Highlights from Pitt football coach Pat Narduzzi presser ahead of UVA game

pittOn the short week

Narduzzi: We move on really quick, as fast as you’re going to move on to a 6-2 Virginia team that is playing really well. Put my first vote in for Bronco Mendenhall to be Coach of the Year in the ACC. Count me in. Number one, he’s a great guy. He’s a great coach. He’s done a great job really turning that program around.

Bryce Perkins is a guy that makes things go on offense. I think he’s rushed for 600 yards, thrown for 1600, 15 TDs. He gets it done. Zane Zandier, a local product, tough dude, physical football player, whether he starts at the Mike or they get their returner back, Jordan Mack, who has been out for a couple weeks.

They got Peace and Snowden on the edge. A 3-4 defense, so they create a lot of different problems with their different stuff. They’re a top 20 defense. Our offense will have to be consistent with what they did last week, try to do it again, go back-to-back, back-to-back playing really good. Our defense has to make a step up, try to stop an explosive offense and a confident offense.

On recruiting Zane Zandier

Narduzzi: We took two athletic guys like him that kind of committed before he did. We really liked him. We wanted to see him in camp.

He’s a good football player. I mean, you really love his toughness. He’s really smart. You can tell he’s a smart football player. He’ll play the weak side linebacker when Jordan went out. He moved to the Mike. He’s obviously really intelligent, which is sometimes something you can’t tell when you recruit them.

Bronco got a great player in him. Now we got to play against him for the next few years. But he’s a good football player. We did recruit him pretty heavily, obviously with the connection over there.

On the biggest difference between last year’s UVA team and this year

Narduzzi: They’re able to run the football. The quarterback is a runner compared to last year, he was a thrower. Another year that Bronco has been able to develop him.

I believe they’re a tough football team. You watch their offensive line, defensive line, they’re tough. They’re stopping the run, they’re active, flying around, playing with a lot of confidence, and they’re physical.

They’re playing with a lot of emotion. We’re going to have to match that emotion down in Charlottesville this weekend. They play with emotion. I think that’s all a big, big part of it. You can’t measure the emotion they’ve got.

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