Monday Morning QB; Georgia Tech

Monday Morning QB; Georgia Tech

Monday-Morning-QB

The good news is that we are 2-1 on the season with wins over Albany and Georgia Tech.  As we do on here we’ll list the Good, the Bad and the Ugly then you guys can chip in with your thoughts.

However, I’m two-blocked with other obligations so my thoughts today will be short.

THE GOOD

We held GT to 320 yards rushing.  I had written earlier that if we could hold their offense to under 300 yards on the ground we’d win.  Pretty close on that – although I had GT winning this game which was a bad prediction.

Pickett passed better than before with 16 0f 23 for 197 yards and 1 INT.  On the season so far he’s done this:

Pickett 2018

I thought he’d have better stats at this point but he’s not losing ball games which for a young QB is the key.  He’s got to be better on his deep throws though.

THE BAD

The 2nd half stagnation. We have to do something about the fact that in each of our three games so far we have been almost shutout in those six quarters of play with only a FG in this last game.  This isn’t good and this time it could easily have led to a loss.  We played so well in the first half so something’s going on there.

THE UGLY

Even though it was a plus for us I thought GT’s HC Paul Johnson’s playcalling was horrible. GT was off all day – helped in that by our defense in the 1st half of course –  but I felt that the GT team we just played was not a very good one.

Pitt vs Georgia Tech Game Thread; 9/15/18

Pitt vs Georgia Tech Game Thread; 9/15/18

♦♦♦ LET’S GO PITT!! ♦♦♦

Here is a good matchup overview by the Odds Shark group. They predict a 20-19 score in favor of GT. I highly doubt only 39 points are going to be the combined score.

PITT (1-1, 0-0 ACC) vs. GEORGIA TECH (1-1, 0-0 ACC)

September 15, 2018 • 12:30 p.m., ET

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

RSN (AT&T SportsNet) • Pitt IMG Sports Radio Network
PittsburghPanthers.com • @Pitt_FB

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

Here is some fun reading while you are waiting for the game to start.

 

 

Know the Enemy & Predictions; Georgia Tech 2018

Know the Enemy & Predictions; Georgia Tech 2018

They are going to run wild against us.

That’s really all you need to know…but here is what the media is saying:

P-Gs Brian Batko with: ‘Hard to say’ how Pitt will respond against Georgia Tech

“Right tackle Alex Bookser took his encouragement from realizing that fundamental mistakes can be fixed, and he isn’t worried about the talent on Pitt’s offensive line.

Linebacker Elijah Zeise couldn’t stew over Penn State because he had to get right to work preparing for what might be the most “annoying” offense Pitt faces all season.

And tight ends coach Tim Salem, well, his recovery plan for the weekend was to just not sleep. Or barely sleep. As usual.

“I’ve been in this building since 7 a.m. on Sunday,” Salem said Tuesday afternoon following Pitt’s first practice of the week. “I haven’t left. I worked yesterday morning in this building for, like, 18 hours and I slept here. That’s just the way it is.”

Remember this guy?

From the Pitt News:

Georgia Tech (1-1) vs. Pitt (1-1)

Spread: Georgia Tech -4

Over/under: 55

Analysis: Coming off a 45-point loss at home to rival Penn State, the Pitt Panthers will look to bounce back and play strong this weekend. Visiting opponent Georgia Tech is also coming off a tough loss to South Florida, 49-38. Both the Yellow Jackets and Panthers want to start 1-0 in the ACC.

Looking at the spread, Georgia Tech is favored to win the game by four points. That may not seem like a lot, but something like a game-winning field goal could easily be the difference in this game. Pitt’s offense will rely heavily on the run, as it did against Penn State when the team had 245 yards on the ground. The Yellow Jackets laugh at only having 245 rushing yards — that’s about what they rush for in one half. They had 419 yards on the ground against South Florida in their loss last week. However, their starting running back KirVonte Benson is officially out for the season after sustaining a knee injury in last week’s game. He had 1,053 yards on the ground last season and will definitely be missed going forward.

Bet: Take Georgia Tech to cover the 4 points and the over.

Ok, this is a good spot to start with our predictions…FYI, here is what GT’s been doing so far this season:

gt stats 18

Basically two things jump out at me, their rushing (#1 nationally with 429 ypg) and their scoring so far (39th with 39.5 ppt). Just that alone makes me think there is no way we’ll keep up with them by points on the board.

But then I when I looked to see what Georgia Tech was doing on defense and I see that their rushing defense is pretty good at 74th nationally at 150 ypg and then also their passing defense isn’t bad, which is different from it’s been in the past few years. They are currently at 14th allowing only 135 passing ypg.

That isn’t good for us. They were beating a good USF team before surrendering the lead and game and I don’t think we are anywhere near USF as far as talent and coaching goes. And forget about their starting halfback’s injury ; they probably have three or four runners who can succeed in that triple option offense.

Pay close attention to what Johnson is saying at the 2:20 mark on about slipping the wide-out wide receiver out past the cornerback or Safety closing in for the pitchout.  All the QB has to do is stop and pass the ball over their heads.  With our defensive backfield they might dine out on this for big points.

Oh yeah, we’ll be see the backs of their players all day long.  One thing that really worries me is that we scored exactly 6 points in the last six quarters of play.

To me that says something especially since we kept our full 1st string offense in almost the whole 2nd half against a poor FCS Albany team. With the exception of Davis at RB then late subs on the OL.  We still should have been racking up points but Albany adjusted to us and shut us down.

I’m calling this one:

GT 47 – Pitt 20

 

Lock the Gates?… Sure, OK, Why Not?

Lock the Gates?… Sure, OK, Why Not?

PITT (1-1, 0-0 ACC) vs. GEORGIA TECH (1-1, 0-0 ACC)

September 15, 2018 • 12:30 p.m., ET

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

RSN (AT&T SportsNet) • Pitt IMG Sports Radio Network
PittsburghPanthers.com • @Pitt_FB

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

GAME STORYLINES

Pitt opens Atlantic Coast Conference play when it hosts Georgia Tech. The Panthers and Yellow Jackets are annual foes as members of the Coastal Division.

Since joining the ACC in 2013, the Panthers are 2-3 in conference openers. Pitt has lost its initial ACC game each of the last two seasons, including a 35-17 setback to Georgia Tech in Atlanta last year.

 Pitt will be playing its third home game in as many weeks. This is the first time the Panthers have opened a season with three consecutive home games since 2008. This century, that scheduling quirk has occurred four total times (2001 and 2004).

Both teams enter ACC play coming off disappointing outings. Pitt trailed Penn State at intermission, 14-6, but crumbled in the second half, 51-6. Georgia Tech led host USF by 10 in the fourth quarter but three unanswered touchdowns resulted in a 49-38 defeat.

Two of the Panthers’ past three encounters with Georgia Tech came down to late field goals. Pitt triumphed in 2015 (31-28) and 2016 (37-34) on game-winning field goals by Chris Blewitt, who graduated as the school’s all-time leading kick scorer.

Senior tailback Qadree Ollison is off to a strong start to his final season. Ollison rushed for a game-high 119 yards on 21 carries (5.7 avg.) against Penn State. He is averaging 96 yards per game.

Senior middle linebacker Quintin Wirginis is coming off the most productive game of his career. Wirginis, whose 2017 season was lost to injury, compiled nine tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss and a sack against Penn State.

 Sophomore defensive end Rashad Weaver is also emerging as a playmaker. Weaver totaled four stops, 1.5 TFLs, two fumble recoveries and a forced fumble against Penn State.

SERIES NOTES


This is the 13th meeting between Pitt and Georgia Tech in a series that began in 1918…Pitt leads the overall series, 7-5, and has won two of the past three meetings with the Yellow Jackets…the Panthers are 4-1 in games played in Pittsburgh and 3-2 in Atlanta…Pitt and Georgia Tech have twice met in bowl games with the Yellow Jackets winning each time…Georgia Tech defeated the Panthers in the Jan. 2, 1956 Sugar Bowl (7-0) and the Dec. 29, 1956 Gator Bowl (21-14)…the 2018 game marks the sixth Atlantic Coast Conference encounter between the two schools…Georgia Tech leads the ACC series, 3-2…the Yellow Jackets beat visiting Pitt last year, 35-17…Pitt won both the 2015 and 2016 contests courtesy of late field goals by the graduated Chris Blewitt…in 2016, Blewitt’s 31-yard field goal as time expired gave Pitt a 37-34 win at Heinz Field…in 2015, Blewitt boomed a school-record 56-yard field goal with 1:11 left for a 31-28 victory in Atlanta…the initial three games of the series from 1918-20 were all played in Pittsburgh…led by legendary coach Glenn “Pop” Warner, Pitt won each of those three contests by an aggregate score of 58-9…before the 2013 revival of the series, the two schools had not played since a pair of games at Georgia Tech in the 1970s…in 1976, Tony Dorsett scored three touchdowns as Pitt routed the host Yellow Jackets, 42-14…under the direction of Coach John Majors, Pitt would go 12-0 in 1976 and claim the national championship, while Dorsett would win the Heisman Trophy…the Panthers also defeated Georgia Tech, 27-17, in Atlanta during the 1974 season.

G Tech 2

BROADCAST INFORMATION

Television • RSN (AT&T SportsNet in Pittsburgh)

Wes Durham, play-by-play

James Bates, analyst

Rebecca Kaple, reporter

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 138, XM Channel 380, Internet Channel 969

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)

Why Not Start Again?

Why Not Start Again?

Let’s have a conversation about change.  First off this has to be framed in the hypothetical because we fans really have no idea how the rest of this season will play out and in this debate we’ll take any financial considerations out of the conversation.  But in light of what we saw happen over the first two weeks of play let’s assume (again for debate’s sake only) that we’ll have another .500 season or worse.  OK?  That’s not saying it will happen but if it does…

I keep reading Pitt fans saying ‘we can’t, shouldn’t, won’t’ fire Pat Narduzzi because then “We’ll have to start all over again!!” whatever that means.  But a head coaching change is not a bad thing and that it actually ‘sets back‘ the football program has been proven to be a Pitt fan urban myth.  Let’s explore that.

Take a look back at Pitt’s football history in the modern ages… let’s take from Majors II in 1993 until now. That is a full quarter century, 25 years, of modern Pitt football history encompassing six head coaches’ first two years at the helm after the change.

Here is the season info for the head coaches and what they accomplished in their first two years…and what the season record was year before by the outgoing HC:

Coaches 20Red is worse, Black is same and Green is better.

Here you can see that there isn’t a big drop off between the outgoing and incoming coaches. The bottom line with Pitt football is that it is neither really great (10 win by Wannstedt max over this chart) nor really low (five wins by Narduzzi).  In other words we have started over six times without any major negative impacts to the program.

But here is what you have to ask yourself as a Pitt fan; is ‘starting over’ in 2019 going to hurt the football program or help it?  Well, I’ll state my opinion on this and you’ll kick in with yours I’m sure.

Staring off I’m not advocating firing Pat Narduzzi at this point nor have I done so at all.  I’ve left that up to others.  But I do feel that if it would happen it would be a plus for the program – again assuming we have a poor season.  Here are my reasons:

First off I truly don’t see the football program getting stronger under Narduzzi’s leadership and feel that the opposite will continue to happen. I based this on a couple of facts and some strong opinions. The fact is that in his first three years we have not won a bowl game and then in 2017 didn’t qualify for one.  A fact is that for the first time in a full decade we had the lowest win total with only five – worse than either Todd  Graham and Paul Chryst.

A fact is that in his third year of coaching he dropped from eight wins to five. That’s almost half the win total of the year before with pretty much the  same Strength of Schedule as the year before (3.51 to 4.13 – very close).

Those are the facts.  My opinions about this are as follows.

Narduzzi’s recruiting has been sub-par from the get-go.  In this, his full 4th year of coaching, the starting lineups should be heavily populated with players he recruited himself.  Instead  we just saw a starting lineup for the Penn State game that consisted of 15 out of 22 starters who were not recruited by Narduzzi.  Eight of those were on offense where his only recruited players were Sear, Pickett and Morrissey. In addition, seven of 11 on defense including all starting linebackers, one of the defensive ends, the nose tackle, and two of four defensive backs.

What we have seen in his recruiting classes is that every year we get less Blue Chip players (From five 4*s in ’16 to three to one to zero so far in the 2019 class) and more run of the mill kids.  Those recruits haven’t been able to beat out even average ballplayers left over from Chryst’s recruiting classes and that does not bode well for future teams.

Ands his recruiting isn’t going to get any better.  This HC has alienated local high school coaches to the extent that we are having a hard time getting even 3* local recruits to commit to play for us let alone the cream of the local crop.  I believe this recruiting situation has to be one of the main considerations for the Athletic Department when looking at their plans for Pitt football’s immediate future.

When whoever it is takes over from Narduzzi – and it will happen sooner than later – is going to be inheriting a roster that is full of average at best players.  There will be a few kids that are good or maybe even great (although I can’t point to any at this point in time) but as we are seeing now the majority of the players are just…average and that is what Narduzzi’s replacement will have to work with his first two years.

The longer it goes on the worse the roster is going to get because if the way things go as I think they will Pitt is not going to be a destination school for the better players – just as it isn’t now. It’s tough enough for a new coach to take over and worse if he’s handed crap to start building with.

We saw the opposite happen with Narduzzi’s first two seasons.  It is now evident that he won those eight games in ’15 and ’16 mainly on the strength of the great offensive players he inherited from Paul Chryst.

O’Neil, Johnson, Boyd, Conner, Aston to name a few.  Take a look at the difference between the two starting lineups of the 2016 Penn State game and the 2018 game we just watched:

16 offense18 psu

 

Every single position with the exception of QB Nate Peterman had committed to Paul Chryst.   That isn’t all that unusual in Year 2 but look at that talent level across the board Narduzzi inherited for the ’16 season!  Not one starter in 2018 is as good as the same position two years previously.  Folks – that’s why we had that record-setting offense in 2016 – Peterman was a great get for Narduzzi and kudos for that but his supporting cast was one of the best we’ve seen at Pitt going back to the 1980s.  Again- the longer Pitt waits to make a move regarding the HC position the worse it get personnel-wise for any new HC.

You can make the point that Walt Harris also slid in the W/L record in the beginning of his term but let’s be completely honest here – he inherited a very poor roster from outgoing Johnny Majors and then he righted the ship with some darn good recruiting of his own.

I do believe when the dust settles on the 2018 season Pitt’s administration is going to be faced with a very hard decision.  Stop the bleeding immediately and find a new head coach who will turn around the downward slide – and I do feel that is what Narduzzi is creating between last year and this – or stick with a HC who hasn’t been able to move the program forward and upward with his own players…which is the HC’s main job when it comes to the football games.

Editor’s NoteWe’ll have Georgia Tech articles up starting tomorrow… take a shot at writing something if you feel like it.

 

 

 

 

 

Monday Morning QB; Penn State 2018

Monday-Morning-QB

Well, let’s get right into it.  It isn’t as if we haven’t been discussing the game in every way, shape and form since we missed that extra point.  As you know the POV takes a look at the Good, the Bad and the Ugly and tries to find three bullet points for each one.  Then you all will chip in with your thoughts.

To recap Pitt lost to rival Penn State 51-6 and our head coach Pat Narduzzi was shocked, shocked! that it played out that way. It was our worst loss since Majors II in 1996 when we lost 60-6 against ND in South Bend.  It was also our worst home loss since 1971 when we lost 56-7 against ND at Pitt Stadium under Carl DePasqua.  Carl effing DePasqua !!!

Great company we are now in wouldn’t you say? In his last five game Narduzzi is 2-3 beating an overrated Miami team and a lowest FCS team you can find.  In turn he’s lost to a 2-8 NC team, VT and was completely embarrassed by PSU 51-6 at home…on national TV in prime time.  It almost couldn’t get any worse.

THE GOOD

After looking at things from every angle I have found one-half of one good thing that happened Saturday night and the was Qadree Ollison’s rushing effort in the first 30 minutes of play.  If I am reading things correctly during that time period he carried the ball 18 times for 127 yards on the strength of a 63 yard burst from our own 4 yard line to help set up a (missed) field goal attempt.

Of course, as we saw the whole team do in the 2nd half of the match, Ollison then went backwards when he rushed three times for -8 yards after halftime.  But for me, and you may disagree, that was the only “good” thing to come out of our play that game.

THE BAD

  Where to start?  OK – with the coaching and staff’s work from Pat Narduzzi on down to the dearly departed Ox Enright.  Seriously, everyone even remotely involved with the football program needs to take some blame for the fiasco we watched out there at Heinz. Believe me, I just bet Narduzzi was wishing Ox was still here so he could somehow blame him for everything that happened – because folks, that is what this head coach does.

Don’t be fooled by this quote from Narduzzi: “But ultimately everything lays right on my chest. I’ll take it all. We obviously didn’t have them ready to go in any capacity, offensively, defensively or special teams.”  Because directly afterward he starts blaming everyone and his brother, the weather and the refs for what happened.  Like this:

But we just didn’t make plays. We didn’t block them good enough. Again, give them credit; they’re a good football team, but we just didn’t execute like we need to.”  In other words we told our players what to do but they just didn’t do it!!

or this…

Even the first half, that guy (Pickett) was scrambling and making plays, but we still weren’t throwing the ball, he was making it all with his feet. But wasn’t able to get the ball down the field. We’re throwing T-swings and check-down routes instead of getting the ball to our receivers.”  Right, no mention of the porous OL he put out there who forced Pickett to do all those things, you know – ‘throwing T-Swings and checkdown routes‘-  when he should have been standing in the (non-existent) pocket and going downfield.  He really should have you know!

Maybe that’s harsh on Narduzzi but with his Sensitive Compartmented Information Top-Secret crap attitude and not releasing any info about the camps or the two scrimmages at all I think Pitt fans have had enough.  Combine that with his unjustified arrogance and it’s an act worn thin.

  The failure of the Offensive Line.  Yes, the word is failure because when they are so truly bad at the one thing we desperately need with a decent QB, which is pass protection, it heavily impacts their other job of run blocking.  I wanted to say complete failure but they avoided that by actually opening up some holes for the RBs to run through – though that didn’t last past halftime.

There was maybe two or three instances on Saturday of Pickett actually being able to stand in the pocket, follow his receivers and complete a pass down field. Maybe two.  The OL was beaten down and pushed backwards on almost every passing play. I’m surprised Penn State only had four Sacks on the night – they would have had eight or 10 had any QB other than Pickett with his quick legs been in there – our OL was, and is, really that bad.

PSU figured it out rather quickly and made great adjustments at the half.  Their staff realized that Pitt can’t make passing plays work so Pitt won’t try – and all they have to do is stuff the LOS and cut down their rushing game. And that is exactly what they did and what every other team on our schedule is going to do.

  Our so-called Defensive Backfield. They are horrible and the stats PSU ended up with; 15 of 31 for 179 yards and 3 TDs are very misleading – Penn State’s Trace McSorley had at least six perfect on-the-hands passes dropped by his receivers.  I went back and re-watched those drops. What I figured is they missed out on over 100 yards of gain, four or five first downs and at least another TD.  But their receivers were open all night.  All…night…long.

This is a repeat of what Albany did to us last week and I don’t see it getting any better. Our personnel back there are not talented and are poorly coached by Friend Of Pat’s & Up from the MAC ranks Archie Collins.  In other words they suck just like they have every single year Pat Narduzzi has been the head coach.   It will get worse before it gets better – you can bet on that.

THE UGLY

  The self-imposed “Unsportsmanlike Conduct” 15 yard penalty after a sideline warning for him not to go onto the field of play (o dispute referee’s procedures) committed by Pat Narduzzi when the score was 7-6. That was the beginning of the end for us Saturday night. When he lost control there it was infectious and things started really rolling downhill.

Up to that point the team had committed two penalties…after this big one the lid shot off and we ended up with 14 on the night.  From that point on we had a missed FG, turnover on downs, fumble and the end of the half.  When your leader shows no discipline and that actually hurts the effort out on the field that bleeds out to the already-nervous kids on the sidelines.  Were you at all surprised how the kids played out there after watching  Narduzzi have his total meltdown on the sidelines during the first quarter and first half? I sure wasn’t and was half expecting it.

This penalty is the only one written by the NCAA where the Referee gives the transgressor fair warning that he’s about to get the penalty. That was done so the head coach had time to reconsider his poor leadership actions and correct them on the spot.  Narduzzi just doesn’t get stuff like that.  Don’t believe what Narduzzi said afterward – he got the fair warning as was shown on TV.

Here is a salient point; last season were were #3 in the nation as the least penalized team with only 3.8 per game – 3rd in the nation. We did a great job there.  So far this year were are 121st with 10.0 per game.  Why? There is a reason for that and it’s called panic.

In the last six quarters of play we have scored a total of 6 points.  One point per quarter. I wonder how far back in Pitt football history do we have to go to see that happen?  And two of those quarters were against a low FCS team in Albany for heaven’s’ sake.

This is from an offense that fans were led to believe was going to be one of the best we had in ages – if you believed the staff.  But when the HC didn’t release the two camp scrimmage stats like he did (and every Pitt HC did) every other year the warning bells rang loud and clear – there was something wrong with an offense that couldn’t score against an average , or worse, defense.  Panic set in when we had to actually play the games… and rightly so I guess. If they weren’t in the panic mode before the better be now.

  The bullcrap and misdirections coming out of the Southside during fall camp, before the Albany game but especially this last week before the PSU game. It’s getting to the point I can’t even watch Narduzzi’s interviews during the camps or in-between games. Everything he’s been saying is either a flat-out lie or a misdirection.

An example: Back in the spring I was told  by someone at Pitt that this year’s version of the OL was ‘maybe the worse we have ever seen in modern history at Pitt” .  I asked about it again during the last week of fall camp and was told “its still bad – Pickett may get killed back there”.  There was no progression or higher level of play by the OL from April to September…none. But if you read what Narduzzi, Borbely and Watson were saying at the end of August the OL was the ‘most improved’ unit in camp.  Well, Hell then – it might have been given the crap state of the whole team so far.

But this is the crap they have been shovelling the fans who have been paying hard earned money to support the team and program. He treats them with disdain at every turn they acts like a ten year old who closes his door so no one can see the real stuff he’s doing.  And yes Pitt fans he sure as hell does have an obligation to we fans – if he  believes he doesn’t then he should be out on his ass tomorrow.

 Our Special Teams play.  I’m not going to list the individual player’s errors or the horrid coaching decisions that led to them.  We all saw what happened and won’t forget what we saw for a long time.  But I’ll say this.  We went from one of the best punters in the nation in Ryan Winslow to a Aussie who had never played a single snap of American football and almost single-handedly lost the game for us.

That’s not an exaggeration either because his botched hold on the initial (and only) point-after gave PSU an short seven point bar to meet for the win.  And he’s out there holding when we have a grand total of seven QBs on the roster right now who have played American football and have actually caught and held our type of footballs before.

Maybe we’ll see walk-on Ethan Van Buskirk out there against GT.

That’s all I can bring myself to write  – you guys chip in with your opinions in the comments.

It Was a Dark and Stormy Night…

It Was a Dark and Stormy Night…

…and Pat Narduzzi should be afraid of the dark after last night.

68,400 people watched the Same Old Pitt (SOP) in action and now there can be no denying it.  Let’s not make excuses for Pitt’s showing last night’s either – the Refs didn’t screw us, the weather didn’t stop us and Penn State isn’t even that good of a team this season.  But we really are that bad and that falls directly on Pat Narduzzi’s head.

I’ll do a Monday Morning QB article tomorrow but last night’s game, the staff and the Pitt players need talking about right now.  Because this loss to our rival and the severity of it isn’t that huge of a shock to some Pitt fans and POVers.  Nor are all the peripheral and negative things that happened on the sidelines.  We have written on here many times that Pat Narduzzi is not the guy or coach most Pitt fans believed he was… and that’s true.

When I earlier published the 2018 Pitt football surveys asking questions about the team and ‘who would do what’ I added at the end of it “Will Pat Narduzzi Scream at his coaches…and how many times” and you all thought that was a joke.  But it wasn’t meant to be and we last night saw PN hit the trifecta of deflected blames when he yelled at his players, his staff coaches and then directly the Referees. (and get his two-faced ramblings in his post-game press interview).

But this is who he is.  He’s been in the panic mode since Nate Peterman graduated and it has shown in many different ways.  Since the summer of 2017 the POV has written extensively about two things that continue to hurt Pitt football.  Narduzzi’s poor recruiting and his looking for and receiving transfers policy.  Those two things combined to help give us a five win season last year and a 45 point loss last night.

When you are in Year Four of a HC’s tenure and your starting lineup is still evenly populated by the previous HC’s players – your recruiting sucks.  And regardless of what # ranked his recruiting classes were they have actually been poor.

My God – wasn’t anyone listening when we screamed from the mountaintop that any offensive line which has three 5th year Seniors who never started a Power 5 game at their positions (Dintino, Millin and Herndon) was going to be a bad one?  Last night Pitt fans screamed for other offensive linemen to be in-game substitutions and Pitt did so with Brandon Ford, Gabe Houy, Bryce Hargrove and Jerry Drake Jr. and they played just as terribly.  Why? Because our OL recruiting is poor also.

Do you wonder why Kenny Pickett is playing substandard QB so far in our last six quarters of play (and he really is).  It’s not because he’s untalented; it’s a fact that he does have talent – it is because virtually every time he has dropped back to pass the OL has so quickly crumbled that he’s had to try to complete passes on the scramble and most attempts have either failed or had to be short check-downs… as we knew the situation would be going into fall camp.

When Narduzzi has gotten decent recruits many of them have left because of the average-at-best upperclassmen transfers he has brought in to fill holes in the roster that he himself created.  That’s panic mode folks.  Last night four of those transfers played and aside from Mack did nothing and Mack was just there and not doing much.  But that is par for the transfer game after Peterman left.

At the Albany tailgate last week I asked some POVers why they believed the defensive backs were an “Upgrade” over last season even though we lost two good ones (best we have had in a while) in Maddox and Whitehead… and no one could really explain why they felt that way.  But I know why they did – because they are Pitt Fans and want the best to happen with the team even if it means heavy wishful thinking in place of critical analysis.

But again, when after four years your two best DBs are rsSR Briggs and rsSR Motley – both average Chryst recruits – you are going to have problems.  I shudder to think how many passing yards and more points PSU would have had if their WRs and TEs didn’t drop seven or so passes. They were wide open all night long and our DBs couldn’t cover them well enough to save their (or their teammates’) lives.

Three of the four rotation linebackers we put out there are also the previous regime’s recruits and none of them are so good they couldn’t be sat down if there was any quality talent at all behind them… but there isn’t.  With the exception of Wirginis maybe, but don’t watch how many times he was faked out last night on both rushing plays and passing ones.

Understand what I’m saying above – two out of the three main defensive units; the LBs and DBs, haven’t been improved by Narduzzi’s recruiting in four years now.  Don’t get me started on having to play Shane Roy in the middle of the DL. And this is from a guy who is supposed to be a defensive guru and able to spot great defensive talent a mile away.

A few of us here on the POV predicted an under .500 won / loss record for our team this year.  But the vast majority of readers felt we’ll win 7, 8 or even 9 games.  While that could still happen I think last night brought us to crash landing in reality – this is not a very talented team nor is it a well coached one.

Look at where we stand nationally after two games…but when you do also remember this fact; Pitt hasn’t scored a 2nd half point yet this season and that is against a pushover FCS team also.

NCAA Ranks PSU

I know this article screams “I told you so” but that really isn’t my intent.  What I’m getting at is that in all our discussions over the months from the end of 2017’s Miami game until last night I and a few other POVers on here have been heavily criticized as being unrealistically negative about Narduzzi, the program and 2018’s prospects as a team.

We have stated that we were being realistic in taking a truly critical look at the team’s strengths and weaknesses – and were shouted down at every turn by the Eternal Optimists who refuse to see anything that isn’t shown in a positive light.

Remember that “Dark and Stormy Night” part in the title above?  Well – darkness is part of this program whether you like it or not.  It has been evident for some time now that Narduzzi was lucky as hell to inherit the roster he did from Paul Chryst and that his initial 8 win seasons were heavily influenced by the players he inherited.  Well, some those guys are still starting at this late date… and they aren’t even the really good ones like Boyd, Conner and the whole Chryst OL guys.

That’s tells me the ‘Stormy’ part ain’t over yet my friends…