I am starting out this post with a feel-good public service announcement. Pitt women’s volleyball is #10 in the country.  They are playing Ohio State tonight at PPG arena at 8 pm.  You could do a lot worse on a Friday night than to go out and support these talented young women.


…and now on to our regularly scheduled Football content.

Hard to believe that gameday is almost here.  You’ve got to love a short week.

There has been much weeping and gnashing of teeth over Pitt’s performance last week, and in typical Pitt fashion, much of it is probably overreaction.  Did Pitt’s offense play extremely poorly against the Hoos?  Yes, yes they did.  Is Kenny Pickett ever going to get it together and turn into a competent passer?  Well, we still aren’t sure.  With that being said, Chris Peak’s podcast offers some sage advice on the topic, and it also points out that we Pitt fans have been down this road before.  Many times…

I’d encourage you to give it a listen.

Now that you’ve taken a step back from the cliff, lets talk about this Ohio game.

As I pointed out yesterday, Ohio’s quarterback is an equalizer, and Frank Solich is not a coach to be trifled with.  Pitt on the other hand, is more talented and just about every position and Pat Narduzzi’s teams typically win the games they are supposed to win.  In fact, the only non-Power 5 team Narduzzi has lost to was Navy, back in the 2105 Military Bowl.  This is either a good thing (Pitt’s got a great track record against G5 schools) or a bad thing (Well dang it Pitt is due to lay an egg soon here).

Speaking of laying an egg, Pitt is a 5.5 – 6 point favorite.  Pat Narduzzi’s record against the spread (when favored by six or less) is 11-14-1.

Frank Solich, again as I pointed out yesterday, is 35-15 against the spread since 2015.

From a matchup standpoint…here is a quick rundown:

  1.  Kenny Pickett vs Ohio’s pressure:  Ohio generated only two sacks on FCS Rhode Island last week.  Pitt’s O-Line wasn’t great against Virginia, but Ohio is should be a step down.  Advantage Pitt
  2. Nathan Rourke vs Pitt’s Front Seven:  Rourke is an exceptional talent, but is he any better than Bryce Perkins?  Pitt largely held Perkins in check last week.  Ohio has three 5th year senior offensive linemen, but I think Pitt should be able to get pressure off the edges and keep Rourke contained.  Still, Rourke is likely to make some things happen.  Push
  3. Ohio’s WR’s vs Pitt’s Secondary:  Ohio’s receivers are likely disciplined route runners that probably thrive on the underneath stuff.  Pitt will be playing them in man coverage.  As long as we can stay away from PI penalties it’s Advantage Pitt
  4. Pitt’s WR’s vs Ohio’s Secondary.  If Rhode Island can pass for nearly three-hundred yards, you’d expect to see Maurice Ffrench and Compnay running free all day back there.  Advantage Pitt…if they can cold onto the ball.
  5. Ohio’s Running Game vs Pitt’s Front Seven:   Ohio ran for 278 yards last week, and Ohio has three 5th year seniors on the O-line. Pitt will be rotating at least two redshirt freshman in on the D line.  At Defensive tackle, Jaylen Twyman played tentative last week.  Look for Ohio to try to exploit Pitt’s inexperience here and creates some running lanes.   Pat Narduzzi’s defense is supposed to be predicated on stopping the run. They had a tough time doing it in the second half last week when Keyshon Camp was out.  They need to be better against the Bobcats.  Advantage Ohio
  6. Pitt’s running game vs Ohio’s Front Seven:  Rhode island averaged 3.7 YPC last week against the Bobcats.  Still, Rhode Island is an FCS team… Mark Whipple doesn’t like the run the ball and we’re not even sure that Pitt’s O-line can run block.  The backs will get what’s blocked but not much more.  Push
  7. Special Teams:  After a blocked punt and a missed field goal, Pitt has nowhere to go but up.  Frank Solich seems like a guy that doesn’t stand for any monkey business, so Ohio should be sound in the kicking game.  I think Pitt gets its issues corrected though.  Push

The bottom line is that if Pitt executes, they should win (Now if I had a dollar for every time I said that…).  Pitt will execute, but only just enough.  I also think the defense takes s step back this week.  Pitt 38 – Ohio 35.


116 thoughts on “Ohio at Pitt Prediction Thread

  1. I hope the game doesn’t get into a high scoring contest. IMO the best way for Pitt to ensure a secure win is to take the lead early and wear down their defense in the 2nd half. If Pitt can establish any semblance of a ground attack, they should be successful. OU should stack its defense early so KP will have to deliver the goods in the first half. This is the fastest Pitt defense I have seen in a long time … which is essential for defending the spread.

    The worry here is that against the spread, the DL is more responsible for stopping the run than it usually is since the LBs have line up away from the point of attack. Thus, the loss of Weaver and Camp may play a part here. Pitt likes to sub its DL so the younger inexperienced guys will have to step up

    Pitt should improve more this week due to the learning curve … the more inexperienced team will get better game to game in the early weeks of the season. Pitt 27 – 20


  2. Loosing your top two d-lineman for the year makes for a long season! Hope Pitt wins, but would not be surprised if Pickett struggles again. OU 27-17.


  3. The basketball portion of the broadcast should be a reminder that a school can do a great job of recruiting a player, but still not win. There is only one winner. Chances are that Pitt will not get any of the 3 that visited this past weekend because all 3 of them have several attractive offers. And if just one them are valued over Pitt …. guess what?


  4. Just listened to the first ten minutes of the Chris Peak podcast. Chris and I think exactly alike on this subject. Give it a listen guys and gals. Although Chris does go on and on at times. I’ll have to wait later on in the day to listen to the rest when I’m more awake.


  5. Toss up game tomorrow I’m afraid. Pitt wins 24 to 21 as Patti brings them back in the 2nd half.—-New POV poll early next week, Will Pickett enter the transfer portal?


      1. Well a comment the other day by Josh Hammack @pantherlair saying that to him it looks like Patti is running as the #2 QB. So I’m just following that up with the next man up brings home the victory.


    1. I’ll be happy with a win and a team that executes and makes few mistakes. If we blow them out so much the better


      1. My thing is it’s year 5. This is the easiest schedule we’ll see in the foreseeable future. If there is ever a year to have an outlier year, it’s this one. The team predicted to win the division is not even top 25. If not this year, I’m not sure when. It’s time for a sense of urgency. That is probably what was frustrating about game 1. I never got a sense of urgency from the team. You want to win? You better approach the game with a sense of purpose and urgency. Ohio is below Pitt. Pitt needs to act like it. I’m as patient as a Pitt fan can be but now it’s go time. Stop F’ing around.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Oh totally. Ideally Pitt realizes their dominance and stomps on the bobcats necks. And who knows…if the offense can get it together maybe that happens.

          I just don’t have confidence that it will.

          And therein lies the rub. You are right. In year 5 we shouldn’t have to worry about if the team is executing.

          But hey…Pitt.


          1. I said outlier year. In 38 years, the odds favor Pitt having one. Haha. Just playing the statistics, now. How many coaches have we had that reached 5 years since 1982?


          2. So we have an easier OOC, but we get ND and Fl St in the same freaking year.
            Are you kidding me? The ACC does not like us.


        2. You have seen the non-conference schedules these next two upcoming years, right? That will instantly make it an easier schedule than anything we’ve seen in Narduzzi’s first five years.

          About figgin’ time Pitt has opponents it should beat.


        3. Pitt will have to do it with two of its best defensive players sidelined for the season. And right now Whipple may have to find a QB on this roster that can effectively run his system. If Pickett can’t do it this week against Ohio then he’ll never be able to do it IMO.—Just being bowl eligible might be all that Narduzzi can hope right now.


  6. Second string QB’s are always popular…Until they play.

    Still think Whipple needs to tailor the game plan to Pickett and the O-lines skill set.

    Unless they are pretty sure one of the other guys is ready, if they aren’t we will just get the same results or worse.

    The examples of the second string guy doing better are few, Joe Montana comes to mind, at Pitt Peterman.
    There are no Dan Marino’s on the bench.


  7. Pitt needs to keep things simple and simplify. Players were thinking too much on offense. Scale back the playbook Whipple and implement calls where Kenny is confident and comfortable. If that requires Kenny to run, let the boy run. If Kenny has more than 60 yards rushing Pitt wins.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tx, it was simple pitch and catch. KP was too ramped up at first and then it all went to hell in a hand basket. Whipple’s face turned purple and I thought it was going to explode all over Kenny’s nice new uniform.


      1. Kenny is overwhelmed. Whipple has like 1000 plays and he’s trying to run 100 of them in the game. Stick with 10 and then execute. Once the players master those 10, move on to the next 10. By seasons end, they might get close to those 100 plays. But not game 1 or 2 or 3.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Tx, look at the first two overthrows by KP. The receiver broke open and Kenny found them. He just didn’t throw a good pass. It’s not a matter of being simple. It’s a matter of completing a forward pass to a wide open receiver. Same as a few of those swing passes, no touch on the ball at all. It’s a matter of calming down, the plays are there and recognized by the QB. Now throw them the dam ball where they can catch it.

          Oh and when he did do that, the receivers drop the ball. It was a fiddle Freak show out there. Certainly not on the coaches.


  8. Even Narduzzi can’t lose this one!
    The difference in talent between Pitt and Ohio is the same as UVA and Pitt only this time Pitt has the edge. Comes down to Pitt offense against a high school defense

    Pitt – 48-24 in a rout.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Design the offense to Kenny’s strength, what exactly is his strength. Maybe running the ball, it sure isn’the throwing the ball. UNC has a first year freshman that threw for 250 yards and they won, Auburn’s freshman qb threw enough for them to win last week.After 16 games maybe we need to think about the definition of insanity.
    Wipple needs to have the team run the ball.


  10. I really liked the peak podcast. Definitely true that people really overreacted after game one. Now if that happens again tomorrow that’s a different story! Pittshould come out angry and dominate. But well it’s pitt

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There will be plenty of time to over react tomorrow. Let’s just hope that won’t have to be the case.—As for backup QB’s we have no idea what Pitt has on the roster. But by now we do know what we got in Pickett. He talks the talk but can’t walk the walk.


  11. If these teams can do it, why not Pitt


      1. I’ll buy that argument if Pitt beats Ohio Saturday.

        And if it is the OOC schedule, why does Pitt continue playing top 20 teams? What does Heather say? It doesn’t improve attendance except for Penn State. It may and I stress may cost Pitt a win per season.

        But next years schedule looks favorable except for the Domers and away at FSU as the crossover. Pitt is ND’s 5th most played school. Pitt has them at Heinz.

        Still might be tough to even win 8 regular season games without a QB. All those ACC teams had a QB including Syracuse. The same QB whose hangover cost them at Pitt.


        1. FSU is a dumpster fire. Next year will be taggert year 3, ie more dumpster fire, or first year of taggert replacement, which means year 1 of rebuild. To your point if Pitt can field a quarterback I like their chances

          We are always tough against the domers. We could beat them up there


          1. He’s transitioning his team from a poor inherited culture plus moving the team from a pro-style to spread. FSU will begin to dominate. You saw flashes of it against Boise St. I would not sleep on Taggert turning that program around. Jimbo did the Wanny on his way out. Set the program ablaze.


            1. Well it’s still burning and it may be burning next year as well. But hey we just scored 14 points because we couldn’t complete a pass, so yea I should feel great about beating FSU…


      2. I’m going to stop typing anything other than “OOC” in response to these type of Pitt bashes
        Not worth repeating over and over and over and over and…..


  12. Narduzzi has always held stuff back till he played psux. Don’t think he can afford to this year. I think we go back to smash mouth, but with an eye on beating the blitzes (Kenny Do It?). Can you say TOP??

    Good Guys wear Yellow: did the Upper Deck Seats fall out onto the field, or was that Pitt running wild?? Pitt – 31 Ohio Who – 10


    1. Smash mouth sounds good but do we have an offensive line that can zone block as well as last years team did? And do we have any backs that can blow through the line of scrimmage and take it all the way. I really don’t think AJ can blow through anything.


  13. It should be very entertaining game and even though Pitt has more solid higher ranked players it comes down to coaching. Pitt wins close game doesn’t cover the spread which has dropped from 6 to 3 1/2. Hope your ready for close one. Pitt 31-30


  14. Ohio’s QB is better than Perkins. His decision making is superb. If you overload a side of the defense he’ll go to the QB run option on the opposite side and gain 7 or 8. If you show blitz he will throw to the open receiver, audible to a slant or a RB screen, or tuck and run. He loves to check down to the RB who will block then find space 8 yards downfield in the middle of the field. He’s accurate. They will score some points.

    Pitt will need to win special teams, keep the Ohio O off the field, and pressure Ohio’s QB with good containment. This will be a good game to get ready for UCF (very similar offenses) and to a lesser extent PSU.

    This game may or may not end up in a win for Pitt. But, we will get better as a result of this game.

    But, I’m a homer, so I’ll pick Pitt 34 Ohio 28.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. RockyMtnHigh – please don’t capitalize psu – the (feigned) respect can cause even MORE arrogance. AND, it is always psux!



  15. The QB conundrum:

    KP got most of the reps in the spring and the fall.

    Neither George nor Patti could separate themselves to get the second string job, therefore fewer reps for each.

    KP falls on his face in the first game.

    One POVer is calling for the fourth string QB

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Speaking of QBs, I didn’t watch the WVU, but I heard DiNucci looked very good against the mountaineers. Everyone seemed so happy with Pickett over DiNucci … my how have things changed.

    Personally I think Pickett can be a good QB. Just needs to break some not-so-good habits, which is easier said than done.


  17. Pitt giving only 5 points to Ohio is one of the great betting opportunities of the year. The game is also an excellent opportunity to see just how bad Pitt is – not how good it is. Many will disagree with my first statement. You have every right to feel that way.


    1. Based on the numbers you have a 67% chance to lose your money if you bet on Pitt.

      I’ll take those odds all day.

      So … you want to give me Ohio +5.5 for a bottle of Jack?


      1. MM: Just read your proposal if it was directed st me. I don’t understand the math behind the 67% thing. Vegas odds down to Ohio -4. Momentum says odds will go to -3. Do you want Ohio -4 for a
        bottle of Jack?


          1. Aha. See previous comment. Yes I’ll take Ohio -4 for a bottle of jack to to be exchanged at a mutually-agreed on tailgate in the future. Pitt wins by three in a tough one and I’m sticking to it


  18. Agree with those suggesting Pitt incorporate more designed runs for Pickett. There’s an injury risk, but he’s taking a beating anyway and he seems more confident in that phase of the game. Some success in that area could carry over to his pocket passing. Need to build his psyche back up if he is to reach his athletic potential.

    Expect a tight game: 31-30 Pitt


  19. I suggest PITT comes right back with a similar game plan and have a more relaxed QB drilling the ball into the wide open WR’s. I don’t know what Ohio is expecting but I sure know that 98% of the posters on the POV sure don’t expect the same game plan. Fiddling around with running plays that only gain a few yards is a recipe for disaster. A P-5 football team needs to throw the football down the field.


  20. It’s a sad state of affairs when a high percentage of POV posters have us losing to Ohio at home. Unfortunately, this matchup is of the type that we have traditionally struggled with. Nothing about this team suggests that things are going to be different. If you have any idea what’s going to happen tomorrow, then you truly can’t be a Pitt fan. Because I have no clue.


    1. Yep. We could blow them out 42-7. Or we could lose 42-22. Or something in between.

      FWIW UVA beat them 45-31 last season. Rourke was 16-31 with 246 / 2 td . Perkins threw for 379 / 3

      Like I said we just need to complete some passes…

      Liked by 1 person

  21. Gut says Ohio upset. Head says Pitt.

    I don’t think there is such a big gap in talent as some do. We have a lot of players where Pitt was their only P5 offer…or one of just a few. But lots of MAC and AAC types offers also.

    Even though I feel like Ohio can win I’ll go with:

    Pitt 24-21.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Reed you would say Pitts recruiting talent is the same as an FCS team. We get it…you think Narduzzi is a terrible recruiter.


  22. Wanted to get this out there and it’s not making a ready made excuse because PITT has to win tomorrow as there is no reason Narduzzi’s P-5 football team shouldn’t be better than Ohio going into his fifth year as head coach. BUT, can we agree before the game starts that Ohio is a formidable opponent with a very good head coach?


  23. I didn’t see Major’s pick so far… maybe I missed it. But I went with Major last week at 24-21 and missed both the over and under. This week I’m going to gamble that the first game jitters and lack of experience caused them to lose to a team they should have beaten. I’m going to call this a Pitt win at 28-17 Pitt.


  24. John McGonigal@jmcgonigal9
    Random fact that has no bearing on tomorrow’s game: Ohio has a 4-17 record vs. Power 5 teams under Frank Solich
    The Bobcats’ 4 wins? Kansas in 2016 & 2017, Penn State in 2012 … and Pitt in 2005


  25. I would feel SO much better about this game with weaver and camp. The defense was expected to carry us at least at the beginning of the season until the offense caught up. There is definitely a big drop off without those two.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Just Googled “ACCN 9/7/19 Schedule”. ohio at Pitt at 11 AM!

    Also said a full ACCN schedule will be released soon.


    1. VOR, I strongly suggest you have your ad blocker enabled. reddit.com/r/cfbstreams Look for the link that says “game thread:Ohio at Pittsburgh” Click on one of the available streams. I hope this helps.


  27. Caught a few minutes of a sports radio talk show 980am down here in DC area. Small segment of best weekend bets where there is always an emphasis on what the Sharp money is doing. Mostly pro games but usually a few college. Who is the first featured bet? Of course, Ohio over Pitt. Felt not so great to hear THAT kind of random exposure for Pitt and the front porch of the University.


    1. saw many good jazz at MCG thru the years. You have to be talented to play there.

      (For those who don’t how to get there? Practice!)


  28. And the women’s volleyball team beat down THE Ohio State University tonight 3-0. They still have not dropped a set yet this year and are 12-0 in sets, 4-0 in matches. Based on what I saw of Green Bay and Duquesne, they should be 18-0 and 6-0 by 10 pm tomorrow. H2P.

    Liked by 3 people

  29. Annie, You beat me. I had to go to an Ohio State site to get the results. Next to a win over PSU a win over OSU is the greatest thing since sliced bread. (In any sport.) H2P, Soccer Gramps


  30. Last night, “William & Mary’s only scoring drive against Virginia’s front-line defense Friday night was four plays for minus-10 yards” (excerpted from ‘Daily Press’ a VA publication)

    Yea, I know it’s only Bill & Mary … but UVa went out to a 35-3 lead by the 8 minute mark of the 2nd quarter … and cruised. And get this … UVa had 4 turnovers.

    It remains to be seen just how good UVa will be, but with 17 returning starters, they should do very well in the first month or more


  31. on the golf front, England’s Paul Casey avoided a rules infraction yesterday as his putt rolled over a bug before going into the hole. If a golfer knowingly hits an animal (including insects), he shall replay the shot or be penalized. But Casey was able to convince the authorities that he did not know of the bug when putting


  32. At UMass, Pappy Whipple had a history of scoring a LOT of points against Frank Solich’s Bobcats. The problem is his Defenses gave up even MORE.

    Now, it would seem that Whipple finally has the Deck stacked to his advantage… his Offense and a promising Randy Bates’ Defense.

    But then again, there is that little issue of Quarterback.

    Truth is, there were a LOT of woulda, coulda, shouldas against Virginia that suggest Pickett might not be QUITE as bad as he looked. And it seems many have forgotten that short period of time when the Pickett-lead Whipple Offense actually fired on all cylinders. It really was a thing of beauty in that brief moment.

    The Universe being what it is, this week I expect balance to once again be restored with the breaks swinging back a bit in Pitt’s direction. They better.

    Today what we have is the UNPREDICTABLE Pickett versus Ohio’s ALL-TIME Best Quarterback Nathan Rourke who is nothing if not predictably STEADY.

    If you haven’t already, watch Rourke’s highlights from last year. It won’t take long. You’ll see Rourke throw MORE good passes in ONE Game than Pickett has in his entire career! And yes he is ACCURATE on the Deep Ball. Very.

    Combine this with the fact that Solich is truly “Old School”… the epitome of a Run FIRST, Pass second Guy! At least that is what they say.

    Not surprising, I don’t see stopping the Ohio Run Game being the greater challenge. Based on what was seen against Virginia, I would certainly think Bates’ Linebacking Crew to be perfectly suited. This includes Chase Pine who should SHINE in the face of a “Run First” Offense. If indeed, that is really the case today with Ohio.

    Obviously, the BIG challenge of the day is going to center on the position of Quarterback… Mr. Pickett versus Mr. Rourke. Mr. UNPREDICTABLE versus Mr. predictably STEADY… and EFFECTIVE.

    If history has anything to say, it is going to take a LOT of points to win this Game. Easy to see how this could work for Ohio and Mr. Rourke. But a bit more difficult for Pitt.

    It is going to require Pickett once again getting the Whipple Offense to fire on all cylinders, not for a brief moment but the WHOLE Game. It will mean Pickett stepping outside himself and be CONSISTENT in getting the Ball into the hands of Playmakers.

    Will he be up to the task? It shouldn’t take long to find out.

    If he’s not, Narduzzi better be ready to pull the cord and not wait until the Game is out of hand to do it.
    Winning today is IMPORTANT enough for both Narduzzi’s reputation and the psyche of this Pitt Team.

    But with Penn State a week away and the heart of the ACC schedule coming soon after, he absolutely needs to know today who’s the BEST Man for the job of running Whipple’s Offense, whether it’s Patti or George or Beville or whoever.

    Something tells me Narduzzi might be a lot closer to pulling that cord than people think.

    Liked by 1 person

  33. Random thoughts:

    Not a big fan of the 11:00 AM starts.

    Had our subscription to the Trib stopped after having it for most of my life. We will still receive it until our last payment expires. Opened it up this morning to catch the Friday high school games scores. Not a single one! That paper sucks anymore, glad we dropped them. Comcast next.

    Have a great time at the tailgate folks. I understand there will be a special guest attending. ??

    BTW, Hats off to Fran, Wolfe, Scooter and others for hosting the POV tailgate. I imagine the flags are already raised.

    Go PITT

    Liked by 1 person

  34. Here’s a tidbid. Virginia’s leading rusher last week and expected to carry their team this year, Wayne Taulapapa, did not play for Virginia last night. Virginia scored 52 points but Mendenhall held WT out because he was so banged up from last weeks game against PITT.


  35. wake up, wake up you sleepy heads
    get out, get out, get out of that bed students
    there is a Pitt game 5 miles away and the bus is waiting
    you may not remember what happened last nite, but you’ll remember this Ohio game
    get to the stadium and have fun rooting on the Panthers

    Liked by 2 people

  36. I climbed one mile up Centre Avenue to watch the Pitt football games. Fortunately I was able to happily stagger back down Centre after the games. Then onto the Luna.


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