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Why Pitt WR Jaylon Barden’s Supposed Start Turned Into Zero Snaps

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Pat Narduzzi said last Thursday that while Pitt’s staff hasn’t always made it easy on Jaylon Barden, he would be starting against North Carolina after an excellent week of practice. Instead, Barden didn’t take a single snap against UNC.

With a strong week of practice, after admittedly not being put in a position to make plays against Louisville, Narduzzi said that Barden was ready to step into the lineup against North Carolina. He didn’t expect Bub Means, who only played one snap against Louisville, to be able to go.

There was nothing going on with Barden to not allow him to see the field, Narduzzi said. He’s a great kid. Just didn’t see the field.

“To be honest with you, last Thursday I didn’t think that Bub Means would play,” Narduzzi said Monday at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex. “He was available game time. That’s the only reason. Again, I felt guilty kind of saying he was going to play and all of a sudden he doesn’t.”

“(Barden) was ready to play. From the week before, I don’t know if you remember this, from the week before, I was excited for him to get a chance, and then, again, we got him at a different position that wasn’t fair to him.”

Pitt had been preparing Barden to play the inside wide receiver position in the offense, and when Means went down against Louisville, Barden wasn’t ready to play outside. So, Konata Mumpfield prepared to play outside, shifting from the inside to the outside in the absence of Means, and that would allow Barden — who prepared for the inside — to slide into the starting lineup.

But Means being able to play, according to Narduzzi, kept Barden out of the lineup.

“It seems like every week there’s something going on, and then last week we got (Barden) switched around,” Narduzzi said. “We were going to put Konata in that position because he’s played it before and just leave Jaylon where he was. However, then it goes down to — comes to game time and Bub is ready to go and he played the whole game and did a nice job.”

Means caught three balls for 53 yards, helped by a 40-yard reception on Pitt’s first offensive possession. He was one of just three players to catch a pass against UNC — along with Jared Wayne and Konata Mumpfield. Gavin Bartholomew received two targets, and Israel Abanikanda, Vincent Davis and Myles Alston all received one.

Narduzzi said that Barden started all week in practice, was ready to start, but it came down to Means being ready to play on Saturday.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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Robert E Landel
Robert E Landel
1 month ago

Slovis wouldn’t have thrown him the ball anyway. Slovis needs to bench himself.

mdtkd
mdtkd
1 month ago

Just another receiver that will likely transfer. Things must be interesting in that locker room and coaches rooms.

Cruzer
Cruzer
1 month ago

Narduzzi must be actively working to piss the kid off. If he doesn’t transfer, I’ll be shocked.

Dixon
Dixon
1 month ago

The bigger story to me was not that Barden didn’t get any snaps, but that neither the TE’s or RB’s had a reception in this game. How does Bartholomew go an entire four quarters without catching a pass…no wonder the offense struggles to score points.

Chris
Chris
1 month ago
Reply to  Dixon

Last year, the TE is a freshman All-American and is invisible this year. Pathetic. How they refuse to showcase this weapon is beyond me.

Bob
Bob
1 month ago

Yeah, like Bub should keep anyone out of the lineup! This coaching staff is so pathetic!

Pittband
Pittband
1 month ago

Narduzzi will receive an ultimatum, fire Cignetti or go himself. The fans don’t want a run based offense. Even Michigan doesn’t rely on the run game at the expense of the passing game.

Steve
Steve
1 month ago

Cignetti is Pitt’s version of Matt Canada.

On Campus Stadium Please
On Campus Stadium Please
1 month ago

The offense is a disaster

Rich J
Rich J
1 month ago

I would not fault Bartholomew if he transferred.

SRS
SRS
1 month ago

Get him in on the Punt game, have two guys back instead of one. MJ running backwards is not helping. Punt Returner gets a long return against FCS team and now thinks he is taking every chance to the House against P5 teams. Need positive Yardage returns. Not fielding the one Punt or communicating to blocker almost led to turnover too.

dennis
dennis
1 month ago

Next transfer

Dukes

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