Here is a follow-up take on the game from Rick Caldwell (Erie)…

I watched the game at a local Buffalo Wild Wings with my wife and an older Pitt grad from 1970.  He is one who refuses to give a dime to the football and basketball programs until they are no longer on probation.  He also thinks Pitt did not give Stallings enough time to “establish” his system (a topic for another day – I strongly disagreed and moved to the VT game).

Ok, let’s get into The GOOD, The BAD and The UGLY.


  1. It appeared to me that the whole team showed up to play a conference rival after the bye week.
  2. Three touchdowns in the 1st half for a 21 – 0 lead.
  3. The defensive shutout was a surprise to watch in the 1st half.
  4. An 11-minute time consuming offensive march in the 4th qtr to seal the deal.
  5. No turnovers by the Pitt offense.
  6. VT HC Fuentes is an offensive guy and our D shut down his O.
  7. RB Izzy with 140 yards rushing on 21 carries for a 6.7 average  – his long was 18 yards.  WR’s Wayne & Addison with good games along with Pickett managing the game very well with 3 TD’s (2 thrown & 1 run).


  1. Izzy’s pass protection – it’s been talked about, but it was live right in front of us yesterday.  Hoping he can improve in that area of his job.
  2. T.Mack with 4 dropped passes, but his effort on the field (with run block support, fighting for position, etc.) was noticed by me.
  3. The fact that work kept me from making this road trip to Blacksburg, VA.


  1. BWW only had one TV designated for the Pitt game and 4 for the Red Sox, 4 for Georgia and 4 for Iowa.  I overheard a psuX fan sitting close by saying, “I can’t believe Iowa beat us”. HaHaHaHaHa
  2. T.Mack was missing from a post-game, on the field photo of the WR group with coach Marion.

This current team is fun to watch and they have many challenging games remaining on the schedule.  Next up is Clemson with a nationally televised home game at Heinz Field.  Keep winning and the rankings will take care of themselves – not quite top 25 in my book, yet.  Then again, there are quite a few top 25 ranked teams that wouldn’t make my list as well.  I’ll leave you with this – ESPN describes the game yesterday as “a dominating performance by Pitt”.  OK now…let’s dominate the rest of our opponents, win the Coastal and the ACC title.  This is the year to do that!!!

We have two GB&U articles on this game…here is Joe L’s:

The Sandman Entered and was Blown Away in High Winds

Or The Good, Bad & Ugly

Ahhhh, feels good to wake up down here in Central Virginia following another dominant Pitt victory over the Hokies. I’ve received a few begrudging congratulation texts from Gobbler friends, although no word from any of the cousins. Im going to wear a Pitt cap and Sweatshirt all day.

I’d like to thank the Pitt Football team for backing me up in the following bit of smack talk with one cousin.

Cousin: The Coastal runs through Blacksburg.

Me: Too bad it won’t stop there.

Here are my thoughts on Good, Bad and Ugly from yesterday’s game:

The Good

  1. Emergence of Izzy as a – correction: the running back. This kid seems to have it all. He blocks, finds and hits the holes, powers his way for yards, shows instinct and outstanding ability to get to the outside and turn up field. Haven’s seen this overall skill in an RB since either Ray Graham or Dion Lewis – pick one. Is he for real? We will find out next Saturday afternoon.
  • Balance in the offense! Really feel like the offensive unit is well rounded.
  • Offensive Line protection. How about the surges in short yardage situations? This was arguably the biggest question mark going into the season and so far, it looks like the unit is getting better each week. In a bit of a chicken/egg
  • Kenny had a good game. I didn’t say great, I said good. His stats weren’t as impressive as the last few games, but he continues to display great decision-making, grit and running skills. Had Mack and others pulled in balls that were in their hands (see Bad), the stat sheet would look even better. His throw to a wide-open Jared Wayne for Pitt’s third TD had everything an NFL scout would look for – a ball that had a perfect arc and turned over in flight (John Elway-like) and hit his man in stride. But an overall really good day for him in windy conditions and I’m sure he feels like he set out what he wanted to do in Blacksburg in coming back this season. He should.
  • Jared Wayne shows our depth in receivers. An NFL caliber catch along the sideline in traffic prior to Pitt’s second TD.
  • Punt Coverage on Special Teams – how about the tackling of punt returners?! The coverage guys timing and tenacity in bringing down returners was a turnabout from prior weeks.
  • DB play – placed on Pitt Island, they played a solid game. They have not arrived at all (see Bad), but only gave up one big splash play (unless I missed one or two). BTW – did anyone notice the ESPN graphics and stats on Pitt’s DB play? A lot more positive view than what we all (me included) have been saying this space.
  • The Uniforms – there were rumors all week about white on white unis, which I do not like (almost as much as disliking the gray ones). But whoever chose the blue pants with the white top gets a nod (from me at least). But as they say, “De gustibus non est disputandum”.
  • Good turnout by Pitt fans – Despite being treated poorly by VT, I could see the blue amongst those really ugly Chicago Maroon and Burnt Orange. Red 5A game ball to Fran for making the journey down there.
  1. Coverage of Cal Adomitis – I’m not motivated to give ESPN credit regularly, but good on them for highlighting our long snapper’s initiative. And how about him getting all the way from snapping the ball on a punt to making the stuff tackle on the returner? Frank Beamer would be impressed with that.

The Not So Good

  1. Return of the dropsies – It started with Krull’s drop on 3rd down during the first drive. Turns out it didn’t matter, but in a close game, drops like those could cost us. Krull has dropped a couple of those and anyone who wants to blame the spin Kenny puts on the ball, well please don’t make yourself look silly again by bringing that up. It was all on Krull. Hope he makes some big ones down the stretch to help his draft stock. Although one of Pitt’s best in traffic receivers, Taysir Mack’s drops were perplexing yesterday. He has run a bit hot and cold over the years. I’m a fan of his, btw and hoping that was his subpar game for the year. I read a stat yesterday that of Kenny’s 17 incomplete passes, 13 were rated as drops. Gotta clean that up!
  • Penalties – Felt like Pitt had a pretty good streak going with cleaner games. With a different officiating crew, we might have looked even worse here – at least Hokie fans in attendance would argue that. The pre-snap penalties need some focus this week. Would like to see Carter Warren improve in this area (and the holds) as he is having a nice year otherwise. I have mixed views on the PI calls on VT’s one trip to redzone. Sure, I’d would like to have seen some better coverage, but thought those penalties were better than letting the receiver make a catch. Had Pitt held the Hokies to a FG on that drive, they would have looked a bit smarter.
  • The third quarter RB coaching decisions – Im sure plenty of folks will immediately want to hang the inexplicable disappearance of Izzy in the 3rd quarter on Narduzzi (Dan perhaps?), but think that’s on Powell and Whipple. Its OK, both are grown men and charged with handling the running game. Narduzzi himself indicated in the postgame that perhaps the staff got caught up in the rotational strategy while ignoring one of the two backs was on fire. While there is clearly a role for Vincent Davis, he is not Pitt’s best choice when trying to grind out the clock with a 2nd half lead. That’s “Izzy Time”.
  • Punting – yes, it was windy yesterday. Really windy. But I really don’t think that was the issue. Our Aussie was not making solid contact on the ball early – perhaps it was the VT pressure? That said, have to give him and the coaches for adjusting his punting motion which seemed to help.

The Ugly

On a day when Vols fans showed a really uncharacteristic lack of class, its hard to place anything in the Ugly section. That said, I am sure someone will need to continue to harp about Narduzzi’s “respect” comments. He backed it up yesterday and made a case.

Other Stuff

My AM BP reading was 131/80 and postgame reading was 123/67.

I’m excited about Saturday’s game versus Clemson. Should be a good one. The kids (especially Kenny) have something to prove against the Tigers and I love that we are an underdog (as of this writing). Its an important game for the program and I believe if we play mistake free, we will win.

148 thoughts on “A WELL-DESERVED VicTurkey

  1. Thanks Rick, maybe the most complete victory for Pitt in a long while. Aside from a few stupid penalties and a few bad punts, almost a perfect game. ESPN has us ranked 23 this morning. H2P

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Great win. Game one in the grind of the schedule.

    The next two teams are faster and have more blue chip players, but Pitt has Pickett.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks for posting Rick!
    -Pitt victory
    -Offensive performance
    -Defensive performance
    -Coaching much better and they all appear to be on the same page
    -Continued involvement of the TE
    -Izzy (except for blocking – I agree on this. Only saw one great pickup in the backfield by Izzy that resulted in a TD to Bartholomew.)
    -Offensive play calling
    -Did I say Pitt Victory…on the road…in Blacksburg?!

    -Aside for the lone score, going into a mindset of “just run out the clock”
    -Still too many drops for my liking

    -Punting. I was reminded yesterday to give him a break because of windy conditions, but ok, so he still had a really poor day. No ability to drop a punt inside the ten. Does he not know how to use the sidelines? He has no leg extension and looks like he “half kicks”. Also has no hangtime. Yes I am nitpicking but…

    H2P on another win! On to Clemson at home! Hoping to see less yellow (open seats) Saturday!


  4. Rick, tell that old fart that Pitt basketball is also on probation because of Stallings

    A few points …

    — with all the fine pass plays this year, my favorite drive was the 9 minute one highlighted by Izzy

    — no doubt that Izzy is the best RB but Rick got it right. Little V Davis gets a lot of PT because of his blocking

    — VT had the best D we have seen all year, but we will see a better one next week. Be ready for a low scoring tussle.

    — maybe we’ll see the last of the top 3 ACC defenses in December (NC State)

    Sent from my iPhone


    Liked by 2 people

  5. So, is there a better, deeper receiving corps, including tight ends in the nation?

    Also the defense is so deep, look at the number of guys that made tackles yesterday, incredible.

    Continue to play them one at a time and don’t forget WMU.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. one critique EE

    you wrote “I overheard a psuX fan sitting close by saying, “I can’t believe Iowa beat us”. HaHaHaHaHa” under the “Bad:” heading

    something such as THAT would fall under good or maybe even GREAT 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Thanks, Rick. Excellent summary.

    —That catch by Duke Wayne inside the ten was awesome – the one where he and the defender both went up for it and Duke came down with it.

    —That play, some of Izzy’s runs, and that sack by Kancey may have had VT fans thinking that these Panthers are a pretty tough bunch. I’m sure many of them still remember the infamous Q. Ollison stiff-arm!

    —No wonder the VT fans left early, Pitt won the time-of-possession battle over VT by 38.5 minutes to 21.5.

    —Kenny was a bit off with his Mack throws. Hoping those two turn it around next week.

    —Are some of the myths about Pitt’s defense starting to crack? I saw a safety helping out a corner, I saw a DE dropping back into zone coverage, and last week I heard Coach Duzz talking about a play they gave up to GT when they were supposed to be in “cover 3” but somebody screwed up.
    Asking for a friend… 😊

    —Wins feel good and do wonders for my blood pressure readings…

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. JoeL – I have the BP numbers to prove it — I actually took some readings early in the game and they were a bit scary…. Then back to good numbers after the game.

        Pitt football is the only sporting event that affects me like this. Might need to give up the Panthers one of these days on doctor’s orders!

        Go Pitt!


  8. It appears we have a running game and at least one very good running back. Izzy is going to be very, very good. So far Hammond looks the part as well. Both are very physical with good vision and good moves.
    As they get better at pass blocking they will be 100%.

    I do think that Whip is doing the right thing by not over using Izzy to make sure he has enough in the tank to get through the year.

    Hopefully we see more of Hammond soon.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. GC – agree that Izzy looks like a really good back. Good find by Pitt. Good size and speed, but I think there’s much room for improvement on “moves.”

      I would work him every practice on planting the foot and changing direction. I just don’t see him doing that. Show him tons of video of Shady, Dion, and Ray G.

      Unlike HS, Izzy is no longer the fastest player on the field so he needs to keep adding skills, IMHO.

      Having said all that, here’s some impressive Izzy info from yesterday’s game:
      —7 of his 21 carries went for at least 10 yards.
      —In the 11+ minute drive to seal the game, when VT knew Pitt would mainly run it, Izzy was responsible for 63 of the 76 yards that Pitt gained.

      Go Pitt.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. he runs just a bit upright so can’t deliver with all his strength/weight when hit but should allow him to be better able to plant which I agree is needed

        and while very fast, I can’t imagine he got accustomed to too much direct contact or was expected to block for his QB during his HS career,,,,, it needs to improve and could/should

        the missed block where he was called for a trip was a cowering head duck that the rusher simply ran by prior to the lame trip attempt

        DHall sucked too

        VDavis is far better at blocking, amazing considering his size

        why is tripping not allowed anyway? seriously seems like a lame rule considering many of the specific situations I’ve seen it called, including this one

        Liked by 2 people

  9. Maybe my brain is melting, but I don’t remember our punting being a major problem in the last two years. In fact, K C was being mentioned for national recognition as a top punter.

    Is it possible that Nardoozy is covering up an injury?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. KC has always been inconsistent. He’ll shank a few now and then. He hasn’t had a bad string of them like he did against VT in a while, though.


  10. Folks, I just added Joe L’s Good, Bad & Ugly article to the end of Rick’s piece, please go back and read it.

    FYI My son starts chemo tomorrow so I’ll be too busy or tired to do much on the POV but if anyone sees something wrong zap me an email. Thanks all for chipping in.

    Liked by 7 people

    1. I made the mistake of not fully proofing this – and don’t want Reed to do it for me – but should have corrected a couple points in my post above. Sorry about that.

      On Izzy and blocking, that should have said, “blocking (sometimes)”

      On the chicken/egg reference in my OL remarks, I was planning to finish that by indicating that a well-rounded group of skill position players – including QB – can help an OL look good. And vice versa.

      Major – note I too measure BP twice per day. A new thing in my life this year and a PITA. Really surged during the visit to KnoxVegas in Sept.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Thanks guys for the write-up.

    If I read it correctly, ESPN ranks Pitt # 23 in its new top 25 football ranking.


  12. isn’t it amazing how tied a coach’s acumen is relative to the kids he has on the field – thinking Dabo

    recruiting – THE most important part of coaching,,,,, followed closely by development of those recruits and then fitting your schemes to that talent and game day management including all 3 phases

    KP appears to finally be a perfect example in his role at this point

    if PN could’ve just listened HERE sooner it wouldn’t have taken quite so long 🙂

    of course the other possibilities are that he’d have fired himself or quit long ago

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Well, Rodney Narduzzi may finally be pleased. Pitt is 23 in Coaches’ poll.

    Part of me wishes they were still unranked. Hopefully they are in the AP

    Sent from my iPhone


    Liked by 1 person

  14. It took Pitt a long time to recruit enough O-line and for them to grow-up. Marcus Minor was a big catch and has made a big difference, as has Krull to the tight end position. Petrishen the third of the transfer triumvirate that has made a big difference.

    Like the Canada year all the pieces of the puzzle have come together all at once, and they aren’t someone else’s recruits. No doubt the extra Covid year of eligibility has benefitted us as much if not more than anyone.

    The fact that so many have stayed for the extra year and so few have left through the portal is a major plus in Narduzzi’s resume. Because Pitt recruits fewer four stars and has to coach up the three’s, that extra year benefits Pitt more. KP the poster boy for the extra year.

    Liked by 3 people

  15. Other than SC ST, Clemson hasn’t scored more than 21 points. Hope that trend continues this week.
    Their defense is very good though.


  16. btw, good GBandU both EE and JL

    one pick point on JL’s since I had one for EE is I think SOME of the drops need to be credited to the wind

    frankly, KP was least affected by it,,,, Burgermeister was mostly destroyed it appeared

    hard to guess but maybe a third of the drops probably 99% wind and not receiver

    how many here have actually tried tp play catch football under gusty wind conditions, it’s tough for everyone and sometimes that ball moves 6″ in the last few feet of flight to your hands

    KP overcame, VT mostly did not and I’m not sure many pro QB/WR combos could do so with any consistency under similar conditions

    wonder how EE’s numbers change on the golf course, mine are just about the same if that tells you anything
    😦 very large!

    Liked by 2 people

  17. ranked ahead of Clemson

    not good in the heads of young kids

    but I did love the idea of 12 hours rather than 24

    I think my BP will be high all week, better get out and run consistently(no meds yet turning 60)


  18. I was really surprised by the number of times that Kenny had to direct players to where they needed to be pre-snap. Is it a lack of knowledge of the playbook? Is it directions he would normally give in a huddle but can’t when going no-huddle? The time he had to direct Addison a couple of times and Jordon still got flagged for an illegal set was really puzzling.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was wondering how the Pitt players know which play to run when they don’t huddle up…

      Go Pitt.


  19. JoeL – just read your comments – excellent observations!

    Warning from the Surgeon General: Rooting for the Pitt Panthers may be hazardous to your health.

    Go Pitt.


  20. Just watched replay of the 4th quarter drive. Awesome!!!! Only wish they brought out the field goal team to give our our young kicker some experience. H2P!!!!!

    Liked by 3 people

  21. In my disdain of polls, I have long stated that the ESPN FPI poll is the biggest farce of them all (Mark Packer agrees BTW)

    Well, guess who’s now no. 7?

    I rest my case ( I luv what they are doing right now, but 7?)

    Sent from my iPhone


    Liked by 1 person

  22. In the volleyball world, Pitt defeats Florida State 3-1. Pitt controlled the last two sets for a strong road win. Pitt overall had a good weekend with wins on the road in Florida over the 4th and 5th best teams in the ACC. Miami will make the NCAA tournament and Florida State has an outside chance. One downer was the loss of Jordan Lockwood with an ankle injury. Jordan was with the team at Florida State so I hope it is a sprain. I assume they would have sent her home on Saturday if it was more serious.

    Next weekend will be a very tough test for the Panthers volleyball! They travel to Notre Dame on Friday and then on Sunday play #2 Louisville. If Pitt wants to host a regional in the NCAA tournament, they will have to defeat Louisville twice this year. After the Georgia Tech loss they have no room for error.

    Liked by 4 people

  23. Back to football: Pitt is ranked at #23 in both polls. They are favored in a home game playing against traditional ACC powerhouse Clemson on national TV. What could possibly go wrong? Asking for a friend.

    Liked by 4 people

  24. a couple other thoughts

    J Barden flashed talent on punt returns. Clear why he was back there to start the season. He almost messed one up with the slip/fall while the wind altered the ball
    anyone think Jared Wayne could be a RB with his strength and ability to run through people? some athletes have core power that comes through, another like that was Jordan Whitehead who had a few jet sweeps to show it


    1. so WordPress screws up my spacing

      my syntax is confusing enough 😦

      oh, one other, anyone a bit miffed with Jordan Addison quick step out of bounds on that sideline play after he made the 1st down? I wanted an extra yard or 3. I’m not sitting him for it 🙂 .

      Kinda reminds me of centers that set up on the ball at the line of scrimmage and lift and advance it EVERY PLAY to give the offense an extra yard or so every 3 downs


  25. Dan, Not sure if you still want to play Friday. Cloudy with chance of showers, high of 55. Let me know.


  26. Read elsewhere the suggestion that Izzy’s absence from the game in Q3 was due to the missed block and the missed block tripping call in Q2. Would make sense and consistent with how Qadree Ollison was benched for missing blocks.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Watched a bit of the Arizona Cardinals game today and the name Spencer Whipple popped up as an Assistant WR Coach. Turns out he’s Coach Whips 32 year old son.

    Spencer began his career as a grad assistant at Pitt under HCPC. He then went and worked for his Dad at UMass, working his was up to QB Coach.

    Nice fraternity, the coaching business…. Some POVers will go nuts when the up-and-coming offensive-minded Spencer Whipple is named Pitt’s Head Coach in about 10 years…. 😊

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Spencer was a former starting qb at my alma mater Pine Richland. He went with dad to The U as a backup qb for a couple of years. Did he ever play at PItt? I can’t remember in my older age…about to hit 40.


      1. Here’s what wiki says about his playing career:

        In 2007, Spencer Whipple made the Pittsburgh team as a walk-on quarterback. He then spent the 2008 season at UMass with the Minutemen. In 2009, Spencer transferred to Miami where his father, Mark Whipple was the offensive coordinator. As the team’s holder and backup quarterback, Whipple played in each game at Miami in 2010 and 2011. In 2011, his senior season, Whipple received the Mariutto Family Scholar-Athlete Award. That season, as the team’s holder, he helped lead the Hurricanes to a perfect 39-for-39 on PAT attempts, as well as 11-for-14 on field goals.


        1. Wow, I didn’t know you were allowed to transfer around like that before the transfer portal existed. Maybe its because he was a walk on?


  28. Wondering if the City of Pittsburgh will decide to have a Halloween parade on Saturday? It seems there is always a parade scheduled to clog the routes into the city when Pitt has a big home game …

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Rick, great read as always. I’ve been pleasantly surprised at how well the OL has played. They are getting better each week, and are becoming a strength of the team. Knock on wood, but Pitt has stayed pretty healthy so far, and it helps that they are deep in many positions.

    Despite many years of poor recruiting, Narduzzi has done a good job of stocking the shelves with above average players who have stayed and gotten better. He has also done a good job with the transfer portal. The current 2022 recruiting class is a disappointment, but hopefully there are some surprising guys like Bartholomew and Baldonaldo in the group.


  30. ESPN Power Rankings write-up:

    Pittsburgh Panthers (5-1)
    There is no question that the Panthers are now the overwhelming favorite to win the ACC Coastal Division after handling Virginia Tech, 28-7, on the road. Pitt is the only undefeated team remaining in the Coastal and now has the tiebreaker over the Hokies, the next closest team in the division standings. Kenny Pickett went 22-of-37 for 203 yards with two touchdowns, but the bigger development was the way Pitt ran the ball — giving the Panthers the type of balance that makes them harder to defend. Israel Abanikanda had 140 yards rushing in the win. — Adelson


  31. Great articles Rick and Joe…
    Thanks so much.
    Havent watched the replay yet so i now have some insight as to what to look for…since the tailgate started at 9:15.
    Getting too old for this…haha.

    Liked by 1 person

  32. A word of caution the game next week is Bigger for Clemson than it is for Pitt. In the ACC Atlantic Division both Wake Forest and NS State have zero losses and a loss to Pitt would give Clemson 2 losses in ACC play and a almost zero chance of defending their ACC title. Add to that NC State holds the tie breaker versus Clemson with their defeat of them earlier this season.


  33. From the Trib

    So much for that

    Pitt coach Pat Narduzzi played the lack of respect card last week after his Panthers (5-1) failed to crack the Associated Press Top 25 poll.

    Well so much for that motivational ploy this week as Clemson (4-2) comes to Heinz Field.

    Not only have the Panthers made the rankings at No. 23 in the country after beating Virginia Tech, but the Tigers are the ones on the outside looking in. The defending ACC champions are tops among “others receiving votes” with 64.

    A lot of the fancy stat projections are bullish on Narduzzi’s team as well.

    ESPN’s FPI currently ranks Pitt SEVENTH nationally. It projects the Panthers with 10.4 wins, gives them a 17.4% chance to win out, an 88% chance to win the Coastal, 57.5% to win the ACC & 15% chance to make the playoff. Gives Pitt a 63.1% chance to beat Clemson this week.

    — ????????️♈️???? (@ADavidHaleJoint) October 17, 2021

    Even the gambling public is jumping on Pittsburgh. Pitt opened up as a 3.5-point favorite according to SI Sportsbook and Fanduel. According to Sports Illustrated, the Tigers are 0-6 against the spread. They were double-digit favorites in all four of their ACC games, and it’s the first time the Tigers haven’t been favored against an ACC opponent since Sept. 20, 2014.

    That’s when they traveled to Florida State as a 9.5-point underdog and lost by six in overtime.


  34. Ranking only matters I the last 1-2 weeks of the season…. are the young men now puffing their chests, looking at themselves in the mirror while reading about themselves on their ( life-support) cell phones…. Got news for you- CLEMSON IS COMING TO BALL ….stupid penalties, drops, blown coverages….PITT better come to play their best game to date PERIOD!

    Liked by 3 people

  35. Up to 23 in the polls … Duzz is the 22nd highest paid coach … almost earning that money, Coach … Soooo close ….


  36. Still seats available in the lower bowl, but not a large amount. Should be the best crowd in a while.

    Unfortunate that Clemson is having a tough year, putting a damper on their travel plans. They won’t be taking over Heinz, at least in numbers.

    This is a huge opportunity for Pitt, move up in the polls, or back out of them, what’s it going to be?

    Hoping Pitt fans show class to Clemson fans win or lose.

    A win could mean nice crowds the rest of the year, with tough, meaningful games to come.

    Liked by 5 people

  37. Side story regarding Sean Taylor, who had his number honored with the WFT this weekend … I worked for Enterprise Rent-A-Car shortly out of college. I was a manager at Dulles Airport when Sean Taylor was a rookie and I rented him his first car when he first got to town for late July training camp. The WFT play in MD but are headquartered in Ashburn, VA about 10 minutes from the airport. Most players live out that way, too. He was a kid out of college and didn’t have a credit card yet. He had to call his agent to pay for the rental. It was against protocol but I let it slide. He was appreciative and on crutches. I can’t remember why. I think he had a minor surgery before camp started. As we were walking to the car I asked him about Miami and “seriously, how hard would you guys practice for Pitt”. He leaned in and said “Sh&t on Pitt … we could not wait for Pitt every season because it was an extra bye week”. We laughed and he left.

    Over a year later, I had switched offices and now was managing a branch in Sterling, not too far from the airport. My office was in a BMW dealership where we essentially managed their loaner cars. I was having a particularly bad day. I had a line of customers and no cars. As I’m telling someone they’ll have to wait an hour or two for a rental car, I hear a loud and boisterous “Sh&t on Pitt”. I look up and it’s Sean Taylor. He comes over and give me keys to a rental and says give it to one of the people waiting. He was like “I wasn’t planning on buying a car today but I will to help you out”. The dealership was the first minority owned BMW dealership and Sean Taylor had come to do some publicity but left with a car and I got a happy customer who thought it was super cool they got Sean Taylor’s rental car.

    I have a similar story with Lavar Arrington. When I managed an office in Fairfax, VA Lavar was just getting started in radio and hosted a show out of local bar off the George Mason campus. An afterwork happy hour turned into me trash talking with Lavar about him starting a fight with our punter. As soon as I mentioned the punter he just started rolling. He invited me over and we had a couple drinks. I told him about the Sean Taylor story and he thought it was pretty funny. He also wasn’t surprised. He said Sean was one of those guys everyone on the team looked up to. His on field reputation wasn’t his off field reputation. Anyways … a few months later I’m shopping at Wegmans in the deli section and someone whispers “Sh&t on Pitt” in my ear. I turn around and it was Lavar. He looked at me and said “you’re just a damn memorable ginger, I guess”.

    Liked by 11 people

  38. If you’ve seen the movie Bull Durham, you remember the line, “you’ve go to respect the streak.” I know we have one loss but a five and one start is one hell of a streak for us.

    Keep doing the same things on game day. I will continue to drink Jack Daniels and make my three year old continue to wear his Pitt t-shirt. I am also a fan of the Troy Palamalu sign of the cross after each defensive play. Get out the green weenies if you’ve been using them, sit in that special chair…whatever. Let’s keep that good juju going.

    Liked by 2 people

  39. Some volleyball news. Our Pitt Panthers are again Number 1 in RPI with their two wins over the weekend. Louisville is #3 and Georgia Tech is #10. ACC volleyball continues to surge!

    Liked by 4 people

  40. I know I’m conditioned to think SOP, but the more I read about the spreads and people talking up Pitt the more I start to worry. Pitt is not that experienced in winning big games (with some exceptions) that they can afford to read all this stuff and still keep their edge. Hopefully, being at home will be the deciding factor.

    Liked by 3 people

  41. I agree that we don’t know how Pitt will react to being a favorite. Maybe the loss to WMU will help them stay focused if so it becomes a “good loss”

    I have watched bits and pieces of our remaining foes, as someone said, they all look beatable but we know any of them could beat us. Turnover will become more crucial. We also know that Clemson, Miami, and UNC have great athletes, probably better than ours. They will all want to take us down. Virginia has a very good QB and Syracuse is playing well. Duke id Duke, but we are Pitt so who knows.

    Still think we are going to have to win a few close ones to have a great season.

    It is hard not to expect a lot after last weeks game, but 40 years of failure is so difficult to ignore.

    As fans we can look down the road as a team, that is the kiss of death. When you are having a good round of golf, if you stop playing one shot at a time, you are doomed.

    Liked by 4 people

  42. So how much will the fact that Pitt appears to have a running game help the offense moving forward?
    It may negatively affect KP and his receivers stats, but that is the only down side I see.
    It should open many more options and make the offense that much harder to stop. Especially in the red zone.

    It is crazy what a difference a year makes, so many playmakers. We vs, Me the most important thing right now.


  43. I have one ticket sect 135 row U to give away for Clemson. I had a minor knee procedure and cannot attend the Clemson Game Saturday. It’s a $96 ticket but I want no money for it. I just want a Pitt fan to sit in my seat.
    Contact me: 443-567-2881 and we can arrange delivery.

    Liked by 1 person

  44. As I come to terms with hitting my 70s, giving up some joys seems to be a requirement. I stopped alcohol 2 years ago with my diabetes diagnosis.

    Never, did I ever think I would have to miss a trip back to my hometown to see Pitt play a crucial game! But one thing about the Burgh, you have to be able to walk! Hopefully I’ll see yuns for the University of No Classes!

    A fellow Pitt good friend reminded me of the days when many wheelchair folks from the Vets Hospital covered with blankets would be wheeled into Pitt Stadium for the game. I swore that would never be me, but who knows.
    I’ll miss all of you in 5A greatly. Bring home a win!

    Liked by 8 people

    1. Dan,

      I thought I would miss most of the games due to a second back surgery.
      Unfortunately the surgery keeps getting delayed (long story) the upside is that
      I can attend Saturday. Being an athlete in younger years has its downside these days.
      Hang in there.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I literally wish I’d never played HS Football! Shoulder, elbow, knee and wrist surgery already!
        Plus I sucked!


    2. Dan, the older I get the more I appreciate the dedication the very senior and to varying degrees infirmed fans who still make their way into Heinz on Saturdays hoping to see their Panthers victorious one more time.

      Heal that knee and get back in the game my friend.

      Liked by 1 person

    3. So……… I take it no golf??? Hope all is well, the only minor operation is one done on someone else! Seriously, hope it’s an easy recovery.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks for the offer…appreciate. My biggest fear is having to come to terms with knee replacement surgery which is my only option for a permanent fix.


        1. My friend Big Dan, 22 years with a new knee, best thing I ever did. No more pain in left knee. On the flip side, I’ve needed a new right knee for years and skipped having it done. Now I have too many other problems to deal with. Besides my wife is scheduled for a replacement early next year. << That’s a knee replacement not a husband replacement!!

          Liked by 1 person

    4. Best wishes to you, Dan72.

      And best wishes to all the fans trying to get thru another Pitt football season while dealing with high blood pressure!

      Go Pitt.

      Liked by 1 person

    5. I’m getting mine done on Thursday. Ruptured quad tendons. All games at the living room TV this year….


  45. Coach dan72…. I keep a wheelchair or 2 @ my disposal just for these occasions…. Do I have a taker??? Sober or not I will personally deliver you safely to Heinz and back to Red5A… heck, for a tuff guy like you that’s just a flesh wound!!!!

    Liked by 6 people

  46. Pitt Panther volleyball remains #4 in the rankings this week. Louisville remains at #2. Georgia Tech continues to move up and now sit at #13, one spot ahead of #14 PSU which they defeated in three straight sets. Miami and Florida State are among those outside of the rankings but receiving votes.

    Pitt needs to concentrate on Notre Dame this week in anticipation of their Friday match there at 7 PM. That is what is important at this moment! One match at a time! Notre Dame fans are hoping desperately that Pitt will be looking ahead.

    The Louisville match at noon on Sunday will get here soon enough. All the eyes of the volleyball world will be tuned in to that match unless they are Comcast subscribers.

    Pitt only has a losing record to two teams that are presently in the ACC: Louisville (13-15) and Notre Dame (16-25).

    Liked by 4 people

  47. I haven’t posted in a while, probably not since the Western Michigan debacle, but I have been surprised about this team’s perfomance against Georgia Tech & Virginia Tech, and am glad I wrote this team off prematurely (still not excusing the W. Michigan Loss).

    So the team is actually fun to watch right now, and here are a few things that stuck out to me in no particular order:

    #1 – The OLine has clearly improved, allowing for a respectable run game which keeps defenses honest.
    #2 – The development of Izzy, who is clearly moved ahead of the pack (I guess they’re going to redshirt Hammond?)
    #3 – The defense has actually gotten stingy, and has made several 3rd & 4th down short yardage stops, showing signs of improvement.
    #4 – For the first time in years, we have 2 nice Tight Ends, and they bring another element to the offense.

    I’m not sure where they go from here, but it’s nice to see some optimism along with a Top 25 ranking for a change, and who would’ve thought that after the W. Mich. game.

    Clemson is a winnable game, and we are at home. We really need to win that one, then we may have an interesting year…


    Liked by 2 people

  48. All the below link are from the Pitt Athletic site

    Pitt’s Erick Hallett names ACC Defensive Back of the week:

    HC Pat Narduzzi previews Clemson. Link has both video and transcript (for those times when interpretation is needed).

    Pitt welcomes Clemson


  49. TE Bartholomew has been impressive as a freshman. He moves well and has good hands. I like the way Pitt is using him.

    I especially like when he lines up in the backfield – seems to give some nice options, either as a blocker or going out for a pass.

    Nice recruiting find by Pitt after so many years in the TE desert… 👍

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 6 people

  50. No disrespect to the kid, personally, because I have no reason to think he’s anything other than a good guy who does his best with the physical ability he has, but I really don’t want to see Vincent Davis on the field anymore. He doesn’t have the speed or agility to really overcome his size limitations. I really don’t get why the staff is so enamored with this guy.

    Liked by 2 people

  51. VD is very agile but he can be taken down pretty easily because of his size. Right now it looks like Pitt has retired all remaining RB’s with the exception of Izzy, VD and Hammond. If that’s the case you will be seeing a good deal more of VD over the remainder of the season.


  52. watching RB for Steelers Najee Harris, I was not impressed at all

    if I’d bet now, his NFL career will be short,,,,, or at least, very forgettable

    I must be wrong, he played for Alabama, was a first rounder and is 6’1″ and #230


  53. Why does Pitt always end up with that Pedo Pitt hater Blackledge doing the color? I would take anyone over that fool.

    As for the RBs, cleary Izzy is the best they have, and he’s pretty good. But have the others (A.J. Davis, Sibley, Carter, etc.) dropped so far back that they can’t get a few carries as Izzy’s back up?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. One of my great thrills of 5A was meeting Dave. What a nice guy. We spoke for 20-25 minutes.

      I gave every emotion known to a Pitt fan rooting for him back in the day. I will never forget the WVU comeback where Pitt ran the same 2 point conversion play to Joel Klimmick 4x. Miss one and we lose.

      Liked by 4 people

    2. I have some pictures of Dave from a frat brother who work for the PITT yearbook back in the day… I will try to bring them up and give them to him…

      Liked by 1 person

  54. Wolfe – BTW, I seem to have solved my WordPress problems. You or someone else mentioned not to get access thru the WordPress app.
    If I just go to the site from the email notification, it knows who I am and I can “like” and comment with no problem. 👍

    As an old geezer, took me a while to figure it out… 🤔

    Liked by 1 person

  55. From Richard’s link

    “Since 2015, Pat Narduzzi has directed Pitt to 31 victories in ACC play, the third-highest win total during that span. Only Clemson (49) and Miami (32) have won more”.

    ^^ Is this the same head coach that some of you all were talking down before the season. Now PITT has to finish what they started!

    Liked by 6 people

    1. That’s more an indictment on how bad the ACC is than encouragement for Duzz. In 7 years, zero top 25 finishes. That looks more like a longevity record than anything.


  56. Can’t wait to be there for the game Saturday. Another irresistible force (Pitt offense) against an immovable object (Clemson defense) kind of game. Hope Pitt’s strength is greater than Clemson’s.

    Not sure if I’m thinking clearly, but in some ways it may help Pitt keep loose in this one because no matter the outcome, it doesn’t impact Pitt’s ability to win the Coastal and then face a team to win the ACC championship.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m hoping like crazy Pitt wins it’s sixth, but winning the ACC should be their goal every year, and the games against Miami and NC may be more critical to meeting this goal.


    1. I am not sure I understand. I thought it was total ACC wins that count toward winning the Coastal. I think the only difference would be a head to head game if you are tied at the end.
      While Pitt is in the lead right now six ACC games left, all with equal importance. Need to play and win them one at a time.


      1. At this point Pitt needs 5 wins to lock the gates. So absolutely no guarantees right now. But since anyone can beat anyone most teams are still in it. Three loss teams are probably out (Duke and UNC) but everyone else still very much in the hunt.


  57. Pitt does not need a ACC loss to anyone. They need to impress many others(recruits for example) that the program is on the upswing.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Agree – this game is key. Big stage, hopefully big blue crowd. Big win would create a nice memory for the visiting recruits.

      UVA – even if two games back – is on our heels and that game in November could mean the division if we drop one between now and then. Have to keep them in the rearview mirror!


  58. from frankmd’s link, a very good concise analysis:

    Pittsburgh (5-1)
    Rankings: 23rd in the AP poll, 11th in SP+, seventh in FPI
    CFP odds: 15% (up from 7%)

    Greatest strength: overwhelming aggression. Pat Narduzzi’s Panthers are incredibly well-rounded — 13th in offensive SP+, 18th on defense, 23rd in special teams — and they’ve gotten here with outright nastiness.

    Kenny Pickett is completing 70% of his passes, and four of his five leading receivers are averaging at least 15 yards per catch. On defense, seven Panthers have recorded at least three tackles for loss (Habakkuk Baldonado leads the way with seven), and the Panthers rank sixth in success rate allowed. They are willing to allow the occasional big play in the name of forcing three-and-outs and turnover opportunities; and even if they get gashed, they know their offense can respond in kind. This high-volatility recipe contributed to a loss to Western Michigan in Week 3, but it also gives them an excellent chance in every single remaining game.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. And I quote:

      “Greatest strength: overwhelming aggression.”

      What a great compliment for the Fightin’ Pitt Panthers…

      Go Pitt.

      Liked by 3 people

  59. uh oh, Pat leaving if….

    Pat Narduzzi, Pitt: Before this season, the Narduzzi era had been defined by some big wins (Clemson and Penn State in 2016) and some maddening losses. Although Pitt had one of the latter against Western Michigan on Sept. 18, it has otherwise looked like a bona fide ACC title contender. Senior quarterback Kenny Pickett has been brilliant, passing for 1,934 yards with 21 touchdowns and only one interception. Narduzzi has never won more than eight games with the Panthers, but certainly could break through this season. While he’s very happy at Pitt, he would be an interesting name at Michigan State if Tucker left. Narduzzi served as MSU’s defensive coordinator from 2007 to 2014.


    1. How odd no mention of the tough OOC schedule Narduzzi faced in 2018 that certainly would have led to more wins. I thought the media and those outside of Pittsburgh remember that stuff?


    2. He’s been here 7 years, if he leaves he leaves. Michigan State will have to pay top 20 money for a coach who has not sniffed the top 20 at an end of season.

      Liked by 1 person

  60. By the way, Clemson is by no means out of the hunt. They have only 1 ACC loss so they very much need to win this game to keep pace with Wake and NCST. Another loss for them and it will be much harder to catch them. A Pitt win probably hands the division to one of those two.

    Although winnable probably the toughest opponent this year on Saturday.

    Liked by 3 people

  61. Thinking back to the VT game, how ‘bout those QB sneaks Pitt ran. Where the heck did that kind of push from our interior line come from?

    (After last night’s game, the Buff Bills would have been impressed. 😊)

    And how about how Pitt stonewalled VT on their fourth-down sneak. Impressive stuff…

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 2 people

  62. Right now it looks like Virginia is the biggest challenge, they only have three games left, one with Pitt.
    The other big game Saturday is Miami vs. NCST. An NCST win knocks them out.
    The game Saturday is huge for Pitt. Hopefully they are selling more tickets.


    1. They also ought to be filling the upper deck with freebies to high school football teams if allowed by NCAA rules. Give prizes to the schools that yell the loudest.

      Liked by 1 person

  63. Looks like ticket sales are going pretty well, lower bowl on home side pretty filled. Plenty of seats left on the TV side though.


  64. BTW, one of my old baseball teammates is being inducted into the Pitt Hall-of-Fame this weekend. Ken Macha from Monroeville.

    He was a year behind me. I’m going to try to find him to congratulate him, but after 50+ years, I don’t think he’ll remember me…

    Congrats to Ken Macha.

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 1 person

  65. I like the uniforms that we’ve had this year. I absolutely love our last ones with the blue pants. Keep it up and no coal uniforms please!


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