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…)
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…)
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…)
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…)
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…)
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…)
As Chas mentioned earlierd, the offense was entirely too conservative in the second half of the UVA game. This allowed the Cavaliers to make it a one score game late and add a little drama to Homecoming. Fortunately the defense came through eventually and it was all for naught. Play-calling remains an issue, but self-inflicted wounds were the bigger issue for the offense on Saturday. (more…)
This column will be shorter than usual as I’ve been under the weather all week. I’m also quite busy at work so that’s eating up a lot of my weakened energy. So, please forgive more typos and errors than usual. Long story short, Pitt is a better team than Virginia at almost every facet. Chaney’s offense is still a work in progress without James Conner, but I’m willing to give him a mulligan on last week. This week, however, the offense needs to produce and get things going as this defense is not good enough to win on its own against the likes of Georgia Tech and UNC like it did against VT.
The Cavaliers opened up the season with back to back games against highly ranked out of conference opponents (UCLA and Notre Dame). The Notre Dame game was a respectable loss, with the Fighting Irish needing last second heroics to pull off the win but UCLA was never really a contest. Since then, they struggled to beat FCS foe William & Mary and got whooped by Boise State. I respect UVA for the tough out of conference schedule, but in order to build the program you need actual wins, not moral victories. (more…)
As Adam Bisnowaty pointed out, Pitt has won five of the past six against Virginia Tech (although the last loss to the Hokies was in their house in 2013). With Pitt traveling to Hokieland this Saturday, the time is ripe for Pitt to join the conversation for ACC Coastal division contenders. The Hokies are coming off of another loss to East Carolina, will be missing their best player on defense, and has an offense struggling to run the ball. As I mentioned Tuesday, this is a game Pitt must win if the goal is to be Coastal contenders.
But, even a wounded VT squad is dangerous. There’s too much pride on the line for the Hokies to lie down. Let’s look at what Beamerball’s squad has to offer. (more…)
This weekend may get a little more boring for Pitt fans — assuming you don’t live on the East Coast, especially Virginia.
Hurricane Joaquin continues to strengthen northeast of the Bahamas. As of 8 p.m. Joaquin has sustained winds of 105 mph, making it a Category 2 hurricane. It continues to move southwest at 7 mph.
Gov. McAuliffe declared a state of emergency for Virginia Wednesday afternoon, followed by the City of Norfolk also declaring a state of emergency.
Hurricane Joaquin will likely drift west over the next few days before being picked up by a cold front. At the same time, a developing coastal low will try to strengthen over the area this weekend.
The latest track strengthens the storm into a major hurricane, a category 3 storm. The center of the storm in this latest update would make landfall somewhere along the Outer Banks Sunday afternoon.
Joaquin is just one part of a complex weather pattern that is setting up for the end of the week.
If the state of emergency lasts into the weekend the Pit-VT game in Blacksburg is assuredly cancelled.
This creates a real issue for the ACC. Pitt has already had it’s bye week. It is slated to play 8 straight weeks. There is no open date for Pitt.
There have been instances of non-con games not being made up, but I can’t recall an instance in recent years where a conference game has not been played or made up at some point.
The ACC may be forced to schedule the game on a Monday or some other awkward day if the game is postponed this Saturday.
Like every year since Pitt joined the ACC, the Coastal division appears wide open. In 2013, Duke had their best season in most of our lifetimes and won the division with a 10-2 regular season (6-2 in the ACC). In 2014, a 10-2 (6-2 in ACC) Georgia Tech had a season for the ages which culminated in an Orange Bowl victory over a top 10 SEC team (Mississippi State). Each season had a 5-3 team in second place (2013 had three), so there was no wiggle room; they had to win six for the outright title. (more…)
The Narduzzi Era at Pitt began yesterday and Pitt came out with a 45-37 win against the tough and persistent Youngstown State Penguins in front of 49,969 mostly yellow-painted fans. Here are the official game stats in case you are wondering how what happened came about.
There is good news and bad news coming out of this ballgame. Here are the highlights so that you can see some of each type of play we had Saturday:
Oh, ACC. I know the transition has been difficult for the last decade plus. To go from a basketball-centric conference to… well, slightly less of a basketball-centric conference.
Trust me. we get it. After the time spent in the Big East, we Pitt fans understand that there can be a slight incomprehension echoing in the conference offices about staying focused on football season.
Still, to release all the ACC college basketball schedules in the afternoon, the day before college football kicks off the season? Not a week ago or two weeks. Just some 30 hours before a game involving one of the teams from your own conference kicks off the season. That is some Big East level idiocy.
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.
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.