Beyond Boyd, tight end J.P. Holtz and cornerback Lafayette Pitts figure to be the next most likely candidates to hear their names called this weekend, though it’s likely one or both will have to wait to try to catch on with a team as an undrafted free agent.
Holtz played in all 52 games over his four-year career, starting 48. He said NFL teams have approached him about possibly switching to fullback and he has no objections.
“I’m willing to do whatever I need to do to make a team,” he said after pro day.
Pitts also didn’t miss a game the past four years and started 51. According to Brandt, he clocked in at 4.44 seconds at Pitt’s pro day and should have plenty of offers from teams after this weekend if he isn’t selected.
If Boyd is the only Panthers player chosen, it would mark the second consecutive year Pitt had just one player chosen. Offensive lineman T.J. Clemmings was the only one to go a year ago. Pitt had three players chosen in 2014, which broke a three-year streak of having no draftees.
Well, to start off… due to popular demand we have started a “The Pitt Blather” Facebook page. Here is the link for that. I did it on a whim. Actually that isn’t true, I did it because we had talked bout it six months ago and I figured “How hard can it be?”
Honestly, you won’t see any more content on there than you do on here. I set it up sp that it is more of an advertisement for new readers so the can become commenters and we can then cut some of the commenters on here that are pissing us writers off. You know who you are and start packing up your laptop and get ready to move on.
Just kidding I think. What I’ll do is when we have posted a piece up on here I’ll copy the link and post it for the Facebook readers to use to come over here to read it.
I also asked that if any readers want to comment on and discuss the offense then to please do it on the Blather site itself.
Well, you know the players had fun out there. I think the fans did too – as long as you kept the realization that is was a glorified scrimmage foremost in your mind.
As we talked about on here earlier, the way the Captains conducted the draft we fans were never going to see a full 1st team out there so neither the Blue team nor the Gold team was anything like what we’ll see going into or coming out of fall camp.
But it was a beautiful day for Pitt football and I have to say to anyone who professes to be a big fan and then decides that there are “better things to do than watch a glorified scrimmage” then too bad for you as you missed out on a great Saturday afternoon of football and having a blast with other Pitt fans.
Watch this and then we’ll address some points that I took away from the scrimmage…
The all-important recruiting Letter of Intent Day (LOI Day) is fast approaching; February 3rd is the date this year with April 1st as the last day the National Letter of Intent (NLI) can be signed for players to qualify for the 2016 recruiting class and football season.
Pitt is pushing hard for verbals from Central Catholic’s 4* Safety Damar Hamlin, a and Khaleke Hudson a 3* Athlete from McKeesport. Both are local guys who Narduzzi very much wants to land for several reason, not the least of which is that they are local kids and both are being recruited by Penn State and other top name programs like OSU and Michigan and have many other prime offers. If Narduzzi lands these two guys other recruits will sit up and take notice for their future choices.
On the other side of this is the angst we have about kids who are already committed to Pitt being actively recruited by other programs up to and sometimes including LOI Day. Such as highly sought after 3* Henry Miller of Kissimmee, FL. He’s a CB who will serve us well in two ways: first he’s a good play and we need CBs but secondly, he’s a Florida recruit and if you want your program to grow into a solid winning one those Florida kids with their speed are good ones to land.
Before we get into the actual game information and facts, all of which you readers have been addressing in your comments since Navy’s 10 play 75 yard drive in the beginning of the 1st quarter, allow me to talk about some other aspects of Pitt football and The Pitt Blather.
First off, except for the game itself, the last two days were about as great as college football can be. The atmosphere surrounding the bowl from noon on Sunday (when I checked into a hotel in Annapolis) through the pre-game tailgates until the end of the game was top-notch and everyone was happy and glad to be there.
The evening pub crawl was the most fun I have had in many years and I mean that literally. At each stop the bars and restaurants were jammed with Pitt fans that were chanting, singing and talking, loudly, about the 2015 season and our new head coach.
It really made me, and others I’m sure, very proud of the university and the team.
There were some funny things going on – for some reason just because I did that article on here about Annapolis and the Pub Crawl, which was also pasted up on Facebook by a Pitt fan group, whenever I was introduced to anyone they always asked “Hey, where are we supposed to go next?” like I was a tour guide or something.
I honestly didn’t remember the exact things I wrote and had to ask my friend to look that article up on his phone.
Also, I met about 50+ fans who ‘read the Blather but don’t post on it’. It always surprises me a bit when someone says that and when I asked why they mostly said that they felt like an outsider because of all the regular commenters we have on here.
It is now T-27h 30m until Military Pub Crawl muster and we Blatherites better get serious about where we want to meet on both Sunday and then again on gameday Monday for the guys who aren’t getting to Annapolis until the day of the game. Here is the weather report as of this writing.
On Sunday I’ll be checking into the O’Gallagher Hotel at around noon and will probably take it easy, have a big lunch and watch the Steelers-Ravens game that afternoon. That game should end around 4:00 so… I suggest that we Blatherites meet at the Ram’s Head Tavern at 4:00 for the official “Pitt Blather Meet & Greet” and get a bit of a head start on all the other 7000+ Pitt fans who will be crawling in Annapolis that evening also.
My friends at Facebook’s Pitt Panther Fanatics asked me to draw up an offensive game plan for the Marine Bowl Pub Crawl on Sunday the 27th… the pre-game day festivities for our Panthers matchup with the Navy Midshipman.
I live about 30 minutes away from downtown Annapolis and we go there regularly for events and meals and such so here is what I recommend for maximizing the cheap drinks hosted by the listed bars (below) from 4:00-9:00 pm… along with some good food
One thing to note is that Annapolis is on the side of a hill and I’m going to list the places to go from the top of the hill down toward the waterfront and the City Dock.
If you look at a map of the Downtown area you see two large traffic circles and then a smaller one down at the waterfront. The two larger ones are the “Church Circle” that is the western one and the other is the “State Circle” (State Capitol bldgs) a bit larger and to the east.
We don’t want to mess with the State Circle so we’ll begin our tour at the Rams Head Tavern which is on West Street (MD-450) just before getting to Church Circle. Do not be put off by the road name, MD – 450 is really just a big street.
Here is “The Journey “- the “pump-up’ to Navy’s 2015 season…
* Pitt makes its 32nd all-time postseason appearance when it faces nationally ranked Navy in the Military Bowl presented by Northrop Grumman.
* Led by first-year head coach Pat Narduzzi, the Panthers finished the regular season with an 8-4 record, their best 12-game mark since 2009. A bowl victory would give Pitt nine wins, its most since that 2009 edition finished with a 10-3 mark.
* The Panthers and Midshipmen are not unfamiliar foes. In a series that dates back to 1912, Pitt leads, 22-14-3. The teams split the past four meetings, the most recent occurring in 2013 when host Navy defeated Pitt, 24-21, on a field goal as time expired.
Is anyone all that surprised Jim Chaney took off (or was helped on his way) this morning? I wasn’t. I had the following Facebook private message conversation with another Pitt football fan at 8:41 am on Friday morning:
Jeff, the real point was what I’ve heard about Narduzzi and Chaney. I just wouldn’t be surprised if Chaney was gone in a year or two. Narduzzi took a big gamble on letting Chaney run with Peterman and it just worked out toward the end of the year.
However, to fire an Ass’t Coach means buying out their contract and that is big $$$. But we saw publicly some tension between Narduzzi and Chaney on the sideline (and with Narduzzi’s rather snide “You’ll have to ask Chaney that” and I’ve been told it was worse in the locker room and clubhouse.
I didn’t write about it on the Blather because I don’t do that unless it this type of information is made public in another forum first. But there were signs of discontent with the coaches both on and off the field.
Last month the fine sports blog Cardiac Hill had a good take on what transpired between Narduzzi and Jim Chaney at the end of the 1st half against North Carolina:
…Even the coaches had serious issues. Major miscommunication cost the team approximately ten crucial seconds at the end of the first half when driving to potentially score some points. Pat Narduzzi appeared livid with offensive coordinator John Chaney as Nathan Peterman looked to the sidelines for a play call. Pitt was forced to use a timeout. That proved costly as the Panthers needed another timeout as they simply ran out of time and weren’t able to get the ball into the end zone or spike it for a field goal attempt.
The bottom line is that Annapolis is one of the best places to watch college football in the US. The city itself is an historic treasure and the Naval Academy, it’s alumni and Midshipmen are great hosts to visiting fans. Below is a ton of info about the Bowl game and associated issues. There will be a lot to do. One thing I highly recommend is that you take the opportunity to work in a visit to the Naval Academy itself. Visiting there is a pretty formalized because so many people do it every day.
and to the Naval Museum on campus be prepared for the waterworks to start… at least they always do for me. The Naval Cemetery is impressive as hell also.
I plan on visiting in late morning on Sunday and because I am a retired Coastie can park on the Academy grounds at the Visitors Center – I can take three guests with me if anyone is interested – you just have to have valid photo IDs.
Our favorite restaurant/pub in Annapolis is the Irish pub Galway Bay but there are a ton of good and interesting places to eat and drink. Sometimes the weather in late December isn’t all that bad so don’t hesitate to go down Main Street and walk around the dock harbor. You’ll see that statue of Alex Haley, author of “Roots” and who was on active duty with the US Coast Guard when he wrote that book (way before my time you jagoffs). Also check out this small museum, the Waterfront Warehouse, for in-depth history of Annapolis and immediate region.
Here is this last evening and this morning’s media recap for the day:
8-3 sounds damn good doesn’t it, especially after I predicted that we’d be 9-3 at the end of the regular season. I’m lying!! I predicted 6-6 with a chance at 7-5 “if the ball bounced our way a few times“. Glad to be wrong with that one and with this 45-34 win behind us we have an excellent chance to end the regular season at 9-3.
* Pitt and Notre Dame renew ties for the 70th time when the Panthers host their historic rival for a noon ABC national telecast at Heinz Field. Pitt owns a 6-2 mark, its best start since 2009. The Irish are 7-1 and ranked as high as No. 8 this week.
* The Panthers are looking to bounce back from a 26-19 loss to ACC foe North Carolina. The defeat halted a four-game winning streak for Pitt. Notre Dame visits Pittsburgh having won its last three games following a two-point loss at undefeated Clemson (Oct. 3).
* Close games and dramatic finishes have been the rule for Pitt and Notre Dame in recent years. The past six meetings have been decided by an average of 4.5 points. Two of those contests have gone to overtime.
* Pitt is 5-2 in games decided by single digits this year. The Panthers were 1-5 in single-digit contests last season.
* All-America candidate Tyler Boyd needs just 49 receiving yards to become Pitt’s all-time leader in that category. Boyd enters the Notre Dame game with 3,013 career yards, second only to Antonio Bryant (3,061 from 1999-2001) at Pitt.
* Tyler Boyd is already Pitt’s career receptions leader with 226. Boyd is the ACC’s active career leader and ranks second nationally with 6.85 catches per game.
* Quarterback Nate Peterman is completing 67.4% of his passes this season, the second-best percentage in the ACC and 15th nationally. Peterman has thrown 151 consecutive passes without an interception dating back to the first half at Iowa (Sept. 19).
In a sign from Heaven this vision appeared on the building facing Notre Dame’s football field immediately after Dorsett broke the 300 yard mark. “It’s like God deserted us just because Pitt beat the crap out of our team” a scared undergrad said, “But He’ll make it right after next year’s game here at Notre Dame, I know He will. There’s no way we lose two in a row to them!!” But apparently God took the Panthers getting five points in 1976…
Pitt and Notre Dame meet for the 70th time in a series that dates back to 1909…the Irish lead the all-time series by a 47-21-1 count…Pitt and Notre Dame have split the past eight meetings with each team winning four times since 2004…close contests have been the norm for most of the past decade…nine of the past 10 games have been decided by single digits…in the last meeting, Pitt edged the Irish, 28-21, at Heinz Field in 2013…
Pitt’s 2013 win snapped a three-game series losing streak and gained a measure of revenge for its 2012 loss, a 29-26 heartbreaker in three overtimes at Notre Dame…the Panthers are 11-26-1 at home and 10-21 on the road against Notre Dame…Pitt’s longest winning streak in the series is three games, achieved three separate times (1932-34; 1958-60; 1983, ‘86-87)…Notre Dame’s longest winning streak against Pitt is 11 games, which occurred from 1964-74…
…that streak was snapped in 1975 when Pitt defeated the Irish, 34-20 (page 36 of the Post Gazette), behind 303 rushing yards from Tony Dorsett…the 303 yards remain a Notre Dame opponent record…in four games against the Irish (1973-76), Dorsett rushed for 754 yards, an NCAA record for a player against a four-year opponent…
(Here is the recap of the 1976 ND game the season after the 303 yard performance… this game sticks in my mind more than the 303 game actually… sweet as hell! All the Pitt fans in ND stadium were looking at Hornung up in the press box and screaming “Jump! Jump!”)
…the Pitt-Notre Dame series is long on history and color…on Nov. 13, 1999, the Panthers defeated Notre Dame, 37-27, in the final game ever played at Pitt Stadium…Pittsburgh product Kevan Barlow scored two TDs, including the game’s final score on a two-yard run to close down the 74-year-old structure…
…the 2008 game at Notre Dame was an instant classic...the Panthers clawed back from a 17-3 halftime deficit to defeat the Irish, 36-33, in four overtimes…the four-overtime affair marked the longest game in both Pitt and Notre Dame history…the ‘08 game also marked the Panthers’ second consecutive victory at Notre Dame Stadium…
Finally, because this cracked me up when I watched it and because it is very well done, here is “Naptown Funk” (Naptown is Annapolis). Call me a hopelessly sentimental guy but when I see young men and women in the Military enjoying themselves I get a big smile on my face – especially considering what tough times they’ll be facing in a few years.
Plus, this might be the first time in the history of the U.S. that all five Armed Forces worked successfully with each other on something: