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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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June 11, 2015

PITTSBURGH —The University of Pittsburgh’s football promotional days have been unveiled for the 2015 season. New this season for any Youth Football team that reserves a group of 15 or more to any one of Pitt’s six home games is a FREE script Pitt football hat for all attendees. Youth Football website.

Sept. 5, Youngstown State, “Hail to Heroes” – Pitt will pay tribute to our heroes in the armed services as all active, reserve and retired military personnel and first responders are invited to attend. Hail to Heroes website

Oct. 10, Virginia, “Homecoming” – Always one of the most festive weekends on the Pitt calendar, details for Homecoming 2015 can be found at the Pitt Alumni Association’s official Homecoming website.

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June 9, 2015

Basketball Rules Changes for 2015

Filed under: Basketball,Tactics — Chas @ 11:21 am

The NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel (PROP. Really? PROP is the acronym for the rules committee? It’s like the jokes write themse– Okay, get back on topic.) approved changes for the upcoming 2015-16 college basketball season. Most articles focused on two components. The 30-second shot clock and time outs.

The 30-second shot clock is the most visible change. The goal being to speed things up and hopefully increase scoring. I’ve discussed this a couple times, so, yeah. Unintended consequences will be the watch word for this one.

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June 8, 2015

Clearing Tabs, 6/8

Filed under: Coaches,Football,Narduzzi — Chas @ 7:12 am

Before there was “Pitting” or  “The Pitting” if you want to be formal about it, there was “Sparty, No!” The, um, battle cry for Michigan State football across the country.

…starting a seven-year period of frustration and the “Sparty, No!” meme. Under Bobby Williams and John L. Smith, the Spartans put a lot of individual talent on the field, dropped hints of excellent play, and went 38-45. From 2002-06, they went 4-14 in games decided by one possession. Nobody snatched disappointment from the jaws of hope as frequently as early-aughts Sparty.

Familiar themes. Familiar performances.

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June 5, 2015

PITT Needs You at YSU!!!

Filed under: Coaches,Football,Media,Opponent(s) — Reed @ 9:04 am

PITT is bending over backward to get that sellout.  PITT will have free “Pat Signal” tatoos before the game…

pat signal

 

Here’s the windup and the pitch…

Fathers Day Special

 

In exactly three months we’ll start to see how the “Narduzzi Ultimatum”  project is going to play out for the 2015 season.  September 5th is the opening game against the Youngstown State Penguins and who knows at this point what will happen.

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June 3, 2015

#Subtweet Battle

Filed under: Football,Narduzzi,Recruiting — Justin @ 8:01 am

A quick disclaimer: if recruiting and twitter are not your thing, I won’t be offended if you move on without reading. Head into the comments. I’ll give you a topic: is Script Pitt the greatest logo of all time OR the best logo in the universe? For the rest of you, let’s look at some tweets! (more…)

June 1, 2015

PITT’S BOYD AND CONNER NAMED PHIL STEELE ALL-AMERICANS
Five Panthers named to Steele’s preseason All-ACC team.

PITTSBURGH—The Pitt offense will feature two dynamic All-Americans in 2015 according to national college football expert Phil Steele.

Steele released his preseason All-America squads today and Pitt receiver Tyler Boyd (first team) and running back James Conner (second team) were both honored. This is the first of what figures to be many preseason recognitions for the pair of Pitt juniors. Both players enjoyed prolific and decorated seasons in 2014.

Boyd compiled 78 catches for 1,261 yards (16.2 avg.) and eight touchdowns in earning first team All-ACC last season. He became the first player in ACC history to compile 1,000 receiving yards in both his freshman and sophomore years. Boyd also led the ACC in kickoff returns (27.6 avg.).

Conner was selected the ACC Player of the Year after rushing for 1,765 yards and 26 touchdowns last season. He broke three Pitt season records—rushing touchdowns, total touchdowns (26) and scoring (156 points)—set by the legendary Tony Dorsett during his 1976 Heisman Trophy campaign. Conner was named to seven postseason All-America squads as a sophomore, including first-team honors from the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA).

In addition to its All-America selections, Pitt also had five players named to the Phil Steele All-ACC teams: Boyd (first team receiver and punt returner, fourth team kickoff returner), Conner (first team), junior offensive tackle Adam Bisnowaty (first team), junior offensive guard Dorian Johnson (second team) and junior placekicker Chris Blewitt (fourth team).

Season tickets and mini-plans for the 2015 Pitt football season are now on sale. The Panthers will be led by new head coach Pat Narduzzi, who joined Pitt in December after an accomplished tenure as defensive coordinator at Michigan State.

Fans have a new seating option at Heinz Field this fall with the debut of the South Plaza Champions Club. For more information, call the Panthers Ticket Office at (800) 643-PITT (7488) or log on to PittsburghPanthers.com. Click here for the Panthers’ 2015 schedule with announced kickoff times.

In sadder news PITT benefactor John A. Petersen died.  He is well known for his generous donations to the University of Pittsburgh general funds and to help build the Petersen Arena.  People of John and his wife, Gertrude’s, quality are few and far between.  John Petersen didn’t just drop money out of the sky on something but intently researched what areas of both PITT and CMU he wanted to enrich with his endowments toward where it would do the most good.

On a personal note, I was introduced to the Petersens at a dinner party some years ago and was told by Mr. Petersen that he was taught by my father back in 1950 & ’51 before my father fleeted up to Assistant Dean of the Graduate School of Business Administration.  He also said that he and my Dad had maintained a friendship until my father passed away in 1969 when I was 13. That was a nice thing to be told and it was a somber day yesterday when I heard that he had died.

 

YSU – BoGo and Academics

Filed under: Academics,Coaches,Football,Players — Reed @ 10:03 am

PITT is pulling out all the stops to make sure there is an actual full house at Heinz Field… you know, where there are actual humans sitting in the seats… for the season opener against Youngstown State at 1:00 on September 5th.  Here is their flyer sent out to offer existing PITT fans, and those who want to become PITT fans, for buy one – get one tickets.  You can buy up to ten tickets. and get ten free.

YSU BOGO

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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May 29, 2015

Breaking Six

Filed under: Football,Gambling — Chas @ 7:05 am

I guess when you’ve been this consistently .500, even the gamblers will expect more of the same.

On Tuesday, 5Dimes, an offshore sportsbook, released its regular-season win totals for a large number of FBS teams. The group bestowed win totals upon all 14 ACC teams.

Below are the 5Dimes numbers with a short take on each school’s win total, and following is a quick over/under prediction. It’s worth noting 5Dimes’ win totals and money lines are designed to induce bets for both the over and under.

….

Pittsburgh: 6 (over -120, under -120)

Can the Panthers finally get past the six-win plateau? They have a new coach in Pat Narduzzi, which should pay immediate dividends on defense. The offense is poised to have a big season with playmakers Tyler Boyd and James Conner.

Jared Shanker: Push

Not sure anyone is going to believe Pitt gets more than 6 wins (or less than 6 losses, depending on how you see the water in the cup) in the regular season until it actually happens. And maybe not even then.

 

May 28, 2015

Paul Chryst Remains Consistent

Filed under: Chryst,Coaches,Football — Chas @ 6:14 am

Unlike the Fraud I don’t want to be overly malicious to the late-not-really-lamented-so-much-as-wanted-to-see-one-Pitt-football-coach-still-be-on-the-job-when-at-the-very-least-his-first-recruiting-class-graduated, Paul Chryst. Hell, I would have taken being a little more laid back on him than I have been to Dave Wannstedt.

And yet…

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May 27, 2015

Temporary Frontcourt Depth

Filed under: Basketball,Recruiting,Transfer — Chas @ 7:39 am

Over the last five years, depth in the frontcourt has been a major issue. A decent to very good starter — not as much an issue as it sometimes gets portrayed. It’s been the drop-off when that player has to come off the court. With agonizing misses of top-ranked recruits,  injuries, transfers, and players who were overmatched when they got to Pitt, though,  it has been a struggle to simply have one decent frontcourt player to come off the bench.

After this past season and lack of front court depth looking acute, Coach Jamie Dixon has gone hard for the short-term fix.

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What a great day yesterday. It seems like we are learning about each other and each other’s families more and more on here.  It was a nice day for me and the feedback on the article made my ego run more rampant that it usually does.

Back to football though, that’s what we are here for.

PITT has sent out a press release on the new renovations going on in the Southside Football facilities. Here is the advertisement and the link takes you to the actual website.:

Renovations

As it is and will be for some time it eventually ties into donor giving.  The levels are listed and it is a good cause for us PITT fans.  I’m donating one month of the salary I get from Chas for my writing on The Blather.

Even if we media types can’t get into the actual fall camp practices and scrimmages we’ll be able to get into the facility.  So, next time I get up to Pittsburgh I’ll take photos.  If anyone else has access before me feel free to snap some and send them to me and I post them.

Here also is a May 16th article by Sam Werner of the Post-Gazette that I’ll link to again.  It is a background piece on the facility renovations.  I’m not sure about this quote from Narduzzi though:

As far as the aesthetic part of the renovation, Narduzzi even admitted that’s not for the players currently on Pitt’s roster.

“It’s obviously something visual where you go in, look it and go ‘Wow, this is beautiful,’” he said. “It’s not about the beautiful factor for the kids currently in our program. The beautiful factor is for the guys that are walking through those doors on recruiting visits.”

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May 24, 2015

On That Day…

Filed under: Admin,Alumni,Coaches,Football,Good,History,Honors,Players — Reed @ 11:30 am

As the years’ calendar turns to the end of May and the start of what we all see as the spring and summer season, or as we PITT football fans say “the time when no football things are happening” one date always jumps out at me.

It’s on that day our Memorial Holiday falls.  In addition to the store sales, reunions, parties, parades, and picnics Memorial Day also holds a meaning that strikes a deeper and more significant cord in many of us.  You all know that I’ve reference my professional life as a military officer before.  Because that career and my experiences serving in that capacity filled almost my whole adult life, from age 22 until I retired four years ago, it is the lens in which I see, think and feel almost everything through.

So while woolgathering yesterday to try to figure out the next thing to write about Pitt football it occurred to me that I’ve never done a separate Memorial Day piece and that is because it seems to have nothing to do with PITT football.  But after some serious reflection I do believe Memorial Day and the University of Pittsburgh, in all their respective facets, have deep ties and are intertwined both historically and in the present.

Many Pitt fans have friends and relatives who have served in the Armed Forces at some point, or maybe they themselves have.  PITT students fought in our Civil War in the 1860s… on both sides.  Early in the 20th century some of our grandparents who attended or were affiliated with the university volunteered to serve and were sent to Europe during WWI.  Many of our parents, aunts and uncles had their PITT educations interrupted to join the fight in World War II.  My father, two of my aunts and an uncle went directly from being students at PITT into the military then overseas to Europe and China-Burma.

Of course my mother, an younger woman, stayed home and attended PITT until my dad came back from the war and they could get married in Heinz Chapel in the shadow of the Cathedral of Learning.  A scenario repeated thousands of times across college campuses I’m sure.  It is true thatThey also serve who only stand and waite”.

PITT had many other students and alumni who served and some who gave ‘the last full measure’ as Lincoln so eloquently stated.  There has never been a war or an armed conflict without PITT personnel involved.  Here are just a few examples.

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May 20, 2015

Uni Watch: MS Paint Edition

Filed under: Football,Marketing — Chas @ 7:18 am

Oh, come on people. It isn’t even Memorial Day and we have already cycled through Pitt-PSU should play every year talk. Casually dismissed the Backyard Brawl. There is no more issue about bringing back the script Pitt. Expansiopocolypse is a dead subject. And now we are going to push through uniform alterations? Not having the usual tropes to make it through the summer doldrums are not useful for content.

I can’t — I can’t do this. I won’t be a party to trying to see how we can really squeeze two months worth of babble on the fictional concept of getting an on-stadium campus.

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May 19, 2015

Don’t get me wrong, last night was great and this is a good cause if you have some extra Jack to spread around. One thing I feel is that if we donate the money will be well used.  As said before, he’s working it and has been since his hire.  The links are nice also.  A piece about our own Center Alex Officer and the Rimington list is at the end of this article.

Dear Reed,Thank you for joining us at the “On the Prowl” Tour. It was an incredible experience for me to meet so many people who love Pitt. Check out the photos from last night. Since becoming head football coach in December, I have been overwhelmed by the tremendous passion, energy, and dedication of the Pitt family.  With the enthusiastic support of fans like you, I am confident that our outstanding momentum will continue. During the event, we mentioned a few ways that you can directly support Pitt and our football program:

  • GET INVOLVED – Pitt Alumni Clubs, which are active throughout the country, give Panther fans many great opportunities to network with one another. LEARN MORE
  • COME HOME – Come back to Pittsburgh, visit campus, and help us fill Heinz Field. BUY GAME TICKETS
  • CELEBRATE HOMECOMING – We are offering a $10 discount for the Homecoming game against ACC rival Virginia on Saturday, October 10, 2015.GET DISCOUNT
  • MAKE PITT STRONGER – We are currently upgrading our locker room, team rooms, and constructing a new student-athlete lounge in the Duratz Athletic Complex so that we can provide the best possible experience for our student-athletes and ensure we are able to attract top recruits. Please consider supporting this project. GIVE NOW

We appreciate your continued support, and we hope to see you this fall at Heinz Field. Together, we will show the entire country why PITT IS IT!

Hail to Pitt!

Pat Narduzzi
Head Football Coach

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