A wild, point-filled affair saw the Pitt Panthers drop their sixth game of the year in a 34-31 loss at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh.
Pitt led 31-27 after a short touchdown run by Darrin Hall just 1:44 into the 4th quarter. But despite rushing for a total of 267 yards on the evening, the Panthers offense stalled as they decided to move away from the run and throw the ball. They would be forced into a three-and-out on their next drive and, after a go-ahead touchdown catch by North Carolina’s Anthony Ratliff-Williams with 6:18 remaining, saw what would be their final possession of the game come up empty.
One particular play the Panthers will look back on came late in the 2nd quarter. With the Tar Heels up 21-17 with a minute left before halftime, Pitt had a 1st-and-goal at the 5 yard line. Running back Quadree Henderson fumbled the ball at the 1 yard line after a 4-yard-pickup, and the ball was recovered by North Carolina. Although the Tar Heels were held to a field goal, it would be interesting to see what momentum the Panthers could have carried into the locker room if they had scored a touchdown there.
Here’s what Pitt coach Pat Narduzzi said after the game:
On the loss as a whole: “Obviously it’s a disappointing game there. Really don’t know how to explain it…We really found a way to give it away, really, in my opinion. The opening kickoff [by Anthony Ratliff-Williams] (was) kind of a gift. I give them credit, but it’s not what they did, but it’s what we did…But our kids never stopped fighting.”
On how playing from behind from the very beginning changed the tone of the game for Pitt: “Obviously it changes things. Who wants to play from behind? But we did a great job running the football. Darrin Hall [23 carries, 121 yards, 4 touchdowns] was a man again today, so I was impressed with (him). Not throwing it good enough (and giving up) three sacks…(was) not a good thing.”
On the decision to throw the ball more late in the game as opposed to running it: “They went into a different front which caused us to maybe throw it a little more…You get behind the sticks and maybe throw it a little bit more than you’d like to.”
On whether North Carolina is just a matchup problem for Pitt, given the fact that the Panthers have lost their last five to the Tar Heels: “No. It’s not a matchup problem. Not at all. Just gotta make some plays and finish. Should have won the game a year ago.”
The post What Pat Narduzzi said after Pitt’s loss to North Carolina at home appeared first on Diehards.
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