2022 The Season Starts: West Virginia Versus Pitt in the Backyard Brawl

I struggled with this year’s first “Up Next” article. Mainly because I have never done a first week review. Last year, I did not do an article because the opening game was UMASS. (I also did not do an article on FCS New Hampshire).

Starting with Tennessee, I plan to use the same format/data I used in the Production Lost series. I will compare opponent Year to Date stats to Pitt’s YTD stats. I probably will not go into the detail I did over the summer.

As you are well aware I like using stats and charts. Obviously, there are none to compare and contrast. So, l will start off with a link to the WVU “Production Loss article and go from there. If you wany to follow my updates, I suggest you open a new Tab and open the link there.

             2021 Production Loss- West Virginia (pittpov.com)

The schedule is the same as previously. In future articles, I will show if it is a W/L and the score.

Moving on to recruiting, TP entries. and exits. WVU did add a new recruit –  Athlete William Dixon. He is unranked by Rivals. He did visit Pitt on 4/19/2022. Probably a TE. He signed with WVU 6/23/22.

There was no additional TP entries. There was one additional TP exit – RB Lyn-J Dixon (previously at Clemson) who spent the spring semester at WVU and reentered the TP on 6/28/2022.

I did not spend any time on identifying new “stars.” But in the Production Loss article, I did not color code the punter, Tyler Sumpter as using all of his eligibility in 2021. WVU will have a new  punter in 2022.

We are down to the QB section. We already know that Slovis was named the starter for Pitt. WVU has named J.T. Daniels. There is some concern with Slovis’s speed. I got a chart comparing the two both passing and rushing.

Neither compares to Pickett as a running threat. But Slovis is better than J.T. Daniels. Slovis is also better as a passer. But both are from Southern Cal, so who knows what will happen in a northern climate setting.

West Virginia has released a new depth chart.

West Virginia Football Releases Week 1 Depth Chart (wvsportsnow.com)

A green color code are TP entries. Blue/gray highlights are 2022 JUCO recruits. Pink is for true high school 2022 recruits.

Back in the 2019 recruiting class, Pitt got a commitment from an OT from Morgantown, WV. I think he got a non-committable offer. If you ever wondered what happened to him, he is now the backup left tackle for WVU. I believed he got his start as a walk-on.

The loss of TP entry Lyn-J Dixon set off a chain reaction. Dixon was seen as being the potential starter. Instead WVU is left with these scholarship running backs. The second and third leading rushers from the 2021 season. A redshirt freshman and a true freshman that was recruited as a TE.

The returning and or TE (Mike O’Loughlin) has been limited during camp. He is still recovering from a 2021 knee injury.

The Oline is intact.

That brings us to the defense and the preseason two deep.

The color coding is the same as offense. There are no true freshmen in these two deeps. Outside of this chart, I have nothing else to add.

I do have an addition – Special Teams:

Our opponent has a true freshman Aussie punter – Oliver Straw. I wonder if he took the same plane from Australia as our Aussie punter

I am thinking of adding a special team (ST) review to future articles. That is if I can find ST cumulative data in a usable and timely manner.

That wraps it up. Pitt wins and beats the spread. I got $20 riding on the outcome.

112 thoughts on “2022 The Season Starts: West Virginia Versus Pitt in the Backyard Brawl

  1. Thanks Rich
    Having survived a Pitt win at WV in 1963 and rioting WV students riding atop school busses, I hesitate calling this game a sure win. But we should win as we chase Daniels all over the field.
    As to the rest of the schedule, there are lots of 10-2 pickers for us. I think we go 10-2 with losses to TN and NC. Hopefully Miami losses 2 including one to us. Therefore we win the Coastal for the 3rd time in 5 years and on to play Clem in Charlotte.
    H2P

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I listened to Louis Riddick today on The Fan (3:33pm segment on Poni & Mueller via audacy.com if interested). Boy, is he pumped. I got excited just listening to him!

    Was very high on Slovis – said he’s dialed in.

    Also said Hugh Green texted him and wanted him to join him and several other Pitt greats (Marino, Covert, Dorsett and so on) for dinner. That Champions Club at the open endzone will be packed with Pitt greats.

    Thursday… Its going to be a scene, man.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Excellent work, Richard. Thank you.

    I don’t know or care to know much about WVU. But I did come across something that concerns me. They have two tall starting WRs – one is 6-3, the other 6-4. This leads me to believe the WVU offense will mainly be three plays:
    —Deep passes down the sidelines where their taller WRs go for 50/50 balls (and pass interference calls) against our CBs, mainly Williams. Williams is lightning quick, but about the same height as me. Ugh!
    —Slant patterns like WMU used; and
    — Draw plays.
    Hope we can counter effectively, but a bit worried…

    Also, hearing that a bunch of Panther greats will be there is pretty awesome – until you remember that Pitt has usually stumbled when that has occurred. Hope we’re in a new era!

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I couldn’t here the audio on the above clip anywhere but TMZ and several media outlets reported a few hours ago that Slovis said, “Bleep (use you imagination here) West Virginia.”

      I’m glad he’s our qb and respect his comeback effort, but in my opinion that language is totally out of bounds for a pep rally or any public event for that matter and it will only fuel the players for WVU.

      Like

      1. Despite my bulletin board comment about “What Kedon Said” earlier, I respectfully disagree with your take. Slovis has clearly checked the first box:

        “Rivalry is often defined as “that moment when someone sees a stranger dressed in a team’s colors and, despite being down by three scores and on national television, still shoots both middle fingers at them and accidentally creates a Renaissance painting.””

        https://www.sbnation.com/college-football/2018/5/18/17353076/rivalry-history-anger-2018

        “West Virginia-Pitt. Dormant, but coming back in 2022 at which point it will rocket into the top echelon of college football rivalries based on sheer amount of moonshine and Iron City beer involved.”

        Liked by 1 person

    2. How do you post a tweet? I want to post a picture and I know that isn’t allowed so I tweeted it. I have the link to the tweet.

      Like

      1. Click on the bottom right icon and copy link. Posting links here requires some words of introduction, not just the link.

        Like

  4. Gotta get thru the maniacal Hoopies in the first quarter. We going to lose at least 1 game this year. It just can’t be this one!!

    No missed extra points/ FGs!!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. ESPN college FB live show indicated there is expected to be something like 70+% ‘eers fans.

    Can that be possible?

    H2P!

    Like

  6. Going to be a crazy day. Great stuff as usual Richard.
    I’m guessing about 30% WV fans.
    Standing room only!
    I remember when we knew most of the WV players names, not any more.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Not as many WPIAL players as there used to be. Exoree Lee LB (Johnstown) and James Grimter OL (Bethel Park) are the only “Rivals ranked” players on team. Lee is from the 2017 class. Grimter in 2018 class. What happened to WPIAL recruits since.

      Like

  7. Wouldn’t want to be traveling on 79, 51, or 119 at the wrong times tomorrow.
    Should be a record day for Pittsburgh’s hotel tax. Bars and restaurants better be ready.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Important Information for Fans Attending Thursday’s Pitt-West Virginia Football Game at Acrisure Stadium

    The Backyard Brawl presented by Hope Gas returns to Acrisure Stadium Thursday, September 1. Fans can find important information and reminders regarding Thursday’s game below.

    Weeknight Game Will Bring Increased Traffic, Parking Information

    Fans should expect to see heavy delays due to rush hour traffic on 279, 579, and route 65, as well as on streets in and around the North Shore due to the start time of Thursday’s game. Fans are asked to plan in advance and arrive several hours prior to kickoff to avoid rush hour and minimize delays. It is suggested that drivers who are not going to the game but normally travel past Acrisure Stadium or the North Shore identify an alternate route to avoid rush hour back-ups. All fans should visit https://acrisurestadium.com/stadium/parking-directions/ to make their travel and parking gameplan.

    Parking lots for Thursday’s game will open 5 hours before kickoff at 2 p.m. Pre-purchased parking is lot specific. Fans still looking for parking options for Thursday’s game can purchase parking by visiting SPOT HERO. Fans are encouraged to plan ahead and arrive early. Parking options are expected to be severely limited for fans who do not already have parking passes secured for Thursday’s game.

    Presently, the Roberto Clemente Bridge (6th street) is closed for refurbishment. Fans that typically navigate the Roberto Clemente Bridge will need to find an alternate route. This lane reduction could cause delays in the area, especially during the postgame commute from Acrisure Stadium. Fans can track construction and get real-time traffic updates on the WAZE app.

    Cashless

    Acrisure Stadium’s concession stands and retail points of sale are completely cashless. In addition to traditional scan and chip reader options for credit/debit cards, all fixed points of sale offer mobile tap or scan payment options, including Chiefs Pay, Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay. In-stadium hawkers and vendors are credit card only.

    Safety and Security

    Acrisure Stadium has a clear bag policy in place for all events. Fans can visit https://acrisurestadium.com/guest-services/clear-bag-policy/ for important information on the clear bag policy and a complete list of permitted and prohibited items. Although the clear bag policy is in place, guests are encouraged to avoid bringing a bag into the stadium, if at all possible, to expedite their entry process.

    If guests have questions or need assistance, including with accessible services, they can contact Acrisure Stadium Guest Service at (412) 697-7150 (ext. 4) or by email at guestservices@acrisurestadium.com. Beginning at 2 p.m. on event day, guests can also text PITT33 with location and issue to 69050.

    Stadium Gates and Mobile Entry

    All Acrisure Stadium gates will open at 4:30 p.m. for the 7:05 p.m. kickoff. Students are only permitted to enter at Gate C located on the west side of the complex. All Student Tickets will receive a wristband for access into the lower-level or upper-level student sections on a first come, first served basis. All fans are reminded to arrive early and arrive prepared by accessing their mobile tickets in advance of the event and adding them to their mobile wallet for expedited entry. For more information on mobile ticketing visit https://pittsburghpanthers.com/sports/2019/8/14/mobile-app.aspx#tickets

    Art Rooney Avenue – Acrisure Stadium Kickoff and RibFest

    Art Rooney Avenue, located in Lot M on the east side of the stadium, will host the 2022 Acrisure Stadium Kickoff and Rib Festival presented by Miller Lite. This free festival will feature five days of football, the best ribs in the country and FREE live music to celebrate the kickoff of football in Western Pennsylvania. Fans are encouraged to stop by before entering the stadium for the Backyard Brawl presented by Hope Gas. Art Rooney Avenue will be open at 12 p.m. on Thursday.

    Guest Services

    If guests have questions or need assistance, including with accessible services, they can contact Acrisure Stadium Guest Service at (412) 697-7150 (ext. 4) or by email at guestservices@acrisurestadium.com. Beginning at 2 p.m. on event day, guests can also text PITT33 with location and issue to 69050.

    Timeline for Thursday, September 1

    · 12 p.m. – Acrisure Stadium RibFest Open

    · 2 p.m. – Parking Gates Open

    · 4:30 p.m. – All Stadium Gates Open

    · 6:47 p.m. – The Pitt Band Enters the Field

    · 6:58 p.m. – National Anthem and Flyover

    · 7:02 p.m. – Coin Toss

    · 7:05 p.m. – Kickoff

    Liked by 1 person

  9. PAT NARDUZZI: All right. Good to be here. It’s a Monday for you, it’s a Wednesday for us. Tomorrow is our ‘Perfect Thursday’ (practice) getting ready for this football game. Obviously a big game, not just because it’s the Backyard Brawl, because it’s the first game of the season. Would be a big game no matter who it was. Rivalry game adds more to it.

    We know they’ll come up, there’s a lot of hatred on their end — but there’s got to be a lot of hate on our end. That’s what it comes down to in rivalry games. We’ll get our guys coached up.

    They are well-coached. I have a lot of respect for West Virginia, their coaching staff and their players. We’ve watched a lot of tape throughout the last four months, five months, whatever it’s been. A ton of USC tape, a ton of Virginia tape, their spring game. I watched every throw. JT Daniels will be the starting quarterback. If they haven’t made that announcement, I’ll make it for them. He will be the starting quarterback.

    I watched I think 238 throws he’s made in the last couple years there. Again, he’s very, very capable. I can see why he’s the starter. He can make every throw. He’s really, really talented. We’ll have our hands (full) on that end.

    Dante Stills is one of their top defensive ends, a play-maker on the D line. They go in and out of three down, four down. It will be a great challenge for us.

    I’ll say this. You can have a great camp. We finished a great camp last Friday. But it comes down to what are you going to do on September 1st. That’s what it comes down to. What you did in pre-season, how camp went, practice went, scrimmaging here and there, it doesn’t really matter. Thursday will be the first opportunity we find out what we have.

    That’s a fact. It’s not coach speak. That’s really how I feel. How good a football team do we have? How good do they have? A lot of unknowns.

    They’ve got some transfers. We got some transfers. We got new guys that they’re looking at tape from somewhere else. A ton of unknowns. It’s one of the hardest games to prepare for in the openers because you have to prepare for so much offensively and defensively.

    What did they put in in the off-season? Who knows. We don’t know. They don’t know. We got wrinkles. I’m sure they’ll have wrinkles. That’s what makes openers so much fun.

    Questions.

    Q. No ‘ORs’ on the depth chart at starting running back. What did Israel Abanikanda do to separate himself from the others?

    PAT NARDUZZI: I think I forgot to put that (‘or’) in there. (laughs)

    I don’t know. He’s been really steady, so we’ll find out. Again, doesn’t have an ‘or’ right now. I didn’t forget. He came out of fall camp looking really good.

    I’ll tell you what, don’t get comfortable because those other guys are really good, too. There’s a lot of talent in the backfield.

    Again, we’re going to find out on game day. They can look talented against our defense, in a drill period. But for me is Thursday, 8 p.m. We’re going to find out who is that guy. We feel comfortable with all those guys in the backfield that not only can make yards after contact, they can also protect the quarterback.

    Q. What is the process for educating these guys about what this rivalry means?

    PAT NARDUZZI: I won’t get into that. Just comes down to educating them. Doesn’t matter if you’re educating them on how to be a reporter, how to ask good questions, be an artist. We’re going to try to give them as much education as we can on it, teach them what a rivalry game is.

    I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this to you before—I mentioned it in the kickoff luncheon—you learn really quick what a rivalry is. Some of our guys don’t know. I didn’t know before I got to Michigan State in 2007 what a big-time rivalry was. A rivalry at Rhode Island was Brown. That was your big rivalry? Really?

    I think you have to understand where it’s coming from. They hear from other people. I can tell you this, just to finish the education. When you have to educate, you try to bring in guest speakers. Bring in the best guest speaker you can.

    Our honorary captain, I couldn’t be more excited, Dave Wannstedt. He’s coming back at Acrisure Stadium and I’m excited to have him here. One of my real idols. I’m not talking about because I’m the Pitt head coach, but he’s a guy that I’ve always, always looked up to. We played him at (the Uninversity of Cincinnati). (When) he was with the Dallas Cowboys, (I was) watching 3-4 stuff. To have him here, experience who Dave Wannstedt is. Former player, former great coach, Super Bowl with the Cowboys. He’s done everything. Now with FOX. You got the ultimate captain for this football game.

    Don’t think he’s going to take a snap for us, that won’t matter. Going to try to educate them with Dave Wannstedt and anybody else we can.

    Q. LeSean McCoy spoke on he Backyard Brawl at the Kickoff Luncheon. Have you shown the entire team his remarks?

    PAT NARDUZZI: No, I have not yet. I may. If you give some more tips afterwards, it would be good (smiling).

    But no, he was awesome. He was really good. It’s stuff like that. They just need to know what they’re getting into. As I say, they’re playing for their families. Their families will be up there in the stands. To me you always got to make it personal. It will be personal.

    Q. What does it mean to you for Dave Wannstedt to be willing to come back?

    PAT NARDUZZI: You know what, it means the world really. He’s a Pitt man. He’s a busy man as well as a Pitt man. For him to take time out of his schedule, we’re excited. It means everything really.

    It’s hard to get some guys back like him. We’re excited to get him back.

    Q. Did you learn anything from the renewal of the Penn State rivalry on how to prepare players for sort of this type of experience?

    PAT NARDUZZI: Yeah, I think you do. You learn from every rivalry game you played in. No doubt about it. You learn a lot of different things about it, whether you win ’em or lose ’em.

    We won that first one, Penn State. I guess I did a crappy job on the others. Should have gone for it on fourth-and-one (laughter). It’s on me. I know you all had the right answer. Someday I’ll tell you the truth. Someday I’ll tell you the truth (smiling).

    Q. Penn State, it was early in the season. When you were at Michigan State, it was late in the season. You’re playing this one first. Do you have a thought about maybe ideally where these games would go in the schedule? What is different about playing one first?

    PAT NARDUZZI: There’s nothing difficult. They got to do it. We got to do it. It’s even. It’s a wash.

    But I think when you look at the tradition of it, back when I remembered it, I haven’t gone back to look when it was played. It was around Thanksgiving. I remember watching that thing in Youngstown, Ohio, on a weekend, Thanksgiving. In the future that might be where it ends up being, late in the season.

    Q. You mentioned you wanted the players to make it personal. Is this where you want them to have extra juice or treat it like any other game?

    PAT NARDUZZI: That’s a great question. You want to have extra juice, but you have to have your composure, too. It’s a brawl, a fight. You have to have composure.

    Haven’t had that with our team, but maybe they’ll read it, (reporter) Jerry (DiPaola) tweeting it out today or something.

    We have to have great composure. We didn’t have great composure against Miami last year, personal fouls which drove me nuts. I don’t want to get them too hyped because they have to play smart and not get out of control.

    Q. You come in this season as defending ACC champion. Any perspective you have or that you give to the players as the defending champions, how to handle it?

    PAT NARDUZZI: No, that talk was done a long time ago, okay? The ACC Network is supposed to send me a blanket to cover up the trophy in there.

    That was last year. I mean, golly, that was so long ago. That quarterback (Kenny Pickett) is playing right next door. He’s not going to play for us this year.

    Last year was done. This is a new team. That’s why we’re going to find out what we got Thursday night. I think that’s the important thing. Nobody cares what you did last year. It’s about right now.

    Q. Two transfers at receiver, Konata Mumpfield and Bub Means, worked their way to the top of the depth chart. What did you see in their journey? How do you see that room as a whole?

    PAT NARDUZZI: That room gives me chest pains some days, okay? I can tell you that. Just stay right there.

    But Konata was in spring ball. Quick twitch. Got really good speed. He’s a play-maker. Has really good hands. That’s what he’s does. Good knowledge of the offense. Really smart football player.

    Then Bub Means is a guy that came in the summer. He’s worked well with the rest of the receivers. He’s worked well with the quarterbacks. He’s huge. His thighs are bigger than yours. He’s a wideout. And he can run, okay? He’s probably a four-six guy. He’s long. He’s got good hands.

    Q. Can you say what it is that gives you chest pains?

    PAT NARDUZZI: Just drives me nuts. Leave it at that.

    Q. You can’t elaborate?

    PAT NARDUZZI: I wish I could. I won’t (smiling).

    Q. Because you’re a defensive guy?

    PAT NARDUZZI: No, no, no. Little detail stuff all the time. Little details. Got to be detailed.

    Q. Last Power Five opponent in the opener was Virginia, three years ago. Was there anything you took from that as far as how you approach your preparation?

    PAT NARDUZZI: Not really. I think that was a crappy game. It was first year of a first-year offensive coordinator. We didn’t play very good. Didn’t look very good in the first game. I look at that as maybe just a bad-looking offense at that point. We just weren’t very productive that night from my recall.

    Q. From all the tape you watched on JT Daniels, what stood out the most to you about him?

    PAT NARDUZZI: You know what, you don’t see him scramble very much. He can make every throw. He’s very cerebral, I think. He makes the right decisions.

    I tell you a quick story about it. Holly cow, (associate athletic director Chris) LaSala was in there. I was watching all his throws. I think it was on play, I don’t know, 128. Probably on play 120 as I’m going through it.

    I’m like, ‘Is this guy ever going to throw an incomplete pass?’ Phil DeCapito, one of our quality control coaches, had sorted it by completions. I’m not leaving here until he throws an incomplete pass. It wasn’t till about play 128. Holly cow.

    He’s just very accurate. He’s smart. He can throw a really good deep ball. Our corner has to be really good in coverage. Thrown a lot of deep balls this week. That is their favorite route, four verticals, three verticals.

    Q. Kedon Slovis obviously very familiar with Daniels and the offensive coordinator. Have you picked his brain about tendencies or stuff from his experience with those two guys?

    PAT NARDUZZI: No. Next question (smiling). He doesn’t know anything.

    Q. You are never sure about how a game is going to turn out, but what does your gut tell you about what this team can do this year?

    PAT NARDUZZI: My gut? If I ever listen to my gut, okay, it’s not good (smiling).

    You don’t know. You don’t know. I mean, I think we got a good football team. We’ll find out Thursday night. Then you find out week by week if they can sustain and keep it together.

    I think we got a good team. We’ll find out.

    Again, like I say, it’s hard every day when you’re going against each other to find out what you have. For example, yesterday good on good, the offense wins 9-4. We had 13 snaps. They win 9-4. Who won that rep? Offense completes a ball for five yards or more, I’m giving it to the offense. Today the defense wins 8-4. Which team shows up, coverage shows up, who is motivated? As a coach you wish it was 6-6, okay, we’re competing. You got to compete every day. We have to find out where they are.

    It’s kind of like you studied for the last, you know, eight months, it’s been eight months, we studied for eight months for this test, we’re going to take the test. The test is Thursday night. So you find out I think at that point where you are.

    You don’t know until you take the test. You can study, study, study, you’ve been on your iPad, your computer, but you have to show up for the test and do something.

    Q. Have to feel good about what they did prior to the test.

    PAT NARDUZZI: That’s right. I think they’re prepared. We’ll find out. Still got to take the test. But I feel good in our preparation so far.

    Q. What kind of charge have you put to the big guys up front to set a tone for a first game?

    PAT NARDUZZI: I think they know. Every year we talk about it. It comes down to those guys up front. We say it starts up front. If we’re going to be successful, you better have a good D-line, a good O-line. You can have all the skill in the world, but if you don’t have anything up front you have a problem.

    I feel comfortable with those guys. You got to go out and do it. Offensively we’ve stayed away from the quarterback camp. Your biggest concern is for your D-line, linebackers for that matter. We’ve avoided and not tackled a quarterback all camp. Now we got to go tackle one live.

    If you said, ‘What is your biggest concern?’ It’s tackling in an opener, especially tackle a quarterback. Should be pretty good on a running back, because we do that. We haven’t hit a quarterback in a while. This week our scout quarterbacks, they’ve got to give us a good look.

    Q. They have a good offensive line. You are known for your defense. A big matchup?

    PAT NARDUZZI: They’ve got four returning starters up front. They’ve got most of their offensive line back. James Gmiter, if I pronounce that right, from Bethel Park, recruited out of high school, playing left guard for them. There’s some familiarity with some of those guys.

    They’re talented. They’ve got a really good O-line coach that was at Texas Tech. We went back and watched Texas Tech in the Alamo Bowl because Graham was there and their O-line coach. Watched a little bit of the trap stuff.

    Q. You brought up how Daniels likes to go deep, offensive coordinators have to go deep. How important does that make Erick Hallett and Brandon Hill’s roles as safeties?

    PAT NARDUZZI: It makes all those guys. We’re based out of our corners. Got some change-ups, of course. But those guys, they’re out there on an island. Those corners are pressed up out there. Safeties are going to do what they do. They’re going to be involved in the run game and the pass game. To say they’re all pass game is crazy because they’ve got to be involved in the run game. If they aren’t involved in the run game, it won’t really matter. They’ll run the ball down there and throw it. They got a big job.

    Q. Is there a different bit of a buzz going into this opening week just knowing you’re playing a historic rival?

    PAT NARDUZZI: No question about it. I don’t even remember who we played last year in the opener. It was UMass. There’s no question about it. Everybody likes a little bit of a warmup game just to get going.

    But I think it’s better to have a game like this to be opening up with, I believe, just because your kids are cranked up for it. I think it helps in the preparation. The guys aren’t sitting there going, ‘Oh, yeah, we only have UMass.’ Then you glide through camp.

    I think there’s been a lot of juice through camp. Like I said, I think we’ve had a really good football camp.

    Q. Kenny Pickett yesterday predicted a 31-10 Pitt win. What do you think?

    PAT NARDUZZI: Kenny. Should know better. Have to text him. Should know better. He can do that now. He’s in the NFL.

    I ignore all that noise. Heard that last night. My son might have told me or I was told this morning. He’s got predictions. Kenny hasn’t watched any tape, okay? He’s watched other tape, I’m sure (smiling).

    Q. You grew up an hour from here. Is this rivalry something that was on the map for you? Something that registers, stands out?

    PAT NARDUZZI: No, I wish I could tell you a lot of things back then. I just remember watching the game as a little kid. I remember the Brawl.

    THE MODERATOR: Thank you.

    PAT NARDUZZI: All right. Thanks.

    FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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  10. Captain obvious anaysis:

    Expect WVU to throw quick passes, slants, fades down the sidelines. They don’t want Daniels hit. Pitt needs to avoid giving up the big plays and tackle well in open space. They need to break Daniels mentally like they did the WF QB in the championship game last year.

    On offense, put up 35 points. Don’t get conservative.

    Physically beat the crap out of them.

    Like

  11. I heard this story maybe a year ago and this seems like a good time to share it.

    Jim Bob and Billie Jo, both wvu alums have been courtin’ for several months. Jim Bob has decided its time to move on. They meet at the local Waffle House for dinner. Conversation goes like this:

    Jim Bob- “Billie Jo, it’s been fun and all but I think we should see other people.”

    Billie Jo – “OH, Jim Bob. Can’t we talk about it?”

    Jim Bob- “Sorry, Billie Jo, it’s too late. It’s just not workin’ out.”

    Billie Jo- “Well ok, but I hope we can still be cousins.”

    Rimshot, please.

    H2P & 13-9

    Like

  12. Well done dino. I’ll keep the ball rolling, Round 1…

    Q: What do West Virginians do on Halloween?
    A: Pump kin!

    Q: What’s the difference between Virginia and West Virginia?
    A: In Virginia, Moosehead is a beer. In West Virginia it’s a misdemeanor.

    Q: Why couldn’t the baby Jesus be born in West Virginia?
    A: Because they couldn’t find 3 wise men or a virgin.

    Q: Why do WVU grads keep their diplomas on their dashboards?
    A: So they can park in handicap spaces.

    Q: What do you call a good looking girl on the WVU campus?
    A: A visitor.

    Q: Did you hear about the power outage at the WVU library?
    A: Thirty students were stuck on the escalator for three hours.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Q: Did you hear that a WVU player died this morning drinking milk?
      A: The cow fell on him.

      Q: What do you call a WVU player with a National Championship ring?
      A: A thief

      Q: Why do WVU football players go to movies in groups of 18 or more?
      A: They heard 17 and under would not be admitted

      Q: What did the average WVU student get on the SAT’s?
      A: Drool

      Like

  13. Saw this on ESPN — In case you’re over-confident:

    —The team favored in this matchup is 0-5 against the spread and 1-4 Straight up in the last five meetings.
    —Pittsburgh lost each of the last four meetings SU when favored.
    —West Virginia is 3-7 ATS on the road over the last two seasons.
    —The under has hit in four of the last five meetings.

    Go Pitt.

    Like

  14. A post on the Lair asked how far people are traveling to get to the game tomorrow. The prize so far has to go to the guy coming from Dunedin, New Zealand about 9000 miles and 34 hours of flights and airports to get to the Brawl. He certainly deserves a prize IMO.

    Like

  15. On the injury front I don’t think we will find out anything definitive until Pitt takes the field tomorrow. That means I really don’t take Narduzzi’s 2 deep from Monday to be firm until I see for myself.

    Like

  16. Tomorrow night is quite possibly / arguably the SINGLE BIGGEST SPORTING EVENT with all things considered ( stadium capacity, anticipation, hype, community interest , police crowd control , ESPN gameday ) in the HISTORY of the city of Pittsburgh !!!

    Like

    1. Not quite>>>7th Game 1960 World Series>>>the entire Burg was involved and I mean ENTIRE!! I went to the game (still have my ticket and scorecard). Once upon a time baseball was truly the national pastime!! Hail MAZ!!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Our 3rd grade teacher brought a black and white TV with rabbit ears to school.. got to watch the whole game!!! Back when men were real men!!!

        Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes indeed, as Bob Prince, the Bucs great play-by-play voice would say>>”The House of thrills”. I was one lucky puppy to see a ton of games in Ebbets and Forbes Fields.

        >
        But, baseball aside I am going dingy dongy waiting for tomorrow night’s game>>>I know that all of us Poverts want this to be a SPECIAL SEASON!!

        Liked by 1 person

  17. Time to get this football season started already! Pitt cannot afford to lose this game! Need to win it and come out of it free from any major injuries.

    Like

  18. First, let me say that I think PITT will win by 2 scores tomorrow night. However, because there has been so much bravado coming from the Panther’s camp, the pressure to win is enormous. A loss would cast a stain on the remainder of the season. All the noise of last year not being a one time event and making the CFP will be for naught. Narduzzi and the Lads have drawn a line in the sand and the Mountaineers are in town to dare and cross it. It’s going to be special. H2P. 27-13.

    Like

  19. STOOPID GREEN LINES.

    I am going dingy dongy in anticipation of tomorrow night’s game. The traffic warnings are serious so leave for ACRIWHO EARLY.///Boy oh boy do I wish I could be at the game. I hope Wanny stops by Red5A to say hello to all of you who continue to truly support our University.

                      Real Panther Pride///H2P !
    

    Liked by 1 person

  20. The last great coach to stop by our tailgate back in the day was Johnny Majors..
    Wanny, if you’re reading this you are always welcome!

    Liked by 2 people

  21. Pitt royalty sighting at the Westin bar: Tony D and Sam Clancy. Talked with Sam and asked him how he transitioned from basketball to football. He said Jackie Sherrill tried to get him to play football his senior year but the new basketball coach wasn’t onboard with that. So he goes to the CBA (continental basketball league, NBA minor league) and gets a call from the Seattle Seahawks about playing football. Sherrill had contacted Seattle and said you need to look at this guy and that turned into an eleven year NFL Career!

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Wanny was in a couple of my science classes… along with Stan Ostrowski , Dave Blandino and Bobby Medwid ( shout- out to POVert Randy Medwid alias JoeKnew- where an the hell ya been???) I can still see Wanny in his Baldwin lettermen’s jacket…. Wanny and I have a couple of things in common: organic chemistry kicked our a$$ ; and we both revile Steve Pederson to put it mildly

    Liked by 2 people

  23. How do you post a tweet? I want to post a picture and I know that isn’t allowed so I tweeted it. I have the link to the tweet.

    Like

  24. I read all the Pitt stuff I can get my hands on to get fired up for The Rivalry. But it is this group who really get the juices flowing! Thanks for all the comments and opinions! I’ll be glued to the TV tomorrow night!

    I think JT will be gotten to early and often – similar to W(T)FU. I don’t think the game will be real close. Hoople DL will be beaten up by Q4, and we’ll be grinding out the clock with our ground game. Pitt 38;
    Hoop U 17.

    And JT is heard to say as he limps into the locker room: ” I shudda stayed in Athens”.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Just closed the laptop on a long (shortened) workweek.

    It’s prediction time –

    Pitt will have a missed FG early in the game and a muffed punt to be down 7-6 at the end of the 1st half. Oh, I forgot the missed extra point.

    RB Rodney Hammond and TE Blue Mountain Bart take over the 2nd half as QB Nick Patti leads Pitt to a 2nd half comeback with 2 TD’s – 1 passing to Bart and one dive into the end zone on 4th down late in the 4th qtr.

    Pitt wins 27-17

    The victory cigar will taste so, so good.

    The heart burn, not so good.

    Oh and there will be at least one hoopie fan who drops trough in the stadium aisle and pushes out a BM before security can cart him off to who knows where…

    Be safe and enjoy the game!

    Liked by 4 people

  26. Forecast for game time is 76 and sunny. Perfect weather for an evening of college football.

    Look for extra trash bins at the gate security checks. Gotta be ready for all the moonshine jugs to be confiscated.

    Like

  27. OT: The #2 Panthers men’s soccer team (2-0-0) are now ranked in this poll for 34 straight weeks, with 29 weeks spent in the top 10. They also spent eight of those weeks ranked at No. 1 team in the country.

    Next up #11 Marshall who won the National Championship in 2020

    Liked by 1 person

  28. OK, I’ll try again. First Hi Bernie!
    1) How would you like to be a Sophomore at Pitt ( minds out of the gutter). All they have known is championship football. No Heather yellow blouse, no SP disaster, no killer B’s. Just success. Sure, bad baseball, basketball also, but they could always catch championship volleyball, soccer, and decent wrestling. I mean, how many events could you go to when you were in school? Ya know, something about studying and all! Think all this directors cup stuff in much more important to adults than kids. I went to see winning teams or events where my friends played in, or just to be with friends. Some teams were great, some good, and some plain stunk, but you always had a choice, IF you could fit it into your schedule.
    2) Have really good friends inSC and East Texas ( which I once made a deal with God if he got me out of there alive I’d never return). Neither are Pitt grads, but both readily admit watching every game they could, feeling Pitt was the most entertaining team in college football last year. Hard to argue.
    3) I am firmly opposed to playing tonight’s game. Yup, never, ever play a rivalry game to open a season. Drains you physically and mentally. These games are only good if you win, and even then not worth it. And letting 30k hoopies loose in the city of Pittsburgh, man, who thought that’s a good idea. They make Raider fans look well behaved. Best team doesn’t always win.
    4) Oh, almost forgot. I want to go on record as I think Cignetti is a TERRIBLE hire. Didn’t like him before. Typical old school guy who the Duzz loves. Major step back, his offense will drive you nuts halfway into the season. And I’ll be a stand up guy and be first to admit if I’m wrong.
    5) Season prediction. I see 8-4 regular season. I went and watched most of last years games again. Showed me how clutch KP,and Addison were. Pulled out winning plays and drives. New kids might do it, but last year was special. Coaching record is much like golfing, I think. You always end up,playing to your handicap. 8-4 just sounds right.
    6) Enjoy the game, be careful, H2P.

    Liked by 3 people

  29. Josh Roundtree at the Fan picked the 21st Century All-Pitt team. Apparently current players not eligible

    Pickett, Shady, Connor, Hyno

    Fitz, Tyler B, Antonio, Dickerson

    O’Neil, Otah, Morrisey, D Johnson, McGlynn

    P Jones, Twyman, AD, Sheard

    Session, Blades, McKillop

    Revis, Whitehead, Hamlin, Spencer

    Kessman, A Lee, … HCPN

    I think it is a pretty representative squad.

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    Like

  30. Heather is on Facebook this morning reminding Panther fans to play nice.

    Should be more concerned about the horde of couchburners now migrating from the south.

    Like

  31. I have finally got my vaccine for “dreaded Pitt Optimism!”

    I see everyone predicting a huge Pitt win. All the old players coming back. Duzz is now a great strategist and finally pays attention to detail.
    Cignetti suddenly becomes pass happy and off the charts crazy and imaginative as OC. Pitt’s short secondary tears the Air Raid WVU offense apart.

    Haven’t we all seen this game over and over for forty years?? How has Pitt handled offensive speed, quickness and deception in the past??

    WVU wins this game 28-27 in OT!!
    Pitt misses 3 FGs and an extra point and has a punt blocked! Sorry

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dan -I’ll stop short of agreeing with your prediction but I have to admit that the concerns you raise have been in the back of my mind all week. And yes, we’ve been here before.

      Like

    2. OUCH! Bad dreams? I have fears of missed extra points, missed field goals from 35 yards, and idiotic personal penalties, but the SOP flag must be buried sometime and this is the year!!

      Like

    3. ouch …. it wouldn’t completely shock me if we lost but, the way you describe is just beyond my comprehension. H2P !

      Like

    4. dan72 states out loud what that little voice in every Pitt fan whispers before each critical game. Nothing wrong with that! Time to silence that whisper!

      Like

  32. It’s a rivalry game and one that is historically chaotic. Just roll with it. Pitt 51-3 with WVU kicking a FG from the 15 with 3 secs left to avoid a shutout.

    Liked by 1 person

  33. Getting ready to fight traffic and head down Route 28..
    Going off the grid for a while to save my battery.
    (both phone and brain)
    And I think I’m playing golf tomorrow with some buddies..😎

    Liked by 2 people

  34. Dan – DON’T take your meds, and go back to sleep. Richard – delete his last post so it doesn’t embarass him when he awakens! The meds are making him psychotic!

    Pitt, in a walk! Sunday morning, I-79 South will be littered with unburned couches!!

    Liked by 3 people

  35. I don’t know who is more overconfident.. the team or the POV? Just remember — the 3 best Pitt teams since the 80s were 2002, 2009 and last year when the Eers were not on the schedule. But the Hoopies won the other 2 times .. (and Pat White wasn’t the QB either time)

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    Like

  36. WalMart bags, sitting on couches, right Fran?

    In Morgantown, after a win, “Light up the lights” takes on a whole ‘nother meaning!

    Liked by 1 person

  37. OK 2 hours behind you all, so game starts at 5 here
    * Big salad made – check
    * Hamburgers thawing – check
    * Sling subscription reinstated – check

    What could possibly go wrong?

    Like

  38. I look at Dan not being negative but bravely stepping forward to take the role of the missing realists. Thanks Dan – Filling a gap created with the 11-win season and ACC Championship.

    Liked by 1 person

  39. I think a lot of us are nervous — but hopeful — about this game.

    This is why Pitt Football is the best entertainment value in Pittsburgh. You want edge-of-your-seat drama? Be a Pitt football fan…

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 3 people

  40. This is a very true story. A work buddy (kinda and was from WV) who drove truck for maintenance while working years ago when a report came over the two way. “”pickup with West Virginia plates spotted at mile marker so and so. There are 3 people sitting on a couch in the pickup bed”. I called over to Mike and warned him, sounds like your relatives coming up for a visit. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  41. Here is our category rankings for the 2021 season:

    http://stats.ncaa.org/rankings/ranking_summary?academic_year=2022.0&division=11.0&game_high=N&org_id=545&ranking_period=70&sport_code=MFB&team_individual=T

    I know I’m looking in hindsight but our OL was 87th (out of 130) in Sacks Allowed and 54th in Tackles for Loss (TFL) allowed – and that was with a very mobile QB.

    Slovis isn’t that type of QB so I wonder just how well our OL is going to be this season with the same personnel as starters.

    Plus our Rushing game was 77th in the FBS.

    Color me less impressed with the OL with knowing this info than most Pitt fans are. Hope it gets a lot better very quickly.

    My prediction – I think it is a close more lower scoring game than the oddsmakers feel it will be. I say Pitt wins by 3-6 points…but wouldn’t be shocked if the reverse were true.

    In others words I have no idea… but I’ll be watching!

    Reed

    Like

  42. I am surrounded by Hoopies! Very few teeth or shoes, but annoying nonetheless. Have to admit, I am also hopeful. The hoopies I talked to so far are really scared of our de

    Like

  43. The truth is none of know what to expect. Any outcome could happen at the point

    But, I say Pitt has learned how to win and guessing they pull away 4th quarter for a lopsided victory.

    43-17 Good Guys

    H2P!

    Like

  44. A TV Eyeball note: Backyard Brawl ESPN 7PM
    PSU Purdue Fox 8PM

                    It will be interesting to see how the eyeballs contest plays out
                                 Start times differ so they could impact ratings
    

    Like

  45. Because nobody asked,
    I, too, am unmoved by our offensive line.
    I think the first half will be spent proving Whipple was wrong about the run…only we will be unable to run the ball.
    We open it up in the second half.
    31-24 good guys.
    H2P!

    Like

  46. B George not suited up. Gonclaves playing RT with 1st team, Huey suited up but probably injured and not expected to play. Collier playing RT with the second team in practice.

    Like

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