Wednesday, November 15, 2023

BC-Pitt preview

The Jeff Hafley bandwagon got a little less crowded after the Hokies kicked BC’s butt. At this point I am aware that Hafley is not a Tom Coughlin-like shooting star. And I still believe in patience. In my opinion, how he finishes the season matters. It matters to who he is and what he is capable of becoming. Hafley has shown he will make changes and bold moves (they won’t always work). But now he needs to stop the bleeding and get momentum back. Pitt is reeling coming into this game. A good coach and a good team goes on the road and puts this game away. Let’s hope we are that good, because the difference between six wins and seven is monumental.

What's on my mind (not totally related to this game)
I’ve hit on this theme a good deal on Twitter, but the Jimbo Fisher firing is a reminder that hiring is hard. When we make a change at BC, people always gripe about the small time nature of our process or that we don’t have the money to hire anyone good. I always disagree because of two aspects. First there are only so many of these head coaching jobs and a bottomless pool of guys looking for their shot. Second throwing money at the problem doesn’t guarantee anything. Texas, Nebraska, USC, etc. have churned through coaches despite having historically great jobs and blank checks. Alabama stumbled for two decades before the timing worked with Nick Saban. Clemson had no idea what they were getting in Dabo. There is a lot of luck involved in this. I don’t think BC’s process when hiring should be haphazard or thoughtless. They should have a vision of what they want and a professional approach. But thinking that hiring the hot name or the expensive guy will deliver us to the next level is foolish.

Three Simple Keys
1. Come out running.
For two weeks we’ve come out throwing and it has been a momentum killer. I know you want to work against tendency and show new wrinkles, but we are not built that way. We need to come out, hit them in the mouth and never look back.
2. Protect the ball. The VT loss is a different game without the turnovers. TC can’t force things and obviously needs to hold onto it when he takes off.
3. Stop the run. Pitt is going to try to win this on the ground. If we stuff the run, we win.

Gambling Notes
-- Hafley is 1-0 vs Pitt
-- Narduzzi is 0-2 vs BC
-- BC is 1-2 at Acrisure Stadium
The current line is BC+3

BC last played Pitt on a Thursday night in 1996. It was Halloween. Some of BC’s play and reaction was so bad people assumed something was up and suddenly the gambling scandal exploded. It thankfully was the beginning of the end of the Henning Era.

Scoreboard Watching
Louisville-Miami. The Path is dead, but this game matters to us from a Miami perspective. It has been a rough year for the 'Canes. I am hoping they get stomped by Louisville and are demoralized and checked out coming into our game next week.

BC is in trouble if...Jurkovec plays. I don’t see Narduzzi using him at QB or TE unless Pitt is either up or Narduzzi feels like it will lead to a Pitt win. He is not going to embarrass the guy. So if Phil is on the field in a critical spot, I have a feeling things won’t be going BC’s way.

I hope to see…the defense step up without Jones. He has been the best defensive player and saved our butts multiple times. He won’t play this weekend or likely the rest of the season (undisclosed reasons). We need big games from everyone else.

Bottom line
Pitt is bad and seemingly checked out. Syracuse ran all over them. BC needs to keep is simple and do the same. If we try to get too cute or make mistakes, this could be a nail biter.
Final Score: BC 28, Pitt 10

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