Up Next: Notre Dame

By Richard Hefner

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

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

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

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

Quit rolling your eyes. At least these articles allow you to make comments from your cell phone without scrolling through 100+ comments. But I changed my mind & emailed Mike:

Now thinking about writing an article on Notre Dame. I will be taking a more stats orientated approach.

Probably will take same approach for the balance of schedule. With data from games played, my old approach means less.

Brian Kelly is the head coach of Notre Dame. According to USA Today he makes $1,863,893. What a deal. Way Underpaid. How can Narduzzi make so much more?

Until you read the USA Today methodology.

From the “Notes” section:

NOTRE DAME: School’s tax records state that Kelly is permitted to receive compensation from external sources with prior written approval from the university.

Why did I bring this up? Because it puts more context into a nice but flawed USA Today report. Data & stats are good if explained, used correctly & in context. I hope to do that below without being wordy & over explanatory.

I am doing away with the ND recruiting data. I will just say it is good, not Clemson good but better than Miami good.

I do not have any transfer portal activity for ND. When I started, I only kept data on the 14 ACC teams. As I emailed Mike, I do not do ND. So, I never went back & reconstructed ND as they wormed their way into the ACC.

I do have some data on potential “Stars”. But it is only from Pro Football Focus (PFF) 2020 ACC preseason teams & two names on the preseason ALL ACC team. They are shown In Bold.

Obviously, the strength is in the O-Line. Per PFF, Five of PFF’s top 15 ACC O-Linemen are from ND.

I have an observation: Bill Hillgrove may have some pronunciation problems.

And I have a question: Robert Hainsey  & Josh Logg (Hainsey’s backup) are from Western PA. Will the local Pittsburgh sports reporters interview them and ask how many times they turned down Pitt?

With a O-Line like ND has, you would expect a dominant rushing attack. Here is a chart of ND’s leading rushers.

Here is another chart comparing team offense production (ND v. Pitt):

Note: Rushing data includes sacks and sacks allowed & the resulting negative yardage.

I should have mentioned but most stats are from the NCAA site through 10/17/20 except for esoteric stats like “long Runs/receptions”. Those are from ESPN. Ranking are based on the 77 FBS teams that have played at least one game thru 10/17/2020.

While Pitt’s passing game is better (20’th of 77) the running game stinks (70’th of 77). Advantage ND.

Ian Book, the ND QB, is also on the “Stars” chart. How does he compare to either Kenny Pickett or Joey Yellen? I do not know the status of KP at this time. And for those readers who are always say “Those QB stats are inflated by the Austin Peay game, I removed AP & South Florida (1-4 with there only win over The Citadel (Guess who has relatives with connections to The Citadel? I have now worked my relatives into the 3’rd article in a row).

Make of it what you want. But it does show that I am not a Pitt “homer” in showing stats that only favor the home team.

The sign of a great offensive line is pass protection. How does Pitt/ND match up on sacks allowed.

Now here is a problem. Pitt has allowed 12 sacks. JY has been sacked 4 times for negative 40 yards. Is pocket presence as a passer worth the sacks/yardage & low completion %. Both should improve with time but if KP is ready to go what would you do – the future or wins now?

On defense, 4 ND players made the “Stars” list – A DE, 2 LB’s & a Safety. One of the linebackers & the safety made PFF’s first team. I originally thought it would be a matchup of preseason PFF #1 safeties, but Paris Ford only made the 2’nd team. (The other #1 was from FSU).

In ND’s wins, they held Duke (now 1- 5) to 13 points. They shutout South Florida (1-4, hurrah for The Citadel). Allowed 26 points to FSU (2-3) with an FSU 2’nd game QB starter. Finally, they held Louisville (1-4) to 7. As you are aware, offense is Louisville forte. The combined record of ND’s victims 5-16.

So, how does ND defense compare to Pitt?

It is a battle of ND strength (rushing) vs. Pitt’s strength (rushing defense). IMO, ND will be able to rush but not at the rate they are currently averaging. It may turn into a passing game. If that happens, it will be a battle of O-Line vs. D-line. I have already posted the O-Line stats for sacks allowed. This chart is for defense sacks:

Pitt wins the sack battle. Remember that Boston College had 4 O-Line “Stars” & Pitt was still able to get 6 sacks.

Here are my last two charts – Penalties & Turnovers.

Just some more data to take into consideration. For Pitt, it is obviously penalties that will stall offensive drives or extend opponents drives. Unless they are cleaned up. But we have been expecting that for weeks. So do not count on that happening.

I hope you enjoyed the new format. Let me know what you think & any improvements I can make. Do not say better writing. Like Pitt’s penalties do not count on that to happen.

If KP plays Pitt 20 – ND 13. If JY plays Pitt 9 – ND 13.

111 thoughts on “Up Next: Notre Dame

  1. Great write-ups like this make watching the game more interesting for me. Other than a spelling error, lyke vs. like, no suggestions for improvement.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My first college game was Pitt ND at Pitt Stadium in 58-59. My mom was a huge ND fan and thus this is one game I have loyalty to both. I guess I’ve been to 14 Pitt – ND games with one of my misses being the last game at Pitt Stadium. The best was
    1974 as we beat ND at home for the first time in forever. We burnt ND pennants in Sec 23

    ND is loaded on both lines and should have their way with the Pitt Flabbies aka Offensive line.

    I’m not sold on Book at QB and agree with the POVER who said Kelley makes as many game day mistakes as Duzz. ND is not as strong in their defensive backfield.

    This is THE GAME for Pitt. Win and the season is viable again. Lose and Pitt is looking at 4-7. How Pitt does depends on who is healthy. H2P


    1. I think you called me a POVER dan. #nokoolaid.

      Tex, at a minimum she will announce that all tickets to the game have been sold! Will be sad if the Domers have more fans in attendance than we do. Quick query: Has anyone who received tickets been asked to sell them? Just wondering how the scalpers are doing this year. #scalpersgottaeat2


  3. Interesting stuff, Richard. Thank you.

    We really need a middle linebacker to show up big-time this game. Is Jerry-O available??

    Be great to see Baldonado and yes, Krull, back on the field. Maybe having Krull available would change the crap we’ve been doing in the red zone…if we get to the red zone…

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Interesting compilation of information. Not sure it means much in this game. Pitt traditionally plays ND tough. Not going to make a prediction this week as I’ve done in the past. I’ve been bad recently and so has PITT. Anyway it is what it is and if we win it will be a real boost.


  5. Great job Richard…i hate the domers too and was also raised Catholic. And an altar boy to boot!
    ND will be shocked by Duzzs invention of the 1-5-5 “double nickel” defense on obvious passing downs.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Good God Richard, that is some detailed stuff.

    Now that you have decided to write a pre-game ND article I’ll let the cat out of the bag and tell the world (or maybe just Pitt fans) that I’ll be doing the weekly “Read Between the Lines” article based on Narduzzi’s post game presser this coming week.

    I always look at yard per attempt and yards per completion when trying to decide just how effective a college QB’s game or season is going. I think over the course of a season / career that is more important than yards or maybe even TDs. I’m all about Passing Efficiency Ratings vice plain yardage.

    Big passing yardage in a game is nice but not so great if you are passing almost every play and the attempts & completions are for small gains. Like in the Miami game where Yellen had 47 pass attempts with only 6.0 yards per attempt. Well when you are getting 2.4 yards per carry from the RBs you have to take to the air.

    For instance KP and Yellen have put some some big yardage numbers but our 3rd down completion rate is bad at .35% or one out of three tries. Thus the 18% conversion rate on 3rd downs against the Hurricanes.

    That’s how you lose games.

    I hope we bounce up to snuff on offense Saturday but I don’t see that happening against the ND defense no matter who we have behind center.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Looking forward to Reed’s Read! (Also timely for me as we are In the middle of selling our house and I have next to no free time)


  7. —Thought I heard them say that Pitt leads the country in the number of offensive plays that went for no yardage or lost yardage. That stat right there is killing us.

    —Did anyone notice that Joey Yellen seemed to have some trouble getting the play from Coach Whipple? Seemed to me that Coach said something, then Yellen said “Huh?”, then Coach said something again and Yellen ran off. Guess we need to adjust for this extra couple seconds…🤔

    —I suspect Kenny just guesses at what Coach said, and goes and calls a play. Hey, maybe that’s the problem… 😊

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I was indeed an altar boy…my mentor actually became a priest.
    I’ll lay some Latin on you Farmer next time I see you.
    OT but just saw Darnell Dinkins son committed to psuX…as a tight end. Sigh.


  9. And Pat Chambers out as Penn State basketball coach following I believe his best year there.


  10. Fran – I’ll help you out:

    “Veni, vidi, vici”. That should suffice for the Latin you need 😉


    1. Enjoyed the post Richard!

      Look forward to attending the game Sat. and seeing some of the Red5A crowd…although not in that lot sadly.


  11. Chambers out should be no surprise. It was widely suspected he had major issues with illegal recruiting. They are trying to get out in front of this before they get hammered. Like I’ve said, college bball is a cesspool, and Capel is fighting with one hand tied behind his back.
    You should realize how bad this must be for him to resign, as so many programs do sleezy things and escape Scott free. You really didn’t think they could legally build a powerhouse out there, did ja.


    1. Well, JoeKnew, PSU is spinning this incident by saying Chambers made a racially insensitive comment, telling a player he was “loosening the rope.” The fact that he was able to hang on this long just shows you how corrupt Sandy Barbour is. I’ve been told that “loosening the rope” is a slip of the tongue. Sorry, but anyone who says that, thinks it, and it’s just plain racist. I know there are a lot of them in the old boy coaching network, but they need to be given their walking papers.

      By the way, is Sandy Barbour becoming a transsexual? I could care less what she is or wants to be, but recent photos seem to suggest a 5:00 o’clock shadow. I guess in the area of LGBT rights, they have their act together.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Stan, Guy love the show

    One question, psu hired a new basketball coach today. Ex Duquesne basketball coach Jim Ferry who had a record at Duquesne of 60-97.

    My question fellows, what do think Tex thinks of this hire…. I’ll hang up and listen.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. LOL…I’l[ answer for Tex. He’s a loser, he’s old and he can’t recruit. But since he’s going to PSU it’s a great hire for PITT.


  13. I’ve talked about it many times….You, as coach, want a star basketball player to come to your school, you have to deal with a street agent (usually dad)and pay off the street possy. Chambers was a terrific coach at Navy and a good X’s and O’s guy, but he gave in to the AAU pressure and got himself fired. It’s very bad.
    PSU told him it was because he told a black player “I’m taking the noose off your neck” but in reality, it was the payoffs. He thought he’d cash in at 21-10 in the NCAAS but Covid came and the season was shut down. So many college coaches fall prey to this hoping they can make run in the NCAAs before they get caught. Ugh.


    1. Stories like this Dan are just another reason why PITT likes Narduzzi so much.

      Great job Richard………… AGAIN!


  14. LOL. Legacy Kid and Dad played at Pitt goes to PSU. Can’t even get kids that have family from Pitt now. Why would any TE with talent play for Gorilla 🦍 Calves.


    1. this is hardly unprecedented

      — 10 years ago Pitt lost two 4-stars to PSU. One was Tom Ricketts Jr and the other was the son of Pitt’s tennis coach

      — a few years later. PC lost Troy Apke to PSU despite the fact that both of his parents were Pitt athletes and his coach at Mt Lebanon when he was a soph was hired to Pitt’s staff

      — and back in the day, there were a handful of Western PA brother vs brother (Piit vs PSU)


      1. Excuses. We have no TE’s
        and a Pittsburgh kid goes to PSU. If you can’t see what local kids think of this 🤡 Narduzzi then nothing I can say will change your mind.


    2. The legacy kids whose dads played at Pitt in the 1990s feel nothing for Pitt. Pops that decade was shunned by a university that cared so little about football it became a real embarrassment. For those who think Narduzzi is an embarrassment should pour through the annals and look at 1990-96 to jog your memory. That was being a true national embarrassment. From Bozik to Oval Jaynes and Posvar to Dennis O’Connor, the ineptness with athletics was nothing to be proud of.

      We are in a much better place now, so when we see the Dinkins kid head elsewhere there should be no shock. Not having a good tight ends coach and a clueless offensive staff doesn’t help either.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. He is paid 4M a year to fix that mindset and he is failing. 3-4 after Sat and this is supposedly his best team. Only at Pitt do fans still make excuses for him. It’s sad. A real program with a real AD not another puppet 🤡 put up with this.


  15. Ike, tonight’s news said that Ferry is hired as an interim coach, which probably means a search is now underway for a new coach.


    1. I think Ferry was already on the staff and has been named as interim head while a search is conducted.


  16. Just like no surprise LSU got busted. Paying players on the field after game? $2000. Orgeron’s seat about to sizzle.


  17. Pulled this from a David Hale tweet – Hale was promoting Pitt as a team ripe for a big season – he, lyke some Pitt fans was greatly disappointed and misled:

    “There are 9 teams w/a positive TO margin + out-gaining their opps by an avg of 100+ yards/game.

    7 of those teams (Clemson, BYU, Liberty, Marshall, SMU, Bama & UGA) are a combined 31-1, w/lone loss vs another of those teams.

    The other two teams?
    Pitt 3-3
    UCF 2-2”

    Another sign this senior ladened Pitt FB team is underachieving. Sir Patrick G., please fire someone – maybe the S&C coach? The D looks gassed in the 4th Qtr of all 3 losses and when have we ever seen this many injuries. Something ain’t right…

    EE – a dejected Pitt fan who is finding very little entertainment value in Pitt FB.


  18. you may have something there EE about the S&C coach. The OL often seems to be manhandled. Can’t wait for A Donald to retire, he’d be a perfect fit

    Liked by 1 person

  19. HUGE fan of these articles and look forward to them every week. Great job!

    Growing up catholic and as an altar boy, I hated Notre Dame. Still catholic. Still hate them.

    Hoping for that one big Pitt upset this week. H2P

    Liked by 1 person

  20. despite being Italian, I grew up Methodist but could care less about SMU. But had 2 friends who loved Notre Dame and I learned to hate them in a hurry

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Just remember our greatest QB went to Central CATHOLIC. Jackie would have never been
    33-3 over 3 years without me.


  22. How precious is it that a few posters who have not let up on how terrible the PITT football program is (since the first one point poss) pick PITT to beat the #3 Notre Dame. If you people can’t see through that you just don’t get it. The script was flipped where they can’t lose either way. It’s a dam cop out. These people just have to be right. Shameful.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve picked pitt to beat the Domers for over a year now. And they better not crap the bed. I fly in for wins, not losses. Had this game circled for some time. Only pitt rival on the schedule this year. Cuse doesn’t count.


      1. Tex, what in God’s green earth gives you any indication that we can beat the #3 team in the land? Nard has pulled a few upsets out of his you know where in the past that have led to some fantastic post-game drinking parties, but to quote the great Don Meredith, “This party is over.” The current Pine-Richland High School offense would have done just as well against Miami as our current Pitt offense….and if we can move the ball there will be those darn penalties again. I’m purchasing some Knob Creek for the game and have already warned my wife and toddler son that daddy is probably going to be in a bad mood Saturday night.


          1. I don’t have to hedge bets. I bet straight up like any good Texas poker player. Pitt wins this game. Yellen will do just fine. And there is no way Pitt can lose 4 in a row. Hasn’t happened since majors back in the 90’s right?


        1. I watched the Domers last week. Pitts D matches up well. Pitt has played the Irish tough under Narduzzi. It’s a home game. I’ll be there.


  23. Narduzzi will never sniff the QB that Pitt needs. Nor will Narsnoozi ever have an innovative and creative offense. We’re stuck with burnt meatballs. Pass the sauce.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Remember when a World Series game was a huge, you-can’t-miss-it event to watch? I haven’t seen a single pitch this year and don’t feel like I’m missing anything.

    The times, they are a changin’…

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. —Certainly Pitt could win this game, but I doubt they do. Only will take two scores on busted coverages to cover the number of TDs we are likely to score.

    —What’s the record for number of FGs in a college game? We’ll need to break it….

    —Can Wright have a break-out game at TE? Can anyone have a breakout game at TE?

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 2 people

  26. The Chambers to Ferry issue is for the season. He will be interim coach. They will not hire a new coach now because what coach joins a P5 program one month from the beginning of the season. Forget all the nonsense answers. This one is all about timing.

    Secondly, the college hockey season will be slated to start on Nov 20th and mens and womens bball will start on the 25th or 26th. Announcements forthcoming if they haven’t been made yet publicly. Also, start looking for programs to be cut in non-revenue producing sports. Its about to get interesting.

    Finally @ Ike, predicting Pitt will beat ND is not being two faced or whatever you called it. At the end of the day, we are Pitt fans that view the BoT, Chancellor, AD and Coaches differently. The Chancellor wont get fired by the BoT because of poor athletic performance. So, the next logical step in the food chain is the AD and Coach. The AD reports directly to the Chancellor and has pulled the wool over his eyes and dragged the most significant revenue producing coach along with her as part of their quid pro quo.

    The Narduzzi Defense should out perform ND because ND is most like a big10 Team and he has had success against those types of teams for years. For those that think ND is really the 3rd ranked team, seem to have forgotten that the COVID teams are playing their first games this weekend. I like Pitt to win this weekend too. Doesn’t mean I think they are competently run. Football is a game of match ups and exploitation of the opponent. Pitt was exploiting the Miami D with Sibley and we stopped. Wanna win. Exploit the weakness. That is coaching first (recognition and understanding) and execution second (player ability).

    The big10 is scared to death that they will have a problem with COVID. They have not allowed for any bye weeks in their scheduling and had to do it that way in order to be part of the CFP discussion. So if they have an outbreak, its going to get messy, fast. Also, in order to get more teams bowl eligible, they are having the #1 teams in each division play each other, and the 2’s, 3’s 4’s, etc in order to get more teams, more wins, and go to bowls.

    No bowls have been canceled yet and each is preparing for the new bowl experience. Watch for some interesting cardboard cutouts this week.


  27. How is that possible Huff when I’m told to the point of nausea-ism this PITT team is horrible coached week in and week out. I’m not buying that BS anymore. A schitt team shouldn’t have a chance to beat the #3 team in the country. You just don’t want to be wrong so you hedge your bet. I think it’s disingenuous and a cop out.

    Liked by 3 people

  28. BTW, No way in hell PITT wins this week against the #3 team in the country Notre Dame. They stink, they choke and they are poorly coached. They have lousy AD. They have lousy recruits no one else wanted. Mistake prone with a bad game plan. They can’t catch a forward pass for crying out loud. Narduzzi doesn’t have a clue as to what he is doing. PITT gets crushed.


    1. Affliction of black/white thinking. It’s all possible – out of touch AD, over-paid fat coach, over the hill offensive coordinator and a penalty and dropped passes parade – for Pitt to win. It’s due for an upset, ND is over-rated, and Narduzzi knows he needs to produce. Don’t think he doesn’t know what the newspapers are saying about him and his poorly run program.

      But don’t fret, Ike, because Kelly will outcoach Nard every time. So you may be right.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. ^^ Because PITT and Narduzzi and PITT do not stink like some want to believe. If I really cared about this debate I could give dozens of reason for the loses but they are only excuses and the big wins are just poo pooed.


      1. Good teams win games. Pitt ain’t that good this year.

        Remember, cuse (One of Pitt’s wins) lost to sub-P-5 Liberty by 15 points.

        Louisville and cuse are both 1-4 with Louisville at 0-4 in the ACC. Two of Pitt’s win and the other was while pi$$ing into the wind.

        Not a good season by any stretch of our imaginations.


      1. It said it was in moderation & had to be approved. I had logged out of WordPress & then used my wife’s old email addreess. This one is using wife’s again. Maybe I will have to change my name


  29. Haven’t been able to comment for a few days. Finally after clearing browser, logging out of word press, trying my late wife’s dormant email account to comment that went into moderation & Mike released, I then relogged into WordPress & here I am.


  30. The word is out on Pitt’s secondary. Why test the tough interior line when you can cut the secondary to pieces with those inside crossing patterns? Pitt’s corners are not NFL caliber, which we generally agree is what’s needed to run their system. Pinnock is overrated or else is having a down year.

    The safeties are talented but ineffective in limiting the opponents’ passing game, probably because of the scheme Pitt uses. Opposing teams are especially successful against Pitt if they have a couple of good tight ends, which is typically what ND has. This is another example of Pitt players who should do well in the NFL while sucking under Narduzzi’s schemes.

    Pitt has been known to make average QBs look like they are NFL caliber. Book is pretty average, but he will likely have a big day against the weak Pitt secondary. Throw in a couple of interceptions by Yellen, and we could have a blow out loss. But I will stick with my prediction of a desperation performance by Pitt but still a three point loss.


  31. After writing this article, reviewing it three times before sending it to Mike, then reading it again when it was posted. I left off something.

    Like listing the running backs, I was also going to do receivers, it looks like I forgot.

    Since when ever I tried to copy & paste either a link or some data from my spreadsheet prior to today, I will try to post missing receivers as a reply to this comment. If it doesn’t show up then take comfort in knowing that TE tommy Trimble is ND’s leading receiver with 10 – 114yds, no TD’s & a long of 27. Tied for 2’nd (with 2 others is RB Kyren Williams (mentioned in RB list) with7 – 119 yds., 0 TD’s, and a long of 75.


    1. Missing Receiver Data:

      Name Pos. Recp. Yards TD’s Yds/Recp. Yds/Game Long
      Tommy Trimble TE 10 114 0 11.40 28.5 27
      Kyren Williams RB 7 119 0 17.00 29.75 75
      Javon McKinley WR 7 121 0 17.29 30.25 38
      Michael Mayer TE 7 80 1 11.43 20 17
      Braden Lentz WR 6 63 1 10.50 15.75 22
      Avery Davis’ WR 5 56 1 11.20 14 17
      Totals 42 553 3
      Others 17 166 0 9.76 41.5

      That doesn’t look pretty!!!


    2. I’d be dialing them up with long routes down the seam all day long…

      Pass the SirVocea …


  32. How come the wheel routes kill us, but rarely retaliate with wheel routes of our own. V. Davis has the speed to get down field as does Izzy. Izzy scored pretty easily against BC when they sent him out…

    I want to see some imagination in the offense this week — and for the rest of the season. Let’s see some reverses. We need Turner to have a big game and complement Addison…

    Go Pitt.


  33. I believe one reason the OL looks gassed out there in the late 3rd and 4th quarters is that there is no rotational depth. Not that PN does much of that on offense anyway.

    But our OL recruiting over PN’s time here is pretty bad…

    ’16 – 3*
    ’17 – 2*, 3*, 3*
    ’18 – 3*, 3*
    ’19 – 2*, 3*
    ’20 – 3*, 3*

    10 OL recruits averaging 2.8 stars in PN’s time here – not one 4* kid. No wonder why we can’t seem to have a balanced offense – Borbs doesn’t have kids who are good at both run blocking and pass blocking – he seems to have to choose in August which of those talents he’s able to staff the OL with.

    This season it looks like pass blocking – although that hasn’t been all that good either. We are currently 64th nationally in tackles for loss allowed and 35th in Sacks allowed – and that is out of only 77 teams.

    Since ND is doing very well at Tackles for loss (12th with 8.8 per game) I feel that might be the killer for us – especially since Yellen isn’t the most mobile QB.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. According to Rivals, Pitt had 14 OL recruits from 2016-20. Difference is in ’16 – 1 vs.3, & ’17 – 3 vs 5. Still only 2 2-stars. Using your star averaging that is a 2.86.

      But like your preference for YPA to rate QB’s, I like using Rivals average ranking (5.2, 5.3, 5.4,5.5, etc.) to rank recruiting classes, or positional groups. Those 14 recruits average 5.55.

      Now 5.55 is not good. But it does bring in the fact that there is 3 – 5.7 & 2 5.6 that “offset” the 2 – 5.4 recruits. And as we all know, those 3 5.7 add to the all important 5.7 & above % of recruits.

      You also forgot to mention the 4-star loaded ND OL is also ranked 35 in sacks allowed. (tied with 4 others). Maybe ND can only run block.

      BTW – Pitt is ranked #3 in Tackles for Loss with 11.2 per game.

      I agree with your take on Yellen.


  34. PITT is undermanned on the O-Line, no doubt about that Reed. Realizing that is one thing, fixing it is an entirely different dilemma. Something needs changed right there. Borbs never was a great hire or even good. imo


    1. Isn’t Duzz the recruiting closer and CEO? If true, he never placed a premium on building OL depth.

      Except this year, where they have 4 OL recruits…


      1. Actually 5 OL recruits – I forgot about the 250 lb NO star recruit from Utah.

        There is one 2 star recruit from FL – we have a few 2 star studs from FL.


  35. I don’t want to hear about the O line getting tired late in-the game. In HS I’ll bet everyone one of them played both ways. Excuse, excuses excuses!! Excuses are for losers!


  36. o-line is rarely a position that gets rotated out on any level of football

    maybe for a heavy package but then usually add TE or bigger FB/RB (Pitt brings in Vincent Davis there 😦 )

    Liked by 1 person

  37. Notre Dame is the 3rd ranked COVID Playthru Team as of today. They will be passed up by several teams after this weekend.

    I will be candid, Narduzzi, Wannstedt and Harris coached with a scared look on their faces. Kelly makes the same face. You can’t coach freely when you are too worried. As i stated earlier, ND plays like they are in the big10. Narduzzi did well defending against big10 offenses.

    @ike – i dont think anyone here has said pitt is the worst team on the planet. To the person here many have finally agreed that Pitt is mediocre. Being mediocre means you can win a game you should probably lose, and lose a game you should easily win. Pitt is mediocre. That’s it. Doesn’t mean they are an 0-12 team bad. And doesnt mean they are a 12-0 good.


    1. Huff, you’re right, those exact words weren’t used and I didn’t use them either but holy moly there are times that they do seem inferred to me. Such hysteria. This year is not my first rodeo and not by a long shot. I, in all honesty, am at the point that I wish PITT would kick the can down the road so I can sit back and laugh when some of you get your wish. I could use a good gulp of I told you so syrup.

      Problem is though, I don’t have the time for a do over right now. Hairy arms, big calves, narcissistic blow hard and all, he’s the best PITT can do in the short run.


  38. Little depth on the O line?
    We plucked the cream of the crop from non-starters at Michigan and no-names in the MAC.
    We molded them, forged them into lean, mean blocking machines.
    The Alabama’s and Ohio State’s have nothing on us.
    Hail to Pitt.
    Hail to Offense.
    Hail to RBU!


  39. Had a neat Zoom call this evening with Baseball Head Coach Mike Bell and some former Panther players. Coach Bell showed the upgrades to the baseball facilities. It’s night and day from when I played. I told Coach that in my day, we started off not having a field on campus, then played at Trees Field, which was pretty poor. He showed the shiny new indoor facilities. I told him we used to have a dark and dingy batting cage upper the bleachers in the Field House. He talked about recruiting. I told him my recruitment was that I was handed a note one day in a Trees Hall gym class that the baseball coach wanted to talk to me.

    Anyway, Coach said it’s a challenge to recruit but he said it’s not the facilities, but the people who matter most. He’s got a tough job, but I was impressed with Coach Bell. (And he spoke highly of the support he has gotten from Heather Lyke.)

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Pitts Olympic facilities don’t glitter like others but they are fine. I can’t imagine recruits being swayed too much by the glitter. I mean does Heinz give football better recruits? Pitt recruited better when it had a dump for a stadium.


  40. I’m watching Boomer-Gio on CBSSportsTV talking about the Giants blowing a 11 point lead last night, and they keep talking about the dropped balls that if caught, the game wouldn’t have been close. In the pros, the players are blamed,

    But whether it’s dropped balls, penalties, FGs instead of TDs … you name it … it’s frustrating. But what seems most frustrating to me is that it seems different Pitt players are committing them. The DL which is the teams strength, made one pre-snap penalty after another vs NCS, and it was a handful of players. In the same game, Taysir Mack, who seems to be as sure handed as anyone, drops an easy 2 pt conversion

    The most frustrating penalty vs Miami was the facemask penalty made by a backup who just came in the game to replace an injured player on a 3rd down … just as the D was finishing a goal line stand.

    The only positive I can see is that the team seems to continue to compete even after all the frustrations and disappointments …. but how long will that last? Pittt needs a W real bad


    1. Mack drops a lot of catchable balls going back to when he first transferred in to Pitt.

      He also makes great catches in traffic and difficult situations.

      Not very consistent…


  41. In the last article a poster commented that P5 vs. P5 cancellations were common & without penalty.

    Since 3/19/19, using FBSchedules I have been taking notes of all P5 scheduling announcements be it against FCS, G5, or P5 teams. (of course I have a spreadsheet). In the more than 250 announcement’s, there was only ONE P5 vs. P5 cancellation – Michigan vs. UCLA. This matchup was a H/A series starting in 2022. The cancellation was in FBSchedules on 10/25/19. No cancellation penalty was noted.

    But in a “MLive” article, posted a few days later they noted that Michigan paid UCLA $1.5M to cancel the series. In the same article it was also noted that in 2018 Michigan paid Virginia Tech $375K to cancel a 2020-21 H/A series.

    So cancellation penalizes are common.

    Michigan’s reason for the cancellations was to fulfill their goal of having 7 home games per year. The desire to have 7 home games is a direct result of the PAC 12 & Big 12 starting with the 2015 season & the Big 10 in the 2016 season of having a 9 game conference schedule. The 9 game mandate results in having either a 4 or 5 game home conference schedule. This change in conference scheduling may have lead to the perception of P5 vs. P5 cancellations were common as teams shed 1 OOC game.


    1. Another interesting item was in FBSchedules was the postponement of a H/A series with Wisconsin scheduled for 2024 – 25. The announcement was on FBSchedules 7/31/19. The new years are 2031 – 32. This was the result of Wisconsin scheduling Alabama for a H/A in 2024 – 25.

      The postponement is the second time that this series has been kicked down the road. There now has been three different scheduled series years based on the original contract. When and if the new scheduled series ends it will be 25 years since the original contract was signed.

      Maybe there is a penalty in the contract that Wisconsin does not want to pay.


      1. BTW – my full life may not be back. To backup my comments I was going to first post links & then reply to that comment with my take on those articles. Links didn’t go thru so I just posted my analysis.

        Search Michigan Football cancels UCLA & Wisconsin football postpones Virginia Tech.

        To find the FBSchedules original article you have to manually click the “load more posts” button on team you want to find article. Probably not worth you time to do that.


    2. The smart programs don’t schedule other P5 schools

      I’m sure Pitt could have gotten out of playing Tennessee with little to no penalty. But now it’s probably too late.

      Smart ADs find ways


      1. Are you suggesting that P5 teams should only schedule G5 & FCS teams? That doesn’t sound right.

        Are you suggesting that Michigan fans should hold their AD in the same high esteem that you hold Pitt ADHL?

        Going outside for 4 hours or more so don’t expect any response from me for awhile.


  42. speaking of Wisconsin and networks, Illinois vs 14th ranked UW (finally) kicks off Big 10 football tonight. You would think that ESPN/U or FS1 would carry the game (both carry B10 FB) …. but the game is on BTN.


  43. Say what you want about cancellation clauses. I have worked personally on three of these in the last two years. Schools find mutually acceptable reasons to back out and hold each other not responsible. The AD’s do it rather easily. If they cant agree, they kick the can down the road. All good points above.

    For a team like michigan, each home game (provided they sell out) generates between 8-10M. That does not include merchandising or media rights.


    1. So if you have worked on 3 P5 vs P5 cancellations, why where they not announced & reported by FBSchedules?

      Why are there no mysterious holes in my spreadsheet? Why are no explanations in FBSchedules when replacement games are announced for a previously set OOC schedule. (See my comment on Wisc. – Alabama – Virginia Tech.)

      Once again P5 vs. P5.

      Not P5 vs G5, Not P5 vs. FCS, Not G5 vs. G5 or FCS.


      1. Of course every P5 team wants 7 home games. That is why the Big 10 backed away from its no FCS scheduling mandate. They now allow FCS but only in years when a Big 10 school has only 4 conference games. That is a revenue/expense thing for schools like Michigan & PSU that buy G5/FCS opponents.


  44. Audio of the game is distorted on ACC channel via direct TV. Plus i rather watch the BC- Ga Tech. Better coaching by Hafley anyway.
    Both Greg Schiano and Jeff Hafley have out recruited and are out coaching PITT in their first 6 months with their teams!!!

    Narduzzi and his boys were just plain lazy during this off season graduate and “pandemic” transfer period. They got caught with their pants down.

    It will get worse.


  45. Obviously Narduzzi needs to be replaced with a much better recruiter. Don’t rush it. Get the right guy. Could Wannstedt help?


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