to look in the mirror and admit his many mistakes but apparently he can’t do even that. I firmly believe good and honest leadership is the most important role American adults have in this day and age and he’s not providing it to a large group of young adults who by virture of their talents and earned scholarships will be in the position to be effective leaders in the future.

    Call me old school or idealistic but I’ve seen the best of the best leaders in action, have tried to replicate that in my own career, and believe in it with all my heart.

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    1. He hung Dane Jackson out to dry in his post game comments. If he doesn’t believe in the kid then play Ford. Live with some mistakes but more athleticisms.

      Like

    2. Maybe you expected more than me. I expected the offense to be worse than it is and I expected the defense to be better than it is. To me the fact that we have a decent running game is a surprise. KP is just about what I expected, maybe a little better. I expected a lot more three and outs by both the offense and the defense. Both have had fewer than I expected. Good on the O bad on the D.

      Like

  34. good: Taysir Mack being eligible. Kid is a gamer.

    Bad: Narduzzi. He is a career assistant. I thought Chryst was a bad speaker. Narduzzi is worse. The potty training story? Who thought during the interview that this guy is a head coach? More “you knows” than the entire Steeler locker room post game. And throwing people under the bus, sideline demeanor….there is nothing about him that screams head coach.

    Ugly: Officiating. nothing more to say about it. Won’t go there and say it cost the game but it sure didn’t help.

    PS. I fully expect Pitt to win the week against UCF. Bank on it. UCF is due for a letdown and these seem to be the games Narduzzi wins (i.e. when not expected). It will then fill us with false hope and Cuse will lay 60 on us.

    Johnny C.

    Like

  35. Nothing wrong with PN’s press conference. Again, he was answering reporter questions and his evaluation is correct.

    Tackling sucked, players clearly out of position, stupid penalties, etc. and he said it was his job to get it fixed.

    The problem is, it is the same issues over and over again that are not getting fixed. The scheme blows and the coaching is not good.

    Liked by 1 person

  36. Some names already being FLOATED as possible Narduzzi replacements.

    Here’s one to consider… and a very CONTROVERSIAL one at that.

    Hugh Freeze. He’s available.

    Well, do you want to WIN Football Games? A WHOLE LOT of them?

    Probably a tad bit early, but the name “HUGH” certainly has a ring to it when it comes to anything Pitt Football.

    Grounds for an interesting future discussion.

    Like

  37. ^^ There you go NRS, loving Narduzzi again. I swear I watch and listen to his press conferences and I just don’t see all the fuss about them. He answers questions period. I can separate what he says and what he does as far as coaching goes these are two entirely different aspects of the man.

    I do have to say though. This loss is particularly hard to get over. It was as darn near to a must win as it could have been. I keep wondering in this thick head of mine why? Well two things. It was a winnable game and two, UCF looming ahead. << This is not good. (I’m hitting post comment as I have to go, I’ll pick up later.)

    Like

  38. Anson Whaley over at Cardiac Hill echoes some things I’ve been stressing on here the last two years…

    “Last year was when things started to go south in the minds of many, but you actually have to go back to the end of the 2016 campaign for the beginning of Pitt’s problems.

    Pitt had just wrapped up a successful regular season defeating both rival Penn State and eventual national champion Clemson. The Panthers went 8-4 and had, by their account, a really nice year. They then went into the Pinstripe Bowl where they faced a Northwestern team that could be beaten. That game was supposed to help propel Pitt into 2017 and really give them a bit of momentum as they likely would have been ranked with a win. The Panthers, though, were defeated in the bowl game. No rankings, no buzz. I still maintain that Pitt had a good year that season but that Northwestern game really put a damper on things.”

    and then:

    “Making a bowl game is really sort of a bare minimum for a team like Pitt. The Panthers aren’t going to compete for national championships but really what most fans want is just some level of respectability. And while we can debate the meaningfulness of a garbage bowl, at least in going 6-6, you’ve avoided a dumpster fire. Pitt couldn’t do that and you really had a bad season.”

    Pitt fans who don’t think bowl games matter – first getting into them then winning them – are just plain wrong.

    Like

    1. I got ridiculed for saying that after the Northwestern Game. It was a big loss to the program if ever it was to recruit higher profile kids. That ship has sailed and recruiting continues its downward spiral.

      Salahuddin, first true freshman to see the field with three carries in the fourth game.

      Like

  39. Please allow me to defend Pickett. Who knows how strong his arm is? How good his decision making is? He takes a snap and immediately has 1 or 2 players in his face! Circa Bert Reynolds in the first half of The Longest Yard! Morrison leaks like a sieve at center and shouldn’t start for Gannon. His line mates are not without blame but it all starts with Morrison.

    You know, I really wanted to believe in this team and these coaches. I always thought once a player puts on a Pitt Uni, magic happens and he immediately ups his game. Under Narduzzi, it’s just the opposite.

    Like

  40. My post from the previous thread:

    Huff, love your write up. But looking back over 40 years tells us that there have been many Chancellors, Athletic Directors, search teams, consultants and BoTs involved. Yet the results seem to be the same- mediocrity. What would it take to break out of this mold? I think that it will take a Chancellor that “by accident” happens to be interested and skilled in sports management (they don’t get hired for these skills), and can select and oversee an AD who will also be sufficiently skilled in building above average programs with only average resources.

    This involves finding and hiring coaches and staff with above average knowledge and skills who will work for average money. The few times this has happened, these people don’t stay long. The second part of the equation is having a sustained commitment to success so that these above average people, once identified, are sufficiently compensated to make Pitt a destination rather than a stepping stone. Again, the Chancellor comes into play here.

    Thirdly, Pitt needs to understand how to maintain success when it is achieved. Planning has not been a strong suit. How do you maintain the athletic programs using a combination of power, budgets and salary without compromising the mission of the university. This involves facility planning as well as administration and budgeting. Hopefully, the recent contract extension for Heather indicates they have figured this part out. If so, competent coaching across all programs is the next step and she has already started working on it.

    Liked by 1 person

  41. By the way, I have listened to Mike Tomlin’s after game press conferences and they are nothing to write home about. Narduzzi at least sticks around for more than 2-3 questions after a loss (of course, he’s had a lot of practice). I suggest that Narduzzi should be evaluated less on his press conferences and more on his W/L record. But neither is very good…

    Like

  42. It is hard to complete deep passes when you are forced to roll out every play. The line can not block long enough for him to throw from the pocket.
    You then have to only defend half of the field and the guys playing receiver can’t get a lot of separation.

    Like

  43. Reed… with all due respect to the analysis coming from Cardiac Hill… the FIRST Red Flag on Narduzzi was raised prior to the 2016 Pinstripe Bowl.

    It was a year earlier that we were handed a CLEAR WARNING as to what was to come. When Keenan Reynolds and Navy racked up almost 600 Yards against Pitt in the Military Bowl, that should have sounded the alarm to EVERYONE that Narduzzi was NOT as advertised.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I said then that he had a month to prepare for Baylor’s offense with All-American/future NFL dbs and got torched through the air. Then had a month to prepare for Navy and had played against Georgia Tech and got burned on the ground. He had a month to prepare in both cases and couldn’t slow down let alone stop either. He’s no defensive genius.

      Like

  44. Talking about who the next PITT coach is like talking about what you’re going to do with the 375 million bucks you’re going to win tonight in the lottery.

    Like

    1. I’d buy you a 200 acre Farm with Texas Longhorns and sweet corn and sell the corn on the side of the road in Ligoneer. I’d buy Groats Golf Course and build us all houses on it and golf and smoke cigars everyday.

      Like

  45. Im done. I used to be an apologist and a blind fan but this has gotten to be too much. The penalty HCPN was handed in the PSU game is where I, with finality, jumped the shark. I wanted so much to love the guy… Sure I will watch the games (I guess I either like to be heartbroken or I just can’t seem to get connected to another program) but my tickets are going up on Stubhub. Im always hailing and will wait patiently for hoops season to begin…

    Like

  46. VoR – Thanks. I meant to post it on this thread and if Reed wants to paste it in here, that is fine. It was meant for this thread.

    I also just read in USA today (finally) that they believe the Pitt Athletic director, Heather Lyke, is to blame for Narduzzi, which is the correct place to put it. First, she extended a not very good coach or recruiter and second, she whiffed on Hurley (thankfully, i think). She got her first two major sport decisions, completely WRONG!

    I don’t care for her professionally because when she was hired, she issued the near exact statement she gave when she got her first AD job. No new material. Lazy. And, she didn’t have enough experience in the job. She is doing the same thing at Pitt. Fire a bunch of coaches, replace them, look like you are doing a lot because of all the new coaches. I won’t rehash my last rant on the other thread. It speaks for itself.

    Tomlin – I have some good intelligence that he is indeed on the real hot seat and will be gone this year if things don’t turn around completely with the team. He will try to use L.Bell as the excuse, but it will sink him.

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    1. She is to blame. So she owns this mess.

      No need to have extended him since nobody was beating down Pitt’s door to snatch him away.

      She said that Narduzzi was doing the right things.

      Those things were running a clean program and graduating players. Her mindset is influenced by her Compliance background.

      Narduzzi sure wasnt doing the right things when it came to winning on the field, recruiting, developing players, and media relations.

      Like

    2. and do remember once she left Eastern Michigan, the school was forced to cut several Olympic sports programs given the revenue shortfalls of the football program. So shes not very good at marketing or finance either.

      Like

    3. But she came down hard on those trouble makers in the band! Go get ’em Heather! Enjoy the sea of yellow seats while you build it together with your coach.

      Like

  47. Oh, to feel that familiar feeling as a Pitt fan, that it is time to start over. But we need to.

    Anyway, the good was our 1st half offense which positively cooked.

    The bad was our utter lack of any defense whatsoever

    And the ugly will be the rest of our season.

    Like

  48. so where does Pitt go from here?

    Does Heather believe Narduzzi can turn things around?
    Does Heather believe that a change is needed?
    Can Pitt afford the buyout?
    Can Pitt afford to keep Narduzzi?

    I hear that from an optics standpoint it will look bad if Narduzzi is fired
    I hear that all Narduzzi needs is some better assistants and some ace recruiters
    I hear that it took Michigan State 6 years until they started winning BIG
    I hear that Pitt values a clean program more than they value wins

    Like

  49. Huff… Tomlin not going anywhere. He should. But the clock ain’t going to start ticking until Roethisberger retires and the LOSSES start adding up.

    Now, if you’re Source told you that there they have information that Roethlisberger might be considering hanging up his cleats at the end of the Season… I might tend to believe that.

    Like

  50. Narduzzi was on a committee that recommended Heather
    Heather is then hired and extends Narduzzi
    Gallagher then extends Heather
    Pitt then extends the misery of its fans

    Makes sense to me. SOP

    Like

  51. I’m looking ahead to next weeks game and I do not like what I’m seeing…. I guess we will get to see what Pickett and the passing game can do because I’m seeing early deficits and playing catch-up football all day long. Of course early time consuming long drives would be nice to start off the game. UCF can score and score very fast. Of course PITT is not fast but they are not slow either. They are half fast. << that’s an old joke guys

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  52. Narduzzi is now beginning to take the heat he so richly deserves. What is interesting is that I’ve only seen a few passing comments about our “girl-wonder” AD’s decision to extend this blow-hard after a 5-7 season. Was she seriously concerned that another school was going to come after Narduzzi? Why the extension? This was a Steve Pedersen-esque move. Of course, none of us know the structure of the buy out, but it’s safe to assume that Pitt will owe Narduzzi at least what they would have owed him under his previous contract….probably more or why would he sign an extension? Nothing like tying your own hands….Nice move Heather.

    Like

  53. I think there is are lot more designed roll-outs for KP than just him bailing too quickly or being forced to bail and I do not like that style. Let the kid drop back and fling it and lets see what he can do. 28 pts in one half is nothing to poo poo about though.

    Liked by 1 person

  54. How can you have confidence in a coaching staff that passes up thousands of quality US HS football and soccer kickers to go 5000 miles away and sign a kicker that not only can’t punt but can’t even hold the ball right. My son’s nephew was a HS QB, and punter that was recruited by several colleges including Pitt. He started 3 yrs as a kicker in college graduated and is now a student asst. special teams and earning his grad .degree as he continues his career toward college coaching. In HS his hang time, placement speed of kick put our present punter to shame—- and he had the ability to throw a decent accurate pass. He was thrilled when Pitt contacted him and would have jumped at the chance but somehow Narduzzies’ coaches had a different view than Chrysts’. Do they really know how to evaluate talent and this is another reason the coach in that western Pa. HS has cooled toward Pitt ffootball like many others.

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  55. I’ll just way out here and say that Narduzzi is gone after the season. I’m going with my son-in-law and say 4 wins. They can’t win games by getting into shootouts with teams that have a better defense than we do. We can’t stop anyone. With the bold predictions HCPN made and the veteran team he has right now, there is no excuse for not having a solid defense. I read Vuk’s comments about how Pitt refuses to put a 3rd cornerback out there to cover the slot receiver. This coach is just way to stubborn to change and admit he made a mistake. instead of finding someone to run his defense, he should have hired someone to run a good defense that works in the ACC. Finding an experienced HC to step in will be tough, especially one with a winning track record. I’d go for Locksley, the Offensive Coordinator at Alabama. He’s a tremendous recruiter, has been a head coach, and is still young. Kind of like hiring the football version of Jeff Capel. I had a lot of optimism heading into this season. I was picking out which games I’d drive back to Pittsburgh for, but no way I’m driving 300 miles to see this crap now. I know teams have off weeks, much like VT on Saturday. This loss was totally different. This was a team that had your number and you had every reason and ability to go in and pound them. The lame ass excuse of stealing signs just looks so childish now. If they did that, then the coach is to blame for not assuming someone might try and do that. What a lousy excuse.

    Like

    1. Thanks Dad! How is life in Estonia these days? Excited to have you with us for a month in November. Bring that chocolate and Vodka you brought last time. 🙂

      Like

  56. Full disclosure, I’ve never been a big fan of Heathers. I think she did her job with firing coaches and nothing more. It was painfully obvious that changes needed to be made. She totally whiffed on Hurley, got played, but I disliked that attempt anyhow. I strongly feel she got a better man, and a better coach in Capel.
    You’re darn right she owns Narduzzi. I would like anyone on here to explain how that extension made any sense. Was she that out of touch with the local high school scene that she didn’t hear the rumblings that he rubbed almost everyone the wrong way? I understand the desire for stability, but what has he accomplished to this point. Don’t say 8-5 and beating 2 big time teams. I will always come back with, how the heck did he ever lose 5 games with that team.
    As far as MSU, the BiG never had the quality qbs at that time. Just a couple. How may games, again I ask, how many games do we get torched, over,and over,and over again before everyone says, IT IS NOT WORKING?
    This situation falls squarely on Heather. I just want to know what she saw that caused her to give him 7 more years?

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  57. Huff, I have a slightly different take on the Narduzzi contract situation. I believe Pitt felt that replacing both the BB and FB coaches so close together was just too big of a bite at one time. So they went the other way. Stallings had to go, and so they extended Narduzzi so that they could avoid a big buy out and at the same time give him 5-6 years to turn things around (the 5-7 record was a good opportunity for favorable new buy out terms).

    Pitt must also want to show future candidates that they will be given sufficient time to produce, and by then the ACC money will be even greater to add to coaching assistants. I think they are willing to put up with mediocrity for a while as they upgrade other sports (a $4-5 million buy out could be well spent on gymnastics, women’s BB, tennis, etc.). My opinion is that he gets at least 1-2 more years…

    Like

  58. You can sum up Narduzzi’s time at Pitt with the following sequence Vs NC.

    Despite all the mistakes, Pitt scores and has a chance to win the game.
    It’s 38-35 NC.

    On the kickoff, not only does Pitt kick off out of bounds but we are offsides doing it. Game set match!!

    Liked by 1 person

  59. VoR, mediocrity would be an upgrade. We are staring hard at 4-8, and that’s being charitable. It’s who he’s losing to and how he’s doing it that causes us to lose our minds. The hard numbers are there for everyone to see. The stubbornness, arrogance, and dismissive attitude are also on display. Don’t get me wrong, we could beat UCF this week, Yup, that would be Pitt like. But then sure as crap we’ll get thumped the next week by Syracuse. If he’s around for 2 more years the program will be on Kanasas level. You’ll need to give someone the whole bankroll to take this job at that time!

    Like

  60. I surrender I’ve seen enough so I had to raise the white flag after watching that same Conklin/Bates/Narduzzi defense perform each and every week the same way. How difficult is it really to make some half time adjustments based on what they saw in the first half? Maybe I’m blind but I never see any adjustments and our defense keeps getting beat on the very same plays they were torched in the first half.—-I really don’t have the time or inclination to watch the remainder of this 4 win season(if we are lucky) forthcoming.

    Like

  61. You POVers are way too hard on Heather. Everyone makes mistakes early (i.e. Hurley). How many ADs have axed as many coaches as she has this quickly? She has to get the other sports to be competitive in the ACC on a growing but still modest budget. The Narduzzi extension is also a way of telling Narduzzi that he MUST now produce or be gone. No excuses.

    Like

  62. In preseason 2015 I was interviewing PN along with other media. I asked him how he was going to pass defend against ACC teams that pass more than the B10 teams do.

    He scoffed (literally) and said “Offenses are offenses there is no difference between the two. We’ll stop ACC teams like we did in the Big 10”

    Then didn’t call on me again.

    True story so I knew before he ever coached a Pitt game he was lost as far as defense goes.

    Liked by 1 person

  63. Where are the 3 more wins going to come from. Maybe I’m totally in the wrong I would not be shocked if were not looking at 1-11. I watched UCF the other night Milton is a great qb he will crave us up like Rudolf did.

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  64. Anyone besides me realize the background color in this comments section on the POV is Carolina Blue….or at least that’s how my color-blind eyes see it.

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  65. Joe, I’m as sickened and embarrassed as you are about the state of Pitt football. I really don’t believe that Narduzzi is capable of turning things around, and you are probably being generous with 4 wins. I’m just pretty sure that they want to keep him for at least another year, and at 4 wins they would be under severe pressure to can him. By the way, ike, is your “poo pooing” the situation in need of some of Narduzzi’s potty training? 🙂

    Like

    1. That is the military way UPitt.

      Every time you move in or move out of military housing it’s spotless… the house iand the grounds are Immaculate and it’s drummed into you from the minute you step off the bus in boot camp

      Thanks for sharing that.

      Liked by 1 person

  66. Dungy will carve us up. Notre Dame will carve us up. Duke is 4-0. Wake Foresst will win. Remember the last time ND played us under Narduzzi’s vaulted d they took Pitt to school. Virginia will beat Pitt. Mendenhall said they only have 20 Acc players on there roster because of Narduzzis recruiting that’s about 10 more than Pitt has.

    Like

    1. I am completely serious in saying that I don’t see another win on this schedule without a big upset outside of the Virginia game. 2-4 wins this year IMO.

      Like

  67. Jay91 – From the other thread … I’m still here. I don’t post much in season (good or bad). Work picks up in the fall plus kid’s sports occupy a lot of my time.

    From the beginning, I’ve said that the clock starts in year 4, based on what he and Dantoni did at Michigan State … and that the team has to start turning a corner. The team is not turning the corner so I now have major doubts as to whether Duzz is the person for the program.

    Having said that, if you expect me to complain about it for the next 3 to 18 months until he’s let go, it’s not going to happen. Not my style. I can’t influence what Pitt does so I’m not going to bother wasting my time and energy and boiling my blood pressure over what’s out of my control. I can still find things to cheer for and I’ll always root for the players. Once a Pitt man always a Pitt man.

    Regarding Lykke, Duzz is on record as saying that he doesn’t have an agent. That would indicate the last extension was not negotiated by a professional agent. Based on everything we’ve seen, Lykke appears to be pretty shrewd. I would not be surprised if the Duzz extension is less difficult to break free from than the 7 years would appear to indicate. Just a hunch. No inside information. But knowing what we know about Duzz, he most likely bet heavy on himself, so I wouldn’t be surprised if Lykke has an easier way out than we expect.

    Who knows though? Like I said, it’s out of my control so I can’t really get to upset over it. Such is life.

    Liked by 1 person

  68. Maybe Heather could do what WVU did to Bill Stewart with Dana Holgersen a few years ago: hire a new defensive coordinator (without PN’s input) and hand the defense over to him. Tell Narduzzi “he’s your associate head coach, whether you like it or not, and running the defense is up to him, since you haven’t proven yourself capable of it yet.” It couldn’t work any less well than what they’re doing now, right?

    Like

  69. There are losses that give you a feeling of being eviscerated and this is one of them…takes the fun right out of it…makes me want to pack it in for the year…in the ole days I did..Saturday’s were spent in the woods with my Dad…precious memories….but as soon as I get ready to throw in the towel I suddenly remember and come to my senses…” only 4 more days to UNIFORM REVEAL DAY !!!” Wouldn’t miss it for the world…..

    Like

    1. Just watched the 22 minute video for this week. Narduzzi does not have answers. Not in the least. When he was asked about his punter, check out his reply about his punter.

      He talked for 22 minutes and said nothing.

      Like

    1. I still cannot believe Clawson had Elko as his DC two years ago. Had him from 2014-2016. Then he went to ND for a year and then this year Jimbo gave him big money at A&M.

      Like

  70. I kept wanting PN to fire Conklin after just a few games into the 2016 season after we gave up 45 to OK state and 37 to NC.I keep saying it but that could have been a magical season for us with that offense. Instead we gave up 39 and then 51 in losses to VT and Miami

    but he kept him a full three years…

    Like

  71. Wofford Terriers coached by Coach Conklin went into Laramie Wyoming and narrowly lost to the Pokes 17-14….Coach Chaney landed in Athen’s and is doing fine. Matt Canada is 2-1 since taking over Maryland….

    Maybe Duzz is the new cradle of coaches were up and comers learn what NOT what to do.

    Like

  72. Maybe Duzz isn’t smart enough to adjust or re-create his vaunted D…maybe he is just stuck…I wonder who on the staff can tell him anything without appearing threatening to Duzz.

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  73. The bigger programs have true head coaches. They are not playing pseudo DC or OC roles. They go out and hire for both sides of the ball because they have the money to do so.

    Many middle of the road teams usually have a head coach that brings in a scheme with them. That HC still oversees one side of the ball. Paul Johnson, Holgorsen, Narduzzi, Cutcliff, etc. They have coordinators, but they are really running the show on one side of the ball. Pitt will never be able to afford to hire two top notch coordinators.

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  74. No matter how it all shakes out Pitt Football looses. If he stays —-well that’s the obvious not to mention our perceived status is lower than whale sh__. If he goes the whale sh__ remains and is a drag on hiring new coaches and future recruiting as is the image of a coaching carousel. That is why I prayed for a turnaround this year. As bad off as we are, either way you slice it, it is more agony for fans for some years to come because bad is turning into awful very fast.

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  75. Just in case anyone thinks otherwise. I’m ok and looking forward to the rest of the PITT football season come wins or losses. I’m sternly behind these young men and this team. It’s the only way I know…. ike

    Like

    1. Ike – That implies we are not b/c we can’t stand the money stealing zero preparedness arrogant coach. We love Pitt. We don’t love the coach who is letting down his players by being prideful of his system.

      Like

  76. WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Wake Forest has fired defensive coordinator Jay Sawvel.

    Coach Dave Clawson announced the move Sunday, the day after the Demon Deacons’ 56-27 loss to No. 8 Notre Dame, while saying it was “not a spur-of-the-moment decision.”

    Wake Forest (2-2) has allowed 97 points in its past two games and in four games has given up 10 touchdowns covering at least 20 yards. The Demon Deacons rank 114th in the nation, allowing 484 yards per game, and give up an average of nearly 314 yards passing to rank 121st in the Football Bowl Subdivision.

    Pitt’s D routinely gives up 500 yards a game

    Like

  77. Mark, fyi, never think I imply for others. I speak what is in my head at not what may be in yours. Although you don’t have to be a lip reader to know what’s in yours. << See how nice I am? I assume there is actually something in there. I kid I kid! Bottom line,

    I stay the course, this is especially true when I have no other choice. I do not understand why this is so hard for others to understand?

    Like

  78. Hoping for once coach Narduzzi and his assistants make the small but necessary changes to turn things around this year.

    His current defense requires constant pressure from the line and doesn’t afford any mistakes by the linebackers and secondary.

    Unless we have several Revis’s back there, all it does its put our players into impossible situations.

    You can not expect those guys to never make mistakes. When you force any one person to cover a receiver alone, and give the opposing qb time to throw, you will lose those battles over and over.

    He has enough talent to slow down and stop a lot of teams. But without 5 star defenders, if he doing it this way, he sets them up for repeated failure.

    Like

  79. So on we go to basketball since the FB season is headed South. Tossing, you are a close watcher of the basketball program. Any recent developments lately? I wonder how the 2019 recruiting class is coming.

    Like

  80. In three games (they had one game cancelled due to the hurricane) the UCF QB has thrown for 900 yards (against weak competition). They also have run the ball alot as they’ve had some big leads and are averaging over 200 yards per game on the ground. While I think that UCF is over-rated by a good amount at #13, the UCF QB must be licking his chops as he watches film of the Pitt/NC and Pitt/PSU games. He is going to torch us if we continue to press.

    Like

  81. PoD, I have never heard of a contract that gives the University an affordable buyout of a coach’s contract…I think it only works the other way around.

    Like

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