Fresh off a convincing win against the Hated Hokies, Pat Narduzzi was feeling good. As usual, we trotted out our crack team of Football Analysts to decipher what he really meant to say.
PAT NARDUZZI: All right. How we doing today? Good. Obviously our focus all turns to Clemson after a nice team win Saturday against Virginia Tech. And when I say nice, I mean like embarrass Justin Fuente and probably make him lose his job nice. Again, as I said Saturday we probably talked enough about Virginia Tech already, I felt like that was a marathon presser after that game. So we talked probably enough about that. But I’d like to talk about it some more. You know if you want to. Forty seven points guys. Forty seven points.
But great team win by our guys again and the resilience that our kids showed going through that week will only help us going into this second week going into Clemson. You’re going to face the No. 4 team in the country in Clemson. They’ve got weapons everywhere, on offense and defense, they have got depth, they’re long, they’re fast and obviously they’re well coached. Dabo does a great job, got a lot of respect for him and always have and how he operates his business down there. We’re looking forward to a great week. So questions?
In fact it’s a complete 180 from that garbage fire of a Hokies team that Fuente has got going. Say doesn’t Fuente mean “Fire” in Italian? Hah. Oh wait, actually means fountain. But a fountain has water, can use it to put out fire. Hah. You see what I did there? I sure am going to be sad when that guy is shown the door. I just have too much fun when I beat this guy. Okay I’m done. I really am. Seriously.
Well. That happened. I don’t know what it is about playing Virginia Tech with a one-dimensional offense at Heinz Field on senior night that brings out the best in Pitt Football, but damn. If I were Pat, I’d lobby the ACC to keep Virginia Tech as the final home game of the season in perpetuity.
And think about Virginia Tech. Oh those fans just have to be livid. I mean they didn’t just get blown out, but they got blown out by Pitt. Pitt! A team that couldn’t score inside the redzone if we replaced the opposing defense with a wet paper bag. Pitt! The team that mustered exactly zero points against them in Blacksburg last season. Pitt! The team left for dead by many (including me) after dropping four games in a row just after they broke into the top 25. And yet, here we are. Jaylen Barden Emerged. DJ Turner had an All-ACC Day. A young offensive line blocked better than the veterans they replaced, and Kenny Pickett went out and had his best game as a Panther. 47 points later, Justin Fuente’s seat is feeling pretty damn hot. Couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy.
In my gut I feel like Pitt is going to come up short in this one. Maybe it’s shell shock from last year. Maybe it’s just late November pessimism. Maybe it’s just been too long since I’ve seen us run the ball down someone’s throat. But… Bud Foster is gone, it’s (probably) not going to rain, and the home team has won the last 7 out of 8 in this series.
As Richard pointed out on Wednesday VT is coming off a grueling stretch of games and Pitt has played one game in three weeks, so they should be rested and healthy. Kenny Pickett’s ankle should certainly be in better shape.
At the end of the Day the defense is going to have to create some turnovers just like against FSU. And it sure would help if Whipple can manage to find a running game.
So yea my gut says Pitt loses, but rationality (and fanhood) wins out. Pitt 24 – Hokies 21.
Update: 2:15 PM
University of Pittsburgh Department of Athletics Statement:
Pitt has 16 players who will not be available for today’s football game against Virginia Tech due to COVID-related protocols.
By Richard Hefner
Pitt is coming off an unscheduled bye week. The Pitt vs Georgia Tech game was postponed due to Covid concerns at both schools. The game has been rescheduled for December 12th. Pitt still stands at 4-4 (3-4 in conference). Pitt will be playing Virginia Tech 4-4 (4-3 in conference). They are on a 2-game losing streak losing first to #25 Liberty (35-38) & last Saturday to Miami (24-25).
It is a home game and Senior day. It is a 4:00PM kickoff and broadcast to non-Comcast customers on the ACC Network.
Justin Fuente is in his 5’th year of being the HC at VT. He took over for long-time and much beloved HC Frank Beamer. Fuente is not beloved by the Hokie faithful.
Here are some links that question Fuentes’ coaching acumen, his openness and basically everything that Pitt fans find so charming and endearing about Head Coach Pat Narduzzi.
Within the linked article below is another link (highlighted in “bold” in second paragraph) expressing some of the grievances against Fuente. It is from The Key Play, a Virginia Tech Blog.
After a quiet weekend with no Pitt football, our crack football staff is back at it. Telling you what Head Coach Pat Narduzzi really meant to say.
COACH NARDUZZI: I thought we’d be coming in here on a Monday after a win down in Atlanta. Obviously we didn’t get to make that trip. And obviously disappointing as we sat there, I guess, last Thursday at noon or 1:00, whatever time we meet on Thursday, and you feel like everything’s good. And then you get reports.
I mean I don’t want to come off as arrogant or anything…
And the one thing I’ll say is I think people take it for granted out there like how impressive our kids have been for eight weeks, nine weeks, really with an open week. I said earlier, it’s like I’m talking to myself sometimes. It’s kind of like move on to the next question. But our kids did an incredible job for nine weeks, including that open week, of really having nothing at all, no issues.
These guys made the supreme sacrifice (for a college student) of having no lives. And if it wasn’t for a couple of one-point losses and an injury to Kenny they’d probably still be sheltering in place and toeing the line. But now? Heck…
And then when you least expect it, and you think you’re all good — and I talked to our guys all the time about keep your guard up. Don’t let your guard down. Just pretend that everybody’s got it out there. When you look at the numbers in Allegheny County, with COVID right now, the numbers just keep going up. It was in the five hundreds yesterday, keep an eye on it.
Actually after Florida State I was like “look fellas, we aren’t going to the ACC championship, and if there is one game you want to reschedule in December it’s the trip to Atlanta. Do whatever the hell you want this weekend, you’ve earned it.“
Rules: No corona talk.
The college football fan’s guide to Week 11 games
We’re onto Week 11 of the college football season, which sees No. 2 Notre Dame hitting the road to face dangerous Boston College one week after the Irish knocked off top-ranked Clemson. But there’s more to keep an eye on as we approach mid-November.
Here’s a look at what’s ahead for Week 11.
Week 11 preview: Top games to watch
Notre Dame hasn’t lost to BC since 2008, but the Eagles have a history of ruining perfect Irish seasons. In 1993, one week after Notre Dame beat top-ranked Florida State, Boston College shocked No. 1 Notre Dame. In 2002, 8-0 Notre Dame was No. 4 when BC again upset the Irish, 14-7. This season, 5-3 Boston College has already put a scare into Clemson and will need a huge game from QB Phil Jurkovec. How will the Irish follow up last week’s wild win against Clemson?
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The AAC continues to be one of the more exciting conferences when it comes to the championship race. Unbeaten Cincinnati looks like the biggest beast of the bunch, but SMU is also ranked and Tulsa is undefeated in the conference. Mustangs QB Shane Buechele leads the nation with 2,581 passing yards.
FBS NEWS: Schedules, updates related to COVID-19
A lot has changed in a few weeks. Because of COVID positives, Wisconsin had to cancel its last two games. As for Michigan, the Wolverines plummeted outside the national rankings after back-to-back losses to Michigan State and Indiana. Something to watch is at quarterback. Freshman QB Graham Mertz, who was 20-for-21 for 248 yards and five touchdowns against Illinois, may or may not be back after his positive COVID test.
Believe it or not, this is the only Big Ten game between undefeated teams. Northwestern, which went 3-9 last season, has already matched the win total this fall. Purdue’s David Bell has 243 receiving yards and four scores after only two games, stepping up with Rondale Moore out. Now Moore could be back to add more spice to the game.
Big Week 11 questions
ARE WE LOOKING AT A TWO-BID ACC?
The SEC got two teams into the CFP semifinals in 2017: Georgia and Alabama — and they ended up playing for the national title. Since then, the SEC and the Big Ten often get propped up as conferences with the best chances to make up half the CFP field.
This year, it’s the ACC. Or it could be.
With Notre Dame playing in a conference for the first time ever, the Irish haven’t wasted that chance. Saturday’s OT win against then-No. 1 Clemson created the perfect situation for the ACC. Not only was the game thrilling, but the Irish are only four games away from going into a likely rematch at 11-0. Be competitive there, and Notre Dame may end up in the top 4, even with a loss.
Clemson’s road is also simple. D.J. Uiagalelei played well with star QB Trevor Lawrence out (COVID-19), among other injuries, so the committee likely won’t have any problem slotting the Tigers into the CFP should they win out and beat Notre Dame in the ACC Championship Game.
Things often don’t work out as cleanly as expected, however. Though Lawrence is working his way back and the Tigers have three seemingly easy games remaining (at Florida State, vs. Pitt, at Virginia Tech), Notre Dame has three road games to go (at Boston College, at North Carolina, vs. Syracuse, at Wake Forest).
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WHAT’S NEXT FOR FLORIDA?
Much like Notre Dame, Florida has to worry about a possible letdown this week. The Gators ended the rivalry slide against UGA by rocking the Bulldogs 44-28. Kyle Trask looked like a superstar, passing for 474 yards and four touchdowns while also tossing a pick.
Not it’s not all perfect. TE Kyle Pitts is recovering after a concussion. The offense that looked unstoppable in the first half scored only six points in the final two quarters. And major questions remain about the defense. Except for the loss to Texas A&M, the Gators have simply outscored their foes while averaging almost 500 yards per game. However, UF is allowing 402 yards per game — a concerning number as a likely date with Alabama is ahead next month.
Before then, Florida has five more games to play to lock up the SEC East and get better. And the next one may be the most interesting: Feleipe Franks, the former UF quarterback, is now with Arkansas. The Gators might be able to score enough again, but there could be worries about the Gators’ ceiling if they can’t make more stops