This won’t be a long one folks, because I may have found msyelf ahem a little bit overserved after a double-shot of Woodford appeared in front of me at a certain Charlotte rooftop bar late Saturday night.  Names will not be named, but responsible parties know who they are.   Suffice to say I’m not exactly at full strength at time of writing.

With that being said, the ACC championship is in the books.  While we were all hoping for more, I don’t think anyone is surprised.  If we had played a perfect game we might have kept it close, but we were clearly outclassed in all phases.

Some goods:

  1.  We ran for more yards that anyone else that played Clemson
  2. The punting game seemed solid
  3. We *for the most part* played pretty good defense.  We held Clemson to one of their lowest yardage totals all season, and forced them to punt a lot, compared to their season average.
  4. Darrin Hall ran well at 6.1 YPC.  He was making people miss and playing fast.
  5. We landed a four star recruit, Daniel Carter, from Florida and beat out a host of SEC schools for his services.
  6. We received a bid to play in the Sun Bowl – a top tier ACC bowl

Some bads:

  1.  We missed some key tackles and they made us pay
  2.  Darrin Hall ran well at 6.1 YPC, and yet they only gave him the ball 14 times.
  3.  On that note, the game planning and play calling was still subpar.  A couple of people who were neither Pitt nor Clemson fans came up to me and told me flat out that our OC has to go.  I don’t share that sentiment outright, but I do think that if we are having the same problems by midseason next year, then 2019 should be Watson’s last season with Pitt.
  4. Complete and utter misuse of the Jet Sweep (except for the first one by Maurice Ffrench which went for 16 yards.  It was was Ffrenchy’s only carry of the game.  See comment #3 about playcalling / gameplanning.)
  5. We received a bid to play in the Sun Bowl – it’s just tough to get to El Paso

Some uglies:

  1. Eight yards passing.
  2. 75 yard TD on opening play
  3.  Inability to defend QB run option in 2nd half

There of course is a lot more to expand upon here so have it it Pitt Fans.

156 thoughts on “MMQB: Pitt Loses ACC Championship, Secures Four Star, and Finds Themselves in the Sun Bowl

  1. Miami is the 2nd ranked team nationally in total defense; Clemson is the 4th ranked team. But that still is no excuse for 8 yards passing. I would hope that the coaching staff will ..

    1) would open the QB competition this spring

    2) get the TE involved again in the passing game. No, it wouldn’t resolve the issue, but it is another element to the passing game and something that the opposing defense would have to defend.

    BTW, if on the first play from scrimmage in the Sun Bowl … if Pickett’s pass to the WR om the bubble screen is knocked down by the wind, then we all might as well turn off the TV and begin our NYE drinking

    Like

    1. Well, that isn’t going to happen – PN will stick with Pickett no matter what…

      ““Kenny Pickett is our starting quarterback. I love that kid. You (reporters) can write what you want to write. He brought this team to the ACC championship game, period.” (From the Trib).

      Plus – there is the attitude local reporters get from PN all the time. He’s made it very adversarial.

      https://triblive.com/sports/college/pitt/14360846-74/pat-narduzzi-defends-his-quarterback-after-8-yard-effort?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+tribunereviewcollege+%28Pitt+Sports+Stories%29&utm_content=FeedBurner

      Like

      1. How controlled and limited is the access of reporters at these pressers? Shouldn’t a good reporter be able to professionally address these legitimate issues? Do you not get invited back if you do???

        Serious questions^^^

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  2. Good: all things considered, I think the match=up vs Stanford is a good one … at least from the perspective that they are 122nd in pass defense

    Bad: The opening 3 or 4 minutes in the ACC championship

    Ugly: The strategy before halftime; 8 yards passing

    Like

  3. I expected the results we saw Saturday. Clemson and Alabama are heads above every other college team. The outcome does not change my opinion of this team. They are above average, nothing more. The won more than I expected this year and accomplished winning their division.

    The good, bad and ugly goes to the OL.

    Here is a question to ponder. Would the line have been worse if from game one Hargrove, Ford, Drake or any other young lineman played instead of Dintino and Herndon? I think they would have been at least as good, maybe better. My point, this would have led to Pitt having a good OL next year because they would have 3 of 5 OL coming back. The young players certainly would not have pass blocked worse.

    I respect PN’s loyalty to the seniors that stuck it out, but this philosophy will hurt them next year.

    I am down on Watson as OC right now but is his offense so bad or is it the fact that the OL can NOT pass block. He isn’t going any where since they won their division, but I would not be sad to see him go. His offense does not create mismatches. That is the key in college football. We see teams get Pitt linebackers trying to cover a fast RB all the time. How can you not scheme to get Carter one on one with an LB on a pass play? It will be more of the same next year which is a bummer to think about.

    Like

    1. notrocket, I totally agree with your 1st paragraph. There is a big difference between the Haves and the Have-Nots these days, and it’s not only the ACC. How many times have OSU and Okla won their respective leagues recently? And a stat came out in the Bama game that it only trailed 1 minutes and 10 seconds in the ENTIRE season. Imagine that!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. one last entry: I wrote a few weeks ago that this year reminds me of 2004 where Pitt represented a mediocre group of teams, and sadly, with similar results. What is important though is how the FB program reacts to this. This year’s team has shown some resiliency playing well after the PSU and UCF’s embarrassments.

    Even more important is what happens in the near future. I will tell you this …. Miami is the overwhelming Coastal favorite next year, coming of 11th and 5th ranked recruiting years (Rivals). But that doesn’t mean Pitt can’t be competitive.

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  5. I for one have serious concerns with our play calling…and coaching of the quarterback. Singular on purpose since I don’t know how any other QBs can play. (Unless BigB is given a shot)

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    1. Execution makes play calling looks much better. Just 2 weeks ago, we were all enamored with the play calling. What I saw the last 2 weeks is that whatever Pitt called, it failed.

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      1. Watson is the QB coach and that is the problem. We haven’t had a dedicated QB coach since DW hired one and Pickett needs coaching.

        But his shortcomings are really his own – Pickett panics and hurries his passes and leaves to pocket too soon.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I agree with that Reed. He needs to step up in the pocket. However, against Clemson, he would have had to levitate above the pocket because the entire line was collapsing.

          Like

  6. I am moving far more into negative territory due to the delay of game penalties of the last 2 weeks. If there isn’t a good explanation(and I can’t imagine one existing) for each and every one of them and of course especially the one to start the second half, there must be a price to pay NOW, before the end of this week, definitely before the Bowel game.

    HCPN needs to answer to this without even being asked…but if he does not, he had better be asked by any decent Pitt football reporter.

    Like

    1. I can’t remember what other team I saw over the weekend with the same problems, but I know another team was having trouble getting plays in — I think it was either Oklahoma or Texas. Now that doesn’t justify it. Pitt had issues with that earlier in the year, and by your 13th game, you need to realize and learn from mistakes so that it doesn’t happen again. But still, there was at least one other team having the same issue.

      Like

  7. Just in case anyone missed the PittPOV comment of the year(maybe ever…on any Pitt blog) from the Game Day thread:

    lastrowofsection4
    December 2, 2018 at 8:06 pm

    Ironic we will play in El Paso when we cant El Paso.

    Liked by 6 people

  8. A band of Brothers from different mothers….yes we are !!!

    I am hoarse today..we won the tailgate party…PITT did a great job as we occupied the inside concourse at the adjoining minor league field….

    BTW, that wasn’t all mud on the ass end of the yellar britches…………

    Saw Heather after the game as we were leaving and personally asked her to get the PItt vICTORY SONG restored to they way it should be played..She smiled and nodded..I became emboldened and asked her to get rid of the WVU yellar and go with the original mustard..she told me Richman has her ear…

    Liked by 3 people

  9. Well Pitt did run it better than expected but I believe I said that our passing would be almost nonexistent. I sure as hell was right on that last point. I really have no answers for what to do to upgrade our pass offense. Hard to believe we thru for 319 yards against WF and 9 against Clemson.

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  10. How do you think a head coach rationalizes his offense only had 8 yards passing the entire game. Does he think my qb played well and the OC did a great job. I don’t care how good Clemson is there is no excuse for 8 yards. Then in the post game presser he acts like everything is going along fine just the way it is.

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  11. Overall our mediocre recruiting just isn’t good enough to get us to the next level, say what you will about the coaching, even with all its faults it will not succeed without more elite players.

    This starts and ends with elite linemen. When the other team owns your line of scrimmage you are not going to look very good. I would say our O-line exceeded all expectations, but when they faced Miami and Clemson, they were totally outclassed. Morrisey may have made a marginal difference, but pass blocking had been poor all year except for Wake. I get the angst with KP but no one will succeed without any time to throw.

    The sad thing is that next year we will start with a whole new O-line and Morrisey coming off surgery. For the first time they will all be Narduzzy recruits or transfers, few who have any experience. This is not a recipe for success.

    Sad to think that the announcers said that a transfer from Kent was our best lineman this year. This is all about recruiting,
    not coaching.

    Like

    1. Well, the OL did well in run blocking which I wrote might happen given Borbely’s success in that area at Maryland… but also said that our OL’s pass protection would suck based on the exact opposite reason – Borbely’s lack of success in that area at Maryland.

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      1. You are right Reed and you called it. Borbley is who he is. World class run blocking coach, and the exact opposite end of the spectrum when it comes to teaching pass blocking. At this stage in his career, I don’t that that is going to change.

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        1. Maybe we should judge Borbley at passing blocking when he doesn’t have four guards and a tackle starting. Not a single capable right tackle recruited in Moose’s last class and by the last O-line coach amazingly. More options will emerge next season.

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  12. Overall our offense was just not that good when we played anyone decent at all. In our 6 losses we:

    Lost by an average of 23 points…
    Gave up an average 37 ppg in losses and…
    Scored an average of 14 ppg in losses.

    We were 89th nationally in scoring offense and 79th in scoring defense – pretty poor overall.

    Basically we beat up on the average teams we faced and crapped the bed against the better teams we faced. Sorry but in his 4th full year you would have expected that his own players would have come through by this point and produced… but on offense at least that certainly wasn’t the case – every decent skill player was still a Chryst recruit in Hall, Ollison, Aston.

    Other than them PN’s recruits pretty much sucked. What happened to highly rated recruits RBs AJ Davis and Todd Sibley? They didn’t even get playing time hardly at all. Instead we kept running sweeps and misdirection plays that the other teams came to expect in the 2nd half or the season.

    Our run game might really hurt in ’19.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Reed,
      You need to stop giving the hard facts!
      No longer appropriate Commander! Don’t you know we are the Coastal Champions???? Facts and Reality don’t matter any more! We are champions.

      Like

    2. I’ll agree to disagree with you on this one Reed. Our running game will be fine next year. I’ll wager you a Pitt hat or similar piece of gear that we run for 1800+ yds in 2019.

      Liked by 1 person

    3. Narduzzi is holding back his players trying to build depth at each position. I see it working on defense and failing on offense.

      Your poster boy Roy (and Folston) are perfect examples. They were stop gaps until the younger DL guys developed. I don’t have snap counts, but I would bet their snaps are down from last year as kids like Jones have gotten pretty good. This is much easier to do on defense since you can switch guys in and out easier. Give guys some snaps here and there. That is how, in my opinion, Elias Reynolds stepped right in for Wirginis. He got a lot of snaps the last two years.

      This will work for about every position except OL unless you have a ton of blowouts. Many teams will throw in a freshman QB here and there to get some snaps. Pitt did it at WR and that was it. I think that is a mistake on their part.

      Davis should have played more. He was their only elusive healthy back. Sibley was hurt at the beginning of the year so I can see him not getting the reps. They also made a mistake being loyal to the two old guys Herndon and Dintino. Sorry, the younger OL kids could have sucked at pass blocking just as much as the older guys but in Narduzzi’s eyes, it gives the younger OL longer to develop their skills and bodies.

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  13. Actually I don’t think we beat up on anybody. We won some pretty close games from teams I wouldn’t want to have to play a second time.

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  14. THE GOOD:

    All the POV boys and girls getting home safe.

    PITT got to and deserved to play in the ACC Championship game no matter what anyone says. It was not an invitational game, PITT earned it! No apologizes necessary.

    Aside from the opening run, PITT’s defense played a decent to good game against a very good Clemson offense. Including that long run and the two turnover for short TD’s. PITT held Clemson to 21 other pts. Yes I know they still count.

    PITT still ran the ball better than most teams against Clemson but most teams can pass better than PITT and not waste their time running the ball when they are down 20 or more points.

    THE BAD:

    Appears to me it would the preparation or lack of it. When you’re a 28 pt underdog you would think some wicky wacky stuff would come into play? Hey Narduzzi, don’t tell me you are playing to win the game and then run the same play over and over. << and I do mean run……

    Speaking of which, PITT’s last drive of the first half. Again, don’t try and tell me you’re playing to win when you run on first and second down and then throw a pass on third and long. That’s setting your QB up to fail which he unfortunately did.

    THE UGLY:

    The constant blaming of PITT AD Heather Lyke about the score of the game on the POV game thread. << it makes it unreadable for me

    I’m not the one who thinks I’m smarter than any of the coaches for any team but Watson has to go. Pickett needs to loosen up his brain and play football. You cannot be a P-5 football team that does not employ the forward pass effectively. Pickett is a true sophomore, make the change today and give the kid a chance… ike

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Guys – if you want a great statistical breakdown of Pitt’s season here is a great “Football Study Hall” website:

    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/e/2PACX-1vQ2e9xV7-ClihFVJ3kla0ZDxzFCQ7-WXvQRur-nK6gOzo333PqSetw52kEGgbXKb6viGZSbYuJugvRR/pubhtml#

    Note that at this point Pitt would be ranked 67th in the D1 129 teams S&P ratings- sitting in the lower half.

    As nice as the Coastal Championship is we really didn’t have that great of a team this year – not when there is a “Champs” label attached. Stanford will be a tough game – a loss I think so 7-7 is disappointing given how we were 7-4 at one point…

    Like

  16. I laugh at the guys that want to fire Watson, they are the same guys that wanted to fire Chaney. It is about the players and not the coaches. Some want Canada back, well Canada was loaded with elite players when he was here an offensive line with skill and experience, a QB, RB, TE and Henderson. Many of them now in the NFL or with NFL potential. Yes Canada did well with them, but it all starts and ends with quality players. and he did not recruit any of them.

    Pitt is know for its running backs, but we also had great O-linemen play here. Fralic, Grimm, May, Brown, we need more of them in this era.

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    1. Well Gordon – why spend the time and money recruiting O Linemen when you can always pick them up via transfer from teams like Kent State?

      Hell, same goes with QBs, DEs, etc…

      PN’s transfer policy is a dead end but unfortunately is totally necessary because his recruiting has been so poor. Just look at what happened this year when we had to start playing the back-up LBs – there was pretty much a drop of ion talent from the three LB starters who were recruited by Paul Chryst… and “Chryst couldn’t recruit defenders“.

      Well, if he couldn’t then what does it say when three of them started over Narduzzi’s recruits after three full years of PN’s recruiting classes?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. How do you give zero credit to Narduzzi for all the players he recruited that played a role on this years team. Come on. Of course there are still players from the previous staff, you just don’t throw them off the team.

        Reynolds, Hamlin, Pinnock, Jackson, Campbell, Carter, Alexandre, Hargrove, Camp, Weaver, Watts, Jones, Twyman, Wheeler, Davis, Nunn, Bright, Carrigan, Van Lynn, Ffrench, Mack, Jacques-Louis, Kessman.

        And what drop off did you see in the LBers. The defensive numbers in the last five games got much better.

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  17. As the site’s devil’s advocate …..before you take a final take on HCPN’s recruit (and especially the OL and RBs), wait for them to become upperclassmen. With proven performers as Ollison and Hall, why would you play less experienced players. As far as OLs, there was nobody in the initial class of 2015, and unless you can recruit a manchild out of high school, it takes a while for an OL to develop and obtain the required strength.

    And one more thing as far as Pitt not playing well against the top teams … the 2014 team played against one team that finished ranked, and gave up 612 yards. They also lost a mid-season game by 11 points at home to Akron.

    I keep stressing that this has been nothing but a mediocre program for 3 decades (less 2 or 3 years) enhanced by some remarkably lame firings / hirings as well as a lack of stability. Add that to the fact that the local area has continued to produced less and less in the way of recruits.

    I understand why you Pitt alums have high expectations but you also need a large dose of reality.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. wbb – Pitt has had many successful OL in the recent past who played as rsFR or SOs – they don’t have to wait three years to play any longer. The fact is his own OL just haven’t been good enough to unseat the upperclassmen.

      As far as Davis and Sibley goes I would have gotten them more carries in the blowout games so they are more ready for next season. Davis certainly, I can’t remember if Sibley was out most of the time though – might have been.

      It seems like none of the recent Pitt coaches liked the idea of playing the offensive skill back ups to get them PT experience. DW hardly ever did it.

      Like

      1. Sibley was hurt at the start of the season and may not have been ready to play. Davis burned his redshirt last season and probably redshirted this season.

        Just one man’s opinion…

        Would have lyked to see both on the field – especially in the games where both Q & Hall struggled.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. +1,000,000

      I can’t grasp why some don’t see the contradictions in their thoughts.
      See and recognize the whole picture.

      I think the podcasts need to return for me to get on and debate because I can’t stand typing out all that would need to be said.

      Like

    1. Yes, that game still really stings. Who was that backup left tackle that gave up the sack on our last drive? Chase Clowser or Couser or something like that. I can’t believe I still remember that play… I also remember Stull being bad that year and getting boo’ed all the time

      Like

  18. Ugliest: The end of the first half and choosing to pass on their 20 with 40 seconds left resulted in a predictable turnover and a 27-10 game rather than 20-10 with a kick-off after intermission. I think this destroyed their spirit.

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    1. yea that one took the air right out of the stadium…well the corner of the stadium that we occupied.

      Like

  19. A few more thoughts:

    PITT did beat up on Virginia Tech and Wake Forest in the second half.

    Reed, take a look at who PITT lost to in those 6 losses. << That matters when calculating statistics. I think it’s called variables or something?

    Why do some say that PITT needs 4* recruits and when they don’t play because, in the case of the running back situation, a 3* recruit is gaining over a thousand yards for the second time in his career? PITT had 3, 4* running back recruits and one to follow next year. It’s the player not the stars in some cases.

    There is more to say about 5th year seniors than some want to admit. It’s called maturation. Millen is a good O-Lineman.

    PITT missed Wirginis and Morrissey.

    I sense a here we go again negative critique of the O-Line next year. PITT has plenty of good recruits to step up and into the line-up.

    The Bowl Game……. Checked on a few Stanford stats and they are not all that formidable at first glance. I need to dig a little deeper but they could be a good opponent for PITT. They don’t seem particularly good any any one aspect of the game. Stanford’s OOC schedule. San Diego State , UC Davis and Notre Dame.

    Yes, Narduzzi must win this years bowl game. … ..ike

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Their RB (Love) was a Heisman finalist in 2017 – he has been banged up most of 2018. He will have 27 days to recover from his nagging injuries and get lots of rest.

      Their coaching staff will have 27 days to prep for Pitt.

      I’m not sure I can say the same about Pitt coaches. Will our QB start the bowl game with a delay of game penalty. I’m waiting with baited breath…(not really)

      Like

  20. I am resigned to the fact that Narduzzi’s ceiling is probably 8 wins
    It is what it is due to mediocre recruiting and an offense that is plain offensive
    Narduzzi’s experience is defense and he’s not even good at that
    The Pitt administration is content with 6-8 win seasons and a trip bowling
    Pitt is fine being middle of the pack with an occasional upset
    They value running a clean program and spending just as much to stay relevant (dont get booted from the ACC)
    I’m afraid we’ll never see consistent 9 and 10 win seasons
    I’m afraid we’ll never be the Stanford of the East
    Far easier to compete in basketball as evidenced this year with such a quick turnaround
    We are a basketball school
    That decision was made when Pitt stadium was torn down

    Just dont tell me Gallagher about this front porch ever again. Dont tell me Heather that you know anything about football, branding and revenue generation. Dont tell me Narduzzi that winning the Coastal justified your extension.

    One 10 win season in 37 years tells you everything you need to know about this program
    Only 3 times finished ranked in the past 28 years
    I dont see the next 30 years being any different – SOP

    Liked by 1 person

    1. we’d have had a shot at at 10 win season this year with a manageable schedule. I know that’s not what you or a lot of other people want to hear, but it’s what “good” teams do to get there. Paterno made it famous. We did it too. Heck i was researching an article on Pit in 2000, and I was looking at microfilm of old Pitt news articles from Majors’ first season, you know what that article was titled? “Cupcake”. I’m paraphrasing here, but that was the theme.

      Liked by 3 people

    1. On hoops right now I’d be happy if Capel can sign some 4 star BIGS into the program. No matter how well they have done to this point playing in the ACC without some decent BIGS is not advised.

      Like

    1. Akok is less than a one and done. He was being advised to jump right to the NBA. There is not something fishy about him to UConn, it is more sewage stench! Glad we did not get him.

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  21. As I mentioned before, the number of screw ups and mental mistakes by this team is inexcusable. With all of the talk about playing 19 Seniors, this falls totally on the coaches. The time out taken to begin the 2nd half will go down in history. I believe that Narduzzi held George out in the 4th quarter entirely because he doesn’t want a QB controversy. If I’m George, I’m gone tomorrow because he will never see one minute of action next year unless KP gets hurt. And the play calling is so atrocious that an apposing defense just needs to prepare for 4-5 basic plays to shut the offense down. The jet sweep has become the joke sweep by using a defensive player with speed but no cutting ability.

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  22. Shuffling players around to plug obvious gaps is no way to field a successful team at the P5 level. Clemson’s 2nd team looked as good as Pitt’s first team, and the Freshman QB has beat out the starter from last year’s team. This is called depth, and the competition at practice is what make’s good teams even better. After 4 years of Narduzzi’s recruiting, Pitt is nowhere close to this standard.

    Like

    1. No, Pitt approached him in Jan even before he decided on Michigan and we asked him to transfer here.

      Then after he left Michigan George got in touch with the Pitt staff to come here.

      I wrote an article about this with references.

      Like

  23. THE GOOD:
    1 All our POVers at the game. Made us Proud!
    2. We had some nice running plays and unis looked good.
    THE BAD:
    1.Losing 42-10 and not covering the spread for Pitt supporters
    THe UGLY:
    1. Playing game #13 and committing 1,000 penalties because of lack of discipline and coaching readiness.
    2. 8, yes 8, I said 8 total yards of passing in a championship game.
    3. NO DEPTH on the roster. When anybody goes down (except RB) we have nothing.
    Our team is a veneer, not solid!
    SAD!

    Like

  24. Emel…check in…thought you were coming to the tailgate…we were all looking forward to meeting you…hioe you are OK..

    Shout out to the Lacko brothers from New Castle..met them at the PITT tailgate…long term readers not posters..believe me POVerts these guys have alot to say and know their stuff…Hopefully, they will jump in here with their 2 cents….we spread the POV word…should be some more readers today-love taking advantage of the moment.

    At the tailgate the band played the Victory Song in the usual edited edition lacking the chant….da,da,da,da….da.da…..So I go up to the tuba player and tell’em you need to play it like it’s written..he looked at me as if he didnt know what i was talking about (observation: I assume he has never heard it and the young fella looked like he was no rebel yet alone get into a good fight..then I ask the assistant band director “Why don’t you play it like it’s written?” Response “because the students would substitute and chant PENN STATE SUCKS!!!! JoeL can think very fast on his feet and while balancing a full pint of beer in his hand starts the good “PENN STATE SUCKS” chant and the old timers joined in and do you know what the political correct millennials did..yep, you got it-tried to drown the oldsters out with LET”S GO PITT>>>sounded like 2 part harmony…I can’t stand political correctness…

    Reed is back-HAIL YEAH and sounding like his ole self…hope you are feeling better….

    I was in the group who went to the upper level bar “Merchant and Trade” with our leader (Michaelangelo) …talk about beautiful women (OMG)out-numbering the guys 4-1….holy cow…you weren’t supposed to get drunk!!!!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Hah. Yea i thought the atmosphere was very classy as well Big Big. It wasn’t supposed to be a double!

      Like

  25. ike, I’m willing to bet that when George spoke with the coaches he was given assurances that as a Jr. he would at least be given a chance to compete. Why come otherwise, just to hold the clipboard? Holding him out of obvious playing time so as not to pressure Pickett is not only unfair, but it does not produce the best starter for Pitt through competition. I’m thinking that he will be gone after this year.

    Like

  26. Shame a HALF DECENT Defensive showing was ruined by a total LACK of a Passing Game.

    Not all Pickett’s fault, but a LOT of it!

    Maybe now he’ll spare us the ATTITUDE during Press Conferences where Reporters DARE to question the playcalling of his Head Coach.

    Like

  27. I get that VOR, but I have it on good authority that PITT was approached by George sr asking PITT to give him his boy a flyer. You do know he’s not on scholarship?

    Hey B, great stories…… but when you say beautiful girls where is the proof? I need pictures my big friend. another btw, JoeL deserved his 15 minutes of fame on the Heinz jumbo-tron as the PITT fan of the week … Lots of great PITT fans of the week down in Charlotte last Saturday!

    Like

  28. ^^ POD, if you’re not sure about Narduzzi as the head coach at PITT who won the coastal crown, what should the other division foes think about their head coach? Are we as PITT fans in paradise just yet? Hell no but we are getting there. So lets fire the guy and start over again. Oh, PITT did that…… How did that work out?

    Like

  29. +++++++++++++++++++ Some of you guys +++++++++++++

    Crack me up, literally. Here are a couple reasons why.

    The OOC schedule. Some concur that it makes it harder on PITT to post a winning record when their schedule is so much more difficult than other teams but still complain when PITT loses the tough games, then blame the coach.

    Others say PITT must play the attractive but tough games but they also complain when PITT loses these games and then blame the coach.

    Some want to post statistics comparing PITT to the field when pretty much every other team has not played a schedule being even close to the toughness of PITT’s schedule, then blame the coach.

    The people who just plain hate Narduzzi and his lousy personality, get over it! Nobody of authority cares about how you feel about gorilla arms.

    Minimizing winning the ACC coastal division, petty bs. imo << Letting your personal feelings get in the way of a gutsy football team.

    Like I say, some wouldn’t know a good time if it sat on you face.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m basing Narduzzi success on beating the teams they played in their division. Plus I do not deal on what might happen in the future when I do not have a clue right now about it. I try to evaluate on the information I have my hands on.

      Like

      1. losing your last 3 games would be a low bar
        I dont think we’ll ever see another 7 win team win the Coastal
        If Pitt was an SEC school, Narduzzi would be fired for a 7-7 record and no bowl wins in 4 years
        But this is the ACC and Narduzzi has an AD whose job was in part secured by Narduzzi
        28-24 over 4 years is nothing more than mediocre

        Like

  30. ike, you are basing success on Narduzzi winning the Coastal crown. That is a red herring that will explode if Pitt takes a step backward next year. Next year, we might find you saying that even though Pitt didn’t win the Coastal Division things went well with 6-7 wins. If Miami returns to glory it might be sometime before Pitt wins another Coastal. What say you then?

    Like

  31. Narduzzi’s best O-line recruit is a walk-on, who has started for two years, So don’t tell me sophomores or red shirt sophomores can’t start on the O-line. You just have to recruit guys with talent.

    Offensive tackles need to be given the same priority as QB’s, running backs, d-ends or corner-backs when recruiting. You will never have a good passing game without them.

    Liked by 1 person

  32. Bernie. I was in the the bathroom when I heard the penn state sucks chant and everyone started laughing. One guy yells “when is that not funny” and we all laugh again.
    I’m thinking to myself that HAS to be the POVerts!
    Agree on the brothers from New Castle…always enjoy talking with them.

    Liked by 1 person

  33. Weed better recruiting on the OL side of the ball for sure to get back into the top 30…I see the D shaping up…Need to hold onto a lot of the local lineman..lost several to ND-must’ve been a Catholic thing…

    Will be fun to see who’s up and coming next year..it will take another 1-2 years to be a top 30 team (like shooting in the mid-80s in a golf round,IMO) ..lot’s of good things to keep your interest …BigB sez …D remains solid and improved in ’19..O remains a work in progress and OC Watson remains a big question mark..(.one of the players parents told me they wished OH Canada was still around)

    It was a fun year, in fact, a great year to be a fan…the camaradie has been over the top…I think many on here would agree…

    .I want to see more wins but enjoy the moment- while we have them…time marches on -with or without us…….

    Liked by 5 people

  34. I’m with Ike and others that want a change at OC. Watson schemes the same way each and every game. I don’t believe our opponents defensive coordinations have to lay awake at night thinking what Watson may do to surprise them in an upcoming game. Has anyone ever seen any meaningful half time adjustments on either the O or the D this past season?

    Like

  35. I predicted Clemson 42 Pitt 24 and that would have been respectable. So on to the Sun bowl (second longest bowl) on CBS. Hope POV’ers have good reason to drink heavily. Steeler fans did that last night.

    Like

  36. When Chryst was here I was begging him to recruit D-Ends and Linebackers, we had no pass rush.

    Now it is just the opposite, I am begging for O-tackles and Tight Ends.

    Why is it that we can’t get both at the same time?

    That is the only thing that will change the dynamic.

    Both Watson and KP might not be great, but an above the line O-line may make them good enough.

    Liked by 1 person

  37. Next year, the Post Chryst era REALLY begins. No more Ollison. No more Hall.

    Meanwhile, other Teams in the ACC Coastal will undoubtedly see an UPTICK.

    This year predicted 6 Wins with a Bowl Appearance. Pretty close. However, either way… that’s going to be a little harder to do in 2019. And that ain’t going to sit very well.

    UNLESS we start seeing Narduzzi signing a Tyler Boyd, a Dorian Johnson or even a Quadree Ollison to go with his 2 and 3 Star Recruits… there is absolutely NO REASON to believe this Program is heading anywhere special.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 100 percent correct POD. Next year is set up for more mediocrity. To some, that’s ok and I’m not judging what others think a great season is. A win in the bowl would certainly make this season successful imo.

      Like

  38. I’m still steaming on the loss of Morrisey on an uneeded trick play boosted by an absurd ACC officials
    homer call.

    It’s not Morrisey that’s the loss. It’s the continuity teamwork of the O line.

    Worst loss of a center I saw was at Baldwin Hi in my Junior year. Our varsity was picked to be at the top of our division in 67. The cheerleaders had made a huge papered hoop (saying GO Baldwin) that the team was to burst thru. Our center was first thru the hoop tripped and broke his ankle! Out for the year. Almost as unreal as Morrissey.

    Losing our best volleyball hitter more of SOP. It truly is a curse!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I completely agree with you Dan. Continuity is everything on an offensive line that had gelled into a highly effective run blocking unit. The play was an unnecessary risk at that point in the game. The injury makes to Morrissey makes it all the more infuriating.

      Like

  39. Again:
    Throwing the ball at the end of the first half is enough to get someone fired. Period!

    After an absolutely horrendous start Pitt had somehow managed to be somewhat in the game. You get to the half and over half the people watching go to bed thinking Pitt played ok.
    I would have not attempted a single pass at that point, but after the second throw should have been picked you run. The coached in that series also left enough time for Clemson to score if we punted.

    The coaches basically ended the game right then.

    Like

      1. They are highly paid. Nard dog and Watson both.
        A good high school coach would have gotten out of the half. Further, the OC, had to know we could not pass at all. Why then would you call pass after pass knowing you were struggling and were about to get some time to possibly address the problem?
        That is plenty of reason to dismiss him.

        Like

  40. Two quick hitters.

    Pitt should play next year’s OL for significant minutes against Stanford. Get them some practice. Get them some live film to study and improve upon for the spring and summer camp. This will also give the coaches some real tape to evaluate and determine whether we are like Arby’s and have the meat, or like Wendy’s and wondering where’s the beef.

    You only keep Watson if he is “in” on some big time talent. This sport is all about recruiting. If the OC and DC can’t recruit, they better be awesome at getting the best out of the player’s they have in order to justify their paychecks. Same with Borbely. Does he have high recruits in the pipeline for our “closer”.

    Okay, three quick hits

    We blame Narduzzi for lack of recruiting but in reality, the head coach is the closer for football prospects. It is typically up to his assistants to get the talent ready to be closed. On the basketball side, will we allow Capel to play the game to get 4 and 5 star big guy recruits? We lost out and on at least two this last week and maybe three. We lost one to Hurley and Hurley didn’t even have a schollie to offer. You need to learn to play the game. The NCAA is powerless in most circumstances any more because they fear a huge shakeup is coming, perhaps even disbanding them.

    Like

  41. Off topic – Pitt wrestling finished 7th out of 43 teams in the big tournament in Vegas this past weekend. We beat all other ACC teams and were ahead of 8 or so teams ranked ahead of us. A solid effort by the boys from Pinnzburgh.

    Like

  42. Yinz watching the game on the tube..Question-There were 2 pass plays, almost identical, Kenny appeared to be throwing to a spot on the right side of the field. Mack stopped short both time and the ball landed in a vacated area on the field of play about 15-20 yards past Tsir…any thoughts…or observations by the announcers…looked like a miss communication from my seat in the stadium……?????

    Like

  43. From my short experience at QB, playing with a wet, muddy ball is an issue (of course we only ever used 2 balls in HS and one was brand spankin’ new-almost as slick as a wet ball…..on the ball mud is worse…

    Trevor did not throw much but made the best of it when he did…unfortunately, we let what was starting to shape up as an entertaining battle slip away with a series of mistakes late in the second quarter and the game was really over…but,,,,,,the party continued…I am always in bed before 9pm even on week-ends for years and years…this year I have been up, awake and reveling way beyond midnight,,,Thank you mischchievous POV comrads…I didn’t know I still had it in me….glad I could celebrate the 1/4th quarter of my 66th year on the planet with you’inz …(thats Apollo-eze for yinz),,,,,,

    Liked by 1 person

  44. I don’t believe it’s about bad luck, or being cursed, or whatever when it comes to our sports teams. The big problem is our teams rarely have any depth. Our football team is the best example. Did you notice how Clemson was still dominating us even when they put in their entire 2nd team? We have no solid depth and it is hurting us. No excuse on this major problem!
    Also, Concerning men’s basketball. Some of us have high hopes for this year, but remember ( and this is not Capels fault in his 1st year) injuries will happen! If/when one of our starting guards go down, or that matter, any starter, we have no one of quality to come in. No doubt this will bite us at some point in the season and diminish any chance of tournament play.

    Like

  45. Couple of things.

    If we lose the bowl game we will have a 12 – 14 record after PN’s 3rd and 4th years… Is that what anyone envisioned when he was hired or after his first two 8 win seasons?

    Interesting that for a guy who couldn’t recruit defense we still had all three LBs and Roy Briggs and Motley as starters.

    Six Chryst defenders out of 11 in the HC’s fourth season… That is poor recruiting.

    And the worse part is those six guys are not really that good except for Idowu (Wirginis was overrated this year. For every good play he made he crapped the bed on others.)

    What does that tell us about PN’s defensive recruiting of HS players?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I named the defensive players above that are big contributors. His recruiting on D is the reason the D was much better this year and will be even better next year.

      Like

    2. I’m not worried about replacing Briggs, Motley and Roy for next season. As for the LB’s, Reynolds and Brightwell should be better than the two they are replacing next year IMO. Danielson and Twyman seem like two newcomers that could be quite good on the DL. I’d be very surprised if our D is not considerably better come next season over this season.—Now just what do we have to do to get some sort of a decent passing game in place prior to the 2019 season?

      Like

  46. Pitt is not losing anything this year that players on the current roster will not easily replace except for one man at RB, George Ashton. The reason for two 1000 yard runners.

    The OL and RBs will be as good or better.

    Keep in mind that Chryst’s last two classes of OL produced only one player. Bookser. One freaking player. Herndon and Dintino were recrutied for DL. They had to be switched because Grimm, Hayes, Pilato, Paulina were not good recruits.
    So there is a two year gap in OL players. There is your issue with the OL in a nut shell.

    2014 Bookser, Grimm, Hayes – PC
    2015 Pilato, Paulina – (Some give credit to PC for this class)
    2016 Morgan, WIlliams, Hargrove, Ford
    2017 Drake, Warren, Houy, Van Lynn, Drexel,
    2018 Zubovic, Brown, Kradel
    Morrisey – walk on

    Liked by 1 person

    1. …and if PN chose to bypass Herndon and Dintino last spring, they most likely leave the team. LEaving Pitt with barely enough players to field a two deep. He is biting the bullet now to build depth. It isn’t because the younger players aren’t good enough.

      Liked by 1 person

  47. Sorry for the add to my hitters above.

    If Borbely plays next years OL significantly to get film and improvement opportunities ….and to motivate them for next year during the off season, is he prepared to have the “we’re moving in a different direction discussion if they appear to be not so good, or overpassed by younger players”? That would be my hope…and my expectation.

    We should be able to help facilitate some of these guys transfers once the discussion occurs. We need to motivate players and this practice time and game film is a great way to get a jump on next year.

    @notrocket – I am not sure on what basis you are saying that next year’s OL should be better than this years? Typically, the better guys play and none other than Morrissey really played this year. Is there film on these guys in game action that I missed? I didn’t see any, but I don’t always go looking for film. I ask this seriously? Or is this just your projection?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hargrove and Huoy played a good bit this season. Hargrove was in and made a nice block for Q on his record setting 97 yard TD run.

      Drake and Brown will be ok.

      Liked by 1 person

  48. Did anyone at the end of last season predict the OL we trotted out to start this season beyond Bookser and Morrissey? Borberly undoubted did a good job getting this years OL ready for the running game. Not so the case with the pass blocking however.

    Like

  49. jrn brings up a good point. So we may have put our best run blockers out there, but did we do that and lose a year of development for the better pass blockers in an effort to go to the perceived strength and face of the football team which was the run?

    I would say that if we had really good pass blockers, they should have un-seated the run blockers. Now we have a cluster returning on the OL next year. Get the young guys significant playing time in the bowl game so you can get film and have them actually work on “their” games over the winter and spring.

    What I fear is that the OL’s who have little to no experience, have nothing for the coaches to show them in real game action in an effort to get better. Game Action drives improvement. Let Bookser, Dintino and Herndon prepare for the combines/workouts.

    Drexel is a good example……he has no film from which to learn or for the coaches to realize he either does or doesn’t have the talent to play D1. Next fall is not the time to find the answers.

    Like

    1. One reason 2018 season is for 13 games. Last year was 12 in total. When PITT plays Stanford unless we hold them to zero rushing yards & zero passing yards the 700 additional rush yards & 225 pass yards will go up. . Look at the stats & what’s included

      Like

  50. I hope HCPN spends every practice for the bowl eliminating the causes of so many penalties. Take away the 21 points gifted to Clemson and the score might have been (wishful thinking) 21-10. Still a loss but not embarrasing.

    Like

  51. Yeah,
    If you love Pitt, as I do, that first 10 minutes of the game was as embarrassing as any sports event I’ve seen. :<(
    I have a neighbor who is a ND fan and he was hoping we would upset Clemson. After that initial total implosion, 7-0 in 13 seconds, 14-9 soon after and flag after flag, etc etc etc, he immediately stopped watching. He couldn’t take it anymore. But I watched every second of this once again prime time embarrassment with my Pitt hat on in absolute amazement of how we can be such a disaster.

    Like

  52. Returning O-Lineman:

    Jimmy Morrissey 6’3″ 300 lbs
    Bryce Hargrove 6’4″ 310 lbs
    Chase Brown 6’5″ 305 lbs
    Devon Davis 6’4″ 325 lbs
    Carter Warren 6’5″ 320 lbs
    Owen Drexel 6’3″ 290 lbs
    Brandon Ford 6’5 305 lbs
    Gabe Houy 6’6″ 310 lbs
    Jake Kradel 6’3″ 290 lbs
    Kenny Rainey III 6’3″ 320lbs
    Blake Zubovic 6’4″ 300lbs

    PITT will be just fine with the O-Line.

    Liked by 1 person

  53. ACC Championship…

    Good
    * Narduzzi getting this team to Charlotte after losses at UNC and the UCF drubbing; and
    * Reality check for those crowning Pitt “champions” for winning the weakest division in P-5 football. To quote Denny Green, “they are who we thought they were.”

    Bad
    * The start of the game resembled the preparation of a freshman football team;
    * Briggs and Bookser – maybe great guys off the field, but not up to the task in this game;
    * Pickett passing line was 4/16 for 8 total yards – unbelievable; and
    * Confirming the football public that perception is reality when it comes to ACC Coastal.

    Ugly
    * The early offensive series that culminated in 3 false starts and a timeout. Hey Watson, are the first 15 plays not scripted?
    * Outscored 66-13 in the final two games of the season; and
    * The people that make excuses for Kenny Pickett because he is a sophomore with limited experience…

    The experience argument is constantly debated on here, but it doesn’t seem to matter to the best teams. Of the four teams that made the playoff this year…
    1) Tua Tagovailoa – True Sophomore, never started a game in 2017;
    2) Trevor Lawrence – True Freshman, got his first start in game 5 this season;
    3) Ian Book – Junior, DNP freshman year, threw 75 passes as soph, and did not start until game 4 this season;
    4) Kyler Murray – Junior, threw 21 total passes in 2017, and never started at OU before this season. Did start a few games at A&M before transferring after freshman year.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Mike – only issue I have with your point on Pickett is that all of those kids you note are surrounded by much better players. Easier for the less experienced to do well.

      Like

  54. We won more games and played better than last year. We won our division; a feat no one saw coming. This team’s accomplishments will pay dividends next year. It is, after all, a process…slower than we would like, but the arrow is surely pointing up.

    Liked by 2 people

  55. You had my attention until you referred to 5* players that PITT will not get or have a chance of landing in the foreseeable future to commit to PITT. If you want to continue to be a PITT fan, I strongly suggest you dial your expectations back and be happy with winning the ACC division. You may sleep better at night.

    Like

  56. Let’s put some Larry V perspective on the different categories of losing/winning a game:
    -Upset: a more talented team losing to a lesser talented team
    -Beat down: a team gets their butts handed to them by a team of better/similar talent
    -Taking care of business: one team winning against an opponent of similar talent
    -Just another day at the office: a team of superior talent winning against a team of lesser talent

    And finally…
    -Embarrassing loss: A beat down from a team of much lesser talent and possibly from a lower division

    Granted, I came up with these categories but I think they cover most situations. Here is how I see Pitt’s losses this year:

    -Upset: UNC
    Beat down: PSUx
    Just another day at the office: UCF, ND, Miami, Clemson

    Now some fans may have been embarrassed by the Clemson loss, personally I was very disappointed with the way they played. The Vegas bookies were almost spot on with the point spread. This certainly was a lost opportunity to perform better on a nationally televised game.

    Like

  57. Love how Reed puts his spurs back on and others with the two bad PITT losses. Not surprising to me. but are we really talking about PITT fans or Narduzzi haters?

    Like

    1. I actually Lyke Narduzzi – hate the way Pitt played in the last two games. Putrid efforts by some.

      There is a rumor that the QB recruit from SC Lykes OC Watson a lot. The QB will sign early and enroll as a student in January. I’m hoping we see a change at OC, at the very least adding a QB coach and one of the DB coaches moves on to a better paying job (freeing the extra coaching spot). These moves probably don’t happen until January, if at all.

      I’m actually bullish on the team for next year and yes, Duzz will be coaching unless he choses to coach elsewhere. There is a concern regarding player leadership again (see 2017) – C Morrissey, WR Tipton for offensive captains, MLB Reynolds and CB Jackson on defense (stretching it).

      I’m not too excited about the Sun Bowl, especially after the poor performances to end the season. Stanford seems much better than our Panthers in every aspect. I can see their stud RB going off for 150 yards and 2 TD’s while our two RB’s are held scoreless and under 100 yards combined in a New Year’s Eve dud.

      Like

  58. Maybe because I finally had some spare time to read the POV….?

    And quit playing junior and amateur psychologist Ike…. My feelings toward the HC had nothing to do with Pitt getting the crap knocked out of them the last two games by a score of 66-13…

    Honestly, it is like you just disregard anything negative about the team because it doesn’t support your opinions.

    219 to 82 was the total score in our losses…we gave up an average score of 37-14 in those games…including 2-9 North Carolina who won just a single game other than ours…

    What does that have to do with liking PN or not?

    Liked by 3 people

  59. Pitt with 2 rbs over 1000 yrds rushing this year. The fans from both teams at the game. Very hospitable. That’s my take on “the good.”

    Like

  60. Hey Reed, how come you didn’t post about how this horrific offensive line that has led PITT to the 13th best rushing attack in the nation?

    Like

    1. GTFO, no way. 13th? that must be 13th in the ACC
      2 1000yd rushers? shocker

      LOL

      It is no wonder that the young RB’s wanted to have more opportunities. I’d want in on that action too.

      Like

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