November 24, 2015

Protecting the Interior

Filed under: Basketball,Players,Tactics — Chas @ 8:29 am

Pitt’s frontcourt is in far better shape than last year. The additions of Nelson-Ododa and Maia are to replace Uchebo and Randall are obvious. Nelson-Ododa and Maia are better shot blockers. They are more aggressive on defense, more consistent rebounders and they are better on offense.

That isn’t to say they are all-ACC caliber players. They are simply better than what was. The one issue that is bedeviling to this point, though, is the emphasis on freedom of movement and more fouls being called.


November 21, 2015

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.


November 19, 2015


Filed under: Coaches,Football,Media,Players — Reed @ 12:40 pm

Here is this morning’s media recap for the day:


Freshman Ollison at “The Wall“.

Pitt sees upside in Southside renovations:

“Specifically, Barnes pointed to the hydrotherapy area, used by both teams, as being a part of the expansion. He also added that a common lobby space, as opposed to the current setup of two separate entrances, will make things more comfortable for the Pitt football players, who often eat their meals at the Steelers’ cafeteria.

“Just the little nuance of how our student-athletes won’t have to go outside to get into the cafeteria (Heaven forbid),” Barnes said. “They get to stay inside in the wintertime. Those are things we’ve been communicating and planning together here over the last couple of months plus.”


November 18, 2015

Later than I wanted, but time has been limited during daylight.

Pitt planned for a sleepwalk of a game after traveling back from Okinawa, and they delivered. The Pumas of St. Joe’s College (somehow, apparel and shoe company Puma does not sponsor them) were the big patsy on Tuesday. A subpar D-II team that came for a beating and delivered on their end.

The first half was extremely sloppy and you could see the lack of energy from Pitt. They missed a lot of shots from outside. Struggled at times with defense. Yet still led by 14 at the half.


November 16, 2015

Tyler Boyd, Busier Than Ever

Filed under: Football,Numbers,Players — Chas @ 4:58 pm

One of the complaints about the Pitt passing game last year was throwing to Tyler Boyd to the seeming exclusion of all other receivers (especially the tight ends). Those complaints seem to have lessened this year as the tight ends have been much more involved and at least Dontez Ford sees a couple passes a game.

Funny thing, though…

Last year, Tyler Boyd accounted for 41.4% of all receptions (78 of 188). This year he is accounting for only 42.1% of all receptions (69 of 164). Wait. What?


November 3, 2015

(Any italics are my text…)

PITT (6-2, 4-1 ACC) vs. #8/9 NOTRE DAME (7-1) (Doctored up)

(Notre Dame’s new true Freshman Hunchback)


November 7, 2015 • Noon, ET

Heinz Field (68,400/Natural Grass) • Pittsburgh, Pa.

ABC National Telecast • Pitt IMG Sports Radio Network • @GoPittFootball • #NDvsPITT

LINK (PDF): Pitt Game Notes (vs. ND)


*  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).

*  This season marks the 40-year anniversary of Tony Dorsett’s legendary 303-yard rushing game against Notre Dame in 1975. Dorsett’s incredible effort sparked the Panthers to a 34-20 win over the Irish at Pitt Stadium.

Real TD Jesus

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…

…in its prior visit to South Bend (2004), Pitt beat the Irish, 41-38, behind five touchdown passes from Tyler Palko, an unprecedented achievement against Notre Dame.  Here’s another piece on Palko for your Pitt football pleasure, and to keep you from going back to doing what your supposed to be doing to earn that salary your getting…


Series Began: 1909

Series Overall: ND leads 47-21-1

At Pittsburgh: ND leads 26-11-1

At Notre Dame: ND leads 21-10

At Neutral Sites: DNA

OT Games: Series tied, 1-1

Last Meeting at Pitt: Nov. 9, 2013 (Pitt 28, Notre Dame 21)

Last Meeting at ND: Nov. 3, 2012 (Notre Dame 29, Pitt 26, 3OT)

Current Series Streak: Pitt has won 1 (2013)

Longest Pitt Series Win Streak: 3 games (three times, last: 1983, ‘86-87)

Longest Notre Dame Series Win Streak: 11 games (1964-74)

Largest Pitt Victory Margin: 26 points (26-0, 1936)

Largest Notre Dame Victory Margin: 58 points (58-0, 1944) (Here is the Post-Gazette account of the game; page 33)

BROADCAST INFORMATION                                   

Television • ABC (WTAE-TV in Pittsburgh)

Sean McDonough, play-by-play

Chris Spielman, analyst

Todd McShay, reporter

 Pitt Radio • 93.7 The Fan & the Pitt IMG Sports Network
Bill Hillgrove, play-by-play
Pat Bostick, analyst

Larry Richert, reporter

 SiriusXM Satellite Radio

Sirius Channel 84, XM Channel 84

WPTS Radio (Pitt Student Station) • 92.1 FM

Pitt IMG Sports Network Online Audio Options via CSLive

Pitt Gameday LIVE App:  iOS   Android   TuneIn

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:


November 1, 2015

 Monday-Morning-QB(This is one of 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.) 

This is will a Friday morning edition of course and that’s good because I don’t want three days to think about that game before I can put it into the history books… and I don’t think you want to either.

We’ll get back to all that in a second…  here is the obligatory highlights video:

Now lets get the hard part out of the way with Narduzzi’s post game press conference:


Here is the info dump on the game and the cumulative stats for the season:

Box Score
Box Score (PDF)
Season Statistics
Postgame Notes
Postgame Quotes
USATSI Photo Gallery 

OK, now is the hard part and it is a bit like looking into a ‘Way-Back’ mirror to the last week of camp where we talked about things that might bite us in the ass… sprinkled with some new problems that have shown themselves growing week-by-week.

One thing that I’ll keep first and foremost in my head for the next ten days is that a good, solid, football team came into Heinz Field and won the game.  North Carolina is no stumble bum team that just happened to get luck breaks to win the game.  That wasn’t the case, they came here and won the play on both sides of the ball and scored more than we did.


October 27, 2015

October 26, 2015

Pat Narduzzi Press Conference 

North Carolina Week



October 26, 2015

 Monday-Morning-QB(This is one of 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.) 

One thing I dislike is that I write these MMQB articles immediately after the game and then hold it off until Monday morning to post it for work-time reading. So – if it sounds like these MMQB articles parrot the media coverage after the game that doesn’t happen. I never read anything but stats and watch videos as I write these… unless I see something Monday morning I want to quote before posting.

Anyway, Yea Us!!! again this week.


October 19, 2015

Here are somethings for your viewing and reading pleasure when you should be working on a Tuesday morning.

First off here is Pat Narduzzi’s Monday morning press conference: Notice he’s send a serious mixed message with the logos in the video!

We’ll follow that up with Nate Peterman’s presser. 

Then we’ll look at Pitt’s Cumulative Season Statistics to date.

Team Statistics

Individual Statistics

Defensive Statistics

Combined Statistics


October 18, 2015

 Monday-Morning-QB(This is one of 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.) 

Before we talk about anything else watch these highlights from Saturday’s win over Georgia Tech.

Done?  OK then.

Pitt flew into Atlanta, GA last Friday afternoon as a team that still had many legitimate question marks surrounding it despite winning five out of the season’s six games.  They flew back into Pittsburgh Saturday evening as a team that has shown it can handle adversity, adapt to tough in-game situations and whose personnel can rise to the occasion in a harsh environment.


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

October 12, 2015

 Pat Narduzzi Press Conference 

Georgia Tech Week

 PRESS CONFERENCE VIDEO: Narduzzi Georgia Tech Preview



ACC DIGITAL NETWORK VIDEO LINK: Pitt 2015 Defensive Highlights (have fun with this one at work)

 Opening Statement:

“We obviously have a huge challenge this week defending the spread option. We’re playing a team who was picked to win the Coastal side of the Atlantic Coast Conference. They’re a well-coached team, Georgia Tech. Paul Johnson does a great job coaching, a very intelligent guy. I have a lot of respect for him both administratively and as a football coach just [from] sitting with him in ACC meetings. Obviously they’re struggling a little bit and it’s not because they aren’t a good football team, that’s for sure. They lost four games to some pretty good football teams—they’re [a combined] 19-3. So if anyone wants to sit there and think they aren’t a good football team, I would argue with them. You go through struggles. They’ve had some injuries, as we have, so this will be a challenge for our football team.  I think we’re 0-3 against [Paul Johnson] and we get to go against them on the road again even though we had fun at Heinz Field this weekend. We’re looking forward to getting our guys coached up and going on a business trip.”


October 12, 2015

Monday-Morning-QB (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.) 

I told Chas I’ll try to keep the MMQB articles posted.

Four wins and one loss, with those wins including our first two ACC conference games is nothing to sneeze at and is a real ‘feel good’ generator for almost ever Pitt fan save a few disgruntled ones.

We held on, and that is becoming a mantra that isn’t real positive in itself, to win Saturday’s game against the University of Virginia at Heinz Field in beautiful Pittsburgh, PA.

Before getting into the game specifics let’s acknowledge something that is different with this season. There is a positive and growing sentiment among the Pitt football program, the university, the fans and, surprisingly, the local media, that sets this year, with this brand new staff, apart from the others seasons we have slogged through over the last five years.

What separates this year from all the other recent years is the solid belief that something good is not ‘about to happen’ but actually is.  Yes there are areas of the team and coaching that have to grow and mature.  I think we’ll all agree that even without Conner in the backfield our offense has to better come together and play more consistently.


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.


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