Whether you are basking in it, or fuming over it, it’s been a full two days since Pitt’s win over Syracuse.  Lets get the goods, bads and uglies out of our system before turning our attention to the hated ‘Canes.

The Good

Kenny Pickett:  His stat line wasn’t great, but he took a lot of hits and hung in there.  He also threw a picture-perfect back shoulder dart to Maurice Ffrench for a touchdown.  Pickett’s best play may have been at halftime when he saw “too many smiles” in the locker room and told the team they need to learn how to win by putting people away and finishing the right way.  While the team may or may not have taken it to heart this time around, Kenny’s speech is the kind of leadership Pitt needs if they want to have a shot a making this a special season.  Well done sir, and keep it up.

Aaron Matthews:  Had a bad drop early, but rebounded and caught his first career touchdown on a trick play.  Matthews brings his lunchpail to work every day, does what the coaches ask of him, and he does it well.  Lets hope they ask him to catch more passes in the back half of the season, because I think he’s a talent waiting to emerge.

AJ Davis:  16 for 103, 6.4 YPC, long of 19, 1 TD.  Ran harder and lower than I’ve seen him run all year.  Channeled his inner James Connor and threw a nice stiffarm.  Iced the game with a bruising three yard run in the fourth quarter.  My only complaint is that they gave him only 16 touches.

Maurice Ffrench (the Receiver):  6 for 92 and 1 TD, 15.3 average.  They Orange chose to  double-cover Taysir Mack and Ffrench made them pay.  That ladies and gentlemen is how it’s supposed to work.

Safety Play:  Damar Hamlin had his best game of the season.  Jazzee Stocker stepped up and filled in for Paris Ford nicely in the first half.

For the fun of it, which stat line belongs to Ford and which belongs to Stocker?

  • 6 tackles, 4 solo.  0 Sack.  0 TFL.  1 PD.
  • 6 tackles, 3 solo.  1 Sack.  1 TFL.  0 PD.

(hint:  Ford didn’t sack the quarterback)

9 Sacks:  Pitt has more sacks through seven games than any team in the last 14 years.  That’s any team in the country.  To put it another way, 130 (the number of teams in FBS) x 14 = 1820.  So yes, Pitt team has more sacks than the 1820 teams that came before it, and that’s all without their top two defensive linemen.  So much for Narduzzi not being able to find or develop talent.

Here is the national “Sack Rate” ranking for the teams that remain on Pitt’s schedule:

  • Miami – 127th
  • Georgia Tech – 121st
  • North Carolina – 108th
  • Virginia Tech – 89th
  • Boston College – 1st 

The Bad

Maurice Ffrench (the Punt Returner):  Muff #3 on the season.  Fortunately the defense bowed up and only gave up three points.  Still, you’d like to see Ffrenchy reel those in with more consistency.  Turnovers will cost Pitt another game this season, mark my words.

Pass Blocking:  To be fair, Syracuse had some good players on that defense, especially at End.  But Kenny was on his back too much, and he was forced out of the pocket too often.  Pitt’s OL “sack rate: (same stat as above) is 31st on paper, but in reality, the line is not pass blocking consistently.  Pitt had better find some answers next week before Miami, because the ‘Canes are as talented a line as we will face all season.

Tight Ends:  Two catches, 19 yards.  Can’t remember if it was on four targets or five.  Griffin-Stewart dropped one in the second half that hit him in the hands and would have kept a drive going.  Fellas, it’s called a JUGS machine, and I’m sure there are a few of them on the Southside.

The Ugly

The Second Half:  Pitt seemed to sleepwalk through most of the second half again.  Yes Syracuse changed some things up and yes they played hard, but if you watched the game, you saw a hack of a lot of mistakes from the guys in Blue and Yellow.  This will come back to bite them if they don’t correct it soon.

This (ugly in a good way):

136 thoughts on “Monday Morning Quarterback – Syracuse

  1. I’d like to see the team play with more discipline, be more mentally tough and more opportunistic on D. That’s Tex the coach speaking.

    Still inexcusable to sleepwalk through the second half of games. That’s 200 percent on the coaches.


    1. Pitt coaching was looking ahead, like Miami as it happens in college football.

      Oh, and look at why happened to Wisky against the Illini.

      Pitt won and that’s good. No such thing as a bad win. H2P!


  2. Eckrich Defensive team of the week: Paris Ford Safety. Making this team playing only 1/2 a game. I’m not sure we see him at Pitt come next season since he’ll have the option to enter the NFL Draft.


  3. Good: 5-2 / The TV announcing crew, both whom I found to be refreshingly frank and right on point. They rightfully were critical of both teams as well the referees.

    Bad: And speaking of the Refs … just when you thought you witnessed the epitome of incompetence, these a$$clowns show up. What an embarrassment to the ACC!

    Ugly: And speaking of embarrassment …. of course it’s the 2nd half. One of these days, Pitt will play well throughout ….. Nah!



  4. While KP’s stat line wasn’t impressive, his passing efficiency rating of 133.6 was his best except for the Ohio game (152.1). Overall, he has a passing efficiency of 119.4. That ranks him #90 (of 106) in FBS.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Great point Richard. You also just gave me an idea for good angle in this week’s QB corner. 🍻


    2. the only stat i care about a QB is can he win
      Kenny hasnt cost Pitt any games and has several game winning drives
      Pitt is winning ugly but at least Pitt is winning
      maybe the lack of pretty wins is preventing Pitt from becoming ranked
      there is no way certain teams in the top 25 should be ahead of Pitt

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Excellent article, MM. You’ve got the G-B-U covered pretty thoroughly. Plus the game seems so long ago, my old brain can’t remember stuff…

    (Hoping Tex is okay and doesn’t encounter the Wicked Witch of the Southwest…)

    Good – Pitt is 5-2 (somehow!).
    —AJ Davis’ TD run and last carry.
    —KP to Ffrenchy pass and catch, (actually it was elite!).
    —Getting votes in the polls…

    Bad – 3rd Quarter offense…
    -The Drops! We need all the receivers to start making the routine catches routinely and some “Wow” catches, as well.
    -The muffed punt…

    Ugly – Whining about this Pitt team that has rung so much out of this season. We could be 2-5 except for some great plays made by some pretty good players at crunch time.

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Now I remember some more stuff…

    Some other “Goods”…
    —Hamlin’s play…
    —Paris Ford’s big hit without getting a penalty…
    —The play of LBs Campbell, Johnson, Bright and Pine…

    Other “Bads” …
    — What were Dane Jackson and Mathis thinking with the excessive hand grabbing and holding on in their coverage — especially with a backup QB in the game? (Were the Orange WRs way better/more dangerous than we thought?)
    —The decision to run out the opening kickoff when the hang-time on the kick seemed like at least 30 seconds…
    —Does it seem like a couple of our starters on the Oline should shed a few pounds? Not exactly looking nimble on some plays…

    Go Pitt.


  7. Good: We won,,,I didn’t think it would be pretty..
    Kradel seems to be solid in play and in his physique…looks athletic..running game improved-Cuse has a good DL especially DE’s so hopefully it will continue to grow. I miss the “big Back” pounding the ball..guess I have been spoiled over the last 5-6 years…

    Bad: dropped passes- 3 by my count..all would have extended a drive and possibly another score or 2…maybe the country is taking notice and this passing O will be able to get some “good hands” people and and one or 2 big receivers who can go deep…until that is accomplished we will lack a complete passing game…we need a VERTICAL component….

    4th and 25 and pressing on the corners…already been said but Duzz needs to answer the question “Why???” We probably can guess his answer.

    #77 OT for us…watched player blow by him a few times..big but slow…would like to see a replay to watch the OL as I usually follow the football…

    Uggggh: muffed punt again…seems like the guy catching the ball should have a 2-3 yard zone like the ole days..fielding a punt is a challenge in itself (have your ever tried to catch one of those boomers)…kick returns are all but about gone from the game.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. The ACC has the worst football refs of any of the power conferences. I do not know if it is pay or training. But if it continues the ACC will be called out for its incompetence by TV audiences.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. This season is definitely dispelling a lot of the myths that our “realist” friends were spreading about Narduzzi. He has proven he can recruit and develop top talent. He has a championship level defense that lost its top returning defensive lineman before the season.
    He can drive me nuts at times and the way the team plays at times can be disastrous. But overall we are lucky to have him as a coach. My friends who follow other teams feel the same way and luckily most pitt fans do as well.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Not so fast Pitt Man
      Proving he can recruit D- linemen is like Chryst proving he can recruit O – linemen
      I dont see any elites on this team outside the line (P Ford is the exception but he was a legit 4 star so no surprise)
      The D is finally very good
      The O…not so much


      1. Until a rash of PI penalties last week Matthis was pretty damn good. I still think he has a shot at all acc honors

        Pinnock really good too but hamstring is still not right IMO


        1. I’m talking elite talent. Game changers. It’s solid. It’s ACC talent. It’s good

          But nobody outside ford can dominate a game. Fords a second or third round pick.

          Pitts problem on defense is the penalties and lack of turnovers.


          1. Tex you are moving the goal posts. Since we are in the ACC shouldn’t we have ACC talent? And you are just wrong that Paris ford is the only guy on the defense that will be drafted in the first three rounds.


    1. Hahahaha. Try clearing your browser history “from the beginning of time”

      Or using a different browser


  10. Good:

    Pitt won. You must not watch college football if you were pissed about any of the game. College football is unpredictable. There were crazy games all weekend. That is why it is the best sport to follow.
    Young players, unpredictable kickers, bonehead plays, bad officiating, crazy turnovers…all over the country! It isn’t a Pitt thing.

    Pitt’s third down conversions were great. If there were no drops it would have been really impressive.

    D line.


    Drops drops drops.

    Officiating was pathetic.

    Liked by 3 people

  11. The Good:

    The players made many individual plays.

    The Bad:

    The players messed up on a few plays

    The Ugly:

    Referees that tried to give Syracuse a fifth down, didn’t know where to spot the ball, had to go to replay, which seemed to take forever to figure it out. WTF? They also called a lateral pass a forward pass, had to go to replay and called a fumble, went to replay which didn’t show what really happened and still reversed the call. All three eventually went our way, so there is that, but again, WTF?

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Pitt hasn’t accomplished anything yet. Five wins are great but a home win against Miami is really needed for the average Pittsburgh fan to get on the bandwagon.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Agree, and for the national media as well. While I am pleasantly surprised by the team this year there is still a pretty good chance that Pitt will lay its annual egg against Miami.

      Yes I want to believe, but I’ve been burned way too many times before. Pitt’s got to prove it to me and everyone else. BeatMiami (even if only by one point) and they will have earned the unquestioned right to be in the top 25, and also earned the right for fans to be really excited about the season.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. However, within the context of Pitt becoming relevant in the national discussion involving team ranking, that was simply a step in the correct direction. Beat Miami & we will be ranked. If Pitt isn’t ranked in the top 25 after beating the Hurricanes, considering their tuff OOC schedule & their then 6-2 record, then the ranking system can be accused of being rigged. Totally! H2P.


  13. Ford may not have had a sack but he did knock their starting QB out of the game.

    I’m not entirely blaming the coaches on this particular 2nd half swoon. Player mistakes caused the lackluster play.

    THE GOOD: It was win, period.

    THE BAD: Muffed punts and dropped passes will find PITT on the wrong end of the score in any of the remaining games.

    THE UGLY: The refs and over half of the season is over already. boo!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Looks like the Miami game will be “the game” that defines what type of football team PITT has this year? They certainly are an enigma as usual.

    I’m in the minority in thinking that PITT’s offense has looked good this year and is much improved over last season. Now I’m talking about coaching and concept here. Execution is another thing all together. Unforced turnovers and dropped passes are making the whole team look inept at times. Time to break out the whole game package next Saturday.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Well maybe not NRS but I keep reading about the lousy play calling without any consideration into player errors. KP has missed many wide open receivers earlier this season and dropped passes haven’t helped much either. I just see so much potential here and the running game finally getting going is no coincidence either. That’s the way it’s suppose to work, A good passing offense opens up the run game. Last year the run game should have opened up the passing game but PITT didn’t have Whipple there to expose it.


        1. I agree. I love Whipple as OC. The plan moving forward should be that Whipple grooms Beatty to be his eventual replacement as he goes into retirement in a few years. Pitt should then sign Whipple as an offensive consultant. A perfect retirement job. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

  15. You can always question a few coaching decisions to make a negative point about coaching. Very easy when you are losing a little more difficult when you win.

    Take the 3rd and 25 that went for a 99 yd TD. Makes you wonder why not drop in coverage instead of a safety blitz? Well maybe, but this team plays best when it stays aggressive. How many times do you see a team get beat when they are in the so-called prevent defense? Sometimes the other team makes a play.
    When our guys make a play is it because the other player or coach screwed up? Sometimes true, but that is the nature of the game.

    In the college game it is much better to interfere than give up the long play, so the players are going to er on the side of holding and who can blame them?

    I also want to say what a great job Whipple is doing with what he has to work with. Much better than was expected. Starting with the line, still lots of problems, but they are getting it done enough of the time to win 5 games. Same thing with KP, stats show you he isn’t stellar, but good enough to win 4 and seems to be getting better. Same with the running backs, no ALL ACC guys, but making enough plays when it counts. Tight ends drops have put them below the line, but they have made a few plays as well. The receivers are the brightest spot and have carried the offense with big plays.

    The third quarter malaise has been very frustrating and somewhat of a mystery, but since the opposition has usually been making a last stand, not totally surprising. Football has always been a game of momentum. It ebbs and flows. You need to ride it when you have it and stop it quickly when you don’t.

    The good news is that the offense and the team seems to be getting better and has had an answer when needed most.

    Let’s hope the fun continues especially this week, because it will give Pitt some national recognition and Miami is one of the teams you most want to beat. They are going to play like a cornered wombat after their record and especially getting embarrassed last week so we better be ready.

    Liked by 4 people

  16. I have been getting the “Can’t post comment” again. Luckily if you copy your comment, open the site again you can paste it in. This is very frustrating though and doesn’t always seem to work.


  17. Good:
    I. The D has been reclassified as a “Deadly Weapon”, and must now fear Assult charges being levied in the Q4;
    B. Compared to teams since Wanny was escorted to the Analysis Bench, this team is fun (and exciting) to watch!
    Tres. I love the fact that we won’t hesitate to use a trick play, and the opposition now knows we won’t necessarily wait to use it till Q4! GENIUS!

    Drops and penalties – sure you are only 20 years old, but you should be able to control yourself for 60 minutes. If the ball hits your hands, you MUST be able control it! (I probably can excuse the TEs, because this is the 1st year they’ve been asked to do anything but block – in essence, they are redshirt freshmen when it comes to catching a pass🤔 )
    Refs – are they redshirt freshmen, too??😴🤯🤪

    Liked by 2 people

  18. The Good: Run blocking. AJ Davis’ runs. Pitt D’s sacks, several of which were coverage sacks. Ford’s hit on Devitto causing the fumble. The trick play. Winning in the dome – Syracuse was hyped up for this game.

    The Bad: Pickett took some big hits from a good edge rusher (not sure if this fixable). Two muffed punts in two games (fixable). A couple of dropped passes at critical times. Syracuse 2nd string QB entering the game for two planned runs and burning us twice. And the 94 yard TD pass from the 2nd string QB early in the 2nd half.

    The Ugly: No real ugly.


  19. The good – (1) We scored more points than the other team, (2) it’s just a blast watching our DLine get after the QB, and (3) We get a much needed performance from the RB position thanks to AJ Davis.

    The Bad – (1) officiating was an embarrassment (I could make a case for ugly, but I’m leaving it here), (2) We have not found a competent punt returner, and (3) Dane Jackson playing bump & run on 4th and 25.

    The Ugly – Yet another 2nd half unraveling, we have a trend.

    The Ugly Question is: Why are we consistently unraveling in the second half, with the exception of psu? (1) Is it the coaching staff’s inability to make adjustments at halftime, (2) mental letdowns, or (3) conservative game plans to attempt to “hold on” to leads, not turn the ball over, etc. (which often times leads to mental letdowns)?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My thoughts on the Ugly Question – Duzz and Co. don’t know what to do at halftime with a lead. The other team adjusts and they don’t make any changes, and aren’t responding well to the other team’s changes. It’s not been that big of an issue when Pitt needs to adjust. See every game except Penn State.


  20. Did anyone notice on Saturday that the ACC was invisible? ESPN game cast/ ABC etc zero ACC highlights or cut ins. They had 2 great games and zero coverage.


  21. Good: A win. AJ’s 100-yard game, Pickett hanging touch, Matthews with his first career TD. Getting closer to playing Ky Wright without having to blow his redshirt.

    Bad: The O-line isn’t gelling. Replacing four starters is no longer an excuse at the seven-game point of the season. Borbley can only talk so much. His unit and Whipple’s pass mentality are getting the QB killed. Some redshirts burned. I believe in redshirting unless the kid is really making it happen on the field. AJ Woods and George’s redshirts blown. Seriously?

    Ugly: Lady Luck not letting Pitt recover DeVito’s fumble. A recovery and a TD makes it 31-6. Led to allowing an ugly 94-yard TD. Also, not going with a 3-8 defensive set on 4th and 25. The drops continue as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Excellent point Nate, at least in my opinion. I’m concerned that Borbs is not getting it done, and this is a critical area for any team. I could be wrong, but yeah, this is a big concern of mine as well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am not going to complain about the O or coaching..we haven’t recruited well on O for several years..Borbs did well with the run last year and pass protection/KP hanging in the pocket are much improved this year…no George to block and a couple of questionable lineman..we are 5-2 and a game next week with a chance to win again.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I suspect it’s more the personnel we have available at OT — I’m giving Borbs the benefit of the doubt here.

      Our upperclassmen OTs just aren’t nimble enough with the feet. And the lowerclassmen must not be ready from a strength/experience standpoint.

      I would give Van Lynn a shot and wouldn’t be surprised to start seeing more of him…

      KP’s going to be on his horse this week…

      Go Pitt.


      1. BibB & MajorMajors – Like I said above, I am not confident about my concern, it’s just there. Frankly, I hope you are both right. I do like the fact that they inserted Kradel, as a good young lineman.


  23. Refs in general NFL/ Collage are getting worse and worse. ACC refs are bottom of the barrel. I read where there is a huge shortage of HS refs.

    Good – we F’n won! (Quoting Big B)

    Bad – sitting in press man 4th and 25! Note …our corners and Dbacks have to stop the clutching and grabbing of receivers or be more subtitle about it.
    More bad – 2nd half stench!

    Ugly – my Saturday morning hangover!

    Liked by 4 people

  24. Good – for Kenny P rolled out to the right on his pass attempts. Last year, it seemed all the roll-out plays were to the left with disastrous results. He’s rolling to his arm side.

    Bad – When the color commentator points out that you don’t bump and run on 3rd and long while you’re blitzing.

    Ugly – 2 straight games of terrible officiating. A season of drops – from passes to punts.

    Liked by 2 people

  25. I just found the little bell in the upper right hand side of the screen.

    Thanks to all of yinz guys comments.

    Hoping for another epic tailgate, Saturday.

    By the way the Forever Panthers keep inviting me to their tailgate.

    I am sure it is great, but rather spend my time with the POV brothers and sisters.

    Going to bring some wine and other goodies to share.


  26. Good:
    Kradel is an improvement at right guard.
    9 sacks, yeah Pitt
    AJ 100+yards
    1/3 fewer penalties

    No deep throws by Pickett
    Officiating, drops, penalties keeping orange drives alive
    Missing Paris Ford for 1/2 of the game
    Special teams in general

    Liked by 1 person

  27. I must also say that Sam Clancy and Co. have really stepped it up this year for Varsity Lettermen and Women,

    This is a very positive development and much appreciated. I think Heather really is trying to change the culture. All sports are important to the college experience and should improve Pride and Enthusiasm to all students, faculty, alumni, and friends of the University. Winning begins with an attitude, it doesn’t have to be over the top like some we could point to, but Pitt can sure use more of it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. GC -agree on the VLC.

      I signed up for the VLC tailgate this week because my son and I enjoy the chance to go down on the field for warm-ups and the team’s entrance…

      Planning to spend some time at both tailgates, but the POV will be more enjoyable…

      Go Pitt.


  28. Another good — the timing by Coach Whip in calling the trick play.

    Hoping to see more mis-direction stuff against the Canes…

    Go Pitt.


  29. a few thoughts …

    — Ford Hamlin, both 4 stars BTW, are the best safety combo I have seen at Pitt in a long, long time

    — Twyman, Jones, and Johnson are 3 stars but you could sure fool me. And Bright, Mack and the CBs aren’t too far behind (also 3 stars)

    — and Morrisey is a walk-on!


    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yeah bummer about Davis, but I might put this into ‘just’ the “Bad” category, as the blow is softened by the commitment of the 4 star big fella, Hugley, along with some other really nice role players, which should finally gives us some (hopefully) quality size next year (I really like Collier). That said, PG is such a key position in college hoops and I just haven’t heard of any other PG names mentioned that we’re even close to. Would be interesting to know what Capel’s plan B is.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. The only reason I said Ugly, besides it being a joke, was that Pitt was on him for so long and UNC only for the last 3 months … having said that … I don’t think a kid can turn down a chance to play at UNC when Roy Williams tells you that he wants you to be a Marcus Paige/Joel Berry type of player. No animosity at all. If you blow up and have UNC chasing you down, saying no could be turning down the opportunity of a lifetime.


          1. Haha. If all he wants to do is ball I don’t have a problem with that. I really don’t care about the education part of the scholarship unless the player does … and many do … probably most, actually … but there are some that don’t … and working on your craft (in this case basketball) in college, if that’s what you’re going to do professionally, is an education in my mind.


            1. I do not disagree TT but the point was, he would have gone to classes at PITT. Like I mentioned, the odds were stacked against PITT……… BIG TIME!


            2. I agree, TT. Players should get credits for being on a varsity team. Takes a tremendous amount of time — and teaches life-time lessons…

              Go Pitt.

              Liked by 2 people

    1. Miami has given up 31 sacks, or 4.4 per game. That’s amazing with the talent they presumably have.

      But then again, Ohio State has given up only one less sack than Pitt. 🤔

      Go Pitt!

      Liked by 1 person

  30. Is Roy Williams a good coach-recruiter or is he blessed by coaching a legendary program that can recruit on name recognition ? He doesn’t look or sound that bright,,,,,, University of No Classes…good one Coach dan72 !

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I used to be a huge hater on Roy. I thought he was an overrated recruiter and not a real coach. I’ve come full circle. He’s a great coach and recruiter. He’s really not a one and done guy and his teams always peak going into the tourney. He does a great job recruiting for his system. Plus, they play the most aesthetically pleasing brand of basketball in the country, IMO. Roy really believes in basketball being watchable. They attack the boards and are fun to watch in transition. I’ve become a big fan since Pitt joined the ACC.

      Liked by 1 person

  31. For those with an account at panterlair they introduced today a new writeup by Dorin Dickerson Pitt All American titled Dorin’s Dish. I’m guessing he’s going to be a regular contributor to the Lair. By the way today’s writeup was very insightful IMO and should be read by all POV’s that can access the site.


  32. Lane Kiffin was fined $5k for tweeting a picture of the men in stripes wearing blindfolds, holding canes and leashed to seeing-eye dogs..His way of bitching about his teams penalties and loss in their recent game…hilarious…higher-ups have no sense of humor…I don’t know how a bunch of middle aged men can keep up with the game the has evolved to cover a lot of the field with players who are much faster..but I guess they are better than electronic surveillence refereeing without the human factor..think about having no refs except cameras…how many stoppages of play could there be……


  33. Kenny Pickett.

    Now we are seeing the return on all the playing-time we have invested in KP. He’s still up and down, but those TD passes to Mack, V’lique, and Ffrenchy in the last two games were top-notch, big-time reads and throws.

    Now, can he help us beat Miami again? So much depends on how our OTs hold up this week.

    Go Pitt.


  34. One last good.

    Shocky Jacques-Louis contributed some more. Adding another dynamic receiver to go with Mack and Ffrench would be huge Hopefully he stays healthy, continues to develop and his role grows.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Just heavy rain and 60 mph gusts near me. Lots of lightening. Dallas got hit hard. I’m 10 miles south of the Death Star in Mansfield. The town of 5 high schools that had 5 four star recruits last year.


  35. The question this week will be whether or not Pickett can remain upright long enough to be able to utilize our expanded receiving core.


  36. Here is the hysteria I’m wearing right now…… If somehow, someway and if the football Gadd’s allows PITT to beat Miami…… it’s going to open up a can of WUP ass for PITT the next few years!

    Liked by 3 people

  37. I was never that impressed with Luke Fickell at Ohio St., but he seems to be doing a very good job at Cincy. One thing he did was roughly double the number of Ohio players on the roster.

    If you look back, Cincy has done a pretty impressive job hiring head coaches. Since 2004:

    Mark Dantonio
    Brian Kelly
    Butch Jones
    Tommy Tuberville
    Luke Fickell

    All but Tuberville went on to big jobs… Who will take a shot with Fickell?

    BTW, the current AD at Cincy is Mike Bohn – been there since 2014, after being AD at the U of Colorado for eight years…

    Go Pitt.


  38. Chris Meuller in the Beaver County Times, discussing the advent of our team “Pitting” in so many games in recent past, talks of our Stout Defense. He thinks we are a real possibility to repeat as Coastal Champs, and says our D is “TOO LEGIT TO PITT”!

    Love it!!

    Liked by 1 person

  39. Some news from Miami, there starting QB dislocated his shoulder(presumably left shoulder) in the 3rd Q and came back in the game to finish it. It’s not known whether the trainers were aware of the seriousness of the injury. Their starting QB early this season has been out several weeks with a right shoulder injury. He played briefly this week when QB #2 was injured. He was promptly sacked and never returned. Miami right now is unaware of the availability of either of those 2 QB’s this weekend.—-IMO Pitt will need our defense to win this game by getting some turnovers on continued QB sacks. We are going to need some easy offensive scores from the Miami side of the 50 come Saturday IMO.

    Liked by 1 person

  40. jrnpitt – that being the case, there’s a good chance of our D getting a lot of TOs, if Miami does significant passing, instead of using their ground game. Also, if they try to pass, there’s a good chance of getting QB(s) seriously injured via The Sack Pac.

    Sounds like their best bet is to try to beat us on the ground. If they use a 1st year QB, I imagine we’ll throw everything at him, and confuse/discourage him.


  41. I only watched the Miami game against Virginia and in that game and their DL really was able to pressure the VA QB. And Perkins the VA QB is quite elusive and was able to avoid multiple sacks. I’m not sure Pickett can be as elusive as Perkins.—Last weekend the Miami kicker missed 3 field goals inside the 35 yard line and GT made two scores via their defense in that game. That’s what it took to beat Miami and it just maybe what it will take to do so this week.


  42. I thought it was an interesting contrast between the sweet touchdown catch by Ffrench with 28 seconds left in the first half and the Michigan game-tieing pass into the gut of their receiver in the end zone that was dropped on 4th and goal at the 3 in the closing minutes of the PSU-Michigan game. More examples of the frequent fine line between winning and losing.

    I also assumed the Michigan receiver, Ronnie Bell, would have been at least a 4 star recruit, if not a 5 star. But it appears he was a Rivals 2 star. Thought Michigan was a blue blood that only recruited elite players. How did that happen?

    Liked by 1 person

  43. Good: Another Coastal W on the road.
    The Defense
    AJ Davis Jr. breakout game
    Getting Shockey into the mix

    Bad: Defensive mental lapses

    Ugly: Sorry, I know we won, but damn, I don’t like the second half play calling. At some point, this turtling when we have the lead is going to bite Pitt in the A$$. Remember how agonizing the second half of the Ohio game was? Is that really necessary???

    Liked by 1 person

  44. What’s really killing us is the dropped passes, both by our O and D. Looked at the replay and although A Matthews drop in 1st quarter, W Gagg’s drop in the 2nd quarter and Griffin-Stewart’s drop in the 4th quarter would have only added 38 yards to the passing total, all three would have been for 1st downs keeping drives alive, our D rested, and increased the confidence for KP et.al.

    I appreciate all teams drop passes, but are they always at the most inopportune times like Pitt?

    Ford’s dropped interception would have sealed the deal as well, but again drop city. Tough to be critical given the great season the young man is having but this speaks to the pervasive nature of the inopportune dropped passes, and I’m pretty sure I remember at least 1-2 drops of easy interceptions by D Jackson this year.

    And please can’t the coaches find a reliable punt “receiver” on this team. Forget trying to return the ball, just find someone who can cleanly fair catch 99 out of 100 punts. Frankly, except for 1 FFrench return, fair catching the ball all year wouldn’t have cost Pitt much yardage anyway.

    Lastly, I am in the “hate the prevent defense” camp but honestly, you have to coach field and situational awareness to the DBs, every pass doesn’t have to be incomplete to be a successful defensive play.

    All that said, 5-2 with a chance to beat the talented ‘Canes, this team is becoming one of my favorite Pitt teams of all time. How’s that for a contradictory post?.

    Liked by 4 people

  45. Pitt so far has exceeded most of our expectations but there is still a long way to go. One of the fellows on this site had them winning one game going into GT.

    This team is far from perfect but the mistakes they are making can be corrected.

    If the offense can play consistent, continue to develop the running game and hold onto the ball we can all enjoy a really good season.

    The Miami game is going to be very difficult.


  46. This game Saturday is where our coaching scares me. Is Whipple going to be in pass-happy mode from the start and risk early sacks and field position? What about on defense. Now will be the perfect time to drop our safeties deep and help with the deep pass because we know Miami is going to throw long since Pitt leaves its corners on an island.

    Mix it up. Pitt seems like it does the same week after week: come out throwing and putting its corners on an island. Play the field position game for a while if need be. Let Miami make the first big mistake.


  47. Last year’s game was 10-0 at halftime with the only TD being a punt return. It was 10-3 until Miami scored on a 65 yard run with 2:49 left in the 3rd.

    Miami returns much of its defense. There is no reason not to believe Saturday’s game will be a low scoring affair.



  48. It is interesting that even though Pitt has won 5 of its 7 games we have to agree that every game left on the schedule is a toss up that can go either way. I suppose it is the nature of the Coastal division combined with a flawed football team that makes this so.

    It is what makes being a Pitt Fan so frustrating, exciting and appreciative of victories all at the same time.

    It is why I go into every Pitt game hoping for the best but expecting the worst.

    Pitt once again has the opportunity to be average, above average or great for the rest of the year as do most of the ACC teams. With the exception of VA, Pitt’s destiny is in its own hands.

    Once again this weeks game is the most important of the season and that is the way it should be.

    Liked by 1 person

  49. This is the over the hump game for PITT this year. Win this one and a little history may be made. BUT! make no mistake, this Miami team is loaded with talent and anything, like gc and other have said, can happen if PITT doesn’t bring their A game. I already have a bad feeling about it…… I have to get back my good mojo vibe.


  50. The Miami game is important for another reason and that is to get Pitt Fans to believe. Our hearts have been broken so many times that many will not attend games for fear of history repeating itself.

    So far this team has been pretty consistent and although it has shot itself in the foot on several occasions it has limped across the finish line a winner. Will it ever play a complete game, doubtful, but playing just good enough to win may be even more special.


  51. Next to PITT VB our FB team is the best entertainment value in town….Finish strong this year and we see an up-tick in recruiting on both sides of the ball..mentally I am prepared for a couple of more losses and finishing at 8-4..that makes winning a bowl game imperative to keep the ball rolling in the off-season…but one game at a time is where I need to be focused….

    Liked by 1 person

        1. no it doesn’t, but that’s OK, it doesn’t really matter. I’m glad our VB team is doing well, if we get in a NC game, I’ll tune in.


  52. I saw one ranking we were tied for 28th…but rankings really only count at the end of the season especially in our case….After the WF game last year I told Mike and Susan Aston(George’s parents) at the post-game tail-gate “George and the team are/were the pivot point in the return of PITT football to the national stage” in a way I was wrong as we finished poorly after a nice winning streak that followed a couple of literal beat-downs by PSU and UCF…but the program took a step forward last year and a chance to take a big step this year is possible…it’s there for the taking if these young Panthers are hungry enough…a lot of this game is played with emotion and desire to beat your opponent …no foe can be under-estimated and any give week-end.They want to beat our a$$ as badly as we want to defeat them…that’s what makes this game we love so great….instead of “lock the gate”…how bout “On the Verge” …one game and one tailgate at a time…..

    frankmd…what happened at Duke? thought we were going to see you at the tailgate…


      1. My friend was anxious about the long walk to the stadium so we went there directly. We also had to leave at the half but watched the great ending with a few cocktails. Thanks for the seat locations. H2P


  53. I guess I’m going to have to nicknames moving forward. Haha. Tossing Johnsons for football and Thabeets for basketball.

    … basketball post, so Thabeets it is …

    This is a nice quick read on how Pitt’s guards can improve this season and take the next step for Capel …


  54. I know that we (sort of) done with the Good Bad & Ugly. But, I have to say that the broadcast was Ugly. First, the color of the “grass” looked way off. Of course, maybe it is really that color. But, the camera angles were so bad. Is it some issues associated with the Carrier Dome or did they simply hire the worst camera crew possible?


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