Pitt head coach Pat Narduzzi said that he won’t rest any starters for the regular season finale at Syracuse, even though Pitt has already secured a position in the ACC Championship Game.
“That would be a natural question: ‘Let’s go up there and keep them all healthy and play our backups and get ready for the championship game,’” Narduzzi said. “I would love to do that, but I don’t see us doing that.”
Pitt is going for 10 wins in a regular season for the first time since 1981 in the game, something that Narduzzi said means a lot. He also doesn’t want to disrupt the chemistry of his team by taking regulars out with one game to go.
“It’s been since 1981 — I think I was a freshman in high school — that we won ten regular season games,” he said. “It’s been a long time. To me, that means something. In 40 years, there’s something to prove when we go up there this weekend.”
After wrapping up the ACC Coastal with one game to play in 2018, Pitt lost its regular-season finale at Miami, and Narduzzi doesn’t seem interested in repeating that ending in 2021.
“I don’t know if that had anything to do with handling success, but we’ll find out,” he said. “We’ll find out this weekend for sure up in Syracuse.”
Pitt had two defenders ejected for targeting against Virginia, with SirVocea Dennis and Brandon Hill both finishing the game in the locker room.
Narduzzi didn’t specifically criticize the calls, but did say that he doesn’t think his team has to do any differently to avoid that outcome in the future.
“We haven’t had one all year,” Narduzzi said. “Ten games, zero. Then all of a sudden, we have two. Just mysterious targeting calls. … It’s disappointing. … No adjustments. Someone else has got to make adjustments. We need to play football.”
NEXT MAN UP
Hill will miss the first half of the Syracuse game as a result of his violation. Narduzzi said that Judson Tallandier, who replaced Hill on Saturday, is the likely starter at that spot.
We’ll see. That would be the first thought right now, but we’ll see how they practice this week and see how they go.