Narduzzi is Actually Better Than Dabo…Kind Of

Narduzzi is Actually Better Than Dabo…Kind Of

Signing day has come and gone, without the fanfare of yesteryear where expectant Pitt fans sat by the computer watching the commitments roll in.  The fan base has early signing day to thank for that, and this past Wednesday was a quiet one day because of it.

You could argue that the two biggest commits that Pitt trotted out for the media were new Offensive Coordinator Mark Whipple and new Wide Receivers Coach Chris Beatty. Both of the new coaches were at the LOI event on Wednesday, and both DiPaola and Batko have done a nice job of writing up the Whipple interview.

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A few POV’ers not interviewing Beatty or Whipple

One of the more interesting quotes to emerge Whipple was the “What’s it going to take to beat Clemson?” question that he asked the quarterbacks.  It is a question that is dripping with insinuation, especially during an offseason filled with so much angst and so much promise.

First, Whipple was insinuating that Narduzzi wants to beat Clemson.  Well the truth is that everybody wants to beat Clemson, but on the other hand, Pitt does not play Clemson in 2019.  So if we read between the lines, we can infer that Pat Narduzzi believes that the team can repeat as Coastal Division champions.   And why not?  The coastal is shaping up no better in 2019 than it was in 2018.  Here is a quick look at the teams: Continue reading “Narduzzi is Actually Better Than Dabo…Kind Of”

2019 Football Schedule Announced

2019 Football Schedule Announced

Pitt formally published the 2019 football schedule today, and it won’t be an easy one.  11 of the 12 teams we play qualified for a bowl in 2018.

The good news is that the Panthers will host seven games at Heinz Field, including four ACC games.  Here is the full 2019 Schedule as released by the Sports Information Department, as well as some extra commentary by Yours Truly, meant to be taken with a grain of salt of course.

 

Aug. 31                                 Virginia*            

Pitt is 5-0 all-time against the Cavaliers in Pittsburgh.

Which means the Cavs are due…

 

Sept. 7                                  Ohio     

Coach Frank Solich has led the Bobcats to 10 bowl games in 14 seasons.

Oh great, another triple-option team.

 

Sept. 14                                at Penn State    

The 2019 meeting between Pitt and Penn State will mark the 100th all-time.

The good thing is that we will be beat up as hell after playing that triple-option team.

 

Sept. 21                                UCF       

The Knights’ 25-game winning streak was snapped by LSU, 40-32, in the Fiesta Bowl.

At least we will only be win #4 on their new win streak.

 

Sept. 28                                Delaware           

In the lone prior meeting, James Conner scored four TDs in a 62-0 win to open the 2014 season.

This is really the only game we should feel good about

 

Oct. 5                                    at Duke*            

Kenny Pickett’s 25-yard pass to Maurice Ffrench with :05 left lifted Pitt past Duke last season.

And it’s a good thing it did or 2018 would have been a dis-aster.

 

Oct. 18 (Fri.)                      at Syracuse*     

The Panthers have won 14 of the past 17 games against the Orange.

Thanks for the Kiss of Death…

 

Oct. 26                                  Miami*

Pitt toppled No. 2 Miami, 24-14, the last time the Hurricanes visited Heinz Field in 2017.

We win about 1 out of every 3 games against the ‘Canes so don’t get your hopes up

 

Nov. 2                                   at Georgia Tech*            

The Panthers travel to Atlanta to face new-look Georgia Tech under coach Geoff Collins.

Finally a winnable game!

 

Nov. 14 (Thurs.)               North Carolina*              

The last time Mack Brown faced Pitt? The 1984 season as Oklahoma’s offensive coordinator.

The last time Pat Narduzzi beat North Carolina:  Never

 

Nov. 23                                 at Virginia Tech*             

The Panthers piled up a school-record 654 yards in last season’s 52-22 win over the Hokies.

We used it all up in 2018, so expect about 150 yards of offense for a two year average of 400 yards per game.

 

Nov. 30                                 Boston College*             

Pitt has won five of the last six against the Eagles, who visit Heinz for the first time since 2004.

Two teams that love to play smash-mouth football meet in Pittsburgh in November…Whiplash vs Smashmouth.  Better hope we can stop the run.

 

In all seriousness folks, this is a pretty tough schedule.  An early uneducated read says 6-6, because Duzz always loses a couple that you think he should win and wins a couple you’d think he would lose.  Here’s to hoping the Defense is as good as we think it is and Whipple gets the offense humming.

Hail to Pitt

Michaelangelo

Things are Progressing Like They Should

Things are Progressing Like They Should

Things are progressing like they should.  The ACC Coastal has a mediocre bowl record, and Clemson and Alabama have dominated the College Football Playoff.  No major news coming out of El Paso leading up to the bowl, other than the Paris Ford and Bricen Garner news earlier this week, and a couple of fights in practice.

First, the College Football Playoff business.   After that 30 – 3 Clemson beatdown of Notre Dame, the ACC Championship game doesn’t look so bad.  I mean, it still looks bad, but it’s pretty apparent that the College Football elite comprises Clemson, Alabama, and Georgia, and there is a pretty significant drop off to the second tier. Continue reading “Things are Progressing Like They Should”

Sun Bowl Link Clearance and Other Cool Stuff

Sun Bowl Link Clearance and Other Cool Stuff

Pitt’s bowl game is a little more than a week away and the PR train has started rolling.

First and foremost, if you haven’t read Brian Batko’s excellent piece about the 2008 Sun Bowl, aka the “Worst bowl game in History”, stop what you are doing right now and give a read.  It’s literally all anyone is talking about.  Also, Paul Zeise was there.  He weighs in as well.  The halftime show at the game did set the record for the largest YMCA dance ever, so there is that.

Sun Bowl EmailSecond, if you can’t make it to the Sun Bowl but you do want to support Pitt, you have the opportunity to buy a ticket that will be donated to an Armed Services member in the El Paso area.  That service member will get a Pitt T-Shirt and sit in the Pitt Section at the Sun Bowl.  If we play well they might even cheer for us!   In all seriousness though, given the POV’s deep-rooted interest in supporting service members, I think this is all something we can get behind.  I bought two, and it felt great.  Here is the donation link.  If you’ve never bought tickets through the Pitt Box office (But you have…right?)  you’ll have to set up an account which is quick and easy.  The link again is:  https://t.co/6aSYmaax6Y Continue reading “Sun Bowl Link Clearance and Other Cool Stuff”

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).

 

 

MMQB: Demons Exorcised; Pitt wins ACC Coastal Division Title

MMQB:  Demons Exorcised; Pitt wins ACC Coastal Division Title

Same Old Pitt died on Saturday, just as Kenny Pickett came of age.  Pitt’s defense held the #32 offense in the country to 206 yards passing and 79 yards rushing.  They did it on the road, and in the face of questionable officiating.  Make no mistake Pitt fans, this is what we signed up for.   My good, bad and ugly are below.  Sound off and post yours!

The Good:  

  1. The team’s response in the second half.  How many times have we seen Pitt come out flat in the first half and stay flat for the rest of the game?   Not this time.  Whatever Narduzzi said to them in the locker room stuck.

    Kenny Pickett - University of Pittsburgh
    Eye of the Panther
  2. The Defense.  Yes, Wake missed some throws, but by and large, this is the defense that was advertised in camp.
  3. Kenny Pickett.  23/30-316-3.  At least two of his touchdowns came on third down.  Ladies and Gentlemen, we have our quarterback.

The Bad:

  1.  I think the offense in the first half had every fan in Pitt Nation feeling the same way.  “Oh no, not again”.
  2. Jimmy Morrissey’s injury.  We can afford to lose him for Miami, but we will need every hand on deck for the Championship.  PGH Sports Now has the only update at the time of writing.  “Sources” say it’s an ankle injury.  Stefano Millin says this:  “he’s good”

The Ugly:

  1. I was going to make a comment about the white uniforms, but daggone it we just won the first ACC Coastal Football Championship in Pitt History.  If the uniforms were the worst part of the day, I’ll take it.  Turn on those Victory Lights and keep ’em on all week.  #Hail2Pitt!

 

Coastal Clinched