Guest MMQB: New Hampshire Win

Here is a MMQB opinion piece written by our friend 6&34 (Jay Kaplan). Enjoy…

What did we learn from Saturday’s drubbing of New Hampshire (NH)?  Not a thing.

In some respects the offense against NH looked like it did against Western Michigan (WM) except the running game was statistically considerably better.  I take nothing from that.

QB Kenny Pickett said that he had no doubt that if Pitt’s defense had stopped WM’s in their last series in that game so as to give Pitt’s offense another chance to score he had “no doubt” they would have. Of course, “no doubt” is hyperbole but at the time I liked their chances. Then again, I liked their chances to get the ball back with at least a minute or more on the clock.

When I was sixteen, I’d play hooky and go to Aqueduct Racetrack to gamble my hard earned caddy money. One of the first things I learned was to look for a horse who was healthy and was dropping two classes from his race history. That two class drop may not have made a horse a sure thing but it dramatically shifted the odds.


NH was at least three levels below Pitt. I’m sorry, I just was not impressed with anything I saw. Certainly not the offensive line who gave up a sack (you folks who are OK with us giving up a sack? – it came from Pitt’s left side getting beat – not a blitz). That was pathetic, and for what’s it’s worth, it was not the second string that allowed Pickett to get hit (and he was hit hard).

So, no, I don’t give a rat’s behind that Pitt threw up seventy-seven points while giving up only seven. Actually, the seven the defense gave up was rather pathetic and reminiscent of a lot of other SOP bovinically processed vegetation (Ed: in other words bullsh…) that we have witnessed from HC Narduzzi’s exalted defenses. OK, Pickett reinforced the belief that he is better this year than prior years, but that’s not telling us something new. The same thing can be said for the wide receivers.  Yes, Pitt’s passing game against NH could be seen as an extension of the potency we saw against WM but why go there. WM beat Pitt and there were quite a few three and outs by Pitt in that game. So, you could see it as an extension.

 But I choose not to because we lost to WM and the bitter taste is still in my mouth. Anyway, Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) football is not even close to Mid-American Conference (MAC) football.

Now its true many POVers did not think that the offense would be as potent as it has been this far into the season. Others thought otherwise. But neither the negativos or positivos should sulk or preen about being right or wrong because ACC play has not started yet for Pitt, and let’s not kid ourselves, Pitt has not yet  played a good team let alone a very good team. We still know very little about this Pitt team.

Our Commander has given me license to write whatever I want to write, and I choose not to point out either Pitt’s offensive, defensive of special team accomplishments. I will make a few exceptions.

Rodney Hammond (The Next LeSean?)

One, RB Rodney Hammond has some special qualities especially for a back his size. I’m far from convinced that he is better than RBs Izzy Abakanda or Vince Davis but we have seen him exhibit those qualities before so that is encouraging. To those who think he is the second come of LeSean McCoy, consider that he is only 175 lbs and we still have no idea how fast he is.

Two, I liked the way the Pitt coaches substituted. I felt bad that the score ran up the way it was and I suspect Narduzzi did as well but the criticism of Narduzzi for being declasse for the final score seems to me to say more about the people criticizing Narduzzi than Narduzzi himself. For goodness sake, Pitt played five quarterbacks.

I should note the two missed extra points (I feel bad for the scholarship player, Ben Sauls [Ed Note: Left in happier days] who missed them – maybe he makes forty out of forty in practice but if you miss two extra points in one game (actually within the first 5 minutes and 29 seconds of the game, it is like me kicking extra points and trust me, that just won’t do).

And, of course, the offensive run blocking showed me nothing. Positivos, remember any “improvement” is questionable because it was performed against a team three classes below Pitt.  

One last comment. I saw some really fine sportsmanship by some Pitt players. DE Haba Baldonado putting his arm on the NH quarterback after a play (not at the end of the game) was something I can’t recall ever seeing before and particularly stood out. On the other hand, the typical, over-the-top rejoicing after a favorable Pitt game event I found grating. Dudes, you lost last week to a MAC team and now you are beating up on a team three classes below you. You know how they feel. Mute your joy over accomplishing nothing. Whoop it up when you do it against someone your own size.

Hail to Pitt

177 thoughts on “Guest MMQB: New Hampshire Win

  1. Yes these excessive celebrations are quite boring and the problem is pretty much coast to coast.
    Flags need to be thrown for those and the continual taunting of players on both sides, play after play.

    This behavior is such a bore and so atypical. And it’s, so not in keeping with the spirit of the college game.
    These college games are beginning to get like City HS schools. And I’d just rather skip it, if it continues.

    Repressed ? Are you kidding me.


  2. Well said Jay. While I do agree with scheduling a couple tune ups it does seem odd to schedule two absolute cupcakes from New England. Obviously a lot of frustration taken out on New Hampshire. Heck why not play Robert Morris, who could use the money and would probably fill a few more seats.

    I do think a team gets better by playing a softer team than a harder team. It improves timing of plays and the running game needed that success, but not to the degree that happened on Saturday.

    At least our guys know what Alabama experiences when they play almost anyone.

    I do agree that the celebrations are ridiculous, but even more so in a losing effort. Just doesn’t seem like good sportsmanship, maybe a forgotten concept.

    This game was only meaningful if we get six more ACC wins which would erase most of the bad taste in our mouths from the previous week. We all know that is extremely unlikely. Especially when you need coaching to make a difference with good schemes, game plans, and in game decisions.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. So next week is the real test, starting a four game stretch which will make or break any chance at redemption. Starting with a very hot GT team. We will find out if our offense is for real.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I know everyone remembers Larry F’s excess celebration


    I like KP but HE does a bit too much talking too

    nice work 6, no BPV(aka BS)


  5. To me its all about sportsmanship, which ties directly into civility.

    What Jay mentioned above with our Pitt DE putting his arm around the opposing QB (and saying something nice I’ll bet) is true sportsmanship…our HC calling winning against a much lower tiered team “a scrimmage” is insulting to the opponent’s coaches and players’ hard work in practice and then their playng in very trying circumstances.

    77 points against New Hampshire is a prime example of ‘just because you can do it doesn’t mean you should do it.’ I know that polls are popularity contests and that was probably Naruzzi’s gain from the final score.

    But, on the other hand when Joe Paterno’s PSU team scored late in a game when holding a big lead and was called on it by the media he said ‘I can’t tell a 3rd string running back not to try to score when he’s finally carrying the ball’ (paraphrased) and that makes sense also.

    I don’t like what happened against UNH but we were running the ball almost every play in the 2nd half, which helps run out the clock and when we did pass it was to get the backup QBs real in-game experience.

    So, I think it wasn’t PN demanding more points as much as the better Pitt players just being out there and UNH being so very overwhelmed by superior talent.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Since Saul’s is a lefty kicker I was wondering if that had anything to do with his misses. The holder is used to a right footed kicker so he has to switch sides when receiving the snap. Wonder if it affects the hold. Just thinking out loud, since I never played the game.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Dunno Annie….but over the course of my lifetime…..class of 1980,,,,can’t remember to many
          left footed Placekickers.

          In fact I’m hard pressed to remember…..even one !


        2. It definitely can impact things, but you would hope that would be ironed out in practice. I did notice on both misses that the snap seemed to come in to the place holder’s body a little behind him causing him to twist his body more than you would like. As a result, I don’t know if he got the ball down in the correct place or was able to get the tilt on the ball that is unique to each kicker’s preference- all of which can affect the trajectory of the ball. Granted, this is only my observation and could be completely wrong.


    1. I don’t usually comment on the Steelers but there appears to be as much old guard-itis there as with Pitt and unwillingness to make changes when needed. Why Ben is even playing is is a valid query. What I know is the Steelers started out fast last year and in the final games Ben couldn’t get it done. He is no Tom Brady.


    2. What I loved about Canada was his 41 ppg offense. I don’t care if it was Smoke & Mirrors or if he had particles from the Rings of Saturn to produce it.

      The Fact is….he was the orchestrator of it. And not matter what happened before or after has no bearing at all on that magical offense of that year,

      For I only care what he orchestrated at Pitt !

      What is it you with Canada haters. It’s really bizarre.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Fair review. Embarrassed by the shellacking we administered but Narduzzi played subs so they can’t be blamed for scoring. However, this game demonstrates what all of us know: Narduzzi’s teams are very inconsistent. Inconsistency is why Narduzzi has never had a ranked team to end a season even though he had opportunities in 2015, 2016, 2018, and 2019. The loss to WMU is keeping us out of the Top 25 right now.

    Looking down the schedule there is no one we couldn’t beat but Narduzzi’s inconsistency and poor coaching will rear its ugly head a few more times.

    I fear a WMU-like performance will haunt us at some critical point. I hope not,

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Canada will be looking for yet another job.

    Hammond is a legit RB with serious wiggle.

    Pitt gave up a sack? That’s really a complaint? That is comical.

    Yes, the win proved nothing but at the end of the year it is a W.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Did not see the game, but the increased passing efficiency due to the lack of dropped passes is a big deal. Unless of course there was no pass coverage to speak of.Maybe everyone was wide open which will not be the case in acc play.


  9. I am sure that Canada will take the brunt of the blame, but if you watched Ben’s reaction to several drops, it became obvious that Steelers stadium is the place to go for the dropsies! Just poking some fun. Receivers have bad days too! Ben looks older than his reported age of 39, which is a good point because my wife still claims 39 and given the climate, you are what you claim you are.

    Regarding Canada as smoke and mirrors, I have to admit that I learned something last night about pre-snap offensive movement. I may get this wrong so feel free to correct me if you watched the game but Kyle Shanahan and his OC used to go into the defensive coaches meetings to listen to what they said about formations and movements of their foe, in an effort to decide what drives defenses crazy. Pre-snap offensive movement was the main thing they learned and that is why there is so much movement in the 49’s offense. It was stated that the two coaches above learned in those meetings that for evey 1 shift, it causes the defense to make 3 to 4 adjustments on the go. So, with that information, I would argue that smoke and mirrors was purposeful and that Canada fully understood the concept. Steelers are awful and have been awful for years, despite having the best offensive talent in the NFL. Unfortunately, they no longer have that (or even a shell of what they had) any more. The window has shut.

    Jay thanks for your write-up, well done. As stated in my comment post-game. Learned nothing and that is exactly what I expected from that game. Had the loss been to TN and not WMU, everyone would be saying that we are exactly where we expected. Unfortunately, the head coach got our L’s mixed up, thanks Nardstop. Hammond continues to be my #1 RB in that room.


    1. Canada’s approach seems somewhat INFERIOR to the Offenses being used by a lot of the other NFL teams.

      Like with the play that lead to the Illegal Procedure call at the start of the game yesterday, what you see with Canada a lot of times is just wasted movement that the Defense really has no difficulty READJUSTING to.

      One thing that is certain is that all of his “pre-snap” movement is doing absolutely nothing for the Steelers Run Game which is currently ranked at the BOTTOM or next to it.

      Granted the changes in personnel and coaching with the Offensive Line haven’t helped. But if you wanted to get another year or two out of an aging HOF Quarterback, who by the way can still throw when given some protection… Canada’s Offense would be the last way you would want to go.

      Instead of relying on “Smoke ‘n Mirrors,” it might have made more sense to focus on developing a BALANCED Offense to take some of the pressure off of the Quarterback and make better use of a No. 1 Draft Pick who is obviously more about power than speed.


      1. Or maybe the Pitt players that executed Canada’s “smoke and mirrors” were smarter than the Steelers players and just pulled it off better. 😁

        Liked by 1 person

    2. You made me contemplate something I never thought of before, Huff. I agree with you. I see no reason why someone shouldn’t be able to legally change their age.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. I am thinking most females would exchange social security benefit for claiming age 39, although I have no survey data to back that up…. 🙂 Well, not true, I now have one survey respondent (Mrs. Huff III), and she said she would claim 39 every flippin day, if available. She went one step further and said she is going to cancel out our children when she claims it and they mock her! Funny stuff!

          My aching knees and broken bones gives me away. I can’t claim anything right now, but when I hit 18 next month, look out!

          Liked by 2 people

  10. —I was disappointed to see KP start the second half with that big lead. Would rather see Bevelle get a chance to throw more…

    —Baldonado seems like a cool guy. I remember a game where the fans were booing something that Pitt did and Baldonado turned on the sidelines to face the crowd and lifted his shoulders and hands in a gesture that said “Really, you guys are booing us for that!”

    —I’m not even remotely comparing them, but Hammond probably has 20 pounds on what TD weighed as a freshman…

    —Bartholomew continues to look like a star. Great recruiting find.

    —If New Hampshire had ripped of that 70-yard run on their first series, a lot of us would have been plain sick.

    —I’m seeing every game from here on being a shoot-out. We win the games where we don’t turn the ball over…

    —Alexandre was supposed to be the big-time pass rusher this season. Not evident so far.

    —Scoreboard blaring music still way too loud in my first-section of the upper deck seats. And still annoying.

    —Glad to see Barden out of the doghouse…

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Forgot to thank Fran, Wolfe, and JoeL for the great tailgate. You guys, and all the tailgaters, are awesome. (And we got to see POV celebrities Annie and Eric! )


      Go Pitt.


  11. Jay – thanks for doing this. Great and fair assessment. That said, there is always somethign to learn. 😉

    My college roommate (and frat bro) caddied at Garden City GC. Is that where you looped?

    Non on-field observations:

    Those who attended the game may have also noted that this year’s students are attending in great numbers, have great spirit and more are remaining after the 3rd qtr than in past years. Glad to see that.

    The school did a really nice thing by inviting last yrs senior band members to play with the marching band since they were cheated out of that experience last year.

    As for the game…

    The score was what it was and folks who want to squawk… SMH.
    Good to see kids getting in during the second half. At one point I think we had an entire defensive front of WPIAL kids. Or perhaps 3 out of 4.

    Liked by 6 people

  12. No ranked teams left on the schedule except for Clemscum, barely hanging in there at No. 25 in the AP.
    No. 19 in the Coaches.

    I was hoping that VT was going to be ranked, when we visited Hootersville.

    No ranked teams…..but a lot of rank teams. Oh well, Pitt could win the ACC, with some luck
    and favorable blessings of the football gods.


  13. Well, that sack was in the beginning of the 2nd quarter when we had our starters on offense still in the game. So, yeah, getting sacked by the Little Sisters of the Poor with your 1st string OL playing is bad.


  14. Don’t understand the consternation of putting a beatdown on a FCS.

    That’s what you’re supposed to do. Sheesh

    Perhaps a loss to Youngstown State is more appealing to some.

    Alabama plays Mercer 56-0, beats Western Carolina 66-3, the Citadel 50-17, Chattanooga 49-0, Charleston Southern 56-6, etc. etc.

    Oklahoma repeatedly runs up scores on their non-major opponents. Western Carolina 76-0, Missouri State 48-0, South Dakota 70-14, Florida Atlantic 63-14, Florida A & M 69-13, Idaho State 64-0. etc

    I could list example after example. So Pitt does it and there are complaints. lol

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Where is the complaint?

      My comment made a clear distinction between running up the score on purpose (which we did not do) and having lots of points scored by 2nd and 3rd string kids in the course of regular play (which is what happened).

      That said I put absolutely no stock in the UMass and New Hampshire scores, stats or the wins. Those mean nothing going forward except for tick marks under the W column.

      So far the true indicators are the WMU loss, which was no fluke – we got outplayed at home, and a win against a pretty crappy Tenn team whose two wins were FCS teams and lost to Florida by 24 points.

      GT is a whole other animal as are the rest of the ACC.

      I’ll stick with my prediction that our crap OL & running game and with a poor pass defense (even in playing three FCS teams we are still giving up over 205 yards per game) we’ll lose at least four more games, if not more

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I wasn’t implying you… just happened to be the next comment below yours 🙂

        Tenn blew several FG’s and other scoring opportunities against UF. That was a 17-14 halftime score.

        25-20 first Downs
        505-423 Total Yards

        It was a much closer game than the final score indicates.

        Liked by 2 people

  15. I think the Steelers are just bad. Lol. Bad teams make it hard to evaluate coaching. Smoke and Mirror guys don’t have coaches like Andy Reid borrowing some of their plays. He has some innovation but also has some flaws. I think the big thing is the Steelers have needed a new QB for a few years now and only addressed the position too late in the draft. Couple that with a bad offensive line and you have a bad team.


    1. They’ll criticize Canada, and others…..but not Tomlin.

      Who over the years has lost to some of the worst teams in the NFL in that particular year.

      So Tomlin is the constant….in that equation.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. I guess when those big time programs like Alabama and Oklahoma buy themselves a win they like to get their money’s worth! And Major, I’m still looking for an Alexandre sighting. I think he and Camp are competing for the most under performing player on the defensive line.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Rodney Hammond named ACC rookie of the week. I guess the ACC folks that voted for him didn’t realize he was running up his numbers on a team 3 classes below Pitt.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. The Alabama’s have been scheduling this way for decades as has all the top football programs…..except Pitt. I am fine with this scheduling and am a promoter of a 3-1 or 4-0 OOC every year, just not every 10 years. There is no chance for consistent 8-4 seasons with our AD’s scheduling prowess….and the three AD’s before her too. You have to give your team an opportunity for growth and confidence during those contests. We will not fare well next year when we lose our 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th year players, which most other schools do not have now. Okay, maybe not 8th year, but close!

    Also with regard to scheduling if you look at Alabama I am fascinated by their scheduling. Before their toughest game, they have a cupcake which really gives the braintrust two weeks to prepare. Example, before playing Florida this year, they played Mercer. They scheduled their bye week before the LSU game. Before Arkansauce and Auburn they scheduled New Mexico State so that they can heal up physically, show some weird things to distract their foes, heal mentally, and basically receive an additional bye week late in the year versus during the first 4 weeks of a season. Great strategy by their AD and they dictate to SEC about OOC games at the end of the year.


      1. Tre’s been blessed with a 7 yr full scholarship> I hope he made good use of his time. A couple of notes on Tre: His grand-dad Norman “Mickey” Jackson was the quarterback for the Apollo Tigers who lost the WPIAL Class B Championship to the Verona Panthers in the early 60’s. Verona’s star player was Gary Lyle who went on to play in the NFL for the Bears (I think)…Mickey’s daughter was Tre’s mom and sadly she just recently passed. She was in her early 50’s.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Not a new concept regarding Alabama’s scheduling. A cupcake before a tough game.

      From 1957 to 1964, Pedo State scheduled Holy Cross before the season ender with Pitt.

      4 times after that period till 1974….it was Ohio U before Pitt.


      1. Additionally in 1977 & 1979 & 1980….the Pedo’s scheduled Temple before the Pitt game.

        And in 1976 it was Miami, who was terrible then and seriously contemplating ending football.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve seen other projections at 7-5. See rpi. And not even rpi or ESPN predicted western Michigan. And some even Tennessee. Analytics can only take you so far. Sometimes you got to go with just gut feel.


  19. The only left footed kicker that I can think of is Garo Yepremium (sp?) who kicked for the Miami Dolphins in the 70’s. He was very good! Missing extra points can cost us a game. Didn’t, Kessman (who was a very good kicker) miss one at BC?


    1. Yepremian signed with the Detroit Lions on October 13, 1966.[1] In his rookie year, he broke an American football record by kicking six field goals in a single game against the Minnesota Vikings on November 13. His talent aside, Yepremian was, nonetheless, at a loss regarding football vernacular and custom. In his first game his coach told him that their team had lost the coin toss, at which point Yepremian ran to midfield and dropped to his knees looking for the coin.[2]


  20. More Garo Yepremian hijinks.

    Yepremian was an immediate target to NFL players who considered American football the exclusive realm of Americans. Players were looking to take Yepremian’s head off, and before his first kickoff his coach told him to run to the bench as soon as he kicked before his opponents could lay into him. Yepremian kicked off, then in a harried state ran to the wrong bench, finding himself sitting with the opposing team.


    Liked by 2 people

  21. Excellent post 6&34…you call’em as you see’em….I like that quality. Who knows what we will experience game to game after that loss to a MAC team but heck, we nearly lost to lowly EMU….no wonder Duzz didnt want to go bowling last year but the virus,,,,,,,,I was hoping we would get off to a 6-0 start but we didn’t …the concerns from the Tennessee game are sitting front and center im my mind: crappy deep pass coverage especially if the receivers are tall and fast; no running game; poor tackling; poor speed at getting to the outside offensively and not containing the outside defensively…..after the UT game I told myself not to get into rage mode because I know what to expect-IT’S THE SCHEME !!!!!!!

    to paraphrase my man iek “we know what we got…we know what we need!”

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Speaking of the display of sportsmanship Saturday…did any of you see the post game at Carter Finley Stadium with the Clemson QB pushing several students including girls who came down on the field with all the students…..surprised someone hasn’t pressed assault charges…


  23. Folks, here is how ESPN’s FPI is created. It relies heavily on games played so far in the season.

    Something to realize is that ESPN issues “Game Scores” for each previous game a team has played. The higher the average of Game Scores the higher the projected chances for the remained of the season.

    For Pitt it has been this so far:

    UMass – 65 points

    TENN – 85

    UWM – 27

    NH – 73

    This cracks me up as they are assigning almost the same points 73 (within 12) for a win over a team like NH as a team like the SEC’s TENN. Then 65 points for UMass. Then notice only 27 points for the MAC’s UWM.

    So, wins over the two patsys gives us 138 points – while the two best teams we played one a win and the other a close 3 point loss gives us only 112.

    ESPN’s power rating at this point means nothing because they do not take the strength of opponent as much as they should.

    For instance last year we had these scores:

    Win over UL = 75 points

    Win over FSU = 77 points

    Win over VT = 85 points

    Win over GT = 74 points

    But this season they give us 85 points for New Hampshire like it was the same level of competition in our win against VT in ’20?

    75 points last year for beating #25 UL is only 10 points better then a win over UMass this year?

    30 points for our one (1!) point loss to NC State…but 27 points for a three point loss to MAC WMU. Really, those are way out of whack.

    It’s ridiculous to me. Would be much better if they only graded out P5 games

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Doesn’t really matter how its done. We all have eyes and noses. But it is good fun to be in the conversation… even if early in the season… and even if the competition thus far has been easier than P5 power houses… and even if most here dont think its legit.


  24. Pitt volleyball is now the #2 team in the nation! This is the 7th time Pitt has been #2 in the nation. They were in that position in 2019 for six weeks. This is the highest ranking ever achieved by an ACC team. Louisville is #3 in the nation. This is the first time the ACC has ever has two teams ranked this high! Louisville has swept the #4 team Purdue at a neutral site. Baylor at #9 and BYU at #10 have been beaten by Pitt. The only other ranked ACC team is Georgia Tech who remains at #18.

    On Wednesday they are playing at home against Virginia at 8 PM. The match will be on the ACC channel. If you feel safe doing so, get your butt down to the Fitz. It is on campus and everything! Pitt plays Duke at the Fitz on Friday at 7 PM. That match will only be on the ACC digital channel ACCNX.

    Virginia defeated UNC which only has two losses. Pitt defeated them 3-1 but Virginia swept them 3-0.

    Pitt defeated UNC at Chapel Hill on Friday and now is 4-4 there. UNC, prior to Pitt and Louisville entering the ACC, were one of the perennial top teams in the weak ACC. Now they are pretty much an also ran. Many in Chapel Hill thought this was their year. It is not their year!

    Pitt on Sunday visited Raleigh and defeated NC State in three sets. NC State is much improved from last year. They hung with Pitt in the first two sets but Pitt just had two many options. NC State worked on frustrating Lund in the first two sets. The rest of the Panthers carried the team without any problem.

    Pitt was without Vazquez Gomez for the two matches in North Carolina for some reason. She was sorely missed in the third set against UNC! Hopefully we will see her in the matches this coming week. She did travel with the team to Murray State and was dressed for both of those matches. In my opinion, she is Kayla Lund’s replacement next year in the starting lineup. She is a good six rotation player with lots of upside! We really need her available if we are going to beat Louisville and Georgia Tech in league play. She is also a necessary part for a long run in the post season.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Chances that fisher will go back to Cali? He’s an excellent coach. Will most likely be US olympic team coach soon.

      Coach Jay I think is second best but he doesn’t know D. He really needs a keeper. Reed can you still play?

      And then I think Gavin. Watch for pitt wrestling. Two of Pitts best athletes play the sport.

      And finally Waldrum who really just needs to get the starting formation right each game. Elementary right. I do pro bono work for keepers and defenseman.


    2. Correction UVA beat UNC 3-1. They did not sweep them. UVA will give Pitt a tough match. Pitt needs to not treat any team lightly at this point!


  25. September 27, 2021

    Pat Narduzzi Press Conference

    Georgia Tech Week


    PAT NARDUZZI: I’m going to start off, really meant to say something Saturday at the press conference after the game, got rolling on the game. But just to acknowledge Dr. Freddie Fu and not only his impact on the University of Pittsburgh, Pitt Athletics and Pitt Football in specific. We wouldn’t be sitting in this building if it wasn’t for Dr. Fu.

    All our prayers go out to his family. We know it’s not easy for them. I had some contact with Dr. Fu, I guess a week ago, and you know, just a strong, strong guy that’s been impressive and again, we can’t thank the whole Fu family enough for everything they have done for Pitt Athletics and Pitt Football. Start there.

    Obviously it was a good win, the kind of win you want, the kind of win you needed. It was a great job by our guys responding and understanding how you play in those football games. We talked about trying to make it a dominant performance, I think it was.

    You know, one of the keys offensively was to run it, pass it and protect it and we did all three of those things. If you go into every game and you protect the football, you know you’re a 4-0 football team, and you have a chance to win every game.

    And when you look at even just Georgia Tech right now, I think they are 12th in the country in turnover margin. They are winning that war every week and it’s giving them a chance to win every football game. Impressed with their offense, what they did.

    Defensively, (we had) nine three-and-outs and played well, gave up one big 70-yard run which drives you nuts. We can’t do that when we get into ACC play. I wouldn’t say a fit problem, but more of a physical problem. Just being physical and attacking things and not just sitting back on your heels, which we can’t do that and that’s not who we are. But other than that, played the pass pretty good and put pressure on the quarterback and caused a lot of problems there.

    Obviously as I said Saturday, preseason is over. We head into conference play against a really good Georgia Tech team. They have played well in every game this year. Got beaten in the opener to a MAC team. We know that feeling. Northern Illinois is a good football team, and they learned their lesson from that and beat a Kennesaw State option team early and then played their hearts out against Clemson.

    We know Clemson is still a good football team. I don’t think anything’s changed there but I see a much improved Georgia Tech football team and obviously they did a heck of a job. They played a lot of motion in the dome down there in Atlanta and knocked off a ranked North Carolina football team. So we’ll have our hands full for the third time when we go down there again to Atlanta, and our guys have got to be prepared not only mentally and physically, and look forward to having a great week of practice.

    Q. What did you think about Georgia Tech’s performance against North Carolina?

    PAT NARDUZZI: Obviously Georgia Tech was impressive. You know, I think defensively, we’ll start there. Defensively Georgia Tech has changed their scheme a little bit. They came out in four-down against Northern Illinois, which they had not played a lot of four-down but I think they played a lot of four-down because they are waiting for the next week option where they would probably be a four-down that week as well. I think they surprised Clemson with some of the three-down stacked defense they had and came out and did the same thing against North Carolina. I’m not sure if North Carolina knew what they are doing, but very multiple in what they are doing. A lot of blitzes.

    Their linebackers are really good. Their D-Line does a great job of penetrating. They are not huge up front, but they are athletic and physical and tough and they play with a lost effort like we try to do here at Pitt. Defensively they got after that North Carolina offense and they made enough plays on offense. They run the ball well on offense and they ran the ball well against North Carolina.

    Q. What’s your impression of Yates?

    PAT NARDUZZI: You know, Jordan Yates is a good football player. He obviously took over for an injured Sims and obviously Sims came back and had a heck of a ballgame in the second half and he’s athletic. He can beat with you his feet and his arm. Yates can beat with you his feet as well.

    Very similar type of things they are doing offensively with both those quarterbacks. So it’s not like they are changing but one has a little bit more run to them and he has to keep it a little bit more. They will have some design quarterback draws which got us at Tennessee a couple times and so we expect to see some draws and that kind of stuff and expect to see Sims get going.

    Q. Is this a situation where you look back at the Tennessee film to see what you need to do?

    PAT NARDUZZI: You know, what you put on tape — I think this is always interesting. You say this every year, like who are we, 2021. We are not the 2020 defense or offense anymore. So it’s a whole new ballgame of what we do and who we are and we can feel good, and know, hey, we feel pretty about going into the season but you’re playing against each other every day.

    So you know, I think what you find out going through four games is who you are, what you do well, what you don’t do well, and when you look back at four games and say what are your weaknesses, people are going to go back; and we worked a lot on RPOs last week and changing things up and doing some little things here and there and we’ll continue to see a bunch of RPOs on normal downs, first and ten, ‘P and 10,’ — as well as second down, medium, heavy, heavy RPO team that we have to be prepared for.

    But people will try to replicate anything. Any big plays you’ve given up, you’re going to see it. We saw an outside zone kind of stretch us and puncture us last week, so we have to be more prepared for that. Any time you show a weakness on tape, people are going to go after your weakness and say, ‘Hey, let’s try that, let’s do this.’ You see a lot of copycat stuff. Last week, New Hampshire did a lot of copycat for what Western Michigan did prior to.

    So we always kind of try to identify is that offensive coordinator a copycat guy, or is he a guy that, hey, this is what we do and we’re not straying from it. Certainly with them doing RPOs, they are going to take a lot from the Western Michigan game, so we’ll obviously give them a different look.

    Q. Are Sims and Yates similar enough that you don’t have to prepare for two quarterbacks?

    PAT NARDUZZI: You have to prepare for two different — as I said a few minutes ago, obviously Sims, you’ve got to be careful because that guy can go and he likes to pull it and he likes to run and he’s going to use his feet, so they are different. I think Yates is more of a passer and Sims is more of a runner but the type of offense doesn’t change.

    It’s the decision-making and maybe some of the play-calling they will have a little bit more of one thing than the other. You’re going to see more quarterback counter with Jeff Sims and tailback flaring out, or whatever he is going to do, what they want to do to us is try to give us the eye candy. But you’re just going to say maybe more quarterback runs with him. They will run a quarterback run but it will be one with Yates and four to Sims.

    Q. There was a lot of attention on the offense with 77 points, but what did you see defensively? Impressions you had or improvements you saw?

    PAT NARDUZZI: Our defense? Just, you know, I think just more motion. Just like they played angry I think, and I think that’s the biggest thing. You can go out there and it’s not a matter of where you have your guys placed and what you look like structure-wise. It’s about how you play. Started off in an attack mode, and I just like the aggressiveness of our guys and just taking it over, as opposed to waiting, playing on your heels. I think we played on our toes instead of our heels.

    Q. There’s a lot of parity in the ACC already. What do you feel about your position in the conference?

    PAT NARDUZZI: We’re in position to play Georgia Tech and that’s all that matters. People talk about Coastal chaos. It’s ACC chaos. It’s Atlanta; Coastal; it’s college football. Look around the country, look at New Hampshire, FCS program, ten FCS teams beat Power Five teams the first three weeks of the season.

    You look at what we did, and again New Hampshire is still ranked in the (FCS) Top 20, or at least it was last week — I expect to see them in the playoffs; they are a playoff team. But there’s an FCS teams getting those wins.

    So the parity we talked about last week, and again you see it all across the country. You’re not just seeing it in the ACC. You’re seeing it in the Big Ten. You’re seeing Ohio State get upset and beat and you’re seeing a MAC team beat Minnesota and you’re seeing it all over the place. Again, I think the portal and a lot of those things has a lot to do with it.

    Q. Do you attribute some of that to the older players, the super seniors?

    PAT NARDUZZI: A little bit of it, the super seniors, the transfer portal, you look at their roster, they have got transfers, their starting left tackle is a Vanderbilt transfer. They have got a wide-out from Miami. So I mean, the portal is helping out, and where someone is weak, they are able to strengthen it immediately, instead of going to the junior college which you used to have to do. Now you can go get someone that’s been college-ready.

    Q. The players meeting after the loss after Western Michigan — you’ve been here for quite some time and this is a different set of seniors, how different do you think it is this year with that kind of leadership?

    PAT NARDUZZI: It’s good. Again, Kenny’s that guy. I mean, Kenny is the one that called that thing Saturday night, he called me and said, ‘Coach, can we have it?’

    I said, ‘You can have whatever you want. You can have them (players-only meetings) every day.’ I said this a week ago: Good teams are led by their coaches and great teams are led by their team. You can’t wait until there’s an issue to have that team meeting. It’s got to be constant. It’s got to be consistent as far as what you’re trying to get and deliver the message that the coaches are delivering.

    Q. How do you treat the players’ only meeting? Are you trying to figure out what they are up to or let them do their thing?

    PAT NARDUZZI: No. We had a leadership meeting first. So I knew what they were up to and they wanted to run it by me and get my thoughts and they had something on their mind and like I said, Kenny led their charge and the rest of the guys backed them and it was great.

    Q. Now that the non-conference schedule is over, is it easier to get the team’s attention in ACC play?

    PAT NARDUZZI: I think it is. I think it always is. I think some of the hardest games you go into are those ones where you have to get ready for the game. Like we didn’t have to get our guys ready for Tennessee. They were cranked up and ready to go and played with a lot of emotion. They emptied their tank as far as the energy part of it goes, and the message this week is empty it again because you have an open week next week.

    We’ll put everything we’ve got into it. You know, it’s ACC and I think they know that’s been the goal is to get in the ACC and have a chance to win the ACC.

    Q. What impressed you about Rodney Hammond’s performance on Saturday and the way he played? Has that earned him more opportunities in higher-level situations?

    PAT NARDUZZI: It does. You feel like you have three tailbacks that you can go and rotate and we rotated Izzy and Vince like we said we were going to and we were able to get Rodney going. He’s strong, physical, runs low to the ground, spins and twists and just fights for those yards. He’s a tough runner, and it does give him an opportunity to go play more. You’ve got to make sure he’s good in the protections and all that stuff, but he did a nice job.

    You know, A.J., obviously A.J. Davis has been out, so it’s giving those other guys a chance to develop and get even better because you were leaving out A.J. because of how much his knowledge base was and now these other guys are getting more knowledge because we haven’t had it for the last couple weeks.

    Q. Seeing the video after the game, what do you think of your new offensive line?

    PAT NARDUZZI: I liked it. I liked it. But again, it was against New Hampshire, and you know, we’ll see what it looks like against an ACC football team.

    But you know, Matt Goncalves did a great job at right tackle. Gabe Houy embraced that guard position, enjoyed going in there and doing it, and he was fired up going into it because he played guard in the past and he liked that change up. Just see what we’ve got this week.

    Q. Do you have to treat it any different going into Georgia Tech now that they are under a new regime and that you’re not going to be getting that triple option every year?

    PAT NARDUZZI: We haven’t had to worry about that for the last couple years, so they are not that new. To me, they are old. They are old. You can see their offensive line development. Doesn’t look like they are in three-point stances trying to get a back side chop and cut people. They look like an ACC offensive line.

    And again Coach Collins has done a heck of a job of developing that program and building up to where his first year it was a transition for sure, as big a transition as anybody in the country going from a triple to a conventional 2021 offense, and personnel-wise, they look the part and that’s why they have given Clemson and North Carolina fits the last two weeks.

    Q. Was there any consideration to getting out of going to Atlanta three years in a row?

    PAT NARDUZZI: That’s above my pay grade. Other people make those decisions and we messed it up in the COVID year. There’s no changing back. No consideration.

    Q. You’re facing a team that has forced a lot of turnovers. What’s the line when you’re preparing for that — making sure your conscious, but also making sure you’re staying aggressive and not afraid to make a play?

    PAT NARDUZZI: Yeah, we’ve got to go. I mean, you practice that way, you’ve got to be aggressive offensively and defensively. You know, you won’t change — we can’t change the way we play, like ‘Oh, I’m going to hold on to the ball with two hands and run an inside zone play’ — but it’s just you’re going to practice it.

    Our show team, our rocks, our scout team, whatever you want to call it, they have got to do a good job of just making our guys feel it every day, punching the ball out, twisting, ripping, trying to get the football out.

    And we’ve done that the last couple years where we have gone down there and they have been the team that’s always trying to go after the ball, they tackle the ball, and we have to do a good job of making sure our guys hold on to the ball when they are anywhere on the field. And that’s what we do every year, but we’ll make it more of an emphasis this week that they are ball hawks and they are going after the ball.

    Q. Who stands out for you on the scout team through the first month of the season?

    PAT NARDUZZI: There’s been a lot of guys. Nate (Yarnell) was outstanding, a little banged up right now but he was outstanding on offense. Ryan Jacoby has done a nice job on the rocks, he’s a guy just waiting, waiting on the clock there to see what’s going to happen with him (eligibility as an Ohio State transfer).

    But you know, trying to think, Daniel Carter has done a great job as a tailback for us as well, giving us a great look down there helping us. Jaden Bradley earned his reps going up, Solomon DeShields didn’t have a great, great, great camp but has really turned it on with the rocks and heated it up to the point where first week was kind of slow, probably disappointed he was on the rocks and we moved him up to special teams because of his play on the rocks.

    Trying to think of who else. Elliot Donald has done a nice job. Nahki Johnson has been up and down. Last week he had a great week and we lit a fire under his tail a little bit so we are happy with where those guys are. Again, there’s more names than that. Luke DelGaudio has done a great job of just giving us pressure on our punt team. He’s one of those guys that has a knack to block punts. Actually got two snaps, walk-on and so he’s done a nice job and we are going to try to reward those guys that play hard.

    Q. Elliot Donald made his debut this past weekend. Is the plan still to redshirt him?

    PAT NARDUZZI: Yeah, I think he may have played against UMass (sic), I think. I think. I can’t guarantee that but I thought he did against UMass, but we’ll look at it. We’ll just continue to see how he develops. We’re not saying he’s a redshirt yet. We’ll just continue to see. Here is another guy on the rocks, you see how he’s grown up on those rocks, first time is timid and what am I doing over here to now the point where he’s having some fun. He’s got the emotion for those rocks. He’s an energetic guy and I like what I see emotionally out of him.

    Q. The last time you played Georgia Tech, Geoff Collins — after the game he was short with you. Have you talked since then?

    PAT NARDUZZI: I think we might have talked about this a long time ago. We’re good. You get upset after games. There’s no — nothing personal, okay. But we talked at Media Day face-to-face and he apologized, and it’s over.

    It’s over as far as I’m concerned. We’ll have a nice pregame talk. There will be nothing to that. He’s a classy guy and I appreciate him apologizing. I know how tempers go. I didn’t take it personal. It’s just not how we’re going to do things any more I hope.

    Q. You said that Georgia Tech likes to try to tackle the football. Do you have to talk to your skill position players and say, ‘Hey, they are going to be tackling aggressively. Don’t try to get too fancy getting away from them in an effort to make a big play’?

    PAT NARDUZZI: Yeah, and that’s how we’ll practice this week. They just need to know they have to tuck it as soon as they catch it, as soon as they get the hand off and, again, we can tell them all we want but we have to show them on the field and that’s how important our rocks are going to be this week of just getting the ball out.

    Usually I go down and encourage those guys, ‘Hey, go down and get a milkshake for everybody on the defense, have the GAs go out and get them their favorite flavor of milkshake if they can get a turnover.’ Just forcing it, and I haven’t had to buy any. Guys offensively are doing a good job holding on to it and got to continue to do that.


  26. September 27, 2021​

    Pitt’s Hammond Named ACC Rookie of the Week

    PITTSBURGH—Pitt freshman running back Rodney Hammond Jr. has been named the ACC Rookie of the Week for his performance against New Hampshire this past weekend.

    Hammond (Norfolk, Va./Booker T. Washington) rushed for 100 yards and three touchdowns on 17 carries (5.9 avg.) in the Panthers’ 77-7 victory over the Wildcats. His performance helped fuel Pitt to a school-record 707 total yards and its highest point total since 1926 (an 88-0 win over Westminster).

    Hammond became the first Pitt freshman to rush for three TDs in a game since Dec. 5, 2009, when Dion Lewis had three against Cincinnati.

    On the season, Hammond has netted 137 yards on 26 carries (5.3 avg.) in three contests.

    The Panthers (3-1) open ACC play this week at Georgia Tech (2-2, 1-1). The game will kick off at noon and be televised by ACC Network.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Come 2023 I’ll be at Tech. Might not be the same as Knoxville but a good tailgate buddy lives there in the City. And he’s connected. Tech is sleeping Giant. But H2P!


  28. Loser: Bears. In one of the most inept offensive performances in NFL history, the Bears totaled just 47 yards,

    which includes exactly ONE NET PASSING YARD. That is not a typo.

    The Bears finished with one passing yard.

    The Bears have a lot of offensive questions after three weeks and no one seems to have the answers.

    Gotta luv these Ohio Fake QB’s like the Bears Justin Fields, who was 6 for 20.


    1. Kenny frankly would have done far better. And Pitt will blow his epic season with no running game and a mediocre defense. Maybe if I say enough nice things about the kid, I get treated to some special meal like his lineman. My portions would only be half the size however I would empty their top shelf of liquor.


        1. Stevie couldn’t hold my jock strap. I can out mouth him. Out drink him. And beat him in any competition of his choosing. He’s a born loser.

          As an aside, my ex girlfriend knew sterns wife at Pitt. And I was introduced to her once at a sorority function. This was after I emptied two bottles of Jack.


    2. But what about Art Schlicter? His passing was awesome. Granted they were bad checks and he went to prison for decades.

      His ability to fake defenses out of their shoes (and pockets) is legendary…

      Schlichter pleaded guilty to a massive ticket scheme that bilked millions of dollars from his victims in September 2011. In that scheme, he promised college and NFL game tickets to buyers, but never delivered the tickets despite being paid for them. He was sentenced and released on bond.”


      1. Kenny would never stiff me. I don’t think I’ve ever uttered a bad word on him. I’m sure his parents luv me for that since Tex praises himself and the others pick up the rear. Kenny has moxy and mojo. Two very good qualities. To be young. 🤠


    1. Miami has a football budget slightly larger than Pitt. Once it stopped cheating, it stopped winning. I blame Donna for that.


      1. I do not wish KP playing for the Steelers. Pitt players become targets of all the Pedo State & WVCC alum in Pittsburgh. And combining them is at least if not more than Pitt alum.

        And all of the above in the Pgh media.

        They ran James Connor out of town to get replaced by a guy avg’g 40 yards per game rushing, in the latest Panther becoming a Steeler.

        Plus the Stillers are going into a rapid decline and most likely last place run in the division.
        Why put Kenny thru that.


        1. Who is they? I am thinking that there have been zero stiller players that played for pitt and somehow the pitt fans ganged up on him to get em out of here.

          Conner was definitely not one of those. He did get hurt and his contract was up, two deadly issues for any running back in the nfl. They replace running backs lickity split for a myriad of reasons, but to suggest he got run out of pittsburgh by pitt fans is kind of misleading. How many others were there exactly or is this just feelings as in it felt that way because a million other people just looked at facts without even thinking about what school a player attended.

          What has Kenny Picket gone through? I think his record is something like 23-17


          1. And sadly, his battle with Hodgkin’s isn’t over. There are long lasting effects from going through the treatment. That he rebounded from it and has even played in the NFL is a great thing. Won’t be surprised if the injury bug continues based on what Ive seen in other people who have had to overcome it.

            Its crazy to suggest that the media or anyone else ran him out of town.


            1. Then you didn’t read too many comments on the various Stiller boards. and the media certainly blamed a large part of the Stiller’s rushing problems on Connor.

              And as we see this year with Harris avg’g 40 yards per game and 3 yards per carry…it wasn’t Connor at all.

              I think it’s crazy people won’t admit the Pgh media is anti-Pitt.


    1. When the Stillers win 5 games this year, hopefully Tomlin and his whole crew will be tossed.
      Provided it’s allowed.

      He’s not a coach to do a massive rebuild. He had problems coaching with a fully stocked Super Bowl contender every year.


  29. So Tyler Boyd called out the Steelers for quitting at the end of the game.
    Could get interesting. Not a smart move even if true.


    1. Im OK with him doing it.

      They – collectively – put on a garbage performance on Sunday.
      And the fans know it…. lots of empty seats at Heinz for the second week in a row.


  30. People like to blame Tomlin and the buck stops with him BUT, in 17 years in the playoffs Ben has thrown 34 TDs and 28 Interceptions with some of the best O-lines and receivers that have ever played the game.


  31. Under the radar a bit but Capel can’t seem to close on recruits. Lost another one, this time to Cinci.
    Going to be hard to turn this thing around if he can’t get big time guys to come. The ACC is just too tough.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. He didn’t lose him to Cincy. Capel offered a month ago. The kid had been recruited for a couple of years. That’s not a fair assessment at all. Lol.


    2. I agree Gordon….Capel and his crew are terrible closers.
      And he did lose this latest kid, who had Pitt first in his Top 10 and then Top 5….to Cincy.

      And you can’t get many Top 50 players or any unless you play the dirtbag game of the Kansas’s, UNC’s, Duke’s, Kentucky’s, most all the SEC and other pay to play pseudo colleges.


  32. This season will mark the 11th time in Tomlin’s tenure that he will not have won a playoff game (2007, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021).

    That is totally unacceptable for all the offensive talent he has had on hand. Also, there was talk a long time ago how he was going to build “his” kind of defense after the Cowher players got old. We saw how all that went down. His secondaries have been so bad and you’d think he would have hit on a few just by blind luck. Some of the names from the 2010s are just unforgettable.

    Tomlin is so obsessed with his never having a losing season that he screwed the Steelers’ future by trading that first-round pick for a free safety in 2019. That was the season to have a losing record and a strong chance to draft Justin Herbert. Then last offseason deciding to let Ben come back instead of forcing a retirement and making a push to trade for Sam Darnold, who clearly would have been an upgrade. Not to mention there would have been a $19mm cap savings with Ben gone, clearly enough to find a legit center and guard in free agency.

    Carolina only had to give up a 6th, 2nd and a 4th for Darnold over two drafts. A young, robust QB is needed and maybe that guy is found in the 2022 draft. For the sake of the rest of the decade, I sure hope one is found.


    1. How much of that blame should be on Ben? He is the highest paid guy and his playoff performance has been terrible. Also it is Steeler brass that make the personnel decisions as much as Tomlin.


      1. Colbert will be on the way out soon, but Tomlin has a lot of say in personnel and makes a lot of bad staff hires. Terrible in fact. It is looking like the time to have parted ways with him was after the 2018 collapse. I understand Rooney being afraid to make a new coaching hire. So many stiffs it really is a crapshoot.


  33. Pitt loses another OL recruit, Mann from Florida.

    Borbley needs to go the day after the season ends. Need young blood in that spot.


    1. In football you need a line and to build a strong center position first. That’s back, both running and quarter, and O line center. And then on D your nose, middle backer and safety.

      The outside or wing positions you add on top of the foundation. But it starts with the foundation or else what you build will collapse.

      You see that with the Steelers this year.

      Actually in most sports, your strength should be up the middle or center. See soccer, hockey and baseball.


  34. PITT can’t seem to gain any traction in recruiting solid O-Linemen in sufficient numbers to get things moving in the right direction with a running game…oh well….it’s a buyer’s market out there with lot’s of competition for a player’s services………I will just put it “on the system” to keep by BP in check..PITT has a way of sending mine into orbit..Suggestion:We need a team physician at Red5A- I would suggest Scooter RN but we also have Fran with his medical expertise but he has to manage the bar…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Biggie, Scooter is a physician assistant…Lisa and myself are nurses.
      My buddy Jimmy is a nurse anesthetist.
      We could use an ER physician…haha.
      I may be out as bartender…I broke a bottle of scotch at the last game!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I forgot Lisa but like you knee to man the bar, Practice quick hand drills by Pistol Pete…Lisa needs to pump out those pepperoni rolls….


    2. Having witnessed the medical incident at Red5A this past weekend, I believe we have Bernie’s suggestion well covered. Although, it seemed a lifetime to get the EMS on the scene… guess they get stretched when there are multiple during sporting events and functions dahntahn at the same time.


  35. Capel’s difficulties with recruiting are a major concern for the basketball program. But I do admire his tenacity in going after top notch recruits. Perhaps he thinks that he can get good players out of the transfer portal, and should only focus high school recruiting efforts on the top players. It does make sense that a player from the portal ties up a scholarship for only a year or two, so he can look at younger high school players knowing that the scholarships will be available. I see a strategy here, but Capel still needs to get one or two more top high school players for his 2022 class to be successful.


  36. Capel did not lose a kid to Cincy. Capel first offered in August. He made the kid’s top 10. The kid had been recruited for a couple of years. It’s not a proper assessment at all.

    With basketball, you have to swing big or go home. Especially in the ACC. Capel is doing it right. Basketball can get fixed with one class. Keep swinging and missing is the best approach and why Capel should be safe.

    He’s exactly the type of coach you need in the ACC. Don’t worry about individual season results. College basketball is all or none. You need top 50 recruits so no point in trying to build with anything less.

    Just keep swinging for the fences until you hit a couple. Building a program like Jamie did is not sustainable in the ACC. You can’t name one program like that. Maybe ND but how many league titles do they have?

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Virginia is indeed Pitt of the BigEast. Most of their kids stay 4 years and they don’t get many or any 5 star players.

        And Tony Bennett emphasizes defense and they usually lead the nation or around the top in slowest tempo. Which was again Dixon & Pitt in the BigEast.
        Meaning they score in the 60’s.

        Somehow they stole our role, placement & standing in the ACC for hoops.


          1. Come oooooon mannnnnnnnn (that was my impression of Slippers) 🙂

            Well let’s not just cherry pick one year to try and prove a point.

            First off according To Rivals….Virginia is #6 for 2022 (not 2021)

            2021 UVa is #77
            2020 #19
            2019 #21
            2018 Not ranked 0 players
            2017 #57

            Other than 2022….They’ve never been Top 10. Very Elite Talent ?


            1. You don’t have to be top 10 to have elite recruiting. One year they didn’t even have a recruit. When roster turnover is low the class won’t be highly ranked. They had at least 3 top 75 players on the championship team and I think 5 but didn’t feel like researching. Guy was a 5 star plus Hunter plus Mamadi Diakite.


        1. Top 50 talent is not one and done’s … top 10 talent is one and done. Top 25 is two and through. You have to have top 50 talent though to compete at the level we want to compete at. Everyone complains about Duzz’s recruiting … let Capel keep doing his thing. He’ll get rich one day. Basketball is about that one class.

          UVA did take a methodical approach to get to their level but they did not start competing for titles until they had 5 star talent.

          Swing and miss until you hit one out of the park … once you break the seal on a class more will follow.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. The same was for Pitt as well … until they had top 50ish talent like Blair and Sam Young, there was a ceiling. They had two top 50 players and all of sudden they’re one play from the Elite 8. Well, I guess, one play from OT to get to the Elite 8.


          2. So why is it easy for BENNETT to get top 75 talent? And how can he keep that talent for often a full four years. He has a recipe for success. Can Pitt copy it. Although I hate his scheme.


            1. Bennett is a great coach. Capel has been losing fringe 100 talent. It’s expendable. He’s not there. And I never implied he’s as good a coach as Bennett. Only that his recruiting style works for the ACC. Building a team without top 50 talent is a waste of time tho.

              UNC also doesn’t have many one and done players. But both UNC and UVA recruit well. UNC does recruit at a higher level, however, and they also have more rings.

              UVA does recruit at an elite level. They had at least 3 top 75 players on that national championship team. I think 5 but didn’t feel like further research. Because they don’t have one and dones they won’t rank high year over year since they have limited turnover.

              Kyle Guy was a 5 star. Hunter and Mamadi Diakite were also both highly rated.


              1. I think my post proved UVA does not recruit at an Elite level. Want don’t you understand ?

                One Top Ten rating in a class that is subject to change, in 6 years IS NOT ELITE !


            1. Plenty….Capel sux in recruiting…..witness Pitt’s classes other than the Hugley year. And none of them
              have panned out.

              Capel is getting most of these kids from NC AAU teams to put Pitt on their list….because of his connections in NC.

              None of them have any real interest in coming to Pitt….it’s just done as a favor to the Capels history
              in NC.


              1. UVA does recruit at an elite level. They don’t have yearly player turnover so it does not show in the rankings. They do not recruit like Kansas, Duke, Kentucky. I’ll give you that. But they are 100% in the tier after that. The formula to get to the final 4 is to have two top 50 players surrounded by 4 stars. They do that. So they recruit elite. Not sure how you can’t grasp that.

                Regarding Capel, I never said he was a good recruiter or coach … only that he’s the type of coach they need to win in the ACC. He may not be the guy but if you’re going to replace him you better do it with someone who swings big because building a program from the bottom up won’t work in the ACC.

                The player turnover is not a concern to me … Pitt was never going to win with those guys anyways. This isn’t the Big East anymore. You need players to play the game though so fill out your roster for a season and keep swinging for the fences the following year. Basketball recruiting is not football recruiting.

                The fact you don’t think that UVA recruits at an elite level tells me that you don’t understand college basketball.


                1. Wrong my man…it proves you don’t understand college basketball.
                  If UVA recruited at such an elite level as you’re pontificating over….they would not feel the need
                  to play at among the slowest tempo of any college team in America !


  37. This is where your AD needs to help the coach, recruiting. With NIL, the AD should have already established relationships in the community where she can engage wealthy boosters and businesses to help Capel secure top talent. This is not difficult, but certainly another reason that a top name AD with swag is preferable and needed over a check the box AD. To be clear, the AD cannot broker the deal and needs some arms length there, but the point is that the great AD’s are getting these things to happen.

    I also agree with trying to hit the homerun with recruiting top talent. But you can’t hit a homerun while swinging a whiffle ball bat at a rock hard baseball. It is the new era for AD’s. Unfortunately, I am not confident that our AD can support the coaches recruiting.

    Other than BYU, is there any other football team with a higher average age than ours?

    On Steelers, I said this two years ago and remain steady in thought here. The Steelers will not get rid of Tomlin until they are convinced there is someone better than him available. They aren’t stupid. I do think Colbert and Canada will be gone with an 8-8 or less record and a missed playoff. Empty seats may force issues.


    1. I can just as easily find five candidates for the Steelers. All would be currently employed in the nfl. All would be young, nobody older than 50. All would be no nonsense guys. Disciplinarians. All would actually reach the standard as opposed to just talking about it. I want Tomlin and Narduzzi gone. Y’all Have my top four guys to replace King Pat.


    2. Agree on the AD’s impact on BB. Her handling of Hugely was bad. While Im only guessing the lengthy suspension was her doing… who else would it have been? If it comes out later that it was Capel, I will be surprised. But gives other schools something to point to when recruiting against Pitt.


  38. Anybody see Dave Doern’s interview on the ACC wrap up show on Saturday night? He was out on campus somewhere, apparently at a party. Big stogie in one hand and a red Solo cup in the other.

    Clearly enjoying the win over Clemson.

    I know nothing about him as a coach but he’d be great to party with.


      1. Far more impressive ?
        Come on Tex… might comparable…..but not far more impressive !

        Plus to be fair, Narduzzi beat Clemson when they were great……not where they are this year.

        Liked by 1 person

          1. Well Number 1….let’s throw out the MAC stuff.

            Let’s just compare them in the ACC.

            Yes Doren has a couple 9 wins seasons.

            But he also has a 3 win season + a 4 win season.

            Overall Doren at NCSU is 58 & 47 .552 winning %

            Nardo at Pitt is 45 & 35 .563 winning % ***

            Strength of Schedule or SOS

            Doeren 1.28
            Nardo 2.19 ***

            SRS = Simple Rating System

            Doeren 3.73
            Nardo 4.78 ***


            1. So both have accomplished little. But I think nC state has a top 25 finish. And Narduzzi makes $2 million more for arguably the same results. That’s my point. And Narduzzi doesn’t face clemson every year. He faces Syracuse.


              1. Yes I would put them both into the ‘meh’ category.

                Nardo’s SOS is almost twice as difficult as Doeren’s….so the Clemson/Syracuse point doesn’t wash.


                1. It will wash when Narduzzi loses to both clemson and Syracuse this year. Wait and see. I’ll expect an apology come late November. Maybe we wager on this now. Your call. I would wager a bottle of Texas finest bourbon.


            2. I would not throw out the Mac records. Everything is relative. He beat up on the Mac when he was coach. Got to give credit for that.


              1. Nardo didn’t coach in the MAC…so that would be like you and me comparing School Academics and you including your 2 years at CCAC + your Pitt years with my 4 years at Yale.

                No credit ….no sale Tex !


                1. narduzzi just coaches as an assistant in the big ten and every spread D had his way with him. He only knew how to shut down pro style offenses with single backs. Or are those not the facts?

                  He has never been able to stop a good ACC offense and mediocre quarterbacks always have their career day against Pitt. The agent routine is getting old.


          2. Even if he consistently wins nine games at NC State, (Does he really?) my perception of NC State football and the general public’s perception is that its not better than Pitt/Duke/GA Tech/VA Tech. All of these Coastal Teams always win between five and eight games and never compete for a conference title.

            When we line up against NC State as a fan, I’m not exactly quaking in my boots.

            Hiring a guy like Dave Doren is essentially replacing Duzz with a mid level winner…just like the Duzz is, a lateral move for all parties involved.


            1. No he doesn’t consistently wins 9 games at NCSU. Tex likes to embellish things if you haven’t noticed.

              Is winning 9 games twice in 8 years……consistently winning 9 games ?

              I don’t know maybe in today’s inverted world of lunacy it is, you tell me.

              In my world of reality, 55 wins divided by 8 years….is avg’g 6.88 wins per year.

              He’s added 3 wins this year to bring his total wins to the previous post’s total of 58.


    1. I’ve never seen Narduzzi with a cigar or alcoholic beverage in hand. Huge red flag for me. But heather extended the bum. What do I know really. She obviously saw a leader and winner. You be the judge.

      And yes everything is bigger in Texas. Like embellishments, story telling, our state fair in Dallas going on right now with the red river rivalry as the conclusion. Come on down here and give it a try. 🤠


      1. Embellishments is a HUGE Western Penna thing as well. We call it B u l l s h i t t i n g.

        Lots of bulls & steers in Texas. Not so much in Oklahoma.

        it would be fun, wish I could come and partake.


        1. Waiting for that game. It’s marked on my calendar. Y’all barely beat the Hoopies. You might just find me down there at Fair Park. The Cotton Bowl reminds me of old Pitt Stadium.


          1. it was just a ploy…so as to make you overconfident. wink wink

            Yep, Pitt Stadium & the Cotton Bowl were built in the same era…so there are/were some similarities.

            Like Piss troughs ! lol


            1. Pitt stadium was built to expand with an upper deck just like the cotton bowl. Cotton bowl invested millions in renovations after some influential lady complained. I think she actually complained about the urinals. Thank goodness it’s back in fair Park and not at the Death Star. It’s one of college footballs top ten rivalries. Better than pitt vs penn state. And still relevant more importantly.


      2. Hey Tex, you’ve never seen Narduzzi with a cigar or alcoholic beverage in his hand and that’s a huge red flag for you?

        Did I ever tell you about the time Reed banned me? I deserved it.


      3. Tex, so not seeing a coach with a cigar and alcohol is a red flag??? Why would you expect to see a coach doing something in public that most would only do in private with their friends and family (since you are neither). And a red flag?? That might be the dumbest statement I’ve read here.


      1. I’ll always focus on the negative when it comes to Narduzzi. But objectively he makes the top ten of most overpaid coaches. You don’t need a Texan to tell you that. You already know deep inside the truth.


  39. Regarding Coach Capel’s recruiting abilities, my gut feeling is that Coach Capel has a personality that connects with young basketball players. I believe he has the personality to establish a relationship with an elite player right from the get go. This is how he consistently gets put into an elite player’s final three or final five. Unfortunately, when the final decision is made, the folks around the recruit, and there are tons on them, remind the player that his ultimate goal is to be in “the league”. Coach Capel can tell the kid he will be the nucleus of a parade of elite players to follow. But clearly the risk is that if those others do not commit, this player will have wasted a year or two and need to transfer to be noticed. Eg., Cam Johnson. So we lose that player in the final choice. If I am right, I don’t know how you overcome that perception and get the ball rolling.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. If you do some research you’ll see…..a lot of these top kids who put Pitt in their Final 10 or Final 5 are affiliated with North Carolina AAU teams.

      They do it more out the Capel’s family connections and history in North Carolina. It’s sort of a sign
      of respect you do with a made family. In this case a made basketball family.

      They have no intention at all of coming to Pitt….it’s just a sign of respect to the Capel Familia.


      Liked by 1 person

  40. Mike Krzyzewski. This is the reigning KING of the AAU Circuit.

    The fact that Capel doesn’t sign more Duke Castoffs is the REALLY concerning part.

    Aside from the fact that he simply can’t coach.


    1. Well yea….that is of course true. Along with the Tarheel mafia.

      But they put Pitt in their Top 5 or Top 10 because of the Capel Familia which
      spans both the Duke & UNC larger families.

      Which goes back 4 to 5 decades in N. Carolina.

      Again no intention of coming to Pitt….and no castoff’s.

      Probably due to the Pitt muckety mucks not wanting to bend the rules.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. The LBs are going to have to play a good game. Should be interesting to see how much 4-3 and 3-4 they play. Sounds like SirVocea is playing Sat, so one positive development.


  41. BTW… have no idea who “Facts Are Fun” is, but its a great name. Made me laugh.

    That said, this stuff with the temporary screen names is like shadow boxing… how about some Marquis of Queensbury rules and at least put your “real” screen name at the end of your comment?

    Tex – a lot of great things come out of Texas. See if you can find someone down there who makes a shock collar that goes off when exceeding a reasonable number of posts on a blog. 😉

    Liked by 2 people

Comments are closed.