POV Sunday Podcast; June 25th, 2017

POV Sunday Podcast; June 25th, 2017

4. Pittsburgh
Sept. 9 at Penn State, Sept. 16 vs. Oklahoma State, Sept. 23 at Georgia Tech

There won’t be any easing into the 2017 schedule for Pat Narduzzi and the Panthers. In Week 2, they hit the road to face No. 5 Penn State. You think the Nittany Lions will be motivated after losing at Pitt a year ago? Then comes a home game against No. 6 Oklahoma State, which throws the ball all over the park with the returning combo of quarterback Mason Rudolph and receiver James Washington, and the Panthers open ACC play a week later by going on the road and having to deal with Georgia Tech’s triple-option attack.

Name Pos Location Ht Wt Stars Rating
Matt Alaimo TE Montvale, NJ 6’5″ 235 3 5.7
Blake Zubovic OL Belle Vernon, PA 6’3″ 308 3 5.7
Chase Brown OL Scranton, PA 6’6″ 310 3 5.6
John Morgan DE Hyattsville, MD 6’3″ 235 3 5.7
Judson Tallandier DB Hyattsville, MD 6’2″ 180 3 5.7
Wendell Davis LB Richmond, VA 6’2″ 215 3 5.5
Jake Kradel OL Butler, PA 6’4″ 270 3 5.7
Noah Palmer DE Jefferson Hills, PA 6’4″ 225 3 5.6
Nick Patti QB Montvale, NJ 6’3″ 190 3 5.5
Jay Symonds TE Cambridge, MA 6’4″ 248 2 5.4

Steel Valley safety Paris Ford will not start classes on Monday with the rest of the incoming freshmen, multiple sources told Panther-Lair.com. Details of the situation are unclear, although it appears Ford could have an opportunity to qualify this summer and enroll closer to training camp.

If he doesn’t qualify this summer, Ford could spend one semester or a full school year at a prep institution like Milford Academy in New Berlin (NY) before enrolling at Pitt.

What is the NCAA Eligibility Center?

The NCAA Eligibility Center was created to bring academic and amateurism certifications together under one roof. Its purpose is to ensure that college-bound student-athletes, as well as coaches and administrators, understand the requirements to participate in NCAA Divisions I and II athletics.

All incoming freshman who plan on attending any NCAA Division I or II university MUST register with the NCAA Eligibility Center, meet all academic and amateur requirements and be certified by the NCAA Eligibility Center.

What are the NCAA Eligibility Center standards I must meet?

The standards issued by the NCAA Eligibility Center are slightly different for Division I and Division II but are based on the same four principles:

You must graduate from high school.

You must successfully complete all core courses.

You must have a minimum 2.000 GPA in core courses; and

You must have a minimum qualifying score on the ACT or SAT.

Military Bowl Presented By Northrup Grumman

Thursday, December 28th, 2017

Navy-Marine Corps. Stadium, Annapolis, MD

ESPN, 1:30 pm

Pitt vs. Navy

39. Pitt Panthers

Relative Strengths: Passing Game, Special Teams
Relative Concerns: Pass Defense, Linebacker
Why Are They Here? Will the Panthers ever stop a passing game? USC transfer Max Browne will keep the offense going, but against so many good ACC QBs, all that matters is the beleaguered secondary.
2016 Final Season Ranking: 35 (8-5)
2016 CFN Preseason Ranking: 32

Happy Birthday Pitt POV!

Happy Birthday Pitt POV!

I waited a day to write-up a one year anniversary article because the defensive backs are really more important at this point.

But last June 23rd I wrote the first of many POV articles and since have gained a solid and strong readership who is not hesitant to add, inform, criticize and praise all of the work done on here.

And when I say all of the work I consider you commenters to be the mainstay of that.  I have always considered my role as the writer one of  putting info and opinions out so that Pitt fans could have a forum for detailed discussions.

All I have really asked in return for that is that the discussions remain civil (they have) and that we respect each other’s opinions and that we have done also.  I feel that, biased position aside, we have by far the best and most in-depth discussion of Pitt football of any forum in the media.  That includes the papers, media subscription sites, message boards, Facebook and the recruiting sites.

Those are all fun places to visit – but if you want some really detailed an in-depth articles and the detailed and conversant discussions generated by those articles then you are in the right place.

And the numbers prove it.  I won’t go into specific readership counts but it is much, much higher than I imagined and way more diverse globally than I would have thought.

So for your info here are some interesting facts about the Pitt POV blog in its initial year.

In the last 365 days we have written 320 articles or 6.15 articles per week.  That includes podcasts and the Roundtable Call-in pieces.

In response to those articles we have had 27,629 comments written by the readers.  That comes out to an average of 86 comments per article.  In my research that is a huge amount more than our next contender which is the Pitt Blather.  Actually there are a bunch more comments on Facebook but I don’t count those.  That equals out to 2,302  comments per month.

Continue reading “Happy Birthday Pitt POV!”

2017’s DBs; Upgrade, Downgrade or Draw

2017’s DBs; Upgrade, Downgrade or Draw

This is the eighth of a longer POV series looking at the individual positions which need to be re-filled in 2017 and whether we will meet the PRODUCTION we had in those positions. We will not factor in true freshman at this point.

Even though we are excluding true freshmen from the conversation in these pre-camp articles some breaking news was just reported by Rivals.com’s Chris Peak; 2017 recruit All-Everything 4* big-time Safety Paris Ford will not be enrolling for classes at Pitt that start on Monday.  Recruits (and the staffs) tend to want to get a jump on the fall camp by enrolling early and being able to use the Pitt weight room, training table, partake in peer drills & exercises, etc… before the August training camp and the September semester.

Not every recruit does this though I believe but the majority do.  This is almost certainly a case of non-qualifying academically so keep fingers crossed that Ford can resolve this problem and report before or during camp.  One thing to note though is that Pitt cannot offer any services to Ford in terms of tutoring, study, etc… because he isn’t a student yet.

All-in-all it is not a great beginning for the DB unit as he was figured to be heavily involved as a true FR at the Safety position. Especially as his Rivals.com rating was a 6.0 which is .1 away from being a 5* kid.  Let’s hope Hamlin is healthy finally to alleviate the blow if Ford has to be absent.

Defensive Backs

I’m already bummed about this unit due to the above even though Ford is a case of the ‘unknown qualities’ that I talk about all the time on here.  But the intent of these articles is to discuss who we have returning in this specific unit so here goes…

On Pitt’s roster as we speak are the following defensive backs (listed by #):

2 Maurice Ffrench 5-11/185 SO
3 Damar Hamlin 6-1/185 SO
7 Henry Miller 6-3/205 RS FR
9 Jordan Whitehead 5-11/190 JR
11 Dane Jackson 6-0/180 RS SO
14 Avonte Maddox 5-9/175 SR
16 Therran Coleman 6-0/190 RS FR
20 Dennis Briggs 5-10/190 RS JR
21 Malik Henderson 6-0/185 RS SO
24 Phil Campbell 6-1/195 RS FR
27 Bricen Garner 6-1/175 RS FR
32 Phillipie Motley 5-10/175 RS JR
35 Rob Boatright 5-10/185 RS SR
43 Jazzee Stocker 6-2/185 RS SO
46 Rimoni Dorsey 6-0/190 RS SO

Continue reading “2017’s DBs; Upgrade, Downgrade or Draw”

2017’s LBs; Upgrade, Downgrade or Draw

2017’s LBs; Upgrade, Downgrade or Draw

This is the seventh of a longer POV series looking at the individual positions which need to be re-filled in 2017 and whether we will meet the PRODUCTION we had in those positions. We will not factor in true freshman at this point.

Here the lineup going into 2017 less true freshman who aren’t on the roster yet…

23 Oluwaseun Idowu 6-0/215 RS JR
25 Elijah Zeise 6-2/230 RS JR
28 Anthony McKee Jr. 6-2/210 RS SO
36 Chase Pine 6-2/240 RS FR
39 Saleem Brightwell 6-0/210 RS SO
41 Jalen Williams 6-2/215 RS JR
44 Elias Reynolds 6-2/225 RS FR
48 Peyton Deri 6-1/205 RS FR
51 Jim Medure 6-2/220 RS SO
53 Brian Popp 6-0/235 RS JR
58 Quintin Wirginis 6-2/240 SR

In many ways you can say our linebackers were between a rock and a hard place last season being stuck right between our DL who did a good job at what they were tasked to do and our defense backs who didn’t.

The nature of Narduzzi’s defense is that Pitt is going to pack the box in almost any offensive scenario so our LBs are positioned just off the LOS for run support.  On passing plays we have the OLBs maintain ‘inside leverage’ to force the short passes into the middle of the defense.

With that our DBs were trusted to go handle the passing game ‘out on an island’ with the safeties having an options to pick up receivers when they felt it right to do so (basically when it was apparent run support from them wasn’t needed).

At least that was the defensive theory going into and through 2016’s 13 games. While the common belief is that Narduzzi has his way of playing defense and our DC Josh Conklin just genuflects and gets on with trying to make it happen, logic would say that because of the almost complete breakdown of our defensive game last year it would mandate changes.

What we saw was a terrible pass defense that lost us games that we could have and should have won. I don’t think anyone is going to argue with that statement – no matter how good some of our opponents QB and WRs were.

But – Narduzzi seems to be confident that what worked so well for him at Michigan State will do the same here so Vegas money says we’ll see the same approach to defense this season as last. 

Well, if Narduzzi isn’t going to change the fundamental tenets of the defense at least he can change, or is forced to change, the personnel. We’ll see that happen by dint of graduation this season in the LB corps.  Three-year starter and leading tackler “Mike” (Middle) MLB Matt Galambos is gone as is his mate, the two-year starter at “Money” LB, Mike Caprara.

Playing alongside those two for almost the whole season was ex-walk on now rsJR Oluwaseun (Sean) Idowu who quietly built up quite a resume’ as Pitt’s 3rd leading tackler with 74 total tackles from the Star LB position over the TE as the pass rushing LB.  He’ll be the sole returning LB starter for 2017.

Continue reading “2017’s LBs; Upgrade, Downgrade or Draw”



Earlier this morning I completed our Howard County, MD’s Naloxone training and certification class.  If you aren’t familiar with what this is about Naloxone is the opiate receptor blocker nasal spray that is used in case of a person’s overdosing on opiates.

This FAQ is an excellent source of info on the medicine.

It is no secret that every state, and almost every county in our respective states of MD and PA are having huge problems with opioid overdose deaths and they  reverberates through families, communities and across all social strata.

Well, we have the ability to help if that happens where we are and I can’t tell you how many people I know who have either overdosed or have had a family member do so – and so died as a result.  That is because I spend a good amount of time around homeless populations and drug addicts.

That is where I volunteer my time every week and why I finally told myself I have to be ready in case I’m needed to help.

Allegheny County provides the same training – it should be of no cost to you and pharmacies, of the Health Department itself, should provide you with the Naloxone kits you need.

I urge you to consider this training also. There are a lot of rumors surrounding this subject – some really off the wall – but I hope you educate yourself and then take advantage of these needed emergency response tools.

Good Samaritan laws are in effect in every state so that shouldn’t worry you.  I linked PA’s for you.

Thanks for listening…







POV Sunday Podcast; June 18, 2017

POV Sunday Podcast; June 18, 2017


Correction: Galambos and Caprara had five sacks in 2015, not last season.

Chris Peak has a truly excellent series on Pat Narduzzi’s defense he’s playing at Pitt (or Josh Conklin is).

Here is the DBs section:


Here is the link for those Rivals’ mailbag discussions I referenced…


And as a blast from the past…


….. remember her?


POV Readers Fill Out The Lineup

POV Readers Fill Out The Lineup

I’ll try to do a weekly spot where I answer some lingering questions raised in the comments section that weren’t subsequently answered by myself or other commenters.  One of those, for example, was regarding how many returning players the other teams have for this season.

Remember Pitt has only 6 Offensive, 4 Defensive and 1 ST players returning.  Here are the others’ returnees numbers.

ACC Returning

So you can see that we are at the bottom numerically if we look at just our offense and defense where we have only 10 returnees.  What does this mean?  Well, we better see the fruits of our expectations for Narduzzi’s recruiting efforts pan out on the field because every other ACC team is reloading at their vacant starting positions also and they all have less spots to fill.  Here is who has more than us of our opponents in ’17:

NC State – 18;   Miami – 17;    GT – 16;    Duke & VT – 14;   SYR & NC – 13. 

I don’t know about you all but when I look at NC State, Miami and GT having so many more returning starters than us I think you have to factor that in when discussing those games in advance – the bookies sure do.  Especially when given the fact that Miami and NC State are replacing whoever they lost with much higher rated recruiting classes than ours.

As we discuss below though… the games are not played on paper or on a laptop (yet, I can’t speak for 50 years from now).

As mentioned, let’s look at how our 2017 opponents’ Rivals.com recruit rankings were during Narduzzi’s first two full recruiting years of 2015 and ’16.

FBS Schools

2015’s  Rank

2016’s  Rank




21 18
Miami 26 23 24.5
NC 28 22 25
NC State 35 43 39
OK State 38 45 41
VT 24 49 42
Duke 62 31 46.5
Pitt 65 29 47
VA 44 61 52
GT 39 67 53

Interestingly enough all of these schools are in the top 41% of the whole 128 teams.

So – other schools reload just as Pitt will this season and as much as we want to think our recruits will do well, and some sure will do well for us, other school’s fans are hoping the exact same thing.

Again – it is the age-old question of is it the “Jimmys and Joes” or the “Xs and Os”.  In our case let’s hope our coaching staff is better that all our opponents because, apparently, our recruits weren’t better than them on paper.

Of course the games are played out on the field and not on paper thus our last season’s wins over PSU and Clemson refute this premise.  Clemson’s previous recruiting classes were ranked 15th in ’13 and 4th in ’14… yet we beat them, didn’t we? Continue reading “POV Readers Fill Out The Lineup”