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September 28, 2019

Pat Narduzzi

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Pitt - 17, Delaware - 14

PAT NARDUZZI: Well, obviously it was not the Pitt football team that I like to see. I don't think we came up with the emotion that we could have. I thought we came out flat, and blame me for that because we've got to come out revved up and ready to go every week. After an emotional win like we had a week ago, sometimes it's hard to get them going, and I didn't feel it from the beginning.

Obviously we had a lot of guys play in the football game, to say the least, backup quarterbacks, a couple tailbacks out. But like I said, we got the win. We found a way to get it done. But just critical errors all over the place. 13 penalties, ridiculous, late hit out of bounds, thinks he's inbounds. Maybe we've brighten up the sidelines or something.

But just little things here and there that stopped drives. Way too many penalties, and we got a roughing the punter. Shake my head on that one. But just little stuff all over the place.

But was happy for Todd Sibley to get his opportunity to go out there and run it and get it done. Nick Patti made some plays when we needed to, nice one down the pipe there with V'Lique, and then Taysir made some great catches at the end to put us ahead. Questions?

Q. At what point this week did you know you were going with Nick Patti?
PAT NARDUZZI: You know what, really game time. I just don't think Kenny was 100 percent, and I thought all week he was going to be able to go. But I did warn our kids early in the week that, hey, I don't care who goes, I wanted to make sure there wasn't a letdown. Maybe there was a letdown; maybe everybody thought Kenny was going to play. But we've gone through that in the past back which I was at Cincinnati; we all thought Gino Guidugli, who's the quarterback coach at Cincinnati was going to go, last game of the season and he didn't go. I think everybody was in shock. So I prepared myself; you learn as coaches and players from your mistakes and things you did in the past. Really a game-time decision.

Q. Did Kenny take most of the snaps during the week?
PAT NARDUZZI: No, no. Kenny didn't take many snaps at all to be honest with you. I think most of the media was out there on Tuesday and saw that he didn't practice, at least early or throw a ball. But Nick took most of the reps the entire week with Jeff George, as well.

Q. Could Kenny have played if necessary?
PAT NARDUZZI: If necessary -- most important thing is his health. It's a long season. I was glad Nick was able to get out there and make some plays. It's going to make us that much stronger as the season goes on, and same thing at the tailback position. We were banged up this week, period, and it was just good to get some twos out there and let them go play.

Q. If this was Miami, Clemson, Virginia, do you think Kenny suits up?
PAT NARDUZZI: Again, I'm just going to say the same thing. It comes down to health, and I don't want to put anybody in harm's way. If he goes out there and tweaks it again, we'll all be kicking ourselves in the tail. I thought we could go out there with Nick Patti and win the football game, and we obviously did. Not in a pretty manner, but we got the W.

Q. Were the Davis guys taking reps this week at running back?
PAT NARDUZZI: No. You said this week will they or next week or did this week?

Q. Did they this past week?
PAT NARDUZZI: No, they did not.

Q. Why didn't he play?
PAT NARDUZZI: Why didn't he play? Where's Jerry at. Could you tell them?

Q. We'll talk later.
PAT NARDUZZI: Get them later. He wasn't ready to go. He didn't get suspended, I'll tell you that. He's banged up, and again, we had a physical game a week ago. Everybody was happy we got a win, but we were banged up a little bit going into this game, period.

Q. Those three guys and Kenny, do you anticipate that they'll be ready for next week?
PAT NARDUZZI: We'll figure it out next week. If I knew that, I'd have a nice crystal ball in front of me. I don't have a crystal ball.

Q. Jason Pinnock you said Monday would play. Did something happen midweek to him?
PAT NARDUZZI: No, he's banged up. I thought he would, and again, I can't -- Jay Stocker was out, as well. We were down a few guys. Chase Pine was out, as well. We had a lot of guys that got opportunities to play today, and we'll worry about the guys that got out there to play. They want those opportunities, they get those opportunities. We'll watch the tape and find out what they looked like.

Q. Was there one thing frustrated you most about today's performance? Was it the energy, was it the penalties?
PAT NARDUZZI: Probably the energy and the emotion that we had or didn't have, and the penalties drive me nuts.

Q. Do you feel like your defense, having two short fields, kept you in the game for a long portion of it?
PAT NARDUZZI: It really did, and that's a good offense. That quarterback, I think we got him sacked six or seven times, and we missed him four or five times. That guy is a football player. He was at Georgia to start off with, and went to junior college and came out. He's a football player, and I think I told you guys that earlier. He can scramble. He likes to scramble to his right. We knew he liked to scramble to his right. I don't know how many times he scrambled out to his right and made some plays with his feet, so he's a good football player. They'll win a lot of football games this season.

Q. How did you feel about how Nick Patti played and how much did Taysir Mack help him?
PAT NARDUZZI: Well, Taysir Mack helps every quarterback that's out on the field for sure. He's a playmaker. But I think he played solid for his first start.

Remember this: It's a lot different starting a football game as opposed to jumping in there. There's the pregame nerves, and I don't know if he knew he was going to start or not. I didn't know. But he looked sharp in pregame, and I think he did an admirable job. We'll go back -- he throws a pick, which obviously you can't do.

Their two touchdowns, again, I can count the touchdowns. You go back to Virginia, they had three touchdowns they scored in the game, and they were all 17, 27 and 29 yards, and today we got a 21-yard drive for a touchdown and a 41-yard drive, so our defense obviously played pretty darned good. They bent but they didn't break.

We've got to do a better job in sudden-change situations, so we'll have a sudden-change period on -- may have two sudden-change periods on Tuesday. We're going to play better sudden-change defense.

Q. Are you concerned with where the running game is right now?
PAT NARDUZZI: Yeah, you know, again, it is what it is. We've been throwing the ball better. They were dropping eight at times, and then we started getting the run game going. I think, like I said, Sibley did a good job. I'm always concerned. Last year I was concerned with the passing game, this year I'm concerned with the run game. Nothing is ever perfect. We'll just continue to work at it and get better.

Q. You get down and you get back to up, and Patti let that 90-yard drive. What's that say about his -- playing super well at that point, a lot of pressure, you don't want to lose this game, but did he stay cool throughout that whole process?
PAT NARDUZZI: He really did. He stayed cool. He was composed. He didn't take any sacks today and made one really bad decision. Protect the football and we'll have a chance to win every football game if we do that. We didn't get any turnovers again today defensively. We had a chance early and missed an opportunity, and give them credit.

Q. Without so many big guys, it might be hard to kind of evaluate how the team did as a whole. What did you learn, if anything, after today?
PAT NARDUZZI: Well, again, we got a character football team that found a way to win. There's some teams that will find a way to lose. Our kids held in there, made one more play that they needed to, and we made that final drive. Again, was a heck of a job by our offense, and our defense hung out and continued to play and got three-and-outs when they needed to.

Q. When you found out all these guys that didn't play weren't available before kickoff, how did that affect how you felt about this game?
PAT NARDUZZI: Well, Kenny was the only one I found out before kickoff really. But the rest of them I knew. I knew we were going to have to step up. I talked to Heather earlier in the week and said, We're banged up, and I mean, it's kind of what we thought we would be. And again, you're looking for guys to make opportunities, maximize their opportunities, and like I said, Todd Sibley did that today, and I think Nick Patti made enough plays to win.

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