After completing just 8-of-20 pass attempts (40%) for 81 yards and three interceptions in an embarrassing loss to West Virginia Saturday night, Narduzzi — once again — said he didn’t even think of switching quarterbacks.
“We’ve got a lot of faith in Phil, and you gotta give defenses credit,” Narduzzi said in his postgame press conference. “Took the opening drive, and you get down to the 3-yard line, you gotta score touchdowns. And you don’t.”
Pitt looked listless against West Virginia throughout much of the Backyard Brawl, with screen passes skipping across the turf and deep balls into triple coverage winding up in the arms of WVU defenders, and it came as Narduzzi said that — while he’ll have to watch the tape — he thought the pass protection was improved from a week ago.
Jurkovec is in the midst of a two-week stretch in which he’s completed 18-of-52 pass attempts for 260 yards with three touchdowns and three interceptions. With losses to the two Big 12 teams projected to finish last and second-to-last by the Big 12 media.
When it comes to throwing three picks against WVU, and a general disregard for attempting to push the football downfield, Narduzzi said that the Mountaineers’ defense played a lot of off-coverage, the corners playing soft and taking away deep balls.
“We gotta go back and look at the gameplan, look at how we’re doing it and fix it,” Narduzzi said.
On the heels of back-to-back poor performances, Narduzzi said that Pitt does have confidence in Christian Veilleux. And Nate Yarnell. But he wasn’t considering either of them.
“You guys are fast and want to pull the plug on somebody,” Narduzzi said. “That’s not how we do it. I’m a positive guy, try to stay positive and you start dumping people whether it’s a corner, a tackle or a quarterback, it’s not good for you. So, we’ll look at the tape, and it’s never one person. I know you guys want to point the finger at one person, and it’s not, so we all had a part in it. It starts with the game plan and we’ll get it right.”
Narduzzi said he was happy with the game plan going into the game against West Virginia but “obviously not” happy with how the game turned out. So, it’s back to the film room. And back to Jurkovec against North Carolina next week?
“I’m gonna watch the tape, but I believe so, yes.”