Pat Narduzzi Is Upset That He Won’t Get His Super Bowl Matchup With Penn State In The Future
On Thursday, the media asked Pitt head coach Pat Narduzzi if he’d heard about Penn State and Temple renewing their series for 2026 and 2027. Narduzzi laughed, shrugged with exasperation, and said, “Figures.”
Narduzzi is an interesting character to say the least, and he’s clearly upset that Penn State won’t seem to renew the in-state matchup with his squad. Back in November, Pitt’s athletic director stated that they believed a renewal of the series was “very close to being done.”
“We have a contract very close to being done and being sent to Penn State to extend the football deal and I think that’s a huge priority and a huge rivalry and it’s necessary, so we’re working hard on that,” AD Heather Lyke said.
But it hasn’t really turned out that way and Penn State Athletics has shown no sign that it will renew the series. Why does that elicit such a reaction from Narduzzi? Because he’s obsessed with Penn State.
After the Nittany Lions lost to Ohio State in Columbus last season, Narduzzi — leading a 4-5 team — decided to send out a tweet for Pitt fans to enjoy.
Playing up the animosity is good for Narduzzi. Pitt breaks season ticket records when Penn State comes to town (thanks to Penn State fans). Attendance simply balloons because of the Nittany Lions, even if Pitt’s athletic department would have you believe otherwise.
Narduzzi also probably holds a personal vendetta against James Franklin. After Penn State’s 2017 victory over the Panthers, James Franklin stated that Pitt’s win over the Nittany Lions in 2016 was like winning the “Super Bowl” for Narduzzi and company. Franklin also compared beating Pitt to beating Akron, which ruffled some Panther feathers.
It is Narduzzi’s Super Bowl, though, which is the whole point. Pitt’s head coach has put “media blackouts” on his players for the past two seasons before the Penn State games, not allowing his players to speak to the media at all. For James Franklin, it’s just Pitt, Pitt, Pitt, Pitt…
The Pittsburgh Pirates even moved an evening game to make it possible for the Panthers to host Penn State for a night game come September 8.
So when Narduzzi gives an exasperated shrug at Penn State’s series with Temple, now you know why.
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