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October 26, 2019

Pat Narduzzi

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Miami - 16, Pitt - 12

PAT NARDUZZI: The defense played well enough to win except for that last play, and I think we probably gave up one big play the entire game, which doesn't happen very often, but it was the one play that they needed to put the game away, and we just didn't make enough plays, period. There's plenty of blame to go around and it starts obviously with me and the coaching staff and it trickles down to everyone in that locker room that played a down or didn't play a down. You know, we just didn't make enough plays, and it's hard to win when you kick four field goals. Do I wish we'd have gone for it on 4th and 1? Yeah, but when your defense is playing as well as they are playing, you thought, shoot, let's win with four field goals.

So again, we can look back and question every call, offensively and defensively we'd like to, but in the end, had too many dropped passes, not enough touchdowns, and it's hard to win with three turnovers and on a short field, as well.


Q. You had three short field goals, which means three times in the red zone where you weren't able to find a touchdown. What was going wrong in that area?
PAT NARDUZZI: Well, again, Miami is a pretty good defense. They're ranked in the top 25, I think, in just about every category. We rushed for 176 yards. Just making plays, finishing it up. We'll watch the tape. It's hard to tell. The disappointing one is when you get down to the 7-yard line and you go three plays and get six yards and don't get in.

But Kessman has been outstanding. I told you he'd be back, and he was. So looking at a bright spot there from where he was earlier in the season, and just seemed like one of those games that the defense was playing outstanding. No one had really driven the ball on us.

We go three-and-out on the last drive, which we've been good in the four-minute offense and we don't get it. We were churning to get the run game, and then we get a 32-yard punt, which doesn't help any to end it up, and then we get them kind of a short field, and again, a field goal wins it, but I would have liked to see their kicker go out there to make an attempt. We didn't give them that opportunity.

Q. Do you think you guys went too conservative there on that four-minute drive?
PAT NARDUZZI: Yeah, you can say that, but then you look at the drive before that where we are running and running it all the way down to the 1-yard line. So we can always look back. And then if we throw passes and it's incomplete and the clock is stopped then we'll be complaining about that. We had faith in our run game. We made some calls, and again, we can say it's too conservative. It's not too conservative if you get a 1st down. We needed a 1st down and didn't get it done.

Q. You said that you wanted to in retrospect not kick the field goal there on 4th --
PAT NARDUZZI: No, I said we can look back and say that. The smart play was to kick the field goal. Some people would say go for it. If you don't get it then, now you're losing the game. You're down. But to go ahead was huge momentum for us.

Again, you can go back and forth. We can lose sleep over it, but it is what it is. We kicked the field goal, took a delay of game, backed it up so we had a better angle than we had earlier in the season, and he popped it through. You know, it's -- if we go for it and don't get it, we're saying the same thing. And again, they don't even have to score to win the football game.

Q. You didn't throw it as much in the second half as you did in the first half. Was it because of their pass rush?
PAT NARDUZZI: Maybe. Again, I don't know how many drops. You guys probably counted them up and tallied them, but we just didn't make enough plays. Again, and the run game was going, so we're going to run the football.

Q. You mentioned about how the defense was playing. If you go for it on 4th and 1 and don't get it, they have 99 yards to go. How much do you weigh that part of it versus going for it versus the field goal?
PAT NARDUZZI: We weigh it a lot. I mean, you weigh it a lot. Tough decision. When you're down, three points puts you ahead and your defense is playing -- I don't know. Again, could go either way. It's just got to play the odds, and I guessed wrong, so it's my fault.

Q. Why was Mike Vardzel in there on that punt return, and was he supposed to let the ball go there?
PAT NARDUZZI: You know, I don't know. It happened so quick that Coach Powell came running down to me and said Ffrenchy had something in his eye, and that's what happened to him. But I don't know -- we never want the ball to roll 20 yards, so no. I'm not sure what happened on there. It's Vardzel's first time in there to receive it. He's got probably the first surest hands we've got on our football team, and I'll have to look at the tape to see why and what happened there. Not a good move.

Q. The defense let in obviously that touchdown at the end, but 16 points, that should be good enough to win, right?
PAT NARDUZZI: Usually. I mean, our goal was 17 points, but you've got to score 18 to win. So yeah.

Q. Was their pass defense doing anything differently to maybe confuse Kenny, especially on those first two interceptions?
PAT NARDUZZI: You know, I don't know. It happened so fast out there. I could say that from sitting on the sideline, but I'm not sitting in the pocket being pressured. It looked like a couple overthrows, but I'd have to look at the tape. Maybe it's a route, maybe it's pressure. I don't know what it is. But they were maybe -- they were fatal.

Q. Speaking of fatal, how do you weigh the difference between the interceptions and the drops? The interceptions are obviously turnovers, but the drops killed you today too?
PAT NARDUZZI: Yeah, they did, and again, we've been pretty good. I know we had three last week. I don't know how many we had today, but even in the last drive we got opportunities. The ball was in our guys' hands, and shoot, Maurice has a chance, that thing may be gone. Even V'Lique might have been gone, as well. The last one was a tough one. It was a low throw, low slider, but we had opportunities, and we just didn't finish it.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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