Starting right now I am rescinding my long standing policy of not banning posters without fair warning. I will do it with more regularity from now on. I have gotten numerous emails regarding crude comments and thinly veiled political statements. Please don’t act like you don’t know or understand the simple standards we have always had on here. You do and choose to ignore them.
This blog has, for the last six years, been a place to openly share our thoughts about Pitt athletics in a civil and non-insulting manner. Well, that has started to change and I am way too concerned with other infinitely more important aspects of my life than to have to babysit commenters on here.
If your comments are not going through there is a reason for that. You brought it on yourself. Don’t cry to me either – I’ll just delete emails from commenters who I feel shouldn’t have a venue to act as childish as they have been.
Another alternative is to make people request to register and have admin approve that registration or we could do a subscription by invite service – which, again, I do not want to do.
A good post-bowl loss (yet again) article from Erie…
This game started to have the feel of past Narduzzi lead bowl games in the 3rd quarter for me. First there was the 11 point lead heading into 4th quarter that never felt safe. The weapons that developed right before our eyes in 2021; Jordan “Air” Addison, Blue Mountain Bart, Jared Wayne and Lucas “Drop” Krull were way under-utilized. Combined, these stars of the team had a total of 14 positive touches and NO touchdowns. Remind me who the interim OC was and WHY?
The next was the deja vu feeling of back when we allowed Northwestern and Stanford to hang around while we dominated parts of the game that usually lead to a win.
The defensive line struggled to put pressure on the QB and thus we gave up a whopping 354 yards through the air with three touchdowns. The Spartans were 10-21 on 3rd down and 3-4 on 4th down conversions – not many stops from our boys on D last night. Well, Narduzzi put somewhat of a stop on them in the 4th quarter with his signature defensive timeout although the “pause” was for a commercial, not an actual in-game TO, and much needed stop.
Good, Bad & Ugly
Nick Patti’s 1st quarter command.
Davis Beville’s two minute drive to end the half.
Brandin Hill’s INT.
Cam Bright’s fumble scoop and score, sadly our last points on the board.
CB Woods 4th down defense of a potential TD in the 3rd quarter.
Izzy’s two yard kickoff return to start the game from the three yard line.
The drops were back again (to start the game).
Nick Patti injured on TD dive.
Lowest offensive point output in 2021 (14) besides the Spring Game (0).
Offensive Coordinator Whipple leaving for a lateral move to Nebraska.
TE coach Tim Salem as interim OC – ugly decision by Narduzzi – we all knew that when it was announced.
Opening kickoff – a sign that the team was not ready to play along with the dropped passes that shortly followed.
Sleeping on the fake punt, which all watching knew was coming, except for the Pitt coaches and players.
Burning a defensive time out on 3rd & 9 mid-way in the 4th quarter with your team up 11 points; next two plays by MSU resulted in a 1st down and then touchdown – ugly is too kind a word for a defensive minded head coach.
Calling a pass play when down three points on the 26 yard line with 50 seconds left in the game instead of running the ball to position for a FG or a breakaway TD. Instead, we saw an interception that does not fit in the bad nor ugly category.
WR coach Marion leaving for a lateral move to Texas.
Losing the ball on the last kickoff after starting the game with a similar debacle – sign the team gave up and quit.
The final score could have easily been 41-21 (note from my MSU fan acquaintances) who predicted a 20 point blow-out. Sadly, they were more correct than I want to give them credit for.
Narduzzi’s final game at Michigan State, and the last New Year’s six game he coached in, was the 2015 Cotton Bowl, where the 10-2 Michigan State Spartans took on the 11-1 Baylor Bears.
The ‘Duz’s defense got boat raced for a full three quarters, and the he famously came down from the box at the end if the third to rally his troops. The tactic worked and Sparty’s defense pitched a shutout in the fourth while the Michigan State offense roared back and delivered a one-point victory in dramatic fashion.
The next day Narduzzi got on a plane for Pittsburgh, and the rest, as they say, is history.
Pitt’s bowl game is tomorrow, and seems almost anticlimactic doesn’t it? It shouldn’t though. 12 wins is the number everyone keeps talking about, and Pitt has a legit shot at at top-10 finish if they win, which in the grand scheme of things is a pretty nice cherry on top of the ACC-championship cake.
The question of course, is will they win? And if Kenny Pickett were playing I think we’d all feel pretty good about that. He’s not, however, and that horse has been pretty much beaten to death, so save your commentary. Instead, the relatively untried-and-untested Nick Patti will get the start. In my opinion that’s worth about a 15 point swing versus our season average. (Although 15 is a weird number in football, so I’ll just round it up to two touchdowns and a field goal). For those if you with accounting backgrounds, we average 43 points per game right now, so replacing Pickett with Patti, and subtracting 17 gets us to…26 points? Talk about your weird football numbers. I’ll round that right back up to 28. And that doesn’t even factor in the fact that you’ve got Tim Salem calling the plays. (For the record Pitt scored exactly 28 in the Military Bowl, when Salem last stepped in for a departed OC, so there you go. A data point.)