The Pitt News

Panthers hire Shawn Watson as new offensive coordinator

Panthers hire Shawn Watson as new offensive coordinator

By Steve Rotstein | Sports Editor

February 2, 2017


Filed under 2. Featured, Football, Sports

After introducing the 26 members of the Pitt football team’s 2017 recruiting class Wednesday, the Panthers revealed the man who will be running the team’s offense in the upcoming season just one day later. Head coach Pat Narduzzi announced Shawn Watson as the team’s offensive coordinator and quart...

Signed, Sealed, Committed: Panthers finalize 2017 recruiting class

Signed, Sealed, Committed: Panthers finalize 2017 recruiting class

By Steve Rotstein | Sports Editor

February 2, 2017


Filed under Football, Sports

The first fax of National Signing Day arrived at Pitt’s football facility on the South Side at about 7:04 a.m., from local offensive lineman Gabe Houy. By 7:45 a.m., more than half of the team’s 18 unofficial commits had signed and faxed their National Letters of Intent. Pat Narduzzi finalized his second full recru...

Room for two more: Pitt snags pair of prospects on Signing Day

Room for two more: Pitt snags pair of prospects on Signing Day

By Steve Rotstein | Sports Editor

February 2, 2017


Filed under Football, Sports

Despite losing record-setting running back James Conner to the 2017 NFL Draft, the Pitt football team had a plan to rebuild. Thanks to a last-minute snag on National Signing Day, the Panthers have done that and more. Under Armour All-American and former Ohio State commit Todd Sibley, who committed t...

Top prospect Paris Ford sticks with Pitt

Top prospect Paris Ford sticks with Pitt

By Dominic Campbell | For The Pitt News

February 2, 2017


Filed under Football, Sports

Inside a small, bright, cramped conference room at Steel Valley Senior High School in Munhall, Pennsylvania, the most coveted player in Pitt’s 2017 recruiting class made his commitment official. Surrounded by his head coach, family members and a swarm of photographers and videographers, four-st...

Schedule finalized for 2017 Pitt football

Schedule finalized for 2017 Pitt football

By Bayard Miller | Assistant Sports Editor

January 25, 2017


Filed under Football

The Atlantic Coast Conference released the finalized 2017 schedules of its member football teams, including the University of Pittsburgh, on Tuesday afternoon. Next fall, the Panthers will face eight teams that made bowl games this season, four of which finished the season in the Top 25 rankings....

Pitt football team adds 23rd member to 2017 recruiting class

Pitt football team adds 23rd member to 2017 recruiting class

By Steve Rotstein | Sports Editor

January 22, 2017


Filed under Football, Sports

With only 10 days left until National Signing Day, Pat Narduzzi added the 23rd member — and first junior college transfer — to his second full recruiting class as Pitt’s head coach. Kam Carter, a 6-foot-5, 310-pound defensive tackle, gave his verbal commitment Sunday to transfer to Pitt for the upc...

Editor’s Picks: Greatest Games of 2016

Editor’s Picks: Greatest Games of 2016

By Steve Rotstein | Sports Editor

January 19, 2017


Filed under Football, Sports, Sports / Other Varsity Sports

No. 3. — Sept. 10 - Pitt 42, Penn State 39 With 69,983 people in attendance — a record for a Pittsburgh sporting event — this game’s fame was set to reach epic proportions before the players even stepped on the field. The pregame atmosphere at Heinz Field on Sept. 10 was teeming with ener...

COLUMN: Don’t cry over Canada

COLUMN: Don’t cry over Canada

By David Leftwich | Staff Writer

January 18, 2017


Filed under Football, Sports, Sports Columns

It’s been three weeks since the Pitt football team’s season came to an end with a 31-24 loss to Northwestern in the Pinstripe Bowl, and there’s still no sign of who will be running the offense next year. But there’s no need to panic. As the mastermind behind the 2016 team’s record-setti...

Pitt football team adds 22nd member to 2017 recruiting class

Pitt football team adds 22nd member to 2017 recruiting class

By Steve Rotstein | Sports Editor

January 18, 2017


Filed under Football, Sports

The Pitt football team’s 2017 recruiting class continues to take shape, as a new member joined the class Wednesday — marking the second commit in two days. Michael Smith, a 6-foot-2, 205-pound wide receiver from Vero Beach, Florida, verbally committed Wednesday to join the Panthers for the 201...

Three-star cornerback Jason Pinnock commits to Pitt

Three-star cornerback Jason Pinnock commits to Pitt

By Steve Rotstein | Sports Editor

January 18, 2017


Filed under Football

With only two weeks until National Signing Day, the Pitt football team added the 21st member to its 2017 recruiting class and continued to strengthen its defensive back depth in the process. Jason Pinnock, a 6-foot, 180-pound cornerback from Windsor, Connecticut, gave his verbal commitment Tuesday to join ...

Meet the Panthers: Q&A with Jerry Drake Jr.

Meet the Panthers: Q&A with Jerry Drake Jr.

By Steve Rotstein | Sports Editor

January 10, 2017


Filed under Football

Pitt’s newest offensive lineman Jerry Drake Jr. doesn’t like the cold. Drake, a 6-foot-7, 300-pound offensive lineman from Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, could have easily stayed down south to play college ball in the warm, friendly confines of the Southeastern Conference. After all, he had scholarship...

Meet the Panthers: Q&A with Kenny Pickett

Meet the Panthers: Q&A with Kenny Pickett

By Steve Rotstein | Sports Editor

January 9, 2017


Filed under Football, Sports

Kenny Pickett is quick to commit. The 6-foot-3, 191-pound quarterback from Oakhurst, New Jersey, announced his intention to join the Pitt football team’s 2017 recruiting class on June 3. He didn’t wait to make it official either, as he’s one of five 2017 recruits who chose to get a head ...

Meet the Panthers: Q&A with Deslin Alexandre

Meet the Panthers: Q&A with Deslin Alexandre

By Steve Rotstein | Sports Editor

January 9, 2017


Filed under Football, Sports

When Deslin Alexandre became the 19th member of the Pitt football team’s 2017 recruiting class, it signaled a major coup for the Panthers — while also highlighting the volatile nature of the recruiting process. Alexandre, a 6-foot-3, 229-pound defensive end from Deerfield Beach, Florida, is a ...

Saying Goodbye: Pitt seniors lament last loss, cherish memories made

Saying Goodbye: Pitt seniors lament last loss, cherish memories made

By Steve Rotstein | Sports Editor

January 3, 2017


Filed under Football, Sports

The Pitt football team’s Pinstripe Bowl matchup against Northwestern was supposed to be a coronation of sorts for the Panthers’ 2016 senior class. After two 6-6 seasons under Todd Graham in 2013 and 2014, the seniors helped engineer a smooth transition to Pitt’s new regime, posting back-to-b...

Pinstripe Bowl debacle doesn’t detract from Pitt’s historic season

Pinstripe Bowl debacle doesn’t detract from Pitt’s historic season

By Steve Rotstein | Sports Editor

January 3, 2017


Filed under Football, Sports

Going into last week’s New Era Pinstripe Bowl matchup against Northwestern, the Pitt football team talked about the importance of ending the season by picking up that elusive ninth win. Pitt came up just short in a 31-24 loss to the Wildcats in New York City, thanks to a combination of costly tu...

Wildcats run over Panthers for 31-24 Pinstripe Bowl victory

Wildcats run over Panthers for 31-24 Pinstripe Bowl victory

By Steve Rotstein | Sports Editor

December 28, 2016


Filed under 2. Featured, Football, Sports

The Pitt football team closed out the regular season as one of the hottest teams in college football, but finished its year with a dud of a performance against Northwestern in New York City. The Panthers (8-5) fell to the Wildcats (7-6), 31-24, in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium in Bronx, N...

Pitt football team receives 18th verbal commitment to 2017 class

Pitt football team receives 18th verbal commitment to 2017 class

By Steve Rotstein | Sports Editor

December 16, 2016


Filed under Football, Sports

The Pitt football team received another new commitment just one day after adding graduate transfer quarterback Max Browne and three-star offensive lineman Jerry Drake Jr. to next year’s team. Defensive end Deslin Alexandre withdrew his commitment to North Carolina State and verbally committed t...

James Conner Wins 2016 Capital One Orange Bowl-FWAA Courage Award

James Conner Wins 2016 Capital One Orange Bowl-FWAA Courage Award

By Steve Rotstein | Sports Editor

December 16, 2016


Filed under Football, Sports

Pitt running back James Conner continued to stockpile his trophy case Friday afternoon, winning the 2016 Capital One Orange Bowl-FWAA Courage Award. The award recognizes those who display courage on or off the field, including overcoming a physical injury or handicap, preventing a disaster or liv...

Pitt football team receives pair of new commitments for 2017

Pitt football team receives pair of new commitments for 2017

By Steve Rotstein | Sports Editor

December 15, 2016


Filed under Football, Sports

The Pitt football team received a pair of commitments to join next year’s team Thursday, one from a high school prospect and one from a proven veteran at the college level. Graduate transfer quarterback Max Browne and three-star offensive lineman Jerry Drake Jr. both announced their intentions Th...

Pitt offensive coordinator Matt Canada leaving for LSU after season

Pitt offensive coordinator Matt Canada leaving for LSU after season

By Steve Rotstein | Sports Editor

December 14, 2016


Filed under Football, Sports

Pitt offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Matt Canada is leaving the team after one season to take the same job at LSU. It is the second year in a row the Panthers’ offensive coordinator will be departing after his first season to accept the same position at another school. Last year, Jim C...

James Conner to forgo senior season, declare for 2017 NFL Draft

James Conner to forgo senior season, declare for 2017 NFL Draft

By Steve Rotstein | Sports Editor

December 10, 2016


Filed under 2. Featured, Football, Sports

Pitt running back James Conner announced Saturday afternoon that the 2016 New Era Pinstripe Bowl will be his final game in a Panthers uniform, as he will be declaring for the 2017 NFL Draft. Conner, a redshirt junior, could have returned to Pitt for one more season. But the star tailback decided it...

Hanging ’em up: A farewell to Pitt sports

Hanging ’em up: A farewell to Pitt sports

By Dan Sostek | Senior Staff Writer

December 8, 2016


Filed under Sports, Sports Columns

When I first arrived at Pitt in August of 2012, I knew a handful of truths about the school’s athletic programs. The football program was in perpetual turmoil. People didn’t seem to like this Todd Graham guy. A good running back in Ray Graham coming off an injury. A new, quiet head coach from ...

Henderson, Johnson and Price receive All-America honors

Henderson, Johnson and Price receive All-America honors

By Steve Rotstein | Sports Editor

December 8, 2016


Filed under Football, Sports

Sporting News and USA Today each named a pair of Panthers to their 2016 college football All-America teams Wednesday night and Thursday afternoon. Both publications named sophomore Quadree Henderson a first-team All-American as a return specialist, the first kick returner in Panthers history to receive the honor. Sporting News also selected senior offensive guard Dorian Johnson as a first-team All-American, while senior defensive end Ejuan Price ma...

Scouting Northwestern: Wildcats more dangerous than they appear

Scouting Northwestern: Wildcats more dangerous than they appear

By Steve Rotstein | Sports Editor

December 7, 2016


Filed under Football, Sports

Don’t let the Northwestern football team’s 6-6 record fool you. Although the Wildcats needed a win over Illinois in their regular season finale just to become bowl eligible, Northwestern is a balanced and dangerous team possessing all the tools necessary to deny Pat Narduzzi his first bowl game victo...

A case for Conner: Why Pitt’s RB should have been a Heisman finalist

A case for Conner: Why Pitt’s RB should have been a Heisman finalist

By Steve Rotstein | Sports Editor

December 5, 2016


Filed under Football, Sports

If we’re going strictly by numbers, Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson should win the Heisman Trophy. If we allow wins and team performance to factor into the equation, then Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield and wide receiver Dede Westbrook, Michigan linebacker Jabrill Peppers and Clemson quarte...

Field Notes: A first-time football fan experience

Field Notes: A first-time football fan experience

By Ellen Kruczek | For The Pitt News

December 1, 2016


Filed under Football, Sports

The pounding of gloved hands on Heinz Field’s bright yellow seats echoed through the stadium. “Make Some Noise,” the voice from the jumbotron screen commanded. The 35,435 fans in attendance screeched, swore and drank in response. Except in the 10th row behind a goal post, where David Fudurich sat. Fudurich is...

Nine Panthers named to ACSMA All-ACC football teams

Nine Panthers named to ACSMA All-ACC football teams

By Steve Rotstein | Sports Editor

November 29, 2016


Filed under Football, Sports

Nine players on the Pitt football team received All-ACC recognition Monday from the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association. Four Panthers earned first-team All-ACC honors: redshirt junior running back James Conner, senior offensive guard Dorian Johnson, sixth-year senior defensive end Ejuan Price and ...

A game that encompassed an entire season

A game that encompassed an entire season

By Brady Langmann | Contributing Editor

November 27, 2016


Filed under Football, Sports

If you were to combine every story of Pitt football’s season so far — James Conner’s return to stardom, Quadree Henderson’s emergence as a do-it-all scoring threat, the leaky pass defense, an inability to put teams away — you would get Saturday’s game versus Syracuse. In a football game...

GALLERY: Pitt vs Syracuse Football

GALLERY: Pitt vs Syracuse Football

By Steve Rotstein | Contributing Editor

November 27, 2016


Filed under 2. Featured, Football, Sports, Visual

  Quadree Henderson (10) leads the NCAA with four combined kick and punt return touchdowns on the season. Steve Rotstein | Contributing Editor ...

Pitt finishes regular season with record-setting 76-61 win vs. Syracuse

Pitt finishes regular season with record-setting 76-61 win vs. Syracuse

By Ryan Zimba | Staff Writer

November 26, 2016


Filed under Football, Sports

The Pitt football team’s high-powered offense and lackluster defense combined to create history at Heinz Field on Saturday. In the highest-scoring game in major college football history, the Panthers capped off their regular season with a 76-61 victory against the Syracuse Orange — their eig...

PREDICTION: Panthers to pull out another close win vs. Cuse

PREDICTION: Panthers to pull out another close win vs. Cuse

By Steve Rotstsein | Sports Editor

November 25, 2016


Filed under Football, Sports

Two familiar foes riding opposite waves of momentum will collide at Heinz Field on Saturday afternoon in the Pitt football team's regular season finale. The Panthers (7-4 overall, 4-3 ACC) will host the Syracuse Orange (4-7 overall, 2-5 ACC) on Senior Day at 12:30 p.m. looking to cap their regular seas...

James Conner receives Disney Sports Spirit Award

James Conner receives Disney Sports Spirit Award

By Steve Rotstein | Sports Editor

November 21, 2016


Filed under Football, Sports

Disney Sports recognized Pitt running back James Conner for his remarkable comeback season by naming him the recipient of the 2016 Disney Sports Spirit Award Monday afternoon. The award — which Disney Sports Vice President Faron Kelley will present to Conner at The Home Depot College Football Award...

Pitt football improves passing defense against Duke

Pitt football improves passing defense against Duke

By Steve Rotstein | Sports Editor

November 21, 2016


Filed under Football, Sports

It’s no secret that the Pitt football team has been explosive on offense this season. The Panthers’ 56-14 win Saturday over Duke gave them a program-record 432 points scored in only the team’s 11th game of the season. But the real story in Pitt’s resounding win over the Blue Devils was the...

PREDICTION: Panthers to ride momentum to big win over Duke

PREDICTION: Panthers to ride momentum to big win over Duke

By Dan Sostek | Senior Staff Writer

November 17, 2016


Filed under Football, Sports

Coming off the biggest win of his head coaching career against Clemson, Pat Narduzzi needs his high-flying Pitt Panthers to refocus. Pitt, already bowl eligible, is now looking to boost its resumé with another conference victory on Saturday. The young but dangerous Duke Blue Devils will come to Hei...

Chris Nailedit: Panthers upend No. 2 Clemson, 43-42

Chris Nailedit: Panthers upend No. 2 Clemson, 43-42

By Dan Sostek | Senior Staff Writer

November 12, 2016


Filed under Football, Sports

Pat Narduzzi has his signature win. Thanks to a game-winning 48-yard field goal with six seconds left by kicker Chris Blewitt, the Pitt football team pulled off perhaps the biggest upset of the college football season, defeating the No. 2 Clemson Tigers on the road by a score of 43-42. Pitt’s ...

Prediction: Clemson QB Watson to throttle Panthers defense

Prediction: Clemson QB Watson to throttle Panthers defense

By Dan Sostek | Senior Staff Writer

November 10, 2016


Filed under Football, Sports

The Pitt football team’s chances of victory Saturday are slim going against the undefeated No. 3 Clemson Tigers. But Pitt head coach Pat Narduzzi reminded reporters Wednesday at his weekly media teleconference, you don’t need to look any further than Election Day to remember not to pencil in any...

Injuries on Pitt’s D-Line force new faces into key roles

Injuries on Pitt’s D-Line force new faces into key roles

By Steve Rotstein | Sports Editor

November 10, 2016


Filed under Football, Sports

The Pitt football team’s much-maligned defense has given up its fair share of devastating plays this year. The Panthers’ defense has struggled all season to come up with stops in key situations. But midway through the second quarter of a 51-28 loss to Miami Saturday, the unit may have experienc...

Narduzzi defends conservative play calling vs. Miami

Narduzzi defends conservative play calling vs. Miami

By Steve Rotstein | Sports Editor

November 7, 2016


Filed under Football, Sports

The Pitt football team and head coach Pat Narduzzi have taken a lot of flak for the way the defense has performed this season, especially when defending opponents’ passing games. Despite the criticism, Narduzzi made a couple of late-game decisions Saturday against Miami that required a lot of f...

Miami squashes Pitt’s division title hopes in 51-28 pounding

Miami squashes Pitt’s division title hopes in 51-28 pounding

By Steve Rotstein | Sports Editor

November 5, 2016


Filed under Football, Sports

Going into Saturday’s game, the Pitt football team had slim hopes of making it to the ACC Championship game. But the Miami Hurricanes extinguished the Panthers’ aspirations in convincing fashion in an excruciating 51-28 win. Miami (5-4 overall, 2-3 ACC) put an end to its four-game losing st...

PREDICTION: Panthers to rebound with rare win vs. Miami

PREDICTION: Panthers to rebound with rare win vs. Miami

By Steve Rotstein | Sports Editor

November 3, 2016


Filed under Football, Sports

Though there are still four games left in the regular season, the Pitt Panthers and the free-falling Miami Hurricanes –– a team that’s lost its last four games in a row –– will collide in Miami in a must-win battle for both teams on Saturday. The Panthers will enter the 12:30 p.m. matchup c...

Glory Days: Former Panthers reflect on early-2000s showdowns vs. VT

Glory Days: Former Panthers reflect on early-2000s showdowns vs. VT

By Steve Rotstein | Sports Editor

October 27, 2016


Filed under Football, Sports

The No. 25 Virginia Tech Hokies are coming to Heinz Field Thursday night for a crucial conference showdown with the Pitt football team –– a visit that has been a death wish for the Hokies in the past. Tonight’s game will be the 16th meeting between the former Big East and now ACC rivals. Vi...

Prediction: Panthers to rekindle old magic vs. Bud Foster’s VT defense

Prediction: Panthers to rekindle old magic vs. Bud Foster’s VT defense

By Dan Sostek | Senior Staff Writer

October 27, 2016


Filed under Football, Sports

As a head coach, Pat Narduzzi has never defeated a ranked program. The Pitt football team will have its third chance in two years to change that Thursday night. Narduzzi’s Panthers host the No. 25 Virginia Tech Hokies at Heinz Field 7 p.m. Thursday in a battle of two 5-2 teams, effectively puttin...

Pitt football and men’s basketball receive new verbal commitments

Pitt football and men’s basketball receive new verbal commitments

By Steve Rotstein | Sports Editor

October 27, 2016


Filed under Football, Men's Basketball, Sports

Even though the Pitt football season is far from over and the basketball season isn’t even underway yet, both teams each picked up a new verbal commitment to their 2017 recruiting classes on Wednesday. The Panthers received their 16th verbal commitment to next year’s football recruiting class from...

Narduzzi trolls Pitt fans on Twitter before VT game

Narduzzi trolls Pitt fans on Twitter before VT game

By Ashwini Sivaganesh | Assistant Sports Editor

October 26, 2016


Filed under Football, Sports

What if Pat Narduzzi, head coach of Pitt’s football team, wrote you a pass to get out of class Thursday night so you could watch the Panthers take on Virginia Tech at Heinz Field? Well, he did. Kind of. At about noon Tuesday, Narduzzi tweeted out a permission slip — as a joke, he later said — for stud...

Sostek Selects: Pitt football 2016 midseason awards

Sostek Selects: Pitt football 2016 midseason awards

By Dan Sostek | Senior Staff Writer

October 19, 2016


Filed under Football, Sports

The Pitt football team entered its bye week on the strength of three straight wins but will face a gauntlet of a three-game stretch coming out of the break. With a 5-2 overall record and 2-1 record in ACC play at the midway point of the season, the Panthers are in position for a run at the division ...

Three Panthers selected to midseason All-America teams

Three Panthers selected to midseason All-America teams

By Steve Rotstein | Sports Editor

October 19, 2016


Filed under Football, Sports

Football is a game of three phases –– offense, defense and special teams. This week, players on Pitt’s football team were recognized for excellence in all three. Senior defensive end Ejuan Price, sophomore wide receiver/kick returner Quadree Henderson and senior offensive tackle Dorian Johnson ...

Whitehead’s pick-six sparks Pitt to win in Virginia

Whitehead’s pick-six sparks Pitt to win in Virginia

By Steve Rotstein | Sports Editor

October 17, 2016


Filed under Football, Sports

Facing third-and-10 from his own 44-yard line with 18 seconds left in the first half, Virginia quarterback Kurt Benkert thought he saw a receiver come open over the middle of the field. But he didn’t see Jordan Whitehead. The Pitt football team had just tied the game at 28 with 40 seconds left in the fir...

Pitt defeats Virginia for third straight win, 45-31

Pitt defeats Virginia for third straight win, 45-31

By Dan Sostek | Senior Staff Writer

October 15, 2016


Filed under Football, Sports

Saturday’s Pitt-Virginia football game was a tale of two halves. The Panthers (5-2 overall, 2-1 ACC) recovered from a shootout of a first half in Charlottesville, Virginia, in which the two teams scored a combined 63 points, holding the Cavaliers (2-4 overall, 1-1 ACC) to just three second-half...

Prediction: Panthers offense to keep rolling in Virginia

Prediction: Panthers offense to keep rolling in Virginia

By Dan Sostek | Senior Staff Writer

October 13, 2016


Filed under Football, Sports

One week after defeating Paul Johnson and the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, Pitt head coach Pat Narduzzi and the Panthers will have to harness a Bronco — Bronco Mendenhall, that is. Pittsburgh travels to Charlottesville, Virginia, Saturday, Oct. 15, at 12:30 p.m. to take on Mendenhall, the first-year...

TPN Panthers of the Week: Scott Orndoff and MaKenzie Zeh

TPN Panthers of the Week: Scott Orndoff and MaKenzie Zeh

By Steve Rotstein | Sports Editor

October 12, 2016


Filed under Sports

Scott Orndoff, Football Senior tight end Scott Orndoff played a key role in Pitt’s 37-34 victory over Georgia Tech Saturday, but he has been a steady contributor for the Panthers all season. Orndoff finished Saturday’s game with two catches for 86 yards, including a 74-yard touchdown reception t...

Sizing up Soto: Senior flourishing in switch from DE to DT

Sizing up Soto: Senior flourishing in switch from DE to DT

By Steve Rotstein | Sports Editor

October 10, 2016


Filed under Football, Sports

Sometime around the end of Pitt’s season-ending 44-28 loss to Navy in the 2015 Military Bowl, Pat Narduzzi decided he needed to make a change to his defense moving forward. Narduzzi has reiterated his main defensive focus — stopping the run — time and time again, and the Panthers had just been ...

Chris Blewitt, Brian O’Neill earn weekly ACC honors

Chris Blewitt, Brian O’Neill earn weekly ACC honors

By Steve Rotstein | Sports Editor

October 10, 2016


Filed under Football, Sports

The Atlantic Coast Conference recognized two Pitt Panthers Monday for their performances in the Panthers’ 37-34 Homecoming win over Georgia Tech Saturday. The ACC named senior kicker Chris Blewitt Specialist of the Week after he made all four of his extra point attempts and all three of his fiel...

Pitt lands 15th verbal commitment to 2017 football recruiting class

Pitt lands 15th verbal commitment to 2017 football recruiting class

By Steve Rotstein | Sports Editor

October 10, 2016


Filed under Football, Sports

Shortly after a 37-34 win over the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets on Homecoming weekend, the Pitt football team added the newest verbal commitment to its 2017 recruiting class. Carter Warren, a 6-foot-6, 265-pound offensive lineman from Wayne, New Jersey, is a three-star offensive tackle, according to...

Top 5 players to sport Pitt script

Top 5 players to sport Pitt script

By Steve Rotstein | Sports Editor

October 6, 2016


Filed under Football, Sports

The Pitt football program has produced an overwhelming amount of legendary players in its 127-year history. After all, the Panthers’ eight Pro Football Hall of Fame inductees are tied for fourth-most of any school in the country, with multiple future Hall of Famers still competing on Sundays in the NFL. Some players, such as r...

Prediction: Pitt football to conquer Georgia Tech in Homecoming game

Prediction: Pitt football to conquer Georgia Tech in Homecoming game

By Dan Sostek | Senior Staff Writer

October 6, 2016


Filed under Football, Sports

While Pitt conquered a herd in its victory against Marshall last Saturday, the Panthers will have to slay a three-headed beast this Homecoming weekend. Georgia Tech and head coach Paul Johnson’s triple-option offense is making its way to Heinz Field, where their hosts will re-debut throwback roya...

Young WRs Ffrench and Tipton fill in, break out against Marshall

Young WRs Ffrench and Tipton fill in, break out against Marshall

By Steve Rotstein | Sports Editor

October 5, 2016


Filed under Football, Sports

The call was for the Panthers’ trademark jet sweep –– a handoff where a wide receiver gets a running start before the snap. But this time, the call wasn’t intended for the usual receiver. Usually, jet sweeps go to sophomore Quadree Henderson, who spent Pitt’s first five games gashing opposin...

Whitehead practices on Tuesday, expected to play Saturday

Whitehead practices on Tuesday, expected to play Saturday

By Steve Rotstein | Sports Editor

October 4, 2016


Filed under Football, Sports

For at least the 30-minute window that was open to the media, Pitt safety Jordan Whitehead suited up and returned to practice with the Panthers Tuesday morning. After missing Pitt’s 43-27 win against Marshall on Saturday, Whitehead –– the reigning ACC rookie of the year –– appears to be on tr...

Freshmen lead Pitt to victory against Marshall

Freshmen lead Pitt to victory against Marshall

By Steve Rotstein | Sports Editor

October 2, 2016


Filed under Football, Sports

In its first four games, the Pitt football team relied almost exclusively on its returning starters and upperclassmen while battling to a 2-2 record. Against Marshall on Saturday, though, it was the Pitt freshmen talent that carried the team in the first half of the Panthers’ 43-27 victory. But what ...

Pitt tops Marshall at home, 43-27, in first win since Penn State

Pitt tops Marshall at home, 43-27, in first win since Penn State

By Dan Sostek | Senior Staff Writer

October 1, 2016


Filed under Football, Sports, Top Stories

On paper, the score of Saturday’s Pitt-Marshall game would seemingly tell the story of a blowout win for the Panthers. But numbers can be deceiving, and the 43-27 final certainly was, as the Panthers utilized two touchdowns in the final minute of play to beat the Thundering Herd at Heinz Field Sa...

Prediction: Pitt football to get back on winning track vs. Marshall

Prediction: Pitt football to get back on winning track vs. Marshall

By Steve Rotstein | Sports Editor

September 28, 2016


Filed under Football, Sports

The unbridled joy the Pitt football team felt after its 42-39 victory over in-state rival Penn State on Sept. 10, evaporated quickly. After excruciating back-to-back defeats on the road against Oklahoma State and North Carolina, the Panthers know they were just a play or two away from coming home w...

Narduzzi laments missed opportunities against UNC, preps for Marshall

Narduzzi laments missed opportunities against UNC, preps for Marshall

By Steve Rotstein | Sports Editor

September 26, 2016


Filed under Football, Sports

Normally, Pitt head coach Pat Narduzzi likes to move on from a previous week’s game after 24 hours and focus his attention on the next match. But after coming so close to a win over a quality opponent only to falter at the end for the second week in a row, he allowed time at his Monday press conf...

Pitt football plays it too safe against UNC

Pitt football plays it too safe against UNC

By Steve Rotstein and Ashwini Sivaganesh | Sports Editors

September 25, 2016


Filed under Football, Sports

For the third week in a row, the Pitt football team scored more than 35 points against a formidable opponent. But for the second week in a row, the Panthers’ conservative play in the final quarter cost them the game. The Panthers went into Saturday’s game knowing that a victory against North Ca...

Pitt falls in 37-36 thriller at North Carolina

Pitt falls in 37-36 thriller at North Carolina

By Dan Sostek | Senior Staff Writer

September 24, 2016


Filed under 2. Featured, Football, Sports

North Carolina senior wideout Ryan Switzer might be done terrorizing the Pitt secondary, but on Saturday, he made his final go-around count. Thanks in large part to Switzer’s 16 catches for 208 yards in his last game against the Panthers, Pitt lost a heartbreaker in Chapel Hill. The Panthers (2-2 o...

Pat Narduzzi prepares defense for balanced UNC offensive attack

Pat Narduzzi prepares defense for balanced UNC offensive attack

By Steve Rotstein | Sports Editor

September 22, 2016


Filed under Football, Sports

Nobody expected the Pitt football team to have trouble dispatching Villanova in its season opener, which the Panthers won, 28-7. But everybody knew the three-week stretch that followed –– against Penn State, Oklahoma State and North Carolina –– would make or break the season. The Panth...

Friends James Conner and Ryan Switzer ready to compete again Saturday

Friends James Conner and Ryan Switzer ready to compete again Saturday

By Stephen Caruso | Senior Staff Writer

September 21, 2016


Filed under Football, Sports, Sports Features

Ryan Switzer’s North Carolina Tar Heels had just wrapped up a perfect 8-0 season in conference play and were 24 hours away from taking on the Clemson Tigers in the ACC Championship game on Dec. 5, 2015. But Switzer was in no mood to celebrate. Earlier that day, he opened his Twitter feed to ...

Passing offense falters late against Oklahoma State

Passing offense falters late against Oklahoma State

By Ashwini Sivaganesh | Assistant Sports Editor

September 18, 2016


Filed under Football, Sports

Pitt’s passing offense could not keep up with Oklahoma State Saturday, due in part to redshirt senior Dontez Ford sitting out the game because of a reported broken collarbone. Playing without the team’s only experienced wide receiver, quarterback Nathan Peterman threw for 237 yards and completed less than 50 percent...

Pitt falls to Oklahoma State, 45-38, in weather-delayed shootout in Stillwater

Pitt falls to Oklahoma State, 45-38, in weather-delayed shootout in Stillwater

By Steve Rotstein | Sports Editor

September 17, 2016


Filed under Football, Sports

Pitt head coach Pat Narduzzi was right to be worried about Oklahoma State wide receiver James Washington during the week leading up to Saturday’s game. “They’ve got this James Washington, No. 28, that can run down the field, and we’re talking about clapping,” Narduzzi said after fielding a ...

Pitt LB Mike Caprara named to 2016 AFCA Good Works Team

Pitt LB Mike Caprara named to 2016 AFCA Good Works Team

By Steve Rotstein | Sports Editor

September 15, 2016


Filed under Football, Sports

Pitt senior linebacker Mike Caprara is off to a fast start to his 2016 season, playing a big role in each of Pitt’s first two wins with 1.5 sacks against Villanova and two fumble recoveries against Penn State. On Thursday, though, he was recognized for all the work he’s put in off the field. A 6...

Q&A with Tyler Palko: From field general to leader in the business field

Q&A with Tyler Palko: From field general to leader in the business field

By Steve Rotstein | Sports Editor

September 15, 2016


Filed under Football, Sports

You may know Tyler Palko as the local star who forever etched his name into western Pennsylvania football lore during his time as a fiery southpaw quarterback. Palko –– a three-time Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and Pittsburgh Tribune-Review WPIAL Class AAA Player of the Year –– led West Allegheny High Scho...

Pitt football in for even bigger challenge after knocking off PSU

Pitt football in for even bigger challenge after knocking off PSU

By Dan Sostek | Senior Staff Writer

September 14, 2016


Filed under Football, Sports

Pat Narduzzi is tired of talking about Penn State, and he wants to make sure his players aren’t spending too much time basking in the glory of last week’s win. “There's a 24-hour rule,” the Pitt head football coach said Wednesday. “You can have fun Saturday night and wake up in the morni...

James Conner, Ryan Lewis earn national honors for week two efforts

James Conner, Ryan Lewis earn national honors for week two efforts

By Steve Rotstein | Sports Editor

September 14, 2016


Filed under Football, Sports

After battling both injury and cancer over the past year before coming back to score a pair of touchdowns against Penn State last Saturday, Pitt running back James Conner was recognized this week for his courage. On Wednesday, the redshirt junior became the first weekly nominee for the 2016 Capit...

Narduzzi shifts focus from PSU to Oklahoma State

Narduzzi shifts focus from PSU to Oklahoma State

By Steve Rotstein | Sports Editor

September 12, 2016


Filed under Football, Sports

Although Pitt head football coach Pat Narduzzi seemed eager to move forward to this week’s game against Oklahoma State, he opened his Monday press conference by reflecting on last Saturday’s monumental 42-39 win against Penn State. “Just to close the chapter on last week’s game, obviously it...

Ryan Lewis, Quadree Henderson earn weekly ACC honors

Ryan Lewis, Quadree Henderson earn weekly ACC honors

By Steve Rotstein | Sports Editor

September 12, 2016


Filed under Football, Sports

Pitt senior cornerback Ryan Lewis and sophomore wide receiver Quadree Henderson earned accolades from the Atlantic Coast Conference for their standout performances in Pitt’s 42-39 win over Penn State on Saturday. Lewis was selected as the ACC defensive back of the week while Henderson was named ACC sp...

Early injuries end Hendrix and Ziese’s season

Early injuries end Hendrix and Ziese’s season

By Steve Rotstein / Sports Editor

September 11, 2016


Filed under Football, Sports

Though Pitt head football coach Pat Narduzzi said the status of defensive end Dewayne Hendrix and Star linebacker Elijah Zeise’s health was “day-to-day” during the week, he confirmed Saturday after the Panthers’ 42-39 win over Penn State the two key defensive players are out for the season. Reds...

GALLERY: Pitt Vs. Penn State From the Student Section

GALLERY: Pitt Vs. Penn State From the Student Section

By Theo Schwarz and Stephen Caruso / Pitt News Photo Staff

September 10, 2016


Filed under Uncategorized, Visual

LIVE: Pitt v. Penn State, Return of the Rivalry

LIVE: Pitt v. Penn State, Return of the Rivalry

By The Pitt News Staff

September 8, 2016


Filed under Football, Sports

Welcome to The Pitt News' hub for all things Pitt-Penn State related on game day. Follow this page and our social media for live coverage of the game as it's happening, including reports and photos from the sidelines, the student section and the tailgates outside the stadium.  3:45 p.m. GAME O...

Pitt football season preview: More of the same

Pitt football season preview: More of the same

By Steve Rotstein / Sports Editor

September 8, 2016


Filed under Football, Sports

Pitt opened its football season with a 28-7 win against the Villanova Wildcats, handily dispatching the notoriously scrappy Football Championship Subdivision –– formerly I-AA –– opponent. Although the Wildcats nearly defeated the last three Football Bowl Subdivision –– formerly I-A –– te...

Longtime Pitt fans reflect on glory days

Longtime Pitt fans reflect on glory days

By Stephen Caruso / Senior Staff Writer

September 8, 2016


Filed under Football, Sports

For the first time in 16 years, Pitt students will rise Saturday morning for a date with the Nittany Lions. It’s something no current Pitt student has done, but alums throughout the past century –– from the age of Chuck Berry and poodle skirts to Nirvana and chokers –– recall the annual Pitt...

The last Pitt coach to beat PSU: Q&A with Walt Harris

The last Pitt coach to beat PSU: Q&A with Walt Harris

By Dan Sostek / Senior Staff Writer

September 8, 2016


Filed under Football, Sports

Until Pitt’s Chris Blewitt or Penn State’s Joey Julius kicks the ball off Saturday, the last Pitt head coach to take on the Nittany Lions is none other than Walt Harris, who headed the program from 1997 to 2005. Harris coached the Panthers to a 52-44 record in eight seasons with the team, culmina...

Pitt-Penn State traffic update

Pitt-Penn State traffic update

By Ashwini Sivaganesh / Assistant Sports Editor

September 8, 2016


Filed under Football, Sports

The Panthers’ showdown against Penn State on Saturday is expected to have a record-breaking number of people in attendance, so here are a few traffic and celebration considerations to keep in mind before kickoff: Road closures: Liberty Bridge is closed indefinitely due to an electrical fire and Se...

Sandusky saga has no place in Pitt-Penn State rivalry

Sandusky saga has no place in Pitt-Penn State rivalry

By Dan Sostek / Senior Staff Writer

September 8, 2016


Filed under Columns, Football, GameDay, Opinions

‘Ped State!’ ‘Joe Knew!’ “Hilarious. I’ve got to get that on a T-shirt. Or a sign. Or something.” This is the unhinged thought process that select members of the Pitt fan base will likely go through, or have already gone through, prior to the Panthers’ long-awaited clash with t...

Pitt-Penn State expected to set Pittsburgh sporting event attendance record

Pitt-Penn State expected to set Pittsburgh sporting event attendance record

By Steve Rotstein / Sports Editor

September 7, 2016


Filed under 2. Featured, Football, Sports

Saturday’s game at Heinz Field between the Pitt Panthers and the Penn State Nittany Lions is set to be the all-time most attended sporting event in the city of Pittsburgh, according to Pitt Athletic Director Scott Barnes. Pitt has already set a new school record for season ticket sales with 55,63...

Pitt-Penn State matchup brings familiar foes back together

Pitt-Penn State matchup brings familiar foes back together

By Steve Rotstein / Sports Editor

September 7, 2016


Filed under Football, Sports

Pitt head football coach Pat Narduzzi isn’t letting the media observe practice or speak to players this week, but he did have some things to say about the upcoming game against Penn State during his weekly teleconference Wednesday. According to Narduzzi, about three-fourths of the Panthers’ ro...

Narduzzi silences players entering Penn State week

Narduzzi silences players entering Penn State week

By Ashwini Sivaganesh / Assistant Sports Editor

September 5, 2016


Filed under Football, Sports

In the weeks leading up to Pitt football’s season opener against Villanova, head coach Pat Narduzzi didn’t want to talk about Penn State. This week, he’s talking but is still tight-lipped. He’s adamant, though, that his players and staff remain totally silent ahead of Saturday’s rivalry ...

Former Pitt LB Nicholas Grigsby makes L.A. Rams’ 53-man roster

Former Pitt LB Nicholas Grigsby makes L.A. Rams’ 53-man roster

By Steve Rotstein / Sports Editor

September 4, 2016


Filed under Football, Sports

Former Pitt linebacker Nicholas Grigsby survived the last round of NFL preseason roster cuts Saturday, officially making the Los Angeles Rams’ 53-man roster entering the 2016-2017 season. Grigsby joins former Panthers wide receiver Tyler Boyd of the Cincinnati Bengals as the second player from Pitt’s 2015 ...

No repeats of 2012 debacle in forecast for Panthers

No repeats of 2012 debacle in forecast for Panthers

By Steve Rotstein / Sports Editor

September 1, 2016


Filed under Football, Sports

Pitt fans know all too well the perils that can come with taking the first opponent of the season lightly just because it is a Football Championship Subdivision — formerly I-AA — team. In 2012, Paul Chryst was in his first game as head coach of the Panthers, and a win -- good start to his tenu...

Panthers set to kick off 2016 football season Saturday

Panthers set to kick off 2016 football season Saturday

By Steve Rotstein / Sports Editor

September 1, 2016


Filed under Football, Sports

The Pitt football team will face a grueling three-week stretch against a dangerous trio of opponents in Penn State, No. 21 Oklahoma State and No. 22 North Carolina beginning Sept. 10. But even though tougher teams loom, head coach Pat Narduzzi reminded Pitt fans this week that winning Saturday’s se...

McDowell Mob making the trip to Heinz Field for Conner’s return

McDowell Mob making the trip to Heinz Field for Conner’s return

By Dan Sostek / Senior Staff Writer

September 1, 2016


Filed under Football, Sports

Last fall, sports nutrition teacher Crystal Myers and the McDowell Mob — the student fan section at McDowell High School, which she heads — had everything lined up. For the second year in a row, students from the Erie, Pennsylvania, high school planned to trek to Heinz Field by the busload to support t...

Year of the Tiger: 2016 College Football Preview

Year of the Tiger: 2016 College Football Preview

By Steve Rotstein / Sports Editor

August 31, 2016


Filed under Football, Sports

An Aug. 26 matchup between California and Hawaii in Sydney notwithstanding, the 2016 college football season begins in earnest today with a slate of 16 Football Bowl Subdivision games. The Panthers’ season begins on Saturday and the team figures to be a contender once again in the ACC Coastal D...

Pitt football week one depth chart breakdown

Pitt football week one depth chart breakdown

By Dan Sostek / Senior Staff Writer

August 29, 2016


Filed under Football, Sports

With the first game of Pat Narduzzi’s second season at Pitt less than a week away, the Panthers head coach revealed the team’s two-deep depth chart for their opener against Villanova on Saturday. As expected, Nathan Peterman, James Conner, Ejuan Price and Jordan Whitehead showed up at the top of their r...

Narduzzi keeps team focused on Nova with PSU showdown looming

Narduzzi keeps team focused on Nova with PSU showdown looming

By Steve Rotstein / Sports Editor

August 29, 2016


Filed under Football, Sports

Pitt head football coach Pat Narduzzi didn’t dive into any specifics for his team’s game plan against the Villanova Wildcats at his week one press conference, but he made one thing clear: for him and the Panthers, the season opener can’t come soon enough. “I’m excited to watch our whole football...

4th and long: The moment Pitt’s Ryan Winslow lives for

4th and long: The moment Pitt’s Ryan Winslow lives for

By Stephen Caruso / Contributing Editor

August 22, 2016


Filed under Football, Sports, Welcome Back 2016

Pat Narduzzi is only in his second year as Pitt’s head football coach, but he has no time for low expectations. “If we don’t think [an ACC Championship is] realistic, we’ve got major issues,” Narduzzi said. According to Narduzzi, reaching this goal requires a “bigger, faster, stronger fo...

Pitt adds two tight ends to 2017 football recruiting class

Pitt adds two tight ends to 2017 football recruiting class

By Steve Rotstein / Sports Editor

August 19, 2016


Filed under Football, Sports

The Pitt football team added two new commits to its 2017 recruiting class Thursday, giving the Panthers 14 players overall in head coach Pat Narduzzi’s second full recruiting class at Pitt. Two-star tight ends Grant Carrigan and Tyler Sear both announced their intentions Thursday to play for th...

Pitt football training camp notebook: Week one

Pitt football training camp notebook: Week one

By Steve Rotstein / Sports Editor

August 13, 2016


Filed under Football, Sports

Change is in the air at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex this month, and Pitt’s new script jerseys haven’t even seen the light of day yet. The Panthers opened training camp at the complex Monday, Aug. 8., in preparation for the 2016 season. And while it may be Pat Narduzzi’s second year as head ...

Pitt sets new record for season ticket sales at Heinz Field

Pitt sets new record for season ticket sales at Heinz Field

By Steve Rotstein / Sports Editor

August 6, 2016


Filed under Football, Sports

Pitt has officially broken its all-time record for football season tickets sold, athletic director Scott Barnes announced Saturday via Twitter. The school has sold over 53,775 season tickets for the Panthers’ upcoming football season, surpassing the previous record set in 2003 –– and achieving the go...

Narduzzi announces Pitt football roster update

Narduzzi announces Pitt football roster update

By Steve Rotstein / Sports Editor

August 5, 2016


Filed under Football, Sports

Pitt head football coach Pat Narduzzi announced Friday that five players will not be members of the active roster when training camp opens Monday, Aug. 8. Sophomore tight end Chris Clark, incoming first-year defensive lineman Zack Gilbert, sophomore offensive lineman Mike Grimm, incoming first-year d...

Pitt QB Peterman named to Johnny Unitas Golden Arm watch list

Pitt QB Peterman named to Johnny Unitas Golden Arm watch list

By Steve Rotstein / Sports Editor

August 5, 2016


Filed under Football, Sports

Pitt senior quarterback Nathan Peterman was selected Thursday to his first preseason award watch list of 2016. Peterman was named a preseason candidate for the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, given annually to the nation’s top senior or fourth-year junior quarterback. The award is presented based...

Pitt football adds two new recruits to 2017 class

Pitt football adds two new recruits to 2017 class

By Steve Rotstein / Sports Editor

August 2, 2016


Filed under Football, Sports

With only a week left before the start of training camp, Pitt head football coach Pat Narduzzi and his staff continue to build for both the present and the future. The Panthers added the 11th and 12th pledges to their 2017 recruiting class in the last two days, as three-star wide receiver Dontavius Butl...

Johnson, Price named to preseason All-ACC team

Johnson, Price named to preseason All-ACC team

By Steve Rotstein / Sports Editor

July 27, 2016


Filed under Football, Sports

Pitt seniors Dorian Johnson and Ejuan Price were named to the 2016 All-ACC Preseason Football Team Wednesday after media voting at last week’s ACC Football Kickoff in Charlotte. An offensive guard from Belle Vernon, Pennsylvania, Johnson has started 27 straight games dating back to his first season ...

Panthers place third in ACC Coastal Division preseason poll

Panthers place third in ACC Coastal Division preseason poll

By Steve Rotstein / Sports Editor

July 25, 2016


Filed under Football, Sports

One year after being picked to finish second-to-last in the ACC Coastal Division, the Pitt football team placed third in this year’s preseason poll at the 2016 ACC Football Kickoff media days in Charlotte. In Pat Narduzzi’s first year as head coach in 2015, the Panthers placed sixth out of the...

The University of Pittsburgh's Daily Student Newspaper
pitt football