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?
This question was posed to me last night. I summarily dismissed it, because I was on the couch watching the Oklahoma-Baylor game. I didn’t feel like grabbing my laptop to dig too deep. So why not now? Just for you, Pauly P.
Let’s start with the basics. Here are all the rankings from this past week. Just sticking to the AP and Coaches polls. Only 3 teams in those top-25s lost yesterday: UCLA (18/18), Temple (21/21) and Memphis (25/25).
The last two years, Pitt and Duke have combined for some wild offensive games. Don’t think that will be what we see today. Duke has been doing more with the defense, and their starting QB may not play.
Pitt’s offense has been a bit up-and-down. Only two games saw the offense hit 30 points or more (vs. 1-A opponents). Two games have seen Pitt with under 20 points. Everything else has been somewhere in the 20s. Just not seeing Pitt explode for around 50 points.
Pitt: Notre Dame and Iowa could both look even better if Pitt continues to win. As of right now, both the Irish and Hawkeyes earned a win against the bowl-eligible Panthers, a Power 5 school that could still finish as a 9-3 team
Woodland Hills alumni continue football careers together at PittThere’s a reason “Woody High” carries that type of weight in the community. At the Wolvarena, there’s a wall with every Woodland Hills standout who ever played Division I football — including NFL stars Steve Breaston and Jason Taylor, and former Pitt players such as Lousaka Polite and Shawntae Spencer.
“It’s just like a pipeline,” Price said. “Being with these guys is the reason I came here, just to be with family and the people I know.”
(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.)
Which means despite Saturday morning’s Veterans Day Parade and Pitt tailgating starting on the North Shore at 7:00 a.m., PennDOT is closing the inbound Parkway West from 9 p.m. Friday until 10 a.m. Saturday. That’s three hours after the tailgating lots open and a half hour before the parade starts.
“This is a critical concrete pour tonight and Sunday morning on the bridges in Carnegie,” Cowan said. “So we are allowing the contractor to continue until 10 a.m. However, if they finish early, which they are anticipating they will, we will reopen the Parkway West early.”
In downtown Pittsburgh, the Veterans Day Parade will mean the closing of Liberty Avenue from The Point to Grant Street. With the Pitt-Notre Dame game sold out, fans are going to be looking for downtown parking spaces. Pittsburgh Operations Director Guy Costa says football fans can still get across the Golden Triangle to the North Shore.
“We will have police officers at the intersections to allow pedestrians to cross over to get on the other side of Liberty Avenue,” Costa said. “No vehicles, but we will allow pedestrians to cross.”
Get an early start.
The following detour will be in effect:
· Motorists will exit I-376 at the I-79 south (Exit 64A) interchange towards Washington
· Follow I-79 south to the Carnegie (Exit 57) interchange off-ramp
· At the end of the off-ramp, turn left onto West Main Street
· West Main Street becomes Mansfield Boulevard
· Turn right onto Chestnut Street
· Turn left onto East Main Street
· East Main Street becomes Noblestown Road
· Turn right onto Mansfield Avenue
· Turn left onto Greentree Road
· Greentree Road becomes Wabash Street
· Turn right onto South Main Street
· Turn right onto southbound Route 837 (West Carson Street)
· Take the ramp to East I-376/North I-279 onto the Fort Pitt Bridge
· End detour
I don’t think this can be repeated enough. Seriously, plan to get to the game early.
I know, football game in a little more than 24 hours. But I’ve been neglecting the basketball for way too long. Besides, Pitt has their only exhibition game tonight.
Pitt ditched the usual two exhibitions for doing a closed scrimmage with Georgetown last week and tonight’s exhibition game against Division II Gannon. Pitt should be fine against Gannon, but struggle early. As long as they don’t end up like St. John’s and lose by 32 points (Durand Johnson shot 0-7) in their exhibition.
* 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: