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January 26, 2016

Pitt and the rest of the ACC officially released the 2016 Football Schedule today. While opponents have been known for a while, the dates have not. Let’s take a look! (more…)

January 11, 2016

It’s the end of the college football season. Pitt isn’t a participant, but Head Coach Pat Narduzzi will be taking part in the Film Room telecast of the game on ESPN2 starting at 8:30.

Feel free to comment on his brilliant insight and how recruits should be beating a path to Oakland if they are paying attention.

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December 10, 2015

Narduzzi Early Extension

Filed under: Coaches,Football,Money,Narduzzi — Chas @ 8:33 am

That didn’t take long. On the heels of being the only new coach in a major conference to improve upon the previous season’s work, football Head Coach Pat Narduzzi has received a contract extension.

Two years will be added to Narduzzi’s original five-year agreement, ensuring he will remain the Panthers’ head coach through at least the 2021 season. Financial terms and other contractual details were not disclosed.

“Pat Narduzzi has adrenalized Pitt football on and off the field,” Barnes said. “We are proud of what our program has accomplished this season. Moreover, we’re excited about what our student-athletes can continue to achieve–on the field, in the classroom and in the community–under Pat’s long-term leadership.”

“I’m greatly appreciative and humbled by the support and faith that Scott Barnes and Chancellor Patrick Gallagher have shown me,” Narduzzi said. “The University of Pittsburgh is an incredible place with incredible people. My family and I plan to make Pittsburgh our home for a very long time and we’re glad the leadership at Pitt feels the same way. It is an honor to serve as Pitt’s head football coach and I’m continuously energized by what we can, and will, accomplish here.”

Yes, yes, we all know. These contracts mean nothing as far as really keeping a coach if a bigger school wants to unload the dump truck of cash. Yada, yada.

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November 23, 2015

Overachieving by Achieving

Filed under: Coaches,Football,Media,Narduzzi — Chas @ 8:40 am

I keep beating this point into the ground, so I apologize if you are sick of me writing it. What Pitt has done this year has been amazing in light of the consistent treading of water for the last 5 years. At the same time, Pitt has done exactly what they should. Win games they should win.

They haven’t gone out and shocked the world. The Panthers haven’t staged huge upsets. They may have been slight underdogs in some games  — GT, VT and even Louisville — but they weren’t shockers.

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November 2, 2015

Offensive Thoughts

Filed under: ACC,Assistants,Football,Narduzzi — Justin @ 10:35 am

There’s one glaring thing the offense is missing. I’m going to highlight some offensive stats and I want to see if you can find the one area this offense is missing as well. The thing that UNC had and Pitt didn’t on Thursday and the one problem that is holding them back from being good enough to have beaten UNC and Iowa. Let’s start the stats! (more…)

October 30, 2015

Post Game Thoughts: UNC

Filed under: ACC,Football,Narduzzi — Justin @ 8:50 am

I said in my preview column that “Pitt’s offense will have to have their best game of the season OR the defense will have to hold UNC to their worst since their first game” and that UNC has only scored under 26 once. Well, lo and behold UNC scored 26. The defense stepped up in the second half but after spotting the Tarheels a 20-3 lead, the offense didn’t have enough firepower to finish the comeback. I’m sad that I was correct that assessment.

There are two key things I want to make clear. (more…)

October 28, 2015

Know Your Enemy: UNC

Filed under: ACC,Narduzzi,Opponent(s) — Justin @ 4:51 am

No pressure, but this is the most important game any player on this roster has ever been in. It’s unquestionably the biggest game since for Pitt the 2010 Backyard Brawl. It may be even bigger than that. If Pitt wins, Narduzzi and company are in the driver’s seat for the ACC Coastal. Lose and Pitt will need a lot of help. If the goal is to be a nationally relevant program, these are the games you have to win.

UNC comes to town with similar pressure. Both teams were 6-6 last year and thanks to some coaching changes (UNC added DC Gene Chizik) have taken an obvious step forward. Like Pitt, a win for the Tarheels will put them in the driver’s seat for the ACC Coastal.

How $%&@ing awesome is it to have a nationally televised game with huge implications on the line in late October? Let’s take a look at what UNC brings to the table. (more…)

October 23, 2015

It’s that time of year everyone. It’s time for Pitt’s annual beat down of the ARCHRIVAL ORANGE. If this game doesn’t fire you up then I suggest you look at the cold metal walls around you because you’re IN THE MORGUE. IT’S ARCHRIVAL ORANGE WEEK AND WE’RE GONNA PELT THEM WITH KIWIS UNTIL THE ENTIRE STATE OF NEW YORK RUNS OUT OF BENADRYL!!!!! THE STREETS OF SYRACUSE WILL FLOOD WITH PULP!! FLORIDA’S ECONOMY WILL TAKE A HIT SO SEVERE THAT MARCO RUBIO RESIGNS IN SHAME!!! AL CAPONE WILL RISE FROM HIS GRAVE TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE EXCESSIVE ORANGES IN THE STREETS TO MAKE MANY OLD FASHIONEDS. Dan Akroyd and Eddie Murphy’s investment will be safe though.

Let’s take a look at the many ways Pat Narduzzi will send Scott Shafer to the ER. (more…)

October 21, 2015

James Conner has missed most of the season. Chad Voytik isn’t starting. The offense is 113th in the country in yards per game. Tyler Boyd is…ok, still doing Boyd things. But, if I told you those first three things would be where Pitt stands after six games back in August, what would you expect Pitt’s record to be? If you said 5-1 you’re lying to yourself. The likely answer would be that Pitt is a two or three win team hoping to win six and get another bowl. (more…)

October 19, 2015

When Sports Can Be Fun

Filed under: Coaches,Football,Media,Narduzzi — Chas @ 3:25 pm

Winning definitely helps make it possible. When you are losing or just .500 you get the people who grumble about needing to do better before you can have a sense of humor or be a little goofy.

Right now, Pitt football is fun. And Head Coach Pat Narduzzi is having fun as well. While we should be getting ready for the Battle for the Kiwi, Narduzzi chose to blow-up Pitt and Penn State twitter.

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October 18, 2015

A Real Change of Attitude

Filed under: Coaches,Football,Narduzzi — Chas @ 8:49 am

The biggest difference of the Pitt football team on the field is the defense. They play with passion, energy, and so much more confidence.

The biggest difference that is occurring for this team overall is their belief that they can and will win the game. That one bad thing is not the herald of finding a way to lose.

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October 17, 2015

3:10 to go, down four, ball on their own 38 yard line.

3:44 to go, down seven, ball on their own 28 yard line.

1:04: to go, down 3, ball on their own 24 yard line.

That’s the situation opposing offenses have been in the last three games. The result? ZERO points and three wins for Pitt. After the defense held on against VT, Narduzzi said in his press conference that the team made mistakes against Iowa that led to the 57 yard FG. Since then, not only has the defense held on, they’ve thrived. What a change from last year. When the defense is on the field with the game on the line they’ve responded. (more…)

October 16, 2015

Know Your Enemy: Yellow Jackets

Filed under: Football,Narduzzi,Opponent(s) — Justin @ 1:38 pm

I apologize in advance that this is not up to my usual standard. I’ve been too busy with work and I rushed through this. My analysis is good, but my writing sucks in this one. Sorry guys.

After last year’s abomination, it’s surprising to see how optimistic Pitt fans are against Georgia Tech. I’m not necessarily predicting a loss, but I see more confidence than I think is warranted. Last year’s homecoming embarrassment was not purely a product of the 734  six lost fumbles (five in the first half). GT had 612 yards of offense on the ground and scored 28 points in the second half after the Fumblepalooza ’14 in the first half. Georgia Tech ran the ball at will against a defense that returns most of the same starters. Let’s break them down. (more…)

Paris Ford Commits to Pitt

Filed under: Football,Narduzzi,Recruiting — Justin @ 11:37 am

Safety Paris Ford has committed to Pitt according to Chris Peak of Panther Lair. The consensus four star prospect from Seton La Salle chose Pitt over offers from Michigan, Ohio State, Notre Dame, Michigan State, some school in Central PA surrounded by cows, and numerous other P5 schools.

According to Peak, Ford chose Pitt because he “wanted to show people that this ‘#412Crew’ movement can be serious if a big piece committed…[s]o I decided to be that piece.” While his relationship with Narduzzi and the coaches undoubtedly was the primary reason, it’s safe to say the high level play from the defense so far makes this decision a lot easier.

Ford is a great addition for Narduzzi and could be the start of a domino effect bringing numerous other WPIAL stars into the fold. Ford joins Exree Loe as the second commitment for the 2017 class.

October 12, 2015

Second Half Conservatism

Filed under: Coaches,Football,Narduzzi,Tactics — Chas @ 6:57 am

For the game, the offense had nice enough numbers. 363 total yards. 222 in the air. 141 on the ground. The overall play calling appeared a bit run heavy. 35 rushes (including one sack) to 24 passes. About 59% run, 41% pass. It’s the way it ended up there, that is a bit of a concern.

Last week after the win over Virginia Tech, Head Coach Pat Narduzzi admitted that Pitt got very conservative on offense in the second half. That approach continued — and if anything was worse — in the Virginia game.

(more…)

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