Slow Start, Fast Finish…

November 7, 2021 – Another spot on piece by Erie Hemingway!

Pitt won their seventh game of the season in Durham, NC yesterday to barely stay in first place in the Coastal division with a 4-1 record and 7-2 overall. Even though the Panthers scored first in this game, the slow start reference is because of the ease in which Duke took the opening kick-off down to the Pitt goal line, only to fumble the football away to the Pitt defense. That slow start produced an ugly 1st quarter look on the scoreboard, with the Blue Devils leading 12-7.

Pitt would rally nicely with 23 points in the 2nd quarter and take a 30-19 lead into the half. The defensive coaches “seemed” to have made halftime adjustments as they held Duke to just 10 2nd half points. Let’s not forget that the Blue Devils have lost all of their ACC games played so far this season and their starting QB left this game with an injury. Never the less, the Pitt D stiffened and Kenny Pickett lead the charge to victory 54-29.

Now moving on to THE GOOD, THE BAD and THE UGLY.


  1. Kenny’s overall stats look very good and he played a clean game except for the fumbled turnover – 416 yards passing; 3 TD passes; 1 TD rushing; 57 yards rushing on 8 carries or 7.1 ypc.
  2. Jordan Addison – you know he has looked really good during his time at Pitt, but yesterday I saw something special that I did not see in the past. He looked like his moves were effortless and smooth as butter. His stats were 171 receiving yards on 8 catches; 2 TD’s (1 receiving & 1 rushing); 2 punt returns for 30 yards.
  3. Sam (from Erie County) Scarton – we have a kicker folks. Sam the man was 4 for 4 in FG’s with a long of 47 yards and he was a perfect 6 for 6 with extra points. Sam’s leg may be needed for some late season heroics very soon.
  4. Blue Mountain Bart – none other than our FR TE Gavin Bartholomew from Blue Mountain HS near Schuylkill Haven, PA, who “catches” one or two balls per game and runs with authority. Give me some more please.
  5. RB’s Izzy and Hammond combined for 24 carries and 148 yards rushing with 1 TD.
  6. The D giving up only 10 points in the 2nd half.


  1. Our Safeties – do I need to say any more? I miss Hamlin and Ford. What is Paris doing right now?
  2. Injuries to starters DT Camp and RT Houy. Neither appeared short term. Next man up.
  3. Starters missing – WR’s T.Mack and J.Barden (undisclosed injuries); LG Minor and WR Stovall (undisclosed reasons for the portal transfers).
  4. Fumbles by Kenny Pickett and WR Bradley. Not overly costly yesterday but could be UGLY in the next 3 games when we face tougher competition with good QB’s.
  5. TE Krull with more drops than catches yesterday.


  1. The 2 point safety that actually was (undeniable). This added to my perception of a “slow” start for Pitt.
  2. Duke with 200 yards in the 1st quarter.
  3. Officiating, again. While both teams had 5 penalties for 42 yards (exact same stats), the calls and non-calls were obviously bad, but you know what, it’s not just in the ACC.
  4. BB SG Ithiel Horton’s name scrolled at the bottom of the ACCN screen the entire game for being arrested and charged for allegedly assaulting a police officer — a second-degree felony — resisting arrest, disorderly conduct and public drunkenness, according to court documents.

There you have it, my version of THE GOOD, THE BAD and THE UGLY. Next up is North Carolina on Thursday night on Prime Time TV in downtown Pittsburgh. Each of our final three games will get bigger and bigger and bigger. Hopefully, this team, lead by our record shattering QB Kenny Pickett will rise to the levels needed to be better than the other team we face.

A win in November is GOOD, but multiple wins in November could be GREAT.

Go Pitt!

214 thoughts on “Slow Start, Fast Finish…

  1. 2021 Pitt Football Weekly Media Planner: North Carolina Week

    With a Thursday game this week, Pitt will have a condensed media schedule. Coach Pat Narduzzi will host his Monday press conference at noon at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex. His weekly radio show (typically on Wednesdays) will air live from Pitt Studios on Monday evening at 6 p.m.


  2. Really good article, Papa. But one less drink and you would have remembered to include Shockey Jacques-Louis as a Good. Thought he really stepped up yesterday

    Must be nice to write as the sun sets over Presque Isle

    Sent from my iPhone


    Liked by 4 people

    1. I saved Shockey for you – he did not jump out at me but Wayne also had a nice game.

      Neither were close to Jordan Addison’s performance.

      I guess 5 penalties could have been in the good category too.

      How about the Duzzy of a post-game presser that I did not listen to? – a friend told me he was in “jerk” mode again.

      If you ponder on the game long enough, you could write twice as much as I did.

      Helping out a friend…


  3. Thanks for a good analysis of the good and bad. I’ll add a modifier to the “ugly” reference on the safety. Despite the fact that Whipple did make some great play calls yesterday, putting Flea in the backfield with the ball on the one yard line is inexcusable. Typically neither Izzy nor Hammond are tackled behind the line. Flea? Mit an uncommon occurrence. Ya ain’t looking for a rare Quadree Ollison 99 yarder there—ya want a do-able 5 or so yards.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. Thanks, Rick! Another good summary.

    Just a brief public service announcement: Since the UNC game begins at 7:30, the lots on the North Shore will open at 2:30 pm. We will be waiting outside the gate of Red 5A when it opens and will have the tailgate set up shortly after. We tear down the tailgate beginning at 6:30 to ensure we are inside the stadium for the intro.

    If you read this blog and would like to meet us, please stop by. Everyone is welcome! If you come to the Red 5A lot and are not sure where to find us, just ask the parking lot attendant at the gate for “Fran”. He will point out our location.

    Or just look for the inscription carved into the overpass above us that reads, “BERNIE WAS HERE”. Okay, I took my cue from Fran with that Shawshank reference. (It’s uncanny how that movie relates to being a Pitt fan.)

    Liked by 6 people

  5. Tennessee’s win over #18 Kentucky was a nice look for Pitt. Mark Stoops looked a-lot like Narduzzi on the sidelines, losing his mind while yelling at the refs.

    The hoopies loss to Oklahoma State was a sweet topping to our Pitt win.

    I’m not sure why there are 3 loss teams ahead of Pitt in the polls and the 2 loss Iowa and BYU teams don’t belong where they are ranked either.

    Dan72 – regarding your NFL mafia Sunday comment – I laughed and laughed some more, but then I expected the Eagles to win. Are you sure you don’t have your dates mixed up?

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Krill has been a big disappointment in my book. Now you see why he was passed over in Florida. Too much Hollywood and not enough substance.

    Bartholomew is the real deal.

    Short week. Get healthy…quickly and get ready for a NC team that feels good about themselves after Saturday.


    Liked by 6 people

  7. Thanks for the article Erie! I am not upset where Pitt is ranked in the polls. We lost to WMU so what do you expect. The problem with the polls will self correct if we win the next three games, one game at a time! If we do not win the next three games, then the pollsters were correct.

    Hopefully there will be a large turnout for the North Carolina game as we are coming off a win.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Nice job, Rick!

    I didn’t see the game but listened to Billy and Pat on the radio. Interesting to me that KP threw for big yardage but there were 3 or 4 times when Billy said a pass went thru someone’s hands and at least that many times when Pat said that KP missed a throw.

    On one pass that KP overthrew, Pat said Kenny makes that throw 9 out of 10 times and it would have been a TD…

    Hoping KP is darn near perfect on Thursday night…

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Pitt’s offense will need to play a near flawless game to win. UNC has a high powered O and will give the Panthers D relentless fits for 60 minutes.

    Our O has had three troublesome games in the turnover department – WMU and then two straight with Miami and Duke. The record is 1-2 in those turnover laden games. The other similarity is the Panther D has allowed the opposing O in those three games to get off to a hot start. In the last 2 weeks, our D gave up 237 yards to the Miami O and 210 yards to Duke IN BOTH FIRST QUARTERS.

    Duzz and Bates better have the D ready to play this week or a loss is probable.

    On the offensive side, the Tar Heel D is susceptible to the run game. Again, Duzz and Whipple need to have the five RB’s primed and ready to play hard on every down. I would make sure Addison gets targeted with double digit throws, have extra plays drawn up for TE Bartholomew, and let Wayne and Shockey shine in front of the home town crowd on Prime Time TV.

    This one has the makings of a barn burner – I’d love to see Pitt blow out the heels.

    Boot to their throat, early and often.

    Go Pitt!

    Liked by 7 people

    1. UNC’s run D is in the bottom 3rd of D1 rankings right next to Duke, Vandy, Rice and VA Tech.

      Whip needs to give Izzy & Hammond 10 to 15 touches – they’ll both be over 100 yards with several TD’s. That will be a good complement to KP8 to Addison, Bart, Wayne and Shockey.

      Plus, by running the ball, that will help keep Howell and company off the field.

      One final comment – Duzz is getting too comfortable kicking FG’s the past 2 weeks. Very different than what we saw the previous 7 games. Food for thought.

      Game management will be key if both QB’s have hot hands. Advantage HC Brown, IMO.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Kicking field goals shows he’s not confident in the D. Otherwise I’m some of those situations we would go for it as we did earlier in the season.


  10. Erie is totally correct. Let’s hope that Narduzzi and the coordinators can see the obvious. It’s time for the defense to win a game rather than relying on the offense to score 40 points or more.


  11. Great game review again, Rick. Thank you and best wishes for Rachel’s procedure on Tuesday. So many good take always from Saturday. Jared Wayne has quickly one of my favorite Panthers, w TE Bartholemew not far behind.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Thanks Rick, great Job

    The Good…

    PITT Win
    Nice vocal road crew
    Nice to find out Carter is still on the team.
    Pat didn’t make too many speaking gaffes at his presser.

    The Bad…

    The short kickoff returned for TD. (better not call Saul)
    Injuries, always bad timing. Camp has had more injuries than tackles this year.
    Yeah, I’ll call out the refs again for being bad. Heck I should go ahead and call the refs out for next weeks game already.
    The field goals. Narduzzi wasn’t worried about PITT getting enough points in the game.

    The Ugly

    Eli refuses to Fallback with his schedule. He’s still on daylight savings time.
    No one has talked about this but D Carter on that swing pass almost ran out of bounds a foot short of the marker.
    7-2, yep, this is PITTs biggest game of the year
    A Thursday night game while PITT is jammed up with injuries.
    Back to Eli, hope I can keep him awake for the whole game. I think I heard him say “eight would be great” but his bark is a little horse from the Duke game and I can’t understand him very well.

    Special shout-out to the RED 5-A crew. Fran/Wolfe and others tailgate. Pregame I’m always thinking about all you great people!!

    Liked by 8 people

    1. Ike
      Yeah, dogs don’t get it. Our two are ready to get up and eat—and expect us to be as well.


  13. Nice post Rick. OT, after the volleyball game today I witnessed a very nice moment. For those who have never been to a home game, after the win the team poses for a victory picture, then runs over to the pep band and dances to a song. It’s cute and fun. Today as Kayla Lund was walking over there 2 players from BC walked up to her, gave her a hug and handed her a card. I don’t know what the relationships were between them but thought it was really nice of them to acknowledge her that way.

    Liked by 11 people

  14. Thanks for the contribution Erie, very well done.

    KP8 as usual
    #3 is #1, he’s as good as it gets
    Wayne/Shockey came up big
    Bright/Campbell made plays all over the field
    Scarton surprised us all

    Krull was either dropping passes or invisible
    Safety depth is non-existent
    Injuries, injuries, injuries
    Distance on kickoffs

    Kickoff Special Teams (see above)

    Duke is a really bad team, but they came out strong early. HCPN better figure out what’s going on with his team in the first 10 minutes of games or NC may run away with it before his team gets started.

    I fear that the injuries may make it a sad day at Heinz this week, but Bad Bart (86) looked fine on the sideline at the end of the game. They’ll need him if Mack can’t go again. Krull needs to sit and figure out some things.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Agree with Erie on UNC’s run D .. they are the PITT’s… They had a terrible run D in the past and PITT resorted to the pass… going to be an entertaining game…Heels have lit up the scoreboard the last 2 weeks vs the Irish and the Deacs… Howell and the “O” are performing at a high level. Howell has managed to develop into a physical runners… kinda scares me when I think of our sh%tty DB tackling if that what you call it.. that’s when the defender goes low and tries to throw a shoulder into the runners leg( sometimes the s”aimisn’t so good and they miss)…. as my Carolina posse tells me @ bet the over.”

    Rick, thanks for the article… tell Rachel she is in our prayers.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. It’s really early, and as I’m up waiting for my refrigerator delivery I want to share my views. Here goes:

    1) My inner Joe Denardo sees that it is calling for showers Thurs pm with 1/2 inch of rain in evening, not good at all.
    2) The most important Panther Thursday is not KP, but S.Dennis. Why? Well, he’s the guy who will be assigned to spy on Howell. This is a critical matchup. As the Duzz will be stubborn and play man it means dbs will have backs to the ball allowing for big plays in running game by Howell. If Dennis doesn’t have a huge game we’re toast. It’s a really bad matchup, Dennis is 6’1” 230:and Howell 6’1” 220.
    3) The room for error is beyond razor thin in this game. If you only get a fg or fail to score on a possession it could be a disaster.
    4) This is another really good qb who is accurate and can make plays with legs when coverage is good. Look for frustrating drive maintaining long runs. Plus NC will run the ball.
    5) This NC team may be the biggest disappointment on the college season, and it figures we get them now that they have got it together.
    6) I strongly dislike Mack Brown, but I’ll take him over the Duzz every day. Unwillingness to change something you don’t do especially well it not a good look.
    7) Camp being out most likely is a huge loss, not for his production, but because Danielson will get more time. He’s a disaster waiting to happen, big, slow, unathletic and overmatched.
    8) Yup, those of us who predicted 7 wins are right on schedule. Ask yourself what’s more likely, us winning the last 3 or us dropping the last three? The Duzz is right where he always is.
    9) Elements will be really against us, talent also, as well as coaching, officiating, and recent history. I know, why bother showing up at all? Well, I’ll be there, wet and miserable, but hoping against hope that finally get it together and win one when so many things look bleak.


  17. The big question, is Whipple smart enough to take what the defense gives him or will his stubbornness have him passing 50 times?

    Not going to repeat Rick’s thorough and much appreciated review and best to Rachel.

    This most likely will be another shootout, both offenses are loaded. The winner will be the team with the defense that makes the most stops including turnovers, the loser will be the team whose offense turns the ball over and fails to score TD’s in the red zone.

    Maybe the last time we have a good shot of beating them, Mack’s recruiting has been off the charts. Hope that Howell enters the draft this year. Prototypical NFL QB. Think Big Ben.

    UNC like Miami has pretty much had our number kinda like Miami. Unfortunately as has been said they are getting stronger each game.

    I have been saying more Izzy and Hammond for some time now. I couldn’t feel more strongly about it for this particular game.

    Agree with JoeKnew, Dennis need to come up big, as does the D line.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Randy. right there with you buddy. It’s the Duzz and his “D” that already has me on the edge of my chair on a Monday morning just thinking about how this game pans out…in many of these Carolina match-ups PITT held a big lead going into the 4th quarter only to fall short-I have attended every one of those games unravel. Luckily, we were treated to a rare win in 2020. Maybe Duzz uses a run game..maybe Daniel Carter and Todd Sibley are being schemed into the “O” behind those locked gates..both are a couple of bigger bodies who could bring the ole “3 yds and BOOM a cloud of dust mentality!” I don’t see the PITT D shutting the Tarheels down in the 2nd half like they did to Miami and Duke…I don’t see Carolina stopping PITT..only the PITT O will stop itself via mistakes or turn-overs. Rain might be a good thing. I have never heard of ” 2 glove Sam” ’round these parts.


  19. JoeKnew, you may be right. The fact is that none of the final 3 games is a given. UNC and UVA can match Pitt’s scoring offense, and Cuse is not a pushover in the Dome. (They should have beaten Clemson a few weeks back).

    Sent from my iPhone



    1. I can’t see Pitt losing the last three, they are just too good a football team, although crazier things have happened in Pitt history. Need to figure out a way to win this one first. I also don’t think anyone predicted this good of a season so far with a chance to do something really special.

      Liked by 2 people

  20. A couple other things, KP and Addison’s great season would not be happening without the stellar O-line play.
    Most forget that this was a huge question mark before the season. Also remember last year’s running game, probably not since it was abysmal. This year’s has been pretty good when used. The line has a lot to do with that along with Izzy and Hammond. Yards per carry for those two is very strong.

    No doubt that KP’s accuracy and decision making have improved exponentially thanks to the strong line play.

    Also should not go unmentioned is the contribution of Petrishen to the defense, I must say I did not see that coming, his improvement from year to year has really made a difference. He has a nose for the football.

    Liked by 3 people

  21. Really too bad that Jaden Bradley fumbled after his nice catch and run, he is going to be a good one.


  22. It’ll never happen, but I hope Pitt comes out trying to run the ball with an extra lineman and pound Izzy and Hammond at the Carolina defense. See if you can break Carolina’s will early on a short week.


  23. The defense does not need to be “heroic” Thursday. Just maybe one turnover and a few 3 and outs at the right time. We aren’t holding these guys under 30, so let’s make some tackles 6 yards past the line of scrimmage instead of 11 or 15 yards past the line of scrimmage. Whip and KP can help immensely by at least trying to run and burn some click. You CAN run on this team, so let’s hold off on the Heisman stats for one game and run, even if it doesn’t work early. Need to keep NC offense off the field.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. HTP, you’ve just published our recipe for victory. I would mix in a lot of heavy line formations to really soften up the NC defense.


  24. It was really cool seeing a full house for Pitt Soccer last night. Pitt held on to beat a very physical VT team in overtime. Pitt controlled the second half but couldn’t score, a very close call with a powerful near miss from a VT player hitting the cross bar or it could have gone the other way like many football games in the past.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. I have tried twice to post the Cardiac Hill article on Jimmy Morrisey getting his first NFL start.


  26. —it’s a shame but the threat of rain will keep the crowd-size down. We need an energized crowd to keep the players pumped.

    —UNC will have the better roster and, because of Howell, we don’t get the KP-edge in this game.

    —Still, I dare say I like our chances, but the lines will have to win this one + Krull catching the damn ball…

    —Big ups and big downs, but been a heck of a season!

    Go Pitt.


  27. My sense is that vegas sees the WF and Pitt offenses in the same light and somehow believes pitt’s defense is better than UNC’s. I seriously believe that the lack of good defense is partly because the college players and professional players hardly practice tackling due to safety issues. As such, tackling technique is not perfected or improved upon at any stage in these kids careers. NFL tackling is awful too.

    Unfortunately for Pitt, the shift away to non-physical practices hasn’t helped the coverage skills guys at all. You would think that there is more time to work on the craft of pass defending (looking back for ball, etc.) would be improved upon since tackling can’t be practiced as often.

    Would love for someone to ask Nardstop about how the evolution of player safety has impacted the defensive side of the ball since he was a DC until now. Perhaps he learned NOT to make career defensive adjustments at the halfway point of his coaching life, which would be consistent with his lack of halftime adjustments during gamedays!

    The point is that the game has evolved and his DC coaching philosophy of leaving kids on an island 10-15 years ago doesn’t work anymore because the front 7 don’t know how to tackle appropriately. What are they working on behind those gates? Not island defense that’s for sure.

    Erie, nice job. Hope all that are fighting ailments, keep up the strong fight….Mrs. Erie, Ike and Reeds boy! Sure i missed some and I apologize for that. Keep fighting, will keep praying!!


  28. Did anyone ever go to the Pittsburgh Power Arena football games? There was maybe only one or two total defensive stops in an entire game. Is that what Thursday night is going to look like? Sam Howell scares the heck out of me. Here’s to hoping Nard plays some zone and give Eric Hallett some help.


  29. Ohio St is the one team that has matched Bama in recruiting over the past 5 years. Yet, in the national title game this past year, Bama scored its 52 point with 13 minutes left in the game. An alarming trend to old schoolers like me

    The best team thus far this year seems to be reversing this trend. I’ll be very interested to see how Tenn offense does against UGA defense which has pretty much shut down its opponents.

    Sent from my iPhone



    1. As I posted elsewhere, I heard that Georgia’s defense has 9 five-star players on it.

      So apparently you can field a good college defense if you have a team pretty much full of future NFLers…

      Go Pitt.

      Liked by 1 person

  30. ironic but perhaps opinions here are from some lacking the ability to make halftime adjustments regarding halftime adjustments 😉

    this game will likely need some and I think they will happen

    whether any are effective is the key

    I admit to being one of the ones very critical of PN and his absent WMU adjustments 😦


  31. I said earlier this year the key to a great season is winning the close ones. Last year we lost two 1 point games which ruined a season. So far this year we have lost two close ones. We really haven’t won any close ones yet. Tennessee and Clemson were both hard fought games but the final scores weren’t that close.

    The next three all have the potential to be close. while we would rather see cigar games, I think we will need to win the close ones.

    Liked by 2 people

  32. I expect Narduzzi to be outcoached vs UNC. I think Pitt has a slightly better defense and UNC has a minutely better offense. Special teams are both average. Pitt has home field advantage, whatever that may be!

    I was there for the OT win two years ago and have not been at a Pitt loss in my last 11 home games.

    Pitt’s defense does not have to stop UNC, just slow them down. Think defending KC Chiefs. Make ‘Em drive the length of the field with NO big plays. Whipple has to lose his ego and run the damn ball vs a bottom 3 run defense and keep Howell and Co. Off the field.

    That’s the way to win this game. A must win for Pitt. I say Pitt 45-42 in OT.


  33. Lines from a Coach Marion tweet…

    “Some people fear failure; I’ve always feared not trying. Never could accept being a shoulda, coulda, woulda guy. To go for it & miss is better than to look at it & wish! “

    That last line is a good one…

    Go Pitt!

    Liked by 1 person

  34. Maybe this is a good omen from the glory days. Going into this game, KP has thrown 33 TD passes.

    33 —— TD. Hummmm…

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. My bad! I read somewhere that KP has 33 passing TDs. Should have checked it…

        Be nice if it was 33 after the UNC game…😊

        Go Pitt.

        Liked by 1 person

  35. I thought 9 wins including
    a bowl in was within our reach…might even be 10 now.
    We will know a lot about this team and weather forecasting around 11:00 Thursday.

    Liked by 3 people

  36. A famous defense secretary once said you go to war with the army you have, not the one you wish you have. This applies to the Pitt defense which must overcome injuries and weaknesses to achieve success. Once the war starts, the coaches must assign and move the pieces so that the best defense can be achieved with the players at hand. I hope the coaches are up to the task this Thursday.

    As far as poor tackling goes, I’ve read that players don’t wrap up and tackle in the traditional way because it destroys their shoulders over time. College players hoping to play in the NFL may be especially aware of this. That said, there should be more coaching on successful ways to bring offensive players down when contact is made.

    And by the way, a head coaches job is to win football games, not make his boy a Heisman winner. They have got to run more to control the game and keep the UNC offense off the field.

    Liked by 6 people

  37. Also agree about Georgia defense. It is impressive (watched two of their games in their entirety). Their linebacker and projected # 2 pick in the upcoming draft just got accused of sexual assault this last week, so he will be out of action…perhaps.

    I think Reed asked about players at Pitt being in trouble on the other thread. I thought Rashad Weaver had problems last spring. Excuse away that he technically wasn’t on a roster at the time (football not in session), but the fact remains that he was finishing up spring semester. He was a member of the football team and pitt community and still working out and conditioning with the team. Semantics.


  38. Working at home today with youtube TV Saturday games in the background. Looks like Ithiel Horton was crawling on all the major afternoon game screens. Really bad look for us.


  39. What’s the point of the AP poll and for that matter, the Coaches Poll, after the CFP rankings come out.

    Utterly unnecessary and both should End when the first CFP’s come out.

    Most of the sportswriters like those of the Trib…are utter boobs anyway as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  40. In the Senior Class Award voting, KP is now under 21%. The Georgia guy, at 35%, has overtaken the Buckeye…

    Go Pitt.


    1. Fortunately the popular vote carries only 1/3 of the total weight for the awards. Hopefully being 3rd of 10 will help a little? Kayla, on the other hand, is only in 5th or 6th place.


  41. Probably most difficult 3-game stretch of Narduzzi’s career at Pitt. Hard to see us going 3-0 most likely 2-1. I hope 3-0 but just don’t see any Narduzzi-coached team maintaining sustained focus and momentum. Syracuse always seems to play us close at the Carrier Dome.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Jugs… remember lowly BC coming to Heinz with a good runner and no passing attack… same with Northwestern in that bowl game… both teams ran roughshod over PITT


  42. I think the ACC refs should be checked for Southern drawls before being allowed to ref this game.

    If we get General Beauregard again as the Crew Chief Referee….we’re screwed bigtime !


  43. Super stats for James Conner on Sunday.

    Rushing: 21 carries for 96 (but had a long run of 35, so maybe not that super…😊)

    Receiving: 5 catches for 77 yards (but with a long of 45, so again, maybe not that super…😊)

    Anyway, congrats to James C.

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 1 person

  44. Figures….. ESPN turned this into a Weekly Show now. Despise that channel.

    The second College Football Playoff rankings for the 2021 season will be revealed around 9 p.m. ET on Tuesday, Nov. 9 on ESPN.


  45. I agree with JoeL. Jerry DiPaola works for a news organization that is run on a shoestring budget, and he does a good job with what he has to work with. I’m thankful there is an alternative to the PG to get a different perspective. The more coverage the better.

    Liked by 1 person

  46. PAT NARDUZZI: Great road victory by our guys Saturday afternoon. I say this all the time, it’s not easy on the road. Our guys took a business attitude walking into a place that they’ve always played us good. As I said afterwards, a 3-1 football team (at home). A lot of really good plays on video.

    Really no time to celebrate. You talk about 48 hours, being able to try to celebrate some things, enjoy some things. There was no time to enjoy it. I didn’t even talk about who the players of the game was. Nothing.

    I’ll share with you, just so everybody is on the same page, just some of the big plays. Again, a lot of things we need to clean up. Big TD pass to Jared Wayne. Pickett to Addison, 47 yards. Big TD run Pickett scrambling versus man coverage. Another big TD pass from Pickett to Gavin Bartholomew down the sideline.

    Defensively sometimes you forget all the things that happened in this game. Petrishen’s interception again. Fourth and goal stop by SirVocea Dennis. Devin Danielson was outstanding on that one. Another fourth down stop, Judson Tallandier. Fumble recovery Morgan and Hill. If we get a block, we get to the end zone.

    Big sacks. Cam Bright had two big-time sacks. Bangally came in and got a sack. When you look at Sam Scarton with four field goals, outstanding. Two tackles inside the 20. I’ll throw those out there because one we didn’t tackle anybody on. Talk about consistency.

    Christodoulou putting the ball down inside the five yard line after an opportunity where we hope we got points, but we decided to punt it. When you do that, you hope to make some yards like that.

    A lot of good things. A lot of things to clean up. We’re not a perfect football team by any means, I’m not a perfect coach. We still always have stuff to work on. We’ve got a big challenge this weekend.

    But I want to clarify some words. I know E.J. told me after the game while I was in the airplane my comments after the game took a little traction about Carson Van Lynn, who’s a super kid, couldn’t be a nicer kid in the world. Always smiling.

    I want to apologize to him for what I said. Again, didn’t mean to make anybody feel bad or any harm to him. I will say this, in the coaching profession, it’s intent versus impact. My intent was not to make him feel bad. He didn’t do anything I wouldn’t do. I just called it out. I shouldn’t have said a word. That’s my fault.

    The impact, sometimes you hurt people’s feelings. You get people all up in arms. I wanted to address that before I move into [North Carolina].

    Coach Brown, great football coach. Really scored a ton of points as of late. Phil Longo is their offensive coordinator, Jay Bateman, defensive coordinator. You look at Thursday night, you’ve got two explosive offenses at Heinz Field. You’ve got two top-10 offenses with two unbelievable quarterbacks. Everybody has a slew of receivers.

    Their Downs kid, our Jordan Addison, two matchups. I can’t imagine. People will be coming from everywhere. Heard there is to be 36 scouts going to be at the game, obviously watching both ball clubs. It’s going to be a battle at Heinz.

    I always say it’s going to come down to Bateman and Bates. Bateman, Jay Bateman, is their defensive coordinator. Obviously Randy Bates is ours. Going to come down to who plays better defense on that day. We got to step up to that challenge. There’s going to be two explosive offenses going at it.


    Q. What went into Blake Zubovic playing left guard?

    PAT NARDUZZI: He always plays guard. He was our lineman of the week, I might add.

    Q. I mean in a starting role.

    Again, we just kind of — Marcus Minor will be ready to go this week, I can promise you that. He could have gone last week. We had him there, emergency only. If I didn’t answer your question, you may think that Marcus missed bed check or something, which he didn’t. Marcus, I would take a bus full of Marcus Minors.

    Just a little bit sore. We’re okay. Again, you give Blake the start, he went the distance. Gabe Houy went down a little bit. ‘Hey, Marcus, get ready to go. You might not have the day off yet.’

    We were able to get him fresh and he’ll be ready to roll. That’s a good thing, good strategy by Coach Borbely.

    Q. You had a lot of guys off their feet in the second half, didn’t you?

    KING PAT: Not as much as you’d like.

    I mean, we were trying to purposely keep our guys fresh. I told you we were going to get P.J. O’Brien in there early. You find out, hey, how is he going to react? That’s what we need to find out. Our kids did a good job rebounding. Things happened like that that. You want to find out what happened, how guys react. He blew that off, has a short memory. We did that at every position, just trying to get some guys to play. Wasn’t taking them lightly by any means.

    Feel like we got some pretty good guys. Again, I felt bad the week before, we’re playing Erick Hallett, Brandon Hill every snap. There wasn’t another safety that had played in a game. We can’t keep doing that. We’re going to hurt ourselves like we did against BC two years ago, a season ago. That’s kind of where we are.

    We try to get guys playing reps, but they’ve got to earn them in practice, as well.

    Q. You mentioned Matt Goncalves being right on that edge of being a starter. What is your confidence level in him now?

    THE ‘DUZZ: Matt is an intense kid. He’s got a lot of enthusiasm. He’s fired up. I mean, he’d love to go out there. He played a lot of football. He missed one little thing inside, he laughs about it now. Kind of a down block, different front. They actually messed the front up, so it was an unusual front. He missed his block. Wasn’t on the goal line coming out there.

    He’s a competitor. That’s what he is. He loves to play the game of football. He’s athletic and tough, he’s smart. Again, like I say, he loves the game. You just love to coach a kid, a bunch of those guys, for sure.

    Q. How different is Sam Howell now compared to when you saw him two seasons ago?

    MR. FANCY PANTS HC: Obviously we didn’t play him a year ago. He’s been great for two years. The thing you notice out of him, he looks like he’s 235. He runs like a tailback. I mean, he is scrambling. What you didn’t see the last two years is his ability not only to scramble, but now they’ve got designated quarterback runs, okay?

    We prepared real hard for all their draws. They’re going to run a lot of quarterback draws against us. Not as much counter and power with him. But who knows. We’ve seen enough of that this year with other athletic quarterbacks.

    I notice about him, just the way he’s dropping back, then running quarterback draws, scrambling, making plays with his feet. That’s something I did not see in the past that he has added to his game.

    Q. How much more difficult is it on your linebackers and guys in coverage to account for all that Howell can do?

    PN HIMOWNSELF: It’s a big deal. You try to cover downs. You put too many guys, too many people in coverage, you got a problem. It’s hard to rush three against this guy because he’ll take off, going like Kenny did last weekend. It can be deadly. You’ve got to cover.

    They’re going to keep you honest with all the RPOs. They’re going to keep you honest with pass and draw. I mean, that’s kind of their run-draw-action-pass stuff.

    Q. Have you seen a better quarterback this season?

    THE LUCKIEST MAN IN CFB: I’ll tell you after the game. I’ll go back and say that Van Dyke is going to be really, really good. Going back, Hooker has had a heck of a year. Heupel has done a great job coaching him.

    Again, I love the kid from Western Michigan. I know he hasn’t done well against everybody else. That guy was on fire against us. Like I said, people are going to come in and always play their better game against us at that level. We certainly got his best game.

    Sam Howell, great quarterback. Ty Chandler, their tailback, is a stud. Transfer from Tennessee as well. He is athletic. He makes a lot of plays. He’s jumping, hurdling people. He’s the real deal.

    We got Downs, Sam to worry about, then obviously a tailback that’s really athletic. Maybe the best tailback we’ve seen this year.

    Q. You have stumbled out of the gates the first two weeks, being down the first quarter. What have you attributed to the issues that started, how you’ve had to adjust to them? How important is it to not do that this week?

    PATRICK HUFFENPUFF NARDUZZI: It’s important, but we’ve got to go out and play ball. The other guys are on scholarships, the other guys have game plans. You can watch tape all week, like we did all day Sunday. You can watch tape, but they have different stuff they do. You have to adjust to it. Hey, they are doing this. There are set plays, formations, all that. The stuff you practice, you take that away, they got that. There’s all those things.

    You end up running out of them. How many can you put in? How many new things can you put in a short week? There’s not a whole lot we’re putting in. We’re going to try to keep it simple. We don’t have a lot of time to add a ton of offense and defense. We’re going to do what we do, try to do it better than they do. We have to react, make adjustments on the sideline. That’s what you do as a coach. If we don’t make any adjustments offensively or defensively, we come in offensively at halftime, ‘These are the plays we’ve got to get called in the third quarter.’ Same thing on defense. What are they doing, what do they need to do. We do it every series defensively. Coach Partridge, Coach Collins, Coach Manalac, down on the sideline getting information from the press box. I would love to put a microphone in that huddle one day just so you see what happens there. It’s impressive.

    Q. How is their passing offense different without Dazz Newsome and what does Downs do that’s so effective?

    JUST CALL ME PAT: Downs is like Jordan Addison. It is like we’re defending a guy we see in practice every day. This guy is a special football player. Probably one of the reasons there’s 36 scouts going to be here this week, GMs, all the rest of them.

    He’s a young kid that’s just electric. He can slow, and then all of a sudden, like he’s shot out of a cannon. He’ll put you to sleep and then go.

    Dazz was awesome, too. They’ve had two slot receivers. Two years ago Damar Hamlin goes down in cover two, a PI. We’re up by 13, 14 points, whatever it was. He gets ejected, which was crazy, okay? Won’t get into that one. Then Stocker goes in and all of a sudden Dazz went to work. They attacked the weaknesses.

    Erick and our secondary will have their hands full with all their receivers. They make plays.

    Q. You talked to us about a philosophy. You can attack or contain —

    OUR BELOVED HC: Attack, kill mode. Kill or capture.

    Q. How do you rate a risk/reward there?

    FEARLESS LEADER: I think you’ve got to go get them. You’ve got to go get them. If you miss, then the next wave of players has got to go get ’em. You have to. If you don’t go get him, he’ll sit in the pocket all day and pick you apart. He can make every throw on the field. You’ve got to go get him. There’s no other choice.

    I’m not talking about go get him with 10 guys. When you’re in four-man pressure, we are not going to sit there and say contain him, keep him in the pocket, let’s squeeze him, see if we can get him in there.

    You’ve got to go. Then we have secondary contain players in every defense. Going to happen. We’ve had guys do that. The thing we’ve got to do is designated runs, the draws and stuff, are the biggest concern because he can go. People bounce off of him. He’s a load.

    Q. Rodney got 16 carries. Izzy (Abanikanda) had 10. Vince had, I think, four. I saw in the depth chart this week it’s still the same. Is Rodney close to getting one of those ‘ORs’ as a co-starter? Was this past week an indication of maybe a switch in how you use your running backs?

    HE WHO MUST BE OBEYED: We haven’t had that conversation. We’re just trying to get a game plan together. I told E.J. to put in an ‘or.’ I blame him. All those guys are ‘or.’ E.J. c’mon, man.

    But Rodney is a good player. Vince is a great player. Izzy is a great player. We’ve got three good ones back there. It’s all based on how they’re going. Everybody has a different motor on game day. If that guy takes off, that guy is playing out of his mind, let’s keep feeding. Izzy was playing good. Rodney was going in there. We liked the way he was running. We’ll just play it by ear, keep playing the hot guy.

    Q. Seems like Rodney has taken on that closer role. What allows him to be so good in that role?

    NARD DOG: He’s just a good tailback. I don’t care if it’s closing or not. We could have put Izzy in there, okay, because he does the same thing. We feel great with him doing it, too. We’ve got a game here in five days. Let’s cool it here. This guy is good, too.

    It’s not like he’s the closing tailback. Really we feel like all three of them can. The bigger backs are a little harder runners. Vince is so good in protection, catching the ball in the backfield, all that stuff. They all have different things they do well.

    Q. You mentioned that 36 scouts will be there. Do you think that has an influence on how a player performs?

    PAT “I CALL ‘EM AS I SEE ‘EM” NARDUZZI: Possibly. I don’t mention it to the kids. I say that to you guys. They know people are watching, okay? The thing is there’s this thing called the eye in the sky. They got the camera.

    I think it’s interesting for some of those guys to come to games and watch, just see it live. We go to games, we want to see a guy play live. I can watch that high school videotape. But when you get to see them up close, watch them compete. When the camera turns away, you don’t see all the in-between stuff. You don’t see how he’s acting on the sidelines. Scouts are looking. After a series is over, is your quarterback talking to the receivers? Is he looking up in the stands, signing autographs? They want to see all that. Who is he not only as a football player but a person.

    Everything is on display when people are at the game, whether it’s ESPN people, GMs, it doesn’t matter. Microscope is on all of our kids.

    Q. Could you have envisioned Scarton’s development since training camp when there was a competition for the starting kicker job?

    HEATHER’S SAVING GRACE: Birthday boy. What’s he done to keep it? Is he putting it through the uprights? Is it pretty all the time? No. Goes through those two uprights, I don’t care how it gets there.

    I’m proud of the way he’s playing. He’s been money on game day. He’s just calm and cool. That’s what you need at that position. He’s been really good. He’s only going to keep getting better. He’s a young kid. I’ve been impressed.

    You don’t know what it’s going to go like. We’re always going to play the best players. He was a guy that was a walk-on here. He beat out a guy on scholarship. It doesn’t matter. I think it’s a good message for all our kids. I don’t care who our starter is. We’re going to play the best player, the guy we trust on game day, to go out and do it. It is not about, ‘Hey, you are on scholarship so I got to play this guy.’ It doesn’t matter. I think one thing, it does show a lot of kids that.

    Q. Short week, right after a big game traveling. Did you get any chance Sunday to watch Jimmy Morrissey get his first start?

    WHO ME?: Are you kidding me? No, I did not at all. Zero. I might catch a little bit of that Steelers game tonight, I can tell you that. Monday Night Football in Pittsburgh.

    It was the worst Sunday ever, just so you know, a miserable Sunday. Not fun. Our coaches, after today we have caught up, but we practiced twice already, just so we’re on the same page. Tomorrow is perfect Thursday, it’s only Tuesday so we’re on the same page.

    Our kids have done a great job. They’ve been mature. We have a strategy we’re using. We hope it works out for Thursday. I think we got a better plan than we had back in 2015 when we played one of these Saturday, Thursday night games. We’ll see how that goes.

    Q. What’s the better plan?

    “I’M NOT TALKING TO YOU JERRY” NARDUZZI: I can’t tell you. Secrets (smiling).

    Q. Sunday was like a Tuesday practice. Was it just as intense on a Sunday, after a game, as it would a normal Tuesday practice?

    THE OLD DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR HIMSELF: When you say ‘intense’, you think I come in here yelling and screaming? What do you mean?

    Q. How was it different?

    THE CHIEFTAIN OF PITTSBURGH: It was different because it was a Sunday and a Tuesday combined, okay? The thing people don’t realize, they think we just go out and play football, put the ball out there, spot it, let’s go.

    But Sunday first of all I like to get to 7:30 mass. I didn’t get to mass. That’s the first bad part of the day because we were in the office before that.

    It’s just you’re trying to close the chapter on Duke and at the same time you have to be game-planned and ready. Usually for a Tuesday practice, we have half the day on Sunday and all day Monday to prepare. You wake up Tuesday morning, you got your cards ready to go, offense, defense, special teams, here we go, let’s put it together.

    Sunday we had to close the book on Duke, make the corrections on special teams, defense, offense. Then we had to flip it around and as coaches, you weren’t spending time on North Carolina before you could. You had to focus on Duke, good Duke football team.

    It’s cramming. You’re cramming it in. Last night was a late night because we had practice yesterday, last night at 7:30, okay, game time. Then you had to whip around last night, now get ready for all your Wednesday stuff that you’re going to do.

    We had to have everything planned so this morning we could go out and do what we needed to do. That’s no fun.

    Q. When you see a 58-55 game, how does it make you feel as a defensive guy?

    THE HEAD COACH FOR LIFE: That’s not good. As a defensive guy, that’s no fun. They need to slow the tempo down. They need to cut the quarters in half. I don’t know, maybe go 12-minute quarters this weekend, take it easy on them.

    58-55, it’s chaos. Two explosive offenses. Again, we’ve got two more explosive offenses this week. I don’t know where Wake is. I haven’t studied them. I have watched them on tape. I know how deadly Hartman is. I don’t know where they’re ranked in the country. I know we’ve got two top-10 (offensive) teams this week.

    Q. Kind of like 76-61.

    PAT IHATEREFS : What was that?

    Q. The 2016 Syracuse game.

    OUR “THAT DON’T COUNT” HC: That one don’t count. That was 119 plays.

    Q. Knowing that UNC can score, is it nice having the highest scoring offense in the country?

    BIG KAHUNA: Yeah, it’s nice. I don’t want to see that many points put up. Whatever happened to 14-3? Are those days gone? They’re gone. They’re gone everywhere. You see it all over the country.

    Again, we’re just focused on being as good as we can be on defense. That’s going to be key.

    Q. You had some guys who didn’t finish the game at Duke.

    “LIVE!! – IT’S PAT NARDUZZI!!”: Not talking about injuries. Next question.

    Q. Is it a 12-hour rule instead of a 24-hour rule due to the short week?

    JUST IN CASE YOU FORGOT – I’M PAT NARDUZZI: It wasn’t 12 hours either. Sunday, you better wake up and be ready to go. I don’t know what it was. It was short. Short.


  47. ​​ ​

    ​​​​​​​​November 8, 2021​

    Pitt’s Pickett and Petrishen Earn ACC Football Player of the Week Accolades

    PITTSBURGH—Pitt quarterback Kenny Pickett and linebacker John Petrishen were honored by the ACC today for their performances in the Panthers’ 54-29 victory at Duke this past weekend.

    Pickett was named the ACC’s Quarterback of the Week, while Petrishen earned the ACC’s weekly linebacker award.

    Pickett used his prolific arm as well as his legs in compiling 473 total yards and four touchdowns against the Blue Devils. He completed 65% of his passes (28 of 43) for 416 yards and three touchdowns with zero interceptions. On the ground, he averaged 7.1 yards per rush (57 yards on eight carries) and had a 22-yard scoring run.

    Pickett extended his own school record by achieving the fifth 400-yard passing game of his career. It was his 14th game with at least 300 passing yards, tying the school record held by Alex Van Pelt (1989-92).

    A strong candidate for every national player of the year and quarterback award, Pickett’s production this season has been at an elite level. Through nine games he has completed 69% of his passes (235 of 342) for 3,171 yards with 29 touchdowns and only three interceptions. With four rushing scores, he has 33 total TDs this year.

    Pickett is piloting the nation’s highest scoring offense at 45 points per game. He has led the Panthers to four 50-point games this season, Pitt’s most since 1905.

    Petrishen filled up the stat sheet against Duke, compiling a game-high 13 tackles, a seven-yard sack as well as an interception in Blue Devils territory. The Panthers parlayed his INT into a 42-yard touchdown drive.

    He leads Pitt with three interceptions this season, the most by a Panthers linebacker since 2004. That total ranks 16th nationally and third in the ACC.

    On the year, Petrishen has compiled 46 tackles, seven tackles for loss and three sacks.

    Ranked in both major Top 25 polls this week, Pitt (7-2, 4-1 ACC) hosts North Carolina (5-4, 3-3) on Thursday for a 7:30 p.m. kickoff at Heinz Field. The ESPN nationally televised game will have significant implications on the ACC Coastal Division race.

    For tickets, go to or call (800) 643-PITT.

    Liked by 2 people

  48. #25/22 PITT (7-2, 4-1 ACC) vs. NORTH CAROLINA (5-4, 3-3 ACC)

    November 11, 2021 • 7:30 p.m. (ET)

    Heinz Field (68,400/Natural Grass) • Pittsburgh, Pa.
    ESPN • Pitt Panthers Radio Network • @Pitt_FB

    LINK (PDF): Pitt Game Notes (vs. North Carolina)


    √ A national ESPN Thursday night spotlight will shine on Heinz Field when Pitt hosts ACC foe North Carolina. This will be the Panthers’ 25th all-time appearance on ESPN’s Thursday package.

    √ Narrow margins have been the rule during Pitt’s series with North Carolina. The past nine meetings have been decided by an average of 4.2 points.

    √ Typically annual foes as members of the Coastal Division, Pitt and UNC did not play in 2020 due to the one-year revised schedule format. In 2019, Pitt outlasted the Tar Heels in overtime, 34-27, snapping a six-game series losing streak.

    √ Kenny Pickett is having an All-America caliber season. Pickett ranks third nationally—first among Power 5 quarterbacks —with 29 touchdown passes. He has thrown only three interceptions this year.

    √ Pickett needs only 113 yards to become the Panthers’ all-time career passing yards leader. He has thrown for 11,155 yards, second only to Alex Van Pelt, who threw for 11,267 during his Pitt career from 1989-92.

    √ Pickett is piloting the nation’s top scoring offense at 45.0 points per contest. The Panthers have four 50-point games this season, their most since 1905.

    √ Wide receiver Jordan Addison is meriting strong Biletnikoff Award consideration with his production. Addison leads the country with 11 touchdown catches, the most by a Pitt player since Larry Fitzgerald had a school-record 22 in 2003.

    √ Since 2015, Pat Narduzzi has directed Pitt to 33 victories in ACC play, the third-highest win total during that span. Only Clemson (51) and Miami (35) have won more.


    Television • ESPN

    Matt Barrie (play-by-play)

    Roddy Jones (analyst)

    Katie George (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 84, XM Channel 84, SXM App Channel 84

    WPTS Radio (Pitt Student Station) • 92.1 FM

    Online Audio

    Liked by 2 people

  49. Narduzzi stated he believes 36 NFL scouts and GM’s will be at the Pitt NC game Thursday. No question they will be looking at both Pickett and Howell very closely. There are several other NFL prospects playing also in this game for both teams.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Krill needs to look good… get the blonde locks flowing, the war-paint neatly applied and maybe catch a couple of balls and make a few blocks for the scouts…

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I know you got connected to hoops late but would’ve absolutely loved Jamie Dixon’s years with the game being played on both sides, elite defenses and when he developed those several stars on offense, they were the best to watch.

        I’m still hopeful for Capel but not sure he can get it done at Pitt. Not sure anyone can again really.

        Liked by 3 people

      2. College hoops is the most corrupt sport around. I wasted so much of my life watching it, starting in 1983-84. Not any more. Only Pitt games the past few seasons and when January comes, my Hulu will be paused until next football season.

        Self, Izzo, the LSU coach, Sean Miller: some of the biggest scum on the planet.

        Shame on the Pitt chancellor for taking a wrecking ball to the hoops program. It is comical years later how Pitt Stadium was knocked down for a 12,500 seat arena that will only be filled if there is a terrific product. The problem is, to have a terrific product you need smart people making decisions. That just doesn’t exist at Pitt. Pitt went all in on basketball until it didn’t, thinking the wheels would continue to spin. Nope. Doesn’t work that way.

        Now there is a large facility sitting a top a hill not bringing in the money that it should. Two years of redoing and restructuring Pitt Stadium would have been the way to go. Build a smaller arena down on campus somewhere should have been the plan.

        Liked by 7 people

  50. Pride of The Ohio Fake University.

    In a matter of just a few weeks, both of the Las Vegas Raiders’ first-round picks from the 2020 NFL Draft are now off the roster due to off-the-field issues. The latest is cornerback Damon Arnette, who the team released on Monday, GM Mike Mayock confirmed. The release comes in the immediate aftermath of a disturbing video surfacing on social media that showed Arnette waving multiple guns around and threatening to kill someone.


  51. Addison joins Pickett and Adomitis using the NIL in a good way:

    From Jordan Addison:
    EVERY kid should dream big! So, I’m partnering with! They provide great experiences for amazing kids! This week, thanks to Ruckno Family Properties, I will meet a lucky kid, present a gift, and they will attend the NC game! Plz support Tickets For Kids!

    Liked by 3 people

      1. I’m enjoying the wins too. But those numbers aren’t doing the winning… and they certainly won’t do it should the Steelers somehow miraculously find their way to the Playoffs.


    1. By my calculations those numbers should allow you to march down the field and score often. A dam decent average for NFL teams IMO.


  52. Canada has a makeshift offensive line, a QB way past his prime, a depleted wide receiver group, and a rookie running back, and tight end and yes a great kicker. Somehow, they are getting enough points to win.
    Yesterday when their defense and special teams failed to hold the lead, they scraped out a win.

    They are definitely hitting above their weight. It probably won’t last.


  53. Are you ready for the next “Biggest Game of the Year”?

    Funny that this is what everyone has hoped for, a competitive team with a chance to do great things
    and no one is talking.

    Maybe shock has set in.

    Liked by 2 people

  54. Don’t know if there will be a BBall thread so I’ll post this now. Citadel comes in town with a Runnin Rebels fast paced offense and one of the top guards in all of basketball. Pitt favored by 10.5. For once, Pitt will dominate inside with Hugley and 6-10” Gueye. Femi is a decent point guard with occasional hot shooting hand. Jeffries who just turned 18 will have to grow up fast! J Burton’s
    return from leg issues will be the key to any future success Pitt garners. He’s out tonight.

    No idea who will win this game but if I was betting, I’d put every last dime on the Citadel!


    1. So Pitt is the play here….then.

      The Citadel….is akin to a Service Academy and if Pitt losses to them…..they’ll go winless in the ACC.


      1. Not that they won’t regardless. 🙂

        That’s what Stony Brook & Oakland transfer Starters will get you.


  55. I should know this, but I don’t. When a visiting team (this week UNC) arrives, do they have access to any practice facilities? If yes, which ones.


  56. I have no issues with Capel’s vision for Pitt or how he is recruiting. I’ve said before it’s an all or none game in the ACC to actually compete. I don’t know if he’s the right coach or a good coach, but he’s doing it the way it has to be done. If it’s not him, it’s someone else and they will have to have the same approach. You can skip steps in college basketball.

    He does have to recruit character though. Ithiel Horton has no excuse. I don’t care if he’s out late having a good time. He’s an adult and can do as he pleases but he has to have the self awareness to get himself out of a situation like that. Off the court problems are a coaches problem. The coach is responsible for his players representing the school and the team with high character.

    People are flipping out over Nike and Horton but c’mon … I know they were the leading scorers coming back but neither averaged double figures. The depth takes a hit but it will give playing time to some younger players with hopefully higher ceilings. Nike and Horton were who they were and I highly doubt would have made any significant leaps.

    Next man up … you move on. I don’t see either as a big loss for the program. Maybe it hurst the season a little but in regards to program building its insignificant. Neither was a “star” in the making. That’s not hating on either of them either. It just is what it is.


    1. I think the loss of depth and therefore rest for the guards will really hurt this team. They don’t need a thin bench. I think both Horton and Simbande would improve this year being their second with the team and in the ACC. Long term, not sure it matters.


      1. The season wasn’t going to be very good, regardless. They’re not really program movers in a season the program wasn’t going to move. Haha. Neither were really ACC quality athletes. They may have had good non-con games but reality would have set in quickly for conference play. It always does for non-ACC caliber players.

        Liked by 2 people

    2. It’s a big loss when you have a bench unable to substitute any ACC caliber players as replacements. This Pitt BB team will probably end up last or next to last in the ACC standings this season.

      Liked by 1 person

    3. Capel’s recruiting the last year has been an utter joke. And no….that’s NOT the way you do it to be able to compete in the ACC. are you Serious ???


  57. Like Dan, I am significantly worried about this upcoming basketball season. I think I would worry less if Pitt had a highly regarded recruiting class coming in for 2022. But the combination of recent departures, a thrown together team and an upcoming poor recruiting class is a major concern. There are definitely some quality players on the team, and Pitt will probably bring in one or two transfers for 2022. But the current depth is really shallow. I am a Capel supporter, but I certainly don’t like the overall trend here..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The Trend…… is trending DOWN. Cause this season is going to be much worse than last season.
      Pitt was DEAD LAST IN THE ACC….in the 2021 Recruiting class.

      And almost dead last among all Major Conference schools.

      Liked by 1 person

  58. Pitt will once again be bottom feeders in basketball. Regardless of the reasons, Capel’s record stinks and will for the next two years. How long do you wait? I too like Capel, if he doesn’t turn this around and I don’t know how he does, he won’t be a head coach again. He needs a great class next year to start, period.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. If he doesn’t get some more good players soon….the Mintz kid will de-commit. The kid is not coming here by himself, surrounded by D2 players….to lose.


  59. HUGE game Thursday. Exciting time to be a Pitt football fan. Enjoy the ride and the talent we are watching.
    Great great opportunity for this team.

    Liked by 2 people

  60. In Pitt volleyball news, Pitt is playing American today at 3:00 PM in Washington, D.C. If you subscribe to ESPN+, you can watch the match. Pitt should have an easy time of it. Coach Fisher will be getting some of the younger players match experience.

    On Friday Pitt travels to Syracuse for a rematch of their early meeting. The match is at 7 PM and is on ACCNX. Pitt again should win the match. Pitt volleyball has Sunday off

    Pitt remains at #1 in RPI and Louisville moved up to # 2. In the AVCA poll Pitt remains at #3 with Louisville moving up to #1.


  61. The reason Louisville moved up to #1 in the AVCA poll, the highest ever rating for an ACC team, is due to a Baylor win over the “Lone Star State U” on Saturday. That Baylor win also allowed Louisville to move up to #2 in RPI. Pitt also had a bump in RPI due to the win as they defeated Baylor earlier in the year.


  62. Oh, yeah … I’m not advocating for or against Capel. At some point the recruiting has to land … I’m just advocating for his approach. He’s doing it the right way. Swing and miss. Building a program from the bottom up isn’t really doable in the ACC. There are exceptions, but they’re rare. Better to go all in. Like I said, you can skip steps in college basketball. You don’t need a core or base … you just need that one class.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. His first class was highly rated. As was the class with Hughley & the Erie kid.

      In between, it’s been garbage. And some huge question marks surround whether Hughley or the
      Erie kid are gonna be very good. Neither one could even dominate Gannon. think about that.


      1. @Juggernaut Highly rated doesn’t mean much unless they’re all-Americans. You have to have a top 50 player in each class. if you want to be a final 4 team you need at least 2 top 50 and 2 top 75 in your rotation. His first class was last minute left overs. McGowens was a fringe top 100 player and Xavier I believe reclassified. That class was a desperation heave based on the state of the program. Last years was good but the highest rated player was 17 and the next highest got suspended for the season. Every class has to have a top 50 player or at the least a top 75 guy. And if you really want to compete, top 25.


        1. Basketball ranking are not like football. Teams that have highly rated every year, also have one and done’s or two and through’s so they are constantly rotating highly ranked players. UVA is a good example. They are not highly ranked annually for recruiting but they always have a 5 star guy and several 4 star guys on the roster. They recruit at an elite level even if the annual ranking don’t show it.


        2. Xavier de-comitted from Nebraska. The other 2 reclassified. And yes he put it together ‘on the fly’ so to speak since he came in late in the recruiting season.

          But it remains his best class….to date. So maybe he should employ….that ‘Sense of Urgency’ again
          in his recruiting.


  63. Have you ever had a job that you were sure you’d succeed at only to come to the conclusion it is not working out?

    I think that’s where Capel is at and too many factors indicate that this years bad luck may be the beginning of the end! Agree w Tossing that this was going to be a down year no matter what! Too many Coach controllable issues have gone the wrong way in the last four years.

    I doubt Pitt wins 10 games this year and maybe not a single ACC game!


    1. No, I haven’t Dan. But then, I’ve been very selective as to where I will work. 3 employers in 40 years, the last of which accounts for 31 of those.


  64. Dan – Yeah, the team is definitely not trending in the right direction no matter how you spin it. Two years in a row with players getting involved in unnecessary off-court distractions. Most of the players leaving had “character” flaws that lead to them departing early. The W’s and L’s really don’t bother me too much. They just don’t have the talent to do better and I’m very happy we’re not just trying to put out an average team that doesn’t really end up competing for anything. I’m so tired of mediocre I’d rather be awful. Lol. It’s a weird place to be but it’s where I am. Haha.

    If they fire Capel, they better hire a recruiter though. If we hire a steady Eddy guy I’m not sure I can weather that storm.


  65. Unfortunately I think this season will be a lot like Stallings second season, possibly like Capel’s first season without the hope. I also agree that Mintz may de-committ if Capel can’t land a couple more good prospects which is very unlikely at this point. But since he has been good at getting late commits from guys he talks into leaving high school early, there is still a chance. (Dumb and Dumber)

    I still don’t understand the mass exodus last year.


  66. The red flag on Capel’s recruiting came in his first full class when he landed AKC, Murphy, Drumgoole and Champagnie. This should have been the class where he struck gold, as coaches do after a full year of recruiting, and kids comfortable that coach will be around for their entire career. If Capel hit on just two of the three minus Justin, who’s now gone, it would make this current team that much better with two stronger kids in the lineup.

    His second full class was OK. When 2021 was going to be a whiff class, the goal posts were moved that this staff was going all in on 2022. It is looking bleak and there is even a borderline top 50 player committed. Where are the other players? A center?

    Tonight’s crowd is going to have thought filling Heather’s head. A loss on top of a sparse crowd she is going to putting a list together I hope.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think this year’s class is the red flag class. Year 1 was scared together. Year 2 should have been a good foundation, so I do agree there. Year 3 seems to be the foundation class so it’s only a year off. This year should have been the one where he broke through a little. And he almost did with Efton Reid until LSU, LSU’d. That miss kind of derailed the class but he’s getting closer. Heather obviously would not let Capel do what was necessary to beat Wade at LSU.


      1. Well that is spot on. This year’s class is a HUGE RED FLAG. With scores of players available in the Transfer portal. He was not able to land anyone of significance.

        Nor did he sign anyone outta of HS of much significance. You just have to hope he got a diamond in the rough with the Nate kid.


  67. Programs have competed and even won the ACC (which I’ve followed since the days of David Thompson & Tom Burleson at NC State and even before then with John Lucas & Tom McMillan at Maryland) without landing 5 star recruits.

    So this notion that you can’t compete in the ACC, (which btw is the downest it’s been for quite some time) is hogwash.


    1. Completely disagree. Look at ACC champions the last 20 years … it’s the Duke, UVA, UNC and FSU show … all who have a pipeline of talent to the NBA. Only Duke is one and done but every one of those teams recruits at an elite level.

      ACC Regular season:

      ACC Final 4 teams:

      This isn’t the Big East. The ACC is a different beast from a talent perspective.


      1. I didn’t say.,,,,,,win. I said COMPETE.

        Dixon’s first ACC team won 26 games and 11 games in the ACC.

        And reached the Semi-finals of the ACC Tournament, With no TOP 50 recruits on the team.


        1. I don’t want to be just competitive. I was speaking from my POV. I’d rather be awful than average. All or none for college basketball so I agree with Capel’s approach. Whether he’s the right coach is another story but I don’t want some guy to come in and just make us competitive. I want to compete for Final 4’s.


          1. Well,,,,,i think that window has closed. Unless Pitt decides to invest another $200-300 mil into the basketball program.


            1. That’s why you need the one class … it also gives you that infusion of money. Once Capel breaks the seal on the “it” class I think we’re fine but he’s running out of runway quickly.

              Liked by 1 person

              1. Yes, a couple more last place or close to last place finishes will seal his stay in Pittsburgh.


                  1. Who can PITT get to coach them out of this darkness? Do you have any ideas or a specific name in mind? I’m just curious.


                    1. I really haven’t given it much thought. Since we’re heavily engaged in Football.

                      But I will once Football regular season is over !


            2. I think it’s all about Lyke and Gallagher now. I hope the season improves. Capel’s track record is to start out okay then crash and burn in January and February.

              Covid kept fans away from the arena last season. Lyke will be hearing from fans every game this year, however many actually show up. I hope she is smart enough to be working on a way to terminate him for cause (out of control players) or is working on a buyout.

              I don’t believe there were any miracles at Fatima. I don’t think Capel or his brother(s) can work miracles. Buckle up. Let’s not confuse what we hope will happen with what we can predict based on what we know and see.

              And more and more fans will be asking the proverbial question: Would the program be better off if Stallings had been allowed to stay? The performance of Capel and his team this season will, no doubt, answer that question.


  68. MIntz needs some other recruits to join him to keep him, for sure. But all it takes is one class to change things. Mintz is a good foundation for that change … So he has a head start at least. Capel is selling recruits on that one class I’m sure too so I doubt recruits are looking at Pitt’s current results to seriously.


    1. And all it takes is one good jackpot lottery ticket to hit for many to enter the multimillionaire class. But the odds of a 4th year BB coach that has lost much of his recruits via transfer portal of getting that lottery ticket recruit is slim and none.


      1. Capel still seems to have a good reputation. I haven’t heard anything negative outside of the Pitt fan base. He obviously doesn’t have the green light to “offer” these kids what some other schools are … see LSU.


          1. Dude, you love the past. In the present, he has a fine reputation (outside of Pitt, which he also hasn’t earned so it’s fair game).


            1. The past can be a pretty good indicator of the future. and yes I do.,…one of my degrees is in HIstory.


              1. I’m just saying he’s lived down that reputation. He carried it for a while and seems to have shed it. He’s even been clean with the Zion shenanigans since he wasn’t the lead recruiter for him.


  69. Actually even before that…I saw Charley Scott and the 2 Pittsburgh kids (Georgie Karl & Dennis Wycich) play for the Holes at Fitzgerald.


  70. Remembering the Garden and the glory days….

    The Big East: Inside the Most Entertaining and Influential Conference in College Basketball History by Dana O’Neil…

    The book looks back at the early Big East and the three schools, St. John’s, Georgetown, Villanova, saying No to Penn State and changing the future of conference realignment.

    Interesting excerpt: By 1981, Villanova had joined the league, bolting the short-lived Eastern Eight to align with its East Coast brethren. That same year the Big East–Garden partnership played a big part in negotiations that would reverberate across college athletics for decades. At the time, Penn State football coach Joe Paterno, who also served as his school’s athletic director, was trying to align the East Coast football schools much the same way Gavitt had done in hoops, heavily wooing the Nittany Lions’ rival, Pittsburgh. But Gavitt also had expansion and stability on his mind, looking for another team and one with a football-playing background to give Boston College and Syracuse natural opponents in the sport. He, too, set his sights on Pittsburgh.

    Gavitt had what Paterno didn’t yet — financial backing in the form of a $1.6 million television deal, the $3 million arena package, and, more important, revenue sharing. The Pittsburgh Panthers shunned Paterno and football, signing on with the Big East in November 1981, a month after the Garden deal was finalized. Pitt’s decision more or less killed Paterno’s football conference dream.

    Who can forget Pitt winning it all at the Garden in 2007 setting the stage for the 2008-09 magical season.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yep at the time….nobody was privy to the Behind the Scenes stuff. No leaks onto Twitter or anything.. of the other stuff that might have happened today.

      While we landed in a P5…..that decision back in the early 80’s could have really bit us in the tush….ala what’s happened to UConn football. Since Pitt football declined so bad, that we were no longer in the Cat Bird’s seat and funny, cause Uconn was the ACC’s choice over us. And look what’s happened to them.


    2. JoePa had a superior vision – which held back by his ego and greed on the FB scheduling side.

      Cuse, BC, Pitt, Nits, Rutgers, the Hoopies…add in Miami and VT, along with UConn moving up from D1AA. Add in a commissioner with great strategic vision and such a confewrence might still be in place.


    3. Based on the excerpt, sounds like a great book – except for the quote from Pitt nemesis Tim Higgins!



      1. It would be so much easier to recruit and we could hire a different type of coach, too. Yeah, don’t mistake my comments as preferring the ACC or this style of recruiting. I just see it as the reality. But, I understand it’s my opinion. I loved the Dixon era but a lot of people here didn’t see him as a coach to get us to the Final 4. Fan bases always want more. We’re in a want more league, now, too. If you win the ACC, you can win a national championship.


        1. As we know, Jamie came oh so close with the Young/Blair/Fields team. Shame too, cause he was an outstanding citizen and good guy.

          And Pitt basketball had never really had that sustained run of success in it’s history before.

          But of course Pitt had never made that type of inve$tment before in the bball program either.

          And imo, the 2 go hand in hand.

          Dixon perhaps ….saw the window closing himself, and then the opportunity to coach at his alma mater
          was all he needed to bail. Or was Pitt trying to push him out, since he didn’t like the move to the
          ACC and voiced those disapprovals. Barnes = Hatchet man. And the scam with bringing in Stallings.

          Liked by 1 person

              1. We just got selfish. Probably rightfully but still. We were guaranteed a tourney every year and a chance to compete for the league title. Dixon got screwed when Pitt didn’t increase the investment with the success, but he was a good coach for Pitt. Then we hired a Dixon-lite coach. If you’re going to push out the most successful coach in program history, you have to swing higher than Pitt did.


  71. Interview Bill Hargrove and Pat ‘Rodney’ Narduzzi

    I tell you Billy, we have a tough crowd here, a tough crowd.

    Last year we have a WR drop a pass for a 2 point extra point then the next week, our kicker misses an extra point. Two 1-point losses in a row … and I can’t win the close games

    So we then get blown out by two Top 10 teams, and they complain even more

    No respect, Billy, I don’t get any respect !

    So this year, we’re picked for 5th place in the Coastal, and now we’re leading …. And I’m still getting biatched at. I tell you Billy, no respect

    Safeties against us 2 weeks in a row. Ex-players stealing our signs. Pitt blogs tearing apart every word of my press conferences

    No respect Billy

    Sent from my iPhone


    Liked by 2 people

  72. Think of any sports team you played on, and your coach was stressing being a close knit team and have sound fundamentals. Then think of the game where you did everything right and played beyond your team talent capabilities….. and got beat by 30 because you simply faced a more talented team.

    That is the ACC and Pitt is THAT team! Hell, we may get beat by 30 tonight!


    1. I don’t know, Dan. I was among the 200 or so fans at the Gannon exhibition and I didn’t see much evidence of working as a unit. In fact my observation at the time was that it was like watching a pickup game at the gym.

      Its early, and I hope you’re right.


  73. Pitt volleyball defeats American handily in three straight sets. The match was over in 1 hr. 15 min. Vazquez Gomez played the entire match in place of Kayla Lund who had a rest day. Jordan Lockwood returned to action for the first time since her injury. She played very well. Levers played a little bit in the first set and then was rested for the rest of the match. Fairbanks played setter and outside hitter in the match. Klika played libero in the third set. The match was basically a one sided scrimmage. On to Syracuse Friday.

    Liked by 1 person

  74. One more thing, how sad it is when Pitt finally has a dominant inside game and we lose our two best guards.


    1. dan….you drinking again. Pitt a dominant inside game ? Who knew ?

      In the few games, like tonight, when they should dominate inside, they better.


  75. GT week: “This is a big game. First ACC game of the season. We should win this one, but we will learn a lot about Pitt on Saturday.”

    VT week: “This is a really big game. Going to be tough in Blacksburg, but we should win this one. We will learn a lot about Pitt this Saturday.”

    Clemson week: “This is a huge game. We can beat these guys, but they are still Clemson. We will learn a lot about this Pitt team on Saturday.”

    Miami week: ” This is a big game for Pitt. Miami has more talent than Pitt, but Pitt should win this one. We will learn a lot about Pitt’s chance to win the Coastal on Saturday.”

    UNC week: “I really mean it this time…. this is a huge game for Pitt. Its going to be a track meet with the final possession perhaps deciding the game. We will learn a lot about this team…

    Would like to keep the streak going Thursday.

    Liked by 1 person

  76. Ron Cook never misses an opportunity to take a shot

    Cook is writing about Pitt basketball saying that we would finish 16th in the league if only we could. He compares this year’s fortunes to the Williard era and three arrests in the 1998-99 season and asks us to consider what type of player Capel is recruiting.


  77. Pitt needs these SO and below players to show serious progress this year. Odukale, Hugley, Jeffress, Collier, Amadasun, Santos. Obviously not all will, but they need to be a solid core that grows with the program as JC recruits.

    I predict the first three and Santos as a three point shooter. Hopefully Collier shows enough to get some regular minutes as a sub.


  78. So happy Dan is enjoying himself with PITT basketball starting up tonite. I can feel the excitement in his writing. My man Dan is simply fired up! (it takes his mind off Narduzzi and PITT football) But NFL looks like the BB program will crash and burn then we host the Tar-Heels come to town. Ah o Dan, take my advice and let KP guide you to the promise land. It’s All We Got!! ike


  79. Richard – So the Citadel Bulldogs are in town to play the Panthers.

    The big question I have:
    Are they a juggernaut? 😊

    Go Pitt.

    PS: Couldn’t comment on the POV today for some reason. Kept asking me to log in. When I tried, I was in a loop and it just kept asking me to log in…. Oh well…🤔


  80. Just like with Narduzzi, I think Heather took advantage of a down season to extend Capel to 2026-27(?). They are not going to pay a big buyout to Capel, and he will be given every opportunity to succeed, unless he has a run of bad actors come in and soil the university. Horton doesn’t help, and the administration must have been crapping their tights when ESPN was scrolling the Horton situation at game time. It will probably take Capel another 3 years to field a competitive team.


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