Sunday, November 20, 2016

Sporting News cum Oomph

The University of Pittsburgh's campus-on-a-hill is inspirational; the Cathedral of Learning the most inspirational, awe-inspiring structure on any university campus anywhere.

James Connor is the most inspirational representative ever of that inspirational university. Their best football player, one of the best in America, Connor has come back from cancer and a devastating knee injury. Connor is a transcendent human being.

Pitt played its most complete game of the season yesterday. Scored 14 points in every one of the four quarters. Held Duke to 14 points total. By far the "Panthers" best defensive performance of the season.

The Pitt defense gave up a lotta points to Clemson last week; gave up a lotta passing yards to a Heisman Trophy candidate who passed the ball seventy times against that 127th-ranked pass defense. But Pitt also intercepted Deshaun Watson three times: twice in the end zone, once at the 14-yard line.

Yesterday, Duke couldn't get anything going against that maligned defense. The defense got better.

Quarterback Nate Peterman had good games against both Clemson and Duke. Peterman has gotten better.

The Pitt offense has been a revelation all year. First-year offensive coordinator Matt Canada, fired last year by North Carolina State, has created the most imaginative, creative offense in the country. I have never seen an offense operate with the speed that this one does. Canada practices a lotta deception and at the speed his plays operate I have had trouble all year tracking the plays with my eyes. So have opposing defenses. Penn State didn't know what was happening in the first half of their game at Pitt. PSU defenders were constantly on their heels, reacting a split second too late, panicked.

There was a play yesterday. A hand-off for a 50-yard touchdown run. I watched it 2-3 times last night, once again just now. I still don't know what happened. Duke's defenders can be forgiven for not knowing what happened.

I don't know what NC State didn't see in Matt Canada but Matt Canada is an offensive football genius.

Pat Narduzzi. When I think of Pat Narduzzi I think of "light." Light is what comes to mind. He has a smile that lights up a room, he is so thrilled to coach at this university that light comes through. He is a good man in addition to being a good coach. In that Clemson game, kicker Chris Blewitt missed an extra-point and a field goal in the first half. Narduzzi kissed him. Went over to him on the sideline, put his arm around him, kissed him on the cheek. Blewitt won the game with a field goal with six seconds left.

Pitt is 7-4 with 4-7 Syracuse as its last opponent in Pittsburgh. They have beaten #4 Clemson on the road, #8 Penn State at home, lost to #11 Oklahoma State away, lost at then-ranked North Carolina, lost at home to then-ranked Virginia Tech--those results by one point, by three points, by seven points, by one point and by three points. The only clunker this whole year was a 23-point beatdown at Miami.

Charlie Strong's Texas "Longhorns" lost at Kansas yesterday. Charlie Strong will be fired, deserves to be fired, knows he will, and knows he deserves to be, fired. He is a good coach and a good man and it is too bad. I don't know what happened to Charlie Strong at Texas.

I am angry at soccer, so frustrated with the international breaks that I'm angry. City's two goals yesterday came from...Yaya Toure.

Yaya/Yaya's agent issued the apology Pep Guardiola demanded before reinstating Yaya and yesterday was the gamboling Ivorian's first match since August.