“You Either Walk the Streets or Walk the Alleys”

Pitt head coach Pat Narduzzi excited for rivalry game

Jeff Hathhorn
September 03, 2018 - 5:54 pm

93.7 the Fan

SOUTH SIDE (93.7 the Fan) - In the past we have seen an attempted downplay of the Pitt-Penn State football game.  You won’t get that from Panthers head coach Pat Narduzzi, who said Saturday’s matchup is important for the entire state of Pennsylvania.

“In these rivalry games, you either walk the streets or you’re going walk the alleys after the game,” Narduzzi said.  “You are going to sneak out of Heinz Field and walk down where you don’t have to see anybody.  Or you are going to walk out with chest up and your chip up and walk right now the middle of everybody and say ‘here we are, let’s go’.  It means a lot.”

Narduzzi said he hopes his team gets excited for every game, but admits they should be more reeved up for this game than the opener against Albany.  The fourth year head coach said he’s familiar with the game growing up in Youngstown and even complimented Penn State.

“They obviously have a great football team,” Narduzzi said.  “They’re talented.  They have great players and they have a great program.  We look forward to having them come to Heinz Field again.”

Elaborating on the players, Narduzzi called PSU quarterback Trace McSorley a possible front-runner for the Heisman Trophy, saying his greatest strength is that he’s a “football player”.  He also complemented McSorley for playing with passion and said he will play in the NFL.

Narduzzi said Woodland Hills HS grad and Nittany Lions tailback Miles Sanders showed flashes on tape where he looks like first round pick Saquon Barkley.  Noting Sanders has gotten bigger and stronger. 

As for the Penn State needing overtime to beat Appalachian State 45-38 in their first game.

“I think they know they are going to find a way to get it done,” Narduzzi said.  “So it doesn’t matter if you win close or win by 50.  They’re going to make their improvements.  We are going to make our improvements.  We get to line up at 8:14 and get after it.  I don’t think that affects anything.”

It’s a series that began in 1893, in which Penn State outscored Pitt 167-4 in winning the first six games.   Saw the Panthers win 14 straight in-between world wars, never allowing PSU more than 12 points.  To now, as the teams have split the last four and only have two more left before it ends.

“Anybody wants to argue and says this is no different than any other week,” Narduzzi said.  “It is.  That’s a fact.  If you want to ignore that, you can ignore it, but it’s a big game.”