Full Version: State of the Program Post UNC & ND Losses
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We were quite simply beaten by ND. I think that given our current talent level, we would have had to play perfect football to win the game. ND posed a problem for us at just about every position.

I think we had our chances against UNC but squandered them. I think UNC had better talent than Pitt at many positions as well. In particular, though, I think some of the negatives of Narduzzi's defense reared their ugly head in this game.

Syracuse was the first game that I noticed how much Maddox struggles with big receivers. I knew it would bite us in the rear this year against better teams. I've read some of the other Pitt message boards and hear people saying that Maddox sucks. That's a pretty huge overreaction, I think, as he is in pretty good position most of the time. He's being asked to do something that is extremely difficult which is basically cover the opponent's best WR and in many instances, he has to do that against someone who is 6" taller than he is. He can't learn to be taller.

Best case scenario is that we'd have somebody else to cover the larger receivers. Given Pitts' history with the program he's not the man. Whitehead is probably playing safety because he can make more of an impact there. Maddox is probably the best option and the best cover corner we have so it's sort of him or nothing. It's not his fault, either.

The defensive line is not doing much of anything but locking up with the OL. They really don't pose a threat to sack QBs on their own and they are having a lot of problems stopping the run. I think that unit is the single weakest link on this team. Maybe it's a tie between them and the WRs.

Speaking of the offense, it was nice to see Whitehead get some touches. I hope this continues for the rest of the year. We may need him next year as well. He's such a great athlete and that's really something we need on offense to get going. We can't rely on throwing to Boyd constantly. Ford seems like he's coming into his own but I don't think he's a gamebreaker.

I'm happy with this team right now. I'm concerned about the areas listed above, particularly the DL. None of these things are going to change overnight. All-in-all, though, we beat all the teams we were supposed to beat and have lost to the ones who were likely to beat us. We were very close with Iowa and I think we could have beaten UNC if a few things went our way. Beating the teams we should beat is not something a Pitt coach has done since I've been following the team so for now I will take it.

I think we need 2 out of the last 3.

Narduzzi gets upset about every call that goes against him. I understand he's a fiery character but I hope that doesn't cost him with the officials in the long run. Lots of times he's arguing about something the officials are right about. I know that it's how he feels in the moment but it's not a good look, really.
I'm definitely ok with how things are so far. I don't have a problem with Maddox's play. If the DL doesn't get a push or rush, good QBs are going to exploit the pass coverage since the LB and S are needed for run support.

Let's see how the season finishes up. 8 wins (including the bowl game) is still achievable. Big game against a potentially reeling Duke team this Saturday. Let's see if Pitt can turn it around. Another noon game. That's perfect for me. 03-wink
I agree - I think Maddox is doing the best he can. It's chicken littles on the internet who are piling on the guy. He's just been exposed a bit because of his lack of height in the last few weeks. Bottom line is that it's not his fault. He's doing everything he can to make plays on the ball but sometimes a smaller CB is going to lose to a larger WR. That's what has bit him. Fuller was also faster than him but seriously - who isn't he faster than?

I'm really excited for the Duke game. Like you said - I like where we're at. I think at this point my expectations are still exceeded.
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