On the way back to the tailgate on Saturday, one of the POV’ers suggested I rename this piece “the cardiac kids.”  I don’t disagree.  Over the past three games Pitt has a displayed a unique talent for dominating the first half of play, making just enough mistakes to let their opponent take a small lead in the fourth quarter, and then rallying for a last second win.

Is it maddening?  Yes.  Is it entertaining?  Absolutely.

It’s also unsustainable.

But lets not worry about that right now.  We snatched victory from the jaws of defeat (after we had nearly snatched defeat from the jaws of victory…) on Saturday and now Pitt sits at 4-2 at the midpoint of the season.

Here are my goods, bads and uglies from the game.

Good:

The tailgate & Pitt representation at the game.  Seemed like just about every Pitt fan in the South showed up, and some even came down from Pittsburgh (and Ohio).  Doug (Atlanta Panther) and Bernie (Big B) organized a great event and the WUP flag was flying all weekend.  Pics are below.  In the game, a good portion of the seats behind the Pitt bench were occupied by Pitt fans and “Lets Go Pitt” was loud and noticeable.

Kenny Pickett’s three touchdowns.  Yes his QBR was a dismal 39.2 (out of 100), yes he threw two bonehead interceptions, and yes he is still maddeningly inefficient (5.6 YPA).  But “Cardiac Kenny” is also “Kenny Clutch”, and he delivered when it counted.  A perfectly thrown jump ball to Taysir Mack in the second quarter.  A strike to Nakia Griffin-Stewart on a rollout.  The final touchdown pass to V’Lique Carter that put the Devils away for good.  Duke rushed seven on that final play, and Kenny delivered a perfect ball to Carter just before he got hit.  You know what happened after that.

Paris Ford.  12 tackles (eight solo).  Two interceptions (one pick six), and enough passion to fill two stadiums.  Paris Ford was unstoppable in the first half, and got the rawest of deals in the fourth quarter.  I’m willing to overlook the muffed punt because he is the heart and soul of our defense.  Can’t wait to see what he brings in the second half of the season.

Patrick Jones.  Duke doubled Jaylen Twyman for most of the game and Jones seemed to be the beneficiary.  “The Predator” strip-sacked Duke QB Quentin Harris twice and Pitt recovered the ball both times.  Jones also notched one QB hurry and five solo tackles (six total).  Last but not least, his Turnover Dunk was meme-worthy.

Speaking of six turnovers…six turnovers.  Pitt more than doubled their turnover total for the season.  They don’t win the game if they don’t, and it was exciting as hell to witness.

Kylan Johnson.  Continues to play extremely well at linebacker.  Was all over the field.  Finished with nine tackles, 1 TFL and 1 Pass Defended.

The Defense in general.  Besides one long TD pass (which probably doesn’t happen if Paris Ford stays in the game), they dominated Duke for most of the evening.  Duke finished with 288 total yards.  165 passing (3.7 YPA).  123 rushing (2.3 YPA).  If Pitt offense didn’t turn the ball over three times there is a good chance Duke would not have even sniffed the endzone.

Todd Sibley.  Take out his 25 yard run and his stat line looks pretty pedestrian: 11 rushes for 35 yards, 3.2 YPC.  But add that 25 yarder back in and you’re now looking at 12 for 60 and 5.0 YPC.  In the last two games Sibley has posted 34 for 166, with longs of 20 and 25.  He has gotten better as he’s gotten reps, and maybe, just maybe Pitt has found a spark at running back.

Alex Kessman’s new shoes.  Alex was seen sporting baby-blue shoes in Durham.  Maybe it was just a troll-job for the Duke faithful.  Maybe it was done to improve his kicking.  Either way it seemed to help.  Kessman was two-for-two on field goals (although he did miss an extra point), so we think they are an improvement.

img_3221

Bad:

Maurice Ffrench.  He did some good things on the field (50 yard put return that could have gone to the house if he’d gotten just one more block at the end, 10 receptions), but he let his emotions get the best of him on the field.  He owned it though, and that shows character.  I have no doubt Ffrench will finish strong as Pitt heads into the second half of the season.

The offensive line.  I almost put this under ugly because this was easily their worst performance since Virginia.  ESPN says they gave up three sacks and four QB hurries.  I’d say that is a generous accounting for how much pressure Kenny was under.  The run blocking also continues to be a concern for most of the evening.  On a positive note, it does look like Borbley and Whipple took some steps to shore up the right side:

If Kradel sticks, he’ll have nearly two weeks to practice with the first team before the Syracuse game.

The Ugly:

Muffed Punt.  Duke TD.  Fumble.  Duke TD.  Int.  Duke TD.  In the space of nine minutes Pitt shot themselves in the foot three times in row, and put Duke right back into the game.  The most maddening thing about it?  All of these mistakes were avoidable.

The officiating.  Wow, just wow.  I’m sure they missed some calls on the Duke side as well, but the home team bias seemed pretty damn apparent to me.  That kind of officiating does nothing for the ACC.  Sadly, we will probably have to endure it for years to come.  Kudos to Pitt for beating both Duke and the referees.

15 penalties for 145. Okay yes, some of these were just bad calls. So let’s knock it down to 10 for 100. Still unacceptable. This one is on you Pat. Get this team under control or it’s going to end up costing a game.

Tailgate Pics:

20191005_174410
The POV Crew in all their glory!
IMG_3531
Crew from Jeannette, PA that rented a bus and drove on down. Not part of the POV crew, but rumor has it they were packing a duck-shaped beer bong.  Rip!
IMG_3538
Notice the prominent WUP flag in the background
img_3547.jpg
Scooter with the spoils of victory
IMG_3534
In enemy territory.  It should be noted that the Duke fans at the tailgates and the game were extremely hospitable, and it was a friendly and congenial atmosphere.  Highly recommended trip in 2020.
59202028835__3BEB1650-9B2F-47C4-B644-512AC0615033
And you thought Heinz looked empty?
IMG_3541

That’s me in the Hail to Pitt shirt. These gentlemen were busy telling me how they discovered how to avoid paying the keg deposit at Mellingers. Apparently the secret is to show up Every. Single. Friday (at the exact same time).  Those were the days…

See you in Atlanta

Hail to Pitt and what are your goods, bads, and uglies?

500 thoughts on “MMQB -Pitt at Duke

  1. I would like to go back to a posting I made on Friday …. as a non-alum, I choose to be a Pitt fan not because it is easy but because it is hard.

    Heck, I could have jumped on the PSU bandwagon or stuck with my Alabama, my favorite from back in the 60s, but I didn’t. BTW, if Pitt played PSU’s schedule, it would most likely be 4-0-1 right now.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. hard to argue with the Good – Bad – Ugly posted above. But the good is snatching victory from the jaws of defeat ….. after the SOP manner of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Another ugly is a crowd of 22,600 after an impressive showing at VT. Now, I know Duke is a BB school, and there are 3 P5 schools in the Research Triangle, but this is also typical of the ACC except for Clemson, Louisville, Syracuse, FSU, Miami and VT.

    Like

  3. I tried posting my Good, Bad and Ugly but it never showed up after I went through the login process.

    I’m too busy to type it again…

    The short version is that the win fits all three.

    On to the much needed bye week and prep work for cuse.

    H2P!

    Like

  4. Hopefully Manny Diaz at 0-2 in the ACC gets Miami ready for their Friday night clash white Virginia.

    I usually don’t root for the canes, but this Friday night I will.

    NC State plays cuse on Thursday night – we’ll get a good look at Dino and his QB “Danny” DiVito…

    Liked by 3 people

    1. And in sudden change situations. I don’t think we’ve prevented a TD off a turnover all year.

      Like

  5. As far as attendance, Duke’s fall break had just started Friday so less students that usual. The Duke tour was a movie and talk in the newly opened Karsh Alumni and VIsitor’s center but no actual walk of the campus guided by a student. No idea how many students might show but maybe another few thousand.

    Good – representation by Pitt, probably close to 40% of the crowd and loud much of the game.

    Bad(could be better) – More dropped passes and lack of finish on runs and receptions. If everyone finished like #175 V’lique on his runs, 2 to 5 more yards per would happen every time. Ff seems to collapse sideways every time he is touched rather than fall forward, KP even made a couple of too early slides before contact. Watching the replay verified what I thought during the game in that Ff could have scored on the punt return with the final cut right to set up the final block(of course then KP doesn’t get to throw the TD pass on the next play).

    Ugly – More stupid penalties on top of bad officiating. The game in real time was mostly fun until it wasn’t but the long breaks for reviews and penalties and commercial breaks was agonizing. Me screaming “remember Levance Fields in MSG” immediately after Carter’s score in the general direction of some Duke fans who were minutes before yelling at a Pitt fan wearing a #1 jersey, “learn the rule Larry”. Ok, it wasn’t just in their general direction, I walked down the aisle a few seats and practically screamed into his left ear. :O

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I think Ffrench is trying to do too much when he gets the ball in his hands. Instead of taking what yards are there, he tries to do these Barry Sanders impressions and move laterally or give ground like he’s going to outrun the entire defense, and it doesn’t work.

      Liked by 3 people

  6. Upon watching the replay … this was a 26-24 defensive struggle …. until 3 minutes left (and Ford’s rejection)

    All scores before that was a result of turnovers …. and data confirms it.

    Duke had a total of 89 plays, but for only 288 yards; while Pitt had 337 yds in 83 plays.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. The good:
    1.) The Kardiac Kids refusing to quit 3rd game in a row;
    2.) Sitting in front of Scooter – wished for ear plugs for a while!
    3.) HCPN still had 3 time outs left with 90 seconds on the clock;
    4.) Sibley – looking Beastly, when he gets a hole;
    5.) Remembering Harry Mellinger waiving the Beer Tap Deposit for his “steady customers”. He even told me if we ever ran out of beer in the middle of the night, to call him, and he’d open up for us. Heather – if you are reading this, Harry could have given you some good marketing tips!

    Bad:
    1.) OFFICIATING;
    2.) Bonehead turnovers – ours, not theirs.
    Ugly:
    1.) Scooter waited until LATE 4thQ to reverse his Script shirt to the Lucky B-Ball side – but admittedly, probably saved our a$$es. Well played, my (new) friend!!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. one more observation on the controversial 2 pt play …… while you are now allowed to push your teammate forward, you are not allowed to pull him … and Duke’s #50 clearly committed a foul after the initial momentum was stopped and even was in retreat

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Thanks Mike, glad you pointed yourself out in the one pic. I didn’t recognize you without your cape. 🙂 Would love to have some names to those faces. Only 9 folks seem familiar but a great turnout representing!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. If you look up Good, Bad, and Ugly in the dictionary you will see this game.

    Maestro did such a great job there is no need to repeat.

    Just a couple of points, and questions.

    It really confounds me that our defense is so formidable but they fold up after almost every turnover.
    I get the short field and everything, but something is not adding up. No doubt they are the strength of this team and this was really a coming out party for Paris Ford, something most of us had been waiting for since he got here. The D-line has been amazing and maybe it is time to stop the what ifs. That question should be answered next year.

    The preseason concerns/unknowns over the Offensive line have mostly been answered. they are decent at pass blocking, Kenny helps being able to move, but their run blocking is way below sub par. Having multiple running backs has not helped them find a rhythm, but they just are not strong enough for 300+ lb guys and don’t seem to ever get much of a push. They also seem to whiff way more than they should.

    Speaking of the running backs, Sibley looks to be the most productive on the ground. Carter the obvious best out of the backfield, particularly down the field. AJ Davis looks to be the best all-purpose guy so let’s hope he comes back healthy at Syracuse. But no doubt they will all do better if and when the line starts to make holes for them to run through.,

    Liked by 3 people

  11. I don’t know if it is possible, but I would like to see three plays posted. The hit on Ffrench where the guy tries to take his head/helmut off, The facemask and head slam on KP when he slides, and the targeting call on Ford. The first and last explain the anger from our guys, and the facemask shows the blatant disregard for our QB’s safety. Discipline goes both ways. Ford’s hit was made on a crucial third down play and the receiver clearly ducks his head into the shoulder hit.

    I think the bad rap on our guys being undisciplined is over the top, and is also giving the refs the ability to take liberties. Duke was not flagged in the second half till the obvious foul on the last drive. Meanwhile early in the game on a third down pass, Picket was hit late and the receiver was interfered with. On the one call for pass interference which was waived because the ball was tipped it was clearly holding which I don’t think would be waived. Why are we getting phantom horse collar calls, but clear horse collar calls don’t go our way, or roughing the kicker, when he is not even touched. I know I am biased, but this is verging on the absurd.

    The real ugly: I hope the calls to bench Ffrench were said in frustration because he is clearly the best we have, not named Mack and in some ways even more dangerous. I also hope we are really enjoying watching him and Ford this year because it is reasonable to expect that they both go pro next year.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. The GOOD…

    Instead of an embarrassing collapse, a hard fought WIN against a GOOD Duke Team!

    Pitt’s PLAYMAKERS continuing to make Plays on BOTH sides of the Ball.

    Proof that Heinz Field isn’t the only tough draw in the ACC.

    The BAD…

    Targeting on the French Car Company. The Receiver LOWERED his Head in an attempt to LOWER the BOOM… not the other way around!

    What is a Football Player supposed to do?

    The UGLY…

    One of the Captains of the Football Team going “Narduzzi” on a fellow Pitt Player for simply pointing out the obvious during an EMBARRASSING tirade by the aforementioned Captain.

    Said it before… Aaron Matthews, one of the TRUE Leaders despite the absence of the letter “C” next to his name!

    Liked by 4 people

  13. Regarding the comment about Ffrench falling sideways all the time, I agree that it is something that needs worked on. Maybe the coaches should have him watch some film of Julian Edelman, who always seems to be diving/falling forward pretty effectively. I get that we use Ffrench a little differently, throwing tons of bubble screens which lend themselves to sideways running, but I still think it could help our team (and also serve as a model if Ffrench wants a successful professional career).

    Speaking of pro careers, the bye week might be a good time to spend a few minutes looking forward to next year … I know we have a lot of underclassmen on this year’s team, but I have a lot of worry that our best offensive player (Mack) and our best defensive player (Ford) are going to enter the draft early so they’ll be gone. They have both been out of high school for 3 years after this year, right?

    Like

  14. Maestro – excellent, comprehensive summation of the game!

    I would also offer a coupe more observations:

    Tailgate – 1) Our neighbor in the lot – Duke guy wearing my Pitt hat in the first row right side of the tailgate team photo – was a gracious and generous host. Almost felt like I was a guest at his tailgate.
    2) BigB showing our neighbor’s guests from China how to throw a football was a highlight.

    Stadium – the makeover they did is really nice and I could not help but think how a similar setup would have been nice at Pitt Stadium. The concourse area is a big upgrade over what I saw lat time there. Great atmosphere outside the stadium in Krzyzeskiville.

    Maurice Ffrench – Was really happy to see his Twitter atonement yesterday. Having watched the game a second time yesterday, I appreciated his catches even more than on Saturday. Took great focus to pull some of those in. He made a nice, subtle block inside the 10 on the winning TD catch – good heads up play. Too bad it only takes 1 “oh sh&&” to wipe out a few attaboys.

    Paris Ford is not 4 star material – he’s five star.

    After watching Kenny’s boneheaded pick in Q4, I believe its fairer to say that it was more of a great play by Duke DT to sell a rush and then drop into coverage and anticipate the crossing pattern. With the furious rush he faced any times during the game, there wasn’t much time to pick that up.

    Duke D was very fast – best they’ve been that I can recall.

    V’Lique Carter is great with the ball in space, but I don’t think he’s a RB. Perhaps he’s better suited at slot?

    Sibley though continues to hit the holes hard. If we are taking out his big run to assess his play, then we should also take out the 1-2 plays where the line blew up so bad that he barely got the ball before being hit.

    Would like to see Lyke call John Swofford about the officiating and not just pertaining to Saturday. I agree with Chris Peak’s analysis that it felt like the refs were looking for reasons to toss flags, perhaps because they are aware that Pitt’s style is aggressive and hard-hitting style.

    The coaches should grab some tape of broadcast so the kids can see how their behaviors played out on TV.

    I really like our team and if they can reduce the mental errors, the second half could be lot of fun. Not to mention next season.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. As bad as Pitt kids looked on TV, some parts looked even worse in person

      Agree, need this to be looked at with ACC,,,,this crew had a couple of inept officials. The 2-pt attempt screw up was inexcusable with the Duke side line judge waving the play stopped then signaling the TD a couple seconds later after the RB was pulled in

      Like

  15. Mike, I believe you mentioned that Pitt shot themselves in the foot something like 3 times in 9 minutes. Mitchell Northam of PSN one-upped you (made me laugh):

    “Some might say that the Panthers tried to shoot themselves in the foot, but that would be a massive understatement. Pat Narduzzi’s team attempted to set its legs ablaze and saw them off with a pocket knife. Luckily, Pitt failed.”

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Looking at the box score and stats one thing jumped out at me. Sure Paris was involved in 12 tackles in a shortened appearance. As I went down it quickly went down to 1 or 2 tackles a player. Then I scrolled and scrolled.

        I think I saw 27 players got solos or assists. That is ridiculous and awesome. We were just saying 25 to 27 players got time playing against UCF. That has nothing in comparison to actually contributing.

        That will pay dividends and is why this defense hasn’t disappointed in a while. It also sets up the future.

        Liked by 2 people

  16. Good write up MM.

    I only list the Good and Bad. No reason to list two negative categories. Maybe there should be a Great category, LOL.

    Good:
    We are seeing many stars in the making on defense as we should. (Jones, Weaver, Camp, Twyman, Jackson, Baldonado, Ford, Hamlin, Mathis. So much for that crappy recruiting, As I have stated many times, the defense is a year ahead of the offense as far as recruit development. So the offense guys will shine more toward the end of this year and next. Obviously Pickett, Mack, Ffrench have greatly improved. I think Carter Warren is playing outstanding for a first year left tackle.

    Patrick Jones and Ford were ridiculous. Baldonado made one of the most athletic plays I have ever seen a DL make. Chasing a RB wide, grabbing the back of his jersey and pulling him down. The penalty was as bad as the one on Ford. He had nothing but jersey.

    The Coastal is wide open.

    Bad:
    Ffrench had a crap game. Sure he had ten catches, but he acted like a complete tool with the taunting penalty and arguing with Mathews on the sideline (all caught on camera). Thankfully they also showed Narduzzi chewing his A$$ out.

    The right side of the OL played like crap.

    Again, near the end of a game, Pitt has the ball and goes into a shell. They are in Duke territory after a nice pass and then run three straight plays giving Duke the ball back. There was too much time to get conservative. They could have easily got a field goal.
    Pittsburgh at 05:39
    1st and 10 at UP42 PITTSBURGH drive start at 05:39.
    1st and 10 at UP42 Pickett, K pass complete to Jacques-Louis for 20 yards to the DU38, 1ST DOWN UP
    1st and 10 at DU38 Carter, V rush for loss of 2 yards to the DU40
    2nd and 12 at DU40 Sibley, Todd rush for 2 yards to the DU38
    3rd and 10 at DU38 Carter, V rush for loss of 11 yards to the DU49.
    4th and 21 at DU49 Timeout Duke, clock 03:24.
    4th and 21 at DU49 Christodoulou punt 35 yards to the DU14, fair catch by Blackwell,J..

    Like

  17. Enjoyed being able to host the tailgate with BigB after enjoying Fran’s organizational expertise with his tailgate every time we make the trek to Heinz. Big thanks to the DWs Sandy and JeannieB who did the heavy lifting. The puppies enjoyed meeting all the POVers and said they would like to host it again next year (maybe at Chapel Hill?). They were pretty tired along with Sandy and I and allowed us to sleep until after 8 Sunday morning. These 4-hour 8:00 games result in tailgates where you really make you have to pace yourself! But I know everyone enjoyed the rollercoaster of Pitt football.

    Hope to see ya’ll at the MIami game and back in Atlanta for the GT game.

    BTW, the Crown Royal bottle is now 2-0 after last year’s Wake win and this crazy game!

    Doug
    Atlanta Panther

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Thank you and your wife for hosting the tailgate Atlanta Panther along with BigB. Was great to meet everyone and have a long chat with Pitt-Cocks Fan and his son-in-law Citadel grad. Talked with several others as well. My PSU grad wife is lurking behind Mike in group photo:)

      The good:
      Our defense is real and deep. We played a lot of players on Saturday. They were using almost complete sets of the front seven. This was part of the reason for them being so effective late in the game. Paris Ford is really really good!

      Duke stadium. What a great venue. Pitt needs to find a large piece of real estate near the campus and build a sports satellite campus. Could copy Syracuse and make it a domed stadium with multiple uses. Needs to have pay parking with it to help pay for the maintenance on the stadium. As Duke’s faithful does not seem to like it much based on the attendance maybe we can get a good price on it and move it up north.

      We won. Barely. Ugh!!!!

      The bad
      The was our inability to contain our emotions. We were clearly the better team and should have won going away. We deserved some of those penalties. Glad to see one of our captain’s own up to his bonehead penalty.

      Kenny Pickett. I am still not sure about him. Yes he led the winning drive. There would have been no need for it if not for his two interceptions. He is not seeing the field well.

      The Ugly
      Paris Ford as a punt returner. Not! Bad decision to field the punt. Bad execution on attempting the catch.

      Our imploding. Why can’t we simply win a game going away.

      Our lack of commitment to a running game. Sibley is not that bad a back. Pound him off tackle. Use him as a dive option on an end around.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Some decisions on redshirts will need to be made by the next game.

    Brandon George and AJ Woods have both played in four games. I sure hope the coaches redshirt these kids instead of wasting a year on special teams. We need their best years in their fifth season with the program.

    Like

  19. I used to worry about red shirts, but not anymore. The game has changed. We have the transfer portal, kids can leave after three years. O-linemen usually benefit from the fifth year but most others are either gone or replaced by younger guys.

    I find it very frustrating that a guy like Paris Ford is making an impact for the first time and will probably be gone next year. We get so few guys like him, but it is the nature of the modern game. At least with Mack and Ffrench they made an impact for multiple years, as did Boyd. Without the cancer Conner would have been gone after three years.

    Unfortunately Pitt can’t get enough of these guys to crack the top echelon of the sport, like the big boys do.

    That is why I like the new red shirt rule, at least the young kids get a chance to show what they got and for Pitt it helps with depth. Also since the good ones are gone in three, the experience helps the young guys get ready.

    The transfer portal is also a big benefit to a team like Pitt. Our Florida linebacker has had a huge impact on the defense and the linebackers although not stellar have filled a dire position of need. While Ulizio has had his moments, he is still starting and making a difference.

    So as far as red shirting, I say that anyone that can play, should play now because no one knows what will happen next year.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Until we say “I wish we would have redshirted him,” like in the case of Hamlin. Or imagine in 2010 having Byham, Dickerson and Malecki. The 2006 season wouldn’t have been altered if those three would have redshirted. Nate didn’t make a single catch, Dorin scored once i think in a route over Toledo. Malecki played as a backup D-tackle.

      imagine Ford and Hamlin back at safety again next season. The new redshirt rule is great, but the coaches still need to be smart. it’s so easy for Pitt fans to be OK with a redshirt blown because it’s not your, or your kid’s, one-time college career.

      If AJ Woods returns a kickoff for a TD then I’ll change my tune.

      Like

  20. For those Pitt fans out there bitching about how the Panthers continue to shoot themselves in the foot to give us fans heart palpitations in these close games. Let’s put this season into perspective by taking a trip “back to the future” to about a decade ago.

    With the penalty/turnover scenarios that have occurred this year, that result in all of these self inflicted wounds, back then, during the tino years such BS would have SOP written all over it & therefore we could easily be sitting at 1-5 right now while calling for Coach Narduzzi’s head on a stake. Back then, we NEVER had a team that could recover from such self imposed adversity. Come from behind wins just, didn’t,, occur,,, EVER!

    This season however, even with all of the warts, itemized weekly in the bad & ugly categories have not been allowed to result in Pitt defeats.

    The way I view it, these kids give a nod to “SOP” coming out of halftime as a routine, probably just to irritate all of us old farts who have witnessed such unravelling of Pitt games historically that always resulted in those typical SOP depressing loses. Then they decide to get their act together at the end, good!

    So guys & gals, be happy that this current roster never quits! Coming back in order pull out wins like the one on Saturday builds a team character that will continue to provide benefits down the road. Work on the positives, eliminate those negatives & this team can really become a contender.

    I won’t be surprised to see this team pull together a 5-1 2nd half season record because these Panthers are learning how to handle adversity while still putting Ws in the win column.

    Hail to Pitt!

    Liked by 6 people

  21. Good: A win is a win

    Good2: 6 turnovers by the defense. And Paris Ford is a true stud. I know many think star ratings don’t matter but it sure helps when you have a natural talent back there. I also wish Narduzzi wouldn’t have wasted Hamlins freshman year when he clearly wasn’t ready to contribute. Starting to come into hi own back there.

    Bad: Not being able to put the death blow to Duke in the second half and literally letting them back into the game.

    Bad2: Kessman, I go to high school games almost every weekend and have yet to see a kid shank an XP this year. Yet our scholarship kicker makes the XP exciting.

    Ugly: I usually don’t subscribe to conspiracy theories, but how else to explain the officiating? The worse calls ever. Where to begin? A personal file for trying to grab a football in a scrum? Missed facemack on Pickett? Roughing the passer? Illegal blocks? A do over? I know it is a thankless job but something has to be done to improve the officiating. We weren’t that undisciplined to deserve 14 penalties. Ffrench’s was about the only deserving one I saw.

    Like

  22. Refereeing maybe a thankless job but they are compensated. and now the guy up in the replay booth is nearsighted. Just a horrible job by the refs this past game.

    Like

    1. Not sure why your guys’ posts don’t make it. We are all at the mercy of this technology, sadly

      Like

      1. Mike, I’m sure not complaining just reporting. Otherwise everything I post pops up loud and clear. I like to consider myself a trouble shooter to a degree. Others consider me a trouble maker.. 😉

        Like

  23. No complaints on how we played..we won and it’s all good…totally exciting and intense game leaving us with lotsa work to do to get ready for the next game…but there is an UGLY that BigB will comment on and it is my perspective and attitude – some bad behavior from our team that i witnessed during the game….Leave the outrageous celebration dances, taunting and the basketball goal at home..swagger my a$$.. you are privileged to be a member of the University of Pittsburgh FB team and you represent all of us…..play the game with a knowledge of history, tradition and respect for all- including your opponent..”act like you have been there before” Chuck Noll….”Stop the show-boating when you do something well because you can screw up just as quickly!!” -BigB…(now I know some of you will disagree and that’s ok)

    Liked by 3 people

  24. There is a fine line in everything we do. For Pitt, it is playing with an edge but knowing when to stop … and it is much easier said than done.

    It is said that a team is often a reflection of its head coach, and that appears to be the case here. Believe me, I have no issue whatsoever with playing with or coaching with compassion. And I, for one, think that it helps the team more than hurts. In fact, I will argue with anyone that the compassion helped the players considerably at PSU and the lack of it hurt the team against Delaware (and also resulted in careless penalties.)

    But the players held it in check vs PSU as the focus was on the game … resulting in only 2 penalties. This was not the case on Saturday as I thought the focus seemed to be the opposing players, and not the task at hand .. playing the game.

    It’s a fine line indeed but I would hope that the bye week will be used in part on keeping the emotions in check … both on the sidelines and on the field.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. WWB. You beat me to this post.
      When your coaches roam the sideline like chickens without heads, ranting, raving and responding emotionally to every play, how can you expect your players to not do the same!

      No Pitt Coach Or player seemed to have their head in the game second half.

      Like

    2. I too dislyke what I saw. Pitt players display in Durham, but I lyke how Ffrench responded both on and off the ffield afterwards.

      I have had a ffew such displays myself in sports. One was as the head coach of my sons 13 year old baseball team. Our pitcher was being squeezed on balls and strikes and I knew I could not argue the calls, so I took a baseball and threw it against a fence about ten times as hard as I could. Luckily the umpire did not see the display, but my precious wife did.

      I apologized to the team and my wife afterwards. But I have to admit I ffelt better when I threw the last ball and even better when I apologized.

      Passion does ffunny things to our minds that we sometimes cannot control very well.

      Those moments can build character and change our ffuture actions ffor the good.

      Now let’s go crush some orange cuse.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Sadly it will continue until he graduates or goes to the NFL.

      But a fair criticism. I don’t actually know if he was doubled, or how often, but I’m assuming he was.

      Now the fact is that if Pitt was rushing 4, somebody was getting doubled.

      Who would you double on that front if not the defensive lineman who was just named Outland Trophy player of the moth and had six sacks through five games?

      Like

      1. I don’t know who you’re watching. The No. “97” I see is almost always SINGLE-teamed and spends a lot of his time a couple of yards back off the Line of Scrimmage. Other times he is just standing around looking exhausted.

        Sure, every once in awhile he takes advantage of a BREAKDOWN and makes a play.

        But the REALITY is… he had three sacks against OHIO! Other than that, he is sometimes good… but mostly just Ok.

        Like

        1. Well i wish I had time to study the tape and either agree with you or disagree with you. Yes he gets gassed sometimes but I also think he gets doubled sometimes, and I also think he’s pretty good. I guess we’ll just have to agree to disagree

          Liked by 1 person

        1. Mostly he earned that by getting pushed around and hanging out three yards off the ball 🤣🤣🤣

          Like

  25. All you great POVerts have the Good, Bad and Ugly covered. Only thing I haven’t seen yet (maybe someone mentioned it) is Bad/Ugly: Narduzzi’s decision to put Paris Ford back to return a punt when he hadn’t done so the entire season. Also Bad, Ford’s decision to field the punt near the 5 yard line.

    Liked by 2 people

        1. Wasn’t trying to argue the point, just clarify the decision process. Some asked yesterday and at the game why he did it.

          That said, without knowing how many times he may have already taken him aside and had that chat, its hard for me to question his judgement. And I believe that Ffrench has muffed a few (but recovered) in prior games.

          Liked by 1 person

  26. The Good: Narduzzi is no longer the worst football coach in town

    It’s no longer in doubt. I’d trade narduzzi to the Steelers for Tomlin. Then ship Tomlin to the skins for their DC and $10 million in cash.

    Like

  27. Now M… if you want to talk up somebody on the Defensive Line, I would suggest Jones II.

    The play he made to cause the fumble at the end of the Game was a MOVE that really was something right out of the playbook of a certain “97.”

    Like

  28. Twyman is the best defensive tackle we have right now. Bringing up Jones or Baldonado, defensive ends has nothing to with the story. He is a starter on a very good defense and has worked very hard to get where he is.
    You can point out mistakes made by any player on the team, but we are not the defense we are without Twyman in the middle. No one has run wild on the Panthers and Twyman has had a lot to do with that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. apparently PoD needs a whipping boy each year. Last year, he was all over Hamlin despite the fact he led the team in tackles.

      This year, both Twyman and Jones have 11 solo tackles with 9 assists, while Twyman has 2 more sacks. Still, I won’t argue that Jones hasn’t been more consistent … but I thought both have played very well so far,

      Liked by 1 person

  29. Just watched the play where Ffrench goes off and the defensive player definitely tries to take Ffrench’s helmut off, definitely a dirt move, but that is never mentioned, just like the facemask although the announcer’s did mention that one.

    No excuse for the sideline antics but you can definitely see why he got in the defenders face, when refs are letting that stuff go.

    Like

  30. Just saw the KP slide and the Duke defender from behind when KP is in a definite slide, tomahawk chops KP’s head, grabs the face mask and slams KP’s head to the ground. What the eff? One of the dirtiest plays I have seen and no flag. That play needs to be shown to the appropriate authorities. If KP would have done a little acting flags would have come out from everywhere. Those refs are totally incompetent.

    Duke was getting away with the extra curricular all day long because the refs were looking the other way (only at Pitt Players)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Maybe PITT is developing a rep among officials who are now watching more closely and qweeksdraw with the yellow rag…

      I hope Duzz and company tone it down on the BS that brings “Thug U” to mind….play hard and show what ya by playing hard and smart every play… we know when to sing your praises, after all , we are western Pennsylvanians- bred and born on football…..

      Was showing a reft handed Chinese fellow how to throw a football Saturday night… pulled my left hammy… good thing we have an off week… I need time to heal before wading into another fray…

      Liked by 4 people

  31. I just realized watching the replay that because of KP’s injury, he wasn’t running the ball, taking away one of our biggest offensive weapons. A big reason our offense was so anemic.

    Like

    1. And….Taysir Mack is really good. He caught one that was thrown behind him early in the game. Kid just continues to impress. But remember folks, he was a reach transfer from IU.

      Liked by 2 people

  32. If everything said above is true … and I have no reason to doubt it … I would put a tape together and send it to Greensboro — just to be proactive

    Like

  33. Its funny that just last week I was saying watching live really had my nerves in a better place. At halftime I said to my wife, it would be really great if they could just coast to an easy win. For the first 10 minutes of the 3rd qtr it seemed they just might. After the second fumble I threw my cell phone and my wife left the room. I knew what was coming and when she eventually returned and Duke took the lead I said I don’t think I can/will watch live the rest of the year. Its not losing that bothers me, its the kick in the nuts losses that I just can’t let go (Steelers too…). I did not think there was anyway we would take the ball down and score and yet they did just that. It certainly is not boring and these guys certainly don’t quit. I still may just start recording and only watching if they win, best for my blood pressure and my marriage.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I lost count of how many one score games we have been on the winning or losing end of during the last decade…like you, I was sitting in Wallace Wade and we are driving for a score that would have put us up 33-3 (I think) when KP throws that 1st bad interception…and immediately start thinking “we are going to blow this f’n lead!!” instead of being POVerts, we are PAVlovs…damn we have been conditioned to think that way…..

      Liked by 3 people

  34. I think the definition of a pass should be a ball that is thrown by one player to another and must travel at least 5 yards past the LOS…..that would eliminate about 50-75 pass attempts for PITT….I getting worn out on jet sweeps, passes at the line of scrimmage that go nowhere…I am time of horizontal offensive football…seem to be getting a steady diet of it but then again maybe Whip planned the game like that knowing Duke would not be expecting the vertical attack to re-gain the lead at the end…lulled Duke to sleep then burned them…it was part of the strategy the whole time just like thee PITT special.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. wwb… yep, I agree… just another form of a pitch-out… too many jet sweeps and passes meant to attack the # 8 and# 9 holes …. we don’t bust them because the D plans for it and has the speed to stuff the plays…. need more vertical offense…. certainly a height mid-match can be created with Aaron Mathews 2-3 times a game..

        Like

    1. Your absolutely right BigB. That last series for the winning touchdown is something Whipple and Narduzzi should be mandated to watch over and over again. Get the ball into the hands of our 3 smurfs(Ffrench, V Carter, V Davis) in the open field greater than 5 yards from the line of scrimmage. The opposition might end up being worn out before the 3rd Q ends chasing those 3 down all game long.

      Like

  35. I can’t add to all the great comments above, but I’ll summarize with a few tidbits:

    The Good – 1. We won. 2. The emergence of Carter & receivers Wayne and Shocky, this is something we need absolutely need to build on in order to take the heat off of Ffrench & Mack.

    The Bad – The run game, not enough of a threat overall, though Sibley diid a fine job for his part.

    The Ugly – It’s already been said, and this is very sad, but the officiating was beyond bad, in fact I’d say it looked crooked as was implied above. The late hit and facemask of Pickett stands out (good catch above), but among the litany of ridiculous calls the flagrant and tossing of Ford reeks of corruption.

    And finally, a QUESTION: What do you all think is Pitt’s biggest problem on offense, Picket, the OL, Whipple, or some combination thereof????

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I actually believe it is none of those things. Its the RB talent at the moment. Sibley lacks explosion and Carter (whom I love as a playmaker) cannot run between the tackles. Missing the two Davis’ has been the biggest offensive problem so far from my view. Hopefully they really are back against Syracuse. That said I prefer passing as much as they have been. The best way to avoid low 3rd down conversation numbers is NOT getting to 3rd down. Running on 2nd and 5 or higher is my most hated playcall in football.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I agree again. I have been advocating for Pitt to use Shocky more on down field passes. He has the speed to keep the opposition safeties on alert and unable to assist on the underneath routes. Just watching V Carter on that touchdown pass should keep our upcoming defensive coordinators up at night trying to game plan against our 3 smurfs(Ffrench, V Carter, V Davis) also.

      Like

  36. You guys have already covered all of the GB&U things that I was planning to say.

    But, maybe one more Bad. Not that it hasn’t been said. But, to say it again—the announcers sucked. Was this the premier coverage team? I hope not.

    And, an Ugly. Comcast still not signed up for the ACCN. We are moving soon and have to decide whether to continue on with DirecTV or swtich to Comcast, which is already at the house. If Comcast the ACCN by then, we are good. If not, we will pay a lot more for DirecTV.

    Do we expect the Dome to be packed and noisy? Or, has the Syracuse fans lost interest in the season?

    And, MM. You are taller than you look in your pic on here. I was picturing as maybe 5′ 8″. You look more like 6′ plus. And, young. 🙂

    pmdH2P

    Like

    1. MM stands out in our POVert crowd… Young and Good Looking…. a great PITT man….the rest of us are actually not much older but we have aged from watching PITT FB A LITTLE LONGER….

      Liked by 3 people

      1. 😂😂😂 I think of all you guys as perpetually somewhere between 45 and 49. And then I met you and I realized that you were all perpetually 19!

        Liked by 3 people

    1. FWIW, I wrote the above before I read the below

      Chris Dokish@ChrisDokish
      Great to see Ronald Ramon be hired by the Pitt basketball program. He was always a great guy.

      Like

  37. So I turned the game back on to see the two point debacle.
    Since all scoring plays are reviewed, my guess is the reviewers did not like what they saw and told the crew to play it over. This makes sense since they were lined up to kick off after a TV timeout and the call was inadvertent signal which no one has ever heard of. It was the right call since the play should have been blown dead. In any case another example of incompetence, even though it went in our favor.

    I also watched the Ford hit again. The receiver obviously lowered his head and body to deflect the hit. It was a bang bang play. I honestly don’t know if it was the right call according to the rules, but Ford had absolutely no chance of making a play if that is the rule. I don’t know if it makes any difference but there was no time for Ford to have any intent and in fact led with his shoulder and not his head.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s not a question he struck him with the shoulder. Doesn’t require a helmet for targeting.

        My problem with the call is what was Ford supposed to do? Not raise his shoulder and just take the brunt of the hit from the Receiver with his helmet down?

        Don’t know about college. But this year in the NFL, that is considered the same as a Defensive Player targeting an Offensive Player.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Ah yes. Reviewing the actual definition now. Leading with shoulder counts.

          How tall is that receiver vs how tall is Ford?

          Does ford hit him on the chest of receiver doesn’t lower helmet?

          Like

        2. You’re exactly right POD. Ford DID hit him with his shoulder, but the receiver lowered his head at the last second, making contact with the head unavoidable. So you are penalizing and disgracing (with the ejection) a player who did nothing wrong.

          Liked by 1 person

      1. Also note this was on the National Defensive Team of the week and not just the ACC team. Three different named players last week were on the ACC Defensive team of the week.

        Like

  38. A little enlightenment on the targeting issue in College Football.

    xxxxxxxx
    Targeting and Making Forcible Contact to Head or Neck Area of a Defenseless Player (Rule 9-1-4)

    No player shall target and make forcible contact to the head or neck area of a defenseless opponent with the helmet, forearm, hand, fist, elbow or shoulder. This foul requires that there be at least one indicator of targeting. When in question, it is a foul.

    Like

      1. Sorry, just noted above. Yeah, exactly what happened, the receiver lowered his head at the last split second. He lowered his head right into Ford (shoulder). It was obviously not targeting, and my disgust was over the fact that they knew it was not targeting because they reviewed in on video, but they called it anyway. The good old boy network.

        Liked by 2 people

    1. Good post POD. Seems to me that basically a player is guilty with very little chance of being proven innocent

      Like

  39. So, what if we recruited really short running backs and receivers and coached them to immediately lower their heads when they had the ball? Wouldn’t we be assured of having the opponent’s defenders all tossed for targeting within the first quarter?

    Sort of like when Bill Veeck had “midgets” bat to get walks.

    pmdH2P

    Liked by 5 people

  40. The good … Resiliency
    The bad … Penalties
    The ugly … 9 minutes of hell

    The article below helps explain some of the rules changes. Targeting is no longer left to “stand” on replay. It must either be confirmed or overturned. Since it was called on the play, it really had to be confirmed. You couldn’t overturn it. IMO, it should never have ever been called, however.

    Another penalty that bit us at least twice was the blindside block. It is no longer allowed at all, which I didn’t fully realize. So, I think both of those were the correct call.

    https://247sports.com/Article/College-football-rule-changes-2019-explaining-targeting-blindside-blocks-134676086/

    Like

  41. So by that definition of targeting. KP was targeted during his slide when the guy tomahawk chopped him in the head, from behind, grabbed his facemask and slammed his head into the ground. KP was certainly defenseless. The Duke player definitely hit him with malicious intent.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. KP was halfway into his slide when he was hit, even without the facemask I don’t get how that one wasn’t flagged if you are trying to protect QB’s

      Like

  42. Fully agree GC.

    On a different subject, here’s an excerpt from an article by a—perhaps somewhat jaded— Duke reporter:

    “It was an Instant Coastal Classic, a product of the ACC’s secret laboratory where football’s most innovative coaches, players and officials find new ways to make a mockery of the game while simultaneously determining which team gets the honor of losing to Clemson in Charlotte.”

    He also referred to the 2point conversion incident as an example of “Premature signalation”.
    Hmmm….I think I understand how that can happen…..🥴

    Liked by 2 people

  43. Interesting facts from the game (besides Duke’s stadium remodeling including urinals):

    Before the Pitt game Quenten Harris was ranked #37 in passing efficiency. After a 18/43 165yds 1TD & 2 Ints. (72.5 rating) game, Harris is now #76.

    The 72.5 rating was lower than the game Harris had against Alabama (73.4)

    Pitt held Harris to 39 rushing yards down 37 yds. from previous 4 game avg. of 76/game. Bama held Harris to 13 yds. & no TD’s. Pitt gave up 2 TD’s rushing.

    Thanks again to all the POVerts who made my Duke game experience memorial.

    Liked by 5 people

      1. Ike – Biggest drop was Clifford from Psu. Now #7 with a 182.8 rating. Pitt held him to 108.8

        Missed seeing you in Durham. You would have made my memorial trip exceptionally memorial.

        Liked by 2 people

  44. In my great and unmatched wisdom – Twyman is a beast. To say otherwise, please Don’t take so dumb!

    Defense has been outstanding. Bates deserves serious props.

    The difference though is a good QB and play calling. Give it up. Comebacks are hard to do. Not luck.

    We will be going bowl-ing. Start saving $$

    H2P

    Like

  45. @TT, after reading the rule you linked to, I can see the targeting being unable to be overturned yet I disagree due to the receiver lowering his head and there being ABSOLUTELY NO WAY Paris or anyone else could ever avoid that “targeting” hit happening even if he wanted to after he leaned his shoulder into the receiver to make a legitimate tackle.

    As for the blind side block, neither of those was from anything other than the front field of vision of the kid being blocked. Both hit IN FRONT OF THE SHOULDER. In no way could that be construed as “blind side” unless the players were literally blind or at least had lost half their field of vision. The Duke kid’s heads may have been turned slightly looking at the Pitt ball carrier, but both of those calls were WRONG.

    Does anyone else think differently?

    Liked by 1 person

  46. This edition of The Good, the Bad & the Ugly is easy.

    The Good: Pickett’s Complete Passes (especially the one to Mack in the EZ)
    The Bad : Pickett’s incomplete Passes
    The Ugly: Most of Pickett’s incomplete Passes.

    Liked by 1 person

  47. Looking at the box score and stats one thing jumped out at me. Sure Paris was involved in 12 tackles in a shortened appearance. As I went down it quickly went down to 1 or 2 tackles a player. Then I scrolled and scrolled.
    I think I saw 27 players got solos or assists. That is ridiculous and awesome. We were just saying 25 to 27 players got time playing against UCF. That has nothing in comparison to actually contributing.
    That will pay dividends and is why this defense hasn’t disappointed in a while. It also sets up the future.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m petty sure that most of those young guys coming off of the bench are from the southeast and are fast. The team speed, especially on defense, is encouraging.

      Like

  48. I sincerely hope that Heather has submitted our list of grievances/BAD calls to the ACC front office. Wonder, assuming that has happened, if a response is typically/ever/always received. They’re probably trying to find a way to delay Paris’s suspension penalty till we play UNC rather than helping out “Northern Syracuse.”

    Like

  49. The Good (Great): The defense in general, the drive for the win.

    The Bad: Listening to the entire game on the radio because I thought I had the ACC Network on my Roku Stick but I don’t.

    The Ugly: It occurred to me that at some time previously in the Narduzzi era, there has been criticism about Pitt not keeping it’s foot on the gas on offense, or an over-reliance on the defense to close out games. I can definitely see that. Why are the play calls so lousy in the 2nd half until Pitt is on the verge of losing???

    Liked by 2 people

  50. I honestly enjoy the games on the radio. I can see it my own way. I honestly listened to years of Buffalo Bills on the radio. It reminds me of strapping up the dial radio to the apple trees with wire and 200 ft of extension cords as we harvested apples or trimmed the suckers off the trees. On the west coast with no ACC ties I have to listen unless I want to find bar to shimmy up to drink beers with no one else interested in Pitt…

    Liked by 1 person

  51. This may have already been posted, but I did not see it – 4 D players make the ACC team of the week –

    https://mobile.twitter.com/PFF_College/status/1181316525556486156?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1181316525556486156&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fpittsburghsportsnow.com%2F2019%2F10%2F07%2Fpsn-daily-notebook-october-7%2F

    Pitt also placed 2 players on the offensive side / WR T.Mack & RG Jake Kradel (we found a young OLineman from the WPIAL who’s making an impact).

    H2P!

    Like

    1. Correction – 5 Pitt players make the ACC All Defensive Team of the Week –

      A total of 7 Pitt players made the All ACC team of the week –

      Remember though, Clemson & W_F had bye weeks.

      Like

      1. Turns out UVA was on a bye week also. That means all 3 ranked ACC teams did not play this past weekend.

        Can’t overlook that shade…

        Like

  52. Driving around with Scooter Friday night we crossed a road named Pickett Drive…thought that was good karma. Had no idea at the time how good it would be.
    Richard, good data on your post but how did you know the urinals were updated?
    😎

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Actually I didn’t. I remembered Tx Panther asking if Duke had included urinals in their stadium update. I just added comment to answer his question.

      Liked by 1 person

  53. Mark Herzlich is his name..
    Former BC All American linebacker and cancer survivor..
    Good analyst on the show along with Jon Beason.

    Like

  54. Not to be negative, but it makes you wonder why Ford didn’t see the field that much last year, or even his freshman year? What a player. We finally have a few guys on defense that are impact players and Ford is the best.

    It took a while but we finally have the Narduzzi defense we have been waiting for. Hopefully this results in more high profile guys wanting to come to Pitt, including transfer guys.

    I think Whipple’s offense will make guys want to come here as well.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. personally, I don’t believe you are wrong if you voted for Twyman, Jones, Johnson, Ford or Mack. IMO, all have made a case for POY

      Like

      1. I would agree with that and the year is only half way done. Also good or bad, Kenny Pickett still has the biggest impact on wins and losses.

        Like

  55. Lost in the Saturday night madness aftermath was the Sunday matchup between the AZ Cardinals and the Cincy Bengals, which included 2 of the most accomplished Pitt WRs in history …. one beloved by all and one apparently hated by some. Fitz had 6 receptions, Tyler had 10 (for 123 yards)

    Liked by 2 people

  56. Which of our injured players do we need to return most?

    My pick is AJ Davis, although Sibley and Carter are having an impact, help still needed in the running game, although mostly from the Line.

    Very interesting to see Kradel get mentioned on one of those lists. great to see one of the home grown younger guys step up.

    Like

    1. I would actually prefer the younger Davis since he is more of a HR hitter …. while AJ Davis may be a slightly better version of Sibley

      Like

    2. Epic: That photo above of Scooter!

      Good: Another treacherous, amazing win by the Fightin’ Panthers.
      All the players we used.
      Future stars like Shocky and Wayne making plays.
      Playmakers making plays on both sides of the ball.
      Punting.
      Coach Bates!
      Coach Whips play call on the game winning score.
      (Personal Good: I survived my surgery yesterday. )

      Bad: The disastrous plays in the second half made me feel ill.
      So many mistakes (but also showing how much better we can play…)
      (Personal Bad: Prior to my operation, an Indian guy named “Bob” came in to shave my stomach, instead of one of the cute nurses .☹️)

      Ugly: Coach Whipples calls, at times. Too much sideways stuff when our guys just aren’t doing anything with those types of plays.
      The drops continue…
      (Personal ugly: Can do much for a couple weeks.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. “Can’t do much…

        Added note: Hats off to missingwlat!
        My surgery was somewhat minor but I was quite anxious about it for a good while — (I guess once your over 70, maybe no surgery is “minor”…)

        Still, it was nothing compared to what Eric has had to deal with. Go Eric!

        Go Pitt.

        Liked by 5 people

  57. A little REALITY check on the validity of PghSportsNow Polls.

    Maybe not surprisingly, matches up amazingly well with POVers predictions… the exception of course being TX Panther.

    xxxxxxxx

    Is the (17.5) line too high for Pitt-Penn State?

    Just right (39%, 385 Votes)
    Too low (33%, 325 Votes)
    Too high (27%, 265 Votes)
    

    xxxxxxxx

    Hilarious stuff.

    Like

      1. I predicted a pitt win for the Nitter game. Field goal difference. I was wrong.

        I predicted the central Florida win since I knew Pitt was playing garbage. A team is only as good as its quarterback. And coaches only get in the players way most of the time.

        I’m speaking as a former coach and player from multiple non college sports

        Like

    1. Just speculating – if Pitt would have beaten UVA as they should have IMO and the Panthers pulled out of creepy valley with a W, we’d be 5-0.

      Would Pitt be ranked in the top 10 as psuX currently are in one of the polls?

      I don’t think so – maybe just outside of the top 25…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Erie – If Pitt had beaten both PSU & Virginia by 7 or less, Pitt would be ranked in the top 10. Or at least top 15. Top 10 would be definite if UCF had beaten Cincy. That would have given Pitt 2 top 25 wins out of 6 games played. Virginia would no longer be ranked.

        Hoping Rachael is doing better. Think of her & you every time I see my Hillgrove bobblehead.

        Like

    1. Thanks to everyone for the kind words.

      Indeed, I did look at the Pitt schedule when picking a surgery date!

      I should be good for the next home game.

      Go Pitt.

      Liked by 3 people

  58. I wonder if the various referee crews watch game film the week after in order to improve? I would imagine there is some sort of ongoing training (and grading) throughout the year…

    Liked by 1 person

  59. Y’all need to get better. Panther Nation needs you. Speedy recoveries to all.

    I might type like a ‘Southerner’ at times but after being born and raised in SW PA and living in Buffalo and DFW, I officially sound Nebraskan. That’s what I’ve been told by more than one person.

    So mix 20 years of PA, 10 years of upstate NY and another 20 years of north Texas and you get Cornhole. 🌽

    Liked by 6 people

  60. Off topic but looks like DiPaola put Pitt in his top 25. Way to go Jerry!

    PSU alum John Mcgonigal did not. Surprise surprise…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Finally getting some luv from the Pittsburgh media. Smudzik cant vote anymore right? Same guy who picked Jason white over Fitz in the Heisman voting.

      Like

  61. Add rFR guard Jake Kradel to the good list.

    According to pro football focus he gave up zero pressures on 30 pass snaps, and his run blocking graded out top 5 in the ACC last week.

    Hope he gets the starting nod going forward, and Houey uses it as motivation to step up his game.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I remember seeing Jake Kradel as a freshman. Although he was listed as 6-3 and 290, he didn’t look anywhere close to 290 to me.

      But he has bulked up. He’s now listed as 6-3 and 300#.

      Now if we could just get Ford – who looks like an absolute monster — some playing time!

      Would love to see some jumbo package for near the goal line — especially with Kenny’s ability to run…

      Go Pitt.

      Liked by 1 person

  62. Just a heads-up that there is an awesome Pitt versus Duke Field Pass video out there. I don’t know how to link to it, but I saw it in a post over on the Lair. Maybe someone can link it here.

    Couple comments on it:

    -Pickett’s throw to Mack for the TD was awesome — the coverage was tight. KP seemed to actually pull some loft on it to the back shoulder. We’ve seen many teams pull off that pass against us.

    -Pickett’s pass to the TE on the TD pass had to be perfect and it was. And KP was Rolling out when he threw it.

    —KP is a puzzlement! He can make great throws and poor throws, within seconds of one another…

    —Billy Hillgrove’s call of the winning TD is on the Field Pass video and it’s a good one!

    Go Pitt.

    Like

  63. I for one think that Billy Hillgrove still has a lot of miles left in him. We can put up with an occasional misspeak or two for such a great broadcaster and Pitt fan.

    Liked by 2 people

  64. Things I forgot:

    —MM, your article was excellent! Thank you!

    —BigB, your efforts getting together the tailgate — good work by you.

    Loved the photos of the POVers in enemy territory…

    Go Pitt!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks..but Doug and wife Sandy made it complete by bringing their RV and hound-dogs… most everybody attended stopped along the way to pick up food or drinks or ice….. what a great bunch of new friendships have been created by the POV…. great to have the Maestro attend… he will be at the GT game… so another opportunity for you to meet him.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Had the pleasure of meeting MM last year when he came up for a Pitt game.

        A confession for MM: I must admit that at first I thought that “Michaelangelo Monteleone” was a made-up name for the blog. I couldn’t believe someone could actually have such a cool name… 😊

        Go Pitt.

        Liked by 1 person

  65. On the OL don’t be surprised if Pitt doesn’t end up using true freshman Matt Goncalves before this season ends. Supposedly the coaches really like what he’s been doing on the Scout team.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. jrn — I could be way wrong, but I thought I heard someone say that Goncalves was actually playing DT on the scout team. And that he was doing good things there…

      Do you know whether he’s been working on the scout team OL??

      Go Pitt.

      Like

  66. Good point pittman2003. Houy may be better suited inside the line? Still think Drexel will make a nice center as a senior but maybe a good guard the next two years while Morrissey mans the middle of the line.

    Like

  67. I wouldn’t be surprised if Morrissey turns Pro after this season. Also Paris Ford, Twyman and Joans II can go that route if they so chose.

    Like

  68. I would be shocked if anyone on this team turns pro early and think only a few will ever make it there for a paycheck. Receivers too small and not great hands or blazing speed. Running backs, no. QB may get a chance. O-line, Morrissey has a chance. TE’s, no. D-line – maybe Baldo if he develops and of course he has time and potential, PJII, not likely. Paris needs a different position, too small for safety. LB’s, close but no. Mathis and Jackson will come up short but get a shot.

    Kicker? lol
    Other kicker? nah

    Like

  69. Who is the first Pitt freshman to not qualify for a red shirt this season? No peaking at any of the other blogs for the answer folks.

    Like

  70. Good question jrn, I was talking with my one son earlier about this. I know Brandon George is very close but I don’t think he has played more than four games? Without looking, I think Wendell Davis is a red-shirt freshman.. Has Wayne played special teams before last Sat? I give up…..

    Like

    1. Wouldn’t surprise me if it’s AJ Woods working on special teams.

      Need that speed on the field. Supposedly AJ may be the fastest player on the team…

      Go Pitt.

      Like

  71. Reed made a good point many times on here that Coach Narduzzi’s recruiting classes haven’t produced any “stars” and that you need stars to win consistently.

    Now we seem to be seeing playmakers emerge from Coach Narduzzi’s recruits. And given the disadvantages that Pitt has in recruiting in a southern conference, this kind of makes sense to me. That is, that it will normally take a couple of years for the typical Duzz recruits to develop.

    I’m encouraged though by what we’re hearing about last year’s class (which appeared to be underwhelming), hoping it’s just not coach speak, of course…

    Then this year’s class, if we can hang on to them all, sounds pretty impressive.

    Still need lots of help at RB, TE, and OL. Good WRs, TEs and QBs should want to play for Coach Whip. Defensive players should love Coach Bates aggressive style…

    I’m encouraged, but cautious.

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I was just thinking that a handful of players may be drafted over the next few years. Since the team is composed of mostly underclassmen, there may not be tooo many this coming year … K Johnson, Ffrench (because of his speed) Hamlin, and possibly Watts and Jackson are candidates this year.

      Like

      1. Possibly Mathews if he gets more throws his way. My real fear is that Jones and Ford might go early.
        It is pretty amazing how young this team is. If Jones and Ford stay another year, with Weaver and Camp coming back, the defense should be incredible. The O-line should also be much better.

        Like

        1. Picking nits but I’d like to see them develop more depth at cornerback for next year. Will Marquise Williams be ready for prime time if pinnock or matthis gets hurt?

          Don’t get me wrong these are first world problems…

          Like

        2. Mack could possibly go early as well. Out of the three, Jones, Mack and Ford. Ford would benefit most by staying another year, especially if he is moved to corner. Draft position for the other two won’t improve all that much and should be pretty good right now. If they all stay next year could be pretty special.

          Like

  72. PITT 4-2………. It’s not just about where they are but how they got there. NOT TO SHABBY!

    Some don’t want to see the good times and people like me want to see through the fog and look hard for them. Yeah maybe sometimes too hard but never the less, whatever gets me through the night? Right??

    Liked by 3 people

    1. ike — looking back, it’s pretty scary to me. We really could be 1 and 5.

      But we’re not! 👍

      Because players made plays! 😊

      At the halfway mark, we’ve already had a full season of thrills and highlights!

      “Pitt Football — Best Deal in Town!” 🤔

      Go Pitt!

      Liked by 3 people

  73. Not to spoil the euphoria, but I am hearing talk from a lot of folks how Pitt is going to run the table.
    I find this quite funny since Pitt has three of the most razor thin victories we have ever seen. Now, there is a lot to be said for a team that wins the close ones and no doubt that is usually what separates the good teams from the average teams. However, I don’t see how we can expect to win every remaining game if they are all like that and I expect most will be.

    So what can we expect in the second half of the season? Does Pitt continue to squeak out victories? Will we dominate anyone for 4 quarters and win by more than a touchdown? Will we have a bad game or two when things don’t go our way? How many regular season wins do we expect now that we have 4 under our belt?

    The team certainly better play them one at a time and not look ahead, they should remember how they finished last year. But how good is this team, do they get better, or have we already seen their best? I am pretty sure we won’t see six turnovers in a game again.

    If the offense continues to improve and doesn’t turn the ball over, Pitt does have a good chance of winning the majority of the remaining games. Winning out is pretty much out of the question, when pretty much every game will be up for grabs.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree. Could they conceivably run the table? Yes. But it would require an significant amount of luck. I’d say about a 3% chance that they do

      Like

      1. You are in the ballpark. Based on the win probabilities of remaining games at this juncture and my knowledge of stats gained via Pitt, the chances are between 1.5 and 6 percent depending on the source for those probabilities.

        Good gut feel michael unless you took the same stats class at Pitt as did I. My biggest takeaways from that class other than knowing how to perform calculations was the professors insistence that some man and monkey intercourse started AIDS and how to beat Vegas at their own game. Funny what you remember.

        Liked by 1 person

  74. as far as players leaving early …. I suggest you all not worry about it until it happens. Can a couple players leave, sure! …. but may as well enjoy them while they are here

    Meanwhile …. I have never seen Pitt substitute so freely as I had seen lately. It may have been out of necessity vs UCF, but that wasn’t the case on Saturday. I noticed #3 David Green DL in the game, a RS FR, in the game the other day. Another RS FR Johnny Varzdel was in briefly, he’s a walk-on from NA (a la Idowu.) Natural frosh AJ Woods, Brandon George, Brandon Hill and V Davis has seen action in multi-games. FR Jared Wayne made a catch. Back-up RS Fr Eric Hallett, a DB, has seen plenty of action this year as has a host of other RS FR.

    These are just observations I have made …. I don’t have all of the data. But PN even hinted that he will play younger players this year and not worry about redshirts

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Also as mentioned before 27 different players made tackles. That was inflated a little by the turnovers, but still quite impressive.

        Like

  75. I noticed that the Pitt roster now lists only two fullbacks.

    One is Rashad Wheeler at 6-3 and 280. The other is a walk-on from Ohio named Elias Myers at 6-3 and 215.

    There were a couple more listed at the beginning of the season – must have left the team. Not a good situation, to state the obvious.

    Anyone know if Wheeler is injured? Did he play at all at Duke?

    I’m surprised they don’t try one of the athletic freshmen at FB, just for this season. three guys have the size for it. Kyi Wright is 6-2, 240 and is at TE. LB Brandon George is 6-2, 235. DL Deandre Jules is 6-2, 260.

    We certainly were spoiled by Fran’s buddy George “The Animal” Aston.

    Go Pitt.

    Like

    1. Obviously Whipple doesn’t use a fullback very much. Like to see one on the goal line though.
      Even on third and short, Whipple is going to call a pass a high percentage of the time.
      We are Air Whipple!

      Like

  76. Heading North to ride Bikes on the Allegheny River Trail. Emlenton towards Franklin today and Franklin to Oil City tomorrow. Trying to get in shape before Knee replacement in November. Joining the POV IR.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. GC, Had both knees replaced about 4-5 years ago. Best thing I ever did. (Hell, they’re the only two parts of my body that work well any more!🤪) Do your rehab religiously and you’ll be thrilled with the result.

      Liked by 2 people

  77. Gordon – re: your post @ 7:52am today.

    Great discussion fodder on a bye week.

    I really think its hard to know what to expect because the kids are developing all the time.

    The defense has an identity and a bit of swagger right now and I don’t see that unit disappointing us much the rest of the way, barring injuries. Of course , they can lay an egg or two, but I believe they will help keep us in each of our remaining ACC games.

    On offense, Duke clearly saw something in film that led them to attack the right side of the O line successfully. I would expect a couple things as a result. One is that Borbely will most likely give a little extra TLC (the T stands for technique) to those guys and as he did in the Duke game, may find it helpful to rotate those guys in and out. Also guessing that the RB’s will be asked to block on that side as well. Fix those things and I think the O can be more consistent.

    Our two stiffest tests (imo) will be Miami and UNC. Both have QBs who are playing well, have good RBs and players on D. Glad both of those are at home and I believe that the players will want to send a message in both games. We just have to hope that the ball bounces in our favor in those games (unlike the last UNC home game when Q. Henderson fumbled at the UNC 5.)

    If we show up and play with spirit (and avoid mistakes), I think its reasonable to expect us to win the other games. That doesn’t mean they will, I just think its reasonable for us as fans to expect it based on what we have seen so far this year.

    Winning out is unlikely, but is possible. If they did, I think even the most skeptical would have to agree that we have a decent team and that Narduzzi – despite his flaws – has delivered.

    For now, I’d say the expected outcome range has moved from 5-7 wins to 7.5-9, excl bowl game. Don’t ask me how I came up with 7.5 – its higher level math.

    Being a disciple of Huff III in predicting season or game records, I am not going to predict one.

    Liked by 2 people

  78. By the way the answer to my quiz question from yesterday is SirVocea Dennis. He is the only freshman right now that has played in 5 games and thus is not a candidate to red shirt. We have several freshman that have played in 4 games, I’m expecting at least 7 or 8 freshman will not qualify for a red shirt this season.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. What surprises me about Dennis playing in 5 games is that he seemed like such a reach of a recruit.

      Here are the other schools that offered:
      Air Force
      Elon
      Rhode Island
      Western Michigan
      Dartmouth
      Fordham
      Holy Cross
      Lafayette
      Lehigh
      Richmond
      UMass

      He’s from NJ, but no offer from Rutgers…

      Must be a good special teams player?

      Go Pitt.

      Like

  79. jrn, I did mention Sir Dennis along with four other players. I guess I figured if I named every freshman I was likely to be right like a broken clock twice a day.

    JoeL, how did you come up with 7.5? …. 🙂 I know, we weren’t suppose to ask you….

    Like

  80. I believe but not sure, being a little lazy today to look up and check but Syracuse vs NCS Thursday night and UNC vs Miami Friday night. That should help get you college football fix in this weekend with PITT off and also get a good scouting report going.

    Like

      1. My bad JoeL, I finally looked it up and saw that… This old brain ain’t what it use to be….. << and that’s not always a bad thing….

        Like

  81. Pitt has outscored opponents 91-46 in the first half. / Pitt has been outscored 89-38 in the second half.

    Obviously Pitt is usually well prepared at the start. However, all the second half failures can’t only be due to halftime adjustments.

    — Pitt gained more yards in the 2nd half than did PSU
    — Pitt pretty much dominated the 4th quarter vs UCF, holding them to just 3 pts
    — and against Duke, the Blue Devils didn’t score in third quarter until about 2 min left after Ford’s muff. And then 2 more turnovers after that led to scores.

    I believe some of it can be traced to Pitt playing too conservatively after the half

    Liked by 1 person

  82. We are 4-2 wining the 1s5t half of the game and losing the 2nd half. That will guarantee one thing, more losses, if we don’t get it together in the 2nd half of each game…we really disappear in the 1/3 period offensivel…..thanks wwb…excellent point to discuss…like to hear what others are thinking…

    Liked by 1 person

  83. ^^ What did you say Bernie??? Just kidding, another thing we have in common……… both proof reading deficient… Plus I just flat out refuse to proof read. Like you say… readers can figure it out.

    Like

  84. In case you haven’t seen this e-mail from Pitt:

    “The University of Pittsburgh basketball season tips off Friday, Oct. 11 at the Petersen Events Center with Blue and Gold Madness featuring Pittsburgh native and multi-platinum selling, Grammy and Golden Globe nominated recording artist Wiz Khalifa.

    Blue and Gold Madness begins at 9 pm and admission is free. The event will begin with player introductions and a 10-minute running clock scrimmage for the women’s basketball team. The 2019-20 Oakland Zoo shirt design will be unveiled prior to the men’s basketball team introductions. The men’s team will play a 15-minute Blue-Gold Scrimmage to cap off the basketball portion of the event.

    The evening will culminate with a live performance from a courtside stage at the Petersen Events Center by Wiz Khalifa.”

    Sounds pretty good. To top it off, we need Fran and Scooter to be there!

    Go Pitt.

    Like

    1. last week, Bill Self had to apologize for Snoop Dog’s language during Kansas BB kick-off. My guess is that Capel won’t have to …. but the only thing I know about Wiz K is that he is a Pgh native (I think)

      Like

      1. Khalifa was born in ND but moved to PGH when he was 6 and grew up here. And get this … he attended Taylor Allderdice. Do I see a medley where fellow TA alums Reed k and Wiz K performs? Reed can recite a few lines from Hamlet and Wiz can answer him in Rap

        Liked by 2 people

          1. Way to go wwb – I was going to make a sleazy joke about values & Kansas basketball.

            Is that Notre Dame or North Dakota?

            Like

  85. gc and John. The secret after serious surgery, as Eric knows, is to get your ass out of bed and start down the hallway ASAP! After my knee replacement the next day they told me, you’re going to PT, I was so sick in my stomach I didn’t want to go but they insisted. I was pissed and said I’ll go but will not participate. When I got there the first person ahead of me was an 80 some year old lady (i was only 44 at the time) who had just had knee replacement. She popped up out of her wheel chair and did the boogie woogie with her walker. They look at me and I thought oh sch*****. I thought they may have planted her there just to shame me but no…… lesson learned… I boogie woggied too.

    Liked by 1 person

  86. Kind of late in this thread and clearly off topic, but I agree on a off week like this a good topic would be predictions for (1) Pitt’s final record, remaining game-by-game, (2) bowl game invited to (based on final record), (3) bowl result, (4) yes/no will Pitt be ranked in the top 25 after bowl season. Of course all of the above could include an explanation of why.

    Like

  87. Great post Taxing.. Here’s the thing. I’m going to wait until Saturday to respond further. I think the games Thursday and Friday will go along ways in in predicting the rest of the season. BTW, that’s quite the assignment but I’ll be up to it come Saturday morning. OK, I’m sticking with 8-4 or better……

    Liked by 1 person

  88. Ike- I am going to respond now. Going to Pittsburgh tomorrow for my 50’th H.S. reunion & visiting with brother, sister in law & family. Taking my time to drive up. Overnight in that casino in Charleston area.

    I predicted a 8-4 regular season. 2-2 in OOC & 6-2 in ACC. No coastal division championship. Later, after the UCF victory, I upped the prediction to 9-3. Still think we lose 1 between Miami & UNC. But a sweep is possible.

    Friday 10/18 @Syracuse (3-2) – ESPN FPI 50.3% – “WIN”: A win over a bad NC State team won’t sway me into a believer in Cuse. They are more like the team that got blown out by Clempsum (expected) & Maryland then the team that blew out Holy Cross.

    Saturday 10/26 Miami (2-3) – FPI 46.2% – possible win: All 3 losses were to P5 teams. All were within one possession. Depends on which defense shows up. The one that gave up 28 to North Carolina or the one who allowed 42 to Va. Tech. (sorry, Va. Tech is not good.)

    Saturday 11/2 Ga. Tech (1-4) – FPI 76.8% – “WIN”: Ramblin’ Wreck says it all.

    Thursday 11/14 North Carolina (3-3) FPI 48.7 – “loss” All there games have been by one possession. (Won’t play FCS until the week before rivalry game against NC State). Really like their true freshman QB.

    Saturday 11/23 Virginia Tech (3-2) FPI 52.8% – “WIN” They may have beat turnover prone Miami but something is “rotten in Blacksburg”. Won’t learn anything in this weeks game against Rhode Island. Yep, they play 2 FS this year, BTW – They only beat Furman by 7.

    Saturday 11/30 Boston College (3-3) FPI 72.5 – “WIN” They got soundly beaten by Kansas. Do have a good running attack.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I like Carolina’s fresh QB as well… solid player and a tough bastad….

      Hey Richard, had a patient come in today- moved here from SC near the big Peach water tower….

      Like

      1. If he is from the Gaffney side of the river, probably doesn’t know me. The people on the Gaffney side don’t think much of us on the Blacksburg side
        .
        When I moved here in ’87, I was told these are the good subdivisions, these are the best places to live in the country. But whatever you do don’t move to the Blacksburg side of the river.

        I moved across the river.

        Like

    2. Just your luck on a bye week. Have fun Richard… Go revisit Eicher Road and remember where you grew up and why……… Remembering is the very fiber that makes up good people…..

      Liked by 1 person

  89. Regarding the 2nd half of the season:

    It is entirely reasonable to expect improvement in all areas of our game. Injuries are the standout unpredictability. However, it is also entirely reasonable to expect a similar improvement in each of our upcoming opponents.

    Two big advantages WE own over THEM:
    1.) We KNOW how to win (Pitt? Really??);
    B.) Our D is way ahead of the rest of our Division.

    In a league whose atmosphere is filled with footballs, we EXCELL at pressuring the QB, tackling the QB, and making his life miserable. We really do well at snuffing the run. And the O scores more points in 2 1/2 quarters than our opponents can do in 4 quarters.

    And so, as I gaze into my glass-full of koolaid, the tea leaves form a perfect “6”. And that, my friends, means (according the the Farmers’ Almanac) either we are going to win out, or we’ll have 6 more weeks of winter!

    H2P

    Liked by 5 people

  90. Richard and Bruce, wanted to be in Durham in the worst way. Sorry I missed you guys and all the other great POVer’s. PITT needs to keep on keeping it on…….. I like where they are heading and going!

    Liked by 1 person

  91. I think we will beat GT and BC but have no idea about the other 4. I worry that we play at both Syracuse and VT, and that Miami has more talent and UNC is much improved.. I will predict a split among those 4, meaning that Pitt finished 8 and 4.

    Like

  92. Iek – I was really hoping to meet you (finally!) In Durham. Looks to me like you’re going to make me come up there to a home game. I guess we are playing a game of “Chicken”; see who flinches first!

    Like

  93. savannahpanther, I plan on being at the UNC game for the tailgate. I doubt I make it to the game itself. Probably my last go round for PITT tickets after this year. I’ll email you later.

    EE, You must be kidding, I guess Narduzzi just got lucky with the D-Backs cause we all know he can’t recruit for crap!

    Liked by 1 person

  94. at he halfway point, French (50) and Mack (41) leads the ACC in number of catches. But Mack has 511 total yards while Ffrench only has 396. Meanwhile Sage Suratt at Wake Forest is 3rd with 34 catches but first with 515 yards.

    AJ is 6th in rushing – total yards 0f 184 (4,4 ypc)

    Like

  95. On September 18, 2011, your Alma Mater was introduced as the 14th member of the ACC. Voted in UNANIMOUSLY by the Council of Presidents.

    Forward to the future 8 years and 20 days later and your team is becoming the darling of the ACC:

    Packer and Durham, the ACC’s mouth-piece, can’t get enough of the Panther’s come-from-behind defeat of the Dukies. Both Mark Packer and Wes Durham have said the best helmet decals in the ACC are Pitt’s. Maybe the NCAA.

    They love our girl’s volleyball team and feel fortunate to have them represent them in the rankings. And their football correspondent Mark Richt has a man crush on Narduzzi. This is Narduzzi’s fifth year and these are HIS players and his defense is dominating after losing 2 DL starters.

    And when the 15 basketball coaches are paraded before the mike, how they fawned over Coach Capel. And Coach Capel submits his diatribe a la Mike Tomlin, only his turn of phrases make sense and conjure laughs.

    POV-ites continue to blog and pray the SOP anthem and wring your hands, but realize that you are not in Kansas (the Big East) anymore. You are finally accepted members in the academic conference; The ACC.

    Liked by 9 people

    1. Not sure if that is all FACT rather than some opinion but it reads real nice. It points back to being relevant and that hasn’t been for a while at Pitt and if it were to happen in both FB and BB, that would be awesome. I’m sure all here would love it….well at least those that still post. 😉

      Liked by 2 people

      1. FWIW, I don’t have ACCN so don’t know how Richt feels about Pitt but I do listen to ESPNU a lot this time of year and can confirm that Mark Packer has been on the Capel bandwagon since his hire (he thought the Stalling hire was the worst from the get-go), and he is very high on Narduzzi, especially this year.

        Like

        1. to clarify – in addition to his morning show with Durham on ACCN, Mark Packer also has an evening show on ESPNU radio which can be heard on SiriusXM

          Like

    2. Not saying you are wrong because your not. Put is indeed earning it. But I’ll also point out that that top three football teams were on bye last week. Glad Pitt could step up and create some news!

      Like

      1. I know that coach K made headlines when speaking about pay to play issues at the ACC media days, but these whole prepared speeches are kinda lame in my opinion and just come across as not genuine. Capel sounded much more authentic and, quite frankly, more intelligent given that he wasn’t reading a script.

        Same goes for Franklin’s prepared speech about the Penn State fan’s disgust over dreadlocks.

        Like

  96. A man was asked to move a mountain of rocks from one side of the road to the other side. He didn’t know where to start with this overwhelming job when a stranger walking down the middle of the road picked up one stone and tossed it to the other side. You guys figure the rest out. << One stone a day…………..

    Liked by 2 people

  97. Heading down to Phillipi, West (By God) Virginia for my first college’s (Alderson Broaddus) Homecoming weekend. Lots of good FB to watch while our boys recuperate. If I survive the weekend I’ll catch with y’all next week, H2P!

    Liked by 2 people

  98. This is just weird to see:

    —Minnesota is favored by 7.5 over Nebraska.
    —Minny has a 68% chance of winning over the Huskers.

    Just weird, especially if you are old…

    Go Pitt.

    Like

  99. Here are two words that should cheer you up:

    HABAKKUK BALDONADO!

    I’m not saying he’s the next L.C. Greenwood, but he has that type of body…

    Go Pitt.

    Like

  100. Hypothetical-where do you guys/gals think we would be ranked if we were undefeated at this point… That would’ve given Penn State in Virginia Beach a second loss…

    Just something to ponder

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I like to ponder where Pitt would be if they had PSU’s schedule so far … I say 4-0-1. (but starting this week, it will get rougher for them)

      Also, concerning the new Top 25 faces ….. (from Dokish)

      No. 23 Memphis has beaten 3-3 Ole Miss, Southern, South Alabama, Navy, and Louisiana-Monroe
      No. 21 SMU has beaten Arkansas St, N. Texas, Texas St, 3-2 TCU, 2-3 USF, and 2-3 Tulsa in 3 OTs
      No. 19 Wake Forest has beaten Utah St, Rice, 3-3 UNC, Elon, and 3-3 Boston College

      Meanwhile, Pitt has been underdog in 4 of the 6 games so far

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Thanks Bill…just add Clarion, Juniata, W and J fwe become a top 25 team just like that and keep the $$$ in WPA……for some reason I love playing the biggies..heck, wish we could trade Carolina for Clemson…I know we have a fighting chance against the Tigers…these guys will go toe to toe with the best ..there is some fight in this dog if they know they are in for a fight….’who left the dogs out’…..

        Liked by 1 person

  101. Major –
    Good point on Baldonado. He’s going to be pretty good.

    And, I work with a Nebraska guy out here. He’s pleased with the new coach and the rebuilding that is going on, but concedes that they are not there yet. The Nebraska QB seems to have taken a half step back after a really promising freshman campaign. Still, he’s solid. Given them another two years and they will likely win that half of the Big10… Thankfully my CU Buffs (grad school) beat them two years in row!

    Like

  102. My thoughts…in the mid-tier of the Pop 25 with Penn State being ranked wanted to noxious above us even though we be them in the imaginary scenario… Just above start balls… Funding to speculate… Who would’ve thunk SMU, ASU and WF would be up there in the rankings….

    Like

      1. Hold your horses here Ozzy. Don’t know if you’re serious or not, hoping not. 🙂 Just in case there is, a need to know. B dictates and still has a Pittsburghese accent. << Schitttt gets lost in translation.

        Like

    1. Yeah, ike, he’s really come on strong for a redshirt freshman, especially one with limited playing experience in HS.

      Haba, Haba, Haba!

      Go Pitt.

      Like

    1. BTW, Israel is listed as 5’11” and 196 pounds…

      (RB recruit Henry Parrish is listed as 5’9” and 175 pounds…)

      Go Pitt.

      Like

  103. Israel may end up being our starting RB next year. PSN has a story out there on him today. Coach Powell visited him this week. I’m sure Pitt doesn’t want to lose 2 running backs that they thought they had committed.

    Like

  104. “Jaylen Twyman has been added to the watch list for the Chuck Bednarik Award annually presented to college football’s defensive player of the year!”

    Whatta ya know!

    Liked by 2 people

  105. Jaylen Twyman was also named the Outland Trophy National Defensive Player of the month(September) by the Football Writers Association Of America. Evidently they never consulted with POD before making that selection.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. JT was mentioned by Charlie Partridge on this week’s Pitt Script edition as one of the two best DL he has ever coached.

      Hmmm…

      Like

  106. Random thoughts:

    Pitt covers the spread with a great win this Saturday. 🙂

    The Steelers lose another one with Bubby Hodges at QB. (or is it Ducky Brister).

    Ryan Switzer should not be on an NFL roster. This speaks to the depth the Steelers have reached.

    Do I really have to root for Miami tomorrow against Virginia. It pain me. I think Miami loses another one with a new QB playing.

    Twyman is good and will get better. Don’t forget his numbers are for an interior DL. He has to beat multiple guys to get to the QB or to get a TFL. Easier for a defensive end.

    Liked by 3 people

  107. I would very much to like to comment on the POV how well the PITT football team is coached but I just can’t right now. Too many mental errors and too many breakdown at crucial times. Having said that, this PITT football team is kick-ass. Here’s hoping Pat reigns the team in with their adolescent hi-jinx BS. Win the dam games and forget about it and move on to next week!! Let’s be PITT………..

    Liked by 3 people

  108. I don’t know how you coach discipline? But it wouldn’t hurt for the coaching staff to spend a whole day with this team trying to have them think a little before they act. They certainly have plenty of examples on tape for them to utilize in that training secession.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Exactly jrn and then you sit the violators butts on the bench and punish them knowing they realize they are punishing their team for their behavior. A player pushing away a teammate or coach is unacceptable. and a team captain no less…….. NO!

      Liked by 1 person

  109. I think (but could be persuaded otherwise) I like the scenario of UVA getting their a$$ handed to them against Clemson in Charlotte, while we come in second in a tiebreaker with 9-10 wins and go to the Pinstripe Bowl.

    Is that nuts?

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Love the confidence, JoeL, but we are still a long, long way from 9 wins.

      I think this team may be different because of the good defense, but too often in the past when things were looking promising, we have fallen on our faces…

      I like the old one-heart-stopping-game-at-a-time approach… 😊

      Go Pitt!

      Like

  110. No JoeL that is not nuts. From what I have read on all blogs and message boards since last year is that PITT finished with 7 losses without one single hooray PITT won the coastal division affording them the opportunity to lose one extra game. So to hell with that. Let UVA lose the extra game this year without the kudos. but shhh (i still think PITT wins the coastal again) and wins the ACC title game…. but again shhhh.

    Like

    1. while Clemson is good, I don’t believe they are as good as last year. They had 3 DL who were drafted in the 1st round plus a handful of other losses, and remember, they won the 2 playoff games by an average of 28 points.. I still expect them to make the playoffs but will be surprised if they repeat.

      Like

  111. Watching Cuse vs NC State…. did not know that Eric Dungy went undrafted and was cut by the NY Giants after given a tryout at TE of all positions.. really enjoyed watching him – one tough competitor…. guys like Dungy makes college ball so much more fun to watch than the NFL…

    Like

  112. I sure hope PITT can beat Syracuse because they aren’t that good but being on the road will make the game a little tougher though. A by the wayer……… I do like the way the schedule has shook out after and considering the way PITT had to play UVA right off the bat. This bye week was perfect timing.

    Like

  113. Is it Big B?
    I saw him giving passing technique lessons to some tailgaters at the Duke game…maybe Dooz got wind of it.
    If KP starts throwing jump passes…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. BigB would be sporting #11 or #12… but since the sporting world knows that could Duzz be using trickery again…..

      Has anyone seen Grant Carringan on the field this year … I haven’t…was the top TE listed in either the spring or fall camp if I remember correctly….Would expect him to move on next year if he doesn’t play… Hopefully we see an up-tick in O recruiting since we are starting to air it out… need some coaching consistency on this side of the fall, after all, it took 5 years to see a D that looks solid….

      Like

      1. Looks like we just offered a TE from Florida. He has an offer from Florida. Said he expects to make a visit to Pitt.

        Turns out the kid’s dad is friends with Pitt’s baseball coach. (Notice how Heather has everything falling into place…)

        😊

        Go Pitt.

        Liked by 1 person

  114. Acorn is running season 9 of Doc Martin.
    Had dinner in Franklin PA two nights ago, which I believe was the home of FranCan.
    Bella Cucina a great restaurant if you get the chance, super bike trails. Over did it with a 30 mile ride the first day, sixteen the second.
    “A great day for a golf game” today. Still should be a few good ones left.

    Looking forward to Homecoming and seeing yinz guys. Will be even more special if we beat Syracuse (again)

    Liked by 1 person

  115. Just read the articles on the Syracuse-NC State game. Two good defenses. DeVito banged up but still threw for 300. Sacked 6 times. NC State QB struggling. Looks to be a good match-up for Pitt, but “one never knows, do one?”

    Like

  116. MM – what the heck is going on? All week long I have been waiting for some type of “Know Your Enemy” column. We have a big battle this week against “Bye”, and so far, no mention of it. BTW, I think we are 0-5 for the Narduzzi years, so we really need to be on our game this weekend!

    Like

    1. 😂😂😂

      Don’t worry Bruce the tales of my demise have been greatly exaggerated

      Without going into too much detail, work intervened and yes the bye week enabled me to coast a little bit on the blog. Was planning on posting something light today and then some kind of midseason review piece in a few days so stay tuned

      Like

  117. To change things up a bit, here’s an article written by Gene Collier years ago I find funny every-time I read it

    You can’t keep Carbon Man down:

    Profound sadness would probably be stretching it, but it was with reasonable regret that I learned via the U.S. mail of the death of Carbon Man, the headlining hero of my hometown newspaper.

    A friend was concerned enough to send me the final chapter, splashed somewhat tastelessly across the top of the local section of another newspaper, meaning that it ended for Carbon Man on the road.

    “Carbon Man killed, his wife injured in Rte. 248 Crash.”

    Alas, poor CM, we’d known his every move growing up just off the pouting western lip of Carbon County. We followed his development in the frequent accounts of local headline writers, “Carbon Man arrested,” “Carbon Man indicted,” “Carbon Man convicted,” “Carbon Man sentenced,” “Carbon Man sodomized,” “Carbon Man born again.”

    Similarly, we lamented, even before Carbon Man’s predictably violent end, how this newspaper and others nationally have failed to prepare a recurring news figure with anything approaching Carbon Man’s elan, much less his cachet, much less his penchant for high jinks (“Carbon Man’s pig bites mayor”).

    The most recent attempt nationally is the sudden appearance of Disturbed Man, pushed recently into headline prominence on the local page in The New York Times (“Disturbed Man shoots self at St. Patrick’s”). It’s probably too early to comment on the literary potential of Disturbed Man, except to say that he seems a trifle obvious.

    “Perfectly Well-Adjusted Man shoots self at St. Patrick’s” seems more intriguing, frankly, and I’m afraid that Disturbed Man might ultimately prove too, uh, disturbing for the readers. In his recent adventures, Disturbed Man is clearly having a difficult time staying within himself. Having to be subdued by passengers on an airplane while trying to get into the cockpit, for example, is not the kind of thing that’s going to sustain notoriety. Or so we hope.

    “Disturbed Man wins Nobel,” as he did in the Oscar-winning film “A Beautiful Mind” is more promising, certainly, but it’s not the kind of thing that happens every Wednesday.

    The PG’s uneven attempts to develop Masked Man continues to lose steam as well. Masked Man rarely makes the headlines anymore, and indeed his rare appearances indicate that he’s on the downslope of a disappointing career. Last October, he carried grenades into a children’s clinic in Vladikavkaz, Russia, took 19 hostages and exchanged them for $67,000, then sped off drunk. In January, he tried to rob a convenience story in Indiana County, the wallet of a customer, and finally the customer’s car, and failed on all three. And in February, while robbing a Pizza Hut, he hung around to rob the returning delivery driver as well. To some that would suggest a certain versatility, but it’s more likely a lack of focus.

    Squirrel Hill Man and Cranberry Man have turned up in our pages, but neither appears to have the modest upside of even Coneman, an artificial hero propped up by a government-PR axis. Has it come to this? We can’t develop real headline heroes on our own? We have to get them from PennDOT?

    Designed to ease the public relations nightmare triggered by the Fort Pitt Tunnel closing, Coneman lacks even minimal versatility (“Coneman threatens ‘Operation Shutdown’ “?). On his Web site, the big guy in the dubious yellow tights says in his cartoon balloon, “Have no fear, you can get here from there!” Which is why they didn’t call him Rhyme Man. Pictured there with his trusty dog, “Detour” I guess, Coneman flashes the confident smile of a person who is not inside a vehicle.

    I called Coneman on his 888 number, not so much to talk lane closures but to gauge his chances for headline prominence in the long term (“Coneman presses Arafat”), but all I got was his recording, on which he sounded suspiciously like former Channel 11 anchor Kris Long. He boomed about what numbers I could press if I wanted this or that, but he never got around to what I really wanted: “If you want Carbon Man to live, press 3.”

    So with severe melancholy I went back to the Web site of my hometown paper to see if, perhaps, CM had been reincarnated. There appeared most of the usual stuff. “Dog growls at passer-by” (seriously), “Schuylkill Man (Carbon Man’s hapless understudy) charged in assault outside bar,” and, what — could it be? — yes: “Carbon Man jailed for assault with car.”

    Praise be, he is risen. Long live the king.

    Liked by 1 person

  118. MM – the old, “Work Got In The Way” routine, huh? How ’bout, “The Dog Ate My Post?” (Can dogs really do that to a laptop??)

    OK, we’ll let you off the hook this time, but you are on a short leash – just long enough to let you reach the laptop!!

    Liked by 1 person

  119. ^^ Mike. Gene is from Carbon County and he played the spoof off the “Carbon Man” for years as some sort of super hero in his small hometown newspaper… Carbon Man saves child, Carbon Man saves kitten in tree, Carbon Man walks little old ladies across the street.. and so on… Carbon Man is everywhere!

    Still don’t know who to root for tonight??

    Like

    1. I’m leaning towards rooting for the Cavs. If they beat them, it pretty much takes them out of contention for spots 1-2 in the Coastal. But again, I could be convinced otherwise.

      Like

  120. JoeL, yes I’m leaning the same way. PITT has already lost to UVA and play Miami the following week. Don’t need them to come to Heinz all full of themselves, not that they won’t anyways….

    Like

  121. Thursday and Friday ACC games both very low scoring… D is back in style…. maybe Duzz’s style of play is trending …. take note Dabo…..

    Like

  122. One of Pitt’s 2020 recruits is a 3 star WR from Georgia, Jaylon Barden who has 10 TD catches midway through the season. Below is a highlight of one of those TD’s –

    https://mobile.twitter.com/RecruitGeorgia/status/1180524744371789824?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1180524744371789824&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fpittsburghsportsnow.com%2F2019%2F10%2F11%2Fpitt-2020-commit-wr-jaylon-barden-cant-wait-to-arrive-in-pittsburgh%2F

    His receiving stats rank him in the top 5 of all HS receivers in the state of Georgia this season.

    Enjoy the bye week –

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Jaylon Bardon appears to have some nice quickness to him. Looks like an excellent prospect to be a big-play guy.

      The way Pitt is throwing the ball now, and Coach Whips past success with turning out WRs and TEs with big pass-catching numbers, should help Pitt with recruiting players like this…

      Now to find that elusive big-time TE… 👍

      Go Pitt.

      Like

  123. The Miami vs Pitt homecoming game sets up to be a HUGE game for the Panthers – bigger than we can even imagine unless we lay an orange turd on Friday.

    Let’s Go Pitt!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. From here on out they are all must win games for us, Virginia, Miami and Carolina…. one game at at time…incentive and opponents who will punch back… just what the doctor ordered for our boys…. they need to be in real battles- that’s when they give their best…. my only concern is our history following an off week but for some strange reason not feeling it so much this Go ‘ round

      Liked by 2 people

  124. Predicted…

    Virginia will LOSE… CHECK!

    Miami will be the SURPRISE of the ACC… Kind of a CHECK!

    Jaylen Twyman… Mostly OK, sometimes GOOD… CHECK!

    Damar Hamlin… Good but OVER-rated… CHECK!

    Like

  125. Hamlin…anyone think he has a legit shot at another year at pitt? Seems like he has a good case. He isn’t even close to being drafted in the mock drafts so far either. Would love to have him one more year.

    Like

  126. The difference between the Pitt and Miami defenses looks to be in the red zone.

    Hopefully Pitt working on their red zone D this week.

    Another targeting call very similar to Ford’s where the receiver ducks his head.

    Not sure how you change human nature or the laws of physics.

    ACC Coastal very much up for grabs. Conference may be as well with Clemson seemingly in an off year (for them) so far.

    Hopefully getting healthy this week, need depth for the rest of the season.

    This week may be decided by which QB is the healthiest.

    Like

  127. I think Hamlin has a decent to good chance of another year and I don’t know why he wouldn’t want to come back. He needs another year of maturing and dding muscle.

    Now that UVA has lost a game PITT must put together a long win streak and win the “lousy” coastal division. Imagine me talking about that again the whole off season. ouch! BTW, I really believe PITT could give Clemson a real tough time and could actually beat them.

    The next two PITT games are Biggies with a capital B!

    Like

  128. good nigh for Pitt sports

    1) In addition to the men’s soccer beating #22 VT,
    2) woman’s volleyball swept the Cuse, and
    3) Pitt BB had opening night and (a) the ‘injured’ J Champagnie was dunking, (b) former players attended -DeJuan Blair, Carl Krauser, Mike Cook, Julius Page, Chevy Troutman, and Ronald Ramon –, and (c) apparently Wiz Khalifa didn’t curse.

    Liked by 3 people

  129. Sheesh, don’t say I never did nothing for you ieK

    Saturday, October 12

    Georgia Tech    
    Duke
    

    12:30 PM ACCNX Wallace Wade Stadium, Durham, NC
    Florida State
    #2 Clemson
    3:30 PM ABC Memorial Stadium , Clemson, SC
    Rhode Island
    Virginia Tech
    4:00 PM ACCN Lane Stadium, Blacksburg, VA
    Louisville
    #19 Wake Forest
    7:30 PM ACCN BB&T Field, Winston-salem, NC

    Like

  130. I hope the Cardiac Panthers use the bye week to re-tool the offensive play-calling based on a breakdown of what worked and what didn’t over the first half.

    The sideways passes don’t seem to be working. Early on we were using a lot of shallow crossing patterns. The timing seemed to be off on them — looked like some big-play potential if we’d have Gotten the ball to the WR a tad sooner or a bit later. I hope we go back to them…

    Go Pitt.

    Like

  131. I was wondering about our man George Aston. Turns out he was cut by Broncos and hasn’t heard from anyone else. What are the Steelers thinking?

    Anyway, there was an article in the Winchester Star on Oct. 2nd. Here’s a portion of it…

    “But two days after Denver’s final preseason game, the Broncos parted ways with Aston on the deadline day for the NFL teams to set their rosters at 53 people. Each NFL team has a practice squad that can include up to 10 players, but the Broncos didn’t elect to add Aston to that either. On Sept. 1, Denver decided to go outside the organization to add to its fullback depth, claiming New England tight end/fullback Andrew Beck off waivers.

    Aston said he wasn’t given any specific feedback from the Broncos on Aug. 31 as to why he was let go.

    Since then, Aston said his agent has reached out to teams, but nothing has developed. While Aston waits for an opportunity, he’ll continue to work out in Stephens City.

    There are more opportunities to play professional football besides the NFL — for example, the eight-team XFL will begin play in February — but Aston’s focus right now is trying to play with the best football players in the world.

    “I’m still planning on playing in the NFL right now, for sure,” Aston said. “I still feel like it’s going to work out. It’s just waiting to see who I hear from.”

    Best wishes to George – hope he gets a shot.

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My sec comments come after hearing about the possibility of three SEC teams in the playoff this morning.

      And the ACC Coastal is sooo horrible.

      A little rub at the pundits!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  132. As far as recent history for Narduzzi and PITT after a bye week, I firmly believe the exact opposite is going to happen this coming week. Narduzzi, Bates and Whipple will have PITT super prepared for the orange. Especially after the UVA loss last night. ok ok, I’m being a little over the top with exuberance but it is game day. Put me in coach!

    Yeah, I thought the Steelers would have reached out to Georgie by now with Nix out of action. Not to mention their running game struggling. wtf! SIGN GEORGIE FOR DAM SAKES!!

    Liked by 1 person

  133. If you are watching the Georgia vs SC overtime game, you saw that Georgia WR’s drop passes and SC kickers miss FG’s.

    Hmmm…

    The SEC is perceived to be sooo good. Miami should have beaten #7 Florida.

    UNC beat SC earlier this season and #3 Georgia is in OT with SC.

    Liked by 1 person

  134. Here’s a stat we need to remedy:

    Through the first six games:

    Our opponents have been called for 25 penalties for 269 yards.

    The Pitt Panthers have been called for 53 penalties for 499 yards.

    Just another indicator that we can play much better than we have played.

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 2 people

  135. Hornibrook came in on FSU’s third series. He completed two passes then was sacked and then threw an INT.

    Clemson now up 21-0.

    I’ll take Cardiac Kenny!

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. after the opener at USF back in August, Wisconsin hasn’t left Madison yet. Then after 5 straight at home they play an easy one at Illinois. But then it travels to Columbus for its one tough game. After that, its hardest game is at home vs Iowa.

      They could make it to the national title if they win at Columbus or with one loss and win the B10 title … so it comes down to those two games

      I do believe Jonathan Taylor should win the Heisman but will be surprised if he is voted in

      Like