Reading Between the Lines – Post BC / Pre Miami

After Pitt’s most disappointing loss since last year’s game against <checks notes> Boston College, and leading up to a game against a team we have no hope of beating (i.e. Miami), I think it’s time for another edition of Reading Between the Lines with Pat Narduzzi. Enjoy.

PAT NARDUZZI: Happy Monday. Working on No. 6. I say it every week, our guys have earned something a lot of people around the country haven’t done to this point in getting (to week) No. 6. Obviously the last couple weeks we’ve come up a point short, which in my career I don’t know if I’ve ever been a point short two weeks in a row, but we’re this far away from really being 5-0, and that’s really the attitude we take.

Because after that debacle, how else am I going to motivate them, really? I mean shoot, if we can’t go 5-0 against BC, NC State, Louisville, Syracuse and Austin Peay, who can we go 5-0 against? Also, remember when we were just two field goals away from 10 wins? And eight points away from 11-1?

We’ve got a good football team. We’ve made a lot of plays on the year and we’ve missed a couple plays, which everybody in the country does. Surely we’d like to sit here and be undefeated at this point, but that’s not where we are, so we’ve got to deal with the reality. We’re going to have to fight through some adversity and just fight to come back. We’ve got a great team this week in Miami, so another ranked team we get to go face and do it on the road.

Remember that game from when you were a teenager where you added the words “in bed” to the end of every sentence and it always made sense? I want you to do that here, but just use the words “on defense” instead.

Got a lot of faith in our football team. I love this team, and like I said, when you watch the tape from Saturday, probably more than the week before, I think I was more upset the week before against North Carolina State than I was — when you watch the tape, what pops out to me is attitude and effort. I mean, our kids got a great attitude. They never quit. We’re down, it’s back and forth, they’re on the road. A lot of things can happen; it can get away from you. It hadn’t got away from our guys. Very easily after a 77-yard pass, after a two-yard loss, where things could just unravel, but our guys don’t unravel at all.

“At least we didn’t get blown out”.

Obviously we don’t want to give up big plays, but the effort that our kids played with in all three phases is pretty darned good. It’s as good as I’ve been around, and that’s all you can ask for as a football coach is your guys are playing their tails off for each other.

Now if we could just add a little more focus in the kicking game…

Besides that, there’s the inches that we’ve lost, whether it’s getting more 1st downs and getting into probably a manageable field goal situation for Kess (Alex Kessman) — when you talk about missing field goals, a 55-yarder and a 49-yarder, I don’t know what the average percentage on a 45-yard-plus field goal around the country is, but if you hit one out of three of those, which is what Kess did, you’re pretty darned good, and a 58-yarder obviously is tremendous and gives us a chance in overtime.

Well actually as recently as 2018 it was about 50%…but I’m not going to tell Alex that. https://watchstadium.com/collegekickers-when-they-make-miss-field-goals-by-distance-situation-and-more-06-11-2019/

But you know, those are low-percentage kicks, especially on a windy day where you had gusts of up to 30 miles an hour down on the field.

I’m chalking the extra point up to the wind too.

But I loved our kids’ attitude. I loved their toughness. But those inches that we’ve got to get, whether it’s we’re down on the goal line, it’s 4th and 1 on the goal line and Des (Deslin Alexandre) has got the quarterback by the back of the jersey and goes to pull him and he starts to tug him and it just lets go, that’s what I’m talking about. Just we’re that close. He’s in perfect position, he ain’t getting in if we pull him back, but that’s 4th and 1 at the goal line. That’s seven points there.

Haba Baldonaldo would have had him.

Going back to the field goals, those long ones — let’s get another 1st down, let’s get one more 1st down and then if we’ve got to kick it, at least it’s in the 30s instead of the 40s. Those types of things.

Yea I’m frustrated. So about Mark Whipple…

And then obviously the fundamental things of I think you guys asked a question on Saturday was it a busted coverage. Obviously it wasn’t, but it’s fundamentals, and it’s technique and giving that receiver something we don’t want to give him at times, and I won’t get into the details of that, but we’ve just got to do a better job as coaches putting them in better position and getting their technique down.

Not going to say it’s Pinnock’s fault, but That Zay Flowers is damn slippery. Damn slippery. Almost as slippery as Phil Jurkovec...

Probably the biggest mistake of the day in my opinion is just without Damarri Mathis out there, I think our corners each took 90 reps the week before and 77 (Saturday at Boston College), so you’re looking at depth, and we’re going to have to — with the tempo we’re going to see this week when we go down to Miami, we’re going to have to rotate our corners, we’re going to have to keep them fresh, and I did a poor job of making sure that we were doing that, and we were putting our corners out there for 77 plays on Saturday, and that’s a long time. Rashad Weaver and Patrick Jones don’t go 77 plays. They’re kind of like in a wrestling match, and some people differ with you, those guys it’s a — if you’ve ever wrestled, it’s exhausting to wrestle, and you’re wrestling in a hand war, in a physical war up there.

And so if you think a tired Jason Pinnock getting beaten by 2 steps is bad wait until you see AJ Woods and a true freshman try to match up man-to-man against the U’s receivers. By the way did I mention Pitt has a great wrestling team?

But when you’re running a ton, that’s the other end of it, which I’ve never done. I can’t say I’ve ever been there. But I’ve had linebackers move to D-end and kind of gone, holy cow, Coach, this is different; I can’t play 10 plays in a row. It’s just different. But I’ve never played corner, but obviously we’ve got to be better on the back end.

Damn I should have recruited more corners two years ago.

If we eliminate the big plays and make them earn it — even the first drive of the game was 14 plays, and we bent but did not break and caused a field goal. That’s what we’ve got — we just can’t give them the big chunks, and we’ve got to do a better job there, and that’s the game really. Some of those little things.

My defenses have been giving up big chunks since I started in this business. But typically the offense bails me out.

And then one other thing that — we get one turnover, we each got one turnover. Their turnover is down on our own 17-yard line and the defense shows up and gets another turnover, but when we got our one turnover — we thought we had three, but we got our one, our offense has got to go 80. So it’s where you get those turnovers that are critical, as well. Those inches and turnovers, as well, just some things you just can’t control.

Yep, I’m blaming the refs.

But I was very, very happy with our attitude and our effort and really toughness. I thought we went out and played tough, which is really a mark of a Pitt football team.

Tough. Tough. That loss was … tough.

Again, going to Miami, I’ll just step into that because obviously that chapter is closed, but I’m trying to close it for you guys. But Miami and Manny Diaz, obviously they’ve had a heck of a year so far. Stumbled last week versus the No. 1 team in the country.

Did I mention I beat Clemson?

And obviously Miami has got a ton of speed. They’ve got some transfers both on the offensive side of the ball and the defensive side of the ball. One of the best defensive ends, Phillips, is a transfer from UCLA. They’ve got a safety that’s also from out USC, I believe. Obviously they’ve got a quarterback and a right tackle that are from Houston that came together — I guess, a package deal — that are very athletic. So those are some of the top guys, as well. So we’ll have our hands full down there.

Who am I kidding we’ve had our hands full since Austin Peay.

Rhett Lashlee came from SMU, very explosive, fast tempo. It’ll be the fastest tempo that we’ve seen to date. Be very similar to Syracuse but probably faster. We’re trying to think, we’ve got like 60 snaps of 15 seconds or faster, so that’s a ton of snaps, so they’re going to go and we’ve got to be — main thing is get lined up and be fresh as we can be, and I think that’s probably the most important thing.

We’ll mostly be practicing against the double-clap.

But very talented four-down again this week on defense. Play a lot of man free like we saw last week, play a little bit of cover two and a mixture of both, and again, very athletic on both sides of the ball offensively and defensively.

You saw how we did against a couple of mediocre defenses in BC and NC State so just avert your eyes now because this one is going to be ugly.

Q. What’s the latest on Kenny?

PAT NARDUZZI: Kenny, he’s banged up. But he was a lot better yesterday than I thought he might be. We’ll see what happens at practice this week, but the one thing I know about Kenny is he’s tough as can be. You talk about nails, that guy — that last run he had down on the goal line, he’s tough, and it’s going to be hard to hold him out, that’s for sure.

Of course if he’s in a walking boot it will be a lot easier, but I’ll never tell you if he is!

Q. You mentioned being like this close to being 5-0 at this point, now 3-2. Do you feel like this team should be 5-0 at this point given what’s happened?

PAT NARDUZZI: We can do do-you-think, do-you-think, do-you-think. We aren’t. If you make a couple plays you’re this far away from being it. So that’s what I think. I don’t know if I can elaborate on it any more than that. You’re a few plays away, and we’ve got to win it in the fourth quarter, we’ve got to find a way to finish the darned game.

Thanks for rubbing salt in the wound.

Q. Are you worried about the cumulative emotional toll of the narrowness of those losses, especially because they might prevent you from getting where you wanted to be at the end of the season?

PAT NARDUZZI: No, we’re going to take them one day at a time. I’m not really worried about that at all. We’ve got a pretty resilient football team. We’re never going to lose our kids during the season. It’s because of the way we treat them every day, consistently. Win or loss, we’re going to kind of take care of guys. We’re not going to go — we can’t get a guy hurt and then go on the free agency, pick up another corner. We just can’t do it. It doesn’t happen. We’ve got great kids. They’re fun to coach every day, and that’s why it’s fun. If I had to worry about not only coaching and getting us lined up and prepared to play a football game, but if I had to worry about our mentality then we’ve have a different deal. But I don’t worry about the emotions at all. Our kids are in a good place. They were in a good place last night like they were the week before, and our guys will come to play, I’ll guarantee you that.

I’ll tell you what. When we start getting blown out in multiple games in a row I’ll pack my own bags.

Q. Just as a side note, the process of traveling, how did that all go for you? I know you had another zero (players in COVID-19 protocol), which is a good thing.

PAT NARDUZZI: Yeah.

I kinda think you just answered your own question, sport.

Q. How was the process of travel?

PAT NARDUZZI: You know, the process was good. There’s always little issues here and there. But the biggest thing I thought was going to be the plane ride, but it might have been just how we ate and some of the details that we can clean up, and we’ll clean it up after the first time on the road. Just making sure everything is good that way.

But you mentioned the zero. That’s half the battle is getting to the game.

But we flew Delta, we had great distancing, social distancing on the airplane, we had some outstanding masks for our kids, so we’re keeping them as safe as possible. Dr. Freddie Fu took care of us and got us some great masks to make sure our kids are really just paying attention to details. I think we got a new mask every week. It’s nice, something new for our guys every week that they want to wear. It’s a different color, different style. But we had no problems with the travel.

Again, you never know how much trouble you have until this week. We’ll find out if we went to Boston and caught anything in the hotel or not, but right now we feel good where we came out of there.

It’s not the travel to Massachusetts I’m worried about. Have you seen the COVID numbers down in Florda? Sheesh, that whole state has a built-in home field advantage. I’ve already told Karlo to talk to Fr. Freddie Fu about getting us some hazmat suits.

Q. After watching the game, I think you guys were 4 of 18 on 3rd downs. What did you see with some of those breakdowns and why weren’t you more successful there?

PAT NARDUZZI: Yeah, I forget really our 3rd down percentage, but I think that’s dead wrong. I think the statisticians had a bust in the press box there. I think maybe they fell asleep at the wheel. I see EJ turning to his paperwork there. EJ, can you verify that?

EJ BORGHETTI: There were some statistical issues that needed to be corrected, and they’ll be updated today, but coming out of the game that was the number.

PAT NARDUZZI: I think there was five of them that we got 1st downs by penalties, holding or whatever. We had one push off — they call push off this week. They didn’t a week ago, but they called one this week on us, which again, is another one of those inches that a week ago it doesn’t get called. This week obviously was an emphasis on it. I don’t know why.

But Taysir had a great catch down inside the 25-yard line and that goes back, and now you’re sitting at 2nd and 25 or whatever. So those are just the little things that we just have not had a whole lot of luck with some of those things.

That Taysir Mack push off penalty was bullshit. You hear that ACC? BULLL-SCHITT. You know what, Here’s your f****** $5000 check for the fine; Go f*** yourselves. Oh and don’t even get me started on the strip-fumbles that were reversed. Let me put this another way ACC, and I’m going to quote a line out of my favorite movie — Goodfellas: F*** you you F******* F****.

Q. You guys have seen two really strong quarterback performances by your opponents two weeks in a row and now you’re about to face D’Eriq King. You guys have only lost by one point the past two weeks. You often talk about tweaking your defensive game. Do you think it’s still going to be more of a tweaking of your game to address this week or are there certain changes that you’re saying, hey, if we do a structural change here or there, that might give you a better chance to win this time around?

PAT NARDUZZI: Yeah, we’re going to tweak it whatever we have to do in coverage. We’re not going to put in a new front or a new coverage or a new blitz, I can tell you that, defensively. We’re not going to do it. If we did it, we’d be sitting here next Monday feeling worse than you feel today. I think that’s a recipe for disaster.

I’ve had different coordinators, I’ve seen different coordinators through the years try to do that, and from my experience that never works out. Never works out well, ever.

Live by the press-man, die by the press-man. You know that.

Q. If Kenny can’t go, who would start and how do you feel about the growth at that position behind Kenny?

PAT NARDUZZI: You know, we’ll find out. I don’t think you really grow until you get your feet wet. Davis (Beville) has walked in and taken a couple snaps and been solid. He hasn’t had a chance to get in a rhythm of a football game, and then last week obviously Joey (Yellen) came in and took a couple snaps and took us in the end zone, but it was a running game. No one has really seen him throw the ball yet. We were lucky that Kenny came right back after a couple snaps and a series on defense.

I don’t know who he (the No. 2 quarterback) is right now, but every week we try to figure that out, and it depends on how good of a week every quarterback has, and whichever quarterback has the best week will be that first guy to come in.

If you have two quarterbacks you really don’t have any.

Q. Have you guys talked to Kenny about maybe trying to be a little more — use a little more discretion in terms of running it and maybe just throwing it away and living to fight another play because he has taken a lot of hits.

PAT NARDUZZI: Yeah, I mean, Kenny is a tough guy. Last week some people thought when he got targeted (in the NC State game) that it was a head, but it was actually he had the wind knocked out of him, just so we’re all straight there. I don’t know if I mentioned that to you last week. You know, when he got banged up, it was on a quarterback scramble. There’s nothing else you can do. You’d like him to maybe throw it away if he doesn’t like what he sees, but I wish he’d just stay in the pocket and throw the ball because he had a guy wide open even on that play over the middle, if you go back and look at the videotape. So it’s just kind of hanging in there. But Kenny likes to — sometimes he’s pulling it on some of the run game and doing it himself.

Sometimes

But the one thing, we’re not a team that’s having a bunch of quarterback runs where it’s not a read, and we really — sometimes we’re reading it, when we talk the zone read where he took it for 10 yards around the edge on an inside zone kind of a quarterback zone read. But it’s really more of him like in a scramble, and if he feels like he doesn’t see what he likes down there, then he’s going to take off, and those are the ones — it’s hard to tell a quarterback, sit in the pocket and take a sack, either, because you guys will be upset about that.

Sometimes I wish…

Obviously we want to be smart. You see him slide at times, you see him — which I think is a good change-up; sometimes you slide, sometimes you don’t, and I think that takes the defense kind of out of what they — even a week ago he slid the first time, then after that every time he’s going down, now he’s going headfirst for two more yards on a scramble.

But when you’re a competitor and you’re tough like that, he’s going to compete, that’s for sure. You saw how he came back. He’s tough, and I could tell Kenny to run out of bounds or take a knee. He ain’t taking a knee. That’s not Kenny Pickett. He’s Pitt tough.

Sometimes I wish he’d just slide.

Q. You mentioned the tempo with Miami on offense, how they just run, run, run plays like crazy. Any similarities to UCF and kind of how fast they were?

PAT NARDUZZI: Yeah, that’s a great comparison. Syracuse used to be a little bit faster so I would have always said it was Syracuse, but if you had to compare it I would say it’s probably more comparable to what we’re going to feel to the UCF game from a year ago, no doubt about it, and two years ago. That’s probably the best comparison for sure.

Actually a lot of similarities <rolls eyes>. For one, they are both in the state of Florida, both teams have 11 men on offense. And yes, both teams have a quarterback… Next question please.

Q. Kenny’s completion percentage has gone down every week. I think I could be wrong but it seems like he’s throwing into a lot of tight windows. Is there enough separation with your wide receivers and opposing DBs?

PAT NARDUZZI: It depends on if they hold you or not. It depends if you get held or not. There’s one time Jordan Addison was like this and there’s no call. A week ago we got a call on that one. I always thought when your shirt did this, it was a hold. But we’re not going to get separation if you get held, and obviously we can always get better releases, but give those guys credit, too, they’re good athletes, too.

In case I have not adequately expressed my feelings on the officiating, please see my comment above.

Q. Did the way B.C. moved Flowers around and particularly used him in those really tight splits seem to give you guys some trouble?

PAT NARDUZZI: Not really. Again, you talk about two big passes. We outrushed them, we out-threw them. We had more total offense than they had, but they had the two explosive plays that we didn’t have. We had some explosive, but it comes down to two plays on defense. You stop the run, they had 30 yards rushing, we counted it as 75. You guys look at the stats, whether it’s a 3rd down, 5 of 18 or 4 of 18, we gave them 75 yards rushing, which is still way below what we planned on doing because we kind of treat it like the NFL stats, we count those quarterback rushes as passing yards.

You know, it is what it is. We’ve done a good job. We’ve got to eliminate the big plays, and that goes down to the focus for 60 minutes. It comes down to the details of your techniques and whatever your job is, and we can get better at that. We’re never going to be perfect, we’re never going to be flawless, but it’s those big plays that we’ve got to eliminate. If you eliminate those, you take a 110, 115 yards off their total offense, it’s maybe an embarrassing day for another offense, and that’s what we’ve got to do. And that’s what great defenses do. We were talking a lot about defense, and you guys wanted to evaluate them after three weeks and I told you we’d evaluate them after 11 or 12 or 13, and that’s kind of why.

Like my old buddy Reed Kohberger always said, to get to the true statistics you have to take out the big plays. Anybody who follows college football knows that.

Q. We saw Davis Beville pop in there I guess it was a couple weeks ago when Kenny had to come out and then Joey Yellen comes in. Is that just like a sign of a tangible improvement by Joey, or is that just you guys want to get both of those guys in there, that they both have experience? What went into the decision to get Joey in there?

PAT NARDUZZI: Yeah, I think I mentioned it just a few minutes ago, but it comes down to the practice week and a gut feeling of what you’re doing well and what you need to do. We’ve got confidence in both of those guys. And again, it comes down to the practice reps that you do well, and obviously just like in the NFL, your backup doesn’t get a ton of reps and you’re trying to narrow it down. I wish we had a pure No. 2 right now and we don’t, and if any one of those guys ever had extensive time in a real game, then I think you’d find out who those were. But until that time comes, all we can do is base who that backup quarterback is off of practice reps and what they do during practice and how they fit into that defense. If you throw a couple picks during the week as the backup quarterback, you probably aren’t going in. And I’m not saying anybody did that, but I’m just giving you the hardest example. It’s pretty simple, who’s locked in, who understands the game plan better, who fits into what we’re doing that week offensively.

Look, if Beville was The Guy, do you really think we would have brought in Yellen?

Q. Is Cam Bright banged up, or you just liked SirVocea Dennis more for that game at BC?

PAT NARDUZZI: Yeah, obviously Cam came in. I think he took five plays. He’s still a little bit banged up, one of those day-to-day guys that I think he’ll be fully operational this week. But SirVocea Dennis is a football player. I love that guy. If we were playing with four linebackers, he’s a starter, and I consider him a starter, period. He can go in and play all three positions. He’s smart. He obviously starts for us on 3rd down. That guy is as good a football player as you’re going to be around as a linebacker. That guy is going to be a future star in the ACC. So it’s a little banged up but he was able to go and obviously travel, and our trainers and doctors do a great job with those guys trying to get them back on the field, and that’s obviously a plus.

Ohh did we ever luck out on that guy. Did you know his name rhymes with Courvoisier? Hell yea it does. Pass the SirVocea. SirVocea on the rocks with a twist. SirVocea Manhattan hold the Maraschinos please. You want some more? I got a million of ’em.

Q. Do you guys feel like you really missed Keyshon Camp out there in terms of interior pressure and getting off the field that way?

PAT NARDUZZI: Yeah, you miss anybody. Anybody you don’t have, you miss, especially when they’re a starter. I miss Jaylen Twyman. But I’m not going to look backwards. As soon as Keyshon is ready, he’s ready. I miss Damarri Mathis, but that’s kind of the cards we’ve been dealt at this point. Everybody is dealt a different deck, and we’ve got to do with what we have. That will be continuing. I hope it’s more just injury related than it is COVID related, I can tell you that.

Look, I’m trying to run the river holding a pair of Kings right now and we’re about to go up against an inside flush. An extra King ain’t gonna change things.

Q. Kessman talked to us a couple weeks ago after he had that rough week and said he talked to a sports psychologist that kind of got him set straight and allowed him to rebound. Was that somebody that was to him specifically or does the team offer somebody, a mental health professional for the kids to talk to when they’re struggling?

PAT NARDUZZI: Yeah, I mean, it’s all based on what our needs are. We’re going to give our kids whatever they need, and Kess has off and on talked to him all last year and this year. Whatever you need. It’s just a matter of talking to someone that’s really not in your office daily, and we’ve got a great one that I’ve got a relationship — I’ve had a relationship for a long time with, and I think he’s the best in the country. He’s done a great job. He’s my assistant head coach.

I didn’t bring him to Boston though… (sigh)

Q. If you can take us down on the sidelines Saturday, when Kenny came out of the medical tent, was there conversation about him not going back in and maybe he talked you into letting him go back in?

PAT NARDUZZI: Kenny didn’t talk to me. I don’t go talk to anybody. They don’t come talk to me and say, hey — as a matter of fact, I was shocked last week when Paris Ford jumped back in there because I wasn’t sure, no one really said he was back. (Athletic trainer) Dale Thornton, who does an outstanding job for us, came up to me and said, hey, Kenny is ready to go and I said, good, so they went in, evaluated him, and he came out. It wasn’t a matter of whether I said he could or he wanted to go. Kenny is ready to — Kenny is always ready to go.

Look these kids…these kids. Whattya gonna do?

132 thoughts on “Reading Between the Lines – Post BC / Pre Miami

  1. MM, you lost me at “we’re going to play them one game at a time..”. This coach has regurgitated practically every coach speak saying in football. How many ways can you say “we stunk and I’m at fault”..

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    1. Yea I missed an opportunity there. Well my goal is to get 3% better every day so next time I’ll just have to do a better job of putting myself in a position to make that play.

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  2. BC had 2 receivers and little run game and Pitt couldn’t cover them. Miami has 4 studs at receiver, a 4 star fullback and 2 -4 star rbs, and a future All American at QB. How’s that going to work out???

    Add to that our flabby ineffective O line and we are doomed! Not that I’m trying to be negative!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Shhh! don’t talk about Miami’s talent too loudly in front of Voice of Reason. He’ll tell you that all the South Florida talent doesn’t mean a darn thing!

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    2. My apologies. Rivals did not have a Cam’Ron Harris on its recruiting list. He is a Rivals 4* – 5.8.

      Rivals did have a Camron DAVIS listed but it seems that Camron Davis had a name change to Cam’Ron Harris sometime in 2018.

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    3. A future all-american at QB, 4 years of ratings in the bottom 30% of rating. Only Narduzzi thinks he’s great, and does he really. Next pass KP throws take a stop watch to the time of release until the time it reaches area.
      This was so apparent watching pros on Sun-Mon. the release and velocity on the ball. Difference of rec ball to top H.S. QB.
      Swallow your pride Naz., the sports junkies stopped listening to your proclamations on Pickett after game 2.
      Play Yellin prepare the new coach for next year.

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  3. as with every Miami game since the 90s, it’s all about them (The U) and how they approach this game …. because they have had the superior talent each and every time.

    If recent history follows, they will go in the tank after an embarrassing loss on national TV …. remember when Pitt beat them 3 years ago when they were #2, and then took the ACC title and bowl game off? Same thing last year when they had 4 straight ACC wins but then was beaten by FIU, and then tanked the final league game vs Duke, and the bowl game vs La Tech.

    However, I did note that they still looked to be playing hard last week even in the 4th quarter when Clemson had the game out if reach. That was a very different look indeed.

    Pitt has beaten Miami 3 times in recent memory …. in 97 (a year after they beat Pitt 45-0), in the 2014 finale when Pitt had a losing record, and in 2017 when Pitt had a losing record. This is what Miami does

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  4. Great stuff led by some gems. Had I ever stated I don’t think we get a fair shake with the officiating?(truth is, 2nd half last week leaned Pitt) 🙂

    That Taysir Mack push off penalty was bullshit, you hear that ACC? BULLSHIT. Here’s your f****** $5000 check for the fine. Go f*** yourselves. And don’t even get me started on the strip-fumbles that were called back. To quote a line out of my favorite movie Goodfellas: F*** you you F******* F****.

    Ohh did we ever luck out on that guy. Did you know his name rhymes with Courvoisier? Hell yea it does. Pass the SirVocea. SirVocea on the rocks with a twist. SirVocea Manhattan hold the Maraschinos please. You want some more? I got a million of ’em.

    Like my old buddy Reed Kohberger always said, to get to the true statistics you have to take out the big plays. Anybody who follows college football knows that.

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  5. First, let me state the obvious … Pitt could be and should be undefeated. But since we all had a few days of expressing our anger and overreaction as all fans do, let me try to present another angle. Because …. This is pretty much what I do here.

    I was listening to ESPNU on Sunday morning and in their review of the ACC, both announcers agreed that the two pleasant surprises in the conference are NC State and Boston College (of course). Both are 3-1 and have been very impressive the last two weeks.

    And just maybe, these two teams are not the big underdogs they have been made out to be. In the last two weeks when NCS switched to a new QB starter, they have put up 30 and 38 points against what usually are ACC’s better defenses. If you missed it, NCS just put on a whooping to UVA at Charlottesville, 38-21, in a game that wasn’t even that close. (UVa was down 24-0 before they knew what hit them.)

    And BC’s only loss was to UNC (currently ranked 5th) and had they made a 2 point extra point try in the final minute, they would have been tied 24-24 going into overtime …. Sound familiar?

    And yes, it’s time for Narduzzi to go …. Just like it was time for Walt, Wanny and Jamie. IMO, Walt did the best coaching job here in the last 30+ years given the circumstances and Wanny was fired after a three year 27-12 run, in a move endorsed by Chas Rich, Chris Dokish, Reed K, Joe Starkey, Ron Cook and many Pitt fans.

    And of course Jamie was let go after a pathetic 21-12 record and reaching the NCAA for the 11th time in his 13 years. And this monster had the gall to return 6 of the team’s top 7 scorers for his successor. BTW, this was a move endorsed by many Pitt Blatherers (including yours truly.)

    P.S. – While I don’t necessarily put Narduzzi on a level with Walt or Wanny, again, he has had it harder due to the scarcity of quality local recruits and the harder schedule. For example, in his final three years, Wanny faced a total of 5 teams that finished ranked; the same number as the 2018 team.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Good post. Pitt fans always want the coach fired yet for some odd reason they forget the administration has a pretty bad record at replacing those coaches. It’s actually pretty poor and embarrassing that school leaders can be so incompetent.

      I like that stat on the ranked opponents played in 2018 and this revised 2020 schedule did Pitt no favors. I love how one person points out the 14-point spread versus NC State and how that game should have been an easy win. Talk about Vegas missing the mark.

      Like

    2. good stuff wwb

      I for one, and there were many I’m sure, never called for JD to be sent packing but was getting more and more critical of his recruiting trend downward. I had no issue with his defense first, tough minded, TEAM oriented brand of basketball because he won. I would really love to know if it was lack of support that affected his recruiting or other reasons like “losing the NYC pipeline” or whatever. I am encouraged by Capel in many ways,,,least of which is the style of the game he “allows”. I do believe the notion that it may result in higher level recruits.

      For me Pitt hoops was what brought me back to the University after graduating 84′ and moving away and my attendance at football was a nice side dish that PN made more enjoyable that Chryst and frankly, I am at the point that I’d pivot either way toward season tickets and support(although only in that small way) or go back to DVR’ing and random attendance mixed in with more bow hunting. It would be great to have won the last 2 games, because to me that would prove that PN has us in the mix of the 2nd tier with a real shot to beat any team in the ACC outside Clemson. That would be my hope for the program.

      If Tex’s plan can get us there, I support it(whatever it is). If it means getting rid of PN at this point, let’s move on with choice #1, maybe HL will succeed by the time she gets to #5 on “the list”.

      Good luck Heather,,,,Tex and Huff say you suck, but you are all we have to rely upon. Try to suck less and let’s give hope to Pitt alumni everywhere.

      Liked by 3 people

    3. Well said wwb, but I’m sure you’re going to hear that, because he has a lucrative contract, by default he should be winning more. Unfortunately, there is no evidence that higher salaries create more wins (or better production in any field). Rather, the opposite is more generally true: More wins (or other production) will create higher salaries. It’s not Pat’s fault that he was given lotsa bucks PERHAPS too early?

      Like

    4. If I thought that Narduzzi could learn from his experience, adapt and make necessary changes I might agree that more time and patience would be warranted. I just don’t see that at all. If anything he seems to be so stubborn as to reject any new ideas. If what Reed says is true and I have no reason to doubt him, his lack of any interest in offense and seeming disdain for learning about it is most troubling.

      We have also seen this with his defense not making adjustments and making the same mistakes over and over, no half time adjustments.

      There is absolutely no doubt that today’s football is an offensive game. The rules dictate this, they are all in favor of the offense. Holding on the offense is rarely called but pass interference is routine. It is pretty much impossible to have overwhelming defense anymore and this has been true for a long time. Not to say that you can win without defense, but the best teams score the most points and usually have the best QB’s and running backs, and the most star players on offense.

      Even Narduzzi’s best team was when the offense was best, but he didn’t seem to learn from that.

      Historically Pitt has had one great QB, but many great running backs, and has never been any good without one.

      Whether it is this year, next year, or the year after, a coaching change is inevitable.

      Like

  6. Good comments MM. Seems like we hear the same stuff every week. I guess the press needs to fill in space. Unless I missed it, he didn’t mention any changes that are needed. Amazing!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. PITT has really racked up some injuries…legit excuse…will be difficult to compete…mentally, who knows thir state of mind…..
    I have reached the point with Duzz that I did with DePasquale, Walt Harris and Wanny…”battle fatigue” and even a General Patton slap in the face ain’t gonna change it…I never reached that point with Johnny or Jackie- they knew when to walk (not counting Johnny II)…….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. if there is one thing we should have learned over the recent past, who knows? The only constant is Clemson …. and that’s it.

      And I’m talking about teams looking great and then 2 or 3 weeks later looking like crap …. all of them (but Clemson)

      in 2017, UVa beat Boise St at their place …. and a month later lost by 14 to a Pitt team that would win only 5.

      Last year, Miami beat Pitt, UVa and whooped LVille and FSU …. but lost to FIU, La Tech and ACC bottom feeders Ga Tech and Duke

      Pick any ACC team any year (except Clemson) and you will find ……… Pitt

      Liked by 2 people

  8. “We shall fight in Miami, we shall fight on the ground and the air, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the passing game and have a blind unwavering faith in our struggling secondary, we shall lock the gates, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight in the trenches with a putrid O-Line that may eventually knock the snot out of someone, we shall fight against the folly of the officials that have hindered our cause in recent weeks, we shall fight against biased ACC Network commentators that do not like our position above the Mason Dixon Line, and like Odysseus trying to nobly find his way home, we intend to break the unholy curse of Pitt football over these last ninety years.”

    Winston Narduzzi

    Liked by 14 people

  9. I do this all the time – wake up and post on the last page I had open… Here is my post copied onto here:

    dropped passes. It always looks like the WR is at fault and that might be. But I remember an article in the local newspaper that was an interview with Lynn Swan back in the ’70s and he stated that unless you were down on the field you never really know what the problem was.

    He mentioned that some QBs put a lot of spin on the ball, other passes from same QB might have a different rotation that the WR has to change hands position for.

    Also, field wind conditions are different then up in the stands – much more swirling or sudden so a pass may look straight but is blown a foot or two offline close to the receiver.

    Some shorter passes come out of the QBs hands like a knuckleball in baseball…no rotation at all which throws the WRs off.

    Some coverages demand the QB throws to one shoulder or another. If that doesn’t happen adjustment under coverage are split second and missed but the ball still may touch the WR’s hands even though he is reaching behind him which is counted as a dropped pass.

    So, the number off dropped passes we have are bad but unless we are down there some might not be on the WR only.

    I’ve noticed on some plays KP throws ‘spotted’ bullets early and that means the ball is out of his hands before the receiver breaks or fronts so the speed of the pass makes it hard to get both hands on it.

    Also, there is a difference between a dropped pass and a defensive pass break-up so it’s the official scorer up in the booth who decides what it is or is not.

    Either way we have too many of them but IMO it isn’t only the WR’s fault.

    Like

    1. My peewee league coach when I was 12: “Wassel: If you get your hands on it, you should catch it”.
      Its not that complicated. If momentum is carrying you forward and its thrown behind you, that is not a drop in my opinion. But regardless, too many passes that should be caught, are not being caught.

      Like

  10. “it’s hard to tell a quarterback, sit in the pocket and take a sack, either, because you guys will be upset about that.”

    This sums up exactly what PN thinks about the media. Every presser he says something about the writers covering the games.

    Like

    1. The media is criminally negligent in not calling him out as a fraud and thief. Moreover, they never ask the tough questions to heather nor demand honest answers. They are worthless scum.

      Like

  11. A couple tidbits:

    According to PFF:
    Most completions on passes 20+ yards downfield:
    🚀 Kenny Pickett, Pittsburgh – 16
    t2. Zach Wilson, BYU – 13
    t2. Spencer Rattler, Oklahoma – 13

    And,

    Linebacker SirVocea Dennis and Patrick Jones II were named the ACC Linebacker and ACC Defensive Lineman of the week for their performances over the weekend against Boston College. (Both 2 star recruits)

    Gotta look for the rays of light when in the dark tunnel (while hoping that the tunnel doesn’t dump out in New Jersey)

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Have a friend that is an NC State fan. They have the same frustrations as Pitt fans although Doerenn hit the 9 win level twice. Besides that 4, 7, 7, 8, 3 wins.
    They put a bunch of guys into the NFL but it rarely translate to on field success.

    Better than Narduzzi, but would it make Pitt fans happy….doubt it.

    Like

  13. Wbb – I did endorse the Wannstedt firing but not because of his results on the field. My concern (and the Pitt administration’s regardless of what some fans may think) was with all the extraneous negativity brought on by his players and his poor off-field leadership.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Poor leadership? Not sure what you can point to specifically other recruiting a bunch of outstanding young men who stuck by the university after it gave them three head coaches in three years.

      It has proven to this day that firing Wannstedt was a huge mistake.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Hell – go back and look at the laundry list of arrests and discipline enforced by Pitt players under DW – if you think everyone was “outstanding” you slept thru his time here.

        Compare that to PN who hasn’t had any of his own recruited players arrested (I believe).

        Liked by 4 people

        1. Oh, you mean a lot of those incidents that happened with those kids before they arrived at Pitt? He dismissed Nate Nix before his first college game and Cherpek begged Dave to keep him on board so Nix can learn from his mistake. No one on here knows that story, but I do. My Youngstown buddy was the video coordinator at Pitt at the time. He now is head of video for the Arizona Cardinals. That’s the NFL Cardinals. Sounds like a guy with an iron fist to me. Wannstedt must have got soft as time went on. That’s still not a reason to be dismissed.

          .

          Like

          1. I back up Reed’s memory on this. Wannstedt was not fired for his on the field record, but the off the field “record” of many of his players. Sports Illustrated did an article on the number of arrests in college football and used Pitt as an example. The BOT then felt forced to let Wannstedt go after the article dropped. Narduzzi may not be the best coach, but his record of players staying out of trouble and graduating is commendable. Now if he could just win more games . . . .

            Liked by 1 person

            1. He was technically fired because Pederson was jealous of how beloved Dave was at Pitt and how he wasn’t. There was so much behind the scenes and the SI article and three or four incidents in 2010 is why people think.

              I again will point to my source, who anyone can go look up as I have connected the dots on who he is. No one should fall for the SI article as the reason. Steve was a terrible AD and went to a terrible football man in Nordy to seal his fate. It’s how you get three coaches in three years with that ineptness.

              Liked by 1 person

  14. Here is a ray of light that EVERYBODY has missed.

    The Pitt defensive backs have been social distancing themselves from the opponents wide receivers and if they get too close, the opposing receivers push them away. Typically, the referee scolds them and actually stops the game to let all zero in attendance know that there was a social distancing gaffe. So let’s not complain about our DB’s practicing social distancing.

    Liked by 4 people

      1. Dave Havern liked him. I was at the game sitting with him watching KP. He liked Nuch better.
        I laughed and thought he was wrong.
        Well ……

        Like

      2. I was not one of the one. I know, shocker, right?

        The good news is that if he sees the field, he will undoubtedly perform better than the last Pitt QB that tossed some nfl balls in the air to the open opponent on a regular basis. If Peterman retires today, he will do so with 3 nfl touchdowns and 12 interceptions. Dinucci left Pitt with 6 td’s and 7 interceptions. If memory serves, there were lost fumbles as well

        It should be noted that both threw for more td’s and more interceptions than I did in college, so kudos to them. I was a peterman fan for sure until Gruden jinxed him by saying he was first round talent. Manning followed by jnxing our current qb by saying something similar. Perhaps there will be a double secret reverse jinx and each qb listed will have a complete turnaround in fortunes. I hope for those things with the understanding that hope is not a plan.

        Like

  15. Funny comments and I can’t disagree but I think PITT should get credit for keeping Covid under-wraps. Yet you never know what tomorrow might bring.

    Narduzzi is really extra tight lipped on KP this week. No one will get within a mile of a PITT practice this week. Which I see the benefit from. Loose lips sinks ships. Lock the Gates.

    Like

    1. Now we want evaluate coaches on covid cases!?!

      Lol.

      Pretty soon you’ll be commending Narduzzi for zero spills on the bus!

      Keep moving the goalposts IKE!

      Like

          1. Pat makes $4,000,000 a year, he only eats prime cut steaks. How have your spaghetti O’s been tasting? Gutless, clueless and now very un-creative. 0-3 and counting. Can’t wait for your next weak attempt to get my goat. Love the third grade humor though.

            Liked by 1 person

          1. Who me scus? The crack pot involved me with insults calling me a woman. Not that there is anything wrong with that.

            ike who signs his name and backs up his comments with his real screen name.

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        1. Hey guys did you hear?

          It’s been 27 days since the last accident at the Pitt football facility!!

          We should sign Narduzzi to a lifetime contract

          Like

    2. Pitt does deserve credit for Covid. Not so much for the probation. And obviously not so much for that extension.

      Tex collecting pennies for Narduzzis buyout.

      Like

  16. Is there really a home field advantage when there are zero attendees at a game? Just curious. Our coach seems to mention going on the road for a tough battle on the road, yadda yadda. He knows there won’t be any fans in attendance, right? I bet he’s been piping in the sounds of crickets in order to get his players prepared for the sounds of the game.

    With Covid, How does Pitt enjoy a home field advantage at Steelers Stadium? Pitt doesn”t ever practice at Steelers Stadium. There are no fans. Is it that the opponent had to work so hard to fly for an hour on a plane, eat catered meals and sleep in a beautifully made and comfortable bed? I guess the whole “we are on the road in a tough environment” has taken on a new meaning this year. This is the easiest road schedule in our history if you think about it.

    Why doesnt the media question those statements from the coach? I would love to hear the specifics about what is so much more difficult this year, playing in someone elses stadium.

    Other universities are selling cutouts that you can personalize (i.e. with your face on it, or someone elses), and then have it placed in the stadium. I have heard that the charge is between 60-100 bucks per cut out. Did Pitt try to sell that concept? If they sold 5000 of those to our season ticketholders at 75 per, it’s an easy $375k. Sell more, make more.

    In other cost saving maneuvers, the yearly Fanta expense has dwindled.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I got an email to buy a cutout. Might have been from the volleyball team. I know they have cutouts in their stands. I believe it was $150.

      Like

        1. Annie,

          Follow up question to Pat Narduzzi, I mean Ike.

          Can I make a cut out of a real college football coach take it to Heinz field and have the cutout coach the game instead of Narduzzi?

          Thanks, I’ll hang up and listen.

          Like

          1. Haha Ike, I did not buy a cutout, so none going to Heinz Field. Did anyone else get an email like that? Some of the ones at the Field House are pretty funny- little kids, pets, etc. Check them out the next time the team is at home- next weekend – the 23rd and 25th vs Louisville.

            For the follow-up Finkel, any suggestions on which cutout coach you want on the sidelines? That would be hilarious!

            Like

  17. I assumed coach meant traveling in this Covid environment…not necessarily playing against a hostile crowd.
    Sometimes I think the local media have a list of prepared questions and don’t necessarily follow up on Duzz ‘s statements.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Correct Fran, which would be easier for you….. attend a game at Heinz Field or Coral Gables this weekend. It’s logistics, safety and the changing of routine. Love all the Jim Laurinaitis (the pile jumper) comments. Oops, did I just call someone a pile jumper? How dare me.

      I guessing that PITT doesn’t have a chance in hell against Miami this Saturday. Also guessing KP doesn’t play and finally, he won’t be running to the sideline for the plays. They will run the plays in with the running back. Hope the kid remembers the play called.

      Like

        1. Don’t Yellen out. He’s got some game in him. KP started his first game vs the canes.

          I might watch if he starts- he hands the ball off with confidence and he has some 4 star running backs, if they get a chance to play behind him. I know, I’m stretching it.

          But what else is there…

          H2P!

          Like

        2. Wasn’t the Miami upset Pickett’s first start? Maybe Narduzzi and Whipple have been keeping a secret weapon under wraps to unleash on the Hurricanes.

          Like

    2. I think you give him to much credit Fran. Listen to any of his pressers for the last 5 years when going on the road. He is on auto pilot….we are going to a tough place to play, all road games are hard, our opponent is reallly good, coach x has his team playing really really well. When the opponent is bad, he points out their injuries and then how they are putting it all together now. Its coach speak. Its all he knows how to do. That said, he is not alone on that.

      The covid environment has been lived every single day since march for all of us. There should be nothing new that these kids arent prepared for when traveling and I view this as a major excuse. Not Johnny Major, just major. I have two kids that travel by plane to different cities, in different states, with different rules, to compete and they and team dont miss a beat. Some states allow fans, some don’t. Some states require masking from the minute you get off the plane, some dont. Some actually require masks during competition, some dont’. Some require a few extra transportation buses for spacing, some dont. The players are not phased. All this activity is done by team managers and communicatedsuccinctly to parents and players so there are no issues.

      Woe is them for competing in such turbulent times is not an option. They are happy to be playing the sports they love and see masking and distancing as just a normal occurrence and have grown accustomed to it (back in may). It is not difficult for them. It is more difficult for me as a parent.

      Like

  18. We’re not blaming Narduzzi for Kessman shanking an extra point are we? Or Mack dropping a perfectly thrown pass for a game winning two point conversion? Plenty other stuff to blame him for but not those two plays.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No, but we can and should blame Narduzzi for losing two straight games as the favorite and for many other reasons which have already been discussed here.

      Like

    2. Well, if you want to say that we should not have been in those positions in the first place, then absolutely, blame away. So many want to look at the last play of contests and point blame when in reality, every play determines the next play call. That is what is great about strategy in sport.

      So for me, yes, I put the blame on the coach to put a kid in a pressure cooker when in reality, a failure to execute the first play of the game on either offense or defense, created the continuum towards the loss. Stated differently, the extra point and the dropped 2 pointer was the culmination of multiple penalties, failure to defend, failure to block, failure to run, failure to pass, failure to stay on sides, and many other failures. To even mention we lost two games by one point is a big huge smokescreen.

      It’s never about the last play. Look, the media loves the last play gaffes, ask tom brady this week. The buccanneers didnt lose because Brady lost count of downs. They should never have been in that position in the first place. A good coach with an ounce of credibility accepts it and puts it on …the coach. That is the difference between having a casual fan response, a media hyped response, and a review of the totality of the circumstances, before drawing conclusions. Narduzzi knows the focus would be on Kessman and allowed that to occur, when in reality, he should have focused on his failures in hiring, play calling, running game deficiencies, passing game deficiencies, defensive social distancing etc as noted above. It is smoke and mirrors and the Pitt Administration needs to understand what a coach IS responsile for and wake up.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well Huff you kind of got my point. Those games were lost long before the missed extra point attempt. No one coaches their players to make mistakes.

        By the time Kessman is sent in to kick it’s a little late to reflect on when else you COULD have done. I don’t disagree with you Jim, I kind of agree.

        Liked by 1 person

  19. Fellas. that all changes this week at MIami…traditionally I have bet against PITT and we always seem to come out on top. Just placed my bet taking the Canes giving 10 1/2 points…risking some bucks for a PITT win…cheaper than paying a “shrink” to get me out of this funk…….I thought losing to the Heels a couple or 3 years ago when we were their only ACC win was the lowest of lows…..

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Bet Big BB Miami minus 10 1/2 is a gift. Wait until you watch Whipple attempt to have Pitt run the ball this week hoping to not have either of the #2 QB’s throw a pass more than 5 yards down field. Custer had a better chance of surviving at Big Horn than Pitt will have this weekend.

      Liked by 1 person

  20. traditionally. I have bet against the home boys when there is a key game that most feel we should lose or need a big momentum shift…sorry for not adding that text- I was drifting off into my depression…..

    Like

  21. Wbb, you must be confusing me with someone else. I love Florida recruits and wish we would get more of them. My previous comment was that blaming WPA for a lack of quality recruits was inappropriate given that some schools such as KSU have very small local recruiting areas, yet they manage to win.

    Once again, we have an explanation by PN that a play here or a play there and the outcome would be different. Or maybe the refs blew a call. This is getting tiresome to me, and I think that the other 180 or so plays were what determined the outcome. I don’t like the tenor of Narduzzi’s press conferences and public statements. He sounds like a coach under siege and there is a tendency to blame the press, refs, etc. for the state of Pitt football. Keeping Pickett’s injury status secret is not going to fool Miami, and it only contributes to what is becoming a deepening siege mentality. He says the players are playing hard, but no one is blaming the players.

    I think he makes major changes to his coaching staff at end of season as a last means of keeping his job for another year.

    Like

  22. Winners find ways to win and overcome obstacles. Losers find excuses. The Pitt culture is a losers mindset.

    Funny how all you Narduzzi supporters are jumping off the bandwagon. Did you suddenly wake up? Should have listened to the literal handful of bashed posters who were right after all.

    You can submit your mea culpa in the form of top shelf Kentucky bourbon. All will be forgiven. 🤠

    Tex

    Like

  23. NO Tex…I am in the group that makes a decision after I see a body of work…give the person a chance…and most on here have done that…I’ve given it a fair chance to succeed or fail….I draw my own conclusions…

    Liked by 4 people

    1. So what have you concluded after six seasons of Narduzzi and year four now of heather?

      To me, I never liked the heather hire since I know how she stunk up eastern Michigan’s financials and I’m a finance guy.

      I gave Narduzzi nearly three years.

      I refuse to support mediocrity after the evidence is clear

      You know my pick for AD. I have five fine candidates for HC.

      Like

    1. Absolutely not as all ND games are broadcasted on the big networks regardless of opponent. It just won’t be a game many here will want to watch especially so if Pickett is not the Pitt QB. I frankly don’t expect to see Pickett coming back for quite some time.

      Like

  24. I have said it several times…I think Duzz hit his zentih in the week leading up to the NC State game..even nationally people in the media were taking notice……last 2 losses were REAL bad and the worst in his tenure…..in year 6. I don’t see much upside in Duzz…he was given a fair chance and should have been given that opportunity coaching PITT football after the clusterF we had gone through prior to his hire….I would like to see the light at the end of the tunnel- not feeling it…..Gallagher is more interested in soial engineering at PITT…I give him credit for getting the script back and firing Pedo….I don’t think he is concerned about this team…has to be an up and comer who could toil for a measly $4 mill a year…

    Like

  25. Just don’t be on the bandwagon when it falls off the cliff. After Miami, the fall is gonna hurt.

    Why ride in a bandwagon when you can cruise in a Porsche.

    Like

  26. I’ve been on a Pitt football sabbatical — trying to distract myself all day long to avoid thinking about Pitt.

    Haven’t even read the POV in a while — now that’s bad. I’m close to jumping ship on Pitt football…

    I did sign up for a Zoom call with the baseball coach and baseball letterman — that’s what my Pitt fandom has come to…

    Tex — Won’t Billy Napier be the hot target for teams looking for a new football coach?

    Go Pitt.

    Like

    1. I predicted a stretch win of 8. And admitted that was the homer in me. Why bet against 7-8 win seasons?

      I also saw Pitt going 7-0 before imploding or the season being cancelled.

      But do you think Narduzzi is worth $4 million? He’s a 8 win coach. He’s provided an average saragin and rpi ranking in the 50’s. There is no enthusiasm with the program if you look at season ticket sales, sales to new fans and donations or new advertising revenues.

      Again, I’m very consistent in calling for his meatball head. Have been for over three years now.

      Like

        1. Pitt generates the lowest revenue of any ACC school. Narduzzi is also the 23rd highest paid coach. And not achieving top 25 rankings.

          Roughly 5 percent of Pitts overall athletic budget goes towards his salary. Name me one company that pays their ceo five percent who isn’t a owner.

          Publicly traded successful billion dollar companies pay their ceos far far less.

          Narduzzi is Worth no more than $2 million

          Wanny did more for less with far far less resources

          Like

  27. I’m with BigB on this. Narduzzi started out his tenure being arrogant, abrasive and snarky. The recent comments about Canada didn’t help, and all the secretiveness with lock the gates, closed practices, etc have wore thin and hurt ticket sales. He doesn’t seem to have a ton of friends that will go to bat for him. Wanny was an alumnus, and had many friends (and a 10 win season) but it still didn’t help him, so PN is in a much deeper hole. This year, he said that the team wasn’t getting sufficient respect when they started out unranked. When you go public with something like that, you better back it up.

    Narduzzi bet the farm that Pickett, a slightly above average QB, would have big Junior and Sr. seasons, and didn’t open the QB competition up. Though disagreeing with this, most of us on the POV still wanted to support him because PN was the chosen Pitt coach and we want Pitt to do well. But year after year, the excuses pile up and a coach can wear out his welcome, even when a coaching change means 2-3 more years of rebuilding.

    He got a bad deal with this year’s schedule schuffling that put Clemson on the schedule, but he has had some easier schedules in the past as well. Maybe Pitt needs a coach like Frank Beamer at VTech, who was well liked and could sustain the program through difficult times. Sometimes being liked can go a long way.

    I’m not calling for his firing at this point, but a 4-7 or 5-6 season would make it very difficult to see how he can take the program to the next level with the current level of recruits he is getting. We need to see how this season plays out and then express an opinion.

    Like

  28. Ed, Beamer went a combined 5–17 in 1987 and 1988. Beamer’s record in his first six seasons was 24-40-2, a win percentage of .385. After the team went 2–8–1 in 1992, athletic director Dave Braine believed in Beamer and thought he deserved more time. It proved to be a wise decision; the Hokies would not suffer another losing season.

    Liked by 2 people

  29. Narduzzi went into this season with the same problem he ended with last season. That is much below average OL play especially so on run execution. To think you can have a great deal of success with a one dimension offense is really unbelievable or at best very naive.

    Liked by 1 person

  30. I liked DiNucci.

    Let’s remember that the only reason DiNucci got an offer to Pitt is that PN had the last three recruiting spots open and he had to use them before LOI day so he offered Gentry, Brightwell and DiNucci. DiNucci had no other FBS offers but PN threw him a lifering.

    https://n.rivals.com/content/prospects/2015/ben-dinucci-8434#school-interests

    https://res-5.cloudinary.com/rivals/image/upload/t_large/fc2pxxw8jd4rkfvcpqgz

    Like

  31. Nate – i wrote this in articles more than once on here. I go up to PGH for New Years parties at the Posvars home (grew up with the kids) and at one of those I talked about Pitt football with ex-Chancellor Nordenberg right before he left Pitt. Believe me when I say DWs firing was all about the school’s image he led Pitt into with his lack of disciplining players and insisting to recruit kids who would get in big trouble at Pitt.

    Around Pitt that fact isn’t disputed at all. Don’t care what your video guy says – DW was cut loose for the reasons above. That is why one of the first things the Pitt admin did after firing him was institute better background checks on recruit – and made that public. From SI:

    “Before this rash of arrests Pitt had no formal procedure for screening football recruits. After Knox’s arrest the school implemented a policy requiring coaches to seek more detailed background information on potential players. “This evaluation is not a legal criminal background check,” the university explained to SI in a statement. “Rather, it is a checklist of questions that attempts to gain greater knowledge of behavior from a variety of people.”

    Think they would do that because DW couldn’t win more than 10 games? Of course not.

    What did doing better recruiting background checks result in? Well, look at how many Pitt players recruited by Chryst and Narduzzi have been arrested – maybe a few but nothing like what happened under DW.

    Also, why is that hard to believe DW was fired for these reasons when Walt Harris was on thin ice even before Sanford offered him a job. Pitt is probably the only school who fired (pushed out) winning HCs when every other HC they was tepid at best.

    Like

    1. Knox’s high school coach didn’t even tell the Pitt staff of his issues. No shock he didn’t either. Not Pitt’s fault since they cannot get the FBI to do a background check. They rely on the high school coaches. Pitt makes it sound good implementing that policy yet the high school coaches will lie for their player.

      Posvar, another Pitt administrator who screwed up. Only three times though and in the same decade.

      Walt’s agent blew it for him trashing Pitt. That or his lines giving up 8 sacks in big games and eight years was enough time.

      Liked by 1 person

  32. Ziese always cracks me up – here is a bit from today:

    “Inches away” is a marketing campaign that perhaps Pitt’s athletic department should consider taking up for the football team. I’m not sure who the marketing guru is at Pitt, but count this as an official suggestion on the last 40 years of Pitt football:

    “Pitt football: We’re eternally inches away from being elite!”

    It’s like the movie “Groundhog Day” when it comes to Pitt football. The only difference is in that movie, Bill Murray encounters the same day with the same people over and over; with Pitt, it is the same day over and over, but the names, faces and key players change.”

    Liked by 1 person

  33. Funny but reading all the local sportswriters takes on the BC game not one of them mentioned that Pitt could have (should have IMO) gone for the two-point conversion and the win.

    Narduzzi keeps talking about how there were 30 mph winds out there but yet again, put the game in the hands of a not-so-great kicker. Well, running the ball 2 yards or short pass for a TD would have negated those winds pretty well.

    Then again our TEs do nothing so who knows – maybe they would have dropped the ball like every other receiver on our roster it seems.

    Speaking of TEs – I hadn’t looked at our stats lately. Our TES have a combined 5 catches for a total of 41 yards and 0 (nil, none, nada) TDs.

    WTH is with that?

    Like

  34. I’m having fun talking to myself.

    Oh – put me in the “Keep King Pat” camp. He’s loads of fun actually. With a new HC it would take two seasons or so to match the ridiculosity (a real word) of Narduzzi and we realists, or naturalists, or rationalists, wouldn’t have much to talk about.

    Like

    1. Narduzzi is the king of shucking and jiving as we used to say when I was growing up in Hazelwood, his tenure is about about up at Pitt unless they miraculously turn it on.

      Sooner or later it all catches up with you and this is it for him.

      They at most will win 5 games and please note this is his team, with his QB, his staff and his defense.

      Lucas Krull the TE, he was referred to as Roberto Duran here in Gainesville, hands of stone.

      Hell I’m a glutton for punishment I’m going to Miami to watch them get embarrassed Saturday but at least I’ll see some old friends.

      Really disappointed with Narduzzi he talked a good game but couldn’t get them to rise to the occasion.

      SOP

      Like

    2. ridiculousopathy is when the ridiculousness courses through your veins and you feel pain tingling down from your heart into your feet because your Pitt nerves are shot. I jest.

      Like

  35. Nothing wrong with talking to yourself Reed. I do chuckle at your self-proclaimed title of being realists, naturalists, or rationalists. Although I have to say and I’m being serious, I’m happy to see your writers block has lifted.

    Like

      1. You kind of nailed it again Huff with Reed being a naturalist. Little tough for me to visualize that image. As a fellow oldist we have something in common. I think you may even be oldistic? Whether or not you may be erotic is another hard visual especially when we are getting into the wee hours. I think I’ll go to bed now and hug my wife.

        Like

  36. Always good to read your comments, Reed. In any of your conversations with Nordenberg did the subject of wanting Pitt to win big-time every come up? Was there an understanding on the chancellor’s part of what it took to consistently field a Top 15 football program? Just curious.

    Like

    1. I got (and have) the strong impression that Pitt thinks they are Big Time already. That stems from 1) our past championships and Hall of Fame players and 2) when we were chosen to join the ACC. That is the big reason.

      The ACC taking us was a close run thing actually. Lots of fans think all Pitt had to do was “pick up the phone” but that wasn’t true. Nordenberg and Pederson worked and lobbied very hard for almost a full year to happen.

      The ACC really leaned towards Rutgers for geographical and TV leadership reasons but the academic side of things swayed them to us. Had Maryland not taken the Big Ten money and left the ACC Pitt would be in the AAC.

      Between our $4B endowment, major research reputation and US ranked Academic Standings they chose us.

      Put all this against the background that Pitt’s BoTs have seriously considered dropping to DII ball in the past they are satisfied we are doing well in keeping a reputation as a Big Time program.

      Like

  37. JamesDeleon – to expand on the above…

    In all my contact with Pitt as a member of the media and in private conversations over the last 12 years I fully believe that Pitt wants to play P5 level football as I described above. They want to play well and succeed if possible.

    BUT – as far as winning Big Time my feeling is Pitt will support the FB program at a certain financial level and emotional level. The feeling is ‘If great things happen they do, if not they won’t.’ meaning that a championship would have to be a flash in the pan type experience not an over arching goal to pour money into.

    Just like 110 or so other D1 schools’ programs.

    That’s why I’ve never said that Narduzzi should or will be fired based on wins and losses (unless we really dive to the 2 or 3 win level over more than one season). Narduzzi is pretty much exactly what the Pitt administration wants and can live with.

    Again, a super strong point in his favor is his off the field results like no arrests, no bad national publicity, best graduation rates we have had in the modern era, etc.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Exactly Reed, you nailed how I feel. Doesn’t make you a Narduzzi lover or a kool-aid drinker. In fact I know how you feel about PN personally but you understand the bigger picture and that is being a realist.

      Like

      1. Ike – at this point I just don’t care about him one way or another. His first couple of years I felt his attitude and poor behavior/manners (acts which no regular fans witnessed unless they were at the Alumni gatherings or pressers) were due to nerves as a first time HC. After that I think he’s just one of those guys I don’t personally care for as anything but an employee of Pitt.

        Like

        1. That’s reasonable, I’m smart enough to have realized Narduzzi had a lot to learn about head coaching a college football team and learning how to hold a press conference. He made me cringe many times. I also know that the PITT administration likes him as you understand.

          Like

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