Big Ten

Big Ten

Pat Narduzzi is doing good work in his first season as Pitt's head coach. The former Michigan State defensive coordinator has the Panthers at 5-1 and ranked No. 25 in the latest AP poll.

And Monday, he decided to just blast Penn State for no reason.

The in-state rivals haven't met on the football field since 2000, but they will next season. And it looks like Narduzzi's getting a head start on his smack talk, subtly but not so subtly ripping Penn State for the fact that Christian Hackenberg hasn't lived up to the hype this season.

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From the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Sam Werner:

When asked whether Pitt quarterback Nate Peterman's accuracy this season has been a product of his play or the staff's play calling, Narduzzi said it was a combination of both, and added a little twist at the end.

“You could have a talented quarterback with a bad play caller and make him look bad," Narduzzi said. "You see that around the country, some closer than others.”

It's not a stretch to say that Narduzzi was probably referring to the Nittany Lions coach James Franklin, offensive coordinator and playcaller John Donovan and quarterback Christian Hackenberg, who has struggled this season despite being projected as one of the top quarterbacks available in next year's NFL Draft.

 

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Whoa, Narduzzi, what gives?

This isn't to say that he's wrong, of course. Hackenberg hasn't had many good games and ranks 11th in the Big Ten in passing yardage (1,206 yards) and has been sacked an incredible 24 times (not necessarily his fault). Narduzzi seems to be fine with Hackenberg and his talent level but is blaming the results on the coaching staff. Ouch.

The Penn State-Pitt rivalry is back, folks!