Within the aftermath of Pitt’s embarrassing 38-21 loss to Virginia Tech on Saturday night time in Blacksburg, Va., Pat Narduzzi pointed the finger of blame in all places.
Simply not at Phil Jurkovec.
Pitt’s sixth-year senior quarterback accomplished solely 5 passes within the recreation’s first 54 minutes, misplaced one other fumble that led to a landing – he did so within the Cincinnati recreation, too — and was severely off course on a number of cross makes an attempt.
But Narduzzi stays in his quarterback’s nook. For now, anyway.
Whereas reporters requested a number of questions on Pitt’s ineffective quarterback scenario – Jurkovec is finishing barely 50% of his passes by way of 5 video games (50.8%, to be precise) — Narduzzi made presumably essentially the most telling indictment so far of the remainder of his crew.
“You would put Dan Marino in there. Dan Marino isn’t going to do something, interval,” Narduzzi stated. “Phil was below strain the complete recreation. He was getting hit each time. That’s not a simple scenario for anyone.”
Narduzzi referenced the hit on Jurkovec that brought about the fumble recovered by Virginia Tech on the Pitt 10-yard line.
“Second play of the third quarter, we miss on the left aspect and Phil will get killed,” the coach stated. “I don’t know what quarterback goes to sit down again there and throw the ball successfully.”
Really, Jurkovec accomplished two passes that resulted in two fast touchdowns – 75 yards to Bub Means in Pitt’s second sequence and a 61-yard display cross to working again C’Bo Flemister after halftime. These performs rely, though the ultimate rating renders them nearly meaningless.
General, Jurkovec was 11 of twenty-two for 235 yards, however he was 9 of 20 for 99 yards by way of the majority of the sport.
It have to be famous – and Narduzzi made positive to make be aware of it – that accidents on the offensive line had an impact on the proceedings. Starters Matt Goncalves and Ryan Jacoby are out for the season, and heart Jake Kradel missed his second consecutive recreation.
However backups haven’t responded such because the crew’s “subsequent man up” slogan signifies they’re skilled to do. Redshirt freshman Ryan Baer sort out was known as for 2 false begin penalties in a single possession whereas making his second profession begin in entrance of a loud crowd of 65,632 at Lane Stadium.
With Virginia Tech stacking the world close to the road of scrimmage, Pitt’s floor recreation disappeared. Rodney Hammond carried solely as soon as for no achieve within the second half and 7 occasions for 18 yards total. Pitt ran for a complete of 38 yards, averaging 1.6 per carry.
“You possibly can’t run the ball, you have got issues,” Narduzzi stated. “We got here in pondering we might presumably run the ball like we did a yr in the past, besides Izzy isn’t within the backfield.”
Izzy Abanikanda ran for a report 320 yards towards Virginia Tech final season, however changing him has been an issue. After 5 video games, Hammond is Pitt’s main rusher with 196 yards.
That’s one aspect of the ball, however when the protection permits 38 factors every week after surrendering 41, it can also’t disguise from blame.
“They beautiful a lot ran at will, for my part,” Narduzzi stated.
Enjoying with out linebacker Bangally Kamara and defensive sort out Devin Danielson, the Panthers missed a number of tackles all through the sport and had hassle stopping a Virginia Tech offense that rang up 427 yards, 5 touchdowns and 25 first downs (199 and 15 first downs on the bottom).
The Hokies (2-3, 1-0) got here into the sport thirteenth of 14 ACC groups in complete offense (a median of 320.3 per recreation) whereas averaging 21.5 factors per recreation.
The ultimate indignity was a 30-yard catch by Da’Quan Wright on third-and-19 play within the fourth quarter. Pitt allowed Wright to run free within the secondary.
“It’s less than Pitt requirements, my requirements,” Narduzzi stated. “Too many missed tackles on protection.”
The protection created one turnover – a scoop-and-score by freshman linebacker Braylan Lovelace (Leechburg) when senior linebacker Shayne Simon compelled Virginia Tech quarterback Kyron Drones to fumble inside his 10-yard line.
Drones, the Hokies’ backup, did nearly something he needed to do, throwing three landing passes and working for 2 extra. He’s the primary ACC quarterback this season to try this.
Shifting on from its fourth consecutive defeat, Pitt will take its first 1-4 report since 2005 into the upcoming bye week.
Requested particularly in regards to the quarterback place, Narduzzi stated he’ll “re-evaluate the place we’re.”
“I see numerous issues that want altering,” he stated. “We’ve got to have a look at what we’re doing, how we’re doing it and repair it. It doesn’t come down to 1 man. It’s everyone.”
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