I had two choices for this article.  Full COVID or no COVID.  Heading into the holiday weekend I was about to choose “no”.  We all have enough on our minds, and at the end of the day, until this thing plays out we don’t know what’s going to happen.  So what are our options?  Sit here and point out all the bad shit that is going to happen between now and football season that is going to prevent the season?  Yea, that’s one.  And a lot of people are doing a great job at that.  And look, I don’t want to trivialize the effect that COVID-19 is having on people.  It’s changed our lives. It’s (temporarily I believe) devastated parts of our economy.  It’s putting actual readers and commenters on this blog at risk.  It has killed at least one college student in Pennsylvania and could, if the NCAA moves on with the season, potentially kill more than one college football player.

That would be sad.  More than sad really.  It would be tragic, especially for the friends and family of those players.  And we can only hope and pray that college football mortality does not happen.  Testing is key.  Wearing masks and adhering to lock-down orders will help.  But of course, the young aren’t necessarily wont to do that.  And don’t even get me started on the segment of the population – age agnostic – that doesn’t believe the risk of disease is real.

Those who are sensible, rational, and conscientious, will wear a mask, will avoid public places, will limit social contact, whether they play football or not, and by doing so will protect their friends and families from potentially contracting a disease that has a high likelihood of killing their parents or grandparents, and also those who are younger and at risk.  These compliant and contentious individuals (Are they team players? Yes, yes indeed they are.)  will also help ensure that we have a college football season.

And Lord knows we need one.  Not just because Pitt is poised to have it’s best season in 11 years, but because Goddammit, we need a diversion.  Something.  Anything.  The country literally requires the combined powers of the NFL and the NCAA to lift the american people out of their current malaise.  We need fantasy football.  Heck we just need games.  We need Playoff races, division races.  We need a top 25.  We need something to talk about besides riots and infection rates, and the ineptitude of government response across the entire spectrum of events.  We need football.  In all forms, for the good of the American Public.

But until that happens, we have to control the controllables.  And so in the spirit of diversion, I will pose some questions to you dear readers.  Because our opinions on football are one thing left in our control.  Now…these questions were sent to me by a young writer for an upstart college Fantasy Football website, and he wanted me to be their “Pitt expert” for the upcoming season.  I was happy to answer, but somehow the site lost interest when I told them 80% of my readership was over 70 years old.  Age discrimination is a thing, I guess.  Maybe we should all go out and topple a statue.  Oh wait, they don’t build statues of 21 year-olds.  Well boycott Facebook then. Oh wait, Facebook is all 40 and 50 year olds. Okay well the swear off Tik Tok. Oh wait, what the hell is Tik Tok? Oh hell I guess you’ll just have to grumble and weigh in on these damn questions. 

  • Overall, how do you believe the offense will compare to the 2019 season?

    • It damn well better be better, because this is only the second time in six years that Pat Narduzzi has had an offense coordinator two years in a row, and only the first time he’s had a mildly competent one.  Oh yea we also have a senior quarterback who will be a three year starter, get our entire offensive line back, get all our running backs back.  We do lose a pretty good wide receiver and two tight ends, but those tight ends were garbage anyway.  Arrow is pointing up.  And if it doesn’t go up, Pitt fans are going to be mighty doggone pissed.  
  • What do you expect from the QB position in 2020?

    • About a 62% completion rate, a 1.5 TD to INT ratio, 3000 yards and a 122 rating.  Just kidding, those are last year’s stats.   The problem is that in three years behind center Pickett has never posted a quarterback rating above 125.  That’s just not going to get it done in college football.   Now this season is Kenny’s last ride, and his running game and offensive line should be a tick better.  As will his understanding of OC Mark Whipple’s west coast offense.  But does he really have the tools to succeed?  Oh sure he can make all the throws, except maybe those short touch passes to the wide open guys, which are the bread and butter of any west coast scheme.  Still, even if you disregard the easy passes he’s thrown into the dirt; Pickett’s receivers dropped 40+ balls last year.  Add 2/3 of them to his stat total and all the sudden he’s a 3500 yard passer with a 67% completion rate.  That should be the floor this season, and if not, well  that’s three years wasted, and we’ll bring on the next guy.  

 

  • How do you see the workload at RB being distributed?

    • To as many backs as possible.  And just when one get lathered up, Whip will switch him.  As deft as Mark Whipple is in massaging the passing game, the man has zero touch with runners.  My mind is engraved with the image of V’Lique Carter cursing as he was pulled off the field after he got Pitt down to the 1 yard line against Miami.  “Power Back” AJ Davis was put in, was predictably handed the ball, and predictably got stuffed.  Carter meanwhile had done nothing but slip tackles between the tackles to get Pitt into scoring position, and he had all the juice you needed for a goal line plunge, 180 lbs or not.  Coach Whip needs to use the guys who get him there. Sadly, he’s an old dog, and as we all very well know, you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.

 

  • How does the offensive line compare to the 2019 group?

    • The only lineman who’s not coming back is the one who stunk up the right tackle position.  So I’d hope they’ll be a little bit better.

 

  • What do you think the distribution will be to the WR/TE’s?

    • Well if grad transfer TE Lucas Krull can hold onto the ball, he might catch 50 passes.  Apparently he’s got the skill set.  If not, then I see a lot of passes to the wideouts.  Whipple will throw to Mack until he breaks, and he’ll throw to Jared Wayne until he screws up, and he’ll throw to Shocky Jacques-Louis deep as long as the pass protection holds.  (I’m still not convinced on Jacques-Louis’ route running skills, a must for a successful 1000 yard receiver in the west coast offense)

 

  • For our dynasty owners, who are some young players that stand out as future breakout performers?

    • For those of you who don’t know what a dynasty owner is, “dynasty” is a form of fantasy football where you keep most of your squat intact from year to year.  There are many great resources available on the internet if you want to learn more.  Breakout guys?  Jared Wayne is a candidate for 1000 yards.  Jacques Louis will certainly play a bigger role.  There is probably a freshman WR who will catch 30 or 40 balls and surprise.  Maybe Aydin Henningham.  The trendy pick at Running Back is Izzy Abanikanda, but I think Vince Davis will have put on a few more pounds and will play a bigger role.  If Pickett develops like the Pickett fans think he will, well then he’s a trendy pick too.  Lets hope his is, because if that all comes true, Pitt is going to make some noise.  Another year like last year and well, get ready for a repeat of the Little Cesar’s bowl.  

 

Hail to Pitt

Michaelangelo Monteleone

144 thoughts on “Offensive Diversion

  1. Maestro, 80% over 70 years old? I thought the % would be higher…haha.
    Me and Scooter are working on a Tic Tok to promote the tailgate to the young jitter bugs. What could go wrong?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. And don’t compromise Ike at the Mr Roger’s statue.

      MM – nice article on our offensive outlook for 2020. You covered most angles – FR WR Jordan Addison looks to be a formidable replacement for Mo Ffrench. I think our D will give the O a few extra shots at scoring this season with takeaways and field positioning. With that, K Kessman needs to connect more than he misses on short to medium FG’s than his historical results at Pitt.

      Who returns punts? Does P.Ford get another shot? Or is it Shocky, Jordan Addison or other speedster…

      Taking COVID-19 out of the equation, this is the most optimism I’ve had for a season since Wanny’s first as Pitt’s HC. We all know how that season flopped. SOP may be stronger than the Chinese virus that haunts us all.

      H2P!

      Like

  2. I expect improvement in all offensive areas except WR. But the question is how much of an improvement?

    The 2nd year of an system should show improvement, however, Jared Wayne may have been pretty good for lowly rated natural freshman but I would hope someone else steps up; Trouble is that although there are 3 incoming WRs with a wealth of potential, they will have received little practice.

    The Davis boys and frosh from NY should be fine at RB, especially with what I expect to be an improved OL.

    I would go more into detail but why? ….. my prediction is that as soon as the 1st football player dies, the season will be cancelled. Sorry

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  3. Ok, I’m in Maestro.

    Overall offensive performance: a little better to the tune of 4 more points per game on average.

    QB performance: See above, thinking somewhere between Tino and Peterman’s first year

    Running back distribution and breakout player on offense….Vincent Davis #1

    Passing distribution: WRs 65 %, RB 20%, TEs 15% (I hope I’m wrong)

    OL performance: also marginally better (4 points per game better)

    So, how would that translate if there were to be a season??? 9 wins regular season w a loss to a better bowl opponent,

    Hope the D is working hard and not reading their press clippings.

    Sorry about the religious reference but “Please Lord let there be a college football season“.

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    1. Emphasis on the D NOT reading their press clippings!!!!!! Did’t that happen to WVU vs lowly PITT a few years back….

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  4. Unfortunately I think it is easier to predict Covid future than our offensive productivity.

    We have to hope that with a year of experience, and physical maturity that our O-line will
    be much improved. At least enough to open some holes for the running game, and to give KP
    a couple more seconds before he has to bust out of the pocket. Still the biggest question-mark on the team
    though and getting rather tiresome.

    We have all seen enough of KP to know what he is, a guy that can look really good, but not often enough,
    if he can cut down the mistakes and make a higher percentage of third down conversions, again we can hope.

    Since the running game was the worst in years, we have to hope it gets better. another unknown, will anyone step up and be “The Guy”, break tackles and make the other team put more men in the Box?

    I do have a lot of hope for the wideouts and the new tight end. We lose our best game breaker, but have solid guys returning, especially if they stay healthy. Krull looks to be a huge improvement. Drops have to decrease this year.

    I am sorry for being a miserable cuss, but very frustrated because too many people were not and still aren’t taking Covid seriously. It really hurts that we probably will not find out how productive our offense might be this year. Hoping for the best, expecting the worst.

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  5. nice piece but i disagree with one word – “malaise”

    unrest, agitation, discord come closer, so if THIS is malaise, i really never want to see/feel/experience anarchy, strife or of course civil war
    THIS seems way closer to THAT

    Like

    1. “A general feeling of discomfort, illness, or uneasiness whose exact cause is difficult to identify.”

      In this context I was using “malaise “ to deceive the feelings around lockdown. Tough to separate it from social issues now though so maybe one of your words is an overall better fit. Either way football sure would help take ppls mind off the crazy stuff going on all around.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. MM you state that the RB stable remains intact for 2020, then you mention Carter (who has transferred) later in your article. Carter is a significant loss for the Panthers at RB IMO.
    The help that Pickett sorely needs is most evident at the TE position. The number of drive killing drops our collective group of TEs committed last season was frustrating, to say the least.
    This season, hopefully Krull will prove to have velcro hands & our defense will be dominant enough to give the offense a couple more opportunities a game to put the ball in the End Zone. If this becomes the norm, Pitt could see a top 25 ranking this year.
    I do agree with you that we all need our sports diversions to return ASAP for maintenance of our collective sanity. Unfortunately the politicizing of this national health emergency & the lack of a coordinated response by our Nation’s leadership has sabotaged America’s efforts to quickly suppress the spread of this epidemic. Therefore, my normal optimistic attitude about all things relevant to these issues has been severely beat into submission at this point. Hoping there will be a season but anticipating the disappointment of a cancelled season.☹️

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    1. I hear you Dr Tom, probably better to keep expectations low.

      As for Carter, I think Pitt is going to miss him more as a receiver than a runner. He did have that excellent rushing series against Miami that I wrote about, but overall his rushing stats were pretty pedestrian. 65 totes for 243 yards on the season, and just a measly 3.7 average. Interestingly I think Pitt will miss him more as a receiver. He caught 17 balls for 183 yards, which is nearly 11 YPC, and of course he had the electrifying game winner against duke which was one of his two receding TD’s.

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  7. Good work, MM. The thing I will miss the most is the chance to see KP and Coach Whip working with a legit TE threat in Krull.

    What I may not miss so much is the play of the Oline, or more specifically the OTs. It was breakdowns in protection last season that way too often sent KP running to the sidelines and most often having to throw the ball out of bounds. I think this OT problem is being addressed by the recruiting of more OT bodies and I expect to see improvement when play resumes next year.

    Hail to Pitt

    Liked by 1 person

      1. The virus in studies has shown to cause hallucinations among people over the age of 50 who remember the Marino years.

        Most commonly reported visuals were a ten win season, high octane offense, 7 players getting drafted, Pitts tight end becoming an all American and there actually being a football season.

        A simple treatment was recommended by physicians to bring fans back to reality – apple cidar vinegar.

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  8. In a somewhat ironic way, I think the season might be played due to the poor results I’m hearing with online learning the last months of the past school year. I expect all states to move heaven and earth to get kids back into in-person classroom settings. And if you do that it makes it harder to rationalize the cancellation of sports activities. But maybe just wishful thinking.

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    1. My district is leaving it up to the parents. You have two choices. Online learning or in classroom. But not both. That’s where I think they make the mistake. The details are few and far between on how they will keep kids safe in school. Schools can’t even protect kids from gun violence but they expect me to trust them regarding health. I expect massive school closings several weeks after opening.

      Tex whose daughter will be packing a pistol and wearing an infectious disease suit to school this Fall

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  9. My biggest concern on the O will be the ability to run the ball… hopefully better than last year but with Whipple’s propensity to throw the ball I don’t see a pounding running game from “Running back U.”

    As far as the virus goes I don’t see players falling out dead- there has been little to no effect on the young …herd immunity might or will probably be the end process before an effective vaccine is developed…Kids and young men all over the country suit up every year to play a violent sport they love and we all know the risks including deaths that happen every year… the virus is another risk at this time but not so great a risk for the individual player that the whole season should be sacked!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree. Risk for those in their early 29’s and below is very low. The PSU student who died was immuno comprised i believe. Just need to test / screen athletes and maybe sit those who are at risk – or at the very least let them and their families make the decision on how they want to participate after they’ve been educated on the risk factors.

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      1. I’m hoping that any student who catches the virus and recovers has immunity. But nobody knows. And that immunity may not be strong enough or long lasting. Many cases are asymptomatic and very mild. There most likely aren’t enough antigens to protect against a second infection. Time will tell.

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    2. All it takes is one players death

      And these players will pass what they got to older and more susceptible adults.

      I see coaches and trainers dying first

      There is no way any school can pull this off

      Remember, Texas started to get real bad when capacity was raised to 75 percent in businesses. Schools are still closed mind you. There are no hospital beds in Houston icu’s. I now must wear a mask everywhere I go or I’ll be fined.

      Unless players play in a bubble meaning travel is severely limited, strictly adhere to health protocols and get rigorously tested daily with instant results, this is a recipe with disaster as a main ingredient.

      Tex who has a spice jar full of disaster. Makes a good spice rub Ike.

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  10. Good article MM.

    I think you will see an improved running game this year. Narduzzi will make sure of it. Plenty of RBs to step up. It will help the passing game. If the O doesn’t improve, on to yet another OC.

    Please let Krull have good hands. The drops last year were maddening.

    I think we will see an altered version of a football season. That is probably just wishful thinking because I am losing my mind with the closures. I have lost all faith in government from local to federal. I think it was Lewis Black that said, “The republican party is the party of $hitty ideas and the democrats are the party of no ideas.” Pretty much sums it up. They are incapable of cooperating with one exception, self preservation.

    I am all for masks and taking precautions when appropriate. Unfortunately, I think the virus will still be around well into next year. What then? I respect everyones situation and opinion. Hell, none of us can say we have experience on how to handle a pandemic. I guess some POVers could have been around for the Spanish Flu. 🙂 If they have the games, I will attend and be fired up for kick off after the singing of the National Anthem….oh crap, that will be an entirely different fiasco. LOL. Forget it, I’ll just stay home and break out the old electric football game. Steelers vs Rams.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. NRS… you can work on the power running game with your electric FB set- passing not so much…. brings back the memories … I has RB’s who would literally “ run circles” around the opposing team !

      Tex, heading up to your neck of the woods the last week of July…. going to breath in some therapeutic evergreen air…..

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Air quality that time of year will be aweful. Your lungs will get a good burn. My lungs get purged every time I head back to Pittsburgh or buffalo. The difference is very noticeable. The heat, traffic and ozone makes Dallas look like Bombay.

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  11. Worst case scenario, like the common cold there is no herd immunity. This virus just keeps mutating so no vaccine works for all, just like the flu shot, not fail proof. It is a Brave New World, we may just have to live with or die with this thing.

    Or we could learn from other countries Public Health Practice, test effectively and contact trace till we get it under control. Nah American exceptionalism will take care of it. Sad commentary on the Fourth of July weekend.

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  12. Even if players can be segregated and kept disease free and other teams can be trusted to do the same I don’t know how to enable a crowd to be protected. Maybe the experience of the lack of transmission during BLM protests with vast t.f majority masked gives hope.
    As to rest of country, consider the experience in the Czech Republic where leadership made population understand that contagion from asymptomatic carriers required universal masking. As a result everyone wore, made and shared masks in a national example of caring for each other. So much for the freedom to infect others.
    They now have fully opened with only 129 deaths nation-wide.

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    1. The health department says three-fourths of new cases were among people 19 to 49 years old, with 27 being the median age.

      Many protestors fall in that age range.

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      1. Many people who hit the bars and strip joints are that age group in Texas.

        And of course the young whipper snappers attending pool parties, drinking beer and chasing tail.

        I wish a bad case of the runs on those selfish irresponsible gen z and millennials.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Some strippers are butterface. Ya know, it is all looks good but’r face. The mask will do them good and the place can stay open.

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  13. Cliche: a chain is as strong as its weakest link.

    Chain: Pitt’s Offense; Weakest Link: the Offensive Line

    Sometime last summer there was a picture on the POV of the OL at some (swimming pool??) get-together. Without shirts. Unbelievable it was to see: all grossly fat and flabby. On that photo alone: (1) the head trainer should have been fired, and (2) that told you all you needed to know about how the OL would perform.

    Why would/should this year be any different? Same OL, pretty much. Same OL coach: who has been about as effective a coach at Pitt as Tim Salem — in coaching and in recruiting.

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    1. I think that was kennywood. The Thunderbolt coaster had to be locked down for maintenance after those guys rode it. And players who are obese and not healthy are more likely to have a bad case of covid. I bet most of those guys are borderline diabetic.

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  14. Still standing guard down here at the Mr Rogers statue. Happy to report that Fred is still sitting here. My wife feeds me a lot of baloney…….. sandwiches that is but it’s not that daunting. Fred is sitting on a bronzed park bench so I just sit here beside him. Sometimes I think I hear him talking to me. Thought I heard him say this morning…. Thanks for being my neighbor?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. In Dallas, you need to worry about bullets dropping from the sky. Seriously, people shoot off guns and every year someone dies when a bullet drops on their head. Never underestimate the stupidity of man.

      Tex who wears an army helmet on the 4th

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  15. The PITT offense this year?

    I’m thinking a big improvement.
    Pickett will have a big jump in production
    Vincent Davis will put on a few pounds and lead the team in rushing
    Although AJ Davis will be the break out player along with KP.
    Krull and others will help KP and PITT spread the ball around and open up all options on offense.
    The defense will be monster and give PITT field position
    Scoring will be up by a touchdown a game. Plus the opposition scoring will be down a few points.

    OK, you guys can stop rolling your eyes now.

    Vinegar goes great with olive oil but is a bit bitter straight. So sue me for not being a bitter old man.

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  16. What is Coach Bates going to do. He’s the coach that had cancer right? I sure hope he coaches from the box and is in a tower at practice. If it were me, I’d take the year off and consult from home. I sure hope he doesn’t have a case of being macho.

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    1. I keep hearing protestors are immune. All he has to do is carry a sign and loot the equipment room and he will be fine. 🙂

      Just joking, relax folks. He will be good, he can yell from 6ft away at practice and he is in the booth during games.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. I’m off to grill my marinated chicken wings now
    Filet Mignon tomorrow with jalapeno/cheese kielbasa
    Ribs on Sunday, 3-2-1 method.
    All on the grill.

    ike wishing all a happy, safe and wonderful Fourth of July!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. IKE, how do you cook that kielbasa combination? Do the peppers go in with the kraut, or don’t you use sauerkraut? Thanks.

      Like

  18. Happy Fourth to you too Ike my friend…and man do you eat well!
    And Happy Fourth to all of POVert Nation.

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  19. BigB, I agree that we should hope that the D aren’t read9ng its press clippings. I believe they will have a rude awakening on the opener vs Miami Oh. Not saying Pitt will lose, just saying that the Redhawks will put points on the board

    NotRocket, certainly protestors have contributed to the spike but all you have to look at is the the State of PA. Both Pittsburgh and Philly had their share of protests …. but for the past 4 days, Allegheny County has surpassed Philly in the number of new cases by a decent margin for the first time. The reason … Philly never opened its bars yet

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  20. I think colleges and universities have a few more important things on their plates than whether or not there is a football season. From an article in today’s NY Times:

    College students across the country have been warned that campus life will look drastically different in the fall, with temperature checks at academic buildings, masks in half-empty lecture halls and maybe no football games.

    What they might not expect: a lack of professors in the classroom.

    Thousands of instructors at American colleges and universities have told administrators in recent days that they are unwilling to resume in-person classes because of the pandemic.

    More than three-quarters of colleges and universities have decided students can return to campus this fall. But they face a growing faculty revolt.

    “Until there’s a vaccine, I’m not setting foot on campus,” said Dana Ward, 70, an emeritus professor of political studies at Pitzer College in Claremont, Calif., who teaches a class in anarchist history and thought. “Going into the classroom is like playing Russian roulette.”

    This comes as major outbreaks have hit college towns this summer, spread by partying students and practicing athletes.

    At Penn State, an open letter signed by more than 1,000 faculty members demands that the university “affirm the autonomy of instructors in deciding whether to teach classes, attend meetings and hold office hours remotely, in person or in some hybrid mode.” The letter also asks for faculty members to be able to change their mode of teaching at any time, and not to be obligated to disclose personal health information as a condition of teaching online.

    “I shudder at the prospect of teaching in a room filled with asymptomatic superspreaders,” wrote Paul M. Kellermann, 62, an English professor at Penn State, in an essay for Esquire magazine, proclaiming that “1,000 of my colleagues agree.” Those colleagues have demanded that the university give them a choice of doing their jobs online or in person.

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  21. Wonder if Professor Kellerman had a problem with another superspreader…
    Sandusky.
    Or his thousand colleagues?

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  22. Miami Ohio may not come back out after halftime?

    ^^ Mark, The Fourth of July is my one Holiday. I’ve been drugged around all my younger years to this relative and that one. I haven’t actually been drugged and yes I know it’s dragged every holiday to every which way during all their special days. Drugged would have been a good option at times.

    So the music is blasting and the food will be a grillin. Reality is I’ve only had one wing so far. You know me…. I talk a big game..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Why wouldn’t Miami Ohio come back out after halftime? Have you seen the adjustments Duzz and Whip have concocted?

      And never forget Houston. Duzz was there and so was SOP…

      Happy Independence Day! We live in a great country that is under attack by a vicious virus and violent protestors (peaceful protestors ARE welcome and always have been).

      Like

  23. For those looking for some additional speculative diversion, Banner Society on SB Nation picked the two games that each Big Ten team should play in its Minimalist Schedule. “Every team only gets two games (one home and one away), which means we must do our utmost to make sure those games adhere to each program’s aspirations and preferences as best we can.”
    For Penn State, Banner Society chose PSU to play Ohio State and Pitt. Here’s what they said to justify PSU playing a non-conference game with Pitt:

    “Game 2: Pitt
    Listen, I know you don’t want to play Pitt. I know that game offers you nothing but frustration and anxiety, and me pointing out you’re usually much more talented than the Panthers doesn’t help. In fact, it makes things worse. I’m aware you would rather go to the dentist every day for a month than play Pitt. At least then you’d have clean teeth; the Pitt game is like going to a dentist who numbs your mouth, says “boy, that’s quite a cavity!” and then makes buzzing noises without ever fixing anything. The Pitt game is not fun for you.

    But it’s fun for the rest of us, and that’s why it’s on here.”

    https://www.bannersociety.com/2020/6/30/21308268/big-ten-two-game-schedule-rivalry-trophies-bronze-pig

    Liked by 2 people

    1. One of my favorite sites that I visit daily. Did you see the Big 12 minimalist schedule?

      I can not post links on WordPrees. If you think it’s appropriate, please post the link for the Big12.

      Like

  24. Here’s the Big 12 link. Check out the Oklahoma’s and the hoopies’ descriptions.

    BTW. If Pitt had to play a minimalist schedule ( 2 games) who would select and why?

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Heads Up!!!
    ESPNU tonite, 8pm, tribute to Johnny Majors, then at 9pm Pitt vs Georgia in 1977 Sugar Bowl. I’m betting on a Pitt win!

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    1. And I bet Pitt goes 42 years without sniffing a national championship after that game

      That’s worse than the Pirates

      What bad ownership and management will do to a storied program

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  26. Who’s winning Doc?

    In these F’ed up times I wonder how many of you all are or aren’t programed to handle this type of a little slight bump in the road.

    I’m talking about PITT football here. No season and I’m losing it!

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  27. All this COVID talk is making me sick! Back to football. I really think (read: Hope) our OL will be much improved – they have to be sick to death of 7 months of watching video of their performance (or lack thereof) from 2019. I cannot believe that they haven’t just busted it in the weight room, and with drills.

    The thing that bothered me so much last year (along with the dropsies) was how we would score 17-24 points in the 1st half, take the lead into halftime,, and then came out and try to eat some clock with a non-existant running game. I wonder if they have a stat on 3-and -outs, 1st half vs 2nd half! If there had been Covid last year, and we only played Q1 and Q2, we’d probably been 11-2!

    We gotta have a run game to compliment Kenny’s passing game (less the drops and out of bounds scramble throws). The OL will be Much Improved – it is NOT OPTIONAL!

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  28. Watched the second half of the Sugar Bowl last night. Pitt’s offense and defensive lines dominated the game. Didn’t see any fat asses or big guts on any of Pitt’s linemen.just sayin’.

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    1. very true … but on the other hand, did you notice that Georgia’s biggest DL was 230 lbs? They were built on team speed, yet Pitt was every bit of fast as they were .. and bigger. As I recall, it was the Hogs in the 80s at Washington (incl May and Grimm) which began making it fashionable for OL playing with big guts

      BTW, did you notice how dominant Randy Holloway was? It was almost Donald-like. I saw him play high school basketball at Sharon and have no doubt he could have played power forward for Pitt

      Like

  29. So here in Allegheny County, bars are closed again due to a significant uptick in cases. One old guy being interviewed drinking a beer at a bar across the border in Butler County says, if I die, I die. Now that is a committed barfly.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Butler County has its biggest one-day increase in positive tests just yesterday. I live in Butler Cnty and am keeping close tabs. My zip code also has had significant increases over the past few days

      Like

    1. Was at the game. Hotter than hell. TD was there also. After the game and Pitt victory, we lost to them the year before in Pittsburgh, all these A&M fans were coming up to us and congratulating us on a game well played. A class act.

      Like

      1. A&M was so mediocre in 2002. That was a very bad loss that doesn’t get talked about in the Harris regime. Typical Pitt in those days facing a decent D-line and gave up eight sacks that afternoon. The staff was played like a fiddle on Swinging Gate and the Pitt kicker caved and eventually missed the PAT.

        Like

      2. It was warm that day. Hell is DFW in late August. The Aggie fans were all congratulating me as well. I sat as the lone Pitt fan on the Aggie side across from the pitt fans. I told my Aggie friends to keep an eye on Fitz. He didn’t disappoint.

        Happy 4th to all Poverts and Panther Nation

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I hate to keep saying this but I see no safe way for there to be a college football season this fall. Why risk the student athletes’ health? Just be patient. The vaccines should be coming out by early spring at the latest. Pro sports can take all kind of precautions but no so for colleges. We need to remember these are students first and then athletes. They are not getting paid to do this.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The latest I saw was the 37 Clemson football players have contracted the virus. No one knows what the long term consequences are.

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  30. ^^ Special K, I get my kielbasa from Bardine smoke house in Crabtree (great place) and the pepper and cheese have been incorporated already. Just heat and eat. As far as New-years and sauerkraut goes I use regular kielbasa or one called Jack and Jill.

    Rick…Miami won’t come out because they won’t have any players left or willing. This defense isn’t SOP. Hope all is well with you guys…!

    So far the cops haven’t come to tell me to turn down the music.

    Eli is freaking out over the fireworks popping off. I love em.

    BL, covid talk is making you sick. << Is that a play on words? I suppose as long as the actual virus and just talk is making you sick you’ll be just fine. 🙂 I’m not really a doctor but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express years ago.

    Liked by 1 person

  31. Ike – it was a play on words! BTW, TURN THE DAMN MUSIC DOWM. We can hear it a the way down here in Savannah! Either turn it down, or play some good ole 60s Rock ‘n’ Roll!! 😊

    Wife and I talked about doing some ribs today, but decided to take the easy way out – brauts, chips, watermelon and plenty of beer. EZ-PZ. Gonna get 18 holes in while she’s tanning at the pool!

    I wonder what’s on the menu for the Lastrow Backyard Tailgate???

    Liked by 1 person

  32. I beg to differ that Narduzzi has not had a competent offensive coordinator. Matt Canada was one of the better offensive coordinators in college football. He lacked a lot in character. If Pitt would have had any type of defense the year we beat Clemson, Pitt would have easily had a 10 win season.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Canada was IMO the best OC to come through the south side in a while. Maybe even since Walt Harris who always seemed to be able to do more with less. Cignetti was pretty good too it he had a lot to work with. Agree that Canada’s issue was character. Canada’s O + last year’s D would have been the mythical unicorn. Legit shot at winning every single game.

      Like

    2. How did he lack character? He jumped for $1.8 million that Pitt, amd its fans, are glad it didn’t match. In a sport where offense is absolutely everything and a gem fell into the school’s lap.

      Those funds sure were raised to get rid of Stallings.

      The Pitt Way: pay to make a disaster go away but let competent people leave because paying would mean athletics is overtaking academics.

      Like

  33. Thanks, Iek. Great selection! Hope the ribs turned out Great. And you and yours had a wonderful 4th.

    My wife, Dianne, and I always head to downtown Savannah about 6 PM on the 4th for Fire works at 9:30……except this year – no fireworks. We sit under hundred year old live oaks on the bluff above River St and the Savannah River. Drink wine, and eat Bar-B-Que, chips, etc. We always meet new friends, and have a great time. River St is full of people, and music. Really miss it this year!

    Liked by 1 person

  34. So Elias Reynolds transfers to…. Stony Brook… This according to Pittsburgh Sports Now…

    Reynolds started 10 games at middle linebacker for the Panthers between 2018 and 2019, before leaving the team in the middle of the 2019 season.

    He replaced Quintin Wirginis in 2018 and made seven starts. He started the first three games of 2019 before he was injured and never returned to the team.

    This offseason, Reynolds criticized Coach Narduzzi for using the term “thugs,” even though Duzz spent time in Youngstown, where Mafia thugs were prevalent…

    Stony Brook???

    Go Pitt.

    Like

    1. I had a frat brother named Stony.

      Wishing Elias the best –

      Fire works cancelled by the local municipalities, but the neighbors are putting on numerous 4* performances.

      Be safe!

      Like

      1. Erie – hoping you and Rachel are well.

        Trivia — Paul Zeise’s daughter played basketball for Stony Brook. I watched her play at the Pete last season. Stony Brook had a nice team and beat the Panthers. PZ’s daughter played a nice game.

        Go Pitt.

        Like

    2. Reynolds reached out more than once about a return to the team but was refuted by Narduzzi. That led to Elias to come out making accusations of Narduzzi using offensive words in practice, which could have destroyed an already fragile program with a fragile BoT. That was pretty bad of Reynolds to do.

      It’s too bad it went down the way it did. Reynolds was a good player, a thumper in the middle and was going to be a senior who battled with all the other to-be seniors. There is always something with Pitt where things just cannot go as smoothly as possible like at other schools.

      Even last year Reynolds hurt his groin and just disappeared. He must have done something serious as he has immediate eligibility and Schiano didn’t even want him on his pathetic roster.

      Like

    1. Major – yes sir and he bought his “pops” a truck.

      Last month, Big Q Ollison bought his dad a house as well.

      Great sons and good Pitt men.

      H2P!

      Liked by 2 people

  35. college sports news update

    — Texas A&M FB put on probation for recruiting violations …. mostly recruiting restrictions including HC Jimbo Fisher not allowed to recruit off campus

    — 5-star BB player picks Howard over UCLA and Kentucky. Maybe this starts a trend … always liked it when schools like George Mason, Loyola or Butler makes Final 4 (except when it was at the expense of Pitt)

    — Ok State finds no racism after internal review but HC Gundy has salary slashed by $1M (to be made up by boosters I’m sure)

    — Austin Peay HC Mark Hudspeth resigns after 11 win season, his only year at AP. He was shown the door at Louisiana-Lafayette a couple of years ago when they had to vacate 22 wins due to academic fraud and payments. No reason given for sudden resignation (It could be personal I suppose)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Gundy wore a conservative news channel shirt while fishing. Ridiculous.

      K State players were threatening to not play because some moron student posted an inappropriate tweet about George Floyd. They won’t play until he is dismissed from school. The kid was not on the football team. Not sure how it all ended. Again, ridiculous.

      A slippery slope.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. But I see no black players coming to his defense. And he has to coach them. He can’t at this point after that stunt. I know some former players from Texas who played under him. That locker room is divided right now.

        Tex who likes his mullet but it ends there

        Like

  36. Gundy gave up a million of his five million base salary for wearing a t shirt his star player didn’t like. He will have sensitivity sessions with players now.

    OU got a commit from the number 1 qb in the class of 2021 and the number 44 player overall who is a wr.

    Like

  37. Savannah, we went to our camp on French Creek yesterday…steaks and corn on the grill.
    Big B North Carolina sausage with eggs for breakfast as I type this…
    Great tunes Iek…thanks buddy.

    Like

  38. Big B a marine Frill Sergeant, LMAO thinking of where one could take that. This just in
    Penn State football remains unaffected by Covid and is the only such team in the county without a single case and no child rapes. Otherwise their covid rates soar and students die, Maybe its something in the Sandusky Shower Facility that protects them. (censored)

    Like

    1. Penn state will not report the truth and will cover up any cases because state college will die without football. I’m sure they are lobbying the state hard to allow fans and tailgating.

      The school stands to lose over $50 million in revenues if football is played without fans. The town will probably lose ten times that amount.

      Follow the money and not players health.

      Like

  39. Hey folks, don’t bother me with these small little details concerning psu. I have a football season to get ready for and get off my lawn.

    Like

    1. I’m reading that Dion who has to be at least 80 will have a new album coming out with contributions by Billy Gibbons, Jeff Beck, Steven Van Zandt, Van Morrison, and Bruuce .. among others

      Like

  40. ike — have you seen “Jersey Boys?” If not, you must. I’ve seen it twice in Pittsburgh and enjoyed it big-time. Very cleverly staged.

    “Late December back in ‘63…”

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 1 person

  41. OT… Michael Jordon’s fishing boat is docked in Pirates Cove where me n me POVert buddies slayed’em a couple of weeks ago…

    Like

  42. Is that really Big Bs boat? God he is more important than jordan.
    iek my buddy of 35 years is now in AGH with covid he cant breathe, all in week. tonight i file and sign OSHA complaint for judges and DA office covering up what occured by the judge not following orders to make people wear masks- gives me whistle blower protection. None of these hacks are in me or Huffs league.This disease is no joke.
    Dont f with my family or friends. Hope Fred and Arnie are doing well – you are a REAL AMERICAN. hope good grub on the picket lines tonight.

    Liked by 1 person

  43. I have a relative who was isolated on a ventilator for two months. She’s in rehab now. Her husband died on a ventilator… Quite an ordeal.

    Like

  44. Very difficult to swallow, Erie. And it is so disgusting that these young kids today are so irresponsible by going to bars and parties without masks at risk of contracting and spreading Covid. Meanwhile, we older folks are locked in. I read where some kids are actually trying to catch it!

    Like

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