Monday-Morning-QBI spent a good amount of time in a doctor’s office waiting room this morning so I took the opportunity to listen to Rivals.com’s Chris Peak’s latest podcast – this morning’s is #380.  This isn’t unusual as I listen to all his podcasts because he seems to have had the best grasp (besides the POV’s!) on the state of Pitt football.  As I said I listen to them all.

But since the end of the 2018 spring practices I felt he was becoming more out of touch with what was really happening with the program, HC, staff and players.  In other words he was becoming a bit of a ‘homer’.  Just a bit, but it bothered me.

For some reason since his hire Pat Narduzzi has held sway over the local media even while treating them as second class citizens. But this latest Peak podcast turned the corner on that.  It is entitled “How could we have gotten this so wrong?”   I hesitate to get on the Rivals’s message board and scream “We didn’t get it all wrong Chris – that Kohberger guy over at the POV knew exactly how things would shake out in the 2018 season.”

In the podcast  he basically admits that he was bamboozled into believe three main things.

The first was that Kenny Pickett was going to pick up exactly where he left off and would be in full stride to stardom from the opener onward (I am paraphrasing a bit).

The second was that the Pitt defense was going to be great this season.

And the third was that we would be competitive in every single game.  His thought was that we may lose to Penn State, UCF and Notre Dame and even if we lost any other games we would still be competitive in play. In other words give the other team a hard fought, close game

His take on those three things is very interesting listening and while I still disagree with some of his statements, for instance he can’t admit that Narduzzi is basically a crap HC and that the roster is below average talent – two things I believe very strongly – I urge you to tune into it.  His stuff is always a good listen and informative.

OK…onto The Good, the Bad and The Ugly.

THE GOOD

Rafael Araujo-Lopes’ 86 yard punt return for a TD at the end of the 1st quarter.  This closed the scoring gap to 14-7 and still gave us a fighter’s chance going into the 2nd half.  For the next 41 minutes it looked like that was all that was going to keep us from a shutout however.

Usually I’d add the 58 yard pitch and catch from Pickett to Ffrench for our second TD and our last points but it was done in garbage time when we had our 1st string offense out there against UCF’s 3rd string defense.  Anyway, nice play I suppose.

THE BAD

Kenny Pickett’s inaccuracy problems didn’t get any better this game.  Normally when you look at a QB’s stat line for the game and see that he had a 61.5% completion rate on 16 of 26 passing you’d think that was excellent.

But when you drill down (and of course remember what you watched happen out on the field of play) you’ll find that his average per attempt rate was only 10.3 ypa and his average completion rate was a very low 6.3 ypc you can understand that he was missing on his intermediate and deeper passes – which he did Saturday and has done all season.

The Offensive Line’s terrible play in pass protection and average at best play in the run game.  We knew going in that the OL was going to be a problem for this year’s offense and it has been for the most part.  They have done OK at opening up some space at the line of scrimmage for our RBs to get through but they have been a sieve when it comes to keep opponent’s front seven out of Pickett’s face.

That didn’t change on Saturday.   While being chased all over the field, mainly by UCF’s defensive ends, Pickett had only 163 yards in the air with 1 TD and 1 INT…but that doesn’t tell the story.  While he was sacked three times he had to rollout again and again cutting his target zone in half.  Until he had that 58 yard pass to Ffrench he was 15 for 25 for 105 yards with 4.2 yards per attempt and  7.0 yards per completion which is much more indicative of how he actually played then the final passing stats that go into the record book.

Here is a quick look at our passing game as opposed to the teams we have played so far.

Passing Stats week 5

There is a ton more OF “THE BAD” stuff from Saturday’s game but I’ll let you all list those in your comments.

THE UGLY

Take your pick – there was basically 60 minutes of it. But I’ll point out one thing.

In all my time following Pitt football I have never felt utterly embarrassed and disgusted by what the players or the coaching staff did out on the field until Saturday.  Sure there have been blatant personal fouls and boorish behavior by the staff on the sidelines.  But late in the game when UCF was inside our two yard line and threatening to score our DL Patrick Jones was looking over at the sidelines and then so very obviously topples to the ground and fakes a cramp to delay their hurry-up offense… that was the low point for me.

I don’t care what others feel about this – and BTW the refs cannot throw a penalty flag on an injury so forget about that crap excuse – I believe it is poor sportsmanship at the least and flat-out cheating at the worst. It was so very obvious exactly what happened and in the way he was staring at the sideline you know that was signalled in by a staff coach.

That sets a new low standard for Pat Narduzzi in my mind.  Why Narduzzi? Because a good leader would have ensured that the people under him would never even attempt do something like that.  But really, since when has Narduzzi been a real and good leader in anything he’s done while at Pitt?

While I’m disgusted by that action out on the field I’m not entirely surprised it happened on his watch.

Strong opinions I know but I have lived my life, professionally and personally, with strong beliefs and high standards.  I don’t always meet those standards but I try 100% to do things the right and honorable way and I fully expect others to do the same. Especially supposed mature adults who hold sway over young men.

How about your own thoughts after the ass-whipping UCF gave us?  Oh – it was 45-14 for a 31 point win. Sorry,  forgot to mention that.  Making this the first season since 1991 that Pitt has lost at least two games by 30 or more points…and we ain’t done yet folks!

What is your Good, Bad and Ugly?

95 thoughts on “Monday Morning QB; UCF Loss

  1. PITT (2-3, 1-1 ACC) vs. SYRACUSE (4-1, 1-1 ACC)

    October 6, 2018 • 12:20 p.m., ET
    Heinz Field (68,400/Natural Grass) • Pittsburgh, Pa.

    Raycom (WTAE-TV) • Pitt IMG Sports Radio Network

    PittsburghPanthers.com • @Pitt_FB

    LINK (PDF): Pitt Game Notes (vs. Syracuse)

    GAME STORYLINES

    • Following a two-game road trip, Pitt returns home and will host longtime eastern foe Syracuse. Both teams are looking to get back on the winning track following defeats last week.

    • The Panthers are looking to snap a two-game losing skid following defeats at UCF and North Carolina. Syracuse suffered its first loss of the season, a last-minute setback at Clemson last week.

    • Pitt and Syracuse have played every year since 1955, when both schools were independents. Pitt has won 13 of the past 16 games in the series but dropped last year’s encounter, 27-24.

    • Tight games are commonplace between Pitt and Syracuse. Four of the past six games have been decided by three points or less.

    • Pitt is 22-11 against Syracuse in Pittsburgh. That record includes a 7-1 mark at Heinz Field. The Orange’s only victory at Heinz came in the stadium’s inaugural season, a 42-10 decision in 2001.

    • Third-year Syracuse head coach Dino Babers is very familiar with Pitt and Pittsburgh. During the 2003 season, Babers served as running backs coach under Panthers head coach Walt Harris.

    • Syracuse leads the ACC and ranks fourth nationally in turnovers gained with 12. The Orange are plus-8 in turnover margin for the season (12 gained, four lost). Pitt, in contrast, is minus-1 on the year (seven gained, eight lost).

    • Pitt has proven capable of big plays in the return game. The Panthers have scored touchdowns on a kickoff return (Maurice Ffrench) and punt return (Rafael Araujo-Lopes). Pitt is the only team in the ACC to score TDs on both a kickoff and punt this season.

    • Five Pitt opponents appear in this week’s Top 25 polls: Notre Dame (No. 6 Associated Press/No. 7 USA Today Coaches Poll), Penn State (No. 11/11), UCF (No. 12/13), Miami (No. 17/17) and Virginia Tech (No. 24/No. 23).

    SERIES NOTES

    Pitt and Syracuse have met every year since 1955…Pitt holds a 38-32-3 advantage in the all-time series, which began in 1916…the Panthers have won 11 of the past 13 games against the Orange and 13 of the past 16…Syracuse snapped a four-game losing streak in the series when it defeated Pitt in the Carrier Dome last season, 27-24…prior to the 2017 campaign, the Orange had not beaten the Panthers since a 14-13 decision in the Dome during the 2012 season…the last meeting at Heinz Field occurred in 2016, when Pitt outlasted Syracuse, 76-61, in the highest scoring FBS game ever…Pitt is 22-11 against Syracuse in Pittsburgh…that record includes a 7-1 mark at Heinz Field…the Orange’s only victory at Heinz came in the stadium’s inaugural season, a 42-10 decision in 2001…the Orange hold a 19-16-3 advantage in games played in Syracuse…the Orange is also 2-0 against Pitt in neutral site games (the last coming at Shea Stadium in 1965)…Pitt is 8-11-1 all-time in the Carrier Dome, which opened in 1980…the Panthers and Orange met 20 times as Big East Conference members from 1993-2012 and Syracuse owned an 11-9 edge in those contests…Pitt and Syracuse joined the ACC for the 2013 season and meet annually as divisional crossover opponents…Pitt owns a 4-1 edge in ACC games, the lone loss occurring last year (27-24)…since 1972 (46 seasons), 20 games have been decided by single digits (excluding a 20-20 tie in 1990)…the teams have played two double-overtime games and Syracuse won both (24-17 in 2000 and 38-31 in 2004)…both overtime contests were played in the Carrier Dome.

    BROADCAST INFORMATION

    Television • Raycom (WTAE-TV, Channel 4, in Pittsburgh)

    Pitt Radio • 93.7 The Fan & the Pitt IMG Sports Network

    Bill Hillgrove (play-by-play), Pat Bostick (analyst), Larry Richert (reporter)

    SiriusXM Satellite Radio

    Sirius Channel 98, XM Channel 194, Internet Channel 956

    WPTS Radio (Pitt Student Station) • 92.1 FM

    Pitt IMG Sports Network Online Audio Options

    PittsburghPanthers.com

    Pitt Panthers Gameday App

    TuneIn (free live and on-demand content)

    Like

    1. The guy is not an effective recruiter. To wit:

      The three starting LB’s are all 5th-year Chryst recruits. Only one of them was actually recruited as a linebacker, and there were no other P5 schools interested in him. Another of the those LB’s was recruited as a WR and the other was a walk-on. I’m sure they’re all great kids, but that’s a disappointing starting linebacking crew for a coach is in year #4 and has a reputation as a defensive guru.

      On the starting offensive line, two of the starters are 5th-year Chryst recruits who were never able to nail down a starting position before this year. Another starter is a walk-on, and another is a graduate transfer (the third year this has happened.)

      His supposed signature wins were both flukes. The 2016 PSU win was due to the shock and awe caused by the unveiling of Matt Canada’s offensive scheme. (PSU still almost came back to win that game.) The Clemson win was played against a quarterback who had severely bruised ribs, which made him totally immobile. Still, that same QB threw for a career-high 650+ yards. If Clemson had not stubbornly called 2 running plays on their final drive, Pitt would never had gotten the ball back to kick the game-winning field goal.

      His defensive scheme does not work against spread offenses, which is what most teams run.

      He seemed like a good fit when he was hired, but he is not going to win here. I hate going through the seemingly non-stop coaching carousel, but there is no choice but to move on once again. Maybe AD Lyke can catch lightening in a bottle.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Nice read and agree 100%. I have nothing to add. Just sad we saw this storm coming and decided to not close the windows or take higher ground. Heather has done some good things but for her to not spot this con artist early on doesn’t sit well with me. Worse yet, she rewarded 5-8 when it was becoming apparent his winning was with another coaches kids. Sad.

    Like

  3. I’ll keep this short.

    The Good: We’re one game closer to the end of yet another stinker season

    The Bad: We still have to play the remaining games

    The Ugly: Next year could be worse

    Like

  4. Reed – great summary. I think the real comical thing at this point and have to find humor in things is we will be WORSE next year. Lose ton of starters on D, 4 out of 5 OL, all of our RB’s and Lopes.

    Like

  5. the 1992 team was 3-9. multiple big loss beat downs that year to the Domers and Nitters.

    the prior year in 1991 was 6-5

    this year reminds me of that 1992 year which was Paul Hackett’s 3rd and last

    i remember it well because i was there

    i do believe this should be Narduzzi’s last year as well. Year 4 should be the final nail in the coffin. I just dont see how Pitt can recover after 3 bad years of recruiting (2017, 2018, 2019). I’m assuming 2019 will be bad like the prior 2 years (only one 4 star in the last 2 years)

    i see changing the OC and DC as just delaying the inevitable. Those changes will just make Heather and Pat feel good but the results will be the same. Moreover, revenues will take a huge hit and the hole will be even bigger for the next coach.

    But that next coach has to be better than Narduzzi. Remember who Pitt hired after Hackett dont you?

    Like

  6. Reed,

    Are your sure 91 was last time of at least two 30 point losses.

    In 1996 I remember the following:

    Lost to OSU 72 zip.

    Lost to ND 60 something to 6 if I remember correctly.

    There is two games right there no?

    Like

    1. look at the big picture. you’d have to go back to Paul Hackett and Johnny Majors to find worse losses

      those guys were being paid less than $1M for 4 win seasons

      Narduzzi is being paid $3.5M

      Like

  7. My assessment aligns very well with your’s Reed.

    Regarding the ugly and obvious “injury” delay, it is just a feeble attempt by the coaching staff to desperately try anything. That is simply not acceptable as a Pitt alumni. I am proud of my university and my degree. It’s not tarnished by the performance of its sports teams, although I’d love to brag about them again at some point.

    You win and you lose with your head held high. I think that is what folks like Ike and others express a lot. I expect my university to take the high road 100% of the time. This is what could ultimately do in Narduzzi.

    Regarding moving forward, just try something different to gain any sense of progress. Simplify the playbook it execute what you do. Ensure you have plays that can ease up the running game, as I feel that can be effective.

    I like someone’s previous thought about running more of a dime defense with more speed on that side of the ball.

    Regarding Pickett, if only we had an experienced QB to start the game then I believe you give young Pickett a chance to watch and assess things before going in with some set plays that he is good and prepared to run.

    Maybe it is time for the George kid. Also would like to see Patti run a couple of series. That might energize the team and certainly is fans

    H2P!

    Like

  8. While I agree on the immense disappointment and delusions that many of us had of a program finally solidifying and growing, please refrain from calling names such as done toward Narduzzi or anyone. Find fault or praise as you will with how they are doing their jobs through your perspective. But, carelessly name calling and other derogatory words only offend many of us who may agree with your summation.

    Don’t throw in the towel on some of these kids as they simply either don’t have the game experience or they simply are not as talented athletically as we would hope. The key thing to remember is that they are working daily in class and in practice. They are devoting their time and energy to representing Pitt.

    If there is a major problem in the talent recruited, then that is something that Heather Lyke needs to address. If there is a continuing failure of defending passes or protecting the passer, then that too is another issue for the AD to discuss with the coaching staff.

    One thing I remind people is that while all of us know the turmoil that this program has suffered from with coaching turnover at a ridiculous rate, do not harm the kids playing but undermining them. It is they who suffer broken bones, concussions, and assorted injuries including their own self esteem.

    In conclusion, yes, there needs to be a meeting of the AD and coaches to review and discuss what can be done during this season. It is a sad thing to say that not too many games look even competitive, much less not prone to embarrassment. But, allow the process to happen. They aren’t as stupid as some think.

    Like

    1. few if any posters are blaming the kids
      much anger is directed at Narduzzi and Pitt (Heather and Gallagher)
      and rightfully so
      we all know the players are trying their best and doing their best to represent their school
      But, in the end, most of these players on scholarship are not ACC caliber
      And the coaching staff leaves much to be desired…thats putting it nicely
      I dont know what Heather can do at this point
      Shes been hands off
      She defers to Narduzzi and rightfully so
      Narduzzi helped hire her and she extends the favor by extending him
      Heather can address the problem with the program by firing Narduzzi and eating his buyout
      The problem is Narduzzi and the people who hired him (Gallagher) and extended him (Heather)
      Nobody is blaming the players

      Like

      1. the only player I came close to blaming was Tino
        but I admired his toughness
        and I said it wasnt his fault that he was being asked to play QB

        My hatred towards the BoT, previous Chancellors, previous AD’s and previous coaches knows no bounds

        They are all as stupid as we know. We dont have to think.

        Like

  9. GOOD… Pickett actually showing a LITTLE improvement with the way he is throwing the Ball… ACCURACY not withstanding. Still a LONG way to go to being considered “Good.” Needs to start thinking of himself as a “Pass First” Pocket Quarterback.

    BAD… Pickett’s Knee. Obvious he is not able to move or run like he can or could.

    UGLY… Pitt Football when the Run Game is stopped.

    GRUESOME… Narduzzi losing RESPECT among both Peers and Players due to his STUPID decisions like making Players take DIVES!

    Like

  10. FYI to Ike, Tx and Jay… some recent Posts directed toward the three of you were NOT from me even though they were made to appear to be that way.

    It’s been corrected thanks to Reed.

    Like

  11. I’ll Pickett would be playing a hell of a lot better if he had the same time in the pocket that the opposition QB’s have been getting this season. The bad news here is with our current OL I see him under pressure for most of the remainder of the season. The opposition coaches can see quite clearly that the best way to defend Pitt is by loading the box and pressuring the QB as often as possible. And with our OL we can’t do much to correct the situation. A quick release spread offensive is clearly one potential answer. But my guess is we will set up the same way offensively the rest of the season just like we have been the first 5 games.—-On D we are having problems even stopping the run the one thing Narduzzi D is supposed to be taking away from our opposition. Yikes!

    Like

    1. Watch Bert Reynolds in the original Longest Yard. Ball is snapped and immediately 3 defensive players break thru and are in his face.

      It’s the same with Pickett. Marino in his prime couldn’t play w any poise under that duress. It sure would be helpful though if our wide receivers could get any separation!!!

      Like

  12. Well, here goes with the G,B and U:

    Good: ike’s posts!
    Bad: RBs and WRs underperforming as groups (and throw the OL in there as far as pass protection)
    Ugly: The way this team is losing, which looks more like giving up late in games rather than toughing up..

    Like

  13. What will get Chancellor Gallagher’s and AD Lyke’s attention is the ACC and Commissioner John Swofford. The PItt football program not only represents their alumni; they also represent the ACC.

    There are rumblings that UCF wants in the ACC (and its $27 MM annual TV money) and out of the AAC (and its $2 MM annual TV money). It is all in black and white in Mike Bianchi’s Orlando Sentinel article on Saturday.

    We failed in basketball last season and embarassed the ACC. I’ll bet Swofford made a few phone calls to Duke and said these people need help (AKA: Coach Capel).

    Now we are failing in football. It’s OK to lose to UCF, but to get thrashed like that when your uniforms have the ACC insignia on them is cause for great concern.

    Like

    1. The ACC is very brand conscious. They are only as good as their weakest member.

      The ACC did have a coming to Jesus meeting with Pitt; hence the firings and talk of Victory Heights

      Heather had no choice

      ACC membership is a privilege and not a right

      Pitt has been ranked near the bottom in nearly all sports since ACC entry

      Look at Pitts final conference record in sports. Sometimes it is without wins.

      Look at the Directors Cup rankngs

      Look at our facility for volleyball, wrestling and gymnastics. A 60 year old venue without AC

      Visiting teams complained

      ACC leadership embarrassed over sports performance and bad losses in front of national audiences

      Pitt is a welfare recipient getting $27M each year for mediocrity

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Cuse will be tough but can we lose by more than we lost to UCF? I had Cuse as a win. But then I thought we would be 2 – 5 after ND. Cuse is a critical game if we hope to get to 6 – 6. I guess I am being too positive.

    At least PSU may be out of the college playoffs.

    Like

  15. Busy day at the office here Reed, I’ll respond a little later but thanks for going the extra mile on the article. Did you wear out your eraser on the tests?

    Like

  16. The Good:
    I spent the entire day enjoying Oahu (Ko Olina) beaches and sunshine

    The Bad:
    I checked the score near the end of the first half and saw UCF punch it in to make it 28-7

    The Ugly:
    The rest of the season (7 games) ahead

    Dave Dellett

    Like

  17. Throwback unis this week…unfortunately not the mustard I love but the mellow yellow. Ike, no Donovan please…i HATE that song. Haha.

    Like

  18. ike, Paul McCartney was on 60 minutes last night, bringing back the old memories. Do you have anything good from the White album?

    Like

  19. The good:
    Narduzzi finally playing a good portion of the defense in a 4 2 5 scheme with 3 corner backs instead of his usual 3 safeties.
    Our punt return.

    The bad:
    The announcers on espn3. The refs. The Pitt player/coach who appears to have told a player to lay down for a play.

    The ugly:
    our linemen. The trench battles lost on both sides all day long.
    Our offensive gameplan. Whatever it is, it’s not working.

    Like

  20. I was at a music festival at Asbury Park over the weekend and just got home … and all I know is the final score. While I’m certainly not surprised Pitt lost, I am surprised they only scored 14. I was thinking something like 40-27.

    Was this another case of the offense continually going 3 and out? …. a la first half vs OSU last year or 2nd half vs PSU this year?

    wwb

    Like

    1. Anonymous, there were 2 drives – 2 – that were more than 6-1/2 minutes that wound up with no points. One ended in a pick and on one they went for it on 4th and 1 and lost yards. That kept the score lower.

      Like

    2. Three drives were 3 and out. One was 4 and out. Another 5 and out (negative yards I believe).

      OC Watson is not generating any rhythm with KP. Is it the talent around KP or the talent of KP?

      Inquiring minds want to know.

      GOOD: I was golfing on a sunny Fall day and finished at dinner with my wife and good friends.

      My nephew broke the Erie County rushing record Friday night with 221 yards and 3 TD’s. For his career so far he has over 5,100 yards on his way to 6,000.

      Watched tOSU beat the pedo enablers with a psuX grad.

      BAD: OC Watson and QB Pickett.

      The defense – they don’t have IT. The score and highlights were too much to stomach.

      UGLY: The USA Ryder Cup team. The got smacked by the Euros.

      Houdini with only one carry and two kick returns.

      Homecoming vs cuse in front of 15,000 faithful fans – Pittiful!

      Liked by 1 person

  21. Ike, the tests were not happy making. Apparently I have some issues with theticker and more tests are needed.

    So, it looks like my back surgery might be delayed while I have cardiac catherization tests done.

    If that is the case maybe I can make it up for another game.

    Like

  22. I am going to say for the record right now:

    Heather does not fire Nards until we go 3-8 NEXT year.
    She will then hire the best coach we have had in 25 years.

    In the meantime of course, the POV and other blather fans will be saying the Lyke is the lamest AD in history, calling her Fanta-chick and all other sorts of vitriol. And really, partially deserved if she cannot find a way to cut bait after this year…but I can also see financial and administrative factors forcing her to wait one more year, she will take the heat and probably it won’t be her fault, perhaps. Who knows…

    Anyway, those are my MMQB predictions for Pitt’s football future!

    Like

  23. nobody knows the buyout number. I doubt it approaches anything near Stallings though and that was $10M

    Next year Pitt will lose millions in revenue from lower ticket sales, merchandise, concessions, parking, donations, sponsorship’s, licensing and advertising.

    It will also suffer incalculable brand damage

    And It will be digging a bigger hole for the next coach to get out of

    Its easy to find a way to cut bait. You get out your pocket knife and cut the line.

    Pitt needs to move quickly to another fishing hole

    you telling me that after no bites over two years that you plan on spending another full year at the same hole with the same bait? Erie Fisherman Not Impressed.

    My Steelhead is coaching in Toledo right now

    $2.5M and you land him

    Like

  24. Reed, I’m still planning on going to the UVA game on the road. Duke game @ home for you maybe, you come up, club seats on me? Sorry to hear about the outcome on the testing. Crap

    VOR for you, while the PITT fans gently weep

    Like

  25. The good: Actually I thought the special teams made some nice progress. Punting, While still subpar improved. Kicker did fine. Punt return was highlight!
    The Bad: Offense, defense, coaching. It was all pretty bad
    The ugly: Blatent falling down to stop play. Seriously, that’s the best you got?? Punters have always faked it, wrong but kinda expected. This was embarrassing, plain and simple. Junior high move.

    Like

  26. Reed, They have made caths pretty easy nowadays. Offer still holds if you want info. The only minor procedures are the ones done on someone else. You’ll be fine.

    Like

  27. Joe, is there really any difference between a punter feigning than what all teams do when playing a fast paced team? In hockey I believe they have the acting rule or whatever it’s called. If all teams do it, how is it cheating when their punter did the exact same thing? I get it, broken record…… etc etc etc etc etc….

    Like

  28. UCF is a comer. They have a large student body in a growing area. Demographics and Florida recruiting is a problem for Pitt if in the ACC. FSU will need to hire a top coach to get back to a top program. Miami is still very fertile but Florida, Ohio ST, Clemson. Bama as power programs will pull recruits as well. In short Pitt has to change the athletic department to a recruiting and sales machine.

    Like

  29. Ike, I believe there is. The punter situation is sort of like stealing signs in baseball. It’s occurred forever. It does not in any way stop the play on the field. It’s either called or not. In the “ cramp” case the play on the field is impeded and brought to a halt. No penalty can be called, but it’s not a real good look, and it’s even worse when it looks so blatant. I’m actually surprised that you picked this issue to take a stand on. I think we can all agree it’s a pretty bad look, and worse when it happens multiple times.

    Like

  30. Good: spending time with friends and family on a mini-vacation at Disney world.
    Good2: The UCF campus. Smoking hot woman everywhere. Great atmosphere and on-campus stadium. Not quite ready for prime time yet.
    Good2: Penn State lost

    Bad: The weather. This should have been a night game. Period.
    Bad2: Getting steamrolled for over 500 yards offense and effectively being game over 1 series into the third quarter.

    Ugly: Bad enough getting 500 yardsand 45 points hung on you, but over 200 rushing? By a group of 5 school not known as a power running school.

    Note: I never left a game early in the Walt Harris era. Or Chryst. Or Graham (Wanny I was fed up at the WVU game and left). This now marks three 3rd quarter exits for me in the Narduzzi era (OSU, PSU, UCF). This is truly approaching Hackett & Major 2 levels of incompetence.

    Liked by 1 person

  31. JoeK, I offered this up the other day and a btw, the UCF coach did say it’s one way to slow them down. Not that he was happy about but watch a professional team do it>>>

    Like

  32. My point exactly. It makes the news, headlines ,or videos, and not in a good way. It’s good that you have that view of the cramping. Everyone should have a POV.

    Like

  33. Well the Post Gazette did an article about it – pretty obvious they think Narduzzi’s full of it in his denial. But this part especially stings.

    http://www.post-gazette.com/sports/Pitt/2018/10/01/pitt-ucf-cramping-injuries-pat-narduzzi-josh-heupel-pittsburgh-panthers-central-florida-mckenzie-milton/stories/201810010113

    UCF’s QB Milton said this:

    “It’s gamesmanship, man,” said Milton, who promptly tossed a 2-yard touchdown pass. “That’s all I’ve really got to say about that. If that’s what it takes for them to get the upper hand and kind of keep their bodies fresh, then it is what it is. I hate it, but it’s gamesmanship. It’s part of football.”

    How wonderful is it when an opposing player, from AAC team mind you publicly takes pity on your actions…

    Every week it seems there are new lows.

    Like

  34. In a separate Batko piece in today’s P-G HCPN says this:

    After a second loss of more than 31 points, Pitt’s third such defeat in the past two years, Narduzzi was asked Monday if he believes his program is on the right track amid a mountain of statistical evidence that it is not.

    “You can evaluate. I think the program is going in the right direction,” Narduzzi said. “That’s not my job. My job is to get ready for Syracuse. You can write what you want to write, because I know you will, but you can’t look at the points. You look at the wins and losses. The points don’t matter. That’s all stats.”

    And the stats don’t back up Narduzzi’s assertion that he has Pitt football moving forward. Perhaps he set a high bar for himself by going 16-10 with a couple of unforgettable victories over his first two seasons, but the stretch of 17 games since has been anything but memorable, save for last season’s upset of Miami.

    The funny thing is that I believe he actually feels this way and is completely ignorant of how the Pitt fans and the media view the team at this point. Head in sand big time if he honestly thinks his football program is going in the right direction. More like this and maybe he needs to get the hook as soon as the whistle blows to end the last game.

    http://www.post-gazette.com/sports/Pitt/2018/10/01/pitt-football-pat-narduzzi-coaching-2018-pittsburgh-panthers-syracuse-ucf/stories/201810010145

    Like

  35. No he’s not – ‘gamesmanship’ is the alternative to being able to win fair and square.

    “Gamesmanship is the use of dubious (although not technically illegal) methods to win or gain a serious advantage in a game or sport. It has been described as “Pushing the rules to the limit without getting caught, using whatever dubious methods possible to achieve the desired end”.

    Like

    1. Which most top 20 teams due week-in and week-out.

      Pushing the rules to the limit without getting caught – see Bama, psuX, Oklahoma, USC, miami in FB. Louisville, unc, Kentucky in basketball with UConn years ago.

      We could fill the page, but why bother…

      Liked by 1 person

    2. The argument is the absolute moral stand that you think Narduzzi should take (and I agree) with the more dubious ethical position that a few seemingly believe exists throughout the sport on every level (i.e. “everybody does it”). The amusing part is that you’re primarily arguing with a person who frequently, condescendingly touts their moralist principles. Apparently no such moral code should be expected of St. Pat if we want him to win.

      Like

  36. The good was the punt return and the following link showing Narduzzi is now up to #2 in the coaching hot seat race.
    https://collegefootballnews.com/2018/09/hot-seat-coaching-rankings-after-week-5-2

    The bad almost everything else and the fact we still have a lot of games left. Tragedies always take a long time to come to an end.

    The ugly: Lack of discipline taking stupid penalties on top off the fake cramps.

    I think we need to lighten up on Kenny Pickett. If you had to run for your life on every passing situation, I do not think you would develop much either. I also think he may be playing hurt. I do not think that knee brace is just for show. Of course since we haven’t heard anything from the Pittsburgh media about it, I am sure I am wrong as they are really in the know about Pitt football.

    Like

  37. Pickett is now rolling out when a roll out is not even called. He needs to settle down. He just isn’t seeing the field well at all or taking the time to do it. Now this may be due to the poor pass protection earlier in the season but still he’s running scared and not throwing the ball downfield. We don’t know if it’s Watson or KP? (or both) The O-line shouldn’t be taken to task for a happy foot QB. Like the kid but his decisions have been below standard.

    Like

  38. From today’s Tribune Review:

    “Pitt’s program appeared to be on an upward trajectory in late December 2014, when Narduzzi was hired after building a reputation at Michigan State as one of college football’s top assistants.

    And it continued through his first two seasons when Pitt won 16 of 26 games. Good, not great, but with legitimate hope for the future.

    Then, the Panthers regressed to 5-7 last season, followed by the current losing record. Worse than that, Pitt (2-3, 0-1 ACC) is losing games by huge margins. Narduzzi’s first 10 losses in 2015 and ‘16 were by a total of 84 points. His next 10 saw a separation of 184 points between the winner and loser.”

    Get that? The average margin of our losses in 2017 and now in 2018 is over 18 points

    Like

  39. The good: Because we are dreadful, I am staying home this weekend and renting a stump grinder with hopes I don’t home amputate a limb. The weather, at least, looks favorable.

    The bad: Because I have a dark pitt in my cerebral cortex, I will inevitably turn on the game and watch Syracuse throw the ball all over the place while Coach Pat tries to stop the run.

    The ugly: With all the seniors set to graduate, next year welcomes kids who couldn’t start on this atrocious team and transfers who couldn’t make it elsewhere.

    Like

  40. Focus on the stump and you’ll be fine. In fact, you’ll feel Lyke you accomplished a lot and saved yourself from a miserable experience.

    I left the TV room after Pitt squandered the lead vs unc to tend to yard work. I’ve now got the best looking lawn in the neighborhood cause I took out my frustrations on the weeds.

    H2P!

    Like

  41. Good—Special Teams looking much better.

    Bad—Horrific penalties, especially on what could have been a game changing pick 6, going in to half with momentum and getting the ball to open the 3rd could have changed everything.

    Ugly—the end of the PN era. As a Youngstown native this hurts, bad. I was so pumped when he was hired, thrilled after year 1. Off the rails after beating PSU and Clemson, but the last year and a half have been gruesome to watch and the answers at press conferences show me that he knows it is slipping away. I want him to so badly succeed-but OkState UNC and PSU last year and PSU, UNC, and UCF this year have me fully in the New Coaching Search Camp.

    I still hold out hope that it can be turned around, 4-3 the rest of the way is very doable-but I think it’s unlikely

    Like

  42. When Pitt coach Pat Narduzzi was asked if he had any response to those implications at his weekly news conference Monday, he essentially denied any accusations of his players taking a dive.

    “Not a whole lot,” Narduzzi said. “I don’t care what they say, I don’t care what we say, it doesn’t really matter. Put it this way, I’ll just leave it at this: We didn’t have a problem with the tempo. There were multiple IVs given even before halftime, during halftime, and in the third quarter. That speaks for itself. We don’t just give IVs to people for nothing. It’s not even worth addressing, to be honest with you. I’ve cramped in a recliner before after some yard work. I mean, what are we talking about? It’s all about the players’ safety. I’m never going to question the guys’ health, and it wasn’t all cramping issues, either.”

    Like

  43. The man cheats in plain view, denies it and still cant win
    If thats not cause for firing, Heather might as well cut Narduzzi’s grass

    Like

  44. Reed, thinking good thoughts and prayers for your health. As for the G,B,U-
    Good: Punt return for TD
    Bad: Int being negated due to roughing the Qb. Ugly: Our receivers not being able to catch a ball, players faking cramps. An aside, I had the pleasure of watching the womens’ vb team dismantle Miami on Friday. To those of you needing to see Pitt athletes excel- this is who you should be watching. I have been watching them online also ( games are streamed). Let’s support them!

    Like

  45. Reed — sorry to hear about your medical complications. Best wishes that everything gets resolved in a positive manner.

    I was really, really impressed with how quickly UCF got set up to run their next play. Now that was impressive coaching and very well-prepared and disciplined players.

    We sure need our Panthers to find a way to win this week.

    Go Pitt.

    Like

    1. John, just think. If Graham would have stuck around for a few more years that would have been the offense we saw at Pitt..

      Even then in 2011 we scored 24.2 ppt and gave up only 22.8 (38th in the nation). I didn’t like the guy much but he would have put an offense out there.

      Like

  46. Reed – sorry about your test results. Although it’s temporarily preventing you from getting much needed relief in your back, it’s good that your doctor(s) are making sure you are in the best possible shape for surgery.

    I’m heading up for Duke and VT games -after all, win or lose, cocktails at the pregame tailgate are always fun. If you are thinking about either game and would like to ride instead of drive, I’d be happy to meet somewhere along the way and give you a lift up and back. Gotta be easier on your back. Only problem is that I have a rule – I always stop at a bar for a quick one after crossing into PA.

    Like

  47. Reed – take care of your health – we’re glad you stopped smoking.

    Wishing you better days ahead.

    Pitt needs to put their speed on the field and see if that changes anything – the “same old…” did not work vs UCF. The cuse will look lyke the same, speed-wise.

    Like

  48. ike, thanks buddy for the great choice of “Guitar Gently Weeps” from the Beatles. I recall that it is George Harrison who wrote that song and is on the vocals. It was the perfect fit for our sad state of affairs involving Pitt football.

    I have read Narduzzi’s post game comments several times now, and he is speaking like a loser and someone who knows he will soon be out the door. When asked about the miserable statistics, he says he only cares about wins and loses. This tells me he is unable to address the problems and doesn’t want to get into a discussion about how specifically he will fix things. Yet he says the program is moving in the right direction. In short, he is clueless. Even little things such as why Mack left the game. Would it hurt to say he was banged up a bit or cramping up (whatever the problem was)? He penchant for secrecy is totally working against him now, and I sense he is circling the wagons in defensive mode. Not a good place to be…

    Like

  49. Someone halfway through Saturday’s game thread compared this team to JM2–exactly what I had been thinking. I started school in 1994 at the very bottom of the program when our only expected wins were Temple, Rutgers and whatever MAC school we happened to play (and then we started losing to Temple and Rutgers!). I was in the (away) stadiums in I think ‘96 with the band for the OSU and Notre Dame debacles (72-0 and 60-14 or some such). Never would have thought we’d reach those depths again but here we are, almost there. Good g*d. Maybe if the team quits on Narduzzi and we lose out the rest of the season by average scores of 45-10 he gets the boot. I’m trying to understand what the problem is. Inability to recruit in the ACC for some reason? Why? Or just bad coach selection? The off campus stadium? Too many big football schools in our region? Administrative incompetence? Something in the water? This is really, really sad.

    Like

Leave a Comment Please and Keep It Civil...

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s