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June 1, 2015

PITT’S BOYD AND CONNER NAMED PHIL STEELE ALL-AMERICANS
Five Panthers named to Steele’s preseason All-ACC team.

PITTSBURGH—The Pitt offense will feature two dynamic All-Americans in 2015 according to national college football expert Phil Steele.

Steele released his preseason All-America squads today and Pitt receiver Tyler Boyd (first team) and running back James Conner (second team) were both honored. This is the first of what figures to be many preseason recognitions for the pair of Pitt juniors. Both players enjoyed prolific and decorated seasons in 2014.

Boyd compiled 78 catches for 1,261 yards (16.2 avg.) and eight touchdowns in earning first team All-ACC last season. He became the first player in ACC history to compile 1,000 receiving yards in both his freshman and sophomore years. Boyd also led the ACC in kickoff returns (27.6 avg.).

Conner was selected the ACC Player of the Year after rushing for 1,765 yards and 26 touchdowns last season. He broke three Pitt season records—rushing touchdowns, total touchdowns (26) and scoring (156 points)—set by the legendary Tony Dorsett during his 1976 Heisman Trophy campaign. Conner was named to seven postseason All-America squads as a sophomore, including first-team honors from the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA).

In addition to its All-America selections, Pitt also had five players named to the Phil Steele All-ACC teams: Boyd (first team receiver and punt returner, fourth team kickoff returner), Conner (first team), junior offensive tackle Adam Bisnowaty (first team), junior offensive guard Dorian Johnson (second team) and junior placekicker Chris Blewitt (fourth team).

Season tickets and mini-plans for the 2015 Pitt football season are now on sale. The Panthers will be led by new head coach Pat Narduzzi, who joined Pitt in December after an accomplished tenure as defensive coordinator at Michigan State.

Fans have a new seating option at Heinz Field this fall with the debut of the South Plaza Champions Club. For more information, call the Panthers Ticket Office at (800) 643-PITT (7488) or log on to PittsburghPanthers.com. Click here for the Panthers’ 2015 schedule with announced kickoff times.

In sadder news PITT benefactor John A. Petersen died.  He is well known for his generous donations to the University of Pittsburgh general funds and to help build the Petersen Arena.  People of John and his wife, Gertrude’s, quality are few and far between.  John Petersen didn’t just drop money out of the sky on something but intently researched what areas of both PITT and CMU he wanted to enrich with his endowments toward where it would do the most good.

On a personal note, I was introduced to the Petersens at a dinner party some years ago and was told by Mr. Petersen that he was taught by my father back in 1950 & ’51 before my father fleeted up to Assistant Dean of the Graduate School of Business Administration.  He also said that he and my Dad had maintained a friendship until my father passed away in 1969 when I was 13. That was a nice thing to be told and it was a somber day yesterday when I heard that he had died.

 





Nice to see some Panthers getting pre-season accolades.

Kind of surprised Biznowaty got first team. Wasn’t he pulled from quite a few games, or was it Johnson. In favor of putting Jones-Smith Philly kid at LT.
And as BigB noted the other day, Biz was even left behind in Pittsburgh for a road game.

This is a kid who needs to play with more toughness, imo along with Johnson for Pitt’s line to either be as good as last year or get better.
They will be the experienced side of the line this year. They need to step up. Hope Steele’s predictions ring true !

RIP Mr. Petersen.

Comment by Emel 06.01.15 @ 6:52 pm

Justin made this observation earlier today that is worth repeating.

It’s quite telling @philsteele042 had ZERO Pitt players on his preseason All-ACC defense. That’s all 4 teams, btw, not just 1st team.

Not being glass half-empty, but a reminder that as good as Narduzzi’s rep is on defense, it still depends on the players. He and Josh Conklin can teach and coach them up plenty, but talent is still the concern on defense.

Comment by Chas 06.01.15 @ 7:04 pm

Emel – when Steele puts out these lists I get a feeling they don’t do much homework into it. But then again they aren’t really saying how good a player is over all – just how good he is in relation to others in the conference.

Comment by Reed 06.01.15 @ 7:06 pm

Sad how Pitt could have Donald one year and absolutely nothing the next.

Comment by TX Panther 06.01.15 @ 7:26 pm

RIP Mr. Petersen

Let’s not confuse him with Pederson.

Comment by TX Panther 06.01.15 @ 7:27 pm

Very true Chas. Let’s hope that Narduzzi can coach these kids up so that we have a few defenders make the lists. When you look at the stats that Reed posted on the last thread, no one has any numbers that are list worthy. The top solo tackler is Galambos and he is pretty far down the list of MLB’s in the ACC.

In fact, I think we would be hard pressed to pick a pre-season defensive MVP at this point.

Certainly Narduzzi and Co. have their work cut out to craft a decent defense from this group.

Chryst and House left them with no apparent stars on defense.

Comment by gc 06.01.15 @ 7:36 pm

Congrats to our stars, a little surprised about Johnson since he was benched occasionally to get Jones-Smith on the field by moving Bisno to guard.
He does have the body to be a great one though and smart to get Jones-Smith some PT. Also great to see Blewitt get some accolades.

Off topic, did any of you ever play squash in the sub-basement of Fitzgerald? I have great memories of that place and the tunnel between Trees and Fitz.

Comment by gc 06.01.15 @ 8:15 pm

I do see Reggie Mitchell and Quintin Wirginis stepping up on defense. Hopefully our guys are taking advantage of their time in the weight room. Especially this year’s redshirt freshmen. Great opportunity with a new coaching staff.

Comment by gc 06.01.15 @ 8:25 pm

I never played squash there but used the tunnel many times.

Comment by JLE 06.01.15 @ 8:35 pm

~ gc

Yes I use to be a Tunnel King at Pitt.

Loved playing hoops in Fitzgerald. Wow those rims were so tight it wasn’t funny.

Played handball in the basement of Trees, wasn’t into squash until joining the Racquet Club in Monroeville.

Comment by Emel 06.01.15 @ 9:05 pm

I think our cover guys might be pretty good this year, with also Whitehead and Stocker thrown into the mix.

However you can have all-pro’s back there, and it wouldn’t matter much, if the opposing QB has all time to go thru his progressions and have receivers eventually run free.

So the key as most of you know, is getting pressure on the opposing QB. And that is usually done with DE’s and blitzing LB’s.

Nard Dog needs to find another Chris Doleman or 2.

Comment by Emel 06.01.15 @ 9:11 pm

Emel,
How about Chris Doleman and the guy he replaced (if memory serves me correct): Hugh Green!

Comment by pittman4ever 06.01.15 @ 11:41 pm

Hendrix is a good start, need a couple more this year.

Comment by gc 06.02.15 @ 6:42 am

Hoping Blair puts on 25 lbs of man-muscle, and the transfer works out, maybe a redshirt freshman.

Comment by gc 06.02.15 @ 6:44 am

The players aren’t there on D as Chas said.

Look how long it took for the O to come around. We had to wait for some OL to develop.

There is no doubt some freshman will be thrown to the wolves on D.

This is a team that is learning a new D and offense. I think that translate into a slow start. I don’t think we lose game one or two, but after that I see some struggles until the half way point. I hope the staff is so good that those struggles are avoided.

Comment by notrocketscience 06.02.15 @ 7:49 am

Wait…hey Mr. “Emel”, where….where’s yo’ Boy on this list??

Haha you gotta email Phil Steele all of your “Stats”. Haha C.V. will definitely be first-team All American on his list after that! 🙂

Bam Bradley and Nicholas Grigsby play themselves into NFL Camps next year (barring injuries, fingers crossed).

Chad Voytik plays himself into Jim Chaney and Pat Narduzzi’s Dog-House. Mr. “Emel” then starts a campaign to fire the Idiot-coaches lol, even after Adam “Big-Magic” Bertke comes in and leads Pitt to Exciting Pitt victories.

Comment by Pat "Dark Knight" Narduzzi 06.02.15 @ 7:57 am

The Petersens represent the best of what “money” people can be. Comfortable with who they are and looking for ways to help others. We all should learn from their example.

H2Petersens

Comment by pmdH2P 06.02.15 @ 8:01 am

RIP Mr. Petersen.

I had forgotten about the handball/racquetball courts at Trees. If memory serves me right there was supposed to be another level to Trees that never was completed and therefore you had to enter the courts from the top. Wasn’t there a shooting range in Trees? I think it closed when I was in school due to inadequate ventilation.

There is a tunnel that runs from the sub-basement of the Schenley Quad to the chiller plant in Posvar Hall (Forbes Quad). The walk seems a lot longer in the tunnel vs. above ground. There are many more tunnels around campus but that one is easy to get to.

Comment by Yeti 06.02.15 @ 8:32 am

QB Andrew Ford is transferring from Va. Tech. Article in Harrisburg newspaper said that Pitt was one of 3 schools he considered before deciding on the Hokies, UVA was the other. He was a top rated QB prospect out of high school and would be a great addition to the Panthers.
He is a redshirt freshman. Hope Coach Narduzzi contacts him.

Comment by Jerry S 06.02.15 @ 10:03 am

In the most recent Directors’ Cup standings, in fact, Pitt is at the bottom of the conference ahead of only Wake Forest, ranking 15th overall (including Notre Dame) in the ACC and 96th overall in Division I.

As NunesMagician points out, too, 11 different ACC schools have won at least one conference title this year – Pitt isn’t one of them. (from Cardiac Hill)

Wow, Wake Forest’s enrollment is tiny compared to Pitt’s. If we fell below them, that would be a major embarrassment.

link to cardiachill.com

Comment by Emel 06.02.15 @ 10:24 am

Some of Pitt’s programs have been flat out bad lately. The men’s soccer team has had 14 losing seasons in a row. The women’s soccer team has had one winning season in its 19-year history.

This is ALL on Cornhole and Nordy !

That’s disgraceful. Why even have a team in that sport if you have no intention of even competing.

Comment by Emel 06.02.15 @ 10:27 am

Lately, I assume he means, as in the last 2 decades.

Coincides with the coming of Cornhole.

Comment by Emel 06.02.15 @ 10:29 am

Based on the Directors’ Cup Standings, Pitt should create a water polo team immediately.

Comment by Yeti 06.02.15 @ 11:04 am

I’ll be troubled if there are no Pitt Panthers on the post season all ACC defense

Comment by HbgFrank 06.02.15 @ 11:35 am

Andrew Ford…kid might be a late bloomer. As I didn’t think VT had much at QB (Brewer kid against us could barely complete a pass for 3 quarters) and Ford was way down the depth chart.

Went to Cedar Cliff HS in Camp Hill. Is a Lefty.

Was ranked in Top 15 pro-style QB’s coming out of HS. PA Gatorade Player of the Year 2013.

Wasn’t DiNucci the Gatorade Player of the Year last year. (maybe it’s based on how much Gatorade you school purchases)

link to pennlive.com

Highlite reel at bottom of page.

Comment by Emel 06.02.15 @ 11:52 am

@ HbgFrank – me too. I’m optimistic about our D mainly because of HCPN. We have three returning starters on the D-line with a JC DE coming in and an Ex-Mich St DT – both could start.

Our LB may be the weak link, as they were last year (two graduated – let’s see if the replacements can improve our LB corps.)

I believe we have four starters back in the secondary – Webb, Mitchell, Pitts, Avonte? With Amara and Whitehead, etc., and the secondary being HCPN’s strength, hang on.

Can you say ten wins?

YSU – win
Akron – win
Iowa – win (our HC knows Big 10 FB)
VT – win (they may have best D in nation)
UVA – win (finally)
GT – loss (but no fumbles)
Cuse – win
UNC – win (again, finally)
ND – win (in front of a packed house)
Duke – win (35 yard FG as time expires)
Louisville – loss (HC experience beats our lack of HC experience)
Miami – win

10 – 2

Because GT plays both FL St and Clemson from the Atlantic this year, Pitt wins the Coastal.

ACC Championship Game – loss
Bowl game vs Ole Miss – win (revenge from potato embarrassment in Birmingham)

11 – 3

HTP! and optimism

Comment by Erie Express 06.02.15 @ 12:08 pm

If I was a betting man I’d put a dollar down on DE Rori Blair being our Defensive MVP this season. He’ll have a breakout year I think.

Others who will benefit from the new staff, and have already jumped up some spaces on the depth chart are:

NT Jeremiah Taleni who at 6’2″ and 295 is a great size for the spot. Island kids are usually extremely strong and quick so he may surprise.

Quintin Wirginis maybe at MLB. Although as much as I like Wirginis for his speed it could be that Galambos gets a chance to play better in Narduzzi’s ‘react’ defense and doesn’t have to hesitate as much as in House’s.

I also like Shane Roy at DE. He was a redshirt last year so even if he gets some PT this season he’ll have three more years in front of him but he stood out to me in last year’s fall camp.

Comment by Reed 06.02.15 @ 12:38 pm

My favorite memory of Trees: Receiving white water canoeing certificate after qualifying in the pool!

Comment by steve1 06.02.15 @ 12:57 pm

Might be good bets.

Bet on the kids who OutHouse had the least influence.

🙂

Comment by Emel 06.02.15 @ 1:32 pm

~ steve1

Must have been in the deep end. Although I bet you were in the smaller auxiliary pool.

Comment by Emel 06.02.15 @ 1:34 pm

Change “Dark Knight” to “Broken Record”.

Seriously, we get you don’t like Voytik. It is all good my man. Pick up the needle! lol

Comment by notrocketscience 06.02.15 @ 1:55 pm

One thing to keep in mind…

Most, if not all, of the DL Pitt has on the roster were not ready to play out of high school. They weren’t 4 or 5 star guys that were studs already at 18. They were recruited because they were good and coaches saw a big upside with development.

That means they may be good after two or three years in the program. I think there are guys on the roster that fit that mold.

Soto, Jarrett, Moody, Blair, Taleni and a host of younger guys.

Comment by notrocketscience 06.02.15 @ 2:09 pm

“Pick up the needle” LMAO. Thank you, I needed a chuckle.

To all those “all things hoops” Blatherites, heard the Iowa State coach is going to a Pro team.

I remember seeing a month or so back some guys saying it might help Pitt with a recruit.

Is that still the case, a good thing for us.

Or, did the commit already sign somewhere else??

Can’t remember the kids name, but the guru’s out there will.

Comment by Dan 06.02.15 @ 2:33 pm

p.s. that’s even a shot at the Dark Knight, in my
sheltered life, I have never heard that
one before.

Definitely can use at work!!!

Comment by Dan 06.02.15 @ 2:36 pm

‘..That means they may be good after two or three years in the program. I think there are guys on the roster that fit that mold…’

@Comment by notrocketscience 06.02.15 @ 2:09 pm

Not to be a downer, but it also means they just may not be that good… not many Power 5 offers among the guys you listed there.

Comment by BostonsCommon 06.02.15 @ 2:36 pm

Emel, going off the deep end is the story of my life.

Comment by steve1 06.02.15 @ 2:44 pm

“not” even a shot at the Dark Knight

Comment by Dan 06.02.15 @ 2:54 pm

FYI

Thursday June 4th is Pitt National Networking Day, Nationwide ! 40 alumni clubs participating.

link to alumni.pitt.edu

Comment by Emel 06.02.15 @ 3:19 pm

Actually I think we all should show up at the State College Pitt Club.

Wearing…Poopy Pants Knew……Polo’s.

Comment by Emel 06.02.15 @ 3:23 pm

I’ll parachute in….with that Hugely written on the parachute !!

Comment by Emel 06.02.15 @ 3:46 pm

Still say we sell shirts with the hear,say,see no evil monkeys looking like Joe on the front and Joe Knew below!!

Comment by JoeKnew 06.02.15 @ 4:36 pm

If we come down to hard on the Creepy Valley pedo’s in targeted rival humor, will the creepster’s supporters in the local media and rag sheets come down on us.

And then use that as an excuse to not schedule anymore games.

In today’s PC contaminated world, one has to look at all angles.

Comment by Emel 06.02.15 @ 4:58 pm

Erie Express- As great as it would be if Pitt goes 11 and 3 I will eat my sofa. Let’s first see if they can take of YSU and Akron.

Comment by Fred filopek 06.02.15 @ 5:07 pm

Joe nose all !

Comment by Spindler's Spirit 06.02.15 @ 5:11 pm

Pitt football camp starts this Friday. I hear Pitt is doing a Hell of a job promoting it and getting ‘elites’ to attend. Maybe there is a 4 or 5 star QB in attendance. Camps are the life blood of successful programs.

Comment by TX Panther 06.02.15 @ 5:16 pm

Trees Hall flash-back… If my memory serves me correctly Coach Bob Timmons, former Pitt basketball coach, was more or less the director @ Trees hall

Comment by BigB 06.02.15 @ 5:28 pm

And what did Pitt pay Cornhole to rank near the bottom of the Director’s Cup Standings? Wasn’t he in the top 25 of highest paid AD’s? Thank you Nerdy and Pitt’s BOT in allowing the thievery.

Comment by TX Panther 06.02.15 @ 6:01 pm

Dan….or will Iowa State recruit Jamie?

Comment by Dan 72 06.02.15 @ 8:55 pm

Steve 1 …sorry about your Ranga’s! Was out with my NY group tonight and thought about you. As a Pens fan all the way back to the Hornets, I am used to the terrible disappointment of getting bounced out of the playoffs while favored. This time Tampa had 1 better period.

Hawks in 5!

Comment by Dan 72 06.02.15 @ 9:00 pm

Thanks, Dan. I’m still in mourning this morning.

Comment by steve1 06.03.15 @ 5:57 am

@ Dan

with the HC Coach @ IA ST going to the Bulls….you were asking about recruit Cheick Diallo…..he committed to Kansas….a while back.

link to sbnation.com

Comment by The TRUTH 06.03.15 @ 6:05 am

@ Fred filopek, agreed. 11-3 is a dream but it would be quite an accomplishment if it transpired. It could happen but not if you are looking past any opponent on the schedule.

YSU, needs to be the primary focus of this team going into the season. One game at a time with no mis steps could actually produce such magical results. The Iowa game is the pivotal contest of the season, if something like that is in the cards. A solid win on the road against a B1G team starts this team believing in their own potential. If Pitt is 3-0 going into October all bets are off. Historically, VT is a team Pitt is used to beating for no apparent reason, I wouldn’t want to be taking on an undefeated young Panther Squad coming off a bye week, if that’s the case in early October, if I were a Hokie.

We’ll see soon enough if this staff can generate the confidence in these Panthers to make unexpected things happen. For now though a win over the Penquins is priority #1.

Comment by Dr. Tom 06.03.15 @ 6:34 am

Gosh how I enjoy my morning Blather fix. Notrocket excellent “pick up the needle” I to had not heard before. @Fredfilopek, I agree it is not likely but should shoot for, I just want to congradulate you on eating and not burning sofas – I met the Fire Chief of Morgantown once and he buried his head in his hands upon me saying “about those burning couches..”

Comment by rkb 06.03.15 @ 8:01 am

lmao notrocket

I think there were a few ‘skips’ in there too !

Comment by Emel 06.03.15 @ 9:01 am

Lol on — “pick up the needle” … seems many have never actually moved-on past record players hahaha

Comment by Pat "Dark Knight" Narduzzi 06.03.15 @ 9:24 am

They were turntables. If you had a good one. lol

Comment by Emel 06.03.15 @ 12:21 pm

I was going to call you Pat “Rain Man” Narduzzi for repeating yourself but I thought that was politically incorrect…is that current enough? LOL

97X, bam! The future of rock ‘n’ roll. 97X, bam! The future of rock ‘n’ roll. 97X, bam! The future of rock ‘n’ roll.

Comment by notrocketscience 06.03.15 @ 2:50 pm

gc, played a lot of squash ther. actually scorted a point on goldie edwards once.

Comment by hiram684 06.04.15 @ 12:24 pm

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