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Going Scouting: North Carolina

Pitt will tackle North Carolina next and while fans should be familiar with the Tar Heels, you can always learn something new.

Pitt starts a two game road trip today in Stillwater, OK. While that is happening, you can also get a look at their next opponent before the Panthers take the field for their conference opener on week from today.. You will have to get creative to watch both Pitt and next week’s foe, the North Carolina Tar Heels.

The Heels will play at the same time today and kickoff against FCS’ James Madison, at Kenan Memorial Stadium, in Chapel Hill. You are going to need two screens for this one and modern technology will come in handy. UNC and James Madison can only be seen on the ACC Network or by using WatchESPN.

While the Tar Heels have what should be an easy opponent in James Madison, as Lee Corso would say, “Not so fast, my friend.” James Madison comes into the game 2-0 and has outscored their two opponents 136-28. That’s not a typo. James Madison has put up some serious points on the scoreboard, so the Heels may not want to avoid looking ahead to Pitt, like a certain other team possibly did last week against Central Michigan.

Be sure to join Cardiac Hill's Facebook page and follow us on Twitter@PittPantherBlog for our regular updates on Pitt athletics. Follow the author@BrunoPittsburgh

Pitt vs. Oklahoma State: How to Watch, Schedule, Game Information

Here’s all of today’s crucial game information

For the second consecutive week, the Panthers have a huge game staring themselves in the face. No, Oklahoma State isn’t ranked. But the Cowboys were ranked before a surprising loss last week and, on the road, Pitt will have their work cut out for them.

The Panthers did well on the road last season, going 5-1 with the only loss coming to what turned out to be a very good Iowa team. But this is another year another very challenging team for the Panthers that will an unfamiliar foe.

A win gives Pitt even more momentum going into next week’s tough road matchup against North Carolina to go along with a 3-0 start to the season. Should Pitt find a way to win, they will have a shot to find themselves in the rankings as well.

With all of that said, here are the game details for today's contest against the Cowboys:

Date: September 17, 2016

Time: 3:30 p.m.

Location: Stillwater, OK (Boone Pickens Stadium)

TV: ESPN (national telecast)

Radio: 93.7 FM The Fan

Be sure to join Cardiac Hill's Facebook page and follow us on Twitter@PittPantherBlog for our regular updates on Pitt athletics. Follow the author and founder/editor @AnsonWhaley.

(Don't) Bet the Farm : Pitt vs Oklahoma State Staff Picks

The Cardiac Hill Staff gives their picks for game 3 against Oklahoma State

The staff has been perfect through the first two games, unanimously picking Pitt against Villanova and Penn State. This week, that confidence has waned.

In a conference known for high scoring passing offense, Oklahoma State has contributed to that stereotype as much as anybody. Unfortunately, pass defense seems to be Pitt's Achilles' Heel right now as anybody who watched the second half versus Penn State can attest to. Michigan State fans warned me when Narduzzi was hired that Pitt would have a few years of giving up the big play passing wise before it starts to lock down. I think we're still in the midst of that

However, I think Pitt will once again have an advantage on the lines, and the running game should find some success while the defensive line is hopefully able to put some pressure on Mason Rudolph, Oklahoma State's quarterback. Pitt will likely attempt to stop the OSU run offense, and hope that the pressure on Rudolph gives Pitt's defensive backs enough of a chance. Take all that, add in a decent Pitt passing attack for the first time this year, and I think Pitt has a very good shot to beat the Cowboys on the road.

Having said all that, I thought this was Pitt's toughest game coming into the season after Clemson. Despite Oklahoma State's performance against Central Michigan last week, I still think they're a pretty good team. Hopefully Pitt will prove all of us wrong.

Anson - Oklahoma State (2-0)

Aron - Pitt (2-0)

Chris - Oklahoma State (2-0)

Corey - Oklahoma State (2-0)

JD - Oklahoma State (2-0)

Jim - Oklahoma State (2-0)

Dontez Ford reportedly has broken collarbone

The Pitt receiver will have surgery, per Richie Walsh of KDKA

Wham, another Homer! Wham, another homer! Wham! Wham! Wham!

The injuries keep on coming for Pitt. Already down a starting defensive end, a starting linebacker, and potentially a starting cornerback, the Panthers are now down a starting wide receiver.

Dontez Ford, listed as questionable by head coach Pat Narduzzi, sounds rather, um, doubtful, according to Richie Walsh of KDKA:

Told Pitt Receiver Dontez Ford has a Fractured Clavicle (Broken Collarbone) Surgery to repair. Out for a while. https://t.co/2meLj2t9r3— Rich Walsh KDKA (@RichieWalsh) September 15, 2016

As for a timetable, he could be out for six to eight weeks if the report is accurate. And of course, Narduzzi ain’t saying:

“I’m not going to comment on injuries,” Narduzzi said. “We don’t talk about them. He’s a guy that we hope is back.”

Now, Ford hasn’t been a star for the team this year. But alongside Tyler Boyd last year. As I said earlier, if Ford misses any time, his loss hurts the depth at receiver at the very least.

The injuries thing is just sort of annoying at this point. Pitt’s luck has been pretty rotten so far and to lose three (possibly four, if you count Damar Hamlin, who was expected to compete for a starting job at cornerback) starters two games into the year is ugly. Consider, too, when this is happening - right in the middle of a tough stretch of games with Penn State, Oklahoma State, and North Carolina - the latter two being on the road.

Sure, you can argue that losing these guys now will give other guys a chance to improve before the ACC schedule, but, well, still. It would have been great to have a healthy team going into this next one and then the Panthers’ first conference game against North Carolina.

It’s next man up for the Panthers and someone’s going to have to step up at receiver.

Be sure to join Cardiac Hill's Facebook page and follow us on Twitter@PittPantherBlog for our regular updates on Pitt athletics. Follow the author and founder/editor @AnsonWhaley.

Talking Pitt-OSU with Pistols Firing Blog

Anson stopped by to answer some questions about Pitt for an Oklahoma State blog

An Oklahoma State blog, Pistols Firing, shot me an email to answer some questions about Pitt in advance of the game against the Cowboys this week. I actually answered these before the Penn State game, so a few things have changed since then.

But at any rate, you can see their questions and my answers over there.

Be sure to join Cardiac Hill's Facebook page and follow us on Twitter@PittPantherBlog for our regular updates on Pitt athletics. Follow the author and founder/editor @AnsonWhaley.

Against the Odds: Pitt at Oklahoma State

Looking at the point spread for Saturday

Pitt is coming off one of the more gratifying wins in recent memory. Let’s face it, beating Penn State felt good for everyone that follows the program. So is that win enough to make you feel the good waves of Pitt football into this week’s showdown against Oklahoma State of the Big 12?

Pitt is currently a six point underdog to the Cowboys. It seems like a fair spread for now. Oklahoma State was a preseason ranked team and they are coming off a 10 win season in which they made it to the Sugar Bowl. Mike Gundy has built this program into a consistent force in the Big 12 during his twelve year tenure. Mason Rudolph is one of the better quarterbacks in the country, and he highlights a high-powered, pass happy offense. There is a lot going for this program at the moment.

There is however, Central Michigan. Look, Oklahoma State won that game. The refs got it totally wrong, there’s no doubt about it. Still, shouldn’t a preseason top 25 avoid being in that situation entirely? Central Michigan was picked 4th in the the MAC West after all. They aren’t the type of team you would envision Oklahoma State losing to early in the season.

Pitt, on the other hand, is riding high. They beat their in-state rivals in an emotional 42-39 win. The game was hyped internally by Pat Narduzzi, and there was a lot of national attention on the game as well. So is there a letdown factor? Can they get up again for another big time program? That’s the question that has some concerned.

From a pure football standpoint, Pitt looks pretty good. They have a great offensive line and a great stable of running backs. Oklahoma State’s defense looks suspect, so Pitt should be able to score points. While Pitt’s defense surrendered some yardage and points to Penn State, it feels like they are a “big play” defense. They are tied for the national lead in sacks with ten as a team. Pitt is also towards the top in turnovers. They may give up some big plays, but they’ll turn it around and make some just the same.

I think this really comes down to this, Can Pitt make enough stops on defense? I think Pitt will move the ball on the Cowboys with James Conner and company. Nate Peterman will need to make some throws this week, but the running game should be there. It really comes down to pass defense.

So what say you? Are you feeling good about the Panthers after the big Penn State win? Can they go on the road on national TV and beat a good program like Oklahoma State? Or will the Cowboys protect their home turf? Let’s hear your thoughts.

UnScripted: The Cardiac Hill Podcast w/ Corey Cohen (S2 Ep4)

In this episode of UnScripted: The Cardiac Hill Podcast, Corey Cohen welcomes Jim Hammett to discuss the Pitt win over Penn State, the atmosphere, the potential continuation of the rivalry, and #ClapGate.

In this episode of UnScripted: The Cardiac Hill Podcast, Corey Cohen welcomes Jim Hammett to discuss the Pitt win over Penn State, the atmosphere, the potential continuation of the rivalry, and #ClapGate. Plus they preview Oklahoma State and answer the Three Rivers Pack of Questions along with choosing a Panther of the Week.

Follow us on Twitter @CoreyECohen and @JimHammett and make sure to subscribe on iTunes or SoundCloud.

Doctor Robert: Pitt-Oklahoma State Injury Report

A look at some of the Panthers’ injuries heading into this weekend

Pitt fans learned immediately after the game against Penn State that the Panthers lost two key players for the season in defensive end Dewayne Hendrix and linebacker Elijah Zeise. Both started in the team’s opener, suffering injuries in that game against Villanova.

We’ve touched on this already, but these are fairly big losses here. Replacement players Rori Blair and Oluwaseun Idowu have filled in well so far in their absence, but as I wrote over the weekend, the losses hurt the team not so much in the starting lineup, but from a depth standpoint.

Up in the air is starting wide receiver Dontez Ford. Ford was injured against Penn State this past weekend and he is questionable at this point.

And as I wrote earlier this week, one tiny piece of injury news aside from those guys is regarding true freshman cornerback Damar Hamlin, who many expected to start this year. Head coach Pat Narduzzi said in his weekly press conference that Hamlin was not guaranteed to miss the entire year. Despite the fact that he hasn’t played yet and has seen a specialist for an undisclosed injury, there still appears to be a chance he could play this season.

Narduzzi actually made it seem more like a situation of passing guys ahead of him instead of the injury.

On if he expects freshman corner Damar Hamlin to play this season: “There is a chance. There are still more guys ahead of him. We’re playing to win. Whenever they are ready, they are ready.”

Nope, there’s not much there. But if you were wondering if it was a lost year for Hamlin, perhaps it is not.

Be sure to join Cardiac Hill's Facebook page and follow us on Twitter@PittPantherBlog for our regular updates on Pitt athletics. Follow the author and founder/editor @AnsonWhaley.

Despite slow start, Pat Narduzzi pleased with QB Nathan Peterman

The Pitt coach says his quarterback is playing well despite being used in a limited fashion

So far, Pitt is a perfect 2-0 on the young football season. But one area they haven’t showed much is in the passing game.

There, quarterback Nathan Peterman is having a very modest year. Through those two contests, he has only 266 total passing yards. And considering that in one game, Pitt faced an FCS foe and in the other, was involved in a shootout where teams scored a combined 81 points, that is pretty remarkable.

But despite those low totals, head coach Pat Narduzzi isn’t concerned.

“There were some things we left on the field in the running game,” Narduzzi said when discussing this week’s Penn State game. “But when you rush for 350 yards, who wants to throw it? A lot of our passing game we haven’t really seen yet I guess. I feel great about Nate [Peterman]. He was on fire. He had a super game and he played well enough for us to win a football game.”

“Nathan [Peterman] played a great game.”

A great game? Maybe not statistically, but he did everything his team needed from him. Pitt’s offensive game plan relied mostly on short passes, some innovative plays, and a heavy dose of the running game. When you run the ball as much as they did, as Narduzzi alluded to, there’s not a lot of room for big passing numbers.

And while it would have been nice to see him go for more than the 175 he had against Villanova, that offensive game plan was nothing like we saw this weekend. As I wrote over the weekend, the game plan there was to simply beat Villanova with their talent and not show too much on offense.

For the record, I do think Peterman is capable of more. How much more? That’s anybody’s guess. But in nearly half the games he started last year, he threw for at least 200 yards, so it’s clear he can do more than what he has to date in 2016. in 2015, he topped out at 262 yards against North Carolina.

Obviously, the Panthers don’t have Tyler Boyd, so that’s a massive hit. However, the Panthers do have playmakers such as Quadree Henderson that are capable of taking a short pass and picking up chunks of yardage. So even without the deep threat, I still expect Peterman will have more yardage as we go along.

You can also bet that with James Conner showing he’s still capable in the last game, opposing defenses will key in a bit more on the run. That should ultimately open things up and give the passing game even more of a chance to succeed.

Finally, don’t forget that Pitt has not trailed yet this year. He’s been playing with the lead and really hasn’t had to throw much. Once Pitt inevitably plays some games where they are behind, he will have even more of a chance to pad his numbers.

Another great thing to like about Peterman is that he’s played mistake-free football so far for the most part. On the season, he has five touchdown passes to only one pick, and that one interception was off a tipped pass this weekend, which wasn’t his fault. He doesn’t have the big numbers, but has been a very capable quarterback so far.

Despite the slow start, expect bigger things from him later this year.

Be sure to join Cardiac Hill's Facebook page and follow us on Twitter@PittPantherBlog for our regular updates on Pitt athletics. Follow the author and founder/editor @AnsonWhaley.

Writer criticizes women’s choice of clothes at ’Bama-USC game

A Texas-based freelance writer admonished young women attending the Alabama-USC college football game earlier this month, writing that they should “cover it up.”

In a story published in the Huffington Post, Rebecca Walden wrote that she was surprised to see some of the clothes worn by women at the game at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, on Sept. 3. Top-ranked Alabama won 52-6 in the season opener for both teams.

>> Read more trending stories

According to AL.com, Walden, a Birmingham native, wrote that she recalled shopping for her own gameday outfits as a student at the University of Alabama 20 years ago.

"What we didn't want, and what we never did, was to show up for a college football game looking like we belonged in a Victoria's Secret fashion show," Walden wrote.

The Huffington Post later removed the column from its site. Part of the column was captured in a screenshot that was posted online.

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