Pitt Head Coach Pat Narduzzi Transcript
Georgia Tech Postgame
October 1, 2022
PAT NARDUZZI: Tough loss. One thing about our kids is they never quit. One of the big keys to victory was being plus in the turnover margin and we weren’t. We were minus 3. Disappointing we had three turnovers in a row in the second half. Pretty much gave ’em the game with that.
Got to give Georgia Tech credit. They came out and played hard. I knew we’d have a brand new team out there. Those guys played with energy. Give them credit.
Jeff Sims is a heck of a quarterback. He’s an athlete. He outran us to the edge a few times. Took bad angles. Didn’t make tackles when we needed to. We got to get him down, period. Just overall, disappointing performance, period.
But all our goals are still ahead of us. I think it will make them a little hungrier. We have to take it. We have to take what we got, what we paid for, and it just wasn’t good enough. And we didn’t start fast like we needed to and we left them in the game too long and, again, the offense really didn’t get started until the last two series of the game. If we would have done that the whole game we would have had a chance.
But again, it starts with me. There’s no finger pointing in our locker room. It starts with me. Number one, obviously I didn’t do a good enough job getting them ready. We’ll go back to work tomorrow at 2 o’clock with our kids and go back to get on to Virginia Tech.
Q. How to explain a performance and result like this?
PAT NARDUZZI: There’s no finger pointing. We didn’t win. We lost together. We win together and we lose together. We didn’t make enough plays. Defensively, I thought we played a solid game. We held them to four field goals to begin with. Then they scored two late TDs. Put it in position. I don’t know what the time of possession was, but it probably wasn’t very good. It looks like they add up to 31 minutes. But, hey, got to regroup and start over again. It just wasn’t good enough.
Q. Any explanation for the slow offensive start?
PAT NARDUZZI: I’ll have to go back and watch the tape to see exactly. We just didn’t play good enough, period. We didn’t get in a rhythm in the first half. It was three and out, three and out, and just couldn’t get in a rhythm. It’s hard to call a game when you’re going three and out. You can’t set a play off a play. Just not a very good performance.
Q. How would you evaluate Kedon’s decision making today?
PAT NARDUZZI: Decision making at the end was really good. Early, he needs some help. We’ll look at the tape. But it’s how we finished. Probably the way he finished, he threw some nice balls. Did we protect him a little bit better maybe in the last couple drives than we did earlier in the game, I don’t know.
Wasn’t seeing it good early? I don’t know. We’ll have to look at the tape and find out exactly why. I don’t want to make a comment right now.
But again, he shows he can do it. We just, again, we didn’t get it done in the first half as an offense, period.
Q. Did you see that the problem — late in the game, it did click. You saw the talent was there. But early on it seemed like there wasn’t any chemistry. Even when he threw some passes there was either a drop or a penalty.
PAT NARDUZZI: Yeah, well, that’s a problem. We had a drop or a penalty. We had way too many penalties. Special teams and on offense. I mean, even on the last 99-yard drive we had two illegal procedures and thank God it only cost us like six inches.
But just details. It wasn’t detailed enough. It starts with me.
Q. The defense dropped a number of potential interceptions.
PAT NARDUZZI: They’re all big. None of ’em were easy. But Tylar had a chance. Got his hand on it. Obviously 31, Erick Hallett had a chance. We got a chance to make plays. And in position.
I mean, the first — second play of the game I think we had a chance to probably get a pick six. You got to make those plays. They made ’em. They got the ball out. And we didn’t make them. It doesn’t matter if you stop them or hold them to a field goal. We have got to make plays on defense like that and we have to finish the play off and we can’t turn the ball over.
Q. Was emotion the problem again tonight or do you feel they were fired up?
PAT NARDUZZI: I think we were fired up. I think emotionally we were ready to go. Again, we’ll look at it. But I think we played good on defense. It’s hard to say half the team was fired up and half didn’t. The defense was ready to roll. Just couldn’t get in a rhythm in the first half. We’ve got to do a better job on offense. We’ve got to do a better job as coaches on offense, putting our kids in position to make those plays. And we got to make plays as players. That’s their job is make plays and it’s our coaching job to put them in position to make plays.
Drops you can’t have. There were some balls that were right there, getting hit as they caught it. Looked like sometimes it was a little early. But we’ll look at the tape. But we got to make plays.
Q. They ran for a lot of yards tonight. Do you feel at some point maybe that they were more physical than you were?
PAT NARDUZZI: I don’t know. We’ll watch the tape. Maybe. They’re a good looking football team. They got players too. They got guys on scholarship. And certainly the quarterback is a big athletic guy. We bounced off some tackles, there’s no question. Especially on that last one. We got to 1:57 to go. We debated whether to kick an onside kick or not. And we trusted our defense. And we were going to kick it and get them pinned down there and get good field position and go down and score. We probably would have. But we didn’t — we had a four-minute situation on defense and we didn’t stop it. I guess we did stop it. We stopped them at the goal line, I guess. But we gave them too many yards. And we had to go 99.
So hindsight, geez, 1:57 with three timeouts. Three timeouts, three runs and get them to punt the ball and feel like we would win the game. But obviously a bad call by me.
Q. Kedon took a hard hit early in the game. Could that have had a lasting impact on him the rest of the game?
PAT NARDUZZI: It may have. It may have. I don’t know. I didn’t see the tape. My eyes were down the field. I didn’t see it. I think any hit on a quarterback takes an effect on a guy, period. When you’re sitting back there and you’re unprotected, you’re in a passing stance, when you get hit like that it will definitely affect you. But it didn’t affect him enough that he came back and played really well in the second half.
Q. You mentioned all the three and outs. Do you think that had an effect on the defense in the fourth quarter being on the field as long as they were?
PAT NARDUZZI: I looked at the time of possession, it’s not good. It’s not that bad. But two extra minutes — we had three set changes in the third quarter. We turned the ball over three times in a row. Three straight series in a row. We had two fumbles and an interception. Yeah, the defense is going to get tired when you go three and out yes.
Q. Penalties were a problem for the second game in a row?
PAT NARDUZZI: We’ve got to get the right guys that we can trust that aren’t going to do that. We had a couple guys out there that got some penalties. And they have done it in the past. And we’ll have to find replacements for them if they can’t do it the right way. And then there were a couple, you know, you question, but we got to do a better job. Get the right guys on the field.
Q. Four different offensive linemen starting today. You had Branson at left tackle. Matt start at right tackle. Gabe swapped in. That shuffling of the offensive line, do you think it negatively impacted you guys tonight?
PAT NARDUZZI: Not having Carter Warren out there, yeah, you know, always affects you. But that ain’t the reason why. Turnovers are the reason why. I can’t sit here and say it’s because of that. Next man up. Didn’t affect us when Nate Yarnell was in. We made plays. And it can’t affect you, period. We got a lot of trust and faith in Branson Taylor and we got to go.
Would you like your starting five out there? Yes. But you’re down two starters on the O-line. We trust those other guys to go make plays, but we just didn’t get it done.
PITT POSTGAME NOTES
Georgia Tech 26, Pitt 21
Oct. 1, 2022
- With tonight’s 26-21 loss to Georgia Tech, Pitt is now 3-2 overall and 0-1 in ACC play. The Panthers dropped their ACC opener for the first time since 2019, when they lost 30-14 to Virginia.
- The Panthers are now 11-6 all-time against Georgia Tech, including 6-4 in ACC games.
- The loss halted a four-game series winning streak for Pitt. Georgia Tech defeated the Panthers for the first time since 2017 (35-17).
- Kedon Slovis threw for 305 yards on 26-of-45 passing with two touchdowns and one interception.
- It was Slovis’ second 300-yard passing effort of the season and 13th of his career.
- Jaden Bradley had the first multiple touchdown game of his career, catching scoring strikes of 26 and 18 yards. (He finished with two catches for 44 yards.)
- Pitt did not have a 100-yard rusher for the first time since the Sept. 1 season opener against West Virginia. The Panthers’ leading rusher was Vincent Davis, who netted 80 yards on 15 carries (5.3 avg.).
- Branson Taylor started at left tackle in place of the injured Carter Warren. It was the first start of Taylor’s career. For Warren, his streak of 18 consecutive starts was halted.
- Pitt completed a 99-yard touchdown drive (nine plays, 1:54) in the fourth quarter to pull within 19-14. It was the Panthers’ first 99-yard TD drive since Nov. 21, 2020 against Virginia Tech (four plays, 1:12).
- As a team, Pitt collected a season-high 11 TFLs. The Panthers’ four sacks matched their season high (Rhode Island).
- Tackle Calijah Kancey compiled a career-high 3.5 tackles for loss. His TFL total included a seven-yard sack.
- Tackle Devin Danielson had a career-high two TFLs.
- Safety Brandon Hill tied his career high with 11 total tackles (Clemson, 2021)