Pitt hits the road to take on North Carolina State. Lets go Pitt!
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.
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?
The University of Louisville comes to the Pete for Pitt’s 2nd ACC game. Lets go Pitt!
Hi gang. I probably should have posted a championship game thread last night but I didn’t, so sorry about that.
As we can all see Pitt’s defense is better than Alabama’s (just kidding!) and Narduzzi apparently does know how good Clemson is because he’s the only coach to have voted them #1 prior to ” last night’s game. (This according to Twitter so if anyone wants to fact check this pls let me know the truth).
Also there is this:
The nationally ranked University of North Carolina Tarheels come to town for our first ACC tilt. Will be a good measuring stick for our team. Lets go Pitt!
The Pitt Fan base got their wish.
Offensive Coordinator Shawn Watson was let go earlier today, and seemingly as a bonus, Wide Receiver coach Kevin Sherman was let go with him.
The only surprise is that Narduzzi actually pulled the trigger. Speculation was rampant that loyalty would outweigh performance, and Watson would get another year, but in the end Shawn Watson’s performance was just not good enough, if not for the coach, then certainly for the fans, who made a public spectacle of cancelling season tickets and sending direct feedback to Athletic Director Heather Lyke via email and social media. Right, wrong or indifferent the people spoke, and Pitt listened.
And while College Football is not a democracy, it is in many ways a business, and the fans are the customers. So two points to Pitt for listening to their customers, especially when the data supports it.
Watson’s undoing, of course, was his inability to move the ball and score, which are fairly basic requirements for an offense. Watson presided over the lowest combined two-year yardage and scoring totals since 2011. When you layer in his inability to use and recruit Tight Ends, his lack of Quarterback development, and the horrendous three-game stretch at the end of 2018 which resulted in three losses and 8.7 points per game, the writing was on the wall.
Here is a look at what Watson accomplished at Pitt:
2018, 7-7, 6-2 ACC, Won Coastal Division
- Pitt ranked 98th out of 130 in yards per game (370)
- Pitt ranked 94th out of 130 in points per game (25.6)
2017, 5-7, 3-5 ACC
- Pitt ranked 97th out of 130 in yards per game (366)
- Pitt ranked 101st out of 130 in points per game (23.9)
And so the questions begin.
Will Pat Narduzzi fall into the same old trap? (Hiring for relationships instead of track record)
Will Pitt go cheap? (How much was Watson making? Will they increase the salary pool? Pitt has certainly gone cheap in the past, and it would hard to get somebody much worse than Watson)
The elephant in the room of course is “Can anybody work with Pat Narduzzi”? He’s now gone through three coordinators in four years, and while not all of it can be attributed to Pat himself, that is not the kind of turnover that makes any boss look good.
But…lets assume the turnover wasn’t Pat’s fault. Two of Pat’s lost OC’s were lured away by what is widely regarded as the best conference in College Football, and certainly the richest. Jim Cheney (UGA) obviously upgraded his situation, and Matt Canada (LSU) was lured by a big payday and clearly didn’t consider the downstream consequences of chasing the money.
Let’s also assume Narduzzi doesn’t fall into the same old relationship trap, and lets assume Pitt decides to open up the pocketbook. Now this is a fun game.
Who would they hire? What system will that person bring? What kind of an impact would they be able to make in 2019? For the love of God can they please be an ace recruiter?
What I can say is that the rumblings on social media and the blogs have been positive. Supposedly important people at Pitt wanting to get the right guy in place. Are the rumblings real? I certainly hope so. We all saw what happened for Pitt Basketball when we cut Stallings and brought in Jeff Capel. Making a similar move at Offensive Coordinator would add some momentum to a Pitt Football program that sorely needs it.
Hail to Pitt
Editor’s note: I was going to post this on Weds AM, but we already have 612 comments on the game thread, and this one may be a little bit easier to scroll through. Continue to have at it, we sure do have a lot to talk about.
Well, we blew it.
And it’s not like the fans couldn’t see it coming, because nearly everybody did.
The first ominous sign was the inability to score touchdowns during a dominating first quarter. Things got a shade darker after we tried and failed to get any kind of passing game going in second half. By the time Watson went into panic mode in the fourth quarter and all-but-abandoned the run our fate was sealed.
And yet there were good things about the game. The team came out fired up, and they never quit. The running game was again strong, even without senior running back Qadree Ollison, who went down early with an ankle injury. The defense certainly played well enough to win. If the El-Paso-Fumble-Pass-TD had never happened we might even have held on.
But we didn’t. And the bottom line is that the Stanford Cardinal spotted us a half-dozen of their best players, and we still couldn’t figure out a way to win.
Water finds its own level people, and our level is .500. Seems like it always has been and seems like it always will.
Feel free to list your goods, bads and uglies, or just vent.
Hail to Pitt. (Half of the time)