MMQB: The Natives Are Getting Restless

 monday-morning-qbI’m not sure anyone should be all that surprised at what happened on Saturday evening when the University of Louisville (UL) beat Pitt by a score of 24-10. At least I wasn’t as I predicted a very close game.  Which it was score-wise until we gave them our fourth gift of the game with a returned for TD fumble by our ex-USC QB Kedon Slovis.

It was a slow and rather boring game with the respective total yardage numbers for each team (Pitt-326; UL-312) being just about the same as Izzy’s rushing total of 320 last week against Virginia Tech. The score was 7-7 at halftime; 10-7 Pitt at the end of 3rd quarter and 17-10 UL until 3:03 left in the game.  That is when Slovis executed a hand off of the ball to a UL defensive back who took it 59 yards to the house and made the final score. Unfortunately it was UL’s house and not Pitt’s.

Not sure what to say about this game – we failed in almost every offensive aspect with the exception of one player – RB Abanikanda who gained 129 yards on 4.6 ypc average. That was about it. Slovis sucked yet again – and BTW don’t shift the blame for Slovis’ poor play on anything but his arm and lack of leadership. It isn’t because of a) concussion, b) the OL, although they play poorly also, or c) OC Cignetti’s playcalling.

I’d say a real problem with how Slovis is playing is because every time Narduzzi opens his mouth to say something like “Kedon is our QB for the rest of the season” he’s completely taken any competitive edge out of the QB equation. Look, Slovis knows he’s not getting drafted so what drives him to be better? Nothing! Because he knows he’s not in danger of being pulled!

He put up one of the most mundane stat lines I’ve seen in some time in this game; 16/29 (55%) for 158 yards Zero TDs and 1 INT for a QB rating of ….drumroll please… 94.2 which is horrid. His year to date QB rating of 127.0 puts him at 94th of the Top 100 college QBs this season.

Am important aspect of his play lately is the fact that his completion percentage is dropping and soon will be below 60% which is the bare minimum for QB success.

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Slovis just isn’t executing many plays of real worth lately. Personally, I think his inefficient play is due to a lack of self-confidence as he realizes his football career is coming to an end after four years of declining play at USC and now at Pitt. He may wake up and do well in a game or two as we finish out the season but let’s be honest here – Patti and Yarnell must be really out-of-favor not to be picked to finish the 2nd half of this last game.

To put that in perspective here are some ratings of past Pitt QBs

Huh, Stull, Voytik and Sunseri, the QBs Pitt fans love to hate, are well above Slovis’ 127.0 rating in this category – that is saying something.

You know how we have been talking on here about the things we are doing, or not doing in this case, that have lead to our three defeats?  With that here are some stats of note on how the team has stacked-up against other the other 130 FBS teams so far this season. Some of these really pop out at you – especially our Passing Efficiency: 92nd, Scoring Defense: 64th, Penalties per Game: 112th. 

Yes, penalties have cost us dearly as drive stoppers on offense and drive extenders on defense.

Saving the worse for last we have done this: Red Zone Offense; 87th and Red Zone Defense 103rd (!!) Folks, these are the signs of a confused team of players and poor coaching. Note that even with our good Time of Possession rank of 9th, the above Red Zone offense failures have negated a lot of our longer drives.

And here are Pitt’s basic rankings so far:

As to the rest of the schedule – what games can we be sure to win? At this point I’d say none. Here are the ACC standings to date:

We still have #21 North Carolina, #16 Syracuse, Virginia, Duke and Miami to play. Two of those, Duke and Miami are at their stadiums. I’m pretty sure we’ll lose our next two games against NC and SYR.  Duke is pretty good so we may drop that one also but let’s say Duke is toss-up.

Of the last three teams UV looks like a win but who in hell knows what might happen against the Hurricanes on their turf? I’ll call that Miami game a loss for an season ending record of possibly 5-7 or maybe 6-6 if we beat Duke. Either way a disappointing season record as it has been so far in my opinion.

Of course I am not the greatest predictor but I don’t see us getting more than seven wins in any case. I just don’t think the current talent and coaching is very good and our past recruiting has be sub-par. That is where we are today.


154 thoughts on “MMQB: The Natives Are Getting Restless

  1. Kickoff Time for Nov. 5 Pitt-Syracuse Game Announced

    PITTSBURGH—The Atlantic Coast Conference announced that Pitt’s November 5 game against Syracuse 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. 29: at North Carolina* (ACC Network), 8 p.m.

    Nov. 5: Syracuse* (ACC Network), 3:30 p.m.

    Nov. 12: at Virginia*

    Nov. 19: Duke*

    Nov. 26 : at Miami*

    *ACC game


  2. I have been a Pitt fan since the Johnny Majors (I) era. I started out a little spoiled. But, I think it’s fair to say that over the past 50 years Pitt football has been, on the whole, spectacularly average. There have been hints of brilliance – six 10+ win seasons – and depths of despair – thirteen 5 or fewer win seasons – but mostly just average. Some years are heartbreaking, some are downright painful. Many require heavy doses of self-administered anesthetic. This is one of the latter. For about a decade, we could always look forward to basketball season. Now, all I can say is, thank god for volleyball.

    H2P!!! TGFV

    Liked by 8 people

    1. Sadly, average is just what the administration has been OK with since letting Sherrill leave. Now with the portal and NIL, the time for Pitt to strike was when it had Jackie or hiring someone better (Jimmy Johnson) to keep the train moving from 1982-2021.

      Instead, bad to just average hires. Gottfried, Walt, Wannstedt, Narduzzi and even Chryst were decent hires. Not bad enough to have a career losing record (Paul’s staff did though), but seven wins and a bowl game somewhere to be a tad relevant.

      Every one of those coaches except for Gottfried were stubborn and refused to adjust or make changes. Narduzzi’s two most memorable Pitt teams had OCs who he battled with foolishly.


  3. In the current iteration of this team, I don’t see another win. If we lose to NC and SYR, which is as near a given as you will get, aside from a few players the team will quit and mail in the losses to end the season.

    If we change QB, then maybe we get a team rallying win or two, but not much more.

    Seats at the Ac will be yellow for sure.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Some negative thoughts. After the success of last year, you would expect the team and coaches to work hard to keep us as an up and coming program. Instead we are on a spiraling downward route to a mediocre and at best landing. The media may be wondering “What has happened to Pitt?” Recruits and existing players will rethink and certainly look at the portal. Where will that leave us?

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Waiting for a post from Annie on the volleyball victory at the Fieldhouse yesterday. That had to be an absolutely electric atmosphere. Maybe she’s still there?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I would second the request from Annie about yesterday’s experience at the Fitz. We all need something to cheer us up!


      1. Gee, I figured anyone who watched the vb game would have seen and heard the electric atmosphere in the Field House. It was not a sellout, which surprised (and disappointed) me since the Steelers didn’t play until 8 pm. There was a home women’s soccer game at the same time, so maybe students went there to support them since they were ranked too.

        I attended the game with my son, who was a setter at a small D3 college. He saw things way faster than I did, and it was nice to hear his observations on certain aspects of the game. He was impressed by the play of both teams. Funny, we were in line for the concession stand and he said it was one of the only times he felt tall at a volleyball match (he’s 6’2″, considered small for a male vb player).

        The crowd was really loud and excited, and I was surprised that it was tempered when L’ville went ahead in set 4. I was screaming because I didn’t not want them to go to set 5, especially after totally destroying them in sets 1 and 2. Our strong serving and really good passing kept L’ville out of system the first two sets, and Jeremy thought their setter (a grad transfer who plays of Spain’s National Team) was rattled. I think the Cards were not used to having such a huge block on our right side shutting down their pin hitters. Courtney Buzzerio put on a clinic on how to dominate a game. Dang, she is so good. Half the time it doesn’t even look like she is swinging hard, she just swats the ball and it hits the floor (or the face of the defender, haha).

        The crowd finally woke up again in set 5. It would have been devastating to lose in 5 sets after how we started. When L’ville played at Georgia Tech they lost the first 2 sets, then came back for a reverse sweep and took it in 5 sets. I was afraid that would happen again. I’ll have to watch the game again to see exactly what happened in sets 3 and 4. We weren’t passing well, so we were out of system a lot. I’m not sure if our girls thought a sweep was imminent and let up, but the sloppy play was hard to watch (not as bad as the Pitt football offense, but that is another issue).

        We play the Cardinals again on Nov. 18 at their house, so that will be a big challenge. On Sunday they played without one of their best hitters, Anna DeBeer. She will provide another challenge to our front line if she is back then. Until then, enjoy watching this team. Coach Fisher and his assistants don’t make bonehead decisions, and their ladies really are “We not me”. H2P!!

        Liked by 3 people

        1. Thanks, Annie. I had a prior commitment and couldn’t watch the match. The box score on the Pitt app says attendance was 2686. I assume that match was the biggest home match of the season. So I think a 2500 seat Victory Heights venue should be sufficient. Seems to me it would be a rare event that would need to be moved to the Pete.


          1. They opened up the balcony (on the camera side of the court) and it was pretty full, but one section on the same side (next to the pep band) was probably less than half full. A smaller capacity court will hopefully make it one of the toughest ticket in town. We can always move to the Pete for really big games. The place is a mess right now, with the construction of the volleyball venue closing sidewalks and generally making it a sloppy area.


          1. IMO, not a sellout when there is half a section empty. That section is the least filled during previous matches too.


  6. More very bad losses = transfers/portal losses and recruiting DISASTER! Almost ALL of us see this coming. I am not being sarcastic or in any way funny, could my fellow POV’ers
    come up with an explanation as to why Narduzzi/Cignetti stick with Slovis. Yeah, stupid, stubborn, sleeping at the wheel, etc etc. does not cut it for me. Duzzi/Cignetti have both been around enough to recognize when a player is GROSSLY UNDERPERFORMING. Is Patti still injured? Is Yarnell a KLUTZ? Is IVY League that poor of a player? If we win 1 or 2 of the remaining games will Narduzzi say, “our guys played hard”? I am totally disgusted!
    I saw my first Pitt game in 1959 and remember the hardnosed teams that played EXTREMELY difficult schedules NO (Rhode Islands or Western Michigan’s). Ditka was king. In my opinion we are no better than a mid-level MAC team>>>>>when realignment comes, we may have our homecoming with Kent State>>>WHOOPEE!


  7. The people rating this Pitt team knew all along that they were pretenders, not contenders. We POVers tend to see things a little more optimistically than outsiders do. Slovis has the tools but has not lived up to the huge expectations placed on him by Pitt fans. Narduzzi did some things with the transfer portal to prop up some weaknesses, mainly in depth areas, and the LB transfers have pretty much worked out. But the core areas of the this team have not performed up to expectations.

    Generally, the defense is good enough, but not so good that it can carry a dead, one dimensional offense for 4 quarters. Retooling an offense with a new OC and mostly new skill players is not easy for college kids with limited attention spans. It will be next year before Cig’s changes and the new players all sync together on offense. The QB situation should be decided based on what’s best for next year. Sad for us, but 8 wins may be a reach this year.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Excellent point about our decent defense. It just can’t carry a under-performing offense. That said two crucial defensive stats are where we fall short; scoring defense and Red Zone defense.

      It does no good to have an overall good defense if we still give up points on the board… especially in the Red Zone where opponent’s drives should end in FGs and not TDs.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. Referencing season stats when we are discussing the loss to Louisville is a form of cherry picking.

        Louisville had 7 points total as of 9:46 of the 4th quarter! And that with multiple loss of possession mistakes at that. Slovis stunk, there is no other way to describe his performance. The offensive line was pittiful though I don’t know how much that is on the OL itself as opposed to the blocking schemes Pitt employed.

        I just don’t know enough to really opine on that. But I do know Slovis stunk. I use the word again because as I said there is no other way to describe his performance. And yet PN seems to think Slovis did OK. I think there is going to be a team revolt and I wouldn’t blame the revolters at all.

        Actually, the captains, sans Slovis, should tell PN what he needs to know because it is only going to get worse unless something changes. I don’ want my comment to end without saying that Slovis was good in the WV game and very good in the first half of the Tennessee game. A QB doesn’t lose his skills the way Slovis has unless he got beat up so bad that he became a different QB.

        Think about Sam Hartman in the 4th quarter of the ACC Championship Game. That’s what we go now with Slovis and I don’t see that changing during this season. I genuinely feel bad for him because he got beat up in the Tennessee game because our OL did not protect him.

        Liked by 2 people

  8. Why not look next door if you want exciting college football played by real student athletes.
    Carnegie Mellon is undefeated and ranked 16 in their division. The players live in the dorms, take classes and graduate with the rest of the students. They also have an on campus stadium.

    Pitt on the other hand has players living off campus, practicing on the Southside, playing on the Northside and taking pseudo on line courses. I doubt these rent-a-athletes ever appear on campus.

    I’ve given up on semi-pro D1 football and basketball and rediscovered how to enjoy my fall Saturday afternoons. What could be better than a Cal U. of Pa. vs Indiana U. of Pa. or Gannon vs Mercyhurst for the city championship(Erie). On any given Saturday in the fall there are at least 20 games played in Western Pa. Try one its a refreshing reminder how it felt in old Pitt stadium.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I went to tons of Carnegie Tech (Mellon now) football games. If Pitt playing an away game I’d be at Skibo Field.

      Watched every one of their BB games also. Helped that I lived less than a mile away of course.


  9. Hey folks.. ya gotta remember Slow-poke got invited to the MANNING QB camp!!! Wow!!! Aren’t you impressed?!?!


  10. I wonder if Nick or Nate are getting more snaps with the 1’s this weak ???
    Need a QB with some wheels under him in this league… that rules out Slow-vis.
    Didn’t Narduzzi say we wouldn’t have beaten MSU in the bowl game if Nick wasn’t hurt? Nick has a spark … get him ready Pat…but Oat has a thick skull… I will never forget the military bowl game with Nate Peterman stinking up the place and he left Chad Voytik rot on the bench as we got blown out by an average Navy team losing a chance to win our 9 th game. Pat has no worries.. $8 mil and an ironclad contract… he outta be sending Kenny a monthly stipend.


  11. Pitt’s Erick Hallett II Named Paycom Jim Thorpe Award Semifinalist

    PITTSBURGH—Pitt senior safety Erick Hallett II, who ranks among the national leaders in interceptions and fumble recoveries, has been named one of 12 semifinalists for the prestigious Paycom Jim Thorpe Award, it was announced this afternoon by the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame.

    The award is annually presented to the best defensive back in college football and takes into consideration “performance on the field, athletic ability and character.”

    This is the latest national recognition for Hallett, who previously was named a Midseason All-American by The Athletic, Athlon and Pro Football Focus. He is the lone ACC player on the Thorpe’s semifinalist list.

    A native of Cypress, Texas, and graduate of Cy-Fair High School, Hallett is responsible for five turnovers this season (three interceptions and two fumble recoveries). He additionally has totaled 23 tackles, two tackles for loss and six pass breakups.

    Hallett ranks fifth nationally in fumble recoveries, 14th in interceptions and 20th in passes defended (nine total; 1.3 per game).

    Through the season’s midpoint, Pro Football Focus rated Hallett as college football’s highest-graded slot cover man (87.8).

    In addition to national accolades, Hallett is meriting consideration for ACC Defensive Player of the Year. He is tied for the ACC lead in interceptions and ranks second in fumble recoveries.

    As a junior last season, Hallett was named the winner of the John D. Swofford Most Valuable Player Award after he intercepted two passes—returning one for a 19-yard touchdown—in Pitt’s 45-21 victory over Wake Forest in the ACC Championship Game.

    The Paycom Jim Thorpe Award Selection Committee will reconvene on the Sunday following Thanksgiving to select three finalists. The finalists will then be announced as part of a special presentation by ESPN on November 29.

    The winner will be unveiled on ESPN’s live telecast of The Home Depot College Football Awards on December 8.

    Hallett and the Panthers play at North Carolina this Saturday. The ACC Network telecast will kick off at 8 p.m.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Anything from the Narduzzi presser? Let me guess: tough opponent, kids played hard, clean up mistakes, let’s go 1-0 this week. Questions?


  13. On a positive note: Pitt women’s volleyball moved up one spot in the AVCA poll this week. They are number 7, still behind a 5 loss Ohio State team that they swept in three sets. More importantly they are now #4 in RPI. This would make Pitt the 4th seed in the tournament and the last regional hosting team.

    Courtney Buzzerio was named ACC Player of the week for the second straight week and the third time this year. She has been named more times than any other person in the conference. Pitt has had a player named as player of the week five of the last six weeks. Courtney is now one of the leading contenders for ACC player of the year along with Julia Bergmann of Georgia Tech who has been named ACC player of the week twice and was last year’s player of the year.

    I would link this comment to the Pitt volleyball article but then Word Press would not allow it to go through!!

    Liked by 3 people

  14. Wow so many things:

    Reed, thanks for the MMQB article, this type of writing is really your forte, no insult or offense intended. Actually, it’s a little lite for you yet a great job.

    A belated thanks to Richard, the newly revitalized with no recalibration necessary. Wow, listen to my crapola or not. Make sure you all read the pro’s articles. (Reed, Mike, Richard etc…)

    Reed, you can click “like” again and remove your pretentious self liked comment. 🙂 Laugh out loud, just kidding buddy.

    Rick, I meant to say Slovis in the first two games played acceptable, lousy lately. or worse.

    Even the Royal Majesty Narduzzi can’t be this hard headed, Patti hurt, Yarnell’s red-shirt? If that’s the case, put the ivy leaguer in.

    Put Daniel Carter back there in shotgun with Izzy or just give him the darn ball. Where’s Canada when you need him?

    Got a surprise call from our friend Eric on Sunday, (Wlat) had to talk him down off his step stool he was so desponded. I talk to my POV friends more than old friends. So many passing away. 😦

    6&34, great comment!

    VoR, I’m not sure PITT fans are too optimistic, maybe the opposite? PITT is always one bad punt away from being the all-time absolutely worst football team in college history.

    Reed made the great point about just how close this game actually was. I disregard defensive stats as they are eschewed badly by the non-productive offense.

    PITT isn’t even one year removed as the ACC Champions, what have done for me lately philosophy is as shallow thinking in college football as I can think of.

    Hey Annie, keep saying what you want to say, don’t let that bully censor you. You speak the truth.


    Looking forward to creaming the powder blue puffs.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Iek: At least get the description of my attitude correct! I’m DISGUSTED, not despondent. Regardless, it was great speaking with my fellow LATROBEAN! Hail to IKE!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. “We don’t point fingers” but next sentence out there (was actually funny) points a finger right at Gabe Huoy “I think Gabe is STILL out there in a theee point stance”.


  15. ‘Changing quarterbacks could psychologically damage the team’…as opposed to losing to inferior opponents, lousy play-calling, poor recruiting and an obstinate coach who puts his ego before the team.
    We Not Me.

    I predicted 7-5 at the start of the season.
    Don’t know what I was thinking.


      1. How could a wide receiver commit to this program? We are running a middle school offense and I cannot remember the last time a long pass was completed.


  16. Speaking of disasters tonight on ESPN Bears vs Patriots…..Bears are in need of a pro qb because Justin Fields is no longer a work in progress, he is working his way to the bench.
    Slovis or Fields which underperforming qb will be riding the pine first?


  17. PITT (4-3, 1-2 ACC) vs. #21 NORTH CAROLINA (6-1, 3-0 ACC):

    Complete Game Release Link

    October 29, 2022 • 8 p.m. (ET)

    Kenan Stadium (50,500/Synthetic Grass) • Chapel Hill, N.C.

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


    √ Pitt visits Chapel Hill for a key Coastal Division encounter against nationally ranked North Carolina. The Tar Heels are atop the Coastal with a 3-0 mark.

    √ Pitt has defeated at least one Top 25 team in each of the past six seasons under Coach Pat Narduzzi.

    √ Pitt has won two consecutive games against North Carolina. Each of those contests were played in Pittsburgh and went to overtime.

    √ Narrow margins have ruled this series. Twelve of the 15 games have been decided by single digits. The average margin of victory over the past 10 games is a mere 4.5 points.

    √ Pitt is winless in six all-time visits to UNC, most recently dropping a 38-35 decision in 2018, when the Panthers won their first Coastal title.

    √ Pitt is 7-1 over its last eight road contests dating back to the 2020 season. The Panthers’ setback at Louisville last week snapped a seven-game road winning streak, their longest since 1980-82.

    √ Israel Abanikanda has established himself as a highly viable candidate for the Doak Walker Award and ACC Player of the Year.

    √ Abanikanda leads the entire country with an average of 185.14 all-purpose yards per contest.

    √ He additionally paces the nation in rushing touchdowns (13), total TDs (14) and total points (84).

    √ Since 2015, Pat Narduzzi has directed Pitt to 37 victories in ACC play, the third-highest win total during that span. The Panthers trail only Clemson (58) and Miami (38).


    Television • ACC Network

    Dave O’Brien (play-by-play)

    Tim Hasselbeck (analyst)

    Kelsey Riggs (reporter)

    Pitt Radio • 93.7 The Fan & Pitt Panthers Radio Network

    Jeff Hathhorn (play-by-play)

    Pat Bostick (analyst)

    Larry Richert and Dorin Dickerson (reporters)

    SiriusXM Satellite Radio

    SiriusXM Channel 134 or 194, SXM App Channel 956

    WPTS Radio (Pitt Student Station) • 92.1 FM

    Online Audio


  18. October 24, 2022

    Pat Narduzzi Press Conference

    North Carolina Week

    PAT NARDUZZI: Obviously wasn’t a fun evening down in Louisville. I enjoy and love watching our kids play, but we obviously didn’t get it done. Again, it starts with me. Like I told the kids, it starts with all the coaches. Again, it comes down to execution.

    We’ve got to be better. We’ve got to do a better job coaching them on all the details.

    I threw up a drive chart. We watch it on tape. You guys all get this drive chart now. This is probably your thing. You probably look at it and go, ‘What the heck is it?’, but it’s one of my favorite sheets. You watch the tape and then you’ve got to visually look at it and go, ‘Okay, what the heck happened?’ To me it’s a 10-minute ‘Hey, what happened here?’

    I’ll start with defense, who played a pretty darned good game. Gave up 17 points. The first touchdown, they go eight plays, 75 yards with 3:21 in the first quarter. They hit us on like a bubble-go out of a two-by-two formation, and they don’t run bubbles. I was kind of disappointed that we gave that up, but it was wide open in the end zone, and you go, ‘What’s going on?’

    But that was one they got us on. I don’t know if it was called a trick play but it’s kind of a trick play, and sucked us in on that one.

    Then they kicked a field goal and they get the next touchdown, which we know they’ll throw back to the quarterback. We could have played it better.

    Again, I always go back to how do we coach it, and like you see something, you learn from your mistakes, but a guy goes in motion, which we see a lot of. We call it orbit motion, goes in motion and they threw it to him, but it was the backside end, who happened to be Deslin. It’s not his fault at all. Sees that. The deeper that guy is, stay back.

    You just add to your — kind of add it to your checklist of things that we’ve got to coach, and you didn’t see the play, but you’re going to see copycat, so we’re always working on how are we’re going to tell — how does that end tell what’s going on there.

    So they get that one, and then hit us on a seam pass, which that’s the second time we’ve got hit with that, so we didn’t learn from that one, so that’s disappointing.

    They get a field goal after we turn it over on downs. They go 33 yards.

    But overall, you look at the defense, there’s still things that we can get better at, and still, when it’s 10-7, I’m like, ‘Hey, guys, it’s the third quarter, it’s 10-7; they don’t score, we win the game, period.’ I don’t care what our offense does; that’s our attitude.

    Then you look at the offense, and we all want to talk about the turnovers, and rightly so. The first one — here’s the rundown. Obviously we’ve got to do a better job as coaches of making sure we don’t throw it to the other guys. We’ve got to make sure we don’t fumble the ball, and again, got a helmet on the ball, which are sometimes the hardest ones to take care of.

    But the first interception, it’s 2nd and 10 and we’re at the plus 29-yard line. We’re in field goal range already and we’re thinking points. We’ve got to protect the ball; we’ve got to make better decisions. Carter is open in the flat and just a bad decision. Wanted to throw it down, thought he had a shot. Just got to throw a better ball if you’re going to throw it deep.

    Next one is 1st and 10 at the plus 18-yard line. We’re moving the ball down. We’re down in the red zone. That’s what hurts the most is you’re down where you need to be. 1st and 10, plus 18-yard line. Five-play drive, we fumble the ball doing some of that wildcat stuff.

    1st and 10 at the plus 28, we throw another interception moving down the field. Again, it’s not like it’s 4th down and you’re turning it over. It’s like, ‘Okay, we’re down there.’ It’s not like you’re turning it over in your own territory. We moved the football, which is what offense is supposed to do. We’re supposed to hold on to it and put points on the board.

    Then the last one, it’s a 1st and 10 at the plus 35, and it is — there’s 4:21 left to go in the game. It’s a 17-10 ballgame. This is what it comes down to. Again, as crappy as you can say we played, turnovers and all those things, we’ve still got a chance to win the game with 4:21 to go in the game. We don’t make good decisions. So we get the ball down — 1st and 10 at the plus 35, we’re striking.

    I’m already in my head thinking about we’re on the road; we going for two or not? Are we going to get home at 4 o’clock in the morning or are we getting home at 3:30 in the morning? What are we going to do? Chris was tired. Wanted to get him back.

    So we get an illegal procedure, so now it’s 1st and 15 at the 40, and then that’s when we throw our pick.

    Again, it’s a protection issue. It’s a snap cadence issue. It was a no-huddle, going from — I won’t give you the terms, but we were in a no-huddle two-minute to get to that point, to that 35-yard line, then we went into a huddle mode, and our cadence was still in a no-huddle tempo, and it was a mistake. Again, something we’ve got to work harder on, make sure — we got across there, we wanted to take our time, and now we can run some runs, and again, we screwed it up.

    That’s the rest of the story.

    We put it to rest. We’ve got to learn from it as coaches and players and get better, coach from it.

    But always impressed with the way our guys play. They hang in there. They fight. We’ve just got to protect the football, or you can’t win games. It doesn’t matter; you can rush for 300 yards. If you turn the ball over, it doesn’t matter. You can throw for 300; it doesn’t matter.

    But we’ve got a really good North Carolina team that we’ve got to go face down there. Mack does a great job, as you guys know. He’s a legend, and Gene Chizik as the defensive coordinator, and Phil Longo does a great job at scheming you up.

    He’s going to go back and look at the throw back to the quarterback. Their quarterback is a guy that can do that. But he’s a guy that I would term as a ‘copycat’ guy. He’s going to take every play that’s hurt us this year and they’re going to run it.

    Louisville wasn’t that type, but they actually took some plays and threw those in there as well. It’s something that we’re defending in North Carolina, and you’ve got to go back and look at everything, pull everything out that fits into their DNA and work it this week.

    I think they’ve got one of the top offenses in the country, top 10 about every category. The Maye kid is outstanding, the receiver Josh Downs. They’re dominant right now.

    Defense will have a great challenge. Offense has got to rebound and take the football and score points.


    Q. Is Owen Drexel done for the season? He isn’t on the depth chart.

    PAT NARDUZZI: No. He’s not done for the season. I would tell you if he was.

    Q. Given the offensive struggles, how is Kedon handling his leadership responsibilities through that?

    I think he’s done a great job. It’s like we talked as an offense yesterday, last night. Kedon played above average, above average. I thought he played good. As a matter of fact, at one point he was 9 of 11, which I didn’t realize. I don’t count those things, but 9 of 11 at one point, but he played really good in the first half. I’m not just talking throwing the ball. If you just go back and watch the first half, watch how — he’s making great decisions in the run game, as well, and getting the right checks.

    Second half didn’t play very good. Why is that? I don’t know.

    At the end of the half he took a couple shots. Not to the point where he had a concussion, but they’re still shots, and we’ve got to protect our quarterback.

    I think it affects every quarterback in the country. We know defensively we’re trying to get as many hits as we can and try to affect him because it affects their mindset and getting the ball — just get it out of there. They just want to throw it.

    So yeah, we’ve got to protect our quarterback. We know that. That’s a key every weekend. But he played really good in the first half and didn’t play so good in the second half.

    Even in the run decisions that you guys won’t see, watch it, you’re just going to say the O-line didn’t block anybody; well, we’re running into a problem. That’s something we’ve got to work on and fix and find out why. That’s our job.

    Q. Are pass rushers better today? Every game I see, the quarterback seems to be running for his life. Not just your games, all games.

    PAT NARDUZZI: I guess. Nobody wants to play receiver, they want to put some weight on and go play defensive end. Yeah, there’s a lot of pass rushing going on.

    Q. What as a coaching staff do you have to do to help Kedon make better decisions in those moments?

    PAT NARDUZZI: You’ve got to keep coaching them. Again, it’s not easy. You sit back there — there’s a lot of things flying at you, and when you get hit in the back of the head one time, your decisions change a little bit.

    We’ve got to keep coaching them. We’ve got to protect them. That’s the first thing you should do, is give them protection. He got sacked, only twice, but got hit a few times.

    Again, it’s a new offense, too, guys. Don’t forget Kenny Pickett wasn’t where he was a year ago compared to the year before, compared to the year before, compared to the year before, so it takes time. Whether it’s a transfer quarterback or — we all want instant success.

    I get it, and it’s the same thing for Kenny right now compared to where he’s going to be in two or three years. It’s a different ballgame, a different speed, and a different offense.

    I think those are all things you’ve got to take into account, but we’re happy with what he’s doing. We’ve got to be more consistent. Again, that’s across the board, across the board offensively and defensively and special teams.

    Q. Are in-game quarterback changes something you’re sort of philosophically against? Is there something you consider in the middle of games where the quarterback is struggling?

    PAT NARDUZZI: We can do whatever we want to do. You mess with a football team when you do that. There’s psychological effects when you do stuff like that, I think. What are you moving for?

    Again, I watch practice every day, and we’re playing our best football player right now at quarterback. I’ve got no doubt about it. Kedon is our best quarterback to help us win a football game right now. If you guys want to be able to have a scrimmage and you bring somebody in, you guys watch and tell me afterwards, but right now that’s kind of where we are, and we can start all over if you guys want to, but that’s not something I’m very fond of as a football coach.

    I think we believe in our guys at every position, and it’s our job to coach them and get them better. That’s why I said, it starts with us.

    Chris asked what do we do. We keep coaching them. Again, it’ll get through. Again, we’ve got to coach our other guys, too, so they protect the quarterback and the rest of the things.

    It’s everybody. It’s not just one guy. We talked about that after the game.

    Q. You talked about how Kedon got knocked around a little bit. Maybe that affected his decision making — is he talking to Frank Cignetti between series and is Frank gauging where he’s at and maybe changing what you guys do to try to help?

    PAT NARDUZZI: Yeah, they talk over there. They’re on the phone. I’m not on the phone with them. I went over there after he threw the first pick and said, ‘Hey, don’t worry about it.’ Smacked him on the butt and let him go. But they’ll talk, and they’re trying to figure it out.

    But he doesn’t seem shaken, and that’s the big thing. He’s a quarterback. They’ve got a lot of stuff on their mind.

    Q. Looking at North Carolina’s schedule, it looks like they’re in a lot of high-scoring games. They have a top-rated offense and a bottom-of-the-barrel defense statistically. Do you think your team is able to compete in a shootout-type game like that —

    PAT NARDUZZI: No way. You tell me. I mean, I hope so.

    Hey, we’re going to compete every — we get to go play a ranked team on the road at night again, primetime, and probably going to do it the next week after that.

    I think we can compete. I think our kids believe, and we’ve just got to go play better. Just don’t turn the ball over, and you’ve got a chance.

    Q. Is the game plan to control the ball and not make it a shootout? Do you think you can go toe to toe with them in a 50 to 50 type game and hang around?

    PAT NARDUZZI: I don’t know what it’s going to be. If we knew that we’d maybe change our game plan right now, but we want our defense to play really good. We don’t want to give up a lot of points, and we want to score one more point than they do. Right now the game plan changes if it’s 21-0 in the first quarter and we’re down, the game plan changes a little bit.

    But we’ll have enough in to take care of whatever happens, but we’re going to think on a positive realm there and hope that doesn’t happen.

    Q. What more do you need to see from the receivers?

    PAT NARDUZZI: We need to see a lot more. You practiced all week, and again, I feel bad for those guys sometimes, it just seems like there’s some bad luck in that room.

    But you know, pregame we find out that Bub kind of got hurt in pregame. Bub Means got hurt in pregame, a little IT band. We thought — he went in even during warmups. We thought they were going to rub it down and put a little spit on it and he’d be ready to go, but we come in after pregame and he’s not ready to go.

    So then we go over the quick game plan. Gavin is his backup, but we wanted to get Jaylon Barden on the field, and it’s just one of those issues.

    Depth-wise, we took a hit a year ago, whenever, and so we’re trying to get Barden ready to go there and just give him the Cliff Notes on that position thinking he could be able to do it. It wasn’t fair to him to even try to do that. He struggled to get lined up so we had to do it with Gavin who did a nice job when he was in there because at least he could get lined up.

    We need to see more play making out of them, and again, it’s just rough when you’re low on numbers.

    Q. What was Jaden Bradley’s thought process in transferring?

    PAT NARDUZZI: You can ask him. I’m over that one. Ask him.

    Q. How does a performance like this from the defense build confidence, given the match-up against North Carolina and how they can score. How much of a confidence build is that?

    PAT NARDUZZI: I think our defense has confidence. As a matter of fact, they’re upset that they gave up 17 points. That’s kind of — I was fooling with one of them before I walked in here today, and he goes, ‘Coach, we’re going to be better.’ They’ve got an attitude about them. They don’t want them to score any touchdowns, and again, like I said, 10-7, I’m like, ‘Hey guys, they don’t score, we win,’ so they’ve got that kind of in their mind.

    Again, played good football for most of the day.

    It’s a great challenge for them, and I think tough teams like the challenge. To me, I’d much rather put our defense against one of the best as opposed to going out there and look at the tape and they’re like, Coach — you put the tape on, the worst thing they did, last night I didn’t sleep very good, is watched all the big runs and big passes.

    They’re pretty good. Drake Maye is pretty good. He can make all the throws. He can run. He’s 6’5″. He is going to be —

    I’ll tell you what, the ACC quarterbacks now, I think I’ve said this before, ACC quarterbacks, it’s a real deal. You’re dealing with — this conference is no joke as far as quarterbacks. I don’t think there’s a better conference in the country than the ACC as far as quarterback play. You can discuss everything else you want, but the quarterbacks in the ACC? Ooh.

    Q. Is Barden still in the plans at wide receiver moving forward?

    PAT NARDUZZI: We’d like him to be, we’ve just got to get him at the right position. Like I said, he was backing up Konata and it was just a bad draw. We’d like to get him the ball. He’s fast. We’ve got to get him to know what to do all the time. It wasn’t fair to him to put him in that position because he just was — it’s hard. It ain’t easy. Knowing one position is hard enough as it is. To know two and three…

    Q. You talk about how explosives on both sides of the ball impact the game. Do you have to draw up more opportunities for Kedon to get more 1-on-1s to launch the ball and take some shots? He has a strong arm and you like the skill sets of your receivers.

    PAT NARDUZZI: Again, I’m the head coach. I’ll let our offense deal with that. I don’t want them taking a bunch of shots and I got to sit in here and have you guys talking about why he threw a pick. I want completed balls. I’d like 9 of 11. If we go 9 of 11 the first half and 9 of 11 the second half and throw it where we’re supposed to, it’s a good thing.

    People are playing with a guy deep in the middle of the field that takes away some of your shots, it’s going to open up your run game a little bit. We’ll see what they do.

    Q. Looking at the numbers today I think 9 of the top 50 defenses in the FBS are ACC teams. That’s by far the most of any of the Power Fives — is there something about this conference, or is it the style of play is just a little more…

    PAT NARDUZZI: It’s tempo. I don’t think it has anything to do with the play numbers. I can tell you that. Because there’s a lot of plays being run.

    I don’t know what it is. I’m kind of in my little bubble here just worried about Pitt and worried about North Carolina.

    Q. is there something about the ACC that lends itself to good defensive play?

    PAT NARDUZZI: I have no idea. I just know someone has recruited some good quarterbacks. I don’t know about the defensive play, but worrying about what we do on defense and on offense and special teams and what we’re going to face this week with North Carolina. Maybe after the season we’ll study.

    Q. The margin for error for you guys to get to the championship game is basically almost gone. Is that something that comes up, and do you have to sort of shift your sights a little bit?

    PAT NARDUZZI: You know what, I don’t think you ever shift your sights because you never know what’s going on. There’s some parity in college football. After the Georgia Tech game, I knew — I said, ‘Guys, we ain’t got to worry about it.’ I didn’t say anything after this game. We need to just worry about winning one game and not even worry about where we are going.

    Focus has got to be North Carolina, not where we’re going to be in — I’m not going to worry about it. We’ve just got to keep going. We’ve got five games to play, and we’ve got to be 1-0 each week and then we’ll see what happens. We don’t control it, but there’s a lot of things that can happen.

    Q. Are the struggles on offense something where you have to initiate change or is it a matter of sticking to plan and people have to fall in line with what you guys —

    PAT NARDUZZI: I think when you talk struggles, it seems like — we talked about this maybe last week, just we’re running the ball pretty good, okay. Really hired Coach Cignetti because I knew he could run it and throw it.

    But you’ve got to go based on your personnel. We’re a good run football team right now identity-wise. You guys want to change that and open up the tempo and start throwing it 50 times a game, good luck to you. That’s not who we are right now. That’s not how we’re built outside. So we’ve got to do what our personnel does best and try to win football games that way, period.

    If you try to be somebody you aren’t, we’re going to have bigger problems.

    So we have to just be who we are and get the ball in the players’ hands that need it, period.

    Q. Have you had many personal interactions with Mack Brown over the years?

    PAT NARDUZZI: You know, I don’t have a bunch of Mack Brown — I just think he’s a legend. I love him. I just think he’s great for college football, period. I’m glad he’s out of the media industry and back into college football because he’s good for college football. He gets it. He’s old school. Just listening to him in coaches’ meetings — hanging out with him in coaches’ meetings, he gets it and he’s old school, and that’s what I love about him. He does it the right way.


  19. I really think that injuries have played a huge role in the poor performances. The Slovis concussion ruined his confidence for the year and he should have sat at halftime of theGT game. No excuses for the stubbornness and lack of creativity. Playing WV and Tenn to start the season was a bad idea. The high intensity created many more injuries than a couple of cupcake. Afraid p


  20. If you think Slovis disappoints, I recall many POVers lusting over Miami’s Van Dyke last year when he torched Pitt. How’s that working out? Potential doesn’t always lead to performance…


  21. Reed – great MMQB. Well written and totally fair. Reflects my thoughts at least.

    Disappointed with Duzz’s comments on Slovis. Barring injury, it would seem we wont see anyone else. Too bad.

    While it would be very Pitt-like to beat a team like UNC after a couple really crappy losses – Im at a loss for seeing how they keep up with UNC’s passing game. Perhaps Izzy will roll and Hallett will get some picks?… other than that, I have no idea how Pitt leaves Chapel Hill with a W.


    1. We will get rolled and (52-10) and worse, the team and fans will be done.

      I’ve been fairly supportive if not silent on Duzz, but his dogged commitment to people and process is his singular greatest downfall. It’s a really poor leadership quality and it’s now too late. Just look at the swift decision by Clemson. The goal is to field a winning team every play. Every series. Every quarter, game and practice. Duzz picks his team and commits. Admirable at first then not.

      We are going from ACC Champions to a dumpster fire.

      Liked by 1 person

  22. We will lose Minchy as well. He’s having a solid Sr year here in Nashville and you can bet his other offers are circling.


  23. On a basketball note…. Pitt opens with Tennessee Martin on Nov 7th and follows up with a loaded WVA and Michigan Team. We will know early if my optimistic prediction was worthy.

    I will not be following Pitt Football or commenting on same as long as Slovis is QB. Pitt will NOT win another game with him as QB so what’s the point. I don’t have much hair left to pull out!

    I will be in for Syracuse to see everyone in Red5A. Maybe staying for Basketball vs T Martin Sunday eve.

    Today is October 25th and Pat Narduzzi is still an idiot and Pitt’s HC.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. UT Martin is Monday evening, Dan. And if you do stay for it, touch base to see if we are gathering at Hemingway’s before the game.


    2. Come on Dan. Don’t give up on the football ship. I haven’t heard of a Pitt football boycott over the quarterback since the days of Tino Sunseri and now we are pining for the days of Tino Sunseri.


      1. We may have more folks at Red 5A than in the stadium. Speaking of which, I have an extra ticket if anyone is interested gratis. Pitt side 30 yd line.

        Liked by 1 person

  24. If any other player makes poor decisions and is not playing well they are benched. Why would the most essential player on a team not be held to the same standard. I get the bit about hurting their confidence but Slovis doesn’t appear to have much anyway and has been benched before so not a new experience. This makes no sense unless Patti is injured.

    Even Yarnell exuded more confidence than Slovis. I get the bit about being tested, but Slovis has been tested and found wanting. I just don’t see any fire, any eye of the tiger, any leadership.

    I miss Cam Bright, that guy wanted to win to the point he fought his own team mate.

    Pretty obvious in our losses to GT and Louisville that they wanted to win more than us.

    We need guys to step up. When Coach says changing the QB can have a psychological impact, I agree hopefully a good one.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Again, how did changing out a top QB for a freshman work out for Clemson. You have to be able to take some risk as a leader and be courageous enough to make a decision and live with it. Narduzzi won’t or can’t make that obvious decision. I would argue that it is nearly if not already too late.


      1. Clemson’s “good problem”- they can replace a 5 star with a 5 star…and Dabo gets..Duzz doesn”t and would still be Duzz if he was in Dabo’s shoes…..


  25. Here is the deal with the QB position at Pitt. I can’t remember a modern HC giving solid playing time to a QB2 during a blow-out game. For some reason we just don’t do it very often and we should

    With Slovis the situation is this; he’s not going to get drafted so there is no reason to keep him as QB1 if he’s under performing. Belive it – he’s not being screwed of an NFL future if you bench him and keep him benched.

    So… PN must think that there is a turnaround of 180 degrees in KS’s play coming up. Not me, I think Slovis is gun shy and it is writ large in his play of late. I very much doubt KS will suddenly play lights out as we will need for the last five games.

    After the last two games, where he was a combined 31/57 (54%) for 328 yards (164 per game) with 0 TDs and 3 INTs… with a game changing fumble, you have to wonder how the rest of the O starters truly feel about the situation.

    They may well want a change at QB especially since Izzy is running so well. If KS was playing even average ball we’d have a damn well rounded offense. I say have Patti split the QB1 snaps in practice then play KS for one half. If he’s not playing smarter and way better than he has been then put Patti in for the full 2nd half.

    That should give the staff a clear look at who to go with moving forward, that is if they take their USC blinders off.

    Last thing: some fans are thinking his concussion is still effecting him. If true then what the hell does PN & Cignetti think gambling with the kid’s long term health!! If he’s foggy out there it’s criminal to keep playing him.

    Liked by 3 people

  26. I never met a single coach who didn’t want to win and would do all they could do to win!

    Until Narduzzi…, who would rather make an ego stubborn point than even consider Slovis might just be a good practice player not a game day
    star. I’ve seen many of those where the moment is too big on game day!

    In addition, this is not fair to Slovis who after another embarrassing beating at UNC could be scarred for life.

    Rant done.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. what’s Narduzzi’s motivation? He can cruise at this point..He’s won 2 ACC Coastals, 1 ACC title and has a sweet $8,000,000.00 coming in a year and has a contract that will guarantee that cash flow and his presence on PITT’s sideline for a few years to come ..not bad for a blue collar guy from Youngstown!!! Run with it as far as you can Nard-dog…you hit the end of the rainbow running…


    2. Dan, you should have stopped with your first sentence. You know well that Narduzzi has not lost his desire to win, not in the least bit. Look at Saban and Myers, both failed in the pro’s. I’m sure their desire to win never wavered.


  27. So, the head coach is the CEO…in charge of the entire program.
    With Hammond injured (it appeared he re-injured his foot) we only have three tailbacks: Izzy, Smurf and ce-Bo (Daniel Carter is a fullback).
    Saturday, we had four receivers after Bub went down….one was a walk-on (nice catch who injured himself while making it) and Barden, a junior, who knew neither the plays nor the formations.
    Our punter is a disaster.
    Our quarterback play speaks for itself.
    This team has enormous holes, is on the fringe of mediocrity and trending down.
    And next year…it’s going to be worse, but with a harder schedule.
    Folks can talk about the qb all they want, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. “… Barden, a junior, who knew neither the plays nor the formations.”

      What is the basis of this assertion? (No hidden meaning behind this question. I just hadn’t heard that assertion before.)

      Also, the new punter seemed really good to me. Yes, the Aussie didn’t seem good – disaster might be slightly too harsh -and the juxtapose of the new punter looking good -at least to me – and the Aussie not being good – raises the question: Why did it take so long for PN to play the new punter over the Aussie?


      1. “So we’re trying to get Barden to go…giving him the Cliff notes of the position.”
        Taken from the above press conference.
        As for the punting being a disaster, I have no idea how the new could kid pan out (I hope he’s a star), but the Aussie was not up to snuff and my take on the whole matter is buttressed by the fact true CEO would have anticipated problems, had contingency plans and changed punters sooner, recruited better or had an alternative in the wings.


  28. The last season was as successful as it was simply due to the extra Covid year the NCAA granted which allowed Pickett to play a fifth year.

    Had that not happened last year would have just like all the others with 6-8 wins.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Pitt fans deserved that fifth year from Pickett after Da-Nooch couldn’t even strap on his helmet correctly at Syracuse in 2017, thus, burning Kenny’s redshirt.


  29. What I find interesting about Narduzzi’s press conferences is that he feels he must dazzle his listeners with technology babble to show that he knows football and it certainly isn’t his fault they suck. Castigating Huoy in a PC is not fixing the problem. Why is there so much confusion on the offense?

    We can blame Slovis, but the WR room is all mixed up and they are drawing the plays up in the dirt. The OL is not playing well, and is making key mistakes at the worst possible times. The OL cannot stop the opponent blitzes which are coming more frequently as they shut down the running game on the first two downs. Way too predictable. Izzy will not be getting big yards as the season goes on. The off tackle runs were shut down against Louisville, as everyone knows what the offense is doing.


  30. Jaxson Dart at Ole Miss seems to be the cream of the transfer portal players at this point….
    Wonder if Kedon’s PITT girlfriend needs to shut him off…..

    Liked by 1 person

  31. there’s probably 20 different places you can reasonably point your finger and be partly right in criticizing and blaming but for me it comes down to Cig and Slovis and in that order

    Slovis is playing considerably worse than in the first 6 quarters and apparently he’s still the guy the coaches think gives Pitt the best chance to win

    I don’t see how that could be possible with mostly Slovis’ limited mobility and declining decision making he’s shown

    no way do the coaches not appreciate the need for change and I’ll give Cig credit when he went to the wildcat series v Louisville, he tried something different and was successful up to the fumble
    as it was playing out I was thinking after a few plays that he needed to switch back to SLovis but never did, I mean what possible can his unathletic body add to the plays other than barely occupying a defender for a moment

    even Nick Patti I’d think in that situation could be far more a distraction as a receiver(don’t know his speed) or just get another legit receiver out there, perhaps Devonshire?

    at this point I’ve given up hope for salvaging much of this year and only hope not to see recruiting completely fall apart and wonder how can anyone possibly look forward to next year if Slovis is found anywhere east of the Mississippi

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I too thought the wildcat was a great change up but quickly wondered why we were not switching back to Slovis and varying the look/play? Were they actually going to get him into the play as a receiver?

      Liked by 1 person

  32. I was out of town with no game viewing over the weekend so last night I watched the game for the first time with full knowledge of the outcome and the vitriol of the comments I’ve read. Here is what I saw.

    * There were 3 KS players … there was the deer in the headlights QB, a panicked throw it up for grabs QB and on plays when he was hurried but not panicked there were 2 to 4 muscle memory plays where he was a smooth, accurate and polished QB. Maybe the latter is what he looks like in practice. We don’t know because we are not there. We do know what we see in the current games and it isn’t good. Verdict … sharing QB time as performance dictates can’t be worse.
    * The offensive line does a lot of “zone?” blocking (sliding sideways like 5 to 7 Rockettes) The defensive linemen slice through that in the opposite direction like a hot knife through butter. It is on film and every defense will kill us for the rest of the year if we don’t make some adjustments.
    * Run, Run, Pass (the old Texas 2 step) Gawd, I even saw Louisville peanut vendors stacked in the box along with the rest of the ‘ville’s D. This is on the OC! To Cigs credit the first 2 series (were they scripted?) were fairly creative and effective but after that it was totally predictable and boring. Maybe we need to script more. Maybe we need to have a “trends QA person” giving Cigs real time feed back on his predictability. Maybe we should trade Canada for Cigs. Lets just do something new, different can’t be worse.
    * The D played their hearts out….. The D gave the O a lot of chances … shades of the opening game of the season in 77. Come to think of it, that loss was on Jackie because he didn’t have a backup even slightly prepared. Duzz are you listening?

    Just my $.02

    Liked by 5 people

  33. Slovis with 5 TD passes so far this year Nick Patti plays 2 quarter off the bench, rusty-probably not enough practice with the 1’s on a severely sprained ankle and passed for 1 TD also had a great run for a TD called back because of a stupid penalty away from the action…. S- happens when Nick gets in a game. I hope he gets a chance to get back on the field ( and stay healthy)

    Liked by 1 person

  34. I’m still trying not to think about Pitt football, but I just read a few comments. One that struck me was what a mess the Pitt offense is. It takes Slovis too long to read the play from the sideline; then it takes Slovis too long to communicate the play to the team; then Slovis, on way too many plays, has to re-position a player; finally, it seems to take forever to get the snap off…. So we sweat the play-clock and/or burn timeouts — maddening.

    All this has to be on Coach Cignetti. One thing I remember about Oh Canada, was that our offense was tremendously coached that season. Few penalties and plays were run crisply.

    Canada ran those jet sweeps where the timing between the QB and the jet-sweeper had to be precise. As I recall, it wasn’t until the 7th game, or so, that we messed up one of those tricky handoffs…. A well-oiled machine versus the current rusted old clunker.

    Ironically, now the Steeler offense is full of screw-ups…. Not a good season for football in the ‘Burgh…

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. the length of time taken for Slowvis to read off his wrist band seems excessive

      then needing to redirect player positions….

      Kenny OFTEN needed to redirect positioning at the line of scrimmage

      maybe Slowvis doesn’t even really KNOW the plays accurately as he needs to know positions for all the skill players and iirc Narduzzi has said the receivers needed things simplified(dumbed down) from them knowing a 2nd and 3rd WR route

      points to Cig problem
      ongoing individual player problem with aptitude, not just Slowvis

      makes me think Slowvis is back next year and while Patti’s been here longer, he’s had no more time learning the Cig system

      with that in mind, who’s feeling that glimmer of hope that the Cig/Slow combo next year brings back the success that this year only missed due to time and experience together


      and stay positive 😉


  35. Narduzzi is just a drab guy all the way around – nothing exciting at all . Subpar recruiter who can’t close the deal on any 5 stars and just does not have the coaching acumen to evolve !

    Liked by 2 people

  36. How many times did Kenny disappoint over a 5 year career? How many times did POVers want him replaced? We tend to forget that it took 5 years for Kenny to become a top QB. All that time from Freshman year on, Narduzzi backed him. So why would he bail on Slovis now after half a season? Narduzzi must want him back as a starter next year.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes Kenny disappointed a few times but you never doubted his arm strength, scrambling ability or his accuracy to throw on the run. Many losses were on the defense,specifically our man on an island midget secondary!

      Slovis does not have the ability and talent to play QB at this level. It’s not fair to him, the team or what will be left of us fans to keep putting him out there. This is Narduzzi insanity and his stubborn dumb ego to prove to us minions that he didn’t make a mistake and he knows way more than us about football.


    2. IMHO, the only way we keep Minchey is to promise him a lot of playing time as a freshman. Once he knows enough offense, play him. Take your lumps for a year or two. It’s a good investment.

      We will never have a decent point-scoring offense again until we have a QB who can run and pass. Even if Slovis comes around on the passing, his lack of mobility will always limit the offense.

      The rest of the ACC seems to get it. About every team has an outstanding overall athlete at QB. Walt used to say that the best athlete on the field needs to be your tailback. Offenses and defenses have now evolved to where the best athlete needs to be the QB or you will struggle to score points…

      Go Pitt.

      Liked by 2 people

  37. Dan, as far as Narduzzi being arrogant, no disagreement there. But based on the first two games Slovis does have some skills but needs improvement in the decision making area. The combination of poor protection, offensive confusion and poor route running has eliminated any type of rhythm by the offense. Changing QBs won’t fix it.


    1. Disagree. If a QB can make faster reads, he helps his receivers. Also can help to distribute the ball better.

      Also, not one of us is inside the huddle to know what KS’ demeanor or command of the team is. It is my pure guess that he is not a task master or demanding of excellence. This can be achieved in many ways. I just don’t see it on the sidelines or the huddle captures you see on TV.


    1. The hate Kanye West has been spewing is awful and I say hooray for Aaron cutting ties with Mr. West. Did anyone cut ties with Mr. Donald after the training camp helmet assault on the Bengals? I realize Aaron has donated a large amount of cash to Pitt but that was an incredibly embarrassing moment for himself, the Rams, and Pitt.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Reed. Nice to know Pitt is a good bet to cover on the road, particularly after an outright loss. I’ll think I’ll buy PowerBall tickets instead.

      H2P!!! TGFV


  38. Due to the hype last summer over the maturity of our O and D, I bought season tickets for the first time in maybe 5 years. I feel cheated.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hang in there OHIHOS. I first bought season tix during the Fraud Graham season. The POV and Red 5A gang keep it fun…although I’m not driving in from Columbus…


  39. The #1 problem is the offensive line. It cannot run block worth a lick and pass blocking has been abysmal. Borbley cannot go soon enough, same with Powell.

    I don’t expect Narduzzi to find replacements who are much better and he could find others who are worse. It just depends on whether the wallet is opened wide enough to find good coaches at those positions.

    It is very disappointing to me Jacoby isn’t replacing Minor and Moore at center of Kradel.


  40. Five takeaways from Louisville.

    1) Offense did NOT lose the game. It just didn’t win it. It was the Defense that actually lost the game.

    2) Stop it already with “SLOW-vis” lacking self confidence. If you want to criticize him for lacking smarts, football instincts and any real athletic ability, then you might be onto something.

    3) Outside of Wayne, the wide receivers starting with Mumpfield are weak, weak, weak. Time for some new blood. That said, Thomson did show some promise.

    4) But of course it’s not just the offense where change is needed. As previously posted, there is plenty of AVERAGE on the defensive side of the ball for this Pitt team. No. 11 might just be one.

    5) As for Cignetti, contrary to his MANY critics, I continue to be impressed. His creativity and the many formations and blocking schemes he runs are just that… IMPRESSIVE. Against Louisville did he get too cute with the number of times he lined up Slovis at wide receiver? Yes. Did his run formations a lot of times “tip off” the Louisville defense to which way the run was going? Sure. But give this guy a quarterback, some wide receivers and some linemen who are not AVERAGE and then let’s see the criticism he deserves.


    1. I thought the same thing when they lined up with in the wildcat with Slovis at WR…what option/dimension could he possibly add….They were basically playing with 10 players with Slow-poke at WR……what was Cignetti thinking.

      Liked by 1 person

  41. I haven’t commented in a long time, but the wind came out of my sails a few weeks back, because it was plainly obvious that our offense sucked (barring Izzy’s performance against VT) and we were boring to watch. So bottom line, like many fans, my interest (& hope) waned early on this season.

    I was never sure if the main problem was our mediocre OL, Cignetti, and/or Slovis, but I do agree that our biggest problem right now is the QB position (a close second is the head coach who made promises to the QB and is now too pigheaded and ashamed to do the right thing). I also think Slovis is in a tough position, as an incredibly immobile QB who doesn’t have much of an offensive line in front of him, and lacks an explosive playmaker at the WR position. In my opion, Slovis’ biggest weakness is his decision making, and that is a quality that will not change; a QB either has it, or he doesn’t.

    What would I do moving forward? Obviously bench Slovis, but I’d also fire Borbley either now or at the end of the season.

    Liked by 1 person

  42. If you watched Slovis closely over the last games you can clearly see that any attempt to go through his WR progression is just not there.

    Why, because of his slow drop back, no ability at all to avoid a rush and complete a pass, and terrible decision making is why.

    Those add up to a QB who is unsure of both his abilities at this point in his college career and of poor decision that result in game killing turnovers.

    Look, when a player who is NOT a QB decides to go into the Portal it is mostly to get more playing time in different circumstances -be it coaching or whatever.

    But when a older QB like Slovis enters the Portal it is basically because the staff of his current program have given him a vote of no confidence.

    That isn’t the case with FR or SO QBs as with them their staff might have confidence and want them to stay…even if it is as QB2 or QB3 in the future. But those kids want playing time as starters.

    Slovis’ pass completion rate at USC went from 71.9 to 67.0 to 65.0 to… 60.5 at Pitt. That shows me he was less and less sure of himself.

    Sure, he can turn things around but the high point of this season for him was his play against a pretty crappy defense of GT where he threw 3 TD. But in the others games he’s 1TD / 4 INTs.

    Time for another QB to get a shot as the teams leader out there.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Reed, I agree his drop back is slow, sometimes seeming glacier. With that known why not just have him operate out of the gun? Is there some good reason not to? Maybe Cigs can answer the question.

      Liked by 1 person

  43. Hello from O’Hare…

    Until Slovis makes faster reads and gets rid of the ball sooner, I just dont see how he will be successful. And he gives no sense that he’s got Alpha Male in him. Sigh.

    Liked by 1 person

  44. Cignetti WILL NOT BE FIRED midseason!! Next year is anybody’s guess because Duzzi tends to stay with people who he knows will not challenge him—his comfort zone.


    1. Whipple was at Pitt three years. Pat stayed with him until his contract was up. If you look around college football, three years is a decent stay for an OC. He hardly was a yes man.


  45. Izzy is fourth in the nation in rushing and his ypc is great. Saying the OL can’t run block is nonsense.

    Cignetti has zero recent history of being a good OC. Forget about his past days at Pitt, the college game has changed since then. Unfortunately, Pat hired a dinosaur.

    Slovis played bad the last game but Frank deserves equal blame if not more. Remember he worked with the likes of Aaron Rodgers, he is the best QB coach in the land. 😜


  46. Narduzzi must have promised Slovis a starting job. If he replaces him now, it would be a personal betrayal to Slovis, who would no doubt poison the water with any prospective QB recruits. He would doubtless say that Narduzzi cannot be trusted to keep his promises.


    1. A promise to start may be reasonable to start a season, although a player should have the confidence that he is going to win the starting. That promise should certainly not include keeping the job if the player doesn’t earn the right to continue starting. I would think any other recruits/ transfer candidates would understand that and complaints from Slovis should fall on deaf ears, seeing the quality of his play.

      Liked by 1 person

  47. It seems to me that the problems with the offense are first the wide receivers, then the offensive line, then Slovis. Cig is struggling to mix in sufficient numbers of passing plays to take the pressure off of the running game. Without running a clock, it just doesn’t seem like Slovis has sufficient time to throw, because the receivers are not running good routes (except Wayne) and the OL is not blitz protecting. A better mix of run/pass plays could help in this area.


  48. When you have a QB in the shotgun all the time it takes way longer for the handoff to a RB, because that RB isn’t almost at full speed when he gets the ball as he is when the QB is taking the snap under center.

    Under center the RB gets the ball closer to the LOS then in the shotgun. With a good OL that means the RB is hitting the exact hole that was intended in the play call. Again, with a decent passing game that freezes the LBs off the LOS and the RB is in the 2nd level very quickly.

    In the shotgun the defense has that extra second to see where the RB is going because he’s getting the ball 6 or 7 yards behind the LOS, so the LBs can afford to cheat up a bit.

    But really the bottom line is that Slovis has such slow feet a snap under center makes him back pedal to his passing pocket and for him that is slow to develop.

    Watch that with him sometimes – there are plays where the OL pocket is setting up before he even gets there which means a pass rush up the middle is just earlier pressure as he’s trying to get back.

    Pickett was excellent under center because he had quick feet, fast drop back and smart enough so he could do his progressions while back pedaling then when the pocket was set around him he already pretty much knew which WR or TE he could go to for best results.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. it takes little time difference to hand off the ball and there are different types of run plays that frankly use the slower handoff to the runner’s advantage such as the Hartman slow read

      I realize we aren’t talking about Hartman but your idea that the RB at full speed hitting the exact hole rather than missing it as if a further backfield handoff would cause that is simply wrong and I’d wager any football coach would disagree with your perception of that

      your 2nd point about LB’s cheating up seems off to me also because if they do that in the shotgun, they put themselves into worse position where the QB then throws over them to the vacated middle of the field

      now whether Cig has plays called to take advantage or allow his QB to read and throw is a whole different issue that related to Cig’s offense with a SLOW footed QB and simultaneously apparently SLOW(or incorrectly) reading QB

      Pickett’s main advantage was he had more YEARS to develop his knowledge of the offense(with Whipple) and also imo develop his clearly superior LEADERSHIP qualities


        1. Hendon Hooker is about 6 months OLDER than Kenny Pickett

          Slovis just 21 as of 5 months ago

          height and weight of the 3 above about the same
          6’3″ and 216 Slovis,
          6’3 /219 for KP,
          6’4″ /217 Hooker


  49. Slovis will come back next year most likely, and start. Given that probability, Narduzzi will not sit him this year.


    1. If that happens, both Patti and Yarnell go out the portal. Both aren’t dumb; they can see Slovis shouldn’t be playing.


  50. On tHe ACC network just now the two commentators were announcing UNC as the Coastal champion with their biggest challenge being NC State in late November.

    Mack Brown was getting praised for doing such a great job with this team.

    Boy I wish Duzz would change QB’s – this will be a tough game to watch.


  51. UNC’s QB Drake Nate and WR Josh Downs are ranked as the #1 duo in the ACC, and maybe the country.

    The ACCN commentators believe Pitt’s secondary will struggle at Carolina. Probably…


    1. Drake Maye not Nate

      Maybe I subliminally want to see Nate Yarnell take some snaps.

      Even though the competition was w. Michigan, Nate passed the eye test and should have gotten at least a few snaps in the past few weeks.

      Maybe Nate is on double-secret probation.

      Someone mentioned that Patti and Yarnell may be on the injured list in Duzz’s notebook – then logic tells me we should have seen the Dartmouth grad transfer, because what we did see was a struggling starter in Slovis that should have at the very least stood on the sideline for a series to watch a teammate lead the O to attempt to recalibrate himself.

      I’m not sure exactly what we are witnessing – some say Duzz is stubborn, I’ve read boneheaded, incompetent and I’m sure there were others I’m missing. I am at a loss for words because it really make no sense, but I’ve seen this before with Duzz throughout his career at Pitt.

      I keep reminding myself that he had no (zero, none) experience as a head coach before arriving at Pitt. It does nothing to make me feel better.

      I have an 8am tee time to golf with buddies this Saturday. I wish the tee time was 8pm.

      Liked by 1 person

  52. I was planning to have my weekly Up Next article available to drink with your morning coffee. It won’t be ready until around lunch time. I know everyone is disappointed.


    1. That’s ok Richard, this can be the first of many disappointments this weekend for Pitt FB.

      We lost to two teams we should have beaten, based on the initial start to the season.

      We probably should not have beaten (a now 3-4) hoopie team to start the season. Do we surprise Mack Brown’s 6-1 Cinderella team or continue this downward spiral under HC Duzz.

      My prediction as I head into a board meeting today and busy finish to a tough work week – Pitt gets boat raced 69-0 to match the worst defeat in school history.

      King Pat’s D and his Prince Slovis put up a big goose egg. Not even the hyped up D can score on the heels.



  53. Drinking my morning coffee at Myrtle Beach catching up on the POV from Monday…
    Having more fun than I deserve golfing every day. Haha.
    Duzz is what he is…queue the tune 🎶 “If you don’t know me by now..🎶

    Liked by 5 people

  54. Did anyone mention that Dayon Hayes who was supposedly out for the year played at Louisville? Hopefully he returns to form soon.


  55. I am 100% in the camp that insists that it is stark, raving stupid to not have inserted Patti or Yarnell into the Louisville game after Slovis’s 2nd interception. But that doesn’t mean that I think that Slovis can’t play well against North Carolina. I just think he doesn’t deserve to start and Patti does because I don’t think that Slovis has shown that he has psychologically recovered from the Tennessee game.

    One more thing. I don’t think Slovis is as “slow” as he is being described by POVers. Yes, he’s not as fast as Kenny or Patti. He may even be slower than average whatever that means. But he’s a helluva lot faster than Max Browne, that’s for sure. And frankly, in my opinion his run speed is adequate perhaps just so but nevertheless adequate. And yes, I’m aware of the bootleg that Slovis ran poorly from which the “Slowvis” meme began and in my opinion that was more due to indecisiveness than inadequate leg speed.


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