Strategically, it was the right plan, and in more disciplined hands it just might have worked.

Rest your banged up starters for a meaningless game against a lesser opponent.  Save them for the upcoming ACC grind.

Get your backups some experience, and ride to an easy victory.

As if.

This is Pitt, remember.  Where at least once per year the fan base is brought to the most exuberant highs, only to have their hopes dashed upon the rocks of reality within the next seven days.

Shame on us for believing things would be different.  Shame on us for daring to think the program had turned the corner, because – at least based on last Saturday – it has not.

At the very least we know this team’s floor.

  • 13 penalties for -115 yards.  More on that later.
  • Two controllable turnovers – one a pass into double coverage, another where the ball was literally taken off of Maurice Ffrench’s arm.
  • 14 points given up, even though our opponent gained only 170 yards and rushed for 1.4 YPC
  • A secondary that looked lost during some of the biggest moments of the game.
  • A second string quarterback that displayed some nice touch on long balls, but clearly has a long way to go when it comes to reading a defense.  Patti struggled to connect on intermediate routes for most of the game, threw the aforementioned interception into double coverage, and had another pass bounce off the hands of the defender and fell harmlessly to the ground.  That one could have cost us the game.
  • An offense that totaled 443 yards and scored only 17 points…against a team that gave up 28 to Penn and 31 to Delaware State (who is 1-3 and has scored 21 points in three games since, by the way.)

It’s the lack of scoring and the penalties that are most concerning.  The scoring (I suppose) can be attributed to the fact that we started Patti, although if you take out the UCF game we haven’t scored more than 20 all season.  Still you’d like to think we’d developed enough depth to where our backup QB could lead the team to more than 17 against an overmatched defense.  Patti gets a pass though because a) it was his first start b) he’s just a redshirt freshman c) he was good when it really counted.  Technically speaking, Patti is 1 for 1 when it comes to fourth quarter comebacks.  He’s thrown as many TD’s In two games as Pickett has in four.  But…you’d ideally want him to be able to avoid the whole “we had to mount a comeback against an FCS team” thing in the first place.

The penalties on the other hand are inexcusable.  Some people are saying it was inexperienced guys that made the mistakes.  I wish that were the case.  In a fit of hapless desperation I detailed Saturday’s penalties one-by-one.  Read on at your own peril.

First Half Offensive Penalties (1):

  • Pitt went the entire first quarter without an offensive penalty
  • Pitt comitted one offenseive penalty in second quarter.  (Senior Jimmy Morrissey, false start, we got a first down on that series anyway)

Second half Offensive Penalties (6):

  • Senior Nolan Ulizio – False start on 4th and 4.  Forced us into a Punting situation (we had lined up to go for it…who knows if we would have made it)
  • Offensive holding on a touchback – Freshman AJ Woods.  Gets a bit of a pass because he’s a freshman, but anybody on the starting punt unit needs to be better than that.
  • Two penalities on the second half touchdown drive (“the second half touchdown drive” smh) – rJr Bryce Hargove holding on on 2nd 10 (negated 13 yard completion), and an ineligible man downfield (I don’t know who) on 2nd and 7, which was declined.  At the end of the day we scored on the drive because Patti connected on a long bomb to Mack.
  • Delay of game on 2nd to last possession.  I’m assuming this was intentional in order to give Christendoulu more room to work.  Moved us from the Delaware 39 to their 44.  The punt was downed at the 12.
  • Senior Nolan Ulizio False start in final drive of the game on 1st and 10 (got first down anyway…. Three Todd Sibley runs)
  • It does not take a genius to see that Nolan Ulizio screwed up in two key situations.  I don’t know how his blocking graded out on Saturday, but damn it Pat, you rolled the dice on a lot of backups.  Did you even think about giving Van Lynn a try?
  • Not a penalty but Senior Maurice Ffrench failed to cover the ball while fighting for extra yards on a WR screen, and he was stripped.  Led to second Delaware touchdown.  Again, not a penalty but an egregious mistake from an upperclassman that could have cost us the game.

First Half Defensive Penalties (4)

  • rSophomore Paris Ford Pass Interference on 1st and 10.  Was on Delaware’s 2nd possession of the day.
  • Senior Amir Watts Offsides on 4th and 3.  Same posession as Ford’s PI.  Delaware ultimately didn’t score.  Watts did split a sack with Twyman two plays later, so he did slightly redeem himself.  
  • Senior Dane Jackson Pass interference on 2nd and 8.  Delaware missed a field goal on that drive, thankfully.
  • Junior Damarri Matthis Defensive holding on 1st and 10.  This was the play right after the Patti interception.  Delaware scored a touchdown on the drive.
  • All of the defensive players that committed penalties in the first half are in their third year or better and have logged significant playing time all season.  Three of the four were defensive backs.

Second Half Defensive Penalties (2)

  • rSophomore Cam Bright Personal foul – out of bounds late hit after we stopped the Hens on 3rd and 1.  Delaware didn’t score on this drive, but they did march thirty more yards and flip the field.  This was arguably the most inexcusable penalty of the day.
  • Roughing the Kicker – Freshman Jared Wayne.  This is one penalty that I think was poorly called.  It was pretty clear that their punter took a dive.  Also it had no impact on the game.  Moved the Hens from 4th and 11 to 4th and 5.  They still punted.
  • rSophomore Paris Ford – Blown coverage (and complete cluelessness of where he should have been pre-snap) on Blue Hens touchdown.  Not a penalty, but and egregious and controllable mistake that could have cost us the game.  The Hens WR was uncovered and caught and easy TD.

In case you aren’t keeping score at home, a full ten of the thirteen Pitt penalties were comitted by third year or better players who have logged significant snaps this season.  There were also two egregious mistakes by players who are leaders on this team.  This is a very bad look, no matter how you slice it.

This is not going to be a hot take, but this starts with Narduzzi.  It’s his job to keep the squad focused heading into games like this.  He clearly failed.

And this may be a hot take.  It ends with the players.  Every single one of the upperclassmen listed above knows they are better than that.  Every.  Single.  One.  And at the end of the day the future of the program is largely in their hands.  They need to hold themselves and their teammates accountable, if not last week, then starting right now.

And so to sum it up, I’ll articulate what so many of us are thinking and feeling.  This team earned the nation’s respect ten days ago with their win over UCF.  That was tremendous and well-deserved.  However, thanks to the slop they put out on the field last Saturday, this team squandered the nation’s respect like a drunk squanders his wages.  And look, I know that these guys are just people, and lord knows we’ve all made mistakes.  The key is that the best of us have redeemed ourselves in time.  That is the mark of a person with character.  This team – from Narduzzi all the way down – has seven chances to redeem themselves.  Seven chances to prove they are a team with character.  Are they good enough to rise to the challenge?  We’ve seen the ceiling and it’s pretty damn magnificent.  Or will they continue to play Same Old Pitt, and play to the floor, squandering what could have been an outstanding season?

Time will tell, but – as usual with Pitt – we are back to one game at a time.  Good, bad or ugly.

Hail to Pitt

Michaelangelo Monteleone







134 thoughts on “MMQB – Delaware

  1. Hello all … this was published in error and will be published at 1 am tonight


    1. Excellent writeup Mike as I agree on almost all your points.—By the way the almost interception that bounced out of the hands of the Delaware D back actually bounced into Sibley’s hands and then we were unable to get the TD(got the FG) inside the 5 late in the half. Pitt’s offense is by far my greatest disappointment at this point in the season. I’m extremely disappointed in Whipple’s play calling especially having to watch Ffrench catch about 7 balls a game 2 yards behind the line of scrimmage. It almost seems to me at times like Watson has returned to call the plays once again for Pitt as I’m seeing little difference in the O plays called this year versus last year. There is an exception to the last sentence and that’s I have little faith in our OL executing any run play dialed up by Whipple, last year the opposite was true.


  2. Good take michael

    The Duke game looms large. Dare I say a must win.

    Will probably be a close game and Pitt’s second half 💤 and the kicker inconsistencies are troubling.

    My money is on Duke. Pitts coaching is too erratic this year and the players play like it.

    I don’t have a newborn keeping me up like you michael. I’m part 🦇

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Great job Mike, you’re really getting into this thing…. Good points all the way around and at the end of the day you’re completely right. The Delaware game is just a disappearing image in the back taillights. No one will care about the score come seasons end. It’s on to Duke now!!

    I’m a believer that what happens, happens for a good reason. Got all those penalties and mistakes out of the way to go along with a victory. That doesn’t happen all the time. Narduzzi keeps things close to his vest to a fault. This weeks game against the Dookies will be a tough one on the road. Bring it on home guys and gals. We have a game to get ready for!!


  4. Well, So much for staying unplugged. I’m in Budapest reading all about a game that I’ve seen too often in the past.

    I supposed most fans have knee jerk reactions one way or the other, but getting cocky after a game or too is beyond silly. I still have seen nothing to change my preseason predictions.

    Pitt teams year after year are like a jigsaw puzzle with a couple of pieces missing ( apologies to JC). Never a whole team , and that leads to ups and downs. I was giddy after the UCF win, but to think it’s repeatable all year, well, it’s like the duffer who pounds one 280 and thinks all of a sudden he’s found the magic and can do it consistently. Get a grip.

     Mrs. JoeKnew says I now seriously have to unplug. Later.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. GOOD – RB Sibley

    WR T.Mack

    QB Patti in his first start

    D sack attack

    DC Bates and DL Partridge

    Rest for the banged up players

    BAD – the performances and leadership of the 3 Captains

    Duzz’s FG choices – passed on a 46 yarder, but attempts a 57 yarder???

    Cam Bright’s late hit out of bounds

    P.Ford looking lost on the Delaware TD pass

    Lack of use for A.Mathews

    The continuing presence of the dropped pass – way too many

    Miami Herald with a better post-game write-up than either Pittsburgh rag

    UGLY – Kessman yipes

    Punt & kick returns (time for a change – if the SR captain is not the answer, there are plenty of options)

    Use of TO’s by Duzz

    RT Ulizio (try using an underclassman)

    Losing the turnover battle again!

    NOTE TO OTHERS: I see no resemblance of Watson in Whipple’s play calling. Ffrench needs to break “something”, lyke a tackle. Whipple is putting the O in a position to succeed. The players need to execute.


    Liked by 3 people

    1. Erie, hard to disagree with any of your points. I’ll add just two comments: 1. What would the yardage that Sibley gained (>100yds) have been if either/both of the Davis twins had played? More, less, the same?
      And 2. You mentioned the bad ”leadership” of the captains. Sorry, I just didn’t see ANY leadership from them. 🥴


  6. EE – spot on. We can’t keep blaming the O coordinator year after year. The truth is we have very little ACC level talent on offense. One or two, sure, but by and large you have MAC level talent and especially along the offensive line. The defense (despite some mistakes Saturday) is keeping us limping along. Sure, you can have a UCF game once in a while, but by and large this team can’t score. Not because the O coordinator is stupid, but because of lack of talent. I assume you’ve watched at least parts of games for Duke, Syracuse, Clemson and Duke. Far superior athletes on offense. I’m not sure I see an answer for this in the FR and Res FR classes or the recruiting pipeline – again relative to our top ACC competition. Let’s forget ever competing with Clemson – that’s crazy. But is it impossible to think we can compete with Duke and North Carolina in football?


    1. This is an absurd post. Compete with Duke? We are 5-1 against them since joining the ACC. Syracuse has far superior athletes? 5-1 against them as well.

      Liked by 4 people

  7. Whipple’s play calling was fine given the circumstances. They will work on discipline this week to avoid penalties. But as I said before, players win games and Pitt needs more of them, especially on offense. French is used out of the backfield instead of running backs, but can’t break a tackle. Pitt is continuing to try to put a square peg in a round hole.


  8. EE, good comment on WR Matthews… with a passing OC I am in the camp that he just isn’t a D1 talent…. rarely targeted during his career….I think we can all agree the recruitment on the O side especially the OL andTEs has not been up to par


    1. Not sure that I buy that Matthews isn’t a D1 talent. For me the head scratcher on Mathews is that it would seem like he has the physical tools. You don’t hurdle two guys and keep running (UCF game) if you don’t. Maybe he’s not fast? Maybe doesn’t run the best routes? Maybe he doesn’t have the best hands? He’s never going to displace taysir, and we all know what Ffrench brings to the table, but you’d think AM would get featured a bit more based on his clear cut size advantage and the fact that he seems like a pretty damn good athlete

      Liked by 2 people

      1. You made my argument for me … he certainly isn’t an elite receiver in this weak Coastal…you have to get open… he did have one game last year when he caught 5-6 balls but nothing the was highlight material…


        1. Ah yes the getting open part is kind of a big deal. It was the Norte dame game last year. He caught a bunch of slant routes. I haven’t watched enough film on him this year to comment on whether or not he gets open but you would assume if he was open he’d get more balls thrown his way


  9. Good: The W, playing time/game experience for Patti, Sibley, and many overall.

    Bad: Way too many dumb penalties, Kessman

    Ugly: Game management decisions (again). There are some strange ducks coaching college football (Harbaugh, Chip Kelly, and Mike Gundy come to mind), but is there any other head coach in college football who seems to make so many head-scratching decisions week after week?


  10. Don’t blame the back-ups; blame the lack of focus.

    13 penalties at home on Saturday, yet only 2 at Happy Valley in front of 107K hostile. THAT’S FOCUS!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. The Good:

    We won, Patti’s overall play, especially the last two completions when the game was on the line, Sibley’s 4th qtr. 65 yds. the front seven. Hopefully we lulled Duke to sleep.

    The Bad:

    Whipple’s game plan with a new QB, and the inability or even attempt to establish any running game early, Patti’s INT’s and FFrench’s fumble. Failure to include last week’s hero into this weeks game plan.

    The Ugly:

    The overall lack of focus that resulted in 115 yds of penalties, the completely blown end zone coverage, Kessman’s continued woes


  12. Thanks for the great post MM.

    Good. We won with a whole host of “fill in ” players. We came back again from being behind late in a game. Mack and Sibley and Patti (most of the time). Our defensive play as a whole.

    Bad. Our failure to dominate offensively at the line of scrimmage—until late in the game when Delaware was finally worn down.

    Ugly—The penalties. Especially Cam Bright’s hit out of bounds.


    Liked by 1 person

  13. The other good news is that we were able to rest guys that needed it. The real question is how many of those guys really couldn’t go if really needed and how many will be available this week? Especially, how bad is KP’s throwing arm? Pinnock’s hammy?

    There is no doubt that the team was due for a let down after the first four and especially the big win. Pretty much impossible to maintain that level of adrenaline. At least this year it was against a so-called cupcake and not Miami last year after clinching the Coastal.

    Back to business this week, Duke is coming off the high of dominating Va Tech. It should be a slugfest. Hopefully we get the KP from the PSU and UCF games and not the VA game. Our O-line had a fairly big drop-off last week and that can’t happen again. Duke has a solid short passing game so our D needs to tackle well.

    Will this be the week we learn how to finish drives? Wasn’t Duke the scene of Kessman’s biggest game? It will be nice if we don’t need him. Let’s hope Sibley has earned some more carries, he seems to be our back most likely to break a tackle.

    There will be no lack of focus this week,

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Pinnock will sit this week to rest the hammy for another 2 weeks (counting bye week) – no drop off with Mathias as the starter.


  14. Some other good news is getting Patti a whole game of experience in case he is needed later this year.
    When is the last time Pitt had a back up ready to go. Peterman is the only one that comes to mind.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Pitt is 2-2 against BCS schools. Competitive losses to UVA and PSU. A big win against UCF. The defense has proven very legit. The offense has shown a propensity for yards but not points. The defense played well against Delaware and the offense gained some yards but struggled to score. See where I’m going with this? Just a continuing trend on the season. It should not be a surprise that Pitt had the same problems with the B-team. A big part of the issue is that Duzz did not prepare fans for the B-team. Had we known who Duzz was going to roll with most of us probably would have tempered expectations. Not to the point we needed to temper them to, but tempered none-the-less.

    Hopefully, the points starting raining down but 5 games in that is looking less and less likely. I have a feeling Pitt will be in a few more 24-21 type games. Luckily, they have a remaining schedule to survive that.

    I don’t care about the running game. I honestly don’t. Run enough to keep the safeties honest and I’m cool as long as they’re moving the ball and scoring points. I don’t care about ToP. It’s a dead stat from the 20th century. Tempo, big plays, and points are how you judge 21st century offenses. That’s all I care about on offense. I don’t care if those big plays come from the backs or the wide receivers.

    Get bigger plays out of the passing game and Pitt’s offense will have bigger holes for the backs. The passing game opens up the running game with this offense … but you have to score points for that to happen.

    Is Pitt going to run the table? Yeah, right. Is the schedule there to run the table? Heck, yes! Every game is winnable. If Pitt’s mission is to win the Coastal again, they will have to run the table. I don’t think UVA will lose more than two ACC games, which means Pitt has to lose less due to the tie breaker.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I said “I” don’t care about the run game. I also said “Tempo, big plays, and points are how you judge 21st century offenses” which all three schools you mentioned do … even Alabama has upped it’s tempo to keep pace with Clemson. I also said “I don’t care if those big plays come from the backs or the wide receivers”.

      The point being … tempo, big plays and points are the name of the game … who cares where they come from?


  16. THE GOOD:
    A PITT win
    The D-line
    Players rested
    Players getting experience
    Todd Sibley

    THE BAD:
    Still not finishing drives
    Still not enough points in either half
    Lack of focus all around

    Penalties, penalties and more penalties!
    Narduzzi not having his team ready to play hard through 4 quarters

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Good:Sibley looked to play the part well in the 4th quarter…maybe he’s a dude that improves with more carries…maybe the O lone blocks better with more frequent power runs….I just don’t see FFrench and L’Vique and RB’s..sorry…

    We were rolling and could have score again but Duzz chose to end the game at the 1:50 mark..I agree.

    I agree on letting Alex try to hit the big one…he is about 50-50 on those bombs and would have been an immediate morale booster for him and us…can’t remember the 47 yarder he didn’t try,…but I am focused on the Duke game…should be a great game….

    Patti is serviceable.

    Bad: too many 0-5 yard passes and none be broken for longer gains…too many side to side slow developing running plays …looks like some are getting their wishes and we are morphing into a spread offense,,,

    ffrench not getting many chances to return balls..he has dropped a couple of punts now a fumble due to poor ball protection…reminding me more of Q Henderson who left the ball on the ground way too often…probably had as many fumbles lost as he had run-backs for TD…

    Ugly: sloppy play and seems like some on here don’t appreciate a win..sure beats a loss…

    Finally, its time to do away with refs…a bunch of slow old men trying to keep up with fast young bucks..too many review time-outs along with commercial time-outs take a lot of joy of watching the game away at least for me when it was non-stop action and bad calls seemed to work themselves out….every play is recorded anyway..someday it will happen…..

    Liked by 1 person

  18. The GOOD…

    Despite Narduzzi setting the table for Delaware… Pitt did not lose to Delaware.

    The BAD…

    Narduzzi set the table for Delaware.

    The UGLY…

    The way the Game looked. This is despite having a Back-up Quarterback actually prove MORE efficient passing the football than your Starting Quarterback and a Back-up Running Back actually racking up MORE yards than your Starting Running Backs.

    But, hey… it was Delaware!


    1. I also agree on Ffrench being a disappointment so far this season. If he’s not suitable as a slot receiver then I’d bench him. I’ve seen enough of Shocky(pretty electric) on the jet sweeps that I’d like to see him paired up with Mack as our WR combo. Shocky has the speed to give us a little glimpse of Weah’s gave Pitt on the down field pass plays.


      1. Games like the Delaware game I just want to see a guy like French make a play for his team. Punt or kickoff return, break off a big play etc. instead he makes maybe the biggest bad play of the game.
        He is a great talent but just hasn’t taken over any games yet.


    1. Also … and this is the point I was trying to make earlier. D1 talent and D1 skills are two different things. Based on “the hurdle” and a couple of recent punt blocks (he got a finger on one against the hens) he’s got a ton of physical talent. (Or at the very least enough to be relevant)

      But has he refined the technical skills to be relevant is the question ? (Eg route running / hands / things that can be worked on and improved)


  19. Aaron Matthews is the type of player that makes a good team even better… In PITT’s case he might be making a decent team into a good team.


  20. OK, I’ve thought on this for a little bit and here’s what I came up with…. Not only did PITT sit down some banged up players but they also left the playbook they are going to use against Duke in the dressing room as well. Maybe the one pass to V Carter for the TD, which they had to have, it was vanilla all the way… Narduzzi is weird and paranoid to a fault!


  21. POVerts..let’s not go back to the film room and review tape on our Delaware performance…got to get focused on the Duke Blue-blood Devils…My buddy Coach Jerry McGee isn’t on the planet to have my annual Duke week visit with this year…he was one of a kind…told me Ditka was the toughest and meanest player he ever went up against. …RIP Jerry McGee and I hope we beat your butts…..


      1. You know who else is tough. Vince Davis. That guy weighs like 165 lbs soaking wet and busts it up inside their with no fear. None.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Yeah Michael, you’re right on Pickett and V Davis for sure. My mind was more on who wouldn’t you want to mess with tough… But those two are tough as this whole PITT team is. An interesting comment from Jaylan Twyman the other day about basketball and why he quit playing. Paraphrasing here but he said something along the lines of scoring two pts per game getting 20 rebounds and thrown out of most games for fighting. and he talks so respectfully and soft…….


    1. You are correct on small sample size & opponents. But just looking at stats & results. Patti & Pickett both have the same completion percentage (60%) & TD’s (3). Patti’s passing efficiency rating is better 140.0 vs. Pickett’s 116.7.

      Don’t say Patti is better on stats, so start him. The level of completion is not the same. Pickett starts if healthy.

      Liked by 1 person

  22. As for toughest or meanest Player…

    The question is… On or off the field? Can be two completely different things.

    On the field… I’d throw Jones II in the mix.

    Off the field?

    I’m sure the Players know who is and who isn’t. And we’d probably be surprised.

    My experience has been the REAL tough guys don’t act tough.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. I thought Patrick Jones was last year..haven’t seen too much out of him this year but looked like he had a decent game on Saturday…what I can’t stand is mean and stupid…. like that late hit out of bounds against Delaware and I think watts picked a carolina player up body slamming him and giving the heels a first down which lead to a TD…No Hugh Greens or even a Zeke Gadson spotted by my eyes yet…time to “go mean” on the dookies…


    1. How about the Italian Haba? – true Freshman making some noise at DE. And the ex-Rutgers TE has a tough, mean streak that we need to see more of – but no more drops…

      How about on the coaching side – Pappy Whip?

      Last year’s player would be hands down George “the Animal” Aston.


      Liked by 2 people

    1. We did ok vs. Daniel Jones the last 2 years…O has to move the ball and score 4 TDs. the D needs to show up in force and be very physical and unpredictable,,,,Duke loses to physical teams..much like BigB, the Dookies have a soft underbelly !!!

      Liked by 3 people

  24. B, that’s why I used the term nasty considering Jones and Watts. Jones is having a good enough year with Weaver out. Rashad and Keyshon injuries still hurt despite the success of the D-Line so far this season. Great job Charlie!!


  25. Exactly we have no idea of how badly Pickett, Pinnock and V Davis(cast on arm) are banged up going into this week’s game. And even if those three mentioned play we have no idea at what level they will be playing at. I certainly wouldn’t be looking to see too much from Pickett on any scrambling running plays this coming week. And by the way that element(QB running) was missing in the Delaware game. And IMO this Pitt offense needs all phases of it’s game in top form based on how little production we are getting from them thus far.


  26. Good: Pitt won. My cha-cha, swing, and rumba dancing at the wedding. 😊

    Bad: Trying to follow the game while attending a wedding – and the news being mostly bad… The wedding DJ.

    Ugly: My polka dancing… 😳

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Haha your polka dancing was still better than that 13 penalty debacle. You picked the right game to miss

      Liked by 2 people

  27. Good:
    Defense – without some key players. Good game plan.
    Sibley ran hard and looked like he had some power.
    Patrick Jones played outstanding. He is 3rd in the country for edge defenders in QB pressures. His sacks will come.

    V’lique Carter at RB. I think his ypc ended up good but he had at least three carries for zero yards because he tried to bounce it in another direction. Sibley would have had positive yards on every one of those plays.

    Cam Bright should have never seen the field after his out of bounds hit. Watts should not have seen the field after jumping off sides on the 4th down. Stupid plays deserve some form of discipline.

    The most frustrating part of the game for me was after Pitt got the lead. They played not to lose instead of playing aggressively to win. They were one Delaware long pass from getting tied.

    Look at this sequence with over 8 minutes left in the game. They run on 3rd and 6, obviously settling for a punt. Moronic. After this sequence, Mathis saved the day with a great play defending a long pass down the sidelines. There was no safety help on the play.

    1st and 10 at DELAWARE44 Sibley, Todd rush for 4 yards to the DELAWARE40
    2nd and 6 at DELAWARE40 Sibley, Todd rush for no gain to the DELAWARE40
    3rd and 6 at DELAWARE40 Sibley, Todd rush for 1 yard to the DELAWARE39
    4th and 5 at DELAWARE39 PENALTY UP delay of game 5 yards to the DELAWARE44.
    4th and 10 at DELAWARE44 Christodoulou punt 32 yards to the DELAWARE12, downed.

    Same moronic sequence with almost 4 minutes left. Sure the run on 3rd and 6 makes them use a timeout but you are willingly giving them the ball back. Luckily they roughed the punter.

    1st and 15 at UP47 Sibley, Todd rush for 6 yards to the DELAWARE47
    2nd and 9 at DELAWARE47 Sibley, Todd rush for 3 yards to the DELAWARE44
    3rd and 6 at DELAWARE44 Timeout Delaware, clock 01:43.
    3rd and 6 at DELAWARE44 Sibley, Todd rush for 4 yards to the DELAWARE40
    4th and 2 at DELAWARE40 Timeout Delaware, clock 01:30.
    4th and 2 at DELAWARE40 Christodoulou punt 39 yards to the DELAWARE1, downed, PENALTY DELAWARE roughing the kicker (Matt Palmer) 14 yards to the DELAWARE26, 1ST DOWN UP, NO PLAY.

    This philosophy will cost them a game if it continues.


    1. Yes, thus my conclusion about Whipple’s offensive play calling. But maybe the blame should be directed at Narduzzi in this instance for directing Whipple to do so. Narduzzi always thinks his defense can rescue the day. Do we need any proof on that matter when he chose to go for the FG(at PSU) at the one yard line down 7 with a little over 4 minutes to go in the game?


  28. To say Patti looks as good or better than Pickett is really not accurate, imo. Pickett is banged up, he could have really padded his stats this past week and when the final gun goes off at the end of the season, no one will remember he didn’t play in this game and could have thrown for 400 yards if PITT wanted him to. Narduzzi is not interested in statistics and how to make one or two players look good on paper. He’s more about winning games any which way he can. Just another reason I don’t trust stats. The psu QB threw for a zillion yards against a team called Idaho State. KP sat for the Delaware game. Stats…………….. pfft!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Here is what I saw of Patti:

      Much better deep ball than Pickett. Put a lot of air under it and accurate
      Less arm strength – which probably helps with the above, ironically
      Quicker release but unorthodox throwing motion
      Locks into receiver – meanwhile Pickett has started to look at 2 and 3 option
      …as a result Patti has pretty poor completion % on his intermediate throws. He’s not taking what the D is giving him
      Happy feet. Left the pocket instead of climbing it a couple of times
      When the #1 receiver is open does a good job of getting it to him – TD to Mack
      Better touch than Pickett on short passes

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Not really enough to judge Patti on.

        I don’t think he throws a better deep ball. Well, we only have two throws to Mack to base it on. The first was short, the second perfect.
        Agree, no where near the arm strength which kind of worries me for the future. You float the ball, it gets picked off.
        He also missed terribly on some short throws.


        1. Yes I agree , one game against an FCS secondary does not a full evaluation make. I think we all agree that KP is the clear cut #1

          Liked by 2 people

      2. The pass where the UD LB deflected and Sibley caught it was a perfect example of what Patti was doing most of the day. There was zero pressure and zero pocket collapse. He chose to exit the pocket which created brief pressure from the DE who was initially sealed to the outside. He was late to see a wide open receiver. The receiver, seeing Patti scramble toward the sideline, then broke toward the sideline as well to give NP someone to throw to. Unfortunately for NP, he had just decided to throw the ball to a receiver that was no longer in the same spot. At the same time, the LB decided to go cover the open receiver who was now moving to a new spot. Had NP held the ball another second, the receiver would have re-emerged from coverage. The ball should have been picked- and probably would be against better competition. We were fortunate the ball was deflected to where our guy could make a play on it.

        Liked by 1 person

  29. Some Random Thoughts:

    MM – Agree the penalties were out of control, and agree the fault rests on Coach Narduzzi; that said, the punter took a dive on a play where it seemed obvious he was not even touched despite the ref standing right next to him watching! And 2 or 3 of those “interference calls” were bogus. Even if you take away, conservatively, 3 bad calls, we still had way, way too many penalties.

    One positive in my opinion was playing Patti and getting him some legit experience, although it does make me wonder how ‘banged up’ KP was.

    Outstanding point MM re Van Lynn in place of Ulizzio, it’s not like there’s much if any differential in talent anyway. Narduzzi really blew that opportunity in my opinion. Nice catch MM!

    By not starting KP & both Davis’ (not that Sibley is a drop off), and who knows who else, I think you are sending a message to your team to take it easy, slack off. It’s no different than the old “prevent defenses” NFL teams used to run, it sets a mentality of softness. You can bark all you want about how good Delaware is, one game at a time, blah, blah, blah. The fact of the matter was that Pitt was going to take this game lightly anyway just due to human nature, and you throw in subs to play the whole game and it sets things to a new low in terms of effort and focus.

    Now we walk into a game with a team that has an extra day of rest, by all accounts is well coached, in a game I would’ve figured we lose even before the Delaware debacle. I sure hope we see a remarkable turnaround.

    By the way, what happened to all those talented young receivers? Nobody is making a dent…. I would think getting some short or slant passes to Shocky would at least be worth at try…


  30. Getting the ball into Shocky’s hands in any way besides just the jet sweep should be front and center. As Ike previously posted let’s hope some of the dismal play calling(my words not Ike’s) was by design prior to the upcoming Coastal competition games.


  31. Good, bad, ugly. The only thing that matters is Pickett able to start at Duke. From Duzz presser today, maybe not. Ugh.


    1. I just hope Kenny did not sustain a partial acromioclavicular joint separation… Where the collarbone joins the shoulder blade.


      1. Well that is some medical jargon there Biggie. I heard that KP had a Viagra stuck in his throat and had a stiff neck?? Either that or a hangover???? It’s a joke folks…..

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Duzz being Duzz – now Duke must prep for either KP or Patti – more work for the blue devils.

      Meatballs for dinner tonight. I’ll throw some mean Italian Haba sauce in for sure.

      Wish I could be in Durham for the game –

      The Panthers will exorcize the blue devils on their home turf.

      Pitt pulls even at 1-1 in the Coastal race to catch the Hoos…

      Take the 6 and bank it.


      Liked by 4 people

      1. I don’t see any difference in preping for either Pickett or Patti except that a healthy Patti is less likely to run with the ball versus a healthy Pickett.


        1. You don’t see a difference in prepping for a QB with one game of experience versus a QB with over one season of experience?

          I would expect KP to recognize defenses a tad quicker and know a tad quicker where to go with the ball. And KP has shown some excellent instincts lately for moving in the pocket to extend plays.

          It also bothers me that in the few re-plays I saw, some of Patti’s passes had a lot of wobble in them… To his credit, the game-winning TD pass had some mustard though…

          Go Pitt.


    1. Weah was noted for dropping a few passes at first and did much better in his last years at Pitt. Didn’t Weah get a shot in the NFL?


      1. Weah signed as a FA for the Texans last year and may have made their practice squad. But I don’t see him listed this year


  32. Pitt & the Steelers have something in common this week. Lose and you have very little to no chance to win the division or win the Coastal. Win and you actually have a decent chance and still control your own destiny.

    That’s my Good, Bad & Ugly summation for both teams.


  33. Another “Bad” callout is Graggs. We was clueless in multiple formations and did not know where to line up and once didn’t know his motion. If the backup RS Freshman is telling an two year starting upperclassman, we have a problem. Gragg should not be on the field. Think he also had a key drop.


  34. Makes more sense now that Whipple didn’t dumb down the playbook for Patti if KP is really hurt.

    Good news is the bye week follows Duke.


  35. Has anyone ever noticed that when you attend a football game in person that becomes over 3 plus hours long the game seems to go on forever……………… but watching from home on a large screen TV, time is not a factor at all? Thins that make you go hmmmmmmm

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Maybe that is because the world as we normally see it–what we might call, “the real world”–is rather slow. TV is like the computer–the images quickly change, constantly super-imposing. Things appear and disappear into thin air. The mind is constantly being fed information to process. There is not much time to think and reflect, unless you space out. In fact, one thing we never watch is someone else watching TV. TV is like a black hole that speeds up the mind.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Tv timeout and you can occupy yourself by a trip to the kitchen- frig…. no break in the continuity… way better than watching Heather give out awards, FG kicking contests, old slums being honored .. you get my drift .. just sitting there and bearing witness to aggravations…

      Liked by 1 person

  36. Good
    – just win baby!!
    – at least knowing Patti is “serviceable” but I wouldn’t want a steady diet yet
    – Hopefully KP learned the benefit of putting some air under a long pass
    – Sibley ran hard and was effective when there was a crack at the line
    – Pitt’s D continues to be its best and brightest hope, WWWD (what would Weaver do)

    – 13 mistakes, and most of them mental, HCPN et al to blame for missing focus
    – like most QBs starting first game, first option was only option
    – dropped passes, dropped passes, dropped passes
    – throwing into coverage repeatedly, if this continues bring on Beville/George
    – the injury damage of the UCF game, my goodness what a M.A.S.H. unit

    – HCPN decisions are questionable bordering on nonsensical
    – holding my breath every time Kessman is on he field is not good for my heart


  37. Thought I heard on the FAN today that Dooz said he didn’t know Pickett wasnt going to play vs Delaware…I could have heard it wrong, was doing yard work.


    1. Patti said that he didn’t know he was starting until 45 minutes before the game — although he knew there was a chance it would happen


  38. If we get crushed by Duke, I’m going to ask this Narduzzi question.

    Re: Delaware
    Your the HC, how in the hell do you not know your starting QB isn’t going to play, 5 minutes to game time ? There’s that attention to detail thing!!


      1. Normally I’d say not to worry because Pitt will not win. However I have a feeling on this game.
        So….. my question if that happens…”Coach Duzz, what did you finally say, yell or threaten to get Mr. ego Whipple to just run the ball vs Delaware?”


  39. Pitt added a sixth offensive lineman in the fourth quarter and that’s when the running game started to click.
    Riddle me this: why didn’t they start the game with this, eating clock and gaining yards against an inferior opponent, especially when starting a new qb?
    Did it really require 3+ quarters to figure this out?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Gasman – I was able to see some of the first quarter and noticed that Van Lynn was in as an extra OLineman on one series. It didn’t help the run game but #59 was in there…

      Go Pitt.


    2. Besides the obvious “hey this means we are going to run” signal I completely agree. Of course that Wiley old fox whipple could also draw up a pass play or two out of this formation…


      1. Maybe a pass to one of the tackles.

        Maybe that is why Ulizio is hanging on to the starting RT job – he has the best hands?

        Demolish Duke in Durham!

        Liked by 1 person

  40. Way OT: “California just passed a law that allows college athletes to get paid.” Who knows what this will mean in the long run, but Stanford, USC, UCLA, etc. might be getting better? BTW, the “pay” would only be for such things as the use of their images, etc. for advertising. Maybe they’ll only be recruiting the 5-stars who would most likely attract advertisers. Heck, might help is out since we don’t get any 5 stars—we just can’t play any California teams.


  41. Julius Page has a daughter named Perri Page who is a Soph BB player at Char Valley.

    Duquesne just offered her a BB scholarship. Be interesting to see if Pitt offers…

    Go Pitt.


  42. Guys, it’s late and I’m sure your wives have tucked you all in.

    When you wake up this Saturday, you will stress over Pitt vs Duke, Duke vs Pitt. Just remember that in the upper echelon of college football, Duke is a foot stool to the Alabama’s, who rang up 42-3, looked across the field at a deer-in-the-headlights Coach Cutcliff and called off the dogs. How us oldsters simply can’t give up on the Sherrill era.

    Good night..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Pitt was ‘dirty’ in the Jackie era. Paterno knew it and so did Bozik. When Pitt let Sherrill walk, it was the day Pitt football died. Beano predicted it. Pitt was elite for that brief yet shining moment in history.

      20 years later Pitt stadium is torn down and football moves off campus. 20 years after that and we still only have one ten win season.


  43. ACC Defensive Team of the Week #5, DE P Jones. DE H Baldonado, DT J Twyman. Three of the top 4 defensive line positions of the week go to Pitt. How about RS Freshman Baldonado getting this honor very early in his Pitt career!!!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Baldonado was a great recruit. He is big and super athletic.

      Pitt only loses Watts after this year. The D line for next year will be ridiculous, even with all those crappy three star guys. 🙂

      Liked by 3 people

  44. pertaining to the new law allowing California colleges to pay athletes …

    The good news is that it shouldn’t have any affect on Pitt athletics

    The bad news is that it shouldn’t have any affect on Pitt athletics

    Liked by 1 person

  45. Doesn’t matter what the new California law allows. If the NCAA doesn’t allow it, it can’t happen. They would never permit schools in one state to pay and not all the others. Plus, everyone knows California is out of control, LOL.

    Kind of like pot being legal in many states but corporations will still fire folks for failing a drug test.


  46. for those who didn’t watch the Steelers last night ..

    1) there was a segment where they showed a few pictures of J Conner and T Boyd together in Pitt uniforms (block not script) but it was a positive

    2) the Steelers looked to have a Matt Canada influence with several jet sweeps using shovel passes as well as using the Wildcat information 8 times. And the 2 principles involved were RBs J Samuels and J Conner … both who played under Canada in college.

    In fairness, the Wildcat was first used by Pitt back in 07 out of desperation with Shady as the QB and LSH as the sweeper …. after the Kevan Smith experiment went kaput. But that was just for one game

    Liked by 1 person

  47. Well, Posvar was never going to pay anyone at Pitt $1M per year let alone a athletic dept employee back in the ’80s.

    We may see a Pitt win this week but I think the other NC team we play will beat us once again.

    We sit at 3-2 but I still see us at 6 or possibly 7 wins. Our offense has been pretty bad so far save for passing yardage. But when you rack up yardage and don’t score it’s a problem. Note our passing offense is 36th (good) but our passing efficiency sucks at 95th and scoring is very poor at only 19.2 ppg.

    KP’s rating is a bad 119.5 and he sits at 105th out of 124 QBs listed…three TD passes accounts for that as well as poor yards per completion at 10.9 and yards per attempt at 6.2…both well below what we will need in ACC play. This also accounts for our 35% 3rd down conversion rate (98th nationally)

    Averaging only 12 ppg against P5 teams is scary also.

    Stat Rank Value
    Total Offense 75th 404.4
    Rushing Offense 100th 126.0
    Passing Offense 36th 278.4
    Team Passing Eff 95th 123.05
    Scoring Offense T-118th 19.2

    We really have to run better.

    The better news is our defense is the best it has been since PC’s 2012 team that gave up only 21.2 ppg. Interesting, and winning, season so far but hard to get a handle on just how good we actually are.

    Liked by 1 person

  48. I agree with you Reed that it is hard to get a handle on this team but I guess that’s the way its been ever since Narduzzi rode into town. Then the one chance to rack up some points against Delaware comes along and 7 starters are sitting down including the only QB with any experience at all. I maintain that the best defense is a good offense that controls the clock and field position. Case in point, Franklin racked up 69 points in psu’s first game of the season. It askew’s the stats for the whole rest of the year.

    Will PITT beat Duke on Saturday? No one knows but it should be a good game to watch. I only hope that the injuries were minor and PITT gets the players back that sat last week.


  49. Posvar was never going to allow a coach to make three times his salary

    Personally I think University Presidents and Chancellors are vastly underpaid.


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