About midway through the first quarter, an ACC network cut to a University of Pittsburgh tailgater unceremoniously dropping a pan full of delicious-looking barbecue onto the ground just as it was being taken off the grill.  If that isn’t a metaphor for the entire evening, I don’t know what is.

Still,  It was just one game, and it’s not like Pitt was a complete and utter train wreck.  There were positives.  Penalties for example.  I counted only one pre-snap penalty for Pitt.  On both sides of the ball.  That speaks to discipline.  I counted only one holding call.  That was surprising given that we were starting four brand new offensive linemen.

The defense played well.  A couple of early PI calls were cleaned up.  Paris Ford was outstanding.  As was Kylan Johnson.  Keyshon Camp was very good (hopefully he’s not hurt badly).  The Star linebacker position made plays.  Elias Reynolds looks like he’s a step more explosive.  Damarri Mathis, after getting turned around on one play early played an excellent second half.  For the most part the tackling was solid. 

Oh but the offense.   On one hand, it was a brand new system and it was the first game against a seasoned and well-coached opponent.  Still, there were plays there for the taking.  But…Kenny.  Coach Duzz chalked it up to first game jitters.  And honestly, we’ve seen Kenny make those throws.  The happy feet were not encouraging.  The lack of pocket presence has not improved on iota.  He was clearly rattled in the fourth, to the point where one of the Virginia safeties even called it out in an interview.

Special teams were bad as well, giving up six points off of a blocked punt, and missing a field goal (albiet one that was 10 yards longer than it needed to be because Pickett took a bad sack the play before).

In hindsight the tailgater spilled about 2/3 of the pan…

As far  as good bad and ugly, I’m going to change it up slightly this week because one of our posters wrote a very good comment that i’d like to leverage.  I’ve always admired Tossing Thabeets’ level-headed, rational approach.  His comment in yesterday’s thread covers every unit on the team and is for the most part aligned with my impressions.

Here it is in it’s entirety.  My comments and notes are in non-italics:

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.  Editor’s note:  I think he may have meant Griffin-Stewart instead of Gragg.  Stewart dropped a key pass that hit him in the hands.

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.  Editor’s note:  Outside of the final drive, where the defense had obviously quit and was simply playing not to get hurt, I saw that literally five mistakes.  That’s pretty good.  Here they are in order:  1,2:  Two Dane Jackson PI calls early.  3:  Dane Jackson gets caught in a pick and gives up the second TD.  The play was well designed though and I think this was after a Pickett INT.  4:   Chase Pine gets sucked in when Perkins rolls to escape trouble on third down and gives up a long first down pass to move the sticks.  5:  Jason Pinnock has a clean shot at Perkins on a 3rd and long blitz call, Pinnock whiffs, Perkins runs for a first down.

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.  Editor’s note:  I was going to touch on this thought later this week, but what the hey lets talk about it now.  Whipple’s offense is predicated on taking the top off with long passes.  If Kenny demonstrates that he can’t do that regularly then we might have a Chad Voytik / Nate Peterman situation on our hands.  The only question is whether Jeff George Jr. (or any other quarterback on the roster) is good enough to play the role of Peterman, and te only people who can answer that are on the coaching staff, on the team, or deep, deep insiders.  I am none of the above, so at this point this is pure, uniformed speculation.

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.  Every receiver made a mistke.  Even Tipton who otherwise played a great game.  He could have highpointed that long ball at the end.

RB: C … not much of a shot. Decent pass blocking. Couple of decent runs. AJ Davis had a huge play in passing game.   I would go C- but that is picking nits.  Davis’ play was more on Whipple than anything else.  It was a well executed route and Davis made the catch and ran with it, but he was open because the tempo caught UVA off guard.

TE: D … 3 catches for 4 yards and huge 1st down drop.  I will point out that at this pace the tight ends will have 36 receptions.  That is approxamately a 500% increase over last year.  Still, I too would have liked to see them actually go for positive yards.

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.  I agree. I am not as bearish on the o-line as many other fans.  Even the annoucers were commenting about how Pickett looked paniced.  Hasselbeck went so far as to point out the Pickett stepped into a sack at least twice.

Special Teams: F … Huge missed FG could have made it a one possession game in 4th. Blocked punt lead to a TD.  That’s a 10 point swing folks.  We lost by 16, and I firmly believe that last Wahoo touchdown wouldn’t have happened if the Defense had a reason to believe.

Duzz: D … Team was not prepared.  Originally I disagreed.  I wanted to say the offense was not prepared.  Then I remembered special teams.  That’s 2/3 of the team.  So yes, D.

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.  Firmly agree.

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.  I disagree a little here.  Not being able to keep his composure on the sideline loses him points with me.  It’s going to sound cliche but he could have at least tried some screens and draws in the second half to counteract all those jailbreak blitzes.  I’d go with C+

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.  Completely 100% agree.  Quarterback play is the anchor holding this team down.  As I said yesterday, Kenny looks like the exact same guy that played under Watson.  I’m not confident he’ll ever be anything else.

What do you say readers?  How do you grade each unit of the team?

190 thoughts on “MMQB – Virginia

  1. I honestly don’t see it much different either.
    I watched MOST of it again after removing the ice pick,,,,merely a flesh wound,,,,and would grade slightly differently as follows.

    Defense B+ – in today’s game, there are going to be opportunities for a good opponent that you just can’t avoid being exposed. For God’s sake, Duke was down 14-3 to Alabama at the half and started with the ball second half and drove to Alabama’s 35 where they gave it up on 4th and 3(or so). GT v Clemson started poorly for GT with turnovers and mistakes, but if you watched the game, GT made some plays on offense.

    QB – as feared, F+. Yes, that is harsh(ooh, I hope he can handle it) but as much as he shows flashes of talent and always shows heart, he creates as much of his problems as he overcomes. Truth is without the drops, Kenny also probably doesn’t make the mistakes because his confidence continues to roll and UVA is kept on their heels.

    WR – F+ – your job is to catch balls and to high point balls and to be ready to adjust to a ball thrown somewhat inaccurately(yeah, I know some were UNCATCHABLE), and occasionally make a circus catch or just BEAT your defender. I saw none of the great stuff and little of the good enough stuff.

    RB – C. They weren’t terrible picking up blitzes, not perfect either, but again, Kenny’s pocket presence didn’t help on at least 2. I do agree that Houdini didn’t want to fill THAT role, but I think either Davis or Sibley, and more likely Sibley will be reliable and solid and not a weakness throughout the year.

    TE – D+. Huge drop on PERFECT pass. Drilled, but accurate.

    OL – B-. Better pass protect that many think, again not perfect, but blitzes were the difference. Run blocking looked like C- and though few, maybe should have been better as it should have caught UVA by surprise. If they stay healthy, I don’t think they are Pitt’s problem.

    Specials – F. You can’t give up a blocked punt where the kid didn’t even need to dive to block it. Not much of a block and the punter practically served it to his hand. Served as a turnover. No returns of note, critical Kessman miss after the UVA kid proved solid really hurt. Different game if these go right. Maybe I need to give an F+ again so they don’t all quit.

    Duzz – F. The buck stops here. You lost and it wasn’t unwinnable.

    DC – A-. The several plays the QB made were just great. Maybe should have blitzed a bit more 2nd half but he did some and some just missed. Someone mentioned Patrick Jones dogging it in the 2nd half….did he? did they get worn out?

    OC – B-. I got what I had hoped for. Execution was the problem. Mix in a draw or screen more? Ok, but the first screen attempt and maybe another were knocked away maybe due to Kenny’s lack of touch, maybe his jitters, maybe just good D.

    Like TT says, good QB play and we are decent, maybe way better, I am sure we are 1-0(which could have happened anyway with catches made that should have been and a couple of really good ones). If this doesn’t get better, we can easily lose to Ohio, then look out below. I will need to have all sharp objects kept away from me as I watch the last PSU game forever. If not, and I get a hold of even a plastic fork, I’m going straight for the corneas.

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  2. I pretty much agree with Thabeets but would have to replace ‘Duzz’ with ‘Mr Whipple’ and give a D- instead of a D.

    Last year’s issue with Pickett was that he held onto the ball too long, and there was no Plan B in blitzing situations … such like a WR doing a shorter crossing pattern or a RB drifting out in the flat. These problems remain. Also, a draw play or a traditional screen may be effective. Neither of these were attempted.

    Still, it appears that Pickett is more the issue than the OC.

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  3. Towards the end of the free program handout, there is a section entitled ‘This is Pitt’. I found the last 2 bullets points to be interesting (paraphrased)

    — In the 2019 QS World University Rankings, Pitt is ranked 37th in US and 136 in the World (doesn’t speak well of US colleges?). The Pitt Philosophy Dept is ranked 1 in the world

    — in 2012’s historic capital campaign, Pitt raised more than its goal of $2B. >189k donors created more than 1600 new endowments, including > 600 student scholarships and > 150 faculty chairs and professorships.

    Pitt may not raise much $$ for athletics (isn’t it last in ACC?) but maybe it has the proper perspective after all. And it also may point out why attendance is so lacking at FB games, there are other things more important to the average Pitt student.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Pitt does an extremely good job creating academic endowments and receiving gifts from supporters for non-athletic campaigns. It does a wretchedly horrible job at donations for sports.

      Now you have to ask yourself why. I have my own hypothesis for root causes and ways to solve the donation problem however it would be the length of a doctoral thesis. But since this is a holiday and I dont want anyone suffering from a brain cramp, I’ll put it in simple layman terms.

      Create connections and actively engage.

      The reason why attendance is down is due to poor marketing by Heather and an uninspiring football team. The reason why students dont attend is partly driven by having to be bused 5 miles to attend a game. The average Pitt student has never identified with the university through sports. Alumni like myself are ignored.

      The proper perspective is having a nice looking outside and inside of the house. The Pitt BoT has historically neglected the lawn and front porch.

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      1. TX panther lets face it, PITT can’t recruit. It takes a gifted coach to be good recruiter at a school not on a recruit’s desired lists. At least Narduzzi is stable and we need that for awhile. I love Heather. Minor sports are important too. Alumni brag about winning anything. That is what alumni do. Maybe winning at minor sports will get PITT’s name out to a larger number of applicants and improve our US News ranking. Though I wouldn’t count on it. Let’s keep working on getting the academics up.

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  4. Where I disagree with TT is on the game plan. Sorry but a 53-18 split between Kenny and the running backs is not a balanced offense and never a good plan. When you put that much of a game plan into the hands of a suspect QB you are asking for trouble. What would ever make anyone think that that was a good idea. Even the New England Patriots run the ball more. How can you take what the defense gives you when you are one dimensional. Even worse you don’t throw to your running backs enough for easy completions and you don’t appear to have a decent tight end.

    For those that say the RB’s don’t look that good, how can you tell when they got the ball so few times. We didn’t even run the ball enough to keep the pass rush honest.

    Great coaches don’t try to pound square pegs into round holes. They use the talents their kids have in the best way possible and use plays that they can execute, especially in the first game.

    To come out of the gate with three incompletions and then a three yard completion, two more interceptions and a blocked punt, tells me more about coaching than I want to know. Then to not make adjustments, just to keep doubling down on an inept passing game was pathetic. It put the defense on its heels all day long.

    If it were not for one big play to a running back on third and long, the game would probably have been a complete blow-out.

    So I say the OC is the problem if Pickett is the best we have. The coach needs to implement an offense he and the rest of the players can execute routinely, which is balanced and takes advantage of the players skills. Although KP was the poster boy for poor execution, he was far from the only problem. There were plenty of dropped passes, blocks and assignments to go around telling me the game plan was too much for the guys we have, in the first game against a tough opponent.

    Offenses without running games are losers, always have been.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. GC I agree, but I think they have a mess on their hands. Suspect O line, losing two 1,000 yd rushers, and a DII Qb at best. You get what we got Saturday. Whipple, Schmipple, air raid offense, the ‘ol ball coach at his best, name em, they ain’t saving this disaster, and it’s on Duzz. Yeah I think Whipple went pass heavy, but you are breaking in 4 new OL’s and have a bad QB, and when he gets off a good throw, Mack drops it. This is on Duzz. 5 years and this is where we are. No matter what game plan, or coach or system, this was a recipe for disaster…Year 5, Unacceptable…I think the Duzz days are done. I loved the hire and stood by, but this team is regressing and I don’t know if anyone can save this sinking ship at this point…

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  5. Just another small pet peeve. Why in the world would you have your punter be the holder on field goals, especially one with poor hands. Why not a QB, with good hands, who could also pass the ball on a trick play, or after a bad snap. Let the punter practice and worry about one thing, being the best punter he can be.

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  6. I just realized something. PITT couldn’t have come out a winner even if they won the game. Even though UVA was picked to win the coastal all I read is that they are not very good. I can only imagine what would be said about Virginia if PITT would have won the game.

    Head coach… d
    OC………………c
    QB………………F
    O-line…………..c
    WR……………..d
    RB’s…………….?
    DC………………b
    D-Line…………b
    LB’s……………b
    DB’s……………b

    If Pickett executes even half decently everyone looks a little better. I know, if if if! Amazing.

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  7. Good: The defense. Paris Ford and Desi Alexandre’s debuts as starters. Reynolds, DeMathis Jones and Johnson also played well IMO

    Bad: Everything else not termed as Ugly

    Ugly: Everything else no termed as Bad

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  8. Agreed gc, establishing the running game opens up the passing game. Coach Whip needs to realize the Acc has a number of NFL caliber pass rushers and blitzers, this isn’t the colonial league any more.

    Last year the running backs were used according to who had the “hot hand”, why not try that at qb this year? Give George or Patti a try and see if they can do better than kp. Kp has played 16 full games and it seems the majority of the wins came in spite of his contributions not because of them.

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    1. I have no idea how good George or Patti are but it looks like it’s more KP than it is the OC … although in fairness, one game may not be a proper measure for someone brand new. I also don’t know the makeup of the 3 top QBs, who will perform well under game pressure, etc

      But IMO the leash should be getting shorter

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  9. I only believe in final grades for overall performance. Performance is binary – either you win or you lose. Losses receive an F. Wins receive an A.

    This loss particularly stings since it was against a Coastal team and this team is expected to contend for the title. Pitt is now 1.5 games back in the ACC since they lose all tiebreakers to Virginia.

    No hardware for Pitt’s trophy case this year.

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    1. Lol That first paragraph is about the most TX Panther thing I could ever hope to read. Two points for being true to thine own self

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  10. Excellent analysis, TT.

    It was too big a game for this team – where they are now – for an opening game. We really would have benefited from playing a softer opponent. Way too many changes on the offense – personnel and scheme.

    Was surprised that Whipple went with three straight passes to start. And UVA was ready for that first one. Really expected a running play when it was clear that Kenny’s pass was way off. Might’ve been pick #1 if it was on target. Maybe he was throwing it away?

    Was also surprised at the lack of draws and screens, although the abysmal edge blocking might’ve rendered the latter ineffective. Think some of you guys may have been counting to three a bit faster than a stopwatch.

    Thought Davis looked a bit tentative on his first few carries, but did much better after. Thought Sibley hit the holes well and ran hard.

    Thought Whipple might rebalance the offense towards the run with the struggles on the pass. Anybody else calculate that the pass/run play calls (add in most of Kenny’s runs as pass plays) was about 72%? Could be a long season if Whipple thinks that is OK and Duzz allows that to happen.

    Thought the drops broke the offense’s spirit. Killed mine.

    A question – what is the rule on intentional grounding. UVA threw two away (in a row) from what I felt was inside the pocket. Anybody else see that?

    BTW – there is a 22 minute condensed view of the game on YouTube if you didn’t tape it and want to take a re-look.

    Stadium environment pregame and early on was great. 47-48k there. Work done on the stadium to make it more of a home for Pitt was noticeable and looked great. Urinals replaced the troughs for all of you guys whine that Heinz is a dump. Hey! New cup holders too that don’t tilt and keep your beer or cocktail safe.

    Great turnout at the tailgate. What a great group of people.

    This kind of sums it up – Big Al’s battery was dead when we tried to leave. A young lady whose recently deceased father (a mechanic) insisted she carry jumper cables bailed us out. That’s a good dad – and daughter.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. It is not intentional grounding if there is no pressure on the QB and in the judgement of the ref, there was a miscommunication between QB and WR

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    2. Are u serious about the piss troughs being replaced? That’s almost as good as replacing the yellow seats.

      It’s nice the stadium has more of a college feel but it’s still too large and it’s off campus. Did Heather manage to tow in the Cathedral for an on campus feel?

      And I’m assuming there were no tents set up outside for students. Any free Fantas?

      Enjoy the tailgating while you can. In 10 years, there won’t be any open lots left.

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        1. thought you were serious. those troughs are low class and cheap for an NFL stadium. But Rooney never built anything inspirational and never without the taxpayer dime.

          Liked by 1 person

    3. JoeL—I just watched the You Tube condensed version of the game. Sadly, the d—-final score didn’t change. Pickett actually didn’t look QUITE as bad in the short version since many of the off-target passes weren’t included. With respect to changing quarterbacks, I’d support that completely, but with the worry that perhaps neither Patti nor Boy George would have as much “escapability” as Pickett?

      tvax1–May I borrow your ice pick for a few minutes?

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Sounding like Camp has a torn ACL. Two defensive linemen gone before the first game even finished.

    I owner if he rehabs and moves on or comes back for his fifth year?

    Time for Twyman to step up his game and young guys like Danielson, Bentley and Green will be getting more snaps.

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  12. an observation: Vincent Davis played the last 2 (meaningless) snaps. He would not have played had the coaches not determined that he will become a part of the offense. It appears that both AJ Davis and Siblley are of the Darrin Hall mode …. but not as fast. Davis allegedly is of the Barry or Shady mode. Look for more of him.

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  13. Thoughts and prayers to anyone about to be impacted by the terrible hurricane heading west.
    In the grand scheme of things, the saga of Pitt football matters little…
    But that rationalization doesn’t prevent it from ripping out my heart.
    Let’s give George a try, please Pat, please.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I guess a change of pace wildcat set is out of the question too…looking forward to see what Vincent Davis can do.

    Eric, saw your post and will hold your head cover and towel.

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  15. GC said it best…”fitting a square peg into a round hole”. Pitt never does anything easy.UVA toasted our corners” on an island “ all night and the offense refused to take what UVA was giving them. That’s coaching arrogance folks! And Duzz is the king!

    But….”they replaced the piss troughs” maybe my fave Pitt bitch ever!

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  16. Feel really bad for Camp.
    Unfortunately our strongest unit may be suspect with the two losses.
    Alexander picked up the slack Saturday and looked good.
    Really didn’t notice Jones or Twyman doing anything special.
    Saw and heard Danielson” s name called. Baldonado too.
    Time for the young guys to really pick it up, especially with the three games coming up.

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  17. With Weaver and Camp out for there season and Pickett running the current offense I don’t think we will have to worry about what garbage bowl Pitt will be invited to this year.

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    1. Until I see evidence of improvement I’d think 6-6 and win the quick lane bowl against a MAC team is about as much as we could hope for.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. You really think Pitt will go 7-4 the rest of the way then win their bowl game? I have a better chance of getting hit by lightning on the way to cash in my winning lottery ticket. And I don’t play the lotto…

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  18. So let me pose this question to the Narduzzi supporters. If Pitt misses out on a bowl this year and you were in Heathers shoes, what would you do? I know what I’d do and my answer is not firing him but I wouldnt have hired him in the first place. But I am interested in what y’all think.

    I personally think Pitt will still win 7 games and finally a bowl for 8.

    My bigger issue is the flatline in wins. Look at Broncos record. Thats the trajectory you want to see.

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    1. TX – I’d call you and say, “OK TX, I’m gonna fire this guy. You need to write a check to help fund it.”
      Then I’d call UPitt and tell him the same. To get more out of him, I might hint that the OSU OC is my choice to replace him.”

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Tx, probably keep Narduzzi around knowing he is doing other things well for the university. I would also consider that after only one week the defense lost their two best defensive lineman. It also would depend on other factors moving over this season. << more injuries and what not?

      Do I think Narduzzi is the absolute answer to PITT football problems…… maybe not but I don’t feel offended by his personality like others, and I don’t see many alternatives at this time. Plus I know what Heather is going to do. I figure why get my boxers in an uproar over something that just ain’t happening.

      That was one game folks and I’m disappointed and skeptical as well. I know how many want to look back at history but history has nothing to do with last Saturday night. I don’t look back, I always look forward.

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  19. Some observations from on site game day that might be worth mentioning:

    First,as I walked from Gate C over to Gate B to enter the stadium, I was struck by the HUGE number of students attending the game when many might have gone home for the Labor Day weekend. The student interest is extremely high, and they don’t seem to be bothered by the need for a bus trip to get there. Give the students an A.

    Second, I thought the on field activities and the sound track were a little over the top given that Pitt is mediocre right now, and is not filling the stadium for the first game of the season. I got rather tired of the excessive attention to past players when the team was 7-7 last year and has now lost 4 in a row. They are trying too hard to win over people who are already there. In contrast, I saw very little attempt at promotion to fill the stadium and to entice high school players, staffs and their families to attend the game. They could have given out 10,000 free upper deck tickets easily to get these people on board, and maybe made some money on concessions as well. Give Pitt promotion a D.

    Third, as I walked up the ramp to get to my seat, I noticed large posters of Steelers including a huge poster of an open mouthed Tomlin promoting the team (you know the one if you are 200 level or above). I saw not one similar poster of Narduzzi, or any similar Pitt related posters. Let’s not kid ourselves into thinking that Pitt gets a fair shake with permanent on site promotion. If the goal is to get Steeler fans to maybe also consider attending a Pitt game, give Pitt’s on site promotion an F.

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  20. Arrogance is the right word, maybe hubris. Whipple tried to out Virginia Virginia, with a lesser QB, line and receivers. Played right into Virginia’s strengths. All this against a solid defense with one great corner, who took away half the field.

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  21. I don’t know if Pitt could have run on Virginia, but to give up that element of offense is wrong.
    As I said yesterday, if you don’t think our star running back recruit is having second thoughts….

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  22. FWIW I have no issue with the way Heinz Field is promoted. All things considered, Pitt is well represented with regard to signs, promos, etc.

    Just remember, the stadium was constricted for the Steelers. I don’t believe Heinz Field was even a gleam in Smug Steve’s eye when its construction began

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Pitt was in from the beginning. Yes the Steelers are the Big Dog but Pitt could have a few more permanent fixtures. A Tony Dorsett statue would be nice.

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    2. It is hard for on campus experienced alums of the past to have an open mind on Heinz.

      I typically don’t debate the topic because A) I lived the magic of drinking at Peter’s, Calico’s, CJ Barneys, etc.,etc. and B) It’s pointless, the die has been cast.

      I think if you looked at all city schools and student attendance, I wouldn’t be shocked if Pitt faired above the average.

      Dave

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  23. Depends how they tend later in this year…bad losses with sloppy play would make recruiting impossible…and affect ticket sales.
    I would consider firing him only if I had a solid successful coach in my pocket to bring in. Actually a good AD should always have a short list just in case.
    My bias is that I’m getting too old to wait much longer.
    Off topic but a few years ago we made Joepa floating faces to put in the piss troughs.

    Liked by 2 people

  24. WARNING SMART ALECK Good, Bad, and Ugly:

    Good: The tailgate BBQ
    Bad: dropping said BBQ on the ground (however I have Hope’s the 3 second rule was invoked. I mean if you have enough hard liquor it should be alright, right?)
    Ugly: The game

    😉

    Liked by 1 person

  25. You may be right, wwb, but that was then and today Pitt is not getting a fair shake. Do they sell or promote Pitt ticket sales on Steelers game days? Clearly Cornhole did not negotiate a very favorable situation for Pitt before changing the entire on/off campus dynamic for the future of Pitt football. That ineptitude continues to this day.

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  26. If there is ineptitude, what can Pitt fans do about it? Well I for one have stopped making sports donations and refuse to attend a game until Pitt kisses my arse. 47k is all that Pitt got in attendance. Thats pathetic. But maybe more fans are drinking the Texas water. The time has come for Pitt to take control of its future. Its future is not aligned with the Steelers.

    Like

  27. I was drinking something when I predicted 10 – 3. If we lose to OH those numbers could be reversed.

    More than likely we end 6-7 or 5-8. Miami should win Coastal as VA needs a lot of luck to win it or play teams like us. But VA not impressive against us as we as usual did not play or execute in the second half. Enough said.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. One more thing that bugged me at the game. I don’t like the rap videos. I know they are trying to portray the Pitt program and players as hip and cool, but it gives the impression that the players are more focused on outside distractions than on football. (Narduzzi should also lose the big hat, he looks foolish, like he is trying to present an image of a top flight program when they are LOOSING!). Let them start winning again before we are treated to their outside amusements.

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  29. It’s Monday, two days after the game and the BIG disappointment. Time for perspective folks. The PITT football season is not quite dead yet, give it time. 😉

    Like

  30. Oh man. I’m honored that my review was featured. Haha.

    MM – I missed the Whipple melt down on the sideline. What happened? Regarding the screens, I think I saw two in the first quarter and they were batted down at the line. Pickett throwing darts instead of putting touch over the DL in the backfield.

    Gordon Conn – I’d argue it’s 2019 and it should be slanted more towards the passing game. That’s how the game has evolved. But, had Pickett hit a couple of the deeper routes early, the run game would have been more prominent. I hate the pro-style so much. It’s my biggest criticism of Duzz. I do not understand why we have to be one of the last teams in America to run it.

    JoelL – Both of those should have been called grounding. The rule is throwing it away to avoid a sack while in the pocket.

    Camp really has a torn ACL? It looked like they were looking at his ankle during the game and he was wearing a knee brace. Talk about bad luck.

    Picket’t’s play was really discouraging to me. That was my biggest takeaway.

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  31. Saw a video of the screen play to Ffrench on Pitt’s first 3rd down play. If we get the ball to Ffrench, there were blockers in place and it looked like a real big gainer. Would have set a totally different tone for the game.

    Problem was two UVA rushers were in on KP too fast and got their arms up…. Hate those what-could-have-been things, but crap…

    Go Pitt.

    Like

  32. More details later after holiday stuff but let me ask this one question…exactly how long do Pitt fans have to “Trust the process!!”

    PN is 12-15 over the last two+ seasons when he has been playing with a two-deep that is the majority of his own recruits/transfers. It may well get to 13-17 in three weeks.

    After four full years at Pitt exactly what has The Process given us but a revolving door of coordinators and carp (and yes, it has been pretty much carp) recruiting that has led to a losing record since 2016?

    We are now scratching around to praise players for basically just making plays…There were a handful of above average plays on defense and exactly one big play on offense.

    We are, and have been terrible at creating turnovers which is the hallmark of a good defense and creates wins – just ask VA how big those INTs were for them.

    I was surprised at how many on here predicted win, some with a big margin, over VA when we are replacing the RBs and 4 of 5 OL. That is what killed us and don’t blame Whipple for everything either because I heard in the2nd week of camp that our run game will suffer.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Reed, to answer your first sentence question. Certainly longer than after the first game of the season which was a bad loss but to the preseason favorite to win the division.

      BTW for the hundredth time. PITT won the coastal last year. He ain’t going nowhere. How long do the fans put up with it is another story all together.

      Like

    2. Why didn’t the allegedly smart university leaders at Pitt hire a head coach instead of going down the same path mostly since Sherrill: hiring a coordinator.

      Then these people fire the coach instead of letting him build and grow into the job.

      I sure hope these alleged smart leaders give Narduzzi 2020 and ‘21.

      Liked by 1 person

  33. Reed – I think most are in agreement that this season is make or break. He should be on hot seat with less than 8 wins IMO.

    The team basically has to run table in ACC now since 2 losses probably sets upa tie breaker loss for Coastal. I’m guessing 7-1 would win outright.

    Like

    1. I don’t think this season is make or break – that’s next season. However we end up this season, I don’t think Heather fires him; but if he doesn’t win 8 or more next season, I think she’ll make a change.

      Just my guess… Heather knows the FB team is what matters most to having a successful athletics department at Pitt.

      Go Pitt.

      Like

  34. TT, I agree that the game is slanted to passing, nothing wrong with that. However, the best teams all have strong running games and the slant is 55-45, not 70-30.

    Sorry but I didn’t see any indication that they were passing to open up the run.

    We will learn more in the next three weeks, but I did not like what I saw.

    Liked by 1 person

  35. — it was a gametime decision but Les Brown went with the senior QB over MacVittie and was rewarded with a 24-17 win over Indiana St

    — Mack Brown had an impressive win in his UNC debut with a win vs So Carolina

    — Ben DiNucci and JMU gave WVU all it could handle before losing 20-13

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  36. Two thoughts on this then I’m turning the page to Ohio.

    Think about this total. We gave up 24 points on interceptions and special teams. 24.

    Second, Pickett needs to play well in the 1st quarter or I think he will get yanked. Fans will start chanting “Breville, BREVILLE”! And why not give him a shot if we suck against Ohio?

    Liked by 1 person

  37. The lower bowl was pretty well filled. A lot of the yellow is because so many are hanging out in the clubs, food lines or bathrooms at any given time.

    People are so into themselves anymore that they don’t even know there is a game going on. Up and down, up and down, one guy and his group asks me if he can get by while a crucial play was underway, I said wait till the effing play is over. At least at the BBall games the ushers manage the process.

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  38. Oh and second thought. It is reaffirmed every week and every year why Franklin and his band of merry idiots at state college are deuche-bags. Putting up 79 on Idaho? Even Alabama and Saban – as much as I dislike them, don’t put up numbers like that on their opponents. It’s classless.

    Like

    1. Idaho walked away with a $1,450,000 payday. I don’t think they fell too bad, especially knowing the game also demonstrated why Franklin is totally classless.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Now, now. If God didn’t love them, the sky wouldn’t be blue and white.

        I can only hope the orthopedic trial reveals what a db he is and he’s forced out, to schlep the rest of his dark days explaining how he sacrificed player’s health for wins…except when they played OSU.

        Like

  39. I’ll be surprised if UVA wins the Coastal. That said, I think their defense is tough to play against for two reasons.

    First, they run a 3-4, not the front most teams are used to going against. Makes it more likely you will have breakdowns in pass protection. I wonder how well we were able to simulate in practice what they do. Bad timing for us with the new OL guys going against that front in their first game together.

    Secondly, they supposedly have a top-notch corner – so they can likely free up a safety on many plays and allow them to “guess” correctly sometimes where the ball may be going…

    Just my thoughts – okay, my “hopes” for moving forward…

    Go Pitt.

    Like

  40. I won’t comment on the game, but I’ll comment on the BBQ. What we didn’t see on TV is that after the BBQ was dropped, an unnamed senior Pitt administrator came running over to tell the Pitt fans that the BBQ was actually very good and if you were a true Pitt fan you would go ahead and eat it and stop complaining about the chunks of asphalt.

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    1. Pitt ranked 14th (of 15) in Facilities, Donor Support, Institutional Brand Perception, and Quality of Life .. and ranked 15th on Non-revenue Sports. I would question Brand Perception and possibly QoL where all 3 northern schools were at the bottom

      Like

    2. We are far exceeding our football potential #12 but only #7 in compliance. Heather is the one on the hot seat….from what I hear here, that is her specialty.

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    3. Then the question becomes….. is it because they are “northern schools” or due to a lack of commitment from the “northern schools”? Believe me, I know the answer.

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  41. Good: we have Ohio next on the schedule.

    Bad: the QB, WR’s, TE’s, punter, kicker and RB’s gained no confidence in the UVA – if anything, some lost all confidence that they can work together and execute Pappy Whip’s playbook.

    Ugly: see the Good and Bad above

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  42. Clearly, Pitt has totally abdicated its responsibilities and failed in the athletics area. Those rankings are devastating, and even the Compliance issue, supposedly Heather’s strength, is only ranked 7th. Can the Chancellor, Athletics Director and BoT really be satisfied with this embarrassing spectacle that is Pitt athletics in the ACC?

    Back to football, if I could summarize the performance against UVA, I’d say it was a total lack of execution in most areas. Missed throws, missed blocks, dropped passes, penalties and just really bad decision making by the QB. How much of this is on player ability, player understanding of the system, overall maturity or coaching?

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  43. PITT lost a football game to a good football team at home……. ouch… that sucks. Yeah it’s a bummer but holy heck…. it wasn’t Wake or even worse… UNC! I’m not one to panic but a loss to Ohio, then you all will hear my wrath.. I’m a page turner………. like a winner is supposed to be….. yes a little pretentious but is it if it’s true?

    Like

    1. Get ready for some wrath. The Pitt team I didn’t see Saturday will not beat a senior laden cohesive team and Solich will have his way with Narduzzi. It may not be close.

      Like

  44. OT, my second favorite football game activity is on tonight to watch.

    First is rooting for PITT to win!

    Second…. rooting for Notre Dame to lose, tied for rooting for psu to lose! You people already know there is something wrong with me so………………….

    Liked by 1 person

  45. Seems like I jumped the gun on Camp.

    Someone wrote it on the Lair and I just assumed the worst before seeing it confirmed.

    I mean, you can’t really blame me since this is Pitt, I just expected it was true. Narduzzi said he is still waiting on a second evaluation on a player and I assume it is Camp.

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  46. Kenny Pickett in my mind remains Chad Voytik II. He may have a better arm but they both have the same mental makeup. Still see us being 6-6 this year. It will take a while for Narduzzi to make any change at QB. We may have to live with Pickett the rest of the year. As for a replacement, Davis Belville the freshman from SC is my bet. Whipple coached Big Ben and Davis is one big QB who can stand in the pocket and take some hits. Hopefully they will not burn his redshirt but keep developing him and use him at the end of the season with only two or three games left in the regular season.

    On a side note I found out from Dish that the reason we Dish subscribers cannot not access ACCN digital feed at ESPN or using the ESPN app is because Dish has not agreed to pay for that. Why would Dish be so stupid. Do DirectTV subscribers have the same problem? How about YouTube subscribers?

    To leave on a positive not Pitt Volleyball is now ranked #10. Swept all three teams this weekend including Cincinnati and USC (the one from down here).

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  47. The Good: The overall defensive improvement, Ford and BB might be good in 3 years. Also, I believe that by game #8 the O-line might be good.

    The Bad: The offense and Narduzzi have a combined IQ of Zippy’s hat size. (KP amounts to 1% of that total).

    The Ugly: KP is considered to be the best QB by this coaching staff, and he’s not a senior. Narduzzi is bull headed and will not admit that anyone else might be better (see above)

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  48. This is eerie. From the NYTimes article on the Arsenal-Tottenham football (soccer) match yesterday:

    “And yet it is one of sport’s curiosities that — just as a car can somehow be the same, still yours, even when the engine has been replaced, and the windshield is new, and quite a lot of the bodywork is different — teams can have traits that jump from generation to generation, characteristics that endure even as the parts that produce them change.

    It does not matter who plays for Arsenal, it seems. No matter the name on the jersey, there is a tendency for self-destruction and, at times, for sheer, bloody-minded stupidity encoded deep in the DNA of the club.”

    Liked by 2 people

  49. As a Comcast subscriber I did not get the game. I chose not to get Hulu because I am a stubborn old goat. Listening to the game on radio was absolutely painful because Billy H should be put out to pasture. I realize that Mr Hillgrove is a Burgh legend, however, Ya gotta know when to hold’em and know when to fold’em.

    Liked by 1 person

  50. ike, if you can provide one rational reason why Narduzzi would stick with Pickett in the face of that UVA disaster, then I’m willing to listen. I like the kid but he is not a pocket passer, which Pitt needs. UNC beats South Carolina, so they may be better than expected. The good teams all have good QBs.

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  51. I haven’t bought into the Narduzzi hot seat fanaticism much. But if Kenny turns out to be a bust it could be his undoing. Essentially last season and this season will have been wasted.

    Like

  52. Same
    Old
    Pitt

    In our previous blog contest….I had predicted a 7-5 season with the UVA game as a “L”.

    With Pickett’s ATROCIOUS performance and now Camp’s injury (season ending?)….”can I ask for a mulligan on the prediction?” LOL 😦

    Coach Duzz sez “it’s only 1 game.” It would nice to see a little more promise out of this team & program.

    Like

  53. Huh, of all people I think Pickett will be at least an average QB when the dust settles.

    For me it is the poor OL. If you watch the VA again pay close attention to it…I cringed on almost every passing play called.

    But they were poor on the running game also. I see many sacks and TFLs by opponents this year and we won’t have the big play capability to counter those. Still sticking with 6-6 at this point.

    Liked by 3 people

  54. Pickett has shown an uncanny ability to make PITTs O-Line look terrible. imo, it’s him not the O-line so much. KP wants it badly and I think he can turn it around but he better hurry his ass up before it’s to late.

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      1. Reed. I wasn’t impressed with Pickett or the offensive line. To me the offensive line should get a pass because they are young and it was their first start as a unit. Pickett has no excuse.

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  55. Phil Steele (who I have found super accurate over the years) predicts a MAC championship for Ohio also and lists them as one of the Top 10 surprise teams in all of CFB.

    They averaged 41 ppg last year and did same last week. Also ran for 275 yards in opener. I think they will score on us so the question is will we score more than 24 points? I think that is what it will take to win.

    BTW I believe that I was the only POV predictor who had VA scoring 30 points and may have been closest in overall prediction for the game. Yeah me! (I think)

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    1. Well, the score was really 23-14.

      I mean, you and others on here have talked down Pitt when it wins sometimes so you have to flip the script then and say VA scoring a TD with 32 seconds left after Pitt went four and out from its 25.

      If Pitt scored its 32 seconds left in a win Narduzzi would be a jerk and classless from some on here, so Bronco the real jerk and the score was really 23-14.

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      1. Lost by 9 with a missed FG, blocked punt and two int’s, a bunch of overthrown and dropped passes and no running game. And that’s what makes it so frustrating… if they don’t execute against Ohio the fan bass will mutiny

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  56. Reed, I mentioned earlier that Pickett gets to see the OL every day in practice, so I’m guessing that he goes into a game knowing he will be running for his life. But he still needs to make the routine plays which he is not doing IMO.

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    1. I’ll set that record straight even noted. Pickett stink up the joint 3/4 of the time. No one in their right might would say he played well in the first quarter

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  57. Ulizio was worse than Houy.

    Overall, the Line was below par. Kenny, at times, made them look worse than they actually were. He played poorly. A couple good series in the first half, and a few nice scrambles, but mostly disappointing. His receivers didn’t help the situation.

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  58. The ACC did UVA a solid with that game.
    It gave team with a bunch of returning players a leg up in a conference game.
    The O line sucks. That is on the Nard Dig and Borbs.
    Nard dog lost me last year at PSU. I would still give him another year unless pitt only wins 2 or 3.
    Little Stevie the kiss ass AD cost Pitt more than a decade.

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    1. Clear your browsing history and/or use a dummy emails address. It’s not WordPress it’s your browser saving the data when you don’t want it to

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      1. For all the talk of relying on upperclassmen why is a redshirt frosh (who plays on defense no less and never blocks anyone) playing that position?

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    1. There might also be a “stay logged in” box that you have to uncheck. Sadly I cannot control wordpress so we are at their mercy…

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  59. I’m not upset they lost. It’s only one game, but it’s the way they lost.
    1) Reed is correct, the line was bad
    2) However, when Pickett did have time he wasn’t real accurate.
    3) And when he was accurate the receivers couldn’t catch.( I almost wrote the WR couldn’t catch, then I remembered the stellar play of the tight ends.
    4) If it wasn’t for a busted coverage on a wheel route the passing yardage would have been, well, I’m not sure I have the right words for how bad it would have been.
    5) I remain stunned at the lack of halftime adjustments. I have no idea how that continues to happen.
    6) Have you ever, and I mean ever, seen a line like the tight end had. 3 catches for 4 yards! Bruising punishers that they are. Oh, and sure handed as well. Oh, right, they are blocking machines.
    7) Who knows what we have at running back, other than the fact that the next pickup they make in pass protection may be a historic first!
    8) Pickett throws more line drives than Clemente hit. Seriously, what the heck. There is no excuse, none. He had time, occasionally, and just threw ropes. Manning camp my butt.
    9) Punter was bad last year and is still bad. Be nice if they actually did their assignments on special teams,however.
    10) Have I mentioned the S&C coach yet.
    11) I have said from the start Ohio is a very good team. The Nitters will abuse us, and UCF will embarrass them. Boy, I would love to be wrong. Upitt goat wrong, but there appears to be a lot wrong with this team. Again, it’s not that they lost, it’s how lost they looked.
    12) Reed and several others are correct as far as recruiting goes. But that could be a whole series of articles. Did any of you actually see the two USC linemen in high school? Did ja? If you did you shouldn’t be surprised with their level of play.
    Oh,remember, Mrs. JoeKnew wanted me to be more positive, so I will stick with my 5-7 instead of lowering that prediction.
    One final thing, don’t move the goalposts. A lot of guys said less than 8 wins and PN should be on hot seat or gone. Not next year, this year. Lots of luck getting 8 wins. Well, it could happen.

    Liked by 2 people

  60. We all see things differently, but I saw an O-line that played well enough to win.
    If we switched QB’s what would the outcome have been? The VA line didn’t keep their guy from taking some big hits.
    I still say it was a combination of the game plan and KP’s inability to execute it. Of course there were O-line breakdowns and dropped passes, but that happens in almost every game to every team. The bottom line is that KP completed around half his passes, certainly not good enough in a pass first and often offense.

    Also of half those passes many were thrown for a little gain or a loss. Tight End, three passes for 4 yards.

    Give the running game a chance, develop a balanced offense.

    An O-Coordinator should know the relative talent level of his players and call a game they are capable of executing.

    As a gymnast you didn’t put a skill in your routine until you were certain you could hit it 9 out of 10 times.

    I saw them try to execute plays that they probably only completed one out of ten in practice. Whipple needs to call passing plays that they can execute at a higher percentage.

    The lack of a running game also makes it much harder. When everyone knows you are going to pass the rush gets tougher and the backs only have one job. When a linebacker doesn’t know if it is going to be a run or pass, he has to make a decision.

    Being one dimensional makes it easier for the defense to defend. Didn’t we learn that last year?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If we had a qb that could have

      Avoided throwing 2 of this first three passes in the dirt
      Connected on one of the two or three wide open open deep balls that were there in the beginning.
      Felt the pressure and slid in the pocket instead of panicking the the minute somebody got within two yeads of him…even if there was a blocker in between

      I think the game may well have ended in our favor.

      Alas we either don’t have that guy or he wasn’t playing

      And I’m it saying the running game would have been any better. Or the tight ends, or the blocking. But dang it we had our chances.

      Liked by 3 people

  61. I am torn with what is worse instability or giving Narduzzi another year.
    If he gets another year the stability issue is lessened.
    Then it becomes can you get anyone decent to come to a program that has not won in 30 years.
    With a crap stadium
    Poor fan support
    Declining recruiting base
    Administration that works against football
    So your call.

    Like

    1. Let’s see how the year plays out. If we show strong against Ohio all will be well again. I’m skeptical that we’ll show strong against Ohio but i think after just one game we have to wait and see. Doesn’t stop us from airing our grievances now though 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  62. I kind of lost faith when Canada bolted and Jurkovec signed with ND. That’s the type of personnel you need to compete for championships. Whipple & Pickett will get you to the Little Caesars bowl if you are lucky.

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  63. The typical P-5 coach only lasts 5 years. This is Narduzzi’s 5th year. So 50% of schools would be replacing Narduzzi after this year. And 50% of schools then deal with ‘instability.’ Sometimes change is good at the top.

    Pitt’s program has been unstable over the past 5 years given all the changes to coordinators. I’m confused when people say that Pitt’s had a stable program. Stable programs across the sports landscape really dont exist anymore. The Osbornes, Beamers and JoePa’s are long gone. As a school, you have to learn to thrive in an unstable environment. You need to be adaptable and not miss a beat moving forward.

    Thats why hiring a coach with HC experience is important because there is very little learning curve and the coach has a network of coordinators to chose from.

    Unless 2020 is a break-out year, Narduzzi should get his walking papers and Pitt should be looking for a new HC familiar with the recruiting footprint and with an offensive background. I have a short list and they are all current head coaches.

    For a small fee, I can share this list with you Heather. My asking price is far less than what you’ll pay a search firm.

    Liked by 1 person

  64. Tuesday Morning Quarterback…

    “We had guys open,” Narduzzi said of Pickett’s 21-of-41 showing against Virginia. “We have to hit ’em and we have to catch ’em. That’s what it comes down to.”

    Post Gazette

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    1. So how does Pitt get “that” back. One good thing is we play Ohio next, not psuX, not UCF and not an ACC opponent.

      Captain Ffrench and T.Mack have shown they can make the catches and plays – so go do “that”. Let ALL WR’s & TE’s know if they drop a catchable pass, they sit the rest of the half. Next man up!

      KP has played 2 good games in the past 16 – give KP the start, but on the first 3 and out, he gets a warning that the next 3 and out will be his last for at least the next 2 qtrs. KP sits after two 3 and outs and the next man up gets a fair shot to win the QB 1 honor.

      The coaching staff needs to treat the QB 1 position lyke it is an honor to win.

      Those two adjustments alone should get a W for Nard and Pitt come Saturday morning vs Ohio.

      H2P!

      Like

  65. Love to see the game slow down for Pickett, but with the evidence so far it is doubtful that it does.
    So do you change QB’s or do you develop a more suitable offense to KP’s talents and run the ball 50% more.
    The receivers only dropped 2 of 41 throws. KP ran or was flushed 12 times. He threw two awful interceptions. Just not a good formula.

    So this week should be easier on the offense and probably as tough on the defense. So if the offense works this week, does it give you any belief that it will vs. the next two?

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    1. I’d count 3 being Mack, the TE, and Tipton’s. The TE’s was a perfect pass, Mack’s was late but bounced off his hands, Tipton’s was underthrown, but HE made no adjustment to get UP and take the ball.
      The Carter off his back hip was a terrible pass but easily catchable too.

      Like

    1. That was wrong, some poster on a Rivals board looked at an old P-G article from Camp’s injury last season.

      Re: program stability… We have had six different coordinators in five years. That says it all.

      On offense we have had four different OCs; Chaney, Canada, Watson and Whipple so the unit that requires the most continuity has seen crazy turnover in leadership, approach philosophy, game planning and situational playcalling.

      Everyone thinks that leadership comes from the HC and to an extent it does but he has little actual interactions with players in practices. The coordinators set direction and tone for their players and if they get disinterested or frustrated then things don’t go well.

      If we are to believe Narduzzi when he publicly states he’s almost completely hands off the coordinators then the impact of changes is even greater.

      Why does this happen? Because we pay coordinators low salaries compared to the teams we want to be like.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Agree … but in fairness, Chaney went to Georgia and Canada became the highest paid coordinator in college football at LSU.

        These big SEC teams not only rake in millions through TV revenue and ticket sales, their backers have the largest pockets around. Teams like Pitt can’t compete … not even close. Pitt could have tripled Canada’s salary to $1.2M, and still would have been 300k short (according to recent SI article.)

        You Pitt fans have got to realize that nowadays with the large disparity between the haves and the have-nots, programs like Pitt are SOL.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Thats why the ACC network is so important, thats why Heather doing a better job increasing attendance is important, thats why Heather getting donations up is important, thats why Heather finding corporate sponsorship’s is important. Thats why my MPC idea is important.

          Pitt is revenue poor…among the poorest in P-5. Yet we as alum and fans are trusting the lowest paid AD in P-5 to find solutions. Thats laughable.

          Liked by 1 person

    1. Pitt’s issue is not with the D
      Its with the QB, line and learning a new system
      Thats where experience, familiarity and at least basic competence matters the most

      Pitt really needs to spank Ohio. If they lose, this season could be Stallings like

      Like

  66. According to the Trib: Dating to the end of last season, Pickett been sacked 14 times in the past four games – all losses. In that time, he’s completed just 46.3 percent of his passes and he has thrown three interceptions and one touchdown.

    That is what bothers me about his VA performance. I was hoping a whole off-season would break that string of poor play.

    But insisting that a poor performer is going to be the next year’s starter with no open competition is a two edged sword. On one hand the kid knows he’ll start and get starter reps in fall camp.

    On the other hand there is no true urgency to do well enough to keep the starting job.

    PN should have publicly opened the competition to an experienced George and a 2nd year player in Patti even if in his own mind he was going with Pickett. In essence he rewarded Pickett for poor performance.

    What bothers me going forward is that I really don’t think Narduzzi will truly pull Pickett no matter how badly KP plays this season. Maybe a series or a quarter or two but KP will start every game.

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    1. Reed, since you are always citing team ratings. you should note that last year’s Miami and Clemson teams finished 4th and 5th respectively in the National total defensive rankings. And for that matter, this UVA team which returned nearly all of its defensive starters finished 20th last year.

      Now I do agree that the Pitt offense needs to improve and fast …. but Clemson had three No. 1 DLs in the 1st round of the NFL draft …. and Miami is expected to have a handful of high round picks from their front 7 this year.

      Pitt is no longer competing against The Little Sisters of the Poor

      Liked by 1 person

  67. Obviously the ACC did Pitt no favors scheduling VA first this year. Of all the teams they could have picked’ only Miami would have been about the same.

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  68. I completely agree with Reed that coordinator turnover is a problem … 5th year seniors on offense have played for 4 different coordinators in their 5 years. For that reason alone, I almost wish Watson would have been retained.

    Saturday’s game reminded me a lot of the PSU game last year. Pickett did a lot of that Tim Tebow impersonation in the PSU game, trying to run everyone on the defense over to get first downs. I’m sorry but that isn’t sustainable. He beat himself up and by the 2nd half, could no longer lead the offense to do much of anything. Perhaps Watson was more shrewd than any of us give him credit for … maybe he switched to a run heavy offense to take pressure off of Pickett so he would stop trying to run too much, allowing him to survive a full season.

    Pitt fans’ reaction to Saturday’s result seems similar to last year PSU as well. Was it ugly? Oh yeah. But we still ended up having a decent season. We might be able to again, but we obviously need major improvement.

    The ACC Coastal looked lousy in week 1. Unfortunately, the two coastal teams with best performances were UVA, which is bad because we lost the head to head which really hurts us in the standings, and UNC, which is bad because we never beat them.

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    1. I should add, I wouldn’t be surprised if Pickett is a pretty accurate passer. The touch he puts on his throws might be an issue, but he might be accurate which could explain manning passing academy accolades. But it’s very hard to be accurate when you can’t feel your shoulder after trying to run people over, getting sacked multiple times, etc.

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  69. Question for the board, has anyone ever seen Pickett pump fake a pass then connect with the receiver after the DB goes for the pump fake? That would be a perfect setup on the many short passes behind the line the Pitt always seems to run each week.

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