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Pitt Football

Michigan State’s Mel Tucker Refuses to Enter War of Words with Pat Narduzzi

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INDIANAPOLIS — A week ago, Pitt coach Pat Narduzzi caused a bit of a stir by asserting that the Panthers would have beaten Michigan State in the Peach Bowl had quarterback Kenny Pickett not opted out of the game. On Wednesday at Big Ten media day in Indianapolis, Spartans coach Mel Tucker opted to defuse the situation.

“I really prefer not to go into hypotheticals, especially games played in the past that were decided on the field,” Tucker said.

The Spartans did emerge victorious by a 31-21 count over the Panthers in Atlanta, but Pittsburgh had a chance to win the game in the final minutes. That was despite the Panthers having to play without both Pickett and backup quarterback Nick Patti, who suffered a broken collarbone in the first quarter.

“(Pickett is) a 21-point difference; Michigan State gets their butt kicked in,” Narduzzi said last week on the Bazzy’s Black & Gold Banter podcast last week to start the controversy. “And I’ll tell you what, it’s at least a 14-point difference if Nick Patti plays the whole game, I can tell you that. That’s how I feel.”

Narduzzi went on to say that he intended the comments to boost his team and the ACC in the face of hype surrounding the SEC and Big Ten. Left unsaid was the fact that Michigan State played the Peach Bowl without star running back Kenneth Walker III, which left both teams missing their best offensive weapon. Without Walker, the Spartans did nothing against Pitt’s run defense, gaining just 57 yards on 35 carries. On the other side of the coin, the 21 points Pitt scored with third-string option Davis Beville running the offense were the Panthers’ lowest total of 2021.

The controversy might not help Narduzzi’s popularity in East Lansing, where he served as defensive coordinator from 2007 until 2014, but it also probably won’t do anything to hurt Pitt on the field anytime soon. Unless the Panthers match up with a Big Ten team in a bowl game before then, they won’t even see a Big Ten opponent on the field until 2026, when they’re scheduled to travel to Madison to face Wisconsin.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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On Campus Stadium Please
On Campus Stadium Please
19 days ago

Class vs. duzzy

Jim
Jim
19 days ago

Mel knows the truth… you can’t Handle the truth!!!!!

Pittband
Pittband
19 days ago
Reply to  Jim

He’s a Niter, isn’t he?

Ed Rose
Ed Rose
18 days ago

PSU knows all about class. Covering up the serial rapes for 40 years is all class.

Pittband
Pittband
19 days ago

Give MSU the running back. That defense would have held MSU to less that 50 yards because they had something to prove. Nothing was said about MSU taking chances in the third and fourth quarter on offense because our 3rd string QB was so awful.
He reminded me of Wayne Adams in ‘77 when ND’s Willie Fry broke Cavanaugh’s arm in the opener.
Was there, MSU was not the best team that day. Their band was dynamite but it didn’t carry over to the football team. Serendipity that’s all.

Last edited 19 days ago by Pittband
Pittband
Pittband
19 days ago
Reply to  Pittband

Taking this a step further, we were the best team in the ACC but not in the class with Ohio State nor Michigan.

Jim
Jim
19 days ago
Reply to  Pittband

We’re you coming from? I will take that chance last year pitt would be hard to beat last year .. b 10 does not scare anyone

Pittband
Pittband
18 days ago
Reply to  Jim

Remember we lost to a MAC team and Miami, not really in a class with the OSU factory or Ann Arbor’s finest.

Dukes

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