October 1, 2018

Pat Narduzzi Press Conference 

Syracuse Week 

PRESS CONFERENCE VIDEO

HTML TRANSCRIPT LINK

PAT NARDUZZI: Obviously a tough weekend for the Panthers down south. Our guys competed. I always kind of evaluate with what we did back there (points to back wall with ‘ATTITUDE,’ ‘EFFORT’ and ‘TOUGHNESS’ graphics). Our kids had a great attitude, still got a great attitude. I think they played with great effort. You put the tape on, our guys played hard. We played tough I would say 90 percent of the time. There’s some fits with some linebackers — there’s always like some nasty part of the game that you’d like to see done better. When I talk toughness, and we’re by far not a soft team; not even close. I don’t even want to use that word. But our kids play tough. Could we have played tougher, yes.

There’s a couple plays out there — Connor Dintino is doing some great — a great job chopping some people. I wish everybody were doing that. He knocks a couple linebackers on their tails, and they’re like this holding their back.

So to me that’s part of the game, and something I’d still like to see a little bit more of that. But our kids are playing hard. There was a lot of good, and there was some bad.

One-hundred, eighty-one plays down south, I think it was 91 plays defensively, on the field too long, got to get off, got to help be off the field with some sustained drives on offense. I think defensively — offensively we were on the field for 53 plays or something like that, and then special teams about 28 snaps. But 181 snaps, and you take two or three special teams plays, you take 12 on offense and 12 on defense, there’s a lot of things we can improve in. There’s a lot of times it’s really not what they did, it’s what we did.

Those are the things we talked about last night. We said, discipline and details, and details are all over the place, and I know we’re not going to be perfect. As coaches, there’s details as coaches. We had one substitution problem all day, and it wasn’t the kids’ fault, it was our fault because you can’t sub if they don’t sub. We tried to sub on a 3rd down. That’s the only problem we had the entire day. Details.

Even our kids on defense last night, Dennis Briggs sits where you do, thanked the rocks (scout team), because he said, Coach the game was slower — okay, the game was slower than what we had in practice last week, so that’s a good thing, so we got the right tempo. We’re going to see it again this weekend.

We had no problem with the tempo. We had one substitution problem, and again, that’s on us as coaches. It was not on our kids. You didn’t have time; they saw it, they saw us subbing, and they just were going to snap it real quick and get a freebie.

But our kids had no problem with the tempo. With all those plays, and obviously the heat and humidity down there, we know what that was. So there was always those issues there.

But there’s plays that we’ve got to fix, and it comes down to me, and the details and discipline, and I don’t care what it is, we’ve got to clean those up. You make that many mistakes against a good football team, it’s not going to be a pretty sight.

We’ve got a great Syracuse team coming in that’s going to come, again, with that tempo. Dino Babers does a great job. As I look at them on offense, defense, special teams, as solid a football team as you’re going to face.

You look at beating Florida State in their house, going down and giving Clemson all they wanted last weekend, and we know how hard that is down in Death Valley. They were this far away, maybe you say should have got it done. But they’re a good football team, and they’re a really good football team.

Eric Dungey, the quarterback, I think is phenomenal. I can’t believe he’s still there. He’s a senior. And he’s been a good football player for years. I think he’s a better quarterback — I think he’s even better now than he was. I think he’s running smarter. I think he’s taking care of his body, which is smart on his part, and so they’ve done a great job coaching him, and he’s throwing the ball with more efficiency, I think.

In the D-line, it starts with all those guys up front. They’ve got four returning starters up front, and they’re nasty up front. I know the D-line coach very well. He’s doing a heck of a job up there, and it starts with those guys. It starts up front, so our O-line has got to control those guys up front to have a successful day. It’s going to be a battle. It’s homecoming, and we’re looking forward to the challenge.

Q. Speaking of the tempo that you guys dealt with Saturday, UCF’s coach and players said afterward that they thought some of the cramping issues you guys had throughout were more gamesmanship than legitimate. Do you have any response to that?
PAT NARDUZZI: Not a whole lot. You know, again, 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. It was multiple IV’s given even before halftime, during halftime, and then in the third quarter. That speaks for itself. We don’t just give IV’s 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. What are we talking about? It’s all about the players’ safety. I’m never going to question the guys’ health. And again, it wasn’t all cramping issues, either. Is that good? Does that answer you? I hate to be short, but it’s not…

Q. You had a couple plays where the running back got loose against a linebacker. Is that something where it was just a tough match-up? Is there something you’d like to see your guys do differently?
PAT NARDUZZI: You said a running back get loose versus some of the —

Q. The two pass plays against — one was against Wirginis.
PAT NARDUZZI: Let’s start with the one with Wirginis. It’s Wirginis’s guy. You get beat with some of those T-shoots, so he’s kind of worried about the T-shoot, then the guy comes off and breaks an out, just looking at that play fundamentally. Number one, he’s an electric dude. The guy can fly. And so I understand what Quintin is worried about that T shoot, as we’ve talked about, and they’ve run those, as well, so he’s kind of leveraging from the inside out, and then I think it was maybe Zeise out there or was it — was it Zeise on that play where he just had his back turned, and he’s got to keep some vision and turn it back.

To me those two guys got to funnel that thing together. They just got outside.

And we also had a bad pass rush which left a lane for that quarterback to throw it right there. So I mean, it kind of — you look at the coverage and you look at, okay, why did he have a clear lane to see that tailback. I wish there was somebody right in that gap to his right, right where he threw the football.

So there’s so many things — again, those are the details that we’re missing, and I forget even what the pass rush was. I’ve seen so many plays and have moved on to the next game here yesterday afternoon and today.

And then the other one was on a wheel route, right, which, guys, we see it all the time, and it was a boundary safety, kind of off the hash, a different guy, but we’ve seen it before. We call it superman, and it’s the lead back going out and someone coming across his face. He hung with that guy, and that guy got outside of him, but they’ve got to push it over and fit it. Our offense runs that play, and it’s just a detail.

Q. Dungey didn’t play against you guys two years ago, but can you maybe compare his progression as a sophomore or a younger player to what Kenny Pickett is doing in his sophomore year? What is holding Kenny back?
PAT NARDUZZI: Well, again, game experience, game experience and having all the weapons there, doing all the right things and detailed out, as well. You look at the details, and he throws a ball, it’s a pretty good ball Saturday, and Maurice is running down the field waiting for it to be put here. Well, how about we turn around and go take it off that guy’s head that it bounced off of. It’s just making those plays, and we’ve got to go make plays and jump for the ball.

You would think you wouldn’t have to coach that; you hope he would just go get the ball and high point the ball, but it’s a little bit of everything. It’s protection number one, we’re going to have to protect him this weekend. But Kenny, again — asked the question, is he where you thought he’d be. That’s what I said; expectations coming off that Miami game a year ago, he’s still a young guy.

I’m happy with where Kenny is. I love that kid, and it’s a process. I think quarterback Pat Bostick (former Pitt QB and current radio analyst) can probably tell you about the process better than anybody. Right now the game is moving fast for him, okay, and I think once you start to get multiple games under your belt and feel those pressures and all those things that the game eventually, Pat Bostick, will slow down for him, and I think that’s what you’ve got to wait for.

I don’t know when that’s going to happen. But it’s not easy sitting back in that pocket. I wouldn’t want to be that dude back there. He’s got a lot of things — he puts a lot of stress on himself. The last thing he needs is for me to put stress on him. He’s doing a solid job. He’s got 10 other guys around him that got to do their job, too.

Q. Did you see the same thing from Dungey two years ago?
PAT NARDUZZI: A little bit. I don’t see that guy every day in practice. I see Kenny every day in practice. But yeah, there’s some times where he would bail and pull out of the pocket and run and then throw his head down and run somebody over. I’ve seen some of Kenny do that early in the year. We’ve kind of maybe got some of that fixed a little bit, and he’s wearing his knee brace, so yeah, I think it’s all young quarterbacks. I think it’s part of the process that you’re going to have to go through with a young quarterback, a young safety, a young corner, a young Mike linebacker, a young first-year left guard.

Q. Do you feel like Kenny is putting too much on his shoulders?
PAT NARDUZZI: He’s that type of guy. You know, it’s hard to measure that because he’s a guy — hey, Kenny, everything okay. Everything is great, Coach, everything is great. But I’m sure he does. I mean, who doesn’t. I do, too. It’s all — starts with me. I mean, he’s that type of guy that’s going to say, that’s my fault, I’ve got to do better. I should have done this. Those things pile up at times. But there’s guys around him that should be saying, Kenny, that’s my fault, I should have gone up and got the ball. That ain’t your fault, that’s my fault.

Even with Darrin Hall, that pick he throws, when he’s got Shocky wide open over here, if you watch it, he looks, that guy, I think he’s covered, then he looks over — I mean, he looks to Shocky, there’s not anybody within 20 yards of him on a — that same thing that they scored on, and then he decides to take it deep to go make a play. I need to spark something. Well, hey, just play within the framework of the defense, and that’s what young quarterbacks are going to do. I want to go throw it down there, but Darrin Hall can go get the ball, too. Go play defense now, it’s a little bit underthrown, come back and knock that ball out, and those are details.

Q. How much do you think the defensive struggles are actually affecting the offense, given you’ve got a young quarterback? Your running game is one of your strengths. When you get down in an early hole, how much does that sort of change the game plan?
PAT NARDUZZI: Yeah, I don’t know if it changes the game plan, but it changes minds, and I’ve always said this: Offense sits over here, the offense is going to feed off the defense, and the defense is going to feed off the offense. But when nobody is making a spark and making something happen, you start that game off, we defer, probably people are looking at us, and that was the right coin toss, too, by the way. People were probably going, holy cow.

But like I said, we felt comfortable with going out there and doing what we did, we felt good with the game plan, and we go three-and-out. Okay, now what do you like to do? Have that offense spark something and go. And then all of a sudden — but it just kind of goes back and forth, and when you’re out on that field for 91 plays — the defense did some nice things and then we did some just — just some — just not very intelligent stuff, and we’ve got smart guys, so that shouldn’t be a case. But the late hits on the quarterback — we got two interceptions that get called back for penalties. We got another hands — I don’t know if it was hands to face on one play or it was late hit on the quarterback on the backwards pass, which should be a scoop-and-score, but sometimes we’ve got to have a little bit of luck, too, and I think it’s all caved in on us with execution details, discipline, and maybe no luck at all, either, because there’s two balls on the ground that we don’t get, and sometimes that comes to getting balls and being lucky.

Q. What was different about UCF that made you want to come out and play so much nickel, and how do you evaluate how that went?
PAT NARDUZZI: You know, I think it went good, to be honest with you. I think we gave up — we went back and forth with some nickel, with some base stuff, with putting that fifth DB in there. We go back to base, and they hit us on a seven route for a touchdown with no reroute because there’s so much RPO going on that that RPO is that run-pass conflict, and there was some misfits by the linebackers in there, and again, some good stuff they were doing — they do a good job, they know what they’re doing. They know what you’re in. They run so few formations really fast, so you’re kind of stuck in whatever you’re going to be in, and you can’t change up too much, and that’s the beauty of what they do offensively.

But there is no run-pass conflict when you put a nickel out on that guy that’s going to get the throw. So it’s putting — again, I think our guys did — Jason Pinnock had a heck of a football game out there, matching up on the inside slot receiver. Yeah, I think he played a heck of a game, and that’s kind of what we were waiting for from him. I know he was banged up earlier in the year, but he needed that. And then you watch him run down on special teams. That did some — that helped us. It didn’t hurt us.

But obviously we’re going to have to do some different things this week with the same stuff. So we’ll see, game plan wise, what we do, but we’ve just got to be better in some of the fits inside.

There’s a lot of carryover from our base to what you call a nickel package.

Q. You mentioned a couple times this season how you work on things in practice but you get hurt by the same things in games. Is it not so much scheme and preparation as it might be just personnel?
PAT NARDUZZI: You know, it’s a little bit of both. I mean, sometimes there’s a mismatch somewhere where, wow, we’re not fast enough to cover that guy or take that guy out of the backfield, but it’s football. I mean, that’s what — I don’t care what stage it is. It’s football. Sometimes it’s scheme, sometimes it’s personnel, mismatches, and sometimes it’s coaching. We’ve got to — it’s our job as coaches to put our kids in position to make a play. And when you look at it, is it structurally, is it physical, is it mental, and there’s a little bit of everything, which there is in every game. I’ve graded offenses and defenses for years as far as what happened here. Okay, that’s a structural. They had to do something wrong, and we’ve got them all over the place, and it just takes one guy out of the 11 on the field at that time not to make the right block, and there was offensively some of those situations and defensively that same situation.

Q. Your first 10 losses you had came by 84 points. The past 10 have come by a combined 184 points. A stat like that, what do you feel like that says about the direction of this program?
PAT NARDUZZI: Well, that’s — you can evaluate. I think the program is going in the right direction. 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. Is it the offense not scoring enough, defense giving up big points? Is it who you played, as we’ve talked about earlier, whether it’s an Oklahoma State? Can’t worry about that. I worry about wins and losses, and we want more wins, and we want less losses, and we’ve got to work to get to that point.

Q. I know you haven’t faulted the guys’ effort on game day at all, but in terms of throughout the week when you talk about these routes that you guys covered and then something breaks down, are you getting the buy-in and the focus and the attention to the little details throughout the week that you need from these guys?
PAT NARDUZZI: Well, it’s a matter of going out there in a game and doing it, but if you’re doing it on Tuesday and Wednesday in practice and Thursday, again, there’s busts, it’s not like we’re perfect in practice. That’s why you practice. If we were perfect in practice, we wouldn’t have to do it, but there’s things that happen at a high rate out there and a different look and a different guy getting that look, and every kid can’t get the physical rep on the field. Sometimes there’s the mental reps that you’ve got to see, oh, yeah, I saw that, I didn’t get that play, but Phil got it, Stocker didn’t get it, but you’ve just got to take mental reps. That’s why we have film sessions. There’s plenty of that.

Q. You guys played a ridiculous game against Syracuse two years ago. Last year at least defensively it was more like what you guys are used to. Do you feel like there was some sort of lesson learned or something you took from that game two years ago that you were able to have so much success against them defensively?
PAT NARDUZZI: Yeah, again it goes back to sometimes it’s the Xs and Os and sometimes it’s the personnel. Two years ago, I’ll never forget that game for a long time. But we had a lot of missing pieces in the back end that day, and it was structurally and it was physical because of our lack of depth back there and the amount of plays, 126 plays that day, compared to 91 last weekend, because — and our offense scored every — they scored in one play and then we’re back out there, Gatorade to-go, there’s just so many factors. I hope we have that problem this weekend, scoring really fast. I think. I hope for that.

But when you look at those factors, with personnel, and then sometimes it’s us doing something different because of the personnel, so we’re playing off coverage, which we don’t really like to do, so I think it was a little bit of both.

Q. With Syracuse’s tempo and the quarterback, how similar is your preparation defensively compared to how it was last week?PAT NARDUZZI: The preparation is going to be almost exactly the same. The defenses are going to vary. We’re going to obviously do some things different. But the preparation — for our kids, I told them watching that tape, that side of the ball especially, that side is a little bit different as far as what they do defensively. They’re four down, a lot of cover three principles, but for the defensive side of the ball, them watching that tape is just kind of a make your corrections, learn from your mistakes and let’s fix them for Saturday. That’s really what it comes down to because they’re going to do some of the same things that Central Florida did, and then they’re going to make their adjustments, okay, they’re doing this, so there will be a lot of back and forth.

You know, for them, they’ve got to be excited that we played Central Florida the last game. For us, we’re saying, hey, at least it got us prepared for the tempo. Our guys know that’s not going to be a problem coming in. We’re going to be able to get lined up. You put on tape against Central Florida, and probably the most proud thing is our guys got lined up. There was not times — I told you that one substitution problem was ours, but our guys were lined up in position to make plays, and that’s half the battle is getting your home spot.

I could throw a tape on; you couldn’t tell what a front and coverage it is because Syracuse or Central Florida is going quick, and guys aren’t even lined up. I don’t know how you identify a front because there’s nobody lined up and people are just running to the other side, and the ball is being snapped. We didn’t have any of that. That’s a good thing. So our guys should be prepared for that.

Q. How is Taysir?
PAT NARDUZZI: Taysir is doing great. He’s a great kid. He’s doing great.

Q. What did you think of the call on Wirginis?
PAT NARDUZZI: I don’t know, I don’t get into officials or injuries, Mr. Controversy over there. I’ll leave you to do that. You guys do that job. That’s not me. I learned my lesson. See, I learn from my lessons. You ain’t getting me.

223 thoughts on “Narduzzi Presser for Syracuse Game

  1. “We played with toughness.” You got your collective butts handed to you Pat ! Embarrassing on field performance followed by this presser.

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    1. I hear ya BigB!. He’s a joke.

      To date.
      He got destroyed by PSU
      Win over GT
      Loss against a horrible UNC team
      Crushed by UCF

      His press conferences are terrible. UCF just about tripled the line with the final score and this Fraud 2 is talking about how his team played with toughness. Please. He mentioned multiple times Pitt had no problems with their tempo. Please.He doesn’t even take these press conferences seriously. Earth to Pat……they keep score for a reason.

      My prediction is if he wins 4 games, Pitt sits on their hands and do nothing. Only to see next year even worse. He will be playing the “were young card” all season.

      Year one….8
      year two….8
      year three..5
      year four….4

      Are you starting to see a trend?

      Basically 6 wins per year. Hello Paul. Chryst was eviscerated on this board for this.

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  2. The FIRST sign that Narduzzi is feeling the HEAT… and DESPERATE to keep his job.

    Finally… an admission of guilt… sort of.

    Asked to identify the biggest problem from among scheme, preparation and personnel, he faulted all three, plus coaching.

    “Sometimes, there’s a mismatch somewhere where, ‘Wow, we’re not fast enough to cover that guy,’ or take that guy out of the backfield, but it’s football,” (Narduzzi) said.

    “Sometimes it’s scheme. Sometimes it’s personnel, mismatches, and sometimes it’s coaching. It’s our job as coaches to put our kids in position to make a play. And when you look at it, is it structural? Is it physical? Is it mental? There’s a little bit of everything, which there is in every game.”

    Trib Review

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  3. Just bouncing around looking at some Pitt stats and wondered how Narduzzi stacks up defensively against our last three HCs:

    2018 – 32.0 ppt allowed
    2017 – 26.6
    2016 – 35.2
    2015 – 26.1.
    2014 – 26.3
    2013 – 27.2
    2012 – 21.1
    2011 – 22.8
    2010 – 19.0
    2009 – 19.7

    Narduzzi allowed 30 ppg on average
    Chryst allowed 25 ppg
    Graham allowed 23 ppg
    Wannstedt allowed 19 ppg

    Methinks we were sold a bill of goods.with a so-called “Defensive Genius”

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    1. I like to compare apples to apples. Where is Narduzzi in the ACC rankings?

      A good offense is obviously part of this equation, but he is responsible for that also.

      2018 – 13th
      2017 – 9th
      2106 – 13th

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  4. Narduzzi, in his seven years in the B10, averaged 21 ppt

    Not shabby for the lower scoring B10 conference.

    So far at Pitt in the ACC his defenses are allowing 30 ppg…big difference. Of course he’s not the DC here either. If he were those numbers might (might) drop.

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    1. Good points for discussion. It’s tough to compare PN to previous coaches, not just because he’s not the DC here, but the schedule he has played has been much tougher than Wannstedt’s slate, and Graham is irrelevant because he was only here one year. But the comparison with Chryst is relevant, even if our schedule has been a bit tougher, and suggests what we all know deep down inside: our defense has been subpar during PN’s tenure overall. Frankly, I think our offense is worse than our defense this year.

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  5. I think the level of competition had something to do with the scoring, but no doubt, the defense is certainly no better. No Defensive Genius has been evident.

    I still say it has as much to do with recruiting as it does with scheme.

    Guys are just not making plays even when they are there to be made.

    Too many individual battles being lost. Too many blown coverages.

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  6. I’ve always been convinced that Michigan State was all about Dantonio. Narduzzi was simply a Beneficiary.

    For the most part, seeing what both have done since Narduzzi came to Pitt would seem to support that.

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  7. Gc, I agree.

    Because he targeted and recruited kids based on how they would “fit” into his defensive systems instead of going after the best, most talented athletes he could get he really limited his recruiting field.

    Now he has kids who fit into his flawed defensive plans and missed out on higher talented athletes who could have been taught how to fit into that defense.

    Almost every coach I have heard talk about HS recruiting has said they always go for the best athletes then make things work afterward.

    He’s so wedded to his particular defense he can’t see any other way to do things.

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  8. I called for UCF to score 70 they could have easily done that, if they did not take their foot off the gas in the 2nd half. Narduzzi is well aware his seat is getting hot this press conference is case and point.

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  9. If he is such a D genius then others would be copying him….

    This week will be another game of opponents receivers running free with no one near them…vuja da .. all over again…

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  10. Reed, the 1996 Pitt team had 5 losses of 30 or more points this team could match that down the strecth. West Virginia won 34-0, Miami win 45-0, Ohio State win 72-0, Syracuse 55-7, Notre Dame 60-6. This team could very well match that.

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  11. I think Narduzzi’s recruiting has been somewhere around average certainly not above and dangerously close to below. but over-all, average. This class has some good players and he usually gets the better player or two last minute. About him not going after the better players and only looking for players to fit his scheme? Sorry Reed, I really don’t buy that. I think he gets the best players his recruiting ability, restrictions and budget affords him.

    If this season continues on the path they are now on, it would not be a surprise if big changes occur. Somehow and this is just a wild guess, it seems that the entire University of Pittsburgh has learned a lesson from the past that the grass may not be all that greener on the other side of the fence. I just hope if or when Narduzzi goes they open up the purse strings even more.

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    1. What is his success rate on the higher rated recruits, most of them have failed. Narduzzi’s eye for talent is lacking.

      Player development. Since his own recruits have stepped on campus who has his staff made into a really good player? Not hype but actual performance on the football field? They are few and far in between.

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    2. Reed called this early on, Narduzzi has not been recruiting well, and ultimately this is a big part of the program’s downward trend. I see the problems as two-fold: (1) a downward trend in signing those higher rated players (trend, meaning he was more successful earlier on, and is less so now), and (2) his inability to identify guys that are better than their rankings. I don’t know, but I think overall you could say Narduzzi is close to Chryst in recruiting based on rankings/stars over his tenure, but Chryst had a clear (offensive) identify and did a good job of finding under-the-radar players that fit his plan, whereas it seems to me that Narduzzi’s under-the-radar players are simply not that good. Many times 2 and 3 star guys (and sometimes walk-ons) are better than 4 and 5 star guys as well all know, which is why the evaluation process is so important, and I believe we are sorely lacking here…

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  12. This copied from the end of the previous thread:

    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 survival mode. Saying the problem is everything, schemes, players, coaching, etc. is like saying I don’t know what the problem is. He finishes by saying ” you ain’t getting me.” Paranoia is setting in. Not a good place to be…

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  13. I posted years ago before being banned from the PSU site, when it is over for Paterno it will end badly.Little did I know he was responsible for the Pedo running loose and not using his massive power to put Sandusky away. I also think when the end comes for Narduzzi, it will end badly. He will not think he got a fair shake to build his program. He is disconnected from the actual play and that is not a good sign. . .

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  14. On the last thread, Annie mentioned last Friday’s women’s volleyball team match with Miami. I was also in attendance — what a performance! If you want to see some students excel in athletic competition, go check them out. It was straight up domination on Friday.

    From what I’ve heard, the level of competition in the ACC is behind that of the Pac12 and big10, but it’s still nice to see Pitt student athletes play so well.

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    1. Pitt has a very good coach (hired Fisher in 2012) and Pitt has a senior laden team
      Yes – the ACC is not the premier conference
      But, Pitt can now probably beat Penn State who has been a perennial national power and champion
      Unfortunately, Pitt’s team plays in an un-air conditioned dump

      Mens soccer is also on the rise. Barnes hired a great coach and that coach reeled in the 5th best recruiting class nationally last year. The ACC is the premier conference for soccer. No other conference is close.

      whats the common theme?
      Coaches

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  15. As for the football team, I didn’t get watch the full game but listened to certain parts on the radio. The highlight of the game was at one point in the 1st half when Hillgrove complained about the size of the UCF press box saying it was the “size of a telephone booth” and Bostick then says “I want to teleport.” It was hilarious.

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  16. Don’t you feel sorry for Hillgrove, so dedicated to Pitt football and forced to watch such mediocrity and embarrassing performances over all of his broadcasting years (since about 1982).

    Like

    1. Voice of Reason – I feel sorry for all us POVers who want Pitt to field a team dedicated to winning, not mediocrity . At least, unlike Hillgrove, we’re not forced to watch or listen to such embarrassing performances, which I don’t anymore. – Hobie, a tortured soul

      Like

  17. What’s coming in to more focus for me (maybe I’m a little alow!) is that part of his recruting issue id that he is not articulate at all. Add to that his undeserved cockiness and arrogance and there is no way you walk out of a high school coaches office or a kids living room making anyine feel good. You also can’t help sell the program to the fans, media or BOT. It is clear that he is in over his head and beyond his capabilities. The AD must see this because it is so obvious.

    Like

  18. It’s ridiculous to say points don’t matter. Getting blown out over and over reveals major issues with the program. If the games are close, the issues are typically solvable and there is optimism.

    Like

  19. My point exactly, Mike. The losses are so huge that Narduzzi can’t point to one area and say if it is fixed things will turn around. We are just getting platitudes not solutions at this point. Nothing to provide any hope that Cuse will end differently.

    Like

  20. I’m not going to defend Narduzzi or his scheme. But, so far this season, I’ve observed that he’s at least attempted to get out of his base defense and adapt a little. He adapted against GT, and he played a lot of nickel against UCF. That said, results are what count, and his defense got beat repeatedly by UCF and others.

    Dungey is similar to Milton and McSorley, and the result will be similar as well. Syracuse will score more than 40 points against our defense. And, Pitt does not have the capability to match/exceed that scoring production.

    We will face quite a few productive QBs through the end of the season so it is going to be tough sledding.

    Good thing Pitt fans are tough…

    Like

  21. Hobie, this is traditionally the time of year when I say, well on to basketball. But even with Capel, his first year will be difficult.

    Like

  22. Altoona – interesting reference to the 1996 team. I had a similar thought about the 1968 Panther team. They also lost by more than 30 points 5 times, and by 20 0r more 7 times.
    I would argue that the 68 squad was the worst. They only played 10 games back then. With one or 2 more chances who knows how bad they could have been.

    Coincidentally this is the 50th anniversary of the 68 season. I wonder if they’ll recognize members of that squad at the homecoming game on Saturday .

    Like

  23. the 1992 squad had 4 30+ losses – ND, State, WVCC, Cuse
    It was Hacketts last year before ushering in Majors 2
    Mike McCarthy and Chris Petersen were O coaches on this team
    The D had Sal Sunseri
    Nuff said

    This years teams is very similar to the 1992 team which went 3-9

    Like

  24. I agree the recruiting has been below the line but the rest of the teams in the coastal outside of Va Tech and Miami recruit at or below Pitts level.
    The reason I referenced the 96 squad is because the following year we had a new coach with the same players and he took us bowling. This team has no stars but with the right coaching they have enough talent to compete in the Coastal.
    Wannstedt could not win the Big East with the best talent in the league. His talent level covered up many coaching blunders. It is time to make a coaching change my friends.

    Like

  25. He’s a 3* from California guys. Maybe he’s having a good season out there and getting more interest from closer to home? I know he cites the lack of TE use but why didn’t he know that before committing? He should have called me first?

    Like

    1. Koonz is from Youngstown, OH, playing at a Cali JuCo.

      Word is the JuCo he is at now lied to him about throwing to the tight ends, so he doesn’t want to make that mistake when playing on the D-1 level next season. Good for him.

      More decommits to come, so time to cut the chord with Narduzzi because the inevitable will just happen next season.

      Thinking Fickell from UC might be worth a look.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I want a good recruiter and I want a offensive coach. I’m assuming Pitt will lean to the cheaper end of things, I prefer Jason Candle over Fickell. Candle is a fantastic recruiter. I just hope Matt Campbell does not get into his ear.

        Like

  26. Ike,
    thanks for the PA top 10 Redneck towns. Washington was #1 – where the best pick up line that guys use is
    “Hey good look’n, nice tooth”

    Like

  27. Pittastic – there is no “if the recruiting will fall apart” It will be falling apart this season. He can’t sell the rebuild or young card anymore , its his 4th year with a veteran defense and 4 seniors on the OL. I say we cut ties now – who do we have on our coaching list?

    Like

  28. The fact that he thinks the program is going in the right direction pretty much sums it up. He doesn’t have a clue how to solve any of the problems with this team. Recruits (and maybe some underclassmen)are definitely going to bail. Hate to say it, but we need to go back to the well and restart the process. No 2019 or 2020 recruit is going to want a ticket for a train that the engineer does not know how to drive.

    Like

  29. I think I said some time ago recruits will flee and transfers will occur. Before some get up in arms this happens at any school where the program tanks. If he wins 4 games or less it will be very difficult to keep even this very average class intact. If it’s 4 or less, there really is no reason to keep him other than financial.

    Now, some are even more vocal than I about getting someone else. Who specifically and realistically? I’d like to know so I can do a little research. ( or I can ask Heather on the cruise.)

    Like

  30. Reed above. Narduzzi also said that PITT would play their base defense against UCF and everyone complained. They played a 4-2-5 most of the game.You’re the one who tells us to not believe everything he says.

    Like

    1. What are his options? I know when he verballed he didn’t have many options, just a couple of p5 offers if my memory is correct. Have some new offers come in?

      One of the ones I’m most worried about is Mack.

      Like

  31. Ya, I noticed that when I do a new paragraph it goes nuts, thought it was just me. Then again, the content is usually wonky anyhow, lol.

    Like

  32. I think Beville is solid from what I read. Plus, thinking if things keep going wonky (a new word I leaned) he’s looking at a golden opportunity at PITT.

    Like

    1. Satterfield is not really an option. He was a player at App state and has coached their a long time. Think about this for a second, he’s been at App state since 1991. Yes, 1991. He just got an extension about 10 days ago. Granted, he could still leave but if he decides to do that, he will have better options than Pitt. It sucks to hear but its the truth.

      Like

      1. Darren – Niumatalolo has spent an awful lot of time coaching the flexbone/triple option offense at Navy. I definitely don’t want to run the Navy/GT offense at Pitt. It has it’s pluses for sure, but also has quite a few minuses.

        He’s a good coach, just not my cup of tea in terms of offensive scheme.

        Like

  33. Sorta piggy backing off of my brother Altoona Zach, this is the worst Pitt Football team I have seen since that dreadful 1996 squad.

    As he mentioned is it recruiting or is it coaching?

    When I ask myself this question I remember what a change in coaching did in 1997. Recruiting makes a coach’s job easier. But I believe coaching carries more weight.

    Go find a coach that is good at coaching first but also a great sales man and hire some traveling sales men to accompany him.

    In other words if we could put Walt’s X and O’s brain in Wanny’s body we would have a heck of coach that could win even if home games were played at PNC Park.

    Like

  34. Recruiting quality players isn’t the problem. I really believe that.

    Other schools wanted Camp, Watts, Wheeler, Hamlin, Ford, Pine, Brightwell, Miller, McKee, Coleman….etc. There are plenty of kids on the defensive side of the ball to be able to field a competitive defense.

    It’s coaching both in scheme and/or player development.

    Regardless it’s evident to everyone that isn’t dug in and unwilling to relent that Narduzzi doesn’t have the answers.

    Worst part, it’s going to erode further. He’s lost the team from what I understand and he’s technique using the officials early will backfire because he has no recourse when these kids begin to decommit.

    What I am not going to do is parse every word and change history though. Who cares what he said about points….it’s fhe truth. You can give up points but create turnovers and wins. And I’m not going to denigrate him professionally either.

    He had skill…he needed to be less stubborn. Maybe he’s a coordinator at the top? I’ve also heard the golden parachute crap. The guy works hard he just doesn’t have the answers to fix.

    Like

    1. Darren, you said

      Other schools wanted Camp, Watts, Wheeler, Hamlin, Ford, Pine, Brightwell, Miller, McKee, Coleman….etc. There are plenty of kids on the defensive side of the ball to be able to field a competitive defense.

      Darren do see the problem here? Not much production on the football field. Either Narduzzi has a poor eye for talent or he’s sucks at player development.

      Currently we have a two prong problem, coaching and not enough talent. Add to it with this years class with more players than normal with really weak offer sheets. Like with some of them not one other p5 coach wanted some of these players. Recruiting is a game of probabilities. When no other p5 coach in the country thinks they can play at this level, the odds for success are not high.

      Its year four and very very few of Narduzzi’s recruits have actually out performed on the football field. Many of them have been disappointments.

      What Narduzzi recruits have been really good on the football field? You know, like a McCoy, Donald, McKillop, Dion, Graham, DJ, Boyd, Holtz and the like. We have gotten them in past, Who has Narduzzi come thru with? Real talent does not wait, it plays early and often.

      Like

      1. I acknowledged player development and scheme..

        I’m sorry I know Paris Ford is a special talent.

        There is no confidence. When a mistake is made the player is immediately pulled.

        The culture of stubbornness and playing upperclassman is as much a problem as anything.

        Like

        1. I love the site and the back and forth.

          But it’s a real buzzkill managing this from your phone.

          One suggestion I would offer to my friend Reed is descending post order. Meaning the most recent post comes on top. After The UNC game it took me 27 minutes to get to a recent post.

          Thanks for listening.

          Like

  35. As to injuries, isn’t there some law that you can’t divulge college students injuries?

    As to the Pitt defense, take out the 3 passes to their track star running back who toasted our linebackers, and the 4-2-5 defense gave up 168 yards, 15 catches on 31 attempts.

    I feel that is much more representative of how the defensive secondary played on Saturday and I would hope they stick to that 3 db 2 safety formation against the rest of the spread option teams we face.

    They really need to do something about their linebackers on pass plays. I feel Pitt’s linebackers have been getting burnt ever since Russell Wilson scorched them for a come behind nc state win.

    Obviously the score was atrocious. I just wanted to point out that the secondary did very well against a heisman canidate averaging 300 passing yards per game.

    If, and these are big ifs.. but if Pitt can find defensive lineman who can get into the other teams backfield, and if they can find offensive lineman who can pass block, and if they can find linebackers who can cover tight ends and running backs receiving passes, then this Pitt team could be much much better.

    Oh and a punter. We need one of those too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No, injuries to athletes can be made public…that privacy coverage is waived when they accept the athletic scholarship. Regular students who areoverr 18 and go to the university’s health clinics are covered under Student Privacy Laws.

      Every student is covered for academic privacy from the public, but again student athletes’ academic records can be disclosed to the NCAA.

      Like

  36. Recruiting matters the most in this scheme. If you have 5 star talent at all of the defensive positions, the would be a force. Dlineman moving through double teams to sack the qb. Linebackers intercepting passes. No open receivers. 5 star wr catching passes from a 5 star qb who has all day to throw thanks to his 5 star linemen. Not to mention the 5 star running back running all over the opposition. Heck we wouldn’t even need a 5 star punter.

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  37. Wanny had a good team where the “stars” were the RBs and the DEs. Those two positions made a lot of plays on Wanny’s later teams. The rest of the team was decent but not great.

    Out RB recruiting needs to change to the Dion and Ray style of runner. Did I hear correctly last night that the leading rusher in the NFL last season was a back who played for Toledo?

    “Change of direction” is what we need in a RB, (and apparently what we need in the program)…

    Go Pitt.

    Like

    1. Wannstedt definitely struggled recruiting in the back seven on defense, but the secondary was getting better with Williams and Hendricks, the 2011 verbals Kyshon Jarrett, who started four years at VTech and Terrell Chestnut (WVU) . Lafayette Pitts likely joins in 2012 and then there was an upswing in kids in Western, PA, to recruit starting in 2013 I believe. Two kids went to Michigan State and the Quip, Henry, who’s a senior at WVU.

      Linebacker had Adam Gunn and the 2011 verbal who ended up at Iowa, Quentin Alston. Having a bigger recruiting budget to recruit Florida instead if it being sliced by Nordy could have helped improve the position.

      Like

  38. Once again—Wanny just HAD to go huh?? Seriously because he fought with Stevie and Nordy??? GOOD they were both worthless.
    Walt Harris and Dave Wannstedt were the best coaches we have had since 1992 and both were treated like garbage by our AD and chancellor. That’s the Pitt way I guess

    Like

    1. Worthless? Have you reviewed the academic and physical buildings progress under Nordenberg. Not to mention the rather dramatic rise in Pitt’s endowment.

      Football fans tend to forget the Chancellor’s responsibilities are to the whole of the school…not just the athletic programs.

      Like

      1. I wont forgive Marks golden parachute to his friend Steve
        I wont forgive Mark for totally ignoring the front porch

        Pitt’s endowment has risen like many other schools helped by a robust stock market. But its always been impressive helped by Pittsburgh old money.

        Pitt has some of the oldest athletic facilities in the ACC (Fitzgerald and Trees Hall)

        Pitt is also now tied with Florida St in academic ranking (US News). Pitt ranks near the bottom of the ACC in BOTH academics and athletics.

        I’m not here to rag on the man. He did plenty of good but lets not build a statue for him.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Pitt is in the bottom of the ACC in academic rankings and was tied with Florida State per rankings that someone posted on here in August I believe. Pitt shouldn’t even be mentioned with a school like FSU when it comes to academics.

        Like

        1. that was me
          because Pitt people (those insiders), think their school is so good academically
          I graduated from Pitt and yes I’m slamming its gradual slip in the US News Report
          That Report may be flawed in its methodology but its the one that gets the most cred and exposure
          30 years ago, Florida State was no better than WVCC
          But it has caught up to Pitt
          I look at these rankings as a series over time
          Only Louisville is WVCC like in the conference

          Fact – Pitt is in the bottom 20% in BOTH academics and athletics in the ACC

          Like

    1. thats been the biggest problem. The Pitt Chancellor and AD often dont have a slid succession plan. If you’re going to fire someone, make sure that new coach is a significant improvement.

      Majors to Jackie: Great
      Jackie to Foge: Bad
      Foge to Gottfriend: Good
      Gottfriend to Hackett: Bad
      Hackett to Majors: Very Bad
      Majors to Harris: Good
      Harris to Wanny: Good
      Wanny to Haywood: VERY BAD BAD BAD
      Haywood to Chryst: Good (if you like stability and mediocrity)
      Chryst to Narduzzi: Looking Bad right now

      So 50% of Pitts hires in the last 40 years have been Bad
      Thats why Pitt has been so Bad

      I do NOT trust Heather or Pat to get this next hire right. I pretty much trust any regular poster on this site with that decision over the dotards in the Pitt administration.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hackett won 40% of his games including a bowl win
        Narduzzi is on pace for winning 50% of his games with 2 bowl losses

        In Hackett’s last year, he lost by more than 30 points to 4 teams
        Narduzzi has already done this twice with 7 more games to play

        Its darn close to Hackett level

        Like

    1. 247 crystal balled him to Pitt awhile ago, I wonder what happened? So much time has passed its not surprising he didn’t come here. Also, these current verbals and potential verbals now get a chance to see the product on the field. Just like with Koontz seeing that Watson does not use TE’s.

      If this Pitt team keeps losing, expect more verbals to flee.

      Like

      1. Pitt will have a case of adverse selection
        Pitt will be left with the 2 and 3 star recruits whose best offer was Pitt
        The better recruits who had more offers and offers from P-5 schools will be the ones who leave
        Pitt’s recruiting rank will slip out of the top 60
        If Narduzzi is retained, next years recruiting class will be no better than UConn’s

        Like

  39. Something very peculiar with the odds of some of this weekends football games.

    Either Vegas has lost its touch, or a lot of teams are improperly ranked in the standings.

    The #5 team in the country, LSU, only favored by 2.5 versus a just joined the rankings Florida.

    Then we have the #13 team in the country, Kentucky, getting 6.5 points from an unranked! A&M.. Getting points, sheesh.

    And #8 Auburn getting only 3.5 versus unranked miss. st.

    Not to mention Syracuse only giving 3.5 to Pitt.

    Very bizarre.

    Like

    1. I was not surprised at all with the Kentucky line. But I did do a double take with that LSU line. Every year I’m amazed how good Vegas is at these lines.

      Like

      1. except last week when many on this blog called the spread by more than 30 because we pessimists know how bad this Pitt team really is

        Easy money this weekend
        Bet the house on Cuse

        Like

  40. It is over.
    The program is dead.
    A dramatic move needs to be made.
    I vote for firing him on Sunday.
    The class is already leaving.
    The carcass has been left to rot. Throw it out now before the smell gets worse.

    Like

  41. True rumor, Heather going on Cuba cruise is cover for recruiting trip to get Fidel Ortega- Jose- Schmidt. Yes, I say he is the best coach on the island and can lead us back!! He reportedly combines JMs capacity for scotch, Jackie’s castrations, MGs rah rah, PHs Brilliant offensive mind, JM lls remarkable ability to make everyone forget about JM l, WHs solid ground game, DWs steel eyed in game coaching, MHs great right hand, TGs commitment, PCs fashion style, and PNs recruiting and defensive mind. He’s a whiner, oops, I mean winner. I’m all in!

    Liked by 2 people

  42. Seriously? It’s getting time for me to look into the mirror and ask myself. Where am I and why do I allow myself to be read all this paranoia? I have plenty enough turmoil in my life already. Reed has it right, he always backs up what he’s about to forward us but some of you just shoot from the hip without any thought provoking info other than PITT sucks. I apologize, it’s not you guys, it’s me but this is getting old.

    Didn’t we just do this a few years ago and a few years before that? Maybe the entire class leaves, all 17 of them, I’ll worry about that when the time comes. We just had a tornado warning and a great friend called and informed me to be aware. I said thanks and I will be on the lookout. What else could I have done? I worry about things I can control.. . . ike ……….. btw . . . … . tornado passed south…

    Like

  43. Glad you’re safe Ike. Radar showing all kind of crap around me but it never even rained here. Crazy. I’ve turned to baseball until Saturday.

    Liked by 1 person

  44. I just don’t get why people think change is going to be bad at Pitt…if it happened that is.

    We’ve been a .500 program for decades and that means any change can’t get a whole lot worse.

    But if things are going downhill fast, which it seems to be, then why not?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Reed, maybe because it’s been proven that change doesn’t work?? imo, PITT most certainly would have won more games by know since the Wanny firing… That’s what i think.

      Like

      1. You need to have competent people making the hires. They have made plenty of mistakes. After the Wanny firing, they have nobody to blame but themselves. Now, They cannot even get the uniform thing right. Its not that hard to figure out.

        Like

        1. Wanny started out the same way hiring bad asst coaches if you remember? Well in Narduzzi’s case and except for Canada. (who everyone scoffed at) I’m willing to say this for probably the 50th time, go ahead and fire the guy. I do not care. I think it’s sets the program back for years and I just may not have that many left.

          This BS that the guy is a JO is total crap to me. It means absolutely nothing. Plus his hairy arms and gorilla calf’s, to add on he makes 3.5 million dollars and people want to hold that against him. Why don’t they go out and find a job making 3.5 mill?

          Like

            1. When you have a first year starter at QB you usually take a step back.

              He had a very good recruiting class that was going to get better.

              Like

              1. Plus, dropping to 7-5 is better than going 5-7.

                Watching Lewis and Graham running behind a good line returning against a poor schedule would have been a lot better than watching Todd Graham’s 2011 team.

                What a D-line that could have been that season: Donald, Chas, Caragein and Lindsey.

                Sunseri would have played better in Cignetti’s system, too.

                Like

    2. We changed coaches more than Ike has to change his underwear and we still went 6-6 and to a bowl every year.

      Now, not so much. Btw, it’s time for both Ike

      Like

  45. Very OT but wanted to put this on the record. Pat, Larry or Tom and Scooter get cropped out of my gravatar but not on my doing. No disrespect intended and my apologies.

    Like

      1. I agree
        These colors actually look very good on TV
        We can all debate the shade of blue and gold
        I personally favor Royal Blue…not Aqua or Navy
        The yellow to me is fine…a vast improvement over Vegas Gold

        Like

  46. Here’s something we already know… Pitt’s penalties.

    http://www.post-gazette.com/sports/Pitt/2018/10/02/pitt-penalties-pat-narduzzi-pittsburgh-panthers-ncaa-statistics/stories/201810020168

    “Some of the problems, he believes, come from the number of inexperienced players upon whom Pitt is relying, something the team will have to “live with and try to correct.” Offensive lineman Connor Dintino sees growth that can come from the early miscues, as he said the team has become much more focused on identifying mistakes and holding teammates accountable for fixing them.”

    Sure, that’s it…

    Like

  47. regarding losing TE Koontz

    “Koontz’s de-commitment comes almost a year to the day from another H-Back/fullback type, Jay Symonds, flipping his verbal pledge from Pitt to Stanford last Oct. 8. Losing recruits hasn’t been a major issue in coach Pat Narduzzi’s tenure, but this is now the third in the past year, all of which were tight ends. New Jersey prospect Matt Alaimo opted not to sign with Pitt in December and ended up at UCLA. He and Symonds both appear to be redshirting this season.”

    http://www.post-gazette.com/sports/Pitt/2018/10/02/travis-koontz-decommit-pitt-football-recruiting-2019-class-pittsburgh-panthers/stories/201810020136

    Like

  48. I got both of my eyes directed right at you pal. I have a memory like an elephant unless you ask me something that happened 3 hours ago. . Then I draw a blank.

    Like

  49. Only one person holds that $3.5M against PN Ike… everyone else feels that he doesn’t deserve to make that much money as a HC with what will be a losing record at the end of this season for the 2nd consecutive year.

    Like

  50. We shall see buddy, we shall see. . and I’m not ruling that out at the moment.

    I’m ready to bring in the next guy that so many will bitch about. (not so much you Reed) One good reason? You would have had your back surgery and hopefully access to the PITT practices and I see you more often…

    Like

  51. There is no way the pitt job is a destination for any up and commer. All we can hire are retreads and tenured coordinators. Pc got lucky going back to wisky. Narduzzi may not be the answer but I give him credit. He seems to like pgh

    Like

    1. any non P-5 coach would jump at the chance to coach at Pitt:
      probably a 150% raise
      P-5 conference
      fertile recruiting ground within a 300 mile radius
      money in the budget for an experienced staff
      money in the budget to recruit plenty of 4 stars
      an AD that is hands off

      Pitt has never had good success hiring assistant coaches:
      Foge
      Hackett
      Chryst
      Narduzzi

      Like

    1. And to think Tim Salem has been spending sleepless nights at the practice facility. Might as well just turn in a 9-to-5 buddy, and keep that from the media. That ratio of hours coached to TE receptions is getting larger. I chuckled when somebody posted that Gragg was having a breakout game against UCF – 3 catches for 21 yards.

      Like

  52. And another Reality Check on the Narduzzi Regime… again thanks to the Trib Review.

    Now comes word from Ventura (Calif.) College that junior college tight end Travis Koontz, a three-star prospect, has re-opened his recruitment after verbally committing to Pitt in June.

    The Narduzzi Trainwreck picking up steam!

    Like

  53. Well that is a bad stat PoD considering KP’s lack of experience. I’m certainly not the first to suggest this but a TE can be a young QB’s best friend. An offense is basically two things. Getting the linebacker’s out of the box and/or getting them to commit to being inside the box. Manipulation of the defense. I’m not seeing the setting up the next play out of this offense. Hopefully an adjustment by Watson but I don’t see it coming.

    Like

  54. Tex, I just meant I prefer the mustard shade. I like the retros. Its just that it looks like our helmets could be sponsored by chiquita bananas.

    Like

    1. Here is the bottom line, it only matters what he’s doing here. Pitt does not get bonus points if he did or did not do something at a previous job. The fact is, after his Texas debacle, nobody wanted him again as a OC. Until Narduzzi picked his buddy, at that time he had the title of quality control.

      Like

  55. I’ve been laying low since Saturday, trying to put things in perspective.

    Now I view the POV like I view Pitt football… I used to get frustrated by the absurdity, now I just expect it and laugh.

    Like

  56. It is not likely that Narduzzi would land as a DC at a P5 program since his Pitt defenses have been so bad. We’re probably talking about a lower level school or maybe a P5 DL or DE coach somewhere.

    Like

  57. Jay, an honest question. Why do you view the POV and laugh when 99% of the comments are in agreement with your thoughts? Seriously and a honest question and not jagging.

    Like

    1. No need for apologies PoD and that is a complicated counter statement. “NEVER”?) I really don’t understand it. Plus I absolutely disagree with it. Most of the time a tight end dictates the defensive scheme.

      Like

      1. You’re either Blocking or going out for a Pass. The exception might be a Screen where a Tight End might be used to draw attention away.

        Of course, you can RUN to weak side. But this defeats the purpose of having a Tight End.

        Like

  58. First of all, you all think JC transfers are crap, so the loss of this kids commitment should not matter to you.

    Secondly, the TE are being used a lot in pass blocking.

    Thirdly, they are more than capable of getting open. Gragg is very fast and Sear is super athletic. It is the offensive scheme and game planning stopping them from catching passes. Not the players.

    The TEs are the least of Pitt’s worries.

    One more ACC loss and it is time to play all the young guys on offense that they can get in. OL, RB, WR.

    Liked by 2 people

  59. I hope everyone is still checking out and reading The Pitt Blather because Chas always has good and interesting thoughts in his articles. His latest piece is certainly one of those and I urge all of the POV readers to read that article.

    http://www.pittblather.com/2018/09/30/burn-it-all-i-guess/

    In the comments a poster named “55” wrote the following. I don’t agree with everything he says but it is a very good take on the state of our FB program as it stands now…

    HCPN is not the savior, but he’s not damnation incarnate either. Pitt’s football troubles are deep and numerous. I’m not sure any coach could win consistently with the talent we have. Pitt faces so many battles on so many fronts that it’s hard to ascertain which things to address first. In no particular order:

    Recruiting: What’s the real difference between a 3-star and a 4-star kid? Or a 5-star vs. a 4-star? You will find that, athletically speaking, they are pretty similar. The can all run a 40 time within a fraction of a 10th. They can all jump within a fraction of an inch. I contend that it is the cerebral part of the game that makes the difference. Call it what you like – football IQ, or whatever. That’s what defines teams – they all have raw talent. The cerebral stuff can’t always be coached, as we have seen.

    It wasn’t long a ago that Pitt, and many other programs, found a lot of talent in Florida and Texas – the “unwanted” talent that was still pretty good overall. With the shifting conference landscape over the last 5-10 years, a lot has changed. Programs like USF, UCF, Baylor, TCU, and others, are keeping more of that talent closer to home. But Pitt has to do better – and it’s no longer a matter of “having a presence”. You need to sell a story and a vision, which brings me to…

    Conference: Pitt doesn’t belong in the ACC. Hear me out. It was the right thing to do at the time. It was the ONLY thing to do at the time, and we all know why they did it. But it’s still messy. By and large, the Northern ACC teams have not fared historically well in the conference. Pitt, BC, and Syracuse have all had their struggles at the bottom of the food chain, and I don’t think it’s a coincidence. It’s a stretch to think the Northern schools can get the same kind of traction on a kid in the South East that even a non-ACC team can get in region.

    If you’re a 4-star kid who can’t land FSU, Miami, or Florida, you’re next stop is probably going to be closer to home – Duke, NC State, even Virginia/VA Tech. But Pitt is a stretch. Conversely, Pitt has a problem in its own backyard, because like it or not, this is Big10 country. Then it’s MAC country. I always thought Pitt would have been better able to recruit in the Big-10, even if they got the “scraps” because you’ve got North East talent that is looking to at least stay in the North East. Lots of other factors, but our “home grown” 4-stars start winding up in Iowa or Indiana (Perdue, not ND) or some place similar.

    The ACC in general has little appeal to them in the lower tiers of the conference. I don’t know how to fix it – but we’re winding up with 2-3-star sub scraps and that’s not going to win consistently in any conference.

    Coaching: Do we need the “young up and comer” or the “grizzled veteran who knows who to get it done”. Does it even matter, because as mentioned, it’s a talent based game. Nick Saban might be “better” at Pitt than Pat Narduzzi, but he’s not going to be winning titles any time soon. As stated – HCPN is neither a blessing or a curse. He is what he is and it would be a stretch for anyone to come in here and move the needle significantly. We’re 30 years plus into giving the “next guy” his 4-5 years to build his program. It’s still not working.

    Game Day Experience: I get it – read my lips – no new stadium. But overall something has to be done regarding the poor attendance and lack of overall enthusiasm at Heinz Field. It comes back to recruiting – kids want to play in front of a lot of people in meaningful games where they get media exposure. Noon games in front of 15-20K isn’t inspiring.

    So yeah, we can blame coaching, and it’s not even wrong to do so, but to me it’s like worrying about the cough when it’s the cancer that’s killing you. Coaching to me is a symptom – the disease needs to be addressed.”

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    1. A good head coach who can recruit, develop players and implement a system can and will help Pitt achieve success (9-10 win seasons with the occasional division title and chance to play in the ACC championship).

      Pitt’s recruiting since ACC entry has been on par with NC, NC State, Duke and Ga Tech. All But NC State has won a division title. NC won in some degree due to ‘cheating’ Duke and Ga Tech had great schemes and offenses. The top teams to beat year end and year out are Va Tech and Miami. They recruit players that are avg stars 3.3-3.7. With Miami typically getting eight-ten 4 stars each year.

      Coaches who are successful are those who can recruit some elite playmakers and know how to develop and effectively use the other role players. So I do agree that to be successful you need difference makers and those are the 4 stars. If Pitt can get back to landing about four-five 4 stars each year and more importantly know how to use them, you’ll see a difference on the field.

      We know the WPIAL talent is not what it used to be. But there is still plenty of talent in PA, OH, NJ, MD, VA and down in Florida. I published a link a while back on what recruits want and what are the most important selection criteria. Academics was number 1. And Pitt isnt too shabby academically (historically #50-70 in rankings and among the very best public schools). Recruits look at playing time. In Pitt’s case, there is plenty of opportunity given the dearth of talent. They look at a chance to win championships and be seen on TV. Really only elite schools have this chance every year. And finally they look at facilities (practice and game). Pitt has among the very best but the game day experience is lacking since Pitt plays in a venue thats just too large.

      I have argued that Pitt isnt a good fit in the ACC. We’re the only school in the ACC thats in the bottom of BOTH academics and athletics within the conference. Per US News, only NC State, Va Tech and Louisville are ranked lower academically and really only Louisville is the outlier. In athletics, Pitt finishes near the bottom across most sports programs and only BC and Ga Tech finished lower in the Director’s Cup rankings last year. This ‘Cup’ gauges the competitiveness (wins/losses) across all programs each year. Not going to bowl games, tournies and winning titles hurts your ranking. The Big 10 is actually a better fit but that time has come and gone. Pitt has to find a way to make it work in a Southern conference.

      Coaching is the number 1 reason for Pitt’s failure this year. Our coaches failure to recruit elite talent. Our coaches failure to develop players. Our coaches failure to implement effective schemes.

      Pitt is in a P-5 conference (might not be a perfect fit but P-5 nonetheless)
      Plenty of good recruits within a 300 mile radius
      Pitt has very good facilities (although game day experience is lacking)
      Pitt has provided a more than adequate budget for coaching staff
      Pitt still has a good brand and tradition of sending kids to the pros

      Coaching is the disease.

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  60. I do not buy the Foge Fazio analogy. Fazio inherited some of the best players on the planet and couldn’t win with them. He plain and simple wasn’t a head coach.

    Narduzzi had two eight win seasons with Chryst’s players and a transfer QB brought in by Chaney.
    Narduzzi may not be a great coach but he is good enough. His problem is that he flat out can not get elite players to come to Pitt.
    With Canada he had the best offense we have seen since Marino, so the other problem is coordinators.
    But it all goes back to having playmakers. There are no Aaron Donalds, Boyds, or Conners on the team, no freshmen like Whitehead that lead the team in tackles as a freshman.
    The cupboard is bare and that is on Narduzzi who has not overcome the obstacles that come with recruiting to Pitt.
    I don’t care how great a coach you are, if you don’t have the players you lose. Chuck Noll is a good example.
    Whether Narduzzi is a great or poor coach is irrelevant if he can’t get playmakers to come here.
    Was Wanny a great coach, not really but recruiting Shady, Deon, Graham, Sheard and Romeus made him more than adequate.

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      1. What I am saying is that coaching is secondary to recruiting, and that no one is a great coach without great players. But Foge did prove that even great players are not enough if you can’t coach.

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  61. There are many teams out there that were absolutely awful until they hit on just the right coach at the right time. Coaching, coupled with a great player and administration that knows what it wants and how to accomplish that can get an awful program to consistently be on the fringes of the top 25. These teams pop up and change every so often.I honest believe it must be a combination. Recent risers include Kentucky, UCF, and Duke. Previous teams like Northwestern, Kanasas State, and Oregon, as well as Texas A&M. Current powerhouses like Clemson and Wisconsin with a couple years of excellence were not very good for years at a time. Then you have powerhouse teams that fall on hard times such as USC, UCLA, FSU, Texas,and Nebraska. And finally old time glory programs that wallow in the distant past such as Minnesota, Illinois, and Pitt.

    I don’t necessarily buy it’s only a shifting of talent. If so, teams like FSU, Fla., Texas, USC, UCLA, etc. wouldn’t be struggling. It’s not just game day experience, see Nebraska, Arkansas, Florida, etc.
    It really does take that perfect storm to get a program on top. It’s funny how some schools who don’t really have tradition manage to hit it right, others slump for several years before returning to glory, and some never, ever seem to be able to achieve past glory. I’m depressed.

    Liked by 1 person

  62. PoD, you over simplify the TE position. Heck, it changes the defensive scheme if the TE is even in the game. Speaking of games, that’s the game within the game, manipulating the linebackers and personnel, and defensive packages. Then you take advantage of the match-ups. It’s why being good at one thing can help you be good in the other (running and/or passing) and btw, it’s why PITT’s offense is struggling. Their good running game is not being complimented or taking advantage with a decent passing attack.

    They have already drawn in the linebackers, they need to go over the top or/and use the middle of the field more. Bottom line right now. Pickett does not read or see the field very well. Hope he gets it. …. and btw . ..Beville is going nowhere but PITT.

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  63. So this is going to make me sound like a schedule-apologist, but looking back at the Wanny era, I think everyone would agree that 13-9 was a turning point. He parlayed that win to a 9-4 record the following year, 10-3 the year after that. But here’s a question … if Wanny’s 2008 team played the same schedule as 2018 Pitt, do you really think he would have gone 9-4? We seriously lost by 3 scores to Rutgers, and lost to Bowling Green by two scores. And got shut out in the Sun Bowl.

    I know that 2007 WVU team that we beat wasn’t a fraud — they beat #3 Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl. Probably could have beat both LSU and Ohio State, the two teams that played for the National Championship. On the other hand, the team that 2017 Pitt beat to end the year was Miami, who hasn’t shown they were worthy of the hype since their loss to Pitt. So maybe there hasn’t been the same opportunity for Pitt to build off of last year’s season ending signature win. Nevertheless, I don’t think 2008 Pitt team would have had the same record playing the 2018 schedule.

    I’ll be very curious to see what this Pitt team does from here. They need to show improvement as the season goes on.

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  64. Would we feel much better about our team if we were Boston College right now, with a 4-1 record with wins over Holy Cross, UMass, UConn, and Temple and a loss to Purdue, and receiving 3 votes in the AP poll? Or if we were 23rd ranked NC State at 4-0 with wins over James Madison, Georgia State, Marshall, and Virginia?

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    1. I’m going by memory… I think that BC and NC State had winning seasons last year. The fan bases of these schools probably are feeling good that the “trend” is continuing. Weaker schedules at the beginning of a season can, in certain situations, provide a team with confidence and good experience. Especially if that team has a new or newer QB that needs to gain some experience (not the case with NC State who has a seasoned QB, but would be the case for Pitt this season). I kinda wish that Pitt had a similar schedule to start this season, given Pickett’s inexperience.

      I view BC and NC State as similar to Pitt in most years in that if things go right they can get 8 wins every few years when the starting line up has some experience… But, most years, they (we) will be 6-6. Problem is, Pitt wasn’t and most likely won’t be 6-6…

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  65. I think there is a tendency to over analyze the problems at Pitt. If Pedo, MSU, Michigan, OSU and other Northeast schools can recruit, so can Pitt with the right staff in place. Good players and decent coaching can win in any conference. The success stories range from UCF that has won games in a slightly lower conference to get where they are, to Oregon who bought their way into competitive football. Baylor keeps coming back, and look for Texas to return to glory.

    Pitt needs a HC who is not afraid to bring in top assistants with contacts and recruiting opportunities from across the country. A seasoned HC will know how much this would cost and should insist on an appropriate budget from Heather. Recall also that Capel said he can recruit anywhere. How many recruits were brought in by the new assist. coaches this year?

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    1. Agree.

      I’d Boise State to the ‘competitive’ football examples. Boise State wins (in a weaker conference than the ACC) consistently with 3 star players and with what appears to be solid coaching and scheme. Not saying BS is an apples to apples comparison with Pitt, but they are doing something right. And, Boise, while growing, is still smallish and the nearest “big” city is Salt Lake six hours away. So, they have to recruit outside of their geography… And they do. And they win consistently, and they change coaches frequently as their HC’s are poached by bigger programs. And still, they win.

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    2. Those programs are well established with 100000 + fans in attendance and whole states as recruiting bases. No one has been able to recruit enough good players to Pitt since Sherrill. When you add in the fact that the WPIAL is a ghost of what it once was there is no guarantee that anyone could recruit enough players to Pitt. Baylor and Texas have Texas to recruit in. The only good example is WV who has no base, but still competes at a high level, but are willing to take players with behavioral issues.

      I do agree it won’t happen without money organization and coaches with dynamic personalities and huge work ethics. However, it will never happen if Pitt wants to remain squeaky clean.

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  66. I looked it up … NC State was 9-4 last year. They were 7-6 two years before that (3-5 in the ACC both years). 8-5 the year before that (3-5 in ACC).

    BC was 7-6 the last 2 seasons (4-4 in ACC last year, 2-6 the year before). They were 3-9 the year before that (0-8 in ACC).

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  67. Well my guess and thoughts on Boise State having a winning program with 3* star players is most because they play in a conference with teams getting NR’s and 2* players? A lot like UCF started out doing. Now UCF gets some better players and can compete and beat P-5 teams. << This UCF team is the prefect storm football team.

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    1. Ike – on Boise State, you are correct, no doubt about that. But, Boise’s out of conference schedule typically features a P5 school or three. And, they are always competitive and often ranked. They play a weaker schedule, but would likely beat Pitt in eight of the last ten seasons. They are doing something right up that way…

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  68. What made Majors and Sherrill successful at Pitt? Majors recruited so many guys, including one superstar, that they changed roster limits. Sherrill leveraged a national championship into the best recruiting years Pitt has ever known. Both had some good years when they left Pitt but never reached the same heights.

    It is all about the players. Sure great coaches can elevate the play of all players, but only so far.

    It is true in all sports. Jamie probably did more with less here at Pitt, but recruiting was his demise.

    My biggest concern is can anyone recruit enough quality players to succeed at Pitt? Hopefully Capel can do it in basketball, you only need 6 or 7 guys, maybe less with a couple superstars.

    In football you need 4 or 5 elite players on either side of the field with the rest of the guys above the average. Is there a coach that has the personality and organization skills to attract enough play makers?

    Obviously Narduzzi did not, the hype is over, the Pat Signal is retired. I think he did get enough of the above average guys, but failed miserably in attracting the 4 or 5 play makers on either side of the ball.

    Even though we haven’t been big winners since the eighties, we have been blessed with some great players,
    Revis, Shady, Fitz, Donald, Conner, Boyd. Narduzzi is yet to recruit anyone at that level. No four year starters. Very few freshmen even making the two deep.

    So far KP and Weaver are the only guys near that level, Watt, Camp and a couple D-backs at the next level.
    Credit to Whitehead although he committed to Chryst, and to Henderson, the best play maker of the Narduzzi regime. But not nearly enough.

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  69. Most people thought that Narduzzi would own the Youngstown area and Eastern Ohio. How has that worked out? This expanded Ohio/Western PA area should be producing a sufficient number of OL and DL players like Donald who would stay and play at Pitt. Why isn’t Narduzzi bringing in some quality OL players? If each assist. coach recruited 2-3 players each year, the annual quota would be reached (are they up to 10 asistants now?). Pitt’s assistants are retreads that have floated all over the country and have no real ties to recruits or recruiting areas. But just the opposite is DC Bates. 12 years at Northwestern where you would think he has developed some relationships with HS coaches and players. How many recruits has he brought in?

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  70. Sad but true, gc. But Narduzzi should be able to get 1-2 OL from this area each year. Even if they are 2 or 3 star prospects that need to develop there is still a benefit in future years from taking some local kids. The local HS coaches must really hate this guy.

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  71. Hillgrove makes a point of mentioning the high schools of the local players on the team when they make a play. This is obviously good PR for the HS and HS coach.

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  72. Couple of random comments…NCSU and PITT are not a good comparison as State has a rabid fan base and plays to a lively, near capacity crowd. We are probably more like BC- we both have an Italian stallion as HCs !

    Our fan base is literally dying as we oldies move on and the young fans, particularly the recent past and current students, have a really tough road to hoe with the current PITT FB environment. One has to wonder how many of them will follow the Alma Mater faithfully going forward. (Ain’t it amazing how a few good years a long time in the Mustard and Blue has sustained we/us old fogies.) Title for a good article YOU ARE IN CHARGE-HOW WOULD YOU REVERSE PITT’S FB FORTUNES ?

    If we can play competitively in the next 2 games and re-gain some confidence there will be opportunities to win vs. Duke, UVA,VT and WF…Been a while since we have experienced a 4 game winning streak…just trying to end it on a positive note..or we lose every game and Duzz is gone, again, just trying to end this on a positive note.

    Liked by 1 person

  73. Joeknew, PITT and Nebraska- the curse of Stevie P !!! It is depressing and I am concerned we are in a tailspin that there may be no pulling out of before we crash…who’s the pilot of the ship ?

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  74. ike, I didn’t recall those OL recruits, thanks for refreshing my mind! But can anyone point to any recruits that either Watson or Bates have brought in? Perhaps they have and it is not announced who recruited them. I want to give credit where credit is due!

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  75. Penn State has recruited 11 players within 300 miles of Pittsburgh
    7 of the 11 are 4 stars
    There is plenty of talent in Pitt’s recruiting footprint

    Thats what just 1 school is reeling out of the footprint. tOSU, Michigan, Notre Dame and others are finding the big fish. Pitt’s recruiting hole is just fine. Pitt is just using the wrong technique and the wrong bait.

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      1. any recruit in NJ, OH, PA, NY, MD, DE and VA is in the ‘footprint’
        youre talking about a very reasonable 6 hour drive by vehicle
        Pitts backyard in the WPIAL but that doesnt limit Pitt
        45 of Pitts players are from PA (last game they flashed it on TV)
        I would argue that its too high of a percentage

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  76. Can you identify those 11 PSU players that are from places within a 300 mile radius of Pittsburgh? Also, can you identify how many players on Pitt’s roster are from places within a 300 mile radius of Pittsburgh?

    PSU is always going to get some kids from western PA and throughout the state. There is nothing Pitt can do about that. ND will get some and WVU as well. But it does hurt to lose kids to Ohio State and Michigan, although I get why kids pick those schools.

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  77. Yes – go to rivals and look it up like I did
    I dont think Wanny lost many if any kids to Penn State

    My point is there is plenty of talent in PA and surrounding states
    We dont have the coaches to reel them in

    And yes I understand that there are some 4 stars that dont want to play at home (Foster); there are some that dont want to play in a half empty stadium; there are some that want to be on national TV and play for a chance of BSC bowls every year.

    But there is plenty of positive things that Pitt can sell recruits. Narduzzi is just not a good salesperson.

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    1. Penn State owns PA and Ohio State owns Ohio. To think that it is easy to recruit to Pitt is just folly. Even with Wanny’s decent recruiting, how many big games did he win?

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      1. Penn State and OSU cant get every kid in every recruiting class.

        Penn State doesn not own WPA
        And plenty a MAC team gets very good leftovers in OH. Ohio is rich in talent…more so than PA.

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  78. Read an interesting article about UCLA’s struggles on offense with Chip Kelly of Oregon fame as their coach. Yes, they have scored less than Pitt.

    Not sure if it is true, but the writer claimed that when Kelly was at Oregon, their offensive scheme was quite innovative. During the years Kelly spent in the pros, his own scheme became out dated and coaches figured out how to defend it. College OC’s are on to bigger and better schemes.

    Much like Narduzzi’s base defense is a thing of the past.

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  79. Wanny didn’t lose many kids to PSU because the head coach was in his 80s and young kids didn’t want to play for a grumpy old man who was probably too old to get on a plane and pay them a visit. Things have changed. PSU now has a Franklin who is a dynamic salesman.

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  80. Franklin also hired Terry Smith who coached in and knows the WPIAL. Also Eastern Pa from his stint at Temple.

    Wanny could sell his NFL experience to recruits. I know how to prepare you for the NFL etc.

    He was also from here and played here, had the accent.

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  81. All I know is this, since Sherrill left, Pitt has been mired in mediocrity, at best. Every year I hope they do well. Every year they break my heart. Yes, Pitt wins a few unexpected games that rejuvenate me like a heart defibrillator, but then hope leaves and the heart ache returns. I was at Pitt from fall ’74 through spring ’79. I as in Pittsburgh until mid ’84. I was spoiled. Since then, I couldn’t understand why Pitt didn’t return to those glory years. Now I get it. Mediocrity is all Pitt wants. Mediocrity, at best, is all Pitt fans get. Breaks my heart. – Hobie, a tortured soul

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  82. state penn cheats and circumvents the rules and covers up child molestation. They hire Smith who Gateway had enough of for reasons you can guess. They go on to hire a head coach involved in another rape scandal cover-up. I’m glad I’m a PITT fan.

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  83. Going back to start of 2017 start of season and up until now.

    Against P5 schools
    Narduzzi is 4-9

    Wins are Duke, UVA, Miami and GT

    Losses are PSU, PSU, OSU, GT, Syr, NCSU, UNC, UNC, VT
    PSU has outscored Narduzzi a combined 84-20.
    Blowout losses are PSU, PSU, OSU, NCSU, GT

    Is this a program trending higher?

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  84. I’m having a brain lapse about the NCSU game. I thought it was a closer game than a blow out but I’m not sure about that at all???

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  85. You talking about Narduzzi? I didn’t bring him up. I asked a question I didn’t have the answer to until I looked it up. Turns out it wasn’t a blow-out the way I define one. You want to say it’s a blow-out go ahead. Turns out the last UNCS TD was a long run by a current high pick for the Steelers. You call it what you want there bj. Don’t let me get under your skin…. I’m not here on business, I’m only here for fun.

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  86. For what it’s worth, I believe we covered the spread against PSU in 2017. Yes you can call it a blowout, but they were ranked 4th in the country, and I thought we played respectably. 2018 is a different matter …

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    1. Incorrect Newbk. We lost that game by 19 points. The line went off at 10 or a little bit lower at game time. In the summer leading up to the game, the line was about 4-5 points higher.

      Just like the UCF game, the line opened higher and came down to 13.5 at gametime. They covered easily.

      Same for PSU this year, the line opened higher but came down during the week and at gametime. Narduzzi concluded this game with the worst Pitt loss in 50 years. And it was against the Nitters.

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  87. You guys are depressing me. Talk of all these blowouts is reminding me of how bad the program has been over the years. I do think that Heather can turn this thing around, mostly because the Chancellor and BoT probably don’t really care and will let Heather do what she wants (within budget).. Reed may have some insight as to Heather’s status right now with the BoT and contract extension for both her and Narduzzi. Gasman, I’m in desperate need of some comic relief. Can you come through?

    Like

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