Up Next: Bye Week (A Review of ACC Offensive Statistics through 10/24)

By Richard Hefner

Editor’s Note: This is a little late this week, and I apologize. Hurricane Zeta came through Atlanta on Wednesday night and just like the Zeta house on campus, they did a number on the city. (I’m kidding, I have no idea what the Zeta house at Pitt does or ever did, or if there even is one). A tree blew over in our neighborhood and knocked out power until yesterday evening. All is well now though so lets get the show back on the road!

Normally in this series of articles, I would give a quick review of last Saturdays game & our upcoming opponent. Well Pitt lost. Notre Dame won. And all heck broke loose. That is all I will say on the matter.

Next week is Bye. Not much data on Bye. Have not seen him/her/it since the start of the season. The ACC season started on 9/12. According to the ACC calendar last week was week #7. Pitt will be playing Bye in week #8. Unless you are using the ESPN calendar where next week is week #9, since 13 FBS teams played either each other or FCS opponents.

Below is a chart by school, w/e date and if Game was played, a Bye was scheduled, or original game was either Postponed or Cancelled. There is also a column labeled “Streak” for longest number of games played between “Byes”.

This is the schedule as of Tuesday 10/27/2020. It can be changed if there is a Covid related outbreak. The chart has four colors. Yellow & gray to separate rows, blue (but lighter) to represent Pitt opponents during the week scheduled. Finally, there is an orangish color to highlight longest streaks.

The bad news, Pitt plays two opponents the week after there second tussle with Bye. Pitt plays Clemson. The good, Pitt plays Va. Tech the last week of their 9-game streak.

As of the 10/24, 101 FBS teams have now played at least 1 game. 25 teams have played 1 game, 2 teams played 2, 7 teams played 3, 14 teams played 4, 27 teams played 5, 21 played 6 and 5 played 7. Of the 5 who have played 7games (Army 6-1, Middle Tennessee 2-5, Pitt 3-4, Texas State 1-6, & UT-San Antonio (UTSA) 4-3), only Pitt did not face Bye. (Before you go nuts over Army’s 6-1 record, they have played & beat 3 FCS teams including a 14-9 beatdown of The Citadel. I have family connections to The Citadel.)

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Reading Between the Lines – Post Notre Dame Edition

by Reed Kohberger

OK POVers – Mike asked me to chip in a “Between the Lines” article for this week.  Because it is a bye week Narduzzi isn’t doing a normal Monday press conference so we’ll take a look at his Notre Dame post-debacle utterings…

NARDUZZI: First off, Notre Dame’s got a great football team. They played like the No. 3 team in the country today. They made plays on the ball. We had three interceptions. We lost the field position war big time. You’re never going to win a game, you’re probably going to lose big when you throw three interceptions. Joey didn’t have a great day.

No coach, “we” didn’t have three INTs – Notre Dame did. But let me get this straight – you mean to say that that 45-3 score was all because of ND’s play?  Not even a little bit of our putrid play came into it?

But like I said, you’ve got to give their offense and their defense and their special teams credit. They made plays and we didn’t. But time of possession, 40 to 20, we couldn’t sustain drives offensively and put our defense in tough situations and when you do that against the No. 3 team in the country you’re going to have problems winning football games.

So our offense put our defense in tough situations did they? Now you wait just a minute Mr. Head Coach –our first six punts resulted in these starting field positions for the Domers: ND 37, ND 13, ND 18, ND 25, ND 12 and ND 16.  How in the world can you point to the offense when ND continually had big field distance in front of them which favors your fancy pants defense?

So I’ll open it up for questions.

  Wonder what’s for dinner tonight. Can’t go out to pick up food because someone might recognize me.

Continue reading “Reading Between the Lines – Post Notre Dame Edition”

The Long Kiss Goodnight

It has been nearly nine years since Pitt failed to score a touchdown in a football game. Nine years. Last time it was without a head coach. (BBVA Compass Bowl III. Pitt lost to SMU 28-6.)

If only that were the case now.

Speculation is rampant on how much Narduzzi’s buyout would actually cost. The high estimate is $16 M. The low estimate is, well, something less than that. Either way, everyone is ready for a change.

The trendy opinion is that Narduzzi will be forced to clean house, and he’ll get at least one more year while Pitt figures out where to come up with the money. That’s like a band-aid on a gaping wound, but it’s something. It starts with Whipple of course. Andre Powell too. Tim Salem. Dave Borbley. You probably keep Beatty if only for his recruiting. But then again, maybe you let him go because of the drops. The defensive staff probably stays intact. Maybe shake up the secondary coaches. Still, Bob Smizik’s comments are relevant. Who is going to come to Pitt (of all places) to help out a coach who is clearly on the hot seat?

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Notre Dame at Pitt Open Game Thread

Since when are you the quitting kind?…So you didn’t make the dress list. There are greater tragedies in the world…Oh, you are so full of crap. You’re 5 feet nothin’, a 100 and nothin’, and you got hardly a speck of athletic ability. And you hung in with the best college football team in the land for two years. And you’re also gonna walk outta here with a degree from the University of Notre Dame. In this lifetime, you don’t have to prove nothin’ to nobody – except yourself. And after what you’ve gone through, if you haven’t done that by now, it ain’t gonna never happen. Now go on back…

Notre Dame at Pitt Prediction Thread

I’m pressed for time so not a lot of meat on the bone here.

With that being said … I don’t think Notre Dame is as good as advertised, and we know Pitt always plays them tough.

We do know how bad Pitt is though … at least on offense. As does the rest of the world. Also I don’t see Pitt being able to fix its coverage issues.

And let’s not start in on the officiating

The Irish get lucky again.

Pitt 13, Notre Dame 20

Up Next: Notre Dame

By Richard Hefner

Pitt lost its third in a row last Saturday to Miami 19-31. That brings Pitts record to 3-3 (2-3 conference). Our next opponent, Notre Dame is coming off a barnburner of a game, that eventuality saw the Golden Domers emerge with a 12-7 victory over the Louisville Cardinals. The Fighting Irish are now 4-0 (3-0 in conference.) Touchdown Jesus and all Irish fans are gunning for a victory to keep their dreams of their first conference championship and a CFP berth that does not include a mythical girlfriend. (Those catfishing jokes never get old).

The game will be played at Heinz Field. It is scheduled to start at 3:30pm & shown on your local ABC station. Pitt will be playing in front of a home crowd of approximately 5,500 rabid fans (350 favoring Pitt & 5,150 Irish (subway) faithful, as we know from past experiences home games against WVcc, Psux and ND are away team sellouts).

Last week when I sent my Miami review to Mike, I made this statement in the email body:

Not sure if I will do something on Notre Dame. Never liked them, don’t watch them, don’t stats them, don’t care about them and I was raised catholic.

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Reading Between the Lines – Post Miami / Pre Notre Dame

Another week, another loss that can be chalked up to mistake filled play and an impotent offense. Call me pessimistic but I don’t think #3 Notre Dame is going to be the tonic that Pat Narduzzi’s team needs. Here’s the text of his Monday presser, and of course what he really meant to say.

PAT NARDUZZI: Obviously another tough weekend. Game of football, my dad always said half the teams win and half the teams lose every weekend. Always have to keep that perspective.

And look, we are now three and three so the math kind of works out, right?

Our kids are obviously looking forward to a great Notre Dame team this week. We didn’t play as well as we would have liked to play on the road against a really good Miami football team. There’s no doubt about their athleticism, size, obviously the way they’re coached.

But there is a lot of doubt about ours…

We made some mistakes in really all phases for that matter, things that hurt you as the game goes on. I really don’t feel any different from what I felt like on game day. A couple calls, obviously questionable, as far as penalties, those discipline things that drive you nuts as a coach.

I mean, there is only so much I can do as the leader of this football team around the discipline. Right?

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