It the “firm grasp of the obvious” department Narduzzi gets what others have been saying about our offense since halftime against Albany. Here’s a piece from the P-G that’s a good read:
But when you narrow the focus and drill down to the issues that are glaring weaknesses, those obvious to anyone inside or outside the locker room, Narduzzi provides some subtle hints about the evaluation process of his personnel -— players and coaches.
“Sometimes. There’s no doubt about it,” Narduzzi replied when asked if his offense has been too conservative, and if that’s a reason offensive coordinator Shawn Watson’s passing game has been stuck in neutral. “It’s players, it’s coaches involved in it. We’ve talked about that as well.”
Honest to God… every time he says something now I have to laugh instead of cry – which is a mark of progress for us long-suffering Pitt fans.
The Tribune Review responds with this article from Jerry DiPaola about our (poor) passing game. It asks what fans have been asking for three years now – what is up with highly touted recruits Mathews and Tipton? Here is a listing of our top receiver by catches:
In their third eligible years of their careers Mathews has 25 catches for 269 yards and 0 TDs (10.76 ypc) and Tipton has stumbled along with 14 for 156 yards and 1 TD (11.1 ypc). Very disappointing and as far our WR recruiting has suffered a lot since PN took over the reins.
Transfer Taysir Mack is doing well as far as yards per catch goes with 22.1 but his number of catches and number of TDs ain’t so hot. It’s a moot point anyway for this week as it looks like he’ll miss playing time again on Saturday.
We are all disappointed in Pickett’s play so far – and please let’s not make his knee an excuse – it hasn’t hindered his passing game one bit – but really where we are in dire straits for the rest of this season and the future is in our receiving corps and the OL. Oh – and maybe QB also.
Here is what the great stable of passers Narduzzi and Watson have built with their own two hands are doing this season…
Now Pitt fans – can you look at that and honestly say that you are happy Ben DiNucci is off the roster? I think if you are being honest, and not to sound snotty here… know football at all, you’ll wish he was back on roster.
In the “This is No Surprise At All” department we have been informed that transfer Jeff George, Jr is now the QB2 replacing both Town and Patti (who was listed as QB3 earlier in the beginning of the season).
This was a no-brainer as soon as it was announced that he was coming to Pitt on his barnstorming tour. Of course you are going to play a kid who had nine D1 starts (seven against Power 5 schools) as opposed to a vagabond rent-a-QB in Ricky Town who in four different schools has taken one in-game snap.
And forget about playing 2018 recruit QB Nick Patti at all this season fans. Why would you? He’s a true freshman with zero experience and should he get hurt playing in a fake-redshirt year and can’t play next season then we are stuck with the same crappy backups we have now.
I’m not sure it can get much worse Pitt fans (of course it can, after all it is Pitt football) when you have pinned your hopes and dreams on a QB who is averaging only 143 yards passing per game and whose yard per completion average is only 9.4. (Really bad!)
No wonder our 3rd down conversion percentage is only 33.3% – tied for 116th in D1.
But we can run the ball pretty well – can’t seem to score many TDs on the ground but we do move the sticks via the run so – if we can dominate that aspect of offense we’ll pull out a win this weekend.
BTW – Pitt’s 2019 recruiting class ranking is taking a hit and dropping nationally. Just six weeks ago we were around #37 or so:
I hate to say it but I think we lose a couple more existing verbals before the dust settles. I hope it won’t be 3* QB Beville because even if he is only a 3* and has only two other P5 offers (NW and RU) He’ll still be the best of the QB’s on Pitt’s roster not maned Pickett. Here are the early LOI dates:
I’ve changed my mind now – “Pickett’s Charge” just may be appropriate for what we are seeing so far this season. As far as Pickett’s play to date…I think he’s gotten screwed by the heavy burden of expectations the coaching staff and, in their statements and interviews with local writers, the media put on him over the off-season.
How many times did Narduzzi state there ‘was no QB competition‘ in fall camp or that ‘Kenny’s great out there and will be the man for us this season’ (to paraphrase)?
But the worse was Shawn Watson stating publicly that Pickett ‘hadn’t thrown an interception’. through all of fall camp. That was a stupid, stupid thing to say in public where the media jumps on every single word because that’s all they can write about.
Coach Pat Narduzzi said he never has seen such impeccable quarterback play in his three previous summers at Pitt.
“Pretty amazing, so far,” Narduzzi said. “Kenny is sharp, doesn’t make bad decisions. He scrambles with the ball when he needs to, has a great pocket presence, as good as I’ve seen it. He knows when to get out of there and not throw it.”
Pickett’s streak means he hasn’t thrown an interception since the last play of the spring game when junior cornerback Dane Jackson broke on the ball expertly and returned the pick 60 yards for the decisive score.
“That probably wasn’t (Pickett’s) fault, either,” Narduzzi said.
On top of that Watson anointed Pickett the next Teddy Bridgewater… asinine for sure and it had its effect in reverse I believe.
Here is an article that our reader and commenter Michelangelo wrote in an article back in August:
So based on all of that I’d say it’s a pretty good bet that Kenny posts a stat line of 2700 yds, 16 TD’s and 7 ints, with a rating of around 136. That’s not a bad line for a first year quarterback, and it’s an improvement over 2017. If the defense plays well, and the running game is working, it should be enough for 7 wins, maybe 8.
I thought along the same lines but even then always wrote that we had to remember that last year Pickett threw only one TD in 66 pass attempts – and it was a trickeration shovel pass to Aston.
So I’m not totally shocked at what we are seeing – but some Pitt fans though he’d be the next Dan Marino. That is forgetting that in Marino’s first year as a full-time starter he was 116 of 224 for 1609 yards with 15 TDs and 14 INTs for a rather poor QB rating of 121.7…Pickett’s rating holds at 117.8 to date.
“Know the Enemy” up soon…