Pitt head coach Pat Narduzzi doesn’t want to play college football on Friday nights. In fact, Narduzzi says that no college head coaches want to play football on Friday nights.
But he’s going to do just that on Nov. 6, when the Panthers will play host to Virginia Tech at Heinz Field.
It’s the first time under Narduzzi that the Panthers have played a Friday night game at home. They played on Friday night at Syracuse in 2019 and at Virginia in 2018. They’ve also played on the afternoon of the Friday after Thanksgiving, most recently in 2017 against Miami at home.
Narduzzi said they resisted the idea of playing a Friday night game at home because he knows the impact of local high school football.
“We don’t want to play on Friday nights,” Narduzzi said. “That’s high school football night, especially in the city of Pittsburgh. I’ll go play on Friday in someone else’s town if we have to.”
The silver lining for all involved is that the game will come after the end of the WPIAL regular season, so Pitt’s game will only conflict with those teams continuing into the playoffs.
There was also thoughts about having Pitt’s home game against Notre Dame, currently scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 17, on a Friday night. Narduzzi and company weren’t having any parts of that.
“We’ve got Notre Dame on Saturday, thank God,” Narduzzi said. “There was thoughts of it being on a Friday night in Pittsburgh. [Assistant AD] Chris LaSala did a great job of talking the ACC into putting that at the right time that it should be played.”
Of course, if you ask Narduzzi — and most coaches — every game should be played on a Saturday.
“There’s only so many times we can tell them we don’t want to play on Friday nights,” Narduzzi said. “As a matter of fact, we took a vote down at the AFCA coaches [convention] a year ago and the year before that. It was unanimous. Not one college football coach wants to play on a Friday night. But they don’t pay the bills, either I guess. ESPN does.”