College Football

Pitt's Narduzzi: "No regrets" over decision to kick vs. PSU

(AP Photo/Barry Reeger)

By WILL GRAVES

AP Sports Writer

PITTSBURGH (AP) Pittsburgh coach Pat Narduzzi knows his decision to attempt a field goal instead of going for it on fourth down at the goal line late in a 17-10 loss to Penn State on Saturday will be talked about for years with the rivalry taking an indefinite break.

Yet Narduzzi is adamant he did the right thing, insisting Monday he did what he felt would give his team the best chance to pull off the upset.

"I have no regrets with the call at all," Narduzzi said. "I really don't."

The Panthers trailed by a touchdown with less than five minutes to go on Saturday and faced a fourth-and-goal at the 1. Rather than try to tie the game - or potentially even go ahead by attempting a two-point conversion - Narduzzi sent Alex Kessman on for a 19-yard field goal kick to get Pitt within four. The ball smacked off the left upright.

"When you look at it, we did what we wanted to do," Narduzzi said. "We wanted to get three there. We wanted to go out and play defense again."

Though Pitt (1-2) did get the ball back with under 2 minutes to go and drove to the Penn State 26, Kenny Pickett's heave to the end zone as time expired fell to the ground.

Narduzzi went out of his way to praise the play of Pickett - who threw for a career-high 372 yards - and a defense that kept the Nittany Lions in check for large portions of the afternoon. Asked why not gamble and go for it considering his confidence in both units and the fact his team hadn't scored a touchdown in the second half in each of its last five games coming in, Narduzzi bristled ever so slightly.

"I explained why not, so I'll explain again, that's why not," he said. "That's why we did what we did, and I feel good about it. Again, you can talk about what we did in Week 1 and Week 2. This is Week 3 and we're moving the football. Thanks for the question."

Narduzzi did apologize to "Panther Nation" for the loss, adding "there's nobody that feels worse about that than the guys in this room."

Guys who must now find a way to emotionally rebound on Saturday against No. 15 UCF (3-0). The Golden Knights drilled the Panthers 45-14 in Orlando last year, but Pitt appears to be significantly better on defense than it was a year ago. The Panthers held Penn State - which came in averaging 62.5 points through two weeks - to a pair of touchdowns and, except for a couple of explosive plays, never let the Nittany Lions get comfortable.

It was a positive step forward for the defending ACC Coastal Division champions everywhere but on the scoreboard.

"Sometimes if you just look at the wins and losses, you look at nothing else, you kind of lose track of really where you are and what you've done," Narduzzi said. "But I think I did, at least I told our kids, I really think we made improvements from Week 2 to Week 3. As young as we are, that's really what we're looking for."

---

More AP college football: https://apnews.com/Collegefootball and https://twitter.com/AP-Top25

Updated September 16, 2019

Sports Data API Powered by STATS © 2019 by STATS.
Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS is strictly prohibited.

Teams Score Time
NCAA FB
Duke   Sat 4:00pm
North Carolina  
Teams Score Time
SMU   Thu 7:30pm
Houston  
Appalachian State   Sat 12:00pm
South Alabama  
Iowa   Sat 12:00pm
Northwestern  
Miami   Sat 12:00pm
Pittsburgh  
Oklahoma   Sat 12:00pm
Kansas State  
Wisconsin   Sat 12:00pm
Ohio State  
Auburn   Sat 3:30pm
LSU  
Maryland   Sat 3:30pm
Minnesota  
Oklahoma State   Sat 3:30pm
Iowa State  
Penn State   Sat 3:30pm
Michigan State  
Syracuse   Sat 3:30pm
Florida State  
Texas   Sat 3:30pm
TCU  
Virginia   Sat 3:30pm
Louisville  
Duke   Sat 4:00pm
North Carolina  
Arkansas   Sat 7:00pm
Alabama  
Arizona State   Sat 7:30pm
UCLA  
Boston College   Sat 7:30pm
Clemson  
Notre Dame   Sat 7:30pm
Michigan  
California   Sat 10:00pm
Utah  
Washington State   Sat 10:30pm
Oregon  
Teams Score Time
Interleague
Washington   8:07pm
Houston  
Teams Score Time
Chicago   7:00pm
Charlotte  
Cleveland   7:00pm
Orlando  
Detroit   7:00pm
Indiana  
Boston   7:30pm
Philadelphia  
Memphis   7:30pm
Miami  
Minnesota   7:30pm
Brooklyn  
New York   8:30pm
San Antonio  
Washington   8:30pm
Dallas  
Oklahoma City   9:00pm
Utah  
Denver   10:00pm
Portland  
Sacramento   10:00pm
Phoenix  
Teams Score Time
Washington   Thu 8:20pm
Minnesota  
Teams Score Time
Detroit   7:30pm
Ottawa  
Pittsburgh   8:00pm
Tampa Bay  
MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES AT KANSAS
Pos # Name Start Pos
1 11 Denny Hamlin 23
2 9 Chase Elliott 14
3 18 Kyle Busch 18
4 1 Kurt Busch 15
5 24 William Byron 25
6 19 Martin Truex Jr 11
7 20 Erik Jones 20
8 14 Clint Bowyer 21
9 4 Kevin Harvick 40
NASCAR XFINITY SERIES AT KANSAS
Pos # Name Start Pos
1 19 Brandon Jones 2
2 2 Tyler Reddick 4
3 98 Chase Briscoe 11
4 1 Michael Annett 38
5 7 Justin Allgaier 7
6 51 Jeremy Clements 6
7 11 Justin Haley 12
8 23 John Hunter Nemechek 15
9 39 Ryan Sieg 13
NASCAR GANDER OUTDOORS TRUCK SERIES AT TALLADEGA
Pos # Name Start Pos
1 20 Spencer Boyd 25
2 4 Todd Gilliland 6
3 51 Riley Herbst 7
4 24 Brett Moffitt 8
5 52 Stewart Friesen 10
6 16 Austin Hill 13
7 17 Tyler Ankrum 2
8 88 Matt Crafton 1
9 2 Sheldon Creed 5