There is not a lot to be said about this game that has not already been said, but I will say a few things.

First:  I owe Kenny Pickett an apology.  Immediately after the Virginia game, I wrote an article that completely trashed Pickett’s play and his overall potential as a quarterback.  Well, I would like to say that I was wrong and I am sorry.  Whatever Kenny has done since that game has been nothing short of transformational.  Here is  my list of critiques from Virginia (and last season), with updated analysis:

  1. Poor touch on short passes – With the exception of the very first pass of the game Pickett’s short passes were just fine.
  2. Poor ability to get the ball to second and third options – Pickett thrived on his second and third options throughout the game, taking what was given to him and moving the sticks, especially at in the fourth quarter.  
  3. Panics in the pocket and steps into sacks too often – Since Ohio Pickett has done much better job feeling and evading pressure…
  4. Gets happy feet instead of scanning the field and trying to make a play with his arm  … while keeping his eyes downfield and looking for the open man.
  5. Poor accuracy on deep balls to wide open receivers – Those jump balls to Taysir Mack in the final drive were things of beauty.  I’d have liked to see a little more touch on the deep throws down the middle, but at least he threw them where they couldn’t be intercepted.  

Pickett did this on the road against what is arguably the best defense he will face all year.  He has matured tremendously and that bodes well for the rest of the season.

Through the first three games Pickett has 64% of his passes for 878 yards and a rating of 122.8 (and ESPN QBR of 67.4, good for 44th in the country).  Throw out his disastrous UVA game (yep I’m doing it) and his completion % is about 69; his QBR is in the mid 130’s, and he’s averaging right around 350 yards per game.  His YPA in these last two games:  8.05.

Now… about the touchdowns.  With stats like these, you’d expect Kenny to have around six or seven of them.  Well, he has two.  Heck if he had just one more yesterday we’d probably all be a lot happier right now.  However, as nearly everyone on this board pointed out, Kenny had at least one wide open receiver on “the series” but because of bad blocking he had throw the ball away.  So not entirely Kenny’s fault.  In fact, not really his fault at all.

The touchdowns will come.  They need to come.  Kenny and Whipple need to put in some time and figure out just exactly what their bread and butter is inside the five, and then they need to practice the heck out of it.  Kenny needs to demand excellence from the entire offense.  Pickett has now shown he can perform at the highest level in the toughest environment.  As the leader of the offense, its time for him to hold the rest of the group accountable.

Second:  Speaking of touchdowns, the last time we scored one in the second half was on this play:

Where was that on Saturday?  (Just kidding, can you imagine the backlash if that was the 4th and 1 call and it got blown up 9 yards behind the line?).  At this point I can only presume that after this TD the Demon Deacon (that’s the Wake Forest Mascot) levied some kind of curse on Pitt.  Until we a) Get the ball to an offensive lineman or b) Steal Wake Forest’s mascot, we probably aren’t going to score in the second half again.

Okay enough levity for now, the touchdowns will come…right?

Third:  While I’m talking about (mostly) good things, I would be remiss not to mention the defense and the punter.

The defense, oh the defense.  For the exception of about three plays they were every bit as good as we needed them to be.  Pitt gave up nearly as many yards as Buffalo, but held the high-scoring Nittany Lions to just 17 points.  That’s 46 points below their season average coming into the game.  This defense is for real people.

And the punter.  Kirk Christoudoulu clearly was not going to let last year’s performance be repeated.  He kicked ’em high.  He kicked ’em far.  He dropped ’em inside the twenty.  In short, he showed up big for a big game.  Hats off to him and lets hope he keeps it up.

On the downside, we can and should talk about the running game.  Or lack thereof.  It is mostly on the offensive line.  Granted, Penn State’s front seven was good, but that same front seven was pushed around to the tune of 245 yards last week by Buffalo.  We’d have been happy with half of that.  Instead our leading rusher was Shockey Jaques-Louis with one rush for nine yards.

Lastly, and this needs no introduction, gameday coaching.  It started with questionable timeout usage.  It ended with “the call”  (or non-call I guess you could call it).  They say there is no such thing as bad press, but Pitt certainly got plenty of it on Saturday.  I don’t think Naruduzzi lost the team, and I think we need to let him play out the season before levying final judgement, but his seat just got a few degrees warmer.

Now to put this all in context, if I had told you on Friday we’d walk out of State College with a seven point loss, and two chances to tie it up at the end, would you have believed me?  Would you have believed me after reading this?  Would you have believed me after seeing ESPN gave us a seven-percent chance of success?  Well it happened, and even though the way it happened was excruciatingly frustrating, it should give us hope for the future, or at least hope for the next nine games.

Here are my goods, bads and uglys.  Can’t wait to see yours.

Good:

Kenny.

Kirk.  Hit a season long-62 yarder.  Put four inside the twenty.  All-ACC caliber punting on a very big stage.  A big part of why Penn State only scored 17.

Taysir Mack – 12 rec, 125 yards.  Just throw him the jump ball…

AJ Davis Receiving – Would like to see some more speed or at least some punishing hits out of this big dude, but you can’t argue with 94 yards through the air.

Paris Ford – Continues to show up.  Team high 11 tackles.

Twyman – He lands in both good and bad this week because we are starting to learn he’s an up and down player.  1.5 sacks and six tackles are very good.

Bad:

Twyman –  It is clear that he runs out of gas pretty quickly, and he’s pretty bad when he’s winded.  Partridge needs to recognize this and get him out of there on second downs so he’s fresh when it really matters.

Run blocking and run scheme in general:  See above

Ugly:

https://sports.yahoo.com/perplexing-coaching-decision-dooms-pitt-in-1710-loss-to-no-13-penn-state-201028319.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

251 thoughts on “Monday Morning Quarterback – Penn State

  1. Good: Pickett / Mack / Twyman. Team prep, attitude and composure (note that in front of > 100k, there were no pre-snap penalties, and the team continued to fight back from adversity until the very end)

    Bad: Still too many dropped passes. Scoring TDs instead of settling for FGs when offense is within the opponents’ 10 yard line … an ongoing problem for the past 2 years. Despite stellar defensive play, they still haven’t forced a turnover this year

    Ugly: We all know what the ugly is– this probably ranks ahead of the Slide Play, the Swinging Gate … name your folly.

    And what is puzzling is that HCPN has never shied away from going for it on 4th downs. Pitt was 3 for 3 in this game alone. He went for it a week ago. Last year vs UVa, he went for it on Pitt’s own 11 yard line! It makes no sense

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Yep
    Good/amazing: Kenny, Christoudoulu
    Bad: Still a couple drops of easy ones that should not happen
    Ugly: F’in 4th and 1 – just wrong/stupid/indefensible/inexcusable

    Liked by 1 person

    1. however, it also points out the issue of kicking a short FG from the college hash marks. Remember Blewitt vs Duke in 2014. He missed a 22 yarder to win the game … then came right back in OT and made a 43 yarder

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  3. As bad as PN’s decision was PN’s refusal to acknowledge that it was a mistake (it did not cost them the game it cost them the chance to win the game-a chance that was considerably less than 50%) in the long run may prove to be more damaging. PN needs to eat humble pie and admit the error. What POVer thinks he will do so?

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  4. MM – you got The Good, and The Bad.

    Ugly – Pitt fan reaction to the end game. I read the game thread Sunday evening, but could only make it to Sunday morning comments! I had to shut down my phone and go back to my new book on the attack on WTC on 9/11. I found it to be much more enlightening!

    For goodness sakes guys, if you pick Pitt to lose, and they lose, then at least man up, and say, “See, I told you so”.

    Do you really demand absolutely 100% perfect coaching? Where would you find that staff? We fans don’t have to watch mega hours of film, notes from previous years, or try to manage 85 teenagers (+). All we gotta do is guess an outcome. Once you make a guess, stay with it.

    I’d love to recruit against Pitt for 4s and 5s. All I’d have to do is show cuts from POV to recruits and their parents, and say, ” Do you really want to put your next 4-5 years of blood and sweat out for this type of fan?”

    Hope we beat CFU next week. I’d like my new book to last more that a few more days!

    Liked by 5 people

    1. not 100% perfection
      But for $3.5 MILLION dollars, I demand the HC to earn his comp
      Pitt has 3 star players in this game coached by a 2 star
      And I disagree with your comment about the type of fans like me that want more for the program and call out Narduzzi’s mistakes and mediocre recruiting
      Recruits should know the truth unless you are a fan of fake news and make believe
      My comments should be required reading for every incoming recruit

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      1. Please stop with the $3.5M. It’s a drop in the bucket now-a-days. For $3.5M, I’d argue we’re getting what we deserve for being cheap. You get what you pay for. Neither of us live in-state so it doesn’t even affect our tax dollars.

        https://sports.usatoday.com/ncaa/salaries/

        BTW, it’s only $3M according to that article ^^^

        We’re 42nd … with a bunch of other record-like schools.

        The money argument makes no sense to me other than pointing out that Pitt is cheap. He’s earning that money IMO. That looks like the going rate for an 6-8 win coach. If you want to argue Pitt is cheap, carry on. That’s a fair argument.

        Liked by 4 people

        1. Well said. Pitt’s football budget is in par with their on field performance.

          People need to stop comparing Pitt to schools like PSU (more then double the Pitt budget).

          It is what it is. The only hope is that Narduzzi catches lightning in a bottle and parlays it into a bunch of successful years in a row to elevate the program. That can happen this year and next.

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  5. Let me also submit my apologies to Kenny Pickett also as I had him being replaced by Patti after the Virginia game for much the same reasons that MM listed.—I’ll start off with ugly Narduzzi sideline coaching decisions are to say the least unexplainable. And with our dismal OL run blocking Whipple should be calling 4 pass plays for every run play in the future. And our run plays should be restricted to both QB and RB draws as well a intermittent jet sweep play period.

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  6. Savanna, agreed. I stopped reading also. The call was made with 5 minutes left in the game. There was time for a defensive stop and an onside kick. Hindsight is always perfect. The onside kick is more successful in college than it is in the nfl.

    Going to the mountains this week, thinking trout on the South Platte and maybe Rocky Mountain NP. Hope Pitt can generate enough offense to beat Central Florida.

    HTP

    Liked by 1 person

    1. He would need a made FG then the onside kick, not after a defensive stop. Then get the onside kick and score a TD. The odds aren’t as great as one 4th down play though and a made 2 point conversion.

      It was a stupid call for “Learn on the job” Narduzzi. .

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  7. KP was bad against UVA… he has improved… needs to show he can complete a deep ball with one of our guys running behind the opponents defender…

    Tre is usually consistent but has some drops as well… I see a problem in that he is always running short out routes… that is becoming predictable and will lead to an opponent interception…

    OL pass blocking was fine and KP finally seems to have his 6th sense working … avoiding the rush and stepping up in the pocket…

    I had strong feelings about PITT all weak and could not pull the trigger on a bet against our boys…

    We lost but no reason to drop our heads. As savannah said most POVERTS predicted a Not victory.. hey, we know FB on here…

    Need to get focused on UCF… time for FBS to give that program some deserved recognition…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Most POV’s expected a blow out because they dont believe. You stopped believing in Santa a long time ago
      Put yourself in the players mindset
      If you’ve ever played sports and took the pulse of the team leading up to the game and compared against the Nitters, you knew this game would be close
      Understanding player psychology is something many on here need to become educated about
      In the end, Pitt gave this win away due to some bad coaching decisions
      And thats inexcusable

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      1. “In the end, Pitt gave this win away due to some bad coaching decisions”

        Not accurate. Stupid, stupid decision by Narduzzi on 4th. But the 3rd down play call was on the mark, yet wasn’t executed. Kids have to make some plays too.

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  8. Good:

    KP, Pappy Whip, Duzz preparing the team for the battle, Paris Ford, T.Mack and the Aussie

    Bad:

    RBU did not show up, Kessman, receiver drops and missed calls by the refs (yet they call Cam Bright for a touch on P. Ford’s INT)

    Ugly:

    The missed FG on 4th and 1 (the coach’s call and the kicker’s miss – both bad, but together they are UGLY) and psuX fans thinking their team is really good (puke)

    Now let’s go down the Knights

    H2P!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I’ve read repeatedly that Narduzzi is a tough Ohio/WPA coach who is committed to a run first offensive strategy. So why can’t they recruit OLs like Chryst did, and why don’t they have a power running game especially in the red zone when they need 1 yard and the DBs are defending a short field? Whipple can only call the plays he thinks will be successful, and he didn’t recruit this year’s talent.

    It seems odd that in one year they go from being a team that is run only to a team that is pass only. What are they teaching these kids? Not having another George Aston for goal line situations is like committing malfeasance as a coach. Were there no running backs in the transfer portal? No walk ons available? This is why in year 5 it is becoming increasingly obvious, sorry to say, that Narduzzi will never win big as a head coach.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Because Narduzzi can’t recruit anyone. That and the fact that the NFL likes guys who can pass block, so the good one’s aren’t interested in coming here. Any upperclassman on a Power 5 team can run block.

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  10. MM — good job.

    Good — Obviously KP. While his development has been head scratching, he showed last season that he could make plays. See Duke and WF games… We have made a big investment in KP — time to get so return…

    Good — Christodolou!!! And keeping the PSU highly rated DEs from having an impact. And the speed of our defense…

    Good — Successful screen passes!!!!

    Good — We didn’t commit bad penalties. We played a pretty clean game in a noisy, tough environment.

    Good — the moxy and execution when we did go for it on 4th down. And wasn’t one of those in the first half near mid-field? I remember being surprised and then delighted.

    Bad — tackling on those two or three big plays – though PSU has some really speedy skill players.
    And our run blocking was bad…

    Ugly — the ugly blunders by Coach Narduzzi. Both the wasted time-outs and the 4th down call. (Be bold, damn it!)

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Good: The team played well, mostly everybody on this board and twitter picked us (Pitt) to be blown out. We actually had a chance to win the game which is great. KP is progressing and the defense is the best since Duzz has arrived. Beating UCF next week would be great!!!

    Ugly: The running game. We should be able to get at least one yard on four downs. If it was me, I would’ve ran up the gut all four downs. I’m not mad at Duzz for kicking the FG. Kessman should have made it, an Aliquippa HS kicker would’ve made that chip shot. And everybody knows Quip never has a kicker Hahaha.

    Game would’ve been 17-13. Defense was playing lights out. We get the ball back with a chance to win with the go ahead TD. Kessman screwed us just like he did at Notre Dame last year.

    We must remember these are non-conference games, we’re definitely not going to the playoffs so use this as preseason type games. I think we definitely can repeat as Coastal champs if UVA stumbles.

    #H2P

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  12. Be warned, this may be the most controversial post ever, and make me a hated man, but here goes.
    As I sit here this morning with a heating pad on my shoulder awaiting my noon Drs appointment I’ve decided to say some things that have been bugging me for a long time.

      The Cult vs. the cult
    

    We all know who The Cult is, but I think it’s time to look at the cult. Over the past few decades Pitt has wanted to run a clean program with as much success as is possible within those parameters. No one in headline grabbing trouble, scholar athletes, and good citizens. This is perilously close to success with honor. There, I said it. Anyone who thinks you can have 85-100 kids ages 18-22 and not have at least 1 drug issue, or 1 sexual issue of some type, or Borderline criminal type,of behavior is just kidding themselves. Just because it does make the papers it doesn’t mean it’s not going on.
    JoePa, in my opinion, started off with good intentions, but when reality overcame myth, couldn’t accept it and went down to hell covering it up. I say to you, don’t be so smug and sanctimonious saying we at least have never had NCAA sanctions as we run a clean program, and use that as a rationalization to accept mediocrity. It puts us dangerously close to the cult. I know, I know, a cult needs a leader etc. however, I will say the school itself is the leader, and we follow a shakey false God. An athletic department that pushes trying hard but stumbles over its own feet is either incompetent or complicit. The academics and others have a right to set university policy. But to over react with the same knee jerk moves when problems occur is showing no faith in those they installed in the first place. ie We are becoming a football factory so blow it up. Get back to a university mission. And you know, it sounds so right and reasonable, until you realize the two are not mutually exclusive.

              COMMENCEMENT 
    
    I am making a request to address our next graduating class. I’m serious, and my speech would go something like this.
    
    “  To all persons to whom these presents may come, Greeting. My talk to you today will be short and traditional. As you enter the world today as a graduate, go, and make your University proud. Strive to be average, mediocre, at best, as long as you don’t commit serious crimes it is all we can hope for. Have your grasp exceed your reach. Always be satisfied with your place in the middle. You really can’t expect more. Stability is important, achieving excellence is far, far, overrated. Those in administration know that a university is judged solely by academic standing and advancement, and although we have failed to advance in this regard for the past 40 years, we are proud to now be considered average. 
       In closing, know we have taken your money, your youth, and your dreams, and and failed to advance either our academic or athletic standing. But take solace in the firm knowledge that you are better prepared to be average, or hopefully mediocre, than most. But be warned , if you live the dream, have a minimal criminal record, and work hard you come dangerously close to exceeding the mean. To prevent this, keep donating to the school and living in the 1950s. 
    

    Well, I guess I’ll be persona non grata. I would blame it on the pain meds, but that would be like not accepting responsibility for my decision. Oh, wait, maybe I,can be a head coach too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The University likes to tout its ‘clean’ image as a way to deflect from its mediocre team performance. So Heather talks about GPA’s, graduation rates, compliance and community service projects.

      All that is fine and dandy, but she avoids answering and being held accountable for wins, donations, facility improvements, and fiscal responsibility.

      Let’s not fool ourselves. No program is squeaky clean. The football player population is no different from the non athlete student body. They are all kids. Some more mature than others. With many Experiencing freedom for the first time. Kids will make mistakes. Hopefully they learn from them. But let’s not fool ourselves thinking Pitt is somehow better than most schools.

      There are several schools that don’t cheat, don’t have major discipline issues, graduate players with real degrees AND win on the field. Nothing that Pitt does is special. However Pitt does an exceptional job at being mediocre. That degree has been minted at Pitt for the last 40 years.

      I’m already hated so I don’t care.

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    2. One question JoeK, When PITT takes a students money, youth and dreams, who was asking who to attend PITT? and where is it written that the University of Pittsburgh will deliver a certain quality football team. OK that’s two questions but the point remains, there are no guarantees in this cruel cruel world. The score board may not have indicated it but in my mind, the 2 and 3 stars were triumphant over the 4 and 5 stars Saturday afternoon. Of course I have different expectations than others.

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      1. Ike, I think you missed my point, that they have failed both in academics and athletics, and either one has no reason to lord over the other. There may be one highly rated department just as there may have been one highly rated team, but on the whole, both the academic rating and the athletic teams have failed to advance overall.
        As far as who asked whom, all students pick their school for a variety of reasons, some are better reasons than others. The expections of each student are either fulfilled or not for a variety of reasons. The student fulfills their obligation by paying tuition, studying, and graduating. The student grows both with social and academic experiences. The university’s obligation is to provide the opportunity for students to grow in both areas and by providing instruction and granting a degree. If you wa only academic experience then the U of Phoenix is great.
        Well, that’s at least hoI look at it. And putting heat on this shoulder just makes it worse, and gets me cranky. Only semi lol.

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    3. Randy, glad you are back and posting..we value your opinion…

      One thing JoePa did right (not promoting the dark side here) was develop a rabid FB culture …Hell, when many of us were in school Beaver Stadium held 35k to 40K ,,,,my how they grew and literally have an exciting atmosphere..quite different than what we typically thought of as “eastern FB” where many of us/fans played and watch the game in a more critical/analytical way with way less “rah rah.”
      Seems Pat had a case of paralysis by analysis…

      Oh well…bring on UCF..bet we get our 1st turn-over and score in the 2nd half.

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      1. Yup Bernie, I remember my dad and uncles taking me to a PSU homecoming in 1960. Two sets of bleaches around 2/3 filled. Still have the super 8mm film. I have a much longer post in mind about what marketing geniuses they are to build what they did in a place you couldn’t get to with a program that for 60 yers was mediocre at best. They absorbed short term pain for long term gain.

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    4. Note: “Fan” is short for fanatic. This is true everywhere. That’s why TV cameras always show the people in the stands with the most paint on their bodies.

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  13. I still say Narduzzi has to go for it on fourth down there and if you think about it…….. even if PITT doesn’t score there people would still be complaining about whatever play would have been called. (Narduzzi can’t win with some of you) BUT! Maybe not so much would have been taken away from PITT’s great effort last Saturday. Too much concentration on the bad decision and not enough on the good game played by our boys of Fall.

    The Good: The Game itself, the defense, KP was on duty, pass blocking.

    The Bad: The Run blocking, Kessman.

    The Ugly: I’m not going to keep repeating over and over again, next!

    Kessman misses a shorty and psu’s kicker kicks the longest field goal in a long time with a 57 yarder. << Say that three times fast. If fortunes are reversed that makes it a one point game. In case you missed it….. PITT was back in field goal range chucking the ball into the end-zone last few plays.

    That was one hell of an effort by PITT. but a loss is a loss is a loss is a loss is a loss..Should I go on?

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  14. Here’s my theory and I’m stick to it. Franklin has been under the gun despite his good record the past few years because of critical mistakes in many close games. So he tells his ‘vacation buddy’ before the game … “I’ll keep the game close as long as you make the biggest bonehead decision possible”

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Guys, can you please enlighten me as to why so many are anti-field goal on the fourth and one? That’s what they would have done in the NFL too. As Ike pointed out above, if we go for it and don’t get it that is demoralizing and everyone is po’ed. Duzz was trying to make the drive fruitful by playing the percentages.

    If Kessman hits it like he/any kicker/human being should, it’s 17 to 13 with a few minutes to go and we get the ball back…like we did. You only kick the fg on a day like Saturday when our defense was on.

    If you want to be mad at Nard about something he wasted a time out in each half to not take delay of game punting penalties. I have no problem with the fg.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. aj…it’s Ok to be OK with a FG but I would go for it…if you make it you have a chance to get the ball back,which we did, and attempt a game winning FG…If we don’t make it PSU is on their one yard line where we either stop them and force a punt or possibly force an elusive turn-over or safety…missing that FG was a deflator for all of us so we will bitch about the call until the end of days….,,,I feel there was more upside going for the 4th and one…

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I’ll enlighten you. Even if you make the field goal Pitt is still down 4 points with a little over 4 minutes to go in the game with only 1 time out(after miss use of their previous time outs) left. At worst PSU gets the ball at their 25 on the kickoff 5 yards ahead of where they ended up getting it after the failed Field Goal attempt.—-You go for the 4th and one and you also go for the two point play if you get the TD.—-Your on the road as a heavy underdog with the chance to put extreme pressure on State Penn with the TD and 2 point play.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. So proud of the boys, and the D, my god, really coming into form. Though I have to say, still worried about UCF….I feel like it could be another ugly game. I have to say I’ve been a downer on Picket but he showed heart. P Ford, with some nice plays and a few big hits out there, and some timely big time caches by of few of the WR’s in key situations and that 4th and 1 play action to the Tight End, just to sexy and a ballsy play call. But where was that ballsy play calling when the ball was down on the 2yrd line near the end of the game. Its a shame this one came down to a coaches decision. I don’t get when you have a top contender like that on the ropes, why let them hang around, scoring chances come few and far between, go for the jugular when the opportunity arise. If you dont get it on 4th down, PSU is backed up with 99 yards to go…Hence that didn’t work earlier in the game but I’ll take my chances…. A growing concern for me is our ineffective ability to run the the ball up the middle of the field with Picket under center. While I like that it seems the new OC has faith in Picket to throw the ball more than 5yrs down field, i think this team needs to move into more of a triple option style offensive. Yes i hate that style of offensive like no other, but at least it could open holes up for the running game, and Picket can be a bit dangerous on his feet as well and has some good ability to make some plays out of the pocket.

    Liked by 3 people

  17. Pitt’s fan reaction deserved to be ugly after that game. Anytime a coach doesn’t put his players in the best position to succeed it’s fair game. The fan reaction was ugly because even Duzz defenders could not defend his decision making. Duzz has always been polarizing but it’s generally hovered around 50/50 with the pro/con crowds … At least on message boards. He probably had more slightly more favoritism with the casual crowd, so he was safe even while being a little combative and unconventional.

    This game was devastating to his credibility because it may lead to a paradigm shift in that 50/50 split with the passionate fan base, as well as having a meaningful impact on the emotions of the casual fan.

    It would not surprise me if that decision is what leads to his undoing as coach of the Pitt Panthers. It was that traumatic of an event as far as sports go. That one decision, compounded my many smaller ones, may be the straw that breaks the camel’s back.

    Duzz’s post-game nonchalance about his decision making only adds fuel to the fire. We’re all human. We make mistakes. If you own your mistakes, it’s much easier to garner sympathy. Had Duzz said “You know what, I over-thought that one, I should have gone for the TD” … a segment of the fan base would still be pissed but at least it gives the fans an opportunity to forgive him … and some would.

    People gravitate towards humble. Duzz was not humbled by his decision making. In fact, he doubled down on it. Anytime someone double’s down on something, it tells me that they are stubborn to the point of self destruction. Always hedge your bets, man. Leave yourself some wiggle room.

    It’s one thing to be passionate and to believe in something … it’s another to just be plain dumb. In this case, Duzz is being dumb and doubling down on his dumb decision.

    How else are fans supposed to react?

    Liked by 4 people

  18. On to UCF. Penn State game been over…

    The Gabriel kid is a true freshman. If we can stop the run I like our chances. Trevor Lawrence actually didn’t play that well against us in the ACC championship game.

    This D has limited guys that have put up big numbers before:

    Perkins, Clifford, Rourke…hopefully I’ll be adding Gabriel to the list. We must rattle the young QB.

    Liked by 2 people

  19. Pitt is close now. If the OL get’s their run blocking going & the defense keeps playing like they have, it is going to be a site to behold when all the big explosive plays belong to Pitt and the Panthers dominate the opposition. Unfortunately that opponent will probably be Delaware.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Dr Tom – At some point the yards should lead to scores. I think the play calling and coaching from the two coordinators has been fine. My confidence in the game day coaching by the Top Dog has my confidence shooken to the core, however.

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  21. I expect to see some more eating of crow here from the many Pitt fans who said it would be “ugly”, that Pitt had no shot, and that Franklin would run up the score.

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  22. The VERY Good…

    Pickett… Still can’t throw an ACCURATE DEEP Ball (i.e. Post or Flag) but everything else GOOD and getting BETTER.

    “Pappy Whipple”… Being what they said you were… “The Quarterback Whisperer!”

    And last but not least… Pitt’s Punter Chris from the “Land Down Under.”

    The Good…

    Randy Bates and HIS Defense. Narduzzi was SUPPOSED to be the “Defense Guru”… Bates sits in the Press Box during games in full YOGA position.

    The “Poise in the Noise” shown by the ENTIRE Pitt Team.

    The Bad…

    The MOMENTARY breakdowns that lead to Penn State”s BIG plays. They always were LUCKY.

    The Ugly…

    Narduzzi for showing ONCE AGAIN that logistical thinking was NEVER his strongest virtue.

    And… yes… Pappy Whipple… for showing absolutely NO PENCHANT for playing POWER Run Football when it’s needed most… like on the ONE Yard Line with probably the last chance in a decade to BEAT PENN STATE!

    Like

    1. So Pitt is closest to Duke and Northwestern. But not nearly as good academically. That’s a bad place to be then.

      So everyone thinks Pitt is clean but Pitt underperforms and is mediocre on the field.

      Heather needs to see this but it’s what we fans have already known.

      But if a compliance problem surfaces, Heather will be toast. Her background is compliance and her hiring was driven in part by it. Along with her being a female. And I’m not anti women for saying the truth. Pitt was progressive in this hire.

      I’m all for more women running sports departments. Only four in P5. But any AD really needs to know football…the program that pays the bills. Unfortunately, women don’t play the sport and are at a disadvantage in their networks.

      Like

      1. TX – Heather has been fine. No quick fixes. She fired 8 coaches after observing for a year. I’ve liked her approach. Calculated. She’s managing an athletics department that was left to die by the University. No facilities. They don’t even have a track. Lol. Pitt is worse than Rutgers. I repeat. Pitt is worse than Rutgers. Burning the whole thing down and building from the ashes, I believe, is the only way to do it. Football, remarkably, was Pitt’s most stable sport until women’s volleyball (Nice Job Heather!). Saving that for last makes sense. Fix the foundation first then you can build a new house. Football will be addressed. Bigger fires at the moment, however.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Tossing
          When will she fix the head coach issue for football?

          When will she fix the pathetic donation rate?

          When will she fix declining attendance?

          When will volleyball move out of that dump?

          When will Pitt stop deficit spending and get out of the red?

          When will Pitt start engaging fans and building new supporters?

          She has been in charge over 30 months now

          Things have not gotten better

          Still losing over $10 million every year

          Still near dead last in donations

          Going to have the lowest avg attendance figure since the majors 2 days

          Last in directors cup

          Playing in a 70 year old hot and humid dump for volleyball. Amazed what fisher has done. A cornhole hire

          You’re way too easy on her

          Like

          1. You can’t fix it in the state Pitt athletics was left. Lol. Who is going to donate to a dumpster fire?

            I don’t believe there is a living soul who could have fixed it.

            Fundraising literally takes years and years.

            Like I said. Fix the fixable stuff first. Have some successes and start bringing in some money.

            Football will be addressed. It’s just the most stable part of the department.

            Pitt will sell 30k season tickets good or bad. She can fix the other stuff first.

            Football will be addressed and it will be addressed hopefully with a solid foundation behind it.

            It amazes me that after 35+ years of this people still think that there is a hail Mary miracle fix out there.

            That’s not how reality works.

            Football was stable. She tossed out a contract to keep it stable if not remarkable while she plugs the other holes.

            I’m confident that she’ll get to it. The department needed a cultural change first.

            They should be last by the way. She fired 8 bad coaches. Lol. Literally, ripped and replaced everything.

            Pitt fans hate patience but I doubt we’ll be last for long.

            I like the approach. She is actually doing stuff. It’s just been too soon to see the fruits of her labor. It’s only been a year since she fired everyone.

            Like

  23. Sorry, ajs32..the songman, but the FG on fourth and one was a ridiculous, boneheaded call that took the game out of the hands of the players. Statistically, it can’t be a higher probability for Pitt to score a TD from, say, mid-field than from the one yard line. So even if the FG is good, a TD is still needed. If Pedo takes the kick off in the end zone, they only need one or two first downs and a decent punt to ice it. It comes down to the fact that Narduzzi had no confidence in his goal line offense. He said they had no play to call. Really?

    Liked by 2 people

  24. One thing I did not want to do was to keep going over and over “The Decision” but here I go again. (no song). Let’s not lose sight of the fact that Kenny was still chucking the ball into the endzone when the clock expired. You’ve all heard of being Mossed….. Well PITT got Kessmaned. If he makes that short gimmie PITT is throwing passes to WIN the gamed at the end… and they weren’t hail mary’s either. And again, PITT actually moved UP is the ranking in some circles after that game. So I’m not the only one that thinks PITT played a very good game on the road. But a loss is a loss is a loss is a loss………………… I get it..

    Like

    1. You want to know something else? Look at that Hail Mary. Tipton is way to close to Ffrench. If he splits off and stands where I’m guessing he was supposed to – the back of the end zone – he has a real shot to grab the deflection.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. We ran this play in HS. Everyone gets close to each other in the back of the end zone and then one player breaks forward to the goal line and gets a line drive pass from the QB. Pitt ran it perfectly but Pickett missed seeing the open receiver and just lobbed it.

        Like

        1. That’s a good variation , and from 26 yards out it can work.

          In this case i think he was supposed to lob it.

          Anyway it’s over now…

          Like

  25. If Narduzzi’s call was a one off we all would disagree and move on but it’s not. I can think of at least 10 bonehead calls including the 3/4 down call the previous week. Is he an idiot? I don’t think so. It’s his amateur sideline behavior during games that keeps him from having his head in the game. Running up and down the sideline, praising, admonishing etc. like a bad Jr High coach. He’s never in control of his emotions and thinking 1-2 plays ahead. Thus when a HC decision is truly needed…… he’s lost. Word is Whipple is so disgusted with him, he’s ready to bail.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Remember Bradshaw having elbow surgery and Noll put him in against the Jets… last pass he threw was a TD in which he re-injured his arm… correct me if I remember that incorrectly.. heck, I am getting where I can’t remember I I took my medicine at night!!!

      Like

  26. Since everyone wants to talk about “the decision,” I’ll throw out there the possibility that Narduzzi was conscious of the fact that we have yet to score a single point in the 4th quarter all year, so he thought that putting points on the board during the final quarter of a football game would have been a huge boost to the team’s morale, where as not getting it and continuing the drought would have been a crushing blow. Probably never thought we would have missed the field goal.

    I know ESPN has that chance of winning predictor thing that changes as the game goes on. I’d be very curious how the chance of winning changes between being down by 7 with 5 minutes and 2 timeouts left and the opponet getting the ball on their own one yard line, versus being down by 4 with 5 minutes and 2 timeouts left and kicking the ball off to your opponent. I am guessing it’s not much of a difference.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. HUH?? PITT did get the ball back and was throwing the ball into the endzone on consecutive plays. Kessman missed a chip shot…. That’s not coaching..

        Like

  27. We really aren’t that far from being 3-0 if we could just manage to score 1-2 TDS in the 2nd half…and that’s with no running game, no forced turnovers, lots of penalties vs Va and inconsistent work by Kessman who was credited with the loss to ND last year….

    Need to be recruiting some dozers who look the part and a couple of big backs on the O…..BTW which ever Davis took that short pass and made a nice gain seemed rather slow compared to the Not defenders….certainly doesn’t have break-away speed….

    Duzz is on a hot seat whether he knows it or not…I say Heather will do what is best for the program… she is a female in a D1 AD position- something she has worked hard to achieve, she carries the torch for lots of ladies to aspire to reach the top and she has competed – I think she is one who won’t accept persistent failure.

    Duzz needed to play more checkers or chess as a kid… a game that keeps you thinking ahead…. to much high 5-ing and back-slapping on the sideline….

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Man I am tired of people blaming the loss on the 4th and goal decision. There were a ton of other plays that decided the game. The defense looks legit (without its best two linemen) and pickett could be for real. We have a brand new line and talented backs that will continue to get better. And this team will be together next year too.
    Yes Narduzzi should have gone for it. He made other mistakes Saturday as well. But people just need to get over it. He’s not going anywhere and finally seems to be building something at pitt.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Agree there was more than went into the loss than that 4 th and goal… a lot of football knowledge on here wouldn’t have gone for 3 and miffed by the coaching decision… probably so are some players and other coaches… we aren’t paid to make that decision so we come to thePIV to kick around our thoughts……

      Liked by 1 person

    2. He embarrassed the program for not having guts

      Have you checked out social media

      That’s the issue

      Pitt still might not have won but we wouldn’t be the punchline for jokes, memes and #Gutless.

      Pitts brand suffered a huge blow on national TV

      Pitt just isn’t a loser. It’s a gutless and stupid loser.

      Like

      1. Tex… you sobered up from that bourbon buzzz … like that Hank Jr song brown liquor can make me. “ whiskey drunk and Hell bound!!!” Relax and keep posting that meaner than a Texas rattlesnake POV… love it!!!

        Like

  29. Good: Being in the game to the last play.

    Good2: Pickett, played like a champion today. Also Twymon and the defense. If not for those couple breakdowns, maybe 10 points would have been enough to win it.

    Good3: only 2 penalties & zero turnovers. Played almost the near perfect game many said it would take to beat the nits.

    Bad: Still had a few key drops and missed tackles. Campbell had a clear shot on Clifford and whiffed, but his other sack was sweet and too bad the ball bounced the other way. Would have been a great turnover, which leads to next point…

    Bad2: Still no turnovers for defense three games in. Is it all bad luck?

    Bad3: Still no second half points

    Ugly: The call, what happened to the gambling Narduzzi of season 1?

    Ugly2: The local Penn State loving media and many of the cult fans.

    Ugly3: One of the all time great rivalries in college football is coming to an end. Eastern football is dead, and we are all much worse off for it.

    FOOTNOTE: No one mentioned on the final hail mary that there was a holding penalty called. Can you imagine what the reaction would have been if the pass was completed?

    Liked by 1 person

  30. My high school ran the pinch play occasionally on 4th down. As soon as the offense was set, the QB would pinch the butt of the center and the ball would be snapped .. so only those 2 knew about it.

    Interestingly enough … former Kansas HC Mark Mangino went to the same high school … and when he was Oklahoma’s OC back in 2000, they won the national title. In the B12 title game vs Kansas St, they ran that play successfully in a critical situation.

    So the scuttlebutt in New Castle the next week was all about the play when all of the towns people knew exactly what happened, while the rest of the world didn’t … the announcers had no idea

    Like

    1. maybe he pinched him in the balls or the taint …. or the center waited one-thousand-one before centering … don’t know. But anyone who followed NC football back then all knew of the pinch play

      Like

  31. My observations from watching the game yesterday:

    great pass pressure by our d, particularly early on. Just missed a huge sack – turnstile arms on the tackling though. Would have really shifted momentum
    Awesome hit by Campbell that knocked the ball loose from the Nit receiver. What a play
    Paris Ford had a nice pick, too bad about the PI call, which was unnecessary as the receiver wasn’t going to catch that ball.
    Great execution by Kenny on the screen pass in Q2, followed by a great RAC by one of the Davises.
    Huge 1st down at the beginning of the 2nd qtr (3rd and 6). Thought the game could have gotten away early had they not converted.
    pretty clear that PSU’s strategy was to make Kenny Pickett beat them. They keyed on the run. Part of our failure in the running game is on us, but the rest seemed the result of the talent and strategy.
    We have a QB.
    OL surprised me with the improvement in pass blocking. But none of the credit goes to Borbs, because’s he sucks, right?
    Vincent Davis made some nice cuts when got the ball a few times on the TD drive. Impressive and guessing we will see more of him.
    Mack’s catch at the one was NFL caliber (looked to me like he may have pushed off a bit though)

    Good
    Kenny’s redemption
    Whipple’s play calling
    pass protection
    overall hustle and energy level (find a way to get up for UCF like that and we might have a game on our hands)

    Bad
    Execution inside the 5 yd line.
    Kessman’s miss
    Narduzzi’s call on the 4th and 1
    Still waiting for an RB to step forward

    Ugly
    Narduzzi’s defense of his bad decision during the postgame.

    Afternoon tailgate on Sat – see yinz at the stadium!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. AJ Davis seems to have decent speed once he gets going, but he’s not that quick getting going. He does look decent catching the ball.

      RB is an area where we really need to re-evaluate our recruiting. Getting 4-star RBs isn’t good enough when they don’t have the quicks — though these guys will likely improve as they get experience…

      Go Pitt.

      Like

      1. Running the football also requires a commitment being made as part of your Offensive Philosophy.

        Sometimes you simply need to be able to gain a yard or two.

        Doesn’t seem that Whipple sees that as a priority.

        Too bad.

        Like

    1. Pitt doesn’t deserve respect given these decisions. They deserve ridicule and mocking

      Narduzzi just makes it harder on himself to recruit

      He’s digging his own grave and I have extra shovels if he needs them

      Like

  32. Note to Heather: Whipple is apparently getting disgusted with Narduzzi’s sideline demeanor. Better nip this in the bud or Pitt will be looking for another offensive coordinator again…

    Liked by 1 person

  33. Good: the overall performance of the team. You may add your own examples here.

    Bad: several coaching decisions including poor use of time outs (wasting them to make decisions, not using the remaining time out at the end of the half to “ice” the kicker), the infamous FG attempt. And I guess running several defensive plays with only 10 men on the field—including on the one long PSux run—-is sort of a “decision” or at least a failure to pay attention.

    Ugly: our collective vitriol over the game because of not only the poor coaching support but also “dropped passes, overthrowing long passes, poor run game, etc. Well, if you pay attention, the teams with all 4 and 5 stars do these things too. PSux did some of them on Saturday. If 4 and 5 stars kids aren’t perfect, should our 2 and 3 star kids be judged more harshly?

    I have to repeat my previous offering: find a potential coach who could be hired as Asst. Head Coach/Recruiting Coordinator/Game Day “final answer” coach who makes those decisions currently botched by the Duzz (or meatball brains or gorilla arms or whatever some wish to call him—sorry, just isn’t my style) Heather should have the heart-to-heart with Duzz and tell him the plan and why it’s the plan. Hopefully his ego allows him to accept his shortcomings and he stays on as the head coach WHO BOTH THE PLAYERS AND THEIR FAMILIES APPEAR TO LIKE VERY MUCH. Just firing him is a guarantee of suffering at least one more year of failure due to both a likely short recruiting period for the new coach and the high probability of losing some of our valuable kids who love their coach. (Hell we even
    lost some of the “better” players from the men’s BB team when Stallings was booted, and he was a disaster far greater than our current FB coach could ever be.

    Other teams do similar things to allow their head coaches more time to do the things they do well. I think I’ve heard Saban has an assistant to help him get the kid’s shoes tied properly?

    I’m done.

    Like

    1. you have 2 coordinators who were previous HCs. But you can make the case that one of them, the OC, was largely responsible for the 4th and 1 at the goal line. I have no issue with the 1st down pass but not trying a sneak on either of the next 2 plays was inexcusable. Especially when you can have Wheeler pushing the QB into the goal (legal these days)

      Like

      1. You can see it on the TV. Watch the replay. I can’t read lips but I clearly saw the camera cut to duzz and whip right after we were stopped on 3rd and 1. Duzz looks at whip. Whip says “kick it”. The rest is history. The ONLY positive from this whole debacle (and I am grasping at straws here) is that duzz took ownership of the decision and did not throw whip under the bus. And that is precious little positive

        Liked by 5 people

          1. Okay maybe it was just me… I’ll have to recwatch when I’m in a better frame of mind. It’s possible it was edited…?

            Like

            1. Not edited, “Live” version. I could not tell if you were joking. Haha. You definitely can’t tell what is said. It cuts away just as he is about to say something. It’s on ESPN3 replays, however, so you can see for yourself. I think your mind was playing wishful thinking. Haha. I rewatched like 10 times and could not decipher anything.

              Like

    2. Good call, I forgot about icing the kicker and was screaming about that right before he kicked. The kicker was sucking air to calm down right before the snap. Numbskull Narduzzi took that one to the locker room.

      Like

  34. I’m a Duzz fan but acknowledge his faults. I think he deserves to coach thru next season when he has a chance to have a very successful season with the team he has built (and I still have hopes for a very good finish to this season, in spite of the significant injuries…).

    That said, I want coaches who learn from their mistakes. If Coach Duzz would make the same call next time he is faced with similar circumstances, then I don’t want him as the head coach.

    Live and learn, Coach!

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 3 people

  35. I have always liked and defended Narduzzi as I truly believe Pitt is a very tough job in todays football world and the cards are stacked against them. While most of the focus is on the last 4th and goal (rightly so because I found that decision indefensable) in the 1st qtr when Narduzzi punted on 4th and 7 from the PSU 37 I told my wife for the first time Pitt has the wrong coach and honestly I turned the game off right then and hit the record button and went about my day. That was playing not to lose big and I just can’t watch that. The last decision cemented that mind set and I truly can’t let it go. I would rather they play aggresive and lose 48-10 than play it safe and lose 17-10. Making my first rip to the Burgh in 20 years in two weeks, so glad I am going to the Delaware game and not the UCF one…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. 26 — and yet the Duzzer went for it on 4th and 4 or 5 just over mid-field in this game.

      I don’t think he’s overly conservative, like the announcers said – though he made them look good on that 4th down call.

      I remember some fake punts/kicks he’s done – one of which directly won us a game in Syracuse…

      When I met Coach Duzz initially at a meet-and-greet, I said my only advice coach is to “be bold!”

      We weren’t bold on Saturday – which surprised me because I can only imagine how much Coach Duzz wanted that game…

      Go Pitt.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Actually, the 4th and 1.5 yd line field goal call was super aggressive, i.e choosing the reckless path to victory rather than the ordinary way.

      Like

  36. The Good: Pickett, Christodoulou, Ford and the overall attitude of the team and the way they practiced leading up to the big game. Our pass rush in the 1st half too.

    The Bad: Sibley’s missed block on the blitzing safety (will live in infamy). Dropped passes. The missed kick.

    The Ugly: Narduzzi’s bad call and his ridiculous defense of the call. He’s becoming an embarrassment for the program. How is he going to recruit now after the whole nation is making fun of him? He’s like a 2 year old who can’t admit he’s wrong.
    Also, and most scary thing of all, we can’t score in the 2nd half……at all!

    Liked by 1 person

  37. Good

    Kenny Pickett. We have a quarterback. Pickett made a quantum lap in this game, both in physical terms (accuracy, touch, etc.) and in composure (going through reads, stepping up in the pocket while still looking to make a play). The second part is the probably the hardest and I’m impressed Pickett’s development. I have to admit that I thought his psyche might have been broken by the beating he took last year, but he proved me wrong and did himself proud on a big stage. Always exciting to see kids grow and progress, so hats off to him.

    Kirk Christodoulou. Another redemption story. Punting was responsible for so many hidden yards and Kirk’s leg really kept the team in the game when the offense was stagnant. A complete 180 from last year Penn State game. Kirk has emerged as a real weapon and he will be relied on heavily because unless/until the ground game improves, three-and-outs will be plentiful.

    Prospects for the season. I didn’t expect Pitt to beat UVa, PSU, or UCF anyway, so my overall prediction hasn’t (6-6) changed, but I’m a lot more optimistic that Pitt could win 7 or 8 games than I was on Saturday morning. Other than Miami, I don’t see any contest where Pitt will be outmatched, although apart from Delaware, they will all be 50-50 games. Winning that many coin flips will require better game management, but this is the good column, so …

    Bad

    Easily could have put the running game under the “Ugly” heading, but you know what that’s reserved for. When Pitt tried to move the ball on the ground against Penn State it looked exactly like when a rent-a-win program tries to run against an SEC powerhouse like Alabama or Georgia. I readily acknowledge the talent difference between Pitt and PSU, but it’s not dramatic enough to justify that display. The running game is absolutely feeble right now. Just get it to “below average” as opposed to atrocious and this season’s prospects will look pretty bright.

    Ugly

    The head coach clearly does not understand probability which causes me to reevaluate his fitness long-term. Pitt was recently named the #1 public university in the northeast. Hire a grad student from the stats or econ department to train him Narduzzi on this aspect of the game or serve as a consultant from the box or the sidelines.

    The outrageous decision to kick on 4th and 1, on the road, with under 5 minutes remaining has been analyzed to death. What’s truly concerning is Narduzzi’s refusal to consider the decision and his appalling explanation of “We still needed two scores.” Has he heard of overtime?

    Even putting that aside, there is no scenario where, with that score and that amount of time remaining, it makes sense to dispense with a chance for a touchdown from the 1-yard line. None. Narduzzi’s failure to see that has fueled three days of ridicule from the national media and called his acumen into question.

    Liked by 7 people

    1. And by the way that bone head decision among a few others makes me believe that Narduzzi is not head coach material. He is the exact opposite of a Bill Belichek and folks that’s not what we want in a head coach. Heather is going to have to make a BIG call after next season on this subject IMHO.

      Liked by 1 person

  38. The good: The team fought the whole way. The stage was not too big for them. Kenny and the punter played very well. (Will wait on heaping praise on Kenny for more games to be played. Hopefully this is his new normal and he will not revert back.) The Pitt defense who played well enough for us to win the game.

    The bad: No running attack at all especially when it was needed. Hopefully Whipple is not the anti-Watson, all pass and no run. We need a short range kicker. Kessman needs to get his mojo back!

    The ugly: First and goal at the one. Line up an run the ball, dang it!!! (Had strong desire to use much strong adjective there! ###$$$$$#$)

    Liked by 1 person

  39. Guys – to change the subject for a sec:

    Eric is getting a new kidney tomorrow. I know this was discussed with him briefly over the weekend, but I’d ask each of you to pause for a couple minutes tonight and give him your thoughts and prayers. This really puts things in perspective.

    Eric – the Docs will have the game planned mapped out; they will stick to it; they are all veterans who do transplants (probably plural) every day. There won’t be any fumbles or missed field goals. Everything will go according to plan. Follow Doc’s rehab, and you be up and kicking in no time. No need to come to practice with a med mask on – you’re not JC!!

    Thoughts and prayers for a successful day tomorrow, and a speedy recovery!

    Stay thirsty, my friend!

    Savannah

    Liked by 9 people

    1. You kinda of beat to that message SP. Eric, you’re much loved and prayers will come all day long for you from so many of your new friends at the POV. I have great faith in your well being tomorrow. Now kick some ass tomorrow and when you wake up you get that butt in gear!!!!! << It can’t be said enough….

      Liked by 1 person

  40. First all on the POV are cheering for you tomorrow Eric. Our prayers for a successful operation and a speedy recovery.=====What play would you call? I didn’t answer on the thread yesterday but here is my answer. The ball was placed a shade inside the one(tail of the ball was touching the one yd line) with a first and goal to go. Evidently Narduzzi and Whipple for all their years of experience in this game has never seen the RB make an attempted leap/dive over the line. Even if our current RB’s were incapable of performing that attempt there has to be at least one athlete on this roster with the athletic ability to at least attempt to make that play. Paris Ford’s name comes to mind as a possibility. And you just don’t pull this play out of your hat since you should have practiced it prior to the season ever beginning. I’ve see this play many a time as it’s almost impossible to stop unless the defender times it almost perfectly against the leaper.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Unlike the taking away of the big runs, you need to consider some critical drops. Mack has compensated by winning a couple of spectacular 50/50’s, not sure about Ff

      And, when you throw as much as we do, you have to dial back the praise to total # of catches.

      Like

  41. I had the honor and pleasure of playing a round of golf with Eric recently. An experience that I thoroughly enjoyed.

    Thoughts and prayers and all the best to you Eric.

    Liked by 2 people

  42. Jumping in late on what is fixable. Would you trade in a top 10 volleyball team for a bottom of the barrel P5 football team? NO! Thinking that way gets you zero pride (although pitt fans are starving for anything good), zero donations, zero tie-in for the students to donate in the future. Only Pitt can have a top10 or 8 program and only have the parents show up for the game. Where is the attendance. Pitt’s AD and Dept is too late to jump on any ray of hope!! How did they not know before the season they would be so good. Compliance people trying to run a business, equals failure. And yes, hiring 8 new coaches should get you a bright coach. It’s the odds, not excellence. We’ve had 40 years of experience at this.

    Second, and noone has brought this up as of yet. I would love for the media to put pressure on narduzzi and ask this question. Of the 4 DB’s, which one was the weakest from Dairy? That is the one you attack 4 times. Which is the weakest DL? That is the one you attack 4 times. My guess is that our coaches did not evaluate their opponents players and say ok, if we need one yard, who do we go after!!! That is so belichick and it goes to coaches preparation. Our coaches did not prepare.

    Could Pitt run a play where our number 1 wr goes against their number 4 db? Design it! Could our best OL beat their worst DL…design it! Sport is about exploitation of the weaknesses of your opponent and capitalizing on it until it can be stopped. Luck is not a plan, nor is hope! Football is a game of 11 individual battles on each snap and two coaches against two coaches in the strategy of a play. Pitt should be able to figure out who their best players are and who they can exploit from their opponents team every week.

    Liked by 1 person

  43. No argument with Huff, but does anyone know whether the first play was a RPO? and KP made the wrong decision
    Was the Sibley missed block exactly that play the coaches had in mind. I believe both receivers were open enough to easily catch a decently thrown ball.

    I was in real time not OK with trying a FG, what about everyone else here? Truth plz…and I respect those that felt it was the right call,,,,I don’t see it at all. Narduzzi has shown he has the guts, just made this mistake and Kessman only added an exclamation mark.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I have been obsessively reading the message boards and twitter and I haven’t seen one person other than Narduzzi say he made the right call.
      I think it was the wrong call.
      But I do wonder if the game might have slightly changed if kessman didn’t doink it. That gave the crowd life and gave the ped offense a little less “game pressure.”
      But yeah he should have gone for the td on fourth

      Liked by 1 person

      1. ajs up above was good with it, and explained it well at 10:34 am

        I’m good with hearing anyone’s opinion, especially the opinion of someone being paid over 3M to give it. On this the 3M man was wrong.

        Like

  44. I made the obvious and trite comment in the prediction thread that PSU should win because of the better recruiting of linemen on both sides of the ball. I fear although trite and obvious, this game was the BEST example of how the game is won or lost in the trenches.

    I’m sure the recruiting folks are trying, but until Pitt gets some 4-stars on the OL it will always have limitations and losses. Pitt has done a much better job with its DL recruits so maybe their is hope , , , ,

    Like

  45. Liked by 1 person

  46. Dumb and Dumber?

    “We trusted that our defense was going to get a stop, we got the ball back with a minute-fifty, or whatever left. And we expect our offense to go down the field and score.”

    Pat Narduzzi

    Like

  47. BTW… in other Heinz Field news…

    Roethlisberger getting hurt was the BEST thing that ever happened to Tomlin.

    All of a sudden, this Season becomes a WASH.

    Missing out on Playoffs again WITH Roethlisberger would have started the Clock ticking.

    That CLOCK just got RESET at least a couple of years!

    Like

  48. It was the wrong call simply because we lost.
    We seem to lose a lot of games…has anyone else noticed?
    And more than that, we rationalize dubious success by saying we barely had anyone in the transfer portal And nobody has been arrested in a while And look at our graduation rates.
    We’ve been so mired in mediocrity that we look for platitudes to inspire us.
    SOP

    Liked by 1 person

  49. A quick note: Pitt has the best football team in Pittsburgh right now. Anyone here expect the Steelers to be 2-3 after their first 5 games? Didn’t think so….

    Like

  50. Like

  51. Note to the Athletic Department:

    Right now on ATT Sportsnet (Root Sports channel) they are airing a replay of the WVU-NC State football game.

    Huh?

    It’s like an insult to local Pitt fans.

    Go Pitt.

    Like

  52. PittofDreams, I was thinking the same thing about Tomlin! If the Steelers make the playoffs he will now be a hero!

    By the way, with Pitt losing 5 of its last 6 games, the claim that winning the Coastal was proof of progress is a bit of a stretch..

    Liked by 1 person

  53. The national media is crucifying Narduzzi. Just a bad image for Pitt. Good luck Pat trying to explain to recruits that you’re neither gutless or stupid and aren’t man enough to admit your mistakes.

    Liked by 1 person

  54. Got an e-mail from Pitt today thanking me for donating during the 2019 Pitt “Day of Giving.”

    Here’s what’s disappointing — of the total number of people who donated that day, which was over 6300, only 2500 were Pitt alumni…

    Much work to do…

    BTW, the e-mail was really to get an early head start on the next “Day of Giving” which is on Feb. 25, 2020.

    Go Pitt.

    Like

    1. thats less than 1% of all living alumni (350,000)
      Sports can help connect alumni back to the school
      Sports can help create good memories and improve the quality of the educational experience
      But what does Pitt know
      Alumni dont give for a reason
      When you’re treated like a number and not like family, you end up not caring
      When Pitt doesnt constantly engage you after graduating and treat you special, you dont give back
      Pitt is so stupid in some of the most basic things
      And running a multi million dollar sports business is way over their heads ad it clearly shows

      Like

  55. I’ll keep it brief since there probably isn’t any ground that hasn’t been turned over on this game.

    GOOD: Pickett to Mack, more production from the Tight End position, Redemption for Kirk C., DEFENSE

    BAD: Kessman, Goal line offense (deja vu all over again)

    UGLY: More headscratching game management decisions by the Pitt brain trust. (Also deja vu)

    Let me add my thoughts and prayers for Wlat/Eric. Hang in there brother, you got this!

    Liked by 1 person

  56. @Major – I said this when Pitt first went to the ACC. Our AD needs to put our games on the sunshine sports network in florida to help recruiting. Instead, the blundering fools allow wvu tech to buy time on our sports channels to help them stay relevant in pittsburgh and to wpial recruits. Fantas, get your fantas here!

    Liked by 2 people

  57. Eric… best of luck on your surgery. You are one of two miracles I know of. My friend Dan was in my prayers for 7 years waiting for a kidney. 4x a week for dialysis was killing him. Then out of nowhere a match and surgery in July. At age 68, He’s doing terrific post surgery and wishes you the best. Our prayers are with you tomorrow. Blessings and Peace!

    Liked by 1 person

  58. Thoughts and prayers Eric…looking forward to seeing you at the North Carolina game.
    I heard the single source of Coach Whipple’s unhappiness is Dan Rather. 😎

    Like

  59. DEFINITION: Same Old Pitt

    … bad coaching decision(s)
    … dropped passes
    … almost beat a ranked team
    … “proud of my boys – what an effort”
    … one year the running game is great, and the D sux – then,
    … next year, the D is great, and the running game sux
    … we just missed out on ANOTHER 4 star recruit and they signed with _____

    YIELDS: we chalk up ANOTHER item in the “L” column

    ==> and so it goes on, year after year

    What’s it going to take ….to break the cycle of madness?

    Like

  60. Excellent comments on this thread !! Many comments have completely nailed the Good, Bad, and Ugly . . . And maybe I missed it, but I would add into the Ugly slot —

    Dave Borbely’s total ineptitude as an OL coach. After all this time it is astonishing he has yet to grasp the concept that an OL has to both run block and pass block.

    Like

    1. an overreaction IMO …. for the 2nd year in a row, Borberly is dealing with 4 new starters. Last year’s team produced two 1,000 yard rushers; now Pickett just had his best passing game against a very good opponent.

      Next year, Borberly will finally get to work with an experienced line here at Pitt; we’ll see how inept he is then

      Like

  61. Narduzzi has been raked over the coals by the national sports media …. and with good reason.

    But on the other hand, you may have noticed that the sentiment is now that the rivalry should not be ended. I’m not talking about the usual intra-state banter between fans of the two schools, I’m referring to what I heard on ESPNU radio yesterday and a few discussions I saw on the TV.

    Then there was the graphic I saw constantly on Sat night while watching other games …. indicating that the 100 games series was going on hiatus. Why even write that other than inferring that the series shouldn’t end.

    I doubt if Pitt had absorbed another pasting, we would have seen anything like that

    Like

  62. As bad as the 4th down decision was to attempt the FG against PSU, I don’t think the call was as awful as the fake punt against ND last year where we used the doctored jersey and had Jeff George throwing the ball from 10+ plus yards behind the LOS. Narduzzi took a lot of heat after a nationally televised game then, too, and was able to rally his team and respond by going on a really good run after that. We can only hope that will happen again. Odds are against it, but the odds were insane last year too and we managed to do it.

    Like

    1. After this week, Pitt will likely start winning more games than losing, just like it has done for the past 2 years ….. in large part because the schedule gets easier. The OL will et better and so will the running attack but of course the team will pass more than last year.

      The fact remains that Pitt does very well against its peers (20-13 in the ACC since 2015).

      Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s a problem
      That’s on Narduzzi
      Or maybe he prefers a whiteout to the yellow color of empty seats
      Hopefully at least 40k show up this week

      Like

  63. MM

    Have to partially disagree with your Twyman assessment. I think folks are expecting too much from him with Pitt losing their other top two DLs (Weaver/Camp). The impact of their loss can’t be underestimated. That impact includes loss of depth which increases playing time for everyone, thus increasing fatigue. Also, having less talented players around you has a huge impact.

    I think the entire defensive line gets tired at times.

    Not sure Partridge can fix it this year. I think as players like Danielson and Bentley get better, Twyman will be more consistent. I believe there are only 4 players in that rotation right now with Watts.

    You want to see fatigue, get ready this coming weekend.

    Liked by 1 person

  64. For Pitt to win, they need to sustain drives and control the clock. That means they need a running game

    Don’t be tempted to engage in a shootout. Pitt will lose that gun fight. Kenny could pass for 500 yards and Pitt still loses 45-20.

    If Pitt finds a running game, Kenny continues to get better, Pitt’s D gets some turnovers, no sleeping pills are popped at half, Pitt will win a relatively low scoring game.

    Lots of ifs need to happen though

    And the biggest ‘IF’ is that Narduzzi will have guts and brains.

    Like

    1. Yeah Tex, many time a ton of passing yards do not end up in victory because you either have no running game or have fallen behind…it’s how many times you get the ball into the end-zone and through the up-rights that count in the bottom line…

      Like

    1. I know. Not ragging on the kid. Just was a perfect opening to rag on the coach I luv so much. I’m a small town boy who chose a city school. To each his own.

      Like

  65. GOOD:
    The OL, Borebly and Whipple should get credit for the pass protection. The scheme was good and the players delivered. Penn State has a very good front seven. One of the best. After getting run on against Buffalo they were not going to let that happen again. The wanted Pickett to beat them as they should have based on last year. Apparently Borebly can coach pass blocking, when he has an OC that knows how to properly spread the field. The scheme mixes the RB role, run, delayed run, stay in to block, delay route after chipping a rusher or going straight out on a pass route. Keeps the D guessing on the protection.

    The run game will come now that teams have to actually worry that Pitt can throw.

    BAD
    Giving up 3rd and longs on defense. Not just giving it up because PSU had the right call to beat the D, but giving them up because of missed tackles. That cost Pitt the game as much as anything.

    As mentioned, the dropped balls. AGAIN.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Notrock — good point about the missed tackles – though you do have to give some credit to the speediness of the opposing players in that game.

      Except for that one play, we really contained their burner (Hamler?) remarkably well, especially on kick returns. I bet he runs wild against many other teams the rest of this season…

      Another thought I had was that if one of our opponents RBs had come to Pitt, chances are they’d be the top dog here… Sometimes kids make strange choices which has a big effect on their opportunity to play…

      Go Pitt.

      Liked by 1 person

  66. I know Shockey has a lot of WRs ahead of him, but I was glad to see him get on the field.

    His speed is elite. I expect Coach Whip to find ways to use it.

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 1 person

  67. Anyone else think Salahuddin may have made a very big mistake?

    Ball control for PITT could be the key to this upcoming game.

    Not much talk about Paris Fords interception. Yeah that may have been interference on Bright but it was not a factor in the play. Ford is the real deal. Plenty chances coming this week.

    From the bizarro world and close to embarrassing and a true story. Last night I guess out of the blue I had this nutty little dream that only lasted a few seconds. PITT was getting a kickoff and I think it was Paris Ford back to receive it. He caught the ball and ran out of the end-zone and then punted the ball back to whatever team they were playing.. haha… It must have been all this discussion about “The Decision” What does this mean….. It’s been confirmed I’m NUTS!!!

    Thinking of Eric right now and all day!! JoeK and Dandy Dan as well…. good luck to all….

    Like

            1. I went outside………. looked up at the sky……. and saw it was a lovely day. I picked up my feet and I just walked away…….. You cannot win if you do not play…..

              Where is Whipple going? PITT kicked psu’s asses………. but they did lose the game, bummer but I’m over it.

              It’s not how many times you fall but how many times you get back up for the next fight!

              Like

  68. Tx, hate to correct you but you misspelled ignorance by spelling arrogance instead. and you also misspelled reality, it’s spelled and pronounced DENIAL! Look, here is right way to put it! …

    Yet Nitters will still be IGNORANT and look down on Pitt. They live in their own DENIAL

    Like

  69. Tx, I got my PITT Panther club membership card today and a nice window sticker that goes on the inside of our car. (no big wup) Wife says no way but I’ll get it on when she’s not looking. Point being, maybe your voice would be louder if you actually donated money in the first place and threaten to take it away if you are unhappy? No offense intended as I know you live far away from Oakland…….. jus saying.

    Prayers still go out for Eric!!

    Like

    1. My prayers go out

      Ike – only a massive decline in attendance or a revolt by the few whale boosters will result in change

      $ millions will buy you influence. I donate to soccer. I would donate to Victory Heights if approached or if a M P C is included.

      I just don’t throw good money after bad. Football is bad based on results, coaching, recruiting and playing off campus.

      Like

  70. Tx, I want to very clear here. I don’t blame you for anything and you have every right to express your opinion any which way you want, I’m with you buddy. It’s just my feeling is complaining about it on a blog is not exactly a grass root effort. If I live to next year I’ll show and prove to you that the process is working.. Just watch…

    Like

    1. My grass roots effort was an OCS. That was my passion. Right now, I’m just one of hundreds of other fans that dont attend games or donate to football anymore. But I’ll continue to comment since I like the banter and reading the different POV’s.

      In the end, I’m realistic enough to understand that real change wont happen unless there are economic ramifications. And again thats revenue from gate receipts and donations.

      Fans should never be blamed. The University needs to give me and other fans reasons to attend games and to donate. They have failed miserably over the past 40 years.

      I will continue to be a miserable old goat until I see real change and progress. Progress isnt losing 5 of your last 6 games in football. Progress isnt placing well last among P-5 schools in the Directors Cup and having 80 other non-P5 schools ahead of you.

      Like

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