POV: Pre-NC Game Bits & Pieces

Here are some pieces of info and links to prep you all for the game on Thursday night… one thing to remember, I think, is that NC’s record of 1-8 is valid, but that doesn’t matter when the whistle blows.  At this point Pitt is giving away 9.5 points to the Tarheels.

PITT (4-5, 2-3 ACC) vs. NORTH CAROLINA (1-8, 0-6 ACC)

November 9, 2017 • 7:30 p.m., ET

LINK (PDF): Pitt Game Notes (vs. North Carolina)

GAME STORYLINES
• Pitt looks to continue its recent momentum when it hosts Coastal Division foe North Carolina for a Thursday night ESPN national telecast. This will be the Panthers’ 23rd all-time appearance on ESPN’s Thursday package.

• The Panthers are coming off a pair of impressive wins, 24-17 at Duke and 31-14 against Virginia. A victory over North Carolina would extend Pitt’s winning streak to three games and even its record at 5-5 on the season.  

• Narrow margins have been the rule during recent Pitt-UNC series history. The past six meetings have been decided by a combined 25 points, an average of 4.2 points per game. The Tar Heels slipped past the Panthers in Chapel Hill last year, 37-36.

• Since 2013, North Carolina is the only team in the Coastal that Pitt has not beaten. The Panthers are 0-4 against the Tar Heels in ACC play. North Carolina also leads the overall series, 8-3.|

• Pitt’s last victory in the series occurred in the 2009 Meineke Car Care Bowl in Charlotte. Coach Dave Wannstedt’s Panthers edged the Tar Heels (coached by Butch Davis), 19-17, on a field goal with 52 seconds left. 

• Junior tailback Darrin Hall has reignited the Panthers’ rushing attack by averaging 182.5 yards over his past two contests. Hall had 254 yards at Duke, followed by a 111-yard effort against Virginia. 

• Junior all-purpose player Quadree Henderson had a 75-yard punt return touchdown in Pitt’s last game against Virginia. Henderson has seven career kick return TDs, two shy of the national record. 

• Quadree Henderson leads the ACC and ranks seventh nationally in punt returns with a robust 16.1-yard average. North Carolina, in contrast, is 112th in punt return defense, surrendering 12.4 yards per return.

(MORE INFO AND VIDEOS AFTER THE PAGE BREAK)

 

Continue reading “POV: Pre-NC Game Bits & Pieces”

Pitt vs Duke Gameday Thread

Guys – if you are making late predictions please include them on yesterday’s prediction thread found here so that I have them all in one place.

OK – another Saturday and another chance for Pitt to vault into the rarified air where  the three win teams reside.  I think we can do it today.  Why not? But I’ll still stick with my prediction that we lose by 8 or 9 points because of so many serious question marks we have seen emerge in the first seven games.

My thought process with this prediction is like about a hundreds other Pitt fan’s I have read over the last few day… until we can mount a consistent and effective running games that produces way over our current 3.3 ypg & 113.7 yards per game.

That ineptitude will put a lot of pressure on any team’s passing game even if they have an established and experienced QB behind Center.  We don’t have that which makes this game even more shaky.  So – it adds up to another disappointing afternoon on paper…

But let’s prove Reed wrong this afternoon.

Here’s a tip of the beer mug to the POV’ers attending the game in Durham, NC today.  Get together, have fun, swap your best Pitt-life stories and bring us far away fans a win today!!  But above all be careful driving today.

Note: for our readers who haven’t received a POV shirt yet please email me at rkohberger@gmail.com with your size and address (and phone # if you would) with “T-Shirt” in the subject line and I’ll do what I can to get one out ASAP if I still have your size.

I’ll be putting a new order in with, I think, a new graphic done by my daughter if I can afford her prices… obviously 22 years of room & board, medical coverage, college tuition and a new car for her 21st B-day means nothing to an artist.

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POV: Pitt vs Georgia Tech Game Thread

POV: Pitt vs Georgia Tech Game Thread

Yes- that is our own Dr. T getting ready to kick some Yellow Jacket ass. Actually that is an almost perfect Southpaw boxing stance shown bu the Old Dentist.

OK guys and gals – here is the official POV Georgia Tech Game Thread.  Enjoy the game and take your blood pressure medications as needed.

I will ask you that if you haven’t made a formal prediction yet to to go back to the GT Predictions article and leave your predictions there so it is easier to figure out who had the most accurate one.

We need this one badly folks – I suppose we could look at our PSU and OSU’s losses and make excuses that they were Top 10 opponents, but no longer is that the case.  This is our first ACC match and we need  to come through with a win.

If we can’t do that then we at least have to play a decent enough game so that we can feel like we can win other ACC games on our schedule.  Let’s hope we pull it out and that every one of our Panthers come out of the game as healthy as they went into it.

HTP! and Bring Home a Win!!!

Happy 4th of July! Hail to Pitt!

A day for celebration and remembrance of what hard work and sacrifices both our  Citizens and Citizen-Soldiers have made to make and keep the United States of America a free and vibrant democracy.  I appreciate what has taken place before us and before today and with my circle of  family, friends and acquaintances  – including each and every one of you readers – I know we’ll keep the USA on an even keel for centuries to come.

So… If we are remembering stuff,  then take a break from the scrambled eggs, grilled bratwurst and mashed potatoes I know every red-blooded American is eating for their 4th of July meal  (at least that’s what we did at our German Grandma’s house when I was a kid) and take a minute to review some of the past and glorious Big Game victories Pitt has had in the last 19 years…

Let’s time travel back to Walt Harris’s tenure at Pitt and see what he, and our following HCs, have done when faced with Big Games on a national stage.  Here are the matches as determined by me to have the label “Big Games ” which were mostly when our opponents had Top 25 rankings either on the day of the game or at the end of the season (as in lats year’s PSU win).

For a holiday treat and because you are great Pitt fans I linked a ton of info in the chart below.  The actual scores of the games are linked to the box score and the “Opponent’s Gameday Rank” column has either articles about the game or some videos I thought were fun to watch…  Grab a beer and Enjoy!!

Year Head Coach Opp. Gameday Rank Final Score Opp. Final Ranking Record vs Ranked teams
1997 Walt Harris #22 Miami 21-17 NR
WH #19   VT 30-23 NR 2-3
2001 WH #12   VT 38-7 #18 1-1
2002 WH #3     VT 28-21 #18 1-3
2003 WH #5     VT 31-28 NR 1-1
2004 WH #24 ND 41-38 #17
WH #21 WVU 16-13 NR 2-0
2007 Dave Wannstedt #23 Cincy 24-17 #17
DW #2 WVU * 13-9 #6 2-0
2008 DW #10 USF 26-21 NR 1-2
2011 Graham #16 USF 44-17 NR 1-1
2012 Paul Chryst #13 VT 35-17 NR
PC #21 RU 27-6 NR 2-2
2013 PC #24 ND 28-21 #21 1-1
2016 Pat Narduzzi NR PSU * 42-39 #7
PN #3 Clemson * 43-42 #1 1-1

I’ll pick my three favorites (highlighted in bold) and then you all can chip in with yours in the comments section. 

Continue reading “Happy 4th of July! Hail to Pitt!”

POV: Sunday Podcast; July 2nd, 2017

POV: Sunday Podcast; July 2nd, 2017

(Sorry about the audio – I forgot to use my professional microphone so the audio is recorded through my laptop’s mic…)

Hello all, enjoy the above Podcast and here is some supporting text to mull over while you listen:

Recruiting vs Attracting

USC coach Clay Helton said Wednesday he had not been contacted by any coaches interested in Browne, but would do whatever he could to help him during the process.

Browne graduated from USC prior to this season and is two semesters short of an MBA. He said he plans to finish that program eventually.

Recruit Flipping – Here is an interesting article by Brian Batko of the P-G regarding recruits changing their minds after verbally committing to one school – note that in the class of 2017 we had six players who committed elsewhere sign LOIs with us:

The marquee college program in this town won its share of other schools’ losses. Of Pitt’s 22 committed or already-enrolled players in the 2017 recruiting class entering signing day, eight were originally pledged to another school, including three of its most highly regarded.

Two of those eight picked the Panthers in mid-December, then arrived on campus less than a month later. Defensive end Deslin Alexandre was a true “flip,” announcing that he was decommitting from North Carolina State and committing to Pitt at the same time. It wasn’t something he took lightly but felt it was better late than never to get it right.

Pitt placed 10 players on Athlon Magazine’s All-ACC four (!) deep listing. 

Here is the article:

PITTSBURGH—The Pitt football team received 10 selections to the recently released Athlon Sports’ 2017 All-ACC Team as the widely recognized college sports magazine published its predictions for the first team through fourth team performers in the ACC this upcoming season.
 
Returning consensus All-American Quadree Henderson led the way with three total selections. After Henderson joined Tony Dorsett in 2016 as the only players in Pitt football history to top 2,000 all-purpose yards in a season, Athlon touted the junior wide receiver as a preseason first team kick returner, second team offensive all-purpose player and second team punt returner for 2017.
 
After Pitt had its most potent offense in school history in 2016, Athlon expects the Panthers to be talented and explosive again on the offensive side of the ball, naming six Panthers to its preseason All-ACC Team for 2017.
Continue reading “POV: Sunday Podcast; July 2nd, 2017”

Time of Possession Effect; Myth or Truth?

The two teams battling in a football match always try to control the play clock.

They do that for a variety of reasons but the main ones are that if you have the ball the other team can’t score and the longer you hold onto possession of the ball the better chance you get to score. Pretty basic stuff.

Another is the more tired the opponent’s defense gets by being on the field for so long makes the odds for catching them in a mental or physical mistake thus taking advantage of that for quick scores and points on the board.

That is the theory anyway. I suppose it works that way but I’m just not sure that helps get a “W” in the win column any more than striking into the end zone quickly and often to garner more points than the other guy does.

Time of Possession, or TOP,  is easily the most misunderstood statistic in football I think.  Since our 2016 season ended I have read many Pitt fans say that our defense was on the field too much and got too tired to be effective. Thus the imbalance in TOP was responsible for the large amount of points per game our defense gave up.  Hmmm…

I wondered if that is true so I did some digging.  My findings are this – I really can’t tell if TOP is all that much of an indicator in the outcome of a game.  I know that sounds very wishy-washy but hold on. Here are some facts to think about first.

Continue reading “Time of Possession Effect; Myth or Truth?”

POV Sunday Podcast; Saturday Edition

As promised we rolled out the POV Round Table series last evening with a two-man show – myself and our long time commenter PittFan28 (Brian Ashcom).  The result was great and we had a good time talking about ourselves, our opinions of and our relationships with Pitt football.

Take a listen above – we came in just a bit over 35 minutes but truth be told we could have gone on for an hour at least.  I think the technical work is OK, I used Skype for the communications bit (I’ll reprint Skype instructions below) and then used a program called Audacity for the actual recording. 

You’ll hear that it came through pretty clearly but with some scratchy bits from Brian’s end, but nothing that really detracts from the content.

As we do this more often, and it was fun, we’ll smooth out any rough spots and with more callers I’ll do a lot less talking. 

Here is how I envision the POV regular season to shake out:

Continue reading “POV Sunday Podcast; Saturday Edition”