Quick UT Win Recap

Here are some quick thought from Rick (Erie Express). We will have a full Monday Morning QB piece up tomorrow a.m.

Pitt’s Start was ROCKY – Pitt Finished on TOP

The Johnny Majors Classic was anything but, as two mid-level P5 teams squared off in what turned out to be a very entertaining game.  Most people where I watched the game did not believe Pitt could hang with an SEC team let alone beat them.

HC Pat Narduzzi snagged one of his better wins 41-34 where his D was exposed at times and his run game was non-existent, until the last two series of the game.  Tennessee had the ball around the Pitt 35 yard line and threatening to tie the game with 5 minutes left to play.  Safety Hill made a nice read on a crossing route over the middle to pick off Tennessee back-QB to hand the ball over to the Pitt O.

Kenny Pickett and OC Whipple put together a nice clock killing drive that ended in the victory formation as time ran out in Neyland Stadium.

Pitt threw for 301 yards on 25-37, three TD’s and no INT’s.  WR Wayne threw one of the TD’s on a trick play to TE Krull.  The run game gained only 95 yards on 45 attempts – that is not good folks, but on the last series the backs mustard enough yards to get first downs and kill the clock.

Hail to Pitt!


Kenny Pickett managed the game well after a very rocky start to the game.
The receivers caught the ball and made some nice runs after the catch.
DT Camp and DE Baldonado played really well.


Special Teams in general, across all facets.
The back seven on D were out played (thank goodness for the inaccurate TN QB’s.
The O not converting TO’s to points (3 total, I believe).


Tennessee WR’s running loose most of the game.
The blocked punt to start the game and the opening three series of 3 and outs.
Pitt’s rushing yards per carry = 2.11 Ouch!
Sibley and Carter with zero carries, V. Davis Jr. with 19 carries and Izzy with 12 carries.

Congratulations to HC Pat Narduzzi for winning the inaugural Johnny Majors Classic.  Very appropriate as that was our last National Championship and that legacy is what ties many of us Pitt fans to the program today.

Next up is Western Michigan. 

Looking forward to tailgating with friends in anticipation of a trap game that Pitt should win.

55 thoughts on “Quick UT Win Recap

  1. No wonder we won yesterday…..#33 was picking them up and laying them down.

    Great win for both Coach Majors & Coach Sherrill !

    Johnny always said he enjoyed his time at Pitt better !

    Liked by 1 person

  2. While I believe Pitt has the better team, Tenn has the better athletes .. as evidenced by who made the plays in the open space, especially in the 2nd half. This is where the SEC excels, they have been getting the majority of the great athletes for over a decade now

    Sent from my iPhone


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Let’s see, William. The team with the better athletes lost at home. How do we explain that?

      Homer calls by the refs: Nope!

      Pure luck? Maybe.

      Got out-coached? Hmmmm?

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Very good point, please note speaking of an athlete from the SEC, hands of stone hasn’t dropped a pass this season correct?

      Also as I recall a few consistent posters on this blog preseason said the juggernaut from Western Michigan (who gave Michigan fits as one post noted) were going to win this upcoming contest.

      Again the Panthers overcame a disastrous start and made enough plays to win and yes the ACC crew lived up to their usual poor performance in throwing and picking up flags.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. This one surprised me in many ways. I was convinced Pitt would lose this game, mostly due to concerns over our safeties in coverage, and our run blocking; both areas proved to be weaknesses yesterday, but neither to the extent I expected. The safeties were bailed out early in the game due to overthrows, but much of the time covered better than expected, and our RB’s average of 2.5 yds per carry following a rough first quarter, which was poor overall but improved in the second half.

    Ultimately, the key differences in the game were: we had a better QB, and the Vols made had multiple boneheaded penalties.

    All that said, impressive win especially after going down 0-10 early with the worst possible start and in a tough environment. Overcame adversity, the better team won.

    Ultimately, although I think the Vols have a better HC, I think we would be able to take the next step if we replaced our OC and OL coach.


    Liked by 1 person

    1. You do know Duzz is 2-1 vs Josh Heupel – he’s 1-1 vs Josh at UCF and now 1-0 yesterday vs Tennessee.

      Taking this a step further, Duzz is on a 2 game win streak vs Heupel – going for 3 straight next year.

      I think you are mistaken when you say the better coach lost yesterday.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I may be mistaken, hopefully so, but that was Huepel’s first season at Tenn. so its far too early to judge. Frankly, I’m glad we got a win under our belt and only have to play them once more, especially with this staff; I’d feel much better if we changed our offensive leadership.


  4. Couple thoughts:

    —That TD pass to Stovall was enormous for Pitt. A FG there would have spelled doom, IMHO. And it was an excellent across the body throw by KP.

    —I read where Jared Wayne was a HS QB. Which helps explain how cooly he caught the trick-pass and threw it — seemingly all in one motion.

    —The TD pass to Addison was exceptional at both ends.

    —Jared Wayne showed up big again when he turned that short pass into a long run at one of about 35 critical points in the game for Pitt…

    —If we can get that 2nd Quarter, down-the-field pass offense going, we could be tough to beat.

    —On the other hand, several of our opponents showed off big passing games this week — I think we’re in for some tense shoot-outs…

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 4 people

  5. And under the category of other coaches make poor decisions too, what about that call on 4th and short by UTenn on their next to last possession? I was expecting Hooker to have the ball with a run/pass option…

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Heupel looks pretty dopey to me. Potato Paulie looks like a genius by comparison.

      He got the job because Tenn’s AD came from UCF too !

      And if you read that Vols Nation blog, their fans/alum are none too happy.

      We aren’t the only tough fans/alum on these blogs.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. According to USA Today sports, Pitt got 52 votes for the top 25. Can’t find it now but Yahoo Sports national fan poll graphic had every state except PA pick the Vols to win. Many betters lost on this “sure thing”. We’re coming to the tailgate next Saturday. See yinz there.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. And you thought Pitt’s Rushing attack was bad.

    1st round pick Najee Harris..7 carries for 8 yards.

    Serves them right !


  8. Glad for the win yesterday! Had my doubts about Pitt’s ability to come back from the 10-0 deficit on the road. This is one of those games where a Narduzzi team usually implodes on the road. Hopefully this will be the turning point in his tenure.

    I am not one of those who are now predicting a 5-0 start just yet. Pitt, more than any other football team, needs to take one game at a time. The next game is against a Western Michigan team that is quite capable of beating Pitt especially with Pitt’s terrible showing in the defensive backfield. If I am a Pitt opponent, I am going to a pistol formation with a big back for blocking and to provide a safety valve. With a mobile quarterback, Pitt would have a very long day on defense.

    UCF should stick with their backup quarterback if they want to salvage their season. Hooker was the more accurate passer of the two along with better decision making. I think Tennessee is going to be better than most people think if they stay with Hooker.


  9. I rewatched the game last night as I always do. Someone on the POV made an astute comment that I now find the key to our troubles yesterday. The comment was that “many times our 3 stars were matched up 1/1 with the Vols 4-5 stars. Tennessee had some terrifically athletic and speedy 5 stars. #9 on defense for one. So I agree, maybe not so much Pitt Coaching or player stupidity but mismatches that caused our troubles. Note W Michigan, N Hampshire and GA Tech have no 5 Stars !

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Nardo’s defensive scheme leaves the CB’s in 1 on 1 coverage. Which we’ve seen can lead to huge passing yardage against us.

      Also if 1 tackle is missed, their WR is ………Off To the Races. (saw that on the long 44 yd sideline jaunt
      after the tackle was missed on Calloway)

      And you’re going to see 3 star DB’s miss tackles on 4 & 5 star WR’s. Thankfully the ACC doesn’t have near the 4 & 5 star athletes that the SEC does.

      Today’s game is all about offense, as you really can’t shutdown these offenses today if the opponent
      has a decent QB.

      Which means you gotta keep scoring !

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Some 3 star players are much better than 4 or 5 star players. But it’s a valid point, that there may be a few mismatches in terms of athleticism that were exposed by the Vols.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Just finished watching my previously recorded Pitt game. Glad I knew the outcome in advance. Nothing fazed me. The section of Pitt blue in the stadium really stood out. Looking forward to a Pitt win next week. Hope the game is on TV somewhere so I can record it. However, beware the MAC. Overlook them and they’ll beat you.


  11. Nice write-up, Rick! Concise and fair! I know you are not a big fan of Coach Narduzzi but I think you are open minded enough to be give a fair evaluation. Hopefully you will be a big fan some day.

    This was a big win for us by any measure. I am definitely not a fan of Coach Whipple’s horizontal passing attack. As a fan I would rather watch vertical passing all day long. I am not even a fan of a potent running attack. Three yards and a cloud of dust. Five yards and a cloud of dust. I’m bored. I want to be entertained. Of course, running out the clock to preserve a win, I’ll take. Guess that makes me a hypocrite. So be it.

    I’ll again say that I think Pitt is in the beginning phase of a long-game approach regarding head football coaches. Those who think a coaching change is our solution should note that Texas lost big to Arkansas and Southern Cal got drubbed by Stanford yesterday. Both teams have been going through coaching churn and both have the cache to pick who they want and the money to pay them. Hasn’t worked for them and they are in a much better position than Pitt, especially with fan support.

    I am still expecting a 6-6, maybe 7-5, season for Pitt. Just because I feel that is where we fall in the current college football world. I would be thrilled with 8-4. Ecstatic with 9-3.

    Can’t wait to see everyone again next Saturday! Those who are coming to the tailgate for the first time, or even if you have been there before, please introduce yourself and note the name you use on the POV. It’s always fun to meet the folks here in person. Agree or disagree, we are still friends, especially on game day!

    Liked by 6 people

  12. I’m no Narduzzi fanboy. Are we limited by three star recruiting? Yes. Does he make some boneheaded decisions? Yes. Do we see the same common issues year after year? Yes. But on the heels of a very sold road win against an SEC team, and to put things in proper perspective about the Pitt program and Pat Narduzzi I want you all to read this:


    Liked by 1 person

    1. I saw that Florida State only paid $400K for that 28 point spot rent-a-win. Cheapskates! Serves them right! Thanks for the link. Perspective is always a good thing.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. MM – I saw that walk-off 59-yard TD play against FSU. Wow did the FSU DBs look soft – though it was an amazing play by the offense…

      FSU should have top classes every year with their location.

      Go Pitt.

      Liked by 1 person

    3. VERY relevant to discussions here, Michael. Coaching carousels rarely result in success in the near term (although admittedly some do, due to the very high profile of the new coach (see Dave Wannstadt). The grass truly isn’t always greener. And for all his shortcomings, even his perceived “arrogance” (which I’m not sure is actually that since it doesn’t seem to affect the players and their families to any degree), Narduzzi has done at least as well as most all of the other Pitt coaches since the Majors/Sherrill era, and has done that while running a program relatively free of scandal and bad publicity for the University (see for example Lane Kiffen, Bobby Petrino, Hugh Freeze, Art Briles, Mike Leach, and of course Paterno/Sandusky).

      Liked by 2 people

      1. PD2, Pat Narduzzi is not leaving PITT in the foreseeable future and some people have a hard time accepting that fact. You can take his inventory, spin facts and figures and make disparaging remarks about him, but he is not going anywhere.

        Liked by 2 people

  13. From Reed’s Trib article:

    Pickett also was helped by his pass catchers, who dropped only two passes (Taysir Mack and Vincent Davis), according to Pro Football Focus, after totaling four against UMass.

    4 drops v UMass
    they count one more than I, not sure which they got wrong 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree with you, tvax1.

      Some real nice catches by Pitt this game. Hoping to see Bartholomew involved soon – he can motor pretty well.

      Go Pitt.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Pulled this tweet from Karlo Zovko
    Best moment of the game for me:

    Tennessee up 10-0 early, fans started chanting “SEC! SEC! SEC!”

    When we were in victory formation our fans started chanting “ACC! ACC! ACC!” 😹

    Liked by 4 people

  15. anyone see the legit hit on Saints QB Winston?

    might as well make it 2 hand touch or flag for the QB position



  16. BTW, it’s great to see some of my buddy’s feeling a little better about the Panthers. Rick and Tommy were starting to hedge their bets just a little but I admit to not knowing a whole lot about this PITT football team. And that with Richard supplying us all with the best of information found anywhere on the internet!

    I hate to miss this game with so many of my good friends going to be there. LETS GO PITT!

    Get off my porch
    Get off my lawn

    Liked by 5 people

    1. you bet I was hedging, it’s been rough around here sans MM

      I would’ve(maybe) bet on Pitt prior to the game but was serious when I posted about giving points when we were down 10-0

      not sure but I may have even chanted a little “SEC! SEC! SEC!”

      happy to be shown wrong by the great HCPN 🙂 and a great team effort



      Liked by 2 people

  17. Those who played in this year’s POV Frankcan Cup golf outing know that Tony D was a big part of the theme for the skill event winners.

    Thanks to Reed for dressing the article up with that great photo.

    By the way, how about Pitt’s dominating record vs the SEC – 13 wins, 2 losses and 3 ties. After Tennessee, who’s next? 😹😹😹

    Consider Ole Miss and Florida to avenge our 2 losses.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Nearly every vol fan I talked with says Tennessee has no QB. Their offense depends on having an accurate QB. They are realistic with this season yet hopeful for the future.

    Everyone found it funny and stupid that both coaches pulled out the cramping player routine.

    It was obvious that the Vols had the better talent. Size and speed. But Pitt called a good game plan on both sides. And Kenny was ‘on’. His experience showed.

    The officiating was the worst I’ve seen in some time. Blown calls. Missed calls. Pay back calls. Taking 12 minutes to video review a simple call. The Vols kept replaying video during the review to show the refs it shouldn’t take this long. Those refs got a police escort out.

    The stadium was dumpy. Very college like with bleachers, limited restrooms. But they had no troughs. Plenty of concession places but long lines. Tiny scoreboard. Poor audio. Very steep seating. Immaculate grass field. Located by school buildings with limited outdoor parking. Took Uber everywhere. $7 per ride for carfull of people. Many students dressed in orange and white checkered overhauls. Was a warm day. Some protection from sun with roof overhangs. Helped by a cool breeze. Rocky top is catchy. They do V O L S, let’s go Vols. Band impressive. Splitting of the T very unique. Stadium near river with many tailgating yachts. Downtown walkable with good micro beers. Has a old town feel yet chic.

    Johnny’s family was honored on the field. Video was shown at various times of Johnny’s teams. John as he preferred to be called hated Fulmer. He once refused to sign a little kids helmet because it had Fulmers signature on it. John was known to speak his mind and was a straight shooter. Many stories I heard from a gal who was related to him. True gentleman and class guy he was.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Just to clarify: Camp did not pull out the player cramp trick to stop the clock. In fact, Pitt called a time out to tend to the injured player which is supposedly not why someone would fake a cramp. If you watch the film, you will see that Camp was signaling to the sideline that he needed to come out. When his replacement didn’t show up, he went down on the ground which is what a player is told to do if he is injured.

    Liked by 2 people

  20. There are a lot of fringe comments about the OLine play. Anyone see how Warren was getting beat over & over like a drum? At one point the Tennessee defender raced right around Warren to K8 without either Warren nor the defender coming in contact with the other.

    That is hard to do…


  21. Pitt opens as a 14 point fave at home vs W Michigan. About right I think. Trap game Saturday. Let’s see if Pitt has grown. No 5 stars on W Michigan!

    Great win Steelers!


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