Pat Narduzzi Press Conference
Miami Week

PAT NARDUZZI: Well, it was a fun weekend. The weekend is over. Back to Monday. It’s a workday, as was yesterday.

But something I failed to do on Saturday really after the game and after you sit back and you think about how things like that happen, how things like that come to fruition, you think about just what you were brought here for, and just growing up with my dad, you never — he’s always taught you, just never forget where you came from and how you got where you are.

But I want to thank obviously the Chancellor for obviously giving me the opportunity and all the support Heather Lyke has given us. Even going back to Jerry Cochran and Randy Juhl and Donna Sanft. When I first got here, I talked about just if we all go in the same direction, we’ll be fine. But if someone is going this way, we want to go this way, that’s when you run into some roadblocks, but obviously, things have gone in the right direction.

It’s never as smooth as you’d like it to be, which is life, but — there are bumps in the road as you go. Obviously, it was a big day for our football team and for the university, and happy we could be a part of it and happy I could be a part of it, so I thank them.

But when you look at the tape, you kind of see on tape what you saw really during the game. It’s a tale of two halves, which we’ve been involved in a couple of those through this season. Just didn’t play very good football in the first half, way too many mistakes. I think of the 10 penalties, I think eight of them were in the first half. That goes on me obviously not having them ready to go and locked in and focused.

Then we go and make some minor adjustments, more of a mental adjustment more than anything, maybe a wake-up call in the second half to get it cranked up, and then we come out and play football in the second half like you’re supposed to. Those three three-and-outs were huge defensively, and I thought defensively overall we played pretty sound.

Just not as clean and you want to, and it’s nice to come out of a football game and not play your best football and still come away with a ‘W.’ But we can’t do that this week against a great Miami team. I mean, I feel like Warren Sapp came back, and he’s played in all four of those down four positions for Miami.

They’re aggressive up front, third-ranked defense in the country. Mark Richt has done a tremendous job of building the talent level at that place, and obviously, Manny Diaz running the show on defense, I mean, Shaq Quarterman is the guy over there, and he runs the show, and they’re legit. They’re as good a defense as you’re going to find. They press you and play man free, play whatever they want to play, and they lock you down. He does a great job.

And then offensively, they’ve gone through two quarterbacks and they’re still trying to find out who it is, and obviously, Perry seems to be the guy, but we’re ready to see anybody, but he seems smooth. Their offensive line is athletic. They’re big, physical. And Homer at tailback and they’ve got speed at receiver. So they’re dangerous. Coming off a great win, and we’re going to have to be ready to go down to Miami.

Pitt Center Jimmy Morrissey Has Season-Ending Surgery
PITTSBURGH—Pitt sophomore center Jimmy Morrissey underwent ankle surgery on Monday and will miss the balance of the season, Coach Pat Narduzzi announced today.
The Panthers’ starting center in 23 consecutive games, Morrissey was injured in the waning moments of Saturday’s 34-13 win at Wake Forest.
“Jimmy has been tremendous for us this year, both as a player and a leader,” Narduzzi said. “We all share his disappointment, but I know this will only be a temporary setback for him. Jimmy will be back next year better than ever. In the meantime, I know he will continue to do all he can to help our offensive line perform at the same high level. That’s the type of person and teammate he is.”
No. 24/25 Pitt (7-4, 6-1 ACC) will play its regular-season finale at Miami (6-5, 3-4) this Saturday, Nov. 24. The game will be nationally televised by ESPN and kick off at 3:30 p.m.
The Panthers will then face No. 2 Clemson (11-0, 8-0) in the Dr Pepper ACC Football Championship Game on Dec. 1 (ABC national telecast at 8 p.m.).

Pitt’s Kenny Pickett Named ACC Quarterback of the Week
Pickett was additionally honored as a Manning Award “Star of the Week”

PITTSBURGH—Pitt sophomore quarterback Kenny Pickett was named the Atlantic Coast Conference’s Quarterback of the Week for his performance in the Panthers’ 34-13 win at Wake Forest this past weekend. He additionally was recognized by the Manning Award as one of eight “Stars of the Week” at the quarterback position.

Pickett completed 23-of-30 passes (77%) for 316 yards and three touchdowns to lead Pitt past the Demon Deacons and clinch the ACC Coastal Division championship. His yardage, completions and TD total were all personal bests.

Each of Pickett’s touchdown passes came in the second half to help Pitt erase a 10-6 halftime deficit. Two of his scoring tosses came less than three minutes apart: a four-yarder to Rafael Araujo-Lopes and a 63-yard strike to Taysir Mack that put Pitt up 20-10 at the end of the third period.

After Wake Forest kicked a field goal to make it 20-13 early in the fourth, Pickett responded with a 23-yard TD pass to Maurice Ffrench, boosting the lead to 27-13 with 7:27 to play and essentially sealing the result.



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