First off, let me say a sincere thanks to everyone who has wished me well. When you sit around on your ass for around 20 hours a day and so are forced to do some deep thinking, it is a pleasure to realize that I have so many POV friends who care for me. I hope you have a great time watching Pitt drag a win back from South Bend.

That said, today is game day. Today we find out whether or not last week was a fluke. Holding a team like Syracuse to under 40 points is not an easy thing to do, and that we were able to do so will be the key in the game today.

Playing them on the road in downtown South Bend, IN doesn’t help either. We’re getting some of the answers to the questions we’ve had since the end of last season, such as: how good is our running game going to be? And, is our defense as legit as we thought it was going to be after the last two games of last year? The first answer to those questions is yes, and the second answer is a bone-chilling, kick-in-the-ass no.

Have a great afternoon and if travelling …safety first.

HAIL TO PITT !!

PITT (3-3, 2-1 ACC) vs. No. 5/5 NOTRE DAME (6-0)

October 13, 2018 • 2:30 p.m., ET

Notre Dame Stadium (77,622/FieldTurf) • Notre Dame, Ind.

NBC (WPXI-TV) • Pitt IMG Sports Radio Network

PittsburghPanthers.com • @Pitt_FB

LINK (PDF): Pitt Game Notes (vs. Notre Dame)

GAME STORYLINES

  • In a series long on history and color, Pitt and Notre Dame meet for the 71st time. The Panthers will be making their first visit to Notre Dame Stadium since 2012.

  • Nine of the past 11 games between Pitt and Notre Dame have been decided by single digits, including the most recent encounter at Notre Dame Stadium. In that memorable 2012 affair, the Irish rallied from a 14-point fourth-quarter deficit to claim a 29-26 win in three overtimes.

  • No. 5 Notre Dame is the latest highly ranked opponent for the Panthers. Pitt previously faced Top 15 challenges in Penn State (Sept. 8) and UCF (Sept. 29).

  • Pitt is going against the grain of Power 5 non-conference scheduling trends. Of the Panthers’ four non-ACC games in 2018, three are against FBS opponents whose combined record this season is 15-1 (4-1 Penn State, 5-0 UCF and 6-0 Notre Dame). Those teams were a combined 34-5 during the 2017 season.

  • Pitt boasts a formidable senior tailback tandem in Qadree Ollison and Darrin Hall. The duo combined for 299 yards and three touchdowns in leading the Panthers to a pulsating 44-37 overtime victory over Syracuse last week.

  • With 596 total rushing yards this season, Qadree Ollison ranks 18th nationally, while his average of 6.48 yards per carry ranks 22nd. Ollison is striving to become only the sixth player in Pitt history to achieve multiple 1,000-yard rushing seasons.

  • Under Pat Narduzzi, Pitt is 14-5 when it rushes for at least 200 yards. The Panthers are averaging 203.8 yards on the ground this season, while Notre Dame is yielding just 127.8.

  • Sophomore placekicker Alex Kessman is a long-distance scoring weapon for the Panthers. He owns four of the six longest field goals in Pitt history, including kicks of 55 and 54 yards in last week’s Syracuse win.

SERIES NOTES

Pitt and Notre Dame meet for the 71st time in a series that dates back to 1909…the Irish lead the all-time series by a 48-21-1 count…the teams last met during the 2015 season at Heinz Field, a 42-30 Notre Dame victory…close contests have been frequent during recent series history—nine of the past 11 games have been decided by single digits…in 2013, two James Conner touchdown runs pushed Pitt past the Irish, 28-21, in Pittsburgh…in 2012, the last time the Panthers visited Notre Dame Stadium, the Irish rallied from a 14-point deficit to claim a 29-26 win in three overtimes…Pitt is 11-27-1 at home and 10-21 on the road against Notre Dame…Pitt’s longest winning streak in the series is three games, achieved three separate times (1932-34; 1958-60; 1983, ‘86-87)…Notre Dame’s longest winning streak against Pitt is 11 games, which occurred from 1964-74…that streak was snapped in 1975 when Pitt defeated the Irish, 34-20, behind 303 rushing yards from Tony Dorsett…the 303 yards remain a Notre Dame opponent record…in four games against the Irish (1973-76), Dorsett rushed for 754 yards, an NCAA record for a player against a four-year opponent…the Pitt-Notre Dame series is long on history and color…on Nov. 13, 1999, the Panthers defeated Notre Dame, 37-27, in the final game ever played at Pitt Stadium…Pittsburgh product Kevan Barlow scored two TDs, including the game’s final score on a two-yard run to close down the 74-year-old structure…the 2008 game at Notre Dame was an instant classic…the Panthers clawed back from a 17-3 halftime deficit to defeat the Irish, 36-33, in four overtimes…the four-overtime affair marked the longest game in both Pitt and Notre Dame history…the ‘08 game also marked the Panthers’ second consecutive victory at Notre Dame Stadium…in its prior visit to South Bend (2004), Pitt beat the Irish, 41-38, behind five touchdown passes from Tyler Palko, an unprecedented achievement against Notre Dame.

BROADCAST INFORMATION

Television • NBC (WPXI-TV, Channel 11, in Pittsburgh)

Mike Tirico (play-by-play), Doug Flutie (analyst), Kathryn Tappen (reporter)

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 205, XM Channel 385, Internet Channel 974

 

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)

 

676 thoughts on “Pitt vs. Notre Dame: Game Day Thread

  1. What will today bring, a huge turnaround of the season OR another embarrassing defeat on National TV.

    Pitt Football is like a Box of Chocolates ! (do we get the almond inside or the t*rd)

    Like

  2. No Mack, Wirginis out and and have a feeling ND will stuff the line on D. Not a good recipe for Pitts O. On D Pitt will have to bring heat and take risks. Unfortunately Narduzzi and the new DC are to conservative too do that.

    Like

  3. Glad to hear from you Commander! Hang in there my friend. Here’s hoping for a well played game by our Panthers and unbiased officiating. H2P!

    Like

  4. Ian Book was 1-9 on throws over 20 yards vs the Hokies.

    Key to Pitt keeping this close will be the DB’s.

    We need to see a few stars emerge today or it will be a long afternoon.

    H2P!

    Like

  5. They did go over our great All-time players at least early in the game and gave us some cred.

    Usually we don’t get any of that…or it’s done very late in the game.

    Like

  6. Great first half for the “D”. The “O” except for the first drive, needs to pick it up to match the D,s intensity

    Did anyone else notice that #83 wr for nd is from Canada. I guess Canada does produce football plyers, And our recruit from Canada is playing his hs senior season in FL.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. will be interesting to see, if ND continues to just throw the ball….Pitt needs to get back to Power Running
    with some vertical passing here and there.

    Like

  8. Look for Kelly to change things up in the 2nd half by changing QBs. He’s probably looking for a reason to get the original QB back in. The QB run was open. The biggest stomach turner in the 1st half was Bookster giving up that sack. Sad that he has to play RT.

    Like

  9. Have to be thrilled with halftime score, but we must be able to pass the ball if we are going to have a chance to win. I’m convinced that Pickett has a bad knee. Pat had a conversation with Pickett and told him, “I’ll let you play as long as you promise not to run. If you run, Ricky Town is my guy.” Our receivers stink, and Pickett is not great in the pocket. So the whole equation is bad. It doesn’t help that Watson is no Matt Canada. Defense will need to win the game.

    Like

  10. Pitt has zero playmakers and Watson is such a poor offensive coordinator that can’t see how Pitt scores to stay in the game. Shame Narduzzi hired a guy fired from Texas as he stunk.

    Like

  11. KP will need to win it for Pitt
    Domers will stack the box and force Kenny to pass
    so can Kenny scramble and throw for some 3rd downs
    He is the KEY

    I wouldnt change a thing on D
    continue pressing receivers
    blitzing
    this disrupts the timing. ND’s O is very much based on timing and this QB is inexperienced
    Pitt has already gotten into his head

    Like

  12. Anyone concerned about our lack of offense in the 2nd half this season?

    OC Watson needs to open things up and establish the power run in between the mixing.

    Like

  13. It was an illegal screen, but ND had just had a hold called against them the play before, so they’re not going to flag them again, right?

    And I was afraid of this, Stocker was the beneficiary of the floater interception, so now he gets put all over the field and is getting burned all over the place.

    Like

  14. PITT needs to stay away from a big mistake and on offense, take the big shot downfield. They don’t win this game any other way. They can’t score on offense.

    Like

  15. Ok. One bad drive by our D. Blown coverage. If offense can drive field and score, it won’t matter. We have to be more creative on offense. There will be a pass out of the Wildcat. Just wait….

    Like

  16. ND is starting to find holes in the secondary. Pitt needs more points to win- at least two more scores. The running game is not working.

    Like

  17. Ref to @Ike | Yinz CrĀzy

    Ty, Ike. Very nice that my comment in reply to your article (see yesterday’s thread) was met with tact and diplomacy on your behalf. I appreciate good sportsmanship here on the board @POV.

    Why?

    Why is because I AM SEEMINGLY DEAD WRONG IN MY ASSESSMENT & ARGUMENT CALLING FOR THE IMMEDIATE COLLAPSE OF THIS PANTHER TEAM.

    Ike, you took my post for what it is/was: an argument for arguments sake but also one in which I was certain about an outcome of a game that’s proving to be very wrong at this point; defense is stout and RPOx remain incredulously intact for Pitt.

    Now, of course, just waiting for an inevitable let down in the 2nd half here. (Please prove Me Wrong, Pitt FB!)

    I am no different from the other 99% of our die-hard Pitt fan base in saying I’ll be damned if our Panthers pull the upset and fulfill the ‘Giant Killer’ role claim to fame.

    But gotta give credit where credit is due. You’re a great contributor here, Ike. And although I find your ‘glass 1/2 full’ attitude a bit much to digest (this year, particularly), it’s pretty obvious that without your commentary and good natured vibes, we’d all forever, as Panther fans, be stuck in hell for the rest of eternity.

    Many thanks,
    —N

    Liked by 1 person

  18. If we lose this game which was for the taking it will be comical. From Watson playcalling to Kessman they are spoiling a solid defensive effort.

    Like

  19. the inability to pass (and the ND and Pitt coaches both k ow this) will cost us a historic win. Really feel bad for the defense here.

    Like

  20. Pitt non-offense keeping ND in the game… and those missed FGs are killer— you can’t do that on the road against a #5 team. Still, I remember WV in 1997 and 2007 so I’m keeping the faith. I think..

    Like

  21. Fake Pass interference then this sh!t…well the D did their job. Time for Pickett to channel the Miami game magic. Maybe throw the ball more than 5 yds downfield.

    Like

        1. Agreed Upitt. . Poor coaching tells – our kids play their hearts out but they are not fundamentally sound. It shows. Heart keeps you in games – fundamentals win them.

          Like

  22. Fake
    Idiotic
    4 yards
    You have a much better chance running a play.
    The fake is based on suprise.
    The only thing the ND coach told his guys
    Watch the fake.
    Then you have a guy from Australia trying to complete a pass.
    Incredibly Dumb!

    Like

  23. Narduzzi yet again looks like a buffon on TV. Watson and Narduzzi both need a pink slip. Shame to waste such a good effort on Defense finally.

    Like

  24. I have to think after the emotion of the game is over but you have to start wondering in Kenny has “it”….Don’t know but I don’t see it.

    Like

    1. The kid is not well coached. He has some skills… his arm & accuracy are suspect – but his lack of field awareness is a correctable problem that could overcome his weaknesses…with competent coaching.

      Like

    1. We need competent coaches. Our kids have heart and no small talent – however they are not fundamentally sound. And this is at all positions on the field.

      Like

  25. I am so F’n proud of these guys today even through the loss. If they can play like this the next 5 games, we should go undefeated the rest of the way.

    Liked by 2 people

  26. Picket didn’t even give us a chance on that last set of downs. Granted, the OL can’t pass block to save their mothers. I’ve been following this team for over 20 years, what else should I expect.

    Like

  27. 14 points will not win you any ACC games
    The Pitt D was a good match for a Big 10 team like Notre Dame
    Pitt’s coaching lost this game

    The Good: D
    The Bad: QB and Kicker
    The Ugly: Coaching (except for the D game plan)…this loss is on Narduzzi

    Like

      1. Kenny also didnt help
        But Narduzzi told us he was the next Dan Marino
        And Narduzzi is still saying Pitt will get to the ACC championship
        Someone needs to stick a meatball in his piehole.

        Like

  28. I still think the Domers are over-rated
    19 points against a team that gives up 32
    Credit to the pressing and blitzing
    But the D was bound to get gassed given Pitt’s O not staying on the field

    Like

  29. Kessman makes TWO fifty yard field goals at the hardest place to kick field goals last week.
    Guess all his luck was used up last week.

    Like

  30. I’d complain about the refs but we could play them on the moon with Martian refs and still not get any calls. Kessman what happened?

    Like

  31. If only Narduzzi could recruit a kicker who could make a 40 yard field goal. Oh that’s right, he did! What a buffoon he is? If some of you who can”t see a well played game by your so called favorite team? I have no hope for you or the time to address you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A loss is a loss. The team played well enough to win, but they did not.

      On to the bye week with a losing record. We can’t change that.

      Like

  32. Differences in the Game…

    Missed Field Goals… Where’s BLEWITT when you need him.

    Notre Dame HOMER CALL on the Interference against Dane Jackson who did nothing but make a PERFECT Play.

    And last but NOT least… Narduzzi being Narduzzi by electing to have your AUSTRALIAN Punter throw a pass instead of your Quarterback.

    A REAL shame given the effort on BOTH sides of the Ball… ESPECIALLY the Defense!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was actually apparently Boy George who threw the pass, numbered as Number 96. So it apparently an attempt to fool them into thinking it was Goolagong.

      Like

    2. Jeff George threw the pass.
      But you either punt or put out the offense and go for it
      ND left their D in and didnt put in their punt return
      Pitt once they saw it should have called time out

      the D interference was correct
      Dane had his hand on the receivers side
      it was not a homer or phantom call but I could see how it might not have been called elsewhere

      If Narduzzi didnt have meatballs for brains, he would fire Watson once he got off the plane

      Like

  33. Defense played unbelievably well, you get a special teams td this loss is on SHAWN WATSON and if Duzz has the guts, he’s fired before the plane takes off

    Like

  34. Pitt fans back on the Misery Index after this weekend

    If Pitt had a QB and a Coach, they would have won this game going away
    $3.5M doesnt buy participation trophies
    I could care less about covering the spread
    Could care less about not being nationally embarrassed

    Once again, Pitt made no adjustments in the second half on O
    Once again, the O lays a ZERO
    Once again, we have Tino V2 as QB
    Once again, the Coach lost this one for the kids

    I feel bad for the D

    Like

    1. Not really Tex…i don’t feel that bad losing to the #5 team in the country at their place. Most peeps on here predicted Pitt losing by 3-5 touchdowns.

      We knew going in our offense sux, despite last week. We knew Pickett is not very accurate, but he doesn’t do the Tiny Curl Sack of Potatoes sack curl. He has some escapability (sp).

      He needs to be in a Triple Option or Spread type of offense….not a Pro Set.

      Like

  35. No moral victories, but this was not an embarrassment, lots of guys made good plays today, just not enough.

    Mack and then Hamill hurt, Reynolds played very well for Wirginis.

    Easy to question the play call when executed poorly at times. Bookser will be back to guard next year.

    Feel bad for Kessman, hero to goat in one week.

    Like

  36. Mixed feelings. Pitt looked good on national television and should be proud for three and a half quarters were leading the #5 team in the country. But those damn glaring weakness after four years just don’t go away. I can’t think of a worse 4th quarter coaching tandem than Narduzzi/Watson. They got damn lucky last week against Syracuse playing for a tie at the end of regulation. This week – Who the F is calling plays in those last five minutes? And I’m sorry all I read earlier in the year was how great Pickett was going to be.
    Average at best. Maybe next year. All I see is a guy who throws 5 yard dumps offs and anything over 15 yards is pretty much not going to work. Maybe that’s the play calling or maybe someone is overrated. Hard to tell.

    So again – Oddly a positive day overall – defense should be proud. I guess as long as this regime stays its not worth getting worked up over a loss. It’s pretty much going to be this way until a change.

    Like

  37. Correction – I would take Sackseri in a heartbeat since he could actually complete a pass further than 10 yards down the field.

    Like

  38. If D struggles this game is a blowout. Watson has got to go, you get the best defensive effort since the Wanny days and do absolutely zilch on offense.

    Like

  39. Great defensive effort by Pitt.

    Pitt’s offense stunk versus a good notre dame d.

    But in a game this close, the deciding factor was all of the no calls by the refs.

    There were a good bit of times notre dame held our players and no call. Also some hits out of bounds, some targets to our players heads, and at the very least there should have been hands to the face called.

    And of course the gifted pass interference penalty on their last scoring drive.

    Illegal screens by their wrs as well.

    If Pitt does any one of these things, they get called for it.

    Yet people accept it now because it happens so often that it has now become a part of the game. We have to accept that the refs will find ways to help the teams we play.

    I know good teams push through all of that, but if you have to have your refs cheat for you to win, then that’s not really winning.

    H2P

    Like

  40. I thought Reynolds and Pine made a huge difference. Big improvement over the Clipper. You can complain about the Duzz, but that’s also around as well as he can coach. Bought him next year in my opinion. Greatly disappointed in outcome, pleased with effort. Saw things today I didn’t see all year. Whoever said they were more comfortable playing NDs style offense was right. We belong in the BiG where we could compete.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. @Joe Knew

      I said a couple of weeks ago that we would play ND tough because they always want to play smashmouth with PITT.

      Ground and Pound is more of a heart game than finesse and atheltisum. All ND would of had to do is spread us out.

      Pitt would be a much better fit in the BIG 10.

      Like

  41. In the End…we’re still 2-1 in the ACC…and Pitt played the Domers(in Domerville) much tougher than VT did, and VT had a home game.

    Like

  42. This comment is not directed at anyone in particular but I have to say my peace. Notre Dame gets the best players from WPA to Cali to Florida to wherever else. If you feel the need and are compelled to find fault with PITT and the coaches efforts today then have at it. That means the team top to bottom. I call busllschitt on your knowledge on how college football works. In other word, you’re dumb! ike

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree with you Ike. I think they did very well for the talent they have. A couple field goals and we win.

      I have no issues with players or coaches today. Not Bookser’s fault he is a guard and not a tackle.

      I would rather our upset be vs VT or Miami again anyway.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Learn to read Goalie. I said my comment wasn’t directed at anyone. How is that so hard to understand? Who did I criticize? Now go back to hating Narduzzi.

        Like

  43. My bad. Jeff George Jr. disguised as the PUNTER threw the pass?

    That’s even worse… considering how HORRIBLE the pass was. Who here was calling for George to replace Pickett?

    The SMART thing to do was to put the Game in the hands of Pickett and call a GOOD play.

    Like

  44. Narduzzi’s defense will never work in the ACC
    When Pitt goes up against a spread team with a mobile QB, they fail
    There is a reason why Pitt’s D gives up 32 points per game and 420 yards
    Next ACC game, Pitt’s D reverts back to the mean; Its too slow and not athletic enough
    However, some of the younger guys today did look faster and more athletic than a Big 10 Notre Dame

    Like

    1. You know on the face of that…I agree Tex. But then how does one explain the D’s performance against VT and Miami, end of last year. (yea i know the miami qb sucked that day)

      We are just not in the Good Graces of the Football Gods(Football Deep state), like for example (of teams that recruit similar to us) Wisconsin and TCU are.

      Like

  45. Proud of the effort. Tough game…play this way moving forward and maybe we have hope…the NC game really hurts. KP should have thrown ball away on first down of last series…sack was worst thing that could happen. Disappointed with how last night series turned out after great stop by D. H2P!

    Like

  46. Build an OCS. invest hundreds of million$….and this will all change. Just like it did with the basketball team who had marginal talent.

    Like

  47. I thought the game turned with the change to the fourth qtr. After Ollison and Hall gouged them for two big plays to end the third, we try a reverse against a team with superior team speed instead of continuing to ram it down their throats.

    Like

      1. Ollison tripped over his own feet going out for the pass and fell flat on his face. I think he was the primary receiver. Hall outplayed him today.

        Like

        1. I agree. Too many runs where he hesitated and stood upright and got driven back when hit. Since I wasn’t the one running the ball I cannot speak to what he saw or didn’t see, but Hall seemed to be more decisive and used his speed. I also noticed QO limping from the 2nd qtr. on.
          And the primary receiver DID trip and fall on the fake.

          Like

      1. With the game on the line you REALLY want some walk on who just joined the team not long ago and not playing one down this year throwing the ball? Really?

        After all, leading up to the season Narduzzi was hyping up Kenny like nobody’s business.

        Like

        1. Actually the idea of putting in a backup QB numbered as number (96) which looks from far away very similar to the real punter (98), is very ingenious. As Goalie or Gasman noted, there was just nobody open.

          Like

          1. Looked like Ollison fell down on the fake punt play as he ran a pass route.

            We seem to have a recent history of players falling down at critical times…

            Go Pitt.

            Like

  48. Good game plan, offense and defense, by an inferior team. I have no beef with Coach Pat on that.
    I do have a beef with losing to UNCheat, getting blown out twice, poor recruiting, no bowl wins, and rapidly approaching.500.

    Like

  49. I agree with Ike. To say this game was close because ND is overrated is just being a hater. That team has more talent on its bench than most college teams have starting…I have no problem with a trick play that has another QB throwing the ball. If it were a punter throwing the ball then I have a problem. You may have noticed that KP is really struggling as a still new starting QB. Combine that with an OL that sometimes struggles in pass protection and you get the old school run happy offense that we have. So, hell yes, let a backup QB throw the ball. You should be mad about the third down play call before the fake punt. Game on the line 3rd and 4 and we call a zero yard pass?

    Liked by 2 people

  50. Ike..

    I feel you’re pain, both can’t disagree more.

    You called someone a “coward” on this string or last. That’s personal, unnecessary, chickenpoop (Haha, Reed!) and against POV rules.

    Let me say this, I’ll put my college football knowledge against yours and let the chips fall. Additionally, your premise that ND gets better players so we should be happy with a close loss is flawed.. TCU fans used to make the same EXCUSE (because it’s just that, an excuse) in regards to Texas, until Patterson came along and started kicking Longhorn tail.. Win. Lose. Don’t make excuses.

    Like

    1. Pitt had no business being in this game given their O-line, kicker and QB
      But the D game plan was sound (I actually said this myself to press and blitz…so maybe Bates listened to me) 🙂
      More important, the kids on D executed and they were disciplined

      Speaking of talent
      I do think the Domers recruit Big 10 like players
      Our younger D guys looked more aggressive, quicker and had a nasty streak today
      Pitt’s lack of talent on the line is a killer and KP is just not ready

      and I do think the Domers are over-rated
      and I dont think the refs made much difference today
      Pitt’s play calling and coaching did (too much wildcat that produced 2 ypc and that fake punt)

      Liked by 1 person

    2. problem is – Pitt has some very weak recruiting classes and bad coaching
      Patterson is a very good coach
      and TCU recruits speed

      Pitt just needs to find the right coach, recruit speed and change to a spread
      But Pitt will keep their coach, continue to recruit 2 star stiffs and play a pro style O
      Then Pitt will ask why that only 20k show up at games next year

      Like

  51. A David Hale joint

    @ADavidHaleJoint
    Follow Follow @ADavidHaleJoint
    More
    Today is Pitt’s 32nd loss in a 1-possession game in the past decade… more than any other FBS program.

    Like

  52. Pitt has very little talent on offense. I ti s clear the lack of everything except two decent RB’s and no big play capability is just so bad. coaching and recruiting go hand in hand. Pitt has neither. Time to fire the bulk of the coaching staff and don;t let Narduzzi hire anyone.

    Like

  53. Thats the essence of Pitting
    Tells me Pitt has a coaching problem
    Coaches make sure the right kids at the right times are in position to make an impact
    Up to the kids then to execute
    I dont believe we’ve had stupid kids in those 32 losses

    Like

  54. Very simple analysis. With inferior talent, we hung with the #5 ranked team in the country on the road. Tremendous effort by our young men, especially considering that they had to overcome:

    Several injuries
    Horrific officiating
    The complete absence of a passing game.
    A head coach who made the worst play call in recent pitt history.

    No, we did not get embarrassed. But sorry, I have higher standards. The game was ours for the taking. When we are not playing in a bowl game, or worse yet, playing in the BBVA Little Caesars Tire/Toilet Bowl, you’ll wish we won.

    H2P!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  55. Hey Eric my friend. I mean this with love and a smile on my face but I say this all the time. If you go looking hard enough for trouble, you will surely find it. Saban, can do it every week as well!

    Like

  56. I saw four young men step up today and make plays that were sorely needed.

    Pinnock – INT and good coverage
    R.Weaver – a few sacs and high motor on every play he was on the ffield
    C.Pine – made a ffew Wirginis type plays, none more timely than the late 4Q forth down stop

    Aaron Mathews – ffearless catch after catch over the middle today – KP should have thrown one more on that 3rd and short before the ffake punt

    The bottom line though is Pitt Ff’n lost. No glory in losing. I expect my team to win and if the don’t I’m not able to celebrate. Proud of the effort, not proud of the loss.

    Good news is we cannot lose next week.

    Like

    1. To me that shows that Mathews was completely under-utilized over the last three years. You don’t learn how to finally run routes and catch balls after two full years under his belt.

      Up until this game -over the first five games – he had 2 catches for 21 yards.

      4 for 47 this game.

      I’m less impressed with our OC every single game.

      And someone teach PN about the use of Timeouts!

      Good game by Pitt today.

      BTW notice how I never blame the refs for anything? Because when I watch Pitt games with my friend he concentrates of Pitt penalties that go our way an I review the ones that don’t.

      Been doing this for years and I think all in all the Zebras do a great job.

      Like

  57. More good news – psuX is about to lose to the Duzz’s ex-team MSU.

    PoD – just for you, I predicted that very defeat in the POV yesterday 🤓

    Like

  58. Pitt’s offense was 4-12 for 3rd down conversions and 0-2 on 4th downs. Feels lyke last weeks stats, only glossed over cause we won.

    Pitiful – the OC and QB are a below average pairing. Something should change – KP stays and Watson goes.

    Heather – are you paying attention?

    Like

    1. I thought the kids played very well…to the extent that they are taught by a poor coaching staff.

      The lack of sound fundamentals and adequate coaching is glaring when the chips are down.

      My heart goes out to these young men on the field – they are doing the best they can, playing hard and trying… however all the talent in the world can be throttled by the lack of emphasizing fundamentals on the practice field; poor mental preparation and a horrible game plan by a coaching staff that would have a hard time winning in the WPIAL.

      No amount of 3rd grade foot stomping and on field temper tantrums by our Head Coach can gloss over the fact the coaching staff failed them today.

      I put this loss on Narduzzi and his assistants. Hang me for it.

      H2P

      Like

  59. I don’t think is “every” thing..

    “Men, I’ll be honest. Winning isn’t everything” (long pause) “Men, it’s the only thing.– Russell “Red” Sanders, UCLA football coach. circa 1950

    Great effort today. I am not overly upset. Even good teams (we aren’t one) struggle at ND. I WILL blame the officiating (to some degree). Two ND scoring drives were extended by TERRIBLE calls and our 2nd to last should been extended by a blatant defensive holding.

    Watson is bad. Really bad. Narduzzi isn’t the answer.

    I judge my teams on wins and losses. This isn’t rec league tball for 6 year olds.

    Sorry, Reed. Glad you’re doing well.

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  60. The Good: The defense, especially the secondary looked much improved. Pine looked good at ILB and the pass rush was good against a good O-Line.

    The running game looks good, especially considering the fact that we have Z-E-R-O passing game. Just think how good the running game would be if we could pass the ball at all.

    We didn’t embarrass ourselves today…in fact this might actually improve recruiting.
    There is no team left on the schedule that Pitt can’t beat if they can pass for over 175 yards (BIG if though)

    The Bad: Pickett is not improving at all. I would even like to see Towne in there at this point. Receivers can’t get open, or Pickett can’t see them when they do. I thought we had a kicker…

    The Ugly: The passing game is worse than when Pitt played in 1910. The pass blocking…3 man rush on the last play had Pickett out of the pocket in under 2 seconds. Hard for Watson to call a game when he has Z-E-R-O passing attack.

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  61. Nice effort against a good team, unfortunately, same outcome for Pitt. Pitt makes two field goals and Pitt wins. What’s with the fake punt? Dumb and sad.

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  62. Narduzzi got Pitt ready to play, even with the locker room issues and Sear quitting. So give him that much. The 4th and 4 call was boneheaded for sure. I would think that PN rather than the OC would have called that one. And his sideline antics are tiresome to say the least. But he’s coaching like his job is on the line.

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      1. I disagree. The kids are not fundamentally sound. That is on the Coaches. All the rah rah in the world can not make up for that for a full 60 minutes of football – and it shows every week in the 4th Quarter.

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  63. He’s young but… Pickett misses A LOT of open receivers.

    He’s a “gamer that will give you everything he’s got”, he just “gets rattled and misses open receivers”.

    Is his mother’s maiden name Sunseri?

    Liked by 3 people

  64. A couple of hopefully funny and not (too) offensive observations . After the game, we went to Dino’s a popular sports bar in Greensburg for dinner. We caught the end of the PSU game and I was pleasantly surprised to hear a loud cheer go up when Sparty caught the TD pass to take the lead in the game. Then at the end of the game, my wife sees the police officers escorting James Franklin off the field and says “is that to make sure he doesn’t molest anyone leaving the stadium”. To quote Tyler Palko, I was so #÷$%ing proud of her, lol. She gets me!

    Liked by 1 person

  65. I give much credit to the guys and gals that traveled out to South Bend and almost brought home a PITT win. Kudos to you all and hope the experience was great and safe travels back home. Me? Very happy and dare I say proud of this team. Heck yeah. Let it roll boy’s, let it roll. and give credit where it is due, PITT played their guts out.

    I’ll take the heat but let’s keep it in bounds…. ike

    Liked by 1 person

  66. Had a blast at ND…Damn proud of the effort the team put forth. Many Pitt fans in sections 113-117. Saw Chas Bonasorte in the stands.
    Irish butts were puckered all game until the very end…while were walking out one fan stated loudly: you guys outplayed us…you deserved to win.
    Bernie, attended church services Friday night and prayed at the grotto for those I know are struggling. A good friend lost his daughter to suicide a few days ago.
    Count your blessings POVerts.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Sorry to hear about your friend’s loss. Too many close situations lyke that in my life as well. Four young men that were friends on my son (spread over 8 years) and our pastor (and friend) for 20 years.

        Football is supposed to be entertainment for us fans – lighten up and enjoy it while we can.

        Yesterday’s game was pure entertainment.

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  67. Football seems insignificant when considering life’s real problems like suicide, addiction and life changing health problems. Hope you included us all in the Grotto prayers, Bernie.

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  68. My heart goes out to your good friend and his family, lastrowofsection4. Kind makes below irrelevant in the grand scheme of things…

    I was unable to watch attending a dear friend’s baby shower today. However, when I saw a 4th quarter score update (19-14), I had to say I was surprised and can tell you my first thought was not negative but the guys played hard today.

    A loss is a loss and I still will stick by my 5 win prediction, but hey they played hard in a tough if not impossible place to play.

    The problem as I always see it throughout recent history, is that I never see growth from a close one like this. Traditionally the next game is a stinker.

    I hope this is a good trend, but I am reluctant to “buy in” at this point in time.

    Dave

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  69. after this game, it is very clear that KP should be relieved of duties
    He’s a QB that only puts up 140 yards in passing per game
    He’s inexperienced and Narduzzi placed too high of expectation on him
    He’s better suited to a spread offense

    You are seeing what a bad line means to the offense and lack of tight ends (a safety valve for any QB)

    The OC should also be relieved of duties
    If not after the plane lands, Narduzzi is negligent
    Heather should demand it

    with those two changes, Pitt’s offense should be able to score more than 7 points per game

    Narduzzi is being paid to win games
    and this game was very winnable despite the offense and some bad calls or lack thereof
    A wasted effort by the D due to some bad coaching and just ineffective O

    I actually heard the Pitt fans on TV so I applaud all those who made the trip and represented Pitt

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  70. How bad is the ACC Coastal?! VT (lost to ODU) is down to UNC (lost to ECU) and Miami isdown to UVA (lost to IU).

    Tell me again how this is so much better than the Big East..

    Actually, save your time. You’re wrong. It isn’t.

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  71. The wvcc mountaineers are losing to Iowa State in the 4th qtr. fingers crossed to go 2 for 3 today.

    The one I would have preferred was “kicked” away. As my wife so clearly pointed out – Pitt knows how to lose…

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  72. UNC “Pitted”… Up 5, going in for a TD and fumbled at the ONE. VT drives and scores. Game over…

    UVA beat Miami. The good news? Maybe we can beat Miami. The bad news? Maybe we won’t beat UVA.

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  73. Enjoyed rooting for our Panthers today. Didn’t expect them to hang with the Domers…

    —This more aggressive, blitzing defense was what I expected we’d see all season from Bates. Be interesting to see going forward how they perform in the remaining conference games. Got to clean up Weaver rushing too far up the field…

    —Interesting that ND had to go to a “pick” play to convert that crucial third down late in the game…

    —Given the pass rush, I didn’t mind the attempt at subterfuge with the fake punt. Looked like Ollison either fell down or was tripped – though ND appeared to have everyone covered. Would have been awesome had they pulled it off…

    —Nice to see Mathews get involved — hope it continues…

    —I say stick with KP, but he sure loses big yards when he tries to scramble and gets sacked. I’m thinking the pass rushes won’t be as tough the rest of the way…

    —Some really, really poor offensive play calls. Way too many sideways passes. Hope they work on some screen passes over the bye week… Will be good to get Mack back…

    —I don’t get all the consternation about Coach Duzz’s behavior on the sideline. The guy is passionate and fired up. And they only show him when’s he reacting to something. I don’t see the big deal….

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. the behavior on the sideline leads the refs to not take him seriously and will be less inclined to give him some calls
      the players see this and think their coach is undisciplined and out of control and end up playing unhinged
      and its what the fans see on TV – a crazy coach who rants and raves because his team isnt good enough to overcome penalties

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  74. I don’t think Pickett has been 100% since he tried to run over every single player on the defense in the 1st half of the PSU game. I think he can be a good WB, but that’s going to be hard we he isn’t his full self. Ollison was hurting by the end of this one.

    Defense impressed me much. I really hope we see more of this as the season goes on (and next year too, as many of these players are underclassmen). Offense not impressive. You can’t score on first possession and not score for the rest of the game and have any hope of winning. Not in today’s game.

    I like Pickett, but I think our struggles are more with him and the other players than with Watson. I think Watson has called decent games the last two weeks. Better than earlier in the year.

    Yeah the fake punt looked bad in hindsight. I know wildcat didn’t work great, but I’ll almost would have rather seen them try that. I know George Jr. isn’t a punter, but couldn’t you coach him to punt it when it’s clear there is no one to throw to?

    Liked by 1 person

  75. This is not an attempt to defend KP- just observations. Watching the replays on NBC when Pitt was attempting passes I saw little to no separation by the receivers downfield. The slants to Matthews worked great, but not much separation there either. They were “quick hitters” that KP put right on the money and AM made solid catches on.
    Certainly KP needs to improve. I do put some of this on coaching. For example, when Pitt does a play-action rollout KP rolls out too far before throwing the ball. He has receivers open sooner. And sometimes he rolls too close to a defensive player being blocked on the outside when he has room to stop, plant, and drive the ball. Coaches should see this on film and make the adjustments.
    Additionally, the coaches could help free up receivers by using more “bunch” formations or other routes where the receivers use each other to complicate the defenses ability to cover. Quick hitters like the slants or seam routes by TE’s or RB’s. will aid the passing attack. I could go on, but the point is there are things that could be done to help the Offense gain some traction in the passing game- which will in turn make the run game better as well. I would invite the OC to sit down and watch some other college games on the tv and notice what other teams are doing. There is no reason our avg. pass attempts should be five yards or less.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. You are right on point. A lot of KP’s lack of production is due to poorly designed routes.

      The kids are executing what they are told to do – unfortunately what they are told to do is coming from an incompetent leadership team.

      Against the Albany’s of this world it doesn’t really make a difference that the fundamentals are lacking.

      Against a top ranked P-5 team they are doomed to be fighting an uphill battle.

      Great on field effort by the young men in the Awesomely Beautiful Blue and Gold uniforms…

      …poor preparation and lack of the ability to adjust and improvise in a competent fashion on the coaching staff’s part is just too much for players with good, not great, physical skills to overcome.

      H2P

      Like

      1. Let me add that 7 games into this Sysiphusian season I now understand why practices are closed to 3rd party observers and conducted in secrecy…

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  76. Just saw the ESPN pundits did a mock top 4 for the CFB playoffs – the irish were unanimous picks at the # 4 spot. So, nd did move up after barely beating a “bad” Pitt FB team.

    I use the word “bad” because that is what I heard all week from the media leading up to the game. Syracuse was also referred to as losing to a “bad” Pitt squad.

    I know a lot on this blog believe Pitt is “bad” – I saw marked improvement yesterday that tells me this team can win out. UVA beat miami, VT lost badly to nd (and ODU) – Duke & WF are Pitt-lyke teams. If Pitt wins out, the Duzz would be right on for his prediction to win the Coastal and go to the ACC championship game.

    There is something about a 4 loss team playing in a conference championship that does not sit well with me. Has that ever happened?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I saw a very good Pitt D but can they replicate the performance against spread teams. Notre Dame was very Big 10 like .

      I saw a very bad O. Probably now the worst passing O of any P-5 team. To me that means you either immediately change the QB or the OC.

      The O was directly responsible for the D tiring near the end. The D put the O in a position to win several times yesterday. I know Pitt’s O is very bad and for there to be no improvement with QB play 7 games into the season is all on the coaching staff.

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  77. Prior to yesterday I would not have argued with anyone saying that Pitt was a bad team.

    Certainly before Cuse Pitt looked pretty bad.

    After yesterday’s game I’d say the jury is still out. Gotta win a few more games. Particularly against a spread style offense. And score some points on offense. I think that’s within our capability now. A week ago I did not.
    HTP

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  78. Heather is stuck with a bad contract and probably thought the program would be better. On to what is required. Narduzzi is told changes are in order. New OC, WR coach, QB coach. Can live with the D if they play like this. But the offense is not close to where it needs to be.

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  79. GOOD: Entertainment value of the game
    Defensive effort
    Aaron Mathews
    Mo Ffrench (need to see MOre)
    Young LB-ers (Brightwell, Cam Bright, Pine and Reynolds)
    Young DB’s (Jackson, Pinnock, Hamlin and Stocker)

    BAD: Kicking game (FG’s and punting)
    Senior LB-ers
    Senior DB’s

    UGLY: Play calling and execution for the offensive side
    Officiating
    (1) Offensive score
    Zero points from the offense in the 2nd half

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  80. I am baffled why the media is calling the fake punt baffling. If it works, it is genius. They obviously practiced it wit back-up QB George wearing #96. Ans it didn’t lose the game .. Pitt still had a great chance to win in the last possession taking over near mid-field.

    If anything was baffling, it was the PI call where Dane Jackson put on a clinic on how to defend a pass. That’s 2 games a row at South Bend where a totally bogus PI call played a major factor in the game’s outcome. wwb

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I actually lyke the fake punt call now that I know all the details (back-up QB wearing #96). At the moment it happened, I was disappointed in the call. I would have lyked to see the offense attempt to get the first down instead of a punt.

      If you are referring to the Pittsburgh media, they don’t lyke the Panthers anyways, so anything negative they can spew, they will.

      Like

    2. Here’s why… at that point in the game, there isn’t a head coach/special team coach in the country at any level of football who isn’t screaming for his team to watch the fake. ND even left their defense on the field anticipating it. Granted, if Pitt would have converted, the narrative would be that it was a GUTSY and RISKY call. The ploy to dress a QB with a similar number- who also happens to physically look like the punter- was designed to fool the ND coaching staff (I seriously doubt any players noticed.) As such, it was a ploy better used earlier in the game when the opponent is more concerned with setting up their return. ND had no interest at that particular time in making a play with their return. Since the play was dependent on fooling the opposition, Pitt’s odds of converting would have been better with the offense on the field and the entire playbook at their disposal. The fake punt was limited to only that play and the gamble that the opposition would be unaware. They were not.

      Your other two points (it didn’t cost them another chance/PI) are warranted.

      Liked by 1 person

  81. Summary of an interesting day of football…

    First, to get this out of the way, what a night, seeing both the Hillbillies & nitters go down. Not sure what surprised me more, nits losing at home for the second straight game and against a team that just got beat by Northwestern, or wvcc getting dominated like that against a 2-3 Iowa State team. I don’t think anyone is shocked that Iowa St. won that game, it is well known that they were better than their record, but to dominate like that is a stunner. And Franklinstein said all the right things after that game, but the bottom line is he got the same result- a loss, and at home, followed by excuses; and if you look at the nitter schedule, they only have one game against a good opponent on the road all year, and that will be the Michigan game, all other good teams are home games, they did a masterful job of scheduling their games, but to no avail.

    And onto Pitt… I’m not going to read this entire thread, but I read just the last few comments, and will respond to a few of the better ones plus add some other thoughts:

    I agree with some astute comments about Pickett, he has a poor pocket presence and may be struggling reading things, he rolls out far too soon, and is way too jittery at this juncture. He does have the tools though to be a good QB, and I do wonder if he’s in the right situation with this staff. Which brings me to my next point, I agree with Chet above, and I’ve said this before as well, I believe Heather should require Narduzzi to fire Watson, and probably the WR coach too.

    I also agree with the comment above about the fake punt call, I think it was a poor decision and they should’ve kept the offense on the field, I thought that at the time, but nowhere close to baffling; the use of the word baffling has all the markings of drama journalism.

    On another note, it amazes me that our pass blocking can be that bad. If I’m Narduzzi and I’m planning to stick around for at least another year, I’d get some young lineman a lot of playing time, it’s hard to imagine that they’d be any worse, and he’s going to be starting all over next year.

    Finally, to end on a positive note, nice competitive game by the team and especially the defense, Hail to Pitt.

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  82. DO NOT DEFEND THE FAKE PUNT!!! It had ZERO chance to work. A fake punt only has potential to work when the other team is not expecting it. It is an indefensible call. It certainly is not the (only) reason that we lost. But our HC has to be smarter than that.

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  83. ……Maybe the SHAPE of this football program can be best illustrated by a comment posted just after the game: The Pitt Fight Song.
    Yes, we LOSE and we are excited by the fact that it wasn’t 21 points, it was close.
    TAKE A STEP BACK AND THINK ABOUT THAT FOR A MINUTE.
    To me, this is very sad.

    Liked by 1 person

  84. When a team loses there is always bad in the mixture and yesterday it continues to be the lack of offensive production. Seems as though Narduzzi has brought this team half cycle. Now the offense is the culprit instead of the defense. I’ll say this though, the defense looked dam good and I saw a lot of Narduzzi’s players being the cause of that… ike

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  85. Without getting in the weeds it is hard to win games these days when your offense averages one touchdown in most games , your kicker blows his golden opportunity to be the hero and we still have issues on pass defense. That said with a little luck and a notch better play (coaches and players) Pitt could compete with all their upcoming ACC foes except, I think ,Duke who will pass them to oblivion. The ??? is will they. One game with all phases clicking would be nice to see. Which comes first Pass protection or improved QB play, we need both. Only consolation we did not loose by 14 or more points and we were ahead most of the game. It is just the level of Pitt football in 2018.

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  86. The D looked good in 1 game
    Finally they developed a scheme to counter their opponent
    But even a half wit liked me said the key was to press and blitz so it didnt require a genius to draw up plans
    The young kids did execute so credit to them
    Lets see if they can repeat this performance against spread teams though who arent slow Big 10 like

    The O and special teams are just plain bad
    KP has regressed and his confidence is shot
    The line cant pass block
    The receivers dont get separation
    Our punter kicks 30 yard line drives
    and our kicker misses more than half his FG attempts

    The culprit has and will always be the coaching
    This staff recruited these players
    This staff failed to develop these players
    This staff designs the various schemes and play calls

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