Updated: Syracuse at Pitt Depth Chart & Game Notes & Narduzzi Presser Transcript

Game NOTES – Per Pitt SID

#25/RV PITT (1-0, 0-0 ACC) vs. SYRACUSE (0-1, 0-1 ACC)

September 19, 2020 • Noon, ET

Heinz Field (68,400/Natural Grass) • Pittsburgh, Pa.

ACC Network • Pitt Panthers Radio Network

PittsburghPanthers.com • @Pitt_FB

LINK (PDF): Pitt Game Notes (vs. Syracuse)

GAME STORYLINES

√ No. 25 Pitt opens a stretch of 10 consecutive ACC contests when it hosts Syracuse at Heinz Field. The Panthers are coming off a 55-0 season-opening win over Austin Peay. The Orange lost 31-6 at North Carolina.

√ Pitt and Syracuse have played every year since 1955, when both schools were independents. The Panthers and Orange were Big East football conference members from 1993-2012 before entering the ACC in 2013.

√ The Panthers have won 15 of the past 18 games in the series. However, tight games are commonplace. Six of the past eight contests have been decided by single digits, including Pitt’s 27-20 win last year in the Dome.

√ Pitt is 8-1 against the Orange at Heinz Field. Syracuse’s lone win at Heinz occurred in 2001, the venue’s inaugural year.

√ Since 2015, Pat Narduzzi has directed the Panthers to 24 victories in ACC play, tied for the third-highest win total (with Virginia Tech) during that span and trailing only Clemson (39) and Miami (25).

√ Since joining the ACC in 2013, the Panthers are 3-4 in conference openers. This will be the third consecutive year and fourth time overall that Pitt opens ACC play at home.

√ Senior quarterback Kenny Pickett was highly effective in one half of play against Austin Peay. Pickett compiled 300 total yards, throwing for 277 and running for an additional 23. He accounted for two touchdowns (one pass, one rush).

√ The heralded Pitt defense surrendered a single rushing yard to Austin Peay on 22 carries. The Panthers gave up only 137 yards overall in producing their first shutout since 2014.

Narduzzi Transcript

PAT NARDUZZI: Hi, guys. Happy Monday. Happy Monday.

Obviously was happy with where we were last week, the results of Saturday’s game against Austin Peay. Like I told the kids last night, always give them the same message, it’s not who we beat, it’s how we beat them. To me that’s what it is.

Obviously Syracuse had a top-25 team they played. We didn’t have a top-25 team. I think to their advantage they’ve been in a war already. They were in a war for three quarters. They’re probably better prepared for Saturday than we are at noon.

I was happy with the way our kids responded. Happy to get a lot of guys in the game. I was happy really with the first half offensively and defensively as far as how our kids reacted, approached the game. I talked about almost 70 players playing in the game. I think we had eight receivers catch their first ball in a Pitt uniform. Eight new ones. Wow. Kenny spread the ball around, got it to where it needed to be. I think we were good there.

Then you move on to Syracuse. Dino Babers, got a lot of respect for him as a football coach, as a person and as a friend. He’s a guy that I’ll hang out when we get opportunities. Like I said, really, really like him and his wife. So you always hate to go against someone you really, really like.

They’ve got two new coordinators on offense and defense. Not sure what you’re going to get. I think offensively their offense is very similar to what they’ve got. Coach Babers is always going to get somebody that is in his backyard. Got a guy that formerly worked with him. We see similar stuff.

Obviously prepare for four years’ worth of stuff, go back and look at four years’ worth of what Coach Babers and that offense have done against us.

Defense is a little different, 3-4, a little four down. Their strength is in their secondary with Andre Cisco being the leader back there. Nice pick against North Carolina.

Offensively Tommy DeVito runs the show. Taj Harris is a play-maker. They had really two of them last year that were really good. They got another young kid from Orlando, No. 14 (Anthony Queeley), playing really well. They’ve targeted him a few times as well. Obviously we have to be all over Taj. He caught a deep ball on us last year coming out. We didn’t play it very well. We’ll have to play a lot better than we did a year ago.

Questions.

Q. Last year you kind of got after Syracuse’s quarterbacks with nine sacks. The score and everything aside, what do you remember about watching that pass-rush at that point in the season?

PAT NARDUZZI: Not much. What do I remember? Our kids played relentless up there. We had a good rush. What else is there? We had a lot of good rushes last year. So I’m moving on to next year. What happened last year doesn’t matter. What happened four years ago when it was 76 to whatever, 66, I ain’t worried about that game either. The pressure we had last year doesn’t matter. It’s what are you going to do this year.

They’ll be prepared for some of the things we did a year ago, so we have to have a different game plan, do some things a little bit different, try to figure this whole thing out.

Q. Obviously you had a huge physical advantage on Saturday. How did your guys on offense and defense grade out as far as fundamentally and schematically?

PAT NARDUZZI: Obviously pretty good, when you take the first six series and score touchdowns. Again, when you watch the tape, you grade it based on the opponent, based on what you see.

I walked in there last night team meeting, said, Hey, nice win. Defense, can you get any better? Oh, yeah. Offense, can you get any better? Special teams? We watched as a team. They know they can get a lot better. Was it perfect? No way. But can they get better? There’s no question about it.

Again, happy where we are coming out. I think four penalties, five penalties maybe on the day. Nothing major. Defensively one I believe. Was kind of a ticky-tacky one, on an interception. Our guys were disciplined, they did the right thing. They graded out pretty good, obviously, especially that first group.

Going back, I didn’t mention this I don’t think in the postgame, Christodoulou punted the ball really well. Kirk had a nice day. We were happy with where he was as far as kicking the football.

Q. Specifically with Woods and Williams, how you thought those two played in place of Damarri?

PAT NARDUZZI: They both did some nice things. A.J. got beat one time, got spun around, didn’t play it very well. His first time playing corner in a game. I think he’ll just continue to get better.

I thought Marquis did a good job in there. He’s physical, makes some nice tackles. Leverage-wise he has to be careful. Took a couple shots, made some nice tackles on some quick screens. He has to be a little bit better as far as where he goes on that, the approach to the tackle. But I thought both of them played solid out there.

Again, they’re going to keep getting better week in, week out. Again, as I tell you guys, you probably get sick of hearing it, week one to week two we’re going to make some improvements.

Q. Kenny spread the ball around, but Mack, Wayne, Tipton didn’t play. How do you see that evolving throughout the season once those guys get back in the lineup?

PAT NARDUZZI: We’ll find out. When they get back in the lineup, we’ll adjust when that happens. Just happy with what those young guys are doing. They got to do a better job blocking in the run game so we can have some explosives in the run game. Those guys did a great job out there.

Jaylon Barden was a surprise. I think we kind of saw Addison in spring ball, knew this guy has a chance. Barden stormed into the scene. Has great speed. Obviously can make plays.

Q. Syracuse is running with DeVito a little bit more, at least for one game this year. What does that do to your pass rush? Do you have to be more cognizant of those guys? They’re not rushing the passer, but have to account for them in the running game as well.

PAT NARDUZZI: There’s a little bit of the running game. Again, like everybody, more and more scrambles. It should not slow it down at all. We’re going to read our keys up front. Something will tell us run, whether it’s a quarterback up counter that they ran against North Carolina, they’ve run those in the past. Quarterback draw, we expect to get because it’s hurt us in the past a little bit through the years. Why not block it and let them run, which they have not done. I don’t think we’ve seen it in four years. You always expect the unexpected.

But it’s not going to slow the pass rush down at all.

Q. Your first week dealing with COVID protocols during a game week. How happy were you with how your players and coaches and staff dealt with those new COVID protocols?

PAT NARDUZZI: Yeah, I mean, we’ve been dealing with it. Game week is no different than last week. Last week was game week. We tested yesterday. Waiting for results. We’ll just continue to move forward.

But I feel safe as I can be in this building and with the people that I’m surrounding myself with, staff and players. I trust our players when they walk down the hallway are doing the right things, when us old people are walking through the facility.

Q. Do you expect any adjustments after last week?

PAT NARDUZZI: What kind of adjustments?

Q. Changes in the way things are handled, just to try to prevent any players being held out on Saturday again, things you can control.

PAT NARDUZZI: Yeah, there’s nothing I can control unless they come sleep in my house. They’re going to have to… Things happen, you don’t know how they happen. But like I said, this building is safe. I feel good when they’re here. I can’t baby-sit them every minute of the day.

We talk about it all the time, about being safe. Just hope they’re being safe out there, washing their hands. That is the key: wearing a mask, wash your hands, I think you’re pretty good.

Q. Last week on the punt return, Jordan Addison and Damar Hamlin were wearing No. 3. Was that a mental error on someone’s part?

PAT NARDUZZI: A little bit. We kind of covered it in special teams. Originally Damar was starting on our punt block team. We took Damar, he wanted to be on that team. Damar was, Coach, I want to be on that team. He was on our punt block team. We ended up taking him off because we knew we weren’t taking No. 3 off our punt return guy (Addison). We took Damar off that, figured we were set.

A couple fourth down and shorts, we went to punt safe. We take one of our safeties out. We took No. 12 out, left 3 in there. That’s kind of what we ran into by accident. First game things that happen. We probably have, me and John Ford in operations, went through all the numbers. Actually changed a couple guys’ jerseys. You saw Brandon Hill came out in No. 9, as opposed to 22. He was excited to get that change. Special teams deal. We forgot punt safe, which is one of the things that got us in trouble.

Then we had Brandon Hill in No. 9, and we thought that was good until D.J. went back. We’ll make sure we get our substitutions right this week. I thank those officials for missing that.

Q. There were a couple of situations in the game where I think when Davis was out there, you went for it on a fourth and three. You called a timeout to try to get Alex out there for a late field goal. The game was out of control at that point. To get those kind of sets, get that kind of repetition, comfort in those situations, how important was that to be able to leverage those opportunities?

PAT NARDUZZI: It was real important for every position. Obviously took Kessman out of there. I thought the score here, what are we doing kicking Kes? If somebody runs into him and he gets hurt, that’s one thing. Sounded weird, I called a timeout, froze our whole deal.

When you get into situations like that, you learn something as a coach. Like I said, we learn every day from our players. We put a new kicker out there, Ben goes out there to kick. Cal has never snapped to a left-footed kicker, the holder going on the other side, which kind of messed him up a little bit. I can’t remember the last time he had a bad snap. That’s all on me. We should have changed the holder, snapper, and the kicker at the same time. So I’ll take that point against me.

But all those things are critical. If you ever got in a problem, can Ben kick an extra point? Wouldn’t have put him out there for a field goal situation his first one, but I certainly wanted to give him an extra point if that’s what you’re asking.

Q. Any update on Baldonado as well?

PAT NARDUZZI: I thought Jerry was going to ask that question. Jerry, you want to ask it? It’s Monday, c’mon.

Q. John asked a good question. Go ahead.

PAT NARDUZZI: He’s day-to-day. We’ll see.

Q. When does the quarantine clock start on those seven guys, COVID-related absentees, on Saturday? Is it a 14-day thing? When does it start?

PAT NARDUZZI: Starts when you test positive. So the day of the test. Let’s say Coach Narduzzi tests positive on Sunday. For me, it would be 10 days from the day I tested.

Q. It’s a 10-day quarantine…

PAT NARDUZZI: Correct.

Q. You’re not going to say when they tested positive or whether they’ll be available Saturday?

PAT NARDUZZI: Correct.

Q. What is your reaction to being in the top 25?

PAT NARDUZZI: Correct (laughter).

No, I mean, no reaction. It doesn’t matter. Again, it’s where you are at the end of the season. I don’t really care about it. I’m glad Jerry voted for us, at least he pretended like he did. Congratulations, Jerry. Appreciate it.

Doesn’t matter. I don’t want our kids to look at it. I’d rather be disrespected, play with a grudge, chip on our shoulder. We know what kind of football team we have in here. It doesn’t matter what people think on the outside. It’s what we do on the field.

With less conferences out there, doesn’t matter. Less people playing. Matters less this year than a year ago. Our job is to go out and win football games on Saturdays.

Q. Were the kids happy with the win? Are they not satisfied? They expected that one to be a win and now they’re looking forward?

PAT NARDUZZI: I don’t think anybody expects to win. If they go out and played like they were supposed to, that’s what it’s supposed to look like. That is what it’s supposed to look like in a perfect world.

They were pretty perfect in the first half. I think they were happy. But I think they’re also hungry. It’s my job as a head coach to make sure they continue to stay hungry, which we’ll do this week.

Q. How do you feel Tyler Bentley and Devin, Calijah and David, guys on the interior, did?

PAT NARDUZZI: I think they did a nice job. Devin maybe could have had a sack one time. He threw the ball so quick, couldn’t get there. Depends on how deep you’re throwing it, how short you’re throwing it. But I thought they did a great job in there. Devin, Tyler. Calijah had a nice day as well. All those guys inside played well, like I thought they would. We’ll just continue to get better every week.

Q. I know it was late in the game, but did Dayon Hayes do anything to get himself a role moving forward?

PAT NARDUZZI: You know, he did. He did. We got some depth at that spot. For the future, things are going to be pretty good. Got to bring him back to earth. I may take his phone away because he’s tweeting a lot, feeling really good. We’ll get him back to earth and get him away from Mars.

Dayon is an unbelievable kid, just a great kid to coach. You’re happy for a guy to go in there. Him and Nate Temple, Nate got a nice hit on the quarterback as well. Both those guys were on scout field all last week, what we call rocks. Didn’t take a snap on defense. Neither did Bangally, A.J. Roberts. It was recall from two weeks ago, last time they took a snap on the field, heard our defense called. Situations happen like that. I was impressed with the way those guys all came in and played.

Dayon, we’re going to look at it. We know if something happens, we’re not afraid to put him in a football game. I don’t want to call him a gamer, but he showed some things that he’s not afraid of that scene either. So he helped himself a lot.

Q. How challenging is it to go from one non-conference game into opening conference play this week, but playing 10 conference games over the next 11 weeks?

PAT NARDUZZI: You know what, I don’t know if it really matters. I really don’t like opening up with a conference game like we did last year. I think that improvement from week one to week two, just like Syracuse is going to get better, bet your life they will. Really doesn’t bother me.

I think getting that first one under your belt, we usually have one game that maybe is a little easier than the rest of them. Every year it seems like it’s a bear. It doesn’t matter.

As a matter of fact I’d rather play the best. It’s harder to get them ready for Austin Peay, Youngstown State, Delaware and Albany, but it won’t be hard to get them ready for Syracuse, Clemson, North Carolina, whoever else we get to play. Kind of a benefit. We don’t have to worry about them being mentally ready to go.

Q. Of those five running backs, who caught your eye the most?

PAT NARDUZZI: They all did some good things. Vince Davis was a guy that made people miss. It seemed like, I’ll take the words out of Coach Powell’s mouth, when we blocked for seven, we got seven. Blocked for eight, we get eight. Block for three, you get three. You’d like to block for three and get eight. You’d like to block for eight and get 28. People have a chance to get in there, make something happen.

There were blocks being made. They’re not going to be held forever. As we used to talk in the old days, a good running back is BYOB: be your own blocker. You got to make people miss. That was one thing I saw Vince do, which we saw him do it last year. He’s a good back.

Q. Whether or not he’ll play on Saturday, how eager is Rashad to get back on the field?

PAT NARDUZZI: I think anybody that’s not playing, whether it’s an injury or some other reason, they’re all eager to come back. You just got to wait your time. They all know what has to go. They know the process. Everybody’s eager. Got to do what you got to do.

Q. You talked on Saturday that that’s how you wanted an opener to look like, where you wanted to be. What are you looking for this week from your guys?

PAT NARDUZZI: We’re looking for them to get better. They’re going to play a very talented, fast Syracuse football team. They better come out ready to play.

I’m looking for improvement. We talk about it in practice every day. I told them they better be 3% better watching the tape. Oh, I see where I messed up. They got 3% better in a meeting yesterday. We got to be 3% better tomorrow when we step on the field.

I hope some of them are sitting around here as I walk around the facility, in the linebacker room, O-line room, quarterback room watching tape. Hopefully Damar walks in the defensive staff room saying, What do I watch? He’s sitting in the defensive staff room right now eating lunch and watching videotape. He’s like a videotape guru. He’s the captain now.

We’re at pregame meal, dinner Friday night. Damar is sitting there with his iPad. What are you doing? Watching tape, coach. It’s dinnertime. What are you going to do? Mess with his mojo? He’s in there watching tape again.

We’re getting 3% better every day. When we put our pads on tomorrow morning, we have to get 3% better. We have to know what our mistakes were, fix them, fundamentally and structurally.

Q. You mentioned Cisco in your opening. How hard is he for a quarterback to keep track of? What makes him so good, especially when the ball is in the air?

PAT NARDUZZI: He’s kind of like Paris Ford. He finds the ball. Got great eyes. He’ll play all over the place. He’ll have a good beat on what we do. We’ll have to change up what we do, try to stay away from him. He’s just a great football player.

Again, he didn’t do that in one game. He proved that over his career there. He’ll be a player that plays at the next level.

Q. For the players that are dealing with quarantine, testing to get back clear, I presume they’re in Zoom meetings. What have you seen from the guys who had to go through that, how they’re tackling that challenge? Has to be frustrating for young guys.

PAT NARDUZZI: I haven’t had really many conversations with them on Zoom. It’s the protocol we have to go through with them. They’ll sit on Zoom meetings, whether it’s on the iPad when we’re in the facility as we’re socially distanced. They’re with their position coaches. They don’t want to miss a beat. They’re happy to be on a Zoom call. Let’s put it that way. That’s all they get. You get stripped of everything.

You’re in isolation, you’re locked down. You got your cell phone, your iPad, you got a bed.

We ask them to sit up, put their picture on. Some of these guys don’t have their pictures on today. Bostick, Casey. Bostick has a fake picture up there. Probably pretending, taking a nap. There comes Seth, there is Bostick, took his stuff out. LaSala is in there now, too.

Q. You went into Heinz Field first time. When the game was on, everybody is focused on the field. The general atmosphere that will be this way for the season, playing with no fans in the stands. What was that experience like?

PAT NARDUZZI: Coming out of the tunnel was a little bit different. I was waiting for the lane where the band would be, the cheerleaders, dance team, kind of carve out there. Actually I asked the guys, You want to go towards the 50 or straight shot? I think they wanted to take the shortcut to the sideline.

But once the game got started, it was normal. We had some crowd noise. But we’re focused on the game. I think our kids were good. One of the keys to victory, I said before the game, was to create our own energy. We are the energy. I say that every week. Doesn’t matter whether you’re on the road or at home, we got to always create our own energy.

I think there’s some guys out there that will be contagious. Paris Ford, always so energetic. If the offense or defense does something big, we want to get everybody like Paris. He’s that energy that is contagious. We want everybody to catch that.

Q. You didn’t come out of the locker room until after the national anthem. Was that a team decision, your decision?

PAT NARDUZZI: We talked about it as a leadership council. There’s no fans out there. I don’t even think they’re going to play a national anthem. There’s nobody there. Are we going to go out there? Just kind of a team deal. Kind of common sense that there was nothing to do out there.

THE MODERATOR: Coach, thank you.

96 thoughts on “Updated: Syracuse at Pitt Depth Chart & Game Notes & Narduzzi Presser Transcript

  1. Repeating a post from the Good, Bad and Ugly board: Pitt AP game replay on the ACC Network at 1pm.—-Having Haba as a backup to Weaver on the depth chart is a little farfetched. No way Narduzzi plays a guy carted off the field on Saturday to play DE when he has the options to play many talented others. Damon Hayes should certainly be given a chance to chase DeVito around come this Saturday.

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    1. I remember that decade well

      The only thing those ACC records tell me is that clemson is elite. Most of the conference is mediocre. And cuse really sucks.

      Cuse has some legit excuses for recruiting.

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      1. The decade where 70 percent of Pitt fans enjoyed because academics were emphasized and sports was put in “perspective.” Then after 72-0 and 60-6 even the biggest moron trustee said we have to start caring just a little.

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    2. The Orange had some excellent players in the 90s. I remember being down on the field at Pitt Stadium after a loss to the Orange. The players were still milling around. As far as the “eye test,” the difference between their players and ours was striking.

      Fortunately, this is no longer the case.

      Go Pitt.

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      1. Syracuse is God’s armpit and has no football talent within 500 miles. It’s a lacrosse and basketball school. And hockey would be excellent. Much like Pitt if they had the will.

        The town really is depressing. It doesn’t have the Great Lakes as their front porch. Nor does it have the adirondacks. And it’s too far away from finger lakes wine country. It really is a bad body part.

        Tex whose very familiar with upstate New York.

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        1. You know not what you speak. Cuse is a pretty good looking campus. It is a metro NYC school. Diverse choice of studies and majors. Great fine arts and communications. Only problem is it’s expensive.

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  2. Actually the first team OL is playing very well as I view the replay. I know its playing against AP and there is a real question mark about whether Pitt has any decent back ups for this 1st team line.

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    1. Nice to see the recognition. Remember this though, what some are saying about the backups sounds familiar to what was said about this years first team last year. If that makes any sense? An offensive line is the real definition of a unit. They are like a chain, only as good as the weakest link.

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  3. did the 2-deep change at all? I’ve been saying for some time that it is to be taken with a grain of salt, and is usually a week behind.

    if recent history means anything, Pitt will lose this weekend, I believe Pitt’s recent stays in the Top 25 has been pretty much been one and done

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  4. They looked very relaxed and played better than predicted.

    The score reflected the difference in talent.

    Syracuse will be competitive early but they will have issues with our pass rush as our depth upfront is pretty impressive.

    Pitt will not lose this weekend no matter what history book you are reading.

    Again if the offense can manage the game aka limit pre-snap penalties and turnovers they win quite easily.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. in other news ………..

    University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine scientists have isolated the smallest biological molecule to date that completely and specifically neutralizes the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which is the cause of COVID-19. This antibody component, which is 10 times smaller than a full-sized antibody, has been used to construct a drug—known as Ab8—for potential use as a therapeutic and prophylactic against SARS-CoV-2.

    The researchers report today in the journal Cell that Ab8 is highly effective in preventing and treating SARS-CoV-2 infection in mice and hamsters. Its tiny size not only increases its potential for diffusion in tissues to better neutralize the virus, but also makes it possible to administer the drug by alternative routes, including inhalation. Importantly, it does not bind to human cells—a good sign that it won’t have negative side-effects in people

    Full story: https://medicalxpress.com/news/2020-09-tiny-antibody-component-highly-effective.html

    Liked by 3 people

    1. According to a Chinese virologist who ran for her life from China recently, she confirms what many of us suspected 7-8 months ago — the virus was created in their bio-warfare labs and was not a naturally occurring episode…and they purposely let it loose on the rest of the world. That’s an act of war in my book, or at the very least, an insanely reckless move that must be punished severely.

      On a happier note, looks like we have some RBs and WRs to choose from.

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  6. Pitt’s best DT may be Camp and 1st or 2nd best DE may be Weaver. If both return add them to the group we trotted out last week with the result being the Syracuse OL will have its hands full.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Not sure I like to see Addison with so many targets. Maybe Pickett will spread things out more when Mack and Krull are back. With experienced receivers available I say go with experience.

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  8. Let me preface this by saying that I agree with Reed concerning Hall, and that in no way am I equating these backs, but S.Barkley is the poster boy for backs who do nothing on most carries, then break a 90 yarder and his ave goes to 4.8 per carry.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. DePasqua’s second year coming off a 4-6 season, a big improvement over Dave Hart’s 3 1-9 finishes. UCLA was ranked #15 but 1970 was supposed to be a breakout year. Pitt kept it close losing 24-15 but if star player Ralph Cindrich had not been injured early on, Pitt could have won. Pitt reeled off five straight victories and was ranked as high as #15 before being annihilated at Syracuse in the mud and rain.

      Pitt needs to win big on Saturday. Let’s not let Syracuse throw us out of the national rankings again.

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      1. I remember that game at old Archibald Stadium. We sat on concrete step seats while it rained hard with upper 30 degree temps. The weather and the game sucked.

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  9. So, when I say that I am not excited about Pitt being ranked 25th because the PAC and the BIG aren’t playing and that we would probably be ranked 32-35, I get bombarded as being negative. However, 5 hours later, Nardudezi says the exact same thing and he is the bestest ever. There’s a dose of reality from just a coach, so it is now believable. Maybe he read the comment and it gave him a good sound byte.

    This game did what it was supposed to do. They made plenty of mistakes, alot of them actually. Use the OOC to correct the issues while not taking an “L”. Hopefully they correct a majority of the errors, beginning with the basics of not having the same numbered jerseys on the field at the same time. From what you all said, it read like it occurred more than once. Pre-snap penalties are awful and can kill momentum.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Huff, bombarded? Hmmm, I never took you as being so dramatic. Come into ike’s world, you’ll find out what bombarded feels like.

      Huff, you’re right, being ranked this year is like a bride stripped bare. Means very little. But, PITT played a fairly clean game against a weak football team. Just what you have been asking for. Take the week and enjoy a win, it will do wonders for you as we don’t know what next week will bring. 😉

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  10. Blasphemy Joe. LOL, i am in that camp and type as much frequently. Nothing against Hall as a person. 20 carries for 25 yards and then 1 for 80 yards statistically looks like 5 yards a carry because it is. Stated differently, he failed on 20 other attempts and was successful once. Those 20 other attempts could have put the team in 2nd and long or just short of a first down. Overall, no back would be happy with the number of failures although the stat line says something else. The player knows better.

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  11. Huff, as I mentioned previously I don’t think there was a problem with 2 number 3s on the field at the same time. Both DBs and WRs can wear number 3, and with special teams they could both be on the field for a play. Maybe someone could confirm this.

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    1. In the past it was a penalty when two players with the same number from the same team were on the field of play at the same time.

      It should still be a penalty, but I’m not sure if that has changed.

      That situation did not impact the outcome of the Peay fest. This week, someone on the coaching staff better know the rule – that will be a $4 million question if it costs this team a win. I guarantee Babers knows the rule and will be looking for a pair of 3’s with a straight poker face.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I think nardingham admitted the mistake in the written out presser above…..i read it somewhere and he said it should be corrected next week and the refs missed it. And he thanked the refs for missing it. The next ones won’t. That’s a problem. I think they missed that at ND a couple years ago if I recall.

        yeah savannah, the 80 yarder could be the game winner. My point would that if you lined up and needed a first down on a 3rd and three, you wouldn’t give it to a guy that is averaging 1.5 yards a carry in the hopes that the next carry is the 80 yarder. It’s why the stat geeks take it to the next level and actually prognosticate based on situational results versus averages. Averages, the guy makes the first down because he averages 5 ypc. Situationally, he fails 19 out of those 20 times to pick it up.

        I am just in the camp of situational versus averaging. Who can i count on to get a first down, which by the way has been a huge problem with pitt beating UNC for all those years until this last one. We could never put them away with a sustained drive because the 5ypc average would surely net the offense a first down,. So we try running three times and then…..punt! Viewers choice.

        Like

  12. But, Huff III – the optimist would say that maybe that one 80 yarder was the game winner! 😉

    Might balance out the 19 failures! Football is a little like the Slots. You keep putting your quarters in till you finally hit the big one!

    Like

  13. Reed made two statements of fact: Hall’s rushing stats for 2017. 128 carries, 628 yards, 4.91 YPC. Hall also had one rush for 97 yards. He also said 5 YPC was a “Good” college running back. I will agree with the 5.0 YPC as “Good”.

    He then subtracted 97 yards & still divided by 128 carries assuming that Hall was stopped for no gain. to get his adjusted 4.1 YPC. He then compared it to the good 5.0 YPC to make his point.

    It is a fact that any & all running backs YPC go down when you arbitrarily subtract carries above that RB’s avg. YPC. They also will go UP if you arbitrarily subtract carries that are below the RB’s YPC.

    There were two RB’s who had 50+ yard runs in college football last week. Harris (Miami) 7.88 YPC down to 4.00 after adjusting for a 66 yard run & McCormick (UTSA) 6.79 YPC down to 4.75 after subtracting a using Reeds no gain assumption. Both RBs were better then the good standard but arbitrarily subtracting a 58 yard run and they are now below good.

    In Huff’s example of the 20 1 yard runs & 1 80 yard, I could also make the assumption that he earned his YPC average if I changed the Huff’s negative overall example to 7 1 yd. Td runs & 13 1 yd. runs that made crucial 1’st downs.

    Reed could have made his point without the use of comparing it to the 5.0YPC “good”. He didn’t & I consider it fair game to use the Reed Adjustment.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Exactly Richard and that’s where I step in. You give a running back in third or fourth down shortage situations and they pick up the first down. Does that mean they failed in any way? Daniel Carter not pleased and he looked dam good to me.

    Twisted stats and twisted tongues. PITT-cock-fan. The truth slayer.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Yeah, PITT appears to have really screwed up with the double number blunders and blame it on Narduzzi but where was the special teams coach and others. Next time I could give Pat a call and inform him he looks like a fool for doing it twice or three times? My dog Eli was barking indicating there was something wrong. It was so obvious and I did think there had to be waiver somehow due to covid? Remember when ND got away with the same thing back in 2012 against PITT on a PITT missed field goal? Cost PITT the game.

    Such is life. There are just to many X factors in the game of football for statistics but I’ll be dam if Richard won’t stop digging until he uncovers the truth.

    iek, who digs the Eicher street stat digger!

    Liked by 2 people

  16. The Pitt OL gave Pickett plenty of time last week to survey the field. If they are able to do so against ACC competition Pitt should be in most of the rest of their games this year. Unfortunately that’s a very IF when playing against some very good DL’s upcoming. But folks there is always hope on that front.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. An excellent point. The success of the season, once again, depends largely on how effectively our OTs can pass block…

      At this point we look somewhat improved at both positions – movement wise – but can they stay in front of ACC DEs?

      ND has a freshman DE who was blowing past Duke’s OTs. I’m not sure our guys are any better than Duke’s… Here’s hoping…

      Go Pitt.

      Like

  17. OK THIS ENDS NOW. Below is the link for Hall’s 92 yard run. Please note …

    1) that Hall has to sidestep to the right at the line of scrimmage. He simply didn’t take a handoff and run thru a large Hall but instead made an adept move and FOUND the hole

    2) and then after he started to break away, note Duke’s DB #9 seems to have an angle on him but Hall outruns him for > 80 yards

    Stating that Hall showed no skills on this run reveals the BIAS on this site and is PATHETIC

    Liked by 5 people

    1. This from a Scout – not me. Based on what the scout said, not me, Not sure your stance is OVER. He wasn’t drafted so maybe the dude was right. Maybe he can attach to a team because there is so much rb turnover in the league due to injury. Here is ONE write up. I am sure there are more, but this guy seemed to have it more right. I saw another one that takes your point of view but also thought he would be a 4th round pick, so he was a bit off.

      “Emerging late in 2017, Hall tallied 520 rushing yards and eight touchdowns across Pittsburgh’s last five contests. Expected to be the Panthers’ lead back in 2018, Hall is looking to carry his late season momentum into a productive senior season and challenge to become a draft pick next spring.

      Hall is a straight ahead runner that runs with power and physicality. He battles for yards after contact and is decisive when attacking gaps. His lower body is strong and capable of moving piles and winning after contact.
      
      Like most power backs, Hall lacks the shiftiness, wiggle and elusiveness to be a truly dynamic runner that wins in space. His ability to work laterally and turn corners is inhibited by his tight hips and lack of flexibility. In addition, Hall has a tendency to run upright and offer a considerable amount of surface area to tacklers. Hall has performed well in pass pro but his ability to win as a receiver is modest.
      
      No longer a secret, Hall faces a critical senior season to prove he can sustain production and showcase an expanded skill set in 2018.
      

      Again, two sides to every evaluation. Some here have their opinions which is great. The NFL seems to agree on the above evaluation or he would have been drafted or on a team by now. I like the kid alot from a personal perspective, but again, the proof is in the pudding. Very Good college running back, but not elite. The Steelers may be needing a FA RB soon. Maybe he gets a call again.

      Funny how people can watch the same thing and get two completely different observations. I get both perspectives, but the one above seems to be more accurate given his lack of nfl rushes thus far. For now, debunked! LOL!

      Like

      1. so what’s any of this have to do with Hall’s 92 yard run? He may not have NFL speed, power or shiftiness but what Hall did do on that run is immediately find the correct hole without slowing down. and then out run a DB for 80 yards … something Ollison wouldn’t have done back then because he was out of shape

        Like

  18. In setting up my worksheet for Saturday, I noticed what could be bad news for Comcast customers.

    Last year, if there was more ACC games that where scheduled to be broadcast on the ESPN family, ABC or ACCN, there was always the chance that the Pitt game could be shown on a Regional Spots Channel (RSN).
    In my case, a Pitt game could be on Fox Sports South or Fox Sports Southeast. In Pittsburgh, I believe AT&T Sportsnet.

    Two ACC games on Saturday are not being carried on ESPN/ABC/ACCN. Boston College @ Duke & Charlotte @ North Carolina are only being shown on ESPN”3″.

    Based on that I am making the assumption that the ACC has discontinued there arrangement with Jefferson Pilot (or whoever it was – I can’t remember real name).

    If true it also could carry over to the basketball season.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Very sad for James Conner, it seems very evident that his body just won’t hold up to the punishment of the NFL.

    I think the Steelers though he could be the next LeVeon Bell by losing the weight, but he doesn’t have that burst of speed that Bell had, nor the power to knock back NFL linebackers.

    Bell injured again too.

    Like

    1. Unfortunately the whole Steeler offense looked like crap in the first quarter when Conner was getting his carries. The mid-direction stuff wasn’t fooling anybody.

      Loved the job the Steeler defense did the whole game on Barkley though…

      Go Pitt.

      Liked by 1 person

  20. Public service announcement: Prepping today for a colonoscopy tomorrow.

    I have known far to many guys that have died of colon cancer which is usually treatable if found early.

    When you hit 50 make sure you are tested.

    Liked by 5 people

  21. An early Week 3 forecast for the Syracuse game from the Sporting News:

    “Syracuse at No. 25 Pitt (-21)

    The Orange’s offense was stopped cold in the second half against North Carolina, and an improved Pitt offense poses the same challenges. That said, the past three meetings have been decided by seven points or fewer. We’re being stubborn here.

    Pitt wins 31-13 but FAILS TO COVER the spread. ”

    Sounds about right to me.

    Like

    1. amusing commentary

      obvious they didn’t watch any of the game and are commenting on STATS alone while not knowing the 2nd half was cut short and the 1st team played little more than one half

      that said, there are a few here who will absolutely ADORE the 2 jagoffs commenting

      Like

    2. What makes this podcast funny and interesting is they appeared to be two jagoffs that graduated from Broadcast U. Journalism 101, know what you’re talking about. Syracuse over-rated again.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That explains what the Ab stands for in Ab8.
        In the early 90’s, I worked at the UPMC. I had the honor of talking to Dr. Starzl on several occasions. I found him to be an even better person than he was a Doctor. He treated every person he met the same way- never the arrogance that many accomplished doctors seem to have. At the time, they were testing a new anti-rejection drug for transplants. It was called FK-506. It was fascinating to hear his account of how it developed.
        The short version: He was attending a medical conference in one of the nordic countries- I don’t recall which. There was a Japanese company there that had discovered a fungus on Mt. Fuji that was not known to exist anywhere else. They believed it could have certain medicinal value. Upon learning about it, Dr. Starzl believed it could be applied to his research. A partnership was created. The drug became a much needed improvement over what existed and eventually became approved for worldwide usage. The “F” stood for Fuji and the “K” was for the Japanese company who controlled it.
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Starzl

        Liked by 2 people

  22. Conner had NO room to run last night, the Steelers OL needs work on run blocking. That said, I struggled to see how Conner hurt his ankle, but sure enough he came limping off in the 1st quarter. I wonder if he makes it through the season. I doubt they’d cut him, the Steelers don’t do that. But if they don’t mind eating his salary they could put him on IR and sign another RB.

    Like

  23. Conner was looking to the sideline complaining about the play-calling early last night. NY Giants knew the play before the Steelers ran the ball straight into an awaiting defense.

    Like

  24. I believe Conner’s contract is up at seasons end.

    Good interview from Vincent Davis on PSN. He’s smiling and talking like he knows something that we all don’t know?

    I should have never listen to that Syracuse podcast, I’m still pissed that those two boneheads didn’t do their homework before they started spewing nonsense they knew nothing about. Then again, let’s give Kenny a listen.

    Like

  25. I was wrong in posting my comment today at 8:35am.

    After checking The ACC web site, the ACC is STILL using Regional Sports Networks(RSN’s) to broadcast football games not broadcast on ESPN, ABC ACCN.

    I am truly sorry for not checking further before posting an incorrect comment.

    Like

  26. I see no one has mentioned the ACC won/loss graphic in the above article where PITT is tied for third best ACC record. Am I surprised at all? No. Not surprised that it hasn’t been mentioned and not surprise that PITT is tied for third best record. Also note Clemson is 39-2 since 2015 with PITT being one of only two teams that beat them in a conference game. Seems to me that Narduzzi, who now has a team ranked in the AP polls, has been a good hire. Maybe worth keeping around a little longer. Changing a coach because he has hairy arms and big legs or has a warped sense of humor doesn’t add up to me. PN will be at PITT as long as HE wants to. I just hope that is a very long time.

    Like

    1. How’s this for positive. Pitt has won the third most conference games since Nardingy was hired and they have a spectacular one divisional championship to show for it. He is awesome!

      Speaking of changing coaches, in the powerful coastal division only Duke has had a head coach tenure longer than Nardingy. Tells me the other teams got tired of mediocrity and the opportunity missed of controlling a division when everyone was down. So Nardingy beat up on bad programs as they fired coaches, yet only won one division championship.Splendid! Superb!

      I think myself and then Nardingy stated that a 25 AP ranking is worthless due to no big10 or pac10. Don”t call me negative for saying that first. Nardingy said the exact same thing in his presser.

      I will agree with you Ike in that Nardingy will be at Pitt as long as he wants to. But, doesn’t every working person have that same thing? If I dont want to stay where I am, I can move. The other part of the equation is what does the employer want. If you are saying that Pitt wants him as long as he wants to stay, I think that is probably not accurate. I have not yet seen his lifetime contract mentioned in the gazette. Funny scheme though. Nardingy gets his boss hired. Boss extends Nardingy. Nardingy says great things about his boss and gets her extended. Neither has accomplished squat. Typical Pitt Administration. At least attendance will go up next year and she can claim that she did a great job! The stats will bear that out, for those that are inclined to believe stats as the whole picture.

      Saturdays suggested attendance is 49,163 based on tickets she thought she would sell. Extend the whole department!

      Like

      1. I’m a union man Huff, so yes, I can stay as long as I want to and my job performance really doesn’t come into play. Narduzzi doesn’t have that level of protection. Yet he can stay as long as he runs a clean program and doesn’t lose 12 games a season. There is a big difference.

        Like

  27. Slow news day heading into the cuse game:

    The Centre Daily Times reported on Monday that four Penn State football players are facing marijuana possession charges after an incident last month at their apartment.

    Redshirt freshmen Lance Dixon, Daequan Hardy and Tank Smith as well as true freshman Joseph Johnson III were all charged.

    According to the report, the Nittany Lions athletic department is aware of the charges that the quartet faces.

    “These alleged actions do not reflect the values and standards of our program and will be addressed,” a spokesperson wrote in a statement to the Centre Daily Times. “We will not comment any further as this is an ongoing legal matter.”

    The above Is NOT a Peay joke<<<

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Per the same news source today – This comes after a previous incident (@ psu) in which Devyn Ford, Caeden Wallace and Sal Wormley were cited for possession of marijuana and LSD and freshman Brandon Taylor was kicked off the team for a violation of team rules.

      Like

  28. Not exactly surprising, but saw this on 247 Panthers…

    “On 11 of Vincent Davis’ rushes, Davis avoided six tackles.
    Israel Abanikanda made one defender missed while Todd Sibley Jr., Daniel Carter, and A.J. Davis didn’t make any defenders miss.”

    I continue to think Pitt needs to change the type of RBs they are going after. We need a couple zig-zaggers…

    Go Pitt.

    Like

  29. I love these slow news days when POVers get some time to check the Harrisburg and State College crime reports to check on the Pedo players recently arrested. I wonder if they had their masks on or were social distancing when they were smoking the weed.

    Like

    1. They had their masks on. When the EMT’s asked them how they burned their faces, they were too stoned to lie. Good news is they were found to be Covid negative.

      Wait a minute! Maybe PSU found a therapeutic for COVID

      Liked by 1 person

  30. As reported from the Orange Fizz –

    “With starting left guard Dakota Davis on the shelf until October, and Florida transfer Chris Bleich ineligible, fullback Chris Elmore is tasked with guarding the interior on an offensive line that, when healthy, ranks among the worst in college football.”

    Jones, Weaver, Camp, Alexander and company will need to be focused and punishing on Saturday and the win will be in the cards.

    KP needs to manage a clean game and let his young playmakers make plays.

    Look for a physical battle with Pitt’s strength and endurance coming out on top.

    Cuse will fight hard, but in the end there will be OJ pulp in the ketchup bottle.

    Like

  31. More juicy news from the Orange Fizz –

    “At the end of the day, the (cuse) running game is broken beyond repair. With very limited protection and a lack of talent in the backfield, there is no formula for the Orange to run over ACC defenses.”

    Like

  32. As regards the PSUcks police blotter… you would have heard about none of that during the JoePa days pre 1994. A good friend of mine graduated in 1991 from there with an engineering degree. When some PSUcks players got in trouble in the late nineties we talked about how things had changed there. He referred to the pre-1994 years as the Kennedy years and post-1994 as the Clinton years. The JoePa Kennedy years were when almost no bad news escaped out to the public. The campus police, local police, the townspeople- indeed, everyone- kept things quiet and things were handled in-house all to protect the brand. I’ll never forget an interview in the late 80’s when a reporter asked him about some of the trouble players were getting into at other institutions. He grinned, and in his arrogant holier-than-thou-self he talked about how his players were different and how they recruited high character kids (I am paraphrasing.) Meanwhile, only weeks earlier several “issues” were swept under the rug- including one involving a friend of mine who was on the team.

    The JoePa Clinton years were the result of the police ranks getting younger, the general shift in news reporting throughout the country that was more about wanting to be the first to get the dirty laundry, and eventually the use of internet and such things that made it harder to control the flow of information. It became harder for all institutions to keep things quiet, and you started to see more PSUcks players showing up in the news. I always believed that someday JoePa would get his comeuppance. It seemed inevitable as “the brand” became more important than people and doing the right thing. I never expected it to be what it ended up being, but in no way was I surprised. In many ways it was like a Shakespearean Tragedy. The lead character does a lot of good and noble things, but in the end is brought to ruin in some way due the flaws in their character.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. An older friend of mine grew up in State College, went to PSU and graduated in the mid-1980s. He worked at a hotel during his college days (Tofttrees I think it was). He was frequently directed to comp hotel rooms for PSU players and their “lady friends” after big wins, presumable as a reward for their efforts. I would imagine that PSU’s program was as dirty as the rest of them.

      Sadly, there’s evidence that Joe was told about Sandusky for the first time in the early 1970s, then several times after that as well. A handful of folks – Joe and Sandusky’s wife to name two – could have stopped Sandusky, but did not. Tragic.

      Like

  33. the Celtics are in the eastern finals. Last night, Brad Wannamaker in 25 minutes had 11 pts, 3 reb and 6 assists, which is pretty much what Brad Wannamaker does. I believe the Celts lost .. who cares!

    Like

  34. Cut Izzy loose! AJ Davis is pretty mediocre looking; Sibley is ok; Carter looks tough inside; Vincent Davis looked pretty good but not great, but Izzy looked like he has ‘it’ — speed, instincts, nose for the goal line.

    Like

  35. I just don’t think a solid program should rely on pure Freshmen in key roles. I do believe what a coach once said that for every Freshman starter a team will lose a game. They are tremendous players but Addison and Izzy need to develop the mental part of their game.

    Like

  36. No choice on the “O” side where recruiting and coaching has been lacking( for lack of a better word) There are 2 freshmen and a transfer who “ showed-up” to play last week… throw’em to the wolves- I think they can bite back and more than hold their own… maybe give us a competitive advantage!!!!

    Like

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