MMQB re: VA Tech Stampeded by Pitt

Monday-Morning-QBWhen was the last time we saw Pitt run for 492 yards in one game?  Off the top of my head I really can’t remember. But we did it Saturday in a 52-22 victory that erased any doubts, at least for me, about the quality of the 2018 team.

Honestly I expect them to win out the regular season, be 8-4 and be crowned the ACC Coastal champs.  I never would have though that would happen – my prediction was five, maybe six, wins.  Color me pleasingly surprised…

Give us your GOOD, BAD  and UGLY that you saw happen out on the field last Saturday.

Here is a nice photo of a token of gratitude from the POV Tailgaters to FB George Aston for being a great Panther. The Aston family tailgates right next to the POVers

IMG_5775

Editiors Note: Let’s take a quite minute to think about our Veterans today; what they had to do in their service to the United States and how it might have affected them. Medical care is getting better for the Vets but some most in need slip through the cracks and don’t  get the help they need.

These conflicts in the Middle East have been costly in lives but also have introduced a dangerous problem… In-theater injuries are tended to almost immediately now and that means more of our service members live instead of die.  But a huge amount of those survivors are left with missing limbs and Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI) mostly.  One disabling injury highly visible and the other invisible.

Let’s learn what we can about this issue and do what we can to help. Sometimes saying “thank you” is enough to lift a Vet’s spirit so that might be a good place to start.

Here is a nice list of resources you can pass on to anyone who may have use:

Please consider doing what you can by sharing these resources on your page:

US Department of Veteran Affairs Crisis Hotline
Planning for Life after Discharge
Transition to Civilian Life
Mesothelioma Resources
Surviving Spouses Resources
Best Jobs for Returning Servicemembers

Thanks,

Reed

 

Virginia Tech Predictions Thread; 2018

Virginia Tech Predictions Thread; 2018

Huh, talking with Ike this morning I had to ask him who we are playing tomorrow…that’s how disengaged I’ve become. But – you guys sure aren’t  so lets hear what you think will happen tomorrow…

I’ve not really studied VT this season but it looks like we’ll be able to run against them. So, if that happens I think we have a shot to win this home game.  I hope the weather is good and have a great time tailgating and watching the game… And I’ll post up a Game Day Thread up tomorrow.

BTW good news on the blog ownership front. I will let you know the details when things firm up.

Have fun and bring us a win… Reed

Editor’s Notes:  In three years the POV has had to date:

  • 743 articles published or an article every 1.66 days. Reed wrote 714 of those and 29 were reader’s submissions – thank you!

  • 93,000+ comments or at least 125 per article on average.

  • The POV has had 1,863,089 views with 186,578 individual repeated returning viewers.

  • We have 1,195 dedicated “Followers” which means 1,195 readers signed up to get the new articles emailed to them every time one posts.

  • The POV is read in 107 different countries worldwide.

  • From those 106 countries other than the U.S. we have received 688,944 views.

  • I personally have received over 2,500 emails from readers/commenters (some from pretty surprising big names in Pitt’s football history…).

So you can see that tailgates, golf outings and other extraneous events aside the POV has made a huge impact in the Pitt football media and I believe a lot of reader’s lives. As it looks now that will continue for at least one year after I pass it on to a new owner.

Something to understand though is that the blog will change to suit the different points of view the new owner has. That is probably going to be a good thing as the more jaded the less I’ve cared for, or written about, Pitt football…and it showed I believe.

Does Pat Narduzzi Know What He Is Doing?

Does Pat Narduzzi Know What He Is Doing?

Here is a thoughtful piece written by Jay “6 & 34″…
Here we are and Pitt is on top of the ACC Coastal Division. This improbable circumstance seemed unimaginable after the North Carolina loss. I took that loss hard. I actually decided to not watch another game this season and just stopped cold turkey my fascination with Pitt football. I know this may seem contemptible to many POVers but in my world there are only three social constructs that I care about without reservation and one of them is America, another is my family and the third is not the University of Pittsbugh. Just whom I am.
The North Carolina game just convinced me that Pat Narduzzi did not know what he is doing. I was on the fence going into that game as the totality of the competing comments from POVers and my own personal observations of the team and the myriad other sources of Pitt football information led me to believe that once Pitt had the North Carolina game notched in, maybe (just maybe) Pitt was on its way to a successful season. The Georgia Tech victory had been a shot in the arm but the North Carolina game, my lord, the North Carolina game sucked.
I was so forlorn over this football team and how it was affecting my overall happiness that knew I had to ask myself these simple questions: Why do I need Pitt mediocrity in my life? Why do I need to continue to suffer for at least another year while Pat Narduzzi remains as head coach of Pitt’s football team. My answer to myself was “I didn’t.
That answer was a revelation. I was done. I was free from mediocrity.
I stayed away from the POV and Panther-Lair and did not watch the UCF and Syracuse games or pay attention to the game results as they progressed. I was so impressed with my will power. I was in control of my life and it felt good to be honest. OK, then when I saw that Pitt beat Syracuse in overtime, I said to myself, let’s watch the Syracuse game on “Replay”. You know what? It was awesome. Better than watching it live I convinced myself. No tension, no anxiety, just pleasure in watching Pitt pull out an overtime victory. Actually, it was so good that I told myself that I would watch the Notre Dame game the same way.
But as each day passed my desire for no emotional disappointment weakened by the rationale that I expected Pitt to lose so why not watch – there would be no major disappointment because this Pitt team could not win anyway.
Man, that Notre Dame game was fun. Yes, it was disappointing but in a critically different way than this year’s other losses. Still, I told myself, I will watch the Duke game on Replay if Pitt wins – so I can get all of the pleasure and none of the pain. But as each day passed I began to think of those white rabbits in Watership Down and besides, maybe Pitt’s defense had found itself in that Notre Dame game because it sure looked like it for 55 minutes.

So I watch live both the Duke and Virginia games and of course I sure wish I had been to both of them instead of watching them with my wife (a Pitt alumna) in Upstate New York on ESPN2. Do I wish I had not dropped out and hung in there supporting my team. Nope – I have no room in the rest of my life for Pitt mediocrity.

But here we are: On top of the Coastal Conference. Beat Virginia Tech and Wake Forest and we are the ….

And yet, we are 5 and 4 with a defense that in the Duke game was as bad as it’s ever been. And I have a confession to make. I really believed in the defense. For goodness sake, I believed in the secondary. Why, I really can’t say, not intelligently anyway. Whose fault is it that the defense has been as bad as it has been for these past several years? At this point I don’t see how I can’t blame Pat Narduzzi.

But is that the end of the matter?

Reading the POV I see a definite change in the attitude of the commentators. It’s not like the Negativos have disappeared or that the Positivos have emerged victorious. It’s like the question is no longer “Does Pat Narduzzi know what he is doing” because it’s been replaced with the idea that Pitt can win the Coastal even if he does not.
Look, winning the Coastal would be awesome. I want that to happen first and foremost for the student athletes on the team. It will help recruiting and definitely not cause recruiting to degrade even further which if Pitt went 4 and 8 or worse would have been a definite possibility (right, Mr. Koontz). And I want it to happen for the POVers who go to the games whom I both respect and admire whether the team does well or not.
But it’s not that important to me.
What I care about is whether or not Pat Narduzzi knows what he is doing. Why? Because if he does not, Pitt is going to be mediocre for the next 4 or 5 years whether it wins the Coastal or not and I will say goodbye to Pitt football until they are no longer mediocre which could be well past my time on Earth. And if he does know what he is doing, Pitt can win 8 or more games most years and be a top 25 team most years despite the systemic problems that presently confront Pitt football.

So, does he?

Of course we still don’t know. How could we with the defensive performance of the Duke game. Or our anemic passing game all season? Sure, we are optimistic about the Virginia Tech game and we have a right to be but I can’t get the North Carolina game out of my mind or Pitt’s defensive performance against Duke.

Still, something has happened that has me very encouraged. Pitt has an identity — an identity that I love. Pitt is now a smash mouth offensive team to be feared and I mean physically feared. And not feared because they are goons but because they are Pittsburgh strong.
And that identity is entirely consistent with Pat Narduzzi and how the rest of America views the City of Pittsburgh even if it is a meme that is 40 years behind the times. I expect the media to run with this and it will have legs if Pitt can win this Saturday especially I they win the way they have been winning. And if Virginia Tech sustains defensive injuries the way Virginia did, watch out because what we are now witnessing is defensive units fearing individual plays not because they fear V’lique breaking a 40 yard run but because it’s no fun going up against that Pitt smash mouth offensive unit.

Pat Narduzzi built that.
He made it clear to Big Q that no matter what success he had in his redshirt freshman year, that it wasn’t about him, it was about the Team (OK, so that sentence is entirely imaginary because I really have no idea why PN treated him the way he did). He also always nurtured and praised Darrin Hall – almost to the point where I thought that the Youngstown connection was reason for the bromance. Hey, everyone, PN was right about Hall. He is much, much better than most if not all of us thought.

Then there is the offensive line. The unit that so few thought was worthy of playing in the ACC. Even with its gaping limitations on passing plays, the offensive line has been the story of the year for Pitt football though I think most of us POVers know that statement bears a huge asterisk because we POVers know that the heart and soul of Pitt’s run game is George Aston.
Yes, we have an offensive line that is doing its job on running plays but if The Animal wasn’t there we would not be talking smash mouth and Darrin Hall would not have had 200 plus yards against Virginia. And yes, we have two bruising, interchangeable tailbacks who are better than we thought they were, but still, no George Aston, I don’t know what we would have.
(Speaking of these tailbacks, why can’t V’lique Carter get snaps at tailback and run up the middle in a hole excavated by Mr. Aston or on a conventional sweep? I’m not saying he should be our feature back but there is no reason that I can see why he can’t line up at tailback as a change of pace back. Can Watson see this? Really, why must he run solely from a jet sweep alignment?)

The bottom line is that Pitt’s offense is a well-conceived and defined, successful operation that is molded in the image of Pat Narduzzi. Sure, George Aston as a walk-on was a gift to him from the All Mighty but that does not change that the fact that PN built the line and running backs and conceived and implemented Aston’s role. And sure, the passing game is historically abysmal and that too is on PN but much of its awfulness is a direct result of smash mouth success.
HowSpeaking of these tailbacks, why can’t V’lique Carter get snaps at tailback and run up the middle in a hole excavated by Mr. Aston or on a conventional sweep? I’m not saying he should be our feature back but there is no reason that I can see why he can’t line up at tailback as a change of pace back. Can Watson see this? Really, why must he run solely from a jet sweep alignment?)

The bottom line is that Pitt’s offense is a well-conceived and defined, successful operation that is molded in the image of Pat Narduzzi. Sure, George Aston as a walk-on was a gift to him from the All Mighty but that does not change that the fact that PN built the line and running backs and conceived and implemented Aston’s role. And sure, the passing game is historically abysmal and that too is on PN but much of its awfulness is a direct result of smash mouth success. How much is attributable to the OC and HC’s decision to forgo the passing game, what difference does it make? Now if we asked this different question: “How much is attributable to our wide receivers, or lack of a pass catching tight end or our offensive line or our QB?” my answer would be I don’t have an algorithm to help answer that question and without that algorithm, it’s just too darn complicated.
What about the defense? The fact is that Pitt’s defense has held two of the last three teams it played to less than 20 points and one of those teams is Notre Dame. I recall watching the 2015 game and thinking how much faster Notre Dame was than Pitt. I didn’t perceive that difference in team speed this year. I know the criticism of Pitt’s recruiting these past few years (and this year’s recruiting has me really concerned) but I’m not one who gets hung up on ratings (see UCF) and I see an awful lot of really good athletes on this Pitt team.
I also see a lot of defensive mental mistakes. Are those mistakes due to bad coaching, players’ mental mistakes or players that just are not good enough? Today, I need another algorithm for that but by day’s end this Saturday, maybe we will know the answer to the question or perhaps the answer won’t be important anymore because we will conclude that the defense just stinks or is actually quite good. At least I think it is amazing that the previous sentence is actually true?
I’d like to write another thousand words analyzing whether Pat Narduzzii knows what he is doing but the truth is that today at this moment I have no idea. I will just throw out this somewhat random comment that in my humble opinion the decision to go for a first down was laughably stupid and does not speak well of the person who made that decision. I don’t care that it worked. That safety mistake on that long touchdown pass to Jana – I have seen that happen just too many times to not be concerned that the blame should be borne at least in part by a coach. And the defense in the Duke game? I have not forgotten that yet.
Lastly, I have been a harsh critic of OC Watson all year. But let’s give credit where it’s due. He called a good game Saturday. Darn good. And he is Pat Narduzzi’s man, so there is that.
Yes, winning the ACC Coastal will be fun but if Pitt does it by beating Virginia Tech and then having Miami or Wake Forest score a zillion points, I still won’t know if Pat Narduzzi knows what he is doing.

VT Game Notes

PITT (5-4, 4-1 ACC) vs. VIRGINIA TECH (4-4, 3-2 ACC)

November 10, 2018 • 3:30 p.m., ET

Heinz Field (68,400/Natural Grass) • Pittsburgh, Pa.

ESPNU • Pitt IMG Sports Radio Network

PittsburghPanthers.com • @Pitt_FB

LINK (PDF): Pitt Game Notes (vs. Virginia Tech)

GAME STORYLINES

  • Following a pair of pulsating victories, the Panthers enter their final home game of the season looking to stay atop the Coastal Division and earn bowl eligibility with a win over Virginia Tech.
  • Pitt currently leads the Coastal with a 4-1 mark in ACC play. The Panthers are 5-4 overall and need one more victory to be eligible for a bowl invitation.
  • The game is important for sentimental reasons as well. Before Saturday’s kickoff, Pitt will honor 19 senior players who are making their final home appearance at Heinz Field.
  • A win over Virginia Tech would give Pitt its first three-game winning streak since November 2016.
  • Virginia Tech, despite losing its last two games, entertains Coastal title hopes as well. The Hokies currently occupy third place in the division with a 3-2 mark, right behind second-place Virginia (4-2) and the Panthers.
  • The Panthers’ recent surge has been keyed by a powerful rushing attack. Pitt is averaging 230.8 yards per game to rank 20th nationally and third in the ACC. Virginia Tech enters Saturday’s matchup surrendering 177.8 rushing yards per contest.
  • Darrin Hall was the workhorse in Pitt’s 23-13 win at Virginia. Hall, the Walter Camp National Offensive Player of the Week, churned out 229 yards and three TDs against a Cavs defense that was yielding only 113 rush yards per game.
  • With 819 rushing yards this year, Qadree Ollison ranks third among ACC ball carriers. Ollison is striving to become only the sixth player in Pitt history to achieve multiple 1,000-yard rushing seasons.
  • Only a sophomore, Alex Kessman has the most 50-yard field goals in Pitt history with six. Four of those kicks occurred this season, including a game-clinching 53-yarder last week at Virginia.

    SERIES NOTES
    This marks the 18th meeting between Pitt and Virginia Tech in a series that dates back to 1993…Virginia Tech leads the overall series, 10-7, and has won each of the past two games…the Hokies defeated Pitt last year, 20-14, in Blacksburg and 39-36 at Heinz Field in 2016…despite the two-game losing streak, the Panthers have still won six of the past nine games in the series…Pitt is 5-4 at home and 2-6 on the road against Virginia Tech…the Panthers are 4-1 all-time against the Hokies at Heinz Field, the lone loss occurring in 2016…Pitt and Virginia Tech meet annually as Coastal Division members and the Hokies lead the ACC series, 3-2…the initial 11 games of the series were played when both schools were members of the Big East…the Panthers lost the initial four meetings before earning their first victory in 1997, a 30-23 decision at Pitt Stadium…five of Pitt’s wins have come against nationally ranked Virginia Tech squads (No. 13 in 2012, No. 5 in 2003, No. 3 in 2002, No. 12/13 in 2001 and No. 19/20 in 1997)…one of the most memorable games occurred in 2003 when a late touchdown by fullback Lousaka Polite lifted Pitt past the Hokies, 31-28, in an ESPN primetime battle of Top 25 teams at Heinz.

BROADCAST INFORMATION  

Television • ESPNU

Kevin Brown (play-by-play), Andre Ware (analyst)

Pitt Radio • 93.7 The Fan & the Pitt IMG Sports Network

Bill Hillgrove (play-by-play), Pat Bostick (analyst), Larry Richert (reporter)

SiriusXM Satellite Radio

Sirius Channel 108, XM Channel 194, Internet Channel 956

WPTS Radio (Pitt Student Station) • 92.1 FM

Pitt IMG Sports Network Online Audio Options

PittsburghPanthers.com

Pitt Panthers Gameday App

TuneIn (free live and on-demand content)

So What Exactly IS Pat Narduzzi’s Salary?

So What Exactly IS Pat Narduzzi’s Salary?

By Rich Hefner (PITTcocks on the POV)

Is Pat Narduzzi being paid $3.5 million? Is it conjecture based on a false assumption from known published figures? Or is it a reasonable guesstimate? Let me lay out some known facts based on my research.

Paul Chryst (PC) was PITT’s head football coach from early January 2012 through early December 2014. He was replaced by Pat Narduzzi (PN). PN signed a contract in late December ’14 & assumed duties in early January ’15. Per reports, it was a 5 year contract running from 2015 thru 2019. In December of 2015, the late great AD Scott Barnes (SB) signed PN to a new contract that added a 2 year extension to PN’s original 5 years. His contact would now expire in 2021. In December of 2017, current AD Heather Lyke (HL) signed PN to a new contract/extension that extended PN term of employment through 2024. No contract terms or conditions were released by PITT at the announcement of these signing/extensions.

Everyone has seen the USA Today report on college football head coaching salaries. For your entertainment here is the link for 2018.

http://sports.usatoday.com/ncaa/salaries/

As usual Alabama’s Nick Saban is the highest paid at $8,307,000. PN comes in at #42 with $3,017,718. Some other fun facts, Do you know the USA report is sortable? Click on the any header & it will sort the report by that header. Try it with header “Max bonus” & up will pop up “Stoops, Stoops, Stoops” from Kentucky with $3,100,000. Also, if you click on the items highlighted in red in any column heading explanations, there is more specific info or history provided.

But what makes up the numbers behind the USA report. That’s where methodology comes into play. If you drop down to the bottom of the report below the data, there is a line reading ” To see the methodology behind this data, click here “.

They give an explanation of what is included or not included in each column. This report in general is for the current contract year. I am assuming it is the calendar year 1/1/2018 thru 12/31/18 except for bonus paid which are from 5/15/17 thru 5/14/18.

A while back, someone asked if Brian Kelly of ND is only paid $2,129,638. The answer is probably more. Below the explanation of specific column headings, there are specific explanations pertinent to some individual schools. Since the schools are in alphabetical order, slide down to Notre Dame & read what it has to say.

Well that leaves PITT. What does the school have to say about pay. Well in short – nothing. Or at least to any person who asks. But there is info out there. Due to the State of Pennsylvania’s Right to Know law we have this link:

http://www.cfo.pitt.edu/disclosure.html

Continue reading “So What Exactly IS Pat Narduzzi’s Salary?”

Delayed POV Sunday Podcast; 11/5/18

Delayed POV Sunday Podcast; 11/5/18

Here is a podcast that is a day past due but will explain some things that are going on with the blog of late. It is important to me and to the readers and commenters out in POV land to listen and 100% understand what my message and intent for the future is.

Corrections:  Pitt stands at 5-4 right now, not 4-4. Also, QB2 Jeff George, Jr played at Illinois last season – not Indiana. Here is what he did there:

George

Pitt is now the favorite to win the ACC Coastal, with a 47% chance, per FPI. The Panthers are trailed by Virginia Tech (18%), Virginia (13%), Miami (13%), and Georgia Tech (9%).  We certainly control our own destiny, don’t we?

Here are the offensive leaders for Pitt’s 2018 to date:

O week 911-5 stats

Again, if no one steps up to take over the POV at season’s end this will be the result…Shoot dog