Week 4 Preview: Pitt At North Carolina

THE MATCHUP: PITT (2-1) AT NORTH CAROLINA (2-1)
WHAT TIME: 3:30 PM EST
WHERE: Kenan Memorial Stadium, Chapel Hill, NC
HOW TO WATCH: ESPNU
HOW TO LISTEN: 93.7 The Fan & The Pitt IMG Sports Network

This Saturday, Pitt’s football team will have to test its resiliency following a loss for the first time this season. After losing 45-38 to Oklahoma State last weekend, the 2-1 Panthers must travel to Chapel Hill to face defending ACC Coastal division champions North Carolina.

The Tar Heels, led by fifth year head coach Larry Fedora, enter Saturday with a 2-1 record. After losing at home to the Georgia Bulldogs on opening weekend, the Tar Heels have recovered by defeating Illinois on the road, and FCS opponent James Madison in Chapel Hill.

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Friday PSN Notebook

Let’s get right into today’s notebook.

** Andy Toole and the Robert Morris basketball program have offered a local product. 2018 center Brandon Stone (6-10, 185) from Southmoreland High School has picked up an offer from the Colonials.

** Disappointing news for the Pitt hoops team yesterday as 4-star forward Aamir Simms gave a verbal commitment to Clemson. The Virginia native was one of the first players that Kevin Stallings offered after getting the Pitt job.

** Speaking of big time talent from Virginia, Stallings and his staff have offered one of the top players in the Class of 2018, who’s from the state of Virginia.

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WPIAL Student Section Power Rankings: Week 3

Believe it or not but we are already on Week 3 of the Top Student Section Rankings. With each week, I honestly feel student sections are upping the ante to maintain their reputation as a top student section. Here is what we’ve got for Week 3.

  1. Seneca Valley: Seneca Valley is really the only other student section on the level of Pine-Richland, and Pine-Richland was away this week, so it was Seneca’s time to strike. Boy, they didn’t disappoint. They went with a camo night/hunter night and it was impressive. They had a dude dressed up as a cow, they had their valedictorian getting soaked with water, and they even had students dressed up as hunters doing backflips with their cheerleaders. Truly impressive effort this week by the Raiders.
  2. Knoch: It was a ‘Make America Great Again’ night, and though we don’t push any political agenda on WPIAL Insider, there is no denying it was a creative theme and they pulled it off well. They even got a ‘Dicks out for Harambe’ chant going, and I still can’t stop laughing at it. Great night for Knoch.
  3. Pine-Richland: They were away so their numbers weren’t what they usually are which is why they slid a little bit, but still, the effort was A+ and their hype video was awesome.
  4. Central Catholic: It was jersey night and it looked good. They had a new way to get their section pumped up and it looked like it worked well.
  5. Penn Trafford: Neon night! The theme is kinda played out but they made it look really good. Not to mention, the numbers they put up were very impressive.
  6. North Hills: Nothing better than a blackout in silence to only change to a red out and rowdy after the first score. Awesome idea.
  7. Thomas Jefferson: The Jungle is back! They had a USA out with huge American flags everywhere.
  8. South Fayette: South Fayette is in full force right now. They had a white out with awesome attendance.
  9. Hopewell: Hopewell had a USA theme and even had a LeBron James powder throw. Very well done.
  10. McKeesport: They had a game over an hour away which was very problematic for them. But the few that came had a construction night and even made a sign for the dear ole Mr. Insider. A+ creativity. Despite the numbers, they get mad brownie points.

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Pitt Weekend Podcast Ep. 6: w/ Chris Dokish And Tom Loy

In this episode of the Pitt Panthers Weekend Podcast, our most excellent hosts break down Pitt’s chances against ACC Coastal foe, North Carolina. The crew also looks back at the loss to Oklahoma State, and talks recruiting with Chris Dokish (@ChrisDokish), and Tom Loy (@TomLoy247) of 247 Sports.

Hosted by Dan Kingerski and Mike Vukovcan with a special appearance by Alan Saunders.

Listen on iTunes
Listen on Google Play
Listen on Soundcloud

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Will Pitt’s Pass Defense Improve This Week?

PITTSBURGH — Pitt head coach Pat Narduzzi hopes a week will make a world of difference when it comes to his pass defense, which was victimized for 540 yards and two touchdowns against Oklahoma State.

Narduzzi insisted on Monday that the issues were more about communications breakdowns and other mental and physical errors rather than systematic breakdowns or an out-and-out lack of talent.

Pat Narduzzi Press Conference September 10, 2016 (Photo credit: David Hague)
Pat Narduzzi Press Conference September 10, 2016 (Photo credit: David Hague)

“The first play of the game (a 91-yard touchdown pass) was a communication error,” Narduzzi explained. “It’s not a physical error as far as being good enough to cover the guy. It’s a coverage bust and a lack of communication. … When we have a mental breakdown or a communication error, it’s the secondary as a whole not communicating together with the ‘backers. We have to do a better job of it.”

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North Carolina The First True Must-Win Game For Pitt

There’s important. And then there’s necessary.

There’s want to win. And then there’s need to win.

Penn State was the former. North Carolina is the latter.

For the Pitt Panther football team, beating Penn State was important for image. For recruiting. For the fan base’s ego. For the new coach setting a baseline record of 1-0 against a hated rival.

Beating North Carolina actually matters more though. For more tangible reasons. The Tar Heels are the defending champs of the ACC’s Coastal Division. The Panthers may have been able to win it last year if it weren’t for a home loss to UNC.

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Can Pitt Finally Beat North Carolina?

PITTSBURGH — Pitt fans can probably remember a good deal about North Carolina.

A year ago, the Tar Heels strolled out of Heinz Field with a strong hold on the ACC Coastal Division after Marquise Williams connected for a pair of long touchdown passes.

In 2014 in Chapel Hill, Williams and T.J. Logan combined to bring North Carolina back from a 14-point deficit in a final-minute touchdown. In 2013 at Heinz Field, it was Ryan Switzer’s pair of punt returns that was the dagger for the Tar Heels.

Pitt and North Carolina have played three times since the Panthers joined the ACC. All three times Pitt lost by a touchdown or less.

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Wednesday PSN Notes

Congragulations to former Pitt wide receiver Devin Street who was picked up this morning by the Indianapolis Colts from the New England Patriots practice squad and placed on the Colts 53 man roster.

** Per Corey Evans, Penn State basketball coach Pat Chambers was in evaluating Mars 2018 4-star guard Robby Carmody.

Penn State head coach Pat Chambers + ast and Stanford head coach Jerod Haase + ast were in today for 2018 Mars High guard Robby Carmody

— Corey Evans (@coreyevans_10) September 21, 2016

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