PITT (4-4, 3-1 ACC) vs. No. 23/22 VIRGINIA (6-2, 4-1 ACC)

November 2, 2018 • 7:30 p.m., ET

Scott Stadium (61,500/Prescription Athletic Turf) • Charlottesville, Va.

ESPN2 • Pitt IMG Sports Radio Network

PittsburghPanthers.com • @Pitt_FB

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


  • Another crucial Coastal Division encounter is in store for the Panthers when they play at Virginia Friday night. The game will have significant championship implications. The Cavs are atop the Coastal with a 4-1 ACC record, while Pitt and Virginia Tech are tied for second with 3-1 marks.
  • No. 23/22 Virginia is riding a three-game winning streak, defeating North Carolina last week, 31-21, to gain bowl eligibility with a 6-2 mark. The Panthers evened their record at 4-4 following a 54-45 victory over Duke.
  • Since 2013, the Panthers own a 4-1 series advantage over Virginia in ACC play. (Pitt leads the overall series, 7-3.) The Cavaliers’ last victory over Pitt was a 24-19 decision under the lights at Scott Stadium in 2014.
  • Against Duke, the Panthers literally ran to victory, amassing 484 yards on the ground. The rushing total marked Pitt’s highest since the Tony Dorsett era when it had a record 530 vs. Army in 1975.
  • Freshman V’Lique Carter was dazzling in his college debut last week against Duke. Carter ran for 137 yards and two touchdowns on just seven carries, an incredible average of 19.6 per rush.
  • With 795 total rushing yards this season, Qadree Ollison ranks third among ACC ball carriers. (His average of 99.4 yards per game also ranks third.) Ollison is striving to become only the sixth player in Pitt history to achieve multiple 1,000-yard rushing seasons.
  • Pitt is averaging 227.9 rushing yards per game to rank 22nd nationally and fourth among ACC teams. The Cavs are surrendering only 113.0 yards on the ground to rank 20th in the nation and fourth in the ACC.
  • Only a sophomore, placekicker Alex Kessman has the most 50-yard field goals in Pitt history with five. Three of those kicks occurred this season, including a critical 54-yarder in last week’s Duke victory.

This is the 11th meeting between Pitt and Virginia in a series that dates back to 1953…Pitt leads the overall series, 7-3, and has won the last three encounters with the Cavaliers…the Panthers claimed a 31-14 decision at Heinz Field last year…Virginia’s last win in the series occurred in 2014 at Scott Stadium, 24-19…the Panthers lead the ACC series, 4-1…Pitt is 5-0 against the Cavaliers in Pittsburgh and 2-2 in Charlottesville…Virginia won the lone neutral site contest, a 23-16 decision in the 2003 Continental Tire Bowl, played in the Carolina Panthers’ Bank of America Stadium (Charlotte, N.C.)…that postseason contest featured all-time great Pitt wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald and UVA standouts Matt Schaub at quarterback and Heath Miller at tight end.

Television • ESPN2

Clay Matvick (play-by-play), Dan Orlovsky (analyst), Paul Carcaterra (reporter)

SiriusXM Satellite Radio

Sirius Channel 108, XM Channel 193, Internet Channel

And some more fodder for discussion…

Pat Narduzzi Press Conference 

Virginia Week



PAT NARDUZZI: It’s good to be here on a Monday as scheduled. A little different Monday for us. It’s really a Tuesday. We’re kind of obviously one day ahead and got done with a Tuesday practice this morning. We just got off the field just a little bit ago.

Had a great team win Saturday. I think any time you can get a win, doesn’t matter how it was, again, there’s obviously a lot of good things when you watch the tape on Saturday night or Sunday morning. A lot of great things to take from it. There’s a lot of things we need to get a lot better if we expect to continue to move on and win games in this league, win in the ACC.

Some of the things you look at when you watch the tape is some of the positives. We can always focus on the negatives. Our defense made some big stops at the end when they needed to. That big sack at the end with Chase Pine and Amir Watts getting it done. Stocker’s PBU. Great things there defensively that weren’t so good in the first and second. Our kids stuck together, finished that off.

Offensively and special teams-wise, special teams with Kessman coming back, going three for three again, we know how special that is. I heard yesterday he’s got three of the four longest field goals in college football right now for this season. I thought that was pretty special on his part.

I think he will continue to get stronger. He’s got to go prove he can do it on the road. That’s the challenge this week.

With five seconds to go, the biggest play of the game (the final kickoff), that’s not easy. You guys have seen those games where the ball gets tossed all over the place. The way Coach Powell and the kickoff squad executed what we call that, I won’t tell you what we call that, we’ve done that before against Clemson, had a lot of success at the end of a game. So just the details of what we did there.

They want to throw back, they can’t throw back. So I think our guys have really taken to that, understand what we’re doing.

Offensively, again, they’re explosive as they’ve been all year. 17 explosive runs and passes, rushing for 480 yards, plus-one in the turnover ratio. Offensively we don’t turn it over. We get one, make big plays when we need to make plays. I think that’s really what you take from the game Saturday.

We move on really quick, as fast as you’re going to move on to a 6-2 Virginia team that is playing really well. Put my first vote in for Bronco Mendenhall to be Coach of the Year in the ACC. Count me in. Number one, he’s a great guy. He’s a great coach. He’s done a great job really turning that program around.

Bryce Perkins is a guy that makes things go on offense. I think he’s rushed for 600 yards, thrown for 1600, 15 TDs. He gets it done. Zane Zandier, a local product, tough dude, physical football player, whether he starts at the Mike or they get their returner back, Jordan Mack, who has been out for a couple weeks.

They got Peace and Snowden on the edge. A 3-4 defense, so they create a lot of different problems with their different stuff. They’re a top 20 defense. Our offense will have to be consistent with what they did last week, try to do it again, go back-to-back, back-to-back playing really good. Our defense has to make a step up, try to stop an explosive offense and a confident offense.

You guys got any questions after I gave you all that?

Q. A lot of the attention was about the running game Saturday. That two-minute drill, is that something that can build confidence going forward?
PAT NARDUZZI: Yeah, I think so. We work two-minute a lot during camp. It’s hard to work it during the season because you’re working on different stuff, trying to service each other. We’ll do a two-minute tomorrow afternoon, try to build off of that with confidence, what we did there.

I think it builds everybody’s confidence, builds everybody. Builds the offensive coordinator’s confidence that you had success, we did it, we can do it again. I think it gives everybody confidence, not only in two-minute, but in other opportunities when we have to throw the ball on third down.

Q. You’ve played a lot of nickel against teams, Duke not till the third drive. What can you do better to stop the run in that formation?
PAT NARDUZZI: We get into it, we don’t really stop the run. It’s like, you know, here is what it is. We talked a lot today just about being consistent. We got a lot of players that are consistent. I told them after practice today, “Listen, come ask me if you want to know if you’re consistent. I’ll tell you if you’re 100% consistent, 75% consistent. I know exactly. I know where every one of you are. I can tell you where you are in the practice, I can tell you where you are in the game.”

If you’re inconsistent in practice, you’re going to be inconsistent in the game. If you’re consistent in practice — I can go name them, I won’t name them for you or for them. Won’t tell you who they are.

So not one guy asked me. So they probably know where they are and I guess they didn’t need to know. It comes down to consistency. I don’t think it came down to “Oh, Nickel, we can’t stop the run,” because we’ve proven we can stop the run in nickel or sub-personnel.

It’s a matter of being consistent and doing your job, okay? When you watch the tape, look at the negative part of it, it’s guys wanting to do somebody else’s job. The quarterback takes a play, you can go back and watch it, quarterback takes a zone play, fakes a jet sweep, regardless of who is reading, he runs it inside zone, rushes for 15 yards in nickel, okay? But we got two guys, a middle linebacker and nose tackle, that want to stop the jet sweep. Well, Mike linebacker and nose tackle have no business stopping the run there.

We lined them up right over the football, you might want to take care over the football. When you have guys that want to make a play, they’re hungry, God bless them, they want to make plays, but you have to do it within the framework of the defense. Run the same play next play, it’s a gain of one. There’s your consistency right there.

Whoever they are, it doesn’t matter, it’s just a matter of being consistent. If you’re consistent, you have a chance. If you’re not, you’re going to be like this (up and down). Depends what you want to be.

It’s not a matter of the defense, the structure. Sometimes it’s structure. We had one bust in the back end where it’s poor communication on a big screen pass, tailback down their sideline. It’s a total flat miscommunication where 10 guys are doing the right thing, one guy makes the wrong call to a corner, you have a big play.

There’s a lot of little things that need to be done better and consistently.

Q. How tough is it to make sure they stay within that framework?
PAT NARDUZZI: Some guys figure it out quicker than others. Some guys figure it out. The quicker they figure it out, the better it is. The guys who don’t figure it out will see less time. The nature of the beast.

But unfortunately we need two deep. You’d like to be able to rotate guys and keep them fresh because then you end up being in the tired mode of, “Coach, I was gassed, I couldn’t do it.” Then you have mental mistakes because of that.

Whatever it is, guys got to fix it. They can do it. It’s called laser focus. We have to have laser focus.

Q. Carter was a huge part of your win over the weekend. How do you plan to use him this weekend?
PAT NARDUZZI: I don’t know. We only get so many games with him. We got to pick and choose when it’s important to use him. I’m not going to obviously reveal whether we’re using him this weekend or not. We’ll find out.

But it just depends on the matchups, what we feel like we have. They’re a little different defense with the 3-4, Peace hanging off the edge doesn’t make it easy to do much. It will be a matchup. Every week it will be a matchup as we go.

Q. Does Carter work with the wide receivers or running backs?
PAT NARDUZZI: He works with the wide receivers, sometimes the running backs, sometimes the DBs. Haven’t put him at linebacker yet, but probably will put him there, too.

Q. Doing their own job, is that always a problem with college football players to focus like that?
PAT NARDUZZI: Focus is hard. These kids lose focus for whatever reason. Obviously Saturday was not an easy day to focus on football, I don’t think, for a lot of people. When you get out there, who knows what they’re thinking about before, all that stuff. Rough day, rough week. That’s no excuse. One side has focus, one side doesn’t.

But different guys want to make plays. They want [sportswriter] Jerry [DiPaola] to frickin’ write about them in the newspaper. Twitter: Look what he did, look what he did. They want to go make plays. Like I said, it’s a good thing they want to make plays.

You got to wait for your opportunity, do your job. I think that’s why they’re anxious to get more favorites on Twitter, liked more if they make a play. It’s not always good. Coaches don’t like them when they do that.

Un-follow a couple guys maybe (smiling).

Q. The new redshirt rule that allows you to play four games. How difficult is it to keep younger guys who aren’t playing much, keep their head in the game and stay engaged even if they aren’t playing this time of year?
PAT NARDUZZI: It’s not easy. It’s not easy at all. I think it gets harder every year, to be honest with you. Everybody wants instant gratification. I think kids think they’re entitled because of who they are to be able to be there and do that. They’ve never been that guy that hasn’t played much, whoever it is, whether they’re getting four games.

We have another guy come out this week, have another guy that might play that you haven’t seen before. I guarantee you, they’re going to see another guy that hasn’t played this week, a little special. You haven’t seen his jersey out there at all. You guys got to figure out who it is, like Waldo.

So it’s not easy, really isn’t. Like I said, it gets harder because they have people in their ears asking “How come [you aren’t playing]?” It ain’t easy. It’s a hard thing and you better have focus to get it done.

Q. With V’Lique Carter, how much of a priority is there for preserving the redshirt for him or is there a situation that if he keeps doing well on Saturday that just doesn’t come?
PAT NARDUZZI: Yeah, I guess you maybe wait, not this week, but the week after, kind of see where you are, see what you’re doing. Certainly when you watch him play, maybe could have played since game one, you’d like to preserve it if you could. I think we got other good players that can make plays happen.

Was he lucky? Is he good? I don’t know. Maybe he just got lucky that day. I don’t know. Maybe just set up perfectly for him. I think some other guys can do the same thing.

You’d like to preserve it because I think I’d like to see him play 12 or 13 or 14 games next year.

Q. Kenny Pickett ran more against Duke than he has in any game this year. Was that part of the game plan from the beginning or more of what Duke’s defense was showing you? Will it still be a bigger part of the game plan going forward?
PAT NARDUZZI: I think as you get near the end of the season, you start to do some different things. Certainly ACC games are more important. Certainly you don’t want to get your quarterback smashed. Bryce Perkins does a nice job. They’ve done a nice job coaching that guy, rushing for 600 yards.

As you watch him, he’s going to get down. He doesn’t take hits, which is really smart on their part. That’s why they’ve been able to keep him healthy, keep him on the field, because they’re a different team when he’s on the field compared to when he wouldn’t be on the field.

We obviously want Kenny in the game. As you get closer to the end, you start to maybe take a little more risks. Obviously he wants the ball. Sometimes it’s what they’re giving you, sometimes it’s what we’re going to take. Sometimes you read it, sometimes you don’t.

It will be based on the situation, based on what they’re playing defensively, what we want to do offensively.

Q. Did the absence of Keyshon Camp in the middle of your defense have a detrimental impact on your efforts to defend Duke? 
PAT NARDUZZI: I’m glad you mentioned that. I was going to tell you anyway. Obviously Keyshon is out for the season. I meant to mention it to you. You guys ask all the questions. Thanks for bringing it up.

Keyshon suffered an injury against Notre Dame. We’re hoping he’d come through, but he wasn’t able to go. He’ll probably be out for the season I’d imagine. That’s usually the only time I’m telling you anything.

Jerry’s eyes are so big like he got some juice (smiling).

That did affect it a lot. He’s penetrator, he causes havoc in the backfield. That didn’t help us at all. As a matter of fact, you might see two new guys [playing] this week. I said one, you might see two.

Q. Injury?
PAT NARDUZZI: Upper body deal.

Q. You mentioned Zandier. How much did you recruit him out of high school? Are you surprised all the success he’s having?
PAT NARDUZZI: No, not really. Came down to really needs. We took two athletic guys like him that kind of committed before he did. We really liked him. We wanted to see him in camp.

He’s a good football player. I mean, you really love his toughness. He’s really smart. You can tell he’s a smart football player. He’ll play the weak side linebacker when Jordan went out. He moved to the Mike. He’s obviously really intelligent, which is sometimes something you can’t tell when you recruit them.

Bronco got a great player in him. Now we got to play against him for the next few years. But he’s a good football player. We did recruit him pretty heavily, obviously with the connection over there.

Q. Virginia came in with a similar record last year.

Q. 5-2 last year.
PAT NARDUZZI: I didn’t know that.

Q. What would you say is the big difference between last year’s Virginia team and this year’s?
PAT NARDUZZI: They’re able to run the football. The quarterback is a runner compared to last year, he was a thrower. Another year that Bronco has been able to develop him.

I believe they’re a tough football team. You watch their offensive line, defensive line, they’re tough. They’re stopping the run, they’re active, flying around, playing with a lot of confidence, and they’re physical.

They’re playing with a lot of emotion. We’re going to have to match that emotion down in Charlottesville this weekend. They play with emotion. I think that’s all a big, big part of it. You can’t measure the emotion they’ve got.

Q. Is the emotion something that Bronco brought there?
PAT NARDUZZI: I think so. I’ve never coached with him, but I’m guessing it’s something that he’s brought to their football team. I think they’re taking on that personality.

I don’t know how emotional Bronco gets. I don’t know that part of him. He doesn’t jump up and down. Kind of a laid-back dude in meetings when you get to spend a lot of time with him. He likes to go surf. He’s a good man.

Q. The weekly tradition of asking you a question you don’t like. Three votes in the coach’s poll this week. Coaching buddies who voted for you?
PAT NARDUZZI: No, I don’t care.

Q. Was it you? Was it E.J.? 
PAT NARDUZZI: No, I guarantee you that. First of all, I do it myself. Those will be all — they get published later on, right? You’ll never see that I voted for myself, guaranteed.

Q. Other coaches probably don’t talk about it at all.
PAT NARDUZZI: To be honest with you, kids didn’t say a word. I didn’t know. Coaches didn’t talk about it. E.J. didn’t tell me. Thanks, E.J.

What does it matter, we got three points, congratulations? What does Alabama have, like 2,000? Doesn’t matter. Just worry about what we can control: Virginia Friday night.

End like that? Somebody give me a good question before we leave.

Q. Does a dual threat quarterback stress the defense and change what you have to try to do?
PAT NARDUZZI: It changes a bunch. Even last week with Jones, him eating away at 5 yards, 10 yards… The one time we wanted to play the jet sweep, he’s rushing for 10, 15. It’s defending.

It’s crazy. The officials did a nice job Saturday. We’re on the sideline, “Hey, coach, can I do anything for you?” I won’t mention his name.

I said, “Yeah, you can get me a stop here.”

He said, “Coach, nobody plays defense any more.”

Golly, that’s the attitude. It’s hard to play, defend 11. They got 11, you got 11. Used to like those big, stiff quarterbacks who used to line up under the center, drop back, that’s all you got. A different deal. We can defend it a heck of a lot better than what we did. That’s for sure.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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106 thoughts on “Pitt vs Virginia Pre-Game Info 2018

  1. BTW -Maryland just fired their HC for cause. This is how his “buy-out” is structured:

    D.J. Durkin’s buyout is 65% of the remaining base+supplemental pay.

    By year:

    2018: $2,500,000 (approx. $583,333 left — 1/6 of base + $500K supplemental due Dec. 1)
    2019: $2,550,000
    2020: $2,600,000
    2021: $2,650,000

    Total: approx. $8,383,333

    65% = approx. $5,449,166


  2. Interesting comment from PN on the state of defenses in CFB today:

    “Golly, that’s the attitude. It’s hard to play, defend 11. They got 11, you got 11. Used to like those big, stiff quarterbacks who used to line up under the center, drop back, that’s all you got. A different deal. We can defend it a heck of a lot better than what we did. That’s for sure.”

    Now, remember that first question I asked him four years ago about defending ACC offenses rather that his B10 schools… He said “Offenses are offenses – there is no difference. We’ll line up and stop them like we did before”.

    Well, still waiting on that to happen.

    Total Defense 99th 436.0
    Rushing Defense. 97th 185.5
    Passing Yards Allowed 93rd 250.5
    Team Passing Eff D 93rd 142.46
    Scoring Defense 98th 32.6

    Liked by 2 people

  3. First he was reinstated, then fired the next day after a hullaboo of protests ensued. Canada still in charge, I guess. What a bureaucratic mess. Team still is 5-3 and likely to get to a bowl though. Hope for Pitt?


  4. MD sold their soul for $$$ to join the big 10 and walked away from their fans and the ACC. They will spend many years at or near the bottom of the big 10.

    That said this VA game is the gateway to the Coastal tittle. It is our biggest ACC game to date.


    1. That is why I’m going to the game.

      I was in school in the early 80’s when Pitt was a power on the national stage.

      Hope is not a strategy when you are the leader, but when you are a fan…


  5. Pitt soccer team beat Virginia in ACC tourney play. Two to Nil. Virginia was ranked the #4 team in the nation. Pitt now faces Duke on Sunday in the quarters. This was Pitt’s first ACC tourney win ever. Progress is being made in some programs at least.


  6. Hoping Ollie’s hamstring is OK. It could be a long day if it isn’t. Same about Frrenchie. They are two big play makers right now and we are going to need to score if our defense plays its normal game. Kessman also better at home. Another big game for Narduzzi.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Really jealous of Virginia’s OOC, if we played it we might be 6-1 too. Although they do know how to beat UNC, LOL


    1. I just looked at their OCC. The Ohio Bobcats, Richmond (1AA), and Liberty (1AA)…sheesh, maybe we will be able to hang with these guys.


      1. But would you really want to go to Heinz and watch Pitt play those teams or good solid opposition?

        I wouldn’t.

        We should schedule 2 tough ones then a team like Navy or equivalent and one patsy .


        1. I agree with the entertainment value, but if you do that and also end up with ND, Clemson or FL ST, you have little chance of a bowl game. Hard enough to recruit at Pitt, harder still when you don’t make the bowl game every year. That has to be first priority every year, at the least. If you have a schedule that pretty much dictates between 5-8 wins a year we will never recruit the kind of kids needed to win 10.

          Liked by 1 person

        2. Nobody schedules like you suggest, Reed. I agree with you that I hate going to see them play against the patsies. But what happened to us this year is lunacy. You can’t play three top ten teams in the non con. It’s suicide.


        3. I just really want us to get to a bowl game and if we could lighten the non-con up a little, I think we would have a more viable shot. It looks bad for the program when we are in the half of D1 teams that are not bowl eligible. When we beat a team like Albany it doesn’t even feel like an accomplishment though.


          1. I can’t understand the thinking that Pitt needs the non con schedule to be “interesting” or people won’t show up. They don’t show up now unless it’s PSU, ND, or WVU.

            I remember being in the stands for the entirety of the Ok St beat down last year. It was a beautiful warm sunny day with nary a cloud in the sky. There was no appreciable difference in attendance for that game than there was for any other cream puff Pitt could’ve scheduled. The ass kicking Pitt received on national TV was exquisite with all the pictures of our fat sleeping fans.

            We learned two weeks ago or so that most on the POV are not into moral victories in “Year 4”. So why schedule like we are Savannah St and need the payday when what we really need and want are those sweet wins and earn that elusive momentum building bowl victory.

            UVA has it right. Pedo’s non con has been a joke for 20 years. No one complains about it. The Pedos do brag about all of their wins with that joke of a schedule. They are essentially guaranteed 7 wins a year. Heather needs to learn from Sandy Barbour, not the other way around.


      2. Liberty is in transition to FBS (1-A) this year. Plays an independent schedule like Army, ND, UMass) but has scheduled two FS this year. Last year (2017) was in FCS (1-AA) & a member of the Big South).

        Have a darn good chance to be bowl eligible.


  8. Under the heading of “Puzzling,” why hasn’t Pitt offered the Quip’s WR Will Gibson? Now a bunch of teams are reportedly involved, including WVU, Michigan, and UVA, but while Pitt has shown interest, still no Pitt offer..

    The kid is 6-3 and supposed to be fast. He’s only averaging 31 yards per catch, with 35 catches and 14 TDs.

    I don’t get it…

    Oh, BTW, his teammate M J Devonshire has a Pitt offer but says he won’t decide until February…

    Like I said, I don’t get it…

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. LINK: Pitt Women’s Lacrosse

    Pitt Athletics to Add Varsity Women’s Lacrosse
    Pitt Women’s Lacrosse to Debut in 2021-22

    PITTSBURGH—University of Pittsburgh Director of Athletics Heather Lyke announced today that Pitt Athletics will add women’s lacrosse as a varsity sport. The program will play its inaugural season against NCAA Division I competition in the 2021-22 academic year.

    Pitt will be the ninth Atlantic Coast Conference institution to sponsor the sport at the NCAA Division I level. The program will be fully funded with the NCAA maximum of 12 scholarships and play its games at the Petersen Sports Complex.

    “On behalf of our University and Department of Athletics, we are extremely excited to announce the addition of women’s lacrosse as a Division I sport at Pitt,” said Lyke, who in 2014 chaired the NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Committee. “We are grateful for the support of our Board of Trustees and Chancellor Patrick Gallagher. Their belief in the vision and future of Pitt Athletics has been vital.

    “We believe our program will be highly attractive to outstanding prospective student-athletes as well as talented coaches who aspire to compete at the highest level in the nation’s top lacrosse conference. The breadth of exceptional talent here in Pennsylvania will be a major recruiting asset for our new coaching staff.”

    Lyke will hire the first women’s lacrosse head coach in Pitt history following the conclusion of next year’s NCAA Women’s Lacrosse National Championship, played in Baltimore, Md., on May 26, 2019.

    Lacrosse is one of the fastest growing team sports in America. At the NCAA level, individual participation in women’s lacrosse increased by more than 24 percent from 2011-16. During that same time period, collegiate sponsorship of the sport grew by more than 35 percent.

    As an ACC member, Pitt will be competing in the most accomplished women’s lacrosse conference in the country. An ACC program has played in the NCAA Women’s Lacrosse National Championship game in each of the past seven seasons. During the 2018 season, five ACC teams appeared in the final Inside Lacrosse Top 20 national rankings while six student-athletes were named first team All-Americans.

    “The collection of ACC women’s lacrosse programs is extremely prestigious and we are pleased to have Pitt joining this elite group beginning with the 2021-22 season,” ACC Commissioner John Swofford said. “The sport of women’s lacrosse continues to experience positive growth, which directly creates additional opportunities for prospective student-athletes. This announcement is a win for Pitt, the ACC and our future student-athletes.”

    The ACC Network, set to launch with a linear channel in August 2019, will prominently feature women’s lacrosse with a variety of programing specifically dedicated to the sport.

    It has been more than two decades since Pitt last added a varsity sport. The University instituted women’s softball in 1997-98.


  10. Gordon Conn – Really looking forward to your update, the more details the better, in the event you are in the “note taking (mental or otherwise) mood”. And if you’re not into reporting anything back, that’s OK, have fun! I attended UPJ back when Chris Doleman’s brother was on their hoops squad (& Carlton Hasselrig wrestled).
    Would be interested to see how well we rebound and defend, plus which guards look good, even though the competition is minimal.

    Really good point above (unfortunately) by our man, Reed. Offenses passed our old school defensive alignment by, the verdict is already in. That said, Narduzzi has finally started making adjustments in recent weeks, but I fear we will have limitations regardless because of our LB’s, particularly our OLB’s. I do like his corner-on-an-island philosophy though on any level and in any league as the base defense.


  11. OT: James Conner named AFC offensive player of the month and Aaron Donald named NFC defensive player of the month. Get both to help Pitt’s recruiting. You might also enlist Tyler Boyd also as he is having a great season at Cincy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. What !!! Tyler Boyd is having a great season for Cincy? Thought he was injury prone & being replace dby a prior 1’st rounder who washed out at his previous team? Now Laquon Treadwell is a player for the Vikings.. To bad he played for Ole’ Miss.


  12. There will always be a debate whether or not PITT should play entertainment games or games for a win. I would much rather see psu/WVU/Notre Dame/Clemson games than the weaklings of college football. That is when PITT drags themselves out of that same weakling club of college football….. and the only way to do that is to recruit better players. The only way to do that is to win more games and the only way to do that is schedule teams that PITT can win. It’s pretty simple really.

    But I am scratching my head Reed and others. Some of you guys want PITT to play the type of schedule they have played so far this year but then you want to chastised the coach for not winning 8, 9 or 10 games. and worse, you applaud other schools that win (Virginia) who have one of the weakest schedules around. I really think PITT would be 7-1 right now playing Virginia’s schedule this year. ike

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Ike, I totally agree. With this year and last year’s schedule, Nard is looking at 7 wins being a super successful season and for most of the faithful, that isn’t super special. Do the expectations match the reality of the situation?

      Liked by 1 person

  13. the perfect ooc is 1 P-5, two middling and 1 other

    something like (ND, WVU or another P-5), some team from the MAC or AAC like a Toledo, Buffalo, Cincy, UConn or even Navy, and then take your pick for a scrub

    There would be no guarantees that Pitt could even beat the middling teams though

    But pick schools that are close so their fans can visit. Pick some historical or former Big East rivals. Pick schools in Pitt’s recruiting footprint.

    I only saw the ND game as being a game that Pitt should have tried to push back. State is our rival. CFU allowed a trip to Florida and exposure to recruiting territory.

    Better coaching and better players can solve a tough ooc schedule. But Pitt obviously isnt there yet.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. As long as we don’t schedule JMU or a team from the Missouri Valley Conference (the SEC of FCS & yes that includes MVC member YSU). Bring on the MEAC & SWAC (historically black colleges) & pay them another $100,000 to bring their band.


  14. Two notes on UVA schedule..

    Liberty is a FBS (DI-A) independent, not FCS (DI-AA).

    FBS schools can only count ONE FCS win toward bowl eligibility.

    But, yes their OOC schedule is weak.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. The only teams that really affect attendance are ND, PSU and WV. OKST did little to increase overall attendance. My guess is UCF won’t do much next year. Same thing with Tenn. down the road. What will affect attendance is consistently winning 9-10 games, no matter who they are against. People want to be pretty sure they will see a victory most of the time, at the very least a competitive game. Look what happened to BBall, when losses mounted attendance dropped off the map. No matter that Duke or UNC were in town.

    Piit Fans are tired of failure, when they watch on TV, they can turn the set off when the wheels fall off.


  16. Ike – you still don’t realize one thing about Pitt football after all these years… That is that Pitt is an average CFB program that for the last 35 years has played right around .500 football and will do the same in the future – give or take a game or two.

    Honestly, just like we are seeing lately, I expect Pitt to rise above .500 in some seasons and dip below some seasons. So – my dreams of making the CFB playoffs or getting the national championship are non-existent.

    So – I look to what is happening this season – a shot at the Coastal championship. Which means we have to play and win the ACC games that are scheduled for us – not by our own AD.

    Since we are locked into those games and because (IMO) we aint going to the playoffs then why not give the paying fans a treat and play bigger opponents?

    Then – if we win one of those – which we can and will in the future after all we just almost beat #5 ND, it is a feather in our cap and something to be proud of.

    Also- fans tend to forget that playing Power 5 big opponents is in itself a recruiting plus- players want to play against the best.

    In essence I’m saying that bouncing around between 5-8 wins is our future so why not enjoy the better competition?

    And, finally, when we beat NC then fans can point to our crap OOC schedule and complain. Losing to a 2 win team in ’17 and a 0 win team (still) in ’18 tells me that we are still pretty much SOP and will continue.

    I get fans want wins but why sell out completely to do so?

    Look – the bump in recruiting is pretty non-existent so far after our last two 8 win seasons. Do we really think 7 wins will get more and better recruits than a 6 win season will?


    1. I think playing one tough OOC with an Army, Navy, or Temple plus two rent a wins is not selling out and it is what almost all Power 5 teams do. It gives you a fighting chance to get 9-10 wins when you have a good team and gets you to a bowl when you don’t. Having a top ten schedule with a top 50 team is just too demoralizing. Were the PSU or UCF games fun this year, PSU and OKST last year? Especially when you had Clemson and ND in those years. You didn’t need both. Do we really need Tennessee the same year we play WV? If we get ND, Clemson, or FLST, even Louisville in one of those years it is too much.

      While I agree that the playoffs are out of touch with reality, 9 and 10 win seasons are not with reasonable schedules. VA is clearly in reach of 9 or 10 this year and if they get it, no one will remember who they played 5 years from now, only that they had a great year. Conversely, no one will remember that we played the toughest schedule in the land, or played ND tough this year, only that we didn’t make a bowl if we don’t get that sixth win.


  17. I really like the idea of home and away with Navy and Army. They are not sure wins, but historic rivals and great tradition. Great venues to see away games.

    I also like Temple, a traditional rival with a lot of Pitt grads in Philadelphia. Possibly Rutgers and Maryland for recruiting purposes, and tradition.


    1. My list would include: ND, WVU, Cincy, Temple, Rutgers, MD, East Carolina, Central FL, South FL, Navy, some Ohio MAC team and then take your pick for a scrub

      Pitt has no business scheduling Tennessee or A&M or Okie State

      Keep teams within driving distance and/or in recruiting territory


  18. Heather brought up OCS in presser this morning. Nothing is impossible…she said. Under consideration. She pulls this off and will go down as greatest AD in history. Duzz says Carter dinged up and may not play vs UVA.


    1. If you want something bad enough, you can find the money. Pitt will probably need to find around $200M to build a bare bones football stadium but they should think bigger…multi-purpose, serving more than 1 program, incorporating academic, business and retail aspects so the facility can be used 365 days a year.

      Any financing would have to first come from public and private donations. Typically, 50% of the project cost in order to greenlight it. The remaining cost would be financed via debt (low cost bonds) and ongoing fundraising, naming rights, licenses, advertising revenues and other projected revenue streams like ticket sales, rental income, etc.

      The biggest constraint is land acquisition. Where would it go? I’ve thought that the OC lot/Cost Center would be a good place for it since the land is already owned by Pitt and could be part of the Victory Heights initiative. The VA Hospital would be another potential area in 15 years.

      Disappointed that Heather mentioned building a lacrosse specific stadium on the OC lot. That to me seems misguided. Why cant lacrosse play on the soccer field? I thought a new 3000 seat venue for volleyball, gymnastics and wrestling was being proposed for the OC lot along with an indoor track.

      Fitzgerald is targeted for demo and creation of a new parking garage. Trees is planned for partial demo and a makeover.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. If Carter isn’t playing the Pitt offense may well revert back to how they played the first 7 weeks of the season. Also Narduzzi may be just trying to sell the idea to Va that Carter won’t play just like he indicated Mack wouldn’t play(and he did) last week.


  19. PSU became the beast of the east by playing a weak schedule. The Big Ten used to be known as the Big Two and the little eight. Miami won a bunch of NC’s by playing in the weak Big East. OK and Nebraska dominated their conference. USC pretty much the same back in the day. They didn’t become great because of great schedules. Today Clemson is by far and away the class of the ACC. I don’t think they are worried about strength of schedule.

    I have heard PSU fans complaining about Alabama’s weak schedule this year. If they win another NC will Alabama care? Will there be an asterisk beside it?

    I still say since PSU won’t schedule us anymore, we should dump them next year, and rent a win.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Reed, I get your point and I thought I made myself clear. If PITT is going to play 3 teams that were ranked in the top ten at some point in this season than lets be realistic towards our criticisms at least. and btw, PITT is an average football program, then what’s wrong with playing an average OOC schedule then?

    Liked by 1 person

  21. I wanted to add. I’m not talking about being critical of PITT’s play in individual games. Sure critiquing a game is what Blogging is all about and I do it like everyone else. The losses to psu, UCF and UNC should all be ripped apart. PITT deserves the criticisms for those games for sure. I’m talking when and if PITT ends up with 4, 5 or 6 winds and the finger pointing starts at the coach. PITT is an average football program right now and that is where the expectations should lay with this schedule. ike.


  22. Our 3 losses to the ranked OCC opponents will push us down the bowl pecking order. It is the difference between playing in Detroit and Florida. Rankings could care less about OCC strength.


  23. It makes no sense to play tough OCC. You are only rewarded for wins period. The strength of schedule means nothing in football. It is really true for a crappy team like Pitt.
    Pitt need to start like 5 and o to even be considered getting ranked. Then they get 1 loss and they are out for good.
    The system is rigged and the only way for a team like Pitt to get any exposer is to schedule the occ as weak as possible.
    The stadium is empty either way. I would rather leave with a win than 56 to 3 or whatever it was.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Reeling the OOC thinkers in one at a time. Have pushed the OOC schedule for years as two patsies(pre-season work out the kinks games, easier path to a bowl, confidence, recruiting, etc), one average team (Army/Navy) fits the perfectly because we would play them and GTech so our defense will be well practiced. Heck, schedule them back to back weeks if possible so we have two solid weeks of seeing the same dang thing!! Finally, one difficult game, but winnable game against an opponent that could go either way. If it is ND, great, Dairy College, great. I would keep away from WVU because it hurts us recruiting.

    Pitt is better served with WVU being on the Big Eight island. Scheduling them makes it easier for local wvu players and their families to see games, which plays a part in their recruiting as it is almost an extra home game.

    I think it is great that folks here are starting to look at others OOC scheduling. This is one reason I never liked Peterson, Barnes and Lyke. They don’t get it and don’t have a strategy for taking a beat down program and rising it up. NONE of them has done it in the past. Our scheduling philosophy is weak, and our results, weaker. The AD should put the programs in the best possible position to win, not suffer.

    Dairy College complains about Alabama schedule but doesn’t look at their own for the last 40 years. That was a poopy pants calling card. He built that brand at the expense of bottom feeder programs. The big10 got together as a conference and decided that if they they all vote for each other in the polls, it would show others that the big10 is it, when in fact it is a smokescreen. They market for every team in their conference really well. We don’t.

    Liked by 2 people

  25. Folks – BigB, Erie, Richman, myself, some spouses and friends will be tailgating before the game Friday night in C’ville. Immanuel Lutheran Church parking lot – stop by and say hi if you are in the area.

    Liked by 2 people

  26. I want to see Pitt ranked in the top 25. The only way to get there is to have a lot of wins. The easier schedule you play, the more wins you get.

    There are 5 ACC teams ranked right now. Go check out their schedules (with the exception of Clemson, who plays 2 power 5 schools).


    1. Hey if cuse and uva are ranked, our HC better get us there soon.

      Tomorrow night is a step in that direction.

      We win we get 6 votes next week.


  27. Reed.

    “..fans tend to forget that playing Power 5 big opponents is in itself a recruiting plus- players want to play against the best.”

    Let me disagree, a bit. Big time players want to BEAT the best, not just play them. Marginal players would rather play D-II and win than play the best and get hammered, which has been happening to us against the OOC big boys. The “middling” kids are just happy to be getting DI scholorships– and those are the lkids we’ve been getting under Narduzzi.

    Sure, we’d probably get more 4 star players by playing and beating the big boys than playing and beating “weaklings”. But we’d also probably get more 4 star players playing and beating weaker teams than playing “the best” and losing by 30+ points.

    EVERY program that has elevated themselves, from TCU to Boise St. to Clemson, has started by playing teams they’d likely beat and putting together multiple WINNING seasons to build a culture of winning and then slowly ramping up the OOC schedule as recruiting and confidence improves.

    Also, while every schedule should be analyzed in regards to opponents played, the larger national audience– and MANY recruits– simply say, “Penn State won 10 games again this year.” Or, “Pitt lost seven games again this year.” And they do so without actually looking at who and how the teams played..But they certainly do pay attention to a 30 or 40 point national TV losses.

    EVERY Pitt fan wants to see Pitt play, and beat, the best. However, If given a choice between winning games with an “easy” schedule or losing with a “tough” one, I choose option A.

    Liked by 6 people

  28. Sign me up for option A also. My only exception to the option a choice would be a home game with anyone that could fill Heinz field right now. And PSU, WVU and ND are the only schools coming to play at Pitt that could fill Heinz that I know of.


  29. To support further, once you start winning 8-9 games regularly because you go 4-0 OOC or 3-1 at a minimum, recruiting becomes easier because the talented kids want to be a part of something special. As a recruiter, you sell to the kid that by coming to Pitt, instead of winning 8-9 games, you can win 9 or 10, and you son, will be the one to make that difference. Sell the dream.

    Pitt can’t sell that because our record says we can’t.

    Also, Maryland signed up 3, 4star OL last year. Borbley should be reaching out by whatever legal ways necessary to those kids to check on them to see if they might want to transfer…..NOW! Not sure if they have any bigtime recruits going for 2019, but if they are in on them, we need to step that up too. Being opportunistic is not bad!


  30. If I was Coach, I’d be selling recruits on playing in your own on campus stadium…in 20 years.

    Pitch it as a venue for your kid’s future. Maybe even some of us will be around to see it.

    OCS of Dreams


  31. I’d like to take this opportunity to address Pitt athletics in general, and Pitt football specifically. Today was very, very interesting in that our athletic director spoke about sports and the direction of the department going forward. I’m not sure how many of you heard her, but for the first time in recent memory an AD did not dismiss the idea of an OCS. Yes, she actually said it was something they would look at every year. Now, I’m not foolish enough to think this was a “ we’re breaking ground moment, but I do think it was actually a “ if we have the money we would seriously consider it” statement. So, with that rather stunning remark, here goes my Pitt athletics fix:

    1) Pitt has , in fact, been very, very average for well over 30 years. Much of this is due, in my opinion to our unwillingness to be bold and aggressively address the long term planning needed to be successful in today’s college athletic environment. It is not simply building an OCS, or getting the right coach or AD, or Chancellor or BOT or OOC schedule. One move in and of itself will only be a patch on The leaky tire that is Pitt athletics. It must be a comprehensive approach.

    2) As much as I dislike PSU, they had the will, and the vision to build a department the right way. It is a long and sometimes painful process, and were we to attempt it, most of us , or at least me, will not be around to see it come to fruition. You must:
    a) Soften the OOC schedule. Honestly, we get somewhere are 36k plus or minus no matter who we play other than the big 3. The Nits took a school in the middle of nowhere that you couldn’t get to, with no real history, and filled a 100k stadium. It didn’t happen in 3 years, or 5 years. It took 10+. Winning is what drives the machine. They played a soft schedule as an independent, only adding a powerhouse when they have built a program that could somewhat compete. Winning drove the bus.
    b) Some people must be dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st century. No power 5 school would attempt to play our OOC schedule. It does nothing to increase attendance, and sorry Reed, but if you want to build the program it’s not the traveling alums that will do it, for every one fan who travels they want ten who will show up locally. If you want to come for the 1 big OOC game you will. They need people to come for the Dukes, Syracuse, GT, and UVas on the schedule. These are the games that everyone says mean something, so I feel the alums who travel will be a bit more selective in games they choose to attend. Once a winning culture is established attendance will improve. The local fan coming to the early games because it’s the thing to do, the alums coming because they love the school.

    3) Having a more competitive OOC sch is simply one part. You must have an administration that sees benefit in doing this. They must realize college in the 21st century hasn’t really changed that much from the 18th century. Strange statement, but let me explain further. College was meant to enlighten,educate, expand horizons, and broaden experiences. To have a well rounded experience for all. To bond individuals to school and community. A small, but important part in the 21st century is athletics. Pride in ones school has always existed. Academically and socially. Athletics fills a larger part nowadays due to the vast amounts of money generated as well as the students intrest. Never, ever, the most important part, but a part nonetheless.

    4) Heathers statement was very interesting. It was almost like” show me the money and we’ll talk”. Very different from the past. I know, all the politicians, city and community leaders won’t go for it. Well, money talks. If you can show a way that everyone benefits they will cave. It has happened historically in every area of this country. Money talks. It was, in my opinion shameful, but look what happened to the lower hill. Look at Renaissance 1&2. You know, lots of people get displaced. Schools buy land all the time. That’s what they do. Renaissance 3 should be the Oakland area. From that urban blight that’s south Oakland to the area from Magee to the towers to efficient mass transit. All needed, all ignored.

    As I said starting out, it’s a painful process. If it was easy it would have already occurred. It’s not just for athletics however, it’s for the good of the university and the good of the city and region. Does the school have the will and vision to do this. I sincerely doubt it. The school has never really been progressive, been a leader, or taken chances. Pitt is the ultimate conservative institution, much like the( almost forgot the no religion ban). But you get my drift. Crap, that saying dates me. Anyhow, that’s what I think needs done. Sorry for the long winded post.

    Liked by 2 people

  32. The most important question is: what do the fans and donors want? The folks buying the tickets and writing the big checks should be considered first, and I think they would want to see Pitt play a national schedule and occasionally win some big games. You cannot win memorable, talked-about out of conference games against the Little Sisters of the Poor. Sure, this year’s OOC schedule was a little too much, but playing against a couple of teams like Purdue, Temple, Baylor, Minnesota, New Mexico, etc. plus a couple of patsies would generate some interest. Maybe play a MAC team that uses a spread offense to get ready for the ACC.

    As an aside, Narduzzi now seems to be downplaying the importance of a good defense in favor of high scoring offenses. Could it be that he is finally recognizing that he stinks as a defensive coach and has begun raiding the defense to prop up the offense? Defensive guru Narduzzi talks out of both sides of his mouth.


  33. “..The most important question is: what do the fans and donors want? The folks buying the tickets and writing the big checks should be considered first..”

    Fans? There aren’t enough of them to have any real power. Donors? I’m sure there are many, some on here, who do what they can to donate to the football program but that number is far too small, as are the checks they write.

    And as far as your opinion as to “what they want to see”… I think “what they want to see is Pitt win”, foremost.

    Ask the donors… A. Lose to UCF by 35 or B. Beat Akron by 17?

    (B) is the RESOUNDING response.

    Option C, beating Top 15
    OOC teams with any regularity, is simply not feasible in this program at this point.

    joeknew is correct. This is not a next year plan. Or a 5 year plan. Unless we see the second coming of the Golden Panthers or a white knight (Mark Cuban Save Us!), a true renaissance for Pitt football is a 10+ year job. And it REQUIRES an OCS.

    I hop I’m alive to see it.


    Liked by 2 people

  34. Like most on here, I’m not a typical Pitt FB fan. I don’t give a crap who we are playing. I want to see my Pitt Panthers play. And I want to see my Panthers win.

    And if we play the Little Sisters of the Poor and have a big lead — all the better! Then I get to see the backup QB, the backup RBs, even the backup Olinemen… Bring it on… 🎅

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 3 people

  35. This debate is going on and on but here comes another post on it. When it’s said that PITT has an average football program at this point in time and play an OOC schedule that is way above average and their capabilities and expect above average results, there is just something plain wrong.

    What many are saying is that the football program is a work in progress at PITT and the need to put a few more winning seasons together to rearranged the perception of U of PITT football is the way to go.
    WINS are in!

    I’ve read on the POV that Virginia has the better coaching hire in Mendenhall. Are we sure about that? Indiana is their only OOC P-5 game? Say what you want about Liberty and they are a rent a win but I will say, an ingenious move to schedule them as a budding FBS opponent. Great move by their AD.


  36. We can schedule cupcakes and maybe beat them and perhaps crack the Top 25 and go to bowl games, BUT, we’ll continue to lose big to the real teams and probably be completely embarrassed in the bowl games.

    This program is just not above mediocre yet. So, I agree with Reed, don’t sell out. Rather get the resources to make the improvements to be competitive against the better teams. That would favorable to beating other average to lesser teams (and don’t forget we have had some ugly moments losing to those so called cupcakes).


    1. The school won’t pour in the resources needed to win big, so definitely sell out for the wins and take your chances in a better bowl game versus a tougher team. People only remember the wins, not who you played. No one kisses Pitt’s butt for scheduling tough throughout most of its existence, so schedule easy and make eight wins very doable. Get lucky here and there and maybe 10 wins can happen.


  37. How bout we talk on the subject of beating Virginny?

    This is a HUGH game tomorrow night.

    Kick the kavs kans and we are in ffirst place in the ACC Coastal division.

    I’m pumped!

    Liked by 1 person

  38. Angie and I wish we could have been down in Charlottesville with you all. EE, you two sitting by the fire-pit yet?

    I’m with you brother Rick, big big game tomorrow night. Firing up the smoker for this one. Bring us home a winner….. ike


    1. Not yet, but we are in an establishment near Charlottesville owned by a Pittsburgh native – many uva fans looking at my Pitt script shirt.


      Liked by 2 people

  39. the more physical team wins
    that means Pitt’s O-line must be nasty blocking
    the WR’s must do Hines Ward blocks
    our backs and receivers need to churn the legs for every yard and fall forward
    The D must beat the heck out of the QB and his number 1 target receiver
    and beat I mean physically beat…make them cry to their momma
    Pitt does that, they win going away
    This Virginia team is soft
    Pitt needs to attack their underbelly
    Bacon tastes good


  40. Temple is beating UCF 24 – 14 in the first half.

    Pitt may be the 3rd best team in PA.

    And the best in the ACC Coastal?


    1. that was the plan all along. 🙂

      Pitt really should schedule Temple. EPA has more talent than WPA these days


  41. Reed and Greg are right. We can sell out to cupcakes every year, and then get smoked when we play genuine P5 teams, or we can play a few OOC games where there is some actual value in winning. Jay, maybe if Pitt beat some of these teams it would draw more fans and donors. Also, TV exposure is important to build a brand and help with recruiting. A Pitt/Akron game won’t draw flies at our current home field location.

    My mother used to tell me that you are who you associate with. Pitt shouldn’t be in bed with the Central Michigans and Eastern Tennessee States of the world. I recall how much I despised JoePa when Pedo was beating up on cupcakes and getting all the accolades. He would then whine to everyone about how Pedo was not getting the respect they deserved. Let’s not forget…


    1. Or we sell out to some cupcakes then beat the P5 team that we play. You get better players when you win, not losing. Recruits aren’t flocking to 5-7 teams either because they schedule tough teams and lose those games with honor.

      Reed is the first guy wanting coaches fired for not winning. Pitt isn’t winning big the way fans want them to win, rather it holds its Mission Statement above all else. So, no cheating, no bad seeds, great. Not a horrible way to do business, but three cupcakes and one good P5 team should be the model for Pitt football.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. WTF?

        The debate on here has been about getting more wins because you fans obsess about them…and then you turn around and say I want non-winning coaches fired?

        First off I have never called for any active HC to be fired.Yes, not even Narduzzi as have many on here.

        What I said about Narduzzi was why wait for a change when the HC isn’t winning lots of games AND is recruiting poorly because that poisons the future.


    2. With all due respect, our ENTIRE conference schedule is P5 teams. I’m simply saying playing 1 MAC school, 2 Group of 5 schools ((Temple, Rice, etc.) and 1 P5 (ND, PSU, Ok St.) allows Pitt to gain momentum and get recruits by winning.

      And news flash Panther fans, our early season games against Akron, Delaware, etc. have drawn almost as well as OK St., etc.

      As pointed out, PSU grew their program and brand in EXACTLY that fashion (as did Boise State, TCU, etc.)

      Pitt has taken a different route. How’s that working out?

      Liked by 1 person

  42. I don’t read anything into what Heather said. I do believe that Pitt will never get an OCS unless it becomes a strong program and there is demand for one. Pitt recognized the demand for a basketball facility once the program turned around and Fitz was too small and too old. The big problem is that Pitt needs to sell Pittsburgh that it has a worthwhile entertaining product and that it deserves a new stadium. Only in the movies can you “Build it and they will come”

    If your program stinks it doesn’t matter where you play. The Pete was empty last year. You need to fix the program and then there might be enough demand to build a stadium.


    1. Gordon the program didn’t turn around until after the decision was made several years before the Pete was built and coincided exactly when the place opened up. Pitt made a huge investment to make the basketball program into a national player.

      Pitt basketball went from 13-15 in 1999-2000 season to 29-6 in 2001-2002 season. BigEast Champs in
      2002-03 season.

      Basically BigEast chumps to BigEast champs.

      A similar type (even bigger)of investment will have to be made if Pitt ever wants a nationally relevant Top 10 football program again.

      Not in today’s age of HUGE Money FBS football.


      1. And, we sold the PETE to recruits and it worked! Was Bknight one of the first to join up to the dream of the Pete?

        Sell and OCS…..aww crap, can’t do that …..yet!


  43. I have to step in here. I KNOW, Reed has not called for Narduzzi to be fired. He just hasn’t. Is he a big fan of PN, not so much but never called for his dismissal. Just to set the record straight.


    1. Well Ike I agree with you that Reed has never called for Narduzzi to be fired. But he certainly IMO is an eyelash away from being one of the first to stand up an applaud if he was fired. By the way there is absolutely nothing wrong with having that opinion after watching his defensive genius status evaporate before our eyes over the past several years.


      1. How about you don’t put words in my mouth or assign actions to me?

        This is what is pissing me off about this blog lately. Put down your football opinions and shut down the talk of another poster third hand.

        FYI: I really don’t care about Narduzzi all that much. His work effects you all more than me because I don’t really care all that much if we win or lose. As I stated earlier I’ve come to grips on exactly what Pitt football is all about and that’s playing average football year in and year out.

        Next year will be like this year like this year was like last year…with one or two wins difference between seasons and between head coaches.

        Its something to watch and talk about, that’s it for me.


        1. Geez, Reed!
          Please tell me why you bother then with maintaining this blog. I tell you to ‘dig-deep,’ man, and confide what drives you onward in writing about our Pitt Panthers, lol!
          I am hardly a “homer” when it comes to Pitt FB. But panthers’ pride keeps me focused. And it’s also what draws me to login to your site to comment.
          I really don’t get the feeling you write on the program as if you were grudgingly doing an unwanted job.
          Regardless and however it is you feel, I still appreciate your input-output @pittpov.com.
          Truly and sincerely,


  44. Speaking of re-building a program and trying to win back the fans, I went to the exhibition tonight.

    It wasn’t real pretty. A few observations, our two new guards, Johnson and McGowens look pretty good for freshmen. The overall game was very sloppy with lots of fouls. Didn’t see much continuity or playmaking.
    Wilson Frame looks to be in better shape but is still jacking up threes. There did seem to be a little more defense but there are no strong rebounders. The three “bigs” haven’t bulked up much if at all and looked to be pushed around again. I didn’t see Stevenson play, don’t know why. Toney, Ellison, and N’Dir had good moments. Foul shooting looks to be abysmal.

    Really hard to evaluate due to the level of competition, but certainly was not stellar. From what I saw, it will be hard to win a game in the ACC. Maybe when they figure out who the top eight guys are, they will play more like a team.

    From what I see Capel really needs to have a good recruiting class, with a couple big strong guys ready for prime time. There is no inside strength and very weak hands.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Capel said Stevenson wasn’t practicing well, so he only got 2 minutes. Hopefully the motivation tactic works because he is the only front court player with any muscle. They only had 1 more rebound than UPJ, so like you said, unless they improve rapidly, we’re going to get pounded inside like last year.

      He should have brought in some graduate transfer to bolster the front court. Doesn’t help build the program but it is a quick temporary fix until you land some bigtime bruiser recruits.


  45. Temple would hang 50 on us. 450 yards of offense in the first half on UCF and not sure we got 200 the whole game.

    I’d take Bronco over Narduzzi in a second.


    1. Cannot wait for your in-game posts, Upitt.
      You bring the definition of negativity to a level worthy of edit in Webster & Oxford dictionaries.
      A lot folks agree with your comments. And to an extent, I’m on board with what you have to say. But sheesh, man, I’m assuming life has got to be difficult at times for you when your glass is perpetually 1/2 empty.
      Really, God Bless you.


  46. Debate as old as time. I am definitely in the camp of doing whatever (legal) will help to get the program on more solid ground and help recruiting. To me that means easing up on the OOC and I feel no shame about that. If you aren’t playing in December you can’t be more irrelevant , and losing the extra practices is also problematic . Also truth be told, I’d much rather watch a competitive win vs Temple than a butt kicking at the hands of OK State.

    Liked by 1 person

  47. Erie: Bring home a win. I was ready to make the trip, but once I saw rain in the forecast, I had to bail. My docs say I can’t afford to get sick. Sitting out in the rain isn’t a good idea.

    I was just like you. Pumped up to see a game that really matters.

    And Virginia is one of the best campuses in the country. Make sure you take a stroll around campus.


    1. We think alike. My wife and I are prepared for the rain, we think. One of the cavs fans we encountered last night said he was going to start tailgating at 2pm today and may skip the stadium because of the rain.

      Interesting coming from the home team fan and 1st place favorite.

      H2P and hammer the hoos!


  48. Voice, look at the top 20 from last years final rankings. Then look at their respective schedules. EVERY team played OOC cupcakes. That is how you do it.

    The TV exposure is for the Dairy and the ND’s when they play us. They aren’t selling Pitt. The media is selling ND and Dairy and UCF. Pitt is the whipping post. Good grief! Pitt is probably only 1 of 5 P5 teams that schedule so stupidly. Or are our AD’s outsmarting all the others? I’ll go with stupidity for $200.

    Top kids typically don’t go to 5-7 programs to make them 6-6 or 7-5. The top kids want to be the difference between 8-4 and a conference championship (9-3 or 10-2). They can go anywhere to play, so why go to a perennial middling team when you can go for a national championship? Pitt has been clueless in this space for 20 years!

    Liked by 1 person

  49. I’m already nervous about this game – which is great.

    Unfortunately, I will have to miss watching or hearing at least the first half, due to a family commitment. Hoping for good news when I finally do get a chance to check the score…

    Go Pitt.


  50. Just got to the Doubletree in Charlottesville… gave 3 WUPs flags out… one to Coach Powell, 2nd to Bill Hillgrove who was right where we shared some toddies 2 yrs ago- he knew we were the “WUPs” way back when. I thanked him for all his years being the Voice of the PITT Panthers. Got on the elevator with about 8 PITT players and held court giving them a history lesson re: Western University of Pennsylvania.. then I held out a flag and told the to “Open a can of WUP-ass on the Hoos” they got off on their floor and I heard a chant starting as the elevator doors were closing”WUPs.. there it is,”

    Liked by 6 people

  51. One last comment VoR – your mother had some awesome advice for your friendships, that is why you are here and I appreciate you being here. I don’t think that quote was meant for business and competition however. If so, athletically we associate with non bowl team losers. We can accept that or change it to associate ourselves with winners, not first losers.


  52. In my opinion there are very few campus’s that can compare with the grounds of UVA. Scott stadium is a lot of concrete. But somehow fits perfectly into the campus. It’s old and doesn’t have many amenities, but it’s just a nice place. Not sure how old it is, but it has to be one to the easiest stadiums to empty in the country. Bring home a win!


  53. Wowza….Temple’s QB threw for 444 yards and 4 TD’s against UCF. at UCF. And he’s not that good.
    And he’s a first year starter like Pickett. Pickett threw for 163 yards btw in that beatdown.


  54. I know UVA has this highly ranked rushing defense, but but but….look at who the Whoo’s have played.

    Indiana ran all over them for 237 yards and that coincidentally (NOT) is one of UVA’s losses.
    Ohio of the MAC scored 31 points on them.

    They are certainly beatable. Will Pitt rise to the occasion, is the question ?

    Btw Keyshon Camp is out for the year.
    And this is quite interesting.

    Mychale Salahuddin Questionable Undisclosed Salahuddin has missed the last two games for undisclosed reasons and it is unclear if he will suit up Friday against Virginia


  55. This game has the makings of an SOP diaster.

    I had picked this game in preseason as a win.

    Go win it please.


  56. as a Pitt fan, I have come to detest weeknight fames. Don’t know what the record is overall but can’t believe it is good


  57. as far as judging what teams do during the early part of the schedule. note that teams can change dramatically during the season. For example …. that Temple team last night which gave UCF all it could handle … opened this season by losing to Villanova then getting shellacked at Buffalo

    Early season stats can really distort what a team really is.


  58. Way to go Bernie! Wish I was there with the gang. Stay safe and bring home the big win.
    WUP on the Hoos.
    Richman, can you bring back some Virginia peanuts? (inside joke…sorry)


  59. Heading out to work and will be on the run until 6 pm tonight so I’ll post my game prediction now. Ball control running offense has another good day and defense find a way . PITT wins 35-28.


  60. Look…if PN would have won either bowl game in his first two years we would have been in the Top 25 even with tougher OOC schedules.

    It is conference play and post-season bowls that make the season.


    1. It’s the overall record that matters. In 2009, which is the best and most successful season of the past 30 or more years, we finished 10-3 and ranked no. 15. We only played one ranked opponent the entire season — Cincinnati. We started the year 9-1. At some point during that 9-1 run, I remember them talking about Pitt on ESPN, and Robert Smith was quick to point out “But they lost to NC State”. He was right, we played nobody and maybe we weren’t that good — but we were relevant on the national scene, people talked about us, we got recognition in the polls come year end, and there was a packed and energetic Heinz Field when we did play that one ranked opponent.

      By the way, we played 2 power 5 opponents that year (ND and NC State), but we were playing one less conference game at the time so we were still able to get 3 easier games on the schedule, YSU, Buffalo, and Navy.

      Liked by 1 person

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