Believing is Seeing, But There is Nothing to See

October 31, 2021

Here is another spot-on piece by Rick Caldwell


“I appreciate all the Pitt fans yelling about the officiating. There were bad calls all day. But if you’re Pitt, you can’t play that poorly on D and make critical mistakes on offense with multiple chances to take the lead – bad officiating or not.” – Andrea Adelson of ESPN

Oh, the buzz that was in the air around Pitt football. Miami walked into Heinz Field and punched our Panthers square in the mouth as Pitt never lead in this game. Our Heisman hyped QB was outplayed by a FR QB. Pitt’s response to all that was disappointing to say the least.

This was an entertaining game yet very frustrating at the same time. The U owns Pitt and Pat Narduzzi. The former defensive assistant turned head coach now has a worse overall win percentage against the canes than the historical numbers. Neither are good, so I’ll move on.


1. It is just a game.

2. The rain never happened during game time.


1. Pitt is not an elite team. Elite teams don’t lose to western freaking Michigan. This is a slightly above average team that has been able to beat average teams 6 out of 8 times in 2021. This is an 8-4 team, 8-5 after their bowl loss. It’s sad but it is what it is.

2. KP8’s (Kenny Pickett) two INT’s in this game.

3. KP8 as a guest on various sports talk shows everyday this past week – I wonder how much game film was watched in prep for the Hurricane that ripped through Heinz Field.

4. Narduzzi kicking a FG again when he needed a TD.

5. #31 (Eric Hallett) was beaten like a drum – pass coverage, missed tackles and costly penalties – you have to show up and do your job or be replaced by the 4* teammates behind you. I believe #31 played the whole game. Where was the depth?

6. Our RB’s carried the ball a total of 13 times – six each by Abanikanda (4.7 ypc) and V. Davis (7.5 ypc) while Hammond carried ONCE for 6 yards.


1. Giving up 31 points in the 1st half to a team with a 3-4 record and a true FR QB.

2. 68 yards in penalties in the 1st half.

3. Play calling by Whipple on the Miami 5 yard line in the 4th quarter which resulted in a FG when we were down by seven (maddening).

4. A lot of missed tackles (16 on one series – multiple per play).

5. A defense-minded coach loses a potentially monumental season by giving up three TDs on the first three drives to a FR QB on just 10 plays.

6. As the author of this article, I edited out numerous BAD and UGLY lines to shorten the read and make this less frustrating for Pitt fans. Get ready for the “same old” as this season unfolds. This was a BIG win for Miami and an even BIGGER loss for Pitt.

233 thoughts on “Believing is Seeing, But There is Nothing to See


    Miami 38, Pitt 34
    Oct. 30, 2021


    With today’s 38-34 loss to Miami, Pitt falls to 6-2 overall (3-1 in the ACC).
    Despite the loss, Pitt’s 6-2 overall record matches the best eight-game start of Pat Narduzzi’s tenure. The Panthers also opened with a 6-2 record during his 2015 debut season at Pitt.
    Pitt is now 11-29-1 all-time against Miami, including a 2-7 mark in ACC play.


    Kenny Pickett had a record-setting performance for the Panthers. He accounted for three touchdowns today (all passing) and now is responsible for a Pitt-record 84 TDs for his career. Pickett surpassed the school mark held by Dan Marino, who accounted for 82 from 1979-82.

    Pickett compiled 509 yards in total offense against Miami. He now has a Pitt school-record 11,492 yards in total offense for his career. He has surpassed quarterback Alex Van Pelt, who had 11,148 from 1989-92.
    Pickett’s 519 passing yards set a Pitt single-game record. He surpassed the prior program mark of 470 set by Pete Gonzalez in a double-overtime contest against Rutgers in 1997.

    Pickett now has 13 career games with more than 300 passing yards, the second most in school history. He trails only Alex Van Pelt, who had 14 from 1989-92.

    This marked the fourth 400+ yard passing game of Pickett’s career, a Pitt record. No other Pitt quarterback has more than one career 400-yard game to his credit.

    Pickett is the first Pitt quarterback to throw multiple touchdown passes in each of the opening eight games of a season for the Panthers.

    Jordan Addison compiled 145 yards on eight catches. It was the sixth 100-yard receiving game of his career, the most of any active Pitt player.

    Pitt’s 587 yards of total offense marked its most against an ACC opponent since it posted 654 yards against Virginia Tech on Nov. 10, 2018.


    Linebacker John Petrishen had Pitt’s lone turnover of the day on an interception. It marked his second INT of the season, tying him for the team lead (with Damarri Mathis).

    The Panthers surrendered 64 yards rushing, the 31st time they have held an opponent under 100 yards on the ground during Pat Narduzzi’s tenure (since 2015).


    Sam Scarton kicked 2-of-3 field goals, converting from 38 and 23 yards. He missed from 49 – his first missed FG of the season. Scarton is now 8-of-9 on the season (89%).


  2. The Good… The first quarter pass to Taysir Mack ruled a recovered fumble at the one that could have just as easily been ruled INCOMPLETE and probably should have.

    The Bad… Pitt’s continued lack of commitment to running the football. Despite what nonsense you might hear or read, you still do have to RUN the football to WIN football games!

    The Ugly… Having to watch Narduzzi do his frantic pacing of the sidelines during a game while constantly trying to adjust his headset. Not exactly the image of a Head Coach who has things together.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Narduzzi’s D scheme is the Achilles heel of this team … always has been -always will..

    I think it was Diaz on Packer and Durham last week saying that Narduzzi runs the same scheme every year .. stopping the run on 1st and 2nd down while the corners aggressively press one on one… Manny said you have to offensively win on 1st and 2nd downs against the Panthers… everyone who plays Narduzzi knows this and if the have an accurate passer with good/ tall receivers- look-out.

    Sam Howell will be the next one to demonstrate Narduzzis incompetence/ hardheaded ness/stupidity as a D coach… the UVA QB will pass for big yards.

    PITT had opportunities to win that game but they didn’t get it done yesterday but heck we did win the 2nd half!!!!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. A tip of the cap to folks like Erie Express, JoeL, Bernie, Larry V, and many others who come from out of town to attend Pitt games. After a game like yesterday it is common to hear fans talk of not renewing their tickets. That is certainly understandable.

    But it got me to thinking and realizing what a commitment, in terms of money (travel, lodging, meals, etc) time, and effort, these fans make for their Panthers. I live less than an hour from Heinz Field and the Pete. My level of commitment is so small by comparison as to make my decision to renew tickets a no-brainer. But I get to hang out with all these great people before and after games. I get to enjoy Hemingways before almost every basketball game with my daughter, son-in-law, Fran, Scooter, and an array of other Pitt fans who come and go. Easy decision.

    But those coming from out of town have a level of dedication that needs to be recognized and appreciated. And I know that I speak for all us locals when I say that we do! Thanks to all of you!

    Liked by 15 people

  5. Sorry tvax, but I respectfully disagree, Pitt’s strength is their offense, they should have been able to outscore Miami, no matter how many points Miami scored. Two interceptions and three field goal attempts just was not good enough.

    While I agree the defense was awful, they gave Pitt a chance and KP could have been a monstrous hero on that last drive. A true Heisman QB leads the team to a TD with very little time left.

    If that happens no one remembers anything else.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. If you watch that last INT by KP8, Addison was wide open (as he was on most plays Saturday) and Kenny threw the ball 5 yards behind Jordan.


  6. The season likely ended yesterday. I do not see the D being able to stop UNC. If they drop 2 more games I would tell Kenny to sit out some crappy bowl.

    What the season did prove is Pitt can draw fans is the product is good. The people that run the University should start to spend money to have a better program.

    It was not a safety. It was also not interference on the pick Pitt had in second half. Also on the failed Pitt special the ACC boys had it covered. If you were at the game the had a false start called, but when the play failed they changed it to an illegal formation. If Pitt scored it was coming back.

    That being said you can’t let a freshman QB score an easy 31 in one half let alone a game.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I have never seen a team beat so badly by bubble screens and so many bad decisions made by players as well as the missed tackles. Some of it is on coaching but players are the ones that make or miss the plays.
    I won’t name names but none of the defensive backs tackle as well as the three that left.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. For the most part that freshman QB had time to throw and wide open wide receivers to throw to and he was generally on the money. Don’t forget it was our freshman QB that beat them in the last one we won.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Gordon is correct.
    Athletes, as Annie astutely stated after the game. We could not tackle in space because the Miami players were bigger, stronger and faster.
    Pitt did not run the ball because the Miami D line was mauling them. KP missed passes because he was under real pressure most of the day.
    Miami physically dominated the game. KP gave us a shot, but it was not enough. You need TDs to win a high scoring game not field goals.

    Liked by 7 people

  10. Hammond showed what he could do last week, but he only gets one carry yesterday. We failed to score a td three times in the redzone. Why not take a lesson from the Arizona Cardinals and James Conner?

    Miami knew we would pass, did not have to play for the run.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Watching OSU beat (but by not enough) PSUCKS, I was taken aback by what good (or at least adept) tackling looks like.
    Our defense is a horror show, and if Tennessee or Clemson would have had a decent quarterback, the outcome of those games would have been probably different.
    That great head coach of our generation, Manny Diaz, spells out how to attack Coach Pat’s refuse-to-change-because-I’m-bullheaded defense. Newsflash: Attack the unprotected cornerbacks.
    In all likelihood we have at least one regular season loss ahead, and then we will be watching Pitt in another middling bowl game and saying, “I WONDER WHERE WE’D BE IF ONLY…”
    In other words, the same thing we do every year.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. thoughts, repeated and edited a bit

    funny anyone blaming anything other than the defense for this loss, NOT absolved but….

    related – you don’t try to establish a run game when you’re down big early, you mix it in to keep them honest and Pitt did that and imo you do count KP runs in the rush attempt total even if not designed, maybe 50% anyway

    Whip called a good game and we had many wide open receivers on most plays and KP had good time on most(maybe all) plays when Miami rushed 4

    the biggest deserved criticism of the offense was the few times the ball was thrown well short of the sticks on 3rd and long and receiver had no real chance to add yards – blame on KP and maybe others there

    KP didn’t have a great game but one thing I’ve not read mentioned by anyone here on the first interception was TM not becoming any bit a defender with the ball thrown behind him,,,, needs to happen, even if it results in interference as you can’t allow a turnover

    Krull didn’t have a great game and COULD have if he runs in that trick play

    if you watch the Live Wire post game interviews of the players, they are very mature in their responses, far more than some here

    if not for the last posession we’d have won TOP, it virtually never matters in how you call a game and IS an outcome stat that is a result, not a goal

    I clearly don’t know of or agree with the rule but the fact that they ran clock on the reviewed fumble out of bounds at the end that resulted in an extra 40 seconds lost makes no sense

    any out of bounds play after less than 4 minutes remain the clock STOPS but because there were 2 injuries they run the 40 seconds as if the ball did not go out of bounds

    the placement of the ball roll/bouncing out of bounds was incorrect, yet truth is it “looked” like you could logically guess it went out ahead of the stick, BUT similarly the views of the non-safety looked like it was a safety,,,, I’ve not seen what some above are referring to that CLEARLY show he(the ball!!!) got out of the endzone
    if ^^^, then neither should’ve been overturned

    lastly, if anyone’s to blame for yesterday I’ll admit it, I’ve been to 2 games this year
    yep, me

    oh, ps, glad jugger is back here, thought he/she might disappear

    where is the evidence that I can see with any certainty that the safety was not a safety?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Passing short of the sticks is on the receivers. They are not running a deep enough route. If they need 4 and the receiver runs 2 or 3 deep, he better make sure he can break free, run through, over or drag a defender the extra yards.

      If Pickett has gone through his progressions and that receiver is the target, it’s on him. That’s not good field awareness and I would expect coach Marion to correct that.


  13. Again, I have been saying all year, Pitt will only win when they win the turnover battle. Our D needs take-a-ways to get off the field and give the offense good field position.

    You also need more splash plays than the other team. yesterday Miami got a few more than Pitt. That was the difference, that and all of the close calls went Miami’s way.

    Then there are dumb mistakes, we made just as many as Miami yesterday. The late hit by number 5 that kept one of their drives alive, the illegal player downfield that killed one of our drives come to mind., the two roughing the passers as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. By the way, Pitt can still win out, probably not likely, but this is still a good football team, that easily could have won yesterday, with a few more big plays on either side of the ball.

    Miami, contrary to some here is not a bad football team and could very well win the ACC.

    When every team is evenly matched you need a few breaks to go your way. You need some of the close calls. We got hardly any yesterday.

    Liked by 4 people

  15. I’ll repeat 2 things I posted here on Friday

    (1). Over the last 4 decades, the only 3 times Pitt beat Miami was when Pitt was a decided underdog

    (2). Pitt has 7 defensive starters from Florida but only Keshon Camp received a Miami offer

    The Definitive Bad: original starting Miami QB D’erek King was injured a few weeks ago. Since then, the U has become a much different team

    Sent from my iPhone


    Liked by 1 person

  16. The Good:

    Pitt Fans will show up to see a quality team play in a meaningful game.
    They were loud and really into it yesterday. It was fun until we came up short.

    The unfortunate:

    If that guy did get out of the endzone it was only by an inch and clearly not visible to anyone,
    especially the refs that called it. If they initially called it a safety it would not have been overturned.

    Liked by 2 people

  17. Good write up Rick. I’ll nitpick and add that we actually did lead in the game since we scored first—-admittedly it didn’t take Miami long to tie it up.
    I can’t disagree with much of anything written above. On the non-safety, I have looked at all of the available angles that have been looses by the various outlets and I have found none that show the ENTIRE BALL clearing the end zone, which is required order for it to not be a safety. I have not typically been tough on the zebras but there is absolutely no excuse for any judge to have initially called the ball out of the end zone. It absolutely should have been called a safety on the field, allowing the replay to overturn the call. Also, the runner was actually still trying to escape (making a classic football
    move?—I still don’t know what that term really means, seems to vary from game to game)—and with our our tackling prowess COULD have escaped. He was eventually brought down 3-4 yards deep in the end zone. And with Miami then having to kickoff from their 20 yard line, I’d take my chances with Picket getting us a touchdown—or even a field goal in that situation.

    Sorry, gotta go take my BP pill now.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Thanks pittdad2 – It felt like Pitt was playing from behind all game, but yes, I forgot the fact that we scored first. Like golf, I’m not giving up my day job to write articles for this blog – lol.

      It was good therapy to write the article though.


  18. Forget the “safety”. The game should never have been decided by Pitt needing a safety and possibly a field goal. The basic fact is that we pooped our pants on defense….especially in the 1stQ.

    The second basic fact is that we do not have any way of defending against a QB with a decent arm and good or above-average accuracy. The Clemson kid could not throw a ball and hit the side of The Cathedral. The WMU QB could throw and we all know the sad end result. Duzzi will most likely be exposed again as a defensive dunce in the current era of QB’s who can successfully handle the RPO. NC and Virginia will be extremely difficult opponents and Syracuse has proven to be somewhat better than most of us have originally thought. If we lose to the Dookies we should add Yale, Dartmouth, and probably Albany to our schedule.

    Lastly, our refusal to establish a solid running game makes me check my medicine cabinet for Pepto Bismol.
    The season is not over///we can win 3 or maybe have a miracle and win all of our remaining games (not likely). Sorry, to be negative, but the truth hurts….we are a slightly above average team with a QB
    who will play on Sundays, ….with a head coach who belongs at a mid-level MAC University.

    Liked by 2 people

  19. not going all jugger here but at this moment I believe we will win out

    and would bet real money on it

    the only thing that stops that is if KP decides to shut it down

    Liked by 1 person

    1. KP is not going to “shut it down”….that is nonsense. I believe that he is a first-round draft choice or at worst a high second-rounder. The Stillers need a QB….hmmm.

      Liked by 1 person

  20. Totally off topic, but how in the world can’t Comcast and the ACC come to some kind of agreement by now.
    There is no much utter crap on TV, they can’t figure out a way to cut a deal? We get the SEC in Pittsburgh with no SEC team anywhere close.

    There are ACC people all over the country that would be interested in the content, not to mention how many people that want to watch ACC games are unable.

    This is hurting the ACC far more than it hurts Comcast. At this point the ACC should almost give it away.

    It boggles the mind.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Interesting topic because the proposed integration of the B1G and ACC will have major $$$ TV implications. It has been a disgrace that Comcast customers have been shut out….yeah,… I know about Roku, etc

      Liked by 1 person

  21. That was certainly a humbling game for our Panthers. I believe there is enough leadership on this team to right the ship. I don’t think it far fetched to win the rest of our regular season games…in fact, I expect it. This is a pretty good football team. This loss stings, but all is not lost.


  22. How does yesterday’s game affect the recruiting of running backs?
    I get that when you are behind you have to throw more, but nowhere near the extent of yesterday’s performance. Especially in the redzone. You need to run to keep them from rushing the QB with abandon.
    The sacks were killers. Running Izzy six times and Hammond once should be illegal.

    How bad is Mack hurt?


  23. Even with all of the penalties, bad calls, etc., 34 points should be enough to win a football game. This loss is on the defense. They can’t claim they were tired based on the roughly even time of possession. The defensive game plan didn’t seem to include mixing in blitzes and different coverages to attempt to confuse a Freshman QB. On the contrary, Van Dyke seemed to be very comfortable with the Pitt defense he was seeing, nothing new and his coaches well know Narduzzi’s predictable defense. The Miami WRs were running free at times against Pitt’s defense.

    Pitt can’t beat a quality offense with an accurate QB and big receivers. Watching UNC yesterday, even though they lost, Howell has come a long way back from earlier in the season, and they can definitely beat Pitt. The UVA QB is also definitely capable of beating them. I can’t imagine how this Pitt team will do next year with Pickett gone.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. I watched UNC’s offense RPO take apart a very good ND Defense last night. I cannot imagine what they will do to Pitt’s confused, undersized, slow and poorly coached defense but…. I will be there to watch!

    One big problem I saw rewatching the game was our D backs and corners being confused as to what D we were playing. It’s obvious Duzz put in a zone D and a matchup zone in some cases. Either they did not clearly get or understand the D calls or they lack intelligence but Mathis and Hallett seemed totally confused many times as to what their responsibilities were. There is nothing worse than half the defense playing zone and the other half playing “man”. Thus free running receivers!

    It also abets poor tackling, which has is all about angles to the ball and “intention”? You can’t have either if you don’t know what defense to play.

    THAT is on our coaching staff and our resident defensive guru HC!

    Liked by 2 people

  25. The good ? Really nothing they lost

    The bad ? Penalties, missed tackles and the usual suspects.

    The ugly? We have seen this before and probably will see it again this season.

    A very disappointing loss and very frustrating.


  26. Sorry but I see things differently, the defense held Miami to 7 points in the second half allowing the comeback and setting up KP for his Heisman moment a 90+yard winning touchdown drive. Great QB’s are the ones known for that final winning drive. A great opportunity lost.


      1. Game ain’t over till that final interception, then the non-safety.
        How many games are won by the team with the last chance.
        All any QB looks for is the ball in his hands with enough time to score that winning TD.
        Kenny had that and I’m sure he would agree.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. You’re right Gordo….even after all the penalties, blown tackles & other stuff, had either one of those last 2 Reviews…..went Pitt’s way….we could have won.

          Scenario 1 ) Pitt scores Safety and it’s 38-36 and them free kicking from their 20 yd line. Pitt would have got decent Field Position, needing on a FG to win.

          Scenario 2 ) Miami loses that ball on the Fumble at their 29 or has to punt, giving Pitt well over
          2 minutes to score.

          And in fact it seemed to me, just about every close call went against us.

          Even their freshman QB got the Royal treatment by the Refs, while they allowed hits on Kenny,

          We didn’t play great…..but we also got JOBBED !

          Liked by 1 person

  27. Fair warning, this may be a LONG post:
    The Good:
    1) The beginning of a game day experience at Heinz field. That is, even though weather was forecast as spotty at best the crowd was ready for the game. Students, many of whom were probably freshman and had no idea of SOP turned out and seemed to really enjoy the experience. Never thought it could happen, it not there yet, but for the first time I saw what could be. Just a glimmer.
    2) I think Reed and some others are wrong, and yet right in a way. You need attractive home games, but only after you build a winning tradition. It’s not the days of being an independent where you schedule like crazy. As much as it galls me, the JoePa way works. Under schedule for years, play one or two hard games a year, and create interest. Now, that’s a little harder to do in a conference, but having momentum going into a big game generates excitement. Heinz actually can have a great feel, and the bars on the North Side were way more crowded than our Oakland dives. I was surprised how good the atmosphere was the last 2 games.

    The Bad:
    1) The Duzz’s d. Ya, bad calls, yup that happens. But he will never, ever change his philosophy. Listen, it works when you play teams with below average qbs, as he typically faced in the BiG. While the ACC may not have better TEAMS, they have far superior qbs. An inferior team with an above average qb will beat the Duzz’s d every time. That’s gonna happen 4-5 times a year, for sure.
    2) I really like my flip phone analogy. “ Wht get rid of it, I just wanna make calls”. Why go zone, or mix it up, I just wanna play man, it works.

    The Ugly:
    1) Really different tack here. But I wanna know what Pitt did to scar Ron Cook. Seriously, as a sports fan I admit to reading him since the BV days, and I have NEVER EVER read one article he has written about Pitt where he doesn’t take at least one cheap shot. Ya Ron, we get it, Pitt screwed the pooch again, but come on. Did Northwestern teach you to do that, doubt it as I see stuff about Ben and it’s rainbows and marshmallows. Or you bud Huggy. You certainly have your opinion, but come on, that’s just being a jerk.
    EJ, if you do read this what did Pitt do to that man, I’m to the point where I’m embarrassed for him. What a tool. Show me ONE SINGLE article where he doesn’t give a slap or backhanded compliment. Puke.

    Other than that it was a wonderful day. H2P

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Bloggers here comment on good attendance and electric atmosphere. Ron Cook commented on the lack of fannies in the seats for this big game.

      I’m hearing rumors that Narduzzi has already been extended. Don’t know if it’s true. Hope it’s not but wouldn’t be surprised. An 8-5 record is all the admin hopes for.

      No way we win out. We are now in the toughest part of our schedule. What Pitt didn’t do yesterday was erase memories of Virginia Tech and BC in 2019 or the bowl losses under Coach Narduzzi.

      But enjoy the rest of football season. We’ll get to see Capel’s product up close and personal against WVU on Nov. 10.


  28. ESPN Power Rankings today have Pitt as #23, while a win over Duke vaulted Wake into the Top 10.

    And over at CBS Sports, Jerry Palm their bowl prog….still has Pitt in a New Year’s day Bowl. (Peach)

    So there is still hope for a very successful maybe 10-2 season and a big bowl.

    Yea I always had a Timex watch, when i was a kid !

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Pitt was a TD short of hitting my 41 point prediction. Expected 1 more TD pass from Kenny.

    And the one he should have had, was on the first pick….Addison was wide open on a Post pattern for
    that 1 more TD and 41 points.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. And that is the thing…

      You can agree that the D was a failure and still say openly that what separates a very good to great QB from Heisman candidate is having that opportunity at the end and not being able to close the deal.

      you know it appears from the missed TD and the seemingly insane trick play Kenny P could’ve had 5 TD’s potentially yesterday.

      Coulda, woulda, shoulda…like Dan Marino I imagine his best is yet to come

      Dave Dellett


      1. Well even Neil O’Donnell had to throw interceptions right.

        And Marino, well….we all know that story.


  30. Many want to blame the defense because it makes it all on Narduzzi.
    This teams strength is offense, they need to pick it up when the defense is failing.
    Obviously 34 points was not enough in this game. Plenty of missed opportunities.
    This was a team loss, both offense and defense didn’t perform well enough to win.

    Liked by 3 people

  31. Gordon, that interception was a bad play call. Pickett threw down field instead of going for the first down. And even after the non-safety, the defense gives up a big pass play when a stop gets the ball back. The Krull play was a bad call. Pickett should have gone for the TD, even if he ran it in. Bad play calling didn’t help, and the defense didn’t make key stops.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t disagree with you, you are kind of making my point it was both the offense and defense that lost the game.

      Virginia beat GT yesterday 48-40, so obviously 34 points is not always enough to win.

      The other thing that bugs me is that some Pitt fans don’t want to give Miami credit, that is just silly, they are easily as good as us, and capable as we are to beat anyone in the ACC.

      By the way on that last Miami completion, Mathis stepped behind the receiver instead of in front of him,
      he could have easily broken up or intercepted that pass. I was dumbfounded at the time. I don’t know what he was thinking.


      1. I usually don’t like to call out a player, but that was a total lack of situational awareness. You have to step in front of that player to try to make a play. Making that tackle means nothing at that point. In fact Mathis played one of his poorest games, unfortunately he wasn’t the only one.

        Liked by 1 person

  32. Just for right now.

    PITT played a decent game against a decent team, problem was that PITT made more mistakes.

    Tackling was bad but what was worse on the bubble screens was that after the missed tackle, PITT allowed the ball carrier to go outside instead of being forced back into the field.

    Lots of bad calls but I can’t believe the last call where Miami fumbled the ball backwards out of bounds. The ball literally almost hit the refs toe with him staring right at the ball and marked it short of a first down. Then the play which was overturned but how can they overturn a call when the ref is standing one inch from the rolling ball? The ball is oblong and maybe didn’t touch out of bounds but just looked like it. Oh well. ike

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Agree ike…the tackling was abysmal. Or the difference between highly recruited skill players, that Miami usually gets. And the marginal 3 star guys we get to play CB.

      Miami hasn’t been great for 20 years.
      Yet they still get the much speedier better recruits and end up with a Top 15 class, pretty
      much every year,

      2021 Class #10
      2020 Class #13
      2018 Class #6
      2017 Class #11

      Even with the vast more talent…..they needed a lot of help from the Refs.

      Liked by 1 person

  33. The Good: We can still win the ACC, even with this loss. Kenny passing for an incredible 519 yards.
    If anyone told me that last year or the year before….I’d say you were bonkers.

    The Bad: Lost the game while passing for 519 yards, obviously a Pitt Record. Could have almost
    sewn up the Coastal with a win, but we’re still in the Driver’s Seat.

    The Ugly: The continued saga from last week. Just obvious, blatant, don’t care how bad it looks….
    calls against Pitt by the Refs. People posted the ACC hates Miami as much as Pitt during the week,
    Now we know….for sure, for Certain…….THEY DON’T.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Exactly…..the 2 picks which could have been 2 more TD’s, would have put Pitt at 48.

        And everything else would have been forgotten !

        You pay a price sometimes(most of the time), to get to a place you want to go.


  34. —I’ll take a while to recover from this missed opportunity. I think we fans suffer these losses worse than the players, who move on, but not as bad as the coaches, whose livelihood depends on success…

    —Hats off to the Canes for the double-reverse flea-flicker. Ran it perfectly.

    —Apparently we are not playing man-to-man all the time. On the early TD to the TE, we had 4 defenders in the “zone,” but it sure didn’t help.

    —Carter Warren must be a Coach Borbs favorite, but he has been costing us with penalties and letting rushers through…. I’d like to see Goncalved in there more.

    —Without a dominant pass rush, this team can only win by scoring touchdowns, and many of them.

    —I expect we will run more against upcoming opponents who won’t have the DLine talent Miami has.

    —Vincent had some nice runs yesterday. I thought he looked good.

    —KP had some great throws yesterday. The early completion to the totally covered Bartholomew, the TD pass to Barden, etc. But his two interceptions, one thrown way behind, the other inexplicable, cost us the game. I thought Addison was open on a slant, but KP threw the ball up the seam for some reason…

    —Seems Battle hasn’t played safety the last few games – he did struggle in earlier games…. Seems like we sub out the corners but not so much the safeties.

    —A big thanks to Fran and Wolfe and everyone who contributed at the tailgate.

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 4 people

  35. From Chris Peak – this is similar to a line I cut from the above article:

    “The Pitt defense was certainly ‘better’ in the second half, but the slow start forced the team to play catch up the entire second half. It was a similar script from the Western Michigan loss: missed tackles, unforced penalties, and allowing long plays – it was a mess from start to finish for this group.”

    KP8 played a similar game yesterday to the WMU loss.

    Pitt cannot afford another loss or the Coastal title is gone. I think that is too much to ask our defensive assistant turned HC to manage a direct.

    Duzz told us at the beginning of this season that he would be aggressive and go for TD’s instead of FG’s. Pitt attempted a season high 3 FG’s yesterday in a potentially historical moment in Pitt FB.

    Note to Heather and EJ – you can stop playing the pregame video with the song referring to “call me legend”. It does not fit this team. Now we know…


  36. Middle sentence should read “manage and direct”

    Also regarding FG’s – Duzz learned nothing from the loss at creepy valley to psuX. Two defining moments should have made the call yesterday a “go for it” on 4th and goal – 1. The psuX loss and 2. His own words to start the season “we will trade FG’s for TD’s”.

    More losses in 2021 with Duzz as the HC. He doesn’t know how to manage and direct a game because he never did it prior to coming to Pitt and he is showing he cannot handle the moment.

    Sometimes a coach is promoted to a higher level that is too high for his or her abilities. That I believe is the case with Duzz. It does not mean he is a bad person.


  37. The U sits one game behind Pitt right now with the tie breaker. The U lost 2 ACC games to UNC and UVA who both have very good QB’s and will run RPO’s all over this Pitt D.

    Duzz and DC Bates need to find a scheme or set of players who can defend the RPO or we will hand the Coastal over to the U or UVA.

    What would you as a Pitt fan suggest we do differently? I’ve got numerous ideas – yesterday’s loss has me doubting the Duzz.


    1. While I agree that Pitt needs to defend better. This is a common theme in college football these days.

      Virginia scored 35 points in one quarter(the 2nd) and lost 66-49. These scores are pretty common.
      Pitt is avg’g over 40 ppg with Whipple.

      A lot of teams can’t defend the RPO. Including Miami who as I noted above get Top 15 recruiting classes pretty regularly. Pitt had almost 600 yards of offense.
      We lost, other than the blatant jobbing by the Refs…..because our QB made 2 mistakes.

      And that’s about the only way you can stop a good RPO…..the other QB makes mistakes.


  38. Pitt is out of the AP Poll and, at 5-3 stays in at #22.

    Sporting News is reporting Pitt was jobbed on the safety call, maybe costing the Panthers a shot at the CFB playoff. Now that is a stretch if there ever was one…


    1. Well we’re 6-2.

      And we fell out of the AP. (#26, first in Other’s Receiving Votes)
      And as I linked above….we’re 25 in the Coaches Poll.

      And we Were jOBBED. Where was the goal line camera, that is in Every game I’ve seen on TV.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. haha…good one.

          More than strange though, the ACC network feed only had 3 camera angles of that play. 2 of which were absolutely useless… our Fav ACC Refs were standing exactly at angles blocking any view of that play.

          The only angle (at least the ones the ACC feed of the game showed) was the almost useless live game angle, which was too far away to be 100% definitive.

          I can guarantee you though, had the roles been reversed and a Pitt RB was stopped….it in fact would have been a Safety.

          And those of us that have been around for the last 50 years watching Pitt……KNOW THAT !

          Liked by 2 people

  39. Pitt volleyball beat Virginia Tech 3-0 for their 20th win. Lots of non-starters got to see action- R-Soph MB Anastasia Russ, freshman Setter Rachel Fairbanks (as a serving specialist, right side and setter), freshman Libero Emmy Klika and Soph OH Cat Flood. Leketor Member-Meneh went out with ( I believe) an ankle injury. She was back on the sidelines at the end of the match. Jordan Lockwood was in uniform with an ankle brace on (better than the boot she had been wearing).

    The team did get out- blocked by VT. Never a good thing. Some of them were caused by off-target sets ( too tight or far away from the net gives the hitter less options for kill locations).

    Other than that, Pitt dominated VT, as they should have. Kudos for Coach Fisher for getting the younger players meaningful PT. Knowing they will lose their top producers next year makes this extra important. H2P!

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Yes Coach Fisher used a lot of younger players against VT. Apparently Fairbanks is a decent outside hitter. This is the second match in a row where she was used in that role. Hopefully Member-Meneh is OK for next week. Jordan Lockwood is slowly progressing. It appears she should be back for the NCAA tournament and maybe even for the Louisville match.

      If you look at what next year’s Pitt volleyball team will have, we better hope Pitt gets several very good transfers along with a spectacular recruiting class. So far on the recruiting front I have not heard about any very high recruits committing to Pitt for this year’s class.


      1. I looked at Rachael Fairbanks’ stint at right side as coach’s attempt to get her comfortable with the tempo of the game without her having to manage the team as a setter. Since that is where the setters work from I figured it was a likely spot to put her. I don’t know what previous experience she has as a hitter, but would not be surprised if that was a position she’s played in the past. These ladies are tremendous athletes.

        I did see a “Pitt is it” tweet from Kellen Petrone in the past couple months. IDK if that would have been for ’22 or ’23.

        Liked by 1 person

  40. Wake has moved into the Top 10, for the first Time EVER in school history. Last P5 team in history to do so.

    If we were fortunate enough to meet them in the ACC Championship game in Charlotte, an hour
    or so from Wake. And a Charter member of the ACC & good ole boy school.

    I can imagine how badly we would be Jobbed in that game.

    Liked by 2 people

  41. Narduzzi’s out of AP Top 25 after being ranked for….what? two weeks? Anyone know how long a Narduzzi coached team has stayed ranked in the AP poll? When has Narduzzi outcoached/outsmarted an opposing team?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Narduzzi has the second or third most ACC wins since he joined the conference. Surely he outsmarted at least one coach one time?

      Some of you band wagon jumpers better be careful of not getting hurt. All that jumping on and jumping off. Big Dan, I’m looking at you. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

        1. True enough Rick, glad PITT doesn’t play Miami more than once per season. I know you remember that one win though? When PITT beat the then #2 team in the country.


  42. —I agree with Erie’s comments above about being more aggressive. I have no confidence in Scarton over 40 yards, and even that seems long for him.

    —And I don’t understand why we don’t use Bartholomew more. Looks faster than Krull to me and seems to catch everything. I do like having them both in there, but Krull seems to have a big drop every game.

    —I think we have some good athletes in the young defensive backs, but it seems to be so difficult to learn the safety positions that we don’t see them on the field…. PJ O’Brien is one example; Battle is another.

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 4 people

  43. Every losing team`s fans bitch about the refs…when we gave up 426 yards and three TDs in the air!

    I still think the Achilles heel is the defensive back seven and the run game. When we have a LB drop back and actually help defend passes give me a ring. Yes, RPOs are tricky to defend but it wasn’t as if they were actually running on the majority of those. I call out Bates for our poor pass D. He`s enamored of the LBs playing up for the run.

    BTW, even down 7 or 14 in the 1st quarter you still need to at least try to establish the run game. It isn’t enough to get passing yards and at 6/14 on 3rd downs we could have used shorter distances to go for the sticks.

    With 1st and 5 at the Miami 5 we passed three straight times and failed each time. Could have used a run off a RPO a least once there.

    We might drop three out of last four ~ SYR might be tough in their dome, they can score points, but more like 2-2 for 8-4 and a middling bowl.

    Liked by 3 people

  44. One more thing, no one has mentioned what a tremendous, magnificent, fabulous play that was that wasn’t called a safety. Not sure who made the first hit but what an athletic effort to stop the guy cold well behind the line of scrimmage. That was a truly big play that went unrewarded.

    I read where the entire ball has to break the plane of the endzone line. the best shot I have seen from Dan shows the runners left foot near the goal line with his right clearly behind the goal line. If he is protecting the ball, carrying it on his right hip, no way it crossed the line. Just sayin’

    I guess we will never know for sure unless the skycam looked straight down on it.

    But right or wrong three close calls didn’t go our way, the review of the interception, the safety, and the fumble out of bounds. Bad luck if nothing else.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Danielson #95 makes the initial hit. It was a great play by our D, but the team’s overall lack of execution throughout the game is what produced the loss. KP8’s two INT’s were poorly thrown balls, not great defensive coverage. The lack of our back seven being able to cover the cane receivers and our FG kicker missing from 49 yards are a systematic coaching issue.

      Lastly, Jordan Addison was running wide open on numerous plays before KP8 checked down to a behind the sticks throw. The section I was seated in was screaming for him to get the ball about ten times throughout the game. The young man was beating the Miami secondary all day – he did have 8 catches, but many of his open route running was for not. Either KP8 was under pressure or his vision of the field was off.

      We lost – let Duzz watch the tape and tell us nothing.


    2. I thought the Pitt defender bodied-up the ball-runner very quickly which meant two things to me: 1. The ball-carrier couldn’t (and didn’t) extend the ball forward; and 2. The ref who marked the ball couldn’t have seen where the ball was because the defender was coming in from his side of the field. The defender was between the official and the ball.

      What makes a poor line judge is a guy who “assumes” or “anticipates” where the ball would get to, without actually seeing it. I’m convinced that’s what this guy did…. No way the ball went to the half-yard line.

      Go Pitt.

      Liked by 2 people

  45. (Apologies for changing the subject.) Now that I got the bad taste of this game out of my mouth and being a whisky glass half-full guy, the Mrs. and I are traveling to Duke. At least that’s a guaranteed win! Arriving Fri and departing Sun. Tailgate/meeting plans?


  46. The Good: The Narduzzi should be fired talk is back on the front burner. (among fans who know football)

    The Bad: Pitt will never fire him as long he wins 6 games a year (most of the time).

    The Ugly: Anyone got tickets for the bowl game in Birmingham? Asking for a friend…

    I agree with Reed on the win total and bowl. I see 2 wins and 2 loses in the next 4 games and another loss if we get to play Wake for all the marbles. We could win 3 out of 4 or lose 3 out of 4 if Cuse keeps getting better though.

    As for the non-safety call, how about the fact that Miami had the ball on their own one after the call and got a couple first downs to close out the game (as Gordon pointed out)? Where was the D then when we needed them?

    The replay is at 24:23. Also notice the next play that killed us. This defense stinks…


    1. BTW, this guy made a good point about the RB’s second effort to get out of the end zone:

      Liked by 1 person

  47. All coaches have a offensive and defensive schemes they live and die with. We knew what our defense would look like when we hired PN. I really don’t have a problem with the scheme. My problem with PN’s defense since day one has been the consistently terrible tackling. Players change from year to year, but the terrible tackling remains a constant. From bad form to bad angles, our PITT Panthers put it on full display every game. Fix that issue, and the scheme won’t matter.


  48. Been watching football for quite a long time, after playing it when I was young,

    Haven’t seen too many QB’s 4 games into their career…. that performed like this Van Dyke kid.
    And it’s not just against us….he outdueled the #18 NC State QB last week, throwing 4 TD passes.

    So he went to this very expensive Private School in Connecticut,

    Suffield Academy is a private preparatory school located in Suffield, Connecticut. The tuition fees for students are currently $65,000 for boarders and $38,700 for day students.

    With tuitions like that…i wonder what Daddy Van Dyke does.


  49. Wrong!
    I was sold the the Nard dog was a very good defensive coach. I was not told about his system. If you ever played QB, I did, it is hard to prepare.

    With the system Pitt uses the kid at Miami spent all week throwing bullets to his wideouts on the screen. His coaches read the the defense for him.

    He only had 3 things to practice.
    Wide receiver throw right or let at the LOFS
    Hand off
    Throw long to the receiver his coach identified on the sideline. He practiced that all week and it is simple.
    Especially when the guy you are throwing deep too is a much better player than the Pitt d Back.

    With a Freshman you should make the game harder. He never had to make a read.
    Rush 3
    play a base zone
    find something that bothers him

    If the Duzz D was working then stick with it, but if not you have to find a way to make it difficult. With no pass rush it is just so easy to break it down.
    The problem is not knowing enough to understand that you need alternatives to achieve on outcome if what normally works is failing.

    John McEnroe learned to attack Lendel up the middle of the court because he liked angles. Finally, if you system is simple and predictable it is easy to prepare for.

    Pitt gave away a major advantage to an inexperienced QB in a big game. He had the answers to the test and he aced it.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. He who knows little often repeats it.
      So allow me to repeat myself:
      When Mason Rudolph threw for 497 yards in the First Half against Pitt at Heinz, and Coach Pat refused to change coverages, I realized it wasn’t about winning but rather about his unwavering obstinance.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Dick Lebeau was considered a master at taking advantage of, and confusing young quarterbacks with great physical skills. Seems like a no brainer for Nardstop to have reached out and learned from Lebeau. Learn from Saban, who has many ex coaches on his “analysts” staff.

      Costs very little and great for learning and continuity.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. 7 years ago Ike. He was still doing his thing very well…and was very local if I recall. The idea is that many of the qb’s pitt sees will not have a lot of great experience. Instead of doing what he always does, it would be a good idea for someone to show Nard some wrinkles instead of the same stuff. Opposing OC’s can look at Pitt’s tape 6 years ago and teach their qb how to handle it. That was the point and that is what we heard from opposing coaches (WMU, etc.).

          Same stuff with Miami.

          Still looks like a 14 game season in my mind. However, if Pitt plays an undefeated WF in the ACC championship, we can expect really bad reffing in order to follow the money.


          1. No you’re right Huff the Third. I was trying to make a funny there. Lebeau is old but advice from him will never get old.


  50. Pitt is favored by 21 vs Duke this weekend. The Blue Devils beat Northwestern and Kansas. They lost a very close game to GT.

    The other 3 ACC losses were to teams Pitt has yet to play and they were blown out by very good QBs – UNC, UVA and W_F.

    Pitt better not look past Duke…

    Liked by 2 people

  51. Per tweet by Jerry DiPaola:

    :Per source, Miami would not have punted from its 29 if Mallory’s catch and fumble late in the 4th quarter was short of first down. 4th-and-1 from its 29 a better bet than giving ball back to Pickett. As it turned out, Mallory did get the first down and ‘Canes ran out the clock.”
    9:08 PM · Oct 31, 2021


  52. KP has grown into a great quarterback. I feel bad for him. He reminds me of Archie Manning – greatest NFL QB never to play in a playoff game. I hope for his sake KP winds up with an NFL contender.

    Pitt is a good football team. And so far this season it has been fun to watch, mostly.

    I’ve been a Pitt fan since the 70s. Never attended the university but did see one game at the old Pitt Stadium. Never lived in Pittsburgh or even in Pennsylvania.

    Why am I a fan? Pitt is a great school responsible for some great teaching and discoveries. It was fun to follow its sports teams and the great players it produced from time to time. And it always had class. It stood tall above the rest. Win or lose I hope that is never lost.


    Liked by 10 people

  53. Completely agree Pittdad. (You could be my dad with that handle——but ya ain’t nearly old enuf!) 😉


  54. Back home in Virginia after a fun weekend with friends and family.

    After having had some time to reflect on the game, I don’t believe the loss was due to talent differential, Pitt’s defensive scheme, the refs, and folks opinions about Narduzzi’s fitness as a football HC.

    All of those are relevant for a styles point discussion, no question.

    Pitt lost yesterday because they made mistakes – and too many of them. Penalties, turnovers and some play calls cost us that game. Play a smarter game and we win. And I would have been absolutely delighted with a one point win over the Canes. They aren’t slouches.

    Hope the kids figure that out…gonna need to stop beating themselves to have a chance to win the next four games.

    I’m still all in on Kenny and believe he rebounds from this one.

    Canes are in the driver seat and hopefully they’ll beat themselves once in their next four.

    Nice seeing everyone at the pre and post game gatherings… win or lose, it makes going to the games a lot more fun.

    Liked by 6 people

  55. —Watched a bit of OSU/PSU. Must say that PSU has some excellent talent – can’t believe they lost to Illinois…. That had to be some really bad coaching.

    OSU could not cover PSU’s receivers. And PSU always finds good TEs…. Heck of a team to have 3 losses already.

    —I’m guessing the threat of rain kept the crowd down a bit at the Pitt game. I was disappointed in the turnout, including the student section. But the crowd was energized…

    Go Pitt.


  56. But poor angles and poor tackling is often a result of a poorly conceived defensive scheme. If you don’t identify what the strengths and weaknesses an offense has, then adjust your D with that in mind as the O comes out of the huddle and into formation you have given them the edge already.

    If the defense/defender isn’t allowed to really adjust pre-snap then that extra two or three steps to the ballcarrier results in attempted arm tackles and extra yardage gained.

    PN doesn’t ever seem to adjust his defenses to the down, distance and time.

    Liked by 2 people

  57. These ROP offenses don’t huddle.
    They get up on the LOS…..and the look over to the sideline to get the play call.

    Pitt defenders don’t disguise their defensive formation too well. And you have to… since these
    ROP offenses are getting the defense to show them their coverage package pre-snap.

    So you have to be super quick as a coach in making a call, then you have to the players who can
    adjust quickly when that call is made or changed at the LOS.

    These aren’t exactly the Fighting Dentists of 1909.

    Liked by 2 people

  58. ** So you have to be super quick as a coach in making a call, then you have to have the players who can then adjust quickly when that call is made or changed at the LOS.

    And this is not just a Pitt problem….as you see from Coast to Coast….huge Offensive Total Yard numbers and particularly in Passing Yards being put up by these type Offenses who adjust their play calls at the LOS
    based on what formation the opposing Defense lines up in.

    For example even Pitt’s non-Top 20 Class Recruits put up almost 600 of Offense on Miami, 519 of which were passing yards. Virginia’s non-Top 20 Class Recruits put up almost 600 Yards of Offense on BYU.
    And BYU’s non-Top 20 Class recruits put an amazing 734 Total Yards on Virginia.

    And adding to Pitt’s problems against teams with better, speedier, Top 15 Recruiting class types like Miami gets…. is slower, less recruited, less able 3 star kids are going to have trouble in 1 on 1 matchups on plays
    where the WR is “In Space”.

    Liked by 3 people

  59. I think Miami’s success with the bubble screens showed the difference of talent level. Pitt looked like the Keystone Cops on those plays. Those plays work best when the receiver has superior moves and speed to beat the first guy and the blocker takes out the second guy. Our guys just didn’t show the speed strength or agility to blow up those plays. You can look at it as bad tackling or the fact that their guys were just faster, stronger and more agile than our guys.

    When Antonio Brown was in his prime he almost always eluded that first tackler, some of the best in the world because of his skill level, certainly not because they were bad tacklers.

    When you watch Izzy or Hammond run vs. Davis, they have the speed strength and agility to break tackles, that Davis doesn’t have. They push the pile forward for that extra yard or two. I think next year Davis should be moved to wide receiver, with Izzy and Hammond sharing the snaps. Especially since without KP a much more balanced offense will be necessary.


  60. I still go back to that final drive, when hammond showed the formula vs Clemson, to make a long sustained drive killing the clock. Yes this one had to end with a needed touchdown. On that final interception I couldn’t believe they hadn’t run the ball. Even with a score Clemson would have got the ball back with 4 minutes left.
    Not really the best clock management.

    If KP would have lead that final TD drive he would have been on the Today show this morning.

    He can still be the comeback kid, just win the next 5 in a row. One at a time.

    Liked by 4 people

  61. Flying to Myrtle this am to golf for a week…wish I could make the Duke game with Doug and the gang.
    Take care if business there and I’ll see yinz at the NC tailgate with Big B.
    Good things can still happen this year!

    Liked by 6 people

  62. 22 of the Top 25 teams played this past weekend. 9 of them lost, and 6 of the 9 were to unranked teams

    Unranked Miami beat 2 ranked teams in a row. And Btw, UVA lost to BYU 66-49.

    The Coastal madness continues

    Sent from my iPhone


    Liked by 2 people

    1. Teams that peak at the end of the year are the best. Miami looks to be doing it.
      Pitt still has a chance, but very competitive games through the end.


  63. Pitt has to play it’s best game every week to win. Obviously they didn’t do it last week. Easy to have a let down after the previous two weeks. No margin for error now.


  64. Did anyone on here really think Pitt was winning out prior to the Miami game? That was not realistic. All the college playoff talk was nonsensical. College football is full of parody. Multiple loss teams are common. Pitt still has a very good shot at the ACC championship game. That’s a realistic goal.
    Pitt’s in the drivers seat. The negativity on here (by some) is unbelievable at times. How can you write off the season with so many games left? It isn’t SOP football team, it is SOP crappy fans.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Hey bro….I don’t make the requirements for the ESPN Computer Football Power Index or the Allstate Playoff Predictor.

      I just reported Pitt being in them.
      Got a problem with that….take it up with ESPN and/or Allstate.

      But you are indeed correct about the flood of negativity on here. Lots of trolls, come out after EVERY
      Pitt Loss.

      They haven’t been around much this season and hopefully that continues !

      Liked by 2 people

  65. Took a look at the box score this morning. Pitt beat Miami in most of the statistical categories. The difference was the two turnovers, and three stalled drives. Miami’s efficiency in the endzone made the difference.

    Agree with NRS, we weren’t going to win out, the playoff talk and Heisman talk were over the top. The unfortunate thing is that of the five games that were left, Miami and VA were the crucial ones. Win those two, and you could have lost the other three and still won the coastal, providing UNC loses one more.

    Liked by 1 person

  66. The really unfortunate thing is that if Kenny would have finished that drive with a touchdown, the Heisman talk would have got real.


    1. His comments about the play and throw on his weekely show with Chris Peak will be interesting.
      I will make one bold prediction… he will take full responsibility, whether on him or not.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. UVA has to beat us and VT. Throw out the records when UVA and VT meet. Hokie fans will fill up UVA’s stadium – like Steeler fans taking over at road games.


  67. Pickett had 500 yards passing. lol. Addison missing practice all week probably played more of a factor than KP interviews. That was a bit of a low blow and very speculative. With celebrity comes celebrity responsibilities. He handled it like a professional from what I saw. He was playing from behind the entire game. That’s going to lead to some TO’s.

    The defense lost this game. That’s it. The offense was fine. I said before the game this game worried more than Clemson. Miami always has our number.

    Good: Offense
    Bad: Slow Start
    Ugly: Defense; Miami owns us

    Liked by 1 person

  68. Wouldn’t 10-2 be a nice season? The ACC conference title is still up for grabs and a 11-2 and with a bowl win12-2. Makes me wonder just how competitive some of the POVer’s actually are in their real life’s trials and tribulations?

    Being a PITT fan means you gotta want it and never give up. There’s no quitting and yes, I think PITT will wind up with 11 wins!

    Liked by 7 people

    1. 10-2 would be outstanding and I believe this squad can do that if they play mistake free and with the right mindset.

      I’ve been reading about how Sam Howell will tear us up… and Brennan Sullivan as well. Yep, they could do that. We might also beat them even if they do if the offense plays to their potential.

      We’ll see though… 4 games is a long stretch to feed off the sting of the Canes loss. How will this Pitt team fare as it has to fight for the division title?….

      Liked by 3 people

    2. Ain’t that the truth Ike. I’m thinking ‘not’ on the trials & tribulations. 9 to 5’er’s

      Or they’re really just trolls…..doing what trolls do.

      Liked by 1 person

  69. This Miami loss was certainly the fault of the defense. It was so bad that I find it hard to believe that the players were at fault. There is something wrong with a defensive scheme that has the opponent’s WRs running free across the middle of the field with no defenders within 10 feet, and a Freshman QB getting an average 10 yards per completion.

    Some fans have observed from their attendance at the game that the secondary looked confused and there were coverage breakdowns as a result. If so, this is on the coaches. The defense has cost Pitt two games so far, and one more loss could ruin the season. When will the defensive coaching staff be held accountable?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You can see the confusion watching the replay of the game. After several big gains, Pitt players are seen yelling at each other or looking at each other with their hands up. That is on the coaches 100%. Too far into the season for that BS.

      Liked by 1 person

  70. I’m not complaining about officiating in this post. I’ve done enough of that. And I know that many on here have pointed out how the ACC treats Pitt like an afterthought. As partial proof, I was listening to the first quarter of the Clemson game on SiriusXM and they were using the CLEMSON broadcast as the feed notwithstanding the fact that the game was in Pittsburgh. Maybe that is a Sirius decision but I suspect the ACC has some input.

    The Chancellor and AD might want to make a subtle point at their next ACC meetings. Pitt is by far the oldest university in the ACC. It is older than the Constitution, founded a few months before the Constitutional Convention of 1787 even started. It is older than T. Jefferson’s vaunted UVa by 32 years! It admitted students of color before some of the other ACC member schools were even founded. Women were admitted 30 years before the University of Miami was founded. The second and third verses of the Alma Mater emphasize all of this. Unlike other such songs, it doesn’t emphasize athletic victories. Rather, it tells of a noble history; that of conquests not on the playing field but of fate itself like the fires of the mid-19th century.

    The ACC may have a storied history but it can’t hold a candle to Pitt’s. Some measure of respect is due.


    Liked by 9 people

    1. Correct! I have a frat bro who is uber-enamored with all things Chapel Hill. He was boastful and confident in comparing the age of UNC vs Pitt until presented with the facts. I don’t hear that garabage from him anymore and he is actually quite complimentary when called for. Heck, if I could get him to Pgh and have him see the Nationality Rooms in particular… that entire discussion will end forever.


      1. LOL….When I tell these know-nothings down here, that this area of the Carolinas was settled by Pennsylvanians……including John Clemson, a Pennsylvanian himself……the looks of disbelief are a hoot.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. There’s nothing conspiratorial regarding the broadcasts. For whatever reason, SiriusXM usually Carries the away team feed. It’s not a Pitt thing.


      1. Thank you for the clarification. I will assume from the “usually” that it is dependent on availability and other technical factors since this week the feed was Hillgrove et al even though Miami was the away team.


    3. And with Football….Pitt has the most ‘storied’ football program in the ACC.

      And it isn’t even Close.
      The Pedo’s think they are the red-headed Stepchild of the B1G, likewise us in the ACC.

      Pitt, Notre Dame, PSux, BC, Syracuse, Miami, Louisville should tell the ACC to suck it
      and form their own Conference. Add in maybe Navy, UCF & WVCC.


    4. Pittdad – check the POV’s game day thread for Serius or SeriusXM channels carrying the Pitt (Hillgrove et al) broadcast. (I have a SeriusXM in my car but have an old portable Serius receiver I got around 2008 – 2010.)
      What is knew this year, Sirius/XM now carries both the home and visitor radio feeds for most games. In past years, they only had the home team feed.

      Any questions, POVers will answer. I definitely would.


    11/1/2021 1:00:00 PM
    PITTSBURGH—Pitt’s Kenny Pickett, arguably the nation’s most impactful quarterback this season, has been named a semifinalist for the prestigious Maxwell Award, annually presented to the college player of the year.

    This is the latest national recognition for Pickett, who previously was named a first team “Midseason All-American” by The Athletic, CBS Sports and Sporting News. The Associated Press tabbed him the ACC’s “Top Offensive Player” at midseason.

    Pickett Maxwell Semifinalist

    FOX Sports analyst Matt Leinart, the 2004 Heisman Trophy winner, said Pickett throws “the best deep ball in college football.” In evaluating Pickett’s performance, Pro Football Network’s Cam Mellor wrote, “He isn’t just the best quarterback in the ACC this season, he’s been the best QB in the entire country.”

    The superlatives have been well earned. Through eight games, Pickett has completed nearly 70% of his passes (207 of 299) for 2,755 yards with 26 touchdowns and only three interceptions. With his three rushing scores, he has accounted for 29 total TDs in piloting college football’s fourth-highest scoring offense (43.9 points per game).

    This past weekend against Miami, Pickett had a historic performance, setting Pitt single-game records for passing yards (519), total yards (509) and completions (39). In the process, he surpassed the legendary Dan Marino for career touchdown responsibility (84) and also became the Panthers’ all-time leader in total offense (11,492).

    Pickett is highly distinguished among FBS quarterbacks with top-10 rankings in no fewer than eight NCAA statistical categories: total offense (third, 367.5 yards per game), passing touchdowns (fourth, 26), points responsible for per game (fourth, 21.8 avg.), total points responsible for (fifth, 174), passing yards per game (fifth, 344.4 avg.), total passing yards (sixth, 2,755), completions per game (sixth, 25.88 avg.) and passing efficiency (ninth, 173.3 rating).

    In addition to his athletic excellence, Pickett is accomplished academically and from a community and leadership standpoint. Pitt’s two-time team captain earned his bachelor’s degree in marketing and is presently enrolled in the Katz Graduate School of Business. He has been nationally lauded for his NIL initiatives, which have emphasized philanthropy as well as his teammates.

    The Maxwell Award will name three finalists on Nov. 23. The winner will be unveiled during ESPN’s telecast of The Home Depot College Football Awards on Dec. 9.

    The Panthers have a rich history with the Maxwell Award. A pair of Pitt’s legendary players—running back Tony Dorsett (1976) and defensive end Hugh Green (1980)—are past recipients of the coveted honor.

    Pickett has led the Panthers to a 6-2 overall record and first place in the Coastal Division with a 3-1 ACC mark.

    Pitt, ranked No. 25 in the USA TODAY Sports AFCA Coaches Poll, plays at Duke this Saturday at noon. The game will be televised by ACC Network.

    Liked by 6 people

  72. I do believe that the athleticism of Miami was the difference. Specifically, how many tackles they made in the open field compared to how many tackles Pitt missed in the open field

    Also, on the bubble screens, the Pitt defenders just couldn’t get to the edge to stop them for minimal gains

    Sent from my iPhone



  73. In my time being a Pitt fan, we have never made it to a 7 and 1…that’s a record that can get you to that next level. This Miami loss reminded me of two losses to Rutgers when I was a student that really kept the program from getting to that top fifteen high level.

    In 2008, we were 5 and 1…had only lost to Bowling Green. We have a home game against Rutgers and we should kick butt. Bill Stull gets taken out on a stretcher and we lose letting by 54 points.
    Also in Wanny’s first year 2006, we were 6 and 1 with Rutgers at home…and we lost 20 to 10…which then led to a five game losing streak. That’s what I’m worried this current team will do, thrown in the towel after losing a big one.

    You have to win program defining games on occasion. Miami and Clemson were not ranked. Heck, this schedule we have this year doesn’t seem that bad. This was the chance for ten wins. I feel like it is slipping away. In the future, there will be harder conference and non-conference schedules and Kenny will be gone, the o-line will be gone. Pat needs to get it done this year.


  74. I will publish my basketball article after the Pitt/WVU game Friday 11/12. That will give us tonight’s game vs Gannon and Citadel on 11/9 to look at and get some familiarity with the players.

    Liked by 2 people

  75. What also sux about the obvious step-child treatment we get from the ACC is this:

    If it wasn’t for Pitt being in this southern fried conference……the ACC would NOT be getting all
    these games with Notre Dame.

    We gave up some Notre Dame games in this process of joining this conf, because of our long long
    history with Notre Dame.

    And these ACC schools that don’t draw to capacity(which is everyone but Clemscum now) wouldn’t be getting Notre Dame to give them a sellout. And they certainly wouldn’t have had ND in the conference for football last year.

    So you would think, we would get a ‘fair shake’……..but NO it’s quite the opposite.


    1. Well:
      I agree we get shafted by the ACC. However, if they did not take us in the program would have been destroyed. If getting screwed was part of the deal I still would sign it.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. We would have been in Big 12, as we were approached before WVCC.

        Now granted that conf is in kind of a tenuous position now. But it would have kept the program in
        a P5 conference at that time, rather than the AAC.


      2. Agree 100%

        We are so much better off in the ACC than the other possibilities.

        Two things are helping to change the tide for Pitt within the conference.
        One is the arrival of Phillips as Commissioner and the other is the naming of Cuse’s President as chair of the ACC Board.

        But the best thing Pitt can do is continue to improve its overall performance in athletics. Something to discuss after FB and BB I suppose?

        Liked by 1 person

  76. Pitt was 7 and 1 in 2009. Lost last 2 regular season games to WVU and Cindy

    A note about the Cincy game. Back then, Pitt was known primarily as a defensive team .. yet they gave up 45 pts to a spread team which I guess may have been a sign of things to come

    Sent from my iPhone


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Actually we were 9-1 and had climbed to #8 in the polls.

      And we avg’d 32 ppg, which was 21st in the nation that year.


    2. Pitt was also known as Pittsburgh in 2009 too. Mid-majors were ahead of the rest and knew how to equalize the lack of athletic prowess to compete against better competition back in the day.

      Still pains me to hear Pitt referred to as Pittsburgh during any telecast or highlight/lowlight national news program.

      What was the real attendance at the game? Watched the full game replay and it looked like most of the upper deck was empty.


        1. if steve peterson was involved, it was pittsburgh! Part of the reason for the Wanny divorce was that Wanny was going old Pitt and Peterson faction wanted Pittsburgh. Wanny wanted old colors too. Am I right or am i thinking about the syracuse orange, versus orangemen? I know I am right when State Penn was still State Penn in 2009.


  77. I just don’t agree with blaming it all on the defense. Yes the defense had a miserable 1st qtr, but our offense stalled out the 2nd,3rd,4th drives getting only a field goal. The defense won the second and third qtrs helping Pitt back in the game. In the fourth qtr where you win or lose games, Pitt’s first drive was a three and out and the second ended in an interception. Putting up a goose egg in the fourth qtr. How was that the defenses fault?

    So Pitt’s D had a miserable 1st qtr, won the next two and gave up 3 points in the fourth.

    This is a team with a great offense, almost everyone puts up 30 vs. Miami. Pitt’s O needed to and should have done better. Four opportunities ending with two field goals, a miss and an interception doesn’t work when you are in a shoot-out.

    Throwing for over 500 yards in a loss is nothing to crow about. Scoring the football is what wins games.

    Liked by 1 person

  78. Miami’s average score this year is 32.14 vs Pitt’s 43.9. Miami has given up an average of 30 points per game.
    We should have scored more. Pitt’s defense gave up less than a touchdown over Miami’s normal production.

    I know you can prove anything with statistics, but your star player needs to win that game poor defense and all. Hopefully he makes up for it in the next 4, 5 or 6.

    Liked by 1 person

  79. I don’t know if it was Whipple or Kenny that called that last interception, but there was 4 minutes left on the clock, even if the play worked too much time to give Van Dyke, We should have run Hammond down their throats and scored with less than a minute left.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Gordon, I’ve been saying the same thing. They are so in love with Kenny that they are not using common sense. The defense is giving up huge chunks of yardage. Why leave time on the clock, when maybe only a Miami field goal could win it. Once Pitt tied the game at 31, they should have changed strategies.


      1. And Gordon, you are right on that they should have been running the ball more. When a team throws 55 times for over 500 yards and loses, then something is wrong with the play selection.

        Liked by 3 people

    2. Gordon – the counter argument to that is that prior to that interception, Miami had the ball 5 times in the second half. Three punts, one interception and a TD.

      No guarantee that the Canes would respond after Pitt takes a lead.

      They would be playing towards the closed end of the stadium and Pitt would have had a lot of momentum and crowd engagement.


      1. JoeL, sounds like you are describing some sort of halftime adjustment? Could it be? … By golly brother JoeL, I think you may have something there?

        I have never been a big fan of taking time off to score. Last weeks game against VT on fourth down and a couple, Pickett throws long TD to Mack. If it’s there..take it!

        Liked by 1 person

  80. ACC Home Attendance Figures from Last Game.

    Wake Forest 31, 613 (opponent Duke an hour away, helped fill)
    Pitt 46, 977
    Georgia Tech 35, 543
    Clemscum 79, 097 (3% short of capacity, after their last 6 year run)
    Syracuse 32,022 (playing BC, an old & Northeast rival)(65% of capicity)
    NC State 53, 123 (58,000 capacity, after being ranked in Top 20, a week earlier)


    1. Perhaps look at the statistic this way:

      Pitt penalties avg 83.3 yards per game
      Pitt opponent penalties avg 49.5 yards per game
      The difference, -33.8 yards, is more than one third the length of the field.


  81. @Ike … if we broke the 3 loss season curse I would be ecstatic. I never thought we’d be in the playoff even if we won out anyways. UVA and UNC will both be hard games because the offense will have to be perfect. Wake is praying they play us in the championship.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “The 3 loss season curse”

      Careful, Tossing, you remember as well as anyone the “curse” of not being able to get beyond the second round of the NCAA Basketball Tourney.


  82. Did anyone else just hear THIS on Maddens station? Evidently Pitt Football players got in a diss war with Miami players on the internet (twitch?) Wed/Thurs night before the game? RUFKM? So this is why it was so easy to bait the Pitt players into 107 yds of penalties! Where is the coaching discipline here? Ok maybe I’m old and naive but I could surely not coach teens and twenty year olds in this era! What an affront to Pitt Coaches, Fans and other players. So typical of “big daddy Duzz” who the players just love! Unreal. Aside from the obvious, players were not concentrating on the upcoming game and it showed!


    1. Duzz has discussed the challenges of keeping kids away from social media on many occasions.
      Not sure Pitt’s players were any more baited than Miami’s in that situation.

      If you realize you could not coach teens and twenty years olds, it suggest you are self-aware – not naive.

      How many of us have said, “Boy, am I glad we didn’t have cell phones when I was growing up.”?

      A few folks….Major, Wolfe, Erie to name a few seem like they were probably always well-behaved.

      Not me. Thinking we have a few others in Red5A who shall remain nameless, but are conspicuous by their absence from the above list. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  83. Now for some Positive Pitt Volleyball News:

    Pitt moved up to #3 from #4 last week in the AVCA poll.
    Pitt remains at #1 in RPI
    In the first bracket reveal on Sunday Pitt was ranked #4 which means they would not only host a first round tournament playoff but also a regional playoff. Louisville was ranked #1. Georgia Tech of the ACC was ranked #9. Only the first top 10 spots were revealed. The reveal was based on matches through last Wednesday, October 27th. On Saturday #3 Wisconsin lost to Purdue.

    This weekend Pitt Volleyball plays two matches at the Fitz. On Friday at 7 PM Pitt plays Syracuse to whom they lost two matches last season. These losses were due to horrendous serving. These losses cost them the ACC title. On Sunday the seniors will be honored before the 1 PM match against Boston College. Please support the Panthers and attend if you are comfortable doing so.

    You may now return to solving Pitt’s football problems.

    Liked by 8 people

  84. Pitt can win the next 4 games and the ACC Championship. But they really need to do some soul searching as to what it takes to win games. If they lose, it won’t be for lack of talent. This coaching staff needs to step up in a big way.

    They need to look at everything from the horrendous play of the defense (31 pts in the first half?) to the play selection of the offense, to the lack of discipline that is creeping back into their play. The really good coaches know how to motivate their teams to come out ready to go, not to give the opposition a quick 21 points before all fannies are in their seats.

    Liked by 3 people

  85. Twitter did not cause Pitt to lose the game. Kenny Pickett doing interviews did not cause Pitt to lose the game.

    Our defensive play and, to a lot of extent, the defensive scheme did. Pitt came to play. I’m not one to blame the refs but they had a quick trigger finger. I didn’t see many discipline issues. Just calls that went against Pitt. Pitt lost because of defense. Simple as that. The offense did what they had to and playing from behind the entire time lead Pitt to make a couple mistakes in a game that they had to be perfect in. Good game by Miami. Bad game by Pitt. Miami is better than their record. They could easily be 6-2 if the ball bounced right. Ultimately they are what they are and Pitt is what Pitt is. Pitt’s offense is going to have to be perfect against good teams. UVA and UNC are going to be really difficult if that defense doesn’t turn it around. Every game had missed opportunities by our opponents … Miami capitalized and did not miss those opportunities.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. You’re right about Miami TT. In the last 2 weeks they beat 2 ranked opponents on the road. That’s very difficult to do. Van Dyke’s play is probably saving Manny Diaz’s job.

      Liked by 2 people

  86. Forgot to thank Erie for the post to give us all something to chat about. For that matter, a few folks have stepped up – Pitt-Cocks & Maestro in particular. I appreciate that you have invested in keeping this space running. (and thanks to Reed for the willingness to keep it going despite all else that is going on.

    And its just my POV, but I believe the quality of the discussions have improved a bit lately as there is more focus on what happens on the field of play. Still divergent views, but the tone is more civil.

    Liked by 5 people

  87. Chances are a few of next four will come down to who has the ball last, just like thi one did. Whether it is us or them. Players will need to make plays to finish with a win. Make them you win don’t make them you lose.

    Miami made the plays at the end, yes they got the calls, but it would have been mute if Pitt made the plays they needed to make on that last drive.

    Everyone wants to diss the D, but I give them a lot of credit for fighting back and giving Pitt the chance to win.
    To me that shows a lot of fight and character. When things went wrong in that first quarter, they did not quit and neither did the offense, they fought back to the very end.

    Liked by 1 person

  88. Pitt 30
    Gannon 22
    2:52 left in the first half.
    Sibande taken to the locker room with a knee injury.


  89. From the Richmond Times-Dispatch regarding the rib injury to QB Brennan Armstrong:

    “UVA has not updated Armstrong’s status and predicting how long he could be out if he suffered broken ribs is tricky because of the many variables – how many ribs are broken, which ones, what type of fractures and where on the ribs the crack or cracks occurred.

    As a left-handed quarterback, an injury to the left side of his rib cage could have a more significant impact on his ability to throw the football, as it clearly did on the one pass he threw after the injury occurred.

    The rib or ribs themselves, if they were broke, could take anywhere from 3-8 weeks to heal. The Cavaliers host Notre Dame on Nov. 13, the first game after their open date.

    Virginia, which leads the ACC in passing and ranks third in scoring, would certainly like to have Armstrong back for its Nov. 20th game at Pittsburgh and Nov. 27 at home against rival Virginia Tech. With wins in those two contests, UVA would claim its second ACC Coastal Division title in the last three years.”

    Anyone else here had a broken rib? I broke one (bottom right) on a golf course once (9th hole) and while the pain helped my tempo for holes 10, 11 and 12 by the 13th I could not play any more. Hurt for a while and made sleep uncomfortable. The next few weeks…. could not play. And the pain would return from time to time during the next few months. Guessing that breaking multiple is worse? And on the throwing side….


  90. John Hugley with 6 rebounds and a block but really struggling offensively: 1-5 from the floor, 2-7 free throws, 4 turnovers

    Horton leading scorer with 12


  91. Pitt up 76-55 playing sloppy basketball. ,Listening to Gannon station. No change we still can’t shot from the free throw line and no outside game. Gannon is obviously outclassed no matter how badly we play. Sibande injured in 1st half not on the bench.


    1. From PSN:

      Mo Gueye is the story of this one. Leading the team with 17 points, Gueye has been as efficient as they come on offense, going 6 of 8 from the floor.

      Mind you, it was against D2 Gannon.


  92. I’d say losing Sibande was a disaster but this whole Pitt team is a disaster! Only Hugley, sibande and Gueye can score and Hugley had an off night. Lots to clean up but at least they didn’t lose to St Francis!
    Work on foul shooting guys!


    1. I only know good BB when I see it, but Jeffress looks to me like he still has a long way to go to be a significant contributor…. Which leaves a hole in the Pitt lineup…

      Go Pitt


      1. Jeffress really struggled out of the gate. Was oh for everything early, including an air ball 3. Only basket was a six inch putback on a missed shot by Femi. But he made a couple of baskets in the middle of the second half, including a three pointer, and began to look closer to what we were hoping when we landed him. I’m guessing that Coach Capel made a halftime adjustment to him.

        Mouhamadou Gueye looked very good. A double double with 17 points and 10 rebounds. Was 2 for 4 on 3’s. Listed as 6’10”, but looks more than 1 inch taller than Hugley.

        Max Amadasun came in in a cleanup role late in the game and made the most of the opportunity. Was 3 for 4 in only a few minutes.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Thanks for the update, Wolfe.

          Mo looks like he could jump out of the gym. Hope he can keep being an effective scorer when it all counts.

          Mo and Femi will be exciting players to watch – at least for me…

          Go Pitt.


    1. Ha! Right you are, Gordon. I remember chuckling during the off-season when I read more than one poster say they would be satisfied with a program consistently in the top 25. But that is universal with fans everywhere. We are not unique in that regard.


  93. November 1, 2021

    Pat Narduzzi Press Conference

    Duke Week


    PAT NARDUZZI: Obviously a tough loss to a talented football team. Our kids knew they were talented. I’d say the most underrated 4-4 team, whatever they are right now, in the country.

    As I stated before the game, the quarterback was a good player, and he showed that. They lost to Alabama, Michigan State, both who are in the top five or six in the country, I’m assuming. They lost by five points to two ACC teams. We thought we would be in a battle.

    There’s a lot of good things. Our offense had 17 explosives, which is the most on the year. We got our explosives. Defensively held them to seven points in the second half, which was two great things offensively and defensively.

    Special teams-wise, I thought we played one of our better games. Great coverage, great punts. Kirk was good in what we expected to get out of him.

    Obviously a lot of things to clean up. Starting slow on defense, obviously disappointed the way they started the game. First 10 plays were touchdowns, 21 points, out of the gate. One was on, I call it, a sudden change because we turn it over on downs on a fourth-and-three. Week before we go for it on a fourth-and-five. We convert. It’s a coach getting greedy. Put it in Kenny’s hand and let Kenny go make it. We didn’t succeed.

    They moved down the field. They got us on three explosive plays. Defensively we only gave up five explosives, and our goal was to keep it under five. Give up five, it was too much in that game, period. It was five to 17 explosives. Again, it’s stuff that you feel pretty good about it. Just lack of execution really.

    We gave up a big run early. In the second series after the sudden change when we turn it over on downs, gave up a deep pass, two 57-yarders. One 57-yarder, we’re in cover three. We’re not man. Corner sits down, doesn’t get deep enough.

    Even when you were in high school, cover three, stay deeper than the deepest. We didn’t, got hit there. Got hit on a fake reverse where Mallory kind of wheeled away from the reverse. Safety was on it. Then he kind of peeked back and lost him coming out the backdoor.

    Again, just execution. You start off good, good, good, aah. Inside zone where we had a guy to make the play, we didn’t make the play against Knighton, who is a good football player. Those are obviously some of the highlights and low-lights of that game.

    Defensively first 10 plays are the worst plays of the game, at least those three plays I’m talking about of the 10. Shoot, there’s one more coverage bust on the touchdown pass to No. 80, the tight end. A routine deal. Sometimes you got guys trying to do too much. I was trying to help over here. Just do your job. We didn’t do our job, gave up that one touchdown pass I think after the 57-yarder in cover three. We had two ‘lack of focus,’ ‘lack of execution’ and ‘doing your job’ to cause us those problems.

    Combine the turnover on downs with two turnovers on offense, it’s a recipe for an issue there. Obviously the last one there, I think you guys asked after the game, I don’t want to say miscommunication, but misread. Sometimes that happens. That’s part of the game of football.

    We’ve got to get off the field in the four minute at the end of the game, get ball back to our offense. It’s another one of those where you know you’re going to score.

    I expect Miami to win the next four, put my money down they’ll win the next four games in their conference play.


    Q. Google searches pull up many articles about tackling being a lost art in football. Is tackling a lost art?

    PAT NARDUZZI: Not here at Pitt. Again, we gave up 108 yards. I’m glad you talked about the tackling. I missed that one. We gave up 108 yards of ‘nows’ and bubbles out there. It’s an inside drill out there where we lost the physical matchup on Mallory. Give Mallory credit. He was more physical than we were at the linebacker position at the point of attack.

    We played that generally pretty good. We didn’t have a great plan as coaches to have a change-up to what we were doing because we weren’t denting it with our outside linebacker, motioning to trips and throwing bubbles, what we call ‘now’ routes. They beat us up out there. We didn’t make plays. We didn’t get off the blocks. 108 yards, that’s a lot of yards in just a simple bubble.

    Obviously we understated the strength of Mallory and didn’t do a good job of defending that. Tackling, we’ve been good tackling all year. We didn’t do a good job there. We missed some tackles. Give their athletes — they got good speed, too.

    Just miscalculated because the backer was not as firm as he needs to be, decisive on where he was going to be, putting a dent in it. (Number) 31 is weaving to find out where he’s going to fit on that bubble. They don’t have a guy. We still got one extra guy to make the tackle. We didn’t do a good job of tackling in space. We didn’t do a good job of making it clear for him of where to go. He is taking the backdoor, he is coming out the front door. To me, it was at that linebacker spot. Again, a tribute to Mallory.

    Q. Does it feel like it’s back to square one defensively, not unlike after the Western Michigan game?

    PAT NARDUZZI: No, it’s not back to square one. Again, they’ve got a good football team. You could say the second half was back to square one. I think we finished it the way we needed to. Came back and played a really good second half, regardless of what happened in the fourth quarter on a third down dink route to the tight end, there’s a fumble. All the discussions, there were safeties and all that. Our defense came out and played a darn good second half. That’s how you want to finish it.

    If it would have been a first half and the second half the same, maybe we’re back to square one. But we’ve got a good football team and I’ve got a lot of trust and faith in our guys. Give them credit. We didn’t play as good as we needed to play.

    Q. Does the second half show you that this is fixable defensively?

    PAT NARDUZZI: There’s no question about it. We definitely fixed it again. Hit you in a couple plays. Our guys regathered. Again, give credit to the coaches for getting them together, getting those first three series. One was a sudden change. Maybe I should have sky punted it, made them go 90 yards. Dumb decision on my part. That’s what we do as head coaches, make dumb decisions.

    Q. Did you submit any plays to the ACC?


    Q. Which ones?

    PAT NARDUZZI: I don’t remember. There was a few of them.

    Q. M.J. Devonshire has not played a lot lately. Is that a matchup issue?

    PAT NARDUZZI: Sometimes a matchup issue. Again, he’s sitting right there as one of our top three or four corners. A.J. Woods is playing good now. A.J. actually played more snaps than Quez (Marquis Williams). Marquis was one in cover three. Didn’t play it great. A.J. is playing good. Just got to keep getting better at that spot.

    Q. How is Taysir Mack?

    PAT NARDUZZI: Evaluation right now. We’ll find out. He wanted to go back in the second half. Doctors did a great job and said, ‘Don’t go in.’ Not going to do it. Just trying to protect him.

    Q. Is it not real serious?

    PAT NARDUZZI: Right now we’re still under evaluation so we’ll see. We’ll see.

    Q. What do you see from Duke? They’ve had some tough ones lately, but they are 3-1 at home.

    PAT NARDUZZI: Duke is a good football team. Offensively I think they’re No. 26 in the country. They’re very efficient. Like to run it. They’re going to throw their RPOs that they do.

    They’ve hit some explosives. Pound, pound, pound, all of a sudden someone is going 60 yards for a touchdown. They have been explosive on offense. So again, No. 26 offense. On the road, Durham, it’s never easy. We’ve always come down there and won in the last second of the game on something. Defensively they’re going to be primarily a four down, play a lot of man coverage, which will probably be pretty good for our offense if they’re going to play man all day.

    Q. Did anyone in particular have winning grades against Miami after evaluating the film?

    PAT NARDUZZI: Okay, winning grades? When you lose, you try to make everybody not winning. I want to say Haba Baldonado played pretty good. The other disappointing thing, just the composure. We talked about composure and points all week. We let them get in our heads. There was a lot of trash talking, I don’t know about what. You can just imagine.

    I don’t know what happens on video games, but I heard a lot of video game talk. I don’t know what that means. I didn’t get some straight answers about what ticked some of our kids off. When Deslin gets a personal foul, you go something is wrong. About the calmest, smartest guy on our football team.

    We didn’t compose ourselves. We prepared our guys for it. Disappointing thing is they didn’t really listen. We knew it was going to happen.

    One thing looking back, you always point at myself, what could I have done to prevent that? Talked about it, but should have had our scout teams talk more crap during the week and cause some fights in practice I guess, but I didn’t do that. That’s something that will happen next year for sure.

    Q. The Pitt Special play – it looked like Lucas Krull could have run it in. Is that an option?

    PAT NARDUZZI: It’s an option. I can’t tell you we practiced that option. You have to be a football player at that point and ‘What’s my best option?’ He scores a touchdown if he just takes off running. But an old (baseball) pitcher, I think he was thinking, ‘I’m going to throw a touchdown pass.’ Guys have confidence. A critical play in the game.

    I can’t tell you in practice he said, ‘That’s covered, that’s covered, I’m running.’ You can contact the coaching area. We should have practiced it one time, it isn’t there, he goes (runs), he scores a touchdown, as athletic as he is.

    Just another one of those what can we do better as coaches. Should have practiced that scenario. Can’t practice everything. Got limited hours on the field.

    Q. Taking it out of Kenny Pickett’s hands on 3rd and 5. Any second thoughts on that?

    PAT NARDUZZI: Maybe. I mean, we were putting it in his hands. It was supposed to go to him. Again, Lucas, if he throws it early, might be a completion for a touchdown. I think he was worried about that guy undercutting Kenny and picking it off and going the other way for six. Not easy being a quarterback. It was putting it in Kenny’s hand. A play we have confidence in based as how they play.

    Q. What keyed the good response after Western Michigan and have you seen indications of that this week?

    PAT NARDUZZI: Because we’ve got great kids. Got coachable guys. They learn from their mistakes. We’ve got a lot of football to play. We’ve got four good ACC teams (to play). Anybody can win any given Saturday. Our guys will be ready to play.

    Again, sometimes you got to get punched. It’s called adversity. Sometimes you’ve got to get punched in the mouth. We got punched. Our guys will swing back. Not worried about that at all.

    It’s easier than having a four- or five-game winning streak, trying to stay on them. ‘Let’s go.’ You can’t think you’re going to just line up and beat anybody.

    Q. What is your understanding of the safety rule? Does the ball have to come fully out of the end zone?

    PAT NARDUZZI: Again, it’s football. There’s a white line on there, about that big. I don’t know if it’s six inches, four and a half inches, five inches, whatever it is. You’ve got to get past that white line.

    Again, the only thing I know is the side judge, or head linesman, whoever is on my side, said he couldn’t see it and he called him out, out of the end zone I’m saying, where he gained I guess two inches past that white line. I think the ball was in the other hand.

    Coaches coach, players play, and officials officiate. Can’t control everything. If it’s inconclusive, he calls it a safety. If it’s inconclusive, it’s a safety. He said he couldn’t see. How do you make that decision? I don’t know. I’ll just try to keep coaching better.

    Q. What do you see from Duke offensively?

    PAT NARDUZZI: Duke, they’re going to be the second fastest team we played this year as far as tempo. They’re going to snap it on average of 19 seconds per play. They’re going to go fast, which is like Tennessee, not quite as fast as Tennessee. They’re snapping it seven, eight, nine seconds. We’re going to see the tempo.

    They’re a good football team. The Durant kid, tailback, No. 21, I think he’s got 156 carries. He’s their workhorse. Don’t have two guys rotating in there. He is the guy. They’re going to ride him until he needs a blow and he taps out, someone else will come in.

    He does a nice job running the football, reading the zone play, being patient, finding holes. He’s a good tailback. We’ll have to wire them up in there and be good versus the run as well as trying to stop the RPOs they’re going to throw behind you. Their run game is good.

    Q. Is that tempo new for David Cutcliffe?

    PAT NARDUZZI: A year ago, two years ago, 2019, they were snapping it somewhere between 20 and 22 seconds. They speeded it up three seconds on average. I wouldn’t say it’s new. I’d say there’s more faster snaps than there has been.

    They’ve got a new coordinator, two new coordinators that are taking it over. I’m sure Coach Cutcliffe has his hands in it as well. He is doing a good job tempo-ing it and running the football.

    Q. Is it easier too because you run a lot of tempo so your defense has seen it?

    PAT NARDUZZI: It is. We see a lot of tempo. Miami ran tempo. Who doesn’t run tempo? This seems to be the second fastest tempo. We’ll be well-prepared. Some people run tempo to keep you base. We’re not going to play base. We’re going to do what we do.

    Our guys are smart, they can pick it up. We give them quick signals. We’re not going to be playing one front and coverage. They’re going to have to run fast. They’re going to run into some accidents, too. Those are things we count on defensively.

    Q. Any players-only meetings as a response, like the Western Michigan game?

    PAT NARDUZZI: No, no. Western Michigan was a game (makes air quotes gesture) ‘you expected to win.’ Our guys were upset about it. I think our guys looked at it offensively and defensively and said we missed some plays, we didn’t execute, against a good football team.

    There was nothing where they felt like they had to reorganize or we’re going back to square one at Western Michigan. At a point you could say we were like we had to reevaluate what we’re doing, how we’re doing it, what happened that day.

    But we’re not there.

    Q. ESPN said Pitt had a chance to make the playoff. How bad did you want to take their phones away?

    PAT NARDUZZI: Not worried about it. I don’t know how much they pay attention to all that stuff. I don’t know. You can’t take the phones away. They’ve got to be mature enough to not listen to the noise, the good noise and the bad noise. We’re not worried about that. We’ve just got to keep playing.

    There’s a lot of things that can happen in the last four weeks with the teams that are up there that knock each other off, fall down.

    We’re not worried about playoffs. We’re worried about the next game. We control our own destiny. We’ve got to play Pitt football.

    Q. How did Damarri Mathis grade out? He seemed to be around the ball a lot.

    PAT NARDUZZI: He was okay. He was okay. Could have been better, like everybody on our football team, with no exception there. Gave a couple of comebacks which I wish he could have played better. One out of the end zone on the safety series, whatever you want to call it. Wish we were better coverage there. It ain’t easy. They’ve got good talent.

    Q. The timeout after the safety – was that necessary to make them review it?

    PAT NARDUZZI: I wasn’t calling a timeout because I thought it was a safety. They were viewing it. I called a timeout right afterwards just to save the clock. I knew they were going to start it on the ready. That’s game management. We wanted to use our timeouts to give our offense some time left on the clock to go down and score. But I wasn’t going to call it. We may have lost a couple seconds there I think, maybe not. I wasn’t prepared to call it after we thought we had a safety.

    Q. Have you heard back from the ACC or is it too soon?

    PAT NARDUZZI: Too soon. It’s not going to change anything. They’re not going to let us play that fourth quarter over again. Doesn’t really matter. It’s gone. It’s gone.

    FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports


  94. RV/#25 PITT (6-2, 3-1 ACC) vs. DUKE (3-5, 0-4 ACC)

    November 6, 2021 ∙ Noon (ET)

    Wallace Wade Stadium (40,004/Natural Grass) ∙ Durham, N.C.

    ACC Network ∙ Pitt Panthers Radio Network ∙ @Pitt_FB

    LINK (PDF): Pitt Game Notes (vs. Duke)


    √ Pitt looks to stay atop the ACC’s Coastal Division when it visits Duke. The Panthers lead the division with a 3-1 conference mark. Virginia (which visits Heinz Field on Nov. 20) is second in the Coastal standings with a 4-2 ACC record.

    √ Pitt is 3-0 on the road this season. The Panthers have two road dates remaining (Duke and Nov. 27 at Syracuse). Pitt last finished with an undefeated road record in 1987 (4-0).

    √ Since 2013, the Panthers own a 6-1 series advantage over Duke in ACC play. (Pitt leads the overall series, 15-9.) Five of the seven ACC games have been decided by single digits, including each of the last three.

    √ Since 2015, Pat Narduzzi has directed Pitt to 32 victories in ACC play, the third-highest win total during that span. Only Clemson (50) and Miami (34) have won more.

    √ Quarterback Kenny Pickett is having an All-America caliber season. Pickett ranks third nationally in total offense (367.5 yards per game), fourth in touchdown passes (26) and fifth in passing yards (344.4 yards per game).

    √ Pickett is piloting the country’s fourth-highest scoring offense at 43.9 points per contest. The Panthers trail only Ohio State (47.2), Alabama (45.9) and Coastal Carolina (44.4) for the nation’s team scoring lead.

    √ Receiver Jordan Addison is meriting strong Biletnikoff Award consideration with his production. Addison is second in the nation with an ACC-high 10 touchdown catches.

    √ A victory at Duke would give the Panthers a 7-2 overall record. It would be Pitt’s best nine-game start since the 2009 season when Dave Wannstedt’s team opened 8-1.


    Television ∙ ACC Network

    Wes Durham (play-by-play)

    Roddy Jones (analyst)

    Taylor Davis (reporter)

    Pitt Radio ∙ 93.7 The Fan & Pitt Panthers Radio Network

    Bill Hillgrove (play-by-play)

    Pat Bostick (analyst)

    Larry Richert (reporter)

    SiriusXM Satellite Radio

    Sirius Channel 137, XM Channel 193, SXM App Channel 955

    WPTS Radio (Pitt Student Station) ∙ 92.1 FM

    Online Audio


  95. From the Trib:

    …and yes, the local writers have an attitude about Pitt FB:

    Fun while it lasted

    Pitt is already out of the Top 25.

    After being ranked No. 23 in the country going into its win against the Clemson Tigers last weekend and No. 17 coming out of it, the Panthers have dropped out of the Top 25 entirely.

    This after a 38-34 defeat at home against Miami at Heinz Field on Saturday.

    The Panthers are now 20.5-point favorites heading into Saturday’s game against Duke according to The Panthers are 6-2 (3-1 ACC). Duke is 3-5 (0-4 ACC) and has lost four in a row.”


  96. This really is a bad look for the officiating crew from Sat:

    “…Again, the only thing I know is the side judge, or head linesman, whoever is on my side, said he couldn’t see it and he called him out, out of the end zone I’m saying, where he gained I guess two inches past that white line. I think the ball was in the other hand.

    Coaches coach, players play, and officials officiate. Can’t control everything. If it’s inconclusive, he calls it a safety. If it’s inconclusive, it’s a safety. He said he couldn’t see. How do you make that decision? I don’t know. I’ll just try to keep coaching better…”

    Ref called him out, yet acknowledged he couldn’t see it?
    Makes sense that he couldn’t due the fact that the ball was in the RB’s right hand and the mass of bodies there.

    I hope the ACC addresses this one publicly; its a really bad look for a ref to make a call like this without having a basis for it. A possible miscarriage of officiating…. those things even out over time, so maybe the next one will go in Pitt’s favor.


    1. Exactly. No way the line judges could see the ball so they “assumed” he got out of the end zone. That’s the definition of a poor official.

      Fact is though, on a play like that there is no way for them to get it right, it’s just physically impossible. Need x-ray vision (like Scooter has)…

      If a play like that costs Bama the NC, they will be looking at using GPS to spot the ball…

      Go Pitt.

      Liked by 2 people

  97. Sounds like now, in addition to complaining about Coach Duzz always putting our cornerbacks on islands, we can also complain about the crappy zones we play.


    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 1 person

  98. What division is Gannon in ?

    It can be anymore than Division 3… I would think.

    I can’t imagine any Pitt players who struggled scoring or rebounding in this game would be worth a hoot
    in any ACC games.

    Pitt is not a Juggernaut in Hoops…….my apologies.


  99. D2. PSAC division along with the likes of Edinboro, Mercyhurst, Slippery Rock. Average D2 team from an average conference, but a step above D3. your comments on Pitt players not struggling against this level of competition are spot on.


  100. As I recall, most of us envisioned a 5-3 or 6-2 record at this point in the season. Now we may have had different ideas about to whom we would lose—but, still 2 or 3 losses. We talk about the kids paying too much attention to social media, etc.
    Maybe we need to ask ourselves whether we do also.
    Van Dyke played lights out. And, we made some stupid errors—particularly some of the penalties. Let’s hope our boys learn from that and kick butt during the next four games.

    Liked by 3 people

  101. Intersting PMD…I am not all surprised by our Defensive backfield being lost, slow and unable to tackle. That has always been the case. I watch it in person every home game. The difference had been massive pressure on the QB never let plays develop and the QB to set his feet. Where was the pass rush against a team not known for pass protection?

    That kid had plenty of time. The other teams’ receivers are ALWAYS wide open – again you have to be there in person to see it – but the QB is normally running for his life. If other season ticket holders see our defensive backfield differently from your vantage point, let me know.


    1. Most of the time his passes came out very quick and to the primary receiver. No way to get to him that fast. Their success on first and second downs didn’t allow Pitt to pin their ears back on third and long very often.

      Still doesn’t excuse the play of the backs, especially in that first quarter. Those bubble screens were a killer. But so were the runs up the middle. Number 4 is a tough elusive back.

      Liked by 1 person

  102. What would it matter even if the refs did see it? The last replay of the game was what the Miami player fumbled the ball backwards towards an unimpeded ref and almost hits him on the toe. He was staring right at it from 3 feet away and called it short. But that play was overturned? There is no figuring this out but cheating! ike


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