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Pat Narduzzi Still Feels Good About Controversial Decision

Pat Narduzzi Still Feels Good About Controversial Decision

Pitt head coach Pat Narduzzi isn’t backing down from any of the criticism that he received after choosing to opt out of going for it on fourth-and-one from the one-yard line in Saturday’s 17-10 loss to Penn State.

When the Panthers were trailing by seven with just under five minutes remaining in the game, Kenny Pickett and Pitt’s offense looked poised to come from behind and win the game with a 1st and goal at the 1-yard line.

Pitt then ran three unsuccessful plays that set up the crucial decision. Narduzzi ultimately chose to kick a 19-yard field goal that Alex Kessman missed.

Narduzzi received a firestorm of criticism from local and national media for his choice, but once again defended his decision.

“I have no regrets with the call at all,” Narduzzi said Monday at his press conference. “My regret is that we didn’t score on one of those three plays. That’s my regret.”

During those three plays that set up the fourth down, Pitt never looked comfortable. Narduzzi said two of those plays were the only two plays that they really felt would work in that situation.

“My regret is that we didn’t execute those properly,” he said.

On first down, Pickett threw the ball out of the back of the end zone. On second down, he kept it himself and got nowhere. And then on third down, Pickett again had to throw the ball away with Penn State applying pressure.

“I thought we had the plays, we just didn’t do them right,” Narduzzi said.
“We did what we wanted to do. We wanted to get three there, we wanted to go out there and play defense again. … We trusted that our defense was going to get a stop, we got the ball back with a minute-fifty, or whatever left. And we expect our offense to go down the field and score.”

Pitt still hasn’t scored a second-half touchdown through three games, and the Panthers turning away a shot at one from as close as humanly possible in a historic rivalry game is probably never going to sit well with some. Narduzzi said he doesn’t pay attention to outside criticism, but acknowledged that he doesn’t expect it to go away.

“We can debate it for the next ten years, and maybe we will, because we probably won’t play them again for the next ten years,” he said.


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Kirk Blazic

There is no debate!!! It was an asinine decision that made ZERO sense at the time and makes even less sense the more he tries to defend it. This is why it’s hard to be optimistic. We have a defensive coordinator as a head coach who refuses to climb out of that mindset and trust the other side of the ball. Whenever a critical decision needs to be made he reverts to his defensive genes. Kicking the FG, punting from the PSU 37, calling timeout to punt and on and on with the horrible in game decisions.

Terry Durko

Coach please admit that it was a mistake. If you don’t, we as fans will not be able to live with that decision again and I am a fan of yours. Maybe the only one left.


I’m REALLY trying to hang in there too Terry. I have supported and will continue to support Duzz as long as I can, but he is making this one tough. I do believe he has the program headed in the right direction, but his reaction to this one is disappointing at the least, and ludicrous at the worst. If you need 2 scores as he states, why wouldn’t you try to get the TD when you’re on the 1 yard line?!? Then, by making the decision he made, he essentially gave them 19 yards for free. How do you even… Read more »

Donald J

Does Coach Narduzzi have that big of an ego that he truly believes he can convince Pitt Nation that his call on 4th and 1 was the right call? This talk about his decision to call a timeout to avoid a 5-yard penalty on a punt? All Narduzzi has shown over and over again is that he is not very good at game-management decisions.

Donald J

Oh and I almost forgot… It is very difficult for James Franklin to look like a smart Head Coach with some of the bonehead calls he has made over the years… but on Saturday he looked like the smarter head coach.

Clark Martineau

Narduzzi has taken responsibility for the call. I think he was remembering the game against Virginia Tech. I think he made the right decision. Pitt played well in “sappy valley”. Get over it.


Shows you ONE reason pitt will never make the next step with this coach


I hated the call and hate how he defends a really stupid decision that made no sense. Even if we didn’t get the TD on 4th down, PSU would have had the ball at the one. Our D was getting a lot of pressure and either way we needed a TD. Go for two if you want to go for the win! Just makes me think about how he NEVER changed his defense 3 years ago from man coverage. We had a 10 win team if we would have switched our D against pass happy teams, but he was to… Read more »

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