MMQB: Win Over Rhode Island

Pitt 45 – RI 24

This might be delayed a bit but here goes. As I stated in a comment on another thread I’m still not sure what to think about the talent and depth (and coaching) on this 2022 squad.

I like the 3-1 record and what RB Israel (Izzy) Abanikanda has been able to do running the football. You just cannot argue against a 5.8 yards per carry average on the season. Is that the OL playing better? I think that is part of it. The quality of competition might have a bit to do with it also. But the bottom line is that he’s a solid and productive performer who will contribute a lot to our chances of winning games.

As to the game many POVers are saying the same thing – that we beat the Rams with our second and third string kids in the second have of play. Did we? I keep looking back at that play that ended at 4:22 in the late 3rd quarter when we got stuffed at the RI four yard line to turn the ball over on downs. We had Slovis and other first string guys with some second stringers also – Daniel Carter, the Pitt FB who carried on that last play, is a first starting FB…

Look, we out played them as it should be and won the game as it should be. We looked better against the RI Rams than we have against our other ’22 opponents. But what we’ll see in ACC play are not teams that have to leave their first string guys in for the whole game, no matter how beat up and tired they may be.

We’ll see talented two-deeps who can substitute and still compete. Pitt also has a talented two-deep and we’ll compete in every game, I’m sure of that. My worry is that the talent we have seem so far might not get us through the ACC schedule as we won game after game last season (almost).

I like QB Kedon Slovis, but I don’t think he’s the type of QB who is going to take over an offense and bend defenses to his will as we saw in Pickett. I know – who is right? But I just do not like an offense where we have to rely on a run game that is as basic as Cignetti wants it to be.

Which raises the question of if by chance we can’t sustain a run game to get what we need to win can we turn to the passing game to make up for that? Not if he keeps throwing only two TDs in what? – 10 quarters of play? We can say it isn’t needed if we are scoring on the ground. Let’s hope that is the case.

We beat RI and got our third win and a single loss. 3-1 going into the meat of the season aint bad and gives us a pretty firm footing going forward. The questions i raise above will be answered as games are played and things unfold. I’m hoping the answer to those question will fall on the positive side of the equation.

Here are the team’s national rankings as of the close of the four ‘opening’ games. Decent ranks but I can’t help but think that after playing WMU and RI we’d be better than 97th in Red Zone offense. However, what is worse is our Red Zone defense coming in at 113th. These are critical areas of play and where the OL really has to assert dominance and get the RBs space through the line. We are not doing that in the Red Zone and our 44% conversion rate on 3rd downs shows that as a problem also.

Our defense has done well also – not perfect but it might be the key aspect of our rest of season. Don’t like giving up 223 passing yards per game but I think we’ll win close games on big defense sacking the opponent QBs and pulling down more INTs.

Here is a link to all the NCAA FBS rankings that has much more statistical info.


73 thoughts on “MMQB: Win Over Rhode Island

  1. Thanks for the post. We are learning as the season goes on.

    Here is my question—where is the Pope in the student section? I have not seen him in the coverage of any of the games? He was the coolest thing last year (IMO). If he graduated, shouldn’t the “Cadinals” in the student section have chosen a new Pope?


    Liked by 7 people

    1. I saw the Pope in at least one game this season.

      He may be on the injured reserve list with the others…

      We need him back for the ACC title run.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I think another ‘issue’ with the offense – is that we have a new OC which leads to new terminology, new blocking schemes and new pass routes. Look at how Armstrong is struggling at UVA, we should expect the same from our offense.


  3. You are partially right for the last game. As far as looking at the team, I thought we played well in the WVU and Tenn games in spots. For instance, the offense I thought played well in the WVU game, but the defense was suspect. In the Tenn game, special teams let us down with 2 missed FG which turned into the difference in winning or losing. The D played extremely well in the Tenn second half. I thought the O would have been better in that game had Slovis been able to finish. In the WMU and RI game, we were hampered with injuries. From my perspective, we have a lot of talent if we can keep them all on the field at one time. Once we do, and ACC championship is definitely possible.


  4. Kickoff Time for Oct. 8 Pitt-Virginia Tech Game Announced

    PITTSBURGH—The Atlantic Coast Conference announced that Pitt’s October 8 game against Virginia Tech at Acrisure Stadium will kick off at 3:30 p.m., and be televised by ACC Network.

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

    Oct. 1: Georgia Tech* (ACC Network), 8 p.m.

    Oct. 8: Virginia Tech* (ACC Network), 3:30 p.m.

    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

    Liked by 2 people

  5. The only context I would add to that write up is that injuries have played a big part in the game plan the last two games … and in reality the last 2.5 games.

    WVU: First game with a new OC and QB. I think it’s safe to assume that Pitt didn’t show all its cards. Not a vanilla game plan per se but a scaled down one. OC and QB had to figure each other out and I think you saw that chemistry build a little in the second game.

    TN: Pitt showed how explosive the offense could be but that was shut down with Slovis going out and Patti getting hurt almost immediately upon replacement. Pitt obviously took a very cautious approach to the next two games.

    Both these games also put a spotlight, rightfully so, on the OL. These two games also emphasized how much of a pocket passer Slovis is. He is pass first, create later.

    WMU: 3rd/4th string QB … just go on the road and get a win the old fashioned way.

    Rhode Island: Let’s get as many people as possible reps and avoid injury (Bart didn’t get the message) …

    Neither of these games really can be dissected too much … by us fans or our future opponents.

    Win the games: Check
    Avoid injuries: C’mon Bart
    Get live game reps in: Check

    Regarding the 2nd and 3rd and 4th stringers … Pitt played a lot more players than they have been. The discussion hasn’t been that RI played against a complete backup squad from Pitt. It’s been that Pitt was rotating in a lot of guys who don’t have a lot of experience and are buried on the depth chart. So, yes, there were starters out there. Especially on offense.

    They decided to let Slovis stay in. Duzz said there was a discussion around removing him but Cignetti wanted him to play. On offense Pitt, with Slovis in Pitt played a more traditional lineup.

    On defense is where you really saw the heavy rotation of players … and mistakes.

    I do agree, we have no idea what this team is. We’ve had a first game, an injury riddled game, and two back to fundamentals games.

    Hopefully the OL figured out the run blocking and play action will start to take some heat off of Slovis. That’s where the last two games may really start to show their importance as the season progresses.

    But … who knows. Our only loss is an OT loss with an injured backup QB to a top 10 team. Pitt has been ranked in 11 straight polls. Pitt is 3-1 (where most expected). So there is that.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. “Hopefully the OL figured out the run blocking. . . .”

      That cracked me up. The OL linemen have played together for five years. You think they might have figured that out by now ?? Maybe ?


  6. This Pitt season is a pretty good case study on the idea that results do not necessarily reflect the underlying performance. In a vacuum, I feel like the team is underperforming expectations in terms of quality of play. At the same time, I think they will outperform the expectations I had for them record-wise.
    I figured Pitt would drop 3 games (Tennessee, Miami, and either UNC or UVa) but would display solid o-line play and a pash rush that was among the nation’s best. As it turns out, the O-line hasn’t lived up to its billing and the defensive line has fallen far from its standard of the previous couple of years. That’s confusing, because as far as I can tell, it’s the same system and generally the same guys. Yes, they’re missing some people, but the rush had trouble getting home even before the injuries mounted. If they had generated more consistent pressure in that game, Pitt would be undefeated today, even after fielding a gimpy backup QB for a half.
    Even though Pitt hasn’t looked at cohesive on either side of the ball as I hoped, I think their prospects of going 10-2 or possibly even 11-1 are brighter than they were at the start of the season. Pitt can always find a way to lose Miami, but the Canes are certainly vulnerable and look more primed for the taking than they did a few weeks ago. Syracuse seems a lot more challenging than expected, but UNC and UVa (which I incorrectly saw as a dark horse) are looking less dangerous than before and Louisville is a mixed bag.
    At this point, anything worse than a two-loss season will be a disappointment and 11-1 is a real possibility. Do I think this is a “true” 11-1 team? No, but in the context of this season and the 2022 ACC Coastal Division, it’s not outrageous to suggest Pitt could be one. They haven’t played a remote clean offensive game yet (or on special teams) and have enjoyed relatively little time for a new offensive coordinator, QB, and receivers to gel. They should get better as the year goes along, and if they do, they’ll playing for the ACC title again.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. The bottom line is this:

    On offense Pitt telegraphed exactly what it was going to do, and then it did it. Ran right down URI’s throat. To the tune of 277 yards I might add. That is what you want out of an FBS team playing an FCS team. Box checked.

    Pitt could have worked on the deep passing game. They chose not to. I would guess that was to keep slovis healthy while still getting him some work, some in-game reps, etc. Maybe Cignetti just thought he needed to pracice his sideways throwing? IDK.

    On defense – I agree with you on the D-Line ulterior. They aren’t getting home. Not in the least bit. Yes they are getting held a bit, but it’s not like they weren’t getting held in previous seasons.

    The linebackers are a borderline disaster. Relatively speaking. Bangally Kamara is going to cost us a touchdown a game – at minimum – unless they make him a situational pass rusher and/or find a way to fix continuous blowing-of-assignments.

    The DB’s aren’t bad, all things considered. Hill has been quiet. Hallet has exceeded expectations. Woods is hit and miss, but Devonshire for the most part has been pretty good.

    I don’t see this team winning 10. My call at this season is closer to eight, because mistakes will continue to be made. But I also agree that there is room for improvement. The good news is that we have two relatively winnable ACC Games and then a bye. Will Pitt clean things up by midseaon…we can hope.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The general opinion is that Pitt lost a lot without having Addison and Pickett on the team this year. As it turns out, the most impactful loss so far has been Cam Bright. Three out of the four games Pitt has given up more than 5 yards per carry, including the Rhode Island game.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I agree about the potential for several losses going forward if the walking wounded don’t get back quickly and play more effectively. There are too many gaps on our D to make up for if the Pitt DL and LB’s don’t end up putting more pressure on the opposition QB IMO.


  9. The three game stretch of Louisville
    away, UNC away and Cuse home will tell the story. L Ville has a ton of speed and athleticism on offense and I think will be our biggest challenge !


  10. Pitt women’s volleyball remains at #10 in AVCA poll. Pitt was not that impressive in their two wins this weekend, especially in the North Carolina State match. Pitt needs to play more consistent but as long as they keep winning, they will gradually move up in the polls.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Thanks for the MMQB summary, Reed. Good seeing you again Saturday.

    Now that our out of conference games are behind us, have we changed anyones mind on the wisdom of the strength of our OOC opponents? As I sat in Acrisure Stadium Saturday, you couldn’t help but notice the place was no more than half full. The announced attendance was almost 55,000. Clearly that had to be counting season ticket holders who were not in attendance.

    If you are the AD, a game like that is likely a big financial hit. You pay your opponent to show up, maybe $1M? You accept a very weak attendance number. Maybe you settle for a lower TV payout (I’m just speculating). Hopefully you don’t invite any recruits to see that. For sure you win no favors with your season ticket purchasers. For me, that game is like stealing money from my pocket. Almost no entertainment value while forcing you to buy that ticket.

    I recall seeing some folks on here suggesting we schedule three of those games and a relatively weak P5 team each year to pad our won-loss record. I can somewhat understand that thinking if you can show that all of your competitors are doing the same thing. I haven’t researched it, but I doubt that is the case. But seriously, would anyone buy season tickets if you had to sit through those games to watch 3 or 4 legitimately competitive games? I say “no way”.


    1. Wolfe – I wonder how many of those folks advocating the creampuff OOC actually attend most or all home games. Those who go want to see good matchups. Im OK with having a URI game, but lets do that on Labor Day weekend and give ourselves a chance to tune up for the WVUs and Vols.


      1. Good points, Joe. I think I’m as big a Pitt fan as any. But in my view, if you are a true sports fan, you want to see every contest come down to the wire. And, yes, you will lose a few of those. You know, the thrill of victory and agony of defeat thing.

        Anyone remember beating Kent State at home on November 21, 1987? We whupped those suckers, 28-5! Yeah, I don’t either.

        Anyone remember the week before that? You bet your dupa you do. As Penn State was marching down the field in the final minute for the tying field goal or winning TD, Billy Owens steps in front of a pass for a 70 yard pick-six. You see it in your sleep. That pileup with Gottfried, cheerleaders, players on top of Billy. THAT is why you buy season tickets! If I had my druthers, that’s the way every game would end.

        Liked by 4 people

        1. I was there for that game. One of the greatest celebrations of Pitt lore I’ve ever witnessed. I was going thru a divorce and custody battle at the time which made it even sweeter!

          Liked by 1 person

  12. Reed – thanks for the MMQB!

    Not enough data points yet for me with the rankings for me. We play WVU and Tenn, while other schools are playing Little Sisters of NW Mississippi.

    Folks want to complain about the Cignetti offensive scheme. I think its just fine – we don’t need to go RPO/uptempo to be successful. In the ACC, a pro style offense is just fine if one has a good defense – which we have had the past few years and can reasonably expect this year if the injury bug goes away.

    Im less convinced the play calling thus far has revealed what Cignetti wants to do than what he feels he needs to do at this time.

    The new WRs are not showing him – or us – that they can be counted on yet for long vertical passes. Balls bouncing out of Means’ hands in the middle of the field is more likely to result in a turnover than a big play based on what we’ve seen. He needs to catch some more balls (and some difficult ones) before I’d be comfortable trusing he can go up and fight for a ball successfully downfield. Mumpfield has to show he can pull them in.

    If those two guys start showing that on the short and intermediate routes – and Wayne gets back – I believe we will see them target downfield more. Guessing we won’t see him until next week

    Regarding the higher talent level in the ACC – not sure the teams in the Coastal are better than Tenn and WVU. Rodney Hammond OK against the Eers and Abanikanda did just fine against the Vols.

    I think we will be fine the next couple weeks if we get some of the guys back. But we need those two wideouts to show up.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. We were ranked #24 on Friday. We win by 3 TD’s the 3 teams ahead of us all lose. Monday we’re still at #24. 🤬


  13. Agree with JoeL’s post above. I guess I was expecting too much from Mumpfield. He is only a Soph and has one year of experience in the MAC. But he looks like he should be our most dangerous WR. He’s been disappointing so far, but he could pick it up as the season progresses…

    Coach Cig has a reputation for getting the ball into the hands of his playmakers. He’s done that with Izzy and Hammond; he hasn’t done it with Bartholomew and Mumpfield.

    I do expect Kamara and DeShields to improve as the season goes on – they just look like such excellent athletes.

    Someone mentioned how quiet Hill has been – we need him to start making plays too…

    I expect a couple more losses. Just shows how valuable it is to have a QB who can run. I think Pitt needs that type of QB to be able to overcome the inevitable mistakes and win 10 or more games. It’s why I’m excited to see the development of the next “Kenny” — Kenny Minchey…

    Go Pitt.


  14. On the onside kick. A commenter said that it was payback for roughing out kicker on the extra point. Could be….


  15. We’ll, I feel that this is a talented team of good kids. Whether that translates to a big season or not depends on the little things, INTs FGs and coaching play calls and decisions…and such.

    Also, that depends on how well the other team does those all things because the game ain’t played in a vacuum.

    Last season Pickett was the driving force behind the offense as defenses had to account for his accuracy and ability to find time to look at his 2nd and 3rd progressions.

    He could drop back and take off and his RPO decisions were born out of his four earlier years playing at this level.

    So either he killed you with 1st downs passing, running himself or giving the ball to a RB who the defense forgot about because they had to worry about everything Pickett could do.

    I just think we do not have anything or anyone close to that sort of impact.

    Pitt has always had to have one outstanding offensive superstar to bring home double digit or 9 wins. Dorsett, Marino, Fitz, Dion Lewis, Shady, Pickett and others.

    Izzy has played well but I don’t think he’ll sustain this current level to be that superstar deciding factor.


  16. September 26, 2022

    Pat Narduzzi Press Conference

    Georgia Tech Week


    COACH NARDUZZI: Going into week five already. The season flies. Excited to really get into ACC play. Finished up a good weekend. When you go back, watch the tape, a lot of positives on the tape — and really all three phases of the game — there’s always things you want to clean up. I think offensively we had 11 explosive gains and defensively we only gave up three, but like three too many.

    I mean, as I told the defense, you like to have 15 or 20 on offense. But really the last three weeks, I think the first week our defense gave up five explosives against West Virginia, and then the last three weeks it’s been three explosives. Our goal is to keep it under four, I believe, four or five. So good job there.

    But just anytime you get a 63-yard run that just drives me nuts because we’re built to stop that and shouldn’t have a problem with that. But just details around the defense there.

    So but again a lot of good things. We had 27 guys play on defense. I think it’s the most we’ve had for the year. It wasn’t just in the last series of the game which was a 96-yard, 17, whatever, play drive. And 24 guys on offense. We got a lot of guys work that we could take a peek at on videotape I think is good.

    And again, ACC play, that’s what it all comes down to. We closed the chapter on last week’s game and we’re headed into Georgia Tech. And they’re coming in here at 8 o’clock on Saturday night.

    Sounds like new leadership down there. And again, my thoughts go out. It’s never easy. Geoff Collins is a great guy. I know you guys talk about the handshake, probably, but he’s a good dude. He was mad at the officials. He’s intense. He’s a really good football coach.

    You never like to see that happen to anybody, I don’t care who it is, what their record is. He’s got a family. You look at, he’s done a nice job down there in the time he’s been here. We were hoping he was going to get up to Pittsburgh at least once and come to Acrisure Stadium.

    I don’t know who the interim will be. I know Chip Long and Andrew Thacker run the offense and defense and those will be the main things. And we’ll proceed as normal.

    Q. How does a team, an opponent losing their head coach the week before you play, how does that change the level of preparation and things you look for when they might be rolling out a lot of different stuff or a new interim coach you don’t even know who it is?

    COACH NARDUZZI: Changes a lot of things. We don’t know. It’s like going back to opening game of the season again, not knowing what they’re going to do. But again I would imagine the offense is going to stay pretty similar. The defense is going to stay pretty similar with the effect that they had.

    But you never know. There’s going to be different things that maybe they’re allowed to do that they couldn’t do before. So you really don’t know. And I’ve never been in that situation. So I don’t know what the preparation will be like. I don’t know their kids. I don’t know where the focus will be.

    But we’re going to prepare for our first ACC game like we’ve got Clemson walking in the door. And it doesn’t matter who the head coach is. They have a lot of good talent, talent level pretty good. They’ve got a lot of good skill guys at all positions.

    Q. Twenty-seven guys on defense, Saturday; 24 on offense. Who are some of the rotational younger guys who stood out to you on film?

    COACH NARDUZZI: I start off, Branson Taylor getting a lot of, he had 40 snaps I believe at left tackle. He’s what we thought he was going to be. And he got out there in the action and played really well. And he’ll continue to — we’ve got to get him in the rotation, keep guys fresh. We were happy to see what he did.

    Going into the defensive line, to watch Sean FitzSimmons, everybody sees the sack, but how did he do on the other plays? That’s the key. But he was good in there. He holds own, he he’s tough, he uses leverage and uses his hands well. He’s a competitor. He’s a Pittsburgh guy. Good to see him do that.

    The younger guys in the secondary did okay. I was not impressed with some of the things that happened back there, to be honest with you with some of the young guys that came in there. They’re green. And they need more work. At least at the corner position. McIntyre was good. He got more reps on the hash. That’s Javon.

    Offensively — who else? I think that’s about it. Gavin Thomson came in, got a nice catch. So it’s good to just see him in game time. Get a catch, okay, we can count on him. He’s not going to catch it in practice and drop it in the game. Those are a couple that stand out to me.

    Q. You have to clean up the inconsistencies in the deep passing game?

    COACH NARDUZZI: Just again, you go back, watch the videotape. I’m not going to whine about them. But they’ve got to call penalties both ways. But it’s inconsistency. Big thing I’ll go back to is three big passes or three big plays in the game.

    And anytime you hold a team — we won’t lose a game if we hold a team to three big plays a game. We won’t. And so we can say the inconsistency. I don’t like the PIs that we got. One is probably a good call. One you don’t agree with. But that’s the nature of the game.

    And there’s some on us. If you’re going to call them on us you better call it on the other team as well. There’s things like that. But I’m not really worried about it. I’m just looking for better technique across the board at every position. Like I said, three explosives, not bad.

    Q. What about your deep passing game?

    COACH NARDUZZI: They took some things away. We’re throwing the check-down for 18 yards. It’s all decision-making. If you want us to force it up — and you guys might ask about interceptions next Sunday — Monday. So I mean, you take what they give you.

    Slovis is making good decisions in the passing game. If they’re playing deep — they didn’t want to get beat deep. Does that make sense? They didn’t want to give up — what were they doing? Playing different coverages and in turn we rushed for a few yards.

    Unlike what last week we saw out of Western Michigan. So we’re going to take — it’s called good decision-making. I’m glad Kedon is not out there trying to force a post or fade into coverage and throwing picks. Protect the football is a priority.

    And when you’ve got Izzy on a check-down over here, throw it. There’s a couple he missed here and there but for the most part — he missed a slant to Bub down inside the goal line, which we ended up kicking a field goal. It was one of those drives.

    But take what they’re giving you. It will be different every week. It depends on what they’re going to do.

    Against us, we’re going to stop the run. If we’re playing in a scrimmage today at practice we’re going to the run and he’ll have more explosives in the passing game. But don’t throw it into coverage. Be careful what you wish for.

    Q. When Gavin went down, Karter went in. Looked like he was at a lot of key points of attack for some big runs that you guys had, especially late. Now that you’ve had time to look back over the game what did you see that he was doing right for you guys?

    COACH NARDUZZI: Karter, he’s a great football player. I think we talked about it back in camp. You saw it after a couple of days. He’s tough. He’s got a great motor. And we’re happy he’s with us.

    Kyi played solid as well. As a matter of fact had a nice block down when Karter Johnson caught the one pass, he had a nice block down the field and was finishing.

    We hope to get Dylan Deveney back ready to roll eventually. And again getting that other tight end that’s probably not on the two-deep, I don’t know if he is—E.J., you like to change that thing around—is Jacoby. He’s done a nice job with the tight end spot as well.

    Q. With all the injuries you’ve had, how big is it for someone like Izzy to step in and take on more of a workload in the early part of the season?

    COACH NARDUZZI: Again is he taking on more or taking on the same? I don’t know. We’re going to hand it off to him. If we can run the ball we’re going to try to run the ball. If they pack the box, then we’re going to try to throw it as much as we can.

    So it all depends. I think we’ve got the ability to throw it, run it. To me it’s not like we’re saying, “Oh, Izzy, we need you more than ever. Because again Vince goes in there, he’s productive. Put C’Bo in there, he’s productive. It’s a tribute to our offensive line when they do it. You put the game tape on and watch it, it’s like, we’re doing some good things. We still miss some things, there’s some things we can still get better at that we’re doing some good things offensively in the run game.

    Q. How impressed are you that players can just kind of step in on the offensive line and not really miss a beat especially with that running game?

    COACH NARDUZZI: Like Jake Kradel has done a nice job in there. And then you saw Gabe Houy, No. 57 back a little bit. A little holding call here. And again I bet I think he got 15 plays and I don’t think he had 15 plays in practice last week. We wanted to give him a three-play set or five maximum and get him out just to make sure we get his feet wet and get him out, make sure he feels comfortable. But he’ll continue to get more and more reps here. But the offensive line has been good. And Gabe has not gotten many reps coming back from the injury in the bowl game but he’s back, ready to roll, and helping us out as well. We’re excited about that opportunity. But the O-line has done a great job.

    Q. The situation at quarterback over all four games, has it been tough to get a feel for what the identity of this offense is, kind of figure out what you guys can do, just because you played a game and a half without your starter?

    COACH NARDUZZI: I think you saw in the Tennessee game, and in the West Virginia game what Kedon can do, at least for six quarters, I guess, until he got hit. So I think you can see what he can do in the passing game. And then he takes a week off. I think we already got an idea he can throw the football and he’s accurate and all those things.

    So what is the identity? The identity is what’s someone giving you, I think. We’ll see as the season goes on. But I think we can throw the football. We can run the football. I think we can do whatever we want to do based on what they’re going to give you.

    Q. On Saturday you said your team didn’t have the emotion you think they needed to come with every Saturday. What do you think was the reason for that? And do you think that problem is solved now that they’re in ACC competition?

    COACH NARDUZZI: Yeah, I think so. Like I said, you’re dealing with a bunch of 17, 18, 19 — maybe I’m dead wrong too. I’m not a mind reader. I’m not in their heads. It’s just something you get as a feel sometimes. And sometimes I’ve said it in the past before the game are they ready or not and you don’t know and they go out and just kill it. I think a full stadium has something to do with it at times. I think it hurt us a year ago against Western Michigan. Who wanted to come see Western Michigan play or come see the Rhode Island game, three home games in a row here on the slate. They’ll be showing up certainly for Georgia Tech game I think an ACC 8 o’clock game. But I think that has something to do with it. Who knows.

    I mean, you don’t know. I’m just guessing, but I know players love to play in front of big crowds. They want to go play and again our fans can certainly help us Saturday night for sure.

    Q. How do you think your team has dealt with injury adversity the first few games?

    COACH NARDUZZI: Every week it’s something different. Something different. I think they’ve done a nice job. I really have. Forget the quarterback situation. We’ve talked enough about that in the past whether it was Nick or Nate. But just different positions.

    I mean, the defensive end, four of our five guys didn’t play Saturday. Four of the top five guys, speaking of injury. I tell you I was going to give you a heads-up if somebody is out indefinitely or out for the season. We’ve got two, Nate Temple out for the year and so is Rashad Battle. We hate to lose any of those guys. Rashad was really No. 4 corner, No. 3 corner, backup role. Big, tall, great matchup for big tall guys this weekend.

    Nate Temple playing a lot of football as well, not only on defense but special teams, guy running down on kickoff and kickoff return and punt return team as well. Those are two guys that we won’t see back this season, just for your knowledge.

    Q. In a weird way, was what happened with the quarterbacks a blessing in disguise given what you’ve been able to find offensively?

    COACH NARDUZZI: You’re talking about running the ball?

    Q. Yes. The injuries, the quarterbacks help get this running game —

    COACH NARDUZZI: It really has. If Kenny is back there who knows if we run it at all. But it certainly has. We’ve got to rely on that. Let’s go Izzy. Let’s go O-line and let’s get it done which we felt we could do going through August camp. So that has given us an identity right now. But I still think the identity is to be 50/50 and be able to throw the ball too.

    Q. Will you start to see more people in the box?

    COACH NARDUZZI: Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. We’re gonna. That’s what I said. Then we get to do other stuff. I would imagine Georgia Tech is going to load the box up for sure.

    Q. Your third down numbers are pretty comparable to where they were last year.

    COACH NARDUZZI: Offensively or defensively?

    Q. Offensively, 44 percent last year, 44 percent so far. Is that because the running game is going so good. You’re facing more third and shorts?

    COACH NARDUZZI: I think so. When you look at it. I think we’re eight for nine on third and short. I think we wore the belly out on that final one down inside the goal line. But the fullback belly I should say for people not sure what I was talking about. Not my belly. And so we kind of wore that out a little bit. But the third and short, being able to get more of those instead of third down and 12s. Certainly helps you. The other positive thing, I think, I don’t know when the last time this happened, might not be in my era here as a coach but we only had one negative play on the day offensively.

    You talk about a TFL on the run game. A sack. We had zero sacks. I think Kedon got hit once. And that’s pretty impressive. One negative play as far as run or pass situation is pretty critical. And that’s a tribute to those down and distances when you’re ahead in the sticks a little bit.

    Q. After the game, Calijah said he thought you guys played well but not great on Saturday. And he acknowledged that there were some things to clean up. To have a player like him kind of take accountability for all, how important is it to have that kind of accountability this season?

    COACH NARDUZZI: It’s big. Sometimes guys get a false sense — and they hear it from me all the time. As a matter of fact I had to apologize last night for being a grumpy winner, because it’s like they all count as one, and we should celebrate them all, to be honest with you.

    And I do a crappy job at celebrating victories sometimes because you want it to be perfect. Like I told you guys, I told our guys last night, I think you can play up here. When you don’t, it’s disappointing. But it doesn’t take from the win or what our kids did on the field. Whether you’re underhanded personnel wise or not we still want to get the same thing out of them.

    Q. You’re tied with John Michelosen for third most wins in school history. Did your dad and his coaching staff, did he ever talk about Michelosen?

    COACH NARDUZZI: He didn’t. It was so long ago. I wasn’t born — 1962. Yeah, he did coach with him. E.J. might have some stats on there. But I knew this was his first college job here with him.

    But I don’t know a whole bunch more other than that. There’s not a whole lot of stuff in the books. But I think he was a GA, maybe freshman coach as well. And then he was off to Brown.

    Q. Does it mean anything that you’ve moved up the charts?

    COACH NARDUZZI: Not really, just means I’m getting old. Getting older. Been here a long time. It depends on how long it takes — you’ve got to divide it by how many years you were there, I think. Doesn’t really matter. It’s about winning every week and going 1-0, that’s a staff thing. That’s a team, the team wins the games. We just get to watch them play on Saturday. So doesn’t really…

    Q. What has allowed Mumpfield and Means to come in and earn these roles early?

    COACH NARDUZZI: Again, we missed Jared last week. And those two guys made some plays. I like to see Konata make that one catch where he got hit. But even on that same pass, there was a route that could have been a little bit cleaner which would have kept that guy out of there.

    As a matter of fact, we didn’t get our back out of the backfield which would have kept that corner, and he could have been still running here. The tailback fell down in the backfield on that play, over Daniel Carter on it. But it could have been a little cleaner, but we’ve got to make all those catches.

    And even down in the red zone, he’s got to make that catch. But I think every week they keep getting better and better. I really do. They’re all new guys, and a new offense, learning a new offense. I think that will continue to come, and we’ll have more opportunities to get them the ball as we move forward in the ACC.

    Q. You mentioned a guy when you came to the podium who’s had a shortish stay at Georgia Tech and now he’s out of a job. At the end of your third season you guys were, what, 5-7, in ’17; is that correct?

    COACH NARDUZZI: I don’t remember.

    Q. I think you got an extension after that. Now you’re at the point where you’ve got depth, where you’re losing guys and the drop-off isn’t as dramatic. When you took the job, now that you are in year 8, are you at where you thought you’d be from a program standpoint?

    COACH NARDUZZI: Year seven you win a championship game you feel like you are, but every year is a new year, right? What you did last year doesn’t matter. I mean you can take every year as a brand new year and you lose some good players to the draft or whatever it may be; to Name Image and Likeness, whatever it is. You lose some guys and you’ve got to replace them. You never know what you can be.

    You can win a championship one year, win next year. And there’s no guarantee in the business. The key is consistency in this room and our players getting the same information in coaching the heck out of them and loving the heck out of our football team. I think that’s what we do. And we’ve got a good group that sits in here every day to coach, and I think that’s key. I don’t know if I answered your question.

    Q. You mentioned last year, this is your first ACC game and you’re the only team defending champion in the conference. Does that come up at all this week, that you’re defending? Do you feel you’re defending something?

    COACH NARDUZZI: No, not at all. They can’t take it from us, can they? That trophy will be sitting out there. I think we talked about it in August sometime, early September. We’re not defending — we were the champions. That’s over with.

    It’s 2022. And we’re going to try to go repeat. I think our kids are excited about getting into ACC play. I felt a different vibe in here instead of talking about Rhode Island or how good they are. It gets real now, I think. I think our kids will be excited about that.

    Q. Why do you onside kick at that point against Rhode Island?

    COACH NARDUZZI: That’s a great question. Why? This is the second time we’ve had it this year, correct? Okay. We kicked off from the 50, right? Again, it’s just like what do you lose? It’s called practice. It’s just like, I told our guys last night, get that kick in there. Getting — we weren’t trying to score any points. We were just going to run the ball anyway, run the clock out. It wasn’t a matter of trying to run the score up on my alma mater. But it was just a matter of getting practice. There’s different things we got in, we want to work them.

    To me we get to see a run play, I told our guys last night, we can run this run play or this defensive coverage in front. We get to see it every day in practice and we get to see it in a game. There’s things you work in practice every day and — sometimes you work them, and as a matter of fact, put it that way, we’ve not been in our goal line defense yet this season.

    I don’t want to put it in versus an 11-person or three wideouts, but haven’t been working goal line defense the entire season. We don’t have any opportunity to get any work at it. We may get some this week but we get no opportunity to put it on tape and coach off of it because you learn from those.

    It’s in a game where we would never have done that if we did it from our own 35, ever. But we got the ball at the 50, you don’t lose much. And it’s just one of those things that you have to do to put it on tape.

    And same thing, it was great. Do I want to get them kick an onside kick and have an opportunity to get it. But it’s great to get that on film and you go, ‘I trust Bub Means to catch that.’ That guy, it’s all in his hands, can he catch it or is he going to go —

    Not only do we have confidence as coaches that, hey, when we put our hands team out there and we have the guys on there. Then the guys — everybody on their side made their blocks but Karter Johnson, kind of slid off, he’s gotta maintain it.

    But all those things can be coached off of real game tape instead of practice and never knowing is it going to work or not. So those are critical things that we can get on tape early because it could win you or lose you a game later on this season when they really, really count. Because these four games didn’t count yet. They don’t count. We’re 0-0 right now going into the ACC playing, and there’s things we still want to get on tape.

    Q. Kedon said after the game that he’s played with a lot of running backs that can burst out for 20 yards but not have that second-level speed like Izzy does. How unique is that speed or ability?

    COACH NARDUZZI: He’s unique. Le’Veon Bell was one of the best I’ve been around at Michigan State, and he didn’t have that burst that he’s got. Four of his five touchdowns I’m not sure he got touched. He might have got tagged. But there was nobody in position — it’s not like he was breaking all these tackles.

    That’s a tribute to the offensive line. When you watch it, the music up front with the O-line and how Daniel Carter is fitting in there and cleaning stuff up. I mean, it’s some good stuff. And I haven’t seen it for a while, a run game look like that.

    Izzy is special. Like I said, Vince is special. Those guys got in there, too. Again when you sit there and say Vince looks real good and C’Bo looks good and we know Rodney Hammond has looked good and he’ll look good in the future. When that’s the case, you’re also looking at your offensive line is pretty good too, and they’re doing a good job.

    Q. When you took the job, some of us have been in here a while, and you were one of many guys that have been through the door in the last four or five years before you got here. And you’re here, do you have an appreciation for reaching this point in your career where you kind of brought stability to this program?

    COACH NARDUZZI: No question about it. You’re the head coach at Pitt. You take pride in what you’re doing. This is my job. My job is to come in here, rebuild it. Create some stability as the head football coach here and win football games.

    And that’s what we try to do every week, go out and try to be 1-0. And you take pride. That’s what you got hired to do. It’s what Chancellor Gallagher and everybody did, Randy Juhl, when they hired me back in 2015, is to come do that. That’s what your job is. When you accomplish your job — and again that was last year — you know, it’s satisfying. That’s what you work for. That’s what our kids work for.

    We all have the same goal in here. It’s not just a head coach. It’s the staff, we all work together on the whole thing. It’s all of us — it’s we, we, and we all do it together. This guy can’t do anything by himself. It’s everybody. There’s no question you appreciate the effort these guys put in to get what we, we, want.

    Q. Years from now, should the record book say, Pat Narduzzi and 8,000 other people, 110 wins.

    COACH NARDUZZI: That’s a good idea. I mean, ultimately I get all the whatever. E.J. probably won’t get that down in the record books or whatever it is. But again we know what it is. I hadn’t made one tackle one catch, all I do is help every day try to do the best I can do. And that’s the truth. Fact. Right? Just try to lead.

    FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports


  17. #24/24 PITT (3-1, 0-0 ACC) vs. GEORGIA TECH (1-3, 0-1 ACC): Complete Game Release Link

    October 1, 2022 • 8 p.m. (ET)

    Acrisure Stadium (68,400/Natural Grass) • Pittsburgh, Pa.

    ACC Network • 93.7 The Fan • Pitt Panthers Radio Network • @Pitt_FB


    √ Pitt opens ACC play with Coastal Division foe Georgia Tech. The Panthers will host the Yellow Jackets for the first time since 2018. Pitt visited Atlanta each of the past three seasons.

    √ Pitt has won four consecutive games against Georgia Tech, including a 52-21 decision last season. Pat Narduzzi is 6-1 against the Yellow Jackets, the lone loss coming on the road in 2017.

    √ Since 2015, Pat Narduzzi has directed Pitt to 36 victories in ACC play, the third-highest win total during that span. The Panthers trail only Clemson (54) and Miami (37).

    √ Pitt’s 45-24 win over Rhode Island marked the 56th victory of Pat Narduzzi’s Pitt head coaching career, tying him for third all-time with John Michelosen, who coached the Panthers from 1955-65.

    √ Israel Abanikanda has rushed for more than 100 yards in each of the past three games, including a 177-yard, four-touchdown effort in the Panthers’ win over Rhode Island.

    √ Abanikanda ranks second nationally in all-purpose yards (180.25 avg.) and sixth in rushing yards (119.8 avg.). He leads the ACC in both of those categories.

    √ Safety Erick Hallett II is the only FBS player to date with two interceptions and two fumble recoveries.

    √ The Panthers are averaging 35:18 in possession time this season. That average leads the ACC and ranks fifth nationally.

    √ After giving up a season-high 190 rushing yards in the West Virginia opener, Pitt has held each of its last three opponents to less than 100 yards on the ground (68.0 yards per game).


    Television • ACC Network

    Wes Durham (play-by-play)

    Roddy Jones (analyst)

    Taylor Davis (reporter)

    Pitt Radio • 93.7 The Fan & Pitt Panthers Radio Network

    Bill Hillgrove (play-by-play)

    Pat Bostick (analyst)

    Larry Richert and Dorin Dickerson (reporters)

    SiriusXM Satellite Radio

    Go to for this week’s channel assignments.

    WPTS Radio (Pitt Student Station) • 92.1 FM

    Online Audio


  18. ​​ ​

    ​​​​September 26, 2022​

    Pitt’s Abanikanda Earns Second ACC Running Back of the Week Accolade

    PITTSBURGH—Pitt’s Israel Abanikanda, who compiled nearly 200 scrimmage yards in the Panthers’ 45-24 victory over Rhode Island this past Saturday, has been named the ACC Running Back of the Week for the second time this season.

    Abanikanda rushed for career highs of 177 yards and four touchdowns on 19 carries—an impressive 9.3 average. His touchdowns covered 67, 12, 24 and 13 yards. Abanikanda added a 19-yard reception for a total of 196 yards from scrimmage and 245 all-purpose yards against the Rams.

    He previously earned the ACC’s weekly running back honor following a 154-yard performance against Tennessee (Sept. 10).

    Abanikanda (Brooklyn, N.Y./Abraham Lincoln) has now rushed for more than 100 yards in three consecutive games, the first time a Pitt player has accomplished that feat since Darrin Hall in 2017. Abanikanda’s four rushing TDs against URI are Pitt’s most since Hall also had four against North Carolina during the 2017 season.

    On the year, Abanikanda is posting national-caliber numbers. Through four contests, the junior has rushed for 479 yards and six touchdowns on 83 carries (5.8 avg.).

    He boasts top-10 national rankings in all-purpose yards (second, 180.25 avg.), rushing yards (sixth, 119.8 avg.), total touchdowns (fifth, seven total), rushing TDs (seventh, six total) and scoring (10th, 10.5 avg.).

    He leads the ACC in all-purpose yards, rushing yards, rushing yards per game and total touchdowns.

    Abanikanda has three ACC weekly honors for his career. In addition to his two running back awards, he was named the ACC Specialist of the Week after he had a 98-yard kickoff return TD in a victory over Virginia last year.

    Pitt has had an ACC Player of the Week following each game this season. In addition to Abanikanda’s two honors, cornerback M.J. Devonshire (West Virginia) and quarterback Nate Yarnell (Western Michigan) were also recognized.

    Ranked No. 24 in both major polls this week, the Panthers open ACC play by hosting Georgia Tech this Saturday, October 1, at Acrisure Stadium. The ACC Network telecast will kick off at 8 p.m.

    For tickets, call 800-643-PITT (7488) or online at

    Liked by 1 person

  19. —Seems to me that Duzz continues to do a better job at press conferences…

    —Liked him saying he apologized for being a “grumpy winner.”

    —I did not realize that Branson Taylor played 40 snaps at LT against RI. I find that encouraging.

    —Duzz seems to talk like defenses will either stack the box or drop into pass coverage – and one or the other will be their approach for the game. Of course the defense can change play to play and the key is does the QB recognize the defense before and during each play…

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 2 people

  20. JoeL I certainly agree with what you are saying regarding wanting to see quality games and it really is too bad that our fan base isn’t strong enough to show up in force for RI as they do for the big games.

    However as one who advocates for the cream puff schedule my opinion has always been the concern for physical deterioration potentially caused by these types of games, along with the impact on the win loss record.

    We have never seen this level of injury this early in the season. When you play bigger stronger kids this is definitely possible if not probable. We will soon run out of the extra Covid Era players, so less reliable depth.

    The team that is healthiest at the end of the year usually comes out on top.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I also understand why Heather wants/needs to schedule these types of games, the financial pressure must be enormous. As JoeL points out donors want to see them as well.

      There is no easy solution. Next year we play WV, Cincinnati, ND and Florida State. Don’t know which are home or away but football is a game of physical attrition, there is tremendous wear and tear on every players body during the course of a year. Players opt out of bowl games for good reason.

      I certainly do not have the answers but there are two strong sides to the problem.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. totally agree gc. For me I would love to see cupcake games eliminated for all D1 power 5 schools and rotate OOC games with other power 5 conferences…when was the last time SoCal, Auburn or Iowa state came to Heinz Field??? I loved opening with WVU and the Vols but you lose some troops- it’s war not tiddly winks…. Change the rules to equal the playing field for all. For me, no more easy peasy record padding games….I am there to see the heavy weights do battle.

        Liked by 2 people

  21. Quick sidestep to upcoming BB season from the Pitt News about rookie PG Dior Johnson:

    Get this:

    “Since he was young, Johnson has dreamed of playing in the NBA. Despite the fact that all signs point to the star guard playing just one year at Pitt, Johnson knows that he has business to take care of at the college level.

    “I’ll be real as possible with you — I am trying to get out of this place as fast as possible,” Johnson said. “But how can you do that without making that college year a great one? I can’t put my head in the pros until I make this great.”

    While the idea that Johnson is so hyper-focused on the NBA may not sit well with some fans, it’s the reality of the situation for countless first-year players of Johnson’s stature. But unlike many of his peers, Johnson feels no need to mince his words.”

    Another reason to get tired of the changes in college athletics…

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Interesting. I thought Coach Capel seemed a bit subdued in this interview.

        Is that quiet confidence or coaching weariness? I’m hoping it’s quiet confidence.

        Can’t wait to see the twins play and how well they are able to complement Big John…

        Go Pitt.


  22. One and done….high level college bb is a AAA League for the NBA….and I for one think that it stinks. Let the would be Pros play in a developmental league. The so called student athlete is nonsense….STUDENT …yeah of basketball…..classes, just get through the 1st semester and then they are eligible to finish out the year until they drop out.

    Liked by 5 people

  23. Speaking of UTenn QB Hendon Hooker, did you know that he’s 6-months older than Kenny Pickett?

    Looks like old geezer QBs is the way to go…

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. I can’t believe people want to see more Rhode Islands and Western Michigans. haha. Blows my mind. I don’t care if it’s in the best interest of the team. It’s not in the best interest of the fans. I want to be entertained. I don’t need preseason games. People get too caught up in the rankings which have been diminished by the playoff rankings. Pitt’s been ranked 11 straight weeks. They’re fine. They have a path to the top 10 and even a playoff. Emphasis on path not predictions or even expectations … but it’s all there for the taking.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I think playing teams of Western Michigan’s caliber is OK.
      I don’t care for the games against FCS teams – even if its my alma mater in 2029.


      1. I never said it’s not okay … just why would you want that? I watch sports to be entertained and these types of games diminish my entertainment. I like my sports fun.


  25. TT does that mean you were not entertained with the Pitt Western Michigan from 2021? For what its worth there were several very entertaining games this season with small schools upsetting some big names.


    1. That’s sports though. Sometimes you play down to your opponent. I would rather play up to my opponents.


  26. My one main concern with KS playing the whole game relates to the report that he’s making the wrong reads on the RPO’s through the first games and imo that is why he needed the reps

    not sure that is something you improve quickly and frankly think it is a far more natural thing for some than others so harder to develop at KS’s age

    anyone know if he has had much if any prior offense systems experience with that? was it part of what has contributed to the loss of starter’s status at USC?

    I agree with several of the posts above in this thread, gc, Reed, JoeL, MM, MM(always 🙂 (you can guess which)), and others(maybe I need to just rapid fire the “like”)….. but mainly think the main keys to Pitt’s season are injuries and Kedon’s improvement

    Kenny had TIME to develop, Kedon had and has little behind this o-line


  27. It is non sensical to play the hard games. The very top teams play 1 hard OCC game. That is, it!
    You get zero credit for playing tough OCC games.
    Pitt lost in OT to a top 10 team and moved down in the rankings. 4 and o teams moved ahead that played all weak teams.
    If playing tough OCC games was the way to go Bama and PSU would be doing it.
    Thay are not!


    1. Nonsensical? Who cares what everyone else does? Not me. I want to watch the most enjoyable games possible and those games will not include Western Michigan or Rhode Island. Schedule gerrymandering is the worst. Just play as entertaining schedule as possible.


  28. Ok let us shift gears to basketball. Can anyone name a team in top level basketball that plays a complete schedule without throwing in some warm-ups?

    For example, let me take a heavy-duty program like Kansas and see who they will play out of conference in 2022-2023: Omaha, ND State, Southern Utah, TX Southern, and Harvard.

    Yes, in conference they will face excellent competition, however, they will have time to work out whatever kinks they have in order to get ready to drive on to what they hope will be a final 4 finish. NO EXCEPTIONS exist to this kind of scheduling—some teams will play a more challenging out of conference schedule, but no team will try to go all out without throwing in some humpty dumpties. I HATE THIS PHRASE…it is what it is, but guess what? it is what
    it is.

    Liked by 2 people

  29. Kansas has 30 games (maybe 31) on their schedule for 2022/23. So, the 5 you mention is 16.67% of their schedule. Extrapolating, that would mean they should play 2 “humpty dumpties” in a 12 game football schedule. Based on your logic, a P5 team should have no more than 2 cupcakes in their OOC. QED.



    1. The point that I was making is simply that no matter what the sport is every team will play some marshmellow teams during their schedule. You can look at soccer or lacrosse, etc
      I am not advocating that our out of conference schedule include, KY, Iowa, Txas Tech and WVU every year. In fact, I would like to see Army and or Navy back on our rotation instead of WMU. The Pitt fanbase whether we like it or not is not addicted to attending all games. When you see teams like Arkanasas, Michigan State, NC State drawing 90% full stadiums to see pushovers on the schedule you have LOYALTY.

      On Saturday night (if the weather is decent) our opener against an ACC team (yeah, GTech is a mess) will probably draw 45-48,000 (real people in the seats). So, we will continue to go along with the WMU’s, Rhodies and Youngstown States until conference alignments force teams into adjusting their schedules.


  30. Scheduling is as much about “when” as it is “who”. Stupid decision to play two top tier teams back-to-back and then ASININE to make them the first two games. Inexperienced AD making horrible mistakes in 2022 and 2023 schedule.

    Back to football. Maybe I’m reading too much into the RI game but I think that the OL is starting to pick up the zone blocking schemes used by Cig, which is completely different than the blocking techniques used by Whipple. The same for the RBs who have to read the blocks and make the right cut to find the holes. With Whipple it appeared to be a more basic man-on-man blocking scheme on running plays with RBs hitting a specific hole. We’ll see once the ACC season begins.

    27 players on D is dipping 5 players into the 3rd string. That’s more than I thought. Brima and Fitz both showed up well on a number of plays. I’m convinced Pitt’s DBs are coached to NOT look back for the ball which is almost a guaranteed PI, just bad coaching. The LBs are so hit or miss this year that it’s pathetic.

    I wonder if Yarnell’s play last week convinced the coaches that they have a back-up with or without Patti so why not get Slovis back on the field and use RI as his warm-up before the ACC. He and his WRs clearly need work on timing and reading defenses.

    I think Bates is on the clock, he better figure out different blitz packages as it feels like teams have caught on to his schemes and he’s not getting free rushers to the QB anymore.


  31. Loved the first two games of the year. What better way to get prepped for ACC play? FCS games are good for playing 3rd stringers, that is about all.

    Slovis had to play against RI. He’s still adjusting to the offense. He admitted he missed calls at the line in previous games. He needs all the time in the offense as possible. If you watch the TN game. He released the ball a second or two late on the plays he got clobbered on. They show some end-zone pics, the receivers are open before he throws.

    I agree the OL is coming along. The offense should be much improved in ACC play.

    TE Johnson was a great get. Excellent blocker. He blows some people up. Hopefully he gets a chance to catch a few more.


  32. As in a lot of things I am a moderate. Unless there would be a rule change mandating an equal playing field for the OOC schedule I think the 2 P5, one mid Major and one lower level school schedule like we had this year, is the right approach, preferably starting with the smaller schools and building from there.


  33. As far as scheduling goes and who PITT plays. I would like to see PITT play top teams while winning them. Certainly no guarantees and while the goal is to go to the playoffs, one loss could ruin those chances so why schedule tough games. At the end of the day (season) being undefeated is a must for teams like PITT right now.

    Last I remember, the playoffs are going to be expanded real soon, maybe next year? Possibly this may make who you beat as much or more than just a win. I’m thinking expansion could muddy the playoff waters even further. There’s going to be a boat load of teams in that top 15 tier. This could possibly make strength of schedule a little more important. imo

    Solution, PSU and WVU should be permanently on the OOC schedule. I want PITT to be better than those teams anyway. The reformation of the ACC may work this, who you schedule problem on out.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. haha, “Real Pitt football talk. No nonsense”

      need to join the group to read there I guess, but is it really NO NONSENSE as opposed to the PFF page which is 50% utter nonsense?

      and the POV which is 99% truly NO NONSENSE 🙂


  34. When your school leaders are still afraid of becoming known as a big-time college football program over academics, the goal should be every year at finishing at worst, 3-1, in the OOC schedule. That means lots of cupcakes.

    What will transpire next season in the OOC is flat-out negligence and shame on whoever will put the team through that gauntlet. At worst, every so often when ND falls on the schedule there can be another solid P5 team.


  35. I would rather play up to my opponent than down. As a fan, I want to be entertained. I don’t want to waste 4 hours of my weekend watching Pitt play a vastly inferior opponent. And, I get Pitt lost to Western Michigan last year … that’s what happens … you play down to your opponents. Who cares when they play the OOC games? The number one goal is to win your conference. OOC does not affect that. You win your conference in the near future and you will be guaranteed a playoff birth with the 12 team format. This old model of polls and bowl games is dying. WVU and Tennessee got Pitt on national TV and a national audience. That was way more beneficial than beating WMU and RI. Play a competitive schedule. Emphasis on competitive … Pitt also has to be competitive … and they are a point in Duzz’s tenure where they are. Eat cupcakes, don’t play with them.


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