Rivalry is often defined as “that moment when someone sees a stranger dressed in a team’s colors and, despite being down by three scores and on national television, still shoots both middle fingers at them and accidentally creates a Renaissance painting.”

Pitt and Virginia Tech do not have such a relationship.  Still, they have a history that has fermented into a strong dislike of Pitt by the Virginia Tech faithful.  Perhaps this is because we’ve upset nationally ranked Hokies teams five times since the series began (No. 13 in 2012, No. 5 in 2003, No. 3 in 2002, No. 12/13 in 2001 and No. 19/20 in 1997).

Or perhaps its because of the epic beat down that we handed them at Heinz Field last November. 

Whatever the reason, Hokies fans seem to be throwing an awful lot of shade Pat Narduzzi’s way.

VT Smack1VT Smack2

It goes on, but I don’t want to bore you.  You’ve seen one hillbilly, you’ve seen ’em all.

(but feel free to read more at The Key Play)

Pitt fans don’t seem to be quite as fired up.  Still, some trash is being talked.

But remember, this isn’t a rivalry.

Oh sure the familiarity is there.  We go back to the old Big East.  And who could forget how we were dominated by Beamer ball back in the day?  In fact, Pitt won just 4 of first 11 contests between our two schools (but three of those Pitt wins were epic upsets of overrated nationally-ranked teams…)

But this isn’t a rivalry.

Oh and the geography is there too.  Blacksburg is just five an a half hours drive from Pittsburgh.  The same as our cough cross-division rival Syracuse.  That is certainly within mascot-stealing distance for a properly motivated fraternity.

The recruiting battles are there too…

Sure.  It’s.  Not.  A.  Rivalry.

Lets go back to the article from which we pulled our opening quotation, (my comments added in bold):

  1. Rivalries are evaluated mostly on the last four or five years.  Well shoot, Pitt has won three out of the last five, including the aforementioned epic beat down last year.
  2. There are exceptions to this, like the Kick Six, which happened and was hilarious. My God, was it funny. It is the kind of play that gets a name, and then joins the other plays with Proper Names, and then even young football players and children know their name, and repeat them even after being reminded of the other team’s recent dominance over their rival. Is this triggering? It should be triggering for you, Alabama, because that is the entire point of this.  Does anyone think that any self-respecting Hokie will forget Quadree Ollison Beast Mode?  One does not create an animated gif of Justin Fuente slapping a Pat Narduzzi-topped beef tenderloin without some deep-seated source of shame.
  3. The rivalry has to at least be competitive over the past few years.  If the games aren’t evenly matched, then the teams should at least split beat-downs.   We’ve split the last six, three-to-three, so check that box.  Also did I need to remind anyone of the epic beat down last year?  I just thought I’d do that again.  
  4. Rivalries should have some tusslin’ and hollerin’.  In non-hilljack terms, some fighting, scrapping, some personal fouls, various football-related misconducts, brawls, resulting legislation following said incidents, bowl bans, international sanctions, and general extracurricular conflict. It all helps.     Hilljack.  He said Hilljack.  He knows these people.  Can we throw in a couple targeting calls for good measure?
  5. The games should matter in the larger scheme of things. Again, this can mean a lot of things. Does the rivalry often determine larger conference or national outcomes? Does one team consistently ruin their rival’s seasons? Or, most exotically, do both teams ruin each other’s lives every year, no matter who wins or loses, because the results of the game are repellent to one and irrelevant to the other?  I’ll venture to say that Hokies fans have such an artificially inflated sense of their program’s worth that they are repelled by the thought of losing to Pitt.  Oh and by the way, if we lose, we lost to Virginia Tech, and nobody expected us to win anyway, so there’s that.  All this has made winning seven out of the last ten that much more pleasing to me, (and it should be pleasing to you too.)  
  6. You left one off! Yes, yes I did. Your favorite one, probably. I did it on purpose, because you bankrupted my family, took the family farm, stole my woman, and left my children to starve in a [Morgantown] flophouse! This is my revenge for all that, and I’ve waited years for it.  Well it ain’t quite the backyard brawl, or Pitt-Penn State, but dang it, it’s sure a hell of a lot better than the River City Rivalry.  Here’s to some unruly Pitt students doing all of the above this Saturday in Blacksburg (as long as nobody gets hurt).

 

Hail to Pitt

Michaelangelo Monteleone

 

97 thoughts on “Virginia Tech Week: Don’t call it a Rivalry

  1. Walt (aka Wlat) Harris had their number. We beat VT several times when they were very good back in the early 2000s. Of course we couldn’t beat Ohio, Bowling Green or UConn back then.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Let’s just say that IMO Pitt won’t be able to win this game without having both its offense and defense playing their best for the ENTIRE game. Has Pitt had any game this year when both its O and D have done so?

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    1. I have to disagree. VATech was a 6 OT winner over UNC by 2 points (43-41).

      Pitt beat UNC in 1 OT (34-27) without the D hitting on all cylinders.

      I expect a close game, but these teams are evenly matched. VATech is favored by 3 points on their home field on SR night and It geing Bud Foster’s last home game.

      Vegas thinks this is an even contest too.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Pitt opened as a 4 point underdog, line has moved slightly to 3.5 underdog.

    Weather looks to be wet Saturday with a high of 48.

    I’m not worried about the VT home field advantage, the Panthers have played pretty well on the road this season.

    Pitt is actually 4-0 against the spread on the road this season.

    I always thought Bud Foster was really overrated but who am I.

    Pitt is going to beat them and make Bud ride off into the sunset with that stupid lunch box into retirement.

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  4. I read the ” Hate Narduzzi” blog Sunday. I lost my concentration a couple times, and thought it was written by WVU fans.

    BTW Mike, I hope your tongue didn’t give you a cheekache!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, tvax1.

      Pitt does a great job on these Field Pass videos.

      Coach Bates barely has a voice left — and he’s up in the booth!

      KP’s 3rd down completion to Mack in OT was really impressive work by both of them. KP put the ball the only place where it could be completed and Mack made a nice catch…

      Go Pitt!

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  5. Before I forget (as forgetfulness becomes more common at my age), I’d like to make a couple of observations on last night bb game.
    As I noted before, Imhad the chance to meet up with old friends who both played and coached the game at a pretty high level. Here are some of my, and their observations.

     1) We watched the game with around 1200 others. Maybe!
     2) B-ball is definitely one sport where you see more in person than on TV
     3) It is also,a game best played inside-out, not side to side.
     4) AAU style one on one will not work in major college ball
     5) Johnson has NO right hand!! Teams have scouted him and realize he goes left constantly ( with an NBA level right to left crossover). A quicker kid gets underneath him, takes away the left, and leaves him with nothing. That’s what happened in second half of season last year, and continues this year.
      6) I really want to see the assists he was credited for. 
      7) Never saw so many kids leaving their feet making a pass. They get caught up out of control and make crazy bad passes. Really poor fundamentals.
      8) Murphy is going to be less than useless in ACC play. Small, slow, bad defender, one trick pony. Slow release, won’t get that off if anyone with size is on him. They’ll take him away easily as we cannot go inside out freeing him for the one thing he can do. Long year for Skippy. Sorry.
      9) Bigs are beyond useless. Not only do they have terrible hands, footwork is awful.
     10) There are precious few options on this team. Sitting down Johnson was the right thing to do, but being forced to play a walk on at the point? Well, try that one against Duke.
     11) They may not score 30 bs Cuses zone.
     12) We all feel Capel is the right guy, but playing by the rules, well, it may take forever. He has 2 kids and that’s about it. Really unfair to expect them to carry this team. Real void of talent.
     13) Finally, It could get really bad this year. Frustration, infighter, etc could occur and get really ugly. The t word could come up ( transfer), yup, that’s how bad it could get. I was shocked how little improvement occurred over the summer.
    

    Liked by 4 people

    1. ^ JoeK, Skippy can really shoot great off the dribble and while he’s a good dribbler but he can’t do it without the basketball in his hands. These kids play selfish basketball.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Great insights, thanks for sharing joeknew. Love your point #3, agree 100%, though that’s not an option (playing inside out) with a team that does not have an inside presence. Regarding point #6, not sure of the stats, they can be deceiving/misleading, but X certainly made some nice passes and made a big leap forward in the second half last night in terms of moving the ball (the team has a long way to go here though). Regarding point #8, disagree here, though I suppose some nights that will be true, others it will not be true. Regarding point #11, agree zones will still be problematic, because in addition to lacking an inside presence, we still do not appear to have a guy to make jumpers around the foul line unless Champ improves (or Drumgoole miraculously heals and finds a niche).

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    3. Joe… agree wholeheartedly on #7. I had 10 major no no’s when I coached. Never leave your feet and throw a pass unless it’s a set play… the adjunct of that rule is never pass off your dribble, you’ll telegraph it every time. You dead on with Murphy. Small slow white boy who when he is up against quick ACC talent is useless. He’s a TO machine.

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  6. knew, I disagree only with #4. AAU style one on one does work in college, problem is you need AAU talent.

    JD was successful because of the style of defense and team ball he coached that many complained about. Honestly, not sure about JC’s coaching ability. He may need to out-recruit that shortcoming if it is one.

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    1. some good points. JC appears to be the antithesis of JD … one seems to give his players total freedom on offense no matter who or what; the other one, not so much

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Nice work again Mr. Michelangelo Monteleone, very entertaining! Tuesday game week and it’s too close to call right now. The one thing I’m not getting is, just because this is Bud Foster’s last home game, what is going to make the VT defense play better than this whole season? That defies logic imo. (lets wait until coach Fosters last home game and then we will really play hard)?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The hokie D will be even more fired up for Bud and they will Foster up more adrenaline and energy to run through that brick wall on last time. Their will to win will be elevated to another level.

      It could backfire on them if Pappy Whip and KP can concoct a game plan that infiltrates the over-energized hokie D.

      Like

  8. Ike, Skippy definitely couldn’t get his own shot. He had the ball plenty of times, and this wasn’t just my observation. His release is very, very slow. He is bother both by speed defenders as well as size. Monmouth was the type of team I would have expected him to have a big game against. I was shocked how slow he looked in person, and how poorly he defended. He will get chewed up in ACC play.
    Tvax, yup, once You go against kids who are just as good you need to have something else. If you can’t take two dribbles with the other hand you’re not going anywhere. Not being able to go inside out cripples anyone’s ability, not only to get open shots but also to help break down the d.
    Oh, I forgot to mention the terrible spacing, really poor or non existent screens. Of all the weakness they have, the spacing on screens and the inability to set and come off screens may be the most glaring. A lot of things you can’t do with limited talent. Setting screen and coming off them is not one of them.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. You were at the game JoeK so I’ll take your word for it. Murphy did take five shots and miss them all. I’m hoping you just watched him on a bad night though.

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  9. Every year the Hokies are in the running for the ugliest FB uniforms award… 👍

    Does Ted Danson really want to have to wear those unis???
    🤔

    Go Pitt.

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      1. BigB. — The combo of their uniforms and “The Terps” is indeed tough to beat.

        At least VT has “The Hokies” going for them…😊

        Go Pitt.

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  10. Three bigs are committed for next year’s b’ball class. Should be a good b’ball year this year and a breakout year next year. H2P!!! Humiliate the Hokies…Again!!!!!!

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  11. After looking at that Hokie thread again, I have to think that since Va and WVA have shared a border all these years, there must surely have been a bunch of cross breeding over the generations. Are any of the VT people missing front teeth??

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    1. BL, Households in Blacksburg, VA have a median annual income of $39,910, which is less than the median annual income of $60,336 across the entire United States. Of course there are some missing front teeth dahn there a’nat.

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  12. Just a minute there, Michaelangelo ….. what self respecting fraternity brother is going to drive 5 1/2 hours just to steal a Turkey- and on the Saturday BEFORE Thanksgiving?? Sure, we are NOT rivals, but let’s not lose perspective!!

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    1. I’d there was ever a time and a reason to rent an RV and put a keg of beer in the back (but not for the driver…) to steal a turkey, the Saturday before thanksgiving seems like that time! 🦃 🦃 🦃

      Liked by 2 people

  13. What a great read, Maestro.

    I don’t sense that contempt from VT fans down here in Hokie country. The real hatred is for UVA; Pitt has earned begrudging respect from most fans. Hokies would rather lose to Pitt and beat the Hoo’s than the opposite.

    I expect a close game, with VT enjoying home field advantage. Gonna have to take this one if we want it; it will not be handed to Pitt.

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  14. Rivalries can be one way only. Usually they are based on team 1 killing the hopes of team 2. Team 1 may not consider team 2 a rival but team 2 never forgets the great loss.

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  15. By the way, it is not flattering to you own coach to produce a GIF of him spanking another man’s meat. LOL
    Next it will be Fuente telling Narduzzi he has a purdy mouth and to squeal like a pig. Cue the dueling banjos.

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  16. From my perspective, I’d be happy if VT fans hated Pitt. The on and off again mediocrity of the Coastal Division (and Pitt, for that matter) the past 6-7 years has made ginning up any real hatred between most of these teams a little bit more difficult than it should have been. Nasty rivalries are part of what makes college football fun to watch.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. “Come play for Penn State where fans tell you how you should cut your hair and threaten your life when you play poorly.”

      Liked by 3 people

  17. Women’s BB team beat Fairleigh-Dickinson today 69-60. But Pitt struggled to do it after trailing at the half.

    Pitt shot 2 for 14 from 3. Ouch! Scoring droughts have been a problem for the women’s team for several years. We do have 2 “bigs” who haven’t played yet. One transfer isn’t eligible until next semester; the other, from the Greek national team, has been in sweats for the games – don’t know if she’s injured or what…

    Anyway, freshman Amber Brown had 12 rebounds and freshman Emy Hayford had 10. But Pitt had 17 turnovers. Much work to do – freshmen playing a lot of minutes…

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. I can’t imagine how the Hokies would not have an axe to grind after last year, when Pitt pulled VT’s pants down on TV. I’d love to see a heated rivalry between Pitt and VT develop sine they are usually relevant in the national discussion, much more so than Syracuse.

    Pitt and VT seem to cross swords a lot on the recruiting trail.

    Both are 7-3 with a shot at a division title this year. H2P!!!

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  19. Will the Pitt offense from their NC game show up this week at VT? If that question can be answered in the affirmative then I’ll feel a lot better about our chances come Saturday.

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  20. VT has much bigger fish to fry the week following. The other thing is that VT doesn’t do one thing particularly great. Their stats are average and worse yet, the competition has been subpar so far this year.

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  21. If I was a betting man I think PITT +3/4 is a steal. Also, you can bet that the D is going to show up Big Time. I think it all comes down to minimizing the penalties and turnovers. I really like PITT as the dog, and I think that plays right into our hands.

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    1. Right SK, PITT has everything to win and everything to lose. Big game for the coaches and a bigger game for the players! Buckle up your chinstraps.

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  22. VT is in control of their own destiny and they are playing much better now than in the beginning of the season. But, they have yet to play a team with a D like this. Sure, they played and lost at MIA by a score of 42-35 but that was before the Canes found their footing.

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  23. Fully appreciating that this is a VT game thread, I nevertheless feel compelled to hijack it for just a moment to discuss the end game for Pitt FB in 2019.

    I just read a Twitter debate about the desirability of Pitt winning the Coastal again and it made me run through a few scenarios, which I will put out here for reaction:

    1) Pitt wins out, UVA loses to VT and Pitt has a rematch against Clemson again in Charlotte. Results in a one-sided loss on a prime-time national stage. As a 9-4 team, Pitt gets an Orange Bowl vs either Alabama or Georgia. Another blowout loss. Pitt finishes 9-5, and just outside of the rankings (because of anti-Pitt bias). With 9 wins, the argument that Duzz cant win more than 8 is kaput, yet some will still maintain that Pitt finished weak.

    2) Pitt wins out, UVA beats VT an gets pummeled by Clemson in Charlotte. The Cavaliers get an Orange Bowl nod vs Alabama or Georgia and gets crushed. Meanwhile, Pitt gets a Pinstripe Bowl bid as VT gets either Belk, Music City or the dreaded Sun Bowl. Pitt plays against a team like Illinois in the Pinstripe and wins (finally). Pitt finishes with 10 wins and ranked in the Top 15, eliminating the last credible argument about Duzz’s fitness to lead the program. With a lot of returning players, Pitt makes the pre-season Top 25 for 2020. Recruits notice us as well.

    3) Pitt loses to VT and beats BC. VT beats UVA and gets their lunch handed to them by Clemson. VT gets pummeled by Georgia or Alabama in the Orange Bowl. UVA gets the Pinstripe Bowl bid, sending Pitt to the Musci City Bowl to play the likes of a Missouri. Lose the bowl and people will howl the team choked down the stretch with an 8-5 record. Some will argue the Duzz isn’t able to push the team higher. Should Pitt win the bowl game and finish 9-4, a top 25 ranking, a preseason Top 20 and recruits notice.

    3a) Pitt loses to VT and beats BC. VT loses to UVA. UVA gets pummled by Clemson and VT somehow gets the Orange Bowl bid. Pitt is standing behind UVA and gets a Sun or Military Bowl invitation. Win the game and at 9 wins, the season is declared a success. PItt barely squeezes into the Top 25 and gets a Top 25 preseason ranking in 2020. Lose the game and folks will say Pitt choked down the stretch, Duzz isn’t the answer, etc.

    4) Pitt soils the sheets and goes 0-2 against the Hokies and Eagles. Gets rewarded with a Military Bowl bid or perhaps another trip to El Paso. Lose and people will call for Duzz’s head….Heather is probably among them, but Dan is leading the charge. Win and folks will still complain that he just can’t seem to win more than 8 a season.

    With the above in mind, can anyone offer up a credible argument that scenario 2) is not the best possible outcome for Pitt this year?

    Liked by 5 people

  24. PIT wins out, VT beats UVA and PITT upsets Clemson for the ACC conference championship! Then beats Georgia in the Orange bowl and ends up ranked in the top ten! … 😉 … Believe it or not JoeL, I think it’s a possibility. Surprised? It’s why I wake up in the morning anymore.

    Liked by 5 people

  25. what a difference a year makes.

    Last year Pitt finished 18th nationally in rushing offense and VT finished 106th in rushing defense, both rankings enhanced by Pitt’s record breaking run performance against the Hokies.

    But this year, it appears that Pitt’s 39th ranked passing offense will have to carry the day against VT’s 87th ranked passing defense.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Joel – just dawned on me. Turks might be lookin’ ahead to next week……..we could be a trap game for VT!

    They might be counting their turkeys before they hatch. I’m starting to hate dem “Baste-tards”, already!

    Liked by 2 people

  27. Joel there is one more scenario that you did not mention. Assume Pitt beats VT and BC and therefore gets ranked. UVA beats VT in a close game. But because it then gets crushed by Clemson, UVA falls out of the rankings. Since Pitt would then be the only ranked ACC team not going to the Playoffs, the Orange Bowl is forced by contract to take Pitt since it would be the highest ranked ACC team available.

    Liked by 3 people

  28. I live in Hokie country. Fairfax, VA a few miles from George Mason. Both my direct neighbors have kids who went to Tech. I have 3 neighbors across the street with Tech kids. I manage a team of 7 and 4 went to VT. My kids will probably go to VT. VT does not see Pitt as a rival. Haha. A fun game. Sure. But VT’s only rival is UVA and vice versa. There are not enough Pitt alumni in the area to really make it a rivalry. VT fans know Pitt games are usually close but don’t even recall the big losses. Selective memory? Maybe. But, seriously, this is just another game to their fans. I’ve been to Lane Stadium several times and it’s really indifference to Pitt. Just the opponent that week. When Pitt beats VT it’s usually “VT played down to the competition … again”. Tech fans are a little bit delusional. They buy the preseason hype and then don’t grasp that they did not underperform … but actually just realized their true potential.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. That is exactly why a bunch of (insert fraternity here) guys need to steal a turkey. Kidding of course. Yea I don’t really feel the passion from Pitt fans either but it’s fun to speculate

      Like

  29. Pitt wins out and VT beats Virginia. Go back to the first part of that sentence. Pitt wins out. Actually let’s just say Pitt beats VT. At that point we need to think that Pitt is good. If it is good can’t it lose to Clemson 35 – 28? What does the college football world think about Pitt then? Why should I assume in that scenario Pitt loses its bowl game?

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    1. There is at least a 50% chance we lose. Our record at lane stadium is dismal. J think we’ve won a grand total of two games

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  30. It’s all set up for Pitt to get blown out at VTech Saturday. Fosters last day, ACC rankings, bad weather -rain cold. Therefore I guarantee a Pitt win and rather easy at that!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. VT has a balanced O – bad weather favors the hokies.

        Pitt’s O will struggle in bad weather – the D’s will be even.

        Special teams are usually good for VT – if you have watched any Pitt games in 2019, you know the hokies get the advantage here.

        Coaching seems to be a push –

        Let’s hope for better weather come game day.

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  31. On the basketball side, I think we will see a disappointing finish to this season. This team just doesn’t shoot well enough and the turnovers are way too many. It will be a struggle to get to .500.

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    1. It maybe a struggle to get to .250

      Drumgoole is hurt which hurts the thin shooting options.

      The starters s:b;

      Trey PG
      Murph SG
      Champ SF
      Toney F
      Brown C

      The back-ups:

      X – PG
      Trey – SG
      Toney – SF
      Coulibaly – F
      Ham – C

      Like

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