November 18, 2017

Open Thread: Pitt-VT

Filed under: Football,Open Thread — Chas @ 10:01 am

12:20, ACC Network (very limited)/ACC Network Extra/WatchESPN.

Be interesting to see what kind of crowd shows up at Lane Stadium, following a disappointing loss that officially eliminated the Hokies from repeating as ACC Coastal champs. The weather is going to be in the upper 40s and very gray. Rain is supposed to hold off until the evening. And the dreaded noon-ish start.

It’s also Senior Day and the last home game of the season to counter the reasons not to show. Plus, you know, the Hokies have been a pretty good team.

To some extent, you could make the argument that VT has been living off its opening game win. Beating WVU is their only win against a team above .500. Poll voters haven’t noticed them since, but have kept them ranked as their  wins continued and the final scores looked absurd. They’ve handled the teams they should beat with ease. But not much else.

Not that Pitt has much room to talk, I know. Pitt’s best win is over Virginia (who will likely finish 6-6). It’s just that if you really,  really try. And strain. And stretch. You could make a case for Pitt to have a decent chance.

Have a drink ready, and let’s see what happens.

Please tell me why I’m going to watch this game???? I have a new TV and don’t want to throw a shoe at it…HTP

Comment by The Hagen 11.18.17 @ 12:04 pm

Hag – keep your Rockports in the other room. Let’s hope the team is ready to play after another break of 9 days to prepare.

The 2 exrtra day’s did not help vs 1-8 unc.

Need to show up with energy and smarts.


Comment by Erie Express 11.18.17 @ 12:15 pm

Maddox should go back to the sideline

Comment by Nick 11.18.17 @ 12:24 pm

Tackling remains very poor

Comment by HbgFrank 11.18.17 @ 12:28 pm

Troubling all season a lot of missed tackles, evident on that drive.

Comment by WLAT 910 radio and the big beat! 11.18.17 @ 12:28 pm

I counted 12 missed tackles on that drive. Probably need to bring in the 2nd team to see if they can tackle.

That was too easy for VT. If the Pitt O goes 3 and out the score will probably be 52-0

Hope to see OC Watson mix a winning formula of plays today. The D didn’t show up.

Comment by Erie Express 11.18.17 @ 12:29 pm

BD has to settle down

Comment by HbgFrank 11.18.17 @ 12:33 pm

3 and out – I Lyke the play calling, but both passes were well under thrown by the QB.

Comment by Erie Express 11.18.17 @ 12:33 pm

On the first offensive and third offensive play ball was under thrown

Comment by WLAT 910 radio and the big beat! 11.18.17 @ 12:34 pm

If I’m VT I’d run the ball as Pitt has yet to stop their rushing attack. But I’ll take that VT 3&out.

Comment by Erie Express 11.18.17 @ 12:37 pm

Nice Drive!

Comment by HbgFrank 11.18.17 @ 12:42 pm

Very nice play calling and execution by the back-up WR’s.

Comment by Erie Express 11.18.17 @ 12:43 pm

Nice drive, they mixed up the play calling and executed well

Comment by WLAT 910 radio and the big beat! 11.18.17 @ 12:44 pm

Good sack. Need to force VT to throw the ball.

Comment by Erie Express 11.18.17 @ 12:52 pm

Ollison quit on that pass

Comment by HbgFrank 11.18.17 @ 12:56 pm

Time for Watson to put together a scoring drive. The D bent and was fortunate VT went conservative with the FG.

Comment by Erie Express 11.18.17 @ 1:08 pm

Defense is tackling better held them to a FG, offense needs to mount a drive because TOP is really on VT’s side.

Comment by WLAT 910 radio and the big beat! 11.18.17 @ 1:09 pm

Not one shot of the stands yet. But Pickett in the game with a nice run.

Comment by Erie Express 11.18.17 @ 1:09 pm

That was a catchable ball. Is Mathews in the dog house? We need receivers to fight for the ball.

Comment by Erie Express 11.18.17 @ 1:12 pm

Need the back-up WR’s and RB in the game. The starters are struggling.

Comment by Erie Express 11.18.17 @ 1:21 pm

Hate that call on 3rd and 2

Comment by HbgFrank 11.18.17 @ 1:36 pm

Hbg – that’s 2 series in a row with poor play calling inside VT territory on 3rd down.

Comment by Erie Express 11.18.17 @ 1:39 pm

They are in this game

Comment by WLAT 910 radio and the big beat! 11.18.17 @ 1:47 pm

Pitt is 1-5 on 3rd downd and Hall has 7 yards on 5 carries.

Note to OC Watson – throw the ball on 3rd down. Try it, you might have some success.

Comment by Erie Express 11.18.17 @ 1:51 pm

So when a team makes a nice interception on the opposing side of the field, the OC usually goes for a kill play. Lyke airing it out long over the middle.

For Pitt, OC Watson called a run play up the middle right into the strength of our opposition when our RB’s had been stuffed the entire 1st half for virtually no gain.


Comment by Erie Express 11.18.17 @ 1:55 pm

Great use of a TO coming out of halftime.


Comment by Erie Express 11.18.17 @ 2:08 pm

They need to teach Pickett to throw the ball away. You’re not going to outrun everyone at this level.

Comment by Nick 11.18.17 @ 2:19 pm

Looks Lyke the D will need to score.

Comment by Erie Express 11.18.17 @ 2:24 pm

That’s a terrible call

Comment by Nick 11.18.17 @ 3:32 pm

Very poor play selection at the end, loss on the OC, VT keyed all game on Hall they should have used Hall as a decoy on the last play. Kids never quit today

Comment by WLAT 910 radio and the big beat! 11.18.17 @ 3:36 pm

Should have used Ollison if you needed a few tough yards

Comment by HbgFrank 11.18.17 @ 3:37 pm

They couldn’t run on VT all day long & they pack it in tight & try to pound it 3 times. Spread it out, get Pickett rolling with a run/pass option.

Comment by Nick 11.18.17 @ 3:38 pm


Comment by Pitt Dreamer 11.18.17 @ 3:38 pm

run pass was the most obvious option and they call 3 run plays…..
this is the time when a head coach needs to take over the play calling , that’s what the hell he gets paid for not a worn out offensive coordinator.

Comment by Pitt Dreamer 11.18.17 @ 3:41 pm

Feel bad for the players who worked hard to keep the game in reach only to have it stopped by idiots who get paid a lot of money to coach and call plays… Run/pass option 4 times and they would have scored and won the game../.

Comment by Pitt Dreamer 11.18.17 @ 3:44 pm

I figured we should have Ollison in there and pass on 2nd – 4th down if he doesn’t score. When I saw Hall in there I knew the game was over.

The 4th down play with Hall running a sweep was the stupidest I’ve ever seen following Pitt….no lie. They might as well have punted. Narduzzi + Watson = submorons

Comment by Jackagain 11.18.17 @ 3:50 pm

Fire Watson now…no use following Pitt next year if they keep this idiot.

Comment by Jackagain 11.18.17 @ 3:52 pm

My wife just told me I need to go to church. LOL


I say “same old Watson” – SOW

Maddening that OC Watson called for Hall 3 of the 4 plays. Hall had 3 yards on 18 carries (or something close)

Comment by Erie Express 11.18.17 @ 3:53 pm

Just emailed the athletic department: “If Watson is back next year, I won’t be!” Tough after 36 years as a season ticket holder and most of that time driving from Crappy Valley!

Comment by Greg in State College 11.18.17 @ 3:55 pm

Pickett will be the future Quarterback for sure. Like someone said before he needs to know when to throw the ball away. That will come with more play time, practice and experience.
With that said, I don’t know how much more experience, practice the head coach and offensive coordinator need to improve (LOL), but they better change something for next year. icpraiactice

Comment by Pitt Dreamer 11.18.17 @ 3:55 pm

H2P players today who fought hard. Good sign for the future.

Coaches make critical decisions during the game and those last four plays were brutal to watch. I know players make plays – but the OC calls the plays that should set the player up for success. 1 of the 3 plays was set up for success – the pass. But it should have been a jump ball pass Lyke the YSU OT pass for a TD.

Comment by Erie Express 11.18.17 @ 3:58 pm

One the pass play there was blatant holding and interference….no call.

Comment by Jackagain 11.18.17 @ 4:05 pm

Jack – I saw their DB’s holding or grabbing our WR’s on almost every play in the last drive.

The play before Weah’s catch & bulldozing run, the VT DB covering Ffrench was grabbing his jersey and pulled him down to the ground in the middle of the field for all to see while KP was scrambling to make a throw.

No flag!

Comment by Erie Express 11.18.17 @ 4:14 pm

In-game decisions do not appear to be HCPN’s strong suit.

Comment by Gasman 11.18.17 @ 4:17 pm

Yeah Erie, they showed that in the re-play. On the end zone fade play on 3rd down our receiver was held and face guarded, then tackled with the ball in the air.

Comment by Jackagain 11.18.17 @ 4:38 pm

Comment by Jackagain 11.18.17 @ 4:48 pm

Sure works out nice for the ACC – VT needs to be respectable down the stretch so that Miami and Clemson have a better SOS come selection time.. Would be a shame to see them lose to Pitt…. that could weaken a contender….

… yeah, I know… tin foil hat. But then again, my 11 year old could have called better plays at the end… and how much do Nard and Watson make? How long have they been doing this. That’s bush league stuff – sandlot football. It’s truly a siege being a Pitt fan – at least Charlie Brown has hope he might kick that football someday….

Comment by 55 11.18.17 @ 5:12 pm

That’s what I figured 55.

Comment by Jackagain 11.18.17 @ 5:30 pm

Silver lining: We won’t have to read about Pitt failing to sell out their bowl tickets.

Comment by 2$Chuck 11.18.17 @ 5:30 pm

Perhaps Pitt’s Red-Zone offense never prepared to make 1.5 yards in four plays.
Perhaps no one had the foresight to do a jump ball to Mathews, or a dive to Ollison, or a QB sneak.
I shouldn’t expect so much from coaches who spend their entire lives planning for situations like this.

Comment by Gasman 11.18.17 @ 5:54 pm

Well Gasman, he gets almost 2 mil a year….can’t expect him to be any smarter or more prepared than your average bus station wino. Thus the sub-moronic calls…

Comment by Jackagain 11.18.17 @ 8:55 pm

Sorry about your new TV The Hagen. At least Black Friday & Black Monday is right around the corner and you can get another one on sale.

Comment by Jackagain 11.18.17 @ 9:03 pm

Watson was relieved of his duties mid-season by Charlie Strong at Texas a few years ago…and they sucked, but we hired him because he ‘goes way back’ with Narduzzi!!?

I only got to watch the 4th quarter but was thrilled to see Pickett in there, chucking the ball downfield with authority. The kid is raw but for a true freshman, the talent and moxie are clearly there. I give credit to Narduzzi for making that change, but damn what a buzz kill series to end on. Stupid squared.

Comment by Matt N. 11.18.17 @ 9:11 pm

This video proves that Pitt fans are not alone – pulled from ESPN –

link to


Comment by Erie Express 11.19.17 @ 8:23 am

Robert Morris 66 Duquesne 59

Comment by alcofan 11.19.17 @ 7:45 pm

Thanks Jack…IT survived because I F’n knew thay wouldn’t score. I swear…..God,,,it’s hard tobe a Pitt fan.

Comment by The Hagen 11.19.17 @ 10:04 pm

So this year hasn’t been great, good, or even ok by recent standards. We lost on the road to a better team in a game we should have won. Had we won would it have made a difference? Maybe for this weekend but overall not really.

What we did see is a glimpse into our future and it looks bright. Our defense is getting better and Kenny Pickett looks really good for a freshmen QB getting his first real playing time. Next year almost all of our starters will be back. They will be a year older, have another full spring under their belt, they should be stronger and a bit bigger.

Our only real concerns are play calling and the O-line which has been regressing for some reason. I have not lost faith in Narduzzi and try to keep my expectations somewhat realistic.

It would take a a perfect storm for Pitt to ever be able to compete at the highest level of College football. They don’t have the budget of the big teams (see SEC teams) and have yet to show to willingness to bend the rules of the NCAA (We all could name plenty of dirty teams that look the other way concerning grades, behavior, treatment, etc of star players).

That said we should expect an 8 win team next year and if we get lucky 9 or 10 wins isn’t out of the question. What we won’t get is a shot at a playoff game as very few teams who do things by the rule book get a shot at those games.

Big time college football and basket ball isn’t a level playing field at this time in history. I’m happy to be a fan of a team who might not always win but isn’t involved in a scandal every 5 to 10 years.

Comment by Tony in Harrisburg 11.20.17 @ 9:15 am

Tony – not just SEC teams fit your description. Southern ACC teams lyke clemscum, FL State, miami and Louisville could be grouped in as well. The B1G Joke conference has teams that fit your model as well.

I enjoyed KP’s debut and that gives me hope for the future. Very entertaining game, but frustrating to watch the last 4 plays.

This is the first time in over a decade (unless my memory failed me) that both men’s BB and FB are in the dumper in the same year.

Better days ahead?

Beat psu tonight and I’m buying that BB has a future. I may even buy tickets to The Pete again…


Comment by Erie Express 11.20.17 @ 10:20 am

Worst season for Pitt since 60s and what is bad is the regression in OL,special teams and RB. Can’t tell on TV what is wrong in running game line or backs or both. No go to WRs that get playing time. Lopes should be in till he drops so should Ffrench. Weah is not dependable. The receivers need to help Pickett more as he does go beyond his first read. Agree O play calling sucks.Get out the checkbook and spend half what you were willing to ante up to keep Canada and get a real chess player for an OC. Sad days at Pitt.Kudos for those players that played their hearts out in a close loss like the. Why hasn’t Pickett been in since Syracuse. How much would he have progressed by now? ????????? all for the staff do answer. Can they, rationally and honestly?

Comment by Pitt60 11.20.17 @ 1:40 pm

Patience boys, Penn St tonight 9:30 pm Barclays center.

Comment by alcofan 11.20.17 @ 1:48 pm

Who cares about a play off game, just have a wining sesson 7 or 8 wins consistently, win a couple of big games.
Someone needs to “TARP” the duzzie during his press conference. “We only gained 50 yards running during the game”, so we decided to run on the final plays of the game”. Unbelievable comments, take responsibility for the poor play calling and end game confusion.

Thank you and happy Thanksgiving.
See you on Friday at Heinz Field, bringing some garbage bags to “tarp” some of the empty seats near our group. LOL

Comment by Pitt Dreamer 11.20.17 @ 4:07 pm

Sources (lol) say that Lyke and the Duzzi do not see eye to eye.
She wants to tarp some seats , the Duzz does not want to and was not consulted, says schools are using that against him during recruiting.
The Duzz actually wants more money for his coaches and there is resistance from Lyke and the Chancellor. ( wonder why??). Sounds like the Duzzi is building more excuses for the team performance.
Hell, some of those coaches should be giving back some of their “hard earned no results efforts pay”.
All of this is so damn stupid it makes me sick.
Even before the tarp issue, the Duzzi only had 13 commitments for next year.
This school has suffered greatly from lack of season ticket sales for both football and basketball and the football coach wants more cash for his coaches???? They want to add a 10th coach, for God knows what? It is so fricking out of control I am losing all loyalty to the program.
The athletic department has a huge staff for nonsense and half of them should be let go to save money. Someone in the athletic department actually set up a go fund me page for equipment purchases.

Comment by Pitt Dreamer 11.20.17 @ 10:17 pm

@Pitt Dreamer

Hate the game, not the player. It’s all about the money, and Pitt isn’t alone in this battle. If he can’t pay his staff, they leave. I’d love to know where the money goes. I’m sure donations are down, but that big ACC check must get spent on something. As far as the athletic department being overstaffed… well. it takes a lot of people to market a product no one wants 🙂

Comment by 55 11.21.17 @ 8:20 am

The O play calling was good enough in 2015 and great in 2016, so it looks like Narduzzi isn’t the problem there…but his clear loyalty and trust in Watson is disturbing. You don’t double down on a guy before finishing a losing, major buzz kill season…you reevaluate during the off-season and see who’s available before committing to that. He’s too emotional and impulsive right now…head coach’s have to be the voice of reason…let the D coordinator be the ‘crazy guy’.

Comment by Matt N. 11.21.17 @ 1:13 pm

On good authority, the athletic department does not receive enough money to pay for itself. Even with the ACC pot, donations, ticket sales etc. there is not enough to make ends meet without the school allocating cash.
When I reference staff, I am not talking about marketing. Look at the athletic dept. web site and you will see countless names and titles of people like; Several Senior Associate Athletic Directors, Associate AD’s, Assistant AD’s , on and on. Its out of control.
As far as losing coaches, guess what, everyone is replaceable, it takes time to find them.

Comment by Pitt Dreamer 11.21.17 @ 1:21 pm

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