PITTSBURGH — Phil Jurkovec heard the boos at Acrisure Stadium Saturday night, and it’s safe to say he wasn’t a fan.
It was a rough night at Acrisure Stadium as Pitt fell to Cincinnati 27-21, and Jurkovec struggled throughout much of the game. He completed 10-of-32 pass attempts (31%) for 179 yards and three touchdowns. The offense looked out of sync all night, and with two chances to score late to take the lead, both chances slipped by unsuccessfully.
Pitt fans voiced their displeasure throughout the night — largely at the offense. And Jurkovec didn’t mince his words.
“I think if you’re a grown-ass man booing in that stadium, then you gotta look at things yourself,” Jurkovec said following the loss. “I think that’s pathetic. But you know what? We didn’t play well enough, so we’re gonna be better.”
Pitt’s offense was lifeless throughout much of the first three quarters, failing to put together any sort of consistency through the air, and to be fair to Jurkovec, it wasn’t just limited to his play. The offensive line was battered all night, and the wide receivers let some balls hit the turf. But Jurkovec wasn’t good enough.
Pat Narduzzi, as was the case throughout last season, never considered the idea of benching Jurkovec in the second half. Jurkovec — for better or worse — has Narduzzi’s complete faith entering next week.
“I think first thing, it starts with the offensive line,” Narduzzi said following the loss. “It takes 11. Everybody is going to point at the quarterback. He’ll get all the glory when you win football games. He’s a great quarterback, got a lot of faith in him.”
Narduzzi said that Pitt would need to improve everything entering the Backyard Brawl next week in Morgantown, W.Va., and that certainly includes Jurkovec’s play and the ability of the offense to mesh across all phases of the offense.
“I think I just missed some throws,” Jurkovec said. “I gotta trust some plays more, trust that they’re gonna be there and trust my training. I got away from that a little bit with my footwork and messing up and leaving the pocket too early. So, those are things I can correct.”
The Backyard Brawl is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. next Saturday in Morgantown.