Eight All-ACC (and Seven Wins)

From the Pitt Sports Information Department:

Pitt landed eight selections on the 2019 All-Atlantic Coast Conference Football Team and three Honorable Mention recognitions, the ACC office announced today. The eight All-ACC picks are Pitt’s most since 2015.

The Panthers’ first-team selections are junior center Jimmy Morrissey, sophomore defensive tackle Jaylen Twyman and sophomore safety Paris Ford. The three first-team honorees are Pitt’s most since 2016 and are tied for the second most among all ACC schools this season.

Earning second-team honors were junior defensive end Patrick Jones II and senior cornerback Dane Jackson. Third-team recognition went to senior Maurice Ffrench, both as a wide receiver and in the all-purpose category, as well as junior offensive guard Bryce Hargrove.

Receiving Honorable Mention recognition are senior linebacker Kylan Johnson and senior defensive tackle Amir Watts. Ffrench also earned Honorable Mention as a specialist.

The official All-ACC Team is voted on by conference head coaches, a representative from each of the 14 schools’ radio broadcast teams and select media members who cover the league on a daily basis.

Morrissey (Huntingdon Valley, Pa./La Salle College H.S.) was a vital figure in Pitt’s transition to a heavier pass attack by providing air-tight pass protection. He did not surrender a sack the entire season and also rated as the Panthers’ top run blocker. The durable Morrissey has made 35 career starts since 2017.

Twyman (Washington D.C./H.D. Woodson) has earned praise as the nation’s top interior pass rusher. He has compiled 10.5 sacks this season, the most by a Pitt defensive tackle since Aaron Donald had 11 during his 2013 All-America senior season. Twyman ranks 14th nationally and second in the ACC with an average of 0.88 sacks per game.

Ford (Pittsburgh, Pa./Steel Valley) is the leading tackler on the Panthers’ nationally ranked defense with 86 stops. A highly active defender, he additionally paces Pitt with three interceptions and 14 total passes defended. Ford ranks 21st nationally in forced fumbles (0.25 per game; three total) and 28th in passes defended (1.2 per game).

Jones (Chesapeake, Va./Grassfield) emerged as disruptive player off the edge in his first season as a starter. He leads the ACC and ranks fifth nationally in forced fumbles (0.33 per game; four total). As a pass rusher, Jones has compiled 8.5 sacks and a team-high 18 quarterback hurries. He and Twyman share the team lead with 12 tackles for loss each.

Jackson (Coraopolis, Pa./Cornell [Quaker Valley]) is the top cover corner for a Pitt unit that ranks 14th nationally in pass efficiency defense (112.63 rating). He has an ACC-high 12 pass breakups (tied) while typically drawing the most challenging of opposing assignments.

Ffrench (New Brunswick, N.J./New Brunswick) is one of the most prolific pass catchers in the country this season. He is averaging 8.4 receptions per contest, tops in the ACC and third nationally. Ffrench has 84 catches this season, the fourth-highest single-season total in Pitt history and only eight shy of Larry Fitzgerald’s school-record of 92 set in 2003.

Manning the left guard position, Hargrove (Akron, Ohio/Coventry) was key in solidifying the interior of Pitt’s rebuilt offensive line. He gave up just a single sack the entire season and also ranks among the ACC’s best run-blocking guards.

Johnson (Dallas, Texas/Skyline), a graduate transfer from Florida, made an immediate impact on Pitt’s defense and started all 12 games at Money linebacker. He has 51 tackles, 10.5 TFLs and 6.5 sacks on the year.

Watts (Chicago, Ill./Wendell Phillips Academy) is an important cog on Pitt’s interior defensive front and has 22 tackles, seven TFLs and two sacks.

Pitt, which finished with a 7-5 regular-season record, will advance to the postseason for the 16th time in the past 20 seasons. The Panthers will learn their bowl destination this Sunday, December 8.

97 thoughts on “Eight All-ACC (and Seven Wins)

  1. ^^ True Reed, very true. Yet having a first team center returning is a good start. Hargrove returning will also help to solidify the O-Line. Ulizio was not the answer that’s for sure. I’m thinking PN has to go the transfer route again and hope he lands a good one. Unless Drake and others can step it up a notch or three. I know the coaches like this Goncalves kid.

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  2. If first and second team players produce these results, I’d love to see what all Americans can do

    Fact is Narduzzi cannot recruit any better that other coastal rivals. Fact is even with all this recognized talent from a very weak conference, pitt still gets no more than 7 wins

    So if winning 7 games and having some first team all ACC players makes you happy, I’d love to hear what makes you angry. Because these results are not good enough for the football spend.

    Fact is that most pitt fans are complacent and content with 7-8 win seasons. Oh we could be like Rutgers and Arkansas. It could be worse. Yes I agree. And it can also be much much better.

    I refuse to be an enabler of mediocrity.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. They desperately need to win the bowl game as a launch into next season for momentum.

    I am going on the record.

    I believe next season is the Narduzzi critical evaluation season.

    He is going to have to perform with at least 9 wins and win the Coastal.

    If he performs great if not they have to consider a change.

    If he doesn’t perform and they keep him that tells us that the administration is content regarding mediocrity.

    Just my thoughts.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I believe you are right. But setting up expectations, even modest ones with this coach and team, almost always disappoints. WLAT, what makes you think this team will beat Navy or even Appalachian State? At this point 8-5 is a vagary. Does Narduzzi even know how to prepare a team for a bowl game?

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  4. Obviously only two offensive player made the list and Ffrench was out for two and was limited in the last ( no punt returns or kick-offs) The fact that he and Mack were not together or full speed probably had the most to do with the last two losses. An offense that is already challenged can’t afford to lose it’s best player. Same goes for special teams.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Whipple must go. I’m not against his style. But it doesn’t add up here in pgh. We are rbu and need to run the ball. We don’t get top 5 pocket passers so we need a qb run element. We can always get receivers no matter what style of play. Whipple must go as painful as it sounds. The defense is really good and can’t be wasted like last 2 years. It has to have help and that means running the ball and having a qb threat (even if it’s running). Throwing downfield is less important to the program right now then winning games.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I say keep Whipple if he is willing to develop a much more balanced approach and condense the playbook to plays that have a higher percentage of execution. I think he tried to do to much with what he had, instead of finding the ten plays that worked the best. This would help to cut the mistakes. Execution was the biggest problem.

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  7. When you have 3 first teamers, and 7 total All-ACC performers, you should be better than 7-5.

    Fact is, despite the stellar play of Morrissey, the offensive line was the primary reason for our failures this year. That and the butterfingers of our tight ends and receivers. Kenny wasn’t great, but he would have been much better if the line and receivers had helped him more.

    Of course, three other issues that reared their ugly heads were the penalties, turnovers and poor in-game coaching decisions.

    Even a top 10 defense could not overcome the total incompetence displayed by the offense and our coaching staff.

    That is what we call a sad state of affairs.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Also, IMO, Mack deserved more recognition than Ffrench. Made more big plays and was more consistent.

    Also, Kylan Johnson being Honorable Mention was a joke. He was named 2nd team All-ACC by Pro Football Focus. Much closer to where he belonged.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. We didn’t have first teamers on offense where it matters: QB and WR. That is how you score points.

    Pitt scored 24 TDs on offense! We should have gone 3-9 that is so damn pathetic.

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  10. The calls for Whipple’s removal seem premature to me after only one season. He was dealt a pretty bad hand as far as skill players and OL. The play calls reflect a lack of confidence in the running game and this was justified. KP was a known quantity, but who could have known the WRs would underachieve and the FB and TEs would be so bad?

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    1. I think Narduzzi would rank around 11 out of the 14 ACC coaches right now. He’s the 5th highest paid ACC coach. Thanks heather you dolt.

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  11. Not utilizing Wayne earlier in the season hurt this offense. Sometimes you just have to suck it up and use those freshmen. They knew he was good even in their preseason comments but they held out using him IMO to try and protect him for a RS possibility.— But clearly the lack of discipline on this offense was almost criminal. And nothing showed that more then the Mathews IP penalty with a first and goal from the one yard on the quarter change. Narduzzi is great at cheerleading from the sideline but obviously both he and his offensive coaches have their head in the clouds when standing on the sideline throughout most of the game.

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  12. It’s the QB’s job to make sure his players are set.

    I think it may be a good idea to have Whipple up in the booth next year.

    Wayne looks like a good one but how do we know he was ready for playing time earlier in the season?

    PITT absolutely needs to get the back-up QB ready for prime playing time just in case.

    I hope there is no attrition from the under-classman. I really don’t see why there should be.

    What-ever happened to Bricen Garner?

    PITT’s defense missed Reynolds late this season.

    PITT needs a true fullback for next year, maybe Brandon George? Wheeler is better suited for tight end.

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  13. PittMan’03…ya gotta score TD’s to win…19 points a game speaks volumes for how far we have fallen since the ’16 season when we nearly averaged 40 points a game…it wasn’t just Canada-there was some talent on the O-side of the ball…we sucked as bad on O in ’19 as we did on D in ’16…

    Liked by 2 people

        1. I totally agree. Boring that others don’t accept the significance of our receivers dropping more passes than just about any other team in the country.

          The same could be said about fumbles. Pitt lost the BC game because of he collective weight of the fumbles and the interception. If Pitt doesn’t have those turnovers Dillan doesn’t dominate in the 4th quarter.

          Liked by 1 person

  14. If you can correct the procedure calls (Ulizio is gone) and cut the drops in half. the offense wouldn’t be bad.

    The big challenge is finishing which was horrendous, primarily because we were one dimensional, and lacked tight ends that were reliable. Lots of breakdowns in the line as well.

    I know plenty blame coaching, but I think the blame has to go mostly on player execution and ability. I would blame the coaches for recruiting and not having tight ends and only having light weight running backs and at least one side of a line that could open a hole to run through.

    Also a lot of the blame also has to go on KP, the QB has to find a way to get it done.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. AGREE with this!
      and while I’m not sure, I THINK KP progresses and doesn’t seem soooooo inconsistent if these other issues didn’t exist

      hey, MM, you held back a comment re: me and KP from game thread,,,,what was your thought?

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      1. Probably had a swear word. I don’t manually hold back anything, but anything stronger than “ass” gets flagged by the system

        Liked by 1 person

  15. How about an all-time joke coaches/staff team for Pitt football:

    Co-Offensive Coordinators: The UMass Miracle Man, Mark Whipple and Pretty Paul Hackett…anyone remember the early 90’s

    Defensive Coordinator: Paul “Read and React'” Rhodes, the only DC that probably ever had a losing season at Auburn with all that five star SEC speed

    Defensive Backs: The Nard Dawg, Pat Narduzzi. During his first four years running the Pitt D, no one else had more interference calls in D-1 football. Narduzzi’s teams allowed a putrid Syracuse bunch to score a record breaking sixty some points in one game

    Wide Receivers: Mike Haywood, he played receiver at ND, he received a quick canning as Panthers Head Coach

    Special Teams: Kirk Christodoulou and Andrew Janocko could help the specialists with ball handling.

    Equipment Managers: Former Pitt b-ball player Donatas Zavackas could make sure our guys have the right shoes, ex-AD Steve Pederson can change the colors, logo, and university name each year so people can forget the mediocre product they are watching and will then pretend to be happy.

    Head Coach: Carl DePasqua who led the Panthers of the early 1970’s to a 13 and 29 overall record. I wonder if he blamed the lack of success due to Pitt playing on campus. If only they had an off campus facility…

    Director of Marketing: Todd and Penny Graham: Here is a quote from Todd, “Steve Pederson was dumb for inventing Dino Cat but a visionary for getting rid of that on campus eye sore. My decisions will all be of the high octane variety.”

    Director of Athletic Dept Alumni Relations: Tino Sunseri, Tino spent his time as one of the most beloved Panther signal callers of all time. Fans cried tears of joy when he graduated. Tino loved Pitt so much that when the Panthers opened their ACC play against Florida State, Tino tweeted he was cheering for the Seminoles because his dad was a baby sitter/quality control coach.

    Fashion Consultant: Paul Chryst, no matter if it’s the 1800’s in the days of Jock Sutherland or 2019, Potato Paul fits in with his khakies, gray sweatshirt, and befuddled smirk, a style for all ages

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Just a reminder. Whipple won a national championship as a head football coach. Before anyone says anything. It’s all relative. Give him another year with the same 3 year starting QB who now knows the playbook.

    Disclaimer, yes I am disappointed in another failed end to a regular season. I just think the lynch mob mentality is a little over the top. I didn’t miss one play this year and what I watched was more player error than anything else.

    The Steelers started 0-3 this year. Anyone know how that happened? = Conner fumble late in the game, JuJu fumble late in the game but no one blames Tomlin for those fumbles, in fact I read his name being mention as the NFL coach of the year. Head coaches trot the players out on the field as well as they can be prepared. Even All pro NFL football players make mistakes. It’s the coaches responsibility to correct them which is where Narduzzi may have failed.

    Liked by 2 people

        1. There numerous true freshmen and redshirt freshman in our conference that were able to learn their playbooks in one year. It’s not rocket science..

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          1. you’d certainly think his receivers would learn how to catch a nose-pointed down ball and others(KP included) would learn how to NOT fumble so often – not rocket science either

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  17. Hopefully, recruiting class stays together.. real competition at QB- I like KP as a competitor but imo we could do better – maybe we recruit another quality QB or Beville gets a shot… need some rugged lads to tote the pig hide and not lose it… gosh we miss the physical runner…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m torn with Kenny. While I think he single handily lost the Miami game…he had a young oline, most drops by receivers in the fbs, penalties galore, and no running game.

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  18. I’m stolen this post from the Lair back about a week ago but IMO it’s so true: Well the line can’t block at all and none of the RB’s are studs so they can’t make things happen on their own.
    You have TE’s that can’t block or catch.
    Then you have WR’s who aren’t explosive and can’t catch.
    So as an OC your best bet is to try to use the passing game as a substitute for the lack of a run game as well as throw down field here and there.—But remember you don’t have explosive WR’s so there won’t be many big plays. And they can’t catch either so there will be about 2 to 3 3rd downs a game when your WR/TE’s drops a first down pass. Oh and occasionally your tackles are turnstiles.
    With all that in mind, I’d love to hear the “solutions” anybody has for how we should call plays? What would you do?

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Right you are, Bernie. Up till this year, it has been a while since we haven’t had a bruiser or 2 in the backfield, and an OL which could wear out a DL. That’s what I want Santa to bring this year.

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  20. By the way, I admit that I don’t get Reed’s comment, the first one in this string; was that sarcasm, pertaining to Narduzzi extension (if he wins the bow)? Right about now about half of us I suspect are ready to bail on Nard and Reed picks this time to tentatively support the direction? Reed’s next comment following about the need for good OL prospects is spot on, which makes me think it wasn’t sarcasm…

    So what would be everyone’s Christmas gift if you could make one (realistic) change prior to next season, considering what we’ve seen on the field the last two weeks? QB change? OC change? Other coordinator change? Just curious about where everyone is at.

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    1. Addazio in as O-line coach, Borbley out.

      I hate Whipple’s offense, but agree with other that you cannot change the offense again. Have to roll the dice that all involved a year later will make it look better, i.e., blocking, catching, the throws, the cut down on penalties.

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  21. Ok, forgive me, but I’m gonna make a statement that will probably get me on the lunatic fringe list. We often hear Narduzzi mentioned as a players coach. I think he is also a Coaches coach with an excessive respect for his coaching brethren. 2 weeks ago he had to coach against Bud Foster in his last home game. A man considered a defensive coaching legend. This past week he was coaching against a peer who he knew was on the hot seat. Could Narduzzi subconsciously let upon his game prep out of “respect” for his coaching bros, feeling no danger for his job since Pitt had achieved 7 wins and bowl eligibility. Crazy I know, but that Pitt team was not prepared to play the past two weeks.

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  22. I agree PittPT you should probably be placed on the lunatic fringe list with that comment. The abuse Narduzzi is subject to right now after losing these last two games is something I don’t thank any coach would want to have to deal with.

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  23. I just don’t think that Whipple is the problem. The players don’t execute the plays that are called, and the OL is surprisingly inept. We are looking at linemen who have had extensive time backing up players in the same schemes, and they haven’t developed sufficiently to become good P5 players. Do we really want WRs to catch 75-80 balls that are mostly short yardage and attempt to compensate for a surprisingly soft running game? The combination of drops, penalties, turnovers and missed blocks this year is mind boggling. It reminds me of Jimmy Carter’s “Misery Index”. Could any other team have anywhere close to the sum of these futility statistics?

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  24. Congratulations to the players who made the ACC Honors list.
    Thought Hamlin and Mack would have made honorable mention.
    Now, which of the first-team awardees will be back next year for Pitt?
    My guess: only the center.

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  25. Paris Ford only played one quarter at the very most. He needs to pack on some muscle and LBS. Also, he won’t be able to work out at the combine and thank goodness for that because I don’t think he would knock it out of the park there either.

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  26. So if Randy Bates played Jim Carrey’s role in “Liar Liar,” you’d hear him screaming behind locked doors at the UPMC Sports Performance Complex, ” We should be playing AL-a-BAMA or Florida in the Orange Bowl. AL A BAMA. ”

    ” Now I’m preparing Jaylen and Paris for the Military or Belk Bowl. The defense did their part. The defense did their part…”

    ho hum …

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  27. I am done calling for Narduzzi’s firing. Wasted energy, because it isn’t happening.
    Hopefully they win the bowl game, hold the recruiting class together and have a good showing on draft day.
    The talent is there and being developed. The coaches need to get their stuff together.

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  28. Thanks for the Jackie Sherrill memories, Bernie. I had forgotten that North Carolina kept Pitt from a national championship in 1979. So the NC curse goes way back.. Until this year

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  29. Was there any game this year where Whip tried to establish the running offense, I don’t think so. He would run the ball a time or 2 and then pass, pass, pass. There was never an attempt to give the running game a chance to develop. The insertion of Kradel should have helped but he was under-utilized as a run blocker.

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  30. Just saw a prediction of Pitt vs Mich State in the Pinstripe. Apparently the Spartans think thats where they are going and who they are playing.

    Woudl imagine a single digit over/under if so – haha

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  31. Watch out Schiano is coming!!!

    Narduzzi hasn’t done a poor job. Certainly he hasn’t lived up to our expectations. Making a change now would not get us anything better unless we are extremely lucky. Plus we will waste another 3-4 years.

    Recruiting is the greatest issue this winter. We need to bring in offensive impact players including immediate playable transfers and grad students. Linemen as well as skilled positions. Ball catchers! and even a couple of QB’s. (Sorry Kenny, it is tough world out there.)

    I understand Schiano went into his pre offer meetings with Rutgers listing the top New Jersey recruits he will need to get. He also had a transfer and grad players 200 strong list. Schiano can recruit! Narduzzi not so much. We will lose some top players out of NJ.

    After the BC game I, as many of you, was left speechless, hurt, sad, disappointed, disbelieving, disengaged and any other word or phase you all could think of. I could never write well and am unable to express my actual feelings now.

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  32. Forgot to mention running backs. We need big bruising guys. Schiano will kill us in the graduate and transfer pool not just Jersey, but nationally. Whipple will need to balance to a stronger running attack. Hopefully he will have the players. Defense will be fine.

    It all comes down to recruiting. We need a “SUPER” recruiter. Our present coaches are good as coaches not recruiters.

    We need to hound the grad lists. It’s the easiest student sell. The Steelers are next door.

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  33. PittPT – yes, crazy to think that about Narduzzi, but less crazy to think the ACC wanted the revenues of another bowl qualifier team from the conference. Pitt helped them out there.

    Quick breakdown of the Pitt pass/run play counts per game as many seem to exaggerate the ratio a bit

    UVA passes 41, runs 30 including 12 QB runs or sacks = 41/30/12
    Ohio 37/37/2
    PSU 51/25/9 how did we do in that game?
    UCF 51/37/12
    Delaware 37/39/2 Patti
    Duke 48/35/5
    Syracuse 33/43/5
    Miami 32/42/9
    GT 34/36/6
    UNC 41/37/12
    VT 28/27/8
    BC 41/24/7

    what do you think

    Liked by 1 person

  34. Israel Abanikanda RB and Pitt commit named Gatorade New York Player of the year. He’s expected to sign and enroll at Pitt in January. Since Peyton Manning was given the same honor Pitt should only hope Israel A can duplicate the same success at Pitt that Payton had in his college career.

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  35. LA Panther, here.

    Question: was the 2019 team an overachieving 4 & 8 team or an underachieving 10 & 2 team. I know 7 and 5 is halfway between, but I’m just not OK with 7&5. Usually your record says who yourself, but this squad seemed so good at times and so bad at others. No middle.

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