A week after an ugly first loss of the season, the Panthers rebounded in a big way, beating New Hampshire 77-7. Head coach Pat Narduzzi attributed the win to his players executing their game properly.
RECEIVERS ARE EXECUTING
Quarterback Kenny Pickett has 15 passing touchdowns through four games this season, a career high. Narduzzi said that his hot start is thanks, in part, to the receivers doing their job.
“That’s what you expect: guys to make plays when they catch the ball, not catch it and falling down, which is what we did a year ago,” Narduzzi said. “Makes Kenny look better when those guys are making plays after the catch.”
Narduzzi added that the receivers’ improvement at catching the ball is another reason for Pickett’s success.
“Receivers are catching the ball, too. Really helps when they’re catching it at a high rate,” Narduzzi said. “Knock on some wood there, they’re doing a good job catching the football.”
Kenny Pickett's day at the office:
24-for-28, 403 yards, 5 TD, 0 INT
— Pitt Football (@Pitt_FB) September 25, 2021
RUNNING GAME IMPROVEMENTS
The running game started off slow for the Panthers once again, but Narduzzi said he saw a steady effort from the unit, which ran for 252 yards.
“We didn’t get them early but we just kind of wore on them and they were kind of loading the box and bringing safety blitzes and whatever else,” Narduzzi said. “We hit them with a pass and then we came back and hit them with an upper cut with some runs.”
Ben Sauls topped the depth chart at placekicker on extra points at the start of the game Saturday. Two missed kicks later, Sam Scarton supplanted him, and went on to go 9-for-9 on the day.
“We were going to kick Sam with the field goals and give Ben a chance just to kick the extra points because he was hitting those well, and [it] didn’t work out, so back to the drawing board,” Narduzzi said. “I don’t know. It’s not good.”
DENNIS, WAYNE READY FOR GEORGIA TECH
Narduzzi offered injury updates on linebacker SirVocea Dennis and wide receiver Jared Wayne in the postgame press conference, saying that both will play against the Yellow Jackets on Saturday, Oct. 2.
DREXEL UP IN THE AIR
Narduzzi was less optimistic about starting center Owen Drexel and remained noncommittal.
“I don’t know. I think so,” Narduzzi said. “Maybe. Who knows?”