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Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

On location: North Carolina 34, Pitt 27

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Looking ahead to kickoff …

Game: Pitt (5-4, 2-3 ACC) vs. North Carolina (4-5, 3-3)

Time: 12:32 p.m.

Site: Heinz Field

TV, radio: WTAE-TV (local), ACC Network (national), ESPN3 (Internet), 93.7 The Fan, Pitt IMG Sports Network

Here is the official live summary.

Here is our Pitt page. Jerry DiPaola and I are on the scene. I’ll be writing the Sunday column off this.

Author: Dejan Kovacevic

Dejan Kovacevic, a lifelong Pittsburgher, is an award-winning sports columnist for Trib Total Media covering the Steelers, Penguins, Pirates, Pitt and, recently, his fourth Olympics in Sochi, Russia. He also appears on WPXI-TV's 'Subway Final Word’ and hosts a weekly show on TribLIVE Radio. For 2011, he was named one of the country's top four columnists by the AP Sports Editors. For 2012, he was named one of the country's top three columnists by the National Headliners. For 2013, he was named the state's top columnist by the Keystone Press Awards and top columnist in Western Pennsylvania by the Golden Quills.


  1. JAL says:

    Pitt and NC, sounds as odd as WVU and Kansas. Still not used to the new alignments.

  2. It shouldn’t be that hard against North Carolina since Pitt did beat Notre Dame last week and needs only one more win to qualify for a bowl game, and North Carolina is 4-5. And so, if Pitt can avoid being swell headed for at least one more lousy game, the Panthers should do just fine.

  3. Very strange. Like Nebraska in the Big 10 and Missouri and A & M in Drew’s SEC.

    Pitt played NC back in the 80’s it seemed like, when they were both national powerhouses. Seems I remember Bill Curry talking about the Tar Heels and their nice blue uni’s.

  4. Milo Hamilton says:

    I’ll be looking for you at Starbucks. One of these days …

  5. Milo Hamilton says:

    Three Rivers Stadium on a Thursday night opener in 1982. Nationally televised on CBS. UNC was #5 & Pitt was #1. Foge Fazio’s 1st game. Pitt won 7-6. You knew right then something wasn’t quite right. It was Dan Marino’s senior year & my freshman year.

  6. Milo Hamilton says:

    I fully expect Pitt to lay a colossal egg today. It’s Pitt football, it’s what they do. Year after year. No matter the coach, no matter the players. If they come out & win today and win impressively, then they’ll have my attention.

  7. Excellent memory, Milo. Exact game I was thinking about.

  8. NC gave Miami all it wanted. They’re not a pushover team.

  9. theplanisworking says:

    In a rare stroke of good luck, ESPN3 will be carrying the game on computer. As of last night, this game wasnt listed, so yay me! :)

    As to Milo’s point about Pitt’s “not being right”, and decline, I remember the first game of 1984 against BYU. Pitt ranked #2-3 in preseason polls. Close game (shouldnt have been), BYU has 4th and 3 with about 6 minutes left. BYU has success with the quick slant all day, and when they lined up, even I could see that was the play call. Sure enough, quick slant, horrible missed tackle, ballgame. The next week, Oklahoma 42, Pitt 10, and ofer the 80’s was on.

    Pitt needs this win today, to show that the ND game wasnt a fluke, and clinch a bowl bid.

    GO PITT!

    DK: I just checked with a Pitt official for you, and the game is indeed on ESPN3. I’ve also added it to the listings above.

  10. Pitt was last number 1 in 1971, when the Panthers had Tony Dorsett and Johnny Majors. And the Panthers haven’t done much since although now, they hope that Paul Chryst can somehow lead them out of the wilderness if he doesn’t move on or get fired first. Maybe someday, Pitt can become a powerhouse again with luck and forbearance.

  11. Well, they stopped the bleeding last night against Nashville and they have another soft one today against the Devils. Hopefully, they can start scoring again so they can win a couple of the tough ones coming up, especially since you can’t do much if you score only one goal a game.

  12. The only trouble today is that Pitt can’t claim the coastal title due to those loses to Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech but if they can win at 2 of the next 3, they can still have their best season in awhile.

  13. likeabugonarug says:

    I was at that game, after having graduated the previous spring. Sat in that little section of seats between the dugouts. Was a disgusting game. Supposedly so many egos on that team and Foge never had control.


  14. Lad9 says:

    Greetings from the North Shore. Early indications are pointing to a disappointing crowd, which I don’t understand. Hope I am wrong. Hail to Pitt!

    DK: You typing on the mobile platform, Laddy? Curious to hear how that’s going for you.

  15. theplanisworking says:

    Thanks, Boss. :)

  16. J Walter Weatherman says:

    Savage with a brutal fumble in the red zone. NC converts a 4th and 9 on their way to a TD. Yep.

  17. J Walter Weatherman says:

    Savage is killing Pitt this game

  18. J Walter Weatherman says:

    NC defense not sending many rushers, but O-line still holding up well in pass coverage. Savage not playing well today and very little creativity with this offense. They seemingly try to find ways to make sure Boyd doesn’t get the ball.

    This game will get out of hand if Pitt doesn’t score a TD by halftime.

  19. J Walter Weatherman says:

    Pitt will be mediocre until they can start recruiting better defensive players.

  20. J Walter Weatherman says:

    Savage has all the bad attributes of Big Ben, without any of his good attributes. Without question, he is the reason Pitt will lose this game.

  21. J Walter Weatherman says:

    Savage “mercifully” injured. The right decision for the staff, even if Savage is healthy enough to play, is putting in Voytik in the 2nd half. This game is over, and you need to see what you have in Voytik.

    Savage still probably gives them the best chance to win remaining games, and goal is to get to the best bowl game possible. He had a bad game, but come back to him next game.

  22. The prophet Milo. I blame him for this.


  23. Foge had that look on his face, but you knew, down deep, he seemed overmatched.

  24. Lad9 says:

    I like it much better Dejan. Clearer, quicker, adjustable font size. The white background does not bother me like it does some of the other posters. On the whole, the new format is a home run. Only complaint is that the links don’t show up very distinctively like they used to. Fix that one and we have a grand slam in my book.

    It is very much appreciated that you and the Trib staff are constantly working to make the blog a better experience. Thank you!

  25. Lad9 says:

    Pretty simple Lucky. The speed disparity is pronounced. Can’t keep up with the skill players and can’t block the speed rushers. But I like the Milo theory better!

  26. Unfortunately, Pitt’s laying the colossal egg that Milo predicted: 24-3 in the third quarter.

  27. Brandie says:


  28. J Walter Weatherman says:

    Does Pitt play any linebackers in their defense? I see Donald or Hendricks making every tackle.

  29. J Walter Weatherman says:

    Connor running like a man possessed. Awesome.

  30. Lad9 says:

    BRANDIEEEEEE! My favorite! How are you? I have been scarce lately.

  31. Lad9 says:

    Within a TD. Need a stop on this series.

  32. Brandie says:

    Just as scarce. Fighting the good fight. Good to gibe a shout out to one of my favorite blog father’s!

  33. Lad9 says:

    Or a turnover. Tie game! Serious comeback for the Panthers. Time to go for the throat!

  34. theplanisworking says:

    Special teams not special today!

  35. J Walter Weatherman says:

    Fine displays of tackling on the punt returns. Brutal, after a great comeback by the Panthers. I do feel better in this situation than I would’ve with Sunseri, but still a tough spot.

  36. theplanisworking says:

    Well, after that awful 4th down call, thats the ballgame.
    Pitt will never win with that type of play calling. Just awful.

    Great comeback today!
    Awful special teams play today!

    Milo called a colosal egg, just a bad egg laid today.
    Now, Pitt HAS to win at Syracuse just to be bowl eligible.


  37. J Walter Weatherman says:

    Great effort on the comeback, but too little, too late. The first half unraveled after Savage’s game-changing fumble and they couldn’t right the ship until after halftime.

    This is Pitt’s team. Good effort; not enough talent.

  38. J Walter Weatherman says:

    The lack of creativity in play calling, especially during critical moments, is a huge failure by the coaching staff. Also, not finding ways to get Boyd the football is also a poor reflection on the coaching staff. What happened to the end-arounds with Boyd that were successful earlier in the season – or least provided an effective decoy when he went in motion and they faked it to him?

  39. Good comeback by Pitt. Special teams will kill you. Ask the Steelers of old before everything started killing them.

  40. theplanisworking says:

    I see the Ohoho Brutus avatar makes its weekend re-appearance. :)

  41. Have to support my boys. Since that clown WR said they’d wipe the field with ‘Bama and FSU, I wanted to see what they’d do.

    Not pleased with the D and special teams. Offense is in control.

  42. Drew71 says:

    So. How did pitt look today?

    Was that mean? Again?

  43. Lad 9 says:

    JWW I don’t always agree with your opinions but I respect them. Today you were really spot on. Can’t dispute anything, especially the Tyler Boyd comments. He needs to touch the football more than seven times (two were kick returns). He is your most dangerous weapon. Find a way. Line him up at tailback a few times a game. Let him run the wildcat. Run that flanker sweep. Target him more. The kid is tremendous. Use him!

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