That first two-point conversion and Narduzzi's TOs

Oct 25, 2021
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Am I crazy, or did I see Baer and Jacoby playing defense on the first two-point conversion attempt by Duke? Seemed like it may have caught us by surprise and we had an odd mix of base defenders and the extra point (of the kicking variety) team out there. I'm surprised we didn't call a timeout.

... Which leads me to how insane it was that we called two timeouts on that final defensive possession (before the 4th and 18 and before the two-point conversion). First off, we have to lead the universe in calling timeout before third and long or fourth and long and still giving up the play anyway. This has been going on for a long time now.

Second, that just shows you where Narduzzi's head is at. Once again, we were going all in on defense. I think, with 52 seconds left, most coaches would be content with "rolling the dice" (i.e. not calling timeout) on 4th and 18 (in the red zone, no less, where the boundary is like having at least one more defender on the field) and preserving the timeouts for an ensuing field goal attempt... Especially against a bad pass defense. But I truly believe we would have ran the ball and played for overtime if Duke had converted the two-point try. That's kind of insane to think about in modern football. 47 seconds is a lot of time.

Now, you can argue that Slovis' interceptions basically left him with no choice but to play that way. But man... It's just depressing that we have to use that approach in week 12. But I'll say this: If that's the level of trust you have in Slovis and you still elect to bring him back next season, you get what you get.
 

Upg bobcat

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First off, we have to lead the universe in calling timeout before third and long or fourth and long and still giving up the play anyway. This has been going on for a long time now.
I don't think it's just a Pitt thing. I would love to see the analytics on this ... I have a suspicion that in college football, the odds of the offense getting the first down after the defense calls the timeout are higher than they are when the defense doesn't call a TO. I understand needing the time out if perhaps you have the wrong personnel on the field, but other than that, I think the defensive TO is dumb.
 

Gunga_Galunga

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Defensive coaches tend to call more TOs on defense. It's like that with most of them, even Tomlin.

Need to rewatch that play, because I still don't know what happened other than Dennis was sleeping. They started with 3 guys deep standing on the goal line.
 
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I don't think it's just a Pitt thing. I would love to see the analytics on this ... I have a suspicion that in college football, the odds of the offense getting the first down after the defense calls the timeout are higher than they are when the defense doesn't call a TO. I understand needing the time out if perhaps you have the wrong personnel on the field, but other than that, I think the defensive TO is dumb.

Narduzzi should take note then. We also called one on 4th and like 9, when the Duke player dropped one in the end zone. Reminds me of Jamie consistently calling timeout to "set up his D" only for the inbounding team to set up an even better play and get the bucket.

Obviously you do it if there's a glaring mismatch, but I might just let it ride more often if I'm him.
 
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TD_6082

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Am I crazy, or did I see Baer and Jacoby playing defense on the first two-point conversion attempt by Duke? Seemed like it may have caught us by surprise and we had an odd mix of base defenders and the extra point (of the kicking variety) team out there. I'm surprised we didn't call a timeout.

... Which leads me to how insane it was that we called two timeouts on that final defensive possession (before the 4th and 18 and before the two-point conversion). First off, we have to lead the universe in calling timeout before third and long or fourth and long and still giving up the play anyway. This has been going on for a long time now.

Second, that just shows you where Narduzzi's head is at. Once again, we were going all in on defense. I think, with 52 seconds left, most coaches would be content with "rolling the dice" (i.e. not calling timeout) on 4th and 18 (in the red zone, no less, where the boundary is like having at least one more defender on the field) and preserving the timeouts for an ensuing field goal attempt... Especially against a bad pass defense. But I truly believe we would have ran the ball and played for overtime if Duke had converted the two-point try. That's kind of insane to think about in modern football. 47 seconds is a lot of time.

Now, you can argue that Slovis' interceptions basically left him with no choice but to play that way. But man... It's just depressing that we have to use that approach in week 12. But I'll say this: If that's the level of trust you have in Slovis and you still elect to bring him back next season, you get what you get.
I like where Narduzzi's head was at. It was at getting a stop and icing the freaking game. I don't have a problem with takiung the timeouts. What I didn't like was guarding the goal-line on 4th down. What happened to the mentality of "if your going to throw a fade, throw a fade"? Bring pressure.

I would be interested to know where Elko's head was at going for the first 2-pt conversion.
 
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I like where Narduzzi's head was at. It was at getting a stop and icing the freaking game. I don't have a problem with takiung the timeouts. What I didn't like was guarding the goal-line on 4th down. What happened to the mentality of "if your going to throw a fade, throw a fade"? Bring pressure.

I would be interested to know where Elko's head was at going for the first 2-pt conversion.

franb in another post already linked the analytics behind this decision.
 
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I like where Narduzzi's head was at. It was at getting a stop and icing the freaking game. I don't have a problem with takiung the timeouts. What I didn't like was guarding the goal-line on 4th down. What happened to the mentality of "if your going to throw a fade, throw a fade"? Bring pressure.

I would be interested to know where Elko's head was at going for the first 2-pt conversion.

No way in hell we should have burned two timeouts on two plays with the way Sauls is kicking, in my opinion.

As for the 4th down defense, it was basically 11 on 10. Kamara was neither rushing the passer nor defending the goal line. That made no sense. I hope that was more of a player just doing something on his own than an actual assignment, haha.
 

PittPharm2002

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Defensive coaches tend to call more TOs on defense. It's like that with most of them, even Tomlin.

Need to rewatch that play, because I still don't know what happened other than Dennis was sleeping. They started with 3 guys deep standing on the goal line.
Receivers went to the back of the end zone which left 1 on 1 with a linebacker covering the rb downfield
It was smart play design
 
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NCPitt

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I like where Narduzzi's head was at. It was at getting a stop and icing the freaking game. I don't have a problem with takiung the timeouts. What I didn't like was guarding the goal-line on 4th down. What happened to the mentality of "if your going to throw a fade, throw a fade"? Bring pressure.

I would be interested to know where Elko's head was at going for the first 2-pt conversion.
Elko stated that his attitude was to go for the win in the second half. He didn't believe their running - their strongest suit - was playing well enough to win in OT.
 

TD_6082

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No way in hell we should have burned two timeouts on two plays with the way Sauls is kicking, in my opinion.

As for the 4th down defense, it was basically 11 on 10. Kamara was neither rushing the passer nor defending the goal line. That made no sense. I hope that was more of a player just doing something on his own than an actual assignment, haha.
Yeah, but I have no problem with wanting to end right there by getting a stop.

Just my opinion, but I highly doubt Sauls would have gotten that chance.
 

TD_6082

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Elko stated that his attitude was to go for the win in the second half. He didn't believe their running - their strongest suit - was playing well enough to win in OT.
I still think that was idiotic. He should have considered the competition. Slovis has been known to turn the ball over. Just sayin.
 
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I still think that was idiotic. He should have considered the competition. Slovis has been known to turn the ball over. Just sayin.

Even worse was the call on the second attempt, in my opinion. They had us demoralized and should have just kept up with the momentum. Way too many things could have gone wrong with that play on a cold day (and they did).
 
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NCPitt

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No way in hell we should have burned two timeouts on two plays with the way Sauls is kicking, in my opinion.

As for the 4th down defense, it was basically 11 on 10. Kamara was neither rushing the passer nor defending the goal line. That made no sense. I hope that was more of a player just doing something on his own than an actual assignment, haha.
Kamara was shadowing the QB. Pitt had 7 defenders in the endzone against 4 receivers. Voss defended a receiver into the end zone and then let him go. He should have moved up closer to the LOS then. Another defender was standing by himself in the end zone and also made a mistake unless he was to defend that area no matter what.
 

NCPitt

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Even worse was the call on the second attempt, in my opinion. They had us demoralized and should have just kept up with the momentum. Way too many things could have gone wrong with that play on a cold day (and they did).
We were so demoralized that we killed the play. LOL.
 
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Kamara was shadowing the QB. Pitt had 7 defenders in the endzone against 4 receivers. Voss defended a receiver into the end zone and then let him go. He should have moved up closer to the LOS then. Another defender was standing by himself in the end zone and also made a mistake unless he was to defend that area no matter what.

Zero need to shadow a QB on 4th and 18 in a zone. Dumbest thing I ever heard. To a point where I can't imagine that was his assignment.
 
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NCPitt

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Zero need to shadow a QB on 4th and 18 in a zone. Dumbest thing I ever heard. To a point where I can't imagine that was his assignment.
He is their leading rusher. How many times have you seen successful runs when the defense is focused on the receivers? We had 7 players in the end zone against 4 receivers. That should have been enough to defend the 5th receiver when he came from 20 yards away.
 

gary2

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Narduzzi should take note then. We also called one on 4th and like 9, when the Duke player dropped one in the end zone. Reminds me of Jamie consistently calling timeout to "set up his D" only for the inbounding team to set up an even better play and get the bucket.

Obviously you do it if there's a glaring mismatch, but I might just let it ride more often if I'm him.
Narduzzi frequently calls timeouts to give the opposing head coach time to reconsider going for it.

Sometimes it actually works.
 

PittPharm2002

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Narduzzi frequently calls timeouts to give the opposing head coach time to reconsider going for it.

Sometimes it actually works.
I’d say the success rate of that is far below our success rate of getting the stop on a 3rd and long defensive timeout stop
 
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He is their leading rusher. How many times have you seen successful runs when the defense is focused on the receivers? We had 7 players in the end zone against 4 receivers. That should have been enough to defend the 5th receiver when he came from 20 yards away.

You don't think one of the 7 (if Kamara rushed) or 8 (if Kamara dropped) guys standing in the end zone would have been able to catch a quarterback sprinting toward a finish line they were already standing at from 20 yards away? Spying a QB in that situation is just wasting a guy.
 
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President Stache

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Am I crazy, or did I see Baer and Jacoby playing defense on the first two-point conversion attempt by Duke? Seemed like it may have caught us by surprise and we had an odd mix of base defenders and the extra point (of the kicking variety) team out there. I'm surprised we didn't call a timeout.

... Which leads me to how insane it was that we called two timeouts on that final defensive possession (before the 4th and 18 and before the two-point conversion). First off, we have to lead the universe in calling timeout before third and long or fourth and long and still giving up the play anyway. This has been going on for a long time now.

Second, that just shows you where Narduzzi's head is at. Once again, we were going all in on defense. I think, with 52 seconds left, most coaches would be content with "rolling the dice" (i.e. not calling timeout) on 4th and 18 (in the red zone, no less, where the boundary is like having at least one more defender on the field) and preserving the timeouts for an ensuing field goal attempt... Especially against a bad pass defense. But I truly believe we would have ran the ball and played for overtime if Duke had converted the two-point try. That's kind of insane to think about in modern football. 47 seconds is a lot of time.

Now, you can argue that Slovis' interceptions basically left him with no choice but to play that way. But man... It's just depressing that we have to use that approach in week 12. But I'll say this: If that's the level of trust you have in Slovis and you still elect to bring him back next season, you get what you get.
Not insane at all. Maybe you’re new to football or Pitt football but most defensive minded coaches do this. And have been for a decade
 
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Joe the Panther Fan

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He is their leading rusher. How many times have you seen successful runs when the defense is focused on the receivers? We had 7 players in the end zone against 4 receivers. That should have been enough to defend the 5th receiver when he came from 20 yards away.


So that should be enough to defend the 5th receiver coming from 20 yards away, but not enough to account for the quarterback coming from 20 yards away?

We should have been playing a zone there with several guys right at the goal line and a couple guys deeper than that. Instead we had six guys in the back half of the end zone and one guy about three yards deep. Then if the QB wants to run, hey, go right ahead, you aren't getting anywhere close to the end zone.

We defended that play like as if they needed to get the ball to the back of the end zone rather than the front of it.
 

NCPitt

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You don't think one of the 7 (if Kamara rushed) or 8 (if Kamara dropped) guys standing in the end zone would have been able to catch a quarterback sprinting toward a finish line they were already standing at from 20 yards away? Spying a QB in that situation is just wasting a guy.
You should go into coaching.

One of the 7 guys didn't catch a running back coming from 20 yards away.
 

NCPitt

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So that should be enough to defend the 5th receiver coming from 20 yards away, but not enough to account for the quarterback coming from 20 yards away?

We should have been playing a zone there with several guys right at the goal line and a couple guys deeper than that. Instead we had six guys in the back half of the end zone and one guy about three yards deep. Then if the QB wants to run, hey, go right ahead, you aren't getting anywhere close to the end zone.

We defended that play like as if they needed to get the ball to the back of the end zone rather than the front of it.
You make my point. The RB was free for 20 yards and no one picked him up.
 
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You should go into coaching.

One of the 7 guys didn't catch a running back coming from 20 yards away.

Here's the thing: Not sure if you're familiar with the rules of forward passing, but a quarterback WITH THE BALL IN HIS HANDS isn't exactly the same as one guy missing an assignment on a running back. When you cross the line of scrimmage WITH THE BALL IN YOUR HANDS, you can bet one or two... or maybe 11 defenders are going to converge onto you. Because, well... YOU HAVE THE BALL IN YOUR HANDS, and they can leave the man/area they're protecting.

It's a shame I have to explain that to you, honestly.
 

NCPitt

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Here's the thing: Not sure if you're familiar with the rules of forward passing, but a quarterback WITH THE BALL IN HIS HANDS isn't exactly the same as one guy missing an assignment on a running back. When you cross the line of scrimmage WITH THE BALL IN YOUR HANDS, you can bet one or two... or maybe 11 defenders are going to converge onto you. Because, well... YOU HAVE THE BALL IN YOUR HANDS, and they can leave the man/are they're protecting.

It's a shame I have to explain that to you, honestly.
Guess what. As soon as that QB decides to run, he also could have a convoy of OL with him. Its a shame that you really don't understand football.
 
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NCPitt

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Again, I was talking about the timeouts being useful if Duke did tie the game and Pitt needed a field goal. You are more dense than the Pacific Northwest, aren't you?
The timeouts were used to prevent the tie. The tie never happened and it may have been due to the timeout.

Talk about dense.
 

NCanton Panther

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I like where Narduzzi's head was at. It was at getting a stop and icing the freaking game. I don't have a problem with takiung the timeouts. What I didn't like was guarding the goal-line on 4th down. What happened to the mentality of "if your going to throw a fade, throw a fade"? Bring pressure.

I would be interested to know where Elko's head was at going for the first 2-pt conversion.
I don’t agree with him but Elko stated where his head was on the 1st 2-pt conversion. He said he didn’t like the idea of going to OT because of their inability to run the ball so he played to win it in the 4th Qtr. But even with that mindset, I would have kicked the PAT on the 1st TD and left it for the 2nd TD to attempt the 2-ptr to win. At least then, you could evaluate at that point and assess whether your preference was still to go for the win or OT.