Pat Narduzzi Transcript + Hey Mr. DJ

Sorry kids, not “reading between the lines” this week. Just too doggone busy. Happy to have the work though.

Here is Pat’s transcript for your digestion, and in addition to that DJ Turner was named ACC Co-Receiver of the week.

Narduzzi Chat Transcript

PAT NARDUZZI: Good morning. I guess it’s a little bit early. But the sun came up this morning and we’re still alive here after a tough really 24 hours. We put the chapter to sleep last night as a team, watched the tape, looked at all the mistakes that we made and made our corrections.

I think anytime you have a loss like that, you have to learn from it, and I think our kids will learn. In my 30 years of coaching or whatever it’s been, I don’t know if I’ve seen a team as maturely take that. I think I mentioned after the game in the locker room it was really quiet. I think last night, I don’t know if I’ve been in a team meeting where they were as quiet as I’ve seen, which tells me it hurts like a coach, and I think that’s what you want as a coach.

For years and years and years, okay, you’d jump on a bus on an away trip and you’d hear some clowning around going on in the back of the bus. And as a coach, man, we have no life. This is our life, and as players they’ve got — their girlfriend texts them, someone tweeted this or that and they go back to normal life.

But really I think it hit our kids in the stomach like, what just happened today, and sometimes you need a wake-up call to find out really what’s real, what’s fake, who do you listen to. I think sometimes you listen to the outside noise and it can affect you.

But I think our guys learned. Like I said, quietest meeting I’ve been in, focused, locked in, so I like where we are after that loss. If a loss can be good for you, I think it’s going to be good for us. We’ll see how we respond. I think that’s going to be the key this week in practice, and from our history, we always respond, and that’s what I expect.

I think we’ve got great senior leadership. And we left a lot of plays on the field on both sides of the ball. I thought special teams played really probably good enough to win when you look at the punting of Christodoulou, the field goal kicking out of Kessman. There was a lot of bright spots and a lot of young guys playing on special teams, as well, guys like Rashad Battle that I’ve praised. There was good on both sides of the ball.

We didn’t start well on defense and we didn’t finish well. In between we were pretty darned good. Offensively our pass protection was pretty good. We turned one guy loose and got Kenny hit with a targeting call. But the protection was solid.

Saturday after the game what the protection looked like, obviously there’s little mistakes here and there that we can correct, but one glaring one was when we missed a run-through, and again, that’s something we’ll continue to clean up and not let Kenny get hit like he got hit on that one because we never want to see our quarterback take a hit, plus a targeting. That’ll be on every official’s targeting tape for the next couple years, I guess.

Looking forward to the challenge of a good Boston College football team. Jeff Hafley, I’ve known Jeff for a while, I know he’s a former Pitt coach along with Frank Cignetti, two guys with Pittsburgh ties, so it’ll be personal to them. It’ll be personal for us.

Again, Jeff has got that team really on all three phases playing tough. Those defensive guys stick together, but it’s a tough, physical, well-coached football team on both sides and on special teams. That’s what you see out of them. They’re a good football team. They took North Carolina to the end. They fight back and beat a Texas State football team and really that’s the last two weeks, but really good football team.

Obviously on offense Cignetti runs it. Obviously got a ton of experience as an offensive coordinator. Phil Jurkovec is the guy throwing the ball. They are a lot more pass-oriented. They really want to throw the ball. It seems like with Phil and his arm he’s got a lot of confidence in his arm. They’re heavier pass, so we’ll have to tighten up our coverage a lot more from what it looked like last week. We’ll have to play a lot better at the No. 1 receiver because we got pushed off last week, so we’re going to have to fight into that and we’ll coach the heck out of that this week. That’s happened a few years back with Virginia Tech, and they came in on a Thursday night and we saw it.

We’ll probably see a lot more push-off, catch the ball the rest of the season, so we’ll coach it and get better at that and throw that on the coach’s plate as far as things we could have done better as we always, as coaches, take a lot of the blame as far as what happens in a game in any respect.

Really good offense. I mean, they’re — Zay Flowers is a wideout that’s really good. Their tailbacks are great. Tight end, No. 80, Hunter, is an exceptional player. He’s got like 48 targets on the year in three games, Hunter Long, that is. But I mean, he’s talented. He’s as good a tight end as you’re going to see; he’ll be playing on Sundays and be a first- or second-round pick I’m guessing based on the way he runs and makes plays.

I think that’s about it. Defensively they’re tough. Isaiah McDuffie, one of the linebackers, really stands out to you; Max Richardson, as well, two inside linebackers that make a lot of plays, pressure off the edge. They’re well-coached. Questions?

Q. This is a very different team than it was a year ago. Head coach, quarterback. Are there similarities now, things they do the same?

PAT NARDUZZI: There’s a lot of similarities. They run a lot of the same kind of run concepts. They like to — they run a pro play called the push play where they’re trying to get double teams and just really knock you back and see if they can just push the line of scrimmage. But it appears that they just kind of run the ball just to say they ran it, but they really want to throw the football. Like I said, we’re going to be really good in our pass defense. Structurally we’ll have to change a few things just to make sure that we secure our passing game.

Q. How about your run game? What have you been able to notice in film study, and what’s been missing in that regard?

PAT NARDUZZI: You know, we’ve been playing three-down football teams for the last couple weeks so we’ll go to four-down with Boston College. We just didn’t get much movement up front. What’s the reason? I don’t know, but I think our O-line played average or below average. We outrushed them. It’s some funny things you look at, North Carolina State is either first or second in the ACC in rushing average in 220 yards per game, and they get whatever yards they got, but we outrushed them, so we can talk about run games. We weren’t second in the ACC a week ago, but there’s some good things going on, but we’ve just got to finish, and again, give those other guys some credit. They had a good scheme. They’ve got a nose tackle that’s 245 pounds probably, and we just played average up front. So if we keep playing average, we won’t run the ball very well, but it all starts up front on the O-line and the D-line. If you’re going to stop the run and run the well you’d better win up front and we’ve got to get more movement. We were on the right people most of the time, but you’ve got to move them off the line of scrimmage.

Q. I guess you were 17 games into the Mark Whipple era here. What do you think this offense’s identity is kind of through almost a season and a half now?

PAT NARDUZZI: You know, I evaluate it game-by-game. The identity is we scored 29 points, which I hope is enough to win a football game. If I don’t go — blame me, if I don’t go for it on 4th and 1 and I kick a field goal down there, maybe we win the game. Who knows how that changes the game but I felt like we should be able to get it in. We’ve got four plays from the 1. Maybe a stubborn head coach, but if I didn’t go for it on 4th and 1 you guys would be yelling at me because I didn’t go for it on 4th and 1 down there, so either way you lose. But we expect to score touchdowns.

I’m happy with the way Kenny is playing. Kenny played an outstanding game, guys, and played well enough to win, like our special teams did. He threw the ball well, maybe his best game this year so far. The pass protection was great by the O-line, as well. We pass protected pretty darned well. Kenny threw it well and receivers caught the ball most of the time.

But we’re not perfect, nor are those guys on Sunday yesterday as I see dropped balls as I walk in and out of my office.

You know, it’s about winning football games. Our job on offense is to score more points than the opponent, and we’ve done that a good part of the time and there’s some times we don’t. But that’s like everybody in the country; it’s a team game. We’ve got to play good in all three phases. I can tell you that. There’s no finger pointing over here. You guys can point fingers all you want, but we don’t point fingers over here. This is the guy right here; you guys can point it at me.

Q. You mentioned at the beginning that the team was quiet as late as last night’s team meeting, and you said that’s a good sign. Why do you think that’s a good sign?

PAT NARDUZZI: Because I know how I feel, okay. I know how I feel, and you get pissed off. You’re pissed at what happened. Like I said, I get mad when they don’t get mad, when they’re laughing and giggling. I’m like, how important is it to you. So to me it’s important to those guys. Again, I talk about our senior leadership, talk about our captains. It was serious.

Now again, then they go to eat afterwards, but just locked into business. It’s a good thing because they care, and if they don’t care and if they’re all clowning around and laughing and giggling — I’ve walked in team meetings after you get beat by 20 and the guys are all laughing. Like, do you know what happened less than 24 hours ago? But that’s the age we’re in, and kids get — they let it go quickly. Adults don’t because like I said, it’s our life. It’s what we love to do, it’s what our passion is, is to go out there and coach and win. We all want to win. Our kids want to win.

But if you don’t win, it’s like, oh, okay, let’s go move on to the next thing, what are we going to win tonight. But they were locked in. I think they understand how much sacrifices they’ve made this year with the pandemic oriented, and it’s like, man, we’re doing all this, we can’t go out and play like that. It comes down to having your mind right, and I obviously didn’t do a great job of getting them mentally prepared to come in and play that football game. For whatever it is, sometimes you have to learn by the fire there, and I think that’s really what happened.

Q. You mentioned talking to the captains and the veterans. Do you talk to them every Sunday? And did you talk to them before the team meeting? How did that conversation go?

PAT NARDUZZI: You know, I talk to them usually Monday, and we’ll text back and forth in groups or whatever. So it’s not — I don’t have a captains’ meeting where I bring them in, but I always want to feel what they think, what they hear, what they — just the feel of the team. We’ve got good leadership.

Q. After watching the tape, what did you think of your pass rush, and how come it wasn’t quite as effective as it was the first three games?

PAT NARDUZZI: You know, probably because we were a little bit undisciplined early. We did a poor job. Like I said, it starts with me, of just preparing our kids for the double-clap cadence and all that. We hadn’t seen a lot of it going in, and we did a poor, poor job of — we’ll never let it happen again. Clap or not, hard cadence or not, we’ve got to work it every week. But our kids have been so used to taking off and going, they slowed us down. I think that’s one of the things is 17 play drives slowed us down, too many critical errors as far as just pre-snap penalties. That slowed us down. They got the ball out quick.

I told you Leary is a good football player, good quarterback. I knew he was the best quarterback — I knew early in the week that was going to be the guy that was their man, and he played really well. He’s a good quarterback. North Carolina State is going to win a lot of football games this year because of him.

Q. Have you had any trepidation about using Kenny so much in short-yardage situations the way you did just from his health standpoint? Or is that something you’ve kind of always been okay with, just haven’t done as much as you did Saturday?

PAT NARDUZZI: You’re talking short yardage, you’re talking quarterback sneaks?

Q. Yeah.

PAT NARDUZZI: Kenny wants the ball. He wanted it earlier. Kenny wants the ball all the time. As a matter of fact, Kenny pulled a couple zone reads that he’s not supposed to thinking, hey, I’m going to go make the play. If you guys aren’t going to make a play I’m going to make a play, and that’s wrong. Those are the little things, the details that he’s just got to read and not just say, hey, I’m going to be the guy, I’m going to be the hero. He made more mistakes really in the run game as far as pulling it a couple times when he shouldn’t have.

But Kenny is a tough guy. You want the ball in No. 8’s hands. Like I said, he played a heck of a ballgame, and we have no regrets. Kenny is tough. Obviously you worry about the cheap shots that he’s taken, which we had a late hit on a quarterback but it was one step. I don’t even know how to coach that because I — I don’t see it the same way. But that was a different penalty there.

Q. Does Phil Jurkovec play the way you expected him to play when you watched him in high school?

PAT NARDUZZI: No question about it. He’s got a quick release. He’s got a strong arm, he’s confident like he was in high school. He likes to take off running. If it’s not there, he’s taking off and you’ve got to use those legs. He’s a hard guy to get down. We’ve got to stress that he’s not going to just be dragged down to the ground. He bumps people off of them, he shakes them. He does not feel like he’s going down, so if we’re going to get to him we’ve got to get to him and we’ve got to get all of him down on the on the ground, so we’ll be live on the quarterback this week and we’ve got to get two hands on him. He’s not going down with one hand, that’s for sure. But he’s exactly what you thought.

They’ve done — Cignetti has done an outstanding job with him. He’s confident, he’s getting the ball out. They’re not giving up sacks. He’s throwing the ball and he looks really, really good. He’s a good football player. He’s just as good or better than what we faced last week as a quarterback, and I thought Leary was really good.

Q. On that, obviously you guys have a lot of local guys on the defense. Is it different or more exciting or anything playing a quarterback that’s also from the area that they’re probably familiar with?

PAT NARDUZZI: You know, they’re familiar. You’d have to ask Damar and some of the other guys that may have played against him in high school, but that doesn’t matter to me. It’s like there’s 11 guys out there, we’ve got 11 guys. We’ve got more Pittsburgh guys. We’ve got them outnumbered Pittsburgh guys, I guess, but that’s not going to be a factor in winning or losing. I think it makes it interesting for our kids, but I haven’t said, hey, Damar, are you looking forward to playing Phil? It doesn’t matter. There’s no marriage there.

Q. Jimmy Morrissey said after the game that some of the success they had in the fourth quarter running the ball that you guys had was partially because you guys — the passing offense backed off NC State. Do you foresee you guys using the pass to set up the run more in the near future, or was that more of a mid-game adjustment that won’t have as much impact on your future game plans?

PAT NARDUZZI: You know, again, if we’re not running the ball well then you’re going to go to the pass and you’re going to throw it, which will then set up your run game. Either one of them could set it up. Last year our pass game set up our run game.

You talk about the hot hand at tailback, it’s also how’s our O-line playing, and if they’re not knocking them off the ball and there’s nothing to go to, then we’re going to go to what’s working. I want 1st downs and I want touchdowns. I don’t care; run it, pass it, let’s get in the end zone and let’s see if we can make something happen.

Q. You mentioned coaching up the corners and the coverage better. What is the challenge of trying to figure out what you can and can’t do and how do you try to relay that to your players?

PAT NARDUZZI: I have no idea. You know, I’m confused there on how to — it’s hard to play defense if they aren’t going to call things both ways, and I can’t answer that question. We’ve just got to coach it better. We’re just going to have to lean on them and we’re going to man turn on them instead of zone turning. We’ve just got to do a better job physically, and we’re capable of doing it. We’ve done it before and we’ll have to just go back to it again because if it’s going to be that way, then it’s got to be that way.

Q. You guys kind of had a convenient start to the season with four straight home games. Obviously now the final seven games, five of them will be on the road, only one bye week in there. I guess how prepared do you think this team is just for that kind of stretch run where you go on the road five times out of seven?

PAT NARDUZZI: Hey, you know, that’s what it is. I think our kids enjoy going on the road, going into a different atmosphere. I think we’re going to go to another quiet stadium so that will be no change for us. Not like we’re going to have to deal with any crowd noise. But the field is about the same size. Might have a little bit more extra sideline room, more space or not, but it’s playing the game of football and there’s 22 guys out on there. It doesn’t really matter.

I think the biggest challenge when you talk about traveling is just traveling with the virus that’s going on. I mentioned this way back in the summer as far as two-hour flights and wearing your mask the entire time on the plane. Chancellor said something today in a head coaches’ meeting that we had that I thought, wow, that was really good. Only a chancellor could think about. He’s like, it took us like 50 years to learn how to wear a seatbelt. It took Ford or whoever came up with — GM, if you don’t put your seatbelt on it’s going to beep and annoy you until you put it on. We need some of those on your masks. If you’ve got your mask hanging or on your chin, you need some beeping device to make sure you put that thing up because that’s about the best thing you can have. I thought that was interesting. It took everybody on this Zoom call to figure out maybe I should wear a seatbelt, and it’s the same thing with these masks. We’ve got to wear our masks for two hours on a flight and there’s talk of not even eating on the flight, just — you want to leave that thing up. I mean, we’re around different people. We’ve stayed in our bubble. I know our kids are out on campus, but I don’t know if the stewardesses are getting tests. I don’t know how all that thing works, but one of my philosophies has been the last few weeks, and we’ve been really darned good, is to pretend like everybody has got COVID-19 and protect yourself, and that’s going to be the biggest challenge.

It’s the same thing at a hotel. Different hotel, who lives in that hotel. I think they’re in the red up there. What are we, in the green right now in Pittsburgh? I think they’re in the red in Boston. So we’re going into a place that I want to make sure we come out of nice and clean, too, because it’s about the safety of our football team.

Q. I think you mentioned week one that Austin Peay was being tested in the hangar at Pittsburgh airport when they came in. Will you guys be tested at the Boston airport? How has that been explained to you?

PAT NARDUZZI: You know, it’ll be wherever, whatever is most convenient for us. It’ll be whatever is most convenient for MAKO, and by the way, MAKO has done an incredible job of just — I was stressed out early in the year, and they have eliminated a lot of stresses. The results are coming back, whether it’s a Sunday test, a Wednesday test or a Friday test to the point where you’re not every day on edge. I’m talking back in the camp it was like seven days a week you were like — you couldn’t ever catch a breath. But MAKO has been incredible as far as how they operate, the diligence that they get our results back and the quality of that company. So I couldn’t say more things about him and that company.

The place where we’ll get tested I think this weekend will be right here in our facility like we’ve been, so we’ll get them done in the morning and then they’ll get them down to Carolina, where MAKO is located, and then by the time we get up there we should have some type of results I guess that evening sometime.

Q. Are you guys using MAKO for all three weekly tests now?

PAT NARDUZZI: Yeah. Yes, we are.

Q. You talked about the tight end Long right off the top. What do you need to fix or improve after giving up two touchdowns to the tight end last week?

PAT NARDUZZI: Play better coverage, get our hands on people, have better focus, better leverage, better eye control. But it comes down to eye control. Again, we were loose in coverage. We just didn’t play our football game.

Pitt’s DJ Turner Named ACC Co-Receiver of the Week

PITTSBURGH—Pitt senior wide receiver DJ Turner has been honored by the Atlantic Coast Conference for his performance against NC State this past weekend.

Turner was named the ACC Co-Receiver of the Week after posting the highest receiving yardage by a Pitt player in 16 years. He averaged an incredible 23.3 yards per catch with eight receptions for 186 yards against the Wolfpack. He had five catches of over 20 yards, including a 50-yarder.

Turner’s receiving yardage marked the highest by a Pitt player since Nov. 6, 2004, when Greg Lee had 188 yards on nine receptions at Syracuse.

Turner (Glenarden, Md./ DeMatha Catholic), who joined the Panthers in August as a graduate transfer from Maryland, has 17 catches for a team-high 319 yards (18.8 avg.) and a TD on the year. He leads the ACC and ranks eighth nationally in total receiving yards.

Turner shared this week’s ACC receiver honor with NC State’s Emeka Emezie.

Turner and the Panthers take to the road this Saturday to face Boston College. The game will be televised by ACC Network and kick off at 4 p.m.

44 thoughts on “Pat Narduzzi Transcript + Hey Mr. DJ

  1. well, Bill O’Brien, who did a real good job at PSU is now available. Actually, did pretty well with the Oilers until the 0-4 start this year. Still firmly believes he should be both the HC and GM, and probably will only look at an NFL job

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    1. come to think of it …. maybe O’Brien will come if he is both the HC and AD. This would please Tex and a few others here to no end.

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  2. Per Mike Vucovcan, PA lifts attendance ban on sporting events as of Friday.
    So glad they figured it out before play starts up in creepy valley.

    7500 allowed at Heinz Field.

    1250 allowed at the Pete.

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  3. As far as DJ goes, it’s very impressive that he just arrived in Oakland and wasn’t even a starter. Too bad the ghost of the north end zone tripped him up.

    I’ve been very hesitant and cautious to blame the refs on this one because I think Narduzzi was out-coached but I’ll be dam if that big kid didn’t push off for the TD and it happened more than once. The refs had no problems calling PI on PITT.

    How about when Kancey jumped offsides and the guard slapped him upside the head? Wasn’t that rude behavior? 🙂 5 yards for giving him the business.

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  4. Coach Duzz — some of us fans “…hurt like a coach” too.

    Pitt football is the only sporting event where a loss stays with me for at least a few days…

    Go Pitt.

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  5. Can Pitt win enough games to be bowl eligible this year? I see loses against Miami, ND, Clemson and VT. Chances for wins against BC, GT and Fla. State. So IMO this BC game may end up Pitt’s biggest of the season.

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  6. Would be interesting to know the number of pass-interference calls for Pitt WRs versus the number against Pitt DBs.

    Seems to me that our WRs are not taught to get PI calls — and there is something of an art to it. Just this last game there was a 30-yardish pass to one of our WRs – I didn’t notice who, but I did notice that even though the pass was under-thrown, the WR just kept running. Easy to get a penalty called in those cases if you slow down, act like you’re attempting to get back to the ball, and let the defender run into you.
    This gets called against us – but I don’t see us taking advantage.

    Like Beatty’s recruiting; need him to make the WRs more aggressive, IMHO.

    And, of course our DBs need to turn their head and look for the ball. Though I realize this is easier said than done. I’m thinking that in an empty stadium, you should even be able to alert them that the balls in the air…

    Go Pitt.

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  7. Sorry, but Narduzzi’s press conference got me thinking about the press conferences we used to get from the Carl DePasqua era during the dark years before Majors arrived. Carl spent four totally forgettable years at Pitt after receiving many accolades at Waynesburg University, where he went 8-1 and 11-0 and won an NAIA Championship. As Pitt attempted to recover from the disastrous Dave Hart era, DePasqua was the guy Pitt selected (small college HC, which probably meant they got him cheap) to bring back the glory days.

    Clearly, Carl was in over his head, and I think his failure was that he couldn’t recruit enough good players at the top level of college football, which is, as we know, a typical problem that comes with the inexperienced college HCs that Pitt usually gets (by year 4 he was 1-10). I recall he claimed a major breakthrough had occurred when Pitt finally beat BC in game 7 of 1972 (for his only win), but this was not to be. His subsequent press conferences that year typically began with the phrase “well, we didn’t get it done today..” and when that painful year ended with losses to Navy and Pedo, he got the boot.

    Wes Posvar finally had enough losing, and brought in Johnnie Majors to turn the program around, but it took Pitt becoming a national embarrassment and a college football laughing stock to finally change things. And the subsequent 48 years since produced a decade of excellence, followed by over 30 years of back sliding into the mediocrity that we experience today.

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  8. “For years and years and years, okay, you’d jump on a bus on an away trip and you’d hear some clowning around going on in the back of the bus. And as a coach, man, we have no life.” — PAT NARDUZZI

    Dear Pat Narduzzi,

    Cry me a river, boss. You tell fans and alumni that “we (coaches) have no life.”

    That’s pretty bold, because at $4MIL, I’ll happily supervise 50 adjudicated youth like I used to at any Residential Treatment Facility or within any prison system of your choosing. (Been there and done that for pennies on the dollar.)

    We alumni want a bit more — I’m talking ’bout BC, GT, Florida State, which should bring you to your annual quota of 7 W’s per year. In between, treat yourself to dinner, or romance your wife a bit. Buy a new pair of glasses or shoes. Hell, buy your kids a bowling alley. But let’s not start telling the fanbase that you have “no life.”

    Beg to differ. Be better than average is all I ask.
    –Neil

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  9. That part sounded like the BP CEO after the Horizon debacle. “I just want to get home to London, he testified” Take his $10M per year anf get your life back in London. Good grief.

    With respect to PI – on the ncstate TD, if you watch, our little #14. we initiated contact at about the three yard line with the WR and the WR pushed back and got an easy td in the end zone. Who should the PI be called on? Ref held on to whistle. I don’t have a problem with that.

    Now, there was one on the ncst sideline where the same thing happened and the pass was way high. No flag warranted there against our #14 on that one. Ref should have picked up the hanky. No harm, no foul.

    I did notice that on each of our PI calls against, our players immediately turned to the refs and started to beg for a call reversal. It must have worked at some point in their careers because they are all doing it.

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    1. Catching up to an earlier comment you made about KP on the run option. You are correct – he kept the ball at least twice when he should not have. One time the ball was so big I could have run through it.

      The ref calls weren’t consistent. Ticky-tacky on the DB should also be ticky-tack on the WR. The rules already favor the offense. They just need to call it evenly. That said, I’m convinced there is some Tobacco Road home-cooking going on.

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    2. Seems our DBs are coached to be extremely handsy. Some refs have a low tolerance for that – from the defender. The Carolina teams seem to specialize in their WRs pushing off, which I think is a smart approach since it is so rarely called.

      Probably one reason for us bringing in the taller DBs in Freshmen Battle and Royal…

      I’d like to see our DBs be a tad less handsy, and our WRs to be a tad more handsy….

      Go Pitt.

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    3. It’s a gripe that I have … every time an opposing receiver catches a ball the pit DB immediately calls for a flag.

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  10. The D-back has his right to his spot on the field. When a WR pushes off two things happens. He pushes the D-back away plus he gains advantage by thrusting himself towards the ball. “Our little #14” says it all

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    1. If you watch the tape carefully little #14 actually bends forwards instead of jumping up. Now how does that happen? Happens fast and I think the ref was shielded from it

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      1. Agreed MM. I only looked at the play as it happened, but i felt that big #14 initiated contact around the three yard line on the pylon route and that the big ncst wr pushed off right before the ball got there. The ref doesnt call it because in his mind, they both pushed. Can he cancel them out? I’ve never seen that. Regardless, I was okay with the non-call as I watched it live. I would also say that the contact was used more as an advantage for the wr, than our little contact by the huge 14.

        On the sideline PI, the ball was not even close to catchable and the PI should never have been called there in my opinion. Ref should have picked up the hanky. These calls don’t excuse away the poor performance overall of the team and coaching staff.

        A tip of the hat to Joel and tvax for the acknowledgment. I shall call it a night, whilst ahead.

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        1. I acknowledge effort and accuracy even if outcome isn’t perfect, just ask my kids

          but I also often call out and do not reward lack of effort, etc., just ask my kids,,,no participation trophies

          wait, you are ahead? 😉

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  11. Y’know, a lot of the time I forget how young these kids are part of that is the business that is CFB today. But wow, I really was taken by how humble, sincere and candid DJ was in his meeting the media today and fielding some difficult questions; i.e., would you still be at Maryland if not for Covid?; how do you feel about being ACC WR of the week?; how well do you know the playbook?, etc. Again, really impressed by this kid in his video appearance, especially because he’s visibly nervous (see trembling lips in reaction a Gerry D (Trib) question posed).
    Of course some of our players — and many, many others in FBS — who take to a live mic these days are ridiculously rehearsed and accustomed to interviews. But damn is it refreshing to see a kid who’s somewhat taken aback by the media attention. I really hope my son keeps it as honest as DJ Turner did when confronted however publicly. And this is why I watch the games. It reminds me why I’d skip the NFL any day of the week to watch these young men become men.

    Liked by 3 people

  12. I have been a bit tied up with Q3 resuts at work, but finally had a moment to go back and see what reactions there were to the Mark Madden remarks from yesterday. The guy really knows his hockey, but is a WWF fanboy and definitely enjoyed taking a swipe at Pitt. Called the game a “Narduzzi Special” which – despite the pain of that Tomlin-esque loss on Sat. – was clever.

    Then I saw the interesting exchange between my friend Erie and Tex.
    Really late to this and it can be argued its not my place to say this, but Tex:

    1) Try to post half as often
    2) Try to shorten each post by 50%
    3) Try to offer fresh insights.
    4) Try to think about who you are responding to and what they actually said. There have been a very small number of folks here who have made personal attacks, but the vast, vast majority of these folks here are rock solid. They don’t play that way. I’ve spent time with them before games, after games, golf outing and other social functions.
    5) Try to care about how your screen persona reflects who you are. Try not to act like you know more than most here. Even if you might, its a bad look. If Annie calls you out, you have messed up.

    Liked by 8 people

  13. GC – you are correct. Pitt drops more than most teams when they soil the sheets and it takes a lot more for them to rise. On top of that, the Coaches (really the Asst ADs who fill out their polls) have a love fest with ND, the Hokies and a couple other programs. We are on the flip side of that.

    In stock parlance, Pitt’s stock tends to have more downcapture than upcapture due to mediocre earnings performance and a lack of confidence in the C-suite and business strategy.

    Only way to change that is to win.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Madden’s comments on Narduzzi and the Pitt program hit the nail on the head at least in its current form. We dropped 3 of 4 to Penn State and Narduzzi has yet to beat Notre Dame (Harris, Wannstedt, and Chryst did), and with West Virginia on the schedule, I hope our program has improved enough to beat the Mounties. It took Harris seven years to achieve an end-of-season ranking and Wannstedt five. Even our recent history points to a mismatch between what fans expect and what Narduzzi produces. I don’t think the donation argument is relevant. Pitt has deeper resources now than it had ever had. Harris and Wannstedt won with a much lower salary and fewer resources, and both had to deal with a crappy AD in Pederson.

    And our multimillion dollar coach can’t find one or two decent running backs? What kind of recruiting is that? Just excuses.

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  15. I don’t see Heather making a change in mid-season, especially with COVID still in play. This will be a hot seat year for Narduzzi, with next year being the time of reckoning. By then, the buy out would likely be very modest. With the loss in revenue this year, they will not rock the boat and will give him a vote of confidence.

    Like

  16. Well at least this week PITT will know who the other teams starting QB will be and hopefully much more prepared for Phil. Leary kind of snuck up on them. No excuse for that. After thinking on it for a few days I’m guessing PITT will be doing the hand clapping much like they did against psu in the first game last series.

    PITT went for two and Mack drops the ball and they get zero points. PITT has the ball at the 1 yard line first and goal and PITT gets zero points. PITT loses by one point, how does this happen?

    Dan and everyone is right, this game has it all on the line, no more excuses. Win or fold up the tents and forget about this season.

    Fans allowed into the stadium this week but who is going to get in? Free Fran and JoeL, season ticket holders for decades, actually they use to go to the Decade, that’s how long they have been going to the games..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If given the opportunity to attend, I will go. A few others would have to opt ot before the get to my name on the list, so not optimistic.

      Regarding BC, some in the media have suggested Jurkovec, Jeff Hafley and Frank CIgnettis Jr. will have extra motivation to beat Pitt. WIth Jurkovec, that’s probably more about showing the folks back home he can play. It did not sound like PItt treated him badly; on the contrary, I understood that he may have been a bit of a prima donna when PItt came calling.

      Others will probably disagree, but I thought Hafley and Cignetti would be a nice HC/DC/OC tandem when Wannstedt was canned. Hafley was Wannstedt’s recruiting ace and could get kids out of NJ/NY area. Thought Cignetti did a much better job than Cavanaugh with Bill Stull. Both got quickly scooped up by Schiano at Rutgers. Maybe they have some sort of grudge, but then maybe not. In any event, I think BC has a good pair there.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. My impression during Wanny-time was that while Hafley was considered an ace recruiter, he was not considered to be even average as a DB position coach. My perception could have been all wrong, or he’s progressed a long way as a coach in the intervening years…

        Go Pitt.

        Like

        1. I think a year or two under the tutelage of ace coaches at OSU will make anyone better, or you get fired. You can learn to be a really good coach. A culture can do that to you.

          This may have happened with our head coach. He was in a decent culture at MSU, but not a great one that demanded winning. When your employer demands winning and gives you the resources to win and you dont, it becomes obvious very quickly. When you dont have resources and you are mediocre, you get really good opportunities! If our coach had the exact same record and half the resources, he could pick his next job. Instead, he will let the AD he was contacted about openings every couple years so he can keep getting extended. Oldest play in the book, except for the 4th and 1 qb sneak.

          Like

  17. Funny how one loss has everyone believing the season is over. Yes is does look bad, the schedule is definitely tough, but there are still very good players on this team. I agree that BC has become a must win if the season is to be salvaged and then we go from there. the team still has to play them one at a time.
    I said last week that we probably won’t see a better game from the D than we did vs. Louisville. Hopefully we won’t see a worst game than they played vs. NCST.

    Unfortunately I don’t see Whipple giving V. Davis a lesser role and one of the others more of a chance. I have noticed that he doesn’t seem to have vision. When a cut to the outside and a big hole is available he runs into the pile. He is to small to break most tackles. He just can’t be your featured back. Izzy and Sibley need more carries.

    We also don’t know how serious the injuries are to Addison, Wayne and Camp and others who may provide some much needed impact plays. I have said before, Whipple needs to cut half the plays from his offense and work on execution of the rest. If they aren’t spending half the time on the red zone offense, something is dramatically wrong.

    Covid is not done yet. It lulled us to sleep vs NCST by thinking their game vs VT was who they were. What other surprises does it have in store for us moving forward. If Cam Newton can get it and other important people to go unnamed, anyone can and it will still most probably have an impact at some point.

    Liked by 2 people

  18. A few technical questions. It seems Pitt’s receivers too many times don’t get much separation from defenders as do many other receivers we have played. Receiver is hit as soon as the ball arrives. Poor route running or too predictable a play? Not talking about Addison’s long wide open TD which happen too infrequently so far. Also those short gain or for loss runs seem to occur from tacklers running unimpeded from behind the runner. Is that because Pitt linemen have pulled and left a vacancy for a tackler to run through from behind or is it an unbalanced line that has too few blockers available to protect the runner from behind? Too predictable a play? Finally tight ends are so wide open for other teams that use them as receivers. Are Pitt’s tight ends used for blocking only? With no tight ends available to receive passes, Kenny’s options are really reduced. Any answers?

    Liked by 2 people

  19. I haven’t seen any info from Pitt yet on how they will sell their 5500 tickets to the Notre Dame game, so how about a little speculation.

    To maximize donations do you take the 2750 highest ranked by priority points and allow them to purchase 2 tickets each? As opposed to the top 1375 and allow them to purchase up to 4 each?

    Do you offer tickets to those who donated their 2020 season ticket money to the Athletic Dept even if they are not the highest ranked by priority points?

    Since you will easily sell out all 5500 to season ticket purchasers, I trust you would not make tickets available to Notre Dame fans.

    Do you give preference to those who allowed Pitt to keep their season ticket money and apply it to next year’s tickets over those who requested and received full refunds of their 2020 tickets?

    I assume they or Heinz Field officials would select specific seats to sell to ensure the spacing they want. Selling general admission tickets and asking folks to spread out probably wouldn’t work.

    Finally, do you jack up the ticket price to reflect the market, say $150-$200 per seat? This might mean ending up with a high number of ND fans who would be more willing to pay the price as it is a rare chance for them to actually get in to see a live game since their stadium has sold out for 46 straight years.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Was wondering exactly the same. ADHL has made some comments about the importance of students being there. But I don’t think that is wise, either economically or healthwise.

      A few hundred family members of both players and staff. And lets face it, the Admin and BOT will get a chance.

      What about luxury box folk? As they are isolated from the masses, wondering if they get any exemption.
      If not, they should have to sit is in the stands so we can see them…. just my opinion.

      Like

  20. “Like I said, quietest meeting I’ve been in, focused, locked in, so I like where we are after that loss. If a loss can be good for you, I think it’s going to be good for us.”

    Lose to a 14 point underdog ACC opponent- Bad

    Drop out of Top 25 – Bad

    Another no-show run game – Bad

    Horrid DB play – Bad

    Four tries from the one yard line to win and fail – Bad

    Allowing a 70 yard winning TD drive that took only 75 seconds – Really bad

    Pickett putting up numbers that mean nothing – So-So

    Fire Whipple tomorrow – Good (but won’t happen because that would mean he made a mistake hiring him)

    🤣

    Like

  21. Re: DB’s Pass Interference calls; if a DB is making any contact after the ball has thrown he has to have his head turned around in the direction of the incoming pass. If he doesn’t and contact is made then most times they get called for the interference.

    “It is pass interference by either team when any act by a player more than one yard beyond the line of scrimmage significantly hinders an eligible player’s opportunity to catch the ball.”

    True that the DB has a right to the ball once in the air – but if he isn’t making a move toward making a catch or looking back at the ball then he’s going to get flagged.

    Like

  22. I watch a ton of college football and while Pitt isn’t the only school to get bad PI calls, they get far more than most in virtually identical contact situations, PERIOD!

    Liked by 1 person

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