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October 23, 2017

Anything But Pretty, But…

Filed under: Football — Chas @ 5:24 pm

…it was a win.

There were points during the Pitt-Duke game that felt like literal hate-watching. Not simply the offense just making me angry and frustrated. It was the coaching. The decision-making. It really was the first game in Pat Narduzzi’s tenure that really pissed me off from the POV of  “what the hell are they thinking?”

It was a game, that Pitt could have lost (some might argue should have). I’m sure all five Duke football fans feel the same, though, it’s not like Duke did much more to say they “should have” won.

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October 21, 2017

12:20pm.

Various Network affiliates, and on theACC Digital Network.

Since Pitt joined the ACC, the games with Duke have been almost absurd offensive showcases.

The first two games saw the teams combine for 113 and 99 points respectively. Last year, Pitt hung 56 on Duke.

Even in the relatively tame 2015 game, Pitt put forth 31 points en route to a win. That was Pitt’s lowest scoring output. Outside the Rice, game, Pitt hasn’t put 31 points or moreup in their other 6 games.

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October 18, 2017

Unsurprising Outcome

Filed under: Football — Chas @ 7:43 am

Well, that UNC-Pitt Thursday night game on November 9 looks to be one hell of a dog.

That Pitt lost was not a surprise. That the running game struggled again, not a surprise. Poor handling of working Kenny Pickett into the game — kind of a surprise.

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October 14, 2017

12:00 pm

RSNs or ACC Network Extra/WatchESPN.

Homecoming. James Conner bobblehead day.

The noon and noon-adjacent home games on Saturday will continue until Pitt can be a consistent factor in the ACC. It sucks, but at least Pitt is getting paid. Another morning of trying to get out the door before 7 am and hitting the road. Whee.

Another top-20 team, though I didn’t see this coming with NC State.

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October 11, 2017

What Do You Want To See in Final Six?

Filed under: Football — Chas @ 7:46 am

I’ve calmed down a bit. Stepped back. Had a chance to breathe.

A lot of people have pointed out in the ensuing hours and days after the end of the Syracuse game, that playing Kenny Pickett for one snap at the end of the game is not the worst thing in the world.

And they are right, with a big caveat.

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October 7, 2017

Narduzzi F**ks Up

Filed under: Football — Chas @ 4:26 pm

Okay, I’m a little hot. If you are offended by [expletive redacted] then don’t click below.

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It’s not a rivalry, but there have been enough open threads over the years for the need to differentiate in the permalink.

12:30 pm on various RSNs (whatever the hell they are calling the Pittsburgh sports channel these days, NESN, YES and others) and WatchESPN/ACC Digital Network Extra.

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October 6, 2017

Missed a lot this week. Solo dadding with the wife out of town.

I was hoping. Oh, how I was hoping this would be a better story. The firing of Scot Shafer at Cuse a couple years ago not only meant Syracuse has improved; but it ended the whole Kiwi Killer stuff.

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October 2, 2017

Pitt Needed Rice

Filed under: Football — Chas @ 7:41 am

No one, including the players and coaches, thinks Rice is much beyond a bad team. That still doesn’t change how much Pitt needed that game. They needed an easy win, and they got it. They didn’t turn it into a needless struggle or a painful slog. They had a nice, laid-back blowout.

Max Browne was returned to starting QB, and looked like a different player. With some actual protection and a non-top-10 opponent, he looked something the former 5-star QB grad transfer Pitt fans were hoping to see.

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September 30, 2017

Pitt-Rice: Open Thread

Filed under: Football,Open Thread — Chas @ 10:34 am

12:00 ACC Digital Network Extra/ESPN3.

I’m rationalizing attending the Rice-Pitt game on Yom Kippur as its own form of atonement after what Pitt has done for the first 4 games.

This is a family game for me. My sister did her graduate and doctorate work at Rice (applied mathematics, and yes, she’s the smart one in the family) and her husband has a masters from the school.  They still live in Houston, and my parents moved down there a few years ago. They were fine during the hurricane and flooding, if you are wondering.

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September 29, 2017

In light of the burgeoning scandal in college basketball, the response from some corners is that if players were compensated — paying players, permitting them to cash in on their likeness (autographs, cut of jersey sales, etc.), and even allowing them to cut deals directly with shoe companies — it would end this sort of shenanigans. So would eliminating the NBA’s restriction on high school players that creates the one-and-done rule.

It’s an appealing notion. And it would reduce it a bit. Everyone would have to get comfortable with shoe companies dictating which schools would get the players. Nike deciding which blue bloods get certain players in their stable. That certainly would be what happens. Shoe company paying six-figures for a 5-star, elite player. They are going to tell him where he’s playing. They are going to recoup that money in apparel sales.

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September 28, 2017

As expected, Rick Pitino is out at Louisville. Technically, he is on administrative leave. That, though, is for contract/money reasons. He has to be put on leave for 10 days before he can be fired for Louisville to avoid paying a tremendous buyout. Again, this is more the cumulative effect. Not just for this scandal.

This will end up with lawsuits and an eventual settlement — unless the FBI is given/releases some direct evidence of Pitino’s knowledge before it gets to trial.

The somewhat surprising thing is that Louisville’s AD Tom Jurich is also out. Some reports have said he was told to place Pitino on leave/fire him, but he refused. Others deny it. Regardless, this is a big hit for Louisville as Jurich is widely credited with building the Cards into the athletic program it is today — and how they were able to get into the ACC.

Jurich’s firing also has the effect of triggering a reduction in the buyout their rather nomadic football coach would have to pay if he were to take another job. Bobby Petrino’s buyout to leave goes down from $8+ million to $4.25 million. Why, hello there, Nebraska. What’s new with you? Ole Miss, what’s happening?

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September 26, 2017

“Always be a pessimist, you will never be disappointed.”

Variations on a theme.

I don’t think of myself as a pessimist. More that I am a cynic.

Whether it is as a wounded idealist, someone who wears it as an armor rather then choosing to believe or strive for something, or a realist with a sense of humor.  Perhaps all of them and more.

Which means a day like this creates something interesting.

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September 25, 2017

Surprising Regression

Filed under: Football — Chas @ 7:44 am

A 1-2 start was not completely surprising. Disappointing? Yes. But not something completely unexpected. Even a 1-3 start was hardly out of the realm of possibility. But the way this third loss went down was not what anyone saw coming.

The defense was decent. Yes, the Yellow Jackets piled up the rushing yards,  time of possession and finished with 35 points. That’s what they do in the triple option. The defense also came up with four turnovers, made stops and generally gave the offense a chance. But they were gassed. They were gassed by halftime and finished by the end of the third quarter.

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September 23, 2017

Open Thread: Pitt-GT

Filed under: Football,Open Thread — Chas @ 11:11 am

12:20 pm, ACC Network Affiliates or ACC Digital Network/WatchESPN.

Sorry about the last minute thing. Did a nice long run this morning with my daughter. Got a shower. Had some coffee. Felt good. Sat down for a minute, and promptly fell asleep on the couch. Getting old is something.

Ben DiNucci gets the start at QB. No one (including me) seems to have a problem with this. DiNucci has simply been more of a spark. He’s shown more confidence. And just seemed to be more of the leader on the offensive side. Max Browne simply seemed to lack confidence out there. Especially when Pitt got into the redzone.

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