Not the Ticket

About a month ago Athlon Sports published a piece called “ACC Coaches Talk Anonymously About Conference Foes for 2019

Here is what they said about Pitt:

“Year in and year out you always see the same thing from these guys — they reflect Narduzzi in how they’re physical and disciplined and really mean working against you, but it’s always a question of how far their talent can take them. It’s not about a limitation of their culture or their play calling. It’s really all about what kind of talent they can get.”

They were a one-dimensional offense after Matt Canada left, and you can’t do that without being really, really talented at that one thing.

“Mark Whipple is a really great offensive mind. They don’t have a ton of talent to hand him, but the guy is coming from UMass.”

“They’re going to have to ugly it up with their defense to stay around .500 this year.

And now I will translate this out of coachspeak:

“Kenny Pickett really isn’t very good”

“Kenny Pickett really isn’t very good, and their running game isn’t going to bail them out this year.”

“Kenny Pickett really isn’t very good but maybe Whipple can make something out of him.  Maybe.”

“That offense is going to suck.”

As much as I hate to say it, you’d have to be completely blind to reality to disagree.  And believe me, I wanted to Believe.  I wanted to believe that every quarterback Mark Whipple touched turned to gold.  I wanted to believe it was Shawn Watson’s fault, and that Kenny was just being handcuffed by bad play calling and an outdated scheme.  I wanted to believe that Kenny had developed all his weaknesses into competency during the offseason.  That he had matured between the ears, that he had developed a pocket presence and lost the happy feet.

With the exception of a brief period in the second quarter last night, that belief was systematically shattered.  One horrendous drop back at a time.

Lets check off the list we carried over from last season, shall we?

  1. Poor touch on short passes – check
  2. Poor ability to get the ball to second and third options – check
  3. Panics in the pocket and steps into sacks too often – check
  4. Gets happy feet instead of scanning the field and trying to make a play with his arm – check
  5. Poor accuracy on deep balls to wide open receivers – check (actually this was not a problem last year…)

I want to stop here and acknowledge that this is a tough thing to write.  We are talking about a 21 year old kid here.  Pickett has undoubtedly put a ton of time and effort into his game.  I respect him for that, and to be completely fair, Virginia was expected to have an outstanding pas defense.  Probably top 20 in the nation.  It is also expected that a team will see the most improvement from week one to week two, so it’s possible (but not probable) that Pickett could be a different man against Ohio.  Still, it was just so frustrating to see the exact. same. player. that we saw last year.  Heck, even his stat line looked the same.

Comp Att Pct Yds TD Int QBR
Kenny Pickett 21 41 51.2 185 1 2 53.9

Except for two things:

  1.  Pickett threw the ball about 23 more times than he did during an average game last year
  2.  Pickett threw more interceptions

I guess Watson doesn’t seem so bad now does he?  

your regularly scheduled MMQB content will be posted on Monday.






170 thoughts on “Not the Ticket

  1. Have to read this one tomorrow. Thanks Maestro, is your baby keeping you up late?

    Just wanted to say it looks like Dorian is going to miss Florida, hoping it misses our friends in Georgia and the Carolinas too. A bad time to be in the Bahamas though. Definitely not “Better in the Bahamas” tomorrow.


  2. Kenny is Kenny. Coaches saw good things in practice. Either Kenny’s game play was.a fluke, or that’s what he’s got.

    Blame will be on the coaches if they don’t field a D1 caliber qb next game.

    Oline did very well in pass protection. But not so much in run blocking.


    1. How can Pitt fans keep saying the OL was good last night? Pickett was pressured every time he dropped back, was sacked 4 times, put on his ass every other play and had at least three passes tipped or batted down?

      I think the OL was horrid across the board against Virginia.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I was Pickett’s biggest supporter back in 2017’s fall camp. I had a chance to watch a full practice then (thanks E. J.) and felt he had more poise and as good an arm as we had recruited at Pitt since Palko …and was the 1st person to write a full article on him.

    But when he played late in the ’17 season and threw 64 passes with only one, trick-play, TD
    I quickly revised my opinion in my articles But Pitt fans loved his scrambling ability shown then and got kind of tunnel vision because we wanted so badly to have a great QB come up thru the recruiting process.

    I’ve stated also that I think KP’s problem is above his shoulders and it sure looked like that again last night…but part of that is because of the heavy, and unrealistic, hype shown toward him first by the coaching staff itself, then from the media and fans.

    Whipple screaming at him after plays that didn’t work is, was, the exact opposite of what a kid like KP needs.

    But partly in KP’s defense our OL was like a sieve last night when it came to pass protection. Same as last season actually and until that gets much better we’ll see more poor play by Pickett.

    Last point;, the day we see PN’s OC use of crossing patterns to take advantage of the voids blitzing LBs leave behind them…and the staff recruits and KEEPS a decent TE then actually use him in game planning will be the day our passing game becomes more of a strength than a liability.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Reed, I could not agree more. UVA blitzed the entire second half and not once did Pitt run a play to counter it.


  4. Excellent points. Correct me if I’m wrong, but it sure seemed like Kenny had 3 seconds or more to throw the ball. That’s all you can ask for from the oline on passing plays.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Just disappointing. They need to get better quickly. If KP is not the answer pull him and get NP snaps. UNC freshmen QB Howell played well against South Carolina. Boise St played freshmen as well. Why can’t Pitt find a QB?


  6. From last post as I didn’t see that MM couldn’t sleep.

    Tx, if the blog made it seem that Kenny doesn’t grasp the system, we need to work on our accuracy as I think that isn’t it. Kenny doesn’t grasp anything consistently enough to perform in the system. Inaccuracy, lack of touch, receivers that are unable to compensate for imperfect throws, an o-line that is leaky enough to justify his happy feet, etc. System grasping isn’t what looks to be the problem.

    And with all that, the mistakes by the punter(maybe blocker too), a few receivers dropping easily catchable balls, and the long fg miss all were critical and against a fair?, not even very good UVA, we won’t overcome all that with our seemingly at least capable defense. Kenny is not good, but he is just one eleventh of the problem. He needed a Wake Forest opponent to start the season, and I am not sure UVA is anything much better, but they do have a QB and a kicker. We don’t.

    If KP doesn’t get it together fast next week, this needs to be blown up. I was really looking forward to the PSU game when the tickets arrived today. That excitement ended with a thud after the first 2 series, revived for the nearly perfect 2nd quarter then was choked, squeezed and steamrolled out of me during the entire 2nd half.

    TURNOVERS mostly on KP and with a Whipple offense, that looks great when it doesn’t suck, I am made to think change must happen there first. If we lose next week, and we all know this team is very capable of that, heads need to roll and it starts at QB and ends eventually with HCPN. Victory Heights funding isn’t happening amidst this mess. Program trajectory is not up, not even level with a loss next week.


  7. Kenny looking good in practice does not surprise me.
    Someone wrote last night that to Whipple the QB whisperer, KP may be deaf. He is – not just tone.
    Receivers not adjusting to balls and dropping many surprises me.
    O-line is not the problem. They might not be a big strength but blitzes got the pressure, not the UVA front 4…odd that some don’t see that.
    Crossing patterns, one was run last night and KP had TONS OF TIME to throw, but was thrown way too soon before the receiver cleared the linebacker and so was immediately tackled. Seeing the field includes that too.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I just watched the lowlights…all 2 minutes of them. Looked liked Kenny had the time. I counted more than 3 seconds. Looks like the sacks were on him. The only thing I liked was how the unis looked on TV. That Virginia QB looked good running the ball. Plus some big plays made by Virginia. Blocked punt and INT were bad for Pitt. It did look like the team wasnt prepared or Virginia is just better coached. I didnt see a big talent differential.


  9. its clear that defensive genius PN has neglected the most critical position in football, the quarterback. As well getting talent for the OL. So, unlike so many games I watched waiting for last nights Pitt game, where young QB’s are demonstrating talent and a clear ability to develop and drive a team/program forward we have no hope of that occurring with KP. The real question is why do we not have any talent at QB. Followed by how are we going to compete with the teams on the schedule that have competent QB’s and serviceable OL’s? This is the same malaise and sub par recruiting that I have watched for 20+ years since returning to the area and hoped would change, apparently rectifying the problem is beyond the collective expertise of the AD and Pitt athletic department. I see Syracuse in the top 25, the agricultural program again fielding a dominant team, freshmen QB’s winning on game day and I think to myself why cant all the high paid administrators in the AD department and our world class (based on compensation) coaches figure it out. Very very disappointing. 5 wins if we are lucky. And with continued game day failure the endless struggle to recruit talent and get fans in the seats. A never ending negative feedback loop. Makes me ill. Another season will pass with no hope, at this point I can make the case for at least 7 losses. Worst of all will be beat down by the agricultural program that will be more than embarrassing. Franklin said it best its just like playing Akron.


  10. If (1) Pickett is more accurate and (2) the receivers hold onto the ball when he is, then the defense has to respect Pitt’s pass game. Then the run game opens up a bit, as the opponents ca no longer pack the LOS and blitz on obvious passing downs. But give props to UVa’s DBs …. they are as good as advertised.

    Pitt beat UVa last year the same way they beat Syracuse and VT, they just ran the ball down the defense’s throat. But the focus now is becoming a pass team, something that is not done overnight. Last year, Pitt didn’t really run the ball well until approaching mid-season.

    The thing that alarms me the most, both last year and this, is the inability to adapt to the blitz. AS Reed pointed out above, crossing patterns would seem to do this offense wonders (yet we didn’t see any last night or last year, it seems). The other thing that may also work is that when RB Davis or Sibley moves over to pick up the blitzer, they nudge him and slip out for a pass out in the flat for a pass …. they should be wide open


  11. on the plus side … the defense looks to be pretty fast from sideline to sideline. And I don’t believe they will run into more athletic QB the remainder of the year.

    Are you aware that UVa’s 3 TD drives TOTALED 75 yards?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There is no question that the defense played well. At least until the last touchdown drive when it was clear they were just trying to not get hurt


  12. Last night is what you get when you switch OCs every year.
    The big plays were there at least 5 times and the players did not execute.
    Mack and Pickett stunk.
    The OL stunk.
    I am pissed, mainly because I dropped hundreds to take the family to the game.
    That being said. Virginia is going to lose lots of games.

    The Coastal will be wide open as usual.


  13. I’ve been trying to figure out since KP took over at QB whether we have the player that appeared in the Miami game 2 seasons ago (his first appearance) or that only Toledo wanted. Sadly I think its the later.


  14. Positives…

    Randy Bates
    Defensive line.
    Paris Ford
    Damaris Mathis
    Tre Tipton
    Whipple provided the big play opportunities.
    Student section.
    Uniforms, lol.
    My 4 Southern Tier IPAs


  15. Contrary to what some might think, the Whipple Offense CLICKED. The problem is Pickett.

    Kid looks lost at times, like he’s looking into a maze. And as I’ve said about him more than once, when under pressure he completely quits looking downfield and turns his attention totally toward the rush.

    And being relied upon to throw an accurate CATCHABLE pass to a Receiver… is more times a challenge than not.

    Now this is not to say there are NOT problems with the Whipple Offense.

    Totally surprising to me was that Whipple seemed to have absolutely NO interest in establishing a Run Game. That is concerning.

    Of course, it might be as simple as knowing you don’t have an Offensive Line capable of opening holes for a Ground Game… OR… the Backs capable of breaking tackles and making runs… OR… both.

    Or it may have been last night that the Game Plan against a TOUGH “Bronco Mendenhall” Defense was ACTUALLY to use the passing Game as a way to establish the Running Game?

    But other than that, the passing portion of the Whipple Offense did click. It was as it’s been described.

    It was QUICK. It was tailored to getting the Ball to SPECIFIC Playmakers in specific situations. AND for the most part, those Playmakers were OPEN. And for the most part, they caught the Ball.

    But the one thing it demands is a STEADY Leader at the Quarterback position. One that can be counted on to CONSISTENTLY deliver an accurate, catchable pass to the prescribed Playmaker.

    We had that for just awhile last night, and for that brief moment of time it was certainly fun to watch.

    The question is whether Pickett has it in him to be that steady Leader Whipple needs to make it all go?

    Liked by 4 people

    1. The only 4* players Pitt gets is running backs because they believe Pitt is still RBU. Now that will end too…


  16. BTW, I didn’t spring the $8.75 IC/IC Light Draft available at the concession stands. But I did appreciate the Fralic mopine handout. While the stadium music is still tooo loud, I thought the scoreboard graphics/videos outlining Pitt FB’s glorious past were pretty well done. Also good to see the total overall adoption of the new colors by all parties …. band unis, cheerleaders,, majorettes and dance team.

    The enthusiasm of the crowd over the first 3 quarters was really good. Didn’t hear the attendance figure but don’t think it reached 50k as thought


  17. Pickett has no touch … every pass seems to be a line drive even on long throws. Whereas, while Perkins will never be mistaken for Marino, he does allow his receivers a chance to catch the ball almost all the time.


  18. Paris Ford came to play.
    Will Gragg made a few plays.
    The transfer from Florida was the best linebacker I’ve seen in a Pitt uniform in years.
    Alexander made a presence as did Watts and Camp.
    And the snapper on punts and field goals didn’t miss a beat.

    Have I left anything out?


  19. Last four games, out scored 110-40.
    Dane Jackson must have spent too much time reading his press clippings.
    We’re really gonna miss Hall n O and the line in front of them.
    Lots of folks will reconsider their opinion of Shawn Watson.
    And in the last 37 years we’ve had ONE double-digit winning season…and folks wonder why I’m a tad jaded.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Very, very, very disappointing game last night. One good quarter and 3 poor ones is a bad combo. Some random thoughts:

    I think a big factor was Pitt’s first-time-playing-together OL going against a 3 – 4 defense. Tough to get the pass blocking assignments correct when you have to be ready for any of the LBs to be in on the rush.

    We had opportunities for sure but missed them. KP’s longer passes were all too high and far, except for the one thrown on the run to Tipton (where KP did look down field…).

    Looked like KP took a pretty good beating with being hit right after he released several passes.

    KP actually seemed to throw every pass, even the short stuff to the backs, very hard – maybe except that early screen pass attempt.

    Getting the ball quickly to the fast guys seemed to work some, and should be a good weapon going forward.

    Seems Gragg should be used going down the field – he seemed easily tackled and not much of a threat on the short stuff. Though UVA tackled very well all night.

    I expect the offense to look much better against Ohio – learn from your mistakes…

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Finally, remember the complaints of Stull and Tino?
    They look like the Manning brothers compared to what we have now.

    To paraphrase UPitt: If we don’t see some Patti or George next week, then someone has compromising photos of a certain head coach, a gag-ball and a goat.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. FWIW Stull QBed Pitt to 9 and 10 win seasons. Tino’s 1st year was 8 wins. They lost the opener in 2 of 3 of those years … and in the one game they won, Stull was roundly booed, while Tino was hailed as the savior.

      Of course it helps to have a good running attack, a sound defense and an easy schedule


  22. Pickett can’t suppress his tendency to run. Why? Wired that way or learned from seeing Browne in his ineptitude to escape anything and reinforced by Kenny’s occasional success gaining first downs from the Miami game onward?
    Whip now knows who he’s got. Practice doesn’t necessarily translate. Can he figure out the workaround?

    Reed mentions that yelling at Kenny wasn’t the right thing to make him respond, yet after that is exactly what happened.

    I agree with most of what PoD writes above…can’t figure out how some see things sooo differently. Maybe watching on TV versus in person is a factor. I do like using the DVR but didn’t too much last night. Certainly can’t see the field as rarely are camera shots wide enough for that. Maybe I need an 85″ screen ;).

    Liked by 1 person

  23. The difference between the two defenses was the the VA kids made excellent open field tackles and ours were poor at that save just a few plays.

    We have defensive speed but we can’t coach the kids well enough to 1) be in the correct defensive formations and 2) bring the opponents down once arrived on-screen. In other words Bates doesn’t excite me as the DC.

    Contrary to some fan’s thoughts our defense was again below average on D last season being 59th in total defense, 80th in rushing defense and 75th in scoring defense last year. Plus we gave up 30+ points in six games.

    We won’t be all that much better this year either, but it wasn’t the D that lost the game last night, it was the O. When you are leading at the half and get shut out for the final 30 minutes you have problems…and our last four passions did this:

    3 plays for 0 yards – INT

    12 / 33 yds 2.75 ypp – missed FG

    3 / 7 for 2.3 ypp – Punt

    13 / 41 for 3.1 ypp – INT

    4 / 4 for 1.0 ypp – Downs

    So, 35 / 85 yards for 2.4 ypp one zero (0) points

    Truly terrible

    BTW – contrary to an opinion above VA is the consensus pick to win the Coastal this season – they certainly are not a bad team.


  24. Kenny does not have it between the ears, but Narduzzi will be stubborn and keep playing his guy. I think we will all talk about a change and other teams playing successful frosh QBs, but it will be wasted air. I was in the camp this summer thinking all the kid needed was a new coach and scheme and I bought the coaches hype. Fool me once…….

    The real question will be if this is really Whipple’s offense and he can make the change on his own? The sad truth may be that KP is, in fact, the best QB – and whipple knows it.


  25. Compared to Narduzzi and what he brought to the Defensive side of the Ball prior to Randy Bates coming onboard, Bates is certainly much more deserving of the title of “Defensive Guru.”


    1. There is no “guru” of anything on PN’s staff including himself. The only bright and successful coach we have had was Canada and he was designing offenses for kids PC had gotten to commit to Pitt with very good OL to block for them.

      Weah, Orndoff, Conner, Aston and Henderson were all very good players with Bisnowaty, Johnson, Officer, Bookser and O’Neill up front and we aren’t getting anything like them since PN arrived and started recruiting…nowhere near that talent save for maybe Ffrench at WR.

      It starts and ends with recruiting for true talent as Mike writes above.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Why did Narduzzi hire Whipple? Didn’t he have the budget to hire some coordinator in his prime who could also recruit?


  26. Pickett will have better games but they may be against teams that can score. I think the Wake Forest game for everyone’s hopes up with him. But after that he reverted to crap play again. When your QB has only one game out of 14 with over 200 yards passing that’s a real problem.

    Problem with him is he panics both mentally AND physically…which is why he can’t throw with any touch on the ball at all, either on short or deep passes. That last pass to Tipton was a hitch behind brought to make slow down and miss the catch.

    When PN gets a QB who can actually lead his receivers like should happen then we’ll see a decent passing game. He hasn’t recruited one who can do that yet.


    1. So no savior in Patti? Ouch, even though I don’t see Narduzzi moving on anyway which has been an undeniable failure with Browne. No great options of course could be also.


  27. Attendance was 47k (I pegged the over/under at 48k)
    Very disappointing given an opener, perfect weather, quality opponent
    Probably a shortfall of $400k from revenue projections
    Unless Pitt starts treating football as a business, it will fail
    Poor attendance tells me a few things: poor marketing by Pitt, fans are not excited about this season
    Next weeks game will have less than 30k real fannies in the seats
    Pitt better begin seriously thinking about tarping

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “Very disappointing (attendance) given an opener, perfect weather, quality opponent.”

      I also have a grad school degree from Oregon. For the last couple of months I’ve gotten more marketing for football tickets from the Ducks than I have from Pitt. And I live in Shadyside — some 2600 miles from Eugene — and up until a few years ago had Pitt season tickets.

      Liked by 1 person

  28. So yelling at players during a game on the sideline isn’t kinda the usual? Maybe shouldn’t ever happen in youth football even up through high school but after that and at a “big time D-1 program”? If you are that fragile after a full season plus being a starter, time to move on.

    KP was frustrated so walks by the coach. And that is the coach’s problem?


    1. Leadership demands you know the mental makeup of the persons you task with your orders. No different in sports. Pickett is not a completely comfortable QB from he neck up – far from it actually.

      With a kid like that you don’t scream at him every time he makes a mistake. Whipple wasn’t forcefully making corrective actions – he was screaming at the kid out of his own frustrations, that was rather obvious. Which, if you remember, brought Narduzzi himself over to separate Whpple and to calm him down at one point.

      You don’t have to use kid gloves on players, but last night Whipple was taking things out on Pickett past the point of any learning curve.

      I didn’t like the Whipple hire that much in the first place as he’s 60+ years old and at the end of his coaching career. His work was mostly in the NFL which is a completely different type of offenses..then dropped down to Indy powerhouse UMass where he amassed a 16-44 record over his five years there.


  29. For those who were at the game, where was Roc? I believe he was out there when the team came out to start the game, and I can’t remember seeing him again. Regarding KP, he must really be a hell of a practice QB, because with what we saw the majority of last year and now yesterday, to have no true open QB competition is incredible. It’s like Sunseri deja vu all over again, to quote Yogi (not Roth).


  30. I think there was one poster that questioned the “Manning Camp” accolades a few weeks back and predicted he would not improve unless the wide receivers ran routes in garbage can uniforms so he could drop the ball in their hands. That was me and i got grilled on here. Agree he will have good games against poor competition, but shouldn’t everybody?

    Reed and I may argue this point, but I have said for a very long time that Pickett has athletic ability, but not quarterback mentality. He is likeable, has a high compete level and athletic. Unfortunately, his first instinct is to run to protect himself. That is not a personal flaw because most all of us have that trait. Double unfortunate is that very trait makes for poor quarterbacking, unless you are Manziel like, which he is not. Manziel used his legs to prolong plays. Pickett uses his legs to shorten play development. Maybe it clicks mentally at some point because he is still relatively young. If Pitt were smart, they would use his redshirt this year with the goal of learning the offense and teaching him that the run first option does not work in college football (if you call what we watched last night P5 college football).

    This loss is not on the QB alone, but as the qb goes, so does the team….typically.

    The trenches are where games are won and lost typically. We never had a chance on the OL. Our guys do not invoke their will on the opponent. Physical control leads to mental control in sports, but especially along the OL. When you can dominate physically, you wear out all defenders to the point they don’t even want to mess with you. Pitt is soft. More later and thanks again for piling on when I talked about the manning camp accolades. Much appreciated.

    Maybe heather extends narduzzi again after that debacle. His growth was so measurable at the podium last night too. Good grief!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Huff, you and I have always been in 100% agreement re: Pickett’s abilities. I do think that he has no real instinctive feel for passing which is why he guns every pass and overthrown deep patterns. Almost all his big yardage passes are a result of great YAC by receivers as in the case of the play to RB Davis last night. Pickett rarely connects on deep post or fly patterns. Which is why his other 20 passes averaged only 6.3 ypc.

      QBs who do that are not mentally comfortable with what they are called upon to do.


  31. Stubbornness is Narduzzi’s Achilles heel.

    But even he needs to come to terms they may soon need to consider going with someone else who COULD be better at running Whipple’s Offense in a REAL Game not practice.

    There’s only one way to find that out.

    They need to get another Quarterback some action next week against Ohio prior to the next two Games on the schedule.

    Forget Pickett’s feelers. Go ahead and start him next Saturday. But then get your SECOND CHOICE of Quarterback into the Game starting the Second Half.

    Of course, if the Game is close and Pickett is performing up to task, then you gotta stick with him.

    However, if the opportunity presents itself, you need to get Quarterback No. 2 some action.

    My choice would be Patti… unless we’re doing a FAKE punt.


  32. Pitt needs to establish the run. Pitt ran 30 times, but 12 of those were Picket, mostly scrambles.

    Pitt passed 41 times.

    So Picket was given 53 plays and the running backs 18.

    That is not a balanced offense. Running backs need multiple plays in order to break a couple.

    The O-line needs running plays in order to hit the other guys instead of being hit.

    We made it easier for the VA pass rush, never kept them off balance, never used a draw play.

    I said last week a team is only as good as its weakest link and it was pretty obvious who that was yesterday, with Whipple running a close second.

    Also VA special teams were far superior to Pitt’s.


  33. You can’t win if you don’t recruit, you can’t recruit if you don’t win. The only solution is to find a big name coach who can recruit. Everything else is BS!

    Liked by 1 person

  34. I don’t care how good KP looked in practice. The gameplan of running a shotgun, no huddle offense where he throws it forty times in the first game of the season was idiotic.


  35. So the game started with three incompletions for the first series and a three yard completion and two incompletions and a blocked punt on the second series.

    That pretty much sums up the Whipple/ KP offense.


  36. Now yelling at Pickett is bad, lol. That is comical. If he can’t take getting yelled at he should quit football and go home to mommy.
    Whipple yelling at him tells me Pickett fell very short in Whipple’s expectations. He wasn’t doing what he was coached to do all summer.

    Liked by 3 people

  37. Of course Whipple is going to call a ton of passes per game – that is what his rep is built on. One of the reasons I was skeptical of the Whipple hire is that while everyone was pointing to his passing coaching no one looked at how his UMass running games were.

    In a nutshell they were really terrible:

    2018 – 102nd nationally

    2017 – 99th

    2016 – 124th

    2015 – 102nd

    2014 – 112th

    In his five years as HC there they averaged 108th out of 129 teams. So, why are we going to be surprised if our run game suffers while he focuses almost only on passing.

    His images teams sucked and its O was completely one sided.


    1. Well Narduzzi better put his foot down. How many great backs will sign with a team that doesn’t run the football. We may have just found out why Sallahuddin left. Wonder what Borbely thinks? Could be a big disconnect.

      No running game is certainly not Pitt Football. McCoy and McMillan were highlighted on videos last night.

      Whipple is trying to put a square block in a round hole.


  38. When your fanboy turns against you

    Although the schedule has been difficult, the wins aren’t there and fan interest quickly moves on to the Steelers


  39. Well
    We now have a hurry up and punt offense. Kenny missed a wide open receiver in the first drive. I am sure it was a scripted play and than ran it 50 times before the game.
    Kenny has no touch on the ball. He throws a hard ball to catch. He is a mobile Kent Graham.
    I would cut the punter today. He is not a kid so I don’t feel sorry for him.
    He is going to cost us big time with a bad hold.
    Turnovers, dropped passes,blocked kicks,missed kicks, zero blitz pick up and no run game!
    Another year of Panther football. Yet here I am. Thank you sir may I have another?

    Liked by 2 people

  40. Post tailgate scavenger hunt in my vehicle turned up a red top Tupperware container (cookies were awesome by the way) and a bag with a head cover and an Oakmont towel from the outing.
    Let me know if you are the owner and I will get them to you.
    As I have said WAY too many times, the tailgate was great and then the game started.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Fran – I think the towel and head cover belong to Eric. When I missed him pre-game, I was hoping he’d come back to the tailgate after the game.

      Sorry that you ended up with them…

      Liked by 1 person

  41. The VA QB threw a lot of high lofted balls allowing his guys to make plays and win jump balls, which they did.
    He showed great touch and trust in his receivers.

    KP’s lack of accuracy and touch were obvious yesterday. The two INT’s were just plain bad passes thrown right at the wrong guy.


  42. Like

  43. BTW, Mrs. JoeKnew said to tell Fran and Bernie what a nice time she had at the tailgate and that she appreciated being so,warmly welcomed and surrounded by positive people. I have been instructed to be more positive. Groundhog Day.

    Liked by 1 person

  44. I still say that unless we have consecutive tanked seasons (4 or less wins) or an off-field scandal PN will remain Pitt’s HC because he’s doing everything right off the field and is not total crap on it.


    1. Next year he will have a better QB situation — a senior, redshirt sophomore and a ballyhooed redshirt freshman. Four O-linemen will be back and maybe a fifth if the right tackle gets yanked. Receiver and tight end looking below average with the defense about the same as this year.

      Most important: a much easier September schedule. Just incredible how the university leaders have scheduled so difficult in the non-conference for decades and piled up the losses. Someone at the university truly hates football for doing it.


  45. c’mon, anyone who follows Dokish knows that he is just like the overreactive fan like the rest of us. When all is well, he goes over the top with his expectations and then when its not going well, it’s all doom and gloom

    Don’t you remember him trying to justify the hiring of Stallings … for goodness sakes! And even after Stallings’ first year, he was criticizing the fans who were criticizing Stallings, saying that it has a negative effect on recruiting.

    What Dokish provides is a good information source on Pitt football and basketball by linking pertinent articles and informing us about potential recruits,


    1. His problem is that he aspires to be a Prognosticator… but he’s HORRIBLE at it.

      He needs to stick to researching and writing… JUST the facts!

      That he is good at.


  46. Personally think Narduzzi could find the seat warming up FAST unless he gets those 6 wins and a Bowl.

    There were a LOT of Yellow Seats last night. Unless of course those were “Heather Gold” Pitt Jerseys.


    1. Funny you should mention that … Kevin Gorman was just on The Fan saying that last night provided the ideal atmosphere. A beautiful evening, opening against a quality opponent, a 7:30 start, the RibFest and the promise of a new season. Still there were well over 20k empty seats. He said that Heather was probably pulling her hair out.

      Let me add one more thing …. a lot of people who normally would watch the game on TV were unable to.

      Liked by 2 people

  47. That was a normal sized crowd for a Pitt game without PSU, ND or WV who fill the rest of the seats.

    To expect more is lunacy when you have a poor product to sell in a city that isn’t buying it.

    Pittsburgh sports fans only support winners.

    Liked by 1 person

  48. Pitt didnt market the game hard enough
    A 7-7 previous season was uninspiring
    Pitt didnt have any marquee players that fans would show up to see
    Labor Day weekend…many fans could be out of town

    Now Pitt will be lucky to get 30k next week
    Pittsburgh will probably get rain from the hurricane about to move up the coast

    Heather needs to start working on including a small, intimate, charming and full of character OCS as part of Victory Heights

    Once everyone has the ACC network and no fear of blackouts, nobody and I mean nobody will show up at Heinz. In 5 years, there wont be any parking spaces left to tailgate. Might as well tailgate on the Cathedral lawn.


  49. Looking at Yards per Attempt… Pickett 4.5… Perkins 5.3

    You don’t USUALLY win with either of those.

    It’s obvious what it says about Pickett. The SURPRISE is Perkins.

    He should have been much better than that. Is it a credit to Bates and the Defense he brought? Is Perkins possibly OVER-rated like a certain Pitt Defensive Back?

    The fact is Virginia was very BEATABLE and will lose this year to balanced Teams with an effective Passing Game.


  50. If you hire todd graham, you expect a high octane, no huddle offense. If you hire Charmin, you expect to have a “one ply” air offense. Coaches don’t change their stripes. So this is no surprise. Don’t blame Mr. Charmin.

    Borbely had plenty of time to teach his player’s how to pass block and rb’s on how to pick up blitzes. Quit treating these players as dumb ofes!! This is not the first time in their careers that they have pass blocked. There’s coaching and there’s talent. When both are lacking, this is the expected result.

    It’s okay to be optimistic about an upcoming season, but at the end of the day, realism triumphs. Pitt and the Pirates have been running the same scam against Pittsburgh for the past 30 years, yet fans still believe every year. I said this 1 year ago, 3 years ago, 5years ago and 10+. If you want a “c” program, you hire the AD and the coach that Pitt did. If you want an “A” program, you hire for that result. Expecting “A” results, from “”C” at best talent, is just wrong. The fans get penalized. Pitt doesn’t get the concept and gallagher should be put on the hot seat because academic ranking and athletics are heading in the wrong direction.

    Pitt will say that they are going to improve their academic ranking this year by being more selective in the admission process and will not “grow” the number of students attending. Look, Pitt misses the boat here. The high school kids want to go where there is excellent athletics and academics. They want to be part of something special. Pitt has yet to understand risk/reward.

    Liked by 1 person

  51. The result of putting all of your eggs in a passing game leads to defeat. The hype to develop a passing QB who is probably a better runner is a mystery. If we ever develop a passing game the season may be long over.

    If this continues my HULU purchase probably better for BB.


  52. Bench kp for the Ohio game and let him watch George or Patti run the offense. Establish the run game against ohio and try to get the offense on track. It’s going to be another long season.


  53. Lot’s of great comments on the POV last night and today. I actually agree with most of them. I’m staring down at the keyboard searching through my mind and really don’t know exactly what to write. The one point that hasn’t been talked about enough imo is the team PITT played last night, UVA. As we all know their defense finished up ranked #20 over-all last year and returned 8 starters. They also have a Heisman Trophy candidate at QB. Thoughts are now coming to me so here I go:

    Pickett had a lousy game, he just did. A couple of those swing passes he tries to drill the football threw the receiver, no touch? Earlier in the game he overthrew two wide open receivers down field, no touch Pickett had the game day jitters, which is something your starting QB can’t have.

    Mack’s dropped pass hurt…. real bad, next pass was intercepted.

    Pickett had a streaking and wide open Tipton and threw too late although the ball still went through Tipton’s bread basket.

    Even the announcers said that Whipple giving it to KP seem to work.

    The blocked punt was inexcusable, just terrible. Was that Bright not hold his block long enough?

    The O-line played ok and if Pickett completes a couple of those swing passes UVA would have had to play PITT more straight up and not blitz so much.

    Some of you want to blame Narduzzi and there is some fault there but his situation is the same as being a parent. We can teach our kids the right way to be and teach them what not to do but when they leave the house and get into trouble, is it our fault?

    Paris Ford looked like a pro out there last night.

    Ffrench wasn’t incorporated into the playbook nearly enough. Same goes for Carter and possibly Vincent Davis.

    Camp is a play wrecker and was missed after he went out, Tyman didn’t show much at all. I thought the defense over-all played well enough to win the game. An offense that gets first downs is a defenses best friend.

    Reed is right, Narduzzi is not going anywhere for a very long time. The PITT administration thinks more highly of the coastal championship then some on this Blog.

    Plenty to be upset about and like I said, I agree with most all of it. Just remember, UVA is a good football team! If PITT just would have executed better they had them where they wanted them. The players let themselves down last night.

    Liked by 3 people

  54. I did learn that Shockey isn’t the only receiver who can’t catch

    I almost want to rewatch and just look at the o-line performance, no, instead I’ll just jam an ice pick in my right temple

    obviously I need to drink poison rather than koolaid, less painful


  55. I haven’t been posting as much as I used to because of real life, but also because I can’t think of nothing more banal and monotonous than a Pitt football season.

    Something will happen this seemingly disappointing year that will boost fan moral.

    Then folks will point to next year saying the oline improved, the schedule gets easier, it really seemed like Pickett improved under Whipple’s tutelage when we upset that top 4 team, Nardog recruited his first 5 star place kicker, blahnik, ba-blah, ba-freaking-blah.

    I applaud the never ending hope, desire for success. But next year is year 6. I remember when folks said after year 3 it’s the head coaches team, his talent.

    And we are likely to read very similar garbage in year 6.

    I am not suggesting anything be done at this point. This is what Pitt football has become, people seeing clips of the glory years some 35-45 years ago.

    Welcome to Pitt football a la 21st century.



  56. I am just dumbfounded that anyone would attempt to go from an all ground attack one year to an all pass attack the next. Absolutely makes no sense. A balanced attack is always the preferred offense. You cannot win with only one or the other, you must be able to do both. Sure one is usually stronger than the other, that is normal. Narduzzi as a defensive coach must realize it is easier to defend a team that is one dimension and certainly one that cannot execute that one dimension. He better give Whipple some new marching orders.

    Liked by 1 person

  57. The other problem with an all passing attack is that you cannot run the clock or control the time of possession. Your defense gets no rest.


  58. Brother ike, I hope you are right, but I’m not so sure UVA is a good team. Better special teams and better coached than Pitt, but good…..I didn’t see it. Maybe I’m not giving our defense enough credit. If UVA wins the Coastal, I’ll be shocked.g


    1. Bingo Mark you and others are dismissing the fact that UVA is picked to win the coastal with many returning starters. PITTs defense played well last night against a good team. Camp, Ford and Johnson were the stars. I’m also saying PITT did not execute very well last night. A team such as PITT better be on their A game when playing a good team.

      Speaking of good teams.. Ohio is also good with a really good QB, anyone know anything about their defense?


  59. To add to Gordon’s comment, the biggest problem for Pitt with an all passing attack is that we don’t have a QB that can pass!


  60. Ohio played Rhode Island yesterday. QB Rourke passed for 189 yards and ran for 75.

    Rhode Island QB passed for 292 yards going 22-42 yards.


  61. Still haven’t seen the game but listened to Bill (hic) Hillgrove attempt to call it and Bostic correcting him on every call.

    3 interceptions
    1 blocked punt
    1 missed fg

    No team can win with those stats! That is on Narduzzi. He is the worst detail coach I’ve ever seen. What the hell has he been doing for 8 months??

    Knew UVA would dominate . Pitt simply doesn’t have the talent to compete. Again, who’s that on?

    Pitt defense is improved but UVA went right after those corners on an island. Pitt will never compete in the ACC with that scheme. Again, who’s that on??

    Duke, BC, NC all improved. Pitt, not so much. 1-11 a real possibility. 3-9 maybe best chance.

    Liked by 1 person

  62. Last night’s game nails it: 1. Narduzzi is not a P5 head coach plain and simple. 2. Dave Borbely can’t coach pass blocking, never has, never will, plain and simple.

    And to expect a run-oriented team to transform itself into a pass-oriented team from one season to the next (without a P5 offensive line and Borbely as the OL coach is pure lunacy.


  63. I do think Pitt wins next week. If we don’t and the offense struggles, I redshirt Pickett if you think he just needs to get re-wired to the offense. He has had one really great game against wake…..repeat, against wake. Passing camps and no hit the qb scrimmages, does not help him develop. Nice kid, polite, manners, all the rest. Tua would struggle with our current OL, which is recruiting, training and teaching.

    I almost heard nard say that the new offense and learning it, is a process. True, to a point (GTech comes to mind). However, Pitt has been running a pro-style offense which means fairly equal running and passing. Pass blocking is nothing new there, so another excuse.

    Ohio will stack the box against Pitt, like every other team has done in the last 10 years, 30 maybe. Pirates and Pitt: Selling a Scam for Thirty Years. Ok, im done.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Pitt will lose next week. Not because of talent level but because Ohio is senior laden, with a terrific QB and a much better head coach. They are a cohesive team. Pitt is ragtag at best


  64. I didn’t get to see the game. I’m glad I didn’t. ( Thanks Comcast!)
    I’m not at all surprised by the outcome. This is the type of game Pitt loses all of the time. One day, in the next 35-40 years, they may actually win a game like this. Most of us will be dead but my kids will be around to enjoy it. It’s probably the best I can hope for.


  65. I have been a KP and PN supporter to date. Last night’s game has given me pause. I maniacally predicted 9-3 for the season. Now I’m wondering if 6-6 is doable. I’m going to wait and see HOW THEY PLAY in the next 3/4 games before I reassess my opinion.

    Liked by 1 person

  66. As far as attendance goes, the golden age of post Sherrill Pitt football occurred under the tutelage of Walt Harris. and Dave Wannstedt

    Will a Narduzzi team come close to posting these attendance figures? Pitt-Virginia Tech rocked Heinz Field and Cincinnati proved to be a bigger rival than any ACC team.


  67. A few things, there is motivation and there is taking it out on a player. If Whipple’s screaming at our QB made that much difference then why in hell wasn’t he slapping the crap out of Pickett in the second half? Gee, maybe a few backhand across Kenny’s mouth would have gotten us more than zero, nill, zilch, no, none points (0!!!) after halftime.

    Please, what we saw was Whipple panicking pretty much the whole game and taking it out on Pickett…who isn’t built for criticism.

    We can go around and around about Narduzzi, the staff, the admin, the AD, fans, etc. but what it all boils down to is recruiting and Narduzzi is the worse recruiter Pitt has had save for Graham’s single class. We have recruited not one bona fide star player under him so he has to go the transfer route where his success is just a bit better.

    Btw Ike, which four players on our defense were 4* kids? I counted only Hamlin, Watts and Ford on D and Davis on O. Which also means, if I’m correct in my figuring, that we fielded a 44 player two-deep with only four blue chip players.

    Wonder why opposing coaches say Pitt doesn’t get ‘haven’t as the article’s quote states? That’s why.


    1. I played Football from 7th grade thru my senior year of Baldwin HS. I was average at best as split end and ok at outside linebacker. I hated getting yelled at! It did not motivate me but all of my coaches were yellers and screamers. It was just the way things were back then.

      As a HS Basketball Coach, I had to take courses in coaching and I found out quickly that yelling and screaming and intimidation were the best motivators of all techniques…..but….they only work once! After that nothing but negativity occurs. Same as a Sales Manager.

      Narduzzi has lost his cool and acted up on the sidelines numerous times. That’s because he is unprepared for problems occurring during a game that he has not foreseen. Mr.Detail indeed! Last night Whipple did the same. The whole Pitt team came apart in the second half. Imagine as a Pitt player standing there and watching your coaches go bonkers! Nothing but negativity feeding negativity. Disgraceful behavior for two coaches who were totally unprepared.

      Ask yourself this, have you seen opposing coaches, especially the good ones ever disrespect their players in the heat of battle. I’d say …not many.

      I appreciate what Narduzzi is trying to do at Pitt. Build a program and confidence as a head coach. He just sucks it.


      1. Well Dan, I did see coach stallings do that to one of the players whose name escapes me. He transferred out after that crap show of language was sent his way and picked up on audio very clearly. I wanna say it was the power forward that went to AZ. Great example, huh!!! LOL!


  68. Hey Maestro, you asked the other day who the FB would be if they play a pro set. The answer is Rashad Wheeler, the former DL. If anyone noticed a No. 37 in the backfield for a couple of plays, it was Wheeler.

    I also heard Baldenero and Alexandre’s names mentioned a few times as well as Danielson’s. There appeared to be a lot of subbing, especially on defense


    1. Yeah – Wheeler was at FB to start the game.

      He also was one of the guys on the 15 yard line for our kickoff-receiving team…

      Looks like Wheeler May be following in the footsteps of Dintino…

      Go Pitt.


  69. On the not as dark side:

    —I think our corners will clean up some things and play better going forward. On a few plays last night, our corner backed way off the WR and then kept backing up leaving the WR lots of space to just stop along the sideline and be wide open. Something was amiss here from our normal tight coverage (which often gets us flagged…).

    —Our WR still are not aggressive enough at the point of the catch. But I think they have talent to make plays.

    —KP is a mystery – but I think it all goes back to the protection. UVA was consistently getting a good push up the middle. There was rarely if ever a “pocket” for KP to step up into. Having to drift left or right and having to release the ball with pressure bearing down makes it tough to be accurate (and makes you tend to throw high…).

    —I expect the Oline to do better as they gain experience.

    —I think the whole team is going to learn a ton from this game and be better for it. Not great, but better…

    —Also, typical Pitt bad-luck scheduling to have a new OC and OLine start the season against not only a good defense, but a tricky 3-4…

    I wasn’t surprised we lost; but I sure as hell am disappointed.

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 1 person

  70. The scary thing is who replaces pickett. Wasn’t impressed with George or patti in the spring game. Beville looked good but he’s a true freshman. The oline struggled but at least u can chalk that up to inexperience and first game together. No excuse for pickett though.


    1. Will be very interesting to see what happens if Pickett Struggles against Ohio.


  71. Reed, I suggest you look at UVa’s recruiting rankings over the past few years.

    I wrote a few times last week how experience is often a deciding factor is the first games since, in effect, it’s like a pre-season game for colleges. UVa had the most returning starters of any Coastal team (17) while Pitt had 10 new starters.

    But of course, the deciding factor was that their QB was better than ours. Opening drive of the 3rd quarter, UVa had 3rd and long twice, and Perkins makes two great plays to get them in FG range … the first when he broke the pocket, rolled left and found hi WR beyond the sticks, The next when he avoided the blitzer and ran for about 35-40 yards. Conversely, on Pitt’s 1st drive of the 2nd half, KP throws a terrible ball in double coverage.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I don’t think uva is that good. They are just experienced and don’t make mistakes unlike pitt who made tons of them


    2. Yes, wouldn’t it be nice if we could get HS kids who, no matter what stars they have, can play good football in their 1st or 2nd year then be a three year starter but PM’s not able to do that.

      I actually thought Salahuddin was going to be PN’s first recruited young star but we see what happened there.


    3. That is typically how vegas runs the show. The team with the most returning starters, wins a higher percentage of games for the first few games each year. Vegas has been doing that for years. Talked to a book about that 3-4 years ago. Just makes sense wwb.


  72. If Pickett connects with the two passes downfield early on and or those swing passes out of the backfield instead of throwing the ball 900 hundred miles an hour it would have made UVA’a defense to play more honest. Football is a team game where all components have to do their job. Turnovers and 3 and outs put a strain on the defense. Brian Kelly and other coaches make Whipple look like a choir boy.

    The first two drives by PITT were choreographed over and over beforehand and Pickett didn’t deliver. He needed a wake-up call.

    Liked by 1 person

  73. Ya, and if your aunt had…. she’d be your uncle. Amazing. They did not play well. Winners and losers are separated by missed opportunities. Doesn’t it bother anyone that it was another game where no successful halftime adjustments were made? This isn’t something taken in isolation but occurs regardless of who the assistants are.


  74. BTW JoeK, my point was that Narduzzi and Whipple didn’t coach KP to miss those throws that ere perfectly planned. It was indeed a total lack of execution. Pickett choked.


    1. I agree. Pickett was hurried by poor line play. Plus he was probably not used to the speed of a real game where he was getting hit on every play. Whipple should have run the ball more in the beginning. What about the dropped passes? Especially the one dropped by Rutgers transfer tight end (Stewart?) just before the interception. There is still hope for Pickett. But the team will be lucky to go 6-6.


  75. My total wins for the season is down to 4. There’s Delaware, and . . . and . . . ??

    They’ll be lucky to win four, but Pitt has a real chance for a one win season.


  76. No argument on any of that Ike. My point was, and is, Pitt is woulda, coulda, shoulda U. But if the players don’t execute aren’t the coaches ultimately responsible as they recruited them?
    I’ve watched and for 4 yrs there have been only a handful of times I’ve seen effective halftime adjustments. Think about it.
    Another thing that I’m watching and have been harping on is the S&C coach. Seems like the strength stuff MAY be OK, but boy, conditioning is still very suspect. Watch this area.


  77. Here’s a News Flash for POVers…

    Watching the replay on ACCN.

    What has become abundantly CLEAR the second time around… there is ONE and only one ALPHA Coach on the Pitt Sideline… and it ain’t Narduzzi.

    Oakland, we may have a problem… or a SOLUTION!


  78. Watching a little of the replay didn’t really change my opinion. Too much emphasis on passing, very poor execution by the QB, subpar performance by most receivers, decent performance by the O-line. KP did have enough time on most plays, he made poor decisions on too many, his accuracy is suspect and he is far too jumpy and ready to leave the pocket. He also does not anticipate or trust his receivers to throw early to a spot and let them get to the ball.

    The saying that the game seems to have slowed down for him doesn’t seem to apply to KP. Far from calm,cool and collected. He did make one good throw on the run, but the only one I remember in this or any game.

    Also I guess Whipple doesn’t favor roll outs or option plays, cause I don’t remember seeing any.

    Liked by 2 people

  79. What some fans forget when pointing to our Ward who dropped passes and yardage lost to that…but what about the pass interference penalties that were this the NFL would have given the VA team much more yardage.

    Point is mistakes made by both squads’ players.

    I am worried about Ohio but I think we’ll be 1-3 after our first four games. After that it’s a crapshoot but I’ll still stick with 6 wins.

    But…if we lose next week and get blown out by PSU & UCF then all bets are off and we might have a very poor season.

    In other words we need a win this week so the kids know that they can actually win.


  80. By the way, the box score is hilarious, take a look at it.
    Why so few passes to running backs?
    I have a feeling that we lose any good backs for next year if they look at the box score,
    unless they want to come here to pick up the blitz. 18 carries and two pass completions.

    Also Gragg caught 3 passes for 4 yards, excellent use of the tight end.

    Pittsburgh has a glorious record of running the football, the list of great backs is long.
    Even when Marino was here we ran the ball.

    I could almost go for this strategy if we had an elite QB, but we don’t.


  81. Hope we see more of Wheeler at fullback and using that size to pound on some Ohio defenders to get the ground game going. Put the pressure on Morrisey and crew to get it going. Roll Kenny out and get rid of the ball quicker.

    Amazing the Kenny of 2017 versus Miami is looking more and more like a fluke. He even played well versus VTech that year and was let down by his receiver in that one.

    Starting out 0-6 passing is on Whipple as much as Kenny. These RBs won’t strike fear into anyone either.


    1. With all respect Nate but I have to disagree. When Pickett went 0-6 to start the game he missed badly on a few passes that were well designed. I’m sure KP make those throws in practice, how’s that the coaches fault the kid choked?


      1. Whipple has to know the pressure on Kenny. Just one run on each drive at least. Maybe there was a run and I’m forgetting it.


  82. No doubt VA wasn’t as sharp as they will be, it was their first game too.

    As far as the interference plays, the college rules favor the defense, no doubt.

    One by Hamlin was very smart, 15 yards is better than a 60 yard TD.

    Reed, when you play 3 ranked teams in the first four weeks and you are Pitt, 1-3 is what happens most of the time. The question is why play 3 ranked teams in the first 4 games? Who else does that?

    When you add the quality of your supposed cupcake, it is worse than Russian Roulette.
    It is like Russian Roulette with one empty chamber.

    But I agree if we can’t find a way to win this week, it is going to be a long season with mostly 25,000 in the stands.


  83. A few TAKEAWAYS from the replay…


    … Pickett does not take CRITICISM well. A bit of an ATTITUDE problem which became known during that Press Conference where he felt privileged to CALL OUT the Media in defense of Narduzzi.

    … Pickett does NOT see OPEN Receivers when pressure is on… aka the interception to Va DB Joey Blount where he through into coverage when you had Tipton WIDE OPEN to the right near the sidelines.

    … I’ve been a HUGE fan of Patrick Jones II ever since his debut in the Heinz Debacle against Penn State. But MAN, was he ever DOGGIN’ it in the Second Half.

    … And finally, just as a matter of common decency, Twyman needs to take that No. 97 Jersey OFF right now!


    … Whipple’s decision to use Rashad Wheeler (aka the BAD Rashad) as a Fullback… actually WORKED!

    Liked by 1 person

  84. And don’t be surprised if Kenny Pickett is noted as INJURED or maybe Day to Day.

    Those RIBS took more than one BIG shot.

    He’s a TOUGH Kid. But boy did he take a beating.


    1. Would also be a convenient way to test out another qb without stating a an controversy…


  85. Brutal game. I didn’t have a problem with the o-line because I walked away thinking Pickett held onto the ball too long most of the time … or not long enough a few other times. Just a really bizarre game from Pickett. IMO Pickett getting happy feet gave the illusion of line breakdowns when they weren’t necessarily there.

    RB’s were not great pass blocking but did have a couple noticeable pickups. UVA just blitzed the dickens out of Pitt after half and knew that Pickett was getting happy feet. Two of the plays Pickett took rib shots on he could have sidestepped the defender. Instead he chose to step into the heat seeking missiles. Pump and slide to the right. The defenders went all out on shooting the gap and could not have slowed down. Momentum and physics were on Pickett’s side.

    Defense looked strong. They were put in a lot of tough situations and stayed on the field way too long. I loved the toughness of the DB’s. I know the announcers were crying for PI’s but I liked the no calls and on the flip side I thought the refs made the right call on the actual PI penalties.

    Wide Receivers were a let down. I think Mack lost the one in the lights. Tipton heard footsteps. No excuse for Gragg. Pickett missed a bunch of open guys too and big plays to boot.

    I didn’t have an issue with the running game because it appeared the game plan was designed to open it up later. Pickett kept going deep to get the safety out of the box. The problem is that you have to connect or catch it. Haha. Man, did Pickett miss some open plays there for the taking.

    I liked the play calling. Execution was poor. Too many times it looked like several players didn’t know what was being run. Offensive position coaches have to get on it this week. That was really poor fundamentals. It was frustrating because you could see the open player.

    This has the makings of another traditional Duzz team. Starts off slow, finds its footing and finishes at .500 or slightly better.

    Defense: B … All units appeared to play pretty well. DL faded as the game went on but I think UVA kept a TE on the end in the 2nd half to help. Could be wrong. Did not go back to review tape but I watched the game with a UVA buddy and we both thought it looked like an extra blocker.

    QB: D … his feet saved him from an F. Both INT’s lead to points against. I don’t think Pickett finishes the season as the starter.

    WR: C- … too many drops and too much chaos pre-snap but they did have 15 receptions. That’s like 6 games worth last year.

    RB: C … not much of a shot. Decent pass blocking. Couple of decent runs. AJ Davis had a huge play in passing game.

    TE: D … 3 catches for 4 yards and huge 1st down drop

    OL: C … I think most of the problems were on Pickett but UVA was able to penetrate and they did not establish a running game

    Special Teams: F … Huge missed FG could have made it a one possession game in 4th. Blocked punt lead to a TD.

    Duzz: D … Team was not prepared

    DC: A … Defense played with energy until the final drive. I thought he called a great game keeping Perkins in check most of the time. Even then, Perkins just made a great play when he did get loose. Under 200 yards passing and only 2.4 yards per carry. No WR over 50 yards receiving. Running backs held in check.

    OC: B … I could see what he was trying to do and in the second quarter we saw the semblance of a real offense. Breakdowns and pre-snap confusion too often and did not help Pickett adjust to the blitz in the 2nd half.

    What’s frustrating is with better QB play I can see this team being a decent team. I just don’t have confidence that we’ll see better QB play. The happy feet are concerning. Once you have that it’s like the yips in baseball. You can’t overcome it. It’s ruined so many QB’s.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. TT I agree with every single thing you said except the team not being prepared. Unless you count they weren’t prepared for KP to laying an egg?

      BTW, two years in a row Bates took Perkins out of the Heisman Trophy discussions.


    2. Tossing I agree with ur analysis. This could be a good team if we had a good quarterback. It is looking more and more like we don’t have one.


  86. Heather claims that in the new era of Pitt athletics, coaches will be held accountable with respect to Winning.
    HCPN, without an agent, claims to be happy with his time in Pittsburgh and doesn’t plan to leave or seek a raise on his $3.5M/yr contract.
    That said, he doesn’t appear to have a sense of urgency, a drive to do better.
    So, Heather, will you hold him accountable if his record doesn’t measure up? Better still, if he continues to be mediocre, on what basis will you ask me for donations?


  87. Gasman — I certainly don’t agree with your take on Narduzzi. My impression is that he is extremely driven and his life is 24/7/365 Pitt football.

    That said, I don’t think Heather will keep Coach Duzz if the team doesn’t win at least 6 this season and at least 8 next season. Just my take – she just doesn’t appear to me to have patience with poor to mediocre results – in spite of the extension for the Duzzer…
    And she knows that football is the centerpiece…

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tell me what proof you have that he is driven, 24/7 Pitt football?
      Reaching out to high school coaches like Wanny?
      Reaching out to alumni and fans?
      Becoming less adversarial with the media?
      Your opinion, like mine, is based on conjecture.
      And quite frankly, I don’t care how invested he is. I care about results and the results on the field have been lacking.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. We all care about results. Your statement was that Coach Duzz doesn’t appear to have a sense of urgency or drive.

        Certainly my statement is conjecture, based on a few brief conversations with Coach – mainly at the Kickoff Luncheons and LOI events – and hearing him speak at these events.

        Hail to Pitt.


  88. The REAL Bottom Line…

    In the end, the BEST Field Goal Kicker really did go a long way to deciding the outcome!

    Virginia Kicker Delaney goes 3 of 4 which went a long way to MAINTAIN the Lead and the momentum.

    On the other hand, had Kessman made the 50 Yarder, who knows what that does to CHANGE momentum?

    Instead of a Kicker named Blewitt who could be counted on to make them when they count, it looks we might now have it the other way around.

    The GOOD news is… as the Season goes on, Kessman will have plenty of opportunities to prove me wrong.

    Let’s hope he does.


  89. Fran/MajorMajors:

    Yes, it is my Head Cover.

    I stopped at the tailgate twice to see you John. Sorry we missed each other.

    Fran: I’ll get the head cover next week.


    Liked by 1 person

  90. Nearly 100 percent of good coaches have their break out year in years 4, 5, or 6. So if narduzzi doesn’t reach ten wins this year or next, he should be canned. That’s if heather holds coaches accountable for field performance. But I have a feeling she thinks saving kittens from trees on the Cathedral lawn and helping old ladies cross Forbes Ave is more important.


  91. Baltimore fans just getting home from the game ( that many of us still haven’t seen) made two comments. Heather has shut down the out of town scoreboard…..and Pitt is no longer printing programs ( breaks my heart as a 51 year vet of the printing industry). People asking for a program (geez …just to get the players numbers) were referred to a desk near the gate for a small program…of course they were sold out!!!!! SOP indeed Heather

    But….evidently the new Unis and the band unis looked great. What a typical Pitt complete catastrophe on every level this was!!! Thank God for tailgates and golf matches!


    1. Lots of things to clean up on and off the field. For example, they now have a 50/50 raffle, but I had no clue where to buy a ticket. Someone won around $11,000…

      Programs were supposed to be free now, but didn’t see any being handed out.

      After the game – don’t know if this was just because of the Ribfest, but they had some floodlights located at ground level. As I was driving past Stage AE, a cop was directing traffic at the intersection and because of the floodlights right behind her, I couldn’t tell if she was waving me on or holding me up. Really a bad idea…

      The list is longer, but I’ll stop there…

      Go Pitt.


  92. Pitt starts slow every year because they are always bringing in new coaches. There was nothing wrong with Whipple’s offense, except that the players didn’t execute it. Or aren’t good enough to execute it. Starting in the shotgun was a mistake because it signaled that Pitt was moving to a pass oriented offense. If the QB starts under center there is at least more opportunity to keep the opposition guessing. And is it me or is Mack not living up to expectations?


  93. Pickett sees his OL perform every day in practice. Could this be why he has happy feet? And I watched the running plays and saw no breakaway success at the second level. Pitt’s RBs looked slow and lacking in power running capability.


  94. As you all my football knowledge wouldn’t fill a thimble, but I think that some of Pitt’s running success last year came from having two different types of RBs, Power (Ollison) and Speed (Hall). Based on the little running that we saw yesterday, do Sibley and Davis represent contrasting styles? It didn’t look like it from my vantage point.


  95. BTW, I saw an article that said that in 2018, college kickers made 90% of kicks inside 35 yards and about 60 percent from beyond 35 yards.

    Just to put Kessman’s 50-yard near miss in perspective…

    Also, BTW, Kessman was 13 for 17 last season including a school record 4 makes from 50-plus yards…

    Go Pitt.


  96. I got a program and it’s pretty nice for a free handout. I was also there early enough to see Kessman make a 58 yarder


  97. Pretty interesting tidbit from PantherLair poster Pittmeister:
    (I only took a portion of said post)

    Is it to much to ask to have more than one 10 win season (2009) in the last 38 YEARS (1981)??????

    Think about that…. 38 YEARS and only ONE ten win season. That’s as many as the following teams since 1981…

    Virginia / Wake Forest / Tulane / Rutgers / Minnesota / Kentucky / Duke / North Carolina St

    The following are teams that I would consider on the same playing field as Pitt that have had more 10 win seasons since 1981:

    Virginia Tech (14) – Prior to Beamer, that school was a misfit in a pitiful town, so they make the list.
    TCU (12)
    UCLA (8)
    Iowa (8)
    Kansas St (7)
    Stanford (7)
    Utah (7)
    Colorado (7)
    West Virginia (7)
    Michigan St (7)
    Louisville (6)
    Syracuse (6)
    Missouri (5)
    North Carolina (4)
    Georgia Tech (4)
    Northwestern (4)
    Maryland (3)
    Boston College (3)
    Kansas (2)

    Current Non-Power 5 schools:

    UCF (6)
    Cincinnati (6)
    Houston (5)
    Temple (2)
    Rice (2)
    Navy (3)

    Yes, even Kansas and Kansas St have more 10 win seasons than Pitt. That’s right Kansas St.

    You may argue that Pitt is not in line with some of the teams listed but his point has merit.
    You can gripe about schedules all you want. The fact remains is this is a program that has been mismanaged and continues to be mismanaged.

    Even Temple that was left for dead for the longest time , has more 10 win seasons than Pitt. SMH



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