November 9, 2017

Open Thread: UNC-Pitt, Must Win

Filed under: Football,Open Thread — Chas @ 4:05 pm

7:30, ESPN.

Nippy, clear Thursday night.

North Carolina hasn’t had much going right with its quarterbacks and injuries. Out of nowhere, a week-and-a-half ago, they nearly upset Miami. So, there’s always the possibility.

Coach Pat Narduzzi has played up that UNC is better then their record. Stressing on the the near upset of Miami.

“I know some of you (reporters) will probably think it’s an easy game,” Narduzzi said. “We’ve stressed with our guys it will not be an easy game. I’ll guarantee you that.”

Narduzzi said North Carolina is “very similar to what we are,” in terms of losing top players from last season.

Quarterbacks Chazz Surratt, Brandon Harris and Nathan Elliott are trying to replace Mitch Trubisky, drafted in the first round and starting for the Chicago Bears.

“Are any of them Trubisky?” Narduzzi said. “Probably not, but none of our (quarterbacks) are (Nathan) Peterman yet, so that’s even right there.”

“They’re a team that just continues to get better,” Narduzzi said of North Carolina.

Actually, Narduzzi isn’t far off with that assessment. North Carolina’s most recent game was a 24-19 loss to undefeated Miami, which climbed to No. 7 this week in the Associated Press rankings.

North Carolina, missing 22 players because of injuries, had a chance to win the game in the fourth quarter, advancing as far as the Miami 34-yard line before losing a fumble.

“They should have beat Miami, in my opinion,” Narduzzi said.

Narduzzi also talked a little more about having players at the right spot and Trubisky that got some attention.

Yeah, I mean, again, playing good teams, the ACC is competitive, and sometimes you lack that guy in the back — if they don’t have Trubisky last year, they don’t beat us, so take him out of the mix and try to develop a new guy and really play three quarterbacks, which is what we’re playing, three quarterbacks, too, so I think they’re very similar to us. They’re dangerous and can beat anybody on any given day, but they’ve got to be on, and their young players got to make plays.

[Emphasis added.]

The question was about how UNC doesn’t look like a 1-8 team on the film. Narduzzi was talking about the struggles of developing/finding a QB. It was not a discussion about last year’s game. Seems weird that he tossed that in there, but the context was not sour grapes. And Narduzzi wasn’t wrong.

Trubisky was a 1st round NFL pick and he picked apart Pitt’s defense in those final minutes to win the game for UNC. He (and Switzer) were difference makers for that team.

Now, Pitt has to prove  that without Trubisky they can beat UNC.

HAIL TO PITT… and other universities that don’t have fake courses.

Comment by Lee in Altoona 11.09.17 @ 6:20 pm

Go Pitt go! NC is gonna be tough and we may get embarrassed if we don’t bring our A game. My prediction, if NC is smart, is that they totally sell out to stop the run and Hall has about 7 yards on 8 carries in the first half…and they force Dinucci to pass longer to beat them. Maybe he does, maybe he doesn’t, but not by throwing to Weah in double coverage or dumping off for 3 yard swing passes.

If he can’t move us in the first half, time to switch to Pickett in the second and let it rip.

Comment by Matt N. 11.09.17 @ 6:57 pm

Dinucci looks shaky, Galloway called it Dinucci is a one read QB and that’s not good.

Comment by WLAT 910 radio and the big beat! 11.09.17 @ 7:40 pm

Not a good QB start.

Comment by MariettaMike 11.09.17 @ 7:50 pm


Comment by Lee in Altoona 11.09.17 @ 7:55 pm


Comment by MariettaMike 11.09.17 @ 7:58 pm

If we lose, the athletic department needs to take a solid look at every football coach, especially given the poor recruiting.

And how can Heather claim the facilities are subpar?

Comment by Gasman 11.09.17 @ 8:12 pm

If Whitehead is thinking of going into the draft he should reconsider. He looks clueless.

Comment by JLE 11.09.17 @ 10:32 pm

They run pretty well all night now they switch it up and use 4 WR’s and throw, get sacked, Yada, Yada, Yada.

Comment by WLAT 910 radio and the big beat! 11.09.17 @ 10:42 pm


Comment by MariettaMike 11.09.17 @ 10:53 pm

the team as a whole has no clue. i can’t remember ever feeling such disgust about pitt football.

Comment by auggie from latrobe 11.09.17 @ 11:02 pm

I was behind Narduzzi until tonight. This team will not be competitive for years. But if they fire the coach we’ll be starting the circus all over again.

Comment by JLE 11.09.17 @ 11:03 pm

Dinucci has a lot of Tino and Voytik in him, ie a 5-6 win QB. He reads one route and then breaks off to either run or dump a quick swing pass — basically a high school QB.

Physical ability = B

Decision making = D

Overal QB grade = C (average QB, at best)

We can win 5-6 games a year for the next two seasons with him, including some dumb losses like tonight, or make a switch to someone with a higher ceiling.

Comment by Matt N. 11.09.17 @ 11:45 pm

How many plays did it take for you to decide Pat Bostick, Tino, or Voytik weren’t gonna be the answer at QB? About this many, right?

He escaped two more should-of-been interceptions tonight, and threw into double or tight coverage again…not showing a lot of progress here. If he had a rocket arm or was super fast I might have a little more patience with the learning curve, but he doesn’t, and I don’t.

It’s time to find out if Pickett or MacVittie have a higher ceiling than this, otherwise hit the recruiting trail now and don’t let up until we get someone with more game than what we’ve seen this year from Dinucci. He’s got some decent athletic ability and seems pretty tough, but very limited passing skills it appears.

Comment by Matt N. 11.09.17 @ 11:53 pm

Narduzzi… la fine!

Comment by PittofDreams 11.10.17 @ 12:00 am

Its a shame to waste some really nice running from Hall and good blocking from the O line tonight — the kid seems to be the real deal and a potential superstar…and the line is coming together nicely. If we had any downfield passing game, we could be very tough to handle on offense.

Comment by Matt N. 11.10.17 @ 12:02 am

Clue… it wasn’t the Offense or its Quarterback that lost this Game.

Comment by PittofDreams 11.10.17 @ 12:16 am

This was a terrible loss. Once again Narduzzi’s defense made a first time starting quarterback look like Joe Montana.

It is also time to put in Pickett and let him get some games under his belt as we have nothing to gain over the next two games. DiNucci is not the answer at quarterback.

We also need to start asking ourselves if Narduzzi is an acceptable head coach for Pitt’s long term future!

Comment by John In South Carolina 11.10.17 @ 12:17 am

I do not doubt that there is blame aplenty to go around regarding this disappointing season. But in the end, it is on Nards. He NEEDS to be more creative in defensive schemes and stop being so stubborn that his 1-1 man coverage schemes are all we can ever seem to play. Blitzing way too infrequently too. I have said it before, there are 50 schools out there that basically have the same caliber of player. For those 50 schools, the coaching is the difference. I like Nards, but he needs to learn, and evolve into something better.

Comment by DD 11.10.17 @ 8:48 am

Frustrated again as usual. You watch the game and you know what is going to happen. Fumble on the 1 and you say “that is Pitt football”. After UNC misses a FG, Pitt goes 3 and out “that is Pitt football”. After going down by 3, take a sack, go 3 and out and give the ball back “that is Pitt football”. Letting the other team get almost half their yardage in the 4th quarter and failing to get the ball back “that is Pitt football” We have seen this way to often. The QB is marginal at best and cannot lead this group to more than 5 or 6 wins. In watching the game it was apparent that Pitt had better talent but remember “this is Pitt football”.

Comment by JP 11.10.17 @ 11:04 am

PittofDreams — clearly, they have other issues and you’re right, its not all on the QB. But like it or not, that’s the most important position on the team and usually when he’s average, the team is average…unless you have Alabama talent everywhere else.

Comment by Matt N. 11.10.17 @ 12:53 pm

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