Does Narduzzi Know What He’s Doing? Part IV

Does Narduzzi Know What He’s Doing? Part IV

Here is a thought-provoking piece by POV reader and commenter “6&34”.  

I have written three articles for the POV all concerned with the question:  Does Narduzzi know what he is doing?  I am once again asking that question and it may be the last time I ever ask it. So, does he?

Case in point, a week or so ago I heard a podcast that said  since Watson has been replaced as OC the offense is on Pat Narduzzi.   Well, with all due respect to the podcaster, the Watson hire is on Narduzzi so to say that this year’s offense is really on Narduzzi seems like a rather weak point.

If the offense is weak this year, will the offense really, really be on Narduzzi next year? No, the weak 2018 offense falls squarely on Narduzzi because regardless of the reason.  And there are a lot of potential reasons:  Watson was doing his friend a solid, Narduzzi though Watson actually knew what he was doing, Narduzzi was incapable of fixing Watson’s observable inadequacy mid-season, Narduzzi believed that Pitt’s smash mouth running offense was incapable of being stopped, or whatever.

Offense aside, we’ve had four full seasons of Pat Narduzzi and arguably four full seasons of his recruiting though this present recruiting class is not yet over (we could get some additional good players or we could lose some as we did last year).  POVers stand divided on the question and its no wonder:  Pitt has been mediocre during Narduzzi’s reign which has been characterized by amazing highs and lows. Seriously, the lows have been humiliating (the defensive backs getting repeatedly torched) and the highs, what can you say about the Clemson and Miami wins (please Negativos, don’t mention that in 2017 Miami lost its next two games because I’ll just mention that in 2016 Clemson went on to win the National Championship).  Continue reading “Does Narduzzi Know What He’s Doing? Part IV”

Time to Believe

Time to Believe

Disclaimer – This article will make some people very happy.  It will also likely piss some people off.  That is fine.  If you are part of the small population of Pitt fans that are pissed off, well that’s too bad.  It is not meant as a personal slight, and I am simply harnessing your energy to further prove my point.   Despite my opposition to your views, I continue value your perspective. 

My first year at Pitt was 1997.  When I stepped onto campus, Pitt football was on the brink of extinction.  The team had averaged three wins over the previous five seasons under Paul Hackett and Johnny Majors II.   Steve Pederson had just dropped the Script in favor of the Dinocat.   New head coach Walt Harris had won just 11 games over three years at his previous head coaching job (University of the Pacific from 1989 to 1991).  Indeed these were dark days for Pitt football.

And yet the team slogan was “We believe”.  Perhaps that it was minted partway through the season, because after wining just three games the year before, Harris’ Panthers were starting to give the fans something to believe in.

In the first game, Pitt beat the Southwestern Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns 45-13.  Pitt then lost to #1 Penn State in Happy Valley, but not nearly as badly as everyone expected (17 – 34).  In game three, Pitt downed Houston on the road, scoring 35 points in the process.  Lo and behold Pitt was 2 – 1 heading into a nationally televised Thursday night matchup with Miami.  Continue reading “Time to Believe”

Bits and Pieces, and another Big Recruiting Weekend

Been on vacation this week on beautiful Seabrook Island, South Carolina, and so you’d think I’d have written more. But with a two year old and a four month old on hand, well if you have kids you understand.

Fortunately everyone is napping at the moment so I’ve snuck away to sit by the ocean and catch up on the really important things…

Continue reading “Bits and Pieces, and another Big Recruiting Weekend”

The OC Search

The OC Search

I’ll start with this, not because I live in the South and it’s relevant to me, but because I think it nicely illustrates the point that no matter what happens with this OC search, and the Pitt team in general, there are going to be some fans that are unhappy.  That’s just a fact of life.

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Of course I’m pretty sure all of these tweets are in jest, but with Crimson Tide fans you just never know.  A six pack of Busch + a couple of generations of too-close cousins + a cut-rate Android phone can make just about any night of the week interesting on the Twitter.

Okay on to more relevant Pitt Business.  If you haven’t heard, Pitt is searching for a new Offensive Coordinator.  This is arguably the second-most important coaching position on the staff and it’s kind of a big deal.

So what do we know so far?

Continue reading “The OC Search”

Six ways to Saturday – Analyzing the 2019 Early Signing Class

Six ways to Saturday – Analyzing the 2019 Early Signing Class

Editor’s Note:  I had originally planned to do a more in-depth analysis on the class, but I have an 18 month old and a job and so this will have to wait.  I’ll plan on publishing it sometime between Christmas and New Years when there is some down time.  In the meantime have a look at Pat Narduzzi’s presser and feel free to weigh in.

There isn’t much that hasn’t been said about this class already.  Narduzzi, as he is known to do, said a lot in his press conference yesterday afternoon.  He said they are building depth.  He said they are bringing in better athletes.  He said some guys could probably switch position.

Something interesting that I don’t think we’ve heard from him before, is that there are three different groups that work with strength coach Dave Andrews.

There is the “Power” group, and that is the big linemen, both offensive and defensive.  Pitt brought in seven of those.

There is the “Big Skill” group, which includes Quarterback (and what else?).  Narduzzi said Pitt brought in five of those.

There is also the “Skill” Group, which Narduzzi mentions includes Tight Ends and Linebackers.  Bigger guys who can run.  Pitt signed six of those.

Narduzzi mentioned the geographical breakdown.  Four from PA, Five from Florida.  A couple of kids from Canada.

He mentioned that 17 of the 18 signees were team captains.  Six were state champions.

He gave props to the recruiting office.  He gave props to the academic staff.  He gave props to Andre Powell for being from South Carolina and opening up that state.  He gave props to Shawn Watson for recruiting (four star QB) Davis Beville.

He talked about each one of the recruits.

He took a veiled shot at Penn State (ostensibly), and covered his hind-end on the whole Nick Malone thing.

“I consider the whole state of Pennsylvania is my message out there is we go slow. I am not going to offer guys early in this area and try to pull out on them. I just don’t want to do it.   So we’re always going to take our time in this area because too often people offer kids and then they back up and you never hear from them again. That’s not going to happen here. At least we sure hope it’s not going to happen. Sometimes things happen, but we want to offer those guys and we want them.”

He answered questions.  He acknowledged that Pitt is not Clemson, and threw out the obligatory remark about five stars.

“But we’re going to recruit the guys we’re capable of recruiting. We’re not going to whine if we don’t get a five-star. There are a lot of five stars that we love. There are a lot of five stars that we don’t love, and we’re like see you later, not good enough and there are a lot of things you don’t like about them. I like those hungry guys.”

All in all we’ve learned that you have to take everything that Pat Narduzzi says with a grain a salt.  And yet, he’s also shown that in many cases there is a grain of truth buried in all that hyperbole.  (See you in Charlotte anyone?)   And while I am guarding my expectations, it’s hard not to be a little bit excited.

Hail2Pitt!

Michaelangelo

 

 

No More Excuses

Enough is enough.  Let’s have no more excuses for this horrid Pitt football team…not from HC Pat Narduzzi,  not from DC Josh Conklin, not from OC Shawn Watson, not from AD Heather Lyke, and please… not from us POVers or any other Pitt fans.

What we watched last night was the result of inept and running-scared coaching from the position coaches on up to the head coach himself.  For all his bluster and posturing Pat Narduzzi coaches in fear.  He is so risk-adverse that he purposely makes our offense one-sided and so maddeningly inconsistent that it can’t be relied on to get points when needed.

When your approach to an offensive game plan – that he himself approves every week mind you – is to do anything humanly possible to avoid interceptions you get what we have seen since Max Brown went down with an injury.  That is Pitt starting, and sticking with come hell or high water, an untalented less-than-average QB in Ben DiNucci.  We’ll discuss him in detail later.

What we watched unfold last night came as no shock to me.  In this week’s Roundtable I said that a loss to North Carolina wouldn’t shock or surprise me and it doesn’t.  Why?  Because even with every excuse made by others about this 2017 team I have completely understood just how poor at playing football this team is.

How many times have we read on here “But look at our Strength of Schedule” or “We have played superb quarterbacks…WRs… RBs… . or “We have injuries...’, whatever.  It doesn’t matter and is all excuse making. NC had 16 starters out and just gave us our 6th loss.

Allow me to take an editor’s prerogative of swearing on here and call total bullshit on each and every one of those excuses said then, now and in the future.

Let’s try to be as honest as possible in looking at what the Pitt team has been this season shall we?  The unvarnished truth is that we have a bumbling coaching staff who have done an average at best job both in training and in recruiting so that now we are fielding players out there who just aren’t all that talented.  Certainly not talented enough to win more games than we lose and not talented enough for consistently good play.

And youth is no excuse either.  Unless you watch only Pitt football and pay zero attention to the 127 other FBS teams you’ll see that a lot of schools have numerous young players also and many of those teams do just fine. Yes we are young, but not six and counting losses young.

C’mon – we just watched a rsSO QB in his first ever start rip our pass defense apart by completing 70% of his passes (12 for 30) for 235 yards and 2 TDs.  Guys – the only other passing action this kid has seen in his career was as a back-up against The Citadel and James Madison last season and last night he owned our DBs.  The total passing stats for NC were 22/31 for 270 and 3 TDs and they got screwed on a deep no-call pass interference also.

Continue reading “No More Excuses”

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”