The clock just rolled past 1 a.m. and I can’t sleep, so I’ve cracked another Guinness (rocket widget!) and started typing.  After all, in seven hours the kids are going to be crying and I’ve promised my wife I’ll do that thing tomorow…

Pitt thoroughly embarrassed themselves for the better part of 58 minutes last night en-route to a Pat Narduzzi’s first-ever bowl victory, and the first Pitt Bowl win since 2013…which also came in Michigan, against a MAC opponent, at Ford Field by less than a touchdown.  And despite nearly four quarters of garbage football, Pitt somehow managed to pull it together and win a game they seemed completely uninterested in winning.  The offensive line started blocking.  Kenny Pickett, as if by magic, developed a pocket presence.  Wide receivers started making plays.  Taysir Mack, after an horrible drop, made a touchdown catch that only one or two other Pitt wide receivers in history were capable of making.  The defense started covering opposing receivers, and they even got a sack.  Several defensive players resisted throwing punches during an end-of-game fracas.

And Pitt won by four points against a 6-6 MAC team that went 3-5 in conference and finished at the bottom of their division.

Whooptie-freakin-doo.

There are consequences, of course.  I’d wager that Pat Narduzzi lost of lot of Pitt fans with this win (if Pitt POV comments are any proxy for the total fanbase…)  And while his seat may not be hot as far as the Atheltic Department (read:  Heather) is concerned, the fans are going to start voting with their wallets.  Season ticket sales will be down next year.  I’d be shocked if donations aren’t down too.  The complete lack of motivation, lack of discipline, needless showboating and poor execution that Pitt demonstrated through the majority of the Quick Lane Bowl is to blame.  Lets put the elite coaches aside, Does anyone think that a PJ Fleck-coached Minnesota team would have performed this way?  How about a Matt Rhule-coached Baylor squad?   (BTW a 6-6 Fleck beat a 7-5 Georgia Tech team by 24 points in last year’s Quick Lane Bowl.  He went 10-2 at Minnesota this year and upset Penn State.  Last year Pitt beat Georgia Tech by 5 (editors note I originally said we lost to them by 18 and this has been corrected. My apologies for the oversight. The point still remains.). I will stop short of calling for Narduzzi’s ouster, for now… but I will also say that until he proves otherwise, 8 wins is clearly his ceiling.

And so after a full season at the helm of this blog, a full season that started with optimism, and was tempered by a bad loss to Miami at home and then a terrible November, let me be crystal clear.  Our expectations are higher than 8-5 with a bunch of ugly wins, Pat.  Our expectations are higher than 8-5 with a bunch of ugly wins, Heather.  Play smart, play hard, play disciplined and you will get no complaints if you lose to better teams, and probably very few complaints if you play well and catch a couple of bad breaks.  Play dumb, play lazy and show a complete disregard for discipline and you’ll lose paying fans every time.  That’s exactly what Pitt did tonight.  That’s exactly what Pitt has done since early November.  And that’s exactly what Pitt has done plenty of times throughout this season. Rightfully so, most fans aren’t standing for it.

Yes there was some good to come out of the Quick Lane Bowl.  We didn’t completely humiliate ourselves on national TV.  Pat got his bowl victory.  Pitt got to eight wins.    Vince Davis and Jared Wayne should gave us hope for the future (if only a glimmer).  Kenny played well. Ffrench left it all on the field and had a career day. Mack played through injury and made a touchdown catch for the ages. Jaylen Twyman said he’s coming back next season (technically not related to the game but I thought I’d add it).  But so much more was bad.  Six players called for unsportsmanlike conduct on one play?  SIX???  The constant chippiness?  The defense the had absolutely no answer for a dual-threat quarterback that was clearly the main weapon the team?  Getting shredded by a sophomore walk-on wide receiver?  Heather is talking continuity, and that’s all well and good, but if continuity doesn’t bring us a team that looks like a FBS team, and delivers 10 wins next season (and it probably won’t), then things are going to get ugly.  You heard it here first.

So have it POVerts… I’ve put some thought starters up for you.  What are your goods, bad and ugly?

552 thoughts on “Monday (Friday) Morning QB – Quick Lane Bowl Edition

  1. My goods are Pat, Pickett
    My bads are the unsportsmanlike penalty and all the punches.
    my ugly, the fan base 100% or at least the people who call themselves fans yet think Matt Rhule and PJ Flecks of the world would want to come to Pitt and don’t realize Narduzzi is about as good as we’re going to get.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. why wouldnt those coaches have come to Pitt?

      what does Minnesota and Baylor have that Pitt doesnt besides a OCS? Those programs are not significantly better than Pitt.

      Both of those coaches got paid Narduzzi money initially. Now with contract extensions they are paid around $4.5M.

      Pitt could easily pay this salary as well as higher salaries for assistant coaches and coordinators. The ACC network alone is projected to bring in an extra $10M per year.

      We all know Narduzzi by now. He’s overpaid for his performance and is a mediocre head coach.

      There are many coaches out there who have higher ceilings and would be interested in the opportunity and offer. $4.5M, decent enough recruiting territory, a weak division, the ACC, Pitt tradition, 40k loyal fan base are all good selling points. Any new coach cannot cheat, must run a clean program and be receptive to saving kittens and helping old ladies.

      Narduzzi is definitely not as good as Pitt can get…unless you are fine with 8 win seasons and crappy bowls against crappy opponents.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sure, a loyal fan base would be a good selling point.

        if the fan base was actually loyal.

        Twitter and blogs such as this show otherwise.

        Personally? i’m not on the field. I don’t care about national titles and all that. I care about watching a game.

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        1. put yourself into a coaches shoes. what are some things important to you. for me it would be the opportunity, the fit, the support, the money

          Pitt provides an opportunity; Pitt would provide a certain hands off approach, far less pressure to succeed, emphasis on running a clean program; top third spend in the ACC, excellent practice facilities, decent playing venue; and $4M in compensation for the next 5-6 years

          Coaches wouldnt want the opportunity and no offer would suffice if they were walking into a dumpster fire and were set up to fail. Its not like that at Pitt. Pitt is no UCLA.

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          1. You’re right. UCLA is in sunny Los Angeles, has things recruits actually want and isn’t Pitt.

            Personally, as a coach I’d want all of that AND to know that my fan base has my back and the back of the kid’s playing NO. MATTER. WHAT.

            not be worrying if people are going to be call for my head after quarter 1 of week 1

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            1. As a coach you only worry about your boss. It’s your bosses job to market and get ticket sales and donations. Sure as coach you can help and influence matters. But your number one priority is wins. There is little pressure by boosters at Pitt or the BoT. And the media ignores Pitt. Pretty good gig if you ask me.

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            2. well minus the vocal minority of pitt fans coughs yeah, i do agree.

              too bad the coaches, their agents, and even players DO pay attention to what the fans do say.

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            3. Well Narduzzi did think Reed was a spy. And if he reads this blog, he knows he has Meatballs for Brains.

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    2. Until someone provides hard evidence to the contrary, I think that a Fleck or a Rhule “type guy” (or a Scott Saterfield for example) would absolutely come to Pitt. Has to be the right fit, but if the university wants to make it happen (key phrase) it can make it happen

      Now those guys may be stepping stone Guys. The benefit of a duz is ‘stability’ at 6-8 wins per season

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      1. I don’t think they would. they have no reason to.

        they’d rather go to where the fan base won’t be toxic by the second quarter of the first game. that’s reality.

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          1. you’re right they do.

            but there’s a difference between complaining and “Narduzzi better win 9 games next season or he’s out.” right after a bowl game win.

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  2. Pat is now a WHOPPING 31-29 against FBS teams. He inherited a .500 team and has elevated them to a…. .500 team.

    If you’re happy with that, great! But don’t kid yourself that it’s anything other than it is.

    What I saw tonight was a P5 team fighting for its life against a BAD MAC team.

    What part of that was incorrect?

    Liked by 4 people

    1. well, what you said is that he’s elevated them to a .500 team

      31-29 would actually make them above .500. they’d be a .5167 team under Narduzzi.

      you’re also comparing a 3 year coach to a 5 year coach.

      if you want to compare coaches..let’s compare coach A’s and Coach B’s first five years.

      Coach A’s record over the course of just slightly longer than Coach B (by let’s call it a year and a half roughly)

      1997 Pittsburgh . 6–6 4–3
      1998 Pittsburgh 2–9 0–7
      1999 Pittsburgh 5–6 2–5
      2000 Pittsburgh 7–5 4–3
      2001 Pittsburgh 7–5 4–3

      now Coach A also had a year or two of a star WR before that Star WR left for the NFL

      Coach B:

      2015 Pittsburgh 8–5 6–2
      2016 Pittsburgh 8–5 5–3
      2017 Pittsburgh 5–7 3–5
      2018 Pittsburgh 7–7 6–2
      2019 Pittsburgh 8–5 4–4

      Year one for Coach B was better, so was year two. Three was one game worse than coach B (though the in conference/division was one better). Year four are the same but Coach B’s year 5 is better out of conference

      I’d hire Coach B based on the 5 years.

      Now let’s Introduce Coach C (who was actually hired between A and B but i’m lazy)

      2005 Pittsburgh 5–6 4–3 T–3rd
      2006 Pittsburgh 6–6 2–5 6th
      2007 Pittsburgh 5–7 3–4 T–3rd
      2008 Pittsburgh 9–4 5–2 T–2nd
      2009 Pittsburgh 10–3 5–2

      years 1 and 2 were better than Coach A but not Coach B. Year three was worse than Coach A and B (though to be fair, year 3 Coach C had an AWESOME victory). year 4 for coach C was much better was was year 5.

      Now where coach A improved was years 6-8; Coach B dropped off after a miracle year 5.

      even bowl wise, Coach A and C are nothing to be proud of. Coach was 2-3 in bowl games. Including losing a mid-major 35-7, in fact he only played one game against a P5 team and Coach C was 1-1 and then resigned instead of staying to coach like he said he would. he was shut out 3-0 in his bowl game.

      Coach B’s teams lost badly to a military academy, but then lost to two P5 teams, one by 1 stinking point!

      What I’m saying is without knowing their names and who they are I’d take Coach B years 1-5 over Coach A or B any day.

      but that’s just me.

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        1. and that’s the problem. if we start the carousel over again, what happens after year 2 and 3..heck year one of Coach D

          is Tex going to be looking for a coach E, F, G, H…all over again?

          when does that fan-based insanity stop?

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  3. Garbage win over a garbage team in a garbage bowl. The team was completely unprepared and unmotivated for this game. WTF does Narduzzi do to prepare for a bowl game? I almost feel bad for EMU because they really outplayed us most of the night. About the only thing that was remotely satistying is that the team somehow found a way to pull out a victory in what could have been a humiliating loss.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I could not watch the entire game. I turned it off 4 times. We are mediocre and have been mediocre for a long time. It is time to look for a new coach.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. embarrassing first half – watched
    just as embarrassing 2nd half save last 2 min- listened on drive back from PA
    maybe most embarrassing – listening to the post-game interviews from the head coach down through all the players,,,sounded like f’n idiots

    HCPN(that is getting difficult to type) is not worth 3.5M
    the players are nothing Pitt should be proud of – at all – a million miles from JC’s, GA’s, AD’s, 2 million miles from LF’s, HG’s, DM’s, BF’s, MM’s, RJ’s, etc

    Harder to H2P!

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    1. you’re not going to get 18 and 19 year olds to stay home. that’s a fact of life. they want to see the world. even if it is state college.

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  6. This team overachieved with eight wins. Wise guys had us at 5.5 for a reason: there isn’t a lot of talent on offense. The defense was the strength but even that crew was way below the line at creating turnovers.

    Narduzzi can still hang his hat that he hasn’t lost to a MAC team yet whereas Walt, Wanny and Chryst all did so (Paul even lost to YSU). We see how much better Paul is as a coach in a real environment but Pitt coaches have this dark cloud hanging over them that no one can seem to shake. The BoT keeps that cloud over the football program because they are a bunch of idiots who don’t care one iota.

    Hoping for a 9-3 record in 2020, but there has to be accountability from Narduzzi. His teams are so undisciplined. Too bad no one in the PIT media will ask him when that is going to change.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Walt Harris took over a losing program and went 52-44 … and was fired

    Dave Wannstedt was 42-31 .. and was fired

    The next 2 coaches were sub 500 …. and left for better opportunities

    PN is 36-29. Thus, he should be fired

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    1. Pitt should never fire a coach who is coming off a winning record. Only a losing record by year four or after should cause the school to have discussions about pressing the button.

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  8. Next year has to be the year they win 9 games or more with a Coastal championship.

    It’s year 6 in the Narduzzi era with a lot of players returning, no excuses.

    Put Whipple in the press box.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. yeah, didn’t some fans also say that during the Harris and Wanny years? and the Majors. and the Foges and even the Warners

        Optimism is a good thing.

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    1. Kenny wouldn’t have time to get back to the huddle after going to the press box after every play. Lots of delay if game penalties, Wlat

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  9. Thought we played terrible thru 3 qtrs but we did get our act together. Narduzzi deserves to continue with a good group returning plus a good recruiting class coming in. In the Coastal division we’re definitely not far from the top. He does need to clean up the penalties and the people involved in that silly celebration need to be given some discipline.

    Long range I think the future is better….not ready to call it bright. Ms Lyke does have a point about continuity. We don’t want to go back to the revolving coach situation. We all know where that leads us. We came from a dark hole and we’ve still not yet out of it but we are clawing our way back to something.

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  10. Lack of discipline? Was Pitt the team in green who had a player ejected in the first half for spitting on the other team? Or whose QB threw punches (not just one punch)?

    pmdH2P

    Liked by 2 people

    1. All season long the lack of discipline and in this game did you not see Pitt force a turnover, return the ball to the EMU 14 then get penalized 15 yards for doing what guys do in the pros? That was incredulous.

      Liked by 2 people

  11. In all seriousness, the lack of discipline is a real issue. I used to think sharing a facility with an NFL was an advantage; now I’m not so sure.

    The endzone celebration after the interception was something Steeler fans have seen frequently over the past few years. Every time they get an interception, in fact. For some reason, it is tolerated in the NFL. So is the smack talking and taunting. And all of this rarely, if ever anymore, is penalized.

    After going 27-12 in his last 3 years, Wanny was supposedly axed due to ‘off-the-field’ behavior of his players. Ironically, this current version of the Panthers is the exact opposite …. they seem to behave very well off-the field (knock on wood), but on the field, it is quite different.

    There is more talent returning for the upcoming season (more than the typical Pitt program usually have). The discipline issue has to be Priority 1 over the next 7 months.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Bad:Turned the game off during the tribal end-zone celebration..disgusting, inappropriote BEHAVIOR (along with the talking and punching)..the team doesn’t need Narduzzi-THEY NEED A MARINE DRILL SARGENT……those jerks are supposed to be representing the University of Pittsburgh and all the fans…What a total embarrassment….what was really bad: the wrong team won last night…

    I have quit watching most sports because of player antics and behavior…the PITT FB team arrived at that point for me last night…Duzz and his Zoo are no longer watchable to this fan

    Liked by 4 people

    1. This will be the one thing that causes me to quit supporting this team. Yes I know I was only the band, but for four years I put on a uniform that represented the University of Pittsburgh… when that uniform was on things were different… period. If you screwed up the others knew it … ok we were not angels and a certain dairy facility may have experienced a few issues but hey it was the late 70s.

      No matter what is said, those antics fall square on Pat’s shoulders. That team represents what Pat wants to put out out there. “Gangstas, that are a legend in their own minds” but completely forgettable … a life size picture of those six ought to be in the payers room for public disgrace.

      Heather and Pat are you listening?

      Liked by 3 people

    2. Good, sayonara. You make those of us who are still in the prime of our lives miserable with your terrible, outdated attitude. Go play bridge.

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          1. I appreciate you handling being flamed with class and dignity Bernie. Well done. Truly a #Pitt man.

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          1. Thanks for explaining. I’ll elaborate a little further. Luther made it personal. I won’t tolerate anyone – no matter how often they post or don’t post – telling someone to pound sand on my board. The response was big b’s way to telling Luther to respect the fact that he is allowed to have his own opinion without starting a flame war.

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            1. Oh, I’m in no way saying Luthor was right. I apologize if it came off like that. I just wanted to clarify big b’s statement. I apologize, Michael. I am not trying to come off as combative with any of my comments. I promise.

              Liked by 1 person

            2. No worries. I appreciate your participation today. Always good to have some new commenters. Even if we are brought together under these “tough times”

              To be honest – even though I and a lot of the POV regulars are pissed. 8-5 is not bad. It’s just the sloppiness in general. Wouldn’t you for once like to see Pitt just play crisp clean football for 60 mins? Just once?

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            3. Well, sure. But i’d also like to see my 5 year old nephew not crap his pants for once and to transition too.

              One of those things comes with age and maturity.

              and look, I’m not saying that people can’t be pissed (i’m guessing that’s okay to say because you did lol) but it seems from the opening kickoff of week 1 Pitt fans just try to find the negative and the negative ONLY. and i’m just trying to be one of those fans that says “hey. let’s stop and look at the positive for a little bit”

              and i get it. people like Chris and so many others hate me because I don’t think we should focus on the negative 24/7 but you know, i watch Pitt football to escape the negativity of my life.

              Liked by 2 people

            4. Well that makes you an interesting cat Ace. If you can escape negatively by watching mistake filled football and not be emotionally invested in it you are a better man than I. This board contains a wide range of perspectives from those similar to yours to those completely opposite. Hang around a while and you’ll find out who your kindred spirits are. We always like a healthy debate and if the negative guys get too personal for you try to take the high road. Should be pretty civil during the offseason though… passions run highest right after a game.

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            5. Also just saw your profile on the twitter. Better person than I, I should have said. Welcome to the board Ms. Ace

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      1. Luther feel free to post but a couple of ground rule:

        Not okay to go after someone because they are older than you are.
        Also not okay to tell a fan to take a hike because he’s expressing his opinion.

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      2. You go after Big B (one of the kindest people I’ve ever met), you will have the full force of the POV and specifically the Red 5/Fran Tailgate crew coming back at you. Take a walk you clown. If this temporarily gets me suspended from the POV, so be it. There is no tolerance here for people with your attitude. Bernie has been a devoted fan and contributor to Pitt Athletics for a long time. If you watched a game this year (did you?) you’d know how undisciplined this team is. Many long time Pitt football supporters feel the same way as Bernie. You show up every six months or so and chime in with wise ass remarks. Get bent.

        Liked by 3 people

        1. Not banned wlat but because I have to be even handed I’ll say the same thing to you I said to Luther.

          Don’t make it personal.

          Luther crossed that line. I educated him and set the boundary. If he crosses it again he’s gone. That goes for anyone on the board.

          Liked by 1 person

  13. Beside the obvious minimizing errors / penalties put Whip in the press box so he can see the whole field and how plays are developing and to also keep him from “advising” Kenny on every freaking play.
    Upgrade the wide receiver staff and get a special teams coach. Special teams seem an afterthought instead of 1/3 of a gameplan.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Idk…yes it’s controversial but… it worked in the fourth quarter. Also fringe benfit of the an doesn’t have to learn the signals and can spend time working on other aspects of the playbook … mixed results here tho…

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  14. No doubt Eastern Michigan wanted that game way more than Pitt did Football is a game of emotion and it took a long time for Pitt to get Feisty. E. Michigan didn’t like it when they fought back and went as far as spitting in a guys face and their cool as a cucumber QB taking a swing.

    Certainly no excuses for the lack of discipline which is by far the biggest problem. The sideline photo op as executed by pro teams every game was obviously orchestrated and could have cost the game.

    What is the most amazing to me is how Eastern Michigan seemed to call the exact right play to take advantage of our play call on both sides of the ball. Their execution was almost flawless with only a couple bad passes. How did they have so many wide open screen passes? Glass seemed to know exactly when and where to run.

    The other mystery is how KP can look so bad for much of the game and then pull two brilliant drives out of his butt to pull off the win. He also threw the longest Pitt TD pass ever, although Ffrench’s legs had a lot to do with it. I also don’t understand how Whipple’s play calling can look so awful then get those sweet drives.

    Looking at a few bright spots, Ffrench set the single season record for receptions, while missing two games, I still think we would have won one or two more games if he doesn’t get his jaw broken on a dirty play. Probably BC, where even though he played he was not back to full speed.

    We only fumbled once if stupidly because KP did not slide, but it did give our opponents momentum and spot them a TD.

    Overall we had fewer penalties than normal, our running game was somewhat better, we had fewer dropped balls and the defense got a very important three and out when needed most. Mack made a spectacular game winning catch after being invisible all night and the defender tried to pull his drawers down.

    KP got another game winning drive and Narduzzi is off the schneid in bowl games.

    We never had the lead until the end.

    TV announcers continue to amaze with their detailed knowledge of our opponents and lack of any knowledge about us.

    Pittsburgh maintains its winning streak in Ford Field.

    The fire Narduzzi crowd got more ammunition and Pitt still won, what could be better than that.

    Pitt goes into the off season with a win that was totally fitting of the 2019 season.

    Liked by 7 people

  15. Wrote a long diatribe and lost it. But sad and embarrassing is the bottom line.
    The pathetic end / fight was shown and discussed on the NBC TODAY SHOW this AM.
    A black eye on the football program and the University.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. I’m embarrassed to say I turned the game off around when BigB did and listened on the radio…Bostic seemed particularly perturbed with the teams play.
    Curious to see how Heather handles the off season.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. This speaks volumes about the prospects of Pitt FB rising above where it currently sits:

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    1. I would have to say to Mr Dokish that there is also a very small, but very vocal group of fans that see NOTHING positive in anything that pitt does and they are more the problem than the people who want to keep the positive vibes flowing.

      oh..wait..I did. via RT. well, it bears repeating.

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    1. Judging from the crowd shots on the telecast, my guess is that at least 30k of the record 34k attendance were EMU backers.

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      1. Joe Nazdan of Pitt Panthers Fanatics and I were in touch during the game. He was there. He estimated approximately 3000 Pitt Fans. About what I thought. I estimated between 2500-5000, expecting it to be on the lower end of the range. Someone else at the game said maybe closer to 3500.

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        1. Yea I figured 4K, and then about 30k EMU fans which means a sellout game for them (somebody said they had a 30k OCS). I almost wish they had won. But I’m selfish so I’m glad we pulled it out…as angry as I am at the style in which we did it

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    2. I watched the game to to very end and the crowd shot of Pitt fans when time expired was priceless. They seemed numb and disgusted. No joy whatsoever.

      I’m glad we won, but someone needs to pay for that poor performance.

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  18. For teams like Louisiana Tech and Eastern Michigan, this is their one shot at the limelight, their David vs. Goliath. They have home field advantage and are totally focused. Eastern Michigan even had a theme with a concrete block wall and their coaches wearing work shirts, think they weren’t geeked up? Plus their QB was as formidable as any we saw all year. While I agree with many of our shortcomings to constantly dis our opponents skill level like we should be some kind of juggernaut is wrong. Their offensive line played as well as most in the ACC.

    Liked by 4 people

  19. Pitt is a maddening team to be a fan of. Somehow I felt the whole game that Pitt would win — well, until that next to last possession.

    Heard Coach Narduzzi say after the game that Mack has only been able to practice in two of the team’s last 26 practices… Exceptional catches like Mack made to win the game were way too rare this season.

    The trio of Mack, Wayne, and Shocky looks promising for next season. Vince Davis showed some burst – but he needs to gain some muscle…

    KP played well, for the most part, when he was given time.

    Most disappointing to me was the play of the Dline. Our ends had little impact and out tackles got bulldozed.

    I think Duzz has to win at least nine and be ranked next season – and it looks doable.
    I do hope to see improvements to the coaching staff this off-season. Like tight ends, running backs and special teams.

    I repeat — Pitt is a maddening team to be a fan of…

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Our ends both got sucked in on deep wide rushes that amounted to nothing all night. Ultra stupid of them to continue that same rush tactic..

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  20. Gordon I totally agree with ur assessment that their offense seemed to call the perfect plays all night against our defense. And they were amped up and ready to play…we weren’t.

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  21. —That QB for the Spittin’ EMUs played a heck of a game until he lost it at the end…

    —Nice job by Kessman to come back and hit a couple kicks.

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 2 people

  22. Knowing now that Kenny was named MVP and had an efficiency rating of 172.4, go back to the in-game thread and read the constant criticism of his play. The word embarrassment was used a lot throughout that thread. There should be plenty to go around.

    Play calls are only stupid when the play doesn’t work. The sideline pass to Maurice on third and three in the next to last possession was stupid. But when it worked 6 of the 7 previous times, it wasn’t. If the pass to Mack in the endzone had been intercepted, it would have been incredibly stupid. “YOU WERE IN RANGE FOR THE TYING FIELD GOAL, WHAT WERE THE COACHES THINKING?” But it worked, so it wasn’t.

    Read the article in the Trib this morning about Heather’s hiring of the Eastern Michigan coach. I believe their fans are really happy with him. Imagine how thrilled they would be right now if they had had a real AD and not just a compliance caretaker.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. That’s a good call out. I actually added a note about Kenny just before you posted this, now that some of my ire has worn off

      To be clear though, Kenny had a career day against one of the worst defenses in the MAC…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. A collective call out, Mike. It’s all of us sports fans. I’ve often wondered how many of us would appreciate a random person, who has never been in a position to do our job, looking over our shoulder at work and telling us what we did wrong and why we are an incompetent worthless lout. I’m sure we would accept their constructive comments for what they are worth.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I hear you Farmer, yet that’s what makes the sports blogs and message board worlds spin round and round. At the same time, these so called constructive comments can rise to a point that I to have to ask. Do we actually think we know more than the very person we are raking over the coals?

          Liked by 1 person

    2. I actually did what you suggested – its actually pretty funny.

      Kenny’s gutsy but stupid dive forward that led to the fumble was frustrating. Other than that, I thought he did a nice job last night. Not sure that folks calling for his removal are really watching what is going on. The sacks he took were on blitzes combined with questionable blocking. Rather than try to scramble out of all of them, sometimes its better to minimize the damage and just go straight down. Maybe he will learn that this off-season.

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  23. A win is a win, There, I said it, are you guys happy? All of you who predicted an 8 win season or less turning off your TV’s, that’s was exactly what I meant when I said PITT can’t win the game even if they scored more points than EMU.

    Think is was Mike that commented during the game thread last night that PITT seems like they can’t get out their own way.

    Interesting that the tipped passes were never brought up Especially the one that gifted EMU a TD

    What made those players not think they were going to be penalized for the stupid end-zone celebration?

    For all the players looking to leave early and need an evaluation, here’s one. You ain’t ready yet.

    Liked by 6 people

  24. MM – Great write-up, really well summed up. I can’t disagree with anything you said, so I will just add my own color:

    First, for much of the game, EMU appeared to dominate both sides of the line of scrimmage, which is disconcerting at this juncture in Narduzzi’s tenure. I would say that realistically it’s 9 wins or bust next year; not saying that’s what it should be, that’s another question altogether. I am not basing my concern here based on one game, but on the trend of year end performances (the past 2 years now) and poor bowl performances as well, which makes me doubt our competence in terms of game planning and team progress. At the very least, I’d hire EMU’s OL coach.

    Second, unfortunately, I wholeheartedly agree with the comments expressed multiple times above, that our team was sadly undisciplined, which did not help our performance or reflect well on the University.

    And the last negative I have is that the game made me re-think the coaching acumen of our defensive staff, given that the EMU out game-planned us. Prior to this game, I was of the opinion that our D staff was pretty solid. Now… I wonder.

    One positive to me was Picket’s performance. Kenny has happy feet and is not a great decision maker, he is who he is at this point, but he throws a nice ball when given time. Unfortunately, I have next to no confidence in our OL coaching, so I would be shocked if KP get’s time and a balanced offense next year.

    I should also add a great thanks to “The U”, because their embarrassing performance against Louisana Tech set the low bar for the entire bowl season, providing us a little cover for our efforts. And we did win the game, against a solid, well coached team, and a win is worth something.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. One thing I noticed on Pickett is that whip had him dropping back three or four more steps and doing a half roll-our to buy more time on the deep throws. It worked well IMO. For guys that aren’t naturals (ie pocket presence) some scripted moves like this can really help, and they did.

      Liked by 2 people

  25. Pitt was 6-3 this season in games decided by 7 points or less.

    The Pitt I’ve been watching for almost four decades usually loses those close games, so the script should have been flipped since there is a dark cloud over the program.

    I’m pretty content with 8 wins this season and think it is time for Narduzzi to go 9-3 in the regular season, starting next season. The pressure will be turned up for sure in 2020.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. 24’th after the regular season with a passing efficiency of 151.2

      After the bowl game with Pitt , his 117.4 showing will make a 2019 season total of 147.0

      Like

      1. Interesting nugget Richard.

        So for as bad as the defense played they still held him under his passer rating.

        Like

  26. ike – yeah, the almost-intercepted-pass-that-turns-into-a-TD for the spittin’ EMUs pretty much summed up what it is to be Pitt Football, especially late in the season these days….

    (I know that I have serious problems because in spite of all the crap, I must admit that I enjoyed watching the Panthers last night… 🤔)

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 6 people

  27. Dane Jackson’s comment last night should have said it all, “we didn’t know it was a penalty”, referring to the unsportsman like call after the interception. How can those 6 idiots not know in game 13 of the season that that display was not a penalty. Did the coaches ever discuss the rules with these NFL wanna be showboats? If not then that should be grounds for firing Narduzzi alone.—The only life I saw in our Pitt D came when we took the lead with 47 seconds left on the clock. Prior to that they looked lost on the field for almost the entire game.

    Liked by 4 people

  28. An appropriate summation of this season. Maddening inconsistency, poor discipline, but then execution to snare victory from the jaws of defeat.

    I agree that 8 wins feels like an appropriate ceiling for this coaching staff. Then again, I do not share the aspirations of our fan base for title contention. Without a large change in culture at the team and institution level, we are likely an ACC also ran with an annual chance at the Coastal but not a realistic one for the ACC championship. Culture is just one part of this though:

    Fleck’s 78%: If you win these 4 elements, you win 78% of the time: 1. turnover margin; 2. margin between your offensive players breaking tackles against your defenders missing them; 3. accruing more explosive plays (25 yards or more the offense, 20 yards or more for defense); 4. both teams punting from within their own 4-yard line.
    I can recall off hand that turnovers, big plays against have been Achilles heels for this coaching staff. Hard to win more if this remains the same.

    Liked by 3 people

  29. I think Nardozzi overcompensated by hiring Whipple. He may be a very good QB coach but he becomes entranced with short swing passes that other teams pick up on quickly. Ffrench is an excellent athlete but would have been more effective if allowed to go down field more often. Next year Pitt will have three seasoned fast highly skilled receivers , Wayne, Jacque Louis and Mack, who should not be wasted with short lateral throws. In addition they have two highly regarded receivers coming on board. Unfortunately Whipple needs more running to open passing and seems to only train OL for pass blocking and not so well. Nardozzi does very well what he always has Defense. This will get even better with Weaver back.
    Next year should be Nardozzi’s best. But who knows??

    Liked by 2 people

  30. So we barely won a game we were favored to win. Not sure how many we won this year where we were favored. We will never reach 9 wins unless we play like we want to win 9 games. H2P

    Liked by 1 person

  31. Good: The play of Ffrench, the Mack catch, the comeback

    Bad: The defense, the offensive game plan (lack of balance, too many sideline calls for me), inability to play a solid 60 minutes EVER!

    Ugly: The continued cockiness, lack of discipline, on a team that hasn’t really played well in a very long time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re right and good catch. We beat them by 5. Chalk it up to writing the article at 1 am and not checking it.

      All other facts are accurate however

      Like

      1. Thanks Wlat. He called out a factual error. As much as I didn’t like to have made the error, well within his rights. Could he have been nicer about it? Yes . But hey…he’s clearly a passionate narduzzi supporter and so I get the whole heat of the moment thing.

        Like

  32. I think most Pitt fans are content with the state of the program. For most fans, this season exceeded expectations. Most fans are perfectly fine with 7-8 win seasons and a bowl.

    Pitt has entered into a state of stable mediocrity. The program is stable. The program goes bowling. The program is clean. I think 95% of fans are fine by it. And there might be another 4% who are not fine, but fear instability and change and the risk involved and think Pitt can do no better than Narduzzi.

    I reside in the lonely 1%. I have higher expectations for the program. I’m not afraid of change or the risk that comes with it. Change helps advance an organization more often than not. Risk is something that can be managed and if done right, the returns are more than commensurate.

    I wonder if the 1% will grow in numbers. Some key things to look at next year (evidence or facts are out there but often Pitt is not transparent or does not publicly disclose bad information):

    1) sale of season tickets
    2) dollar donations and numbers of fans making athletic monetary gifts
    3) commentary on Pitt sites from posters and authors (Peak, Dokish, Anson, Michael and the various handles…not mine or UPitt’s…you know where we stand, but from others who have been labeled optimists and are Narduzzi backers)
    4) commentary in the media and the type of questions asked to Narduzzi and Heather (BTW – the media does a very poor job at asking pertinent/tough questions for fear of losing their press creds)

    2020 will be an interesting year. Will Pitt fans demand more, and how will they show it or will Pitt fans accept being comfortably numb with 7-8 win seasons…heck it could be worse right. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Tex, I’m curious and this is not a dig or trick question. What do you see as the odds, in %, that replacing the coaching staff would result in A. better results, B. the same results, and C. worse results. I know you understand the situation, the handicaps, the advantages, etc. And I’m not looking for “if they hired one of the names on my list” type of answer. Your realistic assessment.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. it comes down to do I trust Heather to find the right coach…with the potential, a higher ceiling, proven results, from a good coaching tree, offensive mindset, familiar with ACC territory and schools, the right fit.

        I think she made the right call with Capel so I’m willing to give her a shot.

        so if she uses the proper criteria, gets input from people who know football and doesnt hire a search committee, theres a decent chance Pitt gets someone who can run a clean program and get 10 wins and a nice bowl in Florida. Now that person might leave Pitt in 4 years but thats the chance you take for that kind of payoff.

        60% chance of getting someone better
        30% chance of getting same results
        10% chance of getting worse results

        I’ll play those odds at Vegas all day long

        Like

        1. Wow! 60%! You are optimistic. I guess I would be pushing for a change also if I felt the odds were that high. I would have said 25, 50, 25. But that is mainly based on our history of coaching changes over the last 30 years and under different ADs. And I only see the college football structure getting worse for schools like Pitt over the last 10 or 15 years. Thanks for the reply.

          Liked by 2 people

          1. I’m optimistic since Heather hired Capel. But she really needs to go after a coach with an offensive mindset and from a good coaching tree. And then of course have the money available to hire good assistants and coordinators. I would expect Pitt to increase their football spend by about $3-$4M. I dont think the answer is hiring some MAC or AAC coach and paying him $2M. 10 win coaches dont come cheap

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Pitt will never pay big for good assistants. When you don’t pony up for Canada in a sport where offense and scoring points is everything then Pitt will never do it.

              Pitt did fight off Texas these past few days for Partridge. Pitt upped his salary and Narduzzi even mentioned Heather kept an assistant in the fold. Word is though if Charlie didn’t have Pitt ties the money wouldn’t have been enough and he would have left.

              Like

            2. You’re right.

              9 and 10 wins get you a loss to a mid-major in the Fiesta Bowl and a loss 3-0 in the Sun bowl.

              Like

            3. Ten wins, as evidenced in the past, will get you a 35-7 and 0-3 loss.

              I know, I know. look, i get it. pitt fans are stuck in the past. they love their pitt guy. i get it. i do.

              but one magical season a good coach does not make. remember that pitt guy finished his career 7-5. he followed up the 10 win season in a disaster.

              Like

            4. Geez, Tex, I thought you had told us that Narduzzi has an “offensive” mindset…….oh, no, wait…..you said something about meatballs and mind I guess…….my bad.

              Like

          2. I agree. If you’ve spent anytime studying statistics you’ll notice that the bell curve is biggest in the middle. That where Pitt sits right now. Slightly right of center, the 3rd quartile is you will. There is 60% chance that we get the same results (6-8 wins) and 20-20 that we do either worse or better. Statistically.

            Like

        2. Tex: As I think you know, I agree with a lot of what you say. Even if it is somewhat unpopular on this blog at times.

          However, one thing I do not do, is give Heather much credit for the Capel hire. That whole coaching search was bungled. In the end, we wound up with Capel, who I am very happy with. But remember that he was at least the third or fourth choice. We’ll never know who was ultimately responsible for his hiring.

          I am unhappy with some of the things I see from our football coach. I remind people to look at Nick Saban’s first few years at Michigan State. And also remember that our apathetic fan base (really has been apathetic since the 80s, look at attendance figures) and urban environment in Steeler Country, puts us at a distinct disadvantage over the cult-like Big Ten schools.

          Liked by 2 people

          1. Capel wasnt Heathers first choice. Heck he wasnt even mine. I wanted that guy from Buffalo and had Hurley as my second pick. But I do think Capel is a good fit and I do think he’ll be able to sell recruits on Pitt. Lets see how this year turns out since it will be a reflection of his coaching and he hasnt been a head coach in over a decade…well since last year and he didnt do so bad compared to the last guy.

            I truly believe hat Narduzzi’s ceiling is 9 wins. Maybe we finally see him hit it next year but I dont see him as the coach that can consistently get Pitt to good bowls and ranked seasons. I see 2 main issues. He’s a defensive guy and he cant seal the deal with elite recruits on Pitt. The college game is all about offense. I really think Pitt needs a HC that comes from an offensive background and is familiar with spreads and RPO’s. I also know Pitt needs a staff that can recruit better but the HC seals the deal. I just dont think Narduzzi is a good enough closer.

            Pitt has many good selling points despite its challenges. I dont think Narduzzi has a solid answer (not excuse) for any of the recruiting challenges.

            For instance, the off campus situation, the yellow seats, the urban campus, the pro town mentality. I could rattle off 2-3 comebacks for each very easily and very convincingly. It comes natural to me. Not so for Narduzzi. He needs help and is too arrogant to ask for it. It will be his undoing.

            All Pitt has to do is beat teams in their division. that means out-recruiting them or out-coaching them or both. There are no football factories in the Coastal except for Miami and they have their own problems.

            Come Year 6, its 10 wins or bust with me because every good coach has reached this mark no later than year 6. And many of these coaches walked into far worse environments than Narduzzi. They found a way to get it done.

            Like

      1. Dokish hated Tomlin for the 1st 2 months; then said he was doing a real good job; but then in the last 2 weeks, it was back to Tomlin being way overrated the last 2 weeks.

        Like

      1. I need the company. Its lonely being a Pitt fan that wants Pitt to have a higher standard. I dont blame the fans. Its just that the university has created a bunch of apathetic zombies through 40 years of mismanagement, gutless leadership and downright incompetence. But I intend to be the ‘spice’ that will awaken the ‘sleeper’ in every Pitt fan. A Dune reference.

        Like

  33. The GOOD… Pitt won a Bowl Game!

    The BAD… Fans failing to realize they just witnessed a 6 & 6 team actually win 7 Games and the FIRST Bowl for its Head Coach.

    The UGLY… What UGLY? Imagine for a second if they had lost.

    Like

  34. Btw… It’s OFFICIAL. It’s apparently now OK to be critical of Pitt Football and its Head Coach.

    xxxxxxxx
    Chris Dokish
    ‏@ChrisDokish
    11h11 hours ago

    You small group of fans that see the positive in everything Pitt does, and wants nobody to criticize them, are a big part of the problem. If you don’t demand more from the university when it comes to athletics, then they have no reason to give you more.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. that dude blocked me twice from his tweets…first time for me saying I wouldnt attend any of his parties after he called me a party pooper. and the second time after i told him to chill out after he went on some crazy rant.

        if dokish and I are in the same camp thats like dogs and cats living together. Its End of Days.

        Liked by 2 people

  35. Narduzzi has raised the bar for wins in a season (in spite of ridiculous non conference scheduling). Pitt was a meddling 6 win program and now it is 7-8. The stache also raised the bar but fans weren’t happy he couldn’t get to the next level and pitt made probably their biggest mistake ever in firing him. Narduzzi is not Saban and has a lot of areas for improvement but talk of moving on from him at this point is insanity.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. it depends on your program expectations and level of patience. I do believe he is firmly on the hot seat next year. If he doesnt reach 9 wins, I expect Heather to begin shopping around.

      Pitt’s few big time boosters dont like crappy bowls against crappy opponents. they give money for a reason. lets not lose sight of that and they are influential.

      moreover, fans vote with their pocket books. I fully expect Pitt’s attendance next season to be the lowest since the Majors 2 era and I expect the football donation rate to drop. Not good signs for an AD trying to justify her salary.

      Narduzzi does get a coming to Heather meeting this year however…been a long time coming if you ask me.

      Like

        1. I’ll say here what i said to him:

          you played under wanny, who averaged 7 wins a season (42 wins over 6 seasons is 7 wins), and one season under 6-6 todd graham

          and you think this is bad, chas? then turn in your diploma if you actually got one, and cheer for Penn State or West Virginia.

          Like

            1. how did I prove your point that he played for gottfried when the dude was born in 1989 and listed as a freshman…18 years later?

              Like

            2. Haaaa… well then I gave you too much credit.

              My point was that wanny in 08 and 09 posted the best record since Gotti. And Chas was on those teams. Was that not apparent ?

              Like

            3. no, i read the comment wrong. that’s all. i saw gottfried and thought you were saying he played for gottfried and i had the wrong guy. that’s on me.

              two years a dynasty does not, Mike. What happened in 2007? 2011? pitt regressed in 2011 did they not?

              and what happened in the bow game in 2009?

              come on man, if you’re going to argue about a season tell the whole story.

              Like

            4. I think you and I are talking about two completely different things…

              Like

  36. Watching the games with my 9 year old son really changes my perspective. He has become obsessed but he isn’t jaded. Before the game he said we were going to kill these guys and I warned him that A) this was a super bowl for EMU and the crowd would be on their side and B) if Pitt plays sloppy, dropped passes, fumbles etc it could be a much tougher game than it should. Obviously 10 minutes in I looked like a fortune teller… As I was dying inside and trying to stop from cursing out loud all night he never gave up hope and we celebrated like we won the national championship when Mack made the catch, even my wife was fired up. He went to bed, excited, happy and proud to root for Pitt. A loss would have been bad and Pitt (along with Miami) would have been skewered by the media about how bad the ACC is, but they didn’t lose so I refuse to pile on. I talked to my dad this morning and he said watching Pitt was so fun this season because you never knew what was going to happen and it was never boring. My goal in 2020 is to try and watch the games from the perspectives of my 9 and 68 year old kin!

    Liked by 8 people

    1. Unfortunately, with each passing season, it is far more likely your son adopts your perspective than you his. I hope he’s still riding in a booster seat, cuz kid.. “Buckle up. Being a Pitt fan is a bumpy ride!”

      Like

  37. Maybe we should have a poll and see how many Pitt fans are content with the state of the program. I don’t think it’s anywhere near what Tex thinks – but we’re both guessing.

    I, for example, am a passionate Pitt fan, and was happy to see Pitt pull out a win last night, but I am not content with the state of the program. To many head-scratching things going on that need to be fixed.

    However, I still think that Coach Duzz is making progress. Both last season, and this season, we were in position after 10 games to have excellent seasons. We didn’t finish the task, but been a long time since we’ve been in that position…

    And I contend that the more southern coastal teams have a distinct recruiting advantage over Pitt and should normally beat Pitt. But except for Miami, that has not been the case.

    If Pitt wins 9 or 10 games next season and is ranked, then the “stability” plan is working, IMHO.

    If Pitt has another disappointing season, then HL should explore the possibilities, IMHO…

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. This about sums up my perspective. I want better and I am not content. But I still think stability is the answer for things to get better. Remember the stache!!!!!

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Agree. If you actually care about the quality of the program you should not tolerate the sloppiness and undisciplined attitude that infects this team. Still okay to root for them. Still okay to be happy when they beat a UCF or an UNC (or even and EMU). At the same time still okay to be disgusted by basic lack of fundamentals.

      Like

  38. from post-game interviews

    Twyman: “I am 110% committed in returning next year”

    Ford: “Nothing yet … I’ll be checking out my options”

    Narduzzi: Tomorrow we will look into petitioning for another year eligibility for Hamlin with the NCAA

    Like

  39. Did anyone watch the post game interview with KP, Narduzzi and Hamlin? These kids love Narduzzi. Kenny even suggested that he would like his freshman year back to stick around an extra year. BTW, Hamlin could be back.

    Like

  40. @pittpride26
    cool post and perspective

    years ago at that crazy Syracuse game that many criticized, got to half time and reading my son(14 at the time) at half-time up 35-21, he was having the time of his life,,,,guess it was like watching a good video game and your team was on top,,,enjoyed the rest of the game enormously and frankly, would love to see more of them, as long as we end up winning

    Duke game this year was great until it almost wasn’t, but then LCarter gave me the opportunity to scream Levance Fields in the general direction of some obnoxious Dukies sitting near us who were arrogantly proclaiming superiority on the targeting rules and other issues that helped with the comeback

    my comments about embarrassing above are mainly about the behavior of the Pitt players and frankly the less than spectacular interview answers

    Liked by 1 person

  41. College Players eligible for the NFL Draft do not make their decisions in a vacuum. Good or bad, they’re getting advice from all types in their immediate circle.

    Twyman saying he’s 110 percent committed tells you that right now the projections are NOT good for the Draft.

    A wise choice by him to stay in college.

    Like

  42. In the Military Bowl, Temple had to use 2 timeouts in their first drive because the play clock was down to zero. I guess most teams have their head-scratching stuff…

    Go Pitt.

    Like

  43. Just re-watching the game now. I forgot how pissed I was when that kicker made that field-goal from 50 yards for them to go up by three with about six minutes to go. How in the world did that thing go through the uprights!?!? It looked like one of my horrendous golf shots! I thought for sure when he made that it wasn’t our night !

    Liked by 2 people

  44. PJ Fleck record at Minnesota is 22-15 and Narduzzi at Pitt is 36-29 with no P5 games scheduled for Minnesota in first three games until big10 schedule starts. Just because he has catchy slogan and jumps around alot doesn’t make him better coach. Give Pitt some of the cupcakes he has opened up with and 9-10 wins would have been doable.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. He’s a better coach because his players consistently play with discipline and motivation. We could have easily won 9 games this year if we did the same. Miami or BC take your pick.

      Like

        1. I want the team to play fundamentally sound and disciplined football. I think for the most part they play hard …

          Btw looks like that article was from leaf year prior to the quicklane. Even with those suspensions Minnesota still beat GA tech handily…

          Liked by 1 person

          1. So suspensions are okay so long as they win?

            i’m starting to see why so many people liked the off field dumpster fire that was Dave “the Stache” Wannstedt

            Like

    2. Absolutely. I give fleck the edge as a coach but if Narduzzi had more cupcakes in his non conference he probably would have already won 9-10 wins in a season.

      Like

    3. Versus FBS teams Fleck is 21-15 .583 and Narduzzi is .517 (Pitt plays FCS teams annually while Minnesota does not).
      Both play in bad divisions. Pitt beat ONE team with a winning record. Minnesota beat THREE.
      There are a LOT more players within 3 hours of Pittsburgh than there are in the same radius of Minneapolis.

      Most importantly..

      -The Gophers beat PSU. Narduzzi’s still lining up for a field goal.

      Fleck is better.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. marginally better.

        by .66 so marginally better

        I think some fans need to start looking up the word better to see the actual definition. lol

        Like

  45. Something I’ll remember from last night’s game was the down-the-field passing to Ffrench, Shocky and Wayne. I thought we would have seen a lot more of that in the second half of the season.

    I had thought the success or failure of this season depended on Pitt finding two competent offensive tackles. That didn’t happen. I thought KP looked pretty good last night when he had time to throw.

    And KP had that really excellent improvisation with Shockey. And he actually put a bit of touch on the game-winning pass to Mack…

    I’m trying to remember the positives as part of my Pitt Football therapy! 😊

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. 2 OT’s are needed yes. I guess I wonder how much of that is talent and how much is coaching. Maybe its both, but I’m tired of our OL play since Chryst left, I have no idea how Narduzzi continues to tolerate that.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I agree John, the downfield passes were there, but Pitt doesn’t seem to want to exploit that unless they are significantly behind. Very frustrating to watch.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Good. Someone below posted that it was partridge. Last night aside he needs to be paid what he wants.

      Like

        1. Whip needs another year for better or worse. The absolute worst thing you can do to this offense is have them relearn a whole new system.

          If there is no tangible improvement next season then Whip needs to be cut loose, and hard.

          Liked by 1 person

  46. Come on guys! We won. Who cares ,at this point, who we played or what the final score was. We won! We have 8 wins for the season. Every team in the elite level play close games with lower division schools. Nobody pays attention to who you play. They look at the win loss record. Yes, I would have liked to have kept Wannstedt too. We has the AD from hell back then.

    Yes this past season will not increase increase ticket holders. PITT does look more like a tier 2 team now. We are what we are. Will Narduzzi improve? Who knows. But we have no choice but to ride him as long as we have a winning record. Maybe we never get to be one of the big boys again.

    We need a big time recruiter. This will start us at least the right direction. There has to be another Hafley out there. Watch Rutgers and Boston College wipe us out recruiting the next few years.

    Hear me Narduzzi? You did okay with replacing Watson. Now get the top recruiter!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. We’ll never recruit with the big boys (or big time) unless we play the game. That something that is probably not in our future.

      Like

    2. I suspect that the Coach Whipple hire was partially aimed at recruiting. Hell, in spite of how the season went on offense, a Pitt WR just passed Larry Fitz in some category.

      WRs, TEs, and QBs like to go to a school where they will get stats. For better or worse, Coach Whip is going to get those guys big-time stats…

      Go Pitt.

      Liked by 1 person

  47. All – I just want to transparent here. I have in some ways labeled all of you. Now some of you aren’t curmudgeonly and some of you aren’t old men, but some of you are definitely both. And I love every one of you.

    My apologies if I’ve offended anyone.

    Like

    1. Great Tweet MM. Hopefully someone important reads it. I don’t fit the demographic you mention, but I totally agree with the premise of your tweet. TX is not a curmudgeon either.

      Like

      1. Well in hindsight (and soberness) I probably didn’t need to add the part about old men. Unfair to a lot of readership.

        Like

    2. I just figured that you are suffering from lack of sleep. 🙂

      We refer to you as the “Young Whippersnapper.” (As if I know what a whipper snapper is.

      pmdH2P

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Alright alright. That plus your comment about taking a poll have bright me to my senses.

        I’ve taken down the tweet

        And a poll will follow before the new year

        Like

  48. The good: Heather only believes in hiring experienced head coaches with a long term record of winning.

    The bad: She thinks Narduzzi is heading the team in the right direction.

    Like

  49. Carolina whipping Temple… and ole Mack is just getting started… Coastal will become harder to compete in next year….No gimmes… but are there ever any !!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Word is Mack told the Carolina administration to open the check book and get serious with football.

      Getting Howell was huge to start the rebuild. Pitt will need him to jam his thumb the week before we play the Heels so he misses the game.

      Everyone in the Coastal has a lot coming back and will be improved. Maybe not Miami with its poor coaching but always the Canes have better athletes and beats the Panthers.

      So glad we have a lot coming back along with a senior QB.Need Jones and Twyman to announce they’re staying.

      Like

  50. Been off this board for most of this season, primarily because my daughter (big OSU fan because we used to live in Columbus) and a local team (LSU) have dominated our conversations, but continue to watch and grimace at Pitt games. From the comments yesterday and today about discipline, showboating, penalties, etc., it reminded me of past U of Miami teams which seemed to epitomize these types of characteristics in a football team, and in general most college football fans took issue with Miami’s behaviors. The big difference was they won a lot of games with those “hoodlums” and from a team success perspective were top-rated.

    So, I’m glad Pitt is not as bad as those Miami players of yore, but agree that it’s a small step to get there when the players are not consistently reprimanded by the coach for their actions on the field. So hopefully Narddog hears these messages and takes positive action in training camp and future practices. And would still like to see an emphasis on finding asst coaches that can develop kids to their fullest extent, since we’re likely always going to bringing in more average HS players, but some have good , maybe great, potential if the skills they need are properly developed and coached up.
    

    Liked by 2 people

  51. I find it both ironic and hypocritical that Pitt brags about running a clean and wholesome program when the nation sees an undisciplined and thuggish team on the field. They don’t see the saving of kittens heather. But what do I know. I never saved a kitten.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was just thinking the same. I’d be willing to wager that there are zero “thugs” on this team off the field. (Unlike Miami of yore). But when they get on the field it’s like they never made a good play in their life. I’m all for celebration. And I’m all for confidence and swagger. But put some guardrails around it fellas, because right now it’s hurting the team.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Hear me out…could the excessive swagger and celebration be a way to manufacture hype because our team plays in a cemetery on Saturdays? It just a theory but it would make sense.

        Like

    1. Wasn’t the Walt Harris theory that ito get a good QB you have to already have good receivers (or just recruited 4*s) and to get good receivers you need a proven (or highly rated QB)? The concept being good receivers are going to do poorly with an average QB, and need a solid QB to get the stats they need to get attention from the pros.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ll believe it when I see it

        Also if both Ford and Hamlin leave there is no guarantee our defense will be better. Guys who can both cover and stop the run well are few and far between. This year we had two of them.

        Like

  52. We need a big-time hammer at middle linebacker. I never saw Brightwell as a MLB. Need one of those young guys to step up and to kick some butt.

    And what about that LB from Stanford in the portal? Pryts? Committed to the nitwits then flipped to Stanford (Duh?). Pitt had recruited him and he’s a Western PA guy. Led Stanford in tackles… He’s a 6-1 and 225 type guy…

    Go Pitt.

    Like

  53. You can’t lose support that you never had. The University of Pittsburgh brings more money to the city than any of the professional sports. Their players are paid millions but their play pens are built by tax dollars. What Pitt should do is move to Johnstown. Lots of land. Start with a 35000 seat stadium. Build a fan base that isn’t professionally minded. Part of Penn State’s success results from a lack of competition. I’d travel the hour and a half for the games he’ll I already travel three hours now.

    Liked by 1 person

  54. If Pitt somehow gets Ford and Hamlin back along with Twyman, the defense will be even better.

    Not too concerned with Jones since there is plenty of depth, but you can’t have too much, plenty of room if he does come back. More than likely that all of these guys help their draft position if they come back. Especially Twyman and Ford, one more year of training will make them much more physically ready.

    Liked by 1 person

  55. Most websites like to rank all the bowl games before they are played and I don’t think I saw the Quick Lane bowl any higher than 35 (out of 39) on any of them. 96 yard TD’s, tipped pass TD’s, turnovers, bad clock management at the end of the 1st half, spitting ejection, 6 unsportsmanlike penalties on one play, ludicrous long FG’s sneaking through, one handed TD catch to win the game with under a minute left and of course the losing QB, after playing the game of his life, gets ejected on the last drive for punching two players and knocking over a ref. Pretty sure the after ranking we are going to see the Quick Lane bowl ranked in the top 10! It certainly ranks #1 by a mile over the dozen or so duds played so far. H2P

    Liked by 3 people

      1. It was an entertaining game for the average college football fan without any ties to either team. With the W, my memories will be as an enjoyable game. Not so much if Pitt had lost.

        Liked by 2 people

    1. He had 1 rush for -2 yards I believe. Made a very bad read (May have even run the wrong play) out of well blocked wildcat and was not seen or heard from again.

      Like

  56. Regarding the bowl, it’s hard to get too worked up good or bad. You have one team playing like Pitt is Goliath and another team playing like Eastern Michigan is David. Haha. Pitt played like they didn’t want to be there and Eastern Michigan Played like they did. That’s what happens in these bowl games. They’re just an exhibition game. No real stakes.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Yeah and eastern Michigan played a nearly perfect game. Pitt played like they have all season. Just happy we won. If games like this continue next year we have a problem.

      Like

  57. I guess no one is watching the Pinstripe bowl between Michigan State & Wake Forest. What do you know, there was a unsportsmanlike penalty for celebrating a TD. Shame on his coaches & shame on his school for being thuggish & not knowing the rules.

    Being thuggish is spitting on opponents & punching a ref, not celebrating.

    Liked by 5 people

  58. Don’t know if anyone mentioned it, but Jason Pinnock didn’t play last night. Reportedly has a back injury.

    He might have been our best corner this season. Got some big-time speed.

    The good news is he has another year to play…

    Go Pitt.

    Like

  59. I don’t necessarily expect a certain # of wins but what I do expect is progress throughout the year and growth of the team. So these are the biggest disappointments to me. I think we have actually regressed over this year and stayed the same over the last few years.

    Liked by 5 people

  60. Pinnock, Sibley and AJ Davis didn’t play. Maybe Narduzzi is doing his best to keep the reigns on his team? Maybe injuries?? Who knows?

    Like

    1. ike – I thought AJ Davis played maybe two plays at the beginning of the game.

      Vincent Davis showed some quickness – I would have gone with Vincent too…

      Go Pitt.

      Like

      1. Vince and v’Lique got the job done. If Vince puts on some muscle and V’liqie works on his patience we’ll be okay at RB next year

        Liked by 1 person

        1. We need some size at the RB position, Abanikanda might help out greatly on those short yard plays that we have currently no one that can push forward through the OL. Also finding someone that has the ability to leap over the line on a short yardage situation should be a requirement.

          Like

      1. Sibley’s been hunt since he committed to Pitt. If there was ever a reason for Parrish to recommit to Pitt it was in watching the Quick Lane Bowl. There is plenty of opportunity for a freshman RB to start early for this Pitt team next season

        Like

  61. The defense didn’t play well/not up to the standard set in first 10 games, but the offense played very well! KP’s QB rating was phenomenal. EM had their best game in front of a “home crowd” but our guys were resilient and never quit. French and #22 both had very good games.The final drive and Mack’s TD catch were clutch.The celebration after the int was just plain stupidity. Lost 15 yards and had to settle for a FG. Take the celebration to the sidelines fellas. Thought our guys reacted OK when the EM QB lost his cool. 8-5 with a bowl win was about the expected year end record. Most disappointing part of the season IMO were the efforts (or lack thereof) vs VT and BC (SOP at end of past few seasons). If all players come back and injured players recover, there is reason for optimism next year. H2P!!!!

    Like

  62. Texas A&M had a sack around the 5 yard line and three players celebrated in the endzone. No penalty was called…

    Just sayin’…

    A&M and Okla St. look like they have great athletes — the speed of the RBs is especially impressive… They are at a different level from our RBs.

    And they said Grundy is 9-4 in bowl games.

    Go Pitt.

    Like

    1. What conf was the crew from? We had an sec crew and I thought the quick lane was the best officiated game of the season. They let the kids play, load down the law, and didn’t miss any obvious calls either way. Doesn’t sound like a lot but compared to the acc crews we saw this season it was a welcome change

      Liked by 4 people

      1. Didn’t catch the affiliation of those refs.

        This will sound petty, because it is, but on spittin’ EMU’s very first offensive play, the guy in motion took two steps forward before the ball was snapped. That used to be a penalty.

        Go Pitt.

        Like

  63. Good: Ffrench’s TD was exhilarating. Mack’s TD was exhilarating. Pickett’s stats were splash. Ford’s presence was splash. The long downfield pass opened up the draw for Vincent Davis, it’s just too bad this adjustment wasn’t recognized earlier. Vincent Davis showed flashes of being the real deal. I’m still of fan of Whipple’s game. He needs at least another 2-3 years. Big, splash plays are exciting, especially for our lack of run game. The restraint practiced by some of our guys, although I believe they could have ejected Ford for the last 10 seconds since that was his 2nd altercation. Ford’s fake punch was quite the sight: not a punch but quite hilarious that he stayed just inside the rules. I won’t be surprised if fake punches are outlawed for next season. Their spitter and puncher along with the ref who took a dive certainly gave us a lot of entertaining press today, and we weren’t on the negative side of it. Saw Mack and Ffrench highlights everywhere.

    Bad: Kenny giving field position and the early confidence and psychological advantage to a hungry underdog. We can’t underestimate that. Might be better to play conservatively the first drive or two. Kenny still hasn’t learned to hold onto the ball and has fumbled on several critical plays over the last several seasons. Not sure what it’s going to take to get him to be less greedy for 2 less yards and protect it properly. I’m a fan of Kenny, but I think they need to open up the QB competition a little more in the off season in case he gets injured and to see what the others can do.

    Ugly: The EMU coach’s day today. The NCAA needs to be clear and consistent regarding celebrations. Maybe loosen it up for bowl games but be clear about it. I don’t mind the showboating. I just didn’t think their QB grossly overthrowing that pass was a brilliant defensive play that warranted it. Let’s keep the celebrations earned. Maybe letting 3 and 4 star players get emotionally hyped is an equalizer strategy?

    I thought our defense played OK. EMU’s game plan was spot on: quick release dink and dunk passes prevented the sacks, or run up the middle. Notice how the EMU QB got sacked on the last drive because there wasn’t enough time and time outs to reset the ball for dink and dunk. Teams just figured out how to work around our defense. We need a another George Aston. We can’t find another FB walk on out of the thousands of high schoolers who won’t be used at the next level?

    9 wins needs to be our par. 8-4 plus a bowl win or 9-3. Any new lightning in a bottle coach will get plucked.
    Our coach needs to be good enough to not lose his job but bad enough to not move up. I don’t care who gets us there. Narduzzi might be fine. It’s a shame that Wanny didn’t have a little more spine with the off field issues and a little less spine with game decisions by letting his coordinators call the games. Need a recruiter.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. The ACC will probably review the Pitt bowl game video and decide, in the event he comes back, that Paris Ford will be suspended for the first half of next season’s UNC game. 😊

      And if Paris goes pro, Pitt will still have to sit their best DB… 🤔

      Go Pitt.

      Liked by 2 people

  64. Thank You Eric your comment bears repeating:

    “You go after Big B (one of the kindest people I’ve ever met), you will have the full force of the POV and specifically the Red 5/Fran Tailgate crew coming back at you. Take a walk you clown. If this temporarily gets me suspended from the POV, so be it. There is no tolerance here for people with your attitude. Bernie has been a devoted fan and contributor to Pitt Athletics for a long time. If you watched a game this year (did you?) you’d know how undisciplined this team is. Many long time Pitt football supporters feel the same way as Bernie. You show up every six months or so and chime in with wise ass remarks. Get bent.”
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    I missed this or else I would have been all over it. I’m pissed off!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. This article was great, but all of the comments made it one of the most entertaining reads in quite a while. Y’all wrote a book. Am reading this in “my office” …. reminds me of PSU. Ha.
      Anyway, Merry Pitt-mas to all and a happy new year.

      Liked by 2 people

  65. Out of curiosity, I took a look at the run/pass split for Pitt’s offense for Coach Whipple’s first season as OC.

    The raw numbers have it as 441 rushes and 513 passes. That gives:

    Run plays — 46%
    Pass plays — 54%

    But I think those “rushes” include sacks – correct me if I’m wrong. Throwing in 29 sacks as “pass” plays, the numbers go to:

    Run plays — 43%
    Pass plays — 57%

    Course those sideway passes are supposedly long handoffs (not that that makes much sense to me), but we certainly had a ton of those…

    If we get more effective running backs and OLine, hopefully Coach Whip would even this out some next season…

    (BTW, at the extreme of a passing offense in college football is Coach Leach at Wash. State. They routinely throw the ball over 70% of the time…)

    Go Pitt.

    Like

    1. John – Good stats. I did mine before bowl games. Used NCAA site as you can copy & paste into excel.

      I also broke out offensive plays into Run/pass/sacks. This gets around the sack problem. Pitt- pre bow- was #16 (of 130 FBS teams) in % of pass attempts/offensive play, #116 in run plays & #75 in sacks/offensive play.

      Liked by 1 person

  66. Interesting tweet from EJ Borghetti regarding a POV tailgate celebrity:

    “Over the past two years, Kenny Pickett has rallied the Panthers to five wins when facing a 4th quarter deficit, the most by a Pitt QB since Dave Havern also had five during the 1970-71 seasons.”

    And Happy Birthday to another POV celebrity – and wise POV poster – BigB!

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Happy we came away with the win, but damn it Pitt, how can you keep doing this to the faithful fans. Undisciplined, mistake-ridden football is painful to watch. I really do think this is Narduzzi’s best recruiting class, but count me in the crew that believes 2020 has to be the year we move past 8 wins or we need to explore the market for a new coach. Also, I believe someone referenced the 6-man unsportsmanlike conduct penalty as a “tribal” celebration? That’s incredibly insensitive and many would say racist. I’d be more careful with your words (coming from a school counselor). H2P gentlemen.

      Like

      1. Hope your birthday was terrific.

        Now we got something to talk about besides Pitt football. I’ve had a CPAP machine for around 25 years. Takes some getting used to the mask & hose.

        Like

  67. Just finished replaying the game (I know that some of you are already thinking that I’m nuts for watching that sh*& show a second time and I wouldn’t argue with you). Here’s my goods, bads, and ugly after another look and a day to cool down.

    The Good:

    We won. Losing to EMU would have been truly ugly.
    Pickett did get better as the game progressed. He was getting quite a bit of pressure the whole game, but he took the shots they dished out and hung in there.
    Davis runs well (for a midget).
    Narduzzi made some great halftime adjustments….I believe he tied his shoe laces.

    The Bad:

    Our defense was crap. DL got pushed around pretty badly. Lack of pressure exposed our back end.
    Brightwell was MIA. The guys overran many plays and basically did nothing. How many runs did EMU have right up the gut and our MLB was nowhere to be found. The other LB’s were not much better.
    As bad as our DL and LB’s were, they looked like pro-bowlers compared with our O Line. Carter Warren is a stiff. Ulizio isn’t much better nor is Houy. I’ll reserve judgement on Van Lynn. Pass protection was bad. Run blocking only marginally better. This unit better find some talent somewhere because they are the single biggest problem holding us back.

    The Ugly:

    Coaching preparation. Holy cow were we unprepared. EMU took it to us most of the game. And this is a 6-6 MAC team. Let that sink in.

    The only reason my head didn’t explode is that we somehow managed to win the game.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Great analysis scottsvalley and I concur with much of your conclusions. The sad part part seems to be that we are being out coached in most every game we play.

      Like

  68. Watching Air Force run the triple option to perfection tonight and it makes me miss old college football.

    Where there was no one scheme that made for a great program.

    Nebraska ran the veer back in the day.

    It makes me wonder if a program can be successful without running an RPO scheme.

    Dave

    Like

  69. SVP – agree.

    I was not impressed with Pickett. Maybe it is just his overall inconsistency this year. He didn’t have 3 strong games in a row all year. We never knew what we were going to get from week to week. Sorry, just my opinion.

    Second, for those that complain that the blog is negative, I disagree. I think that those that comment quickly celebrate a good play, but correctly point out the errors on bad plays. Corrections are easy to type and they are seen as negatives when in reality, they are just visions of what went wrong and how to fix it. Very simple but misunderstood by those that view all things through rose colored glasses. What is there to comment about on a good play? Actually, go back and read. On a pickett td, some might say a great pickup of a wolf blitzer by the rb, which gave the qb time to throw. That’s a positive.

    Third, Pitt must have a better record next year and will do so. Why? The out of conference schedule is easy. Finally, we get 3 ooc games that we should win easily and then ND. Minimum 3-1 ooc. Put together a 5-3 or 6-2 conference slate together and we have 8 or 9 regular season wins. That is great. This is why Pitt needs to recruit hard for the big talent now. Get the kids to watch the W’s next year. If Pitt is not ready to pounce on an easy schedule during the recruiting period, they have missed the boat. The OOC after next year will put us back at 2-2 max for OOC games. Stupid scheduling by our AD.

    Our OL is awful and has been for awhile. No consistent running game for the most part all year. No pass protection consistently all year either. No identity.

    Our DL showed they can get get pushed around consistently when the other team goes up tempo. Several called the opposition plays before they occurred and the Pitt D wasn’t aware. Why was that? That’s not negative.

    Did anyone see UNC put up 55 points against Temple? Pitt better recruit some big time players or we are heading towards continued mediocrity. We didn’t pounce on recruits when we beat Clempson. Pitt wasnt ready for its success and failed.

    We also need to remember WHO we played. That was not a P5 team, thank God! It was a meddling MAC team. We were out played, out hustled. But, not outscored. I predicted 34-24.

    Partridge was not a fit at Texas. Every head coach knows that Florida is the place to go for recruits. Charlie has many ties in Florida. Pitt gave him a second chance after he got canned as a head coach. That is some loyalty but he hasn’t been loyal back. He has taken offers or at least used potential offers as leverage to get more money. I think he lands a DC job in the next year or two and leaves.

    As far as ADs, I don’t like ours. She is in over her head and has been. She and our coach are learning on the job. So if she gives our program a “D”, why is the head coach still here? Can’t we get a “B” coach? This is confusing to me. Anyone else shaking their heads on how an AD can say the results are D, but keeps everyone?

    Like

    1. Huff – my take on HL’s “D” grade – on commitment to championships – was an institutional critique. Gotta have the Administration and BOT on board. Firing Narduzzi doesn’t change that.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Just to be more clear…I believe her comment is pointed up the organization, not down. Having worked where she has, she has seen what top programs look like and the culture that pervades them. I think its fair to believe that a person with her background – even if its only in compliance – knows the difference between that and what we have in Oakland.

        Many, if not most here have pointed to the BOT and Admin as not wanting to make Athletics a higher priority on the university’s agenda. Just a guess, but when its that obvious to a bunch of blog posters (including those with supposed insider access), its probably obvious in the Athletics Dept. as well.

        Our buddy (and I say this fondly) TX Quixote has even suggested that we’d be better with a Chancellor that, when not “counting atoms”, places athletics at a higher level. And apologies in advance if it was not Tx who coined the “counting atoms”.

        There have even been some suggestions here that the BOT ought to be split in two – one for academics and the other for sports. Whether that suggestion is wise or realistic, it reflects an understanding that there is not a commitment to excellence in athletics at the highest level in the school.

        Whether HL is in over her head is hard for me to determine; after all, I’ve never had a chance to overcharge her for services. That said, if she is retaining Narduzzi for now it might just be that she is showing potential future head coaches that they will be given enough time at Pitt to do what is required to win championships. Might be important if she is to overcome the lack of will at the top.

        Like

        1. yes – I coined the atom counter and meatballs. But UPitt had some real good ones. I miss his name calling. 🙂

          and I did suggest splitting the BoT into one for athletics and one for academics. Some Dean should be President over academics. The AD should sit at the top of the athletic board. And both report to their boards. The Chancellor would be arbiter over both and report to both. The details could all get flushed out later in the bylaws. But today Pitt has a 36 member BoT. 33% are appointed bureaucrats. In the past, a good number of members on the BoT had Penn State degrees. The BoT was infested by Nitter vermin.

          but a 10 member academic ad 10 member athletic would suffice. No Nitters allowed. Pitt degrees preferred and welcomed. And very important…you need far more women and younger people on it. Too many old white men.

          I’m sure Heather is feeling pressure from the BoT for a better Return on Investment. The BoT authorized a step up in financial support and they expect better performance. Mediocre is what Pitt achieved under Chryst for 33% of the cost. Thats how they see things and thats how they should. And they see flat donations and declining attendance at Heinz. So we spend more money and see a drop in revenues. WTF is what they are thinking.

          Off on a tangent, but if you want students to attend athletic games and get them to experience school spirit and pride and have fun, Pitt really needs to implement my idea for a reward card. The concept: Students use their school ID’s and receive reward points for attending games (ID is scanned at the turnstile). Those points are accumulated and after reaching certain thresholds, those points can be redeemed at local Pitt eateries, the Pitt Book Store and Shop, etc.

          Lets say I attend 2 football games. I receive 5 points per game. I’ve banked 10 points. I attend a volleyball game, those games are worth 10 points (they need more help than football with attendance). Now I’m up to 20 points. A mens soccer game is worth 10 points and I attend three of them. Thats another 30 points. Once I reach a total of 100 points, I can redeem them. Each point is the equivalent of 50 cents so thats $50 dollars worth that I can spend on university approved places and things. What student wouldnt be interested in this concept. I think its a great way to get students to attend Olympic sports. After a while, you wouldnt need to bribe students to attend. I figure it would cost Pitt about $3M based on some assumptions for usage and redemption rates. I think that is money well spent to create a sports culture and help connect students to the university.

          Like

          1. Fabulous idea on the rewards card. I think you should send that to Heather. Seriously.

            Regarding the BOT expectations, Im not so sure the ACC didn’t tell Pitt to spend more. But even if they elected to invest on their own accord for future returns, Im sure they are sophisticated enough to understand that the payback period on athletics takes a while to develop.

            Like

            1. Yes. I’m sure the ACC brass had a say. I know they did on facilities. Fitzgerald. Too hot and humid. Coaches complained.

              I don’t think the BoT anticipated spending more and seeing a hit in donations and ticket sales though. For two years straight now and with a good chance of seeing the same for three years running. Making some members anxious I’m sure.

              Like

            2. I’ll include it in my letter to Heather. All I want from her is transparency. I know shes under pressure from the BoT and Boosters to justify spending nearly $35M on a football program that finishes the season unranked and goes to crappy bowls.

              Transparency around real attendance numbers, season ticket sales, gifting breadth and depth (aka donations), financials, fundraising and debt load for Victory Heights.

              I want her to answer non pre-screened questions at her town halls and not hear PC or BS answers and excuses. Answer our questions and dont sugar coat things. She would gain my immediate respect with that approach.

              Like

    2. I agree on everything except Heather. She’s the best AD I’ve seen here in decades. As for the D, she may be under orders from the BoT and chancellor to keep continuity at Pitt for awhile longer. The D is a nice warning though.

      Liked by 2 people

  70. He’s still here because she fears the revolving coaches syndrome is contagious and will not be beneficial in the long run. However Narduzzi and his staff are being out coached prior to and on their game days. That cannot continue and I’m quite sure our AD is fully aware of that situation. What she is going to do about that is the million $ question. I’m not sure there is an simple answer for that without rolling the dice and having to decide on bring in that new head coach.

    Like

  71. I don’t always agree with Dokish but believe he is spot on here:

    Chris Dokish@ChrisDokish
    Next year, Pitt has a HC for his 6th year, a senior QB who is a 3 year starter, a lot of players back on offense, a loaded defense, and an easier schedule. That’s why Heather Lyke expects them to win big, and why they better win big.

    One more thought … maybe Pitt fans should be thankful that a WIN has brought this much ire — not to mention it was the 8th win. This was PN’s third 8-win season in his 5 years. Expectations has certainly been elevated than they were before her arrive …. NO DOUBT.

    But as Dokish described above, if next season doesn’t produce more than 8 wins, he’ll probably be let go. That may well be a good move but considering the history of this program, I will wait and see,

    Liked by 2 people

  72. Whatever happens next year, Pitt should never fire a coach who ends the season with a winning record. Not unless the the AD can dip into the endowment to hire a top-flight coach.

    Athletics is never allowed to dip into the endowment and never ever is a proven coach ever coming to Pitt. Those are just the facts.

    After a decade of incompetence from the Pitt high ups and losing five-plus games in every season, no way am I ready to pull the plug after 2020 and start over with some coach who is learning on the job. Those guys coach one way: scared.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Pitt has the money
      They can find an experienced head coach for $4-$4.5M
      The ACC network is providing an incremental $10M in revenues each year
      Pitt is not poor and they are not cheap (top third football spend in the ACC)
      top third spend should provide a higher ROI
      Heather is feeling pressure from the BoT and Boosters

      Capel is only paid $2M and provides a much higher ROI. Pitt will be NIT bound this year after 2 short years. Remember the program was dead after KS. The Pitt football program is stable.

      A good coach should be able to turn things around in 3 years. Narduzzi may have elevated the program to 7.5 wins from 6.5 wins but he’s doing it on 3 times the budget. Thats the rub. And no final rankings and no nice bowls in Florida.

      Again, Pitt has many selling points for a coach: money, opportunity, administration support, less pressure than elite schools, excellent practice facilities, decent playing venue, media leaves you alone for the most part, culture of running a clean program, tradition, decent enough recruits within 500 miles, stable program and conference, chance to prove yourself and either jump to a bigger gig in 4-5 years or stay and become a legend.

      Have I sold you coaches out there with a wandering eye? I sold myself. Sign me up.

      Like

      1. Tx – I believe you have said the BOT is content with mediocrity as long as the program doesn’t bring disgrace to the school. No you are saying Heather is getting pressure from this same group. Which one is it?

        Like

        1. Both. And heres why:

          The BoT definitely wants a clean program and no scandal. They want players of high character and no off the field incidents.

          But they also feel pressure and can be influenced. Hence they authorized more money for the football program (about 2 years ago). However, they were also in a better position to do so because of the ACC money. They had hoped that spending more will help drive higher revenues (Pitt has one of the lowest revenues in all P-5). But, revenues driven by donations and ticket sales are flat to declining, and the ROI has not met their expectations.

          Another important thing to note that cannot be understated….the BoT composition is changing. These positions are only held for a few years so there is natural turnover. And do you know what? I see fewer Nitters and more women on the board. I also see some young guns that werent there before from Gen X and Millennials.

          The members arent part of some deep state to keep the football program in mediocrity. Those Nitters have been purged. Old white men are being pushed out in favor of more women and younger people who dont give a rats arse about the history between athletics and academics at Pitt. They see the future and arent bound by stupid decisions of the past and antiquated ways of thinking. Its a different mindset in this body today. Is is perfect? No. Can there be more change? Yes. But for the first time since I started following the BoT, I see hope.

          Like

        1. In Marketing, the general rule of thumb is that you need to repeat something around 12 times until it sinks in. If it took you 20 times, I have to do better in my pitch. 🙂

          Like

  73. All great posts above and love the passion from my fellow POVers. This is PittITis-not sure why my name is now up…anyway, happy holidays to all!

    I’ll keep this civil since I didn’t really with my game comments and everyone has already covered almost every point that could ever be made. GBU in random order.

    Good:
    1. Season is over
    2. They won. It was ugly but they got to 8.
    3. Aside from some early errors(fumble) KP did have a solid game AND came through in the crunch. I don’t care if it was against 3rd graders. It’s good for his development as a leader and QB.
    4. Sr’s got a final win (it’s been a long while) and they won a bowl game.
    5. A full season in the great uni’s!

    Bad:
    1. The team never got better, never progressed. It got worse as it has in the past. Bad pattern.
    2. Continued disappointment for the alum and fan base. Even appears to now be displayed publicly by football alumni.
    3. A team that never really seams to be ready to play.

    Ugly:
    1. It really has to be the discipline topic. All year long it was present, persistent and progressively got worse. In the discipline category, I include;
    Dropped passes, false starts, pregame taunting of the other team, chippiness that leads to fights on the field and celebrations for things they should be doing anyway – especially celebrating when if they looked up at the score board, there is nothing that should be celebrated.
    It’s all a poor representation of every entity involved – players, coaches, AD, administration, BoT, past players, alumni and fans.

    As everyone has said, PN really needs to address this quickly. Discipline adds to better results and more respect from the list of groups above.

    I’m still a Pitt fan and always will be. We all will be. We rant on here because we love Pitt. We desperately want to root for a winner, root for what we expect and also for what we think our university is capable of accomplishing. It’s not blind hope, it’s desire. I’m glad the season is over but I’ll be waiting anxiously about April/May for reports, spring game and the coming season.

    With that, H2P!

    Couldn’t make any games this year but hope to meet many of you at a tailgate in ‘20!

    Liked by 7 people

    1. See you in 2020 Asquirk!!!

      One follow-up on the “ celebration “ comment… their enabler,Narduzzi should put together a “ PITT ‘s” greatest doing their celebration moves- Dorestt, Fitz, Marino, McCoy, Ironhead … remember their dances and poses???? of course not- there weren’t any… they went out and did their job without trying to bring attention to themselves…

      Discipline covers many aspect in team team sports …Discipline is key in any organization being successful… Discipline – something we lacked in 2019….

      Liked by 5 people

      1. Maybe they could go back to leather helmets, when men were men.
        BigB, the ship has sailed and celebration is part of the game.
        However, discipline in carrying out your objectives is much needed.

        Happy Birthday!

        Like

    2. Agree with everything you have written.
      I’m never happy when a FB season ends.

      In hindsight, the season has certainly evoked a range of emotions.

      At the beginning of the year, I thought we might be at 6-7 wins based on most of the prognostications. So, I am pleased we exceeded that.

      As the season progressed and we ran off a nice string of wins, my expectations/hopes rose and a 10 win season seemed possible. And we below that. Those losses to Miami and BC were pathetic. Pathetic.

      And now we win a bowl game, albeit a crappy one.

      In sum, it a modicum of progress but dang it could have been so much more.

      Liked by 1 person

  74. So I get the “easier” schedule next year. But I be all those “easy” teams are excited to have us in their schedule and view us as a “win”…

    But, our O Line stinks and that won’t change. That and tiny running backs makes me wonder where all this hope comes from.

    Like

    1. Well Dion Lewis checked in at what? 5’8” 195? Not exactly a bruiser. Ray Graham was small too. Two small guys in rotation should be able to get the job done. Now the offensive line is a different story…

      Liked by 1 person

  75. A lot of good points this morning. This is a site where people come that really bleed blue and gold, with one thing in common, we all want Pitt Football to be better. From there, many of opinions on what are the problems and how do we fix them?

    Let’s visit the problem of discipline and what a coach is to do about it. Certainly it is a big problem when guys don’t know or just routinely miss their assignments. Things like jumping off side or running the wrong rout, not covering your man, blowing a coverage. But when are these things caused by poor discipline and when are they honest mistakes, or caused by a lack of skills? Let’s take Ulizio as example, because he make more motion penalties than most. Are they caused by a lack of discipline or are they the result of him not having the strength, quickness, ability to handle his man on a routine basis forcing him to try to get the jump on his guy? Knowing that if he doesn’t make his move in time he will lose the battle and get KP killed.

    Most of us agree that there is an issue with during the play discipline because of the number of incidents that can be attributed to it. This is where Narduzzi has to do better.

    Then there is before or after the play discipline. This is obviously a moving target. Us old guys remember pre- Billy White Shoes Johnson and Icky Woods, when there wasn’t much in the way of celebration after a good play. No one high-fived or bumped fists after everything good or bad. No one danced in the end zone, or slammed their chest or did a look at me gesture after making a play. Trash talk wasn’t the norm.

    This is all part of the game now. The Hamlin led photo op was something done in the NFL after every big play, not considered showboating at all. So why wouldn’t kids want to emulate their heroes? After all isn’t the game supposed to be fun?

    As far as actual fighting, it has always existed in any physical game, and yes it is cause by a lack of discipline.

    So guys, we are not going back to yesteryear when men were men who didn’t spike the ball. But discipline is an important and must be learned certainly during the course of play, but unfortunately it is not that easy to define, but we’ll know it when we see it.

    But please, quit using the military academies as examples, there are dire consequences for not following orders in the military. Those guys are conditioned to follow orders and carry out missions with precision.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I’m ok with today’s players celebrating- not ignorant to the fact that these are different times. BUT, these young men play in a league that has rules and they need to know what they can and can’t do. Really that simple for me on the celebration stuff. Also need to display some class and self awareness about when to do it.

      Like

  76. As far as firing the coach, this is certainly not the year to do that, with much of the team coming back, an easier schedule, a better incoming class and an 8 win season with a bowl win. Seriously, we are not LSU or Michigan, used to dominating and with unlimited resources.

    As frustrating as the season was with all the nail-biting victories, an unbiased observer could certainly make the case that Pitt overachieved this year. After-all pundits picked them to win 5.5 games.

    To be honest, a good case can be made for starting over, and it will happen at some point, it always does, just not this year, with a senior QB and lots of the puzzle pieces in place.

    As far as Heather, the only problem I have is why she would think playing WV and Tennessee at the same time with our already difficult ACC schedule is a good idea? If we do make a coaching change we are guaranteeing more 5-7 seasons, with a hope that a new guy will turn it around. Seriously stupid.

    How is this for a scenario, Pitt wins 10 next year, D’Antonio retires and Narduzzi goes back to MSU next year.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tell me again why he’d want to coach as MSU? Did he go there? Is he from there? Will they pay him more? Is the quality of life better? Does he have some kind of weird allegiance to the big 10? A 10 win season and duzz bolting would certainly be ironic though. And very very Pitt

      Like

      1. He had success there, they have rabid fans, it would be easier to recruit there, they have more money.
        And it would be very very Pitt. Deja Vu all over again.

        Mostly tongue in Cheek though.

        Like

    2. I saw a graphic last night during the MSU, Wake game and do believe that since Narduzzi left MSU their winning percentage has dropped significantly. Not making any implications because I do not follow MSU football.

      Liked by 1 person

  77. Suppose all underclassman commit to returning for the 2020 season – what holes need filled?

    Obvious choice would be OT(s). We probably need to use the transfer portal for one or two tackles.

    MLB – is Chase Pine ready for prime time?

    Safety – Hamlin leaves or is granted a 5th year? Do we have a good replacement?

    RB – I say go get Connor Hayward (Ironhead’s son) from the transfer portal via MSU.

    Thoughts?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree that O-Tackles would help immensely also stud linebackers.
      Safeties as well if we lose both Hamlin and Ford.
      A power runner would really help for third and short and in the red zone.
      Pine better be ready, I thought he looked decent on Thursday.
      The thing we don’t know is who are the up and comers on the roster already, since practices are closed.
      Also will Weaver return to form and can Camp stay healthy?
      I did notice a lot of underclassmen rotating through the D-line.

      Like

    2. EE — I think you nailed it on the OTs. Warren just seems to slow afoot to me to play OT. Need a transfer and then someone to improve enough to be solid. Candidates might be Van Lynn, Houy, and Gonclaves… This will be the key to next season’s offense, IMHO — give KP some time and he will play well…

      MLB has been a problem. I haven’t been that impressed with Pine but we have little other experience. Will a young guy step up?

      At safety, while Hamlin was a good tackler, he seemed to struggle with coverage (even with being such a good athlete). And it’s troubling that it seems to take a year or two of playing (and getting beat) to learn the Pitt safety positions…

      I think Ford will leave, so this opens a big hole in the defense for next season — that is, both safety spots.

      Hope Rachel and you are doing okay…

      Go Pitt.

      Liked by 1 person

    3. If all the underclassmen return, I’d say our needs are as follows:

      Offensive Linemen (particularly tackles). Our tackles were simply terrible. Carter Warren is back (much to my chagrin). Ulizio is gone (mercifully). If the underclassmen we have at tackle couldn’t beat out those two, we’re in trouble. Looks like transfer portal will have to produce another stop gap solution.
      TE – we have to hope that one of the two transfer TE’s can actually catch a cold. We still need at least one incoming TE freshman recruit. At some point we have to be able to recruit this position.
      LB – Sorry, but I don’t think Chase Pine is the answer at MLB. Maybe Davis, but he’s largely unknown. I wouldn’t mind seeing another portal transfer at LB if we can find a good one.
      RB – for some reason, people seem to think we’re loaded at RB. I am not in that camp. AJ Davis is pedestrian. V Davis has speed but he’s a smurf. V Carter is a tweener (WR or RB?). Sibley is always hurt and is average anyway. Abinikanda (sp?) looks ok on film. Good straight line speed and decent power for his size. No evasiveness to speak of. If we don’t get Parrish, I wouldn’t mind a transfer at RB.

      The short summary is we have some critical holes (particularly on offense) that need playmakers.

      Like

    4. I hope:

      George is the MLB and Pine plays outside.

      Hamlin gets a fifth year. The NCAA should grant all kids who played as true freshmen in 2016 a fifth year if they played below a threshold of games/plays.

      Need a right tackle in the worst way. I have no faith in anyone on the current roster. I sure hope it comes together for Drake. It’d be cool to have our tackles both being from New Jersey. It couldn’t hurt recruiting there in the future.

      We should be seeing some kids transferring out shortly. Do guys like Cameron O’Neil, Palmer, Drexel, Michael Smith have a future at Pitt? Maybe.

      Liked by 1 person

  78. I wouldn’t mind Pitt getting 10 wins and Narduzzi leaving for MSU. PN would leave the program is much better shape. However, I would be surprised if MSU would hire him because (1) of his age and (2) I think that after over a decade of Dantonio, they will be looking for an offensive coach.

    Another MLB choice may be Wendall Davis who played some this year

    Connor Heyward is a possibility; his brother plays for the Steelers and his mother is a native Pittsburgher

    Liked by 1 person

  79. The OL is Pitt’s biggest problem for next season. They are not great at pass blocking nor run blocking. The little extra time Pickett got on that winning touchdown drive probably was the result of the EMU defensive line being gassed as well as being less effective after injuries. I’m not sure we have any up and comers that can help solve the OL problem. So yes PN and Borberly should be looking for transfers for the OL or converting some exiting roster players for OL play next year.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Get a new OL coach. Borbeley can’t coach, period. Not here, not at Maryland.

      Also, in two years he has yet to land one recruit.

      Like

  80. Now that we are a couple days out ,,, FWIW, I was MUCH more disturbed by the BC game than the EMU game ,,, and it’s not even close.

    Yesterday on ESPNU radio in recapping Thursday’s bowl games, Rick Neuhisel said “once again we are reminded the problem for P5 schools when they face Group of 5 schools in these minor bowls. These games are much more important for the G5 teams, and they are going to give their best effort”

    I think that was obvious especially in the beginning when EMU’s line just pushed Pitt’s DL down the field. Pitt’s best unit this year was their DL, and it was being dominated.

    Now you can blame the coaches for this because that is what fans do, but remember, a year ago, these guys were in El Paso playing a PAC12 team … and now they’re in Detroit playing EMU. So if the coaches are solely to blame, then there has been one helluva lot of bad coaches through the years.

    Conversely, UNC hadn’t played a bowl game in a few years and had to beat rival NC State just to get bowl eligible. Thus the team had to be thrilled to play, especially the upperclassmen.

    Liked by 1 person

  81. So let me get this straight the EMU offensive line punishes our ill prepared DL very early in the game. But our DL never gets fired up and focused to not let it continue on subsequent series throughout the game. Who wants to made a fool of throughout the game by dismal play? EMU probably did more to convince some of our NFL DL candidates to come back and forego their NFL hopes for another year.

    Like

    1. Be careful of the use of “ill prepared” By their play this year, the DL has proven to tactically and physically prepared. But what you saw the other night was the unit not being mentally prepared. Look how many times, especially early, when on short yardage situations, the EMU QB gained 4 or 5 yards on a simple QB sneak. They also only had 1 sack until late in the game.

      Like

  82. The Pickett fumble was typical of Pitt’s turnover troubles that we’ve experienced all season long, the showboating after the Hamlin INT was both unnecessary & unacceptable. The way both of our front lines got manhandled at the line of scrimmage in the first half was surprising. The number of favorable bounces that Eastern got was remarkable, especially Pickett’s fumble bouncing right up into the arms of a defenseman running hard in the opposite direction & the Mathis tipped pass that went perfectly into the EMU receiver’s hands without him even having to adjust his stride before strolling into the end zone.

    All that being said, I’d give more credit to this EMU team, they came to play & it showed. Pitt by contrast came out flat, yet again, against an inferior opponent opting to play down to the competition . That has to be on the coaches, especially Narduzzi. Now as MM suggested, such uninspired play from a Power 5 team is embarrassing, especially when the middling MAC opponent is winning the game for 58 minutes.

    With that being said, these Panthers once again, stuck their collective hand deep into the mouth of the Beast of Defeat & pulled out yet another win in the end from those jaws of defeat. A win that could have just as easily gone the other way. No matter what criticism you have about this team, one thing can’t be denied, these Panthers never quit.

    So now the talk turns to whether our expectations of this team were met or not. At 8-5 at season’s end, this is what I discovered when looking back at the POVs prediction thread prior to the start of the season. By my count there were 32 predictions offered. Of those 13 were spot on predicting either the 7-5 regular season record or the total record of 8-5 after our bowl game. There were 8 fans that predicted more than 8 wins & 11 fans that predicted less than 7 wins, me being one of these pessimists. I predicted a 3-9 season, somewhat tongue in cheek, but that was my worst case scenario prediction. And believe it or not, this team was not too far away from that record. We could have lost to UCF, Duke & UNC without some come from behind heroics, & with all of the turnovers at GT we SHOULD have lost that game, straight up. There’s your 3-9 season & you Narduzzi detractors out there would have gotten your wish, because Narduzzi probably would not be Pitt’s coach now if that happened in his fifth year.

    So in conclusion, all I have to say is, “what did you expect?”

    Liked by 2 people

  83. A few random thoughts:

    I’ve been a little delinquent in my POV readings lately so I apologize if I get some things wrong here. I have not read where Heather actually gave the PITT football program a D. I did watch as she characterized this past season as a little disappointing, framed by some positive comments.

    Speaking of disappointments, yes the end-zone celebration fits into that category but from everything I read, PITT handled themselves fairly decently in the girl slapping and spitting Eagles behavior. I mentioned this earlier that Watt’s is the hot head on this team.

    PITT did kind of got out-coached in the EMU game. Where was Brightwell in the middle?

    Sounds like Heather averted a coach leaving somehow. Had to be either Charlie or Bates??

    I don’t care how PITT did it but they did win 8 games.

    I don’t care how French did it but he did set a school record for receptions.

    The BC loss still stings.

    I’m not into talking about next year right now, hell, I’m not hoping for PITT to be better, I’m hoping to be around to see if they are. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    1. the football program doesnt deserve a D grade even from me. not sure where this D talk and Heather came from. if she truly believes its a D, then she should clean house now. i think it had something to do with Pitt being able to compete for championships. I’m assuming the ACC one. Well Heather is then right because nobody is beating Clemson any time soon.

      what would it take for Pitt to compete against Clemson. Mo Money. Money to buy a high priced coach and staff. Money to plow into recruiting. Money to build a MPC on campus. Pitt will never (in the short term) have that kind of money given its small fanbase and very poor athletic gifting rates.

      but fanbases can grow, gifting rates can increase with a better outreach programs, engagement and connection of students to the school. Will take some time but it is possible. Revenue streams could multiply with a MPC.

      So this D is really more a reflection on Heather and that I do agree with.

      Like

    2. Ike and Tx – I posted a twitter feed from Mark Roth who said, “I heard Heather Lyke earlier this month say she would give Pitt a D on its championship aspirations…”

      That’s not a grade on the football program. Its an assessment of the University and an acknowledgement of what many here have said. And kudos to her for saying it.

      Liked by 1 person

  84. The bowl game mystery to me was the play of the Pitt defensive line. The ends had minimal impact; the DTs offered little resistance.

    On one play, Danielson was blocked back and fell on his butt about 5 yards downfield. Apparently the Steelers should check out EMU’s interior linemen for hidden gems.

    I don’t see how the DLine’s crappy performance is on the coaches. You’d think getting whupped once or twice — on national TV yet — is all the motivation you’d need.

    Even the workaholic Twyman seemed disinterested. Maybe preparing for and playing football 12 months a year is just too much to expect — unless you really are playing for a legit championship…

    Anyway, it was a puzzlement…

    Go Pitt.

    Like

  85. Regarding the offensive line… I think that with everyone returning we could see a pretty big improvement. Bryce Hargrove couldn’t crack the starting lineup in 2018 but developed in the offseason to become third team all ACC this year.

    Like

  86. Just wrote a long post, and Word Press wouldn’t send it thru. It’s OK when it happens to someone else, but why me???

    To summarize: First, hats off to emu. They game planned our D perfectly. Short quick passes and QB runs (draws?) absolutely took our D out of the game. And the tip-pass TD was something they saw in one our earlier games. Executed to perfection!

    I came to the realization Fri AM that the “horizontal passing game” is our attempt to bring the DBs up to stop the “run”, and hopefully open up some downfield throws. After all, our actual run game isn’t enough of a threat to force the DBs up. We threw short 1st and 3rd Qs, (and didn’t score), and downfield 2nd and 4th, and scored.

    As to celebrations – I hate them all, and am glad to see yellow because of them! If I was coach, I’d demand NO on-field celebrations- save that adrenaline rush for explosion on the next play. I must admit, though, that emu had very good punching form, and had one very P5 hawker!

    I enjoyed seeing KP have such a great game – hope it is the norm next year. 69% completion; 3TDs; 369 yards; well over 10 YPC. (BTW, he got 2 out 3 of my predicted “Trifecta”! (Don’t think we had any 4th-and-ones). Hope we develop an OL that is equally adept at run and pass blocking. Borbs is the guy, as he has done each, 2 years in a row. Question is, can he do both in the same year? The answer is in the young bulls.

    We even had a bit of irony for the press guys: the D has baled out the O all year long. In the Crap Lane Bowl, the O baled out the D. Maybe next year both can contribute all game, every game (but that’s prolly asking a bit much of a 5.5* team!)

    As to bowl selection, the ACC has shown exactly what it thinks of Pitt, so get used to it. If we were to win 10 or even 11 games next year, rest assured that we won’t go below the Mason- Dixon line. Dreams of a warm weather bowl are akin to sugar plums dancing in our heads. Just rewards for beating Champion Clemson and #2 Miami. How dare we??

    Liked by 3 people

  87. Ike, nice summary . I didn’t know Heather gave the football team a “D”. Of what I read, She didn’t pull any punches during her presser before the game. She’s great and has us going the right way in most sports.

    The offensive line was a major problem this year. Jimmy Morrissey was being too kind gathering the OL for a group picture. It made Pickett work hard for what he did. Amazed he didn’t get hurt more. He’s a good QB regardless of what is said by some here.

    Defensively we didn’t stop Eastern Michigan’s QB runs up the middle. Was that a middle LB problem?

    Liked by 1 person

  88. Maybe this is the reason he was voted captain. Look a Maurice Ffrench’s response to a tweet about him (below)

    2@MauriceFfrench
    ·he’s the GOAT, im thankful for the record but im no where near
    @LarryFitzgerald

    Quote Tweet
    Sam Caves@PGHsam
    · Dec 26
    Maurice Ffrench just tied Larry Fitzgerald’s single season receptions at Pitt with 92. How many yards did each of them have that year?
    – Ffrench – 829
    – Fitzgerald – 1,672

    Maurice Ffrench, who was a 0 star when he committed (ended as a 3), provided us with some exciting moments over the past 4 years. Don’t know if he will be drafted but I will miss him

    Liked by 4 people

  89. When some of you want to say Heather isn’t doing anything special she is just doing her job. Isn’t there a compliment in there somewhere? Living in a fishbowl cannot be easy and all you do is scrutinized to high heavens. I’ll keep on looking into the fishbowl and keep an eye on her to make sure she is doing her job. Not that anyone gives a crap about what I think.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. She’s doing fine for $400k. One of the cheapest paid ADs in P5.

      Good marks for hiring Capel, wrestling coach, women’s basketball and baseball. Compliance. Some facility improvements.

      Bad grades for ticket sales, donations, directors cup, running a balanced budget, fundraising for Victory Heights, Stallings buyout.

      How anyone can grade her after three years as passing is not looking at the hard evidence.

      Like

      1. Can’t have Capel without Stallings buyout… also I think they split the difference with him. Didn’t pay full price

        I think she’s doing fine for now. Is she killing it? No. Has Pitt done MUCH worse in the past? Yes.

        This will be polarizing but the rebranding should be considered a big success and I think you have to give Heather credit for that.

        Also according to this official U of Pittsburgh document, the budget was balanced in 2018. Perhaps you see something I don’t?

        Click to access 2018_EADA_Report.pdf

        Liked by 2 people

        1. I will go on record as being a big fan of the rebranding. Great colors and logo.

          Tx – too soon to grade her on Director’s Cup. I leave that one out.

          Like

        2. The university balances the budget by raiding the general fund. They’ve balanced the books with this accounting trick for the past 40 years. Pitt still has one of the largest athletic subsidies among P5 schools.

          The new colors are ok. Can’t be worse than the old. But no everyone loves them including me.

          Stallings buyout was $8 million. There wasn’t any splitting. KS had better lawyers and played hard ball. Good for him.

          Like

          1. I was no fan of Stallings, and thought he was a terrible hire. However, I agree with you Tex (I think we are both lawyers) that Stallings had all of the leverage in his buyout situation. Pitt had no choice but to pay him.

            As for the uniform colors/designs, you are part of a tiny minority. There are nearly universal accolades for the colors. I’m not sure I’ve spoken with anyone who doesn’t love the whole Nike package.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. I dont love the new colors but they are vastly better than the old colors. The colors look similar to what was worn during my years. I’m not a fan of mustard yellow or whatever that brown yellow is. I dont like the arch lettering but I’m warming up to the Panther head logo. I’m glad Pitt now looks different from ND, Ga Tech and Navy and even WVU

              Like

          2. I’ll succeed to your point on stallings because I’m not that close to it.

            Pitt has had several “best uniform” accolades / nominations on social media and generated a lot of excitement with gen x and millennials so I’ll take that point back from you 😉

            I can’t agree on your general fund statement until I’m shown hard evidence, but I will certainly be open to agreeing if you can produce it… all I see is “revenue” and so if they are raiding the general fund and booking that as revenue…well…show me the money and you’ll win 2 out of 3 and I’ll eat my humble pie compadre

            Like

            1. Its a common practice in accounting to balance the books this way in academia. Crazy Paco is the one who ‘taught’ me. Only 20 schools in P-5 make any money running a sports business and that is shameful because it is a business. Most schools subsidize their departments by around 2-5% (several articles out there in google land on this…funny thing is that Pitt is only one of a handful of schools that doesnt disclose their accounting publicly despite the fact that it receives 10% of its funding from the Commonwealth). Pitt’s subsidy is closer to 15%. Thats 15% on a $80M dollar budget or about $10-$12M each year that is taken from the general fund to balance the books. Pitt and many other schools follow this practice since they are required to balance the books…they are non-profit. Effectively, this costs students about $500 dollars in extra fees each year. Pitt is not transparent about this practice because it is dirty. Other states like Washington force schools to balance their budgets the right way. See Washington State. But the Pitt News and other media rags dont care and wont ask these tough yet pertinent questions. Crazy Paco and I know better. If you want the links, go to the Lair and e-mail him. He has inside info and access to ‘damaging’ data. He’s a prick but he knows his stuff.

              Like

            2. Interesting. Crazy Paco eh?

              This story gets better by the minute 😉

              Like

            3. and yes the new colors pop on TV. But Pitt had these colors in my day. I dont give Heather much credit. Nike did focus groups for her and I still think they got the colors wrong. I’m warming up to that Panther head though but do not like the arch lettering.

              And the KS thing really wasnt her fault. KS had all the leverage. He pretty much walked away with most of his buyout money. Hence I think Heather is a bit gun shy with Narduzzi because of his buyout and she’s 100% on the hook for that.

              Like

            4. seriously, send that crazy paco guy a e-mail. introduce yourself, flatter him and provide him with a stage. he’s very knowledgeable regarding the university accounting and endowments. i think he’s a professor at Pitt or some high ranking admin official. He’s worked at several schools including Miami. He would probably be more than happy to right a piece for the blog and I know we could all learn something from it. he does come across as arrogant but loves to teach and correct people. he has a sarcastic wit to him.

              Like

            5. Okay okay i believe you. Not sure I’m interested in putting an expose out there though.

              Like

            6. at the very least, he will supply you with the links but be prepared for him to also provide you with a educational lesson. He wont be able to resist. 🙂

              Like

  90. Watching a few minutes of the PSU and ND games is a sour reminder that Pitt isn’t even an afterthought in the world of Big Time College Football and never will be. Paying your coach a competitive salary is a spit in the ocean compared to what the big boys bring to the table.

    PSU and ND are pretty obviously 2nd tier when it comes to the truly big boys and their talent level is so far beyond what Pitt can recruit it isn’t even worth discussing.

    There is no substitute for elite talent and lots of it, way before you get to coaching and all the other stuff it takes to win high level games on a routine basis.

    Maybe this is why I don’t get nearly as upset as I used to when rooting for my team. Changing coaches has made little difference in the last thirty years. There will always be room for the negative criticism, because there will always be so much room between us and the top echelon of the game.

    It is amazing how jaded and critical we have become. Ready to fire a coach who has the third most victories in his conference since coming and having one of the biggest upsets in Pitt history beating Clemson in Death Valley.

    Considering the obstacles he has to overcome in recruiting, which will not go away when he is gone. First being that Pitt can only average 35,000 in home attendance and has little financial support for athletics.

    Look at the attendance and the budgets for the top twenty teams compared to Pitt. . Like the game the kids play, “Which One doesn’t belong”

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Yeah if u look at Pitts seasons over the last 30 years, it has been rare to have 8 or more win seasons except for a few from walt and the stache. And now our coach is achieving it fairly regularly and should have at least one more win per season with a normal non conference schedule. And people want to get rid of him…

      Liked by 2 people

    2. GC — had the same feelings when watching a bit of Texas A&M and Okie State yesterday. Without under the table shenanigans, it’s just totally unrealistic to expect Pitt to compete for recruits with southern schools or northern schools who can pack 100k stadiums…

      Pitt is quite fortunate to be in a division where we can compete.

      Again I say, look at the last two seasons. As frustrating as they were, after 10 games we were in position to have excellent seasons. We didn’t finish but at least we’re creating the chance — something we haven’t done much lately – maybe one time under Wanny and once with Wlat.

      Go Pitt.

      Liked by 2 people

    3. Excuses
      Top third spend in the ACC should buy you more than 7?win seasons and crappy bowls.

      That’s not just what I think. That’s what the BoT already knows.

      Pitt is not expected to be elite. They are however expected to contend for the Coastal each year and to reach a ten win mark every once in a while. Not every decade. Pitt is spending good money on football. Those are facts.

      A saragin and rpi ranking at number 60 doesn’t cut it given the money spent. Yet Pitt continues to be mediocre. Continues to spend money and lose more.

      That’s an indictment on two people. Shall I name them?

      Like

      1. Speaking of excuses, why don’t you spend some of that oil money and come to one of the tailgates and be part of the solution instead of Don Quixote swinging at wind mills from your arm chair. It was nice meeting your mom though.

        By the way we have contended for the the Coastal the last two years, if memory serves I think we won it. Ten wins when you schedule a killer OOC not in the cards very often. Even few of the Big Boys do it.

        Liked by 1 person

  91. Something to chew on……if a team goes to the portal for a graduate transfer, it is most likely not going to work out, why? First, if the athlete student was an upgrade, he would turn pro. At best, you get someone serviceable and slightly better than what you have on the current roster, but at what cost? I am a firm believer that if talent is similar, you keep the guys that you brought to the dance. A grad transfer with similar skills, causes problems in the locker room, especially the likes of a Ulizio, that couldnt stop….starting early. I agree that starting early this many times, covers for an opponents athletic prowess.

    You all make me laugh when it comes to Pickett. Everyone wants Pitt to win, agreed. Heaping praise on a qb that had 7 games with percentage completions of 62% or less is troubling. 38.5% against vtech. Add to that his TD to Interception for the year at 13-9 respectively and the problem is exacerbated. The 13-9 is such a great number in Pitt”s folklore, but it does not make for a great td to interception stat, for any quarterback. His numbers were 7 td’s and 0 interceptions against Syracuse and our non P5 competitors. You math majors figure out what he did against the rest and keep getting excited for the future.

    But thats an improvement. He had 8 games of 62% or less last year, 10 if you count 63% or less. Multiple games under 50%. This notion that he will be a Pitt record holder is great for those that don’t look at the real stats. Without looking, I would guess that he has thrown more than most pitt qbs. That doesn’t mean he was great. I hope he improves this coming offseason and that the mannings heap big praise on him again. He has a great shot to do well because of a very weak schedule next year (which i approve of 100%).

    This really wasn’t a beat up of KP at all. If anything, it was written to bring to light his inconsistency and to temper all the talk about how great he is. He may be great, we just won’t know because we can’t recruit OL to protect him or balance the air attack with a strong running game. This is a beat up of the trenches. Borbely is not a good recruiter or teacher…..Find the next JOE Moore! Hurry!

    Maybe Ulizio will be a pilot for southwest or something where his early starts will be celebrated. Problem is….false starts cause delays!

    Like

    1. Nice post huff. You are right. Pickett plays good against bad teams. Less good against good teams.

      I also agree with your portal theory. The only time the portal really works is if a player (like Kylan Johnson) for example is buried under an elite talent, or the depth chart on the team they are going too is just completely deleted.

      Of course three of the qb’s in the CFP apparently were buried under elite talent…

      Like

    2. No doubt the portal is a double edge sword. Stefan Millan was pretty good, before the portal, Peterman led one of our best offenses in a long time. Ulizio wasn’t great but no one beat him out and he gave some other guys time to mature. Let’s hope someone does. Kylan Johnson was fantastic and won at least one game for us. If Reynolds was collateral damage it is a shame and the other side of the sword.

      I do agree that guys from the portal are looking for a second chance which doesn’t always work out, but not much different than a large percentage of recruits that don’t work out either. However, if a guy from the portal washes out, you are only stuck with him for one or two years.

      I really agree with your comments on KP, his completion rates are poor, especially throwing so many short ones. Also like to see how the drops affected him. The lack of a strong tight end really hurt the numbers. Wish he would learn to throw the ball away rather than taking a bad sack. He does have a knack for comeback drives though which is essential .

      I do think he is the best choice for next year because of his experience. Better line play is probably more important as is fewer drops. A better running game would also make KP better. A QB is your field general, the more weapons he has at his disposal the better he is.

      No reason to not have numbers two and three ready to go though.

      Hopefully an easier start to the season will give those guys some reps.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. ^^ That is more like it pitttman2003. KP has played well enough against good teams just not that well against good defenses. psu being the exception.

        Like

    3. Must say I must have missed the posts where people were heaping praise on Kenny Pickett, but this WordPress format is not very handy for seeing all the posts.

      The only thing I’ve seen from KP that deserves heaps of praise is his ability to perform when coming from behind in the 4th quarter, and his toughness.

      With the experience he’s been given I thought he’d be much better at decision-making by now and better at placing his passes in better spots.

      But whatever…

      Go Pitt.

      Like

    4. Huff I agree on Pickett. Played well against the bad defenses. But I haven’t heard many really hyping him up here?
      I am bullish that the offense will be much better next year with all we have back and another year with whipple.

      Like

    5. not hyping KP but recalculate with a reasonable number of drops allowed versus actual

      recalculate with a very good non-drop % if we had that Boyd-type receiver

      KP ain’t great but might be able to make a few dollars at this game with a lot of luck and a good fit somewhere

      another year with Whip and the very good TE Wayne along with a good OOC schedule I believe will result in missing POV posters next year

      the BIG question for me being whether HCPN’s poor game day coaching and adjustments will screw it up – I believe he has the potential

      Like

      1. I’d love to find a “qbr” calculator app and add in some simulated stats for the roughly 30 balls that were dropped this season. I think you add +2 td’s as well bc drives kept moving. I think his rating gets a little bump but he’ll be no better than mid-pack in the ACC

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  92. There may be a right or wrong way to look at life in general but there are many ways to look at your favorite college football team. Hells Bells and without using examples, I keep hearing different thoughts from the same people. Like, here is why PITT can’t get over the hump and then the question, why can’t PITT get over the hump? This isn’t physics folks, it’s logic 101.

    and now for some sad news, my ham and bean soup was just as disappointing as the EMU game.

    Like

  93. We rarely win games easily any more. We play to the level of our competition all the time. Is it the coaching or talent? We should be better next year but …..

    Like

  94. On the issue of upgrading our offensive line, I get the impression that good offensive linemen are not that common, especially compared to, say, running backs. Seems like every high school has speedy, athletic 170-185 pound guys. They don’t all play football but they are fairly common. By contrast, I see very few 270-285 pound guys who are athletic enough to have some footwork and not get completely gassed after 15 minutes of exertion. I took a quick look at Rivals 2020 top 100 recruits and see only 1 offensive guard,1 center, and several offensive tackles.

    My point is that even the elite teams may struggle to find and recruit good ones. We may have no choice but to hope to develop O linemen. And, if true, quality transfer portal O linemen would be in high demand and tough to get.

    Liked by 5 people

  95. Awhile back someone posted Phil Jurkovec was possibly leaving the ND program?

    Any truth?

    He is stuck behind Ian Book until 2021 and ND has a few other blue chip QBs on the shelf.

    I’m just curious because he played the last series against Iowa State today and essentially has ridden the bench due to ND has a very good starting QB.

    His situation reminds me of Robert Foster, Foster is now playing in the NFL but was stuck in a similar situation at Alabama that cost him a lot of money as a later round draft pick.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. How good is Book though? My brother in law is a pretty knowledgeable dude when it comes to CFB and he’s a big Domer. In his opinion Book is ND’s version of Kenny. Can’t / won’t go through progressions, not as accurate as you’d quite like

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        1. Haha. Look book has some great stats and has won a ton of games. But clearly he’a got a great supporting cast. If anything I think we Pitt fans may be overrating Jurkovich. No way to tell until he gets onto the field though

          Like

      1. I beg to differ he is head and shoulders above Pickett.

        Book is going to be the starting QB next season. He’s stats are 56 TDS to 17 int, not overwhelming but he takes care of the ball.

        Not sure of his record as a starter but I would venture it is somewhere in the range of 20-4?

        I do not like ND but the kid is a solid college QB and Jurkovec can’t beat him out as the starter.

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        1. To be clear. “ND’s version of Kenny Pickett” does not mean the two are equal. Book is clearly better than Kenny. Although his supporting cast is also light years better than Kenny’s .

          The point you guys are missing is that a knowledgeable ND fan thinks book is not nearly as good as his stats indicate. My source (his name is joe) came to the GT – Pitt game with me and he was pointing out things that even seasoned Pitt fans miss. Has a unique talent for seeing the field. Now you don’t have to believe me but when we call go to Pitt ND next year you’ll meet him and you’ll see.

          Also To be clear – I agree that jurko can’t beat book out – what I’m saying that I think many Pitt fans are over rating Jurkovic

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          1. Ok we are good with it, on another topic do you sit Burrow for the second half and just run the ball to eat clock and rest your starters?

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      2. Book is a winner, MM. His stats the last two years are 52 TDs and 13 INTs. I don’t believe he will play in the NFL, but he is a blue collar grinder. He’s a clutch player who makes the big play when you need it.

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        1. In just relating what Joe Herman told me. Of course 10-2 and the capital one bowl is considered a failure by the domers so it’s all relative I suppose

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        2. Also for s’s and giggles …

          “He’s a blue collar grinder”
          “He’s a clutch player who makes a big play when you need it”

          Again Kenny no Book but he’s engineered the most 4q comebacks since ‘71.

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          1. Good points MM. KP and Book are cut from the same mold I think. As you said though, Book certainly has a better supporting cast. For the record, I like Pickett. He didn’t progress as I thought he would this year, but he’s as tough as they come and he has the heart of a lion (panther). We’ll see how much he improves going into next year.

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            1. A full year of tape under whipple should help but I’m going into next year with a healthy dose of skepticism. Hopefully KP proves me wrong.

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  96. Pat Jones just tweeted that he is returning, so likely DL next year

    Weaver Twyman Camp Jones

    backed up by Baldonero, Alexandre, Kancey, Bently, Morgan, Danielson and maybe FR Hayes

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Great news. No words a Pitt fan should ever utter in 2020: “It appears our D-line wore down throughout the game.”

      The line shouldn’t wear down throughout next season. It will go 12 deep. Wanny’s terrific line in 2009 only went six deep.

      Like

    2. Not if it plays like they did against EMU. The EMU display probably dropped Twyman and Jones down at least two rounds in the NFL draft next season had they decided to enter it.

      Liked by 1 person

  97. “Eastern Michigan amassed 438 yards of total offense — the second-highest total by a Pitt opponent this season — after averaging 406 against mostly Mid-American Conference competition. Central Michigan and Buffalo, two of the more successful teams in the MAC this season, defeated Eastern Michigan, 42-16, and 43-14.” Pathetic…

    https://triblive.com/sports/pat-narduzzi-pitt-ready-to-reload-and-go-after-bowl-victory/

    Liked by 1 person

    1. but if you take away the tipped pass that went for an EMU TD… jus kidding. Anyways, could it be possible the underclass NFL stargazers received a little dose of reality this past week? Great to see Twyman and Jones the Second leaning towards coming back. Now Ford needs to see and understand that he needs to get bigger and stronger to play in the NFL. The young man has to hit the weight room which it doesn’t look like he has. Ford got steamrolled by future NFLer AJ Dillion from BC.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. ike — in Ford’s defense, I’m sure Dillon has trucked many a safety over his career. Dillon is a bigger version of James Conner…

        But it would be great to see Paris come back and give us a dynamic player in the back end of the defense…

        Go Pitt.

        Like

  98. Guys, with all the talk of next year’s team and RBs in particular does anyone know Daniel Carter’s status? I thought he was a big get when he signed last year and now I never hear his name mentioned. He’s 5-10 and 220 lbs with some speed if I recall correctly. Any info?

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    1. Who knows on Daniel Carter? But there were plenty of times when Pitt needed a short yardage back this season for that illusive one yard play that was there to be had. And you would think a back at 220 lbs might have been an option on those plays. And keep in mind that with the 4 game red shirt rule in place he could have been used on several occasions and still retain his freshman status for next season. So my guess is he’s not the answer for Pitt at RB for whatever the reason.

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    2. I don’t think Carter has speed, which might be a problem. He might be no more than a power back who gets few carries in his Pitt career.

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  99. After further consideration, I believe I owe Johnny Bench an apology. Johnny, I hope you read this blog. I’m sorry – Blue emu does not stink!

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  100. We had a good D pretty much all year but one concern I have is very few turn- overs and only 1 defensive TD… what gives I ask ? is it Duzz’s style of D or just the “ way the ball Bounced ?” Who like to see our D help the O more next year with creating turn-over, scoring point and playing shut- down in the red- zone!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  101. ACC refs didn’t even throw a flag or ask for a time out to investigate targeting! These are our best. Doesn’t speak well of those jerks!

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    1. Well Thank You Huff the Third. I’ll get over it, it’s not quite the tragedy as I made it sound. Corky’s ham no Oscar Meyer. I’ll do my best to rebound next outing.. 🙂 btw, you crack me up.

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  102. I don’t think they all went and posed in the end zone like a bunch of players that didn’t understand time place and circumstance. When you are winning 35-7, it seems a little thuggery to do it, but at least it won’t cost you a game.

    Saw that SID trying to build up KP for all 5 of his comebacks the last two years. He didn’t mention the three 4th quarter leads that we lost over the same timeframe…..more if you count halftime leads that were lost. Pitt tries too hard to sell the story.

    Liked by 1 person

  103. In reference to Wolfe’s post above about the scarcity of agile 300-pounders, you can even see a pretty good gap between the OTs for Oklahoma and LSU.

    LSU always seems to look like an NFL team…

    Go Pitt.

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  104. Remember, every team except 1 ends the season mad at their HC, AD, team, QB, etc. We all wish we could go back to our glory days (as a grad of ’82, we were top 5 my last 3 yrs – now why can’t we do that EVERY year!). But its like that for my friends from MSU, K-state, Colorado, ND – we all had GLORY days.
    Yeah, the discipline needs to improve. Yeah, the O-line needs to improve, just to have a chance. And yeah, we may have to replace some decent DBs to get to 8 wins next year.
    But hey, just think about all those OU fans right now – do you think they are speaking well about their HC, AD, team, QB, etc??? Or are they claiming that they are the laughing stock of the country right now?
    I agree with Heather, we should keep the HC and the consistency – we saw what happens when you fire a decent coach (Wanny), or lose one (JD). I’ll take an 8 win season any day over 6-6 and NO HOPE.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I think if we see the controllable things
      (presnap penalites, lack of discipline penalties, etc) corrected next year opinion will swing back towards the Duzz. But those controllable things have pretty much gotten worse over five years. And that is the frustration. Agree that 8 wins is better than six. Ain’t no way to spin those numbers

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  105. Took Mrs Erie to our golf club today for lunch. It was 50+ degrees and I would have lyked to play, but it wasn’t to be today.

    When we pulled into the parking lot, I saw one of my friends teeing off on the 10th hole. I mentioned something to Mrs Erie and she said something lyke “you’ve got lots of friends here”.

    As we were being served our drinks, 2 of the golfers from the 10th tee greeted us with hugs – one of them saw us arrive and they walked back to the clubhouse to say hi – it had been 27 weeks since Mrs Erie was sitting in the club.

    I truly miss golf, but I painfully miss my wife. She is halfway back on her recovery journey.

    One more comment Mrs Erie made when I told her psuX was playing their bowl game today, she said “good I can take a nap”.

    Liked by 10 people

    1. Was nice to see Mrs. Erie at Red Lot 5A this past fall.
      Hope she has a full and complete recovery.

      Regarding golf….sad to report that when one’s travel schedule (including trips to Pitt games) keeps a golfer away from the links for three months….well, there was a bit of rust to kick off. Nice day though.
      Here’s hoping for a mild winter in the MidAtlantic.

      Liked by 1 person