Kenny Pickett has officially been named the best player in the ACC for 2021.

I think we can all agree that what Mark Whipple has done with him has been tremendous, and the growth of his supporting cast came just at the right time. Not bad for a mid-tier three-star recruit. This is what college football is all about folks.

Here is a trip down memory lane regarding Pickett’s passing stats. (Stats courtesy of sportsreference.com)

Also, in the Did you Know category:


Kenny Pickett owns the following Pitt school records:

Total Offense (12,839 yards)
Passing Yards (12,050 yards)
Touchdown Responsibility (99 TDs)
Completions (1,025)
Rushing Scores by a QB (19 TDs)
Single-Game Passing (519 yards)
Single-Season Passing (4,066 yards)
Longest Passing Play (96 yards)
Most 300-Yard Passing Games (16)
Most 400-Yard Passing Games (5)
Most 500-Yard Passing Games (1)
Most 3,000-Yard Passing Seasons (2)
Passes in a Season (469 in 2019)
Completions in a Season (314 in 2021)

“The best quarterback in the ACC…and a legitimate candidate for the Heisman.”
    – USA Today’s Paul Myerberg

“This quarterback is special. The game is very, very slow to him. He knows where everybody is. He’s a master of the game within the game. Really understands the nuances of their offense. Very accurate. … He’s the highest-rated guy in the country.”
    – Clemson Coach Dabo Swinney
Kenny Pickett “throws the best deep ball in college football.”
    – Fox Sports’ Matt Leinart, 2004 Heisman Trophy Winner

“He isn’t just the best quarterback in the ACC this season, he’s been the best QB in the entire country.”
    – Pro Football Network’s Cam Mellor

Here is the EJ Borghetti press release:

December 1, 2021
Pitt’s Kenny Pickett Named 2021 ACC Player of the Year

PITTSBURGH—After achieving the most prolific regular season ever by an Atlantic Coast Conference quarterback, Pitt’s Kenny Pickett today was unveiled as the ACC’s overall Player of the Year and Offensive Player of the Year.The Panthers’ senior signal-caller was the overwhelming choice for both honors. Pickett garnered 52 of a possible 64 votes for Player of the Year. He received 54 votes for the offensive award.

The voting margin reflected Pickett’s dominant season. Through 12 games, he has completed 67.7% of his passes (314 of 464) for 4,066 yards with 40 touchdowns and only seven interceptions. Including his four rushing scores, he has totaled 44 TDs.Pickett is just the third ACC quarterback—and the first at Pitt—to throw for 4,000 yards and 40 touchdowns, joining Florida State’s Jameis Winston (who did it during his 2013 Heisman Trophy season) and Clemson’s Deshaun Watson (2016). Pickett’s 40 TD passes are an ACC regular-season record. He is one shy of Watson’s ACC overall season record of 41 set over 15 games in 2016.
Pickett becomes the second Pitt player to be the recipient of both awards. Running back James Conner was also honored as the overall and Offensive Player of the Year in 2014.The ACC honors could be the first of many postseason accolades for Pickett, who is a finalist for four national awards: the Davey O’Brien National Quarterback AwardJohnny Unitas Golden Arm AwardMaxwell Award and Senior CLASS Award. He additionally has received considerable Heisman Trophy buzz. (See PittsburghPanthers.com/Heisman2Pickett).
Pickett’s play has fueled Pitt to its first 10-win regular season since 1981. When the College Football Playoff rankings were updated last night, the Panthers rose to No. 15, their highest CFP rating ever.
As winners of the ACC’s Coastal Division, the Panthers (10-2, 7-1 ACC) will face Atlantic Division champ Wake Forest (10-2, 7-1) in the Subway ACC Football Championship Game this Saturday at 8 p.m. The game, played in Charlotte’s Bank of America Stadium, will be a national ABC telecast.

78 thoughts on “POTY

  1. 12, 13, 13 and 40. That’s the TD line for 2-gloves since 2018. And IMO the most significant stat of his impressive year

    Having legit TEs obviously helped. Less drops by the WRs contributed as did an improved OL. Taking more chances in the red zone may also have been a factor

    While we we are not likely to see numbers like this in the near future, we can expect to see much better numbers than 13.

    Sent from my iPhone


    Liked by 1 person

    1. The biggest factors are Addison and an O-line giving him time to throw.
      Also the fact that he hasn’t missed any games this year.


  2. Taking a look at Kenny’s stats up top settles the idiocies and debates of how long KP has been at PITT. Seems many people can’t count to 5?

    How does it feel to get almost everything you have always wanted from PITT, Thanks Pat. For many of us this marks the second go round of the luxury of PITT winning.

    You want to feel good? Just think of what you may have being doing this week if PITT had not won the Coastal Division this year?

    Liked by 4 people

  3. If this football season becomes an outlier and Pitt doesn’t take advantage, then we could be seeing a long term return to mediocrity and SOP. I don’t want to become negative here, but we need to see that this exceptional year for Pitt football translates into a longer term success.

    With all of the coaching changes taking place, Pitt should be well positioned to grab up some top recruits who reopen their commitments. They need to make a decision on the returning QBs to see if anyone currently on scholarship can approach Pickett’s play. The decision on next year’s QB is their most critical decision.

    And what is the verdict on Whipple and maybe some other position coaches? Is Whipple the genius of this year’s offensive output, or is he an over the hill dolt that just got lucky with a returning QB?


    1. IMO he’s a little of both. Whipple has had a track record of developing QB’s, and if you look back through his history, it usually takes about three years. With that said, we all know his shortcomings when it comes to play calling and run/pass ratio. Did he get lucky? He got lucky that he had Kenny in the fold, who was a “developable” quarterback in mold that Whipple likes. Are any of the rest of the bunch as “developable” as Kenny? Well we will see. If my memory serves at least three of them will have had three years under whipple.


      Patti – doesn’t have the arm
      Beville – from what i hear doesn’t have the accuracy
      Yellen – is he even still on the radar?

      And then Yarnell – handpicked by Whipple but only two years of development …

      But hey, lets enjoy this year ’till it’s over. Plenty of time for hand-wringing in the offseason.

      Liked by 7 people

      1. I wrote yesterday on a thread about my concern next year with the qb position. If we aren’t getting a transfer, it has to be Yarnell with his youth and potential for long term development as the starter unless Whip is seeing lots of things from the other guys in practice that we aren’t.

        I was very excited about Yellen’s arrival with four stars until I saw him play last year. He has a good arm and nice touch but our o-line was terrible and he would not run. Running was a pre-rec for success in last year’s offense.

        Patti and Beville haven’t really done anything in their limited opportunities to knock anyone’s socks off either. Patti barely beat Delaware in a start 2 years ago that we almost lost. Beville had a few series against Miami and BC last year that didn’t really go anywhere and he quickly got yanked.

        In the 20 years or so since my childhood that I’ve followed this program, I’ve been very upset at qb development. We have had some guys that were very highly touted that didn’t make it.

        Anyone remember:
        -Tony Zimmerman (recruited by Johnny Major’s part II, transferred to Duquesne)
        -Mark Myers (recruited by Wanny, transferred to John Carroll)
        -Thomas MacVittie (I think he was recruited by Nard, transferred to Kansas)
        -Greg Cross (recruited by Wanny as a Juco, was only used in spot situations a few times)
        -Max Browne (transfer from USC, #1 recruit at one point in the nation, hurt a lot, didn’t light the world on fire while playing)
        -Ricky Town (transfer from USC and Alabama, I think he had two plays as a Panther.)


    2. The problem Pitt has with taking advantage with the current recruiting class is that we have few, if any, more spots available…

      Go Pitt.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. I think Pitt holds way too much sway in my life. I’m happy and I’m worried about that. Ever since Pitt won the Coastal and then didn’t look past Syracuse, I’ve been interested again college football. I’ve checked scores of teams ahead of Pitt to see if the Panthers will move up in the standings. I’ve watched college football games, something I haven’t done in a long time, although I’m still recording Pitt in case they lose. And, although I’m scared to think this, given Pitt’s history, that with Pitt football’s resurgence this year and I’m hoping hereafter, together with the success of men’s soccer and women’s volleyball, I am beginning to think that Pitt isn’t just striving to be excellent at mediocrity. I’m thinking If football can be resurrected, can basketball return? Am I nuts or is Pitt actually striving to be relevant athletically in the ACC and nationally again? I’m beginning to think so and I’m worried about that.

    Liked by 7 people

  5. I have a few thoughts/questions:

    First, looking forward as per VOR’s comments, I think we are in decent position in terms of depth and talent to continue a strong year next year, IF, and ONLY IF, we get good quarterback play. There’s no such thing as a good team without a good quarterback. And I am not sour on Patti or Beville because I have not seen either of them play, but if I am PN and I have any doubts at all about either of these 2 (or Yarnell for that matter), I’m bringing in a transfer while the iron is hot.

    More to our focus, regarding THIS year: In addition to the good fortunes of Pickett returning, or the credit that Whipple is getting for our offense (deservingly at least in part), I do wonder what the first year influence of Coach Marion has been on the offense; I don’t think this is something we will ever know, but I do wonder.

    And last but not least, we went from having zero tight ends for several years, to suddently having two tight ends that are weapons in 2021, and this has added a whole new element to our offense, which in my opinion is part of the reason we got over the hump.

    And as for the ACC championship, my biggest fear is our pass defense of course, so here’s to hoping we somehow get pressure on their QB.


    Liked by 6 people

  6. I know this is basically impossible to answer, but how successful would Pitt have been this year with its typical QBs of the past (Marino excluded)? If Whipple had inserted any of the past few QBs into this year’s offensive team, would we have had the same success? My question therefore is: if Pickett was the real outlier, then is Pitt capable of recruiting a future QB that can match Pickett’s performance?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t think there is any doubt that the QB makes all the difference. Wake, VA, prime examples.
      Look what happened to BC when Jurk went down or Clemson and Miami this year.
      It is the QB’s that make the difference.
      However, you must have the O-line and receivers to complement the QB’s.
      Luckily it all came together at the same time for Pitt. Also for Wake.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. The question I have is will Whipple attempt to continue with AirCoryell next year or use his two power running backs along with Davis to offset the loss of Pickett?

    Secondly will Narduzzi and Co. be able to leverage this success to and increased level of recruiting and portal guys?

    Face it, it is the players that make the coaches geniuses. KP and Addison’s brilliant performances prove this point 100%.

    Liked by 4 people

  8. If we think Whipple got lucky, think about Marion? I’ve read a couple places advocating Marion to replace next year pushing the not so Whippersnapper out. Fans from all over are such knee-jerkers.

    It’s been proven in football over and over again. You won’t be successful worrying about next year.

    Get ready… PITT is on the verge of playing their most important game of the year! AGAIN!!

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Rumor has it Pickett has been dealing with the flu this week. He supposedly was at practice today. Not having KP 100% on Saturday is not what Pitt needs going into this Championship game.


  10. Rumor also has it that the flu bug has some additional players under the weather beside KP. Not a good scenario for even practicing this week absent some significant players.


  11. Saw some mention of next year concerns. Before we get there, let’s review what we learned this year.

    PN and staff can win when they have the talent. Star players as Reed calls them.
    There is plenty of talent out there that is not 4 star rated by web sites.
    PN and staff do a great job of player development.
    A great passing QB is a must.

    Please add to the list.


    1. A good schedule, 1 P-5 OOC and tougher games at home
      An extra year of seniors
      Few devastating injuries.
      Dumb luck
      Big plays when you need them most.

      Liked by 2 people

  12. Yeah, avoiding stoopid crap and the untimely errors. Narduzzi has had some good teams that shot themselves in the foot. Yeah I said it.

    Liked by 3 people

  13. MM – thanks. And I’m glad that at this point in the season relative to Pitt football we’re talking about the POTY and not the POTTY!

    To beat WF, we may need one of those elite games that KP had been delivering earlier in the season. Connecting into tight windows and none of the interceptions that have been cropping up. A tall order, but this is a tall game…

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Face it, without the extra year, none of this happens. Everyone got it, but it benefitted Pitt the most. KP being the biggest reason, but the added depth as well. Guys like Krull, Mack, Campbell, and the much maligned Petrishen all put this team over the top.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Petrishen is asked to do some tough assignments…In his spot, Pitt’s only looking for a player who can rush the passer like a DE, stop the run like a linebacker, and cover receivers like a cornerback…

        One of those spots where when you get beat, everyone can see it…

        He’s made some big tackles this season.

        Go Pitt.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. J Petrishen is a good ball player… his biggest mistake was originally going to that school in a little town east of the Burgh… good for John and the faithful the he saw the light and changed course


        1. I think Cam Bright is more talented and the D plays much better as a unit than when Petrishen is on the field.

          I don’t think I talked down on John, other than he should be the second teamer behind Cam Bright.

          Liked by 1 person

  15. On the FAN, KP just said that he’s “…feeling a lot better.” So apparently he does/did have some illness…

    Go Pitt.


  16. Women’s Volleyball Update
    It appears the first two rounds of the NCAA Women’s Volleyball are only going to be broadcast on ESPN+. What a freaking ripoff! Hopefully there will be replays on the ACCDN or ESPN3.

    Pitt plays UMBC at 7:00 PM on Friday. Pitt will then play the winner of Towson/PSU on Saturday at 7:00 PM. In recent history every time Pitt played Penn State in an attempt to advance to the Sweet Sixteen in the NCAA tournament PSU has been victorious. This is the year to end that nonsense! The big difference this time is that the match will be at the Petersen Events Center instead of up in State College. By the way the NCAA website shows both Pitt matches to be in the Fitz which is incorrect.

    What a weekend for Pitt sports. The women’s volleyball team is playing in the NCAA tournament. The men’s soccer team is playing Notre Dame at South Bend in the quarterfinals of the NCAA men’s soccer tournament. That is scheduled for 5 PM on Saturday. It will be broadcast on ACCNX. Also on Saturday Pitt football is playing at 8:00 PM in the ACC Championship game on ABC. Wow! Hail to Pitt!!

    Liked by 7 people

  17. At PSN they have a Die Hards only right up on Pitt reaching out to a WR in the transfer portal. That’s interesting with limited scholarships available reaching out for a WR didn’t seem me what Pitt would be looking for currently. Since I’m not a Die Hards subscriber I have no idea who they are looking at.


    1. Saw it too. So decided to hop on to the Toilet Portal and try to figure out who it might be…


      I think it could be this guy: https://247sports.com/Player/Tyrese-Chambers-46042125/

      He’s from Maryland, and caught 45 balls for 1075 yards and 9 TD’s this year at FIU.


      Just speculation though…



      “Class of 2022 WR Camden Brown Decommits from Pitt”

      Now we know, the rest of the story. Pitt jumped on the porta-potty to find a WR.


  18. While it’s great was named POY in the ACC and all that. I kinda wish they would have waited till next week.

    This…… one supposes will give Sam Hartman and the Deacs….some extra incentive. As Hartman was
    the early fav and leader for that award.

    And what’s up with the Flu…..havent heard that word mentioned for almost 2 years.


    1. I’ve had the flu for 5 straight weeks! On my third set of antibiotics. Word to the wise “don’t get it” !


  19. Hopefully it works out like this part of history did !

    The reports of the flu conjured up memories of the days before the 1977 Sugar Bowl when several Pitt players complained of flu-like symptoms and some received intravenous fluids.

    All was well by New Year’s Day when Pitt defeated Georgia, 27-3, to nail down the national championship.

    Liked by 3 people

  20. Just wanted to put this out there… mainly about Kenny but perhaps applies to Whipple as well.

    During the past couple seasons, much analysis was made and discussed about where Kenny stood in his development and so on. Comparisons to Tino and others.

    This season, we seen a hockey stick performance curve from Kenny, which is normally reserved for M&A investment bankers’ BS sales pitches. So, what happened?

    Some might argue its an extra year and his age. Could be.

    But I believe the root of this success comes from three specific things: 1) a WR who has speed and gets separation, 2) an OL that can pass and run block and 3) two solid TEs.

    When was the last time Kenny had all that at the same time? Never.

    I think the reson that Whipple’s offense has performed so well is the same, but the big missing piece that made this thing hum was the emergence of the TE position as a viable threat and a clutch outlet when downfield options werent open. Oh, and one of those TE’s is a whale of a blocker.

    Its a team game after all. Takes an entire unit to excel.

    On another note, we received our tickets via the ACC app this afternoon and Im excited to be in the Pitt section. Hope to see some familiar faces at the pregame. Have no idea what to expect, but will not be shocked if its lower scoring than the over/under…. meaning Wake finds some D and ours plays as we hoped. Thats what happens in football. Excited nervous and scared all at once – and its only Wed!!!!

    Liked by 10 people

      1. Last row…So sounds like the liquor, beer and Johnny Majors alter are accounted for…. Now don’t forget to pack your toothbrushes and your clothes!!!!

        Liked by 2 people

    1. Great post JoeL, also this group of receivers/TE’s keep moving when KP gets into trouble. Looks like the players may have a predetermined spot on the field to go. You’ll see the players go to the same spots weekly.


  21. I’m sure it’s lost on nobody the 13 and 9 in KP’s stats, twice!

    destiny he’d be Pitt’s savior

    not superstitious or a numbers guy whatsoever but how can’t he lead Pitt to a win Saturday?

    now how a savior can allow a loss to WMU and the U, no idea 🙂


    1. That is kinda strange isn’t it. lol The 13 & 9…..not once….but TWICE !

      13 + 9 = 22 = The Flea

      So for the folks wondering why The Flea gets so much PT.

      Also that it’s been 40 years (1981) that we won 10 games in a regular season. And Kenny
      is breaking all of Marino’s records. The QB as we all know (or should) that year.

      40 pops up, with the change of number to 40 by Daniel Carter….as all these kids today seem
      to want the single digit number…..which he had last year…..but changed to 40 this year.


      1. Also Marino was #13……the number of TD passes Kenny had in the 2 previous seasons.

        And Marino’s last year…..we had 9 wins. As in Kenny’s 9 interceptions in those 2 previous seasons.


  22. I just saw Pitt’s women miss 5 straight free throws in the past 3 minutes. Guess it’s a school thing so you have to blame Heather

    They are winning by 3 but still have the 4th quarter to play

    Sent from my iPhone


    Liked by 1 person

  23. Folks – thought you might like this. You can watch the pre-championship Pitt & Wake Forest HC Zoom interviews live if you want – info is below. I deleted the Zoom attendee meeting information as that is just for the media.

    I think I’ll get on the PN meeting and might throw a question or two to PN – any suggestions? (Seriously)


    Friday, Dec. 3

    The participating head coaches in the 2021 Subway ACC Football Championship Game – Wake Forest’s Dave Clawson and Pitt’s Pat Narduzzi – will be available to the media via zoom on Friday, Dec. 3.

    11 a.m. – Wake Forest head coach Dave Clawson

    ESPN Watch Link: https://theacc.co/ESPNWatchLink-Clawson-1203

    3:15 p.m. – Pitt head coach Pat Narduzzi

    ESPN Watch Link: https://theacc.co/ESPNWatchLink-Narduzzi-1203

    Liked by 1 person

  24. We have one at least one basketball coach at Pitt. Lance White is doing a great job resurrecting the women’s basketball program. We need to give credit where credit is due! Hail to Pitt!

    Liked by 4 people

  25. Pitt women basketballers beat Rutgers 58-50. This team struggles at times to score, but I think they are making progress.

    Score was tied at 50 with a couple minutes left and I couldn’t get the men’s poor finish out of my head, but the women scored the last 8 points to seal the win.

    Jayla Everett, who missed the two games they lost, scored 18, though she missed a bunch of shots.

    Pitt only shot 61% from the line – where’s Dan72…. And only 3 for 12 from 3.

    This team’s identity is playing fast and aggressive. They out rebounded Rutgers 40-33, and that included a 15-7 edge in offensive rebounds.

    The fast, aggressive play is working pretty well on defense, but not so well on offense. Though they did make better decisions as the game went on.

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. BTW, Pitt was down 15-10 after 1Q. Rutgers was taking good shots and making them; Pitt was taking very poor, highly contested shots and missing them.

      At that point I figured Rutgers would slowly pull away, but that didn’t happen. Pitt outscored Rutgers in each of the final 3 quarters…

      Go Pitt.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Rutgers is a good team with a very good coach. That was no small win tonight. Everett had 18 pts. If she played the last two games, Pitt ladies would be undefeated. H2P

        Liked by 1 person

  26. Serious question for HCPN: As fans, In August believe that this could be the year we have a special team. When did you know that this was going to be a special team?

    Something along those lines.

    Cheers from LA.

    Commenter formerly known as LA Panther.



    1. Didn’t we think Pitt had a special team before we took the field in 2020? We did lose many defensive starters to the NFL this year and we averaged just above 21 points per game last season. It was hard to believe this team would be any better than last years team based on how poorly our offense played last season and with the loss of many defensive NFL draft picks.


    1. I can see KP8 landing in a place like Minnesota, New Orleans or Atlanta. Some 40 years ago, the Steelers passed over a chance to draft a Pitt QB and that worked out just fine for the Panther’s QB. That could be a good thing for Kenny if the Rooney’s take psuX’ Clifford.

      Liked by 1 person

  27. Biggie, the Johnny Majors shrine never crosses state lines…violates RICO laws.
    Betting lines could change significantly. 😎

    Liked by 3 people

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