Pitt head coach Pat Narduzzi said in a press conference after the Backyard Brawl victory Thursday night, that if he found himself in the situation that WVU head coach Neal Brown did that he would not have punted.
“You know what, you never know what’s going to happen, Narduzzi said. “I think maybe they had some pretty much some confidence that they were going to be able to stop our offense. I’d have gone for it but I’m not going to answer for them. That would be something you have to ask Coach Neal about, what they were thinking or whatever. You know, it’s fourth-and-one. We were ready for a stop.”
The situation saw West Virginia facing a fourth down and one at the Pitt 48 yard line. Instead of going for it on fourth down, Neal chose to take a delay of game penalty and allow his punter more room to operate on the ensuing punt.
The punt ended the momentum for the Mountaineers and the Panthers went on a seven play, 92 yard drive over two and half minutes to tie the game at 31. The next drive, junior quarterback JT Daniels threw a pass to redshirt junior wide receiver Bryce Ford-Wheaton, but the ball bounced out of his hands and into the hands of redshirt junior defensive back M.J. Devonshire.
Devonshire then returned the pass 56 yards for the go-ahead touchdown, helping Pitt to a 38-31 win over their rivals in West Virginia in the first Backyard Brawl since 2011.
THIS. IS. THE. BACKYARD. BRAWL.
PITT SIX 🙌 @Mjdevonshirejr
— Pitt Football (@Pitt_FB) September 2, 2022
Narduzzi found himself in a similar situation that Brown did back in 2019 against Penn State in another tough, rivalry game. Pitt face a fourth down and one at the Penn State one yard and he chose to kick the field goal down seven points. Kicker Alex Kessman came on and missed that field goal and Pitt ended up losing that matchup, 17-10.
“We won that first one, Penn State. I guess I did a crappy job on the others,” Narduzzi said in a press conference on Monday. Should have gone for it on fourth-and-one. It’s on me. I know you all had the right answer. Someday I’ll tell you the truth. Someday I’ll tell you the truth.”
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