ACC Accolades

ACC Accolades

Say what you want about our team’s performance against superior talent, but Pitt has performed admirably against like-and-inferior foes. We’ve exceeded many fans’ expectations this year, and these individual honors are well-earned.

Six Panthers Named to All-ACC Football Team

An additional six Pitt players received Honorable Mention recognition

 

PITTSBURGH—Six Pitt players were named to the All-Atlantic Coast Conference Football Team announced today by the league office, while an additional six received Honorable Mention All-ACC.

Senior tailback Qadree Ollison and senior offensive tackle Stefano Millin were second-team All-ACC honorees. The Panthers had four third-team selections: senior tailbackDarrin Hall, senior guard Mike Herndon, sophomore center Jimmy Morrissey and sophomore placekicker Alex Kessman.

Receiving Honorable Mention recognition were junior Maurice Ffrench (as both an all-purpose player and return specialist), senior fullback George Aston, senior offensive tackle Alex Bookser, senior guard Connor Dintino, junior cornerback Dane Jackson and junior safety Damar Hamlin.

The official All-ACC Team is voted on by conference head coaches, a representative from each of the 14 schools’ radio broadcast teams and select media members who cover the league on a daily basis.

Ollison and Hall were arguably the top tailback tandem in the ACC this past season. The Panthers have never had a 1,000-yard rushing duo but are on the cusp of that historic first.

Ollison (Niagara Falls, N.Y./Canisius) has rushed for 1,134 yards and 10 touchdowns on 176 carries (6.44 avg.). He is only the sixth player in Pitt history to achieve multiple 1,000-yard rushing seasons. Ollison had 1,121 in 2015 when he also was a second-team All-ACC pick.

Hall (Youngstown, Ohio/Austintown Fitch) has rushed for 935 yards and nine touchdowns on 123 carries (7.60 avg.). His yards-per-carry average ranks sixth nationally and second in the ACC.

The Panthers’ offensive front has paved the way for a ground game that ranks 18th nationally (232.7 avg.). Millin (Massillon, Ohio/Perry) was a key addition for the unit this past offseason, joining the Panthers as a graduate transfer from Kent State. He has started all 12 games at left tackle.

On the interior, Herndon (Greenville, Va./Riverheads) has started every game at right guard. Morrissey (Huntingdon Valley, Pa./La Salle College H.S.), who maned Pitt’s center position for 23 consecutive starts, had his all-star season cut short due to an injury sustained late in the Nov. 17 Wake Forest victory.

Kessman (Clarkston, Mich./Clarkston) leads the Panthers in scoring with 68 points on 10-of-13 field goals and 38-of-40 PATs. He has displayed one of the strongest legs in college football, kicking six field goals of more than 50 yards over the past two years. This season, he has a 55-yard kick, two 54-yarders and a 53-yarder.

As champions of the Coastal Division, the Panthers (7-5, 6-2) will face Atlantic Division winner Clemson (12-0, 8-0) in the Dr Pepper ACC Football Championship Game this Saturday, Dec. 1. The game, played in Charlotte’s Bank of America Stadium, will kick off at 8 p.m., and be nationally televised by ABC (WTAE-TV, Channel 4, in Pittsburgh).

 

 

QB2 Ricky Town; Chapter 1

QB2 Ricky Town; Chapter 1

A TALE OF TWO TOWNS; Chapter 1

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…”

This article takes an in-depth look at in-transfer QB Ricky Town’s backstory and it is an interesting one. Usually when a player comes onto a school’s roster one take’s a glance at where and when he played his football previously but in this case the more I read about Town the more curious, and then interested, I became so I started making phone calls to learn more about the young man. From there I felt his was a story that was waiting to be told in deeper terms. First though here is some background on the Pitt football program, our present transfer policy and the new players’ impacts on the team…

Pitt Head Coach Pat Narduzzi has lived and died with in-transfer players since he arrived at Pitt in 2015 for his rookie head coaching job after being a long time defensive coordinator for Michigan State.  The nice success in his initial two years here, when he posted back to back eight win years (the most since 2010), was in large part due to the play of graduate transfer QB Nate Peterman.

Peterman transferred from the University of Tennessee to Pitt on the recommendation of his old Volunteer Offensive Coordinator Jim Chaney, who held the same position at Pitt in 2015 and so chose to play his last two years of NCAA eligibility with the Panthers.  Peterman took over the starting QB position from incumbent starter Chad Voytik in the 2nd quarter of the second game of the 2015 season and never looked back.Image result for Nate Peterman pitt

With Pitt’s decent defense that year (the last good play we saw from that unit for two more years) Peterman played well enough for the Panthers to finish with an 8-5 record.  He had actually out-played the incumbent starter Voytik in 2015’s fall camp but Chaney and Narduzzi decided to ease him into the starting lineup once the season started.

However It was the 2016 season when transfer Peterman really shone with a season that stacks up with the best by a QB in Pitt history, including the great Dan Marino’s.  His career stats line was this below with his 2016 work highlighted:

npstats

A key indicator of QB production is the Passing Efficiency Rating (“Rate” above). A 163.4 QB Passing Efficiency rating is almost unheard of at Pitt, he was that good. If we compare his Pitt career rating to previous Pitt QBs who played well for us we have this:

Continue reading “QB2 Ricky Town; Chapter 1”

Know The Enemy – Penn State

Byline: Chris Logue and it is a good one…

It’s go time for another week, another opponent and worst of all, a whole new slew of athletic receivers, running backs, most of which I am sure can run the wheel-route, and a quarterback that can beat you in a myriad of ways. This could just as easily be time-stamped in 2016 heading into Death Valley and Clemson, but this year’s edition of that is in Happy Valley to take on the Nittany Lions.

While I would love to be the sole interpreter of Penn State this week, I also felt that it would be doing our readers an injustice. This edition of “Know Your Enemy” comes with a guest, Centre Daily Times Penn State beat writer, John McGonigal. John pulls no punches and lets it all fly which is why he fits the bill to be our guest this week.

John provided incredible feedback and you’ll notice it throughout our inside look at what our Panthers face this week in Centre County.

Last week, Penn State drubbed Akron 52-0 and did it in a multitude of ways. Whether it was breaking a long, very strong, streak of not having a return for a touchdown, intercepting Akron quarterback, Thomas Woodson or if it was quarterback Trace McSorley and his trusted back, Saquon Barkley, Penn State looked good. Very, very good at that. It’s no mystery that McSorley and Barkley will be the key drivers for PSU on offense, it goes back to the basics, deep in the trenches who kick-starts this offense.

“Outside of Barkley and McSorley, I think an underrated guy on this offense is center Connor McGovern. I could’ve gone with flashier picks like breakout wide receiver Juwan Johnson or tight end Mike Gesicki — who I think will lead the Nittany Lions in all receiving categories this year — but McGovern is a guy who guides the offense,” says McGonigal.

Like Pitt who has shifted and mixed the offensive line over the past two seasons, McGovern is amid transition himself, “The Penn State staff moved him to center in the offseason after the departure of senior Brian Gaia — the Nittany Lions’ lone loss from the o-line — and McGovern has lived up to all expectations so far, being more vocal and impressing against Akron.”

Reed and I exchanged emails and we both had the same feel that a lot of what Penn State wants to do and should succeed in doing is planting roots in the trenches and making it their own, and it seems as though McGovern is sturdy in that task where “[McGovern] had a lot to do with that, and the lineman will play a key role in the Pitt game.”

How big of a task do the Panthers have this week on the defense? Look for yourself at PSU’s last game’s offensive stats:

PSU Game 1

Continue reading “Know The Enemy – Penn State”

THAT DIDN’T MAKE SENSE, COACH

Byline: Chris Logue

Hey, I’m back and would like to apologize to Reed, but especially the faithful readers of the POV over the last two weeks. There were legitimate reasons for my absence, such as classwork obligations as well as rebounding from a brief identity-theft crisis that erupted out of nowhere; but again, I am back and ready to keep this train rolling.

Now, to the important stuff…

Paris Ford is official. He is a Panther. He is finally a Panther. While that’s wonderful to read, there were so many flaws in the way Pat Narduzzi handled the “breaking of the news” to the reporters. To me, it’s a mystery as to why so many flaws were evident, and it doesn’t fit the past of how he has handled media, the celebrity status of players and their importance to the team.

This time around, he highly contradicted himself.

I took a look at Jerry DiPaola’s writeup on TribLive.com. When it comes to the Pittsburgh media covering what’s in front of them, no one does it better than Jerry, so in times of needing quotes and understanding the effectiveness in conveying the quotes, I go to his work.

THE GOOD

Paris Ford is on the field and able to run around with his teammates. He appears to have put on some weight, based solely on photos, but that’s not necessarily a negative thing. After all, he has been working-out alongside a perennial All-NFL player in Aaron Donald in the meantime.

THE BAD

Ford missed all 17 of the camp practices so far, placing him behind fellow position-mates in development at this level of play and has only taken mental-reps since Saturday during the scrimmage. I can’t speak for everyone, but ‘mental reps’ are not worth a grain of salt unless you’re actually out on the field putting thought into action. Still, contact was open with the coaches for feedback and guidance.

Continue reading “THAT DIDN’T MAKE SENSE, COACH”

One For The Money, Two For The Show…

have talked a lot about what Head Coach Pat Narduzzi will do in his third year at the helm of Pitt’s football program.  We have heavily debated whether it truly is “his team” in terms of players he either recruited or acquired by transfer (it is in my opinion). 

We speculate on how well his own guys will do in terms of the previous head coaches’ players they are replacing. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, we go around and around as to whether experience or talent wins out in the end when it comes to the quality of play he will get out of his roster.

First let’s take a look at what some previous Pitt head coaches have done in their third year. We’ll go back to the time period right after that great winning run Pitt had from 1974 to 1981.

I highlighted the 3rd years of the respective coaches and only showed their first three years.

3rd revised.png

So – here is the first Pitt HC to review in Foge Fazio:

I think we all remember what happened in Foge Fazio’s 3rd season in 1984 – it crashed and burned as the offensive and defensive wings fell off and hit at 3-7-1… and that was the end of his time here.  We started that crappy year at 1-7-1 with a win over lowly East Carolina.

Continue reading “One For The Money, Two For The Show…”

What Really Matters to Pitt in 2017

A voice from the past, Kevin Gorman of the Tribune Review, used to be the Pitt football beat writer and a reporter who I always made sure to read every word he put out because I thought he was that good and very detailed.

He’s back with a piece looking at our 2017 season’s ultimate goal.

In this Trib article Gorman makes a point that The POV has been singing all along since Pat Narduzzi became the head coach of Pitt, and that was the main goal of any season is to win the ACC Coastal and then the ACC Championship. That is the only way we have a chance to be in the football playoffs at the end of the season. Anything else is nice but an unfulfilled season.

I love that 2016 Penn State win I love our Clemson upset also, but the bald fact is that if we don’t get it done in the ACC matches we’re not fulfilling the mandate that Pat Narduzzi has been given as a head coach at Pitt…play championship football.

The question going into Year Three of Narduzzi’s tenure is if he can pull that off. To which I say “sure he can” – if he’s what we think he is as a head coach.

There is a big disconnect from how the Pitt fans view the football program and how the coaches, staff and players view the football program. We fans love those emotional wins, and those two great OOC wins last year were certainly emotional and  were great to watch.  But, and there is always a “but” involved when comes to Pitt football, in the long run they didn’t really advance the program as much as a championship would.  Any type of championship.

Continue reading “What Really Matters to Pitt in 2017”

POV Roundtable Call-in Tonight; 7/19/17

We’ll have our weekly Roundtable Discussion again this evening starting at 8:00 pm.  I’ll be in the meeting around 7:45 or so if you want to join in a bit early…

Here is how to get in via internet:

Meeting ID

303520973

 Meeting URL

https://bluejeans.com/303520973

Just want to dial in on your phone?

1) +1.408.740.7256   (United States)
2) Enter Meeting ID: 303520973
3) Press #
4) Enter Moderator Passcode: 2615#   (Remember the # sign at the end of the number)

******************************************************************************

Possible Topics for tonight:

* Replacement starters on O and D? Discuss article choices

* Henderson’s 2017 role… What if he goes down early?

*QB2 battle? Do you believe there actually is a QB1 battle?

http://www.post-gazette.com/sports/Pitt/2017/07/18/ben-dinucci-max-browne-pitt-qb-race-pat-narduzzi-acc-media-days/stories/201707180117

* Our record after three games?  Do the non-conference games matter?

* Which positions do we switch players if the season starters fail in the first three games?

* Discuss ACC Channel required infrastructure changes… Such as Pitt radio shows, radio booth, Pitt TV channel and new studio.

http://www.post-gazette.com/sports/Pitt/2017/07/14/acc-network-media-days-pitt-ad-heather-lyke/stories/201707140178

*Pitt picked 4th in Coastal division.

http://www.post-gazette.com/sports/Pitt/2017/07/17/acc-preseason-football-rankings-2017-pitt-football-miami-coastal-florida-state-seminoles/stories/201707170095

Pitt’s National Perception – good PSN article:

http://pittsburghsportsnow.com/2017/07/19/benz-overlooked-pitt-can-change-media-perception-one-big-season

Pre-Season Awards Lists:

Posted Headline Category
7/19/2017 O’Neill, Henderson Represent Pitt on All-ACC Preseason Team Football
7/19/2017 Pitt’s Max Browne Named to Unitas Golden Arm Watch List Football
7/18/2017 Weah, O’Neill Named Candidates for Biletnikoff, Wuerffel Honors Football
7/17/2017 Henderson, Whitehead Selected to Hornung Award Watch List Football
7/14/2017 Pitt Highlights at #ACCKickoff Football
7/14/2017 Jordan Whitehead Named to Jim Thorpe Award Watch List Football