First off, if any players, coaches or parents of players are reading this, I’d like to extend a thank you to the team and recognize the culture and overall positive attitude this team embodies.

I took my ten year old nephew, Dominick Monteleone, to the game.  It was his first Pitt game.  We were able to get down to the corner near where the Pitt players ran out onto the field, and as luck would have it, we were pretty much the only fans there.  So the little kid in the Pitt hat just held out his hand to see if he could get any high-fives.  He got two!  When the players were bunched next to the bleachers right before they ran out onto the field pre-kickoff, Paris Ford reached his hand up and tapped him.  Then Ford tapped Will Gragg on the shoulder and made him to it too.  Very impressive fan-awareness and leadership by Ford here.

When the players were heading off the field at halftime we went back down to that corner again, and Dom held out his hand again.  I’m like “nah he’s not going to get much love here”.  Instead he got a ton of high fives.

 

 

Finally we went down at the end of the game, and I remember thinking to myself “Alright, this is the third tme.  These players are going to be so sick of this kid”.  I was wrong again.  Not only did Dom get a lot of high-fives, but Carson Van Lynn stopped and gave him one of his lineman’s gloves (it is ENOURMOUS).  Then Nick Patti stopped and gave Dom a wristband.  Then one of the assistant coaches gave Dom his Pitt lanyard.  And to top it all off, Jared Wayne took off his Pitt Script receiving gloves and yep, he gave them to Dom.

The ‘Duzz also slipped a high five in there (and you should have seen Dom’s Face when I told him that was the head coach).  Kenny Pickett came by a minute later and high five Dom as well.  The he apologized because he’d already given away his towel!  To see a ten year old kid’s eyes light up from all of this brought back a lot of the magic of college football for me, and I’d like to extend a personal thank you to the team and give Pat Narduzzi, and commend the culture he’s built.  They locked in a new Pitt fan at a very young age, and made one forty-one year old long-suffering Pitt fan (that’s me) a happier guy.

As such…don’t be surprised if I go a little easier on the team this week during the good, bad and ugly.

IMG_3358

Long-suffering Pitt fans and one new one.  Left to right:  Tom Richards ’75 (Dr. Tom),  Jack Clarke ’75 (POV Reader), Michaelangelo Monteleone ’00, Bruce Lindquist ’70 (Savannah Panther), Bernie Blystone ’75 (Big B).  Dominick Monteleone – Future Pitt Alum

Okay now on to the words you all actually came here to read…

Pitt won on Saturday in the way that most of us expected them to win:  Just good enough on offense, and outstanding on defense.

That’s what this Pitt team is folks, like it or not, and it’s been good enough to win us 67% of our games.

Now don’t get me wrong, “just good enough” on offense can be pretty ugly, especially against an over-matched team like Georgia Tech, but Saturday’s performance had it’s bright spots.  For example, Pitt gained 295 yards in the first half and moved the ball up and down the field at will…when they weren’t committing turnovers.  Pitt’s two touchdowns were outstanding and well-executed plays.  The running game took over on the final drive and sealed the victory (It’s fair to say that Tech gave up at that point as well).

In between those bright spots Pitt’s offense was kind of tough to watch.  Like I said, Pitt gained 295 int he first half.  Well they gained 362 for the entire game, so that’s a shade less than 70 yards in the second half.

The offense has already been much discussed though, so on to some good, bad and ugly.

Good

  • Pitt is bowl eligible and we beat the Vegas prediction of 5.5 wins.
  • Shocky Jacques Louis’ touchdown:  Great thow and catch and Shocky really displayed some athleticms and strength to get the ball into the endzone.  If this guy puts in the work during the offseason he is going to have a great year next season.
  • Vince Davis’ touchdown:  The guy has talent and the O-line is figuring out how to get to the second level.  Need to see more of this in teh last three games.
  • Pitt running for 158.  That will make three straight games where Pitt has been at our around 150 yards.  Need more of this kind of balance.
  • Kylan Johnson’s strip:  Sacraficed his body and changed teh game in teh process.  What a tremendous football play by a tremendous football player.
  • Cam Bright’s Scoop and Run:  Right place, right guy, right time.  My high school coach used to say “the harder you practice the luckier you get”.  Well keep practicing hard Cam, we need more of that kind of luck.
  • Paris Ford’s INT:  We’ve seen Pitt players drop those easy balls in the past.  Well done sir.
  • The defense overall:  Held GT to under 200 yards and just 86 yards rushing – less than half of their season average.  If it wasn’t for that long pass play this game would have been really one sided.
  • Bobby Dodd Stadium:  Neat and compact, and nestled into the space of two city blocks.  Calling Chancellor Gallagher, Heather Lyke and the Pitt Board of Trustees, and all the high net worth Pitt Alumni that care about this.  PITT NEEDS A BOBBY DODD.  How many more years do we have on the lease at Heinz???

Bad

  • Another game, another blown call by the ACC officials.  Ffrench’s knee was clearly down before the ball came out on that fumble.  I was in the stands so I don’t know what the replay situation was, but hard to understand why that wasn’t overturned after I saw it on video.
  • The horizontal passing game.  Look I get that we need a safe second half option if they are stacking the box.  But this did not work.

  • Kenny’s INT’s.  The first one was bad.  The second one was partially the fault of Griffin-Stewart, but the ball still didn’t need to be thrown that hard or high…  The good news is that we’ve got two weeks for Pickett’s shoulder to heal and for him to study some film and get back into a groove.

 

Ugly

  • We win ugly.  But we still win.  I’ll take 6-3 at this point.
  • Fill in the blanks with yours

Hail to Pitt

Michaelangelo Monteleone

 

 

213 thoughts on “MMQB – Georgia Tech

    1. Maestro, was that replay shown at the stadium (slowed down)? If memory serves, we didn’t see it on TV until after the fact … the fact being after GT’s TD. Is it possible both HCPN and the staff upstairs did not see it in time?

      Maybe HCPN will address in his presser (although not sure there will be one today because of the bye)

      Like

      1. No wbb. It was shown immediately and the commentators made note of it. I don’t know whose responsibility it is (I assume someone up in the press box) to communicate that down to the sideline, but someone was asleep.

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        1. Well Ffrench must have been asleep because he never indicated to the coaches that his need was down. From what I saw it was very close and may not have been over turned even if reviewed.

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      2. Very little replay at stadium at all. The definitely did not replay any of the plays that went against Tech

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      3. No, we saw it before the ball was snapped. The announcer on TV even commented that his Ff’n knee was down.

        Duzz should have called the TO and challenged the call.

        He and his video guy upstairs missed it.

        Plain and simple – another goof up.

        Like

        1. I think we may have been making our way down to the end zone when they showed the replay of the fumble because I remember hearing the stadium erupt when GT threw the long touchdown pass, but i was on the walkway when it happened

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  1. Good: after GT’s only TD (a quick strike after Ffrench’s phantom fumble), the team marched right down the field and replenished its 10 pt lead with Shockey’s TD

    Bad: 3 turnovers and a blocked punt

    Ugly: the entire 3rd quarter save one play … albeit a very big play

    Liked by 1 person

    1. not surprised by Paris Ford …. he reminds me a lot of Shady McCoy, enthusiasm wise. I can see Ford in the future in the NFL when announcing his name and school saying “Pitt Panthers” …. just like Shady does

      Read a small piece the week of the PSU game (may have been DiPalola) questioning PN’s banning his players from the press for that game (again). And the writer said that Pitt has a great has a bunch of great kids who are good ambassadors for the school.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Accurate analysis. We are what were are. More of the same for the rest of the season. Promise for next year. Play calling in the second half is an issue. Shocky Jacques Louis gets one pass than disappears for the rest of the game? Need to clean up penalties (been saying that all season).

    No chance for a stadium in Oakland soon. I was down there the other day and there is simply no room. Victory Heights is the next building project. Will see a new place soon to replace those sports that use the Field House.

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  3. Good: The defense played well again and Vincent Davis busted off a long run and Shockey-Louis caught his first TD and is getting more reps to serve us well in 2020.

    Bad: Turnovers and the blocked punt. The turnovers don’t seem correctable. Ffrench is careless with the ball and so is Kenny at times. Two blocked punts during the course of the season should put any special teams coach on the hot seat. I know Powell coaches the RBs, too, but still unacceptable.

    Ugly: Whipple’s play calling. 1st and 5 and I think Pitt had to punt after gaining two yards on first. The three calls after Bright’s fumble return were atrocious. Why can’t Pappy go to the power set and run it twice? It’s better to be in 3rd and 7 from the 20 than 3rd and 16 from the 29. Matthews’ inability to pin the ball at the inch line after he was set yet somehow he went backwards. That play is Pitt football in a nutshell since 1982.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. obviously Whipple (probably under PN directive) goes ultra conservative after halftime. Yet, all he seems to know is short line of scrimmage passes hoping the WR avoids the 1st tackle and makes something out of it.

      Despite all his catches this year, Ffrench remains a disappointment to me. Not only his fumbles and drops but he just doesn’t seem to make a big play or catch. For example, he appeared to make a really nice grab in the 3rd quarter which would have been a 20 yard gain, but dropped the ball. With his ability, he has to complete these plays

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  4. Nice write up Mike. Really enjoyed the time we all spent at the game. After the game, I was a little down – the team didn’t play up to my expectations !?? Later Saturday night, I snapped out of my funk, when I realized, ” the object of the game is a “W”, and we got a nice one – any W is a nice W……especially if you are a long suffering (as you put it, above) Pitt fan!

    The good – the D continues to suffocate
    – the ground game is materializing
    – we win (again) with only 1/2 a game of offense

    Bad – I’m coming to realize that HCPN really believes that as long as he has a half time lead, his D can/will finish off the game with a W for him. Hope this doesn’t backfire on him.
    – the horizontal game. It worked for one year with Canada. But I think everybody knows we’re gonna do it, and practice beating it. And they are all great at beating it.

    Ugly – when the opposing D packs the box, wish PN would let KP audible at the LOS. Tired of trying to run into it!

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  5. Good for your nephew, good on Pitt players!!!! Wouldn’t have minded seeing more of teh video of teh high fives.

    They are mistake laden, but they are 6-3 and in a position to make most, if not all, Pitt fans happy with teh trajectory of this Pitt football team.

    I wish I only needed teh edit button for spelling errors. Another great and uplifting article by MM. It is fun to be here at the(sic?) POV even if I agonize through way too much of the actual games.

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    1. Thx tvax. I wish I had video of him getting the gloves and stuff after the game. Heck I was grinning as much as the youngster

      Like

  6. THE GOOD-
    – The Defense, Bowl eligible, 1st half offense, a W.
    THE Bad-
    – HCPN on Game day (did you hear/understand his half time rambling interview, not calling a TO to get French’s fumble reviewed), drops, going conservative in the 2nd half (why doesn’t one of the reporters challenge PN on it?), ACC Officials (terrible targeting call on Campbell, letting GT hold on almost every play)
    The UGLY
    – 2nd half offense

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Well isn’t that wonderful story about little Dominick Monteleone, thanks for sharing Mr Michaelangelo Monteleone. Narduzzi has a firm grip on his football team and it’s nice to see that.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. THE GOOD:

    The PITT win…….. AGAIN
    The Defense…….. AGAIN
    The Hit at the goal-line by Kylan Johnson
    The High Fives for Dominick from the PITT players

    THE BAD:

    The Mistakes……AGAIN
    The Bad Calls against PITT… AGAIN
    The iffy second half play calling… AGAIN

    THE UGLY:

    PITT running the ball when the opposing team know they are running the ball…. AGAIN
    Not using the middle of the field on pass plays, this is getting old
    People using the phrase SOP and complaining after a PITT win

    Liked by 5 people

  9. Good: A win, albeit ugly again.

    Good2: Kylan Johnson, Paris Ford and the rest of the defense. The season would really be off the rails if not for them.

    Bad: Referees. At least not ugly, but I guess we should just start to expect this in the ACC

    Bad2: another drop by Nokia, although he did redeem himself with a key catch later.

    Ugly: The offense again going into a shell in the second half, wasting good field position off turnovers with no TD’s.

    Ugly2: Related to previous ugly, Narduzzi’s coaching. You would think he would have learned from the Miami fiasco not to go in shutdown mode so early in the second half. Extremely stubborn as he did nearly the same thing against Georgia Tech, fortunately it didn’t come back to bite him.

    Ugly3: The offense. it has regressed since PSU when Pickett threw for almost 400 yards. At first I thought Whipple was heads and shoulders above Watson. Now the improvement over Watson is marginal, and the statistics would back this as well. Is it talent, scheme, coaching?

    Concluding, I know a win is a win but the same script has played out all year. Poor officiating. Keeping inferior teams in the game until the end, penalties, drops, turnovers, poor special teams It’s a shame because if there was any semblance of a modern offense and crisp play, we would run away with the coastal this year. I’m thinking this is a 7-5 finish unfortunately as I see a loss against UNC and VaTech, with a probable win against BC. Hopefully get the first bowl win in the Narduzzi era to finish 8-5 which would be okay but a little disappointing.

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  10. Mike, thanks for the story on your nephew’s treatment at the game. That, alone, makes it worth the trip to Bobby Dodd. Just another example of Pat’s “coaching” of kids extending to more than X’s and O’s. (And I realize that the X’s and O’s stuff is what wins games, but the “life coaching” that seems to be going on in the locker room wins lives. I sure hope we can do both, but if my kid had played football, I think I know which would have been the more important part to me……..

    Liked by 6 people

  11. If anyone needs two for the NC game (Section 134) let me know….I can’t make it up there. Believe it or not, this old guy has two tests that day in his classes at UGA! But I will be back in my seats at Heinz for BC. Got to wish the seniors off and see another Pitt victory!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. MM. Ask your nephew to write a post about the experience. I would love to hear what he has to say. I bet it includes a huge thank you to his uncle. And, what did he get served while you guys were at that bar?

    pmdH2P

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    1. Haha

      Club soda on the rocks with lime for that young man!

      I’ll see if I can get him on the POV as a commenter

      Like

      1. Sorry BILL, didn’t see your post as we basically said the same thing. Sometimes it takes me 20 minutes to post a two sentence comment with all the interruptions from family.

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    1. Correct that was a very big play, conversely so was the wrong call on the Ffrench fumble. << Where GT scored on a TD. The big difference was, PITT forced that fumble and break, that hit also forced out their backup QB from the game who was having a hot hand. GT received a gift.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Very sweet story. The coach has created a family atmosphere with an underpinning of caring and integrity. Every recruit says that whether they commit or not. Now many more are.

    How about a little more offense…

    Liked by 1 person

  14. You all know GBU. I want to address what I think is the biggest Pickett problem.

    He has reverted to his “happy feet” roll out right at every sign of trouble. Watching Mason Rudolph yesterday stand (way too long sometimes) in the pocket is such a stark contrast to Pickett who panics at the slightest pressure.

    Bottom line, sometimes as a QB,Pickett needs to stand tall in the pocket, take the hit and deliver the ball accurately. He’s become Tino right in front of our eyes!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. actually Tino was the master of taking a sack instead of throwing an INT. In his 3rd and final year, he had 21 TDs vs 3 INTs (if memory serves)

      Like

  15. the Jeff Capel Show tonight at 6 on The Fan

    Heather Like Show tomorrow night at 8 on KDKA1020 (at least it was last week)

    Narduzzi Show on The Fan Wed at 6 (unless the bye changes it)

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  16. Note that in college ball. it’s up to the officials in the booth to review all plays. There are substantially less challenges in college than in the pros Thus, whether the Pitt staff missed it or not, the officials certainly did.

    I have watched college games time and again where games have been held up to check possession or if someone was inbound, or if someone’s knee hit prior to scoring ….. and 95% of them have been initiated in the booth and not from the field

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  17. Pitt is 10th in the nation in total defense and 115th in the nation in total offense. The differential in those two numbers is just plain ugly.

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    1. Yeah, But, you would not like the differential to be narrowed by being 85th in defense. I am going with the “glass half full” approach. I am happy that we are 10th in defense.

      pmdH2P

      Liked by 2 people

  18. Good:
    A win is a win. Pitt has to win at least two out of the remaining three.
    The defense played great again even without key players.

    Bad: There is only one explanation for the offensive woes in the second half. Narduzzi getting conservative. He didn’t learn his lesson against Miami which gives me doubt about this team reaching 8 wins in the regular season. Agree with a post above. Where are the questions from the reporters on this issue?

    Ugly: They didn’t bench or stop throwing to Griffin-Stewart.

    Like

  19. Good pics and video. Would be nice if all our nephews and nieces would attend Pitt.

    I have one of each that just might. The others are set on other schools. Fingers crossed.

    My kids won’t be but we’re 1200 miles away. But as I previously commented, they know Pitt and even understand the pain of ‘Pitting’ and ‘SOP’, but they also understand the joys of wins and former players who continue to represent the school well.

    I’ll be wearing less blue and gold in coming years as my kids go off to college and I support their schools but if you’re ever in Mansfield and see a guy with a Pitt hat and sweatshirt, holler Texas Panther because it’s probably me.

    Liked by 2 people

  20. nrs..I predict if we average 14 points, instead of our normal 5, in the 2nd half of each of the remaining games we win out in the r\regular season…I think we have had the lead in every game we have played..correct me if I got that wrong..and we out-played the #5 team in the nation who could jump to #1 if that beat the Bucknuts.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. MM – excellent article, glad you included the info about your nephew…

    Looks like all the goods, bads, and uglies have already been well covered.

    Best: The Dominick M. Story.

    Good: Bright’s scoop and run. Very good instincts to run it out.
    -Vincent Davis’ Dion Lewis/Ray Graham imitation!
    -Coach Bates!

    Bad: Sideways passes as the only counter we appear to have to stacked defenses… We need Coach Whip to go into the vault – and maybe talk to Walt…

    Ugly: Can we somehow skip the 3rd quarter the rest of the year?

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. MM – your story about your nephew reinforces to me something that I’ve pushed for a while. That is, Pitt needs to start using the pre-game field pass to help create and reinforce Pitt fans…

    It’s a fun experience to be down on the field and feel the anticipation and then the energy of the team running out of the tunnel.

    Who gets to go down there? Well, perspective recruits and sometimes former lettermen. I honestly don’t know who else — some games there’s hardly anyone down there.

    Pitt should get as many people as feasible with pre-game field passes. It might be a pain for someone to organize, but the benefits could be substantial.

    For example, what if there was a way to get pre-game field passes for the POVers? Would be absolutely awesome -especially with Fran leading the other POV celebrities onto the field… And having Scooter on the field would be electrifying!

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I agree it’s a great way to increase engagement. Just being around the players, even if they are focused on the game makes things more real and more exciting.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. How fired up would Baldonado be if he looked over during warm-ups and saw Michaelangelo Monteleone standing there cheering him on? 😊

        How fired up would any of the players be to see Scooter, BigB, and Texas Panther standing under the goal posts! 👍

        Go Pitt!

        Liked by 2 people

      1. Haha. Just googled him. I’d be very surprised if he decommitted from USF. His dad is a coach and USF just three hours from Valdosta. Whipple better be pretty sincere and this guy would really need to have a dream to want to play for Pitt to come all the way up to the burgh. He looks darn good on tape though

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  23. Enjoyed the post, Maestro!
    So, we have a new Panther fan for life!

    Was not able to watch the game until last night, but did listen to Panther Lair’s “The Drive Home” podcast on Sunday AM. Was an interesting way to watch the game actually.

    I think Chris Peak nails it when he discusses mistakes.

    Offensive players, coaches and even the ACC refs have continually made mistakes this year.
    Cut down on those by 50% and offensive productivity would soar.

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  24. Maestro, looking for a Christmas gift for the nephew? These are cool, maybe I’ll buy one

    Liked by 2 people

  25. How about cutting down on passes to players behind the line of scrimmage. Also I hope you POVers realize that the pass to Mathews behind the line was actually a backward pass and would have been ruled a fumble if he had not caught that ball. That was so close to another Pitt turnover as the GT defender almost beat him to the ball. On that play I kind of think it was intended to be a pass from Mathews.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Pitt and Whipple offered a 2020 QB today: Tate Rodemaker 6′ 4″ 195 from Ga and currently a South Florida verbal commit. Looks like Mr Whipple made a special down to Valdosta today to view some film and make the offer. The kid has a very compact throwing motion and looks like he could be a steal IMO as a 5.5 3 star. Not sure how committed he is to South Fla but perhaps a ACC offer might make him reconsider.

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  27. Nothing can top the great story leading this off, sounds like a great time.

    Good – the D, again, although teams are now starting to get the ball off quickly to negate the DLine pressure.
    Bad – the drops. And the one time Kenny DID put air under the ball was his first pick. Look at 1:45 of the video.

    Ugly – After watching the North Carolina game, their vulnerability is the secondary. Linebackers are FAST and sideline passing will not work.
    – Ffrench’s knee was down. Look at 6:08 of the video.

    Liked by 2 people

  28. Regarding the second half conservative playcalling. Do others think it is because of a lack of faith in Pickett? He has been very suspect. I am pretty much waiting for something bad to happen every time he drops back lately.

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    1. I wonder that too, but the evidence against it is that in the first half, even after the two INTs, they still had KP dropping back to pass at a high rate…

      Go Pitt.

      Like

  29. Good – win number 6, the defense.

    Bad – ACC referees

    Ugly- 2 interceptions, the offense continues to struggle and is inconsistent.

    I agree with PittMan2003, they have lost confidence in Pickett throwing downfield.

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  30. In regards to the 2nd half conservative offensive play calling: it’s a combination of Narduzzi’s belief his defense will not give up many points and he and Whipple’s lack of confidence that Pickett will not throw multiple interceptions.—A deadly game plan going forward IMO as I believe many teams will be looking for and jumping on those pass behind the line of scrimmage plays. Very much like what took place on the Mathews backward pass. If the opposition times it right they could take one of those dismal calls to the end zone.

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    1. jrnpitt, I agree with you, the Pitt staff is definitely going conservative with leads in the second half, and Whipple admitted as much. I see the logic, based on a great D, and frankly they’ve been successful in terms of wins and losses, but personally I think they’ve gone overboard. Almost reminds me of the Wanny days, trying to milk a 3 pt lead with a quarter and a half to go, drives me nuts, and I think sets a bad/timid mindset for the team’s persona. Anyway, those are my 2 cents.

      Liked by 1 person

  31. LA Panther, here. MM, I can’t tell you how cool it was to see your story about your nephew! And the pics of those guys who’s posts I’ve been reading. They must have all entered Pitt as early admissions scholars, because the look way younger than the grad dates suggest. I‘ll remember snatches of the GT game, I think. But I’ll never forget the joy on you nephew’s face. Thanks!
    HTP.

    Liked by 5 people

  32. On the Pitt QB offer today Rodemaker, Chris Peak just reported VT head coach asked him to call him this afternoon. I’m sure the Pitt offer had something to do with the call to him. Pitt was his first power 5 offer.

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  33. Stealing from the Lair, QB recruit Rodemaker plans on graduating in December and enrolling in college this January. This is turning into a high speed late charge for a 2020 commit. I like the kids video even if Tex won’t be pleased with his 5.5 3 star rating at this time.

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  34. Good, Bad, Ugly? The extremes. Terrific running and passing TD plays; -3 and a cloud of dust running and passing plays. Championship level defense; getting burned on the bomb defense. Shades of the glory days of Johnny and Jackie; Nightmares of the turtle O of Dave and Paul.

    Horrific: Those lateral passes! If we want to lose three or four yards safely, why not just have the QB take a knee? Was it Sunseri or Stull who was forced (I guess) to throw those uniformly ineffective bubble screens? They just never worked then, and they are not working now. If it really is a screen, then coach up a few blockers.

    That off my chest, I think it very reasonable to expect two more wins on the season for 8 (the hard way, of course). Re: Bowl, I guess we’re due…

    LA Panther

    Liked by 1 person

  35. Duzz is saving his air-raid, Blitzkreig offense for the Heels who bitch- slap him every year… PITT puts up in 11 days…. Spring the trap Duzz.. ole Mack will never knew what hit him….!!!

    Liked by 6 people

    1. It’s crazy, but there may be some truth in this. Like when the Duzzer would spend extra time on the triple option to help beat GT.

      Wouldn’t surprise me a bit if Coach Duzz had every coach spending extra time preparing for UNC since last season…

      The man can hold a grudge…😊

      Go Pitt.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I still doubt they overturn the call. They are supposed to review these calls in the booth regardless of whether a coach challenged them.

      Seems the booth guys rarely go against the field guys…

      Seemed like an obvious bad PI call against the Steelers yesterday, but it was upheld even though the ball came down about 8 yards past the WR…

      Go Pitt.

      Like

  36. ACC refs need extra training and need to rely on video replays when in doubt. Do they think they are so good that they never make a mistake or need replay?

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  37. Remember how a few people were critical of Pitt for taking transfer Kylan Johnson?

    “Duzz can’t recruit so he takes these transfers who haven’t done anything in their career…”

    Kylan Johnson has added a play-maker who has significantly elevated the play of the Pitt defensive unit. He’s done for the defense what Nate Peterman did for the offense.

    Whoever lured Johnson to Pitt did a heck of a job…

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 11 people

      1. Randy Bates has been a terrific hire. And he’s a cool guy to talk to…

        Some Pitt fans also were critical of his hiring. Some decisions work out, some don’t. Coach Duzz has been doing pretty well lately with personnel decisions.

        I remember being really impressed with Northwestern’s defense when we played them in the Pinstripe. They were super aggressive. Wonder if that game gave Coach Duzz the idea to hire Coach Bates?

        Go Pitt.

        Liked by 2 people

  38. ET was my guy, Capel tried to get him to reclassify last year. He could be a one and done-er but I think he makes a mistake in his decision. << Not saying PITT would have been the right decision but Miami?

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    1. That Miami coach has doe well there and has a knack for getting players from the inner city down to Coral Gables, which is paradise to those kids. The Canes were cleared by the FBI in that probe, but their program has seemed shady since late last decade when that one coach, Frank Haith, arrived there. He left Miami for Missouri then Missouri for Tulsa.

      He was running from the NCAA heat. Pitt was thriving, a one seed and was going to land a talented shooting guard from NYC and all of a sudden he went to Miami, who was coming off five wins in the ACC in 2008-09. He was paid no doubt.

      Like

  39. Earl Timberlake could jump over the “other” Timberlakes head and do a reverse slam in his face! 🙂 Earl may even be a better dancer as well??

    Like

  40. I’m sensing a slow offensive deterioration of this Pitt offense as the schedule winds down, similar to last year. I didn’t go back and check the stats, but as I recall from last year they became offensively challenged near the end of the season. It seems like Pickett regresses and goes back to his bad habits as the season goes on. His footwork is bad and he bails out too fast. Maybe Whipple can prevent a further collapse of the offense or we could easily lose the last 3 games..

    Liked by 1 person

  41. Hey Fran — have you seen the UPMC commercial with Greg Norman? Looks like The Shark was here to get a shoulder problem fixed. Just saw the commercial.

    He said once UPMC fixed him, he could hit it farther. I need to go see them…

    We could have invited The Shark to the Pitt outing! 😊

    Go Pitt.

    Like

  42. I have mixed emotions about the rest of the season. Going back to the end of last season, of Pitt’s last 6 losses, 5 of them have been to Top 15 defenses …. 3rd, 4th, 9th, 14th and 15th. Future defenses are UNC 66th, Va Tech 72nd and BC 126th. But Georgia’s Tech is 75th.

    On the other hand …. BC is ranked 14th in total offense, UNC is 33rd and VT is 93 but is playing better as the year goes on.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. wwb… we should score at least 20 points against those weak defenses and if we can just “ hold on!” In HS our coach would tell us “ if they don’t score- they don’t win,”

      Like

  43. Great photo of the Cathedral. I’m so proud my alma mater’s most iconic building is a phallic symbol with a blue orgasm. Seriously, that stuff does me proud.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. The only advantage of that name is that it’s easy to say.

        Damn millennials grumble grumble.

        “Now get off my lawn!!!”

        Like

  44. Way off topic — I just received my Pitt Osher weekly update; if any of you are in the ‘burgh this weekend, you might consider going over to the Cathedral of Learning on Sunday. It’s a great way to spend part of your afternoon: an “only in Pittsburgh” experience.

    At Pitt
    Sunday, November 10, 2019; 12 noon – 5 p.m.
    Polish Fest 2019
    Cathedral of Learning

    FREE ADMISSION – FAMILY FRIENDLY- FREE KIDS CRAFTS
    Live demonstrations of Polish cooking, pierogi making, Polish Pastries, hand painted Easter eggs, straw ornaments, Polish surname origins, Polish paper cuttings, St. Andrew’s Eve fortune telling and a variety of Polish, Lithuanian and Carpatho-Rusyn folkarts will be featured for festival guests to try. Join Radek Fizik and his Polish Folk Songs, Jerry Jumba entertaining with his Carpatho-Rusyn Folk Songs, and the Polkas, Obereks and Mazurkas of “Frania’s Polka Celebration for your listening and dancing pleasure. The Polish Kitchen and Old World Bakery will offer delicious foods and baked goods at reasonable prices. The “Lajkoniki” Polish Folk Dance Ensemble, “Bociai” Lithuanian Choir, “Karuzela” Polish Folk Choir with continuous live entertainment through the day
    Watch their promotion video to learn more!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Pete — Thanks for posting that info.

      Also, on Nov. 10th…

      “Pitt men’s soccer earned the #4 seed in the ACC Tournament! After a first round bye, Pitt will host a quarterfinal match-up against either Duke or NC State next Sunday, November 10 at 3 PM.”

      Go Pitt.

      Like

  45. Hi –
    As I kept reading your post my interest grew in intensity. The actions of the Pitt team and coaching staff speak to an ideal needing to be amplified more & more.

    I was attending the game as a guest of a certain group if Georgia Tech alumni & friends. The Pitt fans we encountered before, during, and after the game represented Pitt in nothing but the finest manner. Indeed, using Atlanta vernacular, it was “Southern hospitality” at its best.

    In the past year or so my work has allowed me to visit Pittsburgh and work closely with a certain consultant. It’s been a wonderful experience.
    In addition to my work I’ve also been introduced to Pittsburgh lingo – i.e. gummie bands.

    Prior to your post and my work experience, my understanding of Pittsburgh was fueled by Willie Stargell and the members of the “Steel Curtain” – the backbone of the Steelers dynasty.

    Seems there’s a larger dynasty in the Pittsburgh area of good people representing America at its finest.

    How good is that!

    #beautiful #brilliant #goodlife #goodonyou #pittsburgh #pittfootball #gatech #atlanta

    Liked by 14 people

    1. “ Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Kinda sums it up…. Wonderful post..thanks for chirping in. Same goes with the GT peeps- have enjoyed both of my trips to Bobby Dodd- win or lose.

      Liked by 4 people

    2. Hi Dan…there is an old theme for the city that a friend’s father (and adman) conceived back in the 70’s for the local CBS affiliate:

      “Pittsburgh…Someplace Special”

      Still rings true today.

      Like

  46. Haha John…just saw the Shark UPMC spot on tv. Always liked him.
    UPMC did both my shoulders…
    Tex, when I was in grad school we were tasked with developing a public health poster for Oakland…one team had the Cathedral image covered with a giant condom.
    They didnt win.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I can vividly remember attending the 1983 US Open at Oakmont. Saw Arnie, Jack, Sevie, Watson, Floyd … you name it.

      But then we saw this this guy with long, curly blonde hair who had shark covers for his woods, and had no idea who he was. In the next year, we and everyone else, were to find out

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Must chime in here, Fran. Have heard multiple first hand stories about Greg Norman. None of them good. He once stiffed a friend of mine who was a caddie at Laurel Valley, while the Shark was playing in the event that Arnold Palmer used to hold there to benefit Latrobe Hospital.

      Like

  47. Probable last round yesterday, before my overhaul. Played very well considering low 50’s temp. and 15 – 20 mph winds. Eleven pars spoiled by too many dreaded others.

    Met the Shark with Arnie at a Latrobe Hospital event at Laurel Valley. Very special day. The Shark was hitting three irons on the practice tee. He hit them high and landed them soft, balata balls back then. Never seen anything like it.

    Going to miss yunz next Thursday. Kids are sending Pat and I for an anniversary celebration at Nemacolin Woodlands. Place is way beyond my pay grade. Do like Mystic Rock though. If you call the pro shop, sometimes they have “specials”.

    Maybe UPitt could get us a friend of Joe’s “special” for next year’s opening weekend.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Gordon: See above my comment about the Shark related to the day you mention at Laurel Valley. The Shark stiffed his caddie that day. I was a caddie there at the time during the summer after my first year of law school. I tell the story to many people, because I have another friend who had a son who asked Norman for an autograph at a golf tournament a few years earlier, and not only did he not sign, he was a real ass to them. I’ve heard other stories over the years too. The guy is no good.

      Like

  48. Hey Dan B, please stay off our board. Sick of you positive attitude and commentary types intruding our self loathing space. Take your interloping ass and posting back to Georgia.

    Ok, so where are our missing posters now? 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  49. Dan Barham, thanks for the kind words, although I did not attend the GT game I do take pride in our city, our people and our PITT fans. I know this Blog alone sent our finest to represent.

    gc, Happy Anniversary and good luck with your upcoming surgery. No more walking in pain is a good thing.

    Like

  50. Thanks Ike.

    Dan, real glad you are being treated well and enjoy our city.

    Unfortunately there are jerks everywhere, glad you didn’t seem to meet any of them.

    Most of us hope all ACC fans are welcome in our city, as we want to be welcomed in your home towns.

    Like

  51. Holy cheese balls. Just watched a video highlight of PITT commit Jordan Addison. This kid is a stud and a great pickup. He’s listed as a WR but he is one hell of an athlete. Looks to be playing against legitimate competition. He’s not real big right now but wow! I can’t link it but go to Jordan Addison Hudl and check him out.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ike — Addison does look good. With Coach Whips passing offense and big stats for WRs and TEs, I expect Pitt is now much more attractive for those positions.

      Our present corps of receivers was kind of cobbled together from odd pieces. I think more legit talent is on the way…including the current freshmen.

      Go Pitt.

      Like

  52. Back to Pitt football, I’m a little concerned about the final three games. We should handle BC okay, but the other two are a bit worrisome. As Bernie mentioned, other teams have learned how to defend Pitt, and the chance of Pitt exceeding the 20 point GT score seems rather low. Pitt can’t expect its defense to play a perfect game each week, and when we are stuck in the 20 point range a turnover or two can mean the difference. Sometimes the offense needs to win a 34-31 type of game.

    Like

    1. Someone on the Lair did a detailed look at Pitt’s offensive plays in the first half – apparently looking at what you can see on the TV replay.

      He claimed that Pitt had open receivers on several plays — guys open for big-yardage plays — that KP didn’t see.

      That’s discouraging. QB is tough to play, but we need KP to up his game. Like next week!

      The ability is there, he needs to apply it better…

      Go Pitt.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. This is true. My brother in law is really good at watching football (if that makes any sense…) anyway he was pointing out a lot of subtle things that are hard to notice of you just follow the ball. He mentioned receivers running free on several plays. I started to watch the whole field after that and I saw a few as well. Further proof that Kenny is still pretty much locked in to his #1 target and that is it…

        Liked by 2 people

        1. I gotcha Mike but you guys are watching from a birds eye view. Remember the 6’6″ 310 lbs players in front on both sides of the ball and a few want to splatter his guts on the turf at full speed. Some QB’s get it and some do not…. imo. KP is in the middle right now trying to figure it out. Speaking of guts. Kenny has plenty.

          Liked by 1 person

            1. Right Mike but what’s with the old remark? 🙂 Seriously though, Brees is far from the norm but you know that. Being a great QB is an innate athletic skill. It can be taught and learned but experience is the key in that case.

              Like

        2. I’m not sure what to think about the Pickett/Whipple thing, but I have a suspicion you are correct MM, and that the biggest problem is KP’s inability to read defenses. I’m not down on Kenny, I like him, he has some good attributes and may continue to improve, but if reading defenses is still his biggest his achilles (not that it’s an easy thing to do by any means), then I’m skeptical we’ll see much improvement between now and when he graduates. It sure would be nice to get the ‘next man up’ some real game experience, but it doesn’t sound like we have a true next qb just yet, do we?

          Like

          1. Totally agree it’s not easy. The question is how does one develop that skill? I suppose if anyone can teach it, it’s whip. Just need Kenny to relax a little in the game

            Like

      2. I’m sure Whipple is plenty frustrated with Pickett’s play of late. The conservative play calling in the 2nd half may be a direct result of Whipple’s loss of confidence in Pickett’s ability to see the field. Pickett continues to throw to the receiver on the called play without looking at his secondary options.

        Liked by 2 people

      3. I would tweek your last sentence Major to ” if the ability is there, he needs to apply it better.” Hopefully, d\Duzz and Whip keep recruiting QBs and there is real competition in 2020….KP is a gamer and a leader but he is average…in fact, maybe below average based on his stats…I am in the mindset that play calling has gone down to his level to execute…..the last 3 teams on our schedule have a lot of PITT tape to watch and cunsume…will bore them to death, they will fall to sleep and work to our advantage…..

        Liked by 2 people

      4. You can watch Tom Brady play and pick out the same kind of stuff.

        Say there are four receivers on a pass play. Once a QB is off the primary, how long do you think he has to find 2nd and 3rd receivers. Probably two seconds. We as fans may see the other receivers open momentarily while the QB is looking at something different. The QB does not have the luxury of looking from high in the ski seeing all the receivers at one time.

        Also, we have no idea who the primary receiver may be. It can change based on the movement of the safeties and linebackers. I am sure KP misses some open receivers but I doubt it is a huge issue.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Agree. Easy to play QB from up in the cheap seats.

          Paul Zeise was just talking on the Fan about how Mason Rudolph missed seeing a wide open TE, McDonald, in the endzone this week…

          Not easy playing QB, that’s for sure – even though the good ones on good offenses make it look pretty easy…

          Go Pitt.

          Like

        2. I think it’s the key issue. He might never be good at the secondary options but he may be the best we got at the present time. Does Whipple have the option to pull KP at this time? I would think he does but he may not have more confidence in any of KP backups at this time.—-In the meantime the Pitt D is performing at a high level and so the Pitt O just trots along with the best we got at QB hoping he doesn’t lose the game.—I think BigB hit the nail on the head with this statement “I am of the mindset that play calling has gone down to his level to execute.”

          Like

          1. The thing is that he was executing better at the beginning of the season. Maybe it’s his shoulder. Maybe he just regressed. But it seemed to me he was looking for 2nd and third options and hanging in the pocket better for Ohio, Penn State for some of UCF

            Like

    2. We all should be a lot concerned about the last 3 games. NC can put up points with their offense, VT seems to have turned their season around the last month and BC is also scoring a lot of late.

      Liked by 1 person

  53. One problem I have watching a ball game is “my eyes follow the ball” so I miss a lot of the action occurring on the field…have taken the time to watch the OL run blocking is improving…need to get some fat off of #77’s a$$…think about this- the fastest defender on the DL are the DE’s…I would want my OT’s to be quick on their feet and carrying 20-40 lbs of blubber does not and i mean NOT equate to quicker DT’s…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Here’s a question for you (and the group). If Pitt has the #11 offense and the #102 defense (or whatever our offense is currently rated) are we still 6-3?

      Like

      1. great question Mike.

        PITT would have still lost to UVA and psu. soooo… I think Miami may have been a win. The Duke game imo would have been a loss. The big question is this upcoming game against UNC, I’m very happy PITT has a great defense or they wouldn’t have a chance to win.

        Like

  54. Liked by 1 person

    1. Well done Tex. You could see this coming as soon as he was hired, highly respected coach, and I think last year they had one of the top recruiting classes, the team is very young now. Just an example of what a good coach can do in any sport.

      Like

      1. Exactly. Great coach. Had three strong recruiting classes. Reaches out to oversea recruits. Knows the ACC well obviously from his former stint.

        Thank you Barnes. Yes, one of his few good things.

        Like

  55. so you think it’s easy playing D1 football in a an NFL city? Here is an excerpt for a story on Pennlive:

    “Saturday’s Penn State-Minnesota game features two unbeaten teams ranked among the top 15 nationally. It also might not quite reach sellout territory as the Gophers look for their first home crowd of 50,000-plus since 2015, according to WCCO Radio. Minnesota officials said they expect to “get really close to a sellout” but wouldn’t be disappointed if they don’t get there.”

    Furthermore, UM has an enrollment of 50k with an undergrad enrollment of 36k. It also has its own on-campus stadium that holds 50,805 …. a POV pipedream

    Liked by 2 people

    1. If you don’t think the yellow seats matter, find a way to get down on the field pre-game. See what the stadium looks like to the recruits who are visiting, and then see what the stadium looks like when the players run out of the tunnel.

      Some will disagree, but it’s a wonder to me that we somehow recruit in football as well as we do…

      Go Pitt.

      Liked by 1 person

  56. Didn’t the men’s soccer coach fall into Barnes’ lap?

    Vidovich had coached at WF for 20 years, highly successfully, when he decide to leave WF and Coach a pro team. When the pro gig didn’t work out, he was on the market and Barnes hired him.

    It’s not like Barnes lured him from WF…

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 1 person

  57. On the topic of reading defenses, I always felt during my days of coaching softball that you rarely improved your skills during a game. There are just not enough repetitions of any given maneuver to develop or improve a skill. You develop skills during practice and show your skills during a game.

    I now wonder if reading defenses is the exception to that thinking. I would envision that when you practice against your own defense, you see or hear the defensive call before the play. And even if you don’t, you probably recognize the defensive call by the alignment of the defensive players. If that is even close to correct, then you are left with studying opposing team’s game film to learn to read defenses outside of the game setting. And as was mentioned earlier, the view from high in the stands, where the film was shot, is radically different from field level behind massive moving bodies.

    Liked by 4 people

  58. By the way, I am at Disney World with family this week. I suggested that we take a break from the theme parks and go watch the Lady Panthers Basketball Team play at Central Florida tomorrow morning. My idea was promptly shot down. My apologies to Annie and MajorMajors.

    Liked by 2 people

  59. Mike – regarding your good O / bad D question this afternoon: I doubt there is any way we beat F.U.C. this year without a great D. That freshman QB would have been raining snow-covered TD passes all afternoon. They’d probably had to plow Heinz by Q3.

    I’ve always thought you have the best chance of winning g with a shut down D. The O has to score much less, 3-and -outs help the O stay in a rhythm, and they get much better field position all game long. (See Paul Chryst at Pitt for good O / bad D!)

    Like

  60. Okay, not sure how to take this, but I happened to glance at a Pitt Football Program book today and learned this fact:

    Mark Whipple’s Birthday:
    APRIL 1st!

    Coach Duzz got us! 😊

    Go Pitt!

    Liked by 2 people

  61. OK, I have to say it again, QB’s don’t play in a vacuum, KP’s play will elevate as the guys around him elevate.

    If KP had Larry Fitzgerald to throw to, he would complete a lot more passes. If he had Fralic, May, Grimm etc. in front of him he would have more time to find guys and they would have more time to get open.

    If he had Conner, McCoy or any of the Panther greats, play action would work a lot better.

    What if he had Holtzman or Orndoff, remember when we had both?

    Fairly obvious that KP is not an elite QB, but he is good enough to win a lot of games, but more guys need to contribute big plays.

    As far as the O vs D question, I think we got our answer in Peterman’s second year. Pretty similar results, so far.

    Fact is you need both O & D to be good if you want to win. Which one is better doesn’t really matter, although great offense is more fun.

    Great defense wins the close ones and makes you sweat like your 2019 Panthers.

    Liked by 3 people

  62. I couldn’t agree more gc. Fact is, PITT is winning. Losses to UVA, psu and Miami is nothing to be ashamed of despite the fact PITT could have won at least two of those games. If you all think about that for a second, ?? is this really SOP?? I get that losing with class is just not good enough but this PITT team shows class with their off and on the field behavior as displayed with little Dominick. Color me proud of this PITT football team but there is unfinished business.

    Liked by 3 people

  63. OT – not sure Pitt VB is getting the proper respect nationally as the selection committee met this past week and placed them at #5, just outside the top 4 which keeps us from hosting the regional championships.

    We are the only ranked team from the ACC by the selection committee also, which means our wins from here on out probably do not move us up in the rankings.

    I’m not sure I lyke the choice to move the last two games to the Pete either – the venue at the Fitz seems comfortable for this team – why change when you have a good thing going?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good point about playing in the Pete. I believe they only played in the Pete once this year and it was their only loss (PSU).

      Like

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