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August 31, 2015

Here is the shortened version of the official Pitt vs Youngstown State University game that will be played at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh on Saturday, September 5th.  The game begins at 1:00 pm.

Here is the full .pdf of the same game notes put out by the Pitt Athletic Media  Department.  There is a ton of info here and it has been helpful to me to have a copy by my side as I watch/listen to the games.

GAME STORYLINES

PITT OPENS ITS 126TH SEASON OF INTERCOLLEGIATE FOOTBALL—AND THE PAT NARDUZZI COACHING ERA—WHEN THE PANTHERS HOST YOUNGSTOWN STATE AT HEINZ FIELD.

NARDUZZI MAKES HIS PITT DEBUT FOLLOWING AN ACCOMPLISHED EIGHT-YEAR TENURE AT MICHIGAN STATE (2007-14) AS DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR. UNDER HIS DIRECTION, THE SPARTANS WERE THE ONLY TEAM TO RANK IN THE NATION’S TOP 10 IN TOTAL DEFENSE AND RUSHING DEFENSE EACH SEASON FROM 2011-14.

NARDUZZI HAS DEEP TIES TO YOUNGSTOWN AND YSU. HIS FATHER, THE LATE BILL NARDUZZI, WAS THE PENGUINS’ HEAD COACH FROM 1975-85, LEADING THEM TO TWO NCAA DIVISION II PLAYOFF APPEARANCES, INCLUDING THE 1979 NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP GAME.

PAT NARDUZZI WAS A STARTING LINEBACKER FOR HIS FATHER IN 1985, LEADING THE OHIO VALLEY CONFERENCE (OVC) IN TACKLES AS A FRESHMAN AT YSU.

YSU WILL ALSO HAVE A NEW HEAD COACH ON ITS SIDELINE IN BO PELINI, WHO SPENT THE PAST SEVEN SEASONS LEADING NEBRASKA. LIKE NARDUZZI, PELINI IS ALSO A YOUNGSTOWN NATIVE.

NARDUZZI (URSULINE) AND PELINI (CARDINAL MOONEY) STARRED AT RIVAL YOUNGSTOWN HIGH SCHOOLS. IN THEIR LAST MEETING AGAINST EACH OTHER, URSULINE ROUTED MOONEY, 35-0, IN A GAME THAT DECIDED THE 1984 STEEL VALLEY CONFERENCE TITLE.

PITT’S ADDITIONAL YOUNGSTOWN TIES INCLUDE DEFENSIVE LINE COACH TOM SIMS, WHO COACHED AT YSU FROM 2010-14.

GRADUATE ASSISTANT PHIL DECAPITO, A FORMER PENGUINS G.A. FROM 2012-14; AND FRESHMAN TAILBACK DARRIN HALL, WHO STARRED AT NEARBY AUSTINTOWN FITCH HIGH SCHOOL.

THIS WILL BE THE FOURTH ALL-TIME MEETING BETWEEN PITT AND YSU. THE PANTHERS WILL LOOK TO AVENGE A 2012 SEASON-OPENING LOSS (31-17) TO THE PENGUINS.

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August 28, 2015

This is a very long one folks; enjoy it for your weekend reading pleasure.

As we all know that in any Pitt pre-season there is nothing even remotely negative written about the team, players and the coaching staff by the local media, especially with a brand new head coach such as we now have. The only straight opinions you’ll get will be from some local bloggers and maybe a recruiting website that follows the Panthers. Keep that in mind while you read this article please and realize there is certainly some good about this team to go along with the not-so good…  like the ‘good news’ media has been feeding us all preseason.

We all have thoughts about what’s positive with Pitt in 2015; here are my thoughts about what I see and feel. Earlier in the pre-season we mentioned that we would hold off on a season W/L projection until fall camp had ended.  Now is that time and here’s mine.

We are a week until the start of the 2015 season and the real beginning of year one of ‘The Narduzzi Experiment’.  We’ve been getting camp reports, scrimmage stats, leaks about this and news about that and we have all been doing what fans always do at this point. We are wondering just how good or how bad the team in going to be this year.

Every season is a blank slate to start anew, especially with a shiny new Head Coach and his eager staff coaches. Those new additions add another layer of mystery and excitement for us when looking at what will happen over the next 12 weeks.  What it does also is add a new layer of concern, and to some fans, worry because of the unknowns with the staff.

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August 6, 2015

(I have written this post about 6 different times and ways to different lengths and seen it crash and delete for some glitch or another each time over the last week plus. Somehow bypassing all the autobackups that are supposed to prevent loss of posts. I think even my computer does not want to process this matter any longer, but we will get through this.)

Come on training camps. We need you. The cycle of crap returned to this issue.

Apparently it started with some SEC-related whining about Notre Dame needing to join a conference all the way if they want to be a part of the College Football Playoffs during their media days. (Gary Pinkel of Mizzou, of all people and places, started this for reasons that no one really can fathom.)

Naturally it just went from there with all coaches being asked about it. Especially at ACC media days a week later. And of course, the ACC coaches were all very much behind the idea. Because, well, it seems that if Notre Dame should decide to join a conference before 2027, their deal with the ACC stipulates that it has to be the ACC.

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July 31, 2015

SUZIE McCONNELL-SERIO SIGNS NEW AGREEMENT AT PITT THROUGH 2020-21 SEASON
McConnell-Serio guided the youthful Panthers to 20 wins and the NCAA Tournament last year. 

Serio-McConnell <<< That’s intensity!  Match that Narduzzi!

PITTSBURGH—University of Pittsburgh athletic director Scott Barnes announced today that head women’s basketball coach Suzie McConnell-Serio has signed a new contractual agreement that runs through the 2020-21 season.

Arriving at Pitt in 2013, McConnell-Serio has revitalized the Panthers’ fortunes in quick and impressive fashion. This past year she guided a youthful squad to a 20-12 record—including a 9-7 mark in the rugged Atlantic Coast Conference—and the program’s first NCAA Tournament in six years.

“Within a very brief period of time, Suzie McConnell-Serio has made a remarkable imprint on women’s basketball at the University of Pittsburgh,” Barnes said. “On and off the floor, she has Pitt on the rise and we are thrilled to announce this commitment to her and our women’s basketball program. Suzie is nationally respected as both a coach and person, and we couldn’t be more excited about her leading our program into the future.”

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July 26, 2015

Copied from the Pitt Website… 

James Conner talks to ESPN’s Andrea Adelson:

I love the way he list every other player on offense as the reason he won the ward in 2015 then says “I play a small role“. What a genuinely good person.

JAMES CONNER TRIES FOR RARE ACC PLAYER OF THE YEAR REPEAT

By Andrea Adelson

PINEHURST, N.C. — James Conner broke records, pounded opponents and had one of the most prolific seasons in Pittsburgh history, a school known for its remarkable running backs.

Yet, he was not chosen to repeat as ACC Player of the Year. The preseason honor went to Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson, who earned 23 more votes than Conner, who rushed for 1,765 yards and 26 touchdowns last season.

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July 25, 2015

Whether it is the schedule or the learning curve of a first-time head coach or the voluminous questions on the defensive side of the ball, the prognostications that can be found in the numerous preview guides — and the ACC pre-season media poll — have not exactly been raising expectations for Pitt’s upcoming season.

Let’s take a look at the various prognostications.

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July 21, 2015

In the most timely news to hit the street and anger Pitt football fans our young DE Rori Blair made a monumental mistake when he chose to smoke reefer and treat the parkway like he was in the Hot Metal Bridge 500 race qualifying rounds.  From The P-G this morning:

State police wrote in a criminal complaint that a trooper working near the Fort Pitt Bridge clocked Blair, 20, of Upper St. Clair, driving at 117 mph in a 55-mph zone March 15. That trooper pulled the car over in a left lane on Fifth Avenue in Oakland and “detected a strong odor of marijuana emitting from his breath and about his person as he spoke along with blood shot glassy eyes,” police wrote.

Police took Blair to UPMC Mercy for a blood test, which came back positive for cannabinoids, police said. They charged Blair via summons Monday with driving under the influence, driving at an unsafe speed and other violations.

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July 14, 2015

With the predictions we talked about in the comments in our last article I thought it would be fun to look back at this time three years ago and remind us all of what predictions we  made prior to the 2012 season getting underway.

This three year old article, “2102 Season Predictions”, posted in the last week of August 2012, offered five questions for the readers to respond to in the comments section.  Here are those questions with my predictions included:

What will be PITT’s regular season record, what bowl game if any and why will it be that way?  (Actual: 6-6 in the regular season with a 38-17 loss in the BBVA Compass Bowl against Ole Miss to end 6-7.)

*  I think PITT will be a 7-5 team this season, 8-4 at best and will get to some minor bowl. I think we are 3-3 after the first six games. (Reed’s)

* 9-3; We win the Big East and play in the Orange Bowl

*  13-0 with a blowout win in our BCS bowl game.

*  Pitt goes 9-3. **If Tino tanks, no more than 6-6.

*  Pitt should have the most talented team in this conference… except… well… one little 5’10” problem named Tino Sunseri.

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July 13, 2015

Now is the time, before football is being practiced and scrimmages played, where we fans like to sit down and compare what we have seen in the past from Pitt football and then speculate how the new kid on the block is going to handle his first time at the rodeo.

Our new kid is Pat Narduzzi, a first time head coach and a football mind that should fit right in with the Western PA football traditions of an aggressive and strong defense. The thing is that we can’t really look at his individual history, most recently as the Defensive Coordinator at Michigan State University, and see that for as successful as he was it doesn’t predict his success as a new head coach.

What we can do though is look backwards 18 years to 1997 when the first of our last three coaches who had at least three seasons under their belts at Pitt was hired.  That guy is Walt Harris, a second time HC who did a stint as the HC at Pacific University out in California.

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June 18, 2015

Last week some media noted that it was five years after the dogs of the expansiopocolypse were unleashed. The picking apart of the Big 12 that started it all. That led to the silly winners and losers articles. The standards for “winners” and “losers” depended on the biases of the writers.

But hey, it is the offseason. Content is tough to come by. Why not join in the fun.

I just can’t put it simply in winners or losers. There’s a fair amount of stuff in the middle. How about,  “Win, Lose or Draw?”

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June 12, 2015

First off to assuage the gnashing of teeth and pulling of hair by PITT fans regarding our ‘late’ recruiting start we need to revisit this issue just like we do every year at this time of the offseason.  Because of that repetition I am going to be stealing some info from earlier Blather articles.

Here is a bit of info that will help to quell your fears. This table shows how PITT has ‘late’ starts every year since Wannstedt was hired back in 2005:

Year  # Before 6/12     Total Class #  Notes:
 
‘05 1 23 Wannstedt’s first partial class
‘06 5 27 DW’s first full class
‘07 2 24  
‘08 2 19  
‘09 1 20  
‘10 2 24  
‘11 2 21 Graham’s first partial class
‘12 0 16 Chryst’s first partial class
‘13 5 27 Chryst’s first full class (after purge)
‘14 1 23  
‘15 3 15 Narduzzi’s first partial class
‘16 1 (3?) TBD Narduzzi’s first full class

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May 13, 2015

Once more, there is loud talk from coaches, administrator and conferences of eliminating the Graduate Transfer as we know it.

Start with the basics. Graduate Transfer Exception (or Waiver):

The graduate exception is a version of the one-time transfer exception. It is for student-athletes who cannot use the normal one-time transfer exception because they play one of the sports that are not permitted to use the exception.

The student-athlete must have graduated with at least a bachelor’s degree;
The student-athlete meets the other requirements of the one-time transfer exception;
The student-athlete must have at least one season of competition left; and
The student-athlete’s previous school did not renew his or her athletic scholarship or offer an athletic scholarship for the following academic year.

The requirement that the scholarship be cancelled or not renewed is generally not an issue. The scholarship does not need to be cancelled before the transfer or be the reason for the transfer. Because the one-time transfer exception requires you to get a release, what will happen with your scholarship is generally just an administrative detail.

The Graduate Transfer Waiver is often conflated with the exception because they are so similar. There is one key difference.

The graduate transfer waiver is now typically used by athletes who have previous transferred once before and so cannot use the one-time transfer exception (even as a graduate student).

A letter from the previous school saying it does not object to the student-athlete being eligible;

Documentation that the student-athlete has been accepted into a specific graduate degree program;

Documentation about whether that degree program is offered by the previous school;
A student-athlete statement including the reasons for the transfer; and

A statement from the previous institution about the student-athlete’s status on the team.

[Emphasis added.]

Unlike regular transfers, there is no requirement to sit out a year after transferring. The player is eligible to play right away. That is the big bonus for both the player and the school to where he transfers.

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April 24, 2015

Presser for the New AD

Filed under: Conference — Reed @ 10:02 am

We all saw the breaking news about PITT hiring ex-Utah State Athletic Director Scott Barnes as the new AD and here are the formalities of introduction.

MEDIA ADVISORY

From: E.J. Borghetti
Executive Associate Athletic Director/Media Relations

Re: Friday Press Conference

The University of Pittsburgh will hold a press conference to address its athletic director position on Friday, April 24, at 3 p.m. The press conference will be held on the first floor of the William Pitt Union (3959 Fifth Avenue) in the Lower Lounge.

Media outlets with marked vehicles only may park in the circle located on the Fifth Avenue side of the William Pitt Union.

 

UPDATE: There will be a livestream of the press conference.

April 21, 2015

New Football Media Info

Filed under: Conference,Football,Media — Reed @ 11:10 am

New Press Release from the ACC & PITT regarding some media info:

Atlantic Coast Conference Spring Football Media Teleconference—Reminder

Tomorrow, Wednesday, April 22, 10:20 a.m.-12:50 p.m.

The ACC will hold its annual Spring Football Media Teleconference tomorrow,  Wednesday, April 22. The teleconference will begin at 10:20 a.m. with each of the Conference’s 14 head football coaches available as well as Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly. Each coach will be available for 10 minutes. This teleconference is for accredited members of the media only. The teleconference will also be streamed live through theacc.com and transcripts and audio files will be available.

The Schedule of Coaches:

10:20 a.m.—Brian Kelly, Notre Dame

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March 28, 2015

Something to Chew On

Filed under: Basketball,Conference,Football,Media — Reed @ 7:48 am

I just saw this article from DiPaola of the Trib and thought it would be good to get your collective blood pressure up before you really start your weekend…

New Mississippi State coach Ben Howland said Friday former Pitt athletic director Steve Pederson never received proper credit for the Panthers’ move from the Big East to the ACC.

“I hope people realize what an unbelievable job Steve Pederson did for Pitt basketball and the university,” Howland said on TribLive Radio. “You would not be in the ACC today were it not for his vision.”

Pederson hired Howland in 1999 and guided the Panthers to two NCAA Tournament appearances in four seasons.  Howland left Pitt for UCLA, where he guided the Bruins to three consecutive Final Four appearances, including a national runner-up finish in 2005-2006. His lead assistant with the Panthers, Jamie Dixon, succeeded him at Pitt.  UCLA fired Howland after the 2012-13 season. Mississippi State hired Howland on Tuesday.  Pitt fired Pederson in December.

If Pitt was still in Pitt Stadium and playing in (Fitzgerald Field House), you’d be in the AAC in a no-bid league with (non-revenue) football and wondering what we’re going to do next,” Howland said.

Discuss please until we have news from today’s scrimmage to talk about…

Note: the number to call if you feel like you are about to hurt yourself or others is 1-800-STEVEAD

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