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Pitt coach Narduzzi takes subtle jab at Penn State

JERRY DiPAOLA
YorkDispatch


Pitt's No. 25 ranking in the Associated Press Top 25 brought out the playful side of coach Pat Narduzzi, who appeared to take a subtle jab at in-state rival Penn State on Monday.

When asked about Nate Peterman's throwing accuracy, Narduzzi credited skill, preparation and talent for his quarterback's 66.7 completion percentage (74 of 111), which stands 17th in the nation and fourth in the ACC.

"He is one of the most accurate quarterbacks I've been around," he said.

But he also said play-calling can help — or hurt — a quarterback.

"Is it play-calling? Yeah, of course," he said. "You can have a talented quarterback with a bad play-caller and make him look bad. We've seen that around the country, some closer than others."

Was he talking about Penn State, which fits Narduzzi's geographic criteria? Penn State quarterback Christian Hackenberg, projected as a first-round draft choice, is struggling with a 53.1 completion percentage (97th in the nation).

It isn't hard to imagine Narduzzi trying to oil the hype machine for next year's renewal of the Pitt/Penn State rivalry. The teams meet for the first time since 2000 on Sept. 10 at Heinz Field.