Run Forrest, Run!


Here is a piece done in rebuttal to a comment made in a separate article. This is by our friend NotRocketScience (I screwed that up bigtime) and certainly is thought provoking. I’ll write a rebuttal later on but enjoy this – its a good read and makes one hopeful.

30 and PickettSuccessfully running the ball in football comes down to having both talented players and a good scheme.  That’s simple.  Pitt has more than enough talent to have a better than average run game in 2021.  Pitt even has the Offensive Line (OL) coach to pull it off in Dave Borbely.  He did it quite well in 2018 and in his previous stints throughout the college football world.  What Pitt is now missing is the correct scheme.  In other words, he was a good Offensive Coordinator (OC).  

Comparing this year’s potential Offensive Line (OL) (we don’t know who will start yet) to the one Pitt had in 2018 is a good way to evaluate if Pitt has the talent to be a formidable run team.  The 2018 run stats were ridiculously good, 3191 yards on the ground, 16th nationally in yards per game, two rushers over 1100 yards, both averaging over six yards per carry.  Yeah, yeah, the passing game was atrocious…. focus!  This is all about running the ball.

Let’s check out the 2018 OL that produced a top 20 run game.  These names aren’t going to jump off the page at you.  No superstars.  The average Rival rating is 5.52 if you are generous and give Morrissey a 5.3 2 star out of high school.  Counting him as a 0, which he was, the average rating is 4.46.

Mike Herndon – 2014 5.6 rated 3*.  didn’t start until RS SR year besides one start in 2016. Recruited as a DT.

Connor Dintino – 2014 5.6 rated 3*. Didn’t start until RS SR year.  Recruited as a DT.

Alex Bookser – 2014 5.8 rated 4* 26 starts going into RS SR year.  Never became the star many expected.

Stefano Millin – 2013 5.3 rated 2* Transfer from Kent State, started 30 games at Kent.  This pick up was laughed at and he ended up as a 2nd team all ACC.

Jim Morrissey – 2016 not rated, no stars, walk on, 12 starts going into 2018.

This land of misfit toys OL put up some of the best run numbers in Pitt history.  You must give coach Borbs a lot of credit.  Two guys with no starts, a walk-on, and a MAC tackle.  Come on!  Oh, let’s not forget the run scheme included probably the best fullback in Pitt history in George “the Animal” Aston.  The OL was coached up and the scheme was all about the run game and took advantage of the talent on the team.  Mainly, there were also Tight Ends (TE)  who could block and a very good FB.

Now check out the OL that will get the most playing time this year.  Seven OL, many with a lot of starts.  I don’t remember Pitt having this many OL that have so many starts under their belts.  Great job picking up Minor.  He is a high star guy and adds depth.  With this type of experience, Pitt’s OL should be very good, and they can withstand a few injuries.

The Rival’s average star rating is 5.628.

Jake Kradel – RS JR, 2018 5.7 rating 3* with 15 starts and Rivals no. 17 overall recruit in PA

Marcus Minor – RS SR, 2017 5.8 rating 4* with 17 starts for the Terps

Gabe Houy – RS SR, 2017 5.5 rating 3* with 15 starts, Rivals no. 20 overall recruit in PA

Owen Drexell – RS SR,  2017 5.4 rating 2* with one start

Blake Zubovic – RS JR, 2018 5.7 rating 3* with two starts, Rivals No. 18 overall recruit in PA

Matt Goncalves – RS SO, 2019 5.6 rating 3* with three starts,  Rivals No. 4 overall recruit in NY

Carter Warren – RS SR, 2017 5.7 rating 3* with 21 starts, Rivals No. 10 overall recruit in NJ

Talent wise, this group is clearly above the 2018 group.  There should be optimism that Pitt excels at running the ball this year, but the last two Whipple years have shown us nothing.

So what gives?  Why the decline in production the last two years?  Borbs was the OL coach in 2018 and is still at Pitt.  Has he gone mad and forgot how to coach run blocking?  Ah, hardly.  He is known for coaching a good run game and coached good balanced teams back with Charlie Strong at Louisville.  They were hugely successful.  Before Pitt, he was in Maryland.  In 2016 they rushed for 2594 yards and had 26 rushing touchdowns. 

The criticism on this blog when Borbs was hired had nothing to do with his ability to coach run blocking.  The knock on him was that he could not coach pass blocking.  This was based on stats for Tackles For Loss (TFL) and sacks allowed per game.  Maryland was at the bottom of the NCAA rankings in Borbs two years there. 

First of all, he was only the OL coach one year. The OC at Maryland at the time was Walt Bell.  A spread guy who is the head coach at UMass now after the one-year disaster with Willie Taggert at Florida State.  Borbs did not mesh well with the offense.  He’s more of a pro style OL coach. 

Also, those two statistical categories are bad ones to cherry pick.  Pitt was 86th last year in sacks allowed and some of the best teams in the country were worse like Ohio State at 92nd.  The bottom line, Borbs has had some very successful years with exceptional run games.  Maybe pass protection is his weakness but I don’t see that.  Is he the greatest OL coach ever?  Heck no, but he has produced very good run games before.  He is not the problem.

The biggest question for this Pitt team going into fall, will Mark Whipple commit to running the ball.  Will he let that experienced OL play smash mouth football?  Will they be on their heels or aggressive?  After Whipple’s arrival in 2019 the offense dropped to 118th nationally at 114.8 rushing yards per game.  More of the same in 2020 when Pitt ranked 110th at 117.9 yards per game.  Last year Pitt ran for 1319 yards, not even half of 2018.  Average per attempt was a horrible 3.4 yards. 

Whipple hair

In the years Whipple has been the OC or head coach in D1, he has only had one team with a good run game.  That was eleven years ago in Miami.  Whipple had Jacory Harris as his quarterback.  In 2010 Miami was pretty much a balanced attack 50/50 run-pass but those numbers are a bit deceiving.  Harris got hurt and Whipple got conservative and started running the ball more because the next guy up was inexperienced.  Some speculated the Harris injury was runners’ knee from the miles of jogging back and forth to the sidelines. 

Also, the Miami offense had a bigger problem.  Harris was an interception machine when he played.  He constantly threw the ball deep into coverage.  Whipple was blamed for the constant multiple deep routes for Jacory (I fear this will be the approach this year trying to get splash plays).  The increase in deep routes lead to more holding penalties because the OL had to hold their blocks longer.  The penalties were also attributed to Whipple doing nothing with snap count or cadence changes allowing defenders to time the snap count.  Whipple is and was pass happy.

Former Teams Ranking for yards per game rushing:

University of Massachusetts

2018   110th  126.6 ypg

2017  97th  138.7 ypg

2016  124th   94.6 ypg

2015  99th  142.2 ypg

2014  115th  109.2 ypg

University of Miami

2009  73rd   131.6 ypg

2010  28th  186.7 ypg

I think it is safe to say Mark Whipple is Pitt’s best run stopper.  Can you teach an old dog a new trick?  Does Whipple adopt some of Brandon Marion’s unorthodox run scheme that even some NFL teams are starting to use. That is multiple formations, some with two running backs on one side of the QB (article here 

Warning; this scheme requires the threat of a QB capable of running.  Pitt’s 2021 season QB Kenny Pickett can certainly do it but will do so at the risk of getting injured yet again.  Maybe we get more back up QB Nick Patti packages but I doubt it.  Whipple and Narduzzi never have a second QB ready to play.  They just refuse to give the backup meaningful reps during the season which is moronic in college ball.

My prediction.  Pitt’s offense looks like the reincarnation of the 2018 offense until Pitt hits ACC play, then Whipple reverts to his pass happy self.  Whipple is a QB guy.  He doesn’t utilize talent well and his scheme is all about passing.  He is Pitt’s problem.  Narduzzi hitched his wagon to Whipple and it may very well be his downfall following this season.


265 thoughts on “Run Forrest, Run!

  1. Thank Brian… I don’t see this the way you do.

    On the flip side all that experience you talk about with our OL has been mostly over the last two years – and look what that got us in the rushing game over that time span.

    Also, you overlooked the most important thing with that 2018 rushing offense – the kids who actually carried the football.

    Hall and Ollison were both Paul Chryst recruits and he certainly knew his offensive football. Darrin Hall was a solid 4* kid coming out of HS and was talented.

    Ollison was a 3* who was recruited by not only Chryst at Pitt but also Wisconsin – and they know their RBs there.

    Sorry, but I look at the roster now and don’t see your big jump in rushing yards happening with either the RBs, OL or TEs…and we absolutely don’t have a FB like George Aston.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for the analysis. I think we’ll be better at running this year but not as in 2018 and nor should we try. First of all, we have Pickett who can throw and he’s our best and most experienced player. Do we just have him handing off? Hardly. I look for more balance in the attack. ideally, I’d like to see us do what we need to do and become a little more unpredictable and multi-dimensional. Do more of what we need to do against the opponent we’re up against and what the situation dictates. Also we need to avoid situations where we’re forced to do something.


  3. Thanks for the excellent and compelling assessment.

    But the scary corollary is if this is Whip’s last rodeo before cataract glasses and Matlock reruns, I can see him throwing caution to the wind and playing run-and-gun…but without the run.
    Thankfully, our defensive-guru head coach will reel him in.


  4. Maybe they’re just going to skip camp and go right into the season.

    No articles again today in any Pgh Newsrag! Unreal.


    1. You’re right. PG is missing. Same fruity Narduzzi articles promoting him.

      With respect to author I think the run game will be as ineffective as it has been for the past three seasons. Pickett and Whipple inspire little confidence.


  5. Great, great article VOR. I agree with the OL assessment. Minor and Goncalves are going to make a big difference IMO. I think our RBs are good enough to sustain a running game this year. And Kenny has some very talented WRs and a touted TE. Run the ball; get physical; stay away from that @%$& vertical pass game. That’s a great line: “Whipple is Pitt’s best run stopper.” I think he knows his replacement is the young receivers coach already on staff.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. VoR – Nice, well done and enjoyable read. You need to write more articles.

    Unless you started researching this article before Reed’s comment, putting all that data together, writing the article and having it posted in less than 3 1/2 hours is amazing to me. Job well done either way.

    BTW- while Pitt was 80’th in sacks allowed per game (using NCAA stats) that was 5’th best only behind Clemson, ND, GT, VA, & VT.

    As to players coaches and the run game. BC in 2020 came in #118 in rushing offense (101.7/game) and #88 in sacks allowed . In 2019, BC was #4 in rushing offense (253.2/g) and # 4 is sacks allowed. BC had the exact same O-line in both years. What changed from 2019 to 2020. A new HC, new OC and a new line coach.

    As Ike said Sports stats, a lot of the time, are liars.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It took several days to write. Mainly reading some University of Miami articles to see what Whipple did a decade ago. He hasn’t changed.

      Liked by 3 people

  7. You’re right. PG is missing. Same fruity Narduzzi articles promoting him.

    With respect to author I think the run game will be as ineffective as it has been for the past three seasons. Pickett and Whipple inspire little confidence.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. The NCAA rules on when fall camp starts is 28 days before the first game. Actually it is 29 days but the day before the game is a travel day. Meetings and walk through’s only allowed on Friday. Camp should start Friday 8/6.

    Didn’t take long to find that info. Neither Clemson or UofSC has made a big deal of fall camp start date. No info on local TV or newspapers and no big news conferences by the respective AD’s.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. But good ADs promote it

      And you don’t rely on fans to know. I knew because they started August 7 last year. It’s always around the first weekend in August.

      But again it’s more the promotion and buildup

      Clemson doesn’t need the marketing.


  9. Notrocket- thanks for the article. I think the problem has been the poor OL recruiting. Lately we have increased the OLine numbers a bit — you need numbers because so many OL recruits will be misses…

    Herndon and Dintino were tough maulers. I think this year’s OLine will improve but I remain skeptical of Carter Warren. He just doesn’t move well in pass protection. Goncalves looks way better to me – and he seemed to show it last season.

    Warren did improve a bit last season so maybe he can make a positive leap. That would have a big impact on the Pitt offense, IMHO…

    Also on the running game, our RBs just aren’t game breakers. Maybe Izzy can add some pop this season!

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Izzy does have the explosiveness needed. He needs to learn how to block. The OL is going to be just fine. The OC just needs to tweak, not abandon, his philosophy a bit.


  10. A coach whom I respected once said the running game is about patience and determination. WMG (Whipple Must Go) has neither and falls back to his usual dependency on the passing game. But what’s worse is that his passing game is the “dink and dunk” with the dreaded 4-yd pass on 3rd and 8. He’s hopeless.

    Narduzzi may eventually get his walking papers and he has WMG to thank.

    IMO Izzy could be a real surprise next year, if my prayers are finally answered and WMG is GONE. When WMG is fired I hope they make him run up to Heather’s office to get his pink slip.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Whipple believes in pass first. The run will never set up the pass in his scheme or system. He’s a quarterbacks coach by nature.

    It’s so easy for teams to scheme against whipple…stop the run on first down, blitz on downs two and three.

    Pitt is not going to outscore many teams. Those with half decent offenses will all beat pitt this season.

    If Tennessee has a running game, they will easily beat Pitt.

    Although the game is now passing first, you still need the run for possession and short yardage.

    I can see Pitts defense getting gassed this season particularly towards seasons end.


    1. Possession time is overrated now…….Pitt’s 16th nationally ranked running offense in 2018 won the time of possession battle in most of those 2018 games….some by large margins……and yet still lost 7 games.

      3 yards and a cloud of dust is yesteryear……..


      1. Only schools who played a ten or more game season

        Bottom of time of possession at around 25 minutes

        north Texas
        Texas state
        Texas tech

        Avg 3 wins

        Top in time of possession at 34 minutes or more

        Coastal Carolina

        Avg win total was 10


        1. lol….you had to use 3 non P5 schools top of possession and 2 for bottom of possession.

          You know what they say about stats and their usage.


          1. Totally unbiased. I took the top and bottom five irrespective of conference. Only qualifier was ten or more games to normalize the data.

            If I ran a regression, I would think time of possession would be correlated with games won. Not saying it’s highly correlated just saying you can’t just blow off time of possession.

            It is important. For many reasons. Common sense ones. Still in this modern age where passing is King.


            1. Well using 10 games is bias. LOL That eliminates all the b1g teams and several other conf’s.

              Not using that we have Wisky who was No. 1 in possession and was 4-3
              Rice comes in at No. 2 and they were 2-3
              Charlotte was No 6 and 2-4
              Minnesota was No. 7 and 3-4

              So you didn’t prove anything Slim. 🙂


              1. I proved you don’t like to lose an argument now didn’t I?

                You can’t discount top. It does matter. So don’t flippantly ignore it.

                Is it the most important stat. No. But it is relevant. That’s my point.

                Tex – from a real republic and not Indian territory.


  12. What’s missing from 2018….is Pitt has no large Power Backs. (well Sibley is at 5’9″ 225 lbs but rarely plays with 13 carries in 2020)

    Ollison was 6’2″ 230+ lbs
    Hall was 5’11’ 220 + lbs

    The Flea was the Feature Back by far last year at 5’8″ listed at 175 lbs (looks even lighter)

    Oliison & Hall for the most part ran ‘inside’ the Tackles with a FB lead Blocker (Aston at 245 lbs).

    Whipple’s west coast offense has no FB and NO PARTICULAR WILL to run the ball.

    The most Running done in Whipple’s snooze offense are the totally unnecessary Pickett sideline trips.


  13. The most recent article on Pitt Football in the Post-Gazette was posted four days ago. Penn State with its #1 ranked recruiting class leads the college coverage today.

    So who’s to blame here? And how does staying out of the news promote the program and, more specifically, ticket sales?

    Blame first and foremost goes to Heather Lyke.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Maybe heather knows this team will blow this year and doesn’t want to embarrass herself by hawking a bad product.


  14. The Post-Gazette’s recent food on Pitt was the retirement of UPMC CEO Jeffrey Romoff who relentlessly pushed UPMC expansion, buying up land and hospitals, shutting down any yinzers or nay sayers along the way. He put profit first and dared anyone to get in his way. A far cry from the lilly-livered leadership at Pitt, leadership that is too scared to broach the topic of MPC.


  15. Carter and Sibley aren’t small backs and Carter showed ability to run between the tackles. Izzy and Carter should be the main RBs but Whipple isn’t utilizing them.

    I never thought Hall and Ollison were that great talent wise. Especially Hall. I think my grandma would have put up 500 yards in the 2018 offense.

    In the correct scheme, one committed to the run, you can do well with a good line and average backs. It won’t work the other way around.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Carter changed his number to “early Conner years” #40.

      I want to see more of that dude.



  16. Narduzzi did a good job of keeping Hall and Ollison. Pat blew it by burning Hall’s redshirt. How great would it have been seeing Darrin on the 2019 squad? I guess both had to play as true freshmen because there was no one else capable of sitting them. Chryst didn’t recruit enough guys though he had two full classes at Pitt.


    1. I think what happened with Hall, who was a 4 star recruit….Snoozer was probably forced to tell Hall he wouldn’t be Redshirted in order to get his commitment.

      Ollison ran for over 1100 yards that year…..Hall’s Redshirt was blown over 257 yards.

      Chris James was also available that year…..he ran for approx 250 yds too on less carries.
      James was coming off a decent Freshman year where he had a 5 ypc with 437 yds, so he had the
      experience edge over Hall.


  17. Great to see actual football talk again.
    The offense should be better this year. The line has more experience and depth.
    The receivers have talent and are many. Krull has a lot to prove,
    A couple of running backs will jump out of the pack.
    Pickett has experience and has always been decent.
    Hopefully the O is much more balanced, with more redzone success.

    The defense has enough depth that they should overcome all the graduations and
    be very solid.

    Covid will still be a factor but hopefully much less of one thanks to vaccinations.

    Are you ready for some football?

    Liked by 3 people

      1. To be non P litetical. 70 percent of the us adult population has got at least one shot. The us is near herd immunity for adults.

        The problem is with the other 30 percent.

        So unfortunately you most likely will be required to wear a mask to protect the unvaxed.


  18. For me the “O” remains a big question mark. They have developed no “identity” under the current NC after 6 years on the job. At least we have some idea of what to expect on the defensive side.

    Hope our new kicker is consistent on PATs and FG’s.

    Nice article NRS. Thank you !


  19. All this football talk will lead to one thing – SOP

    So unless you address the underlying causes, this program is set up for mediocrity. But many of you guys love the stability aspect anyway.

    The more I read about what others (outsiders) who know football say about Pitt, the less confident I get. I don’t know football. I watch it. Over 40 years. But Never played and never coached the sport.

    But I do know there are more talented teams on the schedule. I do know there are teams with far better offenses. I do know pitt loses a ton of starters on both sides.

    And most importantly of all, I know Narduzzi and he sucks and will find a way to single handily lose a game or two this season.

    Don’t get you hopes up. You will be disappointed this year. Rinse and repeat.


    1. I forever no longer have expectations for Pitt football regardless of new regimes (coaches, ADs, chancellors). Not finding or claiming not to have $800,000 to keep Canada was the end of it for me. The “prove it” BS that I read about was put into action and Pitt came up empty. It should have let the fans down immensely yet so many on message boards were happy Matt was allowed to walk and bizarrely brought their diploma into the conversation as for a reason.

      What a shame. Pitt was in a solid position in 1989 and decided heading into the 90s it was best to let it rot. In typical Pitt fashion it reacted after 72-0 and 60-6 beatdowns in 1996 and thought it was best to be at best average and lucked out with the ACC raft. We can thank Wannstedt for going 27-12 the previous three seasons to gauge interest from the conference. If the coaching turnover from 2010-12 had occurred from 2008-10 and Pitt was pumping out 6-7 records our Panthers are in the AAC instead.


  20. -Saw s guy at a gas station the other day wearing a Pitt shirt. It was in Pitt’s new colors and all it said was “13 – 9”…

    -Had a Pitt hat on yesterday and a guy walking past says “I like that hat!” I said “Thanks, but it’s tough being a Pitt fan.” He said “They’ll be good this year!” (Must be one of those Koolaid drinkers I read about on here…)

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Good meaning 6-7 wins. And he’s probably right.

      Very good would be 8-9

      Excellent would be 10-11

      But he did say ‘good’ right

      Ok might be five wins


      1. With an experienced (though somewhat disappointing) QB back, I’d say 7 or less wins would be disappointing.

        A good season would be 8 or more wins.

        Go Pitt.

        Liked by 2 people

  21. BTW, Notrocket, that was a clever title for your article. 👍

    Maybe Pitt should work in a clip of “Run Forest, Run” up on the scoreboard… Or maybe “A Pitt Football season is like a box of chocolates…”

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. They should play that if Pitt has a run of 4 yards or more…that won’t happen much under Whipple.


  22. read a couple of reviews on expected top players in the ACC and the top 5 QBs entering the2022 season and did not read K-eighty’s name on either list. I expect him to be one of the better ACC QB’s this year.


  23. The more I think about it, the madder I get… FOUR DAYS without a Pitt article leading up to the start of Fall camp. Can they really be this incompetent? Is this some plan to hide in obscurity until the opening kickoff? There should be a daily press release related to the team or upcoming season to generate some interest. And yet those stupid fools in the athletic department refuse to promote and sell tickets.


  24. When Pitt made the decision in the late eighties that it could no longer compete at the highest level, it was a financial decision. That has not changed, in fact it has got dramatically worse. The facts are that the rich have gotten richer, in some cases dramatically so. Making it worse is that other than a small group of diehards, the vast majority do not care.

    When the Steelers became a cult, locally and nationally, many former fans that would have followed Pitt faded into the wood work. Other schools do not have that competition for regional fandom. There is no other game in town in Happy Valley, Tuscaloosa or Clemson.

    So Pitt’s gate remains small, it’s athletic fundraising tragically low and overall buzz, non-existent.

    It all goes back to supply and demand. Pitt is providing a product equal to the demand.” If we build it, they will come” only works in the movies, That’s why it is called Field of Dreams.

    I can see Jock Sutherland coming out of the corn stalks or maybe out of a smoky steel mill, which like Pitt Football greatness is gone never to return.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That’s a great marketing idea. They could have led all week with that before opening of camp. But nobody knows jock or pop these days. Maybe have Fitzgerald or AD.

      Steel mill or coal mine.

      But create some buzz. This team can’t sell itself. It needs help.


  25. Watching Beans cook in a pot is more exciting than Pitt Football or Pitt Basketball. Both coaches suck and the AD is the enabler of it all. Imagine just for a second if anyone cared in Athletics about winning. Tex is right puppies and rainbows and kittens.


    1. Somehow I first read that as “Watching Beano Cook in a pot is more exciting…”. Need to get some new glasses.

      Go Pitt.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Beano would have been out there all by himself marketing this program. I think he also would have been dumbfounded by the silence.

        It’s like Pitt knows something we don’t.


  26. I don’t think many are asking for greatness. That would mean elite program. But it’s not too difficult to go from mediocre to very good

    From consistently winning 6-7 games each year to winning consistently 8-9. With the occasional special year of 10-11 and New Years bowl game.

    Pitt has everything in place to do that except the will. And that’s on leadership.

    Because leadership would have hired Canada as head coach. And Narduzzi knows it. There’s a reason why Pitt didn’t step up to retain him.


    1. Wow, Matt Canada? Is that who Lou is going after?

      Is it the same Matt Canada who as the QB Coach last season watched his QB make bad decision after bad decision down the stretch?

      But then again he was promoted after that fiasco, so maybe you’re onto something…

      Go Pitt.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Canada would have excelled at Pitt. He could have kept Narduzzi as DC. 🤠

        Canada’s schemes produced points. That motion offense confuses defenses. And I do believe we’d be running the RPO today. And would not have a QB run to the sidelines. And would have a running game. And use of the tight end. And a better line.

        That 🇨🇦


  27. Thanks for the article NRS!

    I don’t see anything that suggests we should expect a breakout of the run game this year.
    Whipple isn’t going to change his stripes now – at his age and with the luxury of having a QB who has played under his system for 3 years. So, expect more of the same schematically.

    (BTW – If Kenny has a problem with running to the sidelines every play, he now has the leverage to insist on a change. He knows the offense and is in his last yr at Pitt. If it bothers him to do it, he should speak up. If it doesn’t, then everyone else should drop the vacuous comments about it unless the team starts getting delay of game penalties.)

    I’ve not seen enough to get excited about Izzy. Yet. If he is all that.. take the job, man. Its time. Someone needs to break out from the pack and take it. Its “soft and cheesy” right now to borrow a Dwight White (RIP) quote. The fact that we don’t have a clear starter at the RB position is a problem … and damning of the HC and OC.

    Think the fortunes of the offense this year rest squarely on the shoulders of Kenny, Jordan Addison, Jaylen Barden and Shocky…. and the OL’s ability to hold blocks long enough.

    Does Barden breakout this year? Shocky is a senior already (time flies!) and he has not quite lived up to the hope and hype. But their success will come if and only if there is some semblance of a running game and I believe that can only happen if someone steps forward and makes it abundantly clear its his job.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I agree about the RB. Powell’s obsession with pass blocking and Narduzzi’s nod to upperclassman drive me crazy. Put in the best RB at moving the pile. It isn’t the flea.


      1. What drives me crazy is Pitt’s obsession with straight-line runners. Straight-line speed is a great asset (see D. Hall), but doesn’t work by itself in college without a really good Oline…

        Zig-Zag, juke, wiggle, plant-the-foot -and-change-direction — far as I know those are all legal “moves” once the ball is snapped…

        Go Pitt.

        Liked by 4 people

  28. A power run game helps play action passing, helps time of possession which in turn keeps your D fresh and wears the opponents D down. It also helps your own D be better against the run because they practice against it regularly.

    The Steelers learned the hard way last year that a team must run the ball. Cleveland embarrassed them running over them. They fired their OC. Pitt had the same crappy results with a pass happy offense and Whipple is still here.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. re: Tennessee game(e-post from the last article) we have a small group who has purchased tickets to the PITT vs Tennessee game through the UT ticket office. If you are going and interested in joining us call the UT ticket office and ask for Zack.He will try to get our gang within proximity of each other. Our seats are located on the visitors side in section B at Neyland Stadium. Zach told me they are on the 25 yard line.
    We did this a couple of years ago at Duke and a great time was had by all, especially Annie and Scooter.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. We are section B as well… behind the Pitt bench and not far from the PItt family section.
      Neyland is a big stadium and the nosebleeds are just that.

      UT office was quite helpful – just like our folks at Pitt.


    2. I got 2 tickets next to my cousin’s 4 through Pitt ticket office. I believe I’m at the same hotel as Bernie, so we’re planning on doing pre-game and (post-game?) with the POV.

      Liked by 2 people

  30. The difference between a 5-6 win and 7-8 win season is superior coaching that out schemes a school which has equal talent to Pitt. Sadly Pitt lacks that abundance, especially on the offensive side of the ball.

    Nardummy and WMG/Powell worry more about the RB’s ability to block against the blitz than they do moving the pile or making defenses miss.

    Liked by 2 people

  31. Just remember if Kenny goes down, the season is over.

    I’ll begin preparing another coaching candidate list for review. And yes the Toledo coach is still on it.


    1. Luke Fickell is making 3.4 mil at Cincy which is ranked #10 in the USA before any games have been played…Nard make 4.81 mil at PITT. for mediocrity ..just sayin!


  32. First crack at starting RB this year should be.

    AJ Davis

    In that order.


    1. Sibley has been a mystery. Gets in and makes some decent runs, then disappears for a while. Seems to have had problems with injuries…

      AJ has a nice skill set but just lacks the quickness / speed to have a real impact…

      Daniel Carter is listed as 235 pounds. Maybe he’ll be the 3rd and short guy.

      Izzy – he’s my hope, Obi Wan. Showed a bit of a burst in the spring game.

      Izzy and Davis will be the main guys, I’m thinkin’…

      Go Pitt.

      Liked by 1 person

  33. Narduzzi didn’t want Canada. He went to heather and pouted like a petulant child. The team was going to take on his identity. Not some young and innovative offensive guy.


    1. The only reason I put Sibley on top was his career ypc (4.7 for his career, two years ago it was 5.0) and the fact he has been hurt. Give him one last shot to see if he stays healthy. He is on the thicker side.

      Liked by 1 person

  34. I agree with most everything that Gordon says about finances being the major issue with the decline of Pitt football. But come on, they are not even trying to increase visibility and revenue at any level. Doesn’t it at least make sense to try to sell more game tickets? What better way to solve the yellow seat problem.

    I get a few emails from Pitt and the Alumni Association, but what other broader advertising and promotional work is being done? Are there any out reaches to high schools? Sales at Pirate and Riverhound games? Other major marketing campaigns? How about a program to get Pitt’s NFL players to buy blocks of tickets for disadvantaged kids? They can’t sell tickets if they don’t even try.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Definitely agree that the Pitt Marketing department is a phantom and has been for years.
      absolutely no buzz about the program as long as I can remember.

      The only thing they seem to do is bring an old Pitt star out to watch a poor game and expect that to have an impact on attendance.

      No wonder many local kids don’t consider Pitt as a viable option. Pitt Football is invisible.

      Of course there is “Lock the Gates” which as obtuse a tag line that anyone has ever heard.
      What does it mean? What gates are we talking about, why do we need to lock them?

      The student section ought to chant “Lock the Gates, Lock the Gates, Lock the Gates” when Pitt is attempting a defensive stand. Would be pretty funny.


      1. They could rattle some locks and chains even.

        I think Narduzzi would have a stroke if he witnessed that.


  35. Seriously it’s like pitt doesn’t even care. Does Pitt even have a football program. Is pitt now a soccer and volleyball school.

    Something is up and the silence is telling.


    1. the big rumor is…Pitt is going to add a new sport.

      Men’s Field Hockey. Royal Blue jerseys with Bright Yellow Skirts.

      From Heather’s wardrobe.


  36. Since 2007 Cincinnati has had SEVEN (7) …..TEN(10) + WIN SEASONS

    Of those 10 seasons :

    Three were 11 win seasons

    One was a 12 win season

    Meanwhile in Mudville….Pitt has had ONE Ten Win Season in 39 years.

    Pitt should be ashamed as UC has much less going for it and has Ohio State in it’s proximity.
    OSU has been pretty much a Top 5 team every year since 2002.
    And UC like Pitt is in a multiple Pro Sport city. So same built in excuses as Pitt, but they overcome.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Better coaches, have run football much more prudently and the school will admit anyone to help them win. Pitt fans don’t want that kid of kid on campus for some odd reason.

      But, if Pitt played those schedules that the Bearcats have since joining the AAC Pitt fans would be saying how they won’t be matriculating to Heinz Field to watch those scrub opponents.


  37. Cinci has overachieved however they have a much more fertile recruiting area, they play in a lesser conference, their OOC hasn’t been as challenging and the Bengals are hardly a cult like Steeler Nation.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Better coaching. Better player development (3 potential top 50 picks in the nfl draft), better on campus stadium, better atmosphere. UC used to play in Bengal stadium. They saw the light and reconfigured the on-campus stadium, investing nearly $100M into their old stadium to create a really good atmosphere with sellouts at 40k.

        The recruiting area is similar to Pitt. Cities are similar. UC is committed to winning. They are not even a P5 school and lose big money on sport each year. They also understand that the brand increases their applications and ultimately, their giving back.

        Bengals also had a very good run. Better baseball historically than the Pirates. No picture of the teletubbies at Kings Island. Insert Kennywood where’s waldo picture. Fickel works harder than Nardstop. Brian Kelly worked harder than Nardstop.


    1. Don’t think their recruiting grounds are more fertile.

      They do play among lesser schools

      They may play an even easier ooc than pitt

      But it’s all relative.

      Pitt just needs to concern itself with other Coastal teams.

      Pitt is being outrecruited and outcoached by them.

      I’d fire the man today.

      And that’s not all I’d 🔥


  38. And all it takes is a good coach at Pitt then.

    Who here thinks Narduzzi is a good head coach?


    1. With the easiest non-con in a while, a winnable game @ Tenn, who has had 25 players transfer out, many of them starters + a new HC, and the usual stiffs in the Coastal, + the easiest crossover rival opponent in the ACC.

      And a 7th year starting QB returning…..if this guy can’t win 9 games this year….HE NEVER WILL !!

      oh and btw Pitt & UC were in the same conf for 6 of those years.

      Five of those Seven….10 + win seasons were in those seasons. (12 wins, 11, 10, 10, 10 )

      So that dog don’t hunt.


      1. He never will. And unfortunately fans and heather can’t accept that truth. The man should have been scraped into the garbage can with the rest of the spaghetti three years ago.


        1. Speaking of garbage Tx……… this comment should be burned alongside the rest of your out of control speculations and your buddy above can’t count to six

          Liked by 2 people

          1. You will be disappointed this year Ike. And will never look at a plate of pasta the same. I will guarantee you that. That’s all the foreshadowing I’ll give you.


  39. From PSN: (TE Lucas) Krull has 10 catches for 114 yards in three years of Division I football.

    Camp outlook: Krull looks to provide much needed stability at the tight end position, a weak spot for the Panthers in recent years. His blend of height and speed makes him an enticing prospect for the Panthers, and reports out of training camp (did camp start already) suggest a breakout season following his injury-filled 2020 season.

    Projected role: Krull will start in the Panthers offense in 2021.


  40. Big12 and PAC12 meeting to discuss futures. Who knows what in particular? That is not a good sign for WVU being the only eastern schoool.


  41. If remaining Big12 merges with PAC12. The ACC and Big10 should merge, it would blow the SECs mind.


  42. Who dummer?

    Pitt’s marketing department for failing to rev up the fans Every Single Year at the start of summer camp
    Us believing that someday they will?

    Liked by 2 people

  43. Panther Nation Hail as One Campaign

    The University of Pittsburgh Athletic Department has launched a new grassroots marketing campaign – Panther Nation: Hail As One – to drive cohesion and bridge the gap between Pitt Athletics, the fan base, the university and the surrounding community by placing a strong emphasis on pride and togetherness.

    It’s gonna take far more than a yard sign to bridge that gap Heather.


    1. Hail to Pitt always seemed to work… Pitt Nation “Hail as One”…another example of “trying to replace something that works with a good idea.”

      PITT gets an “F” in marketing the program to the public. Duzz either doesn’t want to be bothered or doesn’t have the ability to get out there and spread a little RAH RAH about our program and heather just hides in the basement planning ward-robe/aesthetic changes occasionally coming out in public to flash those pearly whites. Seems like no one gives a darn about engaging the public.One can only guess what their priorities are- we can only wonder……..


    1. Pitt should just buy us all fluffy kittens instead. 🐱

      Maybe those football boys have some. They did save hundreds from the tall oaks on the Cathedral lawn last season.


  44. Relax about camp news. Pitt will start their TV campaign soon. It will be the usual highlights with the most likely 2021 top players. They do they same every year.
    I’ve never seen a WVU or PSU add for fall camp, lol.


    1. Because those programs generate excitement on their own. Pitt needs all the help they can get.

      Yellow seats don’t fill themselves.


    2. That’s because you don’t live in Central PA or amongst the Hatfield’s and McCoy’s.


  45. Mark Madden on the Trib Pitt Page. Sounds like he’s been hanging out on the POV !

    “Pitt football has no buzz. The most highly anticipated events are the sporadic nonconference games vs. Penn State and West Virginia. Those games were once the anchor of Pitt’s program but mean considerably less now because of their diluted and occasional nature.

    Pitt has no on-campus stadium. Leaving and demolishing Pitt Stadium in 1999 was a crippling mistake that even the most lame-brained saw coming a mile away. Pitt football committed suicide when that decision was made. The Petersen Events Center and college basketball don’t remotely matter by comparison. “

    Liked by 4 people

    1. He is right.

      Football is 80 percent of that ACC check. Basketball can at least pay for itself in any season other than a Stallings or Capel one.

      Pitt probably lost enough money over the past five seasons to totally wipe away the profit from the previous ten years.

      In previous years the basketball program made between $5 and $15 million. Pretty much what football makes in net income…before the Narduzzi extension and pay raise.

      Should I friend Madden on Twitter? I could be his mini me. 🤠


    2. The cost for refurbishing Pitt Stadium wouldn’t have been astronomical either.

      Lower the field, chop off some of the top all around and redo the press box and up top have more restrooms and food. Pitt even updated facilities at Pitt stadium in 1995 with the weight room and whirlpools, etc., only to demolish that with the destruction of the stadium. Real smart. Raise money, build it then destroy.

      There was no one, I mean no one, in the administration in the late 80s or early 90s who had any kind of vision for football. Pitt got spooked when it saw where the sport was heading, which was ESPN and ABC airing more games. Oh wow, what a travesty.

      Posvar was even quoted by Tim Brandt during the A&M bowl game in 1989 about the school not liking where the sport was heading and Dan Jiggets had no comment because even he knew it was a terrible take by the university.

      The decade of the 90s can never be rewritten, but I’m still not over what Pitt did to its football program. It had the right coach (Gottfried) a solid staff and the area was still producing football players. Maybe not linemen like previously, but Gottfried could recruit nationally.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Pitt could have easily borrowed money like its doing now with victory Heights.

        It could have created a fundraising campaign to gather donations from both private and corporate sponsors.

        It could have borrowed monies from the endowment that is unmarked and totally touchable.

        The money was there. Just like the money is here today.

        Pitt chose the easy way. How often in life are you proud of choosing the easy way?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. The field could have been lowered. Retractable seating could have covered the track. The big expense would be gutting out the stadium for chair back seating. And if they truly were visionaries, they would have built a retractable domed stadium.

        Nothing has changed since the late 80’s. So what would force a seismic change. I have five ways.


    3. Not to mention finding and clearing a plot of land for a hoops arena similar to Duke’s size should not have been too difficult down the hill somewhere from where The Pete stands now.

      Isn’t it sad these days hearing announcers during Pitt hoop games talk about the past and how tough the Pete is to play in. The 2000s are ancient history.


  46. What about camp preparations? Are the players anticipating camp? What are the assistant coaches doing to prepare? Is Whipple still breathing, and does he have any new plans for this year’s offense? The subjects are endless for any administration that actually cares about generating some pre-season excitement. I don’t get it.

    Heather should be on every sports news outlet touting the upcoming season and pushing ticket sales. People will want to know if there would be any open practices or scrimmages to observe. I’ll stop now, I’m getting more frustrated by the minute..


  47. Reed, I really believe that you should send a copy of your letter to Heather to the Pitt News. Maybe a little controversy right now would stir up some interest, and it might actually force the athletics dept. to seriously consider some of them. It wouldn’t hurt to mention that the POV was totally stiffed with no response.

    Liked by 1 person

  48. Simple things like what you just said VOR are easy ways to increase school spirit and pride. And more importantly connect and engage with fans.

    But instead Pitt creates a yard sign.

    Liked by 1 person

  49. Kenny Pickett stated on his weekly show on the Lair today that he has 5 days to relax before practice starts…
    I assume then that camp starts Monday.


  50. Most of us only get 8-10 hours to relax before the alarm rings to begin another day of work….good luck K-eighty…hope your have the vision of an eagle, the strength of the bison and arrows the fly true in 2021!

    Liked by 1 person


    From: E.J. Borghetti, Executive Associate Athletic Director/Communications

    Re: Pitt Football Training Camp: Friday, Aug. 6

    The University of Pittsburgh will open football training camp on Friday, August 6, at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex. There will be two media opportunities as part of the Panthers’ initial practice day.

    Opening Practice Viewing Window:

    · Approved media outlets will have the opportunity to view practice from approximately 10 to 10:30 a.m. Photography and videography are permitted from a designated area during this time.

    · As in past seasons, the use of Twitter, live blogging and reporting during viewing windows are strictly prohibited.

    Media Interview Sessions:

    · Pitt will hold media day activities inside its practice facility on Friday from 1 to 3:10 p.m. Media members desiring to attend must provide proof of vaccination by 5 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 5. (Please see registration link below.)

    · At 1 p.m., Coach Narduzzi will host a press conference in the second-floor team room.

    · From 1:30 to 2:20 p.m., select offensive players and assistant coaches will be available for interviews.

    · From 2:20 to 3:10 p.m., select defensive players and assistant coaches will be available for interviews.

    Vaccination Confirmation

    · To participate in media coverage from Pitt’s football practice facility, reporters must confirm their vaccination status via the following online form. This must be provided by Thursday at 5 p.m. to ensure participation in Friday’s media activities.


    1. Please tell me you’ll be there to ask Narduzzi and Whipple some tough but honest questions.

      But seriously why not blogging or reporting during the 30 minute practice session that is open to the press.

      That’s smells of paranoia.


    2. Reed , if the get any less accessible they might as well hang radiation placards on the entrances! That really sucks…


  52. “The beginning of spring ball I said it was Vince (Davis). At the end of spring ball, I said it was Izzy,” he (Narduzzi) said.

    “Izzy clearly goes in as the starting tailback in fall camp, in my opinion. We’ll see how that goes.”

    Trib Review


  53. I don’t think the public will get to see any part of camp

    It will be totally controlled and sanitized

    No fun in that


    1. You can sign up for the nitely Zoom recaps starring Heather from beneath the CoL. (or it could be green screened and she’s at OBX)

      Mum’s the word.



    This will happen when the super league forms. Pitt will be left out. Pitt will need to reorganize and realign.

    I can see pitt then playing wvu, Cincy, Syracuse, BC, buffalo, Rutgers, Maryland, Virginia, navy, east Carolina, army, USF and Central Florida.

    I’d be fine with that

    Be a bunch of two and three stars. Just like today. Better rivals. Reasonable road trips. More level playing field. No $5 million dollar grossly overpaid coach.

    But would also mean a smaller conference check

    That means program cuts.


    1. Madden very easily could have included State Penn with this group, that he painted somewhat as cancers on the sport of college football overall. Because many of their players will reek in cash from NIL’s.

      “Ohio State recruit Quinn Ewers, a top-rated quarterback from Texas, is skipping his senior season of high school ball and will start college early so he can start pocketing NIL money right away.

      College football is becoming more and more like the NFL. That ignores and compromises its main selling point, namely that it’s not like the NFL.

      It’s all good for Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State and the like. ” (the like would include State Penn)

      He must have been worried he wouldn’t get his free Creepy Valley tickets(and maybe food too)…so he omitted them.
      Instead he chose to rag on Pitt.

      So it amounts to just another media Hit Piece on Pitt…..while giving the Pedo’s carte blanche.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Penn state is defintely part of the problem.

        Pitt just chooses not to play the game. Maybe because they think football is dirty. Maybe because they don’t want to upset the academic eggheads. Maybe because they don’t really believe in the front porch. Maybe because it requires hard work and a different skill set in administration. Maybe because sports runs contrary to the mission statement.

        But Pitt really never seriously tried and when it did, pitt won a national championship.


      2. That is BS. Madden despises Penn State and says so often. He likes Pitt but thinks Narduzzi is a walking talking jackass…as do I.


  55. You all are forgetting how boooooring camp coverage is. The only good interview is Powell. The media questions are idiotic. There is no footage because PN thinks teams will see something new even though Whipple has been OC for two years already.


    1. It can’t be more boring than Olympic soccer. Was trying to fall asleep last night so i put on the Spain vs Japan semi-final match. 70 minutes into the game, Spain had 1 shot on Goal….Japan had Zero.

      Fast & Furious it was not……………but i did fall asleep.

      Liked by 3 people

  56. Hearing Tomlin interviewed is the only thing worse. Between his ego, even worse media questions and Tomlin always trying to talk like he is leading a platoon into battle, it is impossible to listen to.


  57. An earlier comment was for the POV to relax because Pitt only starts its marketing in alignment with the first practice and have done it that way for a very long time. Well, by all means they should continue doing something the same way, year after year, when it is obvious it works…not!

    Are we a cheerleader school now?

    Kate says he has 5 days to relax?? That language is making the scouts mouths water! Nice to see him relax when he really should be pushing harder than anybody to improve his stock and LEAD!

    Want to watch a real cool video. Go to the UC athletics website and click on football. That is how you sell your team and get the excitement going. Watch how those dudes work. There is zero relaxing except the photo shoot. You wanna see leaders lead, watch how they work. Pitt has been soft for years and Fickell used the Urban and Tressel psychology in pushing his players. Nardstop and the AD don’t lead. They collect big and keep their head down. UC invested 86M into their on campus stadium and it is now really cool. They prioritize sport. Administratively, pitt remains awful.

    Crazy thing is if they have one good season all the koolaiders will say pitt has arrived and start making excuses for next year with a new quarterback, too much rain and cloudiness, a few cold days, an urban campus, the lack of NIL opportunities, and the list will go on.

    Tex asked if anyone thought Nardstop was good. I will respond, yes. But good gets you mediocre, five hundred records more than anything else. Very good consistently puts you at 8 wins consistently. Great puts you in the 9-10 win category consistently. Excellent is 11 plus. That’s my scale for goodness sake.


    1. First I am a Pitt 81′ grad, I did graduate work at UC, and live in the Cincy area. But like most folks my heart belongs to my undergrad alma mater.

      I have to agree that UC has turned around the athletic departments… with no indication of stopping. UC seems to get VERY good value for the dollars the spend on athletics. Their on campus stadium is not bad at all… sure you can pick nits but it is ON campus.

      I never thought I would say this, but I hope Pitt raises it’s athletics standards so they can compete with UC. Yes I am certain this last comment raises hackles, but damn it hurts to say it.

      Liked by 1 person

  58. I don’t have a problem with pitt playing Rutgers, Syracuse, temple, Maryland and Cincy. I’m fine with the scholar athlete model

    But please pitt don’t take me as a fool.

    Your front porch talk is just talk. You say you want to win championships and don’t back up that statement. You then pay real good coin to a football and basketball coach for mediocre to poor results. And you’re willing to bankrupt the university on an albatross project called victory heights which is really a losing abyss.

    If you truly are serious pitt, focus on football only. Focus on getting the program to consistently win 9-10 games each season. Then you can shift focus towards secondary sports.

    Pitt is too scatter brained right now. No discipline. No focus. No plan.


  59. If there was more media time around camp, and throughout the season, the media bootlickers would be under increasing pressure to ask a tough question or two. They won’t, however, because Narduzzi would pull their press credentials and their limited access would go to ZERO. There goes the free lunches. Narduzzi would crush EJ, who would crumble like a stale old cookie if he tried to expand access.

    This training camp announcement, which arrived 2 days before the start of camp, seems designed to intentionally reduce the number of media attending. It gives limited access and one day to provide the vaccination proof. Maybe they should do what the big corporations do with their annual meetings, hold them in Antarctica or some small isolated island with no access so that no one will dare to attend.

    One look at EJ’s title says it all, they have no one exclusively assigned to publicity and media relations, and he is a big disappointment who will never make waves.



    DiPaola with a fair take and highlights what needs to happen. Some of you harsher folks won’t find it tough enough, but it really is a fair piece.

    While it may be a tad bit trite to offer criticism on a site where plenty already exists, I have to say Duzz’s rationalization of the BC and NC State games – the two that made me lose my (expletive) last fall – is tiring.

    He is correct though that had Pitt won those games – as they should have – my feelings about last year’s outcome and this year’s prospects might be different. The problem is that they did not win those games – as they should have. And Im not talking about Kessman’s PAT miss or Mack’s 2 pt drop. Im talking about a squad not playing as they could and should have. Winners find ways to win.

    We need more wins like UCF at Heinz and fewer losses like those two very Pitt-like lossses.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Coulda, woulda, shoulda. You can never say that you should have won a game you lost, because you lost. If he would say that he should never have allowed his team to be in a position to lose, I would respect that more. Probably won a game or two we should have lost if you want to be fair. Pitt should have lost the games because they weren’t good enough to win.

      Nardstop “what ifs” play really good with faking out the AD for extensions and bonuses, and also plays well with the free food media. I wonder if the AD paid Nardstop a bonus for being bowl eligible.


  61. Joe, the Trib article was pretty fair, but if Narduzzi thinks his OL was good last year, especially after seeing those rushing and sack stats, well, he is living in a dream world.


  62. I actually bought a little stuffed Bevo the other day. The dogs play with it.

    Notre Dame is smart to be a leader in streaming. I hope though they lose to Toledo in the opener. Toledo coach still in my top 5 to replace King Pat.

    Liked by 1 person

  63. Paul Zeise talked about Pitt football tonight on The Fan and did not give them a pass. He covered Athlon’s “ACC Coaches Talk Anonymously…” which I’ve copied below. It certainly resonates.

    “They’re consistently inconsistent. It’s weird, you want to say they’ve shown who they are under Pat Narduzzi, but they can always sneak up and punch you in the face. You expect them to play predictable but play hard. They’re not gonna scheme you to death but they’re always really sound. This is the team in our league who wins one game they have no business winning and loses three they shouldn’t. That’s their identity right now.”

    “They have a talented quarterback [Kenny Pickett] they don’t really seem to know what to do with. Their passing game is bad and it shouldn’t be, they got away from the run game and it hurt them. They don’t know what they want to be on offense, or maybe it’s just too many ideas.”

    “They had some really nice players on the defensive line and in the secondary that they’re losing, and it’s going to be a regression year replacing those guys, because this is not a program that recruits particularly well. That compounds the problem for the offense. For them to have a better year, or maybe just to keep their standard, they’re going to need an offensive identity. I think [offensive coordinator] Mark Whipple’s a really smart guy, they just haven’t found the one thing they do best and built around it. It could be a really long year if they don’t figure that out.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Pitt was developing an identity with Canada, but the school didn’t think it was worth keeping for an extra $800k. You reap what you sow. Pitt has found a way to do it for 40 years.



      1. In fairness, Canada has been a bit of a carpetbagger. Take two sides to make an agreement. I wouldn’t hang all of that on Pitt – but they were certainly one side of it.


  64. If they haven’t figured out their identity by now, they never will.

    I’d fit right in among these anonymous coaches. Appears to me to be bourbon and vinegar drinkers.

    Truth is I can see Pitt winning as little as four games. But I have a very tough time seeing more than eight wins. So it’s probably another 6-7 win season. Disappointing really with a fifth year QB and everyone familiar with the offense playbook.


    1. It’s an offensive playbook with very few run plays, poor blocking schemes and too many 3 yard passing plays.

      Very offensive and unimaginative.

      Suggestion to Duzz – allow K8 to call the plays instead of running the Whip marathon and see if a tempo & rhythm develops that produces TD’s and W’s. The season starts with UMass – great experimental game to fine tune things for an SEC opponent.


    2. Great idea Tx, let’s all be disappointed before fall camp evens opens? I have too many other things to be disappointed in, like you know, stuff that has already happened.


  65. Penn State and Franklin are utterly embarrassing Narduzzi recruiting wise. The traveling circus of clowns like Narduzzi, Lyke and Capel continue to suckle the government teet of Pitt and no one cares and most of you fans think positive of these 🤡 5M a year to win 6 games. These bums aren’t qualified to coach Gannon.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. And the ongoing silence around realignment if only to sat the ACC is stable – that shows dereliction of duty on Lyke’s part.

      Football kickoff is four weeks away and there is no promotion of the program. In the Pittsburgh area are there signs of life, schedule posters, ticket promotions, anything? Here in TX as a Pitt alum I would usually get some promotional info but this year, nothing.

      Are there signs of life for Pitt football in Pittsburgh?

      Liked by 1 person

    2. So happy you found time in your busy schedule Mark to get a good grumble in. btw Mark, I found that restaurant where you sent that picture of a sign… “IKE Love and Sandwiches”


    3. Anyone who is a fan boy or girl of heather, king Pat and the other Pat is just an enabler at this point. Wallow in that mediocrity.


  66. Fair article. He’s right about the state of college football and it is only going to get worse.

    Pitt doesn’t want to be anything more than it already is due to cost and perception of athletics more important than academics (BTW, no one cares about that stuff, Pitt).

    Once the SEC adds more teams and separates from the NCAA, Pitt will be taking in less money. At that point Duzz will be fired and Pitt’s leaders will be ecstatic it can go back to paying a coach $1 million a year.

    The University of Pittsburgh, folks!


  67. Most worrisome is the large number of Seniors, RS Seniors and Super Seniors currently on the Pitt roster. It is hard to imagine that they win more than 5-6 games next year. So this year is extremely critical to the program, and to Narduzzi’s future at Pitt. A 9 win season, and he probably survives next year. Seven wins and it is doubtful. If they win 8 games this year, he will be on the hot seat in 2022. Pitt has one year to decide what direction they want to take with regard to Pitt football.


    1. I hope you’re right I’ve seen predictions of 8-4 but, in that case, the burden of proof for Narduzzi will once again be the bowl game. 9-4 a Top 25 ranking. What would 8-5 bring? No comment from our AD and an extension?

      Liked by 1 person

  68. 4 star OT recruit Ryan Baer is supposed to announce today…Pitt is the favorite according 247. I can’t remember the last time we landed a 4 star O Lineeman.


  69. VoR … this team is pretty deep … as usual, it will go as far as our QB next year. Defense will still be good. Lot’s of depth across all positions. If they have a worthy predecessor to Pickett, it will be business as usual. If not, we could drop like you predict. Saying it’s critical is a little forbearing, however … Pitt will not look much different than they have the last 20 years. Players moving on can be a good thing too. Fresh blood can be a catalyst to success. Can’t predict the future so point in worrying about it.


    1. The future can be predicted with a reasonable degree of accuracy through the use of data and modeling techniques.

      Tex – who also owns a Tardis


  70. He’s a huge tackle. Would be a nice get. A legit 5.8 or four star. Has decent P5 visits. All schools similar to Pitt. So he’s not elite but most likely one of Pitts best O line recruits ever under Narduzzi. That’s not saying much.


  71. If Narduzzi was EVER going to win 9+ games, it was last year. Personally gave the Defensive “Guru” a benefit of a doubt with Weaver, Jones, Ford, and Pinnock.

    My bad. Let’s call it a weak moment.

    From here on out it is strictly focusing on what players I see as future stars. There’s more than one.

    Stay tuned.


    1. Hope he gets the chance to do his signature “1st Down” pose !! Go Nucc,,,had an opportunity to have a couple of beers with his Dad and Mom at our Duke tail-gate a few years back. Very nice people. Best of luck to Ben. Hoping he makes it.


  72. Pitt does need to make a decision on what it wants to be. But I think it’s already decided.

    It will follow the scholar athlete model.

    It will focus on secondary sports. See victory Heights.

    It will wait things out until the Steelers make their move with Heinz

    It will be left out of a super league

    It will receive far less conference money in the future and this will force cuts in the football budget and elimination of certain secondary sports.

    It will not support any new programs like hockey

    It will not build a MPC

    It will not treat sports like a business driven by profit

    So expect to see pitt playing the likes of Rutgers in a new mid Atlantic conference. Expect to see a bunch of two stars on the field. Expect to be playing in the Steelers new home on the north shore. Expect pitt to become a volleyball school.


  73. Tex, do we really belong in a super league…I say “not” and I am happy with playing in a “student athlete” league. I like competition an a level playing field.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I’d love to play in a super league because I believe Pitt could be super if it had different leaders, coaches and a MPC

      But I’d be fine playing historic rivals like cuse, BC, Rutgers and temple. I’d enjoy somewhat watching those games. Yes it would be more fair competition. A familiar foe.

      But watching a school from the super league and then comparing to pitt would be like watching today’s Alabama go up against Georgia southern. You’ll definitely notice the difference in talent.

      At least Pitt wouldn’t get blown out and embarrassed on national tv anymore.

      But again not being in this league will impact Pitts finances. Football budget will be cut. Recruiting will be limited to local area. Some secondary sports will get the axe. Pitt will always play in the Steelers stadium even if it’s in cranberry.


  74. In fact, it might be FAR worse than Pitt just being a volleyball school.

    There’s a story circulating that IF true, would make me want to never affiliate myself with anything University of Pittsburgh.


    1. Miami might want to join the B1G…..but so do about 25 other schools.

      Miami is not a member of the AAU. So Fat Chance.

      Plus other than games against the B1G Big 3 or 4… would be half empty where ever
      Thug U plays it’s games.


  75. This conference realignment is just a warm up or precursor to the eventual formation of a 30 school super league. I just hope this league has the concept of promotion and relegation. Would give schools like pitt a chance to earn their way in.


  76. Saw this on the lair. For huff, you say Narduzzi is a good coach

    What if I told you he’s 1-13 against P5 schools over the last three years who have above .500 records?


  77. Tossing, I looked at the PG article on this year’s offense, and the number of underclassmen who will contribute this year is rather small. True, they have a couple of young receivers who will be good, but Addison might leave early. The OL is stacked with Seniors, although there are a couple of younger guys who could be contributors in 2022. The TE situation will rely on underclassmen being good. There are about 3 RBs who could contribute, and a QB with no experience. Overall, with the recent level of recruited talent in the pipeline, I’m just not real optimistic about 2022.


      1. … and they had a top 20 class last year, which will see the field more next year. This is exactly the same as it is every year a good team loses people. There is always change in college. Duzz’s teams should not fall off a cliff anytime soon. It’s deep. I’m not saying they’ll be better than the status quo but they should not be worse.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Top 20 based on quantity and not quality. A mere illusion of a rare successful recruiting class for King Pat. 🤴


  78. About those senior OL. Does every class get an extra Covid year or only those that were seniors last year?


    1. Any player on the 2020 roster gets an extra year – no matter when recruited. Tipton will be on roster for 7’th year. A super, super senior. This year, those who are eligible for their 6’th year do not count against the normal 85 man scholarship limit.

      At thus time, the 85 man limit will be reinstated. Either the super senior takes a roster spot, moves on to his life’s work or enters the transfer portal. There will have to be roster management. Some players may be encouraged to get on with his life to go to the TP. No matter what, the 2022 recruiting class for all schools may be smaller then normal.


  79. And Tex, what is the point of a super conference? What’s in it for the teams? If you are Alabama, how do you gain by having to play Texas and OU, and potentially ending the season with an additional loss or two? You will say for the money, but don’t be so sure. If there is one super conference, then there is nothing for them to compete against to jack up the TV money. ESPN will likely say “this is what we’re paying, that’s it”, and the other networks will not be able to outspend them. Alabama and Clemson should wake up and realize that they have it best right now.


    1. If this league is 30, I imagine it working just like the pros. 8 division winners and six wild cards. Nearly half the teams make the playoffs. Bama can lose two games each year and still might even win their division.


  80. Bama might be in a division with auburn, Mississippi and Tennessee.

    Texas might be Oklahoma, Aggies and Arkansas.

    Division composition could change each year with relegation.


  81. The first big contract would probably lock up their rights for 10 years. No competition, even from streaming, unless they are playing the Little sisters of the Poor (Pitt) out of conference, which might not happen. The NFL splits things up, but it took years to evolve to this, and the emergence of Fox that added to the competition. It was broken up by days of the week, not divisions, and I’m not sure the colleges would want to play on Thursday nights.


  82. Nobody really knows unless there’s a phone booth parked in your shed. But this will make for some very interesting times.


  83. A super league could possibly kill college football. Follow along.

    March Madness is a ratings bonanza and nearly everyone across the Nation, gets involved in a bracket or
    several brackets….including Office/Work Brackets. Why….well because over 68 schools are involved from
    coast to coast. A Loyola of Chicago or a George Mason can make it to the Final 4. You have lots of David vs Goliath matchups. Every Conference from the Atlantic Sun & the Horizon League to the B1G & the ACC
    and everyone in between is a participant.

    You put together a Super Conf of 30 schools for football…..that’s gonna shut a lot of (most) schools OUT.

    Why am I interested in watching this Conference if I’m going to a school on the OUTS or an alumnus of that school ?

    The answer is…..I’m not going to be interested at all. And tens of millions of others won’t either.

    Viewership & attendance nationwide is already waning, for a multitude of reasons. This will be the death knell. For everyone other than for a few football factories of cheats & phony student athletes.

    Not interested, just like I’m not interested in the NBA, where the teams are also stacked and the rules don’t apply.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Right now there are the same four schools in the BCS every year. This expands it to truly the 14 best. Don’t tell me that Cincy or liberty or Coastal Carolina can even compete against the big boys. They can’t. Pitt proves it.

      There is no way that bama football will ever lose to a Delaware. It would be worst see TV. Football is not like basketball where all it takes is one player.

      And those schools not cutting it will be relegated in this league so they can’t purposefully tank for $100 million each year. This creates incentive and freshness each year.

      This super league will happen. I cheated to know. Don’t bet against me.


    2. It probably will happen but there will be unintended consequences.
      Many TV sets turned off. Especially if you ain’t got no dog in that hunt.

      Liked by 2 people

    3. You have to factor in basketball and the NCAA tournament. Universities and TV aren’t walking away from that money. I don’t see a thirty team super league. Reduce power 5 into two huge conferences. Top six from each make the playoffs.

      I expect some non-power 5 schools to take full advantage of pay for play and jump their level of talent and program status dramatically passing by universities that don’t act aggressively. So in a few years schools like Cinci and UCF will be even better.

      Pitt should be recruiting businesses for NIL deals as hard as they coaches are recruiting players. There are no regulation. Go balls to the wall until there are some.


      1. Basketball only contributes 20 percent to that ACC check. Basketball is irrelevant. Football has and will always pay the bills. Pitt does not and will never understand that.


  84. Finally a 4 star O lineman…Holy cow and whoa Nellie !!! time for Heather to get on the phone and reach out to the SEC !!!


  85. How many spots are left for the 2022 class. Hoping we land Fearby…no QBs to date in this class….what’s up with that ?


  86. By the way, unless I read it wrong every player regardless of class gets a covid year. So kids that are true RS SRs now have another year unless they should have been done last year like KP.


    1. he actually looks like he can run, that means a lot with his gargantuan size

      I’ll be shocked if he doesn’t turn out good and likely great

      wonder when the transfer talk will start?


  87. So this messenger from marathon runs 26 miles to alert the Athenians of a pending Persian invasion. He runs the route in full armor. He doesn’t use a horse. He dies upon giving the news from heat exhaustion. And hence we have the Olympic Games.

    Those are the deep thoughts for today.


    1. In the Did You Know category.

      Did you know today is:

      National Underwear Day !

      Yes it’s that time every year….to change em out 🙂


  88. Wonder if he can play hoops at 6’8″ and his tonnage…..what a force he could be in the lane.

    A mini-me.


  89. Welcome Ryan Baer – nice to see a 4 star OLineman.

    Whatever attracted you to Pitt, please talk about it and spread the word to other 4 star studs.



  90. Great article. Pppppppppn advance. I think Whip gets canned either mid season or most definitely at year end.


  91. Not sure what happened.

    Marion will take over. He wasn’t brought in to be a WR coach. We will all lament what the heck took so long?!


  92. The wriiting’s on the wall for Coach Whip. Youngblood Coach Marion is in the wings I believe.


  93. —Rough night for Dinucc…

    —Nice to see Donnie “The Torpedo “ Shell in the NFL HOF. Favorite Donnie Shell quote – to his teammates on the Steeler concerning playing aggressive defense:

    “If you’re not going to hit him, get out of the way so I can hit him!”

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 2 people

  94. Link: Pitt on Manning, Lombardi Watch Lists

    Pitt’s Pickett, Pair of Defenders Named to Prestigious Watch Lists

    Manning and Lombardi Awards Recognize Panthers as Preseason Candidates

    PITTSBURGH—University of Pittsburgh football players were recognized as preseason candidates for the Manning Award and Lombardi Award, it was announced Thursday.

    Pitt senior quarterback Kenny Pickett has been named to the 32-player watch list for the Manning Award, which annually honors college football’s top quarterback.

    Sponsored by the Allstate Sugar Bowl, the Manning Award is the only quarterback award that takes the candidates’ bowl performances into consideration in its balloting.

    The winner is selected by a voting panel composed of national media as well as Archie, Peyton and Eli Manning.

    Pickett (Oakhurst, N.J./Ocean Township) has twice been invited to serve as a counselor for the prestigious Manning Passing Academy, including the June 2021 edition held in Thibodaux, La.

    Entering his fourth full season as Pitt’s starting quarterback, Pickett ranks third all-time in total offensive yards (8,552) and fifth in passing yards (7,984). Pickett is eyeing Pitt’s longstanding career records in those two categories held by Alex Van Pelt, who compiled 11,267 pass yards and 11,148 total yards from 1989-92.

    Pickett has directed five fourth-quarter comeback wins during his career, the most by a Pitt quarterback in 50 years. The last Pitt QB to accomplish the feat was Dave Havern, who also rallied the Panthers to five victories in the fourth quarter over the 1970 and 1971 seasons.

    Junior linebacker SirVocea Dennis and sophomore defensive tackle Calijah Kancey were also tabbed as watch-list worthy for the 2021 Lombardi Award, which annually recognizes the best player lineman or linebacker who also exhibits the character and discipline of legendary coach Vince Lombardi.

    Dennis compiled 57 tackles last season, including a team-high 14.5 tackles for loss and four sacks. After finishing third in the ACC in TFL, the Syracuse, N.Y., native was named third team All-ACC at linebacker.

    Kancey continues to be touted as one of the best young interior defenders in all of college football. Now on three major watch lists ahead of the 2021 campaign, the product of Miami, Fla., tallied 27 tackles, seven TFL and 1.5 sacks last season to earn Freshman All-America honors from numerous outlets.

    Pitt football tickets for the 2021 season are now on sale. Fans can purchase full seven-game season ticket packages for as low as $175, while lower bowl seats are available starting at only $205. Flexible payment plans are available. For more information, click here or call (800) 643-7488.

    Pitt players on 2021 national award watch lists include:

    Jordan Addison • WR • SO • #3

    Biletnikoff Award (Best Receiver)

    Cal Adomitis • LS • SR+ • #94

    Wuerffel Trophy (Community Service)

    Deslin Alexandre • DE • SR* • #5

    Lott IMPACT Trophy (Character + Defensive Performance)

    Wuerffel Trophy (Community Service)

    Kirk Christodoulou • P • SR* • #98

    Guy Award (Best Punter)

    SirVocea Dennis • LB • JR • #32

    Lombardi Award (Best Player at OL/DL/LB/TE)

    Calijah Kancey • DT • SO* • #8

    Bednarik Award (Best Defensive Player)

    Nagurski Trophy (Best Defensive Player)

    Lombardi Award (Best Player at OL/DL/LB/TE)

    Lucas Krull • TE • SR+ • #7

    Mackey Award (Best Tight End)

    Kenny Pickett • QB • SR+ • #8

    Maxwell Award (Player of the Year)

    Manning Award (Top Quarterback)

    #H2P | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

    R.J. Sepich | Assistant Director, Media Relations

    University of Pittsburgh | Petersen Events Center


    O: 412.648.8240 | C: 412.452.1992

    @Pitt_Athletics Pitt Panthers

    ACCN PITT Email Sig


Comments are closed.