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Narduzzi: Pitt Has Spent ‘Weeks’ Prepping for Clemson

Narduzzi: Pitt Has Spent ‘Weeks’ Prepping for Clemson

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After Pitt’s 24-3 loss to Miami on Saturday, Pitt head coach Pat Narduzzi said that some of his players might have been looking past the Hurricanes and onto next Saturday’s ACC Championship Game against No. 2 Clemson.

On Sunday, Narduzzi admitted that some of his coaching staff had been, as well.

During Sunday’s ACC conference call ahead of the championship, Narduzzi said that while he and his assistants are just digging into the Tigers in the wake of Pitt’s trip to Miami, some of his staff have been working on Clemson for “weeks.”

“Our GAs have started to break down their stuff,” Narduzzi said Sunday afternoon. “We haven’t started to dig into it as coaches here. I should say our assistants have now. But I haven’t had a chance to. Just trying to clean up this last game details for team meeting, all that, doing some all-conference stuff this morning.

“The big thing is we’re going to look at every game this season. We’ll have bits and pieces of every game last season. We’ll look at the 2016 game. We’ll go back and look at any explosive plays they’ve had, trick plays, wheels, anything new that we haven’t seen. We’ll have really a two-year deal on them.

“We started that weeks ago.”

Obviously, things have changed a good bit since Pitt last faced the Tigers and came away with a surprise win in Death Valley in 2016.

“I know they got a younger quarterback [Trevor Lawrence] that’s obviously done a phenomenal job as a rookie,” Narduzzi said. “They’re very talented. Christian Wilkins on defense, recruited him a few years ago. I can’t believe he’s still there playing. They’re obviously very talented, otherwise wouldn’t be the No. 2 team in the country.”

Despite a freshman at quarterback, it’s an experience Clemson group. The Tigers will be playing in their fourth consecutive ACC Championship game and sixth overall. They’ve won the last three — last year’s game by a 38-3 margin over then-No. 7 Miami.
They also won in 2011, 2015 and 2016. Their only loss was to Georgia Tech in 2009.

Pitt will be playing in its first ACC Championship Game, though Narduzzi does have some experience from coaching Michigan State to two Big Ten Championship Games.

“I think all your past experiences as a football coach or player or AD, whatever it may be, a writer, I think you’re always going to draw from past experiences you’ve had, things you’d like to continue to do, things you’d do differently if you were put in the same position,” Narduzzi said. “That’s what we do as coaches, is collect data, collect things you like, move on with it. I think that’s kind of what you do.

“There were some things we did differently, for sure, schematically as well as structurally with how we structured the weekend.”

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