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Pitt Football

Pat Narduzzi Says Pitt Called Caleb Junko’s 4th Quarter Onside Kick

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Vincent Davis’s 18-yard touchdown dash late in the fourth quarter seemingly ended the game against Rhode Island Saturday, but there was still some action ahead.

Ben Sauls was run into on Pitt’s point-after attempt, pushing Pitt’s lead to 45-24 with just 1:11 left in the game, and with Sauls — Pitt’s usual kickoff specialist — on the sideline, Caleb Junko trotted out onto the field for the kickoff.

Instead of kicking it deep, Junko ran a surprise onside kick attempt — following Rhode Island’s on the prior possession — and recovered the football himself. He even was able to dunk on the Turnover Hoop.

There was some wonder as to whether or not Junko went rouge on the onside kick, as Pat Narduzzi and Andre Powell were seen “talking” with Junko directly following the attempt, but Narduzzi said it was Pitt’s play design.

“Yeah, it’s something we called,” Narduzzi said after the game. “Obviously, you got the ball at the 50-yard line, we can kick it deep. The first time we had that earlier in the year, I forget what game it was, Tennessee or whatever, we kicked it deep, but someone has got to be aware of that kick, and you got the ball at the 50-yard line, there’s not much risk after a 15-yarder for roughing our kicker on the one.

“Junko hadn’t gotten a lot of reps at it, either. So, kudos to not Coach Junko, to Coach Junko’s grandson, for executing that properly.”

Junko, a walk-on redshirt freshman from Akron, Ohio, did not see the field last season, so Saturday’s onside kick was his first taste of actual in-game action.

The onside kick recovery, recovered by himself, allowed a couple of kneel downs to end non-conference play with a 45-24 win over Rhode Island. Pitt kicks off ACC play next weekend at home against Georgia Tech.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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KBo
KBo
2 months ago

So, the HC and STC looked pissed and yelled at him for nothing? I call BS.

Rjm
Rjm
2 months ago
Reply to  KBo

Pat’s covering for Junko.

Robert E Landel
Robert E Landel
2 months ago

Yeah, why did it look like everybody was yelling at the kid. The young man did good!

benjamin harris
benjamin harris
2 months ago

Rogue not rouge.

Tom DiPasquale
Tom DiPasquale
2 months ago

I’m ok with onside. They took a shot at our kicker. F–k em.

Jim
Jim
2 months ago
Reply to  Tom DiPasquale

Keep that same energy when another team runs a scumbag move like that on Pitt. Don’t complain when they do

Justin
Justin
2 months ago
Reply to  Jim

How was that a scumbag move? They onside and kneel to end game. They didn’t go and try to score again.

Dukes

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