Everything Pitt Head Coach Pat Narduzzi said about Cincinnati Matchup

By Ryan Roberts




After defeating Wofford, 45-7, Pitt head coach Pat Narduzzi went back and re watched the game film and began prep for the upcoming match up against the Cincinnati Bearcats.




Below is everything Narduzzi said about Saturday's 6:30 kickoff inside Acrisure Stadium:




Opening Statement:


Obviously we get into Cincinnati week, which we turned our focus last night after the team meeting, and (get ready to face a) really good Cincinnati team.


I think they've got the No. 5 offense in the country, coming in here. Scored a lot of points, explosive at the tailback spot and at wide receiver. Emory Jones is a quarterback transfer, Florida to Arizona State. So much for one-time transfers. I guess he was a grad transfer I'm guessing, and Cincinnati is his third school.


But great player, athletic. I don't know if he's Malik Cunningham, but really athletic.


Again, we know Scott Satterfield who we've faced a couple times already, and really, really good coach that will be another challenge. They do a good job scheming you on both sides of the ball, and defensively they're a 3-4, so kind of some carryover from this past week, which is good.


They've got this nose tackle, Dontay Corleone, I believe, nicknamed "The Godfather." It starts with him and that defensive end, Briggs, are two really good players for them.




Familiarity with Scott Satterfield and similarities from matchups against Louisville:


Yeah, very similar. Very similar in year one of it, though, I would say. Big outside zone team, but I'm not sure they like outside zone against us, but it is their favorite run play.


They do a good job. They're going to go back and look at games from the last three years. They did it at Louisville, and they kind of copycat some stuff that you can just notice, you're like, ‘Oh, that's a play that we saw against Miami back in this day,’ and kind of go back and look and go, they did a good job copycatting.


We'll do a great job self-scouting and going back to every team that we played that has an athletic quarterback and kind of look and see, hey, what did they think they could get on us, where is our weakness, what are they trying to attack. So they do a good job like that.


There will be new stuff they see that they kind of take from other teams.




Q: Do you see (Cincinnati) use any wide-shoot looks that you've seen from some teams that go after you guys?


 Yeah, they did that last year. I don't know if you remember, we covered it up pretty good. See, you're on it.


They did that last year to us a little bit. That's just one of those copycat plays that they took from Miami when Mallory went up the middle. Usually can get us once but usually you aren't going to get us twice, so we do a good job of self (scouting).




Whether Emory Jones is doing designed runs or just scrambling:


Well, it depends if they're copycatting or not, but he likes to scramble. If he doesn't like it, he's taking off and he can run.


They've got some quarterback draws, and quarterback draw is a new thing probably that they got in the off-season. They weren't a big quarterback draw with Malik, but seems to be a lot of quarterback draws with having routes out there, RPO stuff.


So they've got some new stuff in there. We've seen plenty of draws through the years, so we'll be okay there.


But not a ton of quarterback power and all that stuff, but we could see -- they copycatted a little outside zone, quarterback outside zone that Georgia Tech ran against us last year, and they came up and did it and didn't have a whole lot of success.


They'll have a play off of a play.




The challenges of scouting a team that has so many new faces and transfers:


Yeah, they have three transfers on defense and then they've got eight on offense, so eight of their 11 starters are transfers, which is amazing. They're good players.


They came from Miami, from Florida. Dee Wiggins is from Miami; we've played against him before. They've got a lot of talent. Kiner, their tailback, who's a Cincinnati kid, transferred in from LSU, really good football player. Had an explosive up the middle. Nobody touched him.


Really good players, but you've got at least a game tape on them. It would be a lot harder if we opened up with them and didn't know -- you're going back watching their old school or old high school tape, but kind of like an opener with a lot of those guys. You're not sure how fast they are. You haven't played against them before.


Never easy when you don't get to play against guys and you don't know who they are and what they do.




Biggest point of emphasis from coaching at Cincinnati under Mark Dantanio and how it helped his career:


Cincinnati is a great place. Cincinnati is kind of like a Pittsburgh. I don't know what I took from there, it's been so long ago and I'm so old.


But when you look at it, Cincinnati is a tough team. That's what I take from it. Cincinnati is tough. They're physical. They've got good football players. They'll be hungry coming in here. That's what I take.


I just know that the DNA is very similar to a Pittsburgh kid. It'll be a hell of a game with them coming in here.


Lessons, I coached back in the old Wannstedt era, and Dave was 2-0, and they had some great players and made plays, and we didn't make plays back in the day.




Description of River City Rivalry


I don't know. It's an old rivalry. I don't know. It's a rivalry, I guess, I don't know. Or at least used to be when we were in the same conference. We're not in the same conference, so I don't know where that is.


I haven't really thought about that. I was worried about their personnel more than a trophy. The trophy really doesn't matter or will matter to me, but we'll see. I don't know if it'll be here or not. I don't know if our kids know what it is. It's been a while since we played them, and just focusing on executing and playing well.




Difference in challenge for the safety position this week against Cincinnati's offense:


 You know, it's like the competition just keeps getting better every week, I think, and Cincinnati has got talented receivers. If you had to look at one of their strengths, it's going to be the receiving corps. They're all new guys. They all can run. They're all SEC or ACC guys that they transferred in, whether it's a Louisville or Miami or Florida.


Their work will be cut out for them. 




What Dontay Corleone brings to the Cincinnati defense:


He lines up over the center in a zero technique and he just causes havoc in the backfield. He's explosive. He's -- he's only about 6'2", maybe 6'2½". He just causes havoc in the backfield. It starts with him. You've got to control the line of scrimmage, and it's really a key to victory every week is really just to control the line of scrimmage on both sides of the football, and that'll be a lot of focus on what he's done in there.




How he prevented his team from looking ahead to a Rivalry game in Week 2:


Yeah, I would say they were locked into game 1, and hopefully they'll be locked into game 2, and again, my job, again, to make sure they don't overlook anybody, but I don't know how you'd overlook a team that was in the playoff just a couple years ago and is really a good football team, and they've got talent. They've got speed.


Again, state of Ohio, they get a lot of Ohio kids. They're a good football team.




Full presser from Pitt Athletics below:



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