Matt’s Mailbag: Should PITT, Penn State and WVU Play Each Other Every Year?

I decided to jump into the weekly mailbag (or bi-weekly we will see) and answer any questions that you may have regarding anything PITT Athletics.  I will try and answer anything from football to basketball to soccer, etc and have some fun with it as well.

And I will try to do one every, if not most, Friday(s), so we can have football game predictions as well. No matter how wacky the prediction, it will get a mention just to see the reaction it will get.

So, let’s get started with the first mailbag:

1.) Could Dinucci Be A Better Fit to Run this Offense? (From @CareyZivkovich)

Why not start with the question that fans have been asking since last week? Why not give Dinucci a look at Quarterback? I feel like PITT is in the same position they were in Narduzzi’s first year at the helm, they have 2 Quarterbacks but neither one has really grabbed the reigns and run with it.  Like in Narduzzi’s first year with Voytik and Peterman, he used both at the beginning of the season until Nate Peterman took control of the offense and didn’t give Narduzzi a reason to put Voytik back into the game as much, if at all. Am I saying to do that this year? No, but if things keep going the way they are going, Narduzzi may have to.

I would keep Max Browne as the starting Quarterback right now because he does have the experience and the arm strength to be a really good Quarterback.  But, you can tell that he is starting to let the USC situation from last season sneak into the back of his head and he is starting to look over his shoulder at what he sees coming behind him.  The leash is definitely getting shorter and I don’t think Narduzzi will have a quick trigger yet to remove him as starter, but it may happen if the offense is still sputtering this or next week.  The one thing Dinucci has going for him is that he does know the team since he played here last season and he is more mobile in the pocket and can make plays with his feet.

There was a comment made with this question of saying run the Triple Option with Dinucci and I can’t see that ever being an option, but Dinucci can run this offense with success, kind of similar to how Peterman ran it last season and that was by limiting mistakes and just being smart with his decision making.  Like I said, Narduzzi should stick with Browne right now, but it will be curious to see what he does if the offense gets off to another slow start this Saturday against Oklahoma State.

2.)Should PITT, Penn State and WVU play each other every year?

Ok, this question is one of my own, but it’s one that I have heard asked multiple times in the weeks surrounding the Penn State game.  And my answer to this question, is an overwhelming, YES!  Especially, in the college football playoff era when you want to impress the playoff committee, why wouldn’t you play games against Power 5 conference opponents and make it a rivalry game as well. Rivalry games do mean something to the playoff committee, the fans and the schools even if administrators don’t want to admit it, yes I’m looking at you Sandy Barbour and James Franklin.

But PITT, is not innocent in this because there is a small segment of the fan base that does look down on West Virginia.  And that segment needs to stop doing that, just like the Penn State fan base needs to stop looking down at PITT.  All 3 of these schools need each other because when all 3 are competitive and near the top of their conferences, this will help keep athletes interested in pursuing a football career in this region and the best athletes will want to stay home and be a part of these rivalries.

So, to the administrations at all the schools, do college football fans across this region and the country a favor.  All 3 of these teams need to play each other, each and every year.  And you will still have room on the schedule for 1 or 2 smaller conference opponents if you so desire.

3.) Does PITT have a fighting chance to win the ACC Championship in Wresting this season? (From @ItsFreshCut)

Can it be too early to answer this with any confidence either way? PITT Wrestling finished 3rd last season at the ACC Championships and now have a new Head Coach coming in this year.  They got shut out at #1 Oklahoma State 39-0 and lost to 2 ranked ACC members NC State (23-15) and Virginia Tech (38-9) during the regular season last year.

It is a pretty young team this year and with a new Head Coach they are probably going to go through some growing pains and it will be frustrating to watch for the fans at times. But, I am going to take the wait and see approach with this year’s team.  I want to see how they perform in the first few matches before making an official prediction.  Am I saying with a young team that the answer is No for an ACC Championship, of course not. But, you have to remember that NC State and Virginia Tech