Here is a thoughtful piece written by Jay “6 & 34″…
Here we are and Pitt is on top of the ACC Coastal Division. This improbable circumstance seemed unimaginable after the North Carolina loss. I took that loss hard. I actually decided to not watch another game this season and just stopped cold turkey my fascination with Pitt football. I know this may seem contemptible to many POVers but in my world there are only three social constructs that I care about without reservation and one of them is America, another is my family and the third is not the University of Pittsbugh. Just whom I am.
The North Carolina game just convinced me that Pat Narduzzi did not know what he is doing. I was on the fence going into that game as the totality of the competing comments from POVers and my own personal observations of the team and the myriad other sources of Pitt football information led me to believe that once Pitt had the North Carolina game notched in, maybe (just maybe) Pitt was on its way to a successful season. The Georgia Tech victory had been a shot in the arm but the North Carolina game, my lord, the North Carolina game sucked.
I was so forlorn over this football team and how it was affecting my overall happiness that knew I had to ask myself these simple questions: Why do I need Pitt mediocrity in my life? Why do I need to continue to suffer for at least another year while Pat Narduzzi remains as head coach of Pitt’s football team. My answer to myself was “I didn’t.
That answer was a revelation. I was done. I was free from mediocrity.
I stayed away from the POV and Panther-Lair and did not watch the UCF and Syracuse games or pay attention to the game results as they progressed. I was so impressed with my will power. I was in control of my life and it felt good to be honest. OK, then when I saw that Pitt beat Syracuse in overtime, I said to myself, let’s watch the Syracuse game on “Replay”. You know what? It was awesome. Better than watching it live I convinced myself. No tension, no anxiety, just pleasure in watching Pitt pull out an overtime victory. Actually, it was so good that I told myself that I would watch the Notre Dame game the same way.
But as each day passed my desire for no emotional disappointment weakened by the rationale that I expected Pitt to lose so why not watch – there would be no major disappointment because this Pitt team could not win anyway.
Man, that Notre Dame game was fun. Yes, it was disappointing but in a critically different way than this year’s other losses. Still, I told myself, I will watch the Duke game on Replay if Pitt wins – so I can get all of the pleasure and none of the pain. But as each day passed I began to think of those white rabbits in Watership Down and besides, maybe Pitt’s defense had found itself in that Notre Dame game because it sure looked like it for 55 minutes.

So I watch live both the Duke and Virginia games and of course I sure wish I had been to both of them instead of watching them with my wife (a Pitt alumna) in Upstate New York on ESPN2. Do I wish I had not dropped out and hung in there supporting my team. Nope – I have no room in the rest of my life for Pitt mediocrity.

But here we are: On top of the Coastal Conference. Beat Virginia Tech and Wake Forest and we are the ….

And yet, we are 5 and 4 with a defense that in the Duke game was as bad as it’s ever been. And I have a confession to make. I really believed in the defense. For goodness sake, I believed in the secondary. Why, I really can’t say, not intelligently anyway. Whose fault is it that the defense has been as bad as it has been for these past several years? At this point I don’t see how I can’t blame Pat Narduzzi.

But is that the end of the matter?

Reading the POV I see a definite change in the attitude of the commentators. It’s not like the Negativos have disappeared or that the Positivos have emerged victorious. It’s like the question is no longer “Does Pat Narduzzi know what he is doing” because it’s been replaced with the idea that Pitt can win the Coastal even if he does not.
Look, winning the Coastal would be awesome. I want that to happen first and foremost for the student athletes on the team. It will help recruiting and definitely not cause recruiting to degrade even further which if Pitt went 4 and 8 or worse would have been a definite possibility (right, Mr. Koontz). And I want it to happen for the POVers who go to the games whom I both respect and admire whether the team does well or not.
But it’s not that important to me.
What I care about is whether or not Pat Narduzzi knows what he is doing. Why? Because if he does not, Pitt is going to be mediocre for the next 4 or 5 years whether it wins the Coastal or not and I will say goodbye to Pitt football until they are no longer mediocre which could be well past my time on Earth. And if he does know what he is doing, Pitt can win 8 or more games most years and be a top 25 team most years despite the systemic problems that presently confront Pitt football.

So, does he?

Of course we still don’t know. How could we with the defensive performance of the Duke game. Or our anemic passing game all season? Sure, we are optimistic about the Virginia Tech game and we have a right to be but I can’t get the North Carolina game out of my mind or Pitt’s defensive performance against Duke.

Still, something has happened that has me very encouraged. Pitt has an identity — an identity that I love. Pitt is now a smash mouth offensive team to be feared and I mean physically feared. And not feared because they are goons but because they are Pittsburgh strong.
And that identity is entirely consistent with Pat Narduzzi and how the rest of America views the City of Pittsburgh even if it is a meme that is 40 years behind the times. I expect the media to run with this and it will have legs if Pitt can win this Saturday especially I they win the way they have been winning. And if Virginia Tech sustains defensive injuries the way Virginia did, watch out because what we are now witnessing is defensive units fearing individual plays not because they fear V’lique breaking a 40 yard run but because it’s no fun going up against that Pitt smash mouth offensive unit.

Pat Narduzzi built that.
He made it clear to Big Q that no matter what success he had in his redshirt freshman year, that it wasn’t about him, it was about the Team (OK, so that sentence is entirely imaginary because I really have no idea why PN treated him the way he did). He also always nurtured and praised Darrin Hall – almost to the point where I thought that the Youngstown connection was reason for the bromance. Hey, everyone, PN was right about Hall. He is much, much better than most if not all of us thought.

Then there is the offensive line. The unit that so few thought was worthy of playing in the ACC. Even with its gaping limitations on passing plays, the offensive line has been the story of the year for Pitt football though I think most of us POVers know that statement bears a huge asterisk because we POVers know that the heart and soul of Pitt’s run game is George Aston.
Yes, we have an offensive line that is doing its job on running plays but if The Animal wasn’t there we would not be talking smash mouth and Darrin Hall would not have had 200 plus yards against Virginia. And yes, we have two bruising, interchangeable tailbacks who are better than we thought they were, but still, no George Aston, I don’t know what we would have.
(Speaking of these tailbacks, why can’t V’lique Carter get snaps at tailback and run up the middle in a hole excavated by Mr. Aston or on a conventional sweep? I’m not saying he should be our feature back but there is no reason that I can see why he can’t line up at tailback as a change of pace back. Can Watson see this? Really, why must he run solely from a jet sweep alignment?)

The bottom line is that Pitt’s offense is a well-conceived and defined, successful operation that is molded in the image of Pat Narduzzi. Sure, George Aston as a walk-on was a gift to him from the All Mighty but that does not change that the fact that PN built the line and running backs and conceived and implemented Aston’s role. And sure, the passing game is historically abysmal and that too is on PN but much of its awfulness is a direct result of smash mouth success.
HowSpeaking of these tailbacks, why can’t V’lique Carter get snaps at tailback and run up the middle in a hole excavated by Mr. Aston or on a conventional sweep? I’m not saying he should be our feature back but there is no reason that I can see why he can’t line up at tailback as a change of pace back. Can Watson see this? Really, why must he run solely from a jet sweep alignment?)

The bottom line is that Pitt’s offense is a well-conceived and defined, successful operation that is molded in the image of Pat Narduzzi. Sure, George Aston as a walk-on was a gift to him from the All Mighty but that does not change that the fact that PN built the line and running backs and conceived and implemented Aston’s role. And sure, the passing game is historically abysmal and that too is on PN but much of its awfulness is a direct result of smash mouth success. How much is attributable to the OC and HC’s decision to forgo the passing game, what difference does it make? Now if we asked this different question: “How much is attributable to our wide receivers, or lack of a pass catching tight end or our offensive line or our QB?” my answer would be I don’t have an algorithm to help answer that question and without that algorithm, it’s just too darn complicated.
What about the defense? The fact is that Pitt’s defense has held two of the last three teams it played to less than 20 points and one of those teams is Notre Dame. I recall watching the 2015 game and thinking how much faster Notre Dame was than Pitt. I didn’t perceive that difference in team speed this year. I know the criticism of Pitt’s recruiting these past few years (and this year’s recruiting has me really concerned) but I’m not one who gets hung up on ratings (see UCF) and I see an awful lot of really good athletes on this Pitt team.
I also see a lot of defensive mental mistakes. Are those mistakes due to bad coaching, players’ mental mistakes or players that just are not good enough? Today, I need another algorithm for that but by day’s end this Saturday, maybe we will know the answer to the question or perhaps the answer won’t be important anymore because we will conclude that the defense just stinks or is actually quite good. At least I think it is amazing that the previous sentence is actually true?
I’d like to write another thousand words analyzing whether Pat Narduzzii knows what he is doing but the truth is that today at this moment I have no idea. I will just throw out this somewhat random comment that in my humble opinion the decision to go for a first down was laughably stupid and does not speak well of the person who made that decision. I don’t care that it worked. That safety mistake on that long touchdown pass to Jana – I have seen that happen just too many times to not be concerned that the blame should be borne at least in part by a coach. And the defense in the Duke game? I have not forgotten that yet.
Lastly, I have been a harsh critic of OC Watson all year. But let’s give credit where it’s due. He called a good game Saturday. Darn good. And he is Pat Narduzzi’s man, so there is that.
Yes, winning the ACC Coastal will be fun but if Pitt does it by beating Virginia Tech and then having Miami or Wake Forest score a zillion points, I still won’t know if Pat Narduzzi knows what he is doing.

172 thoughts on “Does Pat Narduzzi Know What He Is Doing?

  1. Jay91 an extremely well written article. You definitely have what it takes to be a full time blog master.—To answer your question, I think he knows what he is doing 50% of the time. That might be my same answer for 90% of the P5 coaches in this country. Did he know what he was doing when he hired Borbely this past year or did he just get lucky? One thing for sure Pitt playing this year with the way last years offensive line produced we wouldn’t be in any race for the Coastal at this time IMO.

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  2. Miami has 2 QB’s worse than Pickett (ikr), so if they score a gazillion points, I’ll fall off my couch.

    Hey who wants to go to Miami Beach….where’s Upitt ?

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  3. Granted, I was drinking heavily this weekend but I don’t remember writing this..

    Reed. You might want to recheck your email and credit the appropriate author. It is well done, for sure.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I certainly appreciated Jay’s commentary. Perhaps the truth is that no one knows exactly what or why things are happening as there have been a slew of contradictions.

    Like Jay, I have felt exactly the same way regarding the team. However, that indescribable backwash of bile that rose from the insanity of losing to one of the worst teams possible in the ACC was so incredibly depressing. The real solution turned out to be analyzing why the erratic play.

    Is it the coaching? Is it the recruiting? Is it a lack of deep fan support? Is it possible that Pitt really has lost the Pittsburgh market? Why? Is it possible that Pittsburgh in general just isn’t an ACC market? Yes, I do believe that Pitt would be far, far better in the Big 10 which suits Pittsburghers with their familiarity with Midwestern teams and values. It would be far easier to excite people playing other Midwestern teams than deep southern teams that have had little history with Pitt.

    Hasn’t the relatively new AD done many really fine hires? She is getting the money to do things that never would have happened with prior administrations. Coaches are being decently paid and facilities are improving. There doesn’t seem to be a problem now with athletic decision making.

    Let’s return to the coaches. Narduzzi has spent most of his career coaching midwest teams and building defenses for running games, not high powered passing games with mobile QBs and spread formations. So, maybe he is trying to adjust but was able to build up a power game offense rather than the type of offense that Matt Canada built at Pitt. If so, Pitt is now running a Big10 offense but like many in the B10, struggling with the opponent’s passing game.

    Oh, if only we could swap out with Rutgers or Maryland to take their place in the B10 while they took Pitt’s place in the ACC!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If we were in the BigJoke East, teams like Ohio Fake, Pedo St. & Michigan would draw well, the first 2 would certainly be sellouts at Mustard Jar (the Sporting venue formerly known as Ketchup Bottle) But like Pedo St, the last 2 trips the games would be full of bucknuts and pedos.

      All the other Bigjoke East teams ( Indiana, Buttgers, Maryland & MSU) would draw similar to ACC teams (or worse). I was at a Pitt/MSU game when Palko was QB, it was only 60% to capacity.

      If for some reason they put us in the BigJoke West, those teams would draw even worse.

      Pitt’s attendance problems are more complicated than just who the opponents are.

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  5. when it comes to defending a good spread and/or passer … no, PN does not know what he is doing. But in this era of offense, very few coaches who doesn’t have the defensive talent of Bama or Mich are going to be successful. (Georgia finished 5th in defense last season and still was overwhelmed by Oklahoma’s offense in first half of last year’s semi-finals, despite having a month to prepare.)

    Also, unless his OL / TE recruiting is upgraded, Pitt will continue its mediocrity on offense.

    Otherwise, PN is no better or worse than any of his predecessors, maybe a bit better when considering he has faced much stiffer competition … the present Coast Division notwithstanding.

    Jay, you wrote above …”Because if he does not, Pitt is going to be mediocre for the next 4 or 5 years whether it wins the Coastal or not and I will say goodbye to Pitt football until they are no longer mediocre which could be well past my time on Earth.”

    For goodness sakes …. Pitt has been nothing but mediocre since the early 90s (except for maybe a brief period a decade ago.) It’s obviously the program and not the coaching. And finally raising the salary of the coaches to be competitive is not going to change anything overnight.

    You Pitt die-hards continue not to realize that (1) competing against a beloved NFL team, (2) being located in an area where high school football talent has been dwindling, and (3) playing in front of 30,000 yellow empty seats is not a formula for success.

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    1. speaking of college teams in the NE US where the NFL rules ….. how is Rutgers and Maryland doing these days? BC is better this year but overall they haven’t been much to talk about the past decade

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    2. All good points wbb……plus Pitt has the misfortune of being like stuck in the middle of 2 of the most iconic (hate to use that for the Pedders) college football programs since the late 1960’s.

      We are competing in Ohio with you know who and the same in Penna. Unless you have the full backing of the University (on all levels) and a super dynamic head coach who can really infuse his asst’s to recruit like hell….that is a tough road to sled. We were making some slight headway with Wanny and he was the ONLY one that came close to Majors and Sherrill.

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      1. And Wanny didn’t nearly have the full backing of the University, with him giving Pitt a discount on his on salary and his asst’s were underpaid, and the program as a whole was underfunded.

        And then we found out at the end, he truly didn’t have much backing by the muckety mucks at all.

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    1. Both Jay’s are good communicators – enjoy reading whatever either writes on the POV.

      Emel – I Lyke your line of thinking regarding the ffinal 3 games. I went to the UVA game because of how meaningful that game was and we Pitt fans have had so ffew of these types of games since I was in school in the early 80’s.

      One game at a time though – ffocus on the hokies, ffor this game ffinally gets Pitt into the national picture ffor ffour star ffootball recruits.

      Spent the afternoon with pedo ffans on the golf course (ikr) – they all want Ffranklin ffired.

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  6. The article, whoever the author is, raises a lot of great questions and shares a common angst that the majority of Pitt Fans share.

    I think there are at least two other points to be made. First Narduzzi does not coach in a vacuum. Pitt has many obstacles to overcome that a lot of schools do not have, small recruiting territory, lack of administrative support (may be changing), smallish fan base, competition for fan dollars from pro teams, no OCS, recent history of coaching instability and SOP mentality, a most difficult OOC schedule, the dictate to run a “clean” program etc. In other words, a lot he does not control.

    Secondly, do you make a coaching change without being sure he can not get it done, and what does getting it done mean? Where is the bar? Top twenty, top ten, ACC champs, Coastal champs, how many wins a year?

    If we still don’t know what we have, making a change only continues that process of uncertainty. Sure there are better coaches and plenty of worse coaches. But one thing for certain, there are no quick fixes for Pitt Football.

    If Pitt falls on its face the next three weeks, many will be calling for Narduzzi’s head again. Even if he wins out, some will say, the competition was weak.

    While I still believe recruiting needs to improve, he has done pretty well with what he has. Next year will be all his players, but he has done well by the seniors, and they are paying off his loyalty.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Does Narduzzi know what he is doing? Great question. On defense in the modern era of high scoring college football I would have to say no. Is Narduzzi new defensive coordinator making things better than they have been? Yes! Hopefully as time passes, Narduzzi will give more free rein to the defensive coordinator and allow him to tweek the defensive schemes based on the opposition, something Narduzzi is reluctant to do. On offense Narduzzi defers to his offensive coordinators. Watson is currently his third. The new offensive line coach is new this year. These two individuals are the ones who deserve the credit for the improvement of the offense.

    What I hope we are seeing this year is a maturing of Narduzzi as a head coach. He came in green and had some success with Chryst’s players. Matt Canada’s offense covered lots of blemishes in Narduzzi’s defenses his second year. As Reed pointed out, if we had any defense that year it would have been a year of Pitt football that would have been talked about for decades into the future. Recruiting is one area that Narduzzi gets graded out as failing. If (a very big if ) we win out and end up at 8-4 with the ACC Coastal title, then Narduzzi better use it to improve his poor recruiting efforts. Until he succeed at recruiting I will continue to be doubtful of his head coaching abilities.

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  8. WVU is doing quite well in a conference full of teams no closer than 1000 miles or so away. They did hire a Big 12 assistant who does know the conference well and has built WVU into a formidable Big 12 contender. Maybe Pitt should have gone after a coach with ACC or southern or spread offense roots, but Narduzzi is the guy we have now. He recruits heavily in the south. Team speed is better. We still haven’t seen all or most of his recruits on the field yet. I can be patient, but a win Saturday is one of my pre-conditions.

    Maybe another freshman or new redshirt will appear in an upcoming game to surprise Pitt fans in a positive way. Anticipation is now part of the fun of Pitt football this year, especially in the last 4 games. Play smash mouth because it seems to work. Then spring the surprise. Lately, that seems to be part of how PN is coaching. The kids seem to feed off him. Let’s see if good things keep happening.

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  9. That is a great and well written article by Jay…. Jay91 is a good writer is his own right.

    Interesting picture up top. This one includes the Aston family. My wife told me afterwards she had a nice conversation with a nice lady who is the mother of a current PITT football player. Didn’t dawn on me until later that it was indeed Georgie’s mom. They are standing next to each up front.

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  10. Good article. I think it captures how many of us feel.

    One point, I am pretty sure Carter had two runs his first game lined up in the back field. Both of them he took wide. I heard him say in an interview that he takes everything wide. I think he needs some coaching. He never played RB in high school.

    Credit to coach Powell for Ollison and Hall. I believe you stated before, they didn’t fall forward much in previous years. They certainly were not considered bruising backs.

    Narduzzi will live or die by sticking with his older players. Wirginis, Ollison, Hall, Zeise, Briggs, Roy, Herndon, Dintino, Bookser. His philosophy is to build the roster so players have time to develop slowly before playing. Even if he did not recruit them he stuck with them to a fault sometimes.
    I think that personnel philosophy can work. Especially when you do not get the highest recruits, gives them time to develop in the system and physically. Many of the RS SO are coming on now.

    I am more worried about his offensive and defensive schemes. So inconsistent.

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  11. With Narduzzi, I dont know why he cant recruit better
    I dont know why his D cannot stop up tempo/no huddle spread offenses
    I dont know why his recruits arent being properly developed and making a bigger impact at this point

    For any Pitt coach to succeed, they need to be supported by the administration
    So does Pitt leadership know what they are doing?
    I think so

    The ACC money has allowed Pitt to hire coaches in many Olympic sports
    With Heather arriving, it was a good opportunity to clean house
    It wasnt that difficult since many programs were not competitive (see womans B-ball, womans soccer, mens baseball)
    The facilities are all pretty much in place for success and Victory Heights will address aging homes for many programs

    So really no excuses should be coming from any coach
    The key is will the leadership allow mediocrity to rear its ugly head
    If expectations arent being met, like any business, Pitt should remove the people in charge and search for new leaders

    So getting back to Narduzzi. I think a reasonable expectation should be 8-9 wins each season, competing for Coastal titles each year, and getting to bowl games and winning them.

    If these goals cannot be accomplished in a reasonable time period, the coach doesnt know how to get there and should be replaced.

    I think its far easier for Pitt to judge coaches now since constraints have been removed. Pitt isnt cheap anymore. Facilities are very good.

    Judge coaches based on results so if Narduzzi does manage to win the Coastal this year, the answer is he did know what he was doing this year.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Good article, personal stuff/preferences aside, I think the football talk was really good stuff.

    I for one agree, if the question is trying to get a whether or not Narduzzi is a good long term choice for Pitt football, I don’t think we know yet either (although two quick touchdowns into the Syracuse game I would’ve emphatically said NO, then again I struggle with patience). I do feel very confident that Narduzzi is at the very least a competent football coach; in other words, he is certainly not a bad coach by any stretch. The question/concern I have for him (or any college coach) is his degree of humility. If you look at other successful coaches, like Belechick or Saban, these are guys that know how to adapt in terms of scheme and game plan, teams that take what the other teams give them and are even willing to change styles to support their personnel. Don’t get me wrong, I do think you need an identity, and I like what has developed in that regard for Pitt/Narduzzi, very Chryst-like frankly, but what will Narduzzi & Watson do if our run gets stopped, say this weekend? How will we keep the other team off balance? Is a game plan being developed to show VT something new? We all knew what would happen with V. Carter, they’d bring him right back in the following game to run the same plays, so everyone knew what was coming when he came in, and predictably he was ineffective in the jet sweep, as opposed to giving him a few inside runs or screen passes, etc. Stubbornness and predictability can get in the was of success. Also keep in mind that PN has only been HC for 4 years approx., maybe he’s getting better as a HC? Time will tell, but we also need more wins for the sake of recruiting, otherwise it won’t matter how good of a football coach he is.

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  13. Coach Duzz has certainly made a lot of mistakes since taking over. The question for me is more can he see/realize his mistakes, learn from them, and be a better head coach moving forward???

    He certainly has the passion and the energy — does he have the temperament, tact, and savvy??

    Stay tuned!

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Great article Jay! If I’m the AD and am hiring a coach, I look for these characteristics: Does he know the game and would he be a good Xs and Os coach? Can he make decisions under pressure? Can he recruit? Can he administer a large program, i.e. attract, hire/fire assistant coaches, work with the AD, staff, uniforms, supplies, etc., and lastly, can he be a good ambassador for the school and program, i.e. be the public face of the program, handle press conferences, talk to donors, and operate within the rules, etc.

    Once hired, the criteria for retention shifts a little bit. Hopefully, most of the original hiring criteria have played out, but usually there are some deficiencies. Some things, such as recruiting, take a while longer to evaluate. Winning games and keeping the program clean become the most important items. Communications skills may be lacking but if the wins keep coming then the hiring and recruiting must be reasonably acceptable. No NCAA violations becomes more important as winning draws attention from the media and from competing schools. So I think if Narduzzi begins to win more his deficiencies will become less noticeable as long as the program stays clean.

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  15. I agree with Major Majors and would add can he build and maintain relationships with high school coaches for recruitment purposes.

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  16. Obviously Narduzzi has the opportunity to prove to more people over the next 3-4 games that he does know what he is doing. I think that after the PSU, UNC and UCF games most would agree that it was a legitimate question, and remains so until proven otherwise, but the last four games certainly have been encouraging.

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  17. “talk about motivation” above….virginia pilot on-line …good story on PITT RB Darren Hall motivation in this game…I tried to load it on here but couldn’t get it to stick…

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  18. OT: If you want to get fired up google pitt football on twitter. Several video’s should come up (1) Highlights of Pitt Va game (2) Kenny Picket’s mom talking about Kenny and him coming to Pitt and (3) A Jeopardy question on Pitt football last night.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Forgot to thank Jay for the interesting article.

    And I was really confused about the authorship — one thing for certain though, all the “Jays” on the POV are sure passionate about our Pitt Panthers…

    Hail to Pitt!

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  20. Those listed below get a lot of playing time. Mostly on D and all with at least two more years to play. If Pitt wins the Coastal, do people still say Narduzzi’s recruits aren’t any good.

    RSFR:
    Cam Bright
    Twyman
    Van Lynn
    Carrigan

    SO
    Pickett
    Pinnock
    Mathis

    RSSO
    Camp
    Weaver
    Campbell
    Pine
    Reynolds
    Morrisey
    Wheeler
    Jones
    Kessman

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    1. Add to that Booker’s recent comment that Pitt’s scout team this year is best he’s seen in his years at Pitt. So most likely some names not yet on your list will be showing up on the field for Pitt very shortly. Two additional freshman that played last week Danielson(DT) and W Davis(special teams and MLB). I believe Davis only played on the special teams against VA.

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  21. Brian Batko’s piece in todays Post Gazette titled How George Aston grew into Pitt football’s favorite monster is a must read for any Pitt fanatic getting ready for VT this Saturday.

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  22. No and I never did think Narduzzi’s recruits weren’t below the curve.

    I’m also on record as a big Darrin Hall fan for years..

    A tough OOC schedule can make a lot of middle of the pack coaches look subpar. I think it’s a little unfair to want to play top ten teams and then complain about the over-all record. That said…. The ACC schedule did kind of fall in favor of PITT this year but the ACC is not as far down this year as some think it is.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Borbely’s in his 39th year on a college football sideline comment on Aston “He’s the best fullback I’ve ever been around.” This is from the Batko article.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. George does seem to take his guy out of the play on every play. But he’s done this ever since he’s been a Panther.

      With the Aston-family tailgate being right next to Fran’s, perhaps Fran has given George some tips over the last couple of years…😊

      Hail to Pitt!

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  24. Speaking about whether Coach Narduzzi knows what he is doing, how about the two calls he made last week?

    —Going for it on 4th and short around his own eleven yard line. I liked this call before and after we ran the 4th down play. Bold move.

    —Sending Kessman our to kick a 53-yarder where a miss would have given UVA field position and some momentum, only down 7… I hated this call before the kick; loved it after the kick. Never thought Mr. K would make that one…

    If you look back at fake kicks and 4th down plays, seems like Coach Duzz is certainly willing to give his guys a shot. I like that about him.

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 3 people

  25. One other thought – on one of his sacks last week, did it look like DE Hendrix brought the UVA QB down by grabbing his hair? Just wondering — looked that way to me…

    Go Pitt!

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  26. LOL John, I yelled to my wife, his hair got him sacked. He did pulled and use his hair for that sack. I live to see this and me with hair down to the middle of my back in the early 70’s

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  27. In the pre-Stallings era, this would be a weekend where I’d make the trip up to catch hoops preseason on Friday and stay for the VT game on Saturday. One more year for me and Capel to develop them, but I am close.

    May have a full van for the ride up and that would be 5 less yellow seats visible Saturday,

    Liked by 2 people

  28. Jay/6&34, Thanks very much for a well thought out, nuanced, and entertaining article! Feeling good going into this huge game!

    Like

  29. I found the bit of confusion about the author of this “Does Pat Narduzzi…” article to be interesting. When I first was reading the article, I understood that Jay91 had written it. And as I read I saw some stuff that appeared to line up with Jay91’s thinking, but then other thoughts that didn’t seem Jay91-ish to me. That was all clear up later when we learned that a different Jay had submitted the piece.

    Which made me think about the concept of “POV Guess the Author.” In “POV Guess the Author,” POVers can submit opinion type articles, but the author is not revealed – until a later date. Meantime, POV commenters make their case for which POVer most likely wrote it.

    Some might be pretty easy – some not so easy…

    Go Pitt!

    Liked by 1 person

  30. That’s a clever idea John. Wouldn’t be hard to figure me out for many reasons. Although I’m thinking my contributions may be dwindling soon.

    My thoughts are more concentrated with this season as it winds down. I want PITT to win this football game so much I can almost taste it. Yes, I know that’s a worn out phrase but but man oh man, I’m ready to follow Big Bad Bernie through that brick wall! << Too much?? eh, I’m going for it… ike

    Liked by 1 person

  31. Fantastic article. Just terrific.

    The decision to go for it on fourth and short from inside your own 20 is almost indefensible. I do not care if it worked. If it goes wrong and you lose, he might not make it to the team bus before being fired.

    There is a difference between having big huevos and being an idiot. He toed the line on that one.

    Like

  32. Hey Eric, you are absolutely right except for a couple things. If PITT scores against VT with 4 downs at the one, if Henderson doesn’t fumble at the one against UNC, If Ffrench doesn’t fumble this year against UNC, if, if, if. I’ve been told, woulda, shoulda, coulda. PITT did.

    Don’t worry, I’ll give you some Laytrobe football lessons at the tailgate. (but i do agree with you it was dam risky)

    Like

  33. There’s a neat interview on Pitt Live Wire with our man George Aston and Seun Idowu. Seems they are close friends and roomies.

    Here’s the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GgJLb2KHTXk

    This interview goes for over 12 minutes – neat to see the interaction between the two. Sure is easy to root for these guys.

    Hope they both have awesome games from here on out.

    Go Pitt.

    Like

  34. At the end of that interview, they ask George what he’d like to happen in the game Saturday. He’s modest and said he just wants to win, and wants do his job… But then he said he’d like the offense to have their “best game ever.” Would that be awesome or what?

    Liked by 1 person

  35. Nice articles and comments fellas. From my perspective, i would like to combine both articles to see if I think Narduzzi knows how to coach based on his $3.2M per year contract. When put that way, my answer is changed to no, probably in the last few years to trending correctly in the last few games. Here’s why.

    I have high expectations from a $3.2M per year coach. I think it is not too much to ask that for the money, the head coach needs to put in a system that gives your players the best chance to win. I thought we were starting to see him adapt to the spread by playing 5db’s and sometimes 6. Playing smaller lb’er’s with speed helps defend against the spread. If he continues to go with that type of defense and lean on his DL for pressure on the qb, with designed run blitzes to compliment the DL pass rush, we will do fine.

    His recruiting must improve, but for me, it is the kids he recruits. Look at UCF, they recruit a bunch of 2-3 star kids that are fast and play with passion. We need to keep recruiting speed. Not PA speed, southern speed. So he may be progressing in his thought processes.

    So to answer my question, I don’t think Pitt has gotten its moneys worth over the last few seasons, but see some willingness to change his philosophies for the better in the last few weeks. Let’s see how this plays out. Show progress or show the door.

    Liked by 2 people

  36. How about suiting up both Conner and BigB with fake numbers? Bernie at QB comes in on a 4th qtr 4th and goal from the one yard line. He takes to Conner, rolls right and connects to Georgie Aston in the corner of the end zone on a perfect “jump pass”
    (which Bernie invented btw)
    The students go wild as the game ends and Bernie leads the students in singing the Pitt Victory song.
    Back at the tailgate Scooter breaks out the Cuban cigars and Ike DJ’s music as the sun comes up the next day.

    Liked by 5 people

  37. This game is setting us up for another one of those Charlie Brown moments. Sure Lucy, I’ll try to kick the ball if you hold it for me. This is why my new philosophy is to expect a loss. No devastation when it happens and utter joy if it doesn’t.

    Who am I kidding, I will be there rooting like a crazy man, hoping for the best. Will these seniors be the ones to remove the curse of SOP? I certainly hope so. Definitely agree that getting there uncharacteristically early to cheer for senior day is the thing to do. Going to watch the Aston and Idowu piece, two walk-ons that mightily overachieved. Props to Hendrix who seems to be working towards that Pro contract. Ollison, Hall and those four senior linemen. Shane Roy, Reed’s whipping boy, who has been a loyal son and done his best, long after many of his classmates are gone. Zeise, Briggs and Motley, who have hung in there and have made a difference. Wirginis, who did not finish but played very hard at all times. I am sure I forgot a few, just doing this from memory.

    Well we won on homecoming a seemingly rare occasion, maybe we can do the same on Senior Day. These guys have worked hard for it and deserve it, but they will still have to earn it. They have provided the leadership that was sorely lacking last year.

    Liked by 2 people

  38. Finally registered! PN was looking like a blowhard when he stated “See you at the ACC Championship game!” but he’s on track to make it. I’m rooting hard for them. Please no SOP!

    Like

  39. Huff the third, I started writing a comment yesterday with the same thought in mind about the last two articles plus the part of Reeds podcast where he gives Narduzzi some kudos this year. All three of those things put together may provide the answer we are ll looking for. I copied and now paste what I started t and remains unfinished. Maybe later today but I like the way you were thinking with your comment.

    Again, thanks Richard and Jay for the thought provoking articles and questions raised.. but I’d like to start off with Reeds Monday Morning Podcast. …. and no it’s not about the fate of the POV so much, I’ve made myself clear on that subject.. It is what it is as they say….

    More about the football talk Reed brought up in the podcast and how it coincides with Richards and Jay’s articles. PITT stands an average won/lost record at best. 5-4 at a really lousy loss to UNC and two blow out losses to psu and UCF. But holy heck, now lookie whats happened? PITT is about to play in one of their most important games of this century. Reed acknowledged some better football play coming from PITT and Narduzzi. So here we have Reed being a little surprised

    Like

  40. PN has an 18-11 record within the ACC as of right now, and is currently 4-1.

    He deserves to be paid with his peers in the ACC Coastal, and at $3.19M, that is pretty much what he is getting ….. which btw is much less than Mendenhall. Fuentes and Richt

    Liked by 1 person

  41. I try to keep things as simple as possible . Pitt would appear to me to be a better team than they were last year. Based on the info about VT I am guessing that they are not as good as last year. Pitt almost/should have beaten VT last year. Therefore Pitt should win. By my estimation that line of logic would probably hold up for every game this year except NC and Syracuse. Go Pitt!

    Like

  42. a few words about Syracuse. Here is Cuse’s OOC so far …. at WMU, Wagner and UConn.

    If Pitt had this OOC, it would likely be where Cuse is right now. Now Cuse has to play ND at Yankee Stadium in a couple of weeks. I think they have a chance to beat ND but we’ll see.

    Babers has done a pretty job but don’ t let its ranking fool you. BTW, Cuse did beat UNC this year but it was in OT at the Carrier Dome

    Like

  43. Once again I find the past three articles by Reed, Richard and Jay connected in many way and very well researched and written. I feel the amount of money Narduzzi makes is inconsequential though when talking about wins and losses. Narduzzi makes a little more than some past coaches for a few reasons.

    )1. The going rated for college head football coaches have simply just gone up. College football is a revenue generator that when it is run like a business it can pay for most of the secondary college sports programs.

    )2. PITT felt the need to lock up a coach they feel good about and needed to keep him at PITT long enough to answer the question Jay has raised. The revolving door policy is a football program killing philosophy. Trusting the process takes money as well as patience.

    )3. Being a head football coach at a school like PITT is very much fluid on it’s own without the help from a lack continuity. imo, judging a coach on how much he is paid compared to how many games he wins per season is bad business. Yes we have to go back and look at that dam master plan. What is it PITT wants from their head coach? I think all that come to this blog are some of the most intelligent football fans you will find but we still don’t everything that goes on at the board meetings and what transpires down on the south-side. After all, lookie what is happening this week. Who would have thought it. Not even me after that start and after it became obvious that PITT is playing 1960 style offense (3 yards and a cloud of dust)

    So I’m sitting back and trying my best to enjoy a meaningful tenth game of a football season which is something to relish and hopefully have great memories of.. . ..ike

    Like

  44. I have a question? How many other teams drop the snap on a hold? I watch a lot of football I never see a clean drop except from our Pitt Panthers. Every Year!

    Like

    1. Tony Romo dropped a snapped about 9 years ago causing the Cowboys to lose a playoff game. I’m sure it has been done several times but we just haven’t seen it.

      But the most famous drop for Pitt was the 45-44 game vs Cincy in 09.

      Like

      1. You guys are killing me with the negative reminders of “snaps gone wrong”. I once had a pair of pants (never mind)…

        Pitt has had two dropped snaps that I remember from this season and both were in wet, rainy and muddy conditions. But I hear you Kman, you don’t see that happen often.

        VT has been known to be great on special teams – not sure that is still the case under Ffuentes. Anyone have any insight on how good the VT special teams play has been this season? Ffrench and RaRa are due for spectacular returns IMO.

        Liked by 1 person

  45. I agree with ike. Narduzzi’s salary is reasonable in the current market for coaches, and shouldn’t really be an issue. If he wins, they will be glad they treated him fairly. I think Tex and UPitt go overboard on this. The buy out conditions are far more important, but the salary should be sufficient to motivate a coach to win.

    Like

    1. if he wins…thats a very important qualifier
      Heathers expectations should be Coastal titles and bowl wins if she wants to comp a coach at that level
      She will solely be the one to decide if he’s worth it
      My thought is if you’re paid top 40 money, you’d better have at least top 40 results

      Like

  46. Guys, I’m two blocked with VA obligations today, tomorrow and Sunday.

    If someone can help with the ”Know the Enemy” article I’ll post it as soon as I get it… Otherwise we’ll skip it this week.

    My personal calendar is getting very full so if we want new content on The POV I’ll need help like Rich and Jay we’re so gracious to do this week…

    Reed

    Like

  47. A botched extra point attempt happens all the time. Sometimes it is on the holder? I’ll say this. I never walk away when the attempt is being made.

    Like

    1. 3 and 7 in ‘65, 1 and 9 in ‘66, 1 and 9 in ‘67 and 1 and 9 in ‘68 (my years at Pitt). Add ‘em up and you got 6&34 That ain’t Pitt mediocrity. Anybody got worse?

      Like

  48. Tailgaters remember Pat Larosa who’s a good friend of (Formerly) Savannah Panther/Dr Tom… I texted him that I rented a suite at the Residence Inn and had room for him…. in about 20 minutes he texted back he found a cheap flight and was coming to the Burgh from…. Orange County, California….. that’s the spirit

    Let’s all get out and support our boys…. these kids never quit ( like many of us did) they play hard, they have a revenge game for last year and are in the cusp of something special… live for the moment… BE THERE … H2P and WUPsum….

    Liked by 3 people

  49. Reed, take care of those vets… I had several in my office the morning… make sure your surgeon sends you to see physical therapist at some
    Point… you need to learn appropriate exercises- body mechanics…

    Liked by 1 person

  50. Hey Bernie, just remembered that the Residence Inn has suites with two separate bedrooms. In case that would help you.

    I remember Pat, good man. The tailgate will have people from all over the country. Maybe we should take a tally?

    Like

  51. My son asked where the tailgate is and how to find it. Told him to go to Red 5-A and look for a bearded man with the biggest smile you have ever seen…

    Like

  52. JoeL… I was going to wear my PhiDelt team jersey with # 12 and my name on the back but it is white ( not a good color for BigB) and the numerals – name are in our frat color- remember… Carolina Blue….

    Like

    1. Hey Bernie, serious thought here. You should post up some of your high school highlights you sent me a good while back. Dam impressive..

      Like

  53. I like to believe that Narduzzi went for year 4th down to inspire his team.

    If a coach has that much faith in his players to do something like that, they had to be thinking at that moment there isn’t anything we can’t do.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Apparently, the staff saw things on film while prepping for the game that made them believe sneaks would be effective. Gutsy call and kudos to him because it worked.

      Like

  54. I think Gordon nailed it with his Charlie Brown/Lucy analogy.
    I’m getting excited and worried all at the same time. Don’t pull the ball away this year, Lucy!!!

    Everyone used to say SOS – Same Old Steelers – until 1972.
    I really hope Saturday can put one nail in the coffin of SOP.

    Liked by 1 person

  55. Ike… on my way to North Apollo Pa….

    Ike … I was so lucky to get 22 min of HS game film from 1969 and had it put on CDs to give to several teammates.. several of us watched it together… like being 17 yr olds again… I always told my younger brother that I was the best QB whoever played at Apollo-Ridge… he quickly reminded me that we won 5 games that 1st year of the merger… so much for being the stud…

    Like

  56. I’ll be home until tomorrow morning now. (daughter volunteer to work today)

    John I’m not so much famous as infamous. Maybe notorious as well. Just as many folk would rather whack me than shake my hand… I know, I can be abrasive.

    Like

  57. Amazing to me (well actually not considering their alums are all over Sports media) that Syracuse got vaulted 9 spots in the Coaches Poll and 6 spots in the AP poll and 6 in the CFP rankings, based on them beating Wake Forest who is 1-4 in the conference.

    Wins are over Wagner(D2 or 3), A Directional Michigan MAC team, a 1-8 UConn team, a Double OT win over 1-7 Tarholes, the aforementioned WF, one of the worst Florida State teams since pre-Bowden(might be the worst) and one ranked team (NC State)

    Is that the resume of a team ranked #13 ?

    Liked by 1 person

  58. They only have 1 win over a team(NC state) with even a winning record. What a farce.

    Sheesh even we have 3 wins over teams with winning records.

    Like

  59. Hmmm..

    “The bottom line is that Pitt’s offense is a well-conceived and defined, successful operation that is molded in the image of Pat Narduzzi.”

    Successful?

    Rankings (out of 129 teams):
    Total Offense- 100
    Passing Offense- 123
    Rushing Offense- 20

    If that is success, what is failure?

    “…the ACC is not as far down this year as some think it is.”

    Wrong. Wrong… and dead wrong. The ACC (particularly the Coastal) is putrid, using any available metric. In fact, I posted an entire paragraph about the Coastal’s performance OOC. And if you think the ACC isn’t down, then you disagree with ESPN, Fox Sports, Bleacher Report, Sports Illustrated, CBS Sports and Yahoo! Sports- all of whom have reported as such. But hey, what do they know. It’s all Fake News these days.. I think I heard someone say that somewhere. 🙂

    Look, I think it’s AWESOME that a Pitt game actually “means” something in November. But, what does it actually “mean”? I’ll tell you. It means that a team that went 0-3 OOC against DI schools can win a division, despite having the 30th WORST offense in football and a defense ranked 85th.

    I think Pitt will win this game. I think Pitt will beat Wake. I’m on the fence about Miami. Either way, 7-5 is better than I thought we’d do. But, can we at least be realistic about what we’re seeing?

    H2P

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Like I posted the other day Jay….after Alabama and Clemson, there’s a lot of not great teams.

      The PAC 12 South is bad, all the teams have at least 3 conf losses (4 of em) and the other 2 have 4 conf losses.

      The BigJoke West is bad, having 3 teams(nebraska, illinois and Minnesota) with losing records (overall) the ACC Coastal only has 1 (UNC) Their 1st place team, Northwestern is 5-4 and got beat by the ACC Coastal’s next to last place team.

      So yea I think all those supposed Sport’s guru networks are ALL WRONG.

      They just want to use the Coastal as their whipping boy since Pitt might win it. We’ve seen this before.
      Even in hoops, some of those years Pitt was in 1st place the whole year, some of them would be saying the BigEast is having a down year.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Agree Emel with this comment. I was actually going to research some time & comment bit you have basically nailed the Big 10.

        I guess you missed the comments a few articles ago about proper divisions. Wagner is FCS formerly D-1AA

        FCS is Not & has never been Div II or Div III.

        Liked by 1 person

  60. These are the same supposed Sports guru’s who have nothing negative to say about Syracuse being ranked #13…..on the basis of beating ONE winning team.

    YEA IT’S FAKE NEWS…these jerks are all liars and have agendas.

    Like

  61. Boston College is another one, these turds love to talk up. (the rare times they have a decent season)

    Let’s see of their 7 wins, who have they beat.
    Umass (didn’t even know they played football)
    Holy Cross (likewise)
    Wake Forest
    Louisville (worst L-ville team under Cycleboy)
    Temple
    And 2 teams having among their worst seasons in a while.
    VT
    Thug U

    Wow, don’t know how they managed 2 crossover games against teams that are
    normally pretty good, but really struggling this year.

    No wins over any ranked teams. Only team they have played, ranked….they lost (nc state)

    So yes they are 7-2 like Cuse…..and as many on the POV have pointed out, they don’t care who you play and who you beat. (of course if Pitt scheduled like the others they would point it out. As the turds always did with Jaime Dixon. Who did nothing that Boeheim and many others had been doing for decades)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I for one like to see the ACC teams ranked. It helps the perception of the conference and when we beat some of them it makes us look better.

      Like

      1. True Jack….Hey Pitt beat Cuse who is #13 now. Like that. Just sort of pointing out, how Pitt usually gets bad rapped on….but schools like Cuse & BC get praised by these media turds, when they haven’t really beaten anyone. One or None schools with a winning record.

        Like

  62. The ACC Coastal is perceived down because the media likes Miami and VT and they have had subpar years, I ask, why is cuse and Va ranked in the top twenty this year? Because they are better than usual? What makes the coastal anymore down this year? PITT beat them so they just aren’t any good? << That’s a question. Plus the three OOC losses were to teams ranked in the top 15 at the time. No one has inferred that PITT is a top 15 team that I have ever read.

    Like

    1. Jay, we know that. We know that we have no idea how good Pitt is right now. But let’s enjoy finding out because if I find out they are SOP, I’ll be seeing ya’. By the way I lived in Tower A for 2 years so we got that too.

      Like

    1. LOL, Emel. Haven’t seen the bottom ten list in decades. I remember back in the Dave Hart era Pitt was near the top (or bottom?) of this list. Only outranked by New Mexico State as I recall.

      Like

      1. Yea right Dave Hart….who went on to a lengthy AD career…at Mizzou I think.
        Pitt was only really horrid for a short period of time. Hart won 3 games in 3 years.

        Back then Northwestern and Kansas State very rarely ever won a game for like a decade.

        That is why losing to them in the Bowl Game was very disturbing to me. I know different time and
        different era….but still…..

        Like

  63. I get it, PITT loses because they stink and when PITT wins it’s because the other team stinks. For a PITT fan, I think that describes self-loathing pretty well.

    Liked by 2 people

  64. Bernie it looks good so far. Mrs. JoeKnew has tentatively said she’s good, although she did ask if this is the group that just complains about Pitt all the time. lol. I told her Mark wasn’t coming, and she said Oh, you’ll take over as chief complainer! Somehow, I fear I’ve been a bit to critical this year. You do realize she’s from Carrick and at one time was an art teacher? Maybe good Marks not coming? Hope to see you Saturday. Oh, will actually call cousin Bob to see if he wants to come.

    Like

  65. JoeK, I really never thought of you as super negative but rather more of the cautionary type. I have to ask if your wife reads or is up to date on the POV’s climate? For the record. Angie thinks I’m half crazy but she is only half right.

    Like

  66. The fire Narduzzi crew is in desperate need of SOP to further their case. Winning the Coastal is just not something they need to further that agenda.

    Like

  67. Yes, there is no doubt that the ACC is not that good this year except for Clemson, But to claim Pitt is 0-3 in their OOC without further qualifying their competition is just as bad.

    As I indicated above, if Pitt had Cuse’s OOC, they would be ranked as high as Cuse is now and there would be much more joy here …. even if it is fake news.

    Like

  68. Please
    If you think any commenter wants SOP or has an ‘agenda’, you are misguided
    I’m clear on what I would have done as AD (would not have granted an extension last year) and what I still believe (Narduzzi is overpaid and hasnt won anything in 3 years…division titles or bowl games).
    But its up to Narduzzi to prove me wrong
    If you think anyone on here wants Pitt to lose so they win the commentary battle, I have to really question your thought process

    Liked by 2 people

  69. That’s an interesting discussion above about the Coastal, and our stats. I agree the Coastal is a mediocre division this year, there a lot of solid teams in it, Pitt included, but no legit top teams. That said, stats (like those used above) can be a dangerous thing. For example, rankings (total offense, passing yardage, etc.), don’t take into account strength of schedule, and I’m not really trying to defend Pitt here even though it will come across that way, but in our case the stats are grossly distorted because of who we played relative to just about every other team. But just as important, the stats greatly discount teams that have improved markedly. As I have said before, Pitt, to their credit, has improved significantly relative to early in the year- not all teams have (see: Penn State).

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Seemingly smart people here but need to repeat the lesson way too often. I don’t have the time or energy.
      Please keep it up as I appreciate yours and others…the know who they are.

      Like

    2. 1618 — agree about the stats not being so meaningful for those teams that play overly tough or overly weak schedules.

      Pitt is definitely in the overly tough schedule category.

      PSU, UCF, GT, Duke, and Syracuse all have excellent offenses, and ND isn’t bad either. Certainly have swayed our defensive stats…

      Go Pitt!

      Like

    1. Thanks. Missed this. Funny, how I saw the same about Kenna’s effort on the court and remarked on it after the game b4 ever hearing this from Coach Capel…looking forward to being at Friday Night game against the Keydets.

      H2P

      Like

  70. Look here. I have no doubts that all of us here at the POV are super duper PITT football fans. Yet we all come from different era’s and have had different experiences of joy, disappointments and The Dirty O’s hot dogs and fries. There comes a time though when we put away any angst or overjoy and buckle down for the sake of a football team that has busted their butts this season. We can’t always get what we want but just sometimes, can we get what we NEED! A BIG PITT WIN!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ike – I had a stepson from my first marriage. He asked for something that I considered extravagant & I said in the immortal words of Mick Jagger – you can’t always get what you want… His response who’s Mick Jagger.

      In Columbia , reading on a iPad & responding on my phone because my WordPress password is not what I remember it to be.

      Liked by 2 people

  71. I think we can all be honest and say that Pitt is a very flawed football team and that the Coastal isn’t laden with top ten teams. So what, for most of us it is still very satisfying to win and have a chance for a trophy. Something we haven’t seen in a very long time.

    I do think it is hard for some to admit something positive when it happens and have to say the other team stinks instead of giving some credit for good plays being made. Just as we blame the refs when things aren’t going so well.

    Maybe it is a coincidence for some of the most critical to be MIA, but it might just be that they don’t have much to say after a couple of hard fought wins. No doubt they will return if we lose on Saturday.

    And Tex, some guys most certainly have an agenda and want to be proven right. Maybe most guys.

    Liked by 1 person

  72. Ike, nope, she has never read a post in her life. She likes Pitt a lot but thinks I’m obsessed. When I told her my screen name she said “Oh, get over it already.” We will speak to each other at some future date, for the kids sake.

    Liked by 2 people

  73. After being so roundly criticized, I think it is fair to say that Borbely has done an amazing job with what he has. talent wise. Pass blocking is below the line but run blocking has been stellar of late. I watched Alan Saunders piece and the blocking schemes and execution are remarkable. Hopefully they do it again on Saturday.

    Liked by 2 people

  74. Richard, I think everyone growing up should be told you can’t always get what you want. Although many many should get more of what they don’t have and sadly, many many don’t always get what they need.

    Liked by 1 person

  75. Tex, lets be realistic. In today’s CFB the ridiculous $3M pricetag for a coach is pretty much the price of poker if the coach has credentials and is facing a major challenge. Its revisionist to not acknowledge that Nardy was an accomplished DC and its clear to any POV’er that taking the Pitt job was a major challenge given the coaching carousel that preceded him.

    Also, there is no direct causality between the amount of money paid to a HC and wins. Yes those that win are paid more, but to suggest paying more automatically leads to wins isn’t logical, and indeed if a HC isn’t paid the “going rate” he is likely to leave, because even non-P5 schools can afford to pay amounts in the $2M range. Let me ask, an obvious hypothetical, if Nardy were to lose 2 of the next 3, break our hearts and not win the Coastal would Pitt be better off if he suddenly left (destroying another generally accepted “mediocre” class) for another job or if he stayed?

    Now if you believe that there is a plethora of young, accomplished, recruiting gurus, who would love to coach an urban, school in a pro city without an OCS with a majority of commuter students, and who would be thrilled to make $1.5M, then I agree bring them on, but I honestly think this is a pipe-dream.

    Its my opinion that for the time being, Nardy, with all his flaws, of which there are many, is worth giving another few years to see if he is finally learning how to be a CFB P5 HC.

    Liked by 6 people

  76. Uggh…

    To discuss conference strength, you have to ignore conference games. Why? Because the result of EVERY conference game is a 1-1 record. No matter whether it’s a top-heavy league with 4 strong teams and 6 bad ones, or 2 and 8, etc. the end of season in-conference record will be a cumulative .500. Some argue that when conference records for most teams it shows strength. Some argue it shows mediocrity. However, it confirms neither. It is only when including the context of OOC records (and who they’ve played) that you can make any comparison between leagues.

    The only way to discuss strength is how teams fair OOC. And, as I have already pointed out, the teams in the ACC Coastal have done horribly in out of conference games. Look it up. I’m not posting the bad losses and FCS wins again.

    Nobody nationally is touting Syracuse and BC as anything but “improved”. and they are. In fact, had Pitt beaten UNC by 10+, we’d likely be ranked higher than both.

    Like

  77. Cuse and BC have shown what we have known for years. Schedule very easy OCC teams to get ranked. Pitt administration should get on the ball and do what is right for our football team. The BB schedule has done this for years. WAKE UP.

    Like

    1. Agree and at least in 2020 we can enjoy for once three cupcakes and one tough opponent. The Pitt administration for some reason won’t go all in on football yet wants tough non-conference schedules. Someone should tell the group that there are no special awards given out to playing tough teams and losing. You lose, you lose.

      Like

  78. Let me say something that I suspect 90% or more of the POVers will disagree with. As disgraceful as the PSU loss was until the punters fumble (or was it the holder on a field goal try – it was all a nightmare for me from that point on but prior to that Pitt was holding its own. I know many think we were just lucky to that point and we did have some luck but we were holding our own – the score supports me on that and we’re not talking 5 minutes of football, it was almost a full half. The team gave up after what happened and the rain just exasperated that horror. So in my mind yes Pitt got its ass whooped but it’s explainable. Notre Dame we coulda shoulda woulda. Which leaves only UCF and I can’t say a god darn word about that because I turned my back on Pitt football after the UNC loss. I am not saying that our OCC record was OK but there are things that can be said about it. I’m afraid of the BT game because I don’t know who this team is or for that matter whether PN knows what he’s doing. But there are three games left in the regular season and I won’t say Pitt can’t run that table. Not that I will say they will. That’s why this time is so exciting.

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  79. I suggest you take a peep at this coming VT game 6&34. You cannot win if you do not play. I remember that WVU game when PITT came back to win 36-35 and the fellow next to me told me he had to cover his eyes because he couldn’t bare to look at a crucial 3rd or 4th down play. I’m like… what did you come here for then?

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  80. Looking forward to a Big Pitt weekend…gonna get Victory hoarse Friday night at the Pete, get Victory loud Saturday in The Big Yellow, and end it all up back at the Pete on Victory Monday night with my visiting neice from Germany…No Lucy is welcome here THIS weekend.

    After wwatching the bball presser above – wonder how much Coach Capel and Coach Narduzzi speak. I can’t help but think that what all the new yet experienced coach’s in the athletic department mean to each other in terms of ‘espirit de corps’ and mentorship.

    I do see good change happening slowly, but still happening, in the administrative side of things – seems like there is a new energy there too.

    H2P

    Liked by 1 person

  81. The visiting Desmond Deacons beat the Wolfpack in Raleigh….. but who cares.. our championship game starts Saturday at 3:30 pm…Fight PITT Fight !!!

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  82. I know I won’t be able to help with the “know your enemy” article with work and travel, so I’ll drop my game prediction right here…

    Pitt wins 30-24

    Hall and Ollison run hard and often behind a monster blocking attack. The OLine will have a chip on their shoulder from last year’s “one yard” debacle. Another RB emerges as well – not sure what jersey # yet. Maybe #35?

    RaRa and Ffrench re-emerge with multiple catches.

    The D does just enough to hold VT under their season scoring average, but there are numerous uh-oh moments in this game. Entertainment value will be high in this one!

    The crowd will be loud, under 45k, the weather cold and honorary Captain Conner will energize the fans and seniors to an emotional victory.

    Hammer the hokies!

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  83. The strength of the division won’t be determined until after the bowl games. If there are some wins against good teams we will all be saying that the Coastal teams got better as the year went on. Jay is right that the divisional games don’t tell the whole story. These teams play each other year in, year out, and there are some divisional rivalries that take on a more intensive atmosphere. Lets wait until end of season and then weigh the results.

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  84. after the ND game a few backs I wrote something to the effect that ….. Pitt has 5 games left, all against the ACC. They could win all 5, lose all 5, or anything in between.

    I still stand by this. Pitt has 3 toss-ups left … and I still wouldn’t be surprised to see any combination of outcomes.

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    1. Looks like i misread that wbb.

      But we’re still going to win out in the regular season and who knows….Maybe since everyone is
      down on the ACC, they don’t want Clemscum in the Final 4.

      Then they could perhaps try to squeeze in 2 from the BigJoke, if Ohio State beat Mich by like 1 point
      and then wins the BigJoke champ game, where they would be heavy favorites.

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  85. If Pitt wins the ACC, it would be the year the Orange Bowl is in the Final 4 Playoff mix.

    They’d probably banish us to the Fiesta Bowl to play the non-P5 team. But maybe not
    since UCF unless they get upset would be in that spot.

    Like

    1. Best non final four team in AC goes to Miami to play in Camping Bowl 12/28 @ Joe Robbie Stadium. Against Big 12 top team not in playoff. So if we win the ACC Champ game that is where we will probably be. Even losing the champ game to Clemson would probably mean that bowl as Clemson will most likely be a final four team if they win the ACC.

      https://collegefootballnews.com/2018/01/college-football-bowl-ties-affiliations-tie-ins-college-football-playoff-conference-2018-2019

      H2P

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  86. Wake Forest’s come from behind win on the road proved that anything can happen in conference games at this point in the year. Pitt needs to bring their A game.

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  87. It is going to be cold and windy tomorrow. Game time starts at 35 and goes down a little, wind starts at 15 mph and also goes down a little. Hopefully this favors a power running attack. Should affect the kicking game as well. Hope our boys come out loose. Senior leadership should help.

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