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:

'18 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…

qbs 18

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:

recruiting 19.PNG

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:

LOI Day 19

Hey – during the off-season I wrote that two things we should never say about our players were “Pickett’s Charge and “Ford Island” as they were both military failures.

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…

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222 thoughts on “POV Bits and Pieces; 10/23/18

  1. Lol well thanks for the citation Reed. I was definitely drinking the kool aid at that point.

    I was thinking about this the other day and I think this year looks a lot more like Bridgewater’s true freshman year (or Marino’s first year to your point).

    I would also say that based on what we are seeing this year Pickett is clearly not the second coming of Bridgewater or Marino. I think he can turn into a competent Bill Stull type qb over time and that is probably his ceiling. The difference is that Stull has good blocking and a heck of a #1 receiver in Jonathan Baldwin.

    Time will tell. Hope we can win some more games!

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  2. KP’s OL is certainly hindering…no, crippling him. They are so poor that Pickett has to roll out on over half his pass plays which cuts his target field in half and makes his 20-30 hate attempts even more inaccurate. So, if somehow Pitt can put a decent pass protection line in front of him we’ll see Pickett’s number rise substantially.

    But what no one seems to be talking about is the surprisingly poor decision making on his part this year. Again, under pressure it is hard for a young QB especially to go through his receiver progressions but many times you can see he locks on to one receriver right at the snap and that kid draws the Safety down for coverage help.

    Pitt fans were bamboozled by his ‘take charge’ attitude in ’17 but then he had absolutely nothing to lose. Once they put the heavy crown on him he was, and is, a different guy out there.

    Watson’s non-use of the TEs doesn’t help either. With short catches to them early in the game it would really help his confidence.

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    1. With an inconsistent OL at best and a receiving corp that can’t seem to get open – be it poor route running, lack of speed, etc., what is a QB to do? Especially a young one as you state. You could put in (fill in the blank with a great QB) and their stats would be severely impacted. We have also seen a number of dropped passes to wide open targets.

      There are so many glaring opportunities (problems) with this team – most appear on the offensive side of the ball. There have to be some changes to the coaching staff this off-season, starting with Watson. And unfortunately, you are going to see more grad signings on the OL and elsewhere to make up for recruiting woes.

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  3. Unfortunately we don’t know how George is stacking up in practice. Also KP’s knee may not be hurting his passing but his legs are another weapon that the offense is missing. His legs, and not his arm are what won the Miami game.

    It will be interesting to see what happens next.

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    1. Wow. Brings back my memory of seeing Roger S. play for the US Navy Pensacola Goshawks, a “Base Team” while he was doing his service time after the academy.

      My dad was a Marine Sergeant stained at Quantico, VA in the late 1960’s. He took his 10 year old youngest son … me … to see my first ever live football game in 1968 when the ‘Quantico Marines’ played Staubach’s Navy team at Butler Stadium on the Quantico Marine base…

      …the Marines lost to a loaded Navy team to both myself and my Dad’s chagrin and disappointment…though he kept telling me how good Staubach was eventually going to be in the pros and to remember this day…he was really upset those Navy ‘squids’ beat his beloved Corp.

      https://www.navy.mil/submit/display.asp?story_id=102166

      http://jarheadjocks.com/doc/Football%201964-72-2013.pdf

      but honestly, I really remember the pageantry, the colors, the organized cheering by the Marines in Butler Stadium…and the marching bands precision drill and seemingly playing JP Sousa tunes all day long….the pageantry had me hooked. I do remember a bit of Roger the Dodger playing though…he was really good and did some amazing escape artistry during that game.

      To this day I enjoy watching college football in person more then attending a pro game – the pagentry and tradition is a big part of what I love about the college game.

      H2P

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m still indifferent to DiNucci leaving, he’s simply not a D1 thrower, not even close. I think it’s easy to forget his mechanics and physical limits in the passing game now that he is one year removed. Maybe if we are forced to install a 90% run offense, he’s a good fit, but this is not 1964. I’m actually happy for him that he found himself a place where’s he’s a good fit and successful. I still believe Penn would be his best choice, if something opened up there.

    Regarding Pickett, yes he’s forced to roll out way too often, but sometimes his roll-outs are unforced and he misses open receivers. I don’t know how correctable these aspects of his game are, but since he’s played well under one full season, I still have hope that it’s going to click for him one of these days. I can’t say I have high hopes, but I do have some hopes, at least for now. I could see a guy like him transferring to Wisconsin and looking ‘suddenly really good’, due to the system there.

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  5. I was pretty much ALONE in backing Ben DiNucci as the Starting Quarterback. I projected that DiNucci had what it takes to be a very good COLLEGE Quarterback… in a SPREAD Offense!

    Seems others saw it the same way as DiNucci was pursued by Perennial D-2 Champion James Madison University where they are committed to running the Spread. It has proven to be a “Win-Win” as DiNucci earned the Starting Job and has lead JMU to a 5 and 2 record and completing nearly 70 PERCENT of his passes.

    HOWEVER, Pitt does not run the Spread. That being the case, I don’t think we’d be seeing the SAME kind of production from DiNucci had he stayed.

    Adding to this is the fact that DiNucci is also getting BETTER COACHING at JMU that what he would be getting had he stayed at Pitt.

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  6. Of course… some like to still DOWNPLAY DiNucci’s achievements given that JMU is D-2.

    Truth is the level of football played at a GOOD D-2 School is pretty comparable to an AVERAGE D-1 Program.

    There’s plenty of evidence to support this… one being the fact that JMU lead by DiNucci took NC State to the wire early this Season.

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    1. Those are fair comments in my opinion, but I disagree that DiNucci would be successful in D1 even in a Spread system, because spread systems still require you to throw, and the defensive athleticism is high in most all D1 leagues. I think he is benefiting right now from being in a dominant program at their level, plain and simple. I could actually see him doing pretty well in a non-spread system like Wisconsin right now, a team that is run dominant and largely requires only short throws, but I think it would have to be an almost perfect scenario like that.

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  7. I don’t like Pat Narduzzi’s personality…but I’ve realized from reading this blog and talking to other fans that we have unrealistic expectations for him and this program. I teach 8th grade in one of the lowest achieving school districts in Pa. I often get students at the start of the year that cannot read, can barely write, or maybe do not even speak English. There is only so much you can do to grow these students in one year. I certainly am not going to have them analyzing Shakespeare, that’s just not realistic.

    Pat is up against the following:
    1) Pitt hasn’t been able to attract top recruits since the mid 80’s. That’s not his fault. It’s because the program has been mismanaged, had several coaching debacles, does not have its own facilities, ect.
    2) The city of Pittsburgh and surrounding suburbs really don’t care about Pitt football…even in the glory days Pitt Stadium was rarely more than half filled. Not Pat’s fault and this doesn’t help recruiting which doesn’t help trying to win.
    3) Pitt is in the ACC and in my opinion, over their head. We are in it for the money just like Mr. Nutting of the Pirates. We cannot compete in ACC football or basketball given our facilities, low coaching budgets, and lack of recruiting. We could be like USF, UCF,, and Cincy and have a very exciting, successful time in the American Conference…but Pitt doesn’t want to be there because that’s sacrificing millions of dollars…very Piratesque if you ask me.
    4) Scheduling non-conference games for money and publicity rather than growing the team and setting them up for a bowel game. If we are in the ACC, no more PSU, ND, WVU, or any other super successful team in the non-con please. We need to play some Mac, Sun Belt, and CUSA games to get wins, build excitement, and at least create the illusion of progress.

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    1. I think you make good points, but I disagree with some. I do think a really good recruiter would recruit really well at Pitt, but you have to appeal to what those type of players are looking for, and Narduzzi does not appear to be that guy, so yes, I think his sub par recruiting to date is largely on him. The other thing, to your point about the city of Pittsburgh, is that there is plenty to do in Pittsburgh, so if teams don’t win, people will find something else to do with their entertainment dollars. The Steelers may be the one and only exception since they’re such a large part of the fabric of the city, but even they will suffer with attendance if things go down hill. At penn st, by contrast, there is NOTHING else to do with the possible exception of cow tipping, so there’s no competition for entertainment dollars; their team could go way down hill and still pull in solid attendance numbers. The Pirates front office is an embarrassment in many ways, end result will be empty stands. That’s life in the Burgh.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. As for Pickett… I still believe he has TALENT.

    I have been saying for weeks that first and foremost he needs to see himself as a Pocket Quarterback who thinks to PASS FIRST and run second.

    This is exactly what we’ve recently been seeing of late.

    However, his development is being hampered by the POOR play of the Offensive Line and the fact that he obviously is NOT getting the Coaching he needs.

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  9. Great article Reed and a hearty thank you:

    I look at Taysir Mack’s numbers and wonder what they would like if he hadn’t missed the past 2 plus games. Looks like he could have at least 20 catches by now and maybe more if he had a big game in one of the past three. Any which way his loss was a big one for PITT and KP.

    Davis Beville is supposed to be a near locked and has made the decision to enroll early at PITT. Meanwhile speaking of Mack. Brandon Mack a DE at 6’4″ 215 lbs from Alabama and Bryce Nelms DE 6’6″ from New Jersey are both said to be teetering on their commitments. Mack may be the top recruit thus far in this years PITT recruiting class.

    Interesting to hear HCPN is talking about the offensive being too conservative. A think someone behind the scenes may be talking in Pat’s ear?

    OK, now Pickett’s knee. Got to disagree here a little bit on the effect it may be having on his passing numbers. Sure he hasn’t had a lot of time and the offensive game-plan seems to hinder him a bit as well but. KP’s legs can buy him more time and or keep the defense honest. If there is a lessened threat of him scrambling out of the pocket it opens up opportunities for the defense to play a bit more reckless and pin their ears back as they say. So yes, I think the knee injury has held back the offense somewhat and some of those sacks may not have happened or at least not to the degree that they were, 10 15 yard losses will kill PITT’s drives every-time.

    Have a nice day everyone … ike

    H2P

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  10. Has anyone seen KP stumble or limp or not be able to put torque on it?

    Just because he had a brace on doesn’t mean it’s still injured. It may well be that after it healed – and it was minor anyway – the staff is taking precautions.

    If that isn’t the case and it is truly hurting his game then our backups are worse then we thought they were if they can’t be played.

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  11. Backups are BAD. Castoffs.

    Posted after the Spring Game that Town was challenged when it came to both Passing or Running. Some NAIVELY took issue.

    Now what can be said about Patti? Has he thrown an interception in practice?

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  12. I don’t see Pickett’s knee as a factor in his performance now just like it wasn’t a factor in his QB stats prior to the injury…that’s observing with my professional PT eye..(chirp in PittPT) ..just not enough quality parts in play to make for a solid throwing game.

    We hold a record in losing 1 score games over the past decade, like 32 times we come out on the short end of the stick. Going forward we will be in every game and all will probably be close 3-7 point decisions,,,time to change that trend.

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  13. I think that George is basically on a par with Pickett. He has actually started one more game than KP. If he knows the offense now, I think he should start a game to see how he does. He may be better at throwing the long ball.
    As for recruiting, I think Chryst was recruiting pretty well at Pitt and would have been building a program similar to Whisky over time. A good coach can recruit at Pitt.

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  14. I still think that the current Pitt players do have a modicum of talent…that is not being coached up effectively.

    They are trying hard to do the things the coaching staff wants them to do…but those things are conceptually flawed both strategically and tactically.. Teaching bad fundamental’s is worse imho then not emphasizing fundamental’s at all. They play hard but just don’t have the right tool set to achieve and grow as well as they should..

    I’ve watched this potential train wreck slowly developing for the last 4 years. It is made worse by the poor recruiting PN has ‘enjoyed’ so far…training up talented young players is easier then trying to train up players with less skill to have ‘career’ seasons every year. And this staff just doesn’t cut the mustard in that regard.

    I am still patient – PN will get another year regardless, and probably deservedly so whether I like it or not… and miracles can still happen this year…but either way the Athletic Department needs to objectively and independently re-evaluate PN’s entire staff and philosophical approach to the game in the off season, regardless of his input.

    H2P

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  15. Pickett is “average” in every category except for his willingness to COMPETE.

    Going back to High School, Pickett has had a lot of confidence in using his ability to RUN as a way to compete.

    Now, the knee is limiting his ability to do that. It is pretty obvious that Pickett has not been running as AGGRESSIVELY as he did against Miami last year or even Penn State this year.

    The PROBLEM is that Pickett has not made for it by improving his Passing Game. He doesn’t have a strong arm, He also is not very fluid when it comes to throwing on the run. But at times he shows enough SHARPNESS in his throws to think that he can get better.

    Personally, I put a LOT of the blame on Coaching… and of course that Offensive Line.

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    1. Pickett’s arm is more than strong enough, that’s not even part of his problem. I do agree that blame falls to the coaches though, probably even moreso than the OL, if that’s possible.

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  16. Well, I think we have an outside chance at 6 win if our passing gets better… especially on 3rd down where we fail on 2 out of 3 attempts to convert.

    Pickett’s arm has surprised me a bit. I knew the deep game wasn’t that good but I expected way more YAC on the shorter passes.

    Problem is he isn’t hitting his receivers in stride to be able to do that.

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  17. Pulled this from Twitter – Interesting how some Pitt fans would view our Oline as the bottom dwellers for the ACC –

    Top 4 would not be my guess after our brutal OOC schedule – is the ACC that bad this year? If so, HUGH missed opportunity.

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    1. Interesting…I love this.

      Sometimes stats lie. I.e. see Tino

      I wonder where are tackles rank.

      They have to be bottle of the barrel.

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  18. Could it be the least bit possible Pickett’s accuracy and zip is a bit off due to his inability to push, plant and follow through with that leg? … or I raise another question, why wasn’t KP wearing the brace in the first place. Could it also be possible that KP feels a bit encumbered by it. I hope if there was an injury the week off helped him get closer to 100%. ike

    H2P!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Ike I agree with you.

    I think ever since he jammed his leg against Albany it’s been an issue.

    The offensive lines pass protection is poor but Pickett seems to not have the same running ability as he showed against Miami.

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  20. Didn’t NC State just get smoked by Clemson? They only scored 7 points. What does that say about their OL, and additionally what these types of rankings mean?

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  21. KP had a great run on 3rd and long against ND and almost made it, stepping out of bounds just before the first down. Probably could have made it if he didn’t go out of bounds and avoid a hit. He probably has orders to avoid hits while running. He was very athletic and elusive, no indication of a bad knee. He is an athletic player. That is not an issue.

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  22. National Ranking and attendance

    Looking back at Pitt’s tenure at Heinz Field, Pitt fans will come out for high stakes games when the team is good. Virginia Tech, Cincinnati, West Virginia, Notre Dame all got 60,000+ to show up at Heinz. Team rankings were in the mix. When the second largest crowd for a Pitt game showed up at Heinz in 2002 to watch Pitt-West Virginia, Pitt was ranked. Problem is Pitt has not been ranked in ACC play except for a period in 2016. Then Narduzzi blew the bowl game to Northwestern and a dismal 2017 arrived.

    Pitt is now competitive in the ACC enough to draw fans. If a title was on the line, Pitt fans would return to Heinz. Pitt has no rivalries in the ACC – that is, rivalries that get fan’s attention. In the Big East, West Virginia and Cincinnati were rivalry games.

    We can talk all we want about lack of fan support but if Narduzzi got his act together and consistently won games and played in high stakes games with national rankings in play, PItt fans would show up.

    We are still plagued with mistake-prone, boring, inconsequential football.

    How Pitt does in the next few weeks will determine if this era of Narduzzi is Dave Hart or Carl Depasqua II.
    At best, all we can hope to do is equal the success of Paul Chryst’s Detroit-bowl winning team – a game we won over a MAC team. That’s where we are in Narduzzi’s golden year 4.

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  23. We are playing “more even” competition from here forward…should be fun-fasten your chin-straps !!! Maybe Kenny gets smokin hot this week…..would be a nice change from the 1st half of the season….

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  24. James DeLeon..your words ring true…just look what our lady VB team is drawing..we all love to participate in the excitement that comes with competing for championships….but some of us have” evolved” to find excitement in mediocrity as we have no other options..can you say “Fran’s Tailgate?”

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  25. I was a huge Pickett supporter but he is not nearly the same QB as last year. I have a few ideas why, but he simply is not getting the job done. I think the announcement of George as backup was not a coincidence. He starts vs Duke Saturday.

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  26. danh72, Looking in the rear-view mirror Kenny’s success vs Miami, literally, got blown out of proportion and in the off season mushroomed to where most on here (at least me) believe he was our savior… some even had him going pro after his junior year… He played a solid game vs Miami but mainly with his legs. I don’t recall him lighting up the Canes with his arm….One of his biggest problems has been accuracy even when he has time to throw..I watched 3 passes at the Carolina game to open receivers where he had no significant pressure,,those 3 passes, if caught , sustained drives and probably the out-come. He also prone to taking really bad sacks… We all see his potential but right now I can’t see where he is any better than DiNucci..

    .How many QBs does PITT have on the roster-something like 8 or 9 ?

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  27. So my view of the games from the cheap seats is this. Kenny Pickett needs to have the game slowed down in his head. All too often (if you watch the tapes of the games), when KP goes back into the pocket and sets, there is a receiver breaking open. It is a very small window of time and place to matriculate the pigskin. The problem that I see is that he sees it, but for a split second thinks about the opening and by the time he should have released it, it is too late, panic sets in and he starts to run. I criticized the early lack of pocket presence in the Albany game and it is no better in game 7 for the reasons stated above. Slowing the game down in his head and trusting the play is so critical to success. If he is on time down the field, we will see a different result. Until such time as he trusts the call and doesn’t worry about interceptions/turnovers. If you worry about turnovers, you have already lost because your mindset is flawed.

    Secondly, with regard to knee braces, I was of the opinion that every OL is required to wear them and that every QB is to wear one on the front knee. It’s the important leg for generating velocity in the throwing motion and the one that is planted during the execution of the throw. It is also the one most at risk for injury.

    All of these teams around us are having solid years (Cincy, OSU, Dairy, WVHigh,Marshall, Buffalo). The P5 teams all schedule creampuff out of conference and get headlines early which helps recruiting and confidence.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. I agree 1618, good point by Huff the whatever..

    About the knee brace getting to be so infamous. Yes, Narduzzi said that KP was supposed to and should have been wearing one. Why wasn’t he? It slows him down possibly? << Obviously he doesn’t prefer to wear one.

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  29. Now that back-up QB George is apparently up to speed on the offense, I’m hoping that means that Watson will now feel more free to call a less conservative game. Maybe we see KP doing some more running now that it may not be a total disaster if KP gets dinged-up.

    No reason to hold anything back from this game on…

    Go Pitt!

    PS: Put me on the side of the ledger that is glad DiNooch left — didn’t like his demeanor as a backup. Glad he found a place where he can play — wasn’t going to be here.

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    1. John, I like your suggestion that if Boy George is up speed, the staff will be less conservative with KP. From your lips to God’s ears!

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  30. Either Pickett is hurt, not playing well or simply doesn’t have the tools for P5 play. In any of these situations, Narduzzi should sit him down for a while and play George to see what he can do. It can’t be worse than the first 7 games- isn’t Pitt rated over 100th in passing?

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  31. Quick notes..

    -JMU is Div 1-AA (or FCS nowadays), not DII.

    “Pitt hasn’t been able to attract top recruits since the mid 80’s”… Not true, at all. Wannstedt did EXTREMELY well with top-rated recruits. And Gottfried and Harris had some successes, as well.
    Keith Hamilton, Sean Gilbert, Lesean MCoy, Curtis Martin, Derrelle Revis, etc. were all after the mid 80’s. I could name at least a dozen more.

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  32. Nard Dog blames the punter on fake punt.
    Let me get this straight.
    A kid who has not played a down all year At ND is going to change the call before the snap.
    Also why don’t we ask the coach how well the George kid kicks since he has the green light to call of the play and punt it.
    I call BS!

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  33. Kman. I didn’t hear Narduzzi blaming the punter. He explicitly blames the coaching staff. << He’s asked and then explains the play and puts the blame on the staff.

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  34. Ike, I have to say, it seemed like Narduzzi blamed execution, then remembered how that would come across and added that the blame was on the coaches.

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  35. Ike, this week PN said ‘He should have punted there…’ which is the same as saying the kid made a bad decision.

    Fans forgot we ran for 6 yards a on 1st down that series then, for some godforsaken reason, we throw two passes in a row.

    But the worse was that very last possession where we started at our 38 with a lot of time on the clock at 2:20 then went backwards to end the game at our own 19 yard line. Total ineptitude and that series took only 42 seconds. Kelly cut us a break taking a knee for 1:38 seconds to end the game on our 19 yard line. They easily could have scored there to make things look better for the Playoff pollsters.

    This staff just doesn’t understand cause and effect. We do a stupid thing one series then the next and last possesion we get our assets handed to us.

    You can look at the score and crow we lost by less that a TD if it makes you feel better but we totally blew that 4th quarter starting with the missed FG to start the quarter.

    If fans were hoping we’d pull one of that annual ‘big upsets’ that PN has become famous for that was our chance…

    Liked by 2 people

  36. All I’m saying Reed, is that Narduzzi said it was the coaches fault at least three or four times. And imo, it was their fault for not going for it. It was a dumb call and poorly executed at that. He was asked what happened on the fake punt and he explains that the coaches didn’t coach that play well enough. Terrible, terrible, terrible call? Yes. Throwing players under the bus….. I guess people can think what they want.

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  37. Ike, Reed rightfully pointed out that with a 6 yd gain on 1st down they pass two times which put them in a bad spot. If this was 4 down territory as proved to be the case, they could have run 3 times to pick up 4 yards. Clearly the coaches have no strategy to win close games at the end.

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  38. VOR my buddy. I’m in complete agreement with what Reed said and it was a terrible play call. My point is that people want to make up things in their heads about what Narduzzi says in his pressers. He takes the blame is all my point was.

    Liked by 1 person

  39. Don’t understand the fallacy that Pickett’s will-to-compete is greater than anyone else’s.
    Is that from the same koolaid as the misguided he’s-the-next-Dan-Marino elixir?
    He has been terrible.
    Blame on his line, his knee, his coaching, his mother having bottle fed him…I don’t care.
    The results are what they are.
    So to say:Yeah, but boy can he compete! How does anyone know he has more fire in his heart than the water Boy?

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  40. Gasman… You might be in the minority here. If nothing else, think most would agree that Pickett shows a LOT OF GUTS when it comes to a QB running the Ball and willing to get that EXTRA Yard.

    No pun intended of course.

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  41. Touching quickly on some of the different items in this thread:

    Offensive Line

    If you look at the reasoning behind why Pro Football Focus (College Edition) ranks Pitt’s line as 4th in the ACC, it’s a little easier to reconcile with the product you see on the field. Now, PFF is not the gospel, but they do look at every play and assign every player a rating for each play to arrive at their overall grade. So, if nothing else, there’s more of a quantitative component than you find at most outlets and they seem less willing to just buy into and perpetuate established narratives.
    In their description, PFF praises Pitt’s guard play and rates the center a bit above average. There’s no mention of the tackles, which is very kind of them. The summary pretty much aligns with what we see on the field, some good guard play in the run game and unspeakable tackle play. Basically, Pitt starts four guards and a center, so this is no real surprise.

    DiNucci and KP

    I think DiNucci is better equipped for the current offense (more accurate, more composed, and a better passer on the run) and Pitt probably has another win right now if DiNucci’s behind center. At the same time, it’s hard to get exercised about the difference between the two because neither is the answer if Pitt wants to become a championship program with this style.

    If you’re going to play a pro style offense and you don’t have a dominating o-line (in the passing game as well as the run) or playmakers galore, you’re going to struggle. Even Alabama, which does have the above, has diversified its offense to great success. Yet, Pitt plods along trying to win with a pro-style offense and less than pro talent at most positions. There are only so many college QBs that can overcome those obstacles, they are a cut above DiNucci and KP in terms of physical talent, and they don’t generally come to Pitt. If they do, we don’t play them and they transfer, lol.

    It’s just one more reason why, as Pitt of Dreams and others (Huff, maybe?) have suggested, that Pitt needs to go to a spread if it wants to thrive at its current recruiting level, or even at a slightly higher level. I know this is heresy, but I actually think Graham’s scheme would have worked eventually if he had administrative support and was given the time to get his recruits in place. That’s not a commentary on Graham as much as it is his reading of the college game and what works compared to what we presently at Pitt.

    Status of Pitt Football

    We’ve done this to death and I won’t rehash my old posts on this, but basically: Pitt is a middle of the road school (or lower if you emphasize championships) in the ACC in terms of recent success, middle of the road academically by ACC standards, located in a pro market with a huge percentage of PSU and ND fans, and has a history of weak fan and administrative support.

    Yet, despite all this, Pitt has fumbled NUMEROUS chances to win division and conference championships, going back to the Big East Days. Even this year, NOBODY (even Ike) is really excited about this team and they could easily be in good position for a Coastal Championship if they had beaten a dreadful Carolina team.
    It really wouldn’t take that much for Pitt to get over the hump, but it would take a lot more commitment than we’ve seen until recently from the administration. Bottom line, Pitt can win, but needs to be a lot more innovative. The schools that have risen above average circumstances to become players on a national level have taken chances and gone out of the way to define themselves and separate from the pack. Commitment is more than money, it’s a mindset and a culture. Not sure the last two are in place, yet.

    Man, this is a long comment. I should have sent it to Reed for a post …

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Much appreciated UM and great thoughts. It would have made for a great article as well.

      Maybe we see a surprise on offense Saturday like we did with the 5 d-backs no one saw coming?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Really hoping they used the off week to sprinkle in something new, but I also saw staff was out recruiting (as they should be), so not sure what to expect. I was slightly encouraged that Narduzzi acknowledged that the offensive has been conservative (even though he deflected a little bit). We’ll see what happens. I think Duke will score and we need to go in with the idea that we need to keep pace, not hope for a repeat of the ND game (in terms of pace and the low score).

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  42. Well, as much as I touted Pickett from spring of 2017 until fall camp I agreed that he’s appearing to be a normal 3* QB who tries as hard as he can out there…just like any other player in CFB who fights on each play until the whistle blows.

    What is almost mind boggling though is the poor recruiting of the position over the last decade or so:

    ’08 – Cross, Sunseri
    ’09 – Kolby Grey
    ’10 – Gonzalez and Myers
    ’11 – None
    ’12 – Voytik
    ’13 – Chapman
    ’14 – Bertke
    ’15 – DiNucci
    ’16 – MacVitte
    ’17 – Pickett

    Sunseri looks like a superstar compared to the other recruits… Four of the above never took a snap at QB for us.

    All that makes getting Peterman more important because without that move we never would have had those 8 win seasons. Then again Narduzzi transfer QBs Brown, Sticker and Schneider didn’t do anything of mention either.

    If we are going to point to why we have been SOP then the QBs is the place to start.

    Liked by 1 person

  43. I understand and believe that Clemson went after Beville very hard late and he is standing his ground with PITT.

    Anyone think Richard (Pitt-cocks) won the lottery? He does live in gamecock territory.

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  44. Pitt is in a conference that cares about academics and sports
    80% of conference schools rank in the top 50 in Directors Cup (that measures success across all sports…championships matter)
    70% of the schools in the conference are ranked better academically than Pitt
    Pitt has always cared about academics and did everything in their power to ensure sports did not usurp the natural order of things in a university setting
    Sports has always been mediocre with the occasional good run if you look at the past 50 years (football and basketball). Olympic sports have generally always been bad save for swimming, volleyball and wrestling
    Things really got bad with the Killer B’s during the 80’s and sports has never recovered
    Pederson 1 did a good job of picking Pitt back up but nearly destroyed Pitt on his second coming
    Pitt sports has failed because it doesnt have the leadership
    Pitt doesnt have the support from the BoT
    The culture of mediocrity is instilled at Pitt and probably wont ever change until the leadership structure changes. That’s the BoT
    Dont expect miracles
    But I do believe Pitt can be relatively successful (better than mediocre) if the right coaches are in place and they are great recruiters
    That goes for all sports
    Money and facilities arent huge issues for Pitt anymore
    No excuses

    Liked by 2 people

  45. Seems the point is being missed on DiNucci versus Pickett.

    My emphasis has been that DiNucci has the skills to be a very good SPREAD Quarterback. But the same skills don’t necessarily translate to more of a Pro-Style Offense run by Pitt.

    This is supported by the LONG LIST of Quarterbacks who succeeded in the Spread in College but never were able to make it in the NFL.

    Bottom line… Pickett could NEVER do what DiNucci is doing at JMU. Likewise, I don’t believe DiNucci would be putting up the same numbers at Pitt like he has done running the Spread at JMU.

    Now would he be sitting the bench the way Pickett is playing? Guess we’ll never know.

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    1. My main point with regard to DiNucci and KP is that neither QB is well equipped to run Pitt’s pro style offense (and Pitt shouldn’t be running a pro style) and that the difference between the two is small in that content. But, if you had to pick one, I think DiNucci right now is a bit ahead of Pickett developmentally and could get a little more out of this Pitt offense. Doesn’t erase the fact that Pickett has more potential long-term, just underscores the challenges of running a pro style offense when you recruit at Pitt’s level.

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  46. TX… Good points all.

    However, I really think it boils down to Coaches. Pitt Admin has historically made some really BAD choices when it comes to hiring Head Football Coaches… and been unable or unwilling to retain GOOD Coaches when they’ve been fortunate enough to have them.

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    1. and head coaches

      Majors1 – former head coach
      Sherrill – head coach for 1 year
      Foge – assistant
      Gottfied – former head coach
      Hackett – assistant
      Walt – former head coach
      Wanny – former head coach
      Chryst – assistant
      Narduzzi – assistant

      One can argue that Pitt achieved above mediocrity when they hired head coaches and not assistants

      Pitt began de-emphasizing sports during Gottfried hence the hire of an insider and career assistant
      Once football became marginalized, they hired a re-tread and became cheap
      Walt actually saved the program from extinction
      Then football was kicked off campus and Pitt became a basketball school
      Pitt does win a 5 way tie and gets to the Fiesta Bowl and Walt leaves
      Wanny comes in and fans start believing that a winning culture was being built
      Pitt’s Chancellor then remembers the ‘mission statement’
      Pederson then nearly destroys Pitt football
      Chryst gets brought in based on Pitt owing a favor to Godfather Barry
      Narduzzi is then hired because Pitt leadership thinks the way to win the ACC is through defense and a Big Joke mentality

      Liked by 1 person

      1. They finally realized (or did they) that we’re in the ACC, not BigJoke, when they hired an ACC guy (Capel) for hoops. But did they ? Since we know Hurley was their 1st choice. Nobody is hiring DC’s a HC’s because college football is all about offense. Did VT promote Bud Foster ? No, they went out and got an offensive minded HC, who’s team was scoring tons of points.

        Pitt is still playing 1980’s football, but without the hogs, without the elite players and that is never going to result to much. And Bigjoke football with avg players is going to get you an avg record.

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        1. Emel, I agree with your second paragraph, I think it’s a good point.

          Regarding Pitt’s ‘new direction’ in hoops with the hiring of Capel, and the realization that they are in the ACC, I think the right coach is the only thing that matters regardless of his history in terms of where he coached, etc. Virginia pulled in Bennett from the PAC12 who brought slogball style, and it worked, because he’s good at it and so far has been able to find enough players willing to play that style. Jamie failed at the end of his tenure here because he lost his best recruiters a few years prior, but with the right recruiters on staff his style could have still been successful here, it never had to end that way. In Capel, Pitt appears to have gotten its second choice, but we won’t know for several years whether or not their second choice was a better choice than their first choice. I guess right now, I wouldn’t swap coaches with UConn if I could, but who knows how it will play out. In Capel, it does look like we got a guy who will be able to recruit well out of the ACC territory, and I suspect he’ll bring a different style than we are used to, but how well he coaches and recruits (regardless of where the players are from) will be the only thing that matters. I believe I’m largely preaching to the choir, but I think the topic is an interesting one.

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  47. The most frustrating part is that the Coastal Division will never be weaker than it’s been the past few years. Miami won’t underachieve forever, Carolina can’t get any worse (and we still can’t beat them), Uva is on the way up, Duke is no longer a doormat, neither is Syracuse, and Virginia Tech is getting closer to its traditional level under Beamer.

    Pitt’s window of opportunity is closing fast.

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    1. We never took advantage of a weak BigEast conference after Miami & VT left in 2003. Other than tying for the conf. championship in one of DW’s last years.

      I seriously doubt Pitt will become a force in the Coastal. Since it never did become one in the weakened BigEast and just when we might of, they pulled the plug.

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  48. It seems that Narduzzi recruited Pickett to run a pro style offense so there shouldn’t be a bad fit here. Maybe he is just not good enough, it’s just that simple. I’m certainly not giving up on him but I think PN should give George a chance.

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  49. Granted Pickett was the QB who played and led us to victory over Miami last year.

    But if Pickett isn’t ready this year (and he’s not), Nardo must have been right, that he certainly wasn’t ready to play last year.

    He played because The Nooch was only avg’g 141 yards per game at even lower completion % of 55%.
    With a measly 5 TD passes for the season. And his QB rating was exactly the same as Pickett’s at 117%

    In fact their QB ratings are identical down to the tee…..117.8%

    And I would think whether the Nooch was playing this year or KP, we still have the same record and
    the same horrid passing attack.

    The Davis Beville is enrolling early and hopefully he is the real deal.

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  50. Emel…Reed made a TD pass prediction for KP prior to the season…was either 10 or 15…we are half way through the season and Reed’s crystal ball is looking strong.

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  51. Guys just a couple of reasonable things to add here:

    It’s Pickett’s first full year. Unless he’s in the top 5% of qb’s he’s going to struggle as a redshirt Frosh. Johnny Manziel (or redshirt frosh phenom) is the exception not the rule. Pls temper your expectations. And as everyone pointed out, the o-line is not doing any favors.
    As Wanny once said ‘the backup qb is always the most popular guy in town’. This offensive coaching staff may not be the sharpest bunch but there is a reason why Georgio isn’t playing. Probably has to do with the frequency he throws interceptions.
    If yuh look at DiNucci’s stats ly they are basically equal if not a tick worse than KP’s. I don’t think we’d be doing any better with lil’ Ben at the helm.

    Liked by 1 person

  52. Here is the ex-coordinator watch, listing our most recent O and D coordinators and their current records:

    Joe Rudolph – OC at Wisconsin – 5-2 (3-1 conference record, half game behind Northwestern for 1st place in Big 10 west)

    Matt House – DC at Kentucky – 6-1 (4-1 in conference, tied with Florida and Kentucky for 1st place in SEC east)

    Jim Cheney – OC at a Georgia – 6-1 (4-1 in conference, tied with Florida and Kentucky for 1st place in SEC east)

    Josh Conklin – head coach at Wofford (FCS) – 5-2 (potential playoff team; tied with ETSU for 1st place in conference (SoCon) with 4-1 conference record)

    Matt Canada – OC/interim head coach at Maryland – 4-3 (with a win over Texas, a current top ten team)

    Interestingly, every single of one of them is holding at least the same level position, if not higher, than what they had at Pitt, and all of them have a team with a better record than Pitt. Canada, who arguably was the most successful of the bunch during his time at Pitt, has the worst record of them all.

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  53. Got to keep it REAL.

    When it comes to the ALL IMPORTANT Yards per Attempt… Pickett 5.9… DiNucci 7.5.

    Bottom line… You won’t win many Games with a Quarterback averaging 5.9. On the other hand, 7.5 at least puts you in the Game!

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    1. You’re seriously comparing a guy playing the schedule of JMU vs Pitt’s.
      KP beat out DiNucci and made him leave town for a reason.

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          1. You mean Pitt that went SCORELESS in the 2nd Half against the MIGHTY 2-5 Albany Great Danes? The same Great Danes that lost to two teams that JMU beat by more than 50 Points?

            Just want to be sure.

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  54. Couple of things:

    I agree with all points listed above re: state of Pitt football…but with all that Pitt fans will be singing PN’s praises if he wins 6 or 7 games this year. That’s the true state of Pitt football.

    I have no problem with the Pro-Set offense at Pitt, we lately had two 8 win seasons using it and I think Pickett could thrive in it IF HE HAD A DECENT OL who could give him an actual pocket to pass from. It may be a few years before we see that OL ability.

    There were other 1st year college student issues that kept Pickett off the field until the 2nd half of the season last year. This happens with tons of true freshmen and was the main reason a redshirt rule was established in the first place,

    Most fans think redshirting a FR is the staff saving him for later play but more often than not its acclimation problems to school, academics and the playbook.

    I really don’t get the adversion to starting over’ with HCs if ours isn’t doing well… Since Pitt is and has been in essence a .500 program why not roll the dice if the current HC is not progressing toward 9, 10 wins and championships?

    PN is already tied for the least wins in a season since 1998 and this season looks to be shaping up to 5 or 6 wins so what is the continuing attraction? Keep our fingers crossed that his other younger roster players will do better than his recruits who got on the field before them?

    Well, we’ve nothing shown to lead us to believe that any of his recruits will be better than average D1 ballplayers because that is what they all have been. Really, not one has played at star level, or even 1st string conference level in the four years of his recruiting.

    Can we say that about any previous Pitt HC? No, so why not change at the end of this year if its another year of not progressing?

    Liked by 1 person

  55. Reed, while I will agree with your KP assessment of adjusting to college “life” and not just football.

    On your second point I kind of agree but the grade is incomplete on Narduzzi with 5 games left to play in his fourth season. If PITT can win 3 or more games, Narduzzi will become the winning-est head coach at PITT in four seasons since Jackie.

    My last point, Maurice Ffrench. << I don’t think I ever spelt Maurice before, I think he qualifies as somewhat of a star being name All-American and all, as was Henderson.

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    1. thats like saying Sunseri was the 2nd best QB at Pitt
      If you look at stats alone he is

      Need to look at results
      Just like Sunseri never won a meaningful game or led a 4th quarter comeback,
      Narduzzi has never won a bowl game or the division

      Those 8 win seasons (based on Chryst players and pro talent) were wasted…no bowl win, no division title

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  56. ^^ That should say the winning-est head coach in their first four years. I’ll add I realize PITT plays one more game these days but also play a lot more tougher schedule as well.

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  57. POD’s ranking of Pitt’s Offensive Lineman… BEST to worst!

    1) Dintino – Pitt’s BEST… but probably not a Starter for most ACC Teams.
    2) Herndon – Makes the most of what he has.
    3) Millin – Well, he is BIG!
    4) Morrissey – Don’t believe what you read. Believe what you see!
    5) Bookser – Not even close. Always said he should be playing DEFENSE!

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    1. Bookser is a pretty sound guard, but doesn’t have the feet to play tackle. He really has been the weakest link.
      This line is the strongest evidence of Narduzzi’s poor recruiting. Morrisey, a walk-on his only recruit.

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  58. While I’m still standing on my soap box I guess I’ll also add……. for the umpteenth time. If PITT would have played a sensible OOC schedule, they could very well be sitting at 5-2 right now and the stat line would look a whole lot better. That includes the O-line to Kenny Pickett. I think that would have change the atmosphere and perception surrounding the PITT football program right now. I get the wins and losses thing and when I get in the car to drive somewhere, the only real important thing is to arrive safely. However, I do take into account how the actual drive went. I usually take the back-roads and scenic route. << Meaning? Sometimes we should take in all the factors when evaluating the record of a team. It’s why UCF won’t make the NCAA playoffs for the second year in a row with an undefeated record.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s sort of my take away from my post regarding the records of all of our former coordinators. Wisconsin is 5-2, but with the schedule they have played, I’d argue their record is as disappointing as Pitt sitting at 3-4.

      Pitt has 3 wins, but (someone correct me if I am wrong on this) we have only been favored to win twice this year (Albany and UNC).

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  59. While I think that recruiting will be Narduzzi’s eventual downfall, I think he deserves another year unless the team completely collapses. None of the previous coaches mentioned have played an OOC as difficult as he has. None of the other coaches have faced as weak a WPIAL as he has.
    When you add the uncertainty of another coaching change and the difficulties with the schedule and recruiting, plus the finances to me it makes sense to be absolutely sure that this guy can’t get the job done.

    I agree with JRN, that Pitt will need one or two transfers for the O-line next year. I also think that we need to stick with Pickett because he is also our best hope for next year and needs to learn how to finish games with winning drives.

    The only bad loss so far was UNC. Losses to PSU, UNC and ND were pretty much a given. The real season starts on Saturday.

    A new coach would still face the same obstacles that this one does. When Pitt does make the next change it better be for a guy that is a proven national recruiter and admin. lightens up the OOC schedule.

    I do think that Narduzzi should have learned from Franklin and hired a WPIAL coach like Franklin hired Smith. Too many of the few WPIAL stars have got away.

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  60. Ike – doing ok. Didn’t win the Mega Millions.

    Beville may be talked to by Clempsum but only for qb depth. They have a 5* starter, a 4* backup & walk ons.
    They already have a 4* commitment for 2019. They need backup depth.

    I am working on an article for the POV & was hoping to have it completed by Saturday but I have been summoned to Columbia to babysit my 13 (going on 24) Diva (I mean granddaughter).

    Glad to see JayTowerA (formally Jay91) correction on referring to FCS level as D2. FCS is considered by the NCAA as D1. FCS is just a classification like FBS to the NCAA.

    http://www.ncaa.org/about?division=d1

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      1. Also, it’s the quality of scholarship player. Most are 2 stars with some 3 stars sprinkled in and can compete with the NCStates for example, for awhile. Typically, the depth crushes the undermanned program at the end, but at the beginning it is usually tight. That is why it is so important to beat up those teams early in the game so that it kills their adrenaline because they can compete and are good players. Just not enough of them typically.

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        1. Both of you are right. Actually I think it is an older generation Pittsburgh thing to refer to FCS as D2. Nobody I have talked to (of any age) in So. Car. refers to FCS teams as D2. While I was in Pittsburgh for the Syracuse game, my older brother referred to either Wofford or Albany as D-2. We had a big brother/little brother conversation where little brother lectured big brother on NCAA classifications & the errors of his way.

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          1. Pitt-cocks — I’m sorry, but the names they use now are just ridiculous. D1 and D2 made too much sense…but I suppose the D2 folks were insulted???

            Sorry you didn’t win the lottery. 😊

            Go Pitt

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  61. Looking ahead to 2019 the O is going to be a HUUUUGE unknown….almost scary to think about it !

    gc, I agree with you- recruiting will be Duzz’s downfall unless he can close-out this year winning 5 outta 6 including a bowl victory to get some national recognition and maybe a little “rise” out of the home folks..recruiting has to change and quickly ….at least we have our women’s championship caliber VB team.Go PITT VB !!!

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  62. Dinucci vs. Pickett. No contest. Sorry POD. I respect your opinion, but they really can’t be compared too well in my opinion. Pickett wins that battle. Look at the offers out of high school. Dinucci had no P5 offers except Pitt at the end. There may have been some shenannigans with the offer as well, as it got Pitt a possible advantage to go after the Jurcovic quarterback and the Olineman Kristofec that both picked ND. We had a schollie to give and Nard used it in the hope of gaining favor or signing a trusted ally going to Pitt and speaking nicely of it to those potential recruits. After the other kids committed elsewhere, Dinucci was constructively shown the door.

    Conversely, Pickett had some nice offers. Look, I am not writing that he is terrible, because he is not. Pickett needs to mentally scrap the first 7 games and move on. I equate this to hockey and bear with me here. In hockey, kids that are superstars in the 7th grade, often fizzle out in the 8th grade. Why? Because the game changes for them. It becomes faster, kids are disproportionately bigger than others, and body checking is allowed. In 8th grade, you get hit and often hit hard. Your defense mechanisms are telling your body to defend yourself in both a fight and or a flight mentality.

    The successful kids do not panic (fight) and realize they are going to have to take hard hits occasionally to make plays. Others natural body response is to remove themselves from getting hit (flight) and often skate away from pucks, just so they don’t get hit hard. The real successful kids are taught to understand that there needs to be a balance and use fight v. flight to their advantage. You cannot be successful just using one of your bodies natural defenses. You have to use them both, sometimes on the same play.

    For instance when a qb or other similar smaller player is running near the boundary and is ready to be hit, there are two choices. take the hit or scamper out of bounds. Coaches teach the qb to go out of bounds (flight) which sometimes conflicts with (fight) Tyler Palko rolling the BC defender. Which is more successful? It depends. That is why they need to be taught the difference. Escaping a hit on the boundary is different then standing in the pocket and taking a hit to make a play 15 yards down the field.

    What I saw in game 1 versus Albany was the quick flight responses which then turn to fight as he tries to take on the DL outside of a pocket, where he is more comfortable. The problem is that our offensive play calling and route running requires a “fight” response by staying in the pocket to make the pass while often fighting through the mental part of taking off to escape (flight), just to make a play. Psychology of sport. Not understood by those coaching too well or they would fix it. So much mental work needs to go into these positions and I think the coaching staff overlooks it.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Excellent post Huff. Picket does not have the mentality (as of yet) to be a pocket passer in a pro-set offense. Whether he ever gets it, is anyone’s guess. Which is why I’ve pointed out he’d be much better
      in a Triple Option type offense, where he only passes when nobody is expecting it.

      Like

    1. Good link Reed. Looks like UVA is not the pushover they used to be. Duke, VA Tech and Wake look like our best shot to six wins. Noteworthy: Pitt has not won a game on the road, and has lost 2 of 3 by a combined 8 points.

      Like

  63. Talking OL for a second – what realistically do we think it will be? Will we have to rely on 1-2 Grad Transfers. I actually think the OL could be worse next year.

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    1. Well… if you go by the two deep:

      LT: Carson Van Lynn
      LG: Brandon Ford
      C: Morrisey
      RG: Bryce Hargrove (although he may have the athleticism to play tackle)
      RT: Gabe Houy or Jerry Drake

      All that we know is that this year, these guys are worse than the starters, and the starters aren’t very good. At least the tackles aren’t very good. BUT…we get another year of Borbley coach up in the zone blocking scheme.

      I think they will probably (again) end up pretty good a run blocking and pretty bad at pass blocking. But i don’t know if they can be worse.

      Like

  64. -Div 1-AA (FCS) has existed since 1978, I believe. So, for the past FORTY years, there has been, DI, DI-AA, DII & DIII. And, most DI-AA schools were DI before the change.. So, if you ever referred to these teams as DII, you were just wrong.. no excuses necessary. We’re all wrong from time to time. Heck, Ike’s wrong ALL the time. Just teasing, buddy!

    -“The only bad loss so far was UNC.”.. Wait, WHAT?

    Getting run off the field 51-6 at home wasn’t bad? Losing 45-14 at UCF wasn’t bad?.. Maybe we just define “bad” differently.

    -The OL isn’t the only position group that could be worse next year. I fear another round of off-season transfers/dismissals.

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    1. We were supposed to lose those games. So yeah, we define bad losses differently. PSU running up the score makes little difference when the game was already a loss. We were favored vs UNC, that is why it is a bad loss.

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  65. Jay – I actually think secondary will definitely be better next year. Linebacker will probably be a push, we lose some experience but I think we will have more talented players just with some growing pains.

    DL – i think could be slightly better – we only lose Hendrix who is not that big of a loss and our DT’s should be mature and experienced and we still have Weaver at DE.

    O in general will be bad again next year I’m afraid to say. We lose Lopes, 4 out of 5 OL, and both of our RB’s and FB.

    Like

  66. Dumbing down this years non con was almost impossible. You have to play ND because of ACC commitments, so dropping them is not an option. You could have dropped PSU, but there was no way any fan wanted that to occur, so not an option. You absolutely could have dropped UCF, and probably should have. That would hopefully give you one more win, making it 4-3. Future OOC games are another matter, but you already know which years ND comes up in the rotation so you could plan, but they added WVU, and I’m sure some of those games will occur when we get ND, so do you drop the Hoopies? Guess the best you can do is get 2 cupcakes, maybe 3 some years, but I think we are more likely other teams homecoming game right now, sad.

    Like

  67. Re Scheduling
    CFB contracts are made many years in advance…I truly think PItt saw UCF as a potential ‘easy’ game when the schedule was set several years ago…just bad luck that UCF has caught lightning in a bottle the last few years… putting Penn State in was a must to satisfy the fan base despite having ND already this year…that should have been 2 good teams along with two weaker ones, not bad.

    Going forward I think that the Athletic Department needs to learn how to schedule better and use a ‘stratomatic’ type formula as a ‘crystal ball’ to identify potential opponents – ideally 2 games against teams with a 90% + chance of victory, one game with a comparable team trending upward but not there yet(65-75% chance of winning) and one very good P5 team (but 50%+ chance of an upset win) would be ideal ooc games. (My recently graduated nephew is an aspiring actuary with a great interest in sports statistics….just sayin Mz. Lyke…;) lol )

    Unfortunately it is not always easy to use that crystal ball to foresee 4-6 years into the future….

    In time Pitt will develop an ACC rival that will put blood in their eyes and draw fans to Heinz; but that will take years…(UNC is a possible candidate right now; for some reason Syracuse is just not stirring the pot enough). I would like to see the ACC realign eventually to include Louisville in Pitt’s division as a yearly opponent.

    H2P

    Like

  68. newbk1, those are interesting comments on the OC/DC successes at other places. This contrasts with the poor success of Pitt head coaches who have left the program over the years. Even upcomers like Fraud have failed. This tells me that until now, Pitt won’t pay for good OC/DC talent, and has hired unproven HC talent at below market prices hoping to find a talented upcomer as a HC who may actually stay. But I do think they actually paid real money for Fraud since he was a previous head coach, and Narduzzi is now getting a competitive wage (sorry Tex and UPitt) in the hope that he will turn things around and stay for a while. I think that Heather gets it, and now with the swimming team hitting the top 25 she can focus on necessary FB program budgeting and improvements.

    Like

    1. Listen, I haven’t followed Kentucky closely since Matt House arrived there as a position coach a few years back, but you are going to have a hard time convincing me he is a defensive mastermind based on his time at Pitt. Nevertheless, results speak for themselves and Kentucky is 6-1 right now and ranked 12 in the AP poll.

      Check out UK’s out of conference schedule this year (granted they play one more conference game than us): Central Michigan, Murray State, Middle Tennessee (to be played on 11/17), and at Louisville (to be played on 11/24).

      Like

  69. I am pretty sure that Heather added Tennessee to the OOC at the same time as WVU. If we end up with ND and/or Clemson it will be murderers row. Also FL ST won’t be down for long.Even Louisville and NC State could be very difficult.

    Unless we start recruiting like a top twenty team, the OOC will continue to put any coach behind the eight ball.

    I have always said PSU and WVU are no brainers for the rivalries and attendance, most other P-5 are unnecessary and only hurt. The ACC is tough enough and should be the focus.

    Like

  70. Just so I understand.. I’m a bit slow.

    If we are so awful that we expect to lose a game by 30+ points, it’s not a “bad” loss when it happens?

    Got it… makes perfect sense when I say it out loud.

    Like

    1. I guess that was an attempt at humor. Just like there are no moral victories, there are no moral losses. If you are expected to lose, and you get killed, does that make it a worse loss? Just cause Franklin runs up the score when the game was decided, does that make it a worse loss?

      To me the losses to Northwestern and to Houston were bad losses because we should have won. When you get beat by a superior team it is just a loss.

      I guess you could make the argument that the ND game was a better loss than the other two, but still a loss. Do you consider that a good loss?

      Like

  71. We have 2 ACC rivals. VT and Miami because if we beat them consistently we would probably win the Coastal. We need to start to beat them.

    ND will get in or out of ACC when their ACC arrangement expires.in I believe 2026. ACC needs to expand to Temple. Then we would have enough ACC votes from non Norh Carolina schools to never go back to Greensboro.

    Like

  72. The NCAA basketball tournament weighs good wins and bad losses in determining participation and seeding. They generally determine a bad loss to be any loss from a program that is down or not having a good year. Also, OOC loses to teams in minor conferences. There is no accepted criteria for determining a bad loss, but as with pornography I think we know one when we see it. ND is ranked No.3 right now, and is probably not considered a bad loss. However, if Pedo loses 4 games, as might be the case, we will look back on it as a bad loss.

    Like

  73. The OOC schedule could have been changed this year by breaking up with UCF a year and a half ago. Heck, Michigan just broke up with VTech in April of this year for games starting in 2020. A year and a half in advance. These things can be done quite effectively. I would have considered breaking up with Dairy after this years game if they wouldn’t have agreed to an extension. That would have stuck them in year four and basically flipped them off for trying to always have the upper hand. The game is at their joint, so it would have been a double good dogging.

    Can we see our AD not understanding the ACC schedule and having us play, Tenn, WVU and Clempson in the same year as GC suggests above. I don’t know why she signed up with WVU. It just isn’t smart scheduling, especially when your overall recruiting is below par, their team performs better than we do and the heinz seats are bought by them southern people. They also are out on an island as far as travel with their league and we provide them the shortest commute ever. It’s not smart scheduling, sorry.

    2019 is not good but better. 2020 is real nice and then scheduling TN and Clempson in 2021 is right back to the craphouse scheduling department. WVU and TN starts in 2022. We are not smart. Every other university schedules pre-season cupcakes but we like to show recruits how we are turning the corner by going 2-2 in ooc every year at best. Administration is not pulling in the same direction as its team. Sorry.

    Liked by 1 person

  74. I agree with TommyMac above that PITT was unlucky with the UCF scheduling and also with OSU. Those two teams have never been any better than they have ever been when they played PITT. I guess the point is, PITT should have turned tail and dropped out when it looked like UCF and OSU were more formidable than originally thought as.

    Like

  75. What ever happened to sportsmanship, fortitude, being the best you can be by playing the best?

    If all that matters is one more win on the season then, to me, we have gotten away from competitive ideals.

    I think it is ironic and not that funny that sports fans who bitch about ‘participation trophies’ and getting all miss on youth teams some playing time will turn and out of the other side of their mouths say we need to schedule and play teams that almost guarantee us a win.

    All this is supposed to be fun and spirited competition that teaches our youth ‘to be the best you have to play the best’.

    Instead its devolved into trying not to lose rather than taking the risk to win big. Isn’t that what made PN’s three upset wins so great? We played teams who everyone though were better than us and whooped them. Didn’t you guys feel great about that? Sure sounded like it.

    The bottom line is schools like us have scheduled teams in our conference who we must play to get to the ACC championship. That is the goal every year. Conference standings and the bigger bowls allotted to those final standing are soley based on conference play.

    So the fact that we win or lose tough OOC games mean nothing in the post-season.

    He’ll, so far this season the only national attention we have gotten is almost winning the ND game and that was an OOC match.

    Like

  76. Sportsmanship be damed, it’s all about winning and not making it more difficult to recruit via more losses than wins period. PSU, WVU or ND should always be a home main stay if from no other reason than a sellout at Heinz. Apart from those teams I’d dum down all other OOC games.

    Like

  77. Pitt squarely behind the recruiting 8 ball as PSN is now reporting local 4 star CB Devonshire is going to the VT GaTech game tonight in Blacksburg without even having an offer in hand from either of them. Just goes to show all how difficult it is for Pitt to even get in the game with some of the local kids.

    Like

  78. Sportsmanship? When everyone plays the same schedule and they don’t have 3 cupcakes on their schedule, then I’ll say PITT should do the same exact thing. Until then, I say they should do the same exact thing most other schools are doing…… scheduling 3 cupcakes. << There is enough cupcakes to go around.

    Like

  79. Put me in the quality opponents camp for OOC games. Here are my reasons:
    -Pitt can still win the ACC Coastal, and in a good year the championship (both lead to quality bowl games)
    -if the team is good enough to be in the running for the NC, then they should beat any and all opponents
    -personally I prefer watching games against the “big boys”

    Let ‘er rip…

    Like

    1. I agree Narduzzi is in deep trouble in recruiting any sought after local high stars. He can probably do quite well right now in recruiting the local 2 stars and below however. The local 3 stars with multiple offers will also be very difficult to recruit IMO. We may have to play our home games in Florida shortly.

      Like

  80. Hey Larry, I would prefer PITT playing the best there is out there if they can compete on an equal playing field. Maybe that time will come when they start winning more consistently followed by better recruiting and becoming a team that can compete with the said best out there. The likelihood of that happening playing 3 top ten teams is, well… unlikely.

    Like

  81. Like Reed, I like watching the big games with quality opponents, and therefore like to see a reasonable OOC schedule sprinkled with WVU, ND TN and some other P5 teams from across the country to give the schedule a national look. With an 8 game conference schedule, Pitt should schedule 2 tough and 2 easy OOC opponents with the tougher opponents at home if possible. Ideally, 3 of the OOC games would be at home with a cupcake away.

    Heather should be negotiating contracts that Pitt can exit from if the teams end up being too tough (See UCF) after they are scheduled. If Pitt is 5-2 right now with wins over UNC and some cupcake, then the season takes on a better look and a bowl game is practically a lock.

    Like

  82. “He can probably do quite well right now in recruiting the local 2 stars and below however. The local 3 stars with multiple offers will also be very difficult to recruit IMO. :

    That’s pathetic..

    Like

  83. Do we really think Pitt can win games against an easier OOC schedule? Look at Pitt’s history. I would take most MAC and AAC teams over Pitt at this point. Our coaching is not substantially better and Narduzzi is recruiting similar talent.

    Like

    1. 11 teams out of 130 and we are one of them. Brilliance by the AD’s over the last 20 years, including our new AD I tell ya!!

      I never did the full analysis, just watched the scores and the W’s pile up. This again is where I say Pitt’s AD’s think they know what they are doing but in reality are just not equipped to handle the job. That number is stunning!

      W’s = better recruiting. Kids want to be a part of something special, not to be first losers. W’s = more confidence/swag for your players. W’s=more playing time for the second stringers. The only people that don’t like the easier schedule are those that are used to our schedule as an independent 35 years ago when vying for 10 bowls and championships, not 38 bowls.

      Like

  84. I guess all the AD’s in last years top 20 are just idiots when it comes to scheduling. I have always thought that the biggest risk for Pitt, is…… Pitt. Meaning, Pitt thinks they are smarter and ahead of the curve when it comes to these types of things. Being cute gets you to the bottom of all standings.

    We are used to playing a tough schedule when we were independent, partly because we needed to…..and have never changed that philosophy.

    The advent of the superconferences requires a re-think of how you schedule. The goal is no longer 10 bowl games. There are 37 bowl games now that nobody cares about. You change your philosophies to help your program in the 2019’s, not the 1970’s.

    Same thing with the focus on athletics. When Pitt de-emphasized athletics and moved towards academics, the academic benchmark emphasized football and now we find ourselves looking up the rankings to a lot of schools that have passed us on academic standing and athletic prowess. The dreaded double whammy. We can’t get either one right.

    The Pitt Administration is its worst enemy. It is called hubris and when you look up hubris, think of Pitt. I do.

    Liked by 2 people

  85. Tex, on paper these remaining games are all winnable. BUT, do I think they will beat VT and Miami? No. Do I think Pitt can come from behind with this passing offense? No. Pitt would need to get ahead, play near perfect football and hope it doesn’t come down to Narduzzi making some idiotic call in the final minutes. Our kickers are not reliable at this point, and can’t be expected to punt out of trouble or kick a winning KG. So the defense must get some takeaways and have minimal penalties. Overall, there are just too many things to go wrong for his team to finish better than 5-7 or at best 6-6. If they lose to Duke it could be 4-8.

    Like

    1. Anyone against throwing a scholarship at a top punter? Or will the Aussie finally get his leg under him and boom some winners?

      I vote for the latter…

      After reading all the chatter about what next year looks Lyke, I thought I’d throw in my D2 cents –

      Play next year’s starters now. They couldn’t be any worse and in most cases this year, the back-ups have looked better – Brightwell, Cam Bright, Chase Pine, T.Coleman, Twyman, Wheeler and P.Jones on defense. A.Mathews, Houy, Houdini and Ffrench on offense.

      If I missed someone, remember this team is playing at a below average clip.

      Next season starts Saturday in my book vs Duke. My season tickets are in the line Heather.

      Flush the dukies!

      Like

  86. Leadership has been lacking both on the Chancellor and AD side
    But the BoT is the root of the problem

    US News Rankings for Academics: #70 (tied with FL State); FL State was outside the top 100 twenty years ago when Pitt was ranked in the 50’s; Only Louisville is significantly worse than Pitt in he conference.

    Directors Cup for Sports: #111; avg ACC ranking is #43; only Ga Tech at #121 was worse.

    We’re bottom 20% in BOTH academics and athletics in the ACC.

    Quite frankly, Pitt is on par with UConn and Cincy when you combine the two.

    Pitt should thank BC every day for blocking UConn into the ACC.

    So when academic rankings are slipping and you’re stuck outside the top 100 historically for overall athletic performance, it is a leadership issue.

    When the cable contracts are up, Pitt will be screwed.

    Should have been building the brand and fan base 20 years ago. We are a generation behind.

    Like

  87. During the 12 years Nick Saban has been at Alabama, his yearly out of conference schedule has only included one power 5 team, with the exception of 2010 when he played both PSU (a 7-6 team that year) and Duke (a 3-9 team that year). In contrast, Narduzzi has played two power 5 teams each year he has been a head coach (I am counting top 10-ranked ND teams as power 5 schools).

    If the Alabama dynasty isn’t good enough to play 2 power 5 schools for out of conference, then Pitt probably shouldn’t be doing it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There is absolutely nothing stopping Alabama from scheduling 2 or more P5 schools. If 13 teams in 2018 can do it (including PITT) Alabama can do it.

      https://fbschedules.com/power-teams-playing-two-non-conference-power-opponents-2018/

      It’s all talk. SEC doesn’t even require or suggest playing 1 P5 team. In fact, Mississippi State is playing their first P5 team this year since 2013. Arkansas in 2018 doesn’t pay a P5.

      I am a South Carolina fan but not a SEC fan.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. My bad. This site includes BYU as a P5 member. So unless you include BYU as a P5 member, only 11 teams have scheduled 2 P5 teams in 2018. No P5 team scheduled 3 or more in their 2018 OOC schedule.

        Like

      2. I was about to say, until Saban is forced to play all power 5 schools, he is going to keep telling his AD to limit the non-conference schedule to one power 5 school and to make sure 25% of his team’s season is against smaller football programs. He admits in that article you link that “We all play three or four games a year now that nobody’s really interested in.” (By “we all,” he is probably referring to SEC schools).

        For those who think Pitt is cheap, you people probably believe that we are playing two power 5 schools because we are unwilling to shell out money to a MAC school like Miami of Ohio or Ball State to come play us (both of whom got around paid $1 million to play at big 10 schools as of 2014, https://www.foxsports.com/wisconsin/story/million-dollars-baby-cost-of-big-ten-opponents-keeps-rising-060414).

        Like

    1. 2-2 ?

      I’m not sure this offense can beat many G5 schools (see UCF, Colorado St., FAU, Memphis, SMU, Fresno St., Navy, Army, Air Force, Houston).

      Never forget Houston.

      Time to take the conservative offense cap off and fly with you offensive strengths. Let’s see if we have any – I believe we do if we open things up. I’m betting Boy George sees the ffield as more than a punter this weekend.

      Let’s play the rest of 2018 Lyke it is 2019.

      Like

    2. Ike – you set me up for another rant.

      If we played 4 FCS schools on our OOC schedule , PITT’s record would look great. The problem is that only 1 win would count towards bowl eligibility (NCAA rule unless dispensation has been given). Bowl eligibility is one of many components that PITT needs to correct to gain national attention.

      The SEC has their OOC scheduling down pat. 1 P5, 2 middling G5 teams, and a FCS opponent. That will give a 4-0 or 3-1 start to your season. That leaves only 2-6 or 3-5 record to make bowl eligibility. Go 4-4 in conference & your ranked or receiving votes.

      The latest SEC scheduling tactic with P5 teams is to do one-off games at neutral sites. Make sure these neutral sites are within easy driving distance of your fans & longer or flying distances of your opponent. (see Auburn-Washington in Atlanta). Of the 13 OOC P5 teams that are scheduled for 2018, 4 are traditional rivalries (So, Car.- Clempsum, etc.), 5 are neutral sites & only 4 are the traditional home & home.

      I could go on about the SEC but I have been typing (actually hunt & peck) this for over a 30 minutes.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. Good points PITT-cocks-Fan.

        No need to even schedule 1 FCS team. P5 or G5 should be it.

        Watching App St. Vs Georgia So. along with the ACC Tech Bowl game on ESPN.

        Like

  88. I’ve often wondered if the Alabama football team was playing for Pitt would they fill the stadium? I think that the Steelers success has raised unreasonable expectations for Pitt to win at the same level when the college and NFL games are so different. Anything less than a dominating program and Pitt won’t draw.

    Like

    1. What is your love affair with The Nooch. He got NO FBS offers but Pitt and that was as some sort of enticement to try to lure more PR kids to Pitt. The left handed QB that was second string at Pitt a few years ago, also tore it up at D2 or D3 where ever he went.

      Like

    1. Back when Pitt made front page headlines at Pgh papers. Before Pedo’s and their cult members gained influence in da Burgh. Before the creep JoePedo was given the power.

      Like

  89. I learned two things today about our new WordPress overlord.

    1- you have to be logged into WordPress to post a comment. The old way I just had to write a comment & post. Spent my normal 15 to 30 minutes this morning hunting & pecking my way to a comment & then posted. A little message popped up saying I wasn’t logged in. And my comment (that was either going to change your life forever or shrug off as stupid) was gone. I dislike.

    2 – If you are logged in & do post a comment & someone just happens to use the “like” button your receive an email from WordPress announcing who liked your comment. That I like .

    Thanks buddy for the like & tickets. It made at good ending to my day.

    Liked by 3 people

  90. As i posted a couple times we were very fortunate to catch GT on an ‘off’ day. Rolling VT tonite at
    VT’s place after scoring 66 points and 63 points.

    But Duke beat these guys, holding them under 20 like us. VT’s defense is allowing around 420 ypg, tonite they’ve allowed almost 400 thru 3 quarters. While Pitt’s D is allowing 410 ypg.

    These ACC games are very hard to figure. Must be all the bettors in Boston & NYC area 🙂

    Like

  91. G. Tech had -5 yds passing on 1 attempt. And still won by 3 touchdowns. If we don’t go Spread, go Triple Option !!! Pickett would be an excellent Triple Option QB….

    Like

  92. 11 teams out of 130 and we are one of them. Brilliance by the AD’s over the last 20 years, including our new AD I tell ya!!

    I never did the full analysis (thanks for the research), just watched the scores and the W’s pile up for everyone else. This again is where I say Pitt’s AD’s think they know what they are doing but in reality are just not equipped to handle the job. That number is stunning!

    W’s = better recruiting. Kids want to be a part of something special, not to be first losers. W’s = more confidence/swag for your players. W’s=more playing time for the second stringers. The only people that don’t like the easier schedule are those that are used to our schedule as an independent 35 years ago when vying for 10 bowls and championships, not 38 bowls.

    Like

  93. Just a little tidbit here. I found it interesting one of the main topics on tonight’s “Nightly Sports Call” was PITT’s OOC schedule. First off, Ziese was the co-anchor but non the less, there is little talk of PITT on that show most of the time or at least not to the degree I listened to tonight. I don’t read the Blather but I know there was little mention of the OOC on the Lair. So what prompted this discussion tonight???? Maybe the POV? and btw, almost all agreed that PITT needs to settle down and schedule to win at this time and worry about winning first. jus saying. . . . … ike

    Liked by 2 people

  94. +1000 to Huff III

    I will be the best sportsman and show all the fortitude necessary beating up on the Little Sisters of the Poor while intelligently going about building a program from the 35 year rubble it has been. It will lead to more W’s which will lead to more fans, more revenues, better bowls, better recruits. etc.

    One thing I have learned in life is that it is actually much easier to work HARDER but much better to work SMARTER.

    Like

    1. That’s the only time Buttgers had a winning record going back to the 1970’s. If Pitt is too stupid to figure it out for themselves. Model Buttgers when Schiano was there. Problem is these OOC schedules have pretty much been scheduled well into the 2020’s. And do you think Pitt is going to ask of any of these future OOC games ? Not likely.

      Like

  95. GT gained 465 yards – all on the ground- tonight. No yards passing — pretty amazing in this era.

    Somewhat surprising loss for VT.

    Go Pitt.

    Like

  96. The vaunted Bud Foster defense gives up 49 points to Ga Tech. Soak that up for a minute. Georgia Tech…
    Remember them? They are the team that isn’t very good beating a team that many said was, along with Miami, the elite of the Coastal. The same VT that lost to Old Dominion.

    The Coastal is up for grabs folks. UVA would seem to be in the driver’s seat for now.
    Would love for Pitt to beat Duke on Sat and then take one from the Cavs next Friday.
    Wouldn’t that be fun?!

    Chris Peak is 100% correct – we’ll be talking about that stupid UNC loss the rest of the way.

    Like

    1. Not the typical Foster defense, even going into this game, VT’s defense was allowing more YPG than Pitt’s. So that is how bad this year’s version of their defense is.

      However they were allowing less points per game than Pitt’s (31 ppg).

      Like

  97. Great article by Starkey in the PG about Jock Sutherland. I would share the link if I could figure out how.

    Reading it made me think what might have been. Thank you Chancellor Bowman for almost 90 years of mediocrity. And oh by the way, thanks for the Cathedral of Learning too.

    Like

  98. One other thing I’ll say about Alabama scheduling … they are in genius in that many years they play an FCS team in November (this year its The Citadel on 11/17, second to last game of the year). Given the scholarship limitations, FCS schools have less depth and are probably hurting as the season goes on. On the other hand, Pitt always plays an FCS school week 1 when they are at their strongest.

    Like

    1. It’s not just Alabama it’s a SEC thing. 8 of the 14 teams play either a weak FCS or a low level G5 team.
      It just so happens that major rivalries are scheduled the next week.

      The CBS game the Saturday before Thanksgiving will feature a matchup between these teams (records are current):

      Arkansas (2-6) & Miss. State (4-3)
      Vandy (3-5) & Ole’ Miss (5-3)
      Tenn. (3-4) & Missouri (4-3)

      Like

      1. For many years in the 1960’s, Creepy Valley State played Holy Cross before the Pitt game.

        Pitt always played someone of note. We’ve been stupid for longer than 35 years.

        Like

    1. If Pitt had its own stadium, you could remember all the great coaches and players with statues, flags, names on plaques, names for concourses, hall of fame, locker rooms, the stadium name itself

      Like

  99. Ike, if you follow the pg sports now and the talk show guys with a discerning eye, many ideas seem to be pulled from the material produced on the POV Network, by its membership. It’s funny to watch the timing and content of our discussions, followed by the articles. It’s a testament to all of you dudes and ladies on here that really have salient points. It is not uncommon for universities to follow these types of sites (and never admit it), as it helps in marketing new ideas and creating new ideas.

    Candidly, I would argue that the entire push to get the script back and the colors are a result of blogs like this. We are the Pitt people, for the Pitt people. Unfortunately, the Pitt people in Oakland want to take credit for the good things that are done as a result of others ideas instead of just saying “hey, we listened to our fans” and have implemented “x” by listening.

    Maybe some of the posters are actually some of the writers too? Now that, would be awesome! Too bad only Reed knows who is who in our zoo.

    I would also suggest that some of the coaches read the blog too. Don’t believe any of them when they say they don’t read. They all do. I have been around professional and collegiate coaches and players for the better part of 30 years and when you get to know them personally, they talk about articles and about what individual people say about them. It’s in their nature. They love to read about what they do well, almost akin to getting a like by a post on here. The wives and girlfriends are no different. They read too. And comment.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. These forums are good ‘focus groups’ for the university
      They do have their interns read and write down ideas and make note of common themes

      And yes you are probably right that the sports guys in town get some ideas from these blogs
      I’m not sure if coaches read or even care what fans think; Narduzzi and Watson need to stay away or else they may become suicidal
      Players probably read but are forbidden from commenting

      Lastly, I’m sure some big boosters read and might have actually commented

      But again the university does have their minions read these independent boards
      It gives them a good pulse on things and puts them in a more proactive position
      And I think they are trying things based on some of the commentary

      Like

  100. How come Hollywood (who loves these type of movies btw) has never done a movie on Pitt’s 1955 Sugar Bowl team with Bobby Grier, who broke the color barrier, in the Sugar Bowl and the Deep South, with Pitt’s
    trip to New Orleans that year.

    Come on Pitt PR…this is a story that needs told. And can you imagine the recruiting bonus it would mean for us.

    Like

  101. POVerts…I am able to log on a comment on my desk top but formerly did most of my posting via cell phone…HAVING a PROBLEM when I try to log on the POV with my cell phone,,,my PASSWORD is not recognized and will not let me log on….anyone else having that problem besides me…I am not the computer literate….

    Like

    1. BigB— I was having trouble too. Still might be, but I ended up downloading the WordPress app and I picked the POV as the site I visit. So on my phone, I get to the POV thru the WordPress app now.

      Works, but not very efficient as I have to scroll down from the top of all the comments every time I visit. No problem with commenting.

      Like

  102. Plus the refs handed Georgia Tech the game(fix), with an obvious bad call against….guess who…..Bobby Grier.

    I mean this is such an easy story for any decent Hollywood to write. What’s the deal here ???

    Like

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