Reading Between the Lines – Post Miami / Pre Notre Dame

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

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

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

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

But there is a lot of doubt about ours…

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

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

We’ve got to do a better job coaching them. Disappointing things coaching-wise, just things we know how to do. It’s more preparation for what you might see, not necessarily what you saw on tape. Sometimes you fall into that loophole, this is what they do. When they do something different…

Yes I’ll admit that Miami had a better gameplan.

We’ve got to know some of the weaknesses we have, especially when you’re playing with a young guy out there. Voss (SirVocea Dennis) being a new starter, saw some things really I don’t think we practiced enough or emphasized enough. That’s on us as coaches when things like that happen.

Not blaming injuries, not blaming injuries. But hey, I’d like to blame some of the injuries.

Start off defensively Saturday, again solid performance. Three of Miami’s four touchdowns were 45 yards or less. We gave up some of those pop passes to their tight ends up through the middle, which we work enough. Really ran four of them. You guys don’t notice that we stopped one of them. Cam Bright did a nice job when he was in there. Cam wasn’t in there enough because he’s still a little bit banged up. Hopefully 100% this week. He does it the way you’re supposed to, a veteran guy.

And look, who am I kidding, we haven’t been able to stop the Tight End down the seam since Spring Ball.

Voss is maybe one of the smartest linebackers we have. I know that will never happen to him again. We had one come through the line of scrimmage. Seven or eight yards down the field on the second touchdown that was disappointing to see. RPO style.

Actually the school of hard knocks is my preferred coaching style.

Offensively Joey (Yellen), heck of a first start for him. Didn’t know what you were going to get out of him. Happy with the way he performed overall. Obviously the fumble creates one of those short fields for our defense. Another one was on a fake punt that obviously I called. We thought we had a good thing going as far as that fake goes. Just don’t clean up a block, which I think we can get 10 yards. You’re taking a risk any time you do that. We took the risk, thought it was worth it. We came up short.

I mean, I think in a lot of ways blocking on special teams is a lot like blocking on offense. We kind of practice it, kind of emphasize and and on game day I just kinda close my eyes and hope that they can do it.

I don’t look back and say anything. I don’t question the call at all. I want to be aggressive. I want to give our kids chances to make plays. You find out if they’re going to make them or not, then you move on.

Speaking of school of hard knocks. Don’t look for me to call any more fake punts this year.

Offensively we’ve got to run the football. Twenty-two yards, disappointing there. There’s some details that we haven’t cleaned up. I don’t think our O-line did a great job of blocking them. Give those guys credit on the other side of the ball. They’re an athletic crew that did some things up front.

And by details, I mean fundamentals, like firing out low, knowing your assignment and getting a hat on a hat. Leverage. You know, basic stuff.

Special teams, our kicking game for the most part has been as good as it’s been in the last several years, in my opinion. Punt team, Kess (Alex Kessman) is continually kicking them in the end zone. Four for four (on field goals), we have to turn two of them into touchdowns instead of kicking them.

What I mean to say is that at this rate Kirk is going to be our offensive MVP.

We face a great Notre Dame team, No. 3 in the country, coming into our house, coming to Pittsburgh. We know it’s always been a good game, a game our kids will look forward to. Their talent across the board, offensively, defensively, haven’t watched a lot of special teams at this point. They are big, strong, physical. A typical Notre Dame football team.

Because, as you probably figured out in my comments about the fake punt, I don’t actually care about special teams.

They base offensively out of two tight ends. They’re going to put their two tight ends, Tremble kid, a physical, great blocker, their starter. They got three tight ends that do a lot of work in there. Obviously run by Ian Book. Tommy Rees, former quarterback I faced several times in the past, is their offensive coordinator. Has really done a nice job putting things together on offense. They’re 4-0, No. 3 ranking.

Three tight ends…. <wipes drool from chin>

Defensively Clark Lea, ACC linebacker coach at Syracuse, based out of a 4-3. Up front, sound across the board. Safeties are active like our safeties are. They make a lot of tackles. We’re going to have to play our best to get a ‘W’ on Saturday.

In other words don’t look for much more than 22 rushing yards.

Questions.

Q. Last week you had Davis Beville and Joey Yellen vying for that quarterback job. Do you go in this week knowing Joey is the guy?

PAT NARDUZZI: Right now I do. We’re going to go in like we normally do. A lot of confidence in Davis. Liked what I saw with Joey. Coach Whipple did as well. We missed a couple throws. I love his patience in the pocket.

That one pass attempt from Beville? I really really liked that. Protected the football. Even managed to get a yard. I mean it was 3rd and 8 but whatever. And he was very very good at handing off the ball.

Davis is only going to get better. He’s going to have a better week of practice this week than last week just getting those reps.

And lets face it he needs to get a lot better.

You know how it is as a backup now. First five games of the season, Kenny (Pickett) is taking all those reps. Last week Kenny didn’t take a rep. Those backup quarterbacks, what happened last year with the backup quarterback with the Pittsburgh Steelers, when Big Ben is out there all by himself running the show, backups don’t get many reps. Probably a few more reps than in the NFL.

But they are taking mental reps. Mental reps every day…

Those guys are going to get better every week as we move on. We’ll see where Kenny is. We didn’t travel Kenny because it was the best thing for him to just rehab. Sitting on a plane for two hours, swelling, all that stuff, was not going to be the best thing for him. We wanted to bring Captain Pickett with us, but it was the best thing to leave him here, which he made a lot of headway over the weekend instead of standing four hours during the game.

The thing is if Kenny had traveled, the minute I’d have turned my back on the sideline he’d be out there trying to take the snap – in a walking boot! Remember when I said it would be hard to keep Kenny off the field? It’s really freaking hard.

We’ll see how they practice this week as far as quarterbacks.

But yea, it’s going to be Joey.

Q. Is that an advantage, where Joey has to win the job, stay sharp, have some competition?

PAT NARDUZZI: I think any time you have competition at any position. At some positions we don’t have as much competition as we like. D-line, a lot of competition, could be a different starter out there every week. You saw Deslin Alexandre play a three technique. He looked as good as he looked at end. Certain positions you have that competition. Some you don’t.

Look, I actually don’t know all that much about these quarterbacks, so just going to tie it back to a defensive analogy. So please stop asking.

Really through the first five games, Davis and Joey were splitting reps with the twos. Trying to get three quarterbacks ready because you’re not sure who that guy is. Last week we were able to see what full practice with more reps for both of them looked like. I think the competition is good.

There’s no freaking competition.

Q. You’ve been wanting to run the ball all year. How much more difficult is it when you have a new kid back there under center, the defense is thinking they’re going to run the ball? How much harder is it?

PAT NARDUZZI: You’re kind of breaking up a little bit so I hope I’m answering the question.

The run game has to get better. I don’t think we blocked very well. For the first game, we didn’t win a lot of scrimmage (battles) at all. We had decent games run-wise. Two previous games we out-rushed the opponent. This game we obviously didn’t, which was disappointing.

We didn’t block them very good up front. Didn’t give our tailbacks a whole lot of time. Sibley early had some lanes to run through, lanes that my old butt could probably run through. Did a nice job carrying up through there. But the holes closed fast as the game went on. We didn’t do a great job blocking. I think it will be a wake-up call in that room that we got to block them.

Yea, Todd Sibley, actually not that good. Who cares if he led the team in rushing with four carries for 23 yards and a 5.3 average? He had huge holes to run through. And who cares if he led the team with 3.5 a per yards after contact average? Huge holes I tell you. And who cares if he was the only running back to pop off a run longer than ten yards? It was the hole! And who cares if he led the team with three avoided tackles on just four carries? With those giant size holes even Jerry DiPaola could have avoided those tackles. Look, I’m not trying to improve the running game here, I’m trying to be loyal to VINCE DAVIS. Also please disregard Sibley’s complete physical domination of three defenders below.

Again, not going to be an easy task against one of the top defenses in the country. They’re big, physical. We’re more of an attack team. They’re more of a read, react up front with their D-line. They’re going to make it hard to rush the ball as well. We’re going to have to be really good up front.

And we aren’t going to play Sibley so that isn’t going to help either.

Q. I understand that Notre Dame was recruiting Jordan Addison as a defensive back. I understand why you wanted him at wide receiver. Do you think he’d become a go-to wide receiver halfway through his freshman year?

PAT NARDUZZI: Isn’t he already a go-to receiver? Sometimes you can target them without four DBs covering him. Seems like a lot of time in that game they weren’t pressing him. They pressed everybody else except Jordan as the game went on for whatever reason.

And thank God they weren’t pressing him, or then our offense REALLY would have sucked.

Jordan is a go-to guy right now. We’ll continue to try to get him the ball without wearing him out either. Some other guys have to step up. We have a lot of confidence in Taysir (Mack) and Jared (Wayne), DJ Turner. We have to spread the ball out. If you’ve got one guy you’re throwing it to all day, you’ve got problems.

So yea, we have problems.

Joey has the ability to do that, so does Davis, as far as spreading it out, looking at what they’re supposed to coverage-wise.

You know that Whipple is going to feed it to Addison until he breaks.

Q. You mentioned the problem with the offensive line, you need to do better. What are some things you identified specifically as a group they have to do better or specific guys that this spot has to be better?

PAT NARDUZZI: I’m not going to talk about certain guys. Every play might be one breakdown. We have to get more movement up front, stay on blocks. We have to sustain blocks, is a big thing, sustaining blocks. You can be on a guy, but you have to finish the block. We didn’t do a good job finishing.

Not going to talk about certain guys but since you asked it was basically everyone except Warren and Morrissey.

Again, give those other guys credit. They’re being coached on the other side to disengage, get off of blocks. Good job by them. We want to be better than that.

Q. Defensively you talked last week about trying to get a little more rotation at cornerback. How do you feel your staff did this week with that? A.J. Woods got more time on the field.

PAT NARDUZZI: I was happy with A.J. Woods. He really came in. I think he took 41 snaps. Again, every week you’re plugging a hole here or there. Like I said, he had a great week of practice. I think he was kind of the weeks before thinking he wasn’t going to get in the game, maybe just wasn’t motivated. When we said you have to, we need you, we have to have three corners, he really stepped up. Great tackle on an outside run in space that I thought was outstanding. Did a good job in coverage.

He’s going to get better every week. It’s hard as a defense, you want to keep your best guys out there as long as you can. We have to keep them fresh. The rotation at cornerback went well. Going to make us better as we move on throughout the rest of the ACC.

Okay so here’s a dirty little secret: Woods actually played better than Pinnock last weekend. I’m not going to say this out loud but Pinnock is dealing with some kind of injury that I’m not going to tell you about. Didn’t you notice his lack of burst when trying to defend to the outside on that one play? I mean it’s pretty obvious that every receiver he’s facing consistently has a couple of steps on him. Anyway I’m going to continue to cover it up and hope that our opponent’s grad assistants miss it when breaking down the game film. (Editor’s note: like all comments in italics, I completely made this up, but based on the eye test it could very well be true)

Q. Ten penalties on Saturday, 10 different kinds. How do you coach that situation up?

PAT NARDUZZI: We’ve got to do a good job detail-wise. I can go through each one of them. Some of them aren’t penalties, I can tell you that. We had hands in the face. We got called for it. You guys go back and watch the tape. I watched the video pretty good. It’s tough to make all those calls out there. I’m not whining. Some things that set us back, shouldn’t have been 10 penalties.

Look, you could have had PJ Fleck. You could have. He’s a guy that makes his living on coaching mistake free football. You ever heard his crazy “row the boat” philosophy? Crazy I tell you. Well not crazy, but boring as hell. I was reading an article in the Minnesoooota Star Tribune last year during the bye week and look at this crazy sh– that Fleck is preaching:

1. turnover margin; 2. margin between your offensive players breaking tackles against your defenders missing them; 3. accruing more explosive plays (25 yards or more the offense, 20 yards or more for defense); 4. both teams punting from within their own 4-yard line.

“If you win all four (categories), which we have, we’ve won games,” Fleck said. “We’ve lost all four and lost games. You can have a mixture and then the 22 percent is how hard you play.”

The day after games, the Gophers tabulate how they did in those areas, and with the players, relate those figures back to a win or a loss.

With me it’s all excitement all the time. Passion. Emotion baby. We don’t need that discipline crap. And I’m not going to change the way I coach defense. Limiting explosive plays? Our D-Backs just have to play better.

When we chop a three technique, when he comes through, we have a high-low on him, you don’t expect to do that. Those are things you expect freshmen to do stuff like that. We’ve just got to be cleaner.

Actually that really was a mistake.

We get too close. Shocky is busting his tail down the field. He just gets too close to the returner one time. Things like that that we’ll continue to coach. It’s something different every week. You have a roughing the passer one time last week. All of a sudden this week John (Morgan) has a chance to take his head off, he held up. Those we’ve got to learn from. We’ve got to do a better job coaching it, making sure that doesn’t happen.

I mean Shockey is a Junior…so yea.

Sometimes you don’t see it in practice. Three technique on the scout team, not screaming through the line of scrimmage, not fully blocked. You hope your tailback is not in that position, but he was. There’s some things that happen like that, whether it’s running down on a punt team. I thought Damar Hamlin, a trip-up. There’s not a better cover guy back there than Damar Hamlin, had a couple PBUs. They tripped up feet there. I don’t know what happened. That’s how the ball rolls sometimes.

Damar gets a free pass. You know that.

Q. With Keyshon Camp not traveling two weeks in a row, how frustrating is that for him, for you guys, given he had that injury last week?

PAT NARDUZZI: It’s obviously frustrating for him. Luckily we have some guys there. Deandre Jules played a lot more football. He’s a baby. He’s just learning what to do in there. Hopefully he gets better every week.

Editor’s Note: Jules played 22 snaps to Calijah Kancey’s 44 and Tyler Bentley’s 34. PFF graded Jules the highest of the three at 72.5. (Kancey 65, Bentley 53).

Keyshon right now is day by day. I will give you a little bit. I will tell you when somebody is out. I will tell you he is out. Carrigan will be out for the year with a shoulder. Nate Temple, as well, was really coming on as a defensive end. Got hurt a week ago with the kickoff team. Not sure what was going to happen with it. Late in the week they got fixing of their shoulders. We’ll lose those two guys for the year.

I mean Keyshon and Tipton are going to be looking at their 7th year of eligibility next season so yea, it’s all good.

Tight end spot, it’s hard to run the ball when you don’t have tight ends. Danny Moraga has done an outstanding job, physical guy. He’s getting better every week because he’s getting all the reps from practice. A little short on the tight end thing. Wish we could go get a free agent.

Actually I heard of this thing once, Coach Bates told me about it. Called the “spread”. Said they used to run it up at Northwestern, with all those smart guys. The philosophy was really weird. Turns out you can space your wide receivers out across the field and it creates all these gaps for your running backs to run through. I told him that was crazy talk and the only way to run the ball it with two or three tight ends that could really block. I mean we don’t really even have one of them any more, but that’s what you have to do, just ask Mark Dantonio.

Q. Wendell Davis and Lucas Krull, not seasoning-ending territory yet?

PAT NARDUZZI: Not season-ending right now. It is taking a while. I’ve been told it’s not season-ending. We’ll continue to say our prayers at night before we go to bed and hope those guys get healthy quick.

If we are 3-7 going into the last game and they come back, I wouldn’t have lied to you.

Q. Sixteen days ago you’re undefeated, up late, NC State goes down the field, now you’re 3-3. You sound visibly frustrated. It’s not like you’re getting blown out. How do you keep a team mentally up when things sort of shift like that?

PAT NARDUZZI: You got that 24-hour rule where you got to let it go. Our guys love to play the game. I think we got great kids. Again, they’ve come back every time so far. I don’t expect it to be any different.

Just keeping them locked into what the task at hand is. You’ve got a No. 3 team in the country coming into your house. You’re actually going to have some parents that will get to see you in Heinz Field. I know it’s not a big crowd, but it’s something. Better than nothing that we’ve had for three home games. I don’t know what we’ve had at home.

That will be a motivation for our kids I think just to be able to have their families there, be with their families after a game. Again, play for your people. I think that’s always a big-time motivation when your family can come watch you play. You want to put on a show when that happens.

You’ve all seen how historically well Pitt does on Senior day, right?

Q. Jordan Addison, when you were recruiting him, what did you see in his personality and mental makeup that made you think he could be a quick learner and a contributor as a freshman?

PAT NARDUZZI: You never know. We knew he was a talented player. You don’t know about all the external things about the way he learns. You only have so many visits with a prospect. You don’t have a whole lot of time to talk football, get him on the board. It’s different guys. Even SirVocea on defense, young guys have done it before.

He’s just a special kid. He’s humble. You never see that guy get too high or get too low. He stays the same, even keel. Very similar to what Joey Yellen is. That guy is like this. He can turn the ball over, he’s going to come right back and go. Jordan is the same way.

He’s just got to continue to do what he’s doing, just focus on what his job is. That’s what he’s done so far.

I’m going to be really sad when he leaves early for the NFL. If I’m still here that is.

Q. You lamented the lack of competition in some position groups. Is the offensive line one of those where you don’t have as much competition as you would like?

PAT NARDUZZI: Sometimes. Maybe we’ve just got to do a better job playing those guys. Matthew Goncalves is a guy. You saw it with (Owen) Drexel a week ago. Wish he would have got more snaps just to get him going. Jake (Kradel) really had a couple days off, he wasn’t as clean as we wanted him to be. That’s tough when you play a front four like you’re going to play in Miami or like you’re going to face this weekend. Cannot be 100% or practice enough to get really good and be sound and solid inside.

Editor’s Note: PFF Graded Kradel out at a dismal 40.9 with a 10.9 pass blocking grade and a 49 run blocking grade. Clearly rusty as Duzz points out. Likely also not playing at 100%. Based on how Drexel played against NC State, Morrissey at Guard probably would have made a lot more sense. But that’s the benefit of hindsight I suppose.

But, no, offensive line, we have some guys we feel comfortable with. There’s some young guys, it’s one of those things, it’s a cohesive group. If there’s one position you can rotate receivers and tailbacks, but if I pick two positions you really don’t want to rotate too much is that quarterback position and your offensive line. Those guys get used to playing together. You like to ride your horse all the way to the end with your five hogs.

We’ve got some guys that can go in and do some things. You sometimes see it in some of our extra packages, whether it is Blake Zubovic last week (who) looked really good during practice with what he was doing. There’s some young guys that are just going to learn. You give them roles where they can partake in certain situations, gain confidence, give the coaches some confidence in what they are doing as well.

So yea, no, we don’t have a lot of competition.

Q. Will Todd Sibley get more reps on Saturday?

PAT NARDUZZI: I think so. We’ll see how he practices this week. We know that position, the running back position, has been by committee. He obviously started the game off. We’ll see how he practices this week.

In other words, I don’t have a reason why he isn’t playing so I’m going to make something up that you’ll never be able to disprove.

I’m happy with Todd, his cuts, the way he’s reading stuff. We’ll see. Next week you’ll be like why is he in there too much. We’ll see how they practice this week. We’re still looking for guys to step up and make something happen, not only at the line of scrimmage but as we break into the secondary.

Vince Davis does it in practice all the time!!!

Q. You’ve had some pretty notable successes against some top-5 type opponents in your time here. Outside of X’s and O’s, maybe from a mindset or motivational standpoint, what is it that’s allowed you to have some of that success?

PAT NARDUZZI: I wish I could tell you I had my magic wand underneath here. It’s not here today.

I mean, there’s no magic to it. It’s getting your guys prepared mentally, physically. That’s my job every week. As I told my guys yesterday, I guess I didn’t have you prepared mentally, physically to get that win on the road. We know an ACC road game is a tough deal, they’re never easy. We have to play better on the road.

Really, we just have to play better everywhere.

The motivation, I hope they are all self-motivated, intrinsic motivation if you want to call it, where they’re playing for somebody, playing for a cause. They want to be able to put good stuff on tape. I think that’s the biggest motivation, go out and win, you be the guy that got things done structurally, fundamentally and production-wise.

Biggest motivation? Being 3-4 really sucks.

Q. I wanted to ask you about the two local kids that are starting for Notre Dame, Robert Hainsey and Josh Lugg. How are they playing from what you’ve seen on video?

PAT NARDUZZI: Really good. Hainsey obviously played the right tackle spot. He’s physical. I think his backup is Josh Lugg, who has five starts. I might add this, their O-line is about as good of an O-line as you’re going to face. 129 career starts up front. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen 129 combined career starts.

I certainly haven’t seen it here at Pittsburgh…

They have a veteran O-line, and that’s why they are running it a little bit more. I am sure we will see some RPO and pop passes as talented as their tight ends are on some of the run game, run play-action pass. We’ll work our tail off this week, make sure that stuff doesn’t happen.

It will surely happen.

Hainsey is a good football player. Lugg is a good football player. Josh Lugg, as good as he is, he’s backing up over there, which is amazing. Then (Kurt) Hinish is doing a nice job at the D tackle spot. They rotate a lot of guys up front, but he’s a starter. He’s tough and physical, smart, reads blocks well. He’s a really good football player. They got a bunch of four- and five-star football players on that team.

I told Lugg he’d be starting for Pitt… Some kids just don’t listen. Pretty happy with our D-Tackles so if Hinish wants to play all that read-and-react stuff, let him.

I added up the 129 starts, you should add up all the stars they got. But they’re deep and physical. Like I said, they’re big. I look at some of the depth chart, I think they have all their freshmen, freshmen year in high school heights and weights. That guy ain’t 6’2″, he’s 6’4″. See if Kelly will give us some exact heights and weights on these guys because sometimes they look bigger than the numbers will tell you.

But remember…stars don’t matter!

194 thoughts on “Reading Between the Lines – Post Miami / Pre Notre Dame

  1. Great bit of writing, MM. I’m getting a little tired of Narduzzi getting mired down in minutia to explain the mounting losses. Take the running game: “There’s some details that we haven’t cleaned up”, says Narduzzi. And the OLs “need to sustain their blocks”… Well, yeah if you want to run the ball. Isn’t it getting a little late to be cleaning up these details? And is “cleaning up the details” really going to make a difference?

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  2. 6 years and he’s still cleaning up the same details. Oh boy!
    1) This is his best team. His players, his coaches, his schemes.
    2) He makes poor decisions in all aspects. In game coaching, talent evaluation, hiring. The best are average, most are disappointing, the worst are disasters.
    3) 3-3 so far, and this is the easy part of the schedule.

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    1. His hiring of staff is the worst. Then add his stubbornness and arrogance.

      He has grown into the job and learned from his early days. But we’re still seeing rookie coach mistakes in game time coaching and how he rebuilds staff every year.

      The kids may like him but he’s a sub par manager of the program.

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  3. A lot of talk here on replacing Whipple and Borbely etc. I get it.

    But there is also a REAL problem on the defensive side of the ball. That problem is Narduzzi.

    Not sure about Miami but, in the prior couple of games, TV shots of the sideline showed Narduzzi taking a more active role in calling the Defense. This was particularly noticeable in the final minutes of those games when BREAKDOWNS lead to touchdowns.

    Despite all the hype about Narduzzi being a defensive “Guru,” anybody paying attention knows it was actually the Randy Bates hiring where we started to see improvement.

    Seems to be that Pitt is better off when Narduzzi stays out of it and lets Bates hold the reins.

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    1. Pitts strength is their line. You need nfl talent to play the secondary scheme. Moreover he still thinks he’s defending against slow, run first big 10 teams with immobile quarterbacks.

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  4. Part 2:
    1) He should get another year, we are going to be so very bad next year,, and no coach can turn that around.
    2) Don’t fire him, we’ll lose our recruiting class. Make me chuckle. It’s gotten so bad we’re worried about losing players from a class ranked outside the top 30-35. So sad.
    3) He truely has no plan on the offensive side. We have had half a team through his whole tenure. Some years a good o, some a good d. This is what poor recruiting does. Now on the o side it’s even more fragmented, one year we can run, one year we sorta can pass.
    4) He’s hired the OCs and there is no continuity in plan, they all have had different philosophies, hard to have an identity when it’s all over the place. It’s like fixing a 30 year old car, get one thing fixed, another problem crops up, and some things, like that oil leak, you just live with.

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  5. Part 3:
    1) I wouldn’t be afraid to change OCs. You will have a new qb, not KP, so learning a new scheme isn’t all that crazy. And not being able to attract a big time guy because they know PN is on thin ice, well, that may be a good thing. Young eager guy, fresh ideas, no retreads who are older than me. Oh, wait, I forgot who is making the hire. Sorry.
    2) Oh my, we’ll lose the good coaches and their connections. Guys, these recruiting classes have been average or below. They are not in the top tier of our own conference. What a loss!!
    3) We can’t blow it up again. 6-7 years isn’t the same as before. It just seems that way. It won’t hurt our national reputation, we don’t have one. At least a positive one.

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  6. Part4:
    1) Heather, the Chancellor, and the BOT.
    a) The Chancellor. Hey, he’s running the whole school. If he concentrated on the football program I’d be greatly disappointed. Not that he should ignore it, he shouldn’t. But he should treat is as any underperforming part of the University. If the business, law, or medical school was floundering I’d expect him to make changes. Recognize the need, and use you influence to have others accomplish the hire.
    b) The BOT. A football hire is NOT their prime job, and it shouldn’t be. But there are too many on committees who can’t get out of their own way. I know a lot of high school coaches who are competent and can run a clean program. That is such a low bar. They could lose 5-6 games a year also. It takes 2-3 dynamic members to take charge. Not rah-rah or nut jobs, but people who know the lay of the land. They are in short supply.
    c) Heather…. see part 5

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Great stuff Randy and Maestro!!!! Duzz ‘s regime has run it’s course at PITT….he is a Jerry Faust, Tyrone Willingham at best and how did they do while getting the best recruits….it is painful watching PITT FB and I have to admit, a lot of time I flip to a different channel to watch a real college FB game.

      Like

  7. Nuts, lost the Heather part, well, let’s try again:
    1) Is Heather incompetent, ineffective, and in over her head? No, yup, and maybe.
    She is not, as some like to point out incompetent. She has handled herself well, in a professional manner, and in line with her job. That said, I disagree with numerous decisions she has made. She fired people who needed fired and addressed programs that were disasters. People, this was just her doing her job. I guess the 2 prior ADs were so very bad that someone simply doing their job looked great.
    Not sure if the Stallings firing and buyout was handled well, but it had to be done. Capel was not her first choice, and I do believe Hurley played her. Jury still out with Capel, good person, playing with one hand tied in the cesspool that is college bball.
    See Heather cont.

    Like

  8. Nuts again, lost Heather cont. I’ll try again.
    1) Ineffective, well, I think she’s guilty on some counts, and I’ll give her a pass on others.
    a) She flunks on fundraising and increased attendance. I think even she would be disappointed to say the least.
    b) Victory Heights project. Guys, this is Pitt’s version of the Bridge to Nowhere. Man, what a disaster.
    c) This one is tougher, but my most important problem. I should not have to make all kind of adjustments to access Pitt sports in Pittsburgh. Working with the ACC brass to get ACCN onto Comcast should be biggest objective. I give a pass only because I don’t know what is occurring, other than if you have a pro bust and most in the local area can’t access it, well, what good is it?? Seriously!
    That’s all for now, lots of other thoughts but wife wants to walk before rain. Later

    Like

    1. She flunks on being transparent.

      She flunks in compliance. Remember pitt has two violations under her watch and both football and basketball are under probabation.

      She flunks at connecting fans and alumni with the school and engaging with them.

      She flunks at growing new supporters.

      She flunks at running a sports business that doesn’t steal from the general fund and is highly subsidized.

      She flunks at scheduling.

      Like

  9. MM if it wasn’t so sad it would even be more funny.

    I don’t get how cleaning up details is going to stop our O-line from getting blown back three or four yards on running plays.

    Coach, when are you going to $#itcan the wildcat?

    Duh, what’s that, do we do that? Oh yeah we call it the wild panther, it works well in practice, just have to clean up a few things.

    Coach, maybe you ought to use Sibley in the red zone?

    Well, I don’t call the plays, so I’m not responsible at all. Plus nobody can run behind that O-line until we clean up a few things. It will be OK when KP gets back, he is our best runner in the red zone.

    Coach, why do our D-backs keep getting beat up the middle for mind numbingly, heart breaking, game costing big plays.

    Well, you see we just have to clean up a few things, why are you asking me that for?

    Liked by 1 person

  10. So how stupid is the ACC for not being able to cut a deal with Comcast. So you give it away for a year, then you know how many viewers you have and can fix a price. Losing a second year of marketing the program is just plain dumb. Yeah for both sides but the ACC obviously has no leverage.

    Like

    1. what the ACC is finding out is that Pittsburghers will watch Pitt when they are on TV, but not if they have to pay more to do so. The only thing that would sway Comcast is that if a lot of subscribers cancel, but that hasn’t happened.

      But of course, the real problem is that most of the Comcast viewing areas can care less about the ACC

      Like

  11. The Alabama – Georgia game on Saturday showed the best talent that money could buy on both sides of the line of scrimmage. That game ended 41-24.

    In the last 5 years, the national title game featured the following scores: 45-40 / 35-31 / 26-23 / 44-16 / 42-25. Yes, these are the best offensive players around … but they are also the best defensive players also. And note, that the most offensive conferences (B12 and Pac 10 ) haven’t won a title since 2004. (even the last year the Big 10 last won, OSU scored 42.)

    On of the highest paid DCs around is Michigan’s Don Brown, Harbaugh’s first hire when becoming UM coach. He works with almost all 4 and 5 stars but has yet to keep OSU under 30 pts.

    The point is that even good defenses give up points these days. I do think though that Narduzzi definitely needs to uncomplicate his D schemes …. he is confusing his own players. All players do better when they are confident in what they’re doing

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Honest question: Are we spoiled as Pitt fans? As much as we never have the dream season we all went, at least the walls don’t come crumbling down completely. The last time we’ve truly had a garbage season was 1998 when we were 2 and 9. I know because 1998 was the first year I started following the program in a hardcore fashion.

    Since 1998, we have had many seasons where we were 5 and 6 and many 6 and 6 or 7 and 5 campaigns, but nothing worse. LSU is 1 and 2 right now, Ole Miss and Mississippi State are 1 and 3 currently. Nebraska has been worse than us many times over the past two decades. Someone brought up Marshall on a thread yesterday and they have had some putrid seasons over the last twenty years. Remember Syracuse when they had Greg Robinson and how bad they were…and how bad Dino Babers is now.

    I’m starting to realize that…Pat Narduzzi isn’t the prettiest girl at the dance, but if we dump him, are things really going to get better? Or are they going to get worse?

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I continue to stress it’s the program more than the coach. A real good coach can improve the program but either will not be able to sustain or will move to a better opportunity.

      The legendary Dino “10-Win” Babers won 10 games in 2018. Since then, he is 6 and 11 …. including a 17 point loss at home to Liberty this past Saturday

      Like

      1. A good coach makes the program

        Look at Pitts volleyball and men’s soccer.

        Poor to mediocre facilities
        Little local recruits
        Low budgets
        Poor booster and fan support

        But within 4 years, the coach had the program completely turned around. Before, there was little previous success.

        How? They knew how to assemble and manage staff. They had a scheme or identity that works. They recruited players for that system. They have connections. They know how to coach and develop.

        Pitt football has a generous budget, great facilities, decent enough regional recruiting talent, and plenty of tradition and very loyal supporters.

        There is no reason why pitt football only has one ten win season since 1983 and is one of only three schools to have at least three losses for the past 40 years.

        It’s coaching.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. It’s probably a little of both. Again I go back to PJ fleck. You want to tell me Minnestoa is commiting more resources than Pitt? Well you’d have to prove it. They certainly don’t have even the same recruting grounds…WPIAL may have fallen off but Minnesota is a no-man’s land. (Although I do think Larry Fitzg did come out of there)

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Minnesota isn’t spending in the top third of the conference like Pitt

          Pitt has far better recruiting grounds

          Pitt has better facilities. They are pro facilities.

          It’s coaching

          Minnesota like pitt plays in the weaker division. Although it appears that coastal schools are getting better fast leaving Pitt in the dust.

          Pitt just has the wrong identity for this conference. It needs a system and schemes that work. It needs to find and develop talent for that system. It needs to make better staff hires

          Pitt has far less limitations and constraints than Minnesota. Similar challenges. Different results.

          Like

        2. Is Minnesota’s new stadium on campus? I assume it is and makes it a more appealing job right there. Then there is B10 money to spend, which is a lot more than what Pitt gets from the ACC unless I wrong on those figures.

          Definitely in no man’s land, but when you have a real coach I think it masks other deficiencies.

          Pitt has a problem no other school has: Pitt.

          Incredible that this school since 1973 should have had a solid football program, even with the Fazio mistake, but just can’t get out of its own way. How it has handled its coaches should be a study for other universities on how not run coaching searches.

          Liked by 1 person

      1. But who is going to pick your next dance partner?

        That becomes the new problem. Pitt needs a better selection process.

        Heck if you pick and chose Erie’s list of five and the three cats that I’ve let out of the bag, a committee of five pitt former football players can find the next head coach.

        It will be heathers final call but this committee should form the list and rank the candidates.

        Like

        1. Never seen a committee do much except waste time. Recruiting services are also a waste and in it for money only. I don’t think many people on this site has a list of potential coaches worth much. That’s Heather’s job. She should know the top guys coming up and how they fit in with our school. Losing Jurkovec with not even making some noise to get him is an indicated of our poor recruiting.

          Like

    2. Who is left on the schedule we can beat? This is going to be a losing season. Heather needs to wait until another Hafley comes along, then dump Narduzzi. To change for change sake can be expensive in a number of ways. We need to wait until the right Chemistry guy is found. Recruiting is #1. You can hire position coaches.

      Like

    3. I think it comes down to what you’re willing to accept and what you’re willing to define as success. It’s true that since Walt Harris rescued the program, Pitt has never bottomed out, which is actually remarkable, considering their middling recruiting. It’s equally remarkable that they’ve never had things come together for that magical season with 10 wins and great bowl destination. Even the lowest of the Power 5 programs (except maybe Indiana, Purdue, Oregon St., Vanderbilt and a couple others) have had one or two of those over the past three decades. If Pitt had a couple of Orange Bowl appearances this century, I think people might be more tolerant of mediocrity but sometimes the ennui of averageness is worse than the rollercoaster of highs and lows.

      I get it. It’s hard to win. Look at Texas – they have more advantages than almost any school in the country and outside of a nice run with Mack and Nice Young/Colt McCoy underperform almost every year, sometimes dramatically. What has USC done outside of the Pete Carroll days (when they got busted for cheating)? Tennessee has been below average for almost two decades and they have history and 100K in the stands every week pre-COVID. A&M, UCLA, Nebraska, more recently Miami, I could go on and on.

      On the other hand, when Kansas State, Baylor, Wisconsin, Boise St., Utah, TCU, Virginia Tech have consistently or periodically good records and programs like Cincy, UCF, Navy, Army, Wake, Maryland, Illinois, Northwestern, Washington State, Wake Forest, and Duke have had memorable seasons, it’s hard to not want the same for Pitt. Sure, we could end up in a worse place if we strive for greatness, but that’s always the risk.

      “Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat.”

      ― Theodore Roosevelt

      Like

    4. Just because someone posts a statement doesn’t mean it is necessarily true. For example, since Doc Holliday took over Marshall in 2010, he is 82-51. He has gone 6-1 in Bowl games. Four times they won 9 or more games and one time, won 13. Their head coach brings in $750k.

      He also coaches offense, defense and special teams.

      Like

    5. Pitt football and spoiled fans should NEVER be mentioned in the same sentence. Spoiled????
      Seriously?!?! If you define spoiled as long suffering, then yes I agree. If you are using the Webster’s Dictionary definition of spoiled “to impair the disposition or character of by overindulgence or excessive praise. b : to pamper excessively : coddle.“ then I would love to see what you think what actual success looks Lyke.

      If you are using the Webster’s dictionary definition then I think you’re suffering from battered person syndrome which is a form of PTSD. Honestly, though, most of us have suffered from that at some point if following this program for any appreciable length of time.

      I would trade with any of those programs you mentioned above .

      LSU, yes please! (41 and 11 since Oregeron took over plus championship last year.)

      Miss St. yes please! MIss St. has had 3 seasons of at least 9 wins since 2013 (won 10 in 2014) and now has The Pirate as their HC. I would bet anyone any amount of money that Leach will have a 10 win season @ Miss St before Duzz at Pitt.

      Ole Miss yes but not as enthusiastic as the other two. Ole Miss had a 10 win season in 2015 with a Sugar Bowl win. If Houston Nutt wasn’t a rat and snitched on Hugh Freeze they surely wouldn’t be as bad as they are now. By the way, Freeze is the HC at Liberty that just beat Syracuse…not a coincidence. The guy is a scum bag but is a really good HC. Better than Duzz by a WIDE margin. Lane Kiffin is also not a great person but still a much better HC than Duzz.

      All of those programs you mention above are likely to have losing seasons this year….just like…wait for it… Pitt. My son is 8. He has not seen any success from Pitt like those programs above in his life.

      I want Pitt to win, think multiple 10 win seasons in the same decade!!!! Dare to dream!!
      But come on you think the fans are spoiled????? really spoiled!?!?! Not by any definition….

      Like

  13. The press conference is the same week in and week out, this program under Narduzzi has peaked and now it is crashing.

    He is shucking and jiving but we have all heard it before, it’s time for a change.

    The domers are going to paste us this weekend, given the chance Kelly is going to run up the score.

    Remember we are inches away from being 5-1 but the reality is 3-3 and going further down as the season progresses.

    Season 6 unfolds, the disorganization, undisciplined and poor performance continues it sounds like coaching to me.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. This is what I posted on the Rivals free football board:

    Narduzzi is a turd. A Joke. A hot-head stuck in a football philosophy from the 60s. Sick of watching his undisciplined teams. No one seems to get benched for making inexcusable mistakes. Whipple looks demented. No buzz for the program among the local high schools. He is grotesquely over-paid. Idiots wanting him to stay for “stability.” What stability? To look like blue and gold clowns?

    Listening to Peaks podcast I heard a great suggestion: fire Lyke for extending the turd. Hire a football-oriented AD who will ride Narduzz’s butt and then, if improvement is not made, fire his ass. Much cheaper to pay Lyke’s contract than over-paid Narduzzi.

    Of course this is Pitt so nothing will happen?

    Like

    1. Heather has little to no buyout so that makes sense. She’s the far cheaper of the two. And is ultimately responsible for that ill advised extension. Again no booster is going to bail heather out on this one. No booster came forward on Stallings and that wasn’t her fault.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Pitt had Marshall and Ohio. Got Pea instead. Still would have played clemson but at home right? FSU is new and away?

      What your point Ike. Pitt still would have struggled under the old schedule. They would not have beaten Marshall in West Virginia. And Ohio would have played pitt tough…ugly win.

      Still would have to beat coastal schools. And Pitt would have lost to NC.

      I think they actually lose more under the old one.

      Like

            1. But ike, they are losing in the cases of Louisville and NC State, the games they were supposed to win, irregardless of which schedule you choose.

              Like

            2. Yeah Mark they lost by one point to both teams but a loss is a loss. Point being, I have read for three weeks now, how everything is mucked up. I don’t buy that, now they face ND who was on the original schedule but you never know, PITT can beat them if they limit their mistakes but it will be tough. After that I don’t think there is another team can’t beat until Clemson who should have been on the schedule without KP. Boy wouldn’t it be disappointing if PITT could after all this win 6 games this season… So we all know, I’m on record as saying PITT and Narduzzi should and better win 8-9 games this season. Schitt happens. I’ll wait and see what happens as I’m not a quitter.

              Liked by 1 person

  15. I agree with wbb that it is more than a coach. Pitt has many built in obstacles, first being difficulty of recruiting with no real base, second being a very small fan base, third being limited and off an on administrative support, fourth being in a city where it will always be an afterthought to the Steelers. It also doesn’t help that our AD doesn’t know how dumb it is to schedule WV and Tennessee in the same year.

    Those things being a given, where do you set the bar for Pitt Football success? How do you evaluate the relative success or failure of a coach/staff?

    For me, my patience has run out. In a year when you have this many seniors, and this many potential pro players, to fail this miserably has ended all hope that things can improve. How many times do you change offensive coordinators hoping that is the answer?

    Yes we have an awesome D-line, but when it doesn’t get to the QB large gains happen. This is football, it happens to the Steelers and any football team. It is why you need an offense to match the defense. Sure one will always be better, but the disparity that Pitt has shown from the Chryst era is off the charts. It also is evidence that strong offense is better than strong defense.

    The bottom line is you need both to win, and a head coach that values and can coach and takes responsibility for both.

    Pitt will never be what it was in the late seventies and early eighties. Not possible to compete with the Alabamas, Clemsons, Ohio State or PSU, but it can do better than this.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Why then can a program like men’s soccer succeed and become elite in the toughest soccer conference in the land despite far more limitations and constraints.

      It’s coaching, coaching, coaching

      Like

        1. I do agree, coaching makes a difference, that is why it is now Clemson, Alabama, and LSU rather than Florida, Florida State and Miami who are winning championships.

          But look at the B1G, tOSU dominates and has done so through coaching changes. It is more than just the coach.

          Like

          1. Coaching is a primary reason. Yes I know having local talent helps. Having great facilities help. Having money helps. But all those things have been overcome by coach Jay who coaches in a conference that is better than sec like. He’s found success relatively quickly without massive support. And he inherited a dumpster fire. Success begins with the head coach. And then assembling a good staff. That’s why the selection process is critical and the budget for staff.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Texas Panther — wouldn’t Pitt getting Coach Jay for soccer be equivalent to Pitt getting someone like Urban Meyer for football? Coach Jay has won ACC championships and I think a national championship…

              Had he not left WF to explore a pro job, which for some reason didn’t work out, Coach Jay wouldn’t be at Pitt.

              Go Pitt.

              Go Pitt.

              Liked by 2 people

  16. Remember, Narduzzi was the only one of the HC candidates that actually was NOT identified by the Search Consultant/Committee.

    He called up Pitt himself in hopes of landing an interview. The first RED FLAG!

    Like

  17. Next week Pitt’s Alumni Office will call me to discuss a bequest. I will ask them why I should invest my hard earned money in incompetence? What was it, $14 million to get rid of Stallings and now we have to continually be insulted by Narduzzi for another four years and $16 million? That’s $30 million to be a laughing stock and humiliated. And Pitt wants me to invest in that. Sorry, my mama didn’t raise an idiot.

    Like

  18. Dan, I hope I get to hear the story about what happened the day after you got married…but only if its really funny.
    😎
    #Looking for humor anywhere I can find it these days.

    Like

  19. PoD…I forgot about that.
    Anyone have a list of who Duzz beat out for the job?
    For that matter, who the heck did Heather beat out?

    Like

          1. My parents know the troll

            In fact, I’ll be tailgating with him and some college buddies this Saturday before and after the Domer game. He’s really a fine fella if you can get over how he looks and smells.

            Like

  20. Yes major. Pitt did get very lucky. But Barnes had the guts to approach him.

    Volleyball and wrestling don’t have Meyer types. But both are very good coaches and the programs are top ten.

    Like

  21. Well, the teams we lost to are 11-4. The teams we beat are 2-11, Yup, 2-11. Remember, this was the easy part of the schedule. Best team he’s had and they are 3-3. That said, I actually think they’ll win this week. Ya, it happens. But even if they win all the rest, it still will be a disappointing season, not who they beat, or who they lost to, but the way they’ve played.
    This is a veteran team, has basically the same coaching staff, same schemes, and makes this many boneheaded mistakes?? Huh?
    Yes, they do have a difficult overall schedule, but I doubt anyone, anyone, would rate these first 6 games as murders row. Right? Is their best win over a highly overrated 1-4 Louisville team, or over a typically bad 1-4 Syracuse team( who still managed to win double digits one year), or vs the rental piñata Austin Peay?
    BTW, the walk was wonderful.

    Like

    1. Pitt needs to pay more teams like Pea for rental wins. That’s the only way Narduzzi will ever reach 9 wins and top 25 ranking.

      But heather would rather schedule Tennessee. And says we can’t break the contract. Yes you can heather. Yes you can.

      Like

  22. Going on the record here, we will be 4 & 7 at the end of the season. No surprise at this point just my opinion.

    Another fact that is being overlooked this week with all the talk about Narduzzi being the big upset coach is this, past upset wins are not because of his coaching skill, game plans, player development or other coaching wizardry, its because Pitt has been so mediocre to poor that top ten teams overlook Pitt and as a result shoot themselves in the foot. The year we beat Clemson (2016) they won the national title. If that win had been an indicator of where the program was headed we wouldn’t be in the position that we are now in 2020. Discussions about offensive line play/talent, TE play/talent, whose backing up KP, depth at all positions would all be moot because we would winning more games and recruiting better players. Program headed in the right direction, legitimate top 25 program.

    Given the current situation, what we really have is the illusion that Pitt is a big upset program all because we were overlooked a few times by much better programs, ones that are true national programs, have an abundance of talent and have a real shot at a major bowl every year and once in a while maybe make the national championship playoff. All things that Pitt does not have and will not have in the foreseeable futures unless something miraculous happens. This is a masterful PR slight of hand by Narduzzi and his supporters. Take credit for the others teams overlooking your squad by spinning it into a hey look what I did coaching story. There are two sides to every coin, he is just pick the side that benefits him. In reality its easy for a team like Clemson to over look us given our record had history of mediocrity. What did James Creepy Valley Franklin say, its no big deal to beat Pitt, no different than playing Akron. At this point how can I argue with that. Just sayin.

    Like

    1. And Narduzzi failed to sell the Clemson win or translate it into a bowl win and a final AP ranking. He didn’t sell it because only 35,000 showed up to watch the Syracuse finale. He is not building a fan base. The youngsters on this board may think Pitt never draws except for defunct Penn State and Notre Dame. But attendance for the 2009 season, the 2003 season was much better than it has been.

      Narduzzi is getting bad press everywhere. Hello, Heather, are you doing your job to monitor the PR of your football program? Both newspapers in the city are bashing Narduzzi. Madden started it in the Trib and Ron Cook wrote a truthful piece for the PG today.

      Failure to even smell national rankings or keep them and bad press – Heather, is this the way you plan to sell season tickets and get donations?

      Like

  23. Heck Tex, if one power 5 school outPitts Pitt it is Tennessee. Year after year after year. These two schools deserve each other. In my extended comments I purposely didn’t mention scheduling. This is engrained in the school’s culture. It shows how tied they are to the old days. It is a fatal attraction that I don’t blame Heather for. You will know everything has changed when they adjust the non con. Do not hold your breath, 40 years is a long time.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. “I don’t really stress it”. He says. Don’t really stress it? DONT REALLY STRESS IT? Dude you have the 7th worst drop percentage in the FBS in a team that can’t run the balls. Maybe you need to start stressing it.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. What’s he going to say Mike, we practice and practice but the dam kids still drop the passes, they really stink. They have have Roberto Duran hands, “Hands of Stone” They must have got their hands at the “Lumber Company”

      PITT just doesn’t throw the kids under the bus even if they are kicked off the team. BTW, do you really think PITT doesn’t work hard on looking the ball into their hands and catching it?

      Like

      1. Ike he could say “We are making it a point of emphasis.”. He could say we want to run crisp routes and make big plays for the offense and this team and score touchdowns but that all starts with the fundamentals and making the catch. We have to focus on making the catch.

        When this coach says stuff like “ I really don’t stress it” you sound like a tone deaf buffoon. Dropped passes have killed this team the last two years. To be so flippant for the coach to say he doesn’t stress it, is damn near the dumbest thing he could have said.

        The follow up question should have been what is it that you do stress then as a WR coach if catching the ball isn’t that important? Beatty suffers from either arrogance, ignorance or a healthy combination of both.

        Like

  25. Percentage is how to look at it

    Pitt has players playing receiver that need to try out for the soccer team. They have no hands in soccer.

    Narduzzi needs to bench anyone who drops a pass.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Pitt football was last ranked number 1 over 40 years ago

      Pitt has become a soccer school and national powers Believe you me recruits in Europe, Mexico and South America are paying attention.

      Congrats coach Jay. You’ve achieved elite status and excellence. Those words aren’t in narduzzis book.

      Like

  26. I think that maybe the real issue may well be is that Pitt is 2nd in pass attempts as opposed to the drops. IMO the lack of run production hurts the entire team including the defense … but most importantly in the red zone

    Like

    1. A very telling stat ….
      @ADavidHaleJoint
      Yards/Rush (min 3 games, not counting sacks)

      VT, 7.43
      UNC, 6.7
      ND, 6.31
      Liberty, 6.28
      ULL, 6.23
      FSU, 5.67
      Miami, 5.53
      Lville, 5.11
      Cuse, 4.04
      BC, 3.48
      Pitt, 3.47
      Arkansas, 3.19

      Like

  27. This comparison of ACC vs. Big10 makes no sense. Top P5 coaches have coached all over, and last I looked the field was still 100 yds. long for all teams. A good coach will recruit and adapt his system to play the competition he is given. Also, teams built around defense must have a good running game to burn the clock, in order to score in the red zone and win low scoring games. Pitt has no identity, so their offense and defense don’t compliment each other. The approach to recruiting is to get any good player they can, without assessing how he fits into their program.

    I think that Heather is being unfairly treated on this site. She is building up the minor sports which helps with the Pitt brand within the ACC, and also with recruiting of the general student population. Men’s and Women’s basketball are in transition but most feel they are on an upward trend. Football could be addressed either first or last. Usually first if money is the prime objective. To Pitt’s credit, they are paying well without the need to take steps based on money alone. The contract extension for Narduzzi has locked him in and given Heather sufficient time to do these other things without the need to think money first. I am very confident that Heather is in full command of the athletic dept., and will address the football situation at the proper time. It won’t be this year.

    BTW, I believe that Verizon Fios has dropped ATTSports Net from its programming, so they will not be carrying Pirates or Penguins games unless things change. So Comcast can take things slow with the ACC knowing that most Pittsburgh area sports fans won’t jump to Fios.

    Like

    1. Is it unfair to criticize the high sports subsidy?

      Is it unfair to criticize the paltry donation rate?

      Is it unfair to criticize the scope and priorities of Victory Heights?

      Is it unfair to criticize the lack of transparency, connection and engagement with fans and alumni?

      Is it unfair to criticize the scheduling?

      Is it unfair to criticize her watch when two violations happened which resulted in fines and probation?

      Life isn’t fair. Deal with it heather.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes it is in all categories

        high sports subsidy … all we have heard from you the past few years is how Pitt doesn’t competitively

        paltry donation rate …. Pitt fans are well known for bitching but not donating or attending

        Victory Heights … much, much too early to judge

        engagement with fans, alum — it seems that this has pretty much increased over the past 2 years

        scheduling … most of the FB scheduling had been in place before her arrival

        violations … seriously, 2 Class C violations involving QA coaching actually coaching

        Yes, life is unfair for Heather who is being criticized for things that happened before her watch or that are beyond her purveyance

        Liked by 2 people

        1. And you honestly think a school looking for an AD who is responsible for running a competitive and profitable department will be giving heather a call?

          Her job is to generate revenue and to lower that subsidy. Hasn’t happened in four years

          You really think she is transparent and truthful. You really think pitt does an excellent job at connecting with and engaging fans.

          I have more engagement with Texas and I’m not an alumnus. They reach out to me. And I haven’t given them a dime.

          Both Stallings and Narduzzi chested under her watch. Minor or not. They cheated. That’s how much they respect her.

          Schedules can be broken like contracts.

          And she wants to build a single purpose venue for lacrosse. That’s the essence of stupidity.

          Again she’s had four years. A ceo is responsible for cleaning up messes and not blaming the previous one.

          Like

        2. A nice look back. She is the “buck stops here” person for the success of the football program (trending down) and the men’s hoops program (Capel’s third season must be much better than his first two). That’s what is happening.

          Hopefully, Capel will putt it together and at least have a winning conference record.Heather is also the buck stops here person for that program.

          Like

  28. Excuses, excuses, excuses. Stop about scheduling being in place for so long before she got here. The P5 schools always cancel out games between themselves as they have shifting priorities. Now, they dont do it 30 days before the game. They do it two years out typically, with no penalties.

    The problem with Heather is that she just put Tenn and WVU on our schedule for some stupid reason. Our talent level will be much worse over the next several seasons, so she schedules the OOC harder!! Awful, just awful. The original schedule actually aligned well this year with a great shot at being 4-0 out of conference. We get a bad break with C19, but the scheduling luck was with us as we pulled a schedule that was probably the easiest over the first 5 games. The ACC was showing Heather how to schedule…..and the team Blewitt!

    Can we be clear about a new revelation. Narduzzi in the last week has said he has no say in the offense! WHAT! It is your team knucklehead. Now, he updates that terrible statement and says he has no say in special teams too, if I heard that right!! What does he do? Jackwagon! Then he says that BC and NCSt did some new things with TE’s down the middle. WHAT??? They did the same things. Probably expect it again to see if the 3rd time is the charm.

    I think he is really good at understanding trends defensively (i.e. formations and attack)…..if he has seen it on tape. The problem is that any new wrinkle isn’t prepared for and big plays against result. That is a major flaw with his defense. The defense as he plays it does not safely cover everything. It covers tendencies. Hence the big plays.

    As an fyi – Marshall was mocked earlier and yesterday. Doc Holiday is 82-51 over his 10 years at Marshall with a 6-1 Bowl Record. He also won 9 or more games 4 times. Also won 13 games once. All for 750k per annum. I am not advocating for him as he is too old (sorry oldtimers). There are plenty like him out there. Release Heather. We wont be saved by some team coming for Nard. His record has been established. Mediocre results when he only coaches 1/3rd of a team.

    Like

    1. What’s the excuse Ike? She had no plan. She does not schedule to support the team. The ACC did that for her this year. She could have canceled Tenn and WVU, or one of them, without penalty. It is done all the time, without penalty. When there are penalties, is when there is guaranteed money from the rent a wins. They want their cash.

      Simple conversations between AD’s. They don’t hate each other as they are all in the same fraternity. Many are getting exposed this year for not planning and spending in excess for the “moment” instead of having an operational plan for multiple years success. Think Stanford and many other orgs.

      Ike, you were asking earlier about our pre-covid schedule because you want to say how much more difficult the schedule is post covid. Another excuse. Look at the product on the field. It has been awful. No excuses. Some are desperate for positives and are saying that he should be commended for no positive tests. Those are personal choices of the players. Not the head coach.

      Heather is in over her head and trying hard to learn on the job. Nard is awful and refuses to learn on the job. So, its not all things. That’s a bit dramatic.

      Also, she is very nice and have said that many many times.

      Like

      1. That was exactly my point Huff, you’re making an excuse about playing a team 95 miles down rt 79 that could fill the stadium. You’re already years out making an excuse.

        Like

      2. Yes. She got Nard a game against her Alma mater so he could win a bowl game. If she can’t extrapolate to OC scheduling, we’re in trouble.

        Like

  29. and she has had 4 years to cancel it….it doesnt help recruiting at all, well unless the next chad voytik is heading this way. there would be no penalty if she would have acted earlier. This practice is common when new coaches and AD’s join a program, but not with us. I wrote about this years ago. She should have canceled.

    same with wvu. It does not help recruiting and can only hurt it. We will see how this plays out. There is no upside to pitt playing wvu, none. What alum wants to see pitt lose to them?? Since 1990, the teams have played 22 times. WVU has won 15 of those. One victory every three games is nothing to be proud of at all.

    also, wvu’s recruiting is trending up. they have no base from which to recruit (one of the excuses as to why Pitt struggles), yet they have four 4 stars for 2021 and their average star is 3.25. Pitt’s average is around 2.85. I think their new coach is turning things around with the program. He was one of the coaches that may have been on Tex’s list as he came from Troy, but i digress.

    Why would a Pitt fan want them to play with the abysmal record against them over the last 30 years? I fail to see the relevance of the game, unless the relevance is beating a team one out of three tries. That’s called being a loser. What has changed on Pitt’s part to expect a change?

    Like

  30. How does seeing Coastal Carolina ranked 25th in the polls make Pitt fans feel.

    My how bad this season has gotten after the ACC tee’d up a fairly easy start to the season with 4 home games and a 5th vs BC. 3-3 is NOT a good look with schedule.

    Perfect year for a non-elite team to jump into the playoff mix – the red carpet was rolled out for a senior ladened Pitt team.

    I’m still holding out a small amount of hope that SOMEONE, ANYONE gets fired.

    My company needed an example after a string of mistakes and poor performance. I had my managers submit a list of under performers and Monday morning we axed the weakest link. Those mistakes happened under my leadership as CEO when we were slow, had no room for mistakes & poor performance – the CEO did not take a paycheck for 2 months to be sure all employees were paid.

    A message was sent to the other employees with the termination and heavy accountability is underway in all departments. All need to be on their “A” game or they may be next.

    Tennessee FB did it after their loss to KY – the wrong coach was canned, but apparently the HC saw the axed coach as an under performer.

    I don’t lyke to axe employees, but I dislyke underperformed who steal from my company even more…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It’s the Wannstedt VS WVU in 2007. A middling year for Pitt until Wannstedt rose up, made demands, and literally willed a victory. Fear of failure should be intrinsic. When it’s not, then extrinsic.

      Like

  31. Lyke is doing a good job on some things. Victory Height was desperately needed for the other sports. If you are in a power 5 conference you must have facilities for all sports.
    Some sports have improved greatly. Still believe in Capel, soccer, volleyball. It is getting there.

    Bashing her every move is idiotic.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Few moves of hers don’t knock over things. Like today. Supposed to know whether I got tickets in the lottery

      Students still don’t know.

      Everyone was told Tuesday would be the day

      Whose fault is that now?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. This is another grape Fanta moment for her. What has she been doing all this time? A failure to meet a self-appointed deadline about something as important as tickets, especially for the ND game, shows incompetence. And just how many of these precious tickets is Notre Dame getting? What are the rules? What has she said about the rules?? When the AD is second-rate how can you expect the revenue programs to be anything more?

        Like

    2. Not idiotic if she is the problem. She needs to right the football program and we will be waiting for her to do that.

      Like

  32. Well heather literally steals ten million from the general fund each year to help subsidize the department. Pitt just considers it a transfer, not a loan. It should be considered a loan payable within a fiscal year. That’s how other schools do it. For instance, mike leaches former Wash State.

    Like

    1. I’ve provided links in the past. Why don’t you ask heather yourself. Seriously I don’t know why the media doesn’t bring this up. It’s embarrassing to be this highly subsidized. Pitt spends money now like drunken sailors.

      Like

  33. Huff, this business about Heather scheduling too tough is ridiculous. A national program should be playing big games that get significant attention that goes beyond a third tier appearance on the ACC network. Remember that Narduzzi was supposed to be winning 10 games by now. The objective is not to dumb down the schedule to match the below standard performance.

    Like

    1. Voice, check your sports pages for the last 35 years. Pitt is not a national program. We almost got to be heading there after the first 3 easy games. Also, check the big programs (not this year due to covid). Most top 20 teams schedule 3 easy out of conference game and one that they are expected to win but could lose. Check the history. For the big teams, the AD supports the team by scheduling this way. It allows the team to gain confidence, work out the kinks, mold together as a team, get some national exposure and hopefully be healthy for playing your conference games which if you ask Nard, is the most important thing.

      This is my beef with our AD’s. Not just this one, but our last several. A strong AD understands and navigates through the delicate balance between deliberate and instinctive thinking. Our current AD is smart, but she has zero instinct for the position (i.e. Hurley, Victory Heights, OOC scheduling to actually support where a football program is, etc.). She cannot rely on developed instincts through relevant experience because she lacks that. There is my beef in a nutshell. Have at me.

      The same can be said about our Football Head Coach. He does possess deliberate thinking, but only as it pertains to the defense. So he lacks deliberate thought on offense and special teams as he admits. Unfortunately, he also lacks in developed instincts because he hasnt been a head coach before. As such, he gets outcoached regularly and makes bad decisions regularly.

      This has nothing to do with each of them personally. It has to do with execution. When you lack one of the skills outlined above, you will be good at best. If you lack more than one, you will be inconsistent and mediocre.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. or worse(inconsistent and mediocre)

        agree with this Huff post
        unprovable but it sure looks that way with HCPN and while I need to see Heather’s reaction to this year as I think she can prove us wrong, I’m not thinking she will,,,she may not have the freedom/support/funds to

        time for big girl pants HL

        Like

  34. What exactly is happening with Victory Heights? Last I heard it was on hold and drastically scaled back. Do you have new info, specific dates, what’s included, funding? If I missed it I’m sorry, but that was the last I heard, it was a complete cluster. But I have been rather busy, what with isolating, cooking, cutting slow growing grass, and cancelling planned trips and such.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It has been scaled back. The field house will remain. No outdoor track. Small venue for volleyball, wrestling and gymnastics. New training and sports medicine facility.

      The fundraising for the project was not impressive. No surprise since the sports it helps have few supporters.

      Debt will finance the construction. gallagher said it could be a mortgage on Pitts future. It’s a roughy $250 million price tag despite being scaled back.

      Most upsetting is there is still no outdoor track. The sports bubble remains. Cost center remains from what I understand.

      Could have built a MPC on the OC lot and cost center footprint.

      Like

    1. That is more than our total rushing yards.

      What a complete meltdown by basically a return of the same team and coaching staff from 2019.

      Like

  35. You mean when a Miami O-lineman ran 6 yards downfield and latched onto Pine. Those were slow developing plays and I thought it was because King wanted to sell the play-fake. Turns put he was waiting for the
    O-lineman to get downfield to hold. Miami must have crapped themselves when it wasn’t called so they said…….. let’s try that again. Watch the replays, I saw it right away 1,000 miles away in Latrobe. Nah that wasn’t the refs.

    Like

  36. I do agree with most of what you say, Huff. I hate to play Tex’s salary card, but Narduzzi has been coaching for 30 years and he gets a top salary of $4 million per year. So it seems reasonable that Heather expects Narduzzi to perform at a high level while she tends to the minor sports. Narduzzi came in saying Pitt was a destination place and he could return it to national prominence. So after 6-7 years he should be able to beat Tennessee. I like conference play, but I’m also old school and love those cross country games. Pitt vs USC or UCLA was great fun.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Get it VOR. My preference is to play OOC against lower ga teams and florida teams if the recruiting footprint emphasizes those areas. It’s a win for the players, their families and helps recruiting. That is how an AD supports the team. Not Iowa.

      I like cross country games too, but in bowl games in warm climates.

      Like

    2. No reason to play Tennessee.

      Not a rival
      Not in Pitts recruiting footprint
      A win does nothing
      A loss is more ammo against Pitt and the ACC

      Like

  37. Hey Tex I’m in 110 also…row L.
    Trying to work out something for POVerts to gather pregame.
    Anyone have any suggestions since tailgating is banned?
    Pick a North Shore bar?

    Like

  38. Apologies to Ms Lyke, it was Scott Barnes who scheduled the WV and Tenn. games. The gift that keeps on giving. The guy did more damage in a short period of time than humanly possible. Then kept getting paid after he resigned, only at Pitt.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I like west wirginia. It’s a rivalry game. Granted a loss is not good and a win does Pitt little except make fans like me happy. But shouldn’t pitt play these games for the fans anyway?

      Tex with West virginny inlaws

      Liked by 2 people

  39. I’d like to remind people that it was Scott Barnes who scheduled Tennessee. And when PSU made it clear that there was no interest in renewing …. Heather scheduled WVU, a move that was widely applauded here. Again, there is absolutely no reason not play the Eers in both FB and BB.

    And you know who Pitt plays in 2026-7? Wisconsin.

    There are no delusions here. Pitt will never contend for the national title. But what they will benefit from is national or regional TV coverage, and big payouts, especially playing at 90k Rocky Top.

    You want fiscal responsibility …. here it is right under your noses

    Like

  40. Now I realize that the POV represents some of the most avid Pitt fans around who attend games and donate. However, data shows that Pitt is near the bottom of the ACC in donations and in the lower half in attendance.

    Did you ever realize that scheduling these games may be out of necessity? PSU will get 100k if it plays West Liberty. Pitt will sell out for WVU but not for Tennessee (unless Vols fans come)

    Just like mid-major and D2 teams depend on … that big paycheck for their one OOC sacrifice, these games are apparently big for Pitt FB budget.

    But go ahead, blame the AD …. and certainly not yourselves

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Pitt has the lowest attendance capacity of any ACC school. Pitt sits around 55 percent. Now that’s because Heinz is too damn big but I doubt whisky brings more than 8000 fans. Pitt would get at least 5000 fans for Maryland or Rutgers anyway. And both schools have more history with Pitt and are recruiting grounds.

      Like

    1. I stand corrected but the point is that maybe these games are as necessary for Pitt as UMass scheduling Auburn, Ken St scheduling OSU, etc.

      Like

      1. I think 1 per year is plenty. I think we have seen with OKST that it doesn’t do much for attendance unless it is PSU, WV or ND. tOSU would pack Heinz as well. I don’t think Tenn will move the bar that much especially if we don’t have a good team coming back. Ratings are based on wins/losses, with two P-5 teams you have a good chance of starting in the hole. If we get ND and/or Clemson or another hot ACC crossover, it is just too tough a schedule.

        Look at this year, we have a relatively better team than our average on paper and we are just starting the more difficult part of our schedule. Administration needs to give our guys a fighting chance, at least more than the ACC did this year.

        When you do schedule these P-5 teams at least do it in our recruiting footprint.

        By the way, UMass and Kent St are not P-5 so they have different needs than Pitt.

        Like

  41. I have no problem scheduling any former rival or school in Pitts recruiting footprint. I do have a problem scheduling big ten and sec schools. And those contracts can be broken without penalty if not last minute.

    Pitt – The Sleeper or Giant Killer will show the Nation this Saturday. One of the few joys of being a Pitt fan. Pitt always has an upset in them. Unfortunately, pitt won’t be upsetting clemson again. So the Domer game at home it is.

    Like

    1. I liken Pitt to a deer hunter in PA. Most years Pitt doesn’t bag a buck. But when it does, maybe once every 4 years, it’s a 12 point trophy. During those four years however Pitt will have plenty of misses and every once in a while hit a grazing cow instead.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. This is the game Pitt surprises everyone and scores 30. In a covid year and with recent pitt success against the Gold Dome, it could legitimately happen.

      I don’t see the Domers scoring more than 20 on Pitt. So can Pitts offense just score 21?

      Like

  42. you guys are missing the point when I talk about scheduling P5 OOCs.

    Face it, there is no difference from now and back in the late 70s/early 80s …. Pitt only sold out 53k Pitt Stadium when it played PSU, WVU and ND. I know because I always was able to go up to a ticket window back 1/2 hour before the game and purchase tickets … done it many times. Saw games vs Navy, BC, FSU, USC.a few vs Cuse, etc.

    But what Pitt now gets is added revenue …. by not only from the TV on these games but from the OK Sts, WVUs, UTenns and UWs when it plays at their places. When a program can’t count on home attendance or alum donations, this is apparently what it must do ….. and especially in this era when it is forced to recruit Florida, Georgia, etc

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Look for that to change on Saturday. Expect the ND offense to modify their game plan to test Pitt’s secondary, our weakest link on D.

      Like

    2. Lastrow — kinda wish you hadn’t posted that…. 😊

      And it sounds like you won’t be in the “last row” on Saturday… is that a bad sign?

      Is Scooter going? Everyone wants to know that…

      Go Pitt.

      Like

  43. FWIW… Students have not yet been notified if they are receiving tickets to the game. The game is three days away for goodness sake.

    Like

    1. I wasn’t notified until late yesterday. Yes it’s a cluster with the students. That’s a great way to endear students to the program. Heather did come thru for me but she is failing the students right now.

      Like

  44. Pitt can change coaches, ADs and staff, but this is shaping up to be a typical Pitt season: they will win maybe 5 games, or less which can be blamed on injuries including Pickett. The ceiling over the past 10 years has been about 8 games. Pitt will put several players into the NFL again, and maybe get a pro bowl or two out of Jones or Weaver, but there are never enough good athletes on the roster to win big or go to a major bowl. Average teams like Pitt are forced to argue over penalties, drops and injuries, because everything must align perfectly in order to produce an above average season.

    So what has changed? Wwb points out correctly that Heather is no different than other ADs in this regard. The last big winning era in the 70s and 80s came about because after Hart and DePasqua Wes Posvar had enough of losing. But Pitt has now settled into a sort of comfortable mediocrity, which is the worst kind of place to be in (maybe this is why it made sense to lock Narduzzi in before he realized the situation and skipped out). Pitt will never leave the ACC, which is why they are striving to improve the minor sports (and doing a good job of it).

    So what will Pitt do? The ACC schools they are most academically aligned with, Duke, UNC, GT, etc., lean towards basketball as their primary sport. I look for Pitt to do the same, which is to let football continue to remain mediocre over time, at least until Narduzzi’s contract expires, while building up the basketball program.

    Like

    1. Soccer is the one program that has improved. Due to the Coach. The others not so much. Note volleyball and wrestling have always been decent to good at Pitt. But The competition in the ACC is far more fierce than the old big east. The acc schools all have large budgets and big fanbases.

      Football and basketball pays the bills. You need those programs to be more than mediocre.

      I still don’t see how Pitt can’t be forced to eliminate programs given higher covid expenses and a significant loss in revenues.

      Like

  45. Listened to the P-G podcast today…

    Three predictions:

    24-21 Pitt

    24-23 Pitt

    31-14 ND

    This is going to be interesting. Right now odds are ND giving between 9.5 and 11 points. I’ll do prediction later but the line is pretty big.

    Like

    1. That’s easy money. Take pitt and the points. I’d straight up wager Pitt wins this one.

      Domers didn’t look good last week. Pitts D is better than their O. Yellen needs to pass for 300 and Pitt wins. Would be nice if one of Pitts backs cracked 50 yards.

      Like

  46. While we have been doing all this bitching (seems like for months) Pitt’s recruiting ranking for 2021 on Rivals has risen to 22, ahead of VA, GT, BC, FS, PSU, Auburn, VT and many others inside and outside the conference, including some name p5 schools. What’s going on?

    Tex and others thanks for the optimism about the ND game. I’ve had a similar feeling but hesitated to express it. I’ll never forget that last game at Pitt Stadium. The team and the fan’s were really juiced. I don’t know that ND ever figured out what hit them. Sometimes the emotion directed in the right way can really do it. That’s one of the beauties of college football. H2P Crush the domers.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. average stars is like 2.85. We have a big class. WVU is average 3.25 with 5 less kids. Kills all the excuses about cold weather, no local recruiting pipeline, etc.

      Pitt had a pipeline with quip. They do well with CCatholic, Tom Jeff or son. State Penn gets gateway. Hoping the gateway kid goes to GA if not Pitt.

      Like

  47. Pitt is not winning this game. Does anyone really think the conference will let Pitt win this game considering how ND joined the conference for one year and saved the ACC season? The ACC was going to join the B10 and Pac-12 and not play because the conference acts high and mighty, too.

    The game will be competitive, but the refs will screw us any chance they get. Remember 2012 when Pitt was up 20-6 and PI was called on fourth down? It will happen again because Pitt is the perfect punching bag with all its three-star players and an administration who won’t rock the boat and risk conference revenue checks.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. since I already believe half of this, I’m not a tough sell

      will be telling how bad it will be revealed IF Pitt gets any sort of lead late or multi-score lead at any point

      Like

  48. Way to go Gramps bursting a few balloons. Wait until you read the reactions and how PITT got lucky.

    OT,another crazy beautiful day in WPA. It’s been a great summer while we have been pretty much locked away. At the end of the year the stats will come out and they will tell us that there were only 27 days of sun all year.

    Like

  49. Notre Dame plays most like a B10 team in all phases. Pitt plays like a big10 team on defense and can defend big10 defenses because thats what our head coach knows best. Not sure what Pitt plays like on offense or special teams because they don’t take the personality of the coach……because he is not present in those facets of the game.

    So yes, there is a possibility of victory and I will predict it. For some reason, Kelly tightens up against Pitt. He is similar to Nard, except on the offensive side of the ball. I expect him to go for a 4th and 4 early in the game, without hesitation.

    Liked by 1 person

  50. I predict a close game where Pitt scores early and hangs on until a late score by ND puts them over the top for a 3 point win. Then next week I predict we will be discussing blown calls and drops. It’s the Pitt way…

    Like

    1. It’s way more than two one point losses. It’s two losses when PITT missed their last extra point conversions. One going right through Mack’s hands the other wide right last play. ugh.

      Like

  51. With the injury to Devin Bush, pressure on Jerry-O right now since he coaches the Steeler’s inside backers.

    Jerry-O was one of my favorite Panthers. Was cool to chat a bit with him at the Pitt golf outing a couple years ago. A textbook tackling-machine at linebacker!

    Which reminds me — when are we going to find an impactful middle linebacker? Been too long…

    Go Pitt.

    Like

  52. It’s hard to pick Pitt to win any game with our one dimensional offense. With a game tape on Yellen ND will have enough information to shut him down without having to worry about our RB’s. ND should be able to win this one by at least 2 TD’s.

    Like

  53. https://www.oddsshark.com/ncaaf/notre-dame-pittsburgh-betting-2020-10-24-1240995

    Notre Dame News & Notes

    The Fighting Irish had to sweat out a 12-7 victory last week against Louisville, but the stat line suggests it should have been a far more comfortable victory. Notre Dame outgained the Cardinals 239-96 on the ground and had 10 more first downs, but red-zone troubles prevented the Irish from opening up a larger lead.

    The Irish settled for field goals on their first two trips inside the Cardinals’ 20-yard line, then turned the ball over on a fake field-goal attempt on their third. Notre Dame quarterback Ian Book also struggled passing the ball in the windy conditions, although his 13-yard TD run on third-and-eight put the Irish ahead for good in the third quarter.

    Notre Dame’s defense bailed out the offense by holding the Cardinals to their lowest-scoring output in 18 games under head coach Scott Satterfield. It’s nothing new for the Irish, who now rank fourth in the nation in scoring average allowed at just 11.5 points per contest.

    Notre Dame has gone UNDER in 13 of its last 20 games overall and has also gone UNDER against five of six ACC opponents since last September.

    Pittsburgh News & Notes

    The Panthers might be college football’s top fade right now, covering just one of their last nine games (1-7-1 ATS) dating back to last year. That lone point spread cover came in a 55-0 rout of Austin Peay in their season opener last month, and six of those seven ATS losses came by more than a touchdown.

    However, Pittsburgh showed a lot of promising signs in last week’s 31-19 loss at Miami, missing the cover by half a point as an 11.5-point dog. The Panthers moved the ball well throughout, gaining 250 yards through the air and 331 overall, but kicked four field goals from inside the Hurricanes’ 20.

    They also did it without the services of senior starting quarterback Kenny Pickett, who missed the game with an ankle injury. Pickett’s status for this week was unknown at the time of writing.

    Pittsburgh’s defense matches up well against Notre Dame’s run-heavy offense. The Panthers boast the nation’s top rush defense, allowing just 61.5 yards per game on the ground.

    “Top Fade” – Perfect for that next team tattoo!

    Like

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