Editor’s note:  I was going to post this on Weds AM, but we already have 612 comments on the game thread, and this one may be a little bit easier to scroll through.   Continue to have at it, we sure do have a lot to talk about.

Well, we blew it.

And it’s not like the fans couldn’t see it coming, because nearly everybody did.

The first ominous sign was the inability to score touchdowns during a dominating first quarter.  Things got a shade darker after we tried and failed to get any kind of passing game going in second half.  By the time Watson went into panic mode in the fourth quarter and all-but-abandoned the run our fate was sealed.

And yet there were good things about the game.  The team came out fired up, and they never quit.  The running game was again strong, even without senior running back Qadree Ollison, who went down early with an ankle injury.  The defense certainly played well enough to win.  If the El-Paso-Fumble-Pass-TD had never happened we might even have held on.

But we didn’t.  And the bottom line is that the Stanford Cardinal spotted us a half-dozen of their best players, and we still couldn’t figure out a way to win.

Water finds its own level people, and our level is .500.  Seems like it always has been and seems like it always will.

Feel free to list your goods, bads and uglies, or just vent.

Hail to Pitt.  (Half of the time)

Michaelangelo

 

 

 

 

362 thoughts on “MMQB: The Sun Bowl

  1. Did I have a stroke or something. What drive sustaining catch by FF that wasn’t overturned?? It was. Maybe I need to go back to the DVR but I am afraid if I do I might throw something through the television which I barely avoided yesterday.

    How about the play that took 30+ seconds off the clock at about 2:29 to go and then on the last 4th down play KP doesn’t see FF wide open past the line of gain through a wide open passing lane and waits to throw a horribly inaccurate pass into the shadows which is not caught.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Please check on the Ffrenchy catch. I was in a bar with no sound. I could have sworn on the last possession he caught a ball on 4th down to move the sticks, and we almost got a play off before it was reviewed, and then it was reviewed and it looked pretty clear that the ball hit the ground, and then all the sudden we had a first down. Take a look.

      Like

      1. MIke,
        That play, after a long review, was declared “no catch.” The Panthers then went for it on 4th down and completed it to Ffrench for the first down. THAT is when you looked up from your Imp & Iron and saw the 1st down.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Then the Pitt Panthers huddled and wasted about 20-30 seconds getting off the next play, the play getting sent in slowly and the players walking up to the line to run it with NO SENSE OF URGENCY!!!

          And then some said Pitt players were crying post-game in the locker room? The entire offensive side from OC to Pickett to the non-existent TE’s earned that loss and should look hard in the mirror.

          Like

    1. Well, a decade was pissed away in the 1990s with eight losing seasons and one .500 campaign. That should be excluded because the administration was a bunch of jag offs back then.

      Like

  2. If I were Coach Duzz, here’s what I’d do:

    —Fire Coach Watson and the WR Coach.

    —Drop the Safeties Coach and have Coach Bates handle safeties with his DC duties.

    —- Hire a young, dynamic OC (admittedly, easier said than done…).

    —With the freed-up coaching spot, hire a full/time QB Coach. Too bad Walt isn’t 10 years younger.

    —Get a new WR Coach. Many reasons for this. Take a look at Derek Moye who is coaching at Aliquippa. Penn Stater, but local roots/ties…

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I was unable to watch the game as I was traveling (good for me I suppose) but was able to listen to it.

    Interesting on the Satellite broadcast they mentioned that the Pitt offense was I believe the 5th most methodical (slowest) in the nation. I assume that is by design but could also be a product of poor overall execution of getting in personnel, plays, signals, and perhaps KP’s inability to make quick reads.

    Regardless, you’d think they would try some up tempo stuff at times to shake things up. Takes a better QB I suppose by why not coach up the back-ups for change of pace situations? There seems to be a lot of reluctance to break momentum.

    HTP!

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    1. I think Franky may get a lot of heat for the FG choice instead of going for it on 4th down. Rooting hard for the Wildcats right now – entertaining game to say the least.

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      1. I’m no troll, but But as an adult I do realize no current player playing today had anything to do those events. thanks for your insight go back to your Xbox.
        The point is ky can compete but pitt can’t. There is no excuse.

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        1. The current players at psuX made a choice to attend the school that enabled the crimes to happen. That school should not be playing FB. Never played Xbox nor have I owned one.

          Liked by 3 people

  4. How about Matt House? Shows the difference players make. Kentucky’s best team ever.

    Great Players make great coaches and not the reverse.

    Like

  5. Way back when Pitt was looking to find someone, anyone… to coach Pitt after Graham… there was a regular Pitt Poster who went on and on and on that Pitt should hire Mark Stoops.

    I disagreed.

    But, you know… the much despised and hated Joe D… was RIGHT!

    Like

  6. Where would Pitt be with Stoops as HC and recruiter? How many games has Franklin cost the Peds w poor in game decisions…I can think of one big one off hand.

    Pitt will never again have a winning football program. The Admin doesn’t care and if they don’t care, I no longer do either. No more season tickets here, no more emotional let downs year after year.I am done! 50 years of agony with 8 good years and a 35 year wasteland is enough! All my money and time will go to Pitt Basketball where we have a terrific coach and a future.

    32 days tp prepare for the Sun Bowl. Where were the misdirection plays, the trick plays …anything new and different as a wrinkle?.. Where?..what the hell was this coaching staff doing for an entire month????
    If Heather and the Admin change, I would will change. Narduzzi wouldn’t even be a successful HS Coach in PA. His limitations are endless!

    Have fun venting on POV and the other blogs. H2P

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Great job Kentucky. Good for your program. Pitt fans will laugh at a degree from your institution, but who cares. Your football team had a great season and has good fan support for being a basketball Blue Blood. Way to stick by your coach, who is relentless at recruiting with the money afforded to do so.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Canada was also made to look great with Pitt’s great players
    Now teams have figured out the jet sweep (Carters talents are being wasted)

    Narduzzi can be great if he recruited great players or developed them much better
    But then what happens when you’ve got talent and crap the bed (see Franklin)

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Mark Stoops was available for Pitt back when Graham left. Don’t know if they even interviewed him.

    This should put everything into perspective as to where Pitt Football is and where it is headed.

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  10. Narduzzi is NOT a Head Coach. TWO Decades of being passed over for Head Coaching jobs makes the case pretty clearly.

    However, we’re going to have to wait at least another year for any decision to be made that might RIGHT the course.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Franky in his psuX post game interview blamed the loss on player execution. No mention of coaching blunders. And there were many…

    Pitt still lost to Stanford to finish 7-7 (for the trolls)…

    Like

  12. 2019 schedule
    Ohio – W
    at PSU – L
    UCF – L
    Delaware – W
    at Duke – W
    at Ga Tech – W
    BC – L
    Miami – L
    NC – L
    Virginia – W
    at Syracuse – L
    at Va Tech – L

    I see 5 wins. Maybe 7 if lucky. I bet Vegas pegs Pitt at 6.5
    Pitt will probably be picked 4th in the Coastal by the media
    It all hinges on QB play

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    1. I don’t think the point is being passed over – Pitt played at almost full strength and Stanford had two starters sit out due to their NFL opportunity.

      It WAS ugly!

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        1. Yes the TV network flashed five starters in the beginning that weren’t playing. Love + the starting Left Tackle, starting right Guard, Starting TE and #2 WR.

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    1. I still like our physical tight CB press coverage more than House’s LeBeau style bend (hopefully) don’t break defense. Remember his 10-15 yards off the receiver idiocy?

      Liked by 2 people

  13. Kudos to Coach Stoops and UK. It’s easy to look at him today and say there goes a good football coach; and I think he is. However, his overall record at UK is 36-39 and 17-31 in conference.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Trust the process….

      The advantage Kentucky (and Stoops) has over Pitt in this department is that Kentucky was never good, so there is no expectation. Six years later he’s beating Penn State on national TV.

      Like

    1. I wish UCLA would have hired Pitino before Louisville did as once rumored. I would have loved seeing what Howland could have done at Pitt long term.

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  14. Been a while since I’ve posted, but here goes. Don’t know how many of you POV-ites have had private conversations with Coach Pat and AD Heather. I have. Those who post that the Board of Trustees could care less about the football program succeeding, must also believe that the automobile will never surpass the horse and buggy as a form of transportation.

    There has never been more money authorized for assistant coaches and travel arrangements and “what do you need funds.” I propose it’s not BOT ‘s interest nor funding, but bad decisions have been made for Assistant Coach selection. That’s the number one problem: Pitt’s inept assistant coaches- it actually dominoes into their poor recruiting and other program problems. Now if you want to say that Coach Pat made the hire without being coaxed into it I’ll give you that, but they are BAD. He deserved better; anybody deserved better than what he got.

    In fact the Board has put the yoke on Heather”s shoulders: “we gave you what you want and this is our return?”

    If Coach Pat makes no coaching changes; no one on this site would want to change places with Heather, when she approaches her bosses for more money and help.

    Michaelangelo, this is my first post since you took over. Excellent, excellent job following the Great Reed. Happy New Years to all POV-ites. Tony in Hampton.

    Liked by 10 people

    1. Thanks Tony. Cogent and well-reasoned comment.
      Some of the guys who throw in nonsense about the BOTs and ADHL are just filling their posts with a bunch of chaff for everyone else to sort out.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I think their analysis is based on the last 40 years of almost total ineptitude though. Most of the past problems were the fault of AD’s who should have been (to steal UPitt’s favorite) selling shoes at Sears.

        If the BOT and the rest of the people on down were really committed to winning, they need to resign now.

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    2. Tony this post is welcomed and very refreshing. I’m not an insider and I’ve had no conversations, but in my life I’ve often found that where there is smoke there is fire. Lets hope coach Pat is enabled and empowered to make the right decisions for the program during the offseason. If the BOT is truly investing in a big way…and 4th highest funding level in the ACC indicates that they are…then it sounds like there is a vested interest in helping Pat “do the right thing”.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Watching QB’s in bowl games. A good QB makes a huge difference! Our QB play must improve!
    It figures, our D finally seems to have improved and our O is declining.

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  16. Pulling this from prior thread:
    Jackagain†
    January 1, 2019 at 3:38 pm
    Great post here from McKee Place at Panther-Lair on Pickett:

    https://pittsburgh.forums.rivals.com/threads/is-it-pickett-or-qb-coaching.144601/#post-2554982

    My reply:
    I totally agree with that post. One caveat is IF he has a normal OOC to develop, maybe KP builds confidence and improves. I have no confidence in that happening but we will never know.

    OOC is not only about wins and losses. I know others here understand that, but not all here.

    Like

    1. I think part of the reluctance to schedule an easier OOC is that Pitt needs the home game revenue. Tough to get 70k to show up for New Hampshire but very easy if the opponents are the Domers, Hoopies or Nitters.

      What I dont understand is the need to schedule teams like A&M, Iowa, Okie State and Tennessee. Heinz did not and will not come close to selling out.

      Pick a school whose fans will travel like Temple or Cincy

      Liked by 2 people

  17. Pitt spends the 4th most in the ACC on football. So being cheap is no longer a valid excuse. Most ACC schools spend around $24M and so does Pitt…theres a million or two in difference between #4 and #8

    I agree that Narduzzi has a coaching problem but it is his doing. He hired these assistants. He cant say that I picked them because Pitt only gave me so much money to buy. He’s also not totally absolved on recruiting since he is the guy that is supposed to close.

    I do believe that both Narduzzi and Heather want to win and are passionate. But, how does Pitt define success?

    I believe Pitt is content to have 6-8 win seasons, a bowl invite, and to occasionally compete for Coastal titles. What I believe is more important to the BoT is doing the bare minimum to keep membership in the ACC and that $27M dollar paycheck coming. Moreover to run an overall clean program devoid of scandal/cheating with true scholar athletes. Nothing wrong with playing by the rules and honoring the mission statement.

    However, I sincerely do not believe the BoT is committed to building a powerful sports brand and for athletic excellence across all programs. Because if they were, the branding wouldnt be such a mess, Pitt would have an identity, donations would be substantially up, and the football program would not be losing money.

    And until Pitt’s Director’s Cup rankings are in the top 50 and there is a feasibility study for an OCS, Pitt is not serious about sports.

    The Pitt academic intelligentsia is still fearful of sports and at any moment Pitt could put on the brakes and become cheap again. We should never forget that since its happened twice already in my lifetime.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is Pitt’s standard operating procedure. How having a winning Football Team has hurt Michigan, USC, Notre Dame, UNC, Texas, Wisconsin, Penn State, Ohio State, Clemson & Washington I cannot understand. However, I graduated from Pitt so that could explain it.

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    2. TX — how many people really care about the Director Cup rankings? Personally, I don’t pay attention to what goes on in sports other than FB and BB.

      I guess I root for all Pitt teams, but the only losses that affect me and stick with me are those by the FB and BB teams…

      Go Pitt.

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      1. The AD cares and any school that values sports. I am sure Heather has objectives to obtain a certain ranking or improvement over time. Barnes was on public record saying that his goal was the top 20% in the Cup which was pure wishful thinking.

        I’m one of the few that will keep track of a few sports besides football and basketball. (mens soccer, wrestling, woman’s V-ball)

        These Cup rankings are a good barometer on Pitt’s competitiveness in sports.

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        1. When I played for the Pitt baseball team, we tried our best to win every game, and it’s been a long while, but I don’t recall ever even considering winning an NCAA championship. Pitt didn’t recruit for baseball then — we were more like a Pittsburgh all-star team, with a couple of out-of-towners thrown in. We had winning records each year, but the only event I remember us winning was a tournament in Ohio…

          At that time, playing on the baseball team was truly more like a student extra-curricular activity. The experiences of being on the team, and all the interactions that entailed, gave us a chance to grow as athletes and people. That was the reward.

          I guess the baseball team has come a long way from those days… And I guess the complete impossibility of my Pitt team ever winning an NCAA championship shaped my attitude toward the sports other than FB and BB…

          Go Pitt.

          Liked by 4 people

          1. I actually got into women’s softball last year since it was on TV. The ACC network will help drive a whole new generation of fans. And these Olympic sports will finally get some love and attention. Pitt baseball might even surprise some people with their new coach.

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        2. I’m sure that Heather cares about the cup results. I’m sure that the egg heads and do-gooders on the Board care about volleyball, field hockey, diving, and knitting. The vast majority of fans care about two sports; football and men’s basketball. Period. The fact that we spend enough to be competitive yet have little to show for this spending is sickening.

          Liked by 1 person

  18. Good:
    Defensive unit; Defensive line was great; LB’s’ played well including Pine and DB’s it is fantastic to see press coverage working!

    Bad:
    The offensive’s inability to have even a mediocre passing game.
    The uniforms – got to go to the throwback uni’s – they look great and would everyone would associate those colors with the “Pittsburgh Panthers”.

    Ugly:
    SOP

    Next Year:
    Afraid it will be stated the offense gets a 1 year pass due to:
    Growth for QB or a new QB
    4 new offensive LM
    New running backs and FB
    A TE?
    Above = SOP?

    Like

  19. In regards to some of the posts above and the previous thread … this is Mark Stoops sixth year at Kentucky. The first five were nothing to write home about

    Liked by 1 person

    1. but he is trending up over the past 2 years whereas Pitt is trending down
      There is more hope with the Kentucky program than Pitt’s
      Kentucky was very patient with Stoops and Pitt will be the same with Narduzzi

      I’m just the guy that would fire both Tomlin and Narduzzi this year. Thats how I roll. Doesnt mean I roll downhill all the time.

      Liked by 1 person

  20. Irony abounds 10 years later

    Dave Wanstadt went 9-4 in his fourth year including…

    A “bad” loss to Kent State (ours was to UNC)
    A Sun Bowl loss with a quarterback that played extremely poorly

    The difference in the season of course was wins over South Florida (ranked 10 at the time), and … Notre Dame (who was in the midst of a down period if I remember correctly)

    Like

  21. I am losing faith in KP. I lost faith in the offensive coaching months ago.

    A long off season will probably not solve our problems as the personnel will be about the same.

    WVU and PSU also lost their bowl games so we join them as poor finishers.

    After 56 seasons of watching Pitt FB, we are, and I hate to say it, SOP.

    Like

  22. Disheartening to learn the BOT cares about football…and this is the best they can generate?
    7-7.
    No bowl wins and an offensive that is offensive.
    Maybe they shouldn’t care…at least then we’d have an excuse.

    And, to keep harping on the Coastal Champion crap. Puuuhleeze. The only decent team we beat was Cuse. We were eviscerated by UCF, the Pedo’s, and Clemson. We looked like JV’s against Miami, whose coach quit after Paulie pounded them senseless.

    Our recruiting is unimpressive; our coaching schemes are unimaginative; and I await Coach big-calves to announce: Quarterback competition? We ain’t got a quarterback competition. Incomplete Kenny is our man.

    I will continue to support my team, if for no other reasons that it’s in my DNA and I’m too stupid to change even if I could.

    Liked by 3 people

  23. My prediction: Watson is gone as soon as Beville starts classes for the winter semester. With all the coaching changes a good OC should become available. Like most posters on this site I cannot even name who theWR coach is. Hence, he is GONE as well. Perhaps the biggest offensive disappointment is how little Aston was used this year. With no TEs, his pass catching ability and all around play were needed. Just another of many offensive failures this year.

    Liked by 3 people

  24. Never met Lyke but have talked with Narduzzi. Not a bad Guy. Just did not impress me as the type of person you would see as a Head Coach. Reminded me a lot of Defensive Coaches I’ve had in the past.

    Have heard nothing but Good about Lyke from people with intimate knowledge of operations inside her office.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. The Pitt spend on football is in line with the majority of other schools in the ACC. But, They still arent spending Clemson type money. That would show Pitt truly cared about the program. Playing off campus at Heinz also shows me that the BoT doesnt care too much.

    Clemsons revenues (ticket sales, merchandise, advertising/fees, donations) are higher than Pitt’s so they can spend more. They also have a profit at the end of the day.

    If Pitt’s football program could generate just a $10M profit each year (similar to Pitt basketball in non-KS times), they would be well on their way towards a tidy down payment for a new OCS.

    Like

    1. I accept being a Pitt fan, knowing fully that: 1) they will never spend at Clemson’s level – ever and 2) based on 1), any expectation that the BOT should (not will, but should) focus on an OCS right now simply isn’t realistic. Pitt does not need to do either right now to be successful.

      What it does need to do is focus on winning a couple more games a year and develop a winning mindset that wins the close games. Win the UNC game and the bowl game and the entire dialogue here is different.

      Having said that, the Narduzzi era is at a crossroads right now and he’s got to see there is a big problem with his offense. I’m not in his head, but Duzz may be having an internal debate about the cause for our offenses woes – is it the Jimmies and Joes, or the X’s and O’s? I think it’s some of both, but he has to start with the X&O’s because the current coaching staff isn’t able to lure the kinds of kids who will help the team win consistently. The woes with OL and TE recruiting are a scream for help and everyone and their grandma can see it. Everyone also recognizes atrocious play calling during a game. We all know it when we see it – and we saw it with the inexplicable moves away from pounding the ball at the most critical times on Monday. One doesn’t need to be a coach to know these things. They are obvious.

      Hopefully he will realize this (maybe already does), but if he doesn’t, there are enough people around the program including the AD who must see it. And the entire community of Pgh sports media sees it. And influential donors can see it. And so on.

      The problem right now is because we can see it so clearly, we want it addressed – now! Heck, I checked into twitter every few hours today in the hopes of catching some breaking news about Watson. But I’m an idiot and shouldn’t really have expected that. I’m just going to have to wait it out while he goes through his process. Press him, Heather!

      Liked by 4 people

  26. Penn State, with their best ever QB and several years of highly ranked recruiting classes and a down year for the B1G lost three conference games and their bowl game. A couple more timely field goals and we win nine games without a passing game, and an extremely difficult schedule.

    Liked by 2 people

  27. The BoT stories are hilarious. Does one of them know how to run a successful sports franchise? I trust they are all very competent in their respective line of work. You all may recall the old CEO from Domino’s was hired at Michigan as their AD. He didn’t know how to run a successful football franchise. He knew pizza. He didn’t understand how to take a decentralized environment and centralize critical infrastructure to create an organization that all pulls in the same direction to achieve a common goal.

    I believe it when they say they want to win, but nothing shows that they know how to win. It’s not just about plunking down $$$$ and say go get em. There needs to be a strategic plan that ties in the entire university. This is how Pitt fell off the cliff in the 80’s. Pitt did not have the academic support, a power struggle occurred and the academics won. Nobody and I say nobody has been persuasive enough to get buy-in from Senate Fiscal and all the other academics to move the needle. A CEO learns that he needs to give something to the academics in return for their support of the sports programs. That is step one in a rebuild. Pitt doesn’t get it. They think they get it. They want to get it. But they don’t understand how to get it. Biggest sustained failure by executive leadership in higher ed in 40 years.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. And 7-7 is not an appealing record, even with an ACC Coastal Championship sandwiched in between the pathetic performances we fans witnessed in 2018, starting with the Spring Game and ending with the bowel loss.

      THE GOOD: our D played well with our 3rd string MLB starting. Anyone know why Elias Reynolds did not play?

      THE BAD: QO & Hargrove injuries.
      KP’s 11-29 passing; D.Hall only getting 16 carries; M.Ffrench with only 6 touches; Kessman’s missed FG (not even close).

      THE UGLY: our passing game (play calling, execution, protection and # of times throwing when we should have run); the 2 sacks that costs us FG points; the last drive that seemed lyke Pitt had NO chance at scoring after witnessing the passing offense displayed to us fans in 2018.

      There are more comments for the latter two categories, I’m just worn out by the effort this school gives to its FB program to even type more details. If the administration and BoT truly are pushing for a better result, then we need to see changes with the admin & BoT as well as the FB coaching staff, because they don’t get it. There are no marketing nor branding strategies that I can see. Communicating to your fan base should be part of the gig – we know nothing other than our record is 7-7 and one of our few 4 star WPIAL players did not make the trip due to personal reasons.

      Maybe I will buy an Xbox…

      Liked by 5 people

  28. Kenny Pickett is starting to remind me a lot of Chad Voytik and Tino…a little undersized, great heart, a good runner, but he can’t read a defense or throw worth a lick. I hope Nard opens up the competition next year. George had a bunch of starts at Illinois and he looked like a better thrower than Kenny in what I saw. Hopefully Davis Beville is not our typical highly touted bust like Shane Hale, Max Browne, ect.

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  29. KP’s throwing accuracy is possibly average but what really looks bad is his ability to see the field and go through progressions. I think his accuracy looks even worse due to his lateness seeing receivers.

    What little we saw of Davis tells me next year’s QB is not going to have the luxury of that dimension if we are to be one-dimensional. 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I believe KP practices very well though. That is what Duzz sees and we don’t.

      Apply that to P.Ford as we hear he makes some great plays in practice but also makes some big mistakes.

      Many of us just want to see P.Ford making great plays in games.

      Like

    1. I know, right?

      You have to laugh or you’ll go crazy as a Pitt fan.

      Kevin Stallings is no longer coaching BB, and for that I am truly grateful.

      Like

  30. Narduzzi sealing his own fate?

    In today’s Trib, he expresses no lack of support for Offensive Coordinator Shawn Watson.

    “High,” Narduzzi said, then repeated himself before pointing a finger at the Stanford offense. “High. What’s their confidence in their coordinator? They had 208 yards, we had 344…”

    So anybody expecting changes in the Offense in 2019, you might was well forget it!

    Liked by 1 person

  31. My prediction for 2018 was 6 Wins and a loss in the Bowl Game.

    No, I did not foresee Pitt winning any kind of Coastal Championship. Frankly, did not have imagine so many ACC Teams being so AVERAGE.

    But next year will likely be different. Mack Brown taking the reigns at North Carolina, a more experienced Starting Quarterback Bryce Perkins… don’t think the good money is going to be on the ACC Coastal remaining as average as it was this year.

    ACC trending upward… Pitt trending downward with the the loss of Chryst Recruits Ollison and Hall and Shawn Watson staying on as OC.

    Believe my prediction for 2019 might not be so bold as to even mention the word “Bowl.”

    Liked by 1 person

  32. Don’t know if excited is the right word…but I’m hopeful the D can continue to improve and that Paris Ford can make an impact now that he is back to his natural position of safety.

    Recruitment is not over until LOI day.

    Beville starting school in Jan is a plus.

    No fan of Watson in either play calling, scheme or QB development…curious what Duzz decides and how Heather reacts.

    Liked by 2 people

  33. I know some of you guys have, but I’ve never written to the AD or any Pitt official before. But if coaching changes aren’t made (including a minimum of Watson) I will simply write Heather (and copy E.J. for fun) “I have supported this program with season tickets and donations for years – no matter what crappy product you’ve put on the field. But, I’m at the end of my rope and since you’ve chosen to blatantly and intentionally not support or improve the football program, I have no choice but to discontinue my support. If I do occasionally like ruining a weekend, I can get good tickets for $6 any time. I will support the program in the future when I see evidence that you will join me in supporting it.”….

    Liked by 1 person

  34. Just like this year they key will be the O-line, but for the first time it will be made up of all Narduzzi recruits.
    The QB will be KP unless he gets beat out for the position. There is more depth at the position so I see his legs being used more. He did get injured this year which took away the run for a while. We have a good stockpile of running backs. All receivers return except for Lopes. So the line really is the key.

    Most of the D returns so they should be even better next year.

    Still time to get Jucos and Transfers, maybe a late 4 star or two.

    No Notre Dame and PSU and UCF with new QB’s so who knows?

    Regular season we went from 5-7 to 7-5 that is not a downward trend.

    Look at the bright side of life!

    Liked by 1 person

  35. Throwing money at the program wont make it better. It will eliminate the excuse of being cheap but its how the money is being spent thats important.

    On that fan committee, do fans have input on how to make the program better?

    What are the big issues with the program today and what are the solutions to the problems?

    Well the easiest way to turn around a program is with coaching. Do we think Narduzzi is the right coach? I think we can all agree that Watson should at least be replaced.

    How does the program get to the level where its competing for Coastal titles each year and can string together several years of 9-11 wins?

    How do other schools do it?

    Well, first off they schedule an easy OOC. The downside is that it might hurt home ticket sales but think of the confidence players get by winning. Think of what these ‘gimme’ wins get you (see Syracuse). The media is touting their 10 win season as something special and they will be ranked in the top 15.

    Many of these schools have very good assistants. These assistants are often very innovative and of course very good at recruiting players to plug into their systems. So Pitt should really evaluate their coaching staff, their systems/schemes, and their recruiting tactics.

    And branding is the last area. Remember the most successful programs in terms of revenues and the ability to land elite recruits also have the most powerful brands. Pitt needs to determine their identity. Who are they and what do they want to be?

    Simple right?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree about the non-con games, but pitt could conceivably lose the “cupcakes”. A school of thought is that it’s better to lose to the psu and nd’s rather than Marshall or Toledo etc.

      Like

      1. but scheduling those schools requires a reciprocal arrangement. We have to travel to their stadium. Pitt could pay New Hampshire and Albany $500k and they’ll gladly accept. I think what most here have said is to play 1 P-5 team, 1-2 from outside the P-5 and then a rent a win team

        So based on those categories, here are my picks:
        P-5: Notre Dame, Penn State, WVU, Rutgers, Maryland
        Non P-5: any Ohio MAC team, Buffalo, Cincy, UConn, Temple, SFU, CFU, Navy
        Rent a Win: take your pick (Delaware, Richmond, Albany, YSU, etc)

        The key is only 1 P-5 team

        And you see that I’ve picked teams within Pitt’s recruiting footprint or have been historical rivals.

        Liked by 4 people

  36. Good post TX. In terms of branding (Heather), the uniform selection for the Sun Bowl was an easy choice and they blew it…..

    The real problem for the next several years is below average recruiting…and it’s no better this year. The O-line recruiting has been terrible and next year with Kenny as the guaranteed starter, every team can put 9 guys in the box and ignore the passing game. On the skill side, if you were a top wide receiver, why would you even entertain our offer? I don’t see any way around that – even in a rally bad conference.

    Like

  37. The great thing about College Football is that you basically have a new team every year.
    Kids grow up and get better. We saw it on the D this year, which is well stockpiled and will only get better.
    By the way, what happened to Reynolds? Pine played very well. Depth is so good that Ford could not get on the field.

    We have to hope that 5 of the very large men sitting on the bench this year can play some O-line next year.
    We had extra practices this year, they played on the scout team, Borbely did a pretty good job with a rag tag bunch this year, except for the pass blocking part. Eight months to get ready. The weight room is calling.

    Liked by 1 person

  38. and playing off campus in a rental stadium 5 miles away shows the entire world that you are not serious about football

    if the BoT is truly committed, show me that feasibility study that proves it cannot be done.

    If somehow Victory Heights is feasible, why not a multi purpose venue that also includes a home for volleyball, wrestling, track, gymnastics and lacrosse. There is plenty of room at the top of the hill (OC lot alone) for a 40k football stadium.

    Why not make a football stadium the centerpiece of Victory Heights? You’d get more support for the project that way.

    Like

  39. Where has Richman been?
    My only guess is he’s vacationing with Heather in the Bahamas, working on tans and Pitt football success strategy.
    (PS Richman, use protection i.e. “sun block” – the sun is hotter there than in Mount Lebanon).

    Like

    1. Perhaps Richman is in negotiations for a new OC at this very moment… 😊

      I’d like to suggest to Heather that all new coaches have to pass an interview with Scooter! Now that would narrow the field…

      Go Pitt.

      Like

  40. If any of you watched the Texas game, you saw what should be our offense. Running game, followed by quick passes….no huddle, keeps the defense on their toes!…also on the last play of the game – Pickett short hopped a pass to a wide open Mack and you could see the frustration on Mack’s face. You cannot win football games when your QB throws hail mary passes and misses on the outs and rarely throws over the middle. Terrible performance and they should have won!

    Liked by 1 person

  41. How do you know when you hire a great coach and assistant coach? They get, or try to get poached every year by bigger and better programs. I’ll wait for the list of assistant coaches that left Pitt for better gigs, not lateral moves.

    I can name a few: Bobby Engram, solid individual, excellent skills, excellent recruiter. He is the WR coach for the Baltimore Ravens. He recently lost his 20 year old daughter to Sickle Cell. I wonder if Pitt sent him a card, flowers, tweeted about him/her, etc. He wants to fight this disease and what a place to do it in Pittsburgh, especially at Children’s Hospital. I would make that call.

    Canada:the stars aligned for his big move. Pitt did not pony up the money to keep him. They made a weak offer after LSU went full in on him. It was a fan scam to try and make pitt fans think we are a player in the arms race.

    Chryst – Foregone conclusion. Alvarez was locked in on him and it is where he wanted to go. Wisconsin not a great football powerhouse but great enough to consistently win the big10 west because nebraska has been so terrible…oh, because of steve pederson. Wisconsin capitalized on the weakness of their division, scheduled easy on top of that and boom, national recognition the last few years as an above average football school.

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  42. I think I have to back off from the POV for the time being. I’m much too depressed about the poor coaching and decision making from both Narduzzi and Watson to subject myself to the daily give and take on Pitt football. I believe Narduzzi suffers from the same illness as Mike Tomlin. They both seem to have their head up their a** on the sideline as the game pass them by.

    Liked by 2 people

  43. Frank, thanks for posting the future schedules. Again proof that schedules aren’t typically finalized way out into the future as a lot on here seem to think. Typical is two years out

    2019 – Minimum OOC should be 2-2. I think we can beat UCF and a 3-1 OOC might be doable but not based on anything I have seen from our guys the last month. Just a hunch, moreso on UCF graduations.

    2020 – Minimum OOC 3-1 with a chance to be 4-0 with an upset of ND. This is how scheduling should look.

    2021 – Only 2 ooc games scheduled. TN and New Hampshire. Better go light on the next two.

    2022 – We start looking like scheduling baffoons again. No strategy here with Tenn and WVU so far. TN is trending up. WVU tends to beat us pretty easily lately. Pitt should be scheduling South Florida/FIU/FAU. That gets our Florida kids home where their parents can watch them in person at a minimum. Last I saw, we do not recruit WV for talent. Have a plan!

    2023 – STUPITTT! Cincy, WV and ND. StewwwwPitt. Back to the drawing board. Will be one of the toughest OOC schedules again and we did it to ourselves, again.

    With a doable 5-3 Conference schedule each year, the wins should be at a minimum, 7-8 per season. When the 3 stars align, we max at 8-9 wins. Not bad, but could be much better.

    Liked by 4 people

  44. The media makes people believe schedules are determined 8-10 years out and people believe them because the schools feed the lazy media the bs and noone researches it. In fact I just heard it on espn on my drive to work.

    The POV will have comments on here 5 years from now about how tough the schedule is and yadda yadda yadda….wo is us! This is why I get upset about our AD now and our AD’s in the past. Clueless on how to schedule to win. The proof is on the calendar. Thanks Frank for crashing the finger pointers and debbie downers about schedule calendaring.

    Final thought of the day: Is it me or is UPMC dropping a ton of cash on the UPMC Robert Morris Facility and the UPMC Duquesne University facility, while Pitt stadium remains a pipe dream!

    Liked by 1 person

  45. Speaking of Ford, Gordon, what is the latest on him? Does anyone know? We were told that he was welcome to show up at the Sun Bowl, I wonder if he made it. Is this another of Narduzzi’s recruiting failures?

    Like

  46. Shouldn’t we be hearing from Heather now in an end of season presser? I would think if things are positive she would want to come out and praise the progress being made by the football program. I think that, conversely, silence on her part would convey unhappiness with the current trend.

    Like

  47. Maybe it is hard to win at Pitt, hard to recruit, tough OOC, weak fan support.

    Add to that hyper critical fans who wanted Chryst, House, Chaney, gone.

    How are they doing now?

    Oh yeah, they wanted to match LSU’s ridiculous offer to Canada

    How is he doing now? Fired from LSU, Let go at Maryland.

    So now it is Watson on the hot seat, even though he had a make shift offensive line and a first year QB.

    We did have our first dual 1000 yard backs and won half our games vs stiff competition.

    Funny how many of these bums get good when they leave Pitt and have players that can execute their game plans.

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  48. IMO, the defense, O-Line, RB’s and WR’s, Punter, and kicking game with Kessman are trending up for next year. The key to success will be QB play. Was our QB better than any of our opponents QB’s this year? Lopes, French and Mack all appeared to be very frustrated at times. Still seeing Lopes wide open and waving his harms frantically in the end zone vs. Stanford.

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  49. I think HCPN did a remarkable job this year considering what he had to work with. His offense ranked 96th and the defense ranked 69th. This according to ESPN. Without all the horrible penalties called against us we could easilly be 11-3. Well done coach and staff……..

    Liked by 2 people

  50. There is a sometruth to what Wayne said including the massive amount of penalties and we played the hardest D1 OOC schedule in the land with one arm tied behind the back with virtually no semblance of a passing game……hard to believe we ranked as high as #96 offensively when teams could line-up and T-off on our running game……Man, do we have a problem in Watson’s department !!!

    Like

    1. That maybe true, but we couldn’t beat a horrible NC team and a beatable Miami team. For me personally, good and disappointing. Kinda like the last 40 years.

      Like

  51. Manny Diaz just dismissed the entire offensive staff after they ranked 94th. Why haven’t we made a change in OC already? What the heck are we waiting for?
    I really wouldn’t be surprised if PN keeps Watson. In fact, Unless the AD orders a change, he probably will.

    Like

    1. ^^ You mean someone like Matt Canada?

      Narduzzi hired Chaney who is now the OC at Georgia
      Narduzzi hired Matt Canada who is now a wealthy millionaire and highly sought after coach.
      Narduzzi hired the D-Back coach that was hired away by a NFL team, his name escapes me
      Narduzzi hired Bates who held the vaunted Stanford offense to 210 yards. Say what you want about PITT’s defense but consider the schedule when you get all cranky. They were much improved by seasons end.
      Narduzzi hired Watson, a bad hire. Let’s cherry pick a little more.

      Like

      1. when avg attendance sets an all time low next year and donations hit bottom barrel, Narduzzi will rue the day for not trading in Watson for a younger and more innovative OC.

        Canada’s success was more a product of Nate, JC and a Chryst Corn-fed Line

        Like

        1. So you think next season we will be below where we were around when I went to school (three 1-9 seasons), or during Johnny Majors II?

          Go Pitt.

          Like

  52. Happy New Year to all!

    Been traveling for the Holiday’s – watched the Bowl game but missed going to the BBall game.

    Have to say I have a different view on the offense woes the football team suffered this year. I submit it starts and ends with the Quarterback. Kenny Pickett is not a D1 quarterback at this stage of his football life, and I have strong doubts he ever will be.

    The fact that Watson had to design an offense that could attempt to cover up for KP’s deficiencies as a passer really tied his hands in a lot of ways. Having no proven pass catching talent at tight end also was a huge liability. Not to mention an O-Line that could barely pass block.

    Yes, Watson contributed to the problems, i.e not getting Aston involved in the Red Zone offense often enough, lack of precision and communication when changing units or on field personnel resulting in numerous penalties or forcing the premature use of timeouts, trying to be cute at the wrong times and lack of situational awareness, imagination and/or creativity when he did try to use a bit of trickery, trying to force the passing game too much.

    But I believe that the level of talent he had to work with greatly exacerbated these shortcomings.

    I would not be at all upset if he was let go (perhaps Watson can be ‘kicked upstairs’ – make him Associate Head Coach in Charge of Quarterbacks), but I worry about HC Narduzzi’s track record in hiring assistants.

    Long term, I like the idea expressed above regarding a ‘Football CEO’. Make them equal to HCPN in the hierarchy, Give them strong influence in the hiring of assistants and recruiting, and control over things like scheduling, marketing, branding and media relations. Enable Narduzzi to concentrate more on mastering his practice and game day coaching skills, on dealing with the players and day to day coaching and coordination.

    Regardless, it was a very entertaining season. I guess I am too much a football fan in general, but I did see a lot of progress in the defense this year – and the offense has the running game down to perfection when the coaches allow them to play smash-mouth ball.

    Speaking of branding – I do like the fact that the announcers on the bowl game identified Toughness and Strength as a big part of the Pitt character. This tells me that perhaps the perception of the program nationally is not as dire as those of us who experience the teams foibles on a day to day basis can’t see. We fans and critics have to be aware of tunnel vision on our parts too. Sometimes one is too close to the forest to see the trees…

    Will be back at the Pete on Sat to see Capel’s crew take on Cam Davis and the Tarheels in the ACC opener. Will be fun to see Cam back in the Pete. Don’t expect a win, but if the Heels play as inconsistently as they have in the last few games, I think Pitt has an outside chance at an upset if they play the near perfect game. Xavier Johnson is way more polished then Coby White at this point in their careers. It will be a good matchup to watch.

    H2P

    Like

    1. “Yes, Watson contributed to the problems, i.e not getting Aston involved in the Red Zone offense often enough, lack of precision and communication when changing units or on field personnel resulting in numerous penalties or forcing the premature use of timeouts, trying to be cute at the wrong times and lack of situational awareness, imagination and/or creativity when he did try to use a bit of trickery, trying to force the passing game too much.”

      Tommy – that alone is enough for an OC to be fired. I’ll throw his total disinterest in the TE as a pass catcher a flaw as well.

      Like

  53. Sun Bowl Views

    Defense played one of its best games and appeared to improve as the season progressed. Bates is trending upward, and D should be a strength next year. Secondary greatly improved and playing much more aggressive. Pass rush generally decent, but not consistent as run defense which has been good.

    KP turning into a flash in the pan, unfortunately. He can’t find his check-down options and is constantly missing open guys. Lopes was jumping up and down from being open in the endzone on one of KP’s ill-advised passes on the sidelines to a covered WR who had no chance of catching the ball. His accuracy is atrocious, overthrowing by 15 feet a wide open Mack on short pass for 1st down at end of game. . WTF.

    RBs overall were excellent again, with Hall and Ollison (till hurt) looking like NFL caliber. Davis’ drop of a 3rd down pass for an easy 1st down at the end of the game stood out as a killer. RBs next year are a HUGE ??? especially with KP as starter. Passing game has no chance until Beville is ready to show if he deserves the 4-star rating.

    Just a question, what in the heck was Briggs doing in the endzone on the fumble-pass TD? He was covering the guy who caught the stupid TD but at the last minute peeled off of him for no apparent reason. On 3rd and goal how do you lose sight of the QB?

    Watson was totally clueless as usual, on 1st and goal situations. On the two 1st and goal situations, where chip shot FGs were made, I think Pitt lost yardage in the aggregate on the 6 plays that he called. Unconscionable!!!! Must be fired.

    Liked by 2 people

  54. When Watson was coming in, there was a Poster who said that there was no reason to think that Watson would not use Tight Ends in his Offense.

    Can’t remember who that was.

    Maybe somebody can help me remember who that was.

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    1. That person clearly gave Watson the benefit of the doubt – and why not? How pigheaded could one be to not want to use the TE as a receiver? What moron couldn’t see the advantage of having extra weapons for those times when the wideouts are covered and the middle of the field is open?

      Like

    2. Ironically he has coached at least three TE’s into the nfl. I’m assuming he doesn’t feel he has the talent. But his lack of use of Aston at h back as a receiver is a crime

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      1. Exactly right. I posted right after attending the Spring Game about the lack of ANY Tight End able to run a route and catch a football.

        Watson actually has overseen Offenses in the past where Tight Ends got the Ball.

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  55. Without the threat of a tight end going across the middle to provide a pass option as a safety outlet, the Jet Sweep is too easy too easy to defend.

    I agree it is dead with the personnel the Panthers currently have.

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  56. Heather gave Narduzzi a long term contract to free him up to make the tough staff decisions. He needs to fire the OC without fear that a better OC will take his job. With several scholarships still available, Narduzzi is probably waiting until some kids like Beville start the semester, and then until signing day passes before axing coaches. At any event, I think Narduzzi needs 8 wins next year or he is gone.

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  57. DB coach who left last year is Ronaldo Hill, currently coaching the db’s for the Miami Dolphins.

    I like the matchup versus unc this Sat.

    They are very athletic and a much better team on paper than Pitt is, but I’m hoping Capel and his brother’s knowledge of the tar hills can help offset the talent gap.

    If so, it could end up being a really good game.

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  58. Not sure if anyone mentioned this, but Pitt lost 7 games this year… UNC is a head scratcher, but the other 6 teams we lost to were all ranked at one time or another in the top 10 of the polls for the 2018 season (Miami was only there during week 1 and quickly fell, but they were nonetheless there).

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  59. In the scheduling discussion above, someone suggested we could buy a win for about $500K. At $20 a ticket, that would represent the entire revenue of 25,000 fans at that game going to our opponent. I don’t know what we pay to rent the stadium, pay security and ushers, etc., but is that realistic within our athletic budget?

    Like

    1. $500k is the going rate
      Some larger schools like Michigan have paid up to $1M for these ‘guaranteed’ wins
      Pitt is probably banking on 35k to show up. Maybe $40 per person after you consider the cost of a ticket, concessions, merchandise and parking. Pitt gets a cut in all that. Lets say $1.4M in revenue for this game.

      Cost to rent Heinz is around $1.2M each year so over 6 games its $200k

      Leaves Pitt with $700k.

      Thats not profit. Pitt still has to cover expenses for the program like salaries, cost of scholarships, marketing, transportation, benefits, injury insurance, overhead for the Athletic Department, etc, etc

      Thats why the smaller schools cant really afford to purchase wins

      Like

  60. Zero buzz on Matt Canada out there if Duzz wants to dip into that well again. Team has kept the playbook and terminology so he’s slide right in. Jim Bob Cooter just became available too if he’s dead-set on hiring a pro-style OC. Ole Miss just hired their second OC of the offseason. lol. Hello … Pitt …

    Liked by 1 person

  61. You can see how all these new coaches are putting an emphasis on the offense. Most are adding CO- offensive coordinators to focus on the pass and run game. PN is so stubborn he will maintain the same offense which will be his downfall. Pickett could use a good qb coach to help his mechanics. Next year you will see Miami, Virginia, VT on the upswing. Watson’s offense is worse than it was at Texas and that’s bad…

    Like

  62. Teams change coordinators like underwear. No excuse to not fire Watson. Another .500 or below year, Narduzzi should be fired.

    One example…

    Morrehead went to PSU, after the Pitt loss, they lit it up. Totally new system.

    Like

  63. PITT could very well be planning to make a change in their offensive coordinator, or maybe not? We don’t know, but I agree with their philosophy of not airing their dirty linen in public. If you people haven’t figured it out, Narduzzi doesn’t work that way. I for one, appreciate that about him.

    Like

  64. I don’t dislike the idea of giving Watson an alternative title like asst head coach and maybe QB coach and then bringing in a new OC. Could work if Narduzzi’s loyalty or Davis Beville prevent him from cutting Watson loose.

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  65. So the question is: will assistant coach replacements improve recruiting or will improved recruiting make the coaching staff look better? In Pitt’s case it appears the cake is already baked for this group. Incoming recruits aren’t going to help in time.

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  66. Ike, in the subject of airing dirty laundry we have long complained that in his pressers Narduzzi blames everyone else but himself. Especially the players “who don’t do what they are coached to do”. I’m surprised he hasn’t already thrown his assist coaches under the bus.

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  67. I read and listen to almost everything I can about PITT, yes, I’m sick and bored that way. I hear Narduzzi accepting blame all the time. Is he sincere? Maybe, maybe not.

    I guess my dirty laundry joke didn’t land where I wanted it to. Check NRS’s comment about changing coordinators like underwear…………… hence the dirty laundry comment… “)

    Liked by 1 person

  68. Just sent my e-mail to Heather. Said it was great to win the Coastal, but that Pitt’s offense was at times embarrassing. Said that Pitt fans live on HOPE and the only way we’re going to have any HOPE for next season is if changes are made to the offensive coaching side.

    Here’s Heather’s email:
    athleticdirector@athletics.pitt.edu

    Go Pitt.

    PS: I did not add at the end “Say hello to Richman for me,” but I was tempted!

    Liked by 6 people

  69. Hire Watson as an assistant head coach and QB coach out of loyalty??!! Narduzzi’s career is on the line and he would consider keeping Watson out of loyalty. Narduzzi does not have the right to be that selfish and HL would be an idiot to allow that to happen. It’s clear that Watson has to go and if Narduzzi can’t pull the trigger for whatever reason he does not deserve to be a head coach. As for making Watson the QB coach, that would mean that Watson would be in charge of developing our QBs. Yikes!

    Liked by 1 person

  70. You can also make a strong case that our WR coach should be replaced. Even to my untrained eye, there are obvious reasons.

    –We rarely high-point the ball. Nice catch by Mack in the Sun but how often have we seen that type of play this season – or last? Usually our guys wait to catch the ball at chest level, or even lower, giving the DB lots of time to break it up…

    –Our WRs tend to just keep running and do not adjust to the ball. There was a classic example in the bowl game where the Stanford receiver was totally covered in the endzone but when the ball was thrown short, he slowed up and so our DB ran into him and he drew the PI call. WE NEVER DO THAT. Our receiver would have just kept running!

    –Since we don’t play aggressive enough to draw PI calls against our opponents, we are missing out on a BIG weapon that our opponents use all to often to their advantage against us. Our guys need to be taught to STRONGLY ADJUST to the BALL. That’s how, more often than not, you either end up with a catch or a PI against the DB.

    –Oh, and we need someone who can teach our guys an ever-so-subtle push-off move, like is used so much and to such advantage against us (I’m looking at you UNC and VT!).

    Go Pitt.

    Like

  71. It’s coaches getting replaced or moving on season. I think when coaches leave their team, any signed players should have the option of re-opening their recruitment. This should happen if the Head Coach leaves or if the recruit’s position coach leaves, IMHO.

    Go Pitt.

    Like

  72. Cardiac Hill’s Corey Cohen also calling for Watson to go (on his podcast)
    “Stability just for the sake of stability is pointless”

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  73. I could care less about the recruits Watson may have influenced. Bring in an OC that will put up big numbers and kids will commit to him.

    Narduzzi made the change on defense getting a new DC. I thought it was a bad hire at first but I do believe the defense improved this year.

    He needs to make the same change on the offensive side this year. New OC. The terrible scheme out weighs any advantages stability may bring the offensive players.

    I hope it is happening behind closed doors.

    Liked by 1 person

  74. It’s amazing how blog sites continue to choose a whipping boy and blame everything on him. Everything is a bit exaggerated

    — For example, I saw somewhere above where Tino cas sited in with Voytik and Pickett for being inaccurate. Pitt QB completion% since Tino: (Pittt career)

    Sunseri 64.5% Yards per Attempt 7.5
    Savage 61.2% YPA 7.6
    Voytik 61.3% YPA 7.3
    Peterman 61.1% YPA 8,3
    Pickett 58.2% YPA 6.6

    (source: www:sports-refernce.com – and yes, this includes Tino’s year with Fraud)

    — It seems lost to people here that Pitt outgained Stanford in both rushing and PASSING Of course. Pitt passed 11 times more but Pitt outrushed Stan 208 to 107.

    Having said that …. I wouldn’t be mad at all if Watson was axed.

    — to me, the key of the game was that Pitt twice had to settle for FGs in the 3 times it was within Stanford 10 yard line, while Stan was 2 for 2. This where a TE really comes in handy IMO
    — I could not understand why Pitt kept trying to run wide throughout the 2nd half when its bread and butter this year was between the tackles.
    — Pickett has made some pretty good throws in his time here as well as a couple good passing games, but his inconsistency and lack of improvement is palpable

    Thus, it would not bother me at all if Watson was axed … or maybe a QB coach was brought in …. or Matt Canada was hired as OV and Watson retained as QB coach (pipe dream)

    Liked by 1 person

  75. I watched the bowl game from a bar, so I can’t say I caught every play, but there was a series in the 2nd quarter that Pitt drove down the field and Pickett had several good runs on RPO plays. They scored a TD on the drive. He had runs of 14, 5, 0, 11 yards. A 7.5 yard average. He did not have a planned run after that play that I noticed. Just scrambles.

    I have complained all season that they did not run Pickett. He is a better than average runner and for a team that runs the ball so much it give the defense fits. Makes zero sense that they did not run him all year. Another Watson screw up. This is college ball. QB’s run.

    Just for fun….

    McSorely ran 170 for 798 yards, 4.7 average. Pickett ran 117 times for 221 yards, 1.9 average.

    Granted, Pickett did not have 117 runs. More like 117 scrambles. I would love to know what he gained on actual planned runs.

    Liked by 2 people

  76. Major – great comment above re the WRs. I’ve been thinking the same for a while. Nice catch by Mack, but for the most part our WRs wait for the ball it seems. Coaching needs to improve in this area.

    Pitt wrestling’s January schedule is a fun one
    Oklahoma (unranked but on the rise)
    North Dakota State #20
    South Dakota State
    Oklahoma State #3
    Virginia Tech #14

    Then they start off February with the #12 UNC.

    Pitt beat #16 ranked Northern Iowa (when they were ranked #14) and Pitt is currently ranked #24. January will tell us a lot about the young Pinzburgh Panthers.

    Liked by 1 person

  77. One thing I was RIGHT about was Canada’s Offense.

    My term for it when he was here was “Smoke ‘n Mirrors.” TWICE that’s been shown to be the case since he left.

    Wishing him a return would be a BIG mistake.

    The Canadian Jet Sweep is about effective at this point as the Wishbone.

    Like

      1. Army mostly Two Back Offense. I’ve watched it up close in person a few times.

        Guess the call it a Flexbone. But does not look anything like the Wishbone that Texas and Oklahoma used to run.

        Like

  78. Perhaps RPO plays were “on hold” through-out the season as we didn’t have a viable back-up in the coaches mind and they wanted to minimized the risk of injury to our starter…gloves came off for 1 series and KP did well with his legs on those plays…with a long off season to recover and an in-coming 4-star you woulda thunk PITT might have continues the RPO……

    Liked by 1 person

  79. The jet sweep is only effective if you keep the field stretched down the middle so that the safety cannot fully commit to the run. The play is fine when you have a plan.

    Okay, so when I look at the picture that goes with the article, I began to think. Was there a ruling on whether it was a forward pass or a fumble? If a forward pass (and i think it was because it never hit the ground), there are at least two offensive linemen blocking in the endzone, which would have been illegal, right? Just a thought.

    Not sure if it is reviewable (probably not for a penalty), but if it’s a pass, the head coach should have argued illegal man or men downfield. At a minimum, that draws a discussion between referee’s, who knows. That play was just beyond odd.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Henderson was really great at the sweep because he knew when to cut up field when the play was covered outside. He had the speed and agility to evade defenders. Carter and FFrench have shown the speed, but not the cuts. Same thing with Hall great straight ahead speed without the great lateral movements like Shady Deon or to some extent Conner.

      Like

      1. Houdini showed the ability to make the right cuts. I believe he got hurt at some point and hardly saw the field. He was not with the team in El Paso.

        Like

    2. Had the same thought on the fumble-pass. Was surprised, but shouldn’t have been, I guess, that the announcers didn’t bring up that angle – that it could be considered a pass and there was a lineman in the end zone…

      With our Panthers, it’s always something…

      Go Pitt.

      Like

  80. While I question some of Watson’s play calling at times, I still say it is player execution that is the problem.
    No I don’t mean that we should execute all the players. The players are not making plays as often as they should. First is pass blocking, how often does Kenny have time to throw? How many times did Bookser miss is block, how many times was he off sides? In the last game alone Hall got bull rushed twice allowing plays to get blown up. How many times did our receivers not get open or come back to the ball when Kenny got flushed. How many balls did they drop?

    And then there is Kenny. How many poor decisions did he make? How many open receivers did he over/under throw. How many times did he throw to a covered receiver. How many times did he not feel the rush coming, or not throw the ball away? How many times did V Carter, not turn up field when he had the chance?

    Coaches can only do so much with what they have. Players need to make plays.

    Is our defense playing better because of coaching or are our players finally good enough to execute the game plan?

    Chaney, House and Chryst, our previous whipping boys all got much better with better players. Canada was the best he ever was with a cast of solid players. Good coaching does make a difference but only marginally.
    Take Stoops at Kentucky, wasn’t all that until he got a great running back and dominant pass rusher.

    Watson recruited a 4 star QB and RB. If he can recruit some better linemen, he can be a great coach too.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Good points, gc, but how many times all season did Watson call any plays designed to take advantage of an aggressive pass rush or blitz?

      Part of his job is to design plays that mask our weaknesses and accent our strengths. The former was rare as hen’s teeth.

      I can only remember two screen passes all season…

      Go Pitt.

      Like

  81. The Jet sweep also works when you have a passing game. When all you have is a running game, everyone is on the line. You also need exceptional players to execute the play. Boyd, Whitehead and Of course Henderson were really good at it, but last year with no passing game even Henderson could not make it work. A defense can’t defend everything in a well balanced offense. We haven’t had one for two years, because of poor line and QB abilities but easier to blame Watson.

    Like

  82. It still seems to me the main reason for no TE passes is very simple: Duzz and Watson want to protect Kenny AT ALL COST! Our OLine could not do that on pass plays. KP would take the shotgun snap, look up and have to run for his life way too much. The only way to protect your fav QB while standing in the pocket is to give him more PROTECTION! Heck, 45 yes ago when I played pulling guard, running run plays were much easier then protecting the QB on pass plays. Every O linemen knows this and It still applies today. Thus, making the TE a 300 lb. blocker was out of NECESSITY not DESIGN! So, our OL was ultimately the problem as we all knew going into the season.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Agree, but also because we have no P-5 pass catching ability at Tight End. There are no Holtz or Orndoff on this team. Guys that can block and catch passes. Maybe chew gum and walk at the same time. But you are absolutely correct. When you don’t have a tackle that can stop a D-end, they need help. When you have a running back that gets pancaked, they need help. When your QB is getting tomahawk chopped in the head, they need help.

      Like

  83. Cardiac Hill ran a poll to grade the season. Almost 1000 voters. 50% graded b- or better and 50% graded c+ or less.
    25% had b – and 21% had c+

    Like

  84. Based on pre-season expectations compared to the final results, I would grade them at a B-

    Based on where Pitt should be as a program after Year 4 and going into Year 5, I would grade them as a C

    Liked by 1 person

  85. I kind of agree with you Jim. It’s not like PITT doesn’t have a TE that could catch a pass but that it’s very difficult to catch a pass when the ball is not thrown to you. I noted on the POV when Watson was hired that he doesn’t particularly like to use the TE. Sure there have been exceptions but generally speaking, tight ends are persona non grata in Watson’s world.

    Like

  86. Interesting stats Pitt ran for gross yards of 3581

    Pitt passed for 1961

    Of course runs are reduced by losses including 265 in Picketts losses, mostly sacks.

    Shouldn’t they reduce passing yardage by sack yardage. So Pickett’s net would be around 1700 yds.

    No matter, the passing game was pathetic.

    But easier to blame Watson.

    Like

  87. The bare minimum that should be acceptable to Pitt fans is a split in OC duties. Watson is made Co-Offensive Coordinator. Heck, he can be the run game coordinator and PN hires a new guy for passing game coordinator. Happens often in college football.

    Like

  88. Splitting the OC role is an interesting solution, but the problem is that Watson is supposed to be the “QB whisperer” because of T. Bridgewater thus he would be the passing game coordinator. Lets face it, anyone can get lucky coaching a talented player once. He’s got to go, it just that simple.

    Beville is an unlikely solution until mid-season at the very, very earliest based on PN’s track record, an likely not even then, so I fear we are going to have a large dose of KP, and maybe a morsel of Patti for most of the season. That means its Defense or Bust next year.

    Liked by 1 person

  89. Happy Valley is not so happy these days. Miles Sanders just declared for NFL, making him the 5th PSU underclassman to declare in last 2 days. Just shows you how much talent there is on the roster. And the inbreds are getting pretty fed up with Franklinstein, who is just that when it comes to winning meaningful, close games.

    Also, McSorely will finally graduate. However, just like Stanford, PSU will reload with a bunch of 4-stars. QB Tommy Stephens and DB Lamont Wade are just 2 examples. They will likely be able to handle Pitt next year at Happy Valley but the natives will be restless as Franklin’s record vs OSU, Mich St and Mich has not been that good.

    Like

  90. I take a concerted effort to not pretend I know more than a head coach or an athletic director or anyone who works a job I have no expertise in until it becomes as obvious as the nose on my face….. and even then I have to step back with doubts?? Yet “the steve” did take me to those limits. Where are those limits this afternoon? Shucks, I just don’t know but I have my opinions…….

    The famous question, which came first, the chicken or the egg and the brand new question.. Who’s the problem…. Watson, Pickett, the O-Line, Narduzzi or all the above remains unanswered to this day. So what to do, what to do? One of my philosophies I tried to hand down to my kids is… if there is a problem, identify it and ask yourself. What can I do to rectify it, if there is something you can do to fix it? You then fix the problem or reconcile that there is nothing you can do Benny..

    Well imo, the offense is the problem so PITT needs to start and eliminate the suspects. The passing offense was to the anemic point of hurting this PITT football team of almost a ruination of a very fun and successful season. << Side note here. Isn’t it interesting that this year the offense screwed the pooch instead of the defense? Remember all the hand ringing about Narduzzi being a defensive guru. OK the defense wasn’t all that great but again the schedule…..

    Bottom line. We don’t know if Pickett digressed this year or he may not be all that good. I think it’s time to bring in a fresh perspective and a designated QB coach and we find out.

    Liked by 1 person

  91. Right Ike.

    QB is everything in college FB. We do not have a coach whose job is to develop the most important position on a football team. HCPN better get one. I do not recommend anyone but Harris was a good one.

    Like

    1. Actually, Watson is the QB Coach…. He just didn’t seem to make much, if any, progress with KP this season. And Watson wasn’t so hot last season either.

      I’d like to see Pitt hire a new OC AND a QB coach because as you said, the QB is everything in college FB…

      Go Pitt.

      Liked by 1 person

  92. The problem of offense falls directly on poor recruiting. Not one Narduzzi scholarship recruit on the O-line in his fourth year. Morrisey, a walk-on and Millen a Sr. transfer, Bookser playing out of position and two guards that had never started before. Two senior running backs and a senior fullback, again a walk-on. A true sophomore QB. Two transfer wide receivers and a transfer tight end.

    So in Narduzzi’s fourth year KP and French were the only scholarship recruits of any consequence on the offense. Sorry but that is no recipe for success.

    So Pitt should fire Watson, when they are going to start all over with a new O-line, new running backs, no tight ends to speak of and QB who survived running for his life, most of the time?

    I can easily make the case that Watson overachieved considering what he had to work with.

    I do agree that maybe a dedicated QB coach would be a good thing since we have three young QB’s and a transfer.

    However, the guy with the most important job is Borbely who has to create a line out of a bunch of guys that haven’t played in anger yet. It would also help a lot if our RB coach can teach our 4 star recruits how to pick up the blitz.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wanny once said the solution was to recruit faster players. Narduzzi needs to recruit better linemen, tight ends and wide receivers.

      Like

  93. I don’t care who the offensive coordinator is next year. But when the next season starts, I want to see two things with out offense.
    First I want to see a line that can both run block and pass block .
    Second, I want to see proof that we have a coach on the team who was able to teach the playbook and the qb responsibilities to a freshman qb over the 8 months prior to the season.
    It shouldn’t take longer than that if the qb is a true d1 qb.

    I’d our freshman qbs arnt ready to step in and lead our team to victory, then there is a problem with recruiting or teaching or both.

    If Pii can accomplish these two things in the off season, then I really feel we can start to build a successful offense.

    Like

  94. So in the bowl game Pickett was 11-29

    How many of the incomplete passes were:

    His Fault, poor throw, mis-read
    The lines fault, missed blocks
    Hall’s Fault, two missed blocks
    Receivers fault, dropped ball, bad rout
    Great defensive play
    Watson’s fault

    Like

    1. he actually made 2 long throws (both in first half) that just missed. Both in end zone. One of them, right before half, could have been called PI since the WR’s shirt was pulled, but it wasn’t blatant. On the first one, Ffrench was looking the wrong way (but KP was under pressure)

      It seemed he got more inaccurate as the game progressed. There was a pass earlier in 4th quarter where Mack was wide open that could have been a really big play … at least 25 yards …. but the pass was too high

      Like

  95. Wish I could say that there is strong consideration going on in dismissing Watson but I haven’t heard a thing. Conversely, I haven’t heard anything to the contrary. To me, that doesn’t speak well of Watson’s future at PITT.

    Like

  96. I’m just throwing this out there for discussion. How about Tim Salem as OC? He served in that capacity at EMU and Purdue. He was also the QB coach for the Boilermakers. I realize his isn’t the sexy name some might want to hear, but he’s on the staff and I’m sure he has his own ideas of how to run the offense. Everything I read and hear about him is positive…..so I’m just wondering. Or does he fit the mold of just another of Narduzzi’s cronies?

    Like

      1. I have, but he is currently not the OC (Watson) who is scheming the game plan and calling the plays. I think he may have his own ideas of how to run the offense. As far as using the TE, I’m of the belief that the OL is judged by the staff to be below the line, so they are used primarily as blockers.

        Like

  97. You fine folks are delusional if you think there will be any changes to Narduzzi’s staff!

    I like Pitt to upset N Carolina Saturday in BBall. It all lies on Browns inside game.

    Like

  98. There is almost all passing in the HS all-star game but I think Carter got a carry in beginning of 2nd quarter. Don’t know for sure because all the announcers talked about was the QB who handed off to him, and made no mention of the play. And the very next play, the QB threw an INT.

    I think it was ‘Carter’ name on the jersey, and he showed good power turning a 3 yard game into a 5 yard game, pushing back 2 defenders,

    PSU has about 6 players in the game

    Like

  99. Major, I just sent an email off to Heather touching on all points covered on the PittPOV. Other posters should also consider doing the same.

    Like

    1. Excellent!

      Yes, I agree with Tossing T. and others that we should all send a note to the AD.

      If memory serves, Pitt fans were usually on the warpath regarding Wanny’s OCs too, and I think part of the friction between Wanny and SP was from SP wanting Wanny to make changes…

      Still, I think For Pitt fans to have any real hope that things can be better next season, there have to be some changes made on the offensive side.

      (And from above, I think Tim Salem was the temp OC for the Military Bowl. That audition didn’t turn out so well…)

      Go Pitt.

      Like

  100. Gordon Conn @ 4:21: Missing Wlat votes that post to the top ten posts of the year. Our offensive recruiting under Narduzzi has been as Mike Tomlin would say “below the line”.

    Like

  101. Funny thing. Caught most of the Second Half of the Under Armour to see Carter in action.

    Saw a No. 25 for the “Flash.” He looked HUGE.

    I’m thinking this Kid couldn’t carry a Ball if his life depended upon it. Carter must have gained THIRTY Pounds since his Junior Highlight Reel. No wonder Pitt was able to get him.

    Needless to say there were TWO 25s. One a D-Lineman. Hilarious.

    Like

  102. My wandering mind and wondering brain. Why no revisiting the preseason record prediction thread? Could it be that all the posters complaining right now about the end of this season were wrong because they thought PITT wouldn’t win 6 or let alone 7 games? << Let alone the ACC coastal division championship? No need to respond, I know the answer. ike

    Like

    1. ike. — When we filled out Reed’s prediction forms at the POV golf outing, my guess was 7-5. And I was predicting the most wins at my table…

      But I did have all my fingers and toes crossed… 😊

      Go Pitt.

      Like

  103. Well Ike, I would venture to guess that if we rolled the tape, the majority of the posters would have accurately predicted 7 losses!

    Touche’ my good friend.

    I am out on the argument because I predicted Pitt would go 12-0. Picked em every week and tried to figure out a way they could win every week, but the coaches didn’t follow my plan. At least I had one.

    Like

  104. If you don’t think players are more important than coaches.

    As a head coach Bill Belichick was 36-44 as head coach of the Browns, In his first year with the Pats he was 5-11, the year he drafted Brady. The very next year Brady won Belichick his first Superbowl.

    Chuck Noll was 1-13 in his first season with the Steelers, the year he drafted Joe Greene, it took a little longer and a few more drafts… four Superbowls, then as his players got older and declined so did his winning record.

    Recruit better players – Win more games

    Like

  105. Two different things and games Gordon. Better players are key, but the better players in college have their choice of where they want to play. They want to play for national championships and to be a part of something special. Based on our history and other recruiters pitches against Pitt, the reality is that if you are a superstar and go there, expect a .500 record and a minor bowl. The rich, get richer.

    Quick update. Antonio Brown’s antics saved Mike Tomlin’s job. Steelers Admin indicate they cannot find someone better than Tomlin right now that would come into the cluster. Ownership is furious. Steeler’s stuck. If they let Tomlin go, it gives the impression that the players rule. That would kill their culture and show leadership weakness to a potential new coach.

    Interestingly enough, AB probably stays!

    Like

  106. Ike – it appears many POV-ers came close in their predictions (most mediocre). I remember a lot of 7 loss predictions myself, but my expectations and several others were much higher. Double digit wins can be done at a program Lyke Pitt – program examples would be Northwestern (beaten by Duke this year on their way to 10 wins), Stanford (9 wins this year, but several in the past eight years), Wisconsin, Kentucky, Syracuse, Temple, Cincinnati, and the list goes on.

    Execution of a well thought out plan is how it can be done. Does Pitt even have a plan? I’ve not heard of one being communicated to us, whether through the news, a coaching or AD press conference, mass mailing to season ticket holders nor a marketing campaign. Nothing.

    I did hear on ESPN yesterday that there are only three P5 teams that have not won 10 games in the last 30 years – Pitt is not one of them, but very close to being in that lonely three. I believe the list is W_F, Vandy and either Indiana or Illinois. I’m going by memory…

    Pitt’s administration has made numerous poor decisions in the past 37 years – someone mentioned a few days ago that they had insider information on the BoT pushing and supporting for better FB results. I don’t question the bloggers info, but I do question the make-up of the BoT and their past 37 year record of bad decisions and directing. The list is long, but here are a few – not keeping Sherrill, promoting Foge, tearing down Pitt Stadium, firing Wanny, hiring “Haymaker” and on and on…

    Hiring a non-head coach after Chryst left for Wisconsin was another poorly directed and planned out decision. Rolling the dice is not a plan, but it does work sometimes. I’m afraid it hasn’t worked too well at Pitt.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Theres very little the BoT can do at this point. They have their HC and AD in place. They have found the money for coaching salaries and the recruiting budget. The Pitt spend is on par with 80% of schools in the ACC.

      Recruits and coaching are reasons #1 and #2 for results at this point.

      Pitt needs to change their tactics in regards to recruiting. And Pitt needs better assistants who can recruit, develop and coach players. Pitt also needs to somehow create a fun and effective offense scheme along with a defense that is aggressive and generates turnovers.

      With more wins, recruits will come.

      I see an off campus stadium as the biggest impediment. It wont improve attendance. It wont improve wins. But it will show serious commitment to football. And if done right, it will make game day more entertaining and the venue could be a real home field advantage.

      Like

      1. and it will help with branding. Pitt’s identity is Steelers and Heinz. You wouldnt know a college game is being played on that field.

        Like

        1. On this 10 win season subject, it continues to amaze me how Washington State can keep putting together 10 win seasons — I think this past year was their 5th season with 10 or more wins in the past 30 years. Now they have also had awful seasons in there as well, but I don’t know how Washington State can recruit players and have that many quality seasons in the same conference as Southern Cal and its history, Stanford which can sell its academics to recruits, Oregon that milks its Nike connection, two Arizona schools that can sell their weather, etc. How do they get players to go to Eastern Washington to play in a 32,000 seat stadium? Yet somehow they do it and Pitt cannot.

          Like

  107. EE and others, you have to remember that Pitt FB was decidedly cheap under the Nordy/Pederson regime. I was told that the recruiting budget slash after 2008 began the rift with DW (remember he was lowest paid BE coach and diverted some of his salary to assistants as it was). This became quite apparent in 2010 when WVU hired Holgerson at $2M while Hayward received $1.4M.

    The only attempt to pay a HC competitively was to Graham when Nordy had to bail SP out of the issue he created … and of course that blew up in his face. Then the next hire, Chryst was brought in around $1.5M reportedly. 3 years later Narduzzi was hired at reportedly $1.7M. All of this was quite lower than what other coaches were being paid, and it wasn’t until last year when the salaries became competitive.

    This isn’t the only reason for FB mediocrity but it certainly didn’t help

    Like

    1. wwb – I’m in the “show me” mode and 7-7 shows me nothing but average results. The return on investment (ROI) is below what I expect.

      I also don’t lyke excuses from highly paid individuals.

      Like

  108. Article in yesterday’s PG entitled “With Bengals, Tyler Boyd showed the same playmaking ability he did at Clairton and Pitt”

    Gee, just think if he was good!

    Like

    1. and the irony was that most thought we had a good QB back then, yet it still was at 5 games. If memory serves, ESPN (or some other site) I believe had Pitt at 4.5 wins

      Like

  109. Up early (5:30am), rainy here & will be inside all day, put on a slow cooker pot roast & reviewed all 270 comments on the POV prediction thread. You can find article by going to the August 2018 archives.

    Of the 270 comments, only 46 directly had a prediction. A few had nebulous comments like “I can see anywhere from 5 to 7”. These I ignored. A few had my heart at “x-x” buy my head at “y-y”. If in there comment they had I’m going with my head,/heart, I included the head/heart prediction.

    The results – 4-8 (1), 5-7 (5), 6-6 (14), 7-5 (13), 8-4 (10) & 1 each for either 9-3, 10-2 & 11-1.

    My take, PITT preseason predictors where on the whole, optimistic for the regular season. I think the 5 win max season performance crept in after the UNC game.

    Only one predictor had a coastal championship. Congratulations to “frankMD”. Not only did he predict the Coastal, he nailed the final record 7- 7.

    frank md
    August 30, 2018 at 8:45 pm
    7 – 7
    We start 2 – 5
    Losses to PSU (ugh), GT, UNC, CF, ND (ugh)
    Win Coastal 6-2
    Lose ACC Title game and bow

    Liked by 4 people

  110. Funny how the loss of a bowl game by 1 point set off so much teeth gnashing. I think if we won that game and finished at 8-6 there would have been much more satisfaction.

    But even at 7-7 this was a huge improvement over last year considering we went from 5-7 to 7-5 considering the schedule it was pretty good, one bad loss to UNC the only real blemish. Then, no one beats Clemson, just ask the Irish and a disappointing ending to a bowl game that we dominated statistically.

    So in a season where the pros picked us to finish 5 wins, we finished two better why so much doom and gloom?

    Like

    1. Its how we lost the games – 4 blowouts
      That very bad NC loss
      Pitt’s best win being Syracuse at home in OT
      KP regressing
      Bad play calling by Watson
      Another bowl loss
      Another season unranked
      A mediocre incoming recruiting class
      And little hope for 2019
      Program is headed in the wrong direction

      Like

  111. Little late but:

    Good:

    Defense played its best game of the year, only gave up 14 points, caused two fumbles but didn’t benefit.
    The offense had three scoring drives and controlled the ball for much of the game.
    Dintino and Hargrave filled in admirably in the third game without Morrisey.
    Pine played great replacing Reynolds.
    Pinnock had a great game.
    Our pass rush came to play.
    Our run defense was super
    Our TD drive was a thing of beauty with two pass completions and good runs by Hall and KP.

    Bad:

    Our redzone offense
    Our redzone defense

    Ugly:

    Our final drive
    Hall’s blitz pick-ups
    Fumble-pass for a TD
    Another bowl loss

    Like

    1. frankmd – No problem with the shout out. You deserved it.

      If you enjoy PITT football & this site, you will make a prediction. A little less than 9 months to get your thoughts in order for 2019.

      Like

  112. Thanks Richard, I didn’t remember so many 7 win predictions…. and how about Frank being so totally spot on. and again, like gc points out. From the POV article prior to the game on Stanford, hardly seemed like PITT had a chance to be in that game at all?

    Since this has sort of become a prediction thread I’m going to predict changes will occur on the PITT football coaching staff very soon. ike

    Liked by 1 person

  113. The most important thing right now is who are Watson and Narduzzi going to convince to come to Pitt for immediate and long term help for the offense. A couple o-line transfers and o-line freshmen would be real nice. Also Narduzzi and Bates need to pick up a couple of defensive studs to finish off the class.

    I don’t see big changes to coaching staff this year. Blaming Watson for the poor passing game is like blaming your grandma cause your kids are losers.

    Like

  114. Maybe Pitt should be on this list — it may create more optimism here

    Pick Six Previews@PickSixPreviews

    More 2019 Non-Conference Schedules
    • ZERO Power 5 opponents

    Arkansas*
    Baylor
    Illinois
    Indiana
    Minnesota
    Ohio State
    Washington State
    Wisconsin
    Tennessee* (BYU)
    Utah (BYU)
    Washington (BYU)
    Arkansas/Tennessee are only with 8-game league slate

    Like

    1. Arkansas, Illinois & Minnesota also did not play a P5 opponent in 2018. Wisconsin played BYU in 2018.

      I vaguely remember both the Pac-12 & Big 10 saying that BYU was to be considered a P5 opponent when scheduling P5 opponents. Pac 12 seems logical (travel time & history) but the Big-10?

      Liked by 1 person

  115. Chris Peak from Pantherlair just reported that Pitt has reported that both Watson and Sherman(WR’s coach has been let go. Well this news certainly makes my day. My guess is that it took a little arm twisting from Lyke before Narduzzi made this decision. Otherwise IMO it should have happen right after the Stanford game.

    Like

    1. interesting
      it probably did take some arm twisting
      i hope Pitt goes out and gets a QB coach and Heather could force that as well
      while she’s at it, she can tell Narduzzi that tarping seats will also happen

      The offense was too inconsistent this past year and KP regressed

      This change will give fans some hope leading into next year

      Like

      1. Rick, it’s kind of scary. I did specifically suggest in my email to Heather that Watson and Sherman should be replaced and gave some reasons.

        But I’m figuring it was Richman who convinced her… 👍

        Go Pitt.

        Liked by 1 person

  116. Another rumor out is that Canada was in town this past week. Whether its connected to Narduzzi and the Pitt FB is unknown. I certainly would not be unhappy if Canada returned as OC at Pitt.

    Liked by 1 person

  117. Classes of the OL next year. Morrissey and Hargrove will obviously start. Glad Hargrove saw real playing time this year. Brandon Ford played in the bowl game after Hargrove got hurt so he is most likely next man on the line next year. Carrigan and Van Lynn may end up at tackle even though they both played tight end this year. They received tons of playing time and experience blocking on the edge. I would bet on Van Lynn at right tackle.

    I am hoping Pitt skips the grad transfer route this year. They could actually have a OL that plays more than one year together.

    RSFR:
    Kradel
    Zubovic

    RSSO:
    Houy
    Drexel
    Rainey
    Drake Jr
    Warren
    Van Lynn
    Carrigan

    RSJR:
    Brandon Ford
    Hargrove
    Morrissey

    RSSR:
    Brown – JC Transfer

    Like

    1. I posted this elsewhere, and it could have just been coach-speak, but I remember Coach Borbely bragging on Rainey in one of his interviews. Said he’s going to be a player.

      Rainey is a walk-on from Aliquippa. He’s 6-3 and 320, so sounds like a guard candidate…

      Plus, Houy did play tackle in the opener in Bookser’s place, for what it’s worth…

      Go Pitt.

      Like

    1. I’m hoping young and innovative
      Previous experience as an OC
      Ties to Pitt’s recruiting footprint
      Proven ability to recruit, develop and coach players
      And whose scheme will utilize the TE

      No washed up ‘Yes’ men

      Liked by 1 person

  118. Actually it wasn’t a wild guess but one from a reasonable deduction. Narduzzi and Heather however, do not receive any reasonable credit or patience they deserve. Now comes the avalanche of complaining concerning the replacement hires. or not?? Stay tuned……

    Like

  119. Ike

    First the wild speculation 🙂 I will start it off.

    Mike Denbrock from Cincinatti. Good recruiter, success at Cinci and ND. Not a young up and comer.

    Like

  120. Very interesting indeed. So Watson and Sherman end up the fall guys for poor recruiting although Sherman was responsible for the recruiting. So now four OC’s in five years, not exactly stability. It does show a desire to improve and/or submission to fan pressure, either way probably a good thing.

    So, who do we get that wants to develop a brandy new O-line, with a questionable QB situation, average wide receivers, below average tight ends and a pretty solid (on paper) group of running backs?

    Only miracle workers need apply. Especially ones that can recruit if given the time. Hurry up please!

    Like

    1. On Canada I would have no problem as long as Narduzzi and Pitt tied him into a firm 3 year commitment with a “significant” buyout if he bolted.

      Like

  121. An OC is only as good as the talent he has to work with. All you have to do is look at SW when he was at Louisville with Bridgewater. His offense put up 30 points against the top 5 Florida defense. I’m concerned that with our talent level it will be a challenge for any OC. Hopefully the new OC will be a capable recruiter as well and not just an old buddy of HCPN.

    Like

  122. Pitt-Cocks-fan – Thanks for the research! Always appreciate it when someone rolls up their sleeves to work with data. As a former plant controller, I’m surprised you didn’t calculate an average win total and express it with three decimals (hee-hee!)

    Kudos to FrankMD who nailed that!!!! Geez, if he had Miami as a loss on there instead of GT, I’d ask him what the Dow will end at on 12/31/2109. Nevertheless, he is a savant!

    Like

  123. “Ask and ye shall receive” I give full credit to our two POVers who emailed Heather. Congrats fellas!

    However (and you know with me, there is always a big BUT) — there is another saying .. “Watch out for what you wish for, it just may come true” If you fire someone, you better hire someone who is at least a little better.

    Remember, the last HC that actually coached at Pitt was Wanny. I do suspect though that Narduzzi will be very judicious this time since he knows that in two years, he could well be next.

    Like

  124. Really surprised about Watson, Thought it would happen but only after the February national signing date. I guess that means that all the recruits he built a relationship with are already signed by us or more possibly by someone else

    Like

  125. Really excited to see those emails to Heather were effective… 😉
    I am actually optimistic that the next OC will be a good choice.

    Hoping they take a look at:
    – a successful offensive-minded HC at a lower level
    – a QB coach at the P5 level (Walt redux in other words)
    – a well regarded, up and coming OC at a non-P5 school (assuming luring a successful P5 OC isnt realistic)

    Regarding philosophy, I hope:
    – the new guy loves the TE as a pass catcher
    – is flexible, but prefers a pro-style. I think HCPN is correct in that it creates a mismatch for us in the ACC with a number of schools set up to defend the RPO. If the guy says “high octane” in his interview, we should pass on him.

    Like

  126. So Rivals has us listed as 44 in recruits, 247 says 51 and 10 in the ACC.

    I am much more concerned about this than I am about a new OC.

    No coach can get this level of players to compete vs top twenty teams.

    Like

    1. chicken/egg, acorn/tree issue. Gotta have good coaches to recruit good players. Watson’s record is not impressive and this is the move you can make now to effect the other.

      Like

  127. Don’t forget even though our defense seems improved they gave up:

    PSU 51 points
    UNC 38 points
    UCF 45 points
    Syracuse 37 points
    Duke 45 points
    Clemson 42 points, when they took their foot off the gas

    A new OC won’t change any of that

    Like

      1. Did you forget about the Syracuse game two years ago?
        Although I do agree to a point that a good offense helps a defense.
        But you are assuming that Watson was the main problem, I’d say it was the relevant talent.
        Watson was good enough to beat the ACC teams with similar talent levels.
        In any case we are going to find out next year.

        Like

        1. Im not saying Watson was the main problem, but a problem nonetheless. He was not good to win the close games as well and HCPN cannot lend offensive coaching experience to help him.

          A HC with a defensive background needs a better OC than the one we had. Hard to fix the lineup overnight, but a coaching change can help them improve. And I expect a better OC will lead to more attractive recruits.

          Like

  128. As a thought, I also switched all my 401k stocks on August 2 to a safe government account. As I result I have not lost a dime in the portfolio and instead gained about 2% in my account since then.

    Talk about a lucky August although I did drink less then. I am very leery of the stock market.

    Liked by 1 person

  129. Exactly NRS, just like the swift scoring PITT offense Peterman’s second year hurt the defense.. Like Dylan said once, you give up something for every thing you gain……

    Like

  130. I am curious is how this went down. I will never know but it is still something I wish we could get some insight on as Pitt fans.

    Did Heather/Pat agree changes were needed…or did Heather demand it?

    The answer suggests some very significant indications.

    1) if mutual it means that their is a pretty good/strong relationship between the two and that they are working holistically to get this thing right.

    2) If it’s at Heather’s direction, then the seat of Coach Narduzzi has been turned up a bit. Heather is looking for more than a 7-7 and a Coastal win in a down year moving forward.

    I am sure there are others as well (like it could mean something as vanilla…as you can’t have 1/2 dozen starters out, put up those kind of numbers and lose…or there has been no growth in KP since last year…etc., etc.)

    I am more interested in the fact of how this decision came about. Like I said we probably won’t know for sure.

    Dave

    Like

    1. All Heather needed to say to Pat was there needs to be some changes
      I think PN then read between the lines

      Much like what Steeler ownership told Tomlin and then he mentioned the word ‘change’ about 16 times in his presser

      Both coaches got served notice by their bosses

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Ike of course you would, but you don’t know.

      That is why I said I would be interested. I think it’s more likely door #2. PN is too stubborn and a chest thumper.

      See we are yin/yang and the universe is now in balance.

      🙂

      Dave

      Like

      1. Dave, none of us here really know whether Narduzzi is stubborn. What we see is how he deals with the media. If anything, he has shown a willingness to make staff changes when warranted.

        When questioned in the post-bowl presser about the offense and Watson in particular, his reaction was telling. If he believed Watson was the guy, he could have said things along the lines of “we are doing the right things. This is a process and takes time.” and yada yada yada. He didn’t though.

        Now, I have no idea what he was thinking when he responded but he sure looked like someone who didn’t want that question asked at all. Looked like someone who was annoyed that the damn media wouldn’t let him handle his personnel matters before asking those questions. But thats just my perspective on what I saw.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Same here, Ike. Am guessing any struggle in reaching the decision was the whole “4th in 5 years” thing.

      If ADHL had to tell HCPN to do that, she may as well have fired HCPN because if he cannot see the need to upgrade his staff at his age, he never will.

      Like

      1. Hey Joel,

        I wasn’t suggesting he completely resisted. On that point I would agree, he would not be here today. Its more nuanced than that.

        I am suggesting she said changes needed to be made, PN balked but ultimately acquiesced vs was completely on board.

        the nuance here is he defended for their jobs vs. being in total lockstep at the start.

        For example it may have been a stat like this that Heather shot back to PN that he could no longer defend (from Chris Peak tweet):

        “I wrote today that the most damning stat on Shawn Watson’s offense at #Pitt was offensive touchdowns: the Panthers had 1 or 0 offensive TDs in 9 of 26 games over the last two seasons.”

        The two are subtle but really do indicate a very different state of where PN is with regards to seat temperature.

        Dave

        Liked by 1 person

        1. OK, I think I get your point. I don’t mean to nitpick, but something a bit more nuanced than what you wrote might be 1.5) instead of 2) ?

          To your point, it would be interesting to know where HCPN’s head is right now.

          I’m OK if he is relieved its done, whether on his own or with a slight nudge.
          If he’s resentful/pissed that an AD is messing with his staff and doesn’t agree with the decision, I’d be concerned.

          But as you say, we may never know.

          Here’s a little nugget though. I spoke to and asked a PItt OL after the UVA game about Borbely. Among the many positives, he said that “Borbs” was one of two guys on the staff who had the cred to challenge HCPN. The other was Bates. Interesting that Watson was not in that group.

          Like

  131. if the O can sustain drives and eat clock, the D is more fresh
    Pitt’s D was often too tired
    Now with a no huddle/quick strike O, the D will still be tired
    So you need to find the right balance

    Like

  132. First, If you are going to clean house, I don’t understand why Borbely and Salem weren’t also let go. Borbely is a one-trick pony with the run game; if he can’t coach pass blocking, he can’t be an offensive line coach, plain and simple. Salem has done nothing, absolutely nothing. The TE situation is a total mess.

    Second, for a new OC, I would try to hire the best OC from the FCS universities (James Madison, North Dakota State, et. al.). Remember, Chip Kelly was the OC at New Hampshire when Oregon hired him as its OC. Here’s what Kelly did at New Hampshire, per Wikipedia :

    Kelly was promoted to offensive coordinator at New Hampshire (1999–2006). The Wildcats’ offenses averaged better than 400 yards per game of total offense in seven of his eight seasons[1] In 2004, the school broke 29 offensive school records; compiling 5,446 yards of total offense and scoring 40 or more points in seven games. Their best offensive output was in 2005 when the Wildcats finished second nationally in total offense (493.5 ypg), third in scoring (41.7 ppg) and fifth in passing (300.1 ypg). They completed the season with an 11–2 record.

    He was named the College Assistant Coach of the Year by the Gridiron Club of Greater Boston following the 2005 season in addition to being selected as “one of college football’s hottest coaches” by American Football Monthly.[5] In 2006, quarterback Ricky Santos won the Walter Payton Award under Kelly’s guidance, after Santos finished second in balloting for the award in 2005.[5]

    Like

    1. Pete – agree fully with your thought on where to find the next guy. Not sure we can conclude on Borbely yet. Pass blocking is harder than run blocking and he hasn’t had multiple seasons withthe starters. Lets see how things look next year.

      Like

  133. In fairness to Borberly, do we know he can’t coach pass blocking? All I read before the season began is that PITT would throw out onto the field the worst O-Line in the 500 year existence of PITT football. Only to go on and have PITT finish with 2- 1,000 yard rushers for the only time in PITT football history.

    You mention Kelly Pete, that’s one good example but I call that lighting in a bottle. Know how many times that happens?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Fran — I’m thinkin’ Richman had his belt-buckle-beer-holder in action at the time!

      Here’s how I feel about today’s announcement…
      🎅🎅🎅🎅🎅

      Go Pitt!

      Go Pitt.

      Liked by 2 people

  134. Borborly was the only reason we won the Coastal. Who would have ever believed Pitt would have 2 RB’s that recorded 1000 yards plus each this season. But I do agree he has to coach them up on the pass blocking front.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Actually, although I got lucky in the prediction, I think I predicted that Ollison and Hall would both reach 1000 yards this year, lol.

      Like

  135. Wow, strange that the demands of the POVer’s has been met. Either we really know our football or someone is reading the POV in secret. Likely the former.

    I don’t know enough about college football coaches to suggest a specific candidate, but here are thoughts on the strengths and traits that the next Pitt OC should have:

    Strong recruiter, with proven results
    Energetic, detailed and flexible to design system that meets talents of players
    Courageous enough to start the best player, regardless of seniority
    Either QB coaching experience and success or hire a separate QB coach
    Proven success as a recruiter and game planner more important than age

    The WR coach has to be a great recruiter, #1, #2, and #3. Boyd and Fitz are proof that although coaching is not unimportant, signing players with great talent is the MOST important trait. For example, both of the above started, and starred as FR before any meaningful coaching could take hold. With WRs, you either got it or you are at best serviceable.

    Like

  136. Anyone looking at Pitt’s pass-offense could see that changes needed to be made. I’m giving Coach Duzz the benefit of the doubt. I don’t think it took any pressure from Heather — but I do think that by upping the expectations for Pitt sports, Heather indirectly kept Coach Duzz from thinking he could keep with the status quo…

    Positives happening in several Pitt sports. The BB game is sold out for tomorrow. The volleyball team had a nice run. This is the athletic-department atmosphere that Coach Duzz is now working in… He’s no dummy.

    Go Pitt.

    Like

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