Pittsburgh Football Club
STILLWATER, Okla. -- Mason Rudolph connected on an 86-yard pass toJhajuan
Seales, then Rennie Childs scored on a 1-yard run -- his fourth rushing
touchdown of the game -- with 1:28 remaining to lift Oklahoma State to a 4538 victory over Pittsburgh on Saturday.
Rudolph was 26 of 46 for a school-record 540 yards and two touchdowns,
whileJames Washington pulled in nine receptions for 296 yards -- the most in
the nation by anyone so far this season -- and two touchdowns. Childs finished
with 101 yards on 10 carries.
"(Rudolph) played great," said Oklahoma State offensive coordinator Mike
Yurcich. "Always room to improve, but he needs to sit back and enjoy this one.
He played tremendous, especially at the end, finished strong again, the gamewinning drive. I'm proud of him."
One week after a stunning loss to Central Michigan on a final untimed play
that officials later admitted should never have happened, Oklahoma State (21) found themselves in another nail-biter decided in the final moments.
After starting its final possession on its own 8-yard-line with 1:21 to go, Pitt
advanced to the OSU 45-yard-line before Nathan Peterman's pass was
intercepted by Ramon Richards with 15 seconds left.
Rudolph had 372 yards passing and Washington 231 receiving in the first half
alone, both OSU school records for one half. The Cowboys' 467 yards of total
offense in the opening half also set a school record.
James Conner rushed for 111 yards and a touchdown on 24 carries for Pitt (2-1),
while Peterman threw for 237 yards and a touchdown on 14-of-30 passing.
"They made one more play than we did, really, when it comes down to it, at
the end," said Panthers coach Pat Narduzzi. "Regardless of what happened in
the first half, or third quarter, it came down to the last few seconds."
With the game tied 38-38 with 12:55 left in the fourth quarter, action was
suspended due to lightning in the area. Play finally resumed following an
almost 2-hour delay.
"I'll be real honest with you, the delay saved us," said OSU coach Mike Gundy.
"We got a lot of coaching out of it. When the delay happened, I was okay with
it, because I felt like we needed it to make some corrections. I felt like this was
a good thing for us."
Pittsburgh: Despite the loss, the Panthers displayed impressive resilience,
falling behind 24-10 and 31-17 in the first half, but continuing to battle back,
answering Oklahoma State's penchant for big plays. They tied the game 31-31
early in the third quarter on Matt Galambos' 2-yard fumble return, and then
again at 38-38 several minutes later onQuadree Henderson's 50-yard
Oklahoma State: The Cowboys showed no ill effects after their controversial
defeat last week against Central Michigan. Any lingering questions were
undoubtedly cleared up when the Cowboys' first offensive play turned into a
91-yard touchdown pass from Rudolph to Washington.
Pittsburgh: The Panthers are on the road again as they open ACC play against
Oklahoma State: OSU travels for its first away game of the season, visiting Big
12 rival Baylor.
By Craig Meyer / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
A former college linebacker, Pitt coach Pat Narduzzi was understandably
underwhelmed with his defense’s showing in a 45-38 loss Saturday at Oklahoma
In that defeat, their first of the season, the Panthers allowed the most points they
had in a game under Narduzzi and surrendered 640 yards of total offense, 35 yards
shy of tying a program record set in 1993.
The problem, Narduzzi said Monday at his weekly press conference, comes from
the team’s execution and fundamental failures, not its scheme or strategy.
“They’ve got to understand and have to have faith and belief in what we’re doing,”
the second-year Pitt coach said. “They’ve got to understand that it works when you
do it right and it doesn’t work when you’re not doing it right. It’s either your way or
our way; which one are you going to do? If you continue to do it your way, then
we’re going to have problems. If you do it our way, you’ve got a chance.”
In their offensive outburst, the Cowboys had 10 plays that went for at least 20
yards, and quarterback Mason Rudolph threw for a school-record 540 yards.
After that performance, and just more than a week removed from giving up 39
points and 406 yards to Penn State, Pitt is 89th among 128 qualifying Football
Bowl Subdivision teams in scoring defense (30.3 points per game) and is 85th in
total defense (406 yards per game).
Though the Panthers have struggled defensively their past two games, there was no
thought to make any drastic changes during the loss to Oklahoma State, including
to the press coverage that cornerbacks in Narduzzi’s defenses utilize.
“When we bring pressure, that gives them a little relief,” Narduzzi said. “When we
play our base is when they’re pretty much out there on an island. Go watch college
football and pro football. Those corners are out there. I don’t care if you’re in man
coverage or thirds or in read cover-two, they’re on an island out there. Eventually,
they have to make a play on the ball. It doesn’t really matter what the coverage is.”
NOTE — Narduzzi said wide receiver Dontez Ford, who did not make the trip to
Stillwater, Okla., because of a collarbone injury, will be back “sooner than later,”
though he declined to be any more specific.
In case you missed it, Pitt held its first scrimmage of fall camp on
Saturday. I haven't gotten out to many Pitt football training camp
practices over the years and haven't been to one since Paul Chryst was
here. But one thing I always enjoyed was catching some of the
scrimmages when I could. Those were always very loose games,
obviously, but it was interesting to see rookies getting some actual
'game' time on the field, see how the reserves were used, etc.
Pat Narduzzi put an end to that at Pitt and to me, it's just one of those
things where a coach is sort of paranoid about reports getting out, etc. I
can understand that to a degree because their jobs hinge on results and
any edge you feel like you can get as a coach, you almost have to take.
The unfortunate side of that, of course, is that it just means there's
virtually no good information out there since it's an event closed to the
Now, do I personally think that by opening up an (unfilmed) scrimmage
to media members that it will hurt the team? Nah. Teams have so little
time to prepare for other teams during the season. After all, do you
honestly think opponents are going to refer to something like a
newspaper article about a fourth-string receiver running a reverse in a
scrimmage instead of looking at more tangible things such as game
film? Not likely. Plus, without film, reading something like that isn't
going to help them anymore than if they read an article talking about
Pitt wanting to throw more to the running backs. There's just not much
substance to it.
All of that said, I can also understand the level of paranoia on the part of
coaches in the age of cell phones, information leaks, etc. I don't think
they gain much by closing scrimmages, but it's also up to them to run
the program the way they think will ultimately produce the most
Other than some photographs, the only news out of this was a quote
from Narduzzi, released by the athletics department. Here it is:
“Overall, I thought that our offense did a great job of driving the ball. I thought
our defense did a good job of playing bend-but-don’t-break ball when they [the
offense] got down in the red zone to force field goals. Overall, it was a very
healthy scrimmage. It’s always good to come out healthy. I’m sure we will
have some bumps and bruisestomorrow, but it was a physical, great-effort
scrimmage. I would probably say that the one negative was penalties since it
was the first time that we had officials out here today, which was on purpose.
We really have been pretty good for five practices with limiting the unforced
errors—as far as jumping offside, committing illegal procedures and lining up
offside. I knew that a corner would line up offside today, and it happened. So
we’ve got to clean up a lot of those mistakes.”
In summary, the defense held, players were healthy, and there were
more penalties than usual.
That second part about guys getting out unscathed from a health
standpoint is probably the most important thing. It was the first
scrimmage of the year so penalties will happen. That shouldn't bother
anyone at this point and it's hard to make that a focal point.
The athletics department also has some photos, if that's your thing. The
one I chose for this post was actually of true freshman quarterback Tom
MacVittie. One small note related to the photos was that the caption for
receiver Quadree Henderson, who is battling for a starting job, had a
good day. But really, there's not much out there right now. Perhaps
more will leak out from the media that are close to the team and down at
practices on a daily basis but as a closed event, information could be
sort of scarce outside of things like, "I heard so and so had a good day",
etc., which could mean anything, unless we see a box score or
The Pittsburgh Steelers were founded by Arthur J. Rooney on July 8,
1933. Now the seventh-oldest franchise in the NFL, the Pittsburgh
team was known as the Pirates until 1940. The Steelers struggled for
their first 40 years without winning a championship of any kind until
they won the AFC Central division title in 1972. Two years later, the
entire sports world cheered when Art Rooney, one of world's most
popular sports figures, received the Vince Lombardi Trophy after the
Steelers' victory in Super Bowl IX.
After so many years of frustration, the
1970s Steelers began one of the most incredible streaks in sports
history when they earned eight consecutive playoff berths, seven
AFC Central titles and four AFC championships from 1972 to 1979.
The Steelers became the first team to win four Super Bowls and the
only team to win back-to-back Super Bowls twice. The team of the
decade of the 1970s became the first AFC team to win its division 10
times since the NFL's 1970 merger.
The list of Pittsburgh Steelers heroes of the 1970s is long but it
begins with Head Coach Chuck Noll, who took control of the team in
1969. Such stars as defensive tackle Joe Greene, linebackers Jack
Ham and Jack Lambert, quarterback Terry Bradshaw, cornerback
Mel Blount and running back Franco Harris were the backbone of a
team that many insist was the finest ever in pro football. All, including
Noll, were accorded membership in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in
their first years of eligibility.
Pittsburgh's success in the 1970s was the antithesis of the Steelers'
experiences in their early years. The Pittsburgh eleven won only 22
games its first seven seasons. Rooney, seeking a way to make ends
meet, often took his team from Forbes Field to such neutral cities as
Johnstown and Latrobe in Pennsylvania, Youngstown, Louisville and
New Orleans so as to avoid competition with baseball and college
football in Pittsburgh. Through it all, Rooney never wavered in his
determination to make pro football successful in his city.
In 1938, Rooney made Colorado All-America Byron "Whizzer" White
the NFL's first "big money" player with a $15,800 contract. The 1942
Steelers, boosted by the NFL-leading rushing of rookie Bill Dudley,
enjoyed their first winning season. With rosters depleted by the
manpower shortage of World War II, Rooney merged the Steelers
with the Eagles (Phil-Pitt) in 1943 and the Cardinals (Card-Pitt) in
1944. Coach Jock Sutherland led the Steelers to a first-place tie with
the Philadelphia Eagles in 1947 but they lost their first postseason
game ever to the Eagles, 21-0.
From 1957 to 1963, the Steelers, coached by Buddy Parker and with
quarterback Bobby Layne, defensive tackle Ernie Stautner and
running back John Henry Johnson playing key roles, were legitimate
divisional championship contenders. But the "dynasty years" that
coincided with the move to the AFC at the time of AFL-NFL merger,
forever brightening Pittsburgh Steelers history, were still a decade
away. The Steelers became the third team to win five Super Bowls
after they defeated the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XL. The
2005 wild-card Steelers, led by coach Bill Cowher, also became the
first wild-card team in history to win three playoff road games and the
Following the 2006 season, Cowher resigned and was replaced by
Mike Tomlin, who in his second season led the team to victory in
Super Bowl XLIII. The win marked their sixth championship in
franchise history as the Steelers became the first team to win six
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