MMQB – Tennessee Loss 34-27

First off let’s clear the air about something. When I was in the press box for the first half of the game almost everyone agreed with the referee’s penalty calling and reviews. I know a lot of Pitt fans want to point directly to the SEC refs for somehow screwing us but the media gets live feed for review cameras and I agreed with them also – first half only though as I listened to the second half in my car.

OK, that said, let’s look at what we did correctly and what we screwed up on. My first thoughts are not individual plays, although some certainly effected the game in their own ways, but what the players as a whole actually did out on the field as a team. Therefore, the Offensive Line is almost solely responsible for this loss in my opinion.

Yes, our RB Abanikanda had 154 yards and a well blocked 76 yard TD stroll to put us up 10-0. That was fun to watch. But, when you factor in the yards gained of our two RBs (the only two who took handoffs) aside from that run we had this: 92 yards on 29 carries for a 3.17 yards per carry (YPC). Those numbers are without the QBs’ eight carries for (-)26 yards which includes four sacks given up. After two games we are 76th out of 131 in Sacks Allowed (SA) and 106th in Tackles for Loss Allowed (TFL). Folks, that doesn’t cut it against other P5 schools.

I believe a good OL allows the offense to have sustained drives that results in first downs and points on the scoreboard. Saturday we had 15 possessions and scored only five times. A 1:3 production that held us to 27 points. Our four of 18 third down conversion rate of only 22% ties directly into the above also.

Add the fact that yet again we had our QBs running for their lives, or limping in Patti’s case, with tons of ‘hurries’ and four sacks. So – one last dig at the OL – out of 44 pass attempts they gave up 26 (!) hurries which allowed Vol’s extra pressure on the QBs. Add the four sacks to that and you have 68% of our pass plays where the QBs were trying to complete passes under duress.

So overall I think our OL sucked for the second straight game.

Our new QB, Slovis, had a decent showing in leading the O to 17 points in the first half. His yardage stat of 195 in two quarters looks impressive and the ‘Leaping TE’s’ catch and scurry for 56 yards helped that number. But throwing an INT from the opponent’s 21 yard marker hurt us (and yes, not all his fault there) and stopped a drive that would have given us a commanding 17-0 first quarter lead.

On that drive Slovis passed on every play and had two completions, an interference call then two misses ending with a pick in the end zone. Like this:

  • 1st & 10 at PITT 39(6:00 – 1st) Kedon Slovis pass complete to Jared Wayne for 18 yds to the Tenn 43 for a 1ST down
  • 1st & 10 at TENN 43(5:26 – 1st) Kedon Slovis pass complete to Gavin Bartholomew for 7 yds to the Tenn 36
  • 2nd & 3 at TENN 36(4:44 – 1st) Slovis, Kedon pass incomplete to Mumpfield, Konata, PENALTY TENNESSEE pass interference (McDonald, Tamarion) 15 yards to the TENNESSEE21, NO PLAY, 1ST DOWN PITTSBURGH.
  • 1st & 10 at TENN 21(4:37 – 1st) Kedon Slovis pass incomplete to Konata Mumpfield
  • 2nd & 10 at TENN 21(4:30 – 1st) Kedon Slovis pass incomplete to Jared Wayne
  • 3rd & 10 at TENN 21(4:16 – 1st) Kedon Slovis pass intercepted, touchback. Trevon Flowers return for no gain

Slovis then contributed to us giving up the ball on downs well inside the TENN side of the field by not being able to shake pressure and taking a sack on the fourth and three play. That shut down our offense for the rest of the half. Narduzzi took a big chance there and no first down led to TENN grabbing the lead on a quick strike TD to make it 21-17 on the next possession.

The jury is still out on Slovis as he hasn’t shown a true ability to bend rapid developing situations on the playing field to his advantage. We know he’s no Pickett but when he has to start moving his feet before he can get a pass off bad things follow.

Our defense was better but not a ton lot better either. Giving up 27 point in regulation play was fine – not as good as last season’s 21.6 ppg, but was OK on the day.

TENN’s WR Tillman had a great day against our slow, and out of position, DBs with nine catches for 162 yards and one TD of 61 yards that put the Vols up 21-17 late in the second quarter.

Hear that phone ringing? That’s USC with another $3M to spend on a WR. If Tillman doesn’t answer maybe our WR Jared Wayne gets a call.

TENN’s QB Hooker did this: 27 of 42 (64.3%) for 325 yards; 2 TDs and 0 INTs on a fine day passing. We gave up 100 less rushing yards as opposed to last week but allowed 111 more passing yards. Hot and cold as they say.

Here is a statistical comparison of the two games we have played so far.

Our defense did tighten up in the second half holding our opponent to only six new points while we put up 10 for the tie and the right to go into OT. The graphic here shows that we had an almost ten minute advantage in the game Time of Possession (TOP) and to have that and only a 22% third down conversion rate shows that our defense gave up as many points as we had but in ten minutes lass time of possessing the ball. But a +10 minute TOP without converting third downs kills a chance to score more points.

Considering there was only one yard separating the teams in total yards, first downs and equal turnovers it makes you wonder why we couldn’t have done more with that extra possession time. But we couldn’t.

Which leads us to the final chapter…

When, in the first overtime session and needing a TD to tie and force yet another OT (or getting a TD and going for a two point conversion to win which our head coach didn’t have the stupidity to do) Pitt did this:

  • 1st & 10 at TENN 25(OT) Israel Abanikanda run for a loss of 3 yards to the Tenn 28
  • 2nd & 13 at TENN 28(OT) Nick Patti pass incomplete to Jared Wayne
  • 3rd & 13 at TENN 28(OT) Nick Patti pass complete to Bub Means for 8 yds to the Tenn 20
  • 4th & 5 at TENN 20(OT) Nick Patti pass complete to Konata Mumpfield for 10 yds to the Tenn 10 for a 1ST down
  • 1st & Goal at TENN 10(OT) Israel Abanikanda run for 2 yds to the Tenn 8
  • 2nd & Goal at TENN 8(OT) Nick Patti pass incomplete to Konata Mumpfield
  • 3rd & Goal at TENN 8(OT) Nick Patti sacked by Trevon Flowers for a loss of 12 yards to the Tenn 20
  • (OT) Timeout PITTSBURGH, clock 00:00
  • 4th & 0 at TENN 20(OT) Nick Patti pass incomplete to Konata Mumpfield

See how that panned out? From a starting first and 10 at the TENN 25 yard line we ran eight plays for a total of five positive yards. No gain or a loss of yards on five of eight game critical snaps…

Look, that series didn’t define how we played the whole game but as I was on the dark and lonely turnpike listening to Hillgrove, Bostick and Dickerson making sure “Homerism” is the cultural norm at 93.7 The Fan, I could just feel how it would turn out.

It wasn’t even the (-)12 yard sack on 3rd & goal that did that for me, more like when going into the OT coin toss I kind of knew that Pitt had shot it’s best shot on the final game tying drive and wouldn’t be able to do that twice in a row.  The only time we did score on two straight possessions was our FG then that 76 yard run in the very beginning of the game.  So, yeah, I didn’t think we could do that again, especially with a gimpy QB2 in the game.

Considering that the Vols held the lead or were tied for the final 35m 31s and then the overtime win I think it is safe to say we were out played and if it wasn’t across the board it sure was during the critical moments and by their better line play especially.

On toward Western Michigan for a 7:30pm game. Should be a sure win but then again…



220 thoughts on “MMQB – Tennessee Loss 34-27

  1. Good summary, Reed.

    Sub par O line play and injuries at QB and DL led to the Loss.

    I did notice on several plays in the first half that Slovis had wide open targets on the opposite side of the field from where he was looking (and eventually threw) but did not apparently see them. Was he too busy fighting oncoming traffic or was he just fixating on his primary receiver?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Slovis hasn’t the time to go through his #1, 2, 3 target progressions so far. That isn’t on him however but on the OL. With that if his # 1 and #2 targets are on one side of the field he can’t shift his head and eyes the opposite way.

      Pickett had years of experience with Whipple’s schemes to do that automatically.


  2. I disagreed with some of your and others in game observations

    there have been times I thought I was watching a different game than some posters on here

    the line was bad but Slovis was dealing with it well until they broke him, that is on both the awful line play in pass protection, somewhat on the RB’s missing pressure and also on Cig for not calling some screens and quick throw pass plays

    Hammond would’ve helped but he likely would’ve gotten damaged

    the WR’s except for Wayne who was/is great didn’t help and the pass tip>>interception should never have happened, to me THAT was clear as day then and now

    as I reviewed the push out of bounds, how exactly do you not call defensive PI if the push happened? the contact was more the WR and homerism elsewhere or not, was borderline yet I do think PN shouldn’t have challenged as “indisputable” wasn’t able to be applied

    someone clarified that in college the heel must come down inbounds even if the left toe of Wayne was dragging the whole time and the right toe touched first – which is what happened
    so if that’s the rule it’s the proper call…. but the rule seems WRONG in real play considering college requires 1 foot in bounds so I remain unconvinced

    I never like the homerism I hear with “redskins” games however have never listened to Pitt radio but considering this analysis it must’ve been torture for a “realist”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Then you should listen once or twice… Granted they are basically Pitt employees, literally in Pat’s case but living in Maryland I listen a lot. All schools/stations broadcasters lean, but IMO these guys almost topple over.

      Now that Hillgrove is sober he’s more moderate but all he does is call the plays. Bostick and Dickerson do the analyst & color commentary. As ex-players who spend tons of time with the coaches and players they have heavily tinted glasses on.


  3. I too disagree.

    The Panthers missed 2 field goals and the interception in the end zone by Tennessee on the tipped ball cost Pitt valuable points.

    They didn’t play a perfect game but they were competitive to the end.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Who said they weren’t? The piece above points out issues I feel led to both the loss and what needs to be corrected before our ACC play.

      A good team is balanced across the board…and plays consistent ball for 60 minutes. We sure didn’t do that on Saturday. Again, an opponent taking the lead then not trailing for 35+ minutes and winning in OT says something.


  4. This game made me realize how spoiled we were with having Addison. Mumpfield dropped a quick slant in the red zone on the first drive of the game that was a sure touchdown. Instead, we settled for a field goal.

    The pass to Bub Means that was picked in the endzone also was a tough break. In years past, Addison or Tysir Mack make that very difficult catch or at the least bat it incomplete. This year Bub tips the ball in the air and it gets picked…it’s a game of inches.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Reed:
    The holding call taking a TD off the board was an SEC homer call.
    No way it is called the other way in same situation.
    That happened when you were in the car on the way home.
    I actually thought both the Big 12 and SEC refs were decent.
    They don’t call pass interference on ever play like the ACC refs do.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. One question someone may know the answer to:
    Our kicker last year was Sam Scarton. He was 3rd team ACC and I thought he had a hell of a year. On Pitt’s website roster, he is still on the team. Why was he demoted? If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Give Sam his job back and give his dog one too.


    1. Fans forget academics still play a part at Pitt. He may have skipped classes, maybe failing, any number of things.

      I’m not saying that was the case but given PN’s strict standards off the field (no arrests for how many years?) It could be anything – perhaps just a bad attitude on a player’s part.

      Fans see one side of the football program and that is controlled by Pitt. You don’t think every player that enters the Portal does so on his own volition do you? Some do of course, but some are also are gently pushed and others are ass-kicked directly into it.


      1. Completely wrong thought process here Reed as it pertains to this specific situation. Sam Scarton is a deans list engineering student. One of the smartest kids on the team and an excellent student.

        Sauls kicked better in camp and has a stronger leg. Came in as a scholarship player and Scarton did not. It’s as simple as that.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Sauls has the stronger leg and was more accurate in camp. They keep track of every kick. Yes, the game kicks are different.

      Usually everyone wants True competition in camp. Tough call for the coach, IMHO…

      Go Pitt.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’d rather have the game day kicker on my 1st team than the guy who is more consistent in practice.

        PRACTICE, you talkin bout practice? Man, I ain’t needin no practice.

        Game day kicking has a different edge and feel than a practice kick.

        You’d think a coach earning $5million per year would know that.

        Go Pitt!


  7. Last year, people here continually questioned Whipple for using Vince Davis so much in lieu of Izzy and Rodney. I believe this question was answered on Saturday.

    The biggest disappointment for me was how much more the Vols were than Pitt. We may able to push around many ACC teams but face it, SEC is a different animal

    The only ref decision I question was the non-call after UT intercepted the pass in the end zone. Of course, there was no replay so it is hard to determine

    Sent from my iPhone


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good point, the ACC is not in the same universe as the SEC, only Clemson comes close and if they played those teams weekly who knows? And Tennessee has been a middle of the road SEC team at best for a long time.


  8. While I agree with Reed’s main point it is the offensive line that is most responsible for the loss, I also believe it is usually the team that makes the most splash plays that wins. In our case it was the plays that were not made that made the difference. The first was the drop by Mumpfield on the first drive that probably cost 4 points, it was Means miss in the endzone, that caused three or seven however you look at it. It was Slovis looking the wrong way on a crucial third down when Bart came wide open for an easy conversion. It was two missed field goals and it may have been Narduzzi’s decision not to go for two which showed a lack of situational awareness in that his team was spent.

    Like Reed I only saw the first half and was really proud to hear that Pitt fought back for a tie.

    But I made my real MMQB comments yesterday that the risk reward ratio starting the season
    with 2 P-5 teams and one a hated rival to boot is too great and the loss of a game is minor compared to the physical loss of so many players. At the end of a season wins and losses are what count. How many more losses have been preordained by the loss of these players?

    Sure people can get hurt playing Edinboro but football games seasons are a game of attrition,
    the team that is the healthiest at the end of the year has a better chance of winning the most games.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. By the way, how much better did KP make the O-line look with his scrambling ability and roll-out plays? Rhetorical question. But I will say Slovis completing passes when he knew he would get hammered was pretty strong. But you can only do that so many times till you can’t get up.

    Liked by 3 people

  10. OT – Maybe Dinoooch gets signed because of Prescott injury. Or, maybe steelers phone rings for Rudolph.

    I almost put OT again for on-topic. I think Pitt wins the next two, but the team overall depth will be tested. Not many are talking about Des Alexandre and Danielson being injured up front too and Houy. Hopefully the 2nd and 3rd stringers have put in the time in the off-season and are ready.

    Not sure why we saw Flea (5 carries for 14 yards, 2.8 ypc with an 8 yarder in there) over Carter (0 carries for 0 yards). Is Carter injured too? Hopefully my number 1, Hammond gets back asap. Any news?

    Hoping Slovis recovers quickly. Patti was okay but I noticed a lot of sidearm type tosses which will cause him problems going forward, especially on quick slants. Hope his knee gets better quickly but it didn’t look good for him. I thought our HC required knee brace wearing for qbs.

    After first two weeks, I think that the ACC will struggle again this year in national recognition. Say what you want about clempson, but their qb really struggles. I often wondered why Dabbo keeps with him, just to hear that the qb has a 5 star brother coming out of high school next year.


  11. I agree GC. Slovis definitely scored points with me because due to his toughness. And Patti didn’t exac wimp out either

    Sent from my iPhone



    1. Vuk wrote:

      The two things that probably kept the Panthers from remaining undefeated are things that no one would have brought up before the season: offensive line and wide receivers.”

      Now, I didn’t talk much about the WRs except the Addison to USC fiasco, but I, and some others, pointed out that just because you have the whole starting OL returning that does not mean they will be exceptional.

      Last season, even with the smart & mobile KP, we were 87th nationally in Sacks Allowed and 54th in TFLs Allowed. Which is why some Pitt fans were not buying the hype about the OL in 2022.

      Look, every beat writer assigned to Pitt football, and every media outlet and professional blogs who do advertising, are dependent on Pitt’s goodwill for not only team access but being able get in one on one conversations with the coaching and admin staff. So they lean heavily on the surrounding hype generated by both Pitt and the other media.

      But Pitt fans and here on the POV don’t have those pressures applied to our opinions and with that are more willing and able to be more negative about certain things.

      So, we are not all that surprised that the poor play has continued, maybe even gotten worse, now.


  12. Two issues with the offense.

    The QBs, RB and OL missed reading blitzes. Patti and Slovis didn’t read blitzes coming and had open receivers to the side the bitz came from. The OL and RB missed the blocks.

    You can blame the players on some, but the scheme has to counter a good pass rush. That includes good blocking schemes, adjustments at the line, route adjustments, hot reads, etc. Cignetti is to blame as much as the players.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. While I didn’t see the second half and they must have been better but I would say the D-line has not lived up to their potential. The pressure on QB’s has not been there like we expected.
    It does appear that the linebackers had a better game.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Chris Carter has an excellent analysis of what went wrong on our trips into the red zone on the post gazette… He breaks down film of plays where we should’ve made first downs or scored… I tried to post it but of course it would not load… Check it out you guys will enjoy it

    Liked by 2 people

  15. This comment from end of previous tread:

    I’ve been criticizing the OL pretty strongly after these first two games, but Narduzzi’s policy of withholding information on injuries may be causing unnecessary criticism. We know Huoy has been injured because he was missing from the lineup. But how bad, and how long are unknowns. The OL may be significantly impacted with injuries requiring more back up minutes than expected, but I’m not sure we know what is going on.

    I don’t know if individual player minutes are tracked anywhere, but I’m wondering how many minutes the expected starters have gotten vs. the back ups. This would obviously affect the continuity and consistency of play.


  16. I must also say that I like the NFL’s policy of reporting and managing injuries much better than the NCAA. Narduzzi won’t give out information that could help the other team, but it is a two way street. He would also know information about the other team’s injuries. Fans and followers should have more information on injuries, which would only add to the interest as the season goes on.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. So you guys think Narduzzi should tell an opposing team what a player’s injury is. I don’t because if you do, the likelihood that the other team could target” the injury when the player returns.


    1. I do not think that the opponent game plans specifically for any of the Pitt players which is why the entire hush around injuries is baffling to me. I do get the privacy issue on one hand, but on the other, Pitt discloses (with players consent) all injuries to the nfl prior to the draft, if asked. They are all good, but I don’t think we have a first round impact, game changer in the lineup yet from what I see. Maybe Kancey??


  18. I had no issues with how the game was called (refs). I didn’t see any calls that swung the game. The interception was zero Slovis’ fault just like the MJ interception last week was not JT Daniel’s fault. Just the way the ball bounces. Bad play by Bubs and a nice play by the TN defender. You have to take chances and he hit Bubs in the hands.

    Pending the upcoming injury updates, I think this Pitt team has a lot of potential. Mistakes in both games took a lot of points off the board. And I (Bub) mean(s) a lot … O line has not been great but to Duzz’s point a combination of the wide outs and Slovis is creating some bad looks by the OL. You can tell this offense isn’t mature yet. But when it moves, it moves. Pitt coulda shoulda been up 21-0. Mumfield’s drop and Bub’s drop turned pick make it a completely different game. Slovis probably isn’t being put in situations where he has to drop back and get clocked as much. He probably lines up under center and 3 step drops and releases with a 3 TD lead. But, what-if’s. Lots to learn from the first two games. Hopefully Slovis was kept out as more of a precaution than a serious injury. Gonna need him. Patti doesn’t have the look of an ACC caliber starting QB.

    A lot of teams played poorly this weekend. There are very few great teams in this era. Pitt is as good as anyone left on their schedule. The offense should (or at least has potential to) continue to round into form.

    Drops wiped two TD’s off the board. We missed two kicks. One was 46 yards so probably a 50/50 kick but we missed a much easier one as well. We lost 4 points on the drop by Mumfield. We lost a potential 3-7 points on the Bubs deflection. At the very least we’re kicking a FG on that drive. We lost 3 to 6 points on two missed FG’s. We gave up 3 points because of a toe out on an interception at the end of the half.

    That’s a delta of 13 worst case and 20 best case. Game of inches and some bad luck. I’m a big believer in you create your own luck and making mistakes created some bad luck that put additional emphasis on lost points.

    Work to do but the world isn’t falling yet. The team has to rebound from a loss like this which is no easy feat.

    Liked by 4 people

  19. what happened in overtime? did Pitt mess up the coin toss? Pitt won the toss in OT, and deferred. i thought you only had 3 choices when you win the toss in OT. you could: Offense, Defense or pick which side of the field to play. didn’t think you could defer. why didn’t they pick the side of the field with the students? if both teams are going to get the ball, it doesn’t matter if you go on offense or defense first.


      1. I think you can defer so that when you get to the 3rd OT and the 2pt conversions only, you can pick the side of the field. The only 3 choices was prior to the OT rules changes.


    1. It does matter if you get the ball or play defense.

      If you play defense first, the offense may need to kick a field goal on 4th down to at least get points. Once they do that, the other teams offense takes over and can play for a push with a fg or drive for a win with a td. More options. If the first team on offense doesn’t score or turns the ball over, the next team doesn’t need a td. They can kick a fg and win. Conversely, if the first team that possesses the ball gets a touchdown, the second team possessing the ball is automatically in 4 down territory.

      I used a lot of words to go over strateegery, but it makes sense. Yes, we should have made them go into the student section if that was an option….always.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. YES, matters a little(very little). but not more than playing in front of your students instead of their side of the field.


    2. Another coaching blunder – the Panther Pit was primed and ready. Duzz chose the opposite end of the field –

      The noise was muffled and minimized.

      Oy vey!


      1. Yes, nothing to see here. That’s how a count flip should work and is considered very very important to go on defense first!

        Try searching and persecuting Narduzzi for a something else.

        Liked by 3 people

    3. Pitt won the toss and chose to go on defense first which most, if not all teams do. This lets you know exactly what you need to do when you go on offense. After our choice Tennessee got to choose which end of the field for the 1st OT session.


  20. I can sit and nitpick but the game was going to be one of Heupel’s bomb’s away vs Duzz’s aggressive attack/ CB island D. It was a great game but the visitors came out on top. Lot’s to critique especially on the O side in the passing and blocking game. I need to see a re-play of the game to get a 2nd look at the action. Injuries are concerning especially at the QB position.

    Nick is gutsy but I doubt he will be available if Slowvis can’t go….Questions: what happened to allow the Vol TE wide-open over the middle for their one score-I think I remember Miami doing that to us a couple of times as well as Carolina/UVa-is that a flaw with this type D cause that’s not the 1st time it’s happened…and why don’t we hit out TE over the middle with a similar play- I can’t remember a seeing a similar play like that in our offensive attack….speaking of TE’s. why is Blue MTN Bart getting more targets..better pick up the pace or Bart may exercise the transfer portal and look for a better paying job, afterall, he is ALL-AMERICAN material if given the chance…rumors he was injured??????

    Helluva game, one of those would’ve, could’ve. should’ve contests…. get healthy and win the next one ’cause there are several WPA a a former PITT player waiting to show the world last year was no FLUKE!!! Salopek from Norwin is no slouch-Did PITT even offer him????I hope our gridders heal quickly ….and don’t look past the Broncos to the rivalry game with the Rhode Island Rams!!!!!!!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Tennessee spreads you out so the middle of the field will be open once in a while. It’s on the LB’s to cover the middle of the field but Tennessee is very selective when they do attack it. Our defense is probably better prepared for it than most since we leave the CB’s on an island but Tennessee is very patient waiting for the right time to strike.

      Liked by 1 person

  21. I guess when you post you are supposed to start at the beginning meaning we came out looking like world beaters, but in reality, in the end, we were fighting to win a game where our mistakes were self-made charitable contributions to the Vols. Sad but very true.

    No need for me to go over what has already been said we were witnesses to a game that without question we could have and here I go –should have won but the scoreboard tells the truth.

    Execution, in and pre-game planning, adjustments, conditioning, and mental and physical errors are all part of the game>>>winners//Marshall// AppState, Kansas,Ga Southern,Wash State (Lookout Paulie), Northwestern, and BYU ////Las Vegas counting $$$. Oh, how can we forget Holy Cross topping Mighty Buffalo?

    So, looking ahead to WMU (I am almost afraid to think about Duzzi’s alma mater, Rhode Island) what kind of team do we put on a field in enemy territory that wants to validate last year’s crushing upset? Starting with the QB position and working through the roster I have the feeling that too many 2nd String players will start the game. If Slovis’s concussion is serious he could be out for more than a week and Patti’s injury would be a disaster if it is a high ankle problem. Do we have any confidence in Yarnell and our Ivy Qb Kyler???
    If Hampton is out for an extended period of time how can Izzy make up for his loss?
    I could go on and on but the truth is that after playing 2 P5 games to start the season we
    can only be hopeful that we will recover enough to play out our ACC schedule.

    No, I have not given up because the ACC is not a talent-laden conference and with some of the best medical care anywhere Pitt will hopefully recover in time to make the season worthwhile playing. As I have said before>>>>STAY TUNED!

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Slovis reminds me of a mix of NatePeterman and Max Browne, and not their best parts. In fairness he isn’t getting much help from Oline and o coordinator, in my opinion.
    Bernie, for once I’ll disagree, we really needed to open with a couple tomato cans to get things st out. No other power 5 team I’m aware of opens their OCS with their biggest rival and an SEC team. And have you looked at fut schedules, heck the one year we play Cincy, WVU, Norte Dame, Wake, and I think FSU, plus the other games. That is brutal, and I think we’ll drop one Cincy?) even if it looks bad. Go with the SEC model, and play one cupcake in middle of season as almost an off week, three sure things and one challenging game.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Randy… I think all D1 teams should only play D1 teams- a rule change that lets the Big dogs fight the Big dogs and we fans are treated to the best week in and week out! So as long as the rules stand as is open with Duquesne and Old Dominion!


      1. Bernie, Yup, I absolutely agree with that, but trying to get the BiG and SEC to agree to that is along way off. Would be great to see, but until then we shouldn’t place ourselves at a competitive disadvantage. BTW, missed you last week. Will be away for next few games, maybe catch up at last 2 home games. Will try to encourage Mrs.JoeKnew to attend tailgate.


  23. Slovis has been great minus the hits. He passed for 195 yards and the WR’s left some on the table in one half. He had over 300 yards the first game and still leads the country in yards per attempt and completion. He also has shown how tough he is. I don’t get the dissatisfaction with Slovis at all outside of the he’s not Kenny crowd.

    Liked by 6 people

  24. I think the ACC is in trouble this year, again. Ukelele is the wrong instrument leading that offensive attack. Maybe NCState carries the torch from the one side and Pitt carries it from the coastal if our qb’s get healthy. I just don’t like how we schedule, especially with “light physical preparation” before meaningful games. This is not a new thing. Those two games will be the most physical we see all year in my mind….and we put them back to back to start.

    I have said this for years when folks argued about our OL improving each year. They should get better each year. The bigger question is whether your opponent got betterer! Ha, love my Pitt english! lol. If the other teams dline improves more than our Oline, we will struggle.

    Agree with isnore that the ACC is struggling in the production of next level talent. Over the last 5 years, the ACC is ranked 4th in the P5 conferences for draft picks by the nfl. The only conference that is worse is the big12 that has way fewer teams, thus a smaller talent pool. So Pitt will have a chance to win a very poor conference again, which is great for us!! We just need to understand what it is.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Offense – C- at best

    OL – C- (nothing to add here other than they were somewhat better, but a long way to go)

    RB – B (costly blocking assignments got our QB killed). Reed nailed the yardage issue

    QB – B. Patti is one tough dude. He hung in there when he could barely walk. Why was there no roughing the passer call when Slovis was drilled to the turf head first resulting in a concussion? Although he has decent numbers, I’m not sold on Slovis yet.

    WR – D. Aside from Jared Wayne, this position is not good. Poor route running, too many drops and for goodness sake, get Bub Means off the field. Please. Two games now his play has cost us points, firsts downs, etc. I watched him on a few plays where he was not the target and he should be benched for his poor blocking and lack of effort (it appears). Even Mumford was off.

    TE – Bad Bart is a stud. Needs more targets but when the line can’t block the TE is a blocker.


  26. —While the OLine has played poorly, I don’t put much stock in where we “rank” because how many teams have played two P5 defenses.

    —And our DBs are not slow. Not the tallest, but not slow.

    —I don’t know about the press box, but IMO they picked up a flag that was thrown right where there was clearly holding by a UTenn player on Mumpfield…

    —Stating the obvious but Coach Cignetti needs to adjust to give Slovis some plays where he gets rid of the ball quickly. And he needs to add some mis-direction plays (unless he’s saving stuff for the ACC games, which makes no sense to me…).

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. I think what I dislike most from Cignetti is the total lack of imagination and innovation. He basically lines em up and plays. He has not changed in forever. Very pro oriented and very, very Wanny like in his approach. Wanny never got the college game and neither does Cignetti. 3 more games and you all will be pulling your hair out.


    1. I’m not a pro-style fan but that’s who we hired. That’s what Duzz wants. Neither is changing. Do you think Whipple would be better with this roster? I don’t. I’ve seen what Whipple was prior to last year.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Chris Dokish
        With Slovis, Pitt threw 11 times and ran 8 times on 1st down. They were forced to run a lot more in the 2nd half because Slovis wasn’t in there. So the criticism that they ran too much on 1st down is off base. It wasn’t the plan. They were forced into it.

        Liked by 3 people

  28. Defense – D

    DL – C-. Finally came alive in the second half, but were gassed.

    LBs – C-. They seem to be out of place, over commit, etc. LB was a concern going in and boy does it show.

    DB – F. This group has been horrendous. Why in Gods name do they play so soft (rhetorical – don’t respond)?! Underneath is always open. I would throw five yard passes all game long against them. Coaching better step up here because it is t working.

    Special Teams – D
    PK is again atrocious. Time to free up two scholarships and find someone from the soccer team.

    Punting – C. Improved over game one but this Aussie style punting can stay in Australia.

    Coverage – C
    Punt team seems to be ok, but also breaks down at times. Coaching on this one.

    Miscellaneous – D

    Far too many injuries this early in the season. Not fair to grade but it’s bad luck at best.

    On to WM. We better be careful and hopefully the Slovis cobwebs have cleared.


  29. As I said before the game that game was a clear example of the critical importance of schedule making. Programs with a history of success have it down. Lyke did this team no favors with this kind of scheduling .

    Case in point : Pedo played a tougher conference game on the road under the lights week 1. Did Pedo play Auburn the following week or did the play Ohio? Of course Pedo played Ohio. They want to set themselves up for success.

    Pitt should’ve played Rhode Island last week. NOT TENNESSEE. This is common sense. What AD in their right mind would want to do that to their team?

    Let the team catch its breath and regroup. Nope not Pitt. It’s disappointing because it’s so obvious and it will happen again next year. Nobody cares when you play who you play. They care if you win.

    Liked by 1 person

  30. Erie – I saw where Coach Bell tweeted that he’s excited to welcome 24 new Panthers to the baseball team in this recruiting class.

    Sounds like a whole new team…

    Go Pitt.


  31. What Tennessee did reminded me of the Miami game last year. Attack soft coverage on edges, easy, high percentage throws, then go over the middle with te. Someone did their film study.

    Liked by 3 people

  32. Adomitis called up from the Bengals practice squad as their long snapper Harris got hurt in the Steelers game. Harris who I believe is 37 could be out for quite some time and as a result Cal is going to get a big bump in hie weekly paycheck.


  33. In women’s volleyball news, Pitt after their bad home loss to Townson dropped to #12 ending their streak in the top 10 that started last year. Louisville is #3 and Georgia Tech dropped to #7 after losing to #5 Ohio State. Ohio State will play Pitt on Sunday at the Fitz. It may not be pretty! To make things even worse, Penn State jumped ahead of Pitt in the poll to #11.


  34. Going back to a previous discussion, I thought the challenge by Duzz was a good one. I think there are two components to that decision. First is what are your odds of winning the challenge. Second is what is the effect on the game if you win the challenge. Bringing back a 32 yard score is worth taking a chance, even if only a 10% likelihood of succeeding.

    If your opponent has a 2nd and 2 at the 45 and gains 4 yards on a questionable completion, you don’t challenge. Even if you win the challenge, it is likely to have little impact on the game. If your opponent’s running back fumbles as he is crossing the goal line and your player recovers the ball in the end zone, but the officials rule he crossed the plane before fumbling, you probably challenge every time. That’s a huge game-changer and worth risking a lost timeout.

    If we want to quibble about wasting a timeout, how about Bart entering the field late and forcing a Pitt timeout to avoid a delay penalty. We don’t know whose fault that was, but that was definitely a wasted timeout.

    Liked by 7 people

  35. While I still have confidence that this can be a successful season, I came into it with no illusions that it would equal last year. Pitt football is like wine – most vintages are acceptable, some are quite nice, and, on rare occasions, the wine is extraordinary. Then there are the years that are suitable only for vinegar. Last year was extraordinary. This one may be quite nice.

    There are, essentially, two ways to win in any athletic competition – make more positive plays than your opponent or make fewer negative plays. Pitt did neither. It’s really not more complicated than that.


    Liked by 4 people

  36. I don’t follow other teams as much as others on this blog but from what I have read, there is almost a universal refrain of, “our offensive line sucks!”. It’s the first thing I heard from my hoopie friends. Why is that?

    My theory is that good OL players are almost as rare as unicorns. Let’s see. You want a kid who is 6’5”, weighs 330 lbs, who is a gym rat with 98% muscle, nimble footwork to out-quick a 4.8 sec DE, and a veritable Einstein who can remember a snap count for almost 20 seconds. Plenty of high school boys weighing 330 lbs. Those other criteria …. uhmm?

    I took a look at the Rivals Top 250 recruits for 2021. There are about 30 offensive linemen. Most signed with blue bloods: Alabama, Georgia, Ohio State, Clemson, ND. Others decided to stay home and play for their State U. Even Boston College signed a 4-star OL. But he is from Boston.

    Maybe athletic big guys are used on the DL in high school and stay there in college. I don’t know. I just think recruiting and developing really good offensive lineman is a tall order.

    Liked by 6 people

  37. Look, recruiting for teams like us is pretty much done for. I think the recruit who signs and stays four years is going to quickly become a thing of the past with the portal getting so strong.

    Now you hope other schools recruit so many 4 & 5 star kids that the ones who don’t become starters there look at Pitt…as we see in our starting lineup now with Slovis as main example.

    What I hope never happens is that schools start trading players like in professional baseball and BB mostly. But I’ll not bet against it happening down the line.

    Ask me five years ago if a player would be bought for $3M and I’d say you were nuts. But there we are.


  38. September 12, 2022

    Pat Narduzzi Press Conference

    Western Michigan Week


    PAT NARDUZZI: Obviously a disappointing game on Saturday. Very similar to what my thoughts are after that game. I really thought our kids played with a lot of energy, emotion, passion, really good effort, for the most part, across the board. Made some big plays in all phases of the game.

    You look at just special teams, which you don’t usually see big-time plays especially. You see it on offense and defense, interceptions, but to have a blocked punt and us not be able to scoop and score right there and get zero points from it. Then we got a muffed punt return, which the guy dropped it and we’re supposed to stay in front of him, and Byron did a great job getting down there and getting on that ball. P.J., whoever the gunner was, tackled the returner so he couldn’t get back on it.

    But those were big plays in just the special teams, let alone on offense with some of the explosives. Izzy was good. Obviously the hurdle touchdown (by Bartholomew). Defense, we played hard all day and I think held an explosive team to three explosives the entire day. Our goal was to hold them under four. We had three. But three turned out to be too many, and we didn’t score enough points to win the football game.

    So it was disappointing, but like I said, we put that thing to rest last night and here. I hate even talking about it the next day, but we’re moving on. We’ve got a great Western Michigan team coming in, or going up there, I guess, into Kalamazoo.

    We’ve got a challenge on our hands. They’re well coached, and Tim Lester does a great job. Jeff Thorne, new OC, came from over in Illinois, from a Division III school over there. Lou Esposito, their defensive coordinator, has been there. Does a good job. They do a lot of things similar to us.

    There will be some carryover from what our offense sees every day in practice with what they do coverage-wise and front-wise. So there’s some good things as far as that goes.

    Q. What do you see in the offensive line after two games?

    PAT NARDUZZI: When you look at it, like we got better. Sometimes, again, let’s just go to the play before the half, and I know where you’re going with it because I think maybe you guys asked this question just about the O-line and the protection.

    Sometimes our O-line has got to get us out of it. Sometimes our quarterback has to get us out of a bad play and redirect protections or whatever it may be.

    On the play before the half we should have the tailback staying in to protect him, and we didn’t do that.

    But O-line overall, I mean, you go back and look at the tape and you watch from the end zone, like we’re creating some holes for the offensive line, or for the running backs, not just on Izzy’s big runs, on ones that we throw RPOs.

    Like if we let it go and let it ride and hit it off the tailback, go look at overtime and see what it looks like. It’s like hand the ball off and let’s go.

    But we didn’t hand the ball off. We tried to throw it and didn’t throw it very well when we tried to. So there’s some things like that that you don’t really see that we see in a coaches meeting.

    I think our O-line has done a solid job. Is the protection, should it be better? Yes. There’s times that you’re hot off a guy and going to throw it and you’re going to take a hit, that’s what quarterbacks do. But that’s part of the game. You see it everywhere. You see it in the NFL. You see it in other games.

    Q. How do you assess your wide receiver group? Jared Wayne played really well. What about the other guys?

    PAT NARDUZZI: Jared Wayne plays really well. We knew that in the summer. He’s the leader of that group. Jared Wayne has played outstanding. He really has. He’s the guy. We kind of knew that back in the summer. He’s the leader of that group. The other guys have had opportunities. We obviously played a lot more three wideouts in the game Saturday afternoon, and we’ve got to step up. We’ve got to make more plays.

    We’ve got opportunities to catch the ball, and we’ve got to make it. If you look at the game in a nutshell, we missed two field goals. We give them a freebie at the end of the half. I mean, there’s a nine-point difference right there.

    Take in account we think there’s a flag because someone gets wrapped around the waist across the middle. They throw the flag, they pick it up. We think there’s a flag, so we’ve got a free play. We throw it down the field, hits the receiver in the hands, and it gets dropped. Someone from over there — comes down and scoops it up.

    Same thing happened again. Game of inches. M.J. gets an interception and his heel is out by an inch. It’s something you think about. It’s one of those games, for whatever reason.

    Nick Patti has a great touchdown run. You guys watched the tape. I thought Jared Wayne not only caught the ball well, ran with it well after catches. I thought he blocked really well too. Put it that way.

    Q. I’ll take this. What’s the status of your quarterback room at the moment?

    PAT NARDUZZI: Like I always say, guys, I’m not talking personnel. On Monday we all know what we know. I know nothing. How about that?

    Q. What about the No. 3 quarterback in competition? You said in camp it was unsettled. Who was your No. 3 quarterback on Saturday?

    PAT NARDUZZI: I would say it’s still unsettled. I would say it’s unsettled. Kyler’s been good. Nate Yarnell has been good. Nate Yarnell gives us most of the — probably two out of three team periods Nate’s given us a look.

    Because he’s done it before, that’s the guy we pick. Like defensively we want that guy. So he’s played more ball than Kyler has as far as just playing ball.

    Derek’s paying attention and locked into the offense because he’s on that end. I would say it’s a toss-up who the third guy would be.

    Q. Speaking the quarterbacks you’re going up against (Jack Salopek), the guy you recruited when he was in high school here in this area, what have you seen from him on film in his first two games from Western Michigan as a starter?

    PAT NARDUZZI: Salopek is a good football player. He was accurate with all his short passes he did throw in the game. He moves well. He’s tough. I think he’s a tough guy. And he operates the offense. I think he’s real coachable.

    When you watch him, from everything we gather, just a very coachable guy who’s going to do it exactly the way they’re supposed to do it, and I think that’s what anyone could ask for in a quarterback to operate the offense. He does a nice job.

    They’re very similar to what they were a year ago offensively. He’s done a nice job so far in two games.

    Q. At the end of the first half, did you think about taking a knee with 21 seconds left?

    PAT NARDUZZI: I’m a (dummy), Jerry. Yes, thank you. There’s no doubt about it. We didn’t put a returner back. We were really worried about it and you go back and look, that’s the one — you guys talk timeouts I think Saturday after the game. I certainly wasn’t going to call a timeout at the end of the game. That’s why we kneeled down in the fourth quarter and take it to overtime. We weren’t going to take a chance and have something crazy like that happen there.

    Even on that play, if we just throw it to Bub in the flat wide open, if we just throw it there and take that, we’re probably feeling pretty good right now. But that’s not what happened.

    Q. For the No. 3 quarterback spot, did that factor into any of the decision to keep Nick in the game? Just from where I was sitting he looked like he was pretty — he was playing on one leg the last 15-plus minutes.

    PAT NARDUZZI: It didn’t look that bad from the videotape I saw. You guys maybe make it worse than it was. First of all, Nick’s tough. Nick doesn’t like to get hurt. Nick’s going to say, I’m good, and we’re going to believe what Nick says.

    If he’s not good, we’re going to pull him out of there for health and safety reasons. I don’t see what you guys see just from watching the game tape. On tape maybe in between snaps; we don’t watch that. You guys are watching the in-between. We’re worried about getting the next call and personnel. When he was out there he moved around well. We weren’t moving the pocket or running nakeds or anything like that with him, so we knew we didn’t feel that good.

    But that had nothing to do with if we had a third ready to go. But third team guys aren’t getting a lot of reps during the week. Second team aren’t getting many reps, to Nick Patti’s defense as well. It’s tough to get everybody reps. Just like in the bowl game, it’s tough to get everybody reps.

    Q. I’m not sure if this question violates your injury policy.

    PAT NARDUZZI: Yes, it does. Next question.

    Q. Was Rodney at the game?


    Q. Coach, you’ve obviously spent a number of years in the MAC. How has that level of football changed from then up until now?

    PAT NARDUZZI: I think it’s changed a lot when you look at their depth charts. You look at the depth chart here, we’ve got a transfer from Sam Houston, transfer from Western Illinois, Youngstown State transfer, Wisconsin transfer, Pitt transfer, BC transfer. That’s just on the offensive roster.

    On the defensive roster, VMI transfer, East Carolina transfer. Let me see here. Purdue transfer. Pitt transfer. Illinois transfer. St. Francis transfer.

    So it’s changed a lot. With open end transfer, I was telling a recruit the other day, the portal has opened up. I think everybody’s getting stronger. I think you’re seeing some of these group of five teams beat people because they’ve got a stronger roster than they had in the past.

    Everybody is weeding out their roster, getting rid of the weak, and they’re finding guys that are better than they lost. In the end, you’ve got guys not graduating, which is a bad thing.

    People think the grass is greener, I’m going to get something else. Roster is stronger as a whole, but I think there are a lot of kids that are losing out on scholarships and education they that they were going to still have it and didn’t have it.

    So the weak are still in the portal, I think, if you do a good job evaluating. It makes everybody stronger, I think.

    Q. Regarding Kyler, what do you like about his game, and how can he get better?

    PAT NARDUZZI: He’s smart, number one. He can operate the offense. We’ve got to trust he can operate the offense, like Yarnell. We know he’s had the experience in games. As you know, we lost two guys that have played in games before. We needed to get somebody just that had been in there, which it was needed. He’s obviously got one year of eligibility. And he can operate.

    His touchdowns to interceptions is like 42 TDs, three interceptions, something like that, just crazy. He threw for a lot. He’s a leader. He’s a great kid.

    Q. Did the run defense make the kind of improvements you wanted?

    PAT NARDUZZI: They really did. They make it hard. Obviously less than 100 yards and less than three yards per carry, which is what you want. But some of the harder runs are some of the quarterback draws.

    Again, if you had to look at the weakest part of the whole show — and I talked about field goals and nine points and interceptions and not interceptions and feet out of bounds, probably the only thing we didn’t do a great job of is tackling.

    And Hooker, I think he put on 15 pounds since last year, I think. He looked big out there, and he didn’t go down easy. So we did not tackle the quarterback well. I think we had three sacks on the day. Should have had six, seven. We only had three. If we had four, I think the outcome’s a little bit different, but you’ve only got three.

    I think those are critical. We didn’t tackle well. We’ve got to go take shots and make plays. Just wanted to make the play instead of make a big play and go make it for less yards. So there were some of those I didn’t like. We’ve got to get it cleaned up this week.

    Run game, shoot, and that’s a team that can run the football. No, we played it a lot better. It was what it was supposed to look like. We need to have that kind of effort and attention to detail in the run game all the time.

    Q. When you and your ACC coaches get together and talk about things, do you ever wonder why ACC played so many road games against non-Power 5 schools?

    PAT NARDUZZI: I don’t know who it is. Road games, I don’t count those up. I just know what I’ve been told, and I try to stay out of it. Hey, it’s either this or this, and I’ll give my opinion.

    I think back when this game was scheduled — and nobody wants to go on the road, period. We’d like to have all of our home games at home, or every game at home. I think when it was scheduled, from my knowledge, that was kind of a landscape of college football is people weren’t taking — it had to be — you weren’t getting them.

    You want to go play, let’s just say Wisconsin on a home and home or you want to go play Mid-American or group of five school. Even with Marshall. We were supposed to go to Marshall in the COVID year. We didn’t go and played the conference schedule.

    Some of those things happened at that time in scheduling, and there was really no options. You look at it, and you’d better schedule out 15 years. Maybe we don’t schedule out far enough to get it where there’s options. At that point, when we’re trying to get games and trying to get your schedule filled out, sometimes you’re stuck with what you have.

    Q. They would not come here unless you went there.

    PAT NARDUZZI: Oh, yeah. It’s either that or you want to go out and play UNLV at UNLV. Options are limited at times, but it seems to be coming back the other way now. So we hope to not have that anymore.

    Q. What is it about Western Michigan’s defense that can give you guys issues?

    PAT NARDUZZI: They’ve got guys on scholarship. They’re playmakers. They’re about 40 percent pressure. They like to bring pressure. So we’ve got to block them up front. It comes down to protection, they see a lot of pressure, offense sees a lot of pressure against us.

    Like I said, they’re very similar to what we do. They’re going to bring five. They’re going to bring six. They’re going to play short in coverage. They know how to defend that kind of stuff, so it’s good. It will be a good football game.

    They’re well coached. Coach Esposito does a great job. They play hard. They play tough. And they’ll be excited to be home.

    Q. You mentioned the new OC there. Are they doing the same thing they were doing last year offensively?

    PAT NARDUZZI: Yeah, there’s a lot of similarities. There’s just more stuff. Again, they ran more RPOs against us last year. They ran more out of the pistol against us and not anybody else. So we’ll obviously get prepared for that. But a lot of similarities.

    Coach Lester, the head coach, is an offensive guy. I know he’ll have his hands in the game plan this week. I’m sure he had it in last week and the week before as well. So he’s going to have his opinions and thoughts and, hey, we need to do this or try this.

    So there’s a lot of similarities offensively. That’s why they hired him. The guy is very like-minded like he is.

    Q. Tough watch reviewing the game film from last year for you guys?

    PAT NARDUZZI: Not really. I shouldn’t say not really, every game is tough if you don’t make a play. I haven’t watched the offensive side of the ball, but I think everybody forgets we had three turnovers in that game. You ain’t winning the game with three turnovers.

    We got kind of torn apart a little bit, and we got to stop the run again. Everybody will get upset if they throw a slant route or skinny, skinny post or glance route, whatever it may be, five yard out or ten yard out route to the field, which we’re prepared for all of them.

    I thought Erick Hallett played a heck of a game, but we didn’t stop the run well enough to go with that, and that was the problem back then. But I think our kids were like, I’m running in there, and then they’re throwing it over my head. So they start to get — but we’ll make sure that doesn’t happen this year.

    Q. You guys had one touchdown on five red zone trips, whereas you had 3 for 3 the week before. Looking back, what do guys you have to clean up to capitalize on those opportunities?

    PAT NARDUZZI: Got to make better plays and be crisp route runners, and really make better decisions down there. It comes down to that. Really, we had some plays — and I know you guys don’t get the end zone copy, but we had some plays that are there. We’ve got to finish the play. We’ve got to make the plays, and we didn’t do that.

    Q. You talked about last week how a lot of receivers were breaking off, like breaking off too early. There’s some issues there with the time?

    PAT NARDUZZI: We’re better with our revolutions, our route running. We were better with the depth of our routes. Now, I shouldn’t say all of them. All of a sudden we’ve got a tailback, maybe one, it’s the skinny stuff or the hard post or skinny post, some of those still.

    Again, I think that’s part of new offense, second game. Again, it’s learning situations for our kids. They’re going to continue to learn how we want to do it and how it has to be done, and there’s no wiggle room for it to be done any other way.

    Q. You have a number of players back from last year. You were good last year bouncing back after losses. Do you see the same type of qualities with this group?

    PAT NARDUZZI: Sure hope so. That’s the plan. This is a total reverse from last year. Last year we were coming off an emotional win. I think our kids were feeling themselves. Now this year it’s Tennessee then Western Michigan, it’s Tennessee then Western Michigan. So it’s a total different deal.

    So we’re going to see how our kids respond. They went through adversity on Saturday. I thought they handled it well. Now they’re going to go through a week of adversity and we’ll find out what happens Saturday night.

    Q. I was going to ask, Jared Wayne looks like he’s continued to polish his game a lot more from last year. What have you seen from him as a leader off the field that’s stepped up his play?

    PAT NARDUZZI: We talked about that in August. He’s such an unbelievable young man, I’ll tell you. He’s a man. He’s probably not even young anymore. He’s an old man.

    But he is a leader. He’s the leader of that room, and we need him to even lead more. We’ve got to get those other young guys, those new guys to come — they’ve got to mature a little bit faster than they are right now. We need those other guys to make plays if we’re going to put them on the field.

    Q. You played two four-hour games in a row. On Sundays do you see the effects of that?

    PAT NARDUZZI: Not really. They’re noisy as can be. So not really. I don’t see any. They’re noisy, I’ll tell you that.

    Like they weren’t just sitting here like exhausted or tired. They’re energetic still. They’re kids. We would feel four hours, but I don’t think they feel four hours.

    Q. Just a follow up because I saw the expression you made when Jerry asked you that question. Are these games too long?

    PAT NARDUZZI: There’s a lot of reviews, a lot of officials hanging out together going, yeah, that was holding, but let’s wipe it off. There’s a lot of — I mean, I’ve never seen so many in two games flags picked up off the ground.

    I think they’re getting long, yeah. A lot of plays. Forget the length. Again, our offense won the time of possession by ten minutes, I think. Again, I guess the team won it because, when you go three and out and have a 54-second drive, that helps the situation. We’re running the ball and having long drives.

    But the games are getting longer, I think. You’d like them to be somewhere in the 3 1/2, but a lot of indecision on the field.


  39. New US News college ranking out. Pitt at 62, tied with Va Tech and Cuse, and 15 ahead of PSU (77). Hoopies at 234

    The ACC was easily the best P5 conference; in fact Pitt was probably in the lower half of the league, tied for 8th or 9th

    Not only did Nebraska lose its AAU affiliation about the time it joined the B1G, it was ranked way down somewhere in the mid 100s.

    Sent from my iPhone



  40. ​​ ​

    ​​​​​​​​​​September 12, 2022​

    Pitt’s Abanikanda Named ACC Running Back of the Week

    PITTSBURGH—Pitt’s Israel Abanikanda has been named the ACC Running Back of the Week for his performance against Tennessee this past Saturday.

    Abanikanda rushed for a career-high 154 yards with a touchdown on 25 carries (6.2 avg.) against the Volunteers. The junior finished with 175 scrimmage yards, including his 21-yard reception.

    Abanikanda (Brooklyn, N.Y./Abraham Lincoln) gave Pitt a 10-0 first-quarter lead with a dazzling 76-yard touchdown run. It marked the Panthers’ longest rush since Nov. 10, 2018, when Qadree Ollison had a school-record 97-yard run for a score against Virginia Tech.

    Through two games, Abanikanda leads Pitt in rushing with 169 yards on 33 carries (5.1 avg.). He paced the team last season in rushing yards (651) and rushing TDs (seven) on 123 carries (5.3 avg.).

    Pitt is ranked in the national polls for the third consecutive week. The Panthers are ranked No. 23 by Associated Press and No. 25 in the USA TODAY American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Poll.

    Pitt plays at Western Michigan this Saturday, Sept. 17, in an ESPNU nationally televised contest. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.


  41. 23/25 PITT (1-1) vs. WESTERN MICHIGAN (1-1):

    Complete Game Release Link

    September 17, 2022 ∙ 7:30 p.m. (ET)

    Waldo Stadium (30,200/FieldTurf) ∙ Kalamazoo, Mich.

    ESPNU ∙ 93.7 The Fan ∙ Pitt Panthers Radio Network ∙ @Pitt_FB


    √ Pitt plays its first road game of the season when it faces Western Michigan in a nationally televised ESPNU game at 7:30 p.m. The Panthers are looking to avenge last season’s 44-41 loss to the Broncos.

    √ Pitt compiled a 5-0 road record during the 2021 regular season. It marked the Panthers’ first undefeated road record since 1987.

    √ The Panthers have actually won six true road games in a row dating back to 2020.

    √ Pitt is 32-5 all-time against Mid-American Conference members (4-2 on the road). The Panthers’ last MAC road game occurred on Sept. 12, 2015, a 24-7 win at Akron.

    √ Pitt safeties coach Cory Sanders previously served as defensive backs coach at Western Michigan under head coach Tim Lester in 2017.

    √ The Panthers last played in the state of Michigan on Dec. 26, 2019, when they defeated Eastern Michigan, 34-30, in the Quick Lane Bowl held in Detroit’s Ford Field.

    √ Israel Abanikanda is coming off a career performance against Tennessee. Abanikanda rushed for 154 yards and a touchdown on 25 carries (6.2 avg.) against the Volunteers.

    √ Safety Erick Hallett II is tied for the national lead with two fumble recoveries. Hallett recovered a fumble in each of the Panthers’ initial two contests.

    √ The Panthers have compiled six sacks through two games. That total ranks 19th nationally and second in the ACC. Defensive tackle David Green leads Pitt with 1.5 sacks.

    √ Pitt totaled an FBS-leading 151 sacks over the prior three seasons (2019-21).


    Television ∙ ESPNU

    Clay Matvick (play-by-play)

    Rocky Boiman (analyst)


  42. Kickoff Time for Sept. 24 Pitt-Rhode Island Game Announced

    PITTSBURGH—The Atlantic Coast Conference announced that Pitt’s September 24 game against Rhode Island at Acrisure Stadium will kick off at noon and be televised by ACC Network.

    The Panthers’ remaining 2022 football schedule and announced kickoff times:

    Sept. 17: at Western Michigan (ESPNU), 7:30 p.m.

    Sept. 24: Rhode Island (ACC Network), Noon

    Oct. 1: Georgia Tech*

    Oct. 8: Virginia Tech*

    Oct. 22: at Louisville*

    Oct. 29: at North Carolina*

    Nov. 5: Syracuse*

    Nov. 12: at Virginia*

    Nov. 19: Duke*

    Nov. 26 : at Miami*

    *ACC game


  43. Okay … this was a horrible pick up of a flag … Slovis definitely thought he had a free play …

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That’s the play where I focused on Mumpfield. It was a blatant hold – grab around the waist. And the flag thrown immediately in that area.

      The ref signals holding to the boss ref, but then another ref says something and they pick up the flag. Bizarro. And a huge turning point…

      Maybe they should have a crew of refs from a neutral conference call these inter-conference games…. Just to remove the possible appearance of bias…

      Go Pitt.

      Liked by 1 person

  44. OK, good question but point / counterpoint:

    The fact is that Slovis launched a pass that was also thrown high to get over the coverage to a WR who was well covered by the defender… then our WR couldn’t make the catch and tapped it into the second defenders’ hands.

    Exactly how is that the refs fault? Flag or no flag, I’m more concerned about the very poor pass protection on that play.

    Again, just stirring the pot…


    1. Because he saw the flag thrown and the hood that triggered the flag and thought he had a free play. Same as an obvious offsides. Means should have caught it, too. But, Slovis clearly saw the hold and flag and thought he could take a risk. There is no way that flag should have been picked up.

      Liked by 6 people

    2. I thought the protection was great on that play. He just rolled out after he saw the flag. Had the hold not happened that’s who he was throwing to.

      Liked by 2 people

  45. Poll question for those who were at the game and could see Nick Patti’s limited mobility after he got hurt.

    We have a QB from Dartmouth on the roster who started 20 games there and went 10-1 last year. Completed 70 percent of his passes, 19 TDs and 1 interception. We also have Nate Yarnell, who is 6’6” and has been in the program for a year and a half.

    Regardless of which guy is your 3rd string do you put him in once it becomes BLATANTLY APPARENT TO ANYONE EXCEPT PAT NARDUZZI that Patti could barely move). (I capitalize because at his presser today he made it sound like Patti was just fine). The guy has weak arm strength to begin with, but throwing off one leg, he had less.

    So do you go with Patti’s guts and moxie, or with your third stringer who got no reps during the week, but can move?


    1. I’d be slow to pull Patti… he knows the offense better, has accepted his QB2 position and pulling him out would seem herky-jerky – particularly if Slovis’ injury is season-ending. I’d take my lumps with him and evaluate after the game.

      Liked by 1 person

  46. Poll question 2:

    When it is apparent that your QB can barely walk let alone play, do you kick the extra point to tie the game at 27, or do you go for two and try to go ahead right there?

    Coaching 101 says that at home, you tie the game and kick the extra point. But does Patti’s injury, which shrinks your playbook substantially, and affects his ability to deliver throws, make you think differently. Are you are better off running a 2 point plays that you practice regularly for that exact reason, rather than trying to win in OT with an injured QB?

    Liked by 3 people

  47. Don’t be surprised if western Michigan kicks Pitts butt. I know that will hurt most of you koolaid drinkers. My butt is cast iron so I’m prepared. Again, what AD schedules two P5 schools to start the year and then a third game with a quality Mac school away. Oh y’all know who. 👗

    Only emoji was green. 🤢


    1. I believe Pitt can beat WMU with it’s 3rd and 4th string QB this weekend and may have to given what we saw from 1 & 2 this past weekend.

      Both 1 & 2 need time to heal – with the loss to TN, as the FB CEO I (Duzz) should be anxious to get a good look at the team depth these next two weeks.

      Win and you stay ranked, get to see who the future stars might be – QB Yarnell, E.Donald, Fitzsimmons, baby Baer at LT, etc.

      Lose and your team gets healthier while staying in the running for the Coastal Division title with a chance to repeat as ACC champs.

      That is a tough decision for the CEO as the optics could look ugly.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Lone Star, just because we support the team that doesn’t make us koolaid drinkers. Try less inflammatory language. You are often trying to start a conflict. Can’t we have a nice discussion?

      Liked by 4 people

  48. Turned out blue though. So what you see is not what you get with emojis. She actually looks better in blue. But I think classic white is the way to go.

    Tex – the fashionista.


  49. What’s going on here? We saw what the 3rd string QB did in the bowl last year. And that was the end of the year. They get no snaps with the first unit, and few snaps overall

    I do agree that the 2 point conversion was the proper play call under the circumstances. But I can say that because I thought of that when it happened. If you did not think it was the right call when it happened, then you have no say

    Sent from my iPhone


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Didn’t see the second half but still thought you go for two under the physical circumstances. But of course I have no say.


  50. At the time I was thinking go for 2 at the end and try and win it with D for the next couple minutes. The D was playing their hearts out and Patti was not going to be much help the rest of the way. I thought it was the best bet to steal the win.


  51. Since there are no injury reports hard to say who should start at QB, but the third and fourth string guys should be getting plenty of snaps this week. People seem to assume Slovis is out, if true it depends on how Patti’s foot responds to therapy. If he can go, he will and he has certainly earned the right. If he can’t go, next man up.

    Not a trap game this year team should be pretty fired up to avenge last year’s loss. A lot of new guys should be getting a shot. This should pay dividends down the road if they can get past this one.

    Liked by 1 person

  52. not only did I call for them to go for 2, I was somewhat concerned the kicker would MISS the XP

    as it turned out, Pitt winning the toss in OT gave them a real chance(I thought if we lost the toss it was OVER) and when they had Tenn with a 2nd and long they needed to blitz Hooker but only rushed 4 leaving 3 defenders(a LB and Hallett and another) in no mans land resulting in the TD pass due to the “soft”(it wasn’t, he slipped) coverage

    what is “soft” coverage anyway? Pitt corners play press 1 on 1
    ZONE coverage playing OFF the receiver too deep would be soft, this might be poor coverage but it’s anything but SOFT

    I think I’ll take over in game play by play and color commentary from here AAAND try to influence play calling such as play actions on first down and sprinkle in a couple of screens

    all from the comfort of home behind the keyboard and with the aid of the bigscreen and replay will accurately critique the refs and every bit of play on the field

    no homerism,
    Reed and everyone will love it

    can’t wait for the “likes” to mount on THIS post 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  53. What if the Tennessee game was the fourth game scheduled, giving Pitt a chance to catch it’s breath and work out some kinks? I am still oppose to more than one P-5 OOC, but scheduling them back to back to start the season was a death wish.


    1. How much time was on the clock? If it was enough to get in field goal range, you don’t take a knee. That would be playing not to lose. Show faith in your offense and be aggressive if points are a possibility. They would have passed in that situation last year and should this year. Good Lord, don’t get Pat into a conservative mindset, it will cost Pitt games.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Can’t wait to see a replay to watch Slovis…He seemed to have a number of passes nearly swatted by the Vols DL and threw into tight coverage inaccurately…surprisingly, he did not have more pics…he was getting a ton of pressure. The Vol DE received SEC defensive player of the week award for his effort Saturday afternoon.

        Thought Nick would be sharper at the start with his throws- nerves, pressure, not enough practice snaps or all of the above. Didn’t take long until he was hurt but good things happen when he is on the field. Made that nice TD pass to get us into overtime, nice run for a TD called back, and a great pass to our big strapping Canadian WR who’s heel was out by 1 inch. There were so many plays that could have changed Saturday’s out-come. Hind-sight on the last play of the 1st half is always 20-20. Should have been able to get 3 plays off if there was time-out left. Coach is trusting in Slovis’s arm to get them into FG range….I totally get it but unfortunately it didn’t work out and kicked PITT in the gonads!

        Liked by 2 people

  54. When he is right he is right. That play as much as any contributed to the loss of the game and maybe others if Slovis doesn’t return.


  55. The biggest question moving forward is can the O-line get better or will our QB’s be on the run all year?


    1. Yes it is because neither QB is all that great at the improvision needed to complete a pass while backpeddling or running sideways. I think both QBs need strong pocket protection to seek out the WR2 & WR3 in his progressions.

      Slovis is probably better at this than Patti due to so many more games played. Pickett excelled at this because of his multiple years with Whipple so Pitt fans were spoiled a bit.

      Liked by 1 person

  56. Tex. A true fan. Lol. What’s even the point of your comment outside of stirring people up. SMH. It’s not an opinion. It’s not meant to start a discussion. It’s meant to antagonize. Hard to respect anything you say because of your agenda driven commenting. We get it. You don’t like Pitt or how they operate. So redundant. You can be negative. Plenty to be critical of. And lots of legit conversation around it. Then, you post. Lol. Hilarious. Every article. Same ole Tex. #SOT

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tex seems like a good guy but what bothers me is his frequent reference to the “koolaid drinkers” on here. Since he’s a list maker, I’d like to see his list of who the koolaid drinkers are on here. I definitely need help in identifying them…. I’m not sure who he’s trying to insult.

      Seems to me that just about everyone on here has a pretty clear eye about the good stuff, the mediocre stuff, and the poor stuff relative to Pitt football.

      Go Pitt.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. his definition is different

        anyone not a jagoff and hater is what qualifies

        he’s doesn’t qualify or that guy last week Reed ran into


  57. Well, to me it looks like Slovis landed more on his head than shoulder and looked dazed afterwards so maybe, fingers crossed, Pitt kept him out of the 2nd half for concussion fears.

    Also, the Pitt player who helped him to his feet grabbed KS’s right shoulder and lifted and it didn’t look like KS grimaced at that.

    Concussions are bad in the long run as we have seen, but for playing it is sure better then a broken collarbone or ligament injury to throwing arm.

    I think he plays next week.

    Liked by 1 person

  58. Man, you guys would be burning PN at the stake right now if he went for 2 and failed. He made the right call there, especially because our D played so much better in the 2nd half.

    Even though I didn’t think we’d win in OT I do believe he gave the team it’s best chance.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. not what I thought at the time but very fair assessment and winning the toss made that even more possible

      I think the “defer” choice with the overtime coin toss means the team actually chooses to DEFEND first, not defer, and there is only one choice that really matters and that is the FIRST one when you win the coin toss which is choosing offense or defense first

      and everyone should choose defense because you know what you need to do to win in your first series

      the other choice is which end of the field to defend I guess but that matters much less imo

      Liked by 1 person

  59. GC, the WMU player you saw was Skyy Moore who is now a Chief. Moore Is a Pittsburgh native (Shady Side Academy) who I seem to recall had a real good game against Pitt

    Sent from my iPhone



  60. Late to the party here…

    In my game by game prediction articles a couple weeks ago, I indicated a loss to the Vols. In that regard, Im not surprised. But, I was surprised at how close it was… thought it would be a double digit loss.

    I really liked how Pitt set the tone at the beginning of the game. Great start. The defense played a great game against one of the best uptempo offenses in the country. It appeared that as the game went on, the Vols needed more time to snap the ball

    Mumpfield’s drop followed by Mean’s drop and the related INT in the endzone was the turning point in that game. In the same way that the big WVU’s bobble/drop was a gift to Pitt the prior week, so was Means’. I saw the Tennessee bench immediately get energized…and then they proceeded to score. Secure either one of those balls (Mumpfield could have almost walked in for a score) and we at the very least delay the Vols opportunity to climb back.

    Neither one of those guys would be my starters for the next couple games. I’d go with Wayne and Barden and let these guys work their way back toward more topuches.

    Bill Cowher used to say “its a fine line” – spot on in this case.

    I thought Slovis did OK considering all the drops from the transfer WRs. But he has to protect the ball and the fumble is on him.

    I will only point out two complaints about the offensive play-calling, which I otherwise thought was OK. One was the repeated 1st down runs to the left. They became too predictable and the Vols were ready – as was everyone in my section. How about some runs to the right, toss/sweep, etc? Izzy got RB of the week because smart people adjusted those call out of his stats and saw he got over 5 yards/carry – even after adjusting for his Darrin Hall-like 76 yard scamper.

    The other issue was 2nd half throws to Bartholomew. He’s an animal and headed for great things. Give the man the ball! One can already see bagmen lining up on Water St. to induce him to the portal.

    Bad refereeing is part of the game…sometimes it goes your way unfairly and other times it goes against you unfairly. Gotta play through that.

    Special teams – unless one’s name is PJ O’Brien, all kickoffs inside the 10 yard line should be signaled fair catch. The risk/reward isn’t worth running them back.

    Onto Kalamazoo!…

    Liked by 4 people

    1. JoeL – I agree with you on demoting Mumpfield and Means to 2nd team for this WMU game – make them earn their way back to #1.

      I would do the same with K Sauls.

      BUT, Duzz is loyal to his starters and my gut tells me all (3) start vs WMU.


      1. If I remember correctly Scarton’s issue was ball flight (he kicked a flatter ball).
        That said, game results count more to me than practice and I would also consider putting Scarton out there as he was more reliable.


  61. Seeing is believing//PITT SCHEDULING STUPIDITY

    2023: A year in which we face Notre Dame and a rebuilding Fla State ++ out of Conference Cinn and WVU>>there is room to add 1 cupcake on the schedule TBD. ONE!!

    2023 Tennesse: UVA, Austin Peay (remember those guys), UT Martin (?), and get your ticket reservations for UConn

    Heather, I don’t care if your blouse is red, white, and blue…call the medics after our guys become cannon fodder with this schedule>>> YES I AM PISSE-D!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I have to agree with you isnore. Why would you schedule like that for the 2023 season? It setting the team up for failure. Are we worried about wins, rankings, and the health of our players…I think not. It seems as if the athletic is scheduling to get the most butts in the seats and the most green in the coffers.


    2. In an era where athletes don’t have much physical contact in Fall ball, scheduling becomes even more important. I may have this wrong, but nfl players only are permitted one contact session per week, plus game. College is very similar due to the concussion law suits. Why does the majority of quality D1 programs get it and we don’t.

      Alabama and Georgia scheduling is great for the small non-profits. They schedule smart. With the ACC struggling again reputationally across the US, Pitt had a great chance to run the table, until Miami, had they scheduled correctly. I am frustrated with this, but not giving up on the season due to conference weakness. I think NCSt wins the other side of the bracket. Ukelele seems to play tight.

      Are we to assume that all the empty seats for the Tenn game were because WVU fans didn’t come back? Need to figure out why fans don’t come back and maybe it’s because there were more WVU than we thought. Don’t blame the Steelers or Penguins. Pitt should already know how many Steeler season ticket-holders don’t buy season tickets to Pitt because of disposable income and value proposition. It’s a value proposition analysis combined with a disposable income analysis. One last observation was that there seemed to be a lot of Tenn fans at the game. Any idea as to how many? 8-10k?


      1. I would not assume that based on attending both games. Not “all”… “some” would be more correct. Its possible that Pitt fans bought a WVU mini-package which I don’t believe included Tenn.


      2. As many if not more on the lower bowl than Hoopies. Not as many in the upper. Hoopies brought 25k

        Vols at least 15k despite Pitt not giving Vols any tickets in the lower. Vols gave us 2200. Pitt should feel ashamed. But they are paranoid and petty like the overpaid King.


    3. I am with you 1000 percent. The height of hubris and stupidity. Someone should be fired over this incompetence.


  62. Maybe our basketball team can schedule, Gonzaga, Kansas, Arizona, and Villanova and have the guts to play Duquesne! Come to think of it how about some CHARITY games against The Boston Celtics and Golden State Warriors STUPIDITY!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. playing a very tough early schedule is arguably reasonable in basketball as there is far less chance for injury(not none but often not caused by the level of opponent)

      and in basketball while getting early wins against the sisters of the poor might get you in rhythm, I don’t think tough losses cost you nearly as much early, it is far more important how you finish the last 10 or so games of the season

      where’s Huff? apparently his guidance is being ignored!

      HEATHER?!?!?! Tex might have something right, you’re an idiot with scheduling

      Liked by 1 person

  63. Pitt should be able to beat WMU with any of their qb’s starting (1-4). The game is won or lost in the trenches. Our OL and DL should be better than theirs. I do hope Slovis is back. My concern with Slovis will be whether the hits and pressures get to him and he speeds up his reads and abandons plays early to protect his body. I would after absorbing hit after hit…..but i am old.

    Is it me or do our offensive linemen seem to be crunched together pretty closely in formation? I can see how that could help our inside running game, if true. I just noticed how they seem to be aligned closely, which is odd to me. I only got to watch the highlights of the morgantown game, but did watch the Tenn game and it struck me as different.

    With respect to injuries, I thought Bart took a big hit to his shoulder/collarbone area, and our center went down. Would be nice to get updates because we care about our players, not because of betting. Again, I don’t think opponents give one iota about what lineman or rb plays for us. We aren’t that special to gameplan against. We are plug and play.


    1. Now that you rmention it, I think there were a lot of plays run out of a tight line formation. Kinda like goal line plays.

      Have read today elsewhere that Slovis sustained a concussion and Patti had a high ankle sprain. Hoping the concussion was mild. Duzz said Patti was fine in his presser, but wondering if that is smoke. Have read nothing about Bart.


    2. Cignetti has run out of a tight line formation forever. It means the lineman are touching shoulders at the LOS.

      Most high schools run it. I hate it because it brings the opposing line backers close in and allows free blitzes from the corner which we saw Tenn execute over and over!

      Liked by 1 person

  64. My concern for Slovis is that he doesn’t last the season or worse, is crippled.
    Same with Patti.
    25 hurries from an offensive line filled with veteran players.


    1. I had a high ankle sprain running freshman track and it took me more than 2 months to feel my oats>>>I decided to say goodbye to track and look at my books. If Patti rushes back too soon he could do serious damage to himself>>>double OUCH!


      1. Isnore… back in our day we didn’t have “ high ankle” sprains or concussions- we turned/ twisted our ankles and got our bell rung…. some adhesive tape or smelling salts and back in the game we went… at least that’s how it was in Apollo- coach might even call you a candy- ass just to test your man-hood to piss you off to go back on the field.


  65. OT, Just heard Ramsey Lewis passed away yesterday…always thought the POV was The ‘In’ Crowd for Pitt sports.

    Didn’t think high ankle sprains were quick healing…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Very sad to hear of Ramsay Lewis passing. My dad frequently played the jazzy Ramsey Lewis while we were eating dinner when I was growing up, and I had the more funky Lewis album Sun Goddess and saw him open for Earth, Wind, and Fire at the Civic Arena. Another legend lost.


  66. Flip a coin Athleticism (Yarnell) vs Experience (Kyler) >>>Oline has to step up or one of these young men could be joining Slovis and Patti on the I HAVE BEEN HIT list.


  67. If there is a syndesmotic tear between the tibia and fibula (high ankle sprain), an operative procedure can be performed: tightrope procedure.
    Tua had this done while playing for Alabama.
    Which other QB underwent this operation?

    Tex willing to supply a bottle of Pappy to each person with a correct answer.


  68. High Ankle sprains are the worst. I suffered one. Out for at least a full month. But it does make your ankle area stronger. Less likely to suffer a future one. My right ankle is as tough as an old oak tree now.

    Broken ribs were the worst injury. A pulled hammy isn’t much better. Knee injuries have to be bad. Torn pecs anyone?

    Balcones gasman. Balcones.


  69. KRAZEE I just got a text message from my daughter telling me that she will not be visiting me tomorrow//bad ankle sprain and she is a physical therapist//The Practice that she works for is “Martin Foot and Ankle” If Emel was here I would get an Oy Vey.


  70. Saw Ramsey Lewis at CMU when he had just released the Sun Goddess album, groundbreaking, and a couple years ago at the Manchester Craftsmen Guild, what a performance. RIP Ramsey.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Re Ramsey Lewis. Bought his album, The In Crowd, when I was a kid. Still have it. Red Holt was drummer. Always ended songs with a lot of cymbal crashes. Bang those Zillgens. Saw him 10 years ago or more in Houston. Kept yelling from the balcony for “The In Crowd.” His last song was The In Crowd. Rip RM

      Liked by 1 person

  71. Speaking of concussions, shame on the NFL and the NCAA for not requiring more padding on the helmets. Apparently there’s fear that the players will look funny — won’t look like gladiator- heroes are supposed to look.

    Here‘ s info on the Guardian Caps that NFL teams wore in training camp:

    “It’s a soft shell that straps around players’ helmets. According to the NFL, the Guardian Cap results in at least a 10% reduction in severity of impact if one player is wearing it, and at least a 20% reduction in impact if two players in a collision are wearing it.“

    I don’t care if the players look like space aliens, they should have any reasonable protection – especially concerning head injuries…

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 1 person

          1. Mark Kelso, wife’s cousin, had the biggest helmet in NFL. Was at our wedding, was probably 10 years old at the time. Grew into a Nice guy. Would visit with him after Oiler games, between locker room and boarding the bus. Knew it wasn’t going to last forever so pinched his nickels. After retirement NFL commissioned him to do study on head injury and prevention. I believe few if any recommendations were ever implemented. Then came the movie decades later.


  72. Majors I am in the business.
    The flaw in the guardian product is rotational protection.

    The fabric makes the helmet less slippery, therefore dramatically increasing the chance of a neck injury.

    It does improve impact, but that is only half the problem.
    They can actually stick together.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Interesting, kman, thanks.

      I guess I still don’t understand why they can’t just add more cushioning under the helmet shell. Again, the space alien look – though not nearly as drastic as the one BigB linked… 😊

      Go Pitt.


          1. The helmet companies are brutal and lie to scare everyone.
            Players at every level use them including the NFL.

            Teams sort of use them organically and players adapt.

            Heaven forbid the Team would embrace something that might make Nike or Addis upset.

            Even though it would keep your players in the game and likely reduce the severity of injuries.

            It is like a seatbelt 35 years ago.

            Liked by 1 person

  73. Nard was quoted earlier in camp that Yarnell isn’t where he thought he should be so it looks like our QB will be Derek Kyler from Dartmouth. Does anyone have a clue what the drop off will be? I have a bad feeling we will be losing to Western Michigan two years in a darn row.


  74. helmets, anyone think we would see a ton less targeting if there were NO helmets or minimal “crown” protection?

    maybe more bleeding but seriously technique would change and head down launch would only possibly be initiated by those that are already brain impaired 😉

    I know it will not revert back to the leather of 60+ years ago but seriously think that helmet technology is related to why it happened

    never watched old football film but are there statistics on concussion over the decades that could be properly compared?


    1. My dad played with a leather helmet. He made the same claim. You never tackled head first back then because the helmet didn’t provide the same protection. His one any only concussion was from falling on his head after going up for a very rare pass. Ironically, something the helmets of today would have prevented, lol.

      Liked by 1 person

  75. I listened to Chris Peak’s morning Panther Pitt podcast, which he is doing on a daily basis now. Shorter than the weekly show – 20-30 min, depending on content. As I told Reed at the tailgate on Sat, its like picking through crab swimmer fins for meat but there is some good content – and its free.

    He made some comments today which resonated with me:

    Called Gavin Bartholomew “crimminally underutilized” to date and he should be “a focal point ” of the offense. Amen to that, Chris.

    On Konata Mumpfield, he’s not ready to give up on him yet based on his season at Akron and summer camp performance. May need a little more time to get in a groove. OK, but Im still reducing his targets to perhaps half of what he has gotten so far until he shows more reliability. And I give those targets to Jaylen Barden, who has great speed and deserves the ball.

    Also noted was OL play. Izzy’s bustout run was on an RPO (which apparently Whipple eschewed, but Cignetti will employ for your folks who think he runs an old fashioned scheme). On a couple other plays a big hole was also open to run through and the QB instead dropped back to pass. Glad to hear this and hope whoever the QB is will employ that more if its there.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. interesting about Peak as I find MOST of his commentary good or very good

      but then again I don’t mind picking me some crabs down here 🙂 , yet almost weekly buy a pound of the backfin with which my wife makes great cakes,,,, relieved with 2 out of the house we don’t need to buy 2 pounds for a meal now :0

      Liked by 1 person

  76. All signs are that Pitt will crank up the running game this Saturday, and will get other backs besides Izzy some much needed work. Hammond will probably take another game off to get ready for ACC play, and we will see others carrying the load. This seems like a good strategy to give Slovis another week to recover and then tune up against an inferior team the following week.


  77. Don’t underestimate Kyler. He has shown supreme accuracy with few interceptions. All of his coaches say that he’s very intelligent (yeah, I know Ivy League), they are talking about football “smart”. Ivy football (I watch it as a Penn grad) is better than you think>>>the huge difference is that most (not all) of the players lack pure speed and superior athleticism seen on P5 teams. Ivy football is often innovative on offense because power running does not fare well on most teams. Dartmouth has a GOOD coach in Buddy Teevens who stresses conditioning and solid fundamentals. Dartmouth teams have been above average.
    Teevens has coached at Tulane and Stanford and has spoken VERY HIGHLY of Kyler. Will he prove to be terrific///A BIG NO, but if he can be a game manager and receive support from our
    less than adequate OLine we will defeat WMU and give Slovis another week to get the fog out of his head.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I watched Tyler make a few throws in warm ups last week. Seemed to have a good throwing motion and not a cannon, but decent velocity on a couple mid-range throws.

      Go Pitt.


  78. Im reposting my thoughts on the WMU from my prediction article (sans graphics):

    Game 3 – The Panthers Strike Back? Our lads head to Kalamazoo with revenge on their minds. Western Michigan lost both its QB Kaleb Eleby and WR Skyy Moore, so we got them, right? Its easy to assume a win, especially if Pitt showed a lot in games 1&2 or lost a tough one versus the Vols.

    I’m not pencilling this in as an automatic win for a couple reasons. They have some Pittsburgh area kids on the roster who – like last year – want to have a say in the matter. Former Panther Bricen Garner (1st team MAC last year) returns on defense and is joined by 3 other transfers from St Francis… all three are from Pgh.

    Then there is the matter of the QB – Norwin’s Jack Salopek. Those from the Pittsburgh area know the kid is a winner – even if from a lower WPIAL class. If one goes back and looks at his recruiting, it looked like he might have chosen Pitt, but perhaps the offer was soft. So he has zero motivation to play a good game against Pitt, right? As we know, the Broncos have a good coach who has the program running well and I’m sure he’d like to give it to Duzz again.

    I think they give Pitt some trouble early, but Pitt’s superior talent rises up and ends up winning the game. No surprise upset here, although I predict some here will be upset that the score isn’t more lopsided.

    UPDATED THOUGHTS: Jerry DiPaola provided some background to Jack Salopek’s recruitment by Pitt. He held a Pitt offer (given by Shawn Watson), which was pulled from the table at Whipple’s doing. Think he might be a tad disappointed and motivated to show the Pitt staff they messed that up? Yeah, me too.

    (And as a quick digression, let me just say that Whipple was blessed to get to work with Kenny – and not the other way around. Kenny already had Tony Racioppi developing him.)

    If Pitt has to go without Slovis (im guessing Patti won’t see the field for a while with the high ankle injury), I think we can still win but the game will be a bit closer and perhaps not settled until the 4th quarter. But that will largely depend on Izzy and the OL.


  79. There are more concussions in rugby (no helmet) than in football (helmet). More in women’s ice hockey (no contact) than men’s (full contact).

    It is possible that women report concussions more often than men thus skewing the statistics.
    It’s good to know that in youth sports you are more likely to get a concussion cheerleading than in playing volleyball (no helmets in either).

    A concussion is caused not by the contact with the skull but by the movement of the brain inside the skull after contact. The only way to eliminate concussion is to either eliminate any force exerted on the skull by contact (so don’t even think of falling and banging your head, protected or otherwise, on the turf) or have 100% of the force absorbed by protective gear. As pointed out above, by kman and MajorMajors, that might have the unintended consequence of leading to an increase in neck injuries. It is also likely theoretically impossible.



    1. I worked with the NFL neurosurgeon, Russ Lonser. We studied concussions and candidly the main reason that women have more concussions than men is the musculature that supports the head. Stated differently, the neck muscles are not as strong. Women’s soccer and women’s hockey are concussion generators, however the largest concussion maker in college is typically…..the cheer team.

      NFL reporting concussions were down over 50% due to additional eggshell helmet and decrease in physical practice.


    Interesting, however, to note how times have changed for OLine athletes. Fralic, May, and Covert all played at under 300 lbs and by today’s standards might be considered undersized.
    The pot-bellied rhinos on almost all major P5 teams come in on a guess near 310-315.
    If Fralic, May and Covert were well conditioned today and could play at 300 lbs….we would not even begin to think about OLine problems///how about a national championship with the 3 on the same line??


  81. ​​ ​

    ​​​​​​​​September 14, 2022​

    Pitt’s Bartholomew Named Mackey Award Tight End of the Week

    PITTSBURGH—Pitt’s Gavin Bartholomew has been named the John Mackey Award Tight End of the Week for his performance against Tennessee this past Saturday.

    Bartholomew compiled a career-high 84 yards on five receptions (16.8 avg.), including a dramatic 57-yard catch-and-run touchdown against the Volunteers.

    On his scoring catch, the sophomore caught a pass in stride down the right sideline, hurdled a Tennessee defender at the 30-yard line and sprinted into the end zone untouched, giving Pitt a 17-7 second-quarter lead.

    (WATCH: Bartholomew’s Tennessee game highlights)

    Through two games, Bartholomew (Schuylkill Haven, Pa./Blue Mountain) has six catches for 93 yards (15.5 avg.) and a TD.

    As a freshman last season, he was one of college football’s top newcomers, totaling 28 catches for 326 yards (11.6 avg.) and four touchdowns. Bartholomew earned Freshman All-America honors from multiple outlets and was named to the preseason watch list for this year’s Mackey Award, presented annually to the nation’s most outstanding collegiate tight end.

    The 2022 John Mackey Award will be presented during ESPN’s live telecast of the Home Depot College Football Awards in December.

    Pitt appears in the national polls for the third consecutive week. The Panthers are ranked No. 23 by Associated Press and No. 25 in the USA TODAY American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Poll.

    Pitt plays at Western Michigan this Saturday, Sept. 17, in an ESPNU nationally televised contest. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.


  82. Henry Parrish Jr (RB for Miami) is averaging 109 yards per game heading into the game vs Tx A&M.

    Former Pitt commit leads the ACC.


    1. good for him

      IF he remained at Pitt he’s another good running back which changes nothing in the first 2 games

      prior to this season did you or anyone want to or even for a moment think that Izzy or Hammond needed to be replaced/exchanged?


  83. This is a busy work week, so I will lay down my predictions and concerns right now before I start my three day, heads down, nothing but work excursion.

    First I have two concerns:

    -1) WMU’s stadium has FieldTurf – Duzz and the equipment team need to have the right shoes – multiple styles in case there is a weather situation – rain, cool temps, etc. (Call Jackie Sherrill for advice)
    -2) The Broncos are a veteran team besides their QB, TE and PK – RSFR. If Pitt is deep into it’s depth because of all the injuries we witnessed the past two weeks, the Panthers will need the veterans who are on the field to lead well and we cannot afford coaching mistakes.

    Prediction: Pitt wins by coming from behind in the 4th qtr, lead by TD Tyler with the high IQ. Blue Mtn Bart with 2 TD catches and 150 yards receiving. His running mate TE TR Johnson (#8) catches 1 TD and has 100+ yards receiving.

    The D pitches a shutout in the 4th qtr – Pitt 35 WMU 31

    K Sauls is the starter and makes all his xtra pts, but never attempts a FG – Duzz elects to either go for it on 4th and short or punt.



  84. I will say this. If this is a close game in the second half we will lose. When playing a directional school you must steadily increase the lead and never let up. Playing this type of school on the road is insane, who does this?
    I feel people pile on Heather for any silly reasons, however, she ( or whoever is responsible) has no plan regarding scheduling. I know it’s my personal soapbox, but long term successful scheduling is a painful process. It’s much like building a successful program. You must do it right. You need to build a winning culture. Playing brutally difficult schedules will result in 7-5 seasons vs 9-3 seasons. Until your program shows that level of success, well, here’s how I see it.
    1) Certain teams will fill the stadium. But realistically we’ll lose 3 of 5.
    2) Other difficult games will have marginal Attendence increases. We will lose more, and attendance will drop like a rock.
    3) I can understand out of state alums and fans wanting to see big time games, but most locals want to see wins. 1 or 2 big games ( conference) is plenty for most programs. Winning is the only thing that cures long term attendance problems. Look, I get it. No one wants to drive 5 hrs to see New Hampshire ( oops, Nitterland has built that cult of lemmings). Until we win at that level for a decade it won’t happen. I loved last year, relaxing at the game, enjoying a romp, but I only travel 20 minutes.
    4) We’ll, that’s my POV and I’ll stick to it.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I totally agree and add that playing this type of schedule also is much more difficult physically. When you are playing bigger stronger guys it only follows that there will be more wear and tear on your guys. This has dramatically played out this year but no matter what making it through a season is difficult on a body. Even the guys that are still playing will get more bumps and bruises that over the course of the season impact the quality of their play. Sore knees, shoulder, backs, hands are cumulative.

      There is a price to pay for this type of schedule. At the end of the year people remember wins and losses more than anything, over time they won’t remember who was played.

      I do understand that fans want to see big games. The unfortunate part is that the ACC schedule has provided few of these since rivalries have not formed organically yet.

      The price to be paid for these tough OOC games is too great, especially next year when you have ND and a resurging FLST on the schedule. The new ACC scheduling regime is also potentially more difficult with Clemson every other year.

      While we blame Heather, she is trying to drum up excitement and fill seats, Narduzzi certainly has something to say about this, or should. Most coaches would be throwing a fit.

      Liked by 1 person

Comments are closed.