The Pittsburgh Panthers are coming off their best football season in decades, thanks in large part to the high-powered offense led by Heisman candidate Kenny Pickett at quarterback and Mark Whipple at offensive coordinator. Now that both of them are gone, however, head coach Pat Narduzzi doesn’t seem to mind complaining about how things went.
While most head coaches might have been thrilled to oversee one of the most prolific passing attacks in the nation en route to an 11-3 season and conference championship, Narduzzi vented his frustrations with Whipple’s play-calling during a recent Twitter live stream hosted by Shults Ford.
“Our old offensive coordinator had no desire to run the ball,” Narduzzi said. “Everybody knew it. He was stubborn. I mean, Wake Forest, 118th in run defense and we threw the ball every down. When we ran it, we ran it for 10 yards but that wasn’t good enough.”
Pat Narduzzi said of Mark Whipple:
"Our old offensive coordinator had no desire to run the ball. Everybody knew it. He was stubborn. Wake Forest was 118th in run defense and we threw the ball every down. When we ran it, we ran it for 10 yards but that wasn't good enough."
— Dustin Schutte (@SchutteSports) July 21, 2022
Pitt defeated Wake Forest that game, 45-21, in the ACC Championship Game. So while yes, it’s true that Wake’s run defense was abysmal, it’s also wild to complain about how your offensive coordinator called plays when it led to 45 points and an easy victory.
It’s also true that Pitt had one of the worst run attacks in the ACC, but, again, they had a Heisman candidate quarterback who went in the first round of the NFL Draft and your team literally won 11 games! What are we complaining about here?
Whipple left Pitt to take the same job at Nebraska this offseason, so it might be that the sentiment is born out of resentment over the move more than anything. Still, whatever the reason for the unprovoked shots, the college football world had some strong reactions to the Panthers’ coach’s comments.
Is this a joke?
This guy is really complaining about a 45-21 win in the ACC Championship?
Kenny Pickett finished 3rd in Heisman voting and Jordan Addison won the Biletnikoff
But hey… this is the defensive genius that single covered Will Fuller. That worked out well… https://t.co/vi8QatRkuP
— Tim Murray (@1TimMurray) July 21, 2022
Pitt won this game 45-21 and finished 3rd nationally in scoring. https://t.co/JgdhuAyPyG
— Chris Vannini (@ChrisVannini) July 21, 2022
Well damn, Pat.
(Also, you guys scored 45 points on Wake.) https://t.co/gAuAuAYEyw
— Bill Connelly (@ESPN_BillC) July 21, 2022
Didn't Pitt go 11-3 last year, with a top 10 offense and #3 scoring offense (including beating the aforementioned Wake Forest 45-21)? https://t.co/TgZtkvrzsy
— Chris B. Brown (@smartfootball) July 21, 2022
— Ralph D. Russo (@ralphDrussoAP) July 21, 2022
If Pitt isn’t able to put together a good follow-up season to last year, Narduzzi might come to regret his comments about his former OC, because everyone will be wondering which of them was actually the reason the Panthers performed so well in 2021.