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Jan
02
2015

Pittsburgh’s epic bowl meltdown, proves Pat Narduzzi needs to change the entire culture of Panther football.

Tyler-Boyd

If I hadn’t watched the 4th quarter, I wouldn’t have believed it. Pittsburgh blew a 31-6 fourth quarter lead. A collapse so spectacular it left most of us in disbelief. Here is what is scary though, Pitt fans weren’t shocked. In fact, it seemed as if they almost expected it. That’s why I love twitter, you get the feel for a fanbase. There wasn’t frustration. There was barely disappointment. It was literally, that’s who we are. That’s what we do. This program needs a culture change in the worst way.

You never know if what fans think are how players think and feel, but I’ve always thought there was some correlation. Enter new coach Pat Narduzzi…

Narduzzi has as much work to do reshaping the mindset at Pittsburgh as he does recruiting, 6 wins, 7 wins, 6 wins – in the last 3 years. Pittsburgh football has become the epitome of mediocrity. There is and has been individual talent at Pitt. Aaron Donald was college football’s best defensive player last year. RB James Conner and WR Tyler Boyd will be on NFL rosters one day, but the Panthers can’t break through.

I wasn’t quite sure if Paul Chryst leaving Pitt would be good or bad. He didn’t coach the bowl game, but his stamp was on the football team. I am now convinced it was the best thing for Pittsburgh, especially with Narduzzi coming in.

Narduzzi comes from a Michigan St. program that had a culture change of their own. Michigan St. a few years ago was arguably one of the most erratic teams in the country. They were capable of losing to or beating just about anyone in the country. Michigan St. now is at a point where they made their own 2nd half 21 point come back against a team the quality of Baylor on Thursday.

Nothing else illustrates better what Narduzzi has to work with Pitt. He comes from a school that made a 21 point comeback against a top 10 team to a school that blew a 25 point lead to Houston school with an interim coach. Schemes, recruiting, play calling will have to be addressed at Pitt, but Narduzzi has to start with getting his players believe Panther football can be good again.

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