It turns out not everyone is a fan of new Nebraska offensive coordinator Mark Whipple. On the most recent episode of “Bazzy’s Black & Gold Banter,” Pitt Panthers Head Coach Pat Narduzzi made several comments criticizing his ex-offensive coordinator, Mark Whipple. Narduzzi believed that Whipple was too stubborn to run the football and only wanted to throw, regardless of the situation.
“Our old offensive coordinator had no desire to run the ball. Everybody knew it. He was stubborn. Wake Forest was 118th in run defense and we threw the ball every down. When we ran it, we ran it for 10 yards but that wasn’t good enough.”
The Wake Forest game he mentions was the ACC championship game, a game that Pittsburgh won 45-21. When you take a closer look at the stats, you also realize that Pat Narduzzi either has a terrible memory or an ax to grind with his former OC. Pitt did not throw the ball every down and actually ran more than they threw, with the Panther offense finishing with 38 rushing attempts to 34 passing attempts. You’ll also notice that Pitt did not average ten yards a rush but 2.9 yards a carry. So he was only off by seven yards a carry.
These comments are a far cry from the statement Narduzzi made when Whipple left.
“During his three seasons at Pitt, Mark Whipple was a great asset for our entire football program. He did a tremendous job transitioning us from a heavy run attack to one of the best passing games in the entire country.”
He doesn’t seem too upset about the playcalling in that statement, so what changed? Who knows, but the fact that Pat Narduzzi has been at Pitt since 2015 and is on his fifth offensive coordinator tells that maybe he has complicated relationships with his offensive coaches, considering he has trouble keeping any around.
The fact remains that Pitt’s offense ranked 8th nationally in total offense with 486.6 yards a game and averaged approximately 6.37 yards per play. The team went 11-3 and won the ACC, its first title under Narduzzi; so there’s no need for shots to taken at someone this many months away from his departure. If he was that unhappy with Whipple, it doesn’t matter. He’s not there anymore. There’s no reason to attack someone’s ability to perform their job properly, especially when you don’t remember any facts correctly.
Pat Narduzzi may not have been happy with Mark Whipple, but if the OC can reproduce those results in Lincoln, his current head coach will be very happy.
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