MMQB: Miami Win

What a final third to a college football season! After two losses against Louisville and then #21 North Carolina by a combined score of 62-34 not too many Pitt fans thought we’d go on a tear and sweep the last four games. That ending put us at a firm 8-4 (again) and sets us up with a better bowl and opponent in the post-season hopefully. That happened with a 42-16 win over Miami.

22 Sked

Those four wins were done, mostly, on the strength of our defense who really tightened their belts. Then in this last game QB Kedon Slovis broke out of a season-long slump to throw for 256 yards and 3 TDs with 1 INT for a high QB rating of 169.3

Isn’t it interesting that his first game against WVU in the opener and his last game against Miami he had great QB ratings (188.2 & 169.3 respectively) but was pretty horrid in-between. Honestly, I’m not sold on him for next season but that’s pretty far away.

I wrote in the predictions thread that this game was going to be all about turnovers and whomever had the most would win. We went out and did that – converting a first Miami drive INT into seven points. Had another INT on the second UM drive but that didn’t pan out as points for us.

Those types of failed opening drives tend to wear away a team’s confidence and I think that happened Saturday as UM couldn’t really do much of anything after that. They were pretty beaten down as at one point we held a 35-3 lead heading into the fourth quarter.

You can tell a lot about how a team’s offense did by looking at what their drive-extending 3rd down conversation rate was. In Miami’s case it stunk at 3 for 12 (25%). If a team doesn’t get that rate up to 50% or above they most probably won’t be scoring many points.

Our RB, Israel Abanikanda was spot-on again rushing for 111 yards and two TDs for a 7.4 ypc average. Pretty much in line with his sterling season’s totals of 1431 yards with 20 TDs and a 6.0 ypc average. That friends is a damn solid season of play. Anytime a RB can average 6.0 ypc on a starting back’s number of carries he’s done a fine job.

Here is how he stacks up with our other very good Panther RBs:

Since Abanikanda is but a Junior this season we might see him in a Pitt uniform again next season…but let’s be honest here in that great Pitt RBs in this ‘modern’ age tend to leave Pitt as quickly as they can (save Conner with extenuating circumstances). So a fourth season from him might not happen.

Here are the final ACC standings and below that is a prediction of where Pitt will play in our bowl game:

At this time some pundits have us playing Cincinnati in the Military Bowl down here in Annapolis, MD. I say Hell Yes!! as the stadium is perfect, the city is perfect and the bars are perfect. What more could you want? Interesting that Wisconsin just named Luke Fickell, Cincy’s current HC, to take the place of Paul Chryst who was just canned by the Badgers. Maybe he sticks around Cincy for that last match but I doubt it – he’ll probably be gone thus raising the opportunity for Pat Narduzzi to better his current 1-4 record in post-season games by playing an interim HC.

I do hope this happens as some of the POVers who were in Annapolis for the 2015 bowl game can tell you it is a great experience especially if you can get some free time to tour The Naval Academy (please do- it is America at its finest) and only a four hour drive from Pittsburgh!! 

Screenshot 2022-11-28 095121

I mean the overall experience was great. What wasn’t so good was the 417 yards Navy gained rushing to beat our asses 44-28. That was not all that lovely to watch but still – that whole experience was fun all around.


77 thoughts on “MMQB: Miami Win

  1. Western Michigan HC Tim Lester not being retained. Rumor had it Narduzzi wanted him as OC at Pitt prior to the hiring of Wallace and Cignetti. I’m hoping Narduzzi makes another try at hiring him as OC. It’s a real long shot however that Duzz would dump Cignetti after one season.


  2. Annapolis is GREAT if the weather is decent. Interim HC….GTech ….ugly. Bowl games are useless unless a team is at the top…/ they are exhibitions and meaningless. So, it all comes down to the players who choose to opt-out for greener pastures to play on Sundays. We should have enough talent remaining to win against most teams barring any injuries.


  3. I still go back to the fact that starting a season with WV and Tennessee with a new offensive coordinator, quarterback, and receivers was a really bad idea and caused the disappointing season. While it was great for gate receipts and the fans not having a warm up game or two to work out the bugs caused an immense amount of damage. The injury to Slovis and our lines never getting on track till later in the year contributed to all the losses. Three O-line starters out for much of the season caused guys shifting around. Injuries to the receivers and running backs directly affected offensive production. This contributed to the turnover ratio which caused the losses.

    On defense it took the new linebackers some time to get better causing unusual run production by our opponents. Not getting adequate pressure on the opposing QB’s in all four losses was a big problem.

    But that’s football, injuries and turnovers are a big part of the game, many times the difference between winning and losing.

    The good news was that when Pitt got healthy and starting winning the turnover battle four straight victories were won, avoiding a potential disaster.

    While Slovis has many flaws, he is the best we have and even if Minchey came he would be good to have next year.

    Even though I never though Minchey would sign here, it does little to tamper my disgust for ND and the new NIL world. The fact that the player says he will come stopped Pitt from recruiting another good QB and now stuck looking for another portal QB. It really stinks.

    This new reality caused Addison, a generational player to leave. It is really a shame because he would have gone down in Pitt History as one of the greats but for a new rule which helps the rich get richer, but I guess that is the American way, and has always been a factor but now out of the shadows.

    Liked by 5 people

  4. Bowl games are meaningless except for two things, they count on the overall win-loss totals as much as any other game and they give a team extra weeks of practice which helps most when a lot of guys are leaving.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. How do you know Slovis was the best we had GC? He was so bad after he came back from the concussion that almost any QB on the roster could have played a bit better. Frankly, I think Narduzzi didn’t want to pull Slovis for fear that any transfer QB he tryed to recruit going forward would be reluctant to sign on with PITT because of how quickly he pulled Slovis.


    1. I tend to think that Cignetti knows more about Quarterbacks than the average fan. Second sting QB’s are always popular when things aren’t going well. Patti has been with the program so these guys know what he brings to the table. I don’t know how to address the second part of your statement, quite a stretch.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Gordon, I applaud your enthusiasm and strong support for Pitt Football. In my opinion, we could do better, much better at QB and OC. Narduzzi is NOT going to make any changes to his coaching staff unless somebody leaves and the QB situation is much less than positive unless the Portal Gods look favorably upon us. Next year with IZZY seeking to be paid for working on Sundays and some of our very best defensive talent looking to join the NFL you will need a HUGE COCKTAIL OF OPTIMISM to get through the carnage
        that will most likely lead to a crash of our program. One look at Heather’s insane schedule is enough to require a huge carton of Pepto Bismol.


        1. Isnore, I know you have been much more negative this year. I totally agree that next year’s schedule is really stupid and setup for failure.
          It may very well be a down year, but not necessarily. Both lines should be pretty good as long as our young guys keep developing.

          While not great Slovis is serviceable but obviously will need help at receiver with Wayne most likely leaving. Face it he was our only reliable receiver which didn’t help Slovis look good. Hammond and C’Bo should handle the running load pretty well.

          We also don’t know which young guys and portal guys will contribute next year.

          Remember 3 years ago no one except Whipple knew that Addison was a game changer.
          Did anyone know that Dennis would be an immediate stud?

          So on a personal note I don’t see the value in negativity about a future that hasn’t been written, worry is not productive, it won’t change anything. Besides it’s only football.

          I hope your recovery from back surgery is going well, be serious about the therapy when you are able. I had a good year of golf thanks to my surgery and therapy. It is a constant battle as your parts wear out. Lucky to live in an era of modern medicine. How about a guy playing football a week after getting his appendix out? Crazy!

          Liked by 2 people

        2. carnage… crash of our program… insane schedule… huge carton of Pepto Bismol – my goodness, the hyperbole is… hyperbolic!!!!!!!!! ( I borrowed a couple exclamation points from Dan – heehee)

          Liked by 4 people

          1. Beat me to it again JoeL, what the heck. Just a month ago we were being told we were amid a carnage and doom loomed large.

            Izzy, wake up and smell the roses my friend. Please remember PITT before PN and enjoy the second winningest coach the past 8 years if I have that right?

            Liked by 2 people

          2. Ok, Ok I have gone overboard and yes, I have been laughing at your comment. I admit that I had high hopes for a 10-2 or 9-3 season and 8-4 is not the end of the world. The loyal fans of the Hokies (full stadium) and the few fans of the Canes (empty stadium most weeks) have the need for my case of Pepto Bismol. I fully realize that the blame for a less than outstanding season can not be completely placed on Cignetti, Slovis, or Narduzzi, however, collectively the trio underachieved expectations. The loss of 2 Pitt SUPER players to graduation and the NIL fiasco obviously was too much to overcome given the talent available to play this year.

            I believe that Means is a MAC-level player at best, however, Mumpfield has talent but absolutely must work diligently to improve his strength….he could be much improved next year. Slovis is an example of what you see is what you get. Yes, he got his bell rung early in the season, but if the concussion did not occur he would still not be a mobile QB needed to play the modern game of today. Yarnell ?? does anybody know what he can do?? Patti will probably go into the portal and it will be very interesting to see who recruits him.
            Wouldn’t it be funny if Dartmouth on the bench was the hidden sleeper lost in the shuffle?

            Our defense is losing some exceptional talent which will be difficult to replace, however,
            depending on who stays on for next year the jury is out on our future. Too early to make an intelligent judgment.

            Punting &%$# Beyond Bad.

            Yes, we crushed Miami, but as I have said (and this is not being negative) the Canes were a MAJOR DISAPPOINTMENT this year…..having their #1 QB both injured and somewhat confused by the new system didn’t help their cause. We dump all over Narduzzi, but Cristobal has his work cut out for him because another year like this will send the wealthy Miami alumni into a frenzy.

            Last but not least we all know that schedules are put together 5-6 years in advance and our AD has not done us any favors….if we go 7-3 or 6-6 next year while developing young talent it would be a good year.


            Last but not least, our football program is light years ahead of the mess led by Coach Capel.

                                                              Hail 2 Pitt!

            Liked by 1 person

  6. Pitt’s Valeria Vazquez Gomez was named the ACC women’s volleyball player of the week for the second time this season today. Pitt players won that award six times this season. Courtney Buzzerio won it three time, Valeria won it twice, and Serena Gray won it once.

    Liked by 8 people

  7. Now that the season is over, I just have a general (gut?) reflection on the state of the program. Obviously, we did not maintain last year’s success, but a record of 8-4 and one game out of first place in the Coastal is quite a surprise, and positive ending to a setback of a season. So my perception is that Narduzzi has done a really solid job of building a program, and he seems to know how to pull the strings needed to make the defense improve as the season progresses; he has done this many times. Again, all in all, I’m pleased with the job Narduzzi has done.

    Current and future challenges seem to surround our sadsack offense, which has a tendency towards conservative play and turtling; despite finally putting up good points this past weekend, its pretty clear they’ve been benefitting a lot from our defense. And no, I don’t think our offense is bad, just underwhelming, and not the kind of offense that’s going to attract top recruits imho. I’m honestly not sure where most of the blame lies. Yes, I still feel Borbs needs to go, but I’m not sure how I feel about Cignetti or Slovis; since Cignetti is not going anywhere yet, I’m hoping Slovis is the problem and moves on after this season (I can’t imagine an immobile QB staying around with our entire OL graduating anyway). And I wouldn’t bother with the portal for another QB unless a gem falls into our laps, I’d rather see Patti take a shot and highly doubt there’d be any drop off vs Slovis. It’s a shame we lost Minchey, but priority #1 needs to be bringing in decent QB prospects that have mobility.


    Liked by 2 people

  8. Line on Pitt/NW down to +7
    Pitt has the talent to win this game!
    Oddly enough, Pitt’s run and gun style may work against a superior defensive NW Team. But….Pitt has to hit their shots.


      1. Is it my imagination because I seem to be seeing more cross court passes this year…..not exactly a good idea against any team with decent defense.


  9. Pitt did do an excellent job in the last 4 games. A lot of the season was affected by the Slovis concussion and the rotating O line. Once both settled, we played well. Replacing Addison was another issue, the kid from Akron, though good, wasn’t a direct replacement as some thought. Wayne was our best all season. I hope Slovis does come back, and he should. I liked what I saw against Miami. I figure Patti’s gone and will play where he can start in his final year. Figure we’ll have Slovis and Yarnell plus a transfer back there. Next year Yarnell will be a redshirt sophomore so even if Slovis comes back, he’ll still have 2 years to be the starter. Defense will be the same strong unit as it was the past few years. Hopefully, it will have a stronger start than this year. Dennis coming back is the key there.


  10. Hope we finally win a bowl game. At least kids get stuff and have extra practices. NILS will be everywhere. NCAA asleep.
    Watch Steelers on TV and Pitt-NW BB on computer.


  11. The bowl game is not meaningless for Pitt. There is an opportunity to finish in the final top 25. That would be a bonus.

    Cignetti still stinks until he proves he doesn’t. The Miami games was too late to make up for all the crappy games. Unfortunately he will be back. He cost Pitt a few games this year.

    Liked by 3 people

  12. —Could we give Moore a shot at center next season. The poor snaps are maddening – imagine if Miami had been a close game…

    —Mumpfield needs to put on some muscle. I still think he can be a very good WR…

    —Bartholomew needs to recover from the Sophomore Jinx…

    —I was guessing Pitt would win 9 games in conference, but I was assuming Slovis, Mumpfield and Bartholomew would all be more effective…

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 3 people

  13. I think the receivers were a much bigger weakness than Cig this year and Wayne’s performance Saturday reinforces that POV. Where was that all year? Wayne was ok but Saturday he was great. Getting wide open and YAC. But one good receiver is not nearly enough. Mumpfield broke very few tackles, fell down a lot and had no YAC. The up and comer Bradley was an obvious head case. Means dropped a few caught a few and wasn’t nerly productive enough.
    People complain that Bart wasn’t targeted enough but what did he do to deserve it? When he did have a chance not much happened.

    Slovis shares some of the responsibility as does the offensive line. Open receivers were missed and blocks weren’t made and penalties stopped too many drives.

    I am sure Cig’s play calling contributed, but you are smarter than me if you can tell me how much.

    Saturday showed what the offense can do when properly executed. The line protected, Wayne got open and Slovis threw good passes. The line also opened big holes for Izzy.

    No doubt the offense benefitted from the stellar defensive play with good field position. That was missing a lot in the losses as well.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. WRs get open if the offensive scheme against the called defense gets them open. The OC is suppose to put players in position to be successful. That didn’t happen with Bartholomew. That is a shame. He is a very good TE. The Pitt offense under performed this year, that ultimately falls on the OC. I hope Cignetti acknowledges that and doesn’t blame the players.


      1. Sorry man, but offensive schemes don’t get guys open. Speed and moves, running good routes get guys open. Did schemes make Jerry Rice or Larry Fitzgerald great or might it be talent. Seriously if all it takes it schemes Whipple wouldn’t have got fired this year.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Pitt’s WR have more than enough talent, speed, route running ability to get open.

          Cignetti is horrible.


        2. I disagree, receivers have to know if the defense is in man-to-man or a zone and how to beat either system. Thay also have to know when to brake off a route and go back-shoulder, etc. and that’s coaching…

          Liked by 1 person

      1. So why do you think he wasn’t targeted more often? It wasn’t like our receivers were overachieving.


        1. When I was in my seat at Acrisure Field, I saw Bart running wide open lots of times and Slovis would lock in on his first target and throw into coverage instead of looking for a better read.

          For some reason that I do not know the answer to, OC Cig rarely targeted Bart as the first read and Slovis rarely threw to a second or third option, if ever.

          Liked by 2 people

          1. I do agree that Slovis missed a number of open guys and that he wasn’t very accurate on the shorter passes. To me the real value of a tight end is making those tough catches over the middle in tight coverage. For whatever reason that didn’t seem to be in the playbook.
            If Bart was really good at that it makes no sense that they wouldn’t use him. It seems that they didn’t trust Bart or Slovis (maybe both) to make that play.


    2. Not on board with your Bart assessment. When he was targeted and the ball was actually catchable he did damage with the opportunity. Far too many passes were at his feet, overthrown or didn’t hit him in stride. Bart was open on many passing plays, but was rarely seen by Slovis on check downs. Slovis was more comfortable throwing it into double and triple coverage. Also, Bart was used mainly as a blocker due to the poor play of the O-line.

      In my opinion, Bub Means was a huge disappointment throughout the season. When he was targeted with a catchable ball it seemed it was a 50/50 chance that he would pull it in. His route running was horrendous at best – even in the Miami game. He needs to move in.


  14. If every PITT player with eligibility would return next year PITT would begin the season ranked in the top 15. Jus saying before Reed reminds me all teams suffer from attrition. This is a reference directed at the recruiting success comment.

    Looking past the dislike of a coach’s personality and not acknowledging the obvious positive abilities of a coach, must be an acquired phenomenon of a true realist?

    Case in point: When PITT has a false start two plays into a game and the coaching staff suddenly becomes the worst of all time. Never mind the ensuing 59 minutes of quality play.

    Liked by 4 people

  15. I’m not sold on the idea that playing a tough P5 team increases your odds of getting players hurt versus just dumb luck. If that were the case I’d expect to see a steady parade of stretchers being brought onto the field when we play the New Hampshire’s and Rhode Island’s of the world. I don’t recall that happening.

    What I do feel strongly about is this strange notion that coaches knowingly play lesser players even if it means losing a game as a result. Every coach on that field wants to win way more than any of us fans. It’s their careers, their entire livelihood! We watch Yarnell for three hours against an inferior opponent and conclude he is better than Slovis. The coaches watch these same QB’s for hundreds of hours but we think they intentionally go with the guy who gives them a lesser chance of winning just because …. fill in the blank. That makes no logical sense to me.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. You may be right Farmers but from time to time all baseball manages insert relief pitchers into the game when the starter is playing poorly. And unless you were watching a different Pitt offense than I was this year our starting pitcher(QB) quite frankly played miserably in many games this year. And its not like Narduzzi didn’t have a decent backup to replace Slovis in Patti. By the way this is the same Patti that Narduzzi said in the past that we would have won the Michigan State Bowl game last year had he not got hurt in the 1st Q. Don’t use Yarnell as the example but better to use the QB that Narduzzi thought would win last years bowl game as the example.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. One thing that puzzles me is why the first year with a new OC has to be a downer. That’s especially true with these highly experienced OCs we have had. I guess Oh Canada was a surprise exception, but why can’t these experienced OCs learn what it takes to have an effective offense in their first year. Dumb-down the offense; or don’t change so much; whatever it takes…

    There seemed to be several instances this season where our WRs ran the wrong route – or at least the communication with the QB was not there…

    Maybe defensive head-coaches like Duzz should keep this in mind. A new OC generally means at least one disappointing year on offense.

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Exactly. It shouldn’t take a season to learn an offense. That’s on the OC. Whipple was the same way.


  17. For all you bowl haters out there, here are a dozen good reasons why even minor bowls are important. In many ways, they are even more important than early season cupcake OOC games.
    1. Extends practice time which helps younger players
    2. Helps coaches get an in-depth look at players projected to start next year.
    3. Helps teams measure younger players’ progress towards providing future depth.
    4. Helps to determine future needs from the transfer portal.
    5. Game conditions for tweaking and refining the play book based on players coming back.
    6. Help coaches to establish off season work out and lifting programs for returning players.
    7. Injuries have an entire off season to heal.
    8. Good match ups provide national TV exposure.
    9. National TV exposure enhances recruit awareness.
    10. A bowl win sets the program up for a potential top 25 ranking the following year.
    11. Additional TV exposure increases student applications and donations.
    12. Bowl wins can increase season ticket sales and increase alumni interest.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Good list, but I just like having another opportunity to see the Panthers play — and another chance, though typically slim, to see another win.

      And some bowl memories — I still remember finally going back to bowl games when Johnny Majors and TD arrived; the the bowl game many moons ago when we beat Philip Rivers; the spectacular bowl-game diving over-the-head catch by Larry Fitz; etc…

      Go Pitt.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I stopped believing the extra practice time does wonders for the younger players. The kind of bowl Pitt will be going to is good for another game (entertainment value) and for recruiting.

      Winning it is great but too much negativity for losing, and Pitt will likely be down Izzy for this one.


  18. Amid ALL the negative forecasts prior to the game from the “Blame Cignetti” Gang, I believe someone predicted a BIG night for Israel Abanikanda behind that IMPRESSIVE Cignetti offense.

    Not a hard prediction.


    1. That was a good prediction. The run scheme is very good, the OL was destroying the so called great Miami DL. Cignetti deserves credit for that game.


    1. Cignetti has more than one decent receiver. Bart, Mumfield and some younger kids he failed to develop. Actually made one transfer and cost Pitt a very good QB recruit.

      Again, give Cignetti last years players and he never comes close to those offensive stats. His history is proof. He hasn’t had success in this era of college football and his points per games stinks.

      I think there are some Cignetti relatives posting on here, LOL.


  19. The Miami game was Cignetti’s best. If he can repeat it against a decent team in a bowl game, I’ll have a glimmer of hope for next year. If he can’t score again, it will be very disappointing and a bad sign for next year.


  20. All this criticism of Cignetti but not one word about Tiquan Underwood, our wide receiver coach. One common theme of the criticism of Cignetti has been the lack of a passing game. A lot of that has to fall on Underwood and the lack of our wide receivers to develop over the season. We will not see Cignetti leave this year, but I hope we do have a chance of Underwood being asked to move on!

    Liked by 4 people

  21. Not the first time but Pitt receivers this year… WEAK, WEAKER, WEAKEST.

    Does anyone think Jared Wayne has a future in the NFL? But Wayne is the ONLY guy Slow-vis locks onto because he gives him the best chance of completing a pass.

    Again… Football IQ 101. Read it. It really will do you some good.


      1. Notrocket… even though the way the thread happened to unfold, my posts were NOT directly targeting you or anyone else in particular.

        It was really directed at everyone here and elsewhere, and there are plenty, who have been so quick to blame Cignetti when it’s pretty apparent that the real problem plaguing the passing offense is a lack of talent.

        Again, this coming from someone who was not a fan of Cignetti the first time around. He has really upped his game which has been a pleasant surprise. Far more complex.


  22. I read somewhere that a college team typically goes into a game with 20 to 40 plays. Forty different plays seems like a lot to be able to execute. I guess sometimes the same play can be run from different formations.

    Last season we had KP running to the sideline to get the play — awkward but seemed to work pretty well. This season we had Slovis looking to the sideline, then checking his wrist band, then calling out what seemed to be a lot of words in the huddle, then maybe looking around and shifting someone into the right spot. In other words, the offense seemed to be pretty complicated as far as getting the play right.

    Then we heard that this WR had problems because he was expected to learn the 3 WR positions. This sounds like a bad idea to me. Let the WR play one spot and master the plays from that one spot before they try to expand their repertoire…. So the offense was complicated as far as execution…

    Next season we will have a bunch of new/young WRs. I hope Cignetti learned some lessons this season – yet why didn’t he learn these lessons a long time ago…

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 2 people

  23. someone mentioned elsewhere GaTech QB Sims entered the TP and would like to go to Pitt

    I’d far prefer another kid from GaTech I see in the portal, Nate McCollum


  24. I have a few random reactions to the game, the MMQB and the comments above…

    1) When Pitt went for it on 4&1 at the beginning… not gonna lie, my reaction was something akin to “aw shucks” with some Basil Hayden’s Dark Rye sprinkled in. Thought that might ignite the Canes to march right down the field and score. Anyone else?… So impressed with the Pitt D’s response. And FWIW, I was in favor of going for it and giving it to Izzy.

    2) How about that slick screen pass call? Didn’t know you had it in you, Frank!

    3) In evaluating Izzy as a back, one needs to view both his average stats and consider the line he’s played behind. He’s been impressive

    4) My reaction after the game was, “What could have been”. (cue up the Sting music video, Ike). And here Im thinking about the passing game. Its quite possible that what we witnessed was the offense finally aligned and humming. Or not. But the quick drops and leading throws – across the middle by gosh – and caught!… was something I hadn’t seen in earlier games.

    At the beginning of the season, Reed asked me, “so you really think they can win 9 games?” after I predicted 9-3 in a preseaon article I authored. Yes, I did and it frosts my cookies that Pitt blew two games with late turnovers. “What could have been”.

    5) Maybe its finally clicking for Slovis. Or not. But its not absurd to think – despite the superficial arguments that he production waned over time at USC – that he could progress as he got more real snaps in real games. If he has a good bowl game, maybe that’s something to quell the agida churning and burning in the stomachs of Panther diehards. Or not. I guess we will have to stay tuned.

    6) Speaking of next year, Jared Wayne has a tough decision to make. I hope he comes back as he and Slovis look to have established chemistry.

    7) Gordon – a shout out to you for providing grounded, articulated commentary. You should write an article.

    8) Bowl game – with full appreciation for the views of some here wanting to see a 12 win season, last year’s bowl game was meaningless imo. Its a bit different this year – again imo. Given the disappointment of failing to return to Charlotte, it would be good for Pitt to get to a bowl wins. Sounds silly and self-contradictory in a way, doesn’t it? Yeah, I know. But 9 wins is better than 8 wins, right?

    As for the venue, the vast majority of the predictions I’ve read have the Panthers going to Yankee Stadium. Our friend Reed is using some body english to get the game in his backyard. But he is right that Annapolis is a wonderful place to attend any game. And it will be the only thing in town. One will feel like they are at a bowl game.

    Manhattan offers that, but only within eyesight of the official hotels. But walking into a sea of blue and gold at Rosie O’Grady’s aint that bad. Ask Reed – we tipped a glass there together…as we did at the Rams Head in Annapolis.

    In terms of prestige though, the Pinstripe edges out the Military Bowl. There are projections of Purdue, Illinois and Wisky as an opponent….any of those is better than playing our last game against the Bearcats, only to face them in early Sept.

    Either place, its time for Duzz to wash the stank off of his bowl record.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Even for a poor team, there’s a game or two each season where the shots are falling and they beat a better team. Is that what happened tonight, or is this team making progress? Or is Northwestern just really a poor team…

      This is certainly the most offensive talent Pitt’s had in many moons…

      Go Pitt.


  25. Stealing from Gene Collier . . .Things I think I think:

    1- Wayne will be productive at the next level because he has the most important ability, availability. He’s been durable and relatively sure handed as a possession WR for 5 years.
    2 – Izzy was a sweet addition to the great history of Pitt RBs
    3 – Cig70’s offense did not do Pitt any favors, but it’s interesting and research would bear it out that the passing game improved significantly once he started passing between the hash marks in the last few games
    4 – Slow-vis is inaccurate on long passes and has horrible touch on short passes, but weirdly has good accuracy and touch on intermediate and crossing routes. Took too long for Cig70’s to figure this out.
    5 – Bart can only catch the balls thrown to him and those were few and far between, besides for too many games, all he did was block . . . waste of talent
    6 – The depth of talent Duzzi has accumulated at DL is remarkable, now if only he could recruit DBs taller that 5′ 8″ who turn to find the ball
    7 – I think Kamara and Shields will show tremendous improvement next year from the experience they gained playing next to SirVocea
    8 – Both Simon and Wiltz turned out to be very good transfers
    9 – Miami absolutely stinks
    10 – Slow-vis isn’t going anywhere unless he jumps into the portal again, he’s only a marginal college QB
    11 – The 4 game win streak makes it an easy decision to keep Cig70’s but I hope he’s on a short leash if his offense is ineffective again next year.
    12 – Cincinnati has a 4-star 2023 QB recruit that I hope doesn’t follow Fickel and re-opens his recruitment.
    13 – I don’t get the criticism about Mumphreys size/strength, his build is almost identical to Addison, it’s speed not size that’s his limitation
    14 – What the OL does next year with a bunch of new hogs playing will be a very interesting thing to watch. Unfortunately Borbs will be the coach as Duzzi is both loyal and stubborn
    15 – Pitt must increase the budget and hire a special teams coach, or instead finally dump Powell. I’ve never seen a worse punting team in my life.
    16 – Sauls was an amazingly pleasant surprise this year and Powell doesn’t deserve credit
    17 – Cold weather outdoor bowl games are more stupid than meaningless
    18 – I don’t believe that Pitt lost a single game when they won the TO battle, which is natural when you have an offense that can’t generally score over 30 without defensive help
    19 – Sorry had too much to drink celebrating Pitt’s bball victory and too much on my mind

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    1. While I agree that Mumpfield’s speed is nowhere near Addison’s neither is his strength or agility. He never breaks tackles or fakes anyone out. He seems to fall down a lot and goes down too easy when hit. He does get open and catch the ball so a good possession receiver.

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  26. Flicking thru the too many tv channels after the big Pitt/Stiller(Pickett) wins. And landed on the ACCN…showing replay of Wake Forest (7-4) vs Duke (7-4) at Duke, which is about an hour from WF’s campus in Winston-Salem. Beginning of the 2nd q…so good time to gauge the
    crowd. I estimated probably 15K, even though the network was trying their best to hide
    the 65% empty Duke stadium. (which btw the network never does for Pitt). So checked the
    gamecast page of this game, Duke claimed 17K, my count was probably more accurate.

    You’d think 2 decent teams, (7-4) at game time, best Duke team in 4 years and Wake(they were #10 in the nation a month ago) only being an hour away(Hartman’s final conf game, maybe)……would draw a bigger crowd. 15K and it could have been even closer to 10k.

    And ppl complain about 40-45K for Pitt against Rhode Island ! lol


  27. I believe Wake is the smallest of the ACC schools, so not many students/ alums to support the team. Add in the Thanksgiving holiday, and I’m not surprised the crowd was small. Duke is also small- but we all know they are a basketball school anyway.

    And Pitt is a volleyball and soccer school!!

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  28. Sorta OT. Read this morning that Pickett called the play the Steelers ran to win the game last night. Afterward in an interview, he said, in part, “Obviously, there are things we will check the tape and we got a quick turnaround to get back on Sunday and go to Atlanta. There are things we got to clean up and get right in order to take care of business on Sunday.”
    Wonder what college head coach he played for before going to the Steelers? Must say that Kenny was impressive last nite, IMO.

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