The mistakes began before kickoff. Pitt blamed the officials insisting the referee “misheard” them defer to the second half.

I’m not buying it.

I’m not buying a single thing Pitt has to say about anything.

Especially Pat Narduzzi.

I do, however, believe James Franklin.

I like Franklin about as much as I like a warm anchovy sandwich, but I believe him when he dismisses the Pitt/Penn State game as just another game on the schedule.

A non-rivalry.

I actually don’t understand why Franklin wouldn’t beg Sandy Barbour to get with Heather Lyke to schedule Pitt every season forever.

I would schedule them twice were I Penn State.

2016 appears to be the anomaly in the four-year series. Penn State will beat Pitt next year at Happy Valley to go 3-1 in the renewal and, if not for an otherworldly first half by Pitt in the first game of the series, Penn State would have flexed its muscles all over the Pitt football program proving how ridiculously far Pitt really is from being a good football program.

I blame Narduzzi on two fronts:

  1. He is not a good recruiter.
  2. Pitt teams repeatedly make mistakes that good teams never make.

Like that coin-toss mishap.

Like 14 penalties including a 15-yard call on Narduzzi.

Like not setting the edge on the most obvious jet sweep in football history on Penn State’s first score, and not covering a receiver on their second score.

Like the repeated mistakes on special teams.

I am remembering fondly Narduzzi throwing departed assistants under the bus for past failures. As sickening as it was for him to hide from the truth then, it is more glaringly sickening now. Narduzzi said last night’s performance, “lays right on my chest.”

Whatever.

It’s all talk. Just like Narduzzi guaranteeing Pitt will play in the ACC championship game. Maybe stop talking and start recruiting better players. Maybe stop talking and start coaching a team to be prepared and disciplined.

Nothing about Pitt’s performance last night suggested the man in charge of the program has what it takes to get Pitt anywhere close to Penn State, and Penn State should be the bar Pitt is trying to exceed.

Is this all a Pitt alum overreacting to a terrible night? Maybe.

But maybe not. Maybe it’s just the truth.

One truth I am certain of, however, is Franklin’s insistence that Pitt/Penn State is not a rivalry. Right now, it’s just an easy win on the schedule for PSU – like Akron or Temple.

That is what Pitt football is – like Akron, or Temple. Apologies to Akron and Temple fans, but Pitt plays in the ACC and talks about winning conference championships and cracking the Top-25.

Stop laughing.

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