Panthers head coach Pat Narduzzi spent most of his weekly press conference ruminating on his team’s loss to Miami on Saturday, October 30. He also spoke to the tendencies he’s seen from Duke, the upcoming opponent.
Trash talk trouble
Pitt committed nine penalties against Miami, costing them 107 yards. Narduzzi said that the Hurricanes were able to get the Panthers off their game using insults.
“We let them get in our heads. There was a lot of trash talking, I don’t know about what. You can just imagine,” Narduzzi said. “When Deslin [Alexandre] gets a personal foul, you know something is wrong. About the calmest, smartest guy on our football team.”
Narduzzi blamed himself for not preparing the team better.
“[I] should have had our scout teams talk more crap during the week and cause some fights in practice I guess, but I didn’t do that,” Narduzzi said. “That’s something that will happen next year for sure.”
Strong second half
Despite the ugly loss and defensive miscues against a team perceived by many as inferior, Narduzzi said that he was proud of the way his team played in the second half.
“I think we finished it the way we needed to. Came back and played a really good second half, regardless of what happened in the fourth quarter,” Narduzzi said. “We got our explosives [plays]. Defensively, held them to seven points in the second half.”
Blue Devils offense
When asked what he sees from Duke’s offense, Narduzzi praised the Blue Devils’ running game and quick-passing attack.
“They’re very efficient. Like to run it. They’re going to throw their RPOs that they do,” Narduzzi said. “Pound, pound, pound, all of a sudden someone is going 60 yards for a touchdown. They have been explosive on offense.”
Narduzzi also mentioned their up-tempo offensive approach, but said his team is ready to face it.
“They’re going to snap it on average of 19 seconds per play,” Narduzzi said. We’ll be prepared. Some people run tempo to keep you [in] base [defense]. We’re not going to play base. We’re going to do what we do.”
Mataeo Durant, standout back
Narduzzi named Mataeo Durant, a senior running back for the Blue Devils, as the key to their run-heavy offense.
“He’s their workhorse. Don’t have two guys rotating in there. He is the guy,” Narduzzi said. “He does a nice job running the football, reading the zone play, being patient, finding holes. He’s a good tailback.”
Taysir Mack injury
Narduzzi remained non-committal when asked about receiver Taysir Mack’s arm injury, which forced him to leave the Miami game early and don a sling.
“He wanted to go back in the second half. Doctors did a great job and said, ‘Don’t go in.’ Not going to do it. Just trying to protect him,” Narduzzi said. “Right now [he’s] still under evaluation, so we’ll see.”