A Midseason Soliloquy (All-American Version)

By our good friend – Michaelangelo Monteleone

A couple of years ago, I donated $150 to the Pitt Football Championship fund.  In return I got a handwritten thank you card from Kenny Pickett.  It wasn’t much, just the words “thank you” and “Kenny Pickett #8” scrawled on a Pitt logo 3×5 card, but it was in real honest-to-goodness ink, and I would like to think that it was actually Pickett himself that wrote it.  I stuck it in my office window and went about my business.  Pitt went on to have a mediocre season, and when we moved house the next year the card ended up in the trash.  Turns out that may have been a pretty stupid move. 

At the time of writing, Pickett has been picked as a first-team “midseason” all American by no less than three National publications.  (The Athletic, The Sporting News and CBS Sports).  He’s also been getting legitimate Heisman buzz from all corners of the college football world.  His stats have been blistering:   69.8% completion percentage, 9.4 yards per attempt and 21 TD’s against one (count it) one, interception.  He’s also added three touchdowns on the ground, and a handful of key 3rd and 4th down conversions.  Which all begs the question:  Does anyone still want to fire Mark Whipple?

The answer of course is no, although there are (unsubstantiated) rumors in certain Pitt circles that coach Whip would have been gone if Kenny hadn’t returned.  Well, they both did return, and it’s pretty clear to see that that was a good thing.

But this article isn’t about Mark Whipple.  Well at least not directly.  It’s about Kenny, and about whether or not our Midseason 1st team All-American can keep up his momentum through the meat of the schedule.  If he does, he’ll almost certainly finish the season in the same place (1st team All American), have a legit shot at the Heisman, and possibly break into day 1 of the NFL draft.  If he doesn’t he’ll just be another “Same Old Pitt” story. 

To be clear, while this article may strike a somewhat skeptical tone, I am absolutely rooting for Kenny to succeed.  I’m a Pitt Man and a Pitt Fan, and I want dearly for #8 to prove all the doubters wrong, and  to finally deliver excellence to us longsuffering Pitt fans.  But, as we know, this is Pitt, and…things happen.  And so, I think we can all agree there are a lot of factors that could lead to #8’s second half demise.  What if the so-far-pretty-good pass blocking falls apart?  What if all of the sudden the receiving corps gets an extended case of the dropsies?  (We got a preview of that in Blacksburg….shudder)  What if Kenny sustains a non-contact injury running to the sideline?  (okay unrealistic and kind of a cheap shot, but hey it could happen).  The biggest risk however, I think would come from a step-up in class as Pitt enters the second half of the season.  And so, I’ve prepared a little analysis to help us think through what might be in store. 

Here are pass efficiency defensive rankings for Pitt’s first six opponents, compared to Pickett’s pass efficiency in each game:

  • UMass:  122nd – 162.1 / Pickett 152.6
  • Tennessee:  33rd – 120.4 / Pickett 151.5
  • WMU:  105th – 148.1 / Pickett 235.1
  • New Hampshire (FCS): NA / Pickett 265.5
  • Georgia Tech: 113th – 151.7 / Pickett 191.3
  • Virginia Tech 37th – 121.1 / Pickett 123.4

The good news is that Pickett has over-delivered in every single game, with the “six dropped passes and a really bad Izzy Tripping Penalty” Virginia Tech game being the only outlier.

The bad news is that Kenny’s midseason All-American stats came at the expense of some pretty bad pass defenses, with one FCS team thrown in for good measure.  Still, there were a couple of bright spots.  Kenny picked up the offense and put it on his back down at Rocky Top, beating Tennessee’s 33rd ranked unit into submission with 2 TD’s and 285 yards (plus one TD on the ground), and he played well enough on National TV against Virginia tech to keep the pundits on his side, so he’s got that going for him. 

Here are the pass efficiency defense rankings for the next six games:

  • Clemson:  12th – 108.1
  • Miami:  69th – 131.6
  • Duke:  96th – 143.5
  • UNC:  77th – 144.5
  • Virginia:  74th – 133.4
  • Syracuse:  89th – 140.0

Honestly, none of them scare me all that much.  Except Clemson.  But let’s double click into that.  I’ve listed the quarterbacks they’ve faced below.  Tell me how many of them scare you?  Maybe two of six?  I’ll give you bonus points if you can name the team each one of them plays for (or you can just scroll down to reveal the answers, and their pass efficiency rating vs the Clemson Tigers)

  • JT Daniels
  • Cory Fields
  • Jordan Yates
  • Devin Leary
  • Denis Grosel
  • Garrett Schrader


Answer Key:

  • JT Daniels – UGA – 104.5 – Daniels is a Junior and shredded the Cincy defense to the tune of 392 yards in the 2020 Peach Bowl, as well as posting a 178.5 rating in three games vs mid-grade SEC competition last year, so he’s legit.  A 104.5 rating is not what you’d have expected of him.
  • Cory Fields – South Carolina State – They’re an FCS punching bag that scored three points against the Tigers.  Not even going to waste time hunting for stats.
  • Jordan Yates – Georgia Tech – 112.3 – Yates is GT’s second QB, a RS freshman who came in in relief of an injury Jeff Sims in the previous game and got the start against Clemson.  Led them to 8 points.  Yawn.
  • Devin Leary – NC State – 148.2 – Leary is considered by many to be a legit, albeit injury-prone, FBS QB.  You’ll remember he beat Pitt last year, and he looked pretty good doing it.  He threw four touchdowns against NC State’s win against Clemson this year, although two of them were in OT.  He dinked and dunked his way to victory though, with 32 completions for just 238 yards.
  • Denis Grosel – Boston College – 112.8 –  Unlike Leary, Grosel is generally not considered a legit FBS QB.  Like Leary, he also beat Pitt (albeit two years ago).  Unlike Leary Grosel did not dink and dunk against Clemson.  He threw for 311 yards against the Tigers this year, but he only completed 58% of his passes, and he also threw two interceptions and no TD’s.
  • Garrett Shrader – Syracuse – 92.8 – Transfer portal QB who is completing 53.7% of his passes for 5 TD’s and 3 INT’s on the season.  He also plays for Syracuse.  Need I say more?

So yeah, not exactly a murder’s row, and with the exception of Leary and (maybe) Daniels, Clemson has not faced a QB anywhere near Pickett’s caliber.   Still, Clemson’s defense will be the most talented Pickett has faced all season.  They’ll be deeper than Tennessee, and better coached than Georgia Tech.  They’ll definitely be more motivated than the Hokies.  Pickett will have more pass-rushers in his face.  He’ll have tighter windows in which to put the ball.  He’ll have wily ball-hawking safeties reading his eyes.  And of course, he’ll have the contend with The Monkey. 


The Monkey?  What Monkey?

This one:

And this one:

Pitt fans will remember those two stat lines as Kenny’s two games against the Clemson tigers… not exactly stellar.  Granted, Pickett is a different guy this time around, and his supporting cast is the best it’s ever been, and Pitt for the first time ever gets Clemson at Home,  but it’s still enough to make you wonder.  Is Pickett different enough to kill the Monkey?  Is Pitt?  This is absolutely the kind of game Pitt has laid an egg in time and time again.  Literally all the boxes are checked:

  1. Recently earned National Ranking:  Check
  2. Positive fan Buzz around the program:  Check
  3. Playing at home against a nationally-recognized and generally more talented program:  Check
  4. Opposing offense who has struggled recently and seems to play to Pitt’s strengths:  Check
  5. Game televised on national TV:  Check

So yes, there is a monkey on Pickett’s back.  And yes, there is a monkey on Pitt’s back.  And I’d lay at least 50% odds on the fact that that Monkey is still going to be in place around 7 p.m. Saturday.  Of course, I hope to heck I’m wrong.  Pitt hasn’t had a midseason All-American quarterback since you-know-who (and I’m not even sure midseason All-American was a thing back then).  And we all know that quarterback play is a differentiator.  And we all know that the third times a charm.  And we all know the stage is set for Kenny Pickett to complete the trifecta:  Kill that Monkey, increase his draft stock and thrust himself squarely in the center of the Heisman conversation.  If he does all that, I might just have to increase my Football Championship Fund Contribution, and of course send #8 a thank you card, handwritten.

Hail to Pitt

Michaelangelo Monteleone

107 thoughts on “A Midseason Soliloquy (All-American Version)

  1. Me too Joe.

    I never predict scores and it always surprises me when Pitt wins a big game, but I will say that the team that plays better and makes the fewest mistakes will win this one. I really don’t think that SOP will have anything to do do with it.

    I think both are really good football teams.

    Clemson is playing below their standard because they don’t have a superstar QB this year, but they lost two close ones to two very good teams.

    Pitt is playing above their standard because they have a QB that is playing like a superstar and are very deep due to the extra Covid year.

    The game is going to be decided by how well our O-line hold up to Clemson’s D-line 1st and foremost and second how much pressure our D-line puts on their QB.

    Of course which team has the most splash plays and fewest turnovers will decide the game.

    We should all be very glad that Pitt is finally in this position and has this opportunity, we have waited a long time to have a chance at football relevance, but recognize that we only have it because Covid gave KP and others a second chance.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Good stuff Michaelangelo.

    Two big differences in KP’s play this year, the best pass protection he has had in his career, and the best receiving corps with actual functioning tight ends.
    Hopefully the elusive running game that appeared last game will continue to be a factor.

    As usual any Pitt fan that doesn’t hope for the best but expect the worst, must have amnesia.


  3. Well-written article, MM. And some good info on Kenny’s performance and prospects. Thanks!

    A couple of folks have expressed angst with the Kenny for Heisman talk, especially from Coach Duzz. While I agree that there is a risk that this talk might take focus away from game prep, I really think it is valuable for the long-term growth of the program.

    We all agree that we need to land more 4 and 5 star elite recruits. And I continue to believe that our best chance at separating ourselves from the other 100 D1 “mediocre” teams and compete with the bluebloods for those kids is not to hope to catch lightning in a bottle with a new coach but to show we are putting players in the League. Obviously, that is the goal of every elite high school recruit, no exceptions.

    We have had success beyond our program status on the defensive side and I think it gets us in the conversation with some elite DB’s and DL’s. The buzz surrounding KP and hopefully his high draft pick should likewise give us a strong recruiting story to tell elite kids on the O side.

    And our competing recruiters will not be able to tell those kids that “the Pitt coaches will only be around for another year or so, so why would you want to go there? Who knows what the new coaching staff will think of you?” But that is another discussion for another day.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. Have absolutely no idea how to copy and repost lol. Basically I said we will lose, gave some reasoning, and got into my basic insecurities. Also threw in a Bob Prince reference.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Thanks Mike – well done! XM college sports radio is telling ACC HC’s Duzz and Doreon to shut up about being disrespected. I agree with the XM guys, just win and respect will come – Lol

    Posted this on the last thread – just wanting to get my prediction in before golfing – looking forward to an entertaining weekend:

    I’ll throw my prediction in now in case my time in WPA takes me away from the POV until game time.

    Clemson will take points anyway they can, so their 20 points will come the way of 2 TD’s and 2 FG’s.

    Pitt on the other hand will leave points on the field with 1 missed PAT and two 4th down stops by the Tiger’s D inside FG range. K Scarton redeems his PAT miss with a late game FG to put the Panthers up by 2 scores and seal the game.

    Pitt wins a close, entertaining, nationally televised game to excite the fanbase even more.


    KP8 manages the game well, Izzy is MIA (maybe in Big Q’s doghouse?) and T.Mack is the star WR of the game.

    Other key players –

    LB Cam Bright continues to be the quiet leader of the D and has a rock star performance with hard hits, sacks, TFL and a few pass break-ups.

    Long snapper Cal continues to hustle and lead the special teams unit with good tackling, acceptable coverage and precise accuracy with his snaps.

    DE Alexander has his best game of the season with a few TFL’s of Mr. Dr. Pepper and consistently beating Clemson’s young SO RT all game long.

    Go Pitt!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. If Clemson wins tomorrow they have an excellent chance to win their division. They still play Wake and will be favored in the rest of their games. NCSt has a more difficult road ahead. They actually need this game more than Pitt. If they lose they are pretty much done in the ACC this year.
    Pitt on the other hand would still be statistcally alive in their division with a loss.


    1. A Pitt loss will disconnect a large portion of the fan base and mostly eliminate adding new fans.

      While I agree with your analogy, I see a Pitt loss as a setback for future gains.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Agree a win would be a huge boost, a loss more business as usual, but it still depends on how the rest of the season goes. 48-14 didn’t ruin Marino’s legacy. A lot of football left to play this year. Important games.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. GG you may be right but I don’t think NC State loses two ACC games. And with only one loss they win the division with their defeat of Clemson.


  7. It is an excellent post, Joeknew. Here it is for others to see:

    It’s fairly early in the morning and I’m working on my second cup of coffee, nice, quiet, and peaceful. Tomorrow will be crazy, so I need to get this off my chest and then put it to rest.
    At this point in the season we’re just where most of us thought, 5-1. And actually, the path we got here was also mostly expected in that it was a twist on who we lost to. This, my friends is typical of PN teams, beat some unexpectedly, lose unexpectedly. Fans jump up and down after a bad loss, others puff out their chests after wins, both are knee jerk. So far we are either on our way to an epic, memorable season, or right on track for 5+ loses. We are in the middle of what everyone thought was the most difficult and telling part of the schedule. This hasn’t changed. It still can go either way and I’m curious to see how it will play out.
    The reality is winning has hidden our warts. Now, before someone goes nuts, all teams have warts, but winning is the balm that cures and covers all. This team is so very dependent on one player,, and what a player he has been, but our fate is still in his hands. Will he continue to play at that level? Can we overcome a poor or bad performance? I hope so, but doubt it.
    The late great Bob Prince used to talk about hidden vigorous. Well, it’s one of those times in a season, or in a programs history that this question will be answered. Will Clemson continue to struggle offensively or will they finally have that breakout game. Will we continue on a roll or revert to SOP? It makes for great theater either way.
    I simply cannot see us winning this game. Yup, there it is, I said it and I’ve never been more certain. I cannot fathom winning this game, having attendance and enthusiasm for Pitt football taking over the city and national sports. All is ripe for this to happen with a win. Steelers are bad, Pens are on downward slide, Bucs stink as usual, bball is awful. What a boost and 180 it would be if we win. But I have no faith. PN hasn’t become Rockne, he is what he is. As wonderful and enjoyable as this season is so far, it’s at a precipice. Is the next step over a cliff or onto a bridge?
    I’ll be at the game, yelling and hoping, of that have no doubt. But when I’m alone, all the pregame noise and hype is quite, and I’m honest with myself……….well, there is no way I see a win. Clemson 35 us not as many. NUTS.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. “Punish the monkey .. and let the organ grinder go” Not really applicable but a bada$$ song from Mark Knopler

    P Bostick was just on ACCN. He thought the biggest difference this year is KP’s footwork. When he doesn’t find an open receiver, he doesn’t immediately look to run but positions himself for another look downfield

    The other thing this year is that he has more options … especially the TEs. And he seems to use all of them

    Sent from my iPhone


    Liked by 5 people

  9. It was reported that Narduzzi said on one of the Pittsburgh 11pm sports news last night that Pitt had 60K seats sold for the game. Getting to the 65K mark would be great if its happens.


    1. Thanks Joe, after a steroid shot and knee drained, it’s still killing me. It would be worse in that weather.

      Trying a new “nuclear” gel shot in the knee late next week.

      Long term, only solution is knee replacement surgery. Ugh.

      I can’t tell you how much I’ll miss everyone tomorrow!

      I like Pitt to win a close one 27-24. Duzz mixing up D coverages,
      Clemson without leading receiver and runner. It’s not possible to have a worse QB than Clemson!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Dan, sorry to hear about your health issues. Which knee is giving you problems?

        Right knee?
        Left knee?
        High knee?
        Wee knee?

        Injections into any of them seem like it could be hurtful and I hate that for you! Hope you are well my friend. Enjoy the game from the recliner! You have made the prayer list on the refrigerator. Off for a weekend hockey tourney. Boston, Vegas and Pittsburgh of all places for the next 4 weeks.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Prayers Jack and follow Dr orders. BTW, two highly trained experts in the field of rehabilitation therapy here at the POV Bib B and Markpt that can answer any questions.

          Liked by 1 person

      2. Careful Dan, I don’t think you can get a knee replacement for 3 months or so after an injection? You may not want to wait that long?


  10. So you’re saying Kenny Pickett’s improvement on the field has coincided with his path from unpaid laborer for the athletic department to someone who is now free to cash in on some of the riches he is bringing to the university? Loving this new era. Fill those seats.


  11. MM, you’re right about KP. He is different now, the PITT football team is different now and, lastly, the Clemson team is different now. Hopefully, we’ll all get to watch tomorrow as Kenny and the Panthers take care of all this unfinished Monkey Business.


  12. Ciao Maestro! Molto grazie!
    ALWAYS enjoy your writings. You have a gift.

    One thing stats don’t fully capture is decision-making, grit/will, experience and leadership.

    Kenny has all of that – but then, I’m a biased unabashed fan. He’s special. He’s also surrounded with more overall talent than any prior year in his time at Pitt. And its clear in watching his play, that he has matured as a QB as evidenced by watching him make his reads. And it helps when a QB has time to make reads!

    This is the game that will define Pitt’s season.
    Big time players rise up to big games.
    Kenny is such a guy.

    I’m all in…taking Pitt and giving the points.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. CBS Sports Lock of the Week: Clemson over Pitt 27 to 24. Let’s hope this individual has put a boat load of money on this lock pick and loses his shirt come tomorrow evening.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Email from Pitt today says that tomorrow is a Heinz Field blue out! So that changes my plans for game attire.


    1. Wolfe — I think it’s suppose to be a “royal-blue” out.

      I don’t have a royal blue hoodie. Curses!

      Go Pitt.


  15. “Soliloquy” — really MM? I thought this was a football-fans blog. You show-off! 👍

    Excellent article. Another item to add to your ominous list is that this is Pitt’s HOF weekend. That means former greats like Curtis Martin, Bobby Grier and Coach Sherrill will be in the house. Those occasions have usually led to a fall-on-their-face game for Pitt…

    But here’s some local good news: Starkey picked Clemson to beat Pitt (he picked VT to win last week…)

    Also, Johnny McGonigal, who covers Pitt for the PG, is picking Pitt to win (he picked Pitt by 3 TDs over VT…)

    Now for the bad local news: Ron “The great Paterno” Cook is picking Pitt. Curses!

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh crap! Just saw where Shady McCoy is going to be an honorary Captain tomorrow!

      Yet another Pitt Great in the house tomorrow.

      Go Pitt.


  16. PSN lists 40 football recruits who are supposed to be at the game tomorrow – and they suggests there will be more

    They say it’s the most recruits at a game in the Duzz era. That makes sense – bring them in for a good crowd… 👍

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. To add some additional significance to this game, PSN reports that this game will host the most recruits in the stadium for any game during Narduzzi’s tenure. Hmmm!!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Michaelangelo, thanks very much for the great article, very much appreciated!

    I think as we speak, Clemson is studying how they can shut down Pickett. They have done so in the past, and have plenty of tape to review. If Pitt is going to pull out a few new offensive tricks, now is the time to do so. I think Canada gave them a good red zone play with that TE carry for a TD in the Steelers game. Also, the new receivers coach will have some trick plays that they don’t have on tape. And Clemson will need to work on defending their unbalanced line unveiled in the VT game.

    Quite often, in games like this, special teams will be the difference. It is important for Pitt to get ahead early and then shut down their offense with a turnover or two. Getting ahead early could be the key to winning this game. Clemson has such a good defense that it will be difficult to come from behind.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Voice — I was thinking the same thing today about trick plays. I was thinking someone other than a Pitt QB will throw a pass…

      Clemson has great athletes – one way to beat them is to fool them and capitalize on it, e.g. The Pitt Special…

      Go Pitt.

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Great article Michaelangelo! Just a reminder to the fans going to the game tomorrow, Clemson’s fans were great to us that went to the game down there that Pitt won. Please show them the same courtesy that they showed us! I hear Clemson has quite a few fans in the ‘Burgh!

    For those with access to the ACCNX on their ESPN app or computer, Pitt’s volleyball team is playing Notre Dame this evening at 7 PM. I fully expect Pitt to win the match. Notre Dame is one of only two teams presently in the ACC that Pitt has a losing record againt at 16-25. Time to make it 17-25.

    Liked by 4 people

  20. John, I wish we had the same experience with Clemson fans as you did. My wife said it was the worst experience of her life, and honestly I’d agree. No class, wouldn’t stop vulgar language repeatedly yelled out every 5 minutes despite being asked and pointed out elderly and very young children in next row. Trust me, I’m far from easily offended, but this was way over the top. Youth and alcohol are never a good combination.Actually contacted the dean of students at Clemson who responded when my wife name dropped. He was amazed Clemson students would ever chant such things, until his secretary informed him that yes, they do do that. My wife probably prevented me from being arrested. And this was in what was supposed to be the Pitt section.
    Now, I will treat their fans with proper respect, but making generalizations works both ways. I would never, EVER, even in college say and behave that way in front of kids and elderly.
    To this day I cannot stand the mention of that school. And you know what, if you were at that game you know exactly what they said in their “Cheer”.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sorry to hear that joeknew! We have been to the one football game, several volleyball matches, as well as basketball games. We have been treated very well. I do know more than a few arrogant Clemson fans though so I do know they can be obnoxious. They have one very obnoxious volleyball fan in particular. Fortunately Pitt’s volleyball team has shut him up every match I have seen there:)


  21. Way to go JOEL, let’s crush those sons of guns!! That Dean knows full well what goes on in the visitor section. CRUNCH! Turn this one up


  22. PITT has to tackle well tomorrow. Ball security and minimal penalties…particularly pre and post snap. Maybe one day the Clemson QB will be good, but this year he looks like he’s in over his head. H2P


  23. No, in the good old days there was no “mid season” all american. They actually let them play the whole season then.


  24. Guys, guys, guys,

    Per a previous Luna Bar comment; for what it is worth and I spent time at both bars: the Luna and Haddon Hall (just down the street from the Luna), this is my humble take:

    For social meetings with significant others and ambience; if bars were engineering schools: Haddon Hall was MIT and the Luna was the WVU Engineering School.

    Sorry for being honest.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Loved Haddon Hall (free popcorn)as well as the Luna and your description was spot on!

      But the Luna was more like the urinals in the WVCC men’s room.


  25. While I’ve been impressed by the improved play of Carter Warren this season — I still worry about him, especially against speed rushers.

    Don’t know a thing about Clemson’s DEs, except Richard’s stats, but I’m imagining some 4 or 5 star whizzes..

    Just something else to worry about for those of us who worry…

    If the OLine keeps KP pretty clean tomorrow, then they are going to get some nice attention…. Go Coach Borbs!

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Both Xavier Thomas 2018 and Myles Murphy 2020 are Rivals 5 stars. Combined, they are responsible for 5 of Clemson’s 15 sacks. Clemson is loaded with 4 & 5 stars.

      I expect to see Izzy start but V. Davis will play.

      Liked by 1 person

  26. JeanieB and myself were just talking about our encounters in the Renaissance Hotel bars with the UCF fans after we “ narrowly” beat them on a flea flicker a few years back… They couldn’t believe they lost to PITT… those arrogant bastads and beeches thought they were on top of the CFB universe….. JEANIEB n me are not there yet… win tomorrow and one more step in the road to having that feeling… you Ole guys remember that feeling don’t ya???????

    Let’s Go PITT!!!!!!!!

    Liked by 4 people

  27. Michaelangelo… you are so poetic with your thought and a pen… one of your best pieces my friend!!!

    Prayers for Reed’s boy and family.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. not sure I’m going to sleep well

    no idea what tomorrow will bring but if forced to bet money I needed, I’d take the 3.5

    of course, if told the final score of the GaTech game before it was played, I’d never have thought Pitt would have the 52

    can’t see a high score tomorrow, Clemson defense is very good and their offense has not scored more than 2 touchdowns in a game outside SC St


    hope I avoid an MI or stroke

    and really hoping to do just a little liver damage celebrating 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  29. Pitt volleyball survives an upset attempt by Notre Dame winning in a 5 set match. If Pitt does not play better against Louisville on Sunday, Pitt will not win a single set. Pitt is missing Jordan Lockwood on the outside. Kayla Lund continues to be off. Hopefully she steps up her game against Louisville. Hail to Pitt!

    Liked by 1 person

  30. Coach Sherrill is being inducted into the Pitt HOF this weekend. It’s easy to remember that Pitt went 11 and one in each of his last three years at Pitt. We’d all go bonkers now if we went 33-3.

    Coach Sherrill was at Pitt for 5 seasons and went 50-9-1.

    Interesting that after he left Pitt, he coached for 20 more seasons at A&M and Miss. State.

    In those 20 seasons, he only won 10 games twice and 9 games once. Furthermore he won 5 or fewer games in 8 of those years. He ended up with a record of 75-75 at Miss. St.

    Coaching is a tough profession…

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 4 people

  31. Raining pretty good here, hope they have the field covered.
    Weather looks good for tailgaiting and game. Can’t wait to see a full lower
    bowl. Sitting near the band today to get the juices flowing.
    Students should be going nuts.


  32. I am working on putting together a Clemson game day prediction and thread article. Hopefully, it will be up by 10:30 am.

    Probably will be something pretty simple.

    This is your 3 hour warning.

    Liked by 1 person

  33. Pitt men’s soccer ends in a 2-2 tie with Virginia last night – felt like a loss…as the European Panthers were up 2-0 at the half.

    Virginia defender Will Citron evened the score with six seconds left in regulation. Ugh!


  34. Very restless last night…very little sleep…reminiscent of youthful “the night before Christmas” or if you were raised in my neck of the woods, the night before the ” opening day of buck season.”

    Liked by 2 people

      1. I played golf with two passionate Pitt fans yesterday is WPA – my sleep score had to be lower than my golf score, but I slept well.

        Looking forward to an entertaining and energizing day of football in Pittsburgh. Panther greats like Jackie Sherrill, Shady McCoy, Curtis Martin, Brandon Knight, Ken Macha, BigB and Scooter will be at Heinz Field today. Two other prominent Pitt greats who are not with us, RIP, Pop Warner and Ironhead Heyward will be inducted into the Pitt HOF on this CFB Saturday in the Burg.

        This 2021 FB team has a golden opportunity to walk through a tunnel of greatness today. They play a storied program in Clemson, they play in an NFL AFC championship stadium, Pitt greatness will be honored today and let’s never forget the fact that Pitt FB teams of the past have won NINE national championships.

        Forget the rain, forget the chill in the air and “try” to forget the past 35 years of Pitt football for this day in history. Shady McCoy will be delivering the pre-game speech – that in and of itself should get these players ready for some football. There should be a good crowd to greet them as the run out of the tunnel today. Hopefully running into greatness of their own making. Make us proud today KP8, by leading this team to victory. Coach Bates – call a great game from the booth and coach Whipple, whip it good!

        Lastly, make me a believer, again!

        Liked by 4 people

    1. Joe, the Stokan’s are old family friends from Lawrenceville…related to Fritzie Zivic the boxer.
      Had my first legal drink at Stokans Bar on 48th Street.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I had my first legal age drink(s) in the backyard of a bootlegger. Hope you enjoyed that drink & memories as much as I did.


      2. When he was an older guy, Fritzie lived in Scott Twp – not far from where I grew up. He had a Great Dane, which I swear was bigger than him. Quite the sight to see him walking that big hound.


  35. I have completed my Pitt game day article. Very simple and not up to Reed’s normal thread article.

    It is scheduled to post today at 10:30am.

                          This is your 2 hour warning.


    1. Great video – especially if you like Shady and followed his career from HS through to his NFL retirement.

      I live in Central PA where Shady grew up. One of my favorite Pitt guys.


  36. Slept like a baby..
    Only pooped the bed twice.
    Well, now that’s out of our system let’s go win a football game.
    Hrading down in a few minutes…

    Liked by 2 people

  37. I think we’re a really good team, but, like many others on here, I’m still a bit skeptical that we can beat Clemson. Their backs are against the wall. That’s far different than trying to earn respect. I’m not liking our chances. I hope I’m wrong.



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