Pitt football notebook: Pat Narduzzi admonishes self for penalty
When coach Pat Narduzzi put names on an overhead projector of players who committed penalties Saturday night, he didn’t excuse anyone.
“It’s got Joe and Fred,” he said, speaking generically, “and Narduzzi’s on there.”
Narduzzi was given a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for arguing a substitution penalty at the end of the first quarter of the loss to Penn State. He vowed it won’t happen again.
Narduzzi said: “I told (his players), ‘I will not get one again. I’m disciplined enough. My fault, dumb.’”
Redshirt freshman cornerback Paris Ford, who was the gem of Pitt’s 2017 recruiting class, did not play against Penn State.
Narduzzi said he’s still learning the position after a shift from safety. Presently, he’s listed as a backup with Damarri Mathis behind junior starter Dane Jackson.
“I love that kid,” the coach said of Ford. “He’s going to be a great football player. When you have older guys out there who have more experience and you’re playing a big game, you guys would be the first one if he fails, screaming, ‘Why was Dane not in there?’
“He’s still learning. It’s not easy to play. There are a lot of things you have to adjust to, and he’s a smart kid, and he’s picking it up better and better.
“But we can’t have busts in the back end.”
Narduzzi did not rule out Jake Scarton, who suffered an unspecified injury last week, regaining his job as the holder for placements. “He may be part of the mix, I don’t know,” he said. “But that’s why we practice. We’re going to see who holds the best this week, find out how therapy’s going.”
Hitting the road
The game at North Carolina on Sept. 22 will begin at 12:20 p.m. and will televised by WTAE-TV (Channel 4). It will be Pitt’s first road game of the season. After the Georgia Tech game Saturday, Pitt will have played half of its home schedule.
Jerry DiPaola is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jerry at [email protected] or via Twitter @JDiPaola_Trib.