After their best season in decades led by Heisman Trophy candidate Kenny Pickett, the Pittsburgh Panthers ended their 2021 season with a 31-21 loss to Michigan State in the Peach Bowl. But apparently, head coach Pat Narduzzi left that game unimpressed by what he saw from the Spartans and the Big Ten as a whole.
Despite the double-digit loss, Narduzzi offers that game as proof that Pitt can not only compete with the heavyweights of college football, he believes they can dominate.
“You talk about Big Ten and SEC and ACC, If that’s one of the best Big Ten teams, let’s go to the Big Ten and win it every year,” Narduzzi said on Bazzy’s Black and Gold Banter. “I don’t want to hear about this Big Ten dominance and SEC dominance.”
Here’s the unhinged take from Pat Narduzzi pic.twitter.com/7x5DuUroyC
— Connor Muldumbass (@Connormuldowney) July 20, 2022
The comment is undeniably bizarre given how the game played out against the third-best team in the Big Ten, but to be fair, Pitt was without its top two quarterbacks for much of the game after Pickett opted out and backup Nick Patti left the game early with a shoulder injury. Even still, the Panthers were up 21-10 heading into the fourth quarter behind third-stringer Davis Beville before Michigan State scored 21 straight to win 31–21.
If either Pickett or Patti was able to play the entire game, Narduzzi is convinced the score would have been quite a bit different with the Panthers winning in a blowout.
“He’s a 21-point difference, ok. Michigan State gets their butt kicked in,” Narduzzi said. “It’s at least a 14-point difference if Nick Patti plays the whole game.”
It’s worth noting that Michigan State had several players opt out of that game too, including star running back Kenneth Walker III. If Narduzzi is going to bring up hypotheticals, it’s only fair he addresses that one, too.
This wasn’t Narduzzi’s only bizarre statement from the interview. He also had some surprising things to say about former offensive coordinator Mark Whipple. All in all, it was quite a candid interview.