October 6, 2015

Oct. 5, 2015

PITT vs. VIRGINIA Game Notes

October 10, 2015 • 12:30 p.m., ET

Heinz Field (68,400/Natural Grass) • Pittsburgh, Pa.
ACC Network • Pitt IMG Sports Radio Network • @GoPittFootball • #UVAvsPITT
LINK: Where to Watch Pitt-UVA

LINK (PDF): Pitt Game Notes (UVA)

*  Pitt looks to build on its 3-1 start when it hosts ACC Coastal Division foe Virginia this Saturday. The Panthers are back at Heinz Field following three consecutive away games. Pitt completed its road swing with a 17-13 victory over Virginia Tech in its ACC opener.

*  The Cavaliers visit Heinz Field with a 1-3 mark. However, their three losses are to teams with a combined 12-3 record (UCLA, Notre Dame and Boise State). Virginia defeated Pitt last year, 24-19.


October 5, 2015

Here is a three week late start for the Pitt Blather’s “Monday Morning Quarterback” series.  There was so much going on with the new staff and the QB competition and rotation through the first three games I forgot to start writing these.  If you remember the MMQB format is three points of Positives, three Negatives and then Notes.) Here goes.

(This is the first article in a weekly series of articles entitled “Monday Morning Quarterback”.   I will try to post them two days after the football games are played so as to have our wilder emotions under control by then. It will be my take on the positives and the negatives we saw happen and a chance for commenters to agree or disagree and to add their own thoughts.) 

A few things stuck with me Saturday afternoon as I left a Blather friend’s house after watching Pitt’s 17-13 win over Virginia Tech in Blacksburg.  First was that it is very nice to get a conference win any way we can get it, and that is just what we did.  Second is that no matter how a game turns out, good, bad, or middling, Pitt fans find things to worry and complain about.  Check out the Game Thread posts if you don’t believe that.

I say this because I watched the game with three new friends who are long time (suffering) Pitt fans who, to a man, are convinced we’ll be a 8-10 win team this season… yet they were also sure, down to Pitt’s victory formation out of the huddle, that we were going to lose that game.  Imagine that, Reed, who predicted 6-6 season and a close Pitt loss against VT calming those guys down off the ledge in the 4th quarter and assuring them we were going to come out with a win.  Life is strange, eh?  Of course, watching our balls to the wall defense kick the Hokies’ collective asses at every turn help my confidence we’d win a bit also.  Which leads us to…


1.  We may be seeing a rising and complete 180 degree reversal from the 2014 team in that we are currently relying on our defense to win games for us and that is what they are doing… with an excellent shut down effort on Saturday.


September 30, 2015

Here is Pitt HC Pat Narduzzi’s mid-week press conference for our game against VT this weekend in Blacksburg, VA, tarted up a bit for your reading pleasure..  It is a noon start on Saturday and looks to be a rainy day.

Official Virginia Tech Week Game Notes issued by the Pitt Media Dept.

PRESS CONFERENCE VIDEO: Narduzzi Virginia Tech Preview


 Opening Statement:

“We had a couple practices last week to focus on ourselves and become a better football team. We’re cranked up. It’s always rough on a Saturday to watch all of those games and not being able to go out and play. I think our kids are anxious to get back on the field. We’re getting ready for a great football team down at Virginia Tech.


September 25, 2015

Bits & Pieces 9/25/15

Filed under: Coaches,Football,Media,Players — Reed @ 10:12 am

Here are some links and such.

The Trib’s article on Peterman:

At the outset of his Pitt career, Nathan Peterman faced the daunting task of wrestling the starting job from an incumbent quarterback who has the support of his teammates.It took him no longer than one training camp and the first two weeks of the season to get it done.

Then, in his first start, he encountered a large, hostile crowd in Iowa and was asked to save the game by driving the offense 75 yards to a game-tying touchdown. With 52 seconds to spare — too much time, as it turned out — he did it.

“He definitely shows poise in the moment,” tight end J.P. Holtz said. “He doesn’t get scared.”


September 23, 2015

Bye Week Goals

Filed under: Football,Narduzzi,Players — Justin @ 11:00 am

Pitt lost to Iowa in dramatic fashion. This feels like the norm, but it was different this year. First off, it was Pitt that came back in the fourth quarter after a rough start. Second, Pitt is still finding its footing without James Conner. Third, the defense, while not perfect, forced Iowa to earn every single point. There were no gimmes, no luck other than the 57 yards FG, and it ended up a hard fought contest between two good football teams.

I can live with that. There was no choke or horrific mistake. Sometimes you play a good football team and you lose. Instead of looking back, I want to look forward. What can Pitt do during the bye week to prepare for a tough road game against Virginia Tech? Here’s my list. (more…)

September 21, 2015

We had a close loss yesterday to a Big Ten Iowa team in their hometown Kinnick Field.  The final score was 27-24 and was determined by a last second 57 yard field goal Iowa’s placekicker.

To keep all the game links in one place here they are… then we’ll move on to background issues later in the article:

Fittipaldo’s report Post-Gazette 9/20; and  DiPaloa’s Trib after game article.

There were missed opportunities to win this game, or at the very least actions could have been taken that would have given us a better shot at a win.


September 18, 2015

I’m sorry to be so late with this piece.

Here is where your log your official Pitt vs Iowa game predictions… winner, score and if you feel like it why.

Here’s mine….

I think this is the game Peterman cements the starting role going into the ACC season. He throws for two TD and our run game kicks in for two more.

Pitt 27 – Iowa 24

Have relatives in town and off to DC for touristy stuff, will check in later.


September 16, 2015

(This is a long look at the current QB situation so far this season)

Pitt is in the midst of something we haven’t had in a very long time and that is a genuine quarterback competition being played out in real time and for the world to see.  We have been told there were competitions in the past but those were lip service to the media. This season however we are being treated to something this new staff feels is of uppermost priority, finding the QB which is the best overall for the team.  Here is background on the issue and some Q & As that may help to enlighten our fans as to what is and has been transpiring in this interesting development.

How did Pitt get the two principal QBs, Chad Voytik and Nate Peterman, on the roster?

For that we have to go back to 2011 when both Voytik and Peterman were in their senior years in high school.  Both players were star high school QBs and one left his hometown state of Tennessee to go to Pitt and the other kid left Florida to go to play his college ball in Tennessee.

In high school Chad Voytik was a 6’0” 192 lb running QB and played for the Cleveland Blue Raiders, located in Cleveland, TN, a small town of 42,000 located 30 miles northeast of Chattanooga and in the western foothill of the southern Great Smokey Mountains.

Voytik had a very good career there being named both an All-State player and a high school All-American.  He was a dual threat QB at Cleveland, passing for over 5,000 yards in his three years starting and was also a prolific runner.

Voytik was a four star (4*) player who was also ranked 4th nationally among senior QBs and the #1 player at any position in TN. Twelve other D1 schools wanted Voytik as a recruit including PSU, Clemson, Virginia, Syracuse and Louisville.  Those are all good football schools and play in competitive Power Five conferences.


September 15, 2015

September 14, 2015

Iowa Week

 PRESS CONFERENCE VIDEO: Narduzzi Iowa Preview


Opening Remarks:

“We had a great win. Anytime you get a win, it’s a great one. It’s always good to win on the road. Akron was a good football team and I thought they were exceptional on the front seven—and that turned out to be true. There was some nasty weather, it was sloppy. Our kids had a great attitude they were [positive] going into it and played with it.

“I really thought our kids were locked in on the trip. It was a great job by both teams holding onto the ball, but we ended up being plus-one there which we needed. We always have to win the turnover ratio and we won the time possession as well. We had four drives of eight plays or more for our offense. Eight being the lowest, I believe we had a couple 10 or 13-play drives and that’s huge. That’s how you win the time possession and that’s what we lacked the week before. We kept making these explosive gains but we didn’t have that time possession. We would like to have both.

Here is the Akron game Play-by-Play so you can see those drives he’s talking about.


September 14, 2015


September 19, 2015 • 8 p.m., ET

Kinnick Stadium (70,585/FieldTurf) • Iowa City, Iowa

Big Ten Network • Pitt IMG Sports Radio Network • @GoPittFootball • #PITTvsIOWA

LINK (PDF): Pitt Game Notes (Iowa) – Fans, these are the in-depth game notes (Pitt two-deep, bios, etc…) and if you are watching the game they are a great thing to have in your hand for quick reference.  Here are some notable things going into the game. Note the shake up in the starters listed (CAPS is the 1st string):

Quarterback:  4 NATE PETERMAN JR*, 6’2”, 225 or 16 CHAD VOYTIK (JR*, 6-1, 215)

Tailback:  37 QADREE OLLISON FR*, 6’2”, 230; 5 Chris James (SO, 5-11, 210) or 22 Darrin Hall (FR, 5-11, 215)

Right Tackle:  70 BRIAN O’NEILL (FR*, 6-6, 290) OR 78 ALEX BOOKSER (FR*, 6-6, 310);  72 Carson Baker (SO*, 6-5, 325)

Strong Safety:  9 JORDAN WHITEHEAD FR, 5’11, 185 OR 25 PAT AMARA JR. SO, 6’2”;  195 26 Jevonte Pitts (JR*, 5-11, 200)

Defensive End: 92 RORI BLAIR SO, 6’4”, 240;  52 Shakir Soto (JR, 6-3, 265);  48 Zach Poker (SO*, 6-4, 235)


September 13, 2015


(Here is something to get the blood flowing a bit; The highlights from ESPN3’s coverage of Pitt win against Akron )

On Saturday night in the cold and rainy rubber capital of the world, Akron, Ohio our Pitt Panthers won a non-conference  game against the Mid-America Conference Akron Zips. The final score was 24-7 and helped to erase the lingering bad taste in fans’ mouths from the loss we suffered last season when the Zips handily beat us in our home stadium 21-10.

We played this game much better than that one.

Aside from the win itself, which brings new Head Coach Pat Narduzzi’s team to a 2-0 record, a dramatic story line developed that may be more important in the long run than the actual victory.  That would be the blooming competition between Chad Voytik and Nate Peterman to determine who is going to be the starting QB after we finish the Iowa game (next Saturday in Iowa at 8:00 pm broadcast on the Big Ten Network) and move on to our ACC conference opponents.


September 11, 2015

The day before the game is a good time to sit back in your chair and take a long look at all your scribbled notes you have been jotting down, when you should have been working, about what you have read, seen and heard about the upcoming Pitt vs. Akron game.   It’s time to look at what you know and feel and start thinking hard about what you believe we’ll see come out of Zips hometown of Akron, Ohio on Saturday night.

To recap: Justin did a great piece on Thursday with his “Know Your Enemy: Akron Zips” article.  It succinctly covered Zips offense and their defense and then he adds his thoughts about the game in closing.  Justin’s prediction is this

Pitt wins an ugly one 24-13 thanks to a few turnovers from the defense and a smart yet boring day from the offense which avoids any big mistakes. Tyler Boyd turns something into nothing once or twice to open it up for the running game to be just good enough to control the game.”

Here is a little something to help you in recapping the YSU win but remember that this shows only Pitt’s highlight and none of the lowlights as they say.


September 9, 2015

James Conner’s Decisions

Filed under: Football,Players — Reed @ 4:35 pm

His Eligibility:

I just want to clarify  some misconceptions Pitt fans may have regarding our star running back James Conner’s eligibility if he sits out the rest of the year due to his knee injury and subsequent surgery.  We have been reading comment questions about whether or not James Conner can use this season as an automatic “injury redshirt“.  Here are a few things to understand as this term is misleading.

There really is no such thing as a ‘injury redshirt” per se… there are just regular redshirt seasons with a possible medical waiver at the end of his four years – once that is granted that additional year is called a “Medical Waiver year”.  What can and does happen sometimes is that a player can petition the NCAA for a 5th year if in one of his four years (not counting his redshirt year) he gets hurt before the team played 30% of its regular season.

Here is what Conner is looking at right now.  If he sits out this season 2015 (this year) it will be treated as a regular year of eligibility used because he played in a regular season game.  Since he also played games in 2013 & ’14 and this season if he chooses to come back in 2016 he will be a Senior. This cannot be a redshirt year at all.


Familiar names on the Zips team. No, not just Tra’von Chapman. One of their wide receivers has a very familiar name and has made an impression.

Passing wasn’t going to come easy to the Zips offense against the Sooners.

However, what little bit of promise displayed in that area came from the performance of Jerome Lane Jr. The former Firestone High School standout, caught three passes for 57 yards, including a long reception of 42 yards. However, coach Terry Bowden pumped the brakes on praising Lane just yet.

“If Jerome Lane would stay focused and learn his assignments and do the little things, he could be good at any one position on either side of the ball,” Bowden said.

It might also help if the coaching staff settled on where they want to use him. Last year, Lane was playing linebacker for the Zips. It doesn’t seem likely he will go back to the defense given the issues for Akron in the passing game. Akron quarterbacks completed only 6 passes for 88 yards the entire game (Chapman was 0-8).


September 8, 2015

Here is the Pitt media release info doctored up with some additional graphics and information…

First off here is HC Pat Narduzzi’s Monday afternoon press conference.


"You lookin' at me?"

“You lookin’ at me?”

September 12, 2015 • 6 p.m., ET

InfoCision Stadium (30,000/ProGrass) • Akron, Ohio
ESPN3 • Pitt IMG Sports Radio Network • @GoPittFootball • #PITTvsAkron

PDF LINK: Complete Pitt Game Notes (Akron)


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