183 thoughts on “Pitt Basketball Open Game Thread – Rutgers

  1. Like Cape. Not sold on him being able to win without the BEST Players. That’s what the history shows.

    K-State and Northwestern nothing to write home about.

    An win tonight could help sway me. But Rutgers should present a test.

    We shall see.

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  2. They need to sit Champagne. He is having a poor game, he’s not a 3 pt shooter. Can’t believe they can’t score off a set play with 17 seconds to end the half.

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  3. Lots of work to do for Pitt learning to be a team and play like a team. We’re right where I thought we’d be after 8 games. I see improvement every game. Sometimes it’s maddening to watch.. McGowans makes a great steal and then goes 1-2 and charges when he had Pitt players open all around him.

    It’ll get better. Have patience.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I think I’m at the point where I’m somewhat content taking the good with the bad with X and McGowens. But it’s maddening. They make mistakes that good junior high players don’t make. But they make plays too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Toneys completely changed his shooting form and that’s a good thing. Thanks to our shooting coach Capels brother. Foul shooting form much improved as our results.

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  5. Still a very long way to go in terms of ACC caliber play, but I love the direction in which Capel has this team headed. Need another couple of pieces and maybe a grad transfer….Call me old school, but the home team should always wear white on a basketball court. All about the merch in this day and age. If the school colors do not include black, please don’t wear black uniforms. Get off my lawn.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. I would say that was the best all around performance from a Pitt team in quite a few years,probably since Jamie left. No they don’t have the horses for the ACC and should struggle to win 3 or 4 more in ACC play, but definitely nice to see improvement, cutting down on mistakes, much better decision making and shooting. Better inside play and on an off night from Champ, Toney stepped up. Even some better passing from our guards. Looking a little more like a team.

    Now if only Coach can close on an elite player or two and get a big time transfer…

    In any case fun returned to the Pete tonight.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. When you play hard and play good defense then other mistakes can be overcome. This Pitt team has a long way to go on offense but the guard play is improving and will keep them in games

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  8. Breakthrough game. Used strengths, conditioning and athleticism to run an excellent defense which triggered their offense. X settle ed din to a team effort with 8 assists and Mcgowen played within himself with 5 plus takeaways
    This game bodes well for the season. They won’t beat Louisville but they will keep it interesting.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. BigB posted this comment a couple of articles ago that I found interesting and got me to thinking. Here’s his comment.

    “Things that I once loved that I could easily give up: NBA basketball, major-league baseball, NFL including the Steelers and salt…. PITT FB is working me over…”

    Haven’t like the NBA in years, major league baseball is out…… again, still try and not miss a Steelers game although I did miss the Cleveland slug-fest while watching PITT. Salt, I gave up but now I do sprinkle a little kosher salt every now and again.

    As far as myself? Going to PITT games, unless I can get me one of those scooters with a flag on the back. Still love PITT football though. ZOOM ZOOM ZOOM!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Per PSN report, Parrish is no longer verbally committed to Pitt –

      “Parrish tells Inside the Gators that the three teams he’s currently considering are (no order): Pitt, Florida and South Carolina and doesn’t plan on making a decision until February.“

      Considering is NOT committed.

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    2. He’s gone… At this point I would imagine that Duzz has pulled his schollie offer. He doesn’t like it when guys commit and then keep looking around. He will commit to the best Florida school that offers.

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  10. Brandin Knight@bknight20
    I’m very gracious and appreciative of the warm welcome that I received from my old stomping grounds. It was good to see old fans, friends and family the last 2 days. The program is in great hands with @jeffcapel. He’s a great leader and teacher. Good luck…

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Rick – been off this thread for a couple days. Just read your post yesterday. You (and Raechel, by extension) are a big part of our family. Nothing but the best for you and your family. We are all earnestly in prayer for Rachel’s rapid and complete recovery. Keep the faith, brother!

    Savannah

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  12. Any chance PITT can play P-5 Rutgers in the pinstripe bowl game? You know, give the Scarlet Knights a mercy rule and let them play in a bowl game while they still suck.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I’m with you Ike as the last thing Pitt needs right now is to finish this season like it did last last season losing its last 3 games.

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  14. Rachel is home and doing much better. Thank you all for your concern and prayers.

    The recovery ahead seems that it may be a long one.

    She is one tough lady – most men could not have endured what she has these past 5 months. Wlat could…

    Liked by 4 people

  15. From PSN –

    “Dayon Hayes was already a 247 Sports 4-star recruit and today he was elevated to a Rivals 4-star recruit also.”

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    1. FWIW, Henningham plays on the same HS team that 3 other D1 WRs plays on … one from Miami, one from GT and I forgot the 3rd school

      The best WR Pitt commit is probably Jaylon Bardon, a 3-star 5.7 from Macon, GA who supposedly had a great senior season. Hope to hang on to him

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  16. A few thoughts:

    Great news from the Express family… GO RACHEL!

    Hayes getting a bump as well as Henningham, one up and one down??

    The scenario I’ve created in my head is that Hayes must be being hotly pursued by some big boys and Hennyingham must not be??

    These scouting sites suck. Pitt’s 3 first team all ACC players are…………. Morrissey, walk-on. Jaylen Twyman, 3* recruit and Paris Ford, a 4*. Rivals don’t know their ass from their elbows.

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  17. Rivals could sure use an anatomy lesson, for sure, Ike. But we all know that interest or lack of interest by the big boys will move these ratings up or down.

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  18. When Parrish committed you all just about booted me off and called me negative (among other things) when I said we wouldn’t be able to keep him. I wasn’t being negative at all.

    Pitt is not running back U. Yes, we have had a good run for sure, but when you can’t recruit quality OL every year, the rb position will suffer as will all other offensive skill positions. Not hard to negatively recruit against Pitt when an OC talks to kids and says “you will have more success running behind an ol with a few 4 stars”. We all might think that ratings don’t matter, but they do.

    I hope the kid can still be talked into matriculating north, but the odds are no longer in our favor. I started to feel better when the u got a big rb commit the other day, but apparently that just pushed him to the other big florida school.

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  19. Pitt’s Bill Cherpak in shorts tonight at state finals in Hershey as his TJ Jaguars lead 20-0 at halftime … his OL appears to be the 2nd best unit in WPa

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  20. Like

  21. Pitt should offer the NJ RB as well, this position needs upgraded. Hopefully, Heather is negotiating down to the worst possible opponent so that Narduzzi May have a chance at winning a bowl game. Just like OOC at this point, the 8th win is most important.

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  22. Pitt a 14.5 dog to Louisville tomorrow. About right I think. Carolina and VA not so loaded this year. Both crushed yesterday by heavy Big 10 teams. I consider Pitt a heavy team. Maybe we can steal one of those games. H2P

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  23. Parrish is down to three teams – Pitt, Florida & South Carolina. According to Rivals South Carolina already has a 5 star RB commit . Florida currently has no RB commits.

    Florida (10-2): Run 340 1615 yards 4.75/carry 42.93%
    Sacks 24 (172) yards (7.2/sack) 3.03%
    —— ————– ————-
    Run 364 1443 yards 3.96 / carry 364 runs = 46.0%
    Pass 428 3605 yards 8.42 / pass 428 pass = 54.0%
    ——- ————– ————–
    792 4489 yards 5.67/play

    Pitt: (7-5) Run 385 1633 yards 4.32 / carry 43.45%
    Sacks 27 (185) yards (6.85/sack) 3.05%
    —— ————– ————-
    Run 412 1448 yards 3.51 / carry 412 runs = 46.5%
    Pass 474 3041 yards 6.42 / pass 428 pass =53.5%
    ——- ————— —————
    886 4489 yards 5.07 / play

    U of S.C.: (4-8) Run 371 1962 yards 5.29 / carry 43.04%
    Sacks 25 (166) yards (6.64/sack) 2.90%
    —— ————– ————-
    Run 396 1796 yards 4.54 / carry 396 runs = 45.9%
    Pass 466 2667 yards 5.72 / pass 428 pass =53.5%
    —— ————– —————
    862 4463 yards 5.18 / play

    My Takes – All 3 schools need a stud running back.
    – Pitt’s run/pass play selection is comparable to Florida’s – U of S.C.’s.
    – U. of S.C.’s fan base is not happy with Muschamp.
    – Funny how Narduzzi & staff can identify lowly recruits.
    – It’s easier to put data into excel.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sorry – I forgot to put “…….” between data. WordPress doesn’t like spaces & condenses. I had a really nice format typed for easier reading but poo poo happens.

      I did say data entry into excel is easier but WordPress doesn’t like the copy & paste option from excel.

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      1. Its a big limitation in comments.

        I need to look into what it would take to allow you guys to post pics. I think it costs several hundred $ a more though

        “Upgraded package”

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  24. I think a game against the Temple Owls could be just what the Dr. ordered for that elusive 8th win. I believe a Big Ten opponent would take us to the woodshed, especially MSU…they know all of Nard’s defensive secrets.

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    1. Both ESPN analysts have Navy NOT going to the military bowl. That would be tremendous for Pitt if it turns out to be true

      Liked by 1 person

    2. For personal reasons, my preference for a bowl game are:
      Independence – Music City – Belk.

      Independence – I need to visit my brother in East Texas & my family may be spending Christmas with son (in law) family in Atlanta

      Music City – See my POVert friends in Nashville.

      Belk – Once again POVert friends in Charlotte & it’s right up the road.

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      1. Music City is the only one that I’ll attend. Easy 10 hour drive for me. Love Nashville. If Pitt had a real AD, she would make it happen. You do that Heather and I’ll give you a 30 day grace from my bashing and my eventual letter to you with your boss cc’ed.

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        1. LOL Tx, you really do crack me up but in a good way. BTW, no one is predicting PITT to the Music City bowl, so go right ahead and write the letter now.

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            1. You sound like “angry and I mean business Tx” today. Take JoeL’s advice and pop a baby aspirin or even a Xanax? 🙂

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            2. Pitt needs to treat sports as a business. but they see it as part of non-profit academia. thats a huge issue. thats why Pitt sees no problem with losing over $10M each year running a sports ‘department.’ thats why they see no problem with subsidizing sports at 15%, one of the highest subsidies among P-5 schools. Well, undergrads, your tuition is over $500 dollars higher each year because of this fiscal irresponsibility. As a parent and student, I would be mad as Hell. And you’re GD right I’m angry.

              Liked by 1 person

  25. I have fond memories of the military bowl…my first meeting with Reed and the POVerts at the pub crawl.
    Took my wife and daughter on the trip…the game however sucked.

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  26. Some morning observations:

    The Henry Parrish saga along with previous defections tell me at least two things. First, Narduzzi and staff are very good at evaluating talent that hasn’t been recognized by the rating services. Second, it is very difficult to get elite players to even consider let alone pick Pitt for all the reasons we have stated. This also makes me deduce that Narduzzi’s biggest weakness, not getting enough elite players at Pitt would most likely carry over to any new coaching staff. In other words it is baked into the Pitt Cake.This has made me a little less critical of recruiting results.

    Like Fran, I very much enjoyed the Military Bowl, The Pitt turnout was great as was the overall experience, except for the game. It was the first example of Narduzzi’s second biggest weakness, the end of season belly flops. While some of this problem may be attributed to coaching and a failure to motivate, I think more of it has been on the lack of overall depth causing our Panthers to fade down the stretch. We just haven’t had enough depth to overcome injuries, great and small that are a natural part of a physical game. Whether it was Peterman, Conner, Boyd, Morrison, Ffrench, Mack and others we just haven’t had sufficient depth to overcome the wear and tear of a long physical season. Playing tough OOC schedules has made it even worse.

    Depth is getting better on the defensive side of the ball. Offense is way behind, but this was the first year with all Narduzzi guys. Hopefully we see improved depth on the both sides next year.

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    1. The biggest drawback to Pitt right now in my opinion (besides the recruiting area), is the lack of big crowds, and in order to change that they will need to start winning a lot more games. Look at the Pirates’ actual crowds most games, empty. Too much to do in Pittsburgh, either put out an entertaining product or people will find something else to do. West Virginia, nothing else to do, not hurt as badly by poor performance.

      With regard to the actual team, like Reed said (and Chryst actually addressed), we need to upgrade the talent and depth on the OL, and improve our QB play.

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  27. ^^ Great post gc, I’ll add that this will be only the second time in what is going to be Narduzzi’s 6th year where he will start a senior at the QB position. That should make a difference with a second year OC as well. I know, lots of teams start under-classman at QB. Yeah 5* under-classman. Hey maybe Pickett doesn’t start? ………. …ike

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    1. I’d feel better about that Senior starting at QB next year if he had shown some progression during the season, but….with the lack of progress I’d call the QB position open to the best player next year, no more legacy starters.

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      1. I would to Mark but KP did throw for well over 300 yards last game. PITT or any other team will lose most games with a 4-0 turnover ratio.

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  28. I just can’t get past the RB situation. Going into the season we all talked about having 5 RBs available, and the position was not considered a problem. By end of season we are playing A DB convert and a Freshman for most carries. We’re A J Davis and Sibley overrated? And what about a FB?

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    1. ^^ VoR, just more proof how subjective recruiting evaluation and recruiting services can be. Thus picking apart a PITT recruiting class is a waste of time in my opinion.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Mr. Abanikanda will be another defection I predict. We are going to lose 2 or 3 guys and are going to be left replacing them with 2 star players. Thereafter the criticism of HCPN will commence. But as Gordon stated earlier, it goes to show that our staff can identify talent. I can’t blame any kid who takes an offer by a better program later in the process. My problem is when they make an early commitment and have no intention of honoring it from the start. I have a sense that Parrish did that.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Why do you think that? Just because he won a post season award? I get the bad taste in your mouth from Parrish but seems pretty knee-jerk to me

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        1. I agree with Eric, words coming from H Parrish do not align with a player committed. So once again the definition of the word committed has been compromised.

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          1. And to be clear I’m taking about abikanana. No evidence whatsoever that he will flip or arhat anyone is ever Pershing him. I agree with You Ike, (and Eric) that Parrish has been compromised and that early commitments sometimes present this issue. Clearly not optimum

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        2. I could be wrong MM, but even before his recent elevation to four star, he had made visits and was at a minimum expressing interest in other schools on social media. I know that he definitely was flirting with Miami quite some time ago.

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          1. To clarify, my comment referred to Parrish, not Abanikanda. Parrish was never committed in my opinion. As for Abanikanda, NY is not a hotbed of football recruiting, so maybe we keep him. I seem to recall Qadree Ollison was Gatorade Player of the Year in NY and we kept him. We’ll see.

            Liked by 1 person

      2. While more than two posters either posted the 5.8 – 4 star rival’s upgrades of Parrish & Hayes & downgrade of Henningham, Pitt also had shuffles in the 5.5, 5.6 & 5.7 3 star ranks. Abanikanda was moved from a 5.5 to 5.6, The biggest downgrade was the drop from 5.7 to 5.5 for Timothy Brown (He was involved in some incident in Florida. Can’t remember what.)

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  29. Sibley has been hurt for most of his time – prior to matriculating to Pitt and then when he got here….i think. He was a legit 4 star and had committed to OSU prior to his first injury. After the injury in high school he was downgraded to a 3 star and subsequently dropped by OSU. He may have retained his high school 4 star status on some sights, but I think the injuries have held him back.

    Salhuddin was also injured and underwent surgery his first year, if I recall. He apparently did not get enough playing time or, according to him, wasn’t given the chance to play on saturdays….mainly because of Ollison and Hall. Kids aren’t patient any more. Immediate gratification.

    As far as recruiting goes, coaches can either do it well or they can’t. I don’t make excuses for Narduzzi’s failures to land and keep big time recruits. That’s effort and winning. The AD has never supported a winning strategy since a way long time ago. Pitt being cold, Pitt being old, Pitt not having an on campus stadium, yadda yadda yadda.

    How about Pitt has the easiest path to the national championship game. The ACC is mediocre, except for Clempson. Pitt needs to dominate the coastal and selling players on that seems pretty easy. Getting southern players to move north seems like it shouldn’t be too difficult either. Son, 65% of the nfl teams are from northern climates. You want to play in the nfl, you better get used to it. Maybe the recruits will get lost at the mention of a percentage, so we may have to change that to actual numbers, Michigan, psu and OSU have no issue getting enough players to matriculate north. “See them people practicing football right next to us, yeah thats a professional team. Your goal is to be there. Come see what it is like every day and challenge yourself to be better than they are…every day!”

    The Pitt Admin has killed our tradition and the AD shows no signs of bringing it back (except for a no-brainer uni change). Please niece, that wasn’t your idea so don’t take credit for that. Go SELL corporate tickets.

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  30. Pitts problem with recruiting is that the coaches cant recruit.

    Please stop with the excuses as to why Pitt cant land 4 stars. These perceived recruiting issues have solutions. Every recruiting problem can be addressed.

    Name me your top 3 excuses as to why Pitt gets beat out by teams like Va Tech and NC for recruits. I’ll provide you with a solution.

    Solutions wipe away clean the excuses. Pitt and many fans dont want solutions. They are fat and content with the way things are. To those who think this way, I do respect that attitude but I hope Santa leaves some coal in your stockings.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Virginia now has more D1 football recruits than PA , and is located much closer to Georgia and Florida than PA
      NC now has more D1 football recruits than PA, and is located much closer to Georgia and FL than PA
      VT averages over > 60k attendance

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    2. I know that is your position TX, I just don’t buy it. If it were so easy to recruit better player everyone would do it. Now if you’re saying that there is a coach that can recruit better than Narduzzi, of course there is, the challenge is to find him and get him to Pitt. And oh yeah, that little thing called risk that he would be worse.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Not sure if Tech plays players. We know that NC had fake classes and tutors taking tests.

        Now players can legally get paid by the university or other entities using their ‘likeness.’ This means Pitt really needs a well regulated Golden Panthers again. But what is the fair or market price for a players endorsement? Lets say a car dealership uses a player on a billboard or radio spot. I’d think the bigger schools or those with wealthier boosters would always be able to pay more.

        But we’re not talking about Pitt playing with the big boys or becoming elite. That would take a massive amount of revenues. Something not achieved unless Pitt invests in a MPC. But I’d think Pitt should be able to compete with most if not all Coastal schools leaving coaching to be the key variable in success.

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  31. Pitt is closer to OH, MD and NJ. Plenty of very good recruits from those states. Pitt has had a very good pipeline to Florida since the Walt days. Both Tech and Pitt share similar weather climates and NC isnt exactly a warm place in the Winter.

    Pitt averages 40k in attendance but has 30k empty yellow seats. Short term solution is to tarp the upper decks and get fans closer to the field. Intermediate solution is a feasibility study. Long term solution is an on campus MPC.

    Bring on the excuses. I have the solutions.

    There is no reason why Pitt has to get beat each year by Tech and NC for recruits. There is nothing significantly or fundamentally deficient with Pitt that prevents the coach from getting more than two 4 stars each year (thats the Dog’s average over 5 years). Thats INEXCUSABLE. Lets STOP making excuses for the man. Stop treating him like a baby with gorilla arms.

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    1. But he beat VT and UNC this past year where it counts…………… on the field!

      and this business that you can’t count recruits who are ranked four stars from a site other than Rivals is nuts. Not to mention we can’t consider transfer players like Nate Peterman, A Johnson and the O-Lineman from Kent State, among others.

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  32. Let’s face it, the poor end of season finishes don’t help. Winning the last three games instead of losing them sends a message that the program is on the rise. You can bet that given Pitt’s end of season records other P5 coaches are spreading “rumors” that Narduzzi is about to be fired.

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  33. I hope we keep Coach Narduzzi long term. But either way, I think Heather will make a good decision. She has way more information available to her regarding that decision than anyone on this site.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. yes – information regarding the details on that contract extension and buyout costs. Other than that, some of us fans have far more of a clue than her.

      the facts and evidence are right before your eyes. Pitt pays Narduzzi well above $3M for 7 win seasons, bowl losses, no final rankings, paltry donations and abysmal attendance. Pitt has a top third spend in the ACC on football for results like this year and the 4 previous.

      I dont trust Heather making the right decision.

      If Pitt keeps Narduzzi long term, they are more serious about saving kittens and walking old ladies across the street than they are at winning on the field and making the program profitable. I want no association with that type of program.

      Maybe my 20 years in Texas have changed me. But I can tell you one thing, this laissez-faire attitude would not be tolerated by any school in Texas where football is a religion and a business. Yes a religion which is a belief system. I refuse to believe Pitt is destined to be mediocre and is chained to SOP.

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      1. That’s the easy part, Tex. The hard part, and more important part, is determining if anyone perceived to be better is available and willing to come here. I’m sure that Heather has more insight into that question than anyone on this site. Without that, the first part is sure to be a step backward. Just my opinion.

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  34. Tx, I have to take a knee here as there is no way possible Narduzzi is going anywhere after the bowl game and it’s very very unlikely he will be fired after next year no matter what PITTs record ends up. Even if I wanted gorilla arms fired I would still take the high road knowing that it just ain’t happening anytime soon.

    Liked by 1 person

  35. So TX, with all the great players and great attitude why does Texas only have one Championship in 2005 since the sixties and no other schools since TCU in 1938 and A&M in 1939? This in a state that for years had the most and best recruits other than California and Florida.

    Texas is a legend in its own mind.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I don’t know Mike, Wheeler lined up a good bit in the fullback position in my recollection?? << Although his effectiveness is a little in doubt. PITT most definitely missed Georgie this past year.

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  36. Recruiting could be better but to say it’s terrible is inaccurate. We have the second most all conference team players and second most 1st team all conference team players. And that is despite losing our two best returning defensive linemen for the year. And we all know pitt has major limitations for recruiting with the yellow seat problem and a decline in local talent.

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    1. My bigger concern is Narduzzi’s SOP losses. He had none until northwestern and had multiple since. If not for SOP losses he probably has win totals of 8, 9, 6+, 10, and 9 (so far this year). That would look good.

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  37. you should know that PJ Fleck took over a 9 and 4 team two years ago. It helps to play an easy OOC and in the B10 West. Nonetheless, he did a heck of a job this year; his offense was very impressive.

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  38. M… Regarding your comment above about Whipple not using a Fullback.

    Check the tape. That was something I pointed out when Whipple was brought on.

    What I did not take time to realize was how much Whipple was ALLERGIC to running the football.

    Reed deserves all of the credit there.

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  39. As expected, Pitt wrestling beat wvu last night 29-6. Two years in a row that we hammered them. wvu went through a coaching change last year and pitt two years ago.

    Pitt won the first eight weight classes. wvu won the last two, but Pitt, knowing that the dual match victory was in hand, substituted out our good heavy weight for the 2nd string guy, I believe. Unless Meetch is hurt…

    I didn’t get to watch the match.

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  40. I agree with the comments of several indicating that Heather has more information than anyone on this site, but believe it is very much only semi-correct in my opinion. Now, if you want to say that Heather pays “consultants” for their opinions and only their opinions, then yes she has more access to other peoples opinions of coaches…. I would agree with that.

    One of my criticisms of our current AD has always been that she did not, and has not, developed relationships in the head coaching circles of the major sports. As such, we get other peoples opinions that we are stuck with and that she pays for. That said, glad she struck out on Hurley.

    I just read an old article where mcconnell serio was on the search committee that brought barnes to Pitt for a big salary increase. Shortly after his hiring, he extended mcconnell serio thru the 2021 season. You cant make this stuff up.

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