What Pitt said after dismantling Virginia, 37-7, on Saturday

Courtesy UVA Media Relations

Pitt Head Coach Pat Narduzzi

Photo by Michael Bruder

Opening Statement
“Nice team win today again. I thought our defense played outstanding again. I thought our offense moved the ball well. We missed a couple shots today, just underthrowing a couple of them that were probably touchdowns. We got to make those. We ran the ball well on offense, missed a couple shots but running it like we are we’re going to have those shots when those safeties are getting down in the box. We got to find a way to hit those. And then just way too many penalties on offense today. Just drive killers. We continued in the second half with some nitpicking holding calls for whatever it’s worth. We’ll look at the tape. We got to be better, we just can’t kill the drives with penalties. But I’m happy for our kids and getting another win in November.”

On how the opening two interceptions changed the look of the game:
“I would imagine if we were on the other side, it wouldn’t change us too much. We’d just kind of stick with the game plan. I mean, it’s not a great way to start for anybody, I guarantee you that. But it’s great execution by our defense. Two zone pressures, two slightly different zone pressures that we did. We thought they might possibly come out and do what they did on that first play. We had a great defensive call. Coach [Randy] Bates did a great job and called a pressure that we normally call all the time and it was executed properly. I think it made [Brennan] Armstrong think a little bit, at least for the first half and maybe even the third quarter. Then he started to get hot and throwing some good balls. But again, great performance and that’s how you start fast on defense.”

On the performance of Pitts’ pass rush:
“It was kind of a follow up from last week. Coach [Charlie] Partridge yelled at his guys and said, ‘You guys play better when I scream at you and yell at you.’ So great job by the D-line. I think they probably had six of the eight [sacks]. And we’re getting four-man pressure. It’s like I tell the officials all day and even on one of their scrambles late in the fourth quarter, there’s two holding calls that don’t get called. Guys are getting tackled. I tell the officials everyday they can’t block eight [Calijah Kancey] and they can’t block eighty-seven [Habakkuk Baldonado]. They can’t block them. Kancey was unbelievable.”

On the mutual ejection of Pittsburg DL John Morgan III and UVA C Ty Furnish in the third Quarter :
“I saw that they threw a flag on number 51 (Furnish). I think there was some different language used out there that John [Morgan III] didn’t take very well. He’s got to keep his composure and let the officials take care of it. He threw a punch and he deserved to be ejected, period. You can’t retaliate. I say it all the time, players play, coaches coach, and officials officiate. They made the right call calling a flag on 51, their starting center, and then we retaliated, which again is just not very smart. It’ll cost you, it can cost you.”

Redshirt-Junior Defensive Lineman Calijah Kancey

On defensive line clicking:
“We all just feed off each other’s energy which is really motivating. We all talk about how we’re going to celebrate when we get the sack, and that encouragement we really build off of together.”

On being called best defensive tackle according to Head Coach Pat Narduzzi:
“It’s an honor. I want to give a special thank you to Coach Narduzzi. We got to get up to the quarterback and get tackles for loss in the backfield, which just feels great.”

On team mood in November:
“It’s been fun. We just want to be remembered as a great defense. I think that has to be our mindset. We wanted to finish strong and that’s our whole goal going into the second half of November is to do just that.”

Senior Quarterback Kedon Slovis

On limiting turnovers:
“That’s the way you win football games. Last week, we got away with it, we gave one or two away. We lost several battles, but we still got the win. It makes it just hard on yourself. So having it this week, winning by two, the turnover battle definitely makes a huge difference.” 

On wide receiver Bub Means:
“He’s done a great job. I think more and more, it’s really getting him opportunities to do what he does well. You’ve seen that speed and that versatility he has to run past people. I think just getting him those opportunities has been huge.”

On the offensive line preventing sacks:
“Definitely played a heck of a game. Didn’t have many pressures. I think one or two, we got out of it. Or, we made a play happen. That’s gonna happen in football, but they did a heck of a job with who ran the ball really well. Winning the last scrimmage can really help an offense.”

On offense starting the game with a 14-point lead:
“Helps a lot. As an offensive player, I’ve been in the game where we scored 28 in the first quarter, then let them come back. It almost makes you refocus and make sure that you really stay locked in the game, stay aggressive. The offense did a great job too, responding. Two of the next three drives, we scored. That was huge. But it definitely helps when your defense scores 14 straight points, they scored more than them. That’s huge.”

Sophomore Wide Receiver Bub Means

On what has led to improved personal performances in recent weeks:
“Just consistency, practice. I mean we just go out there and execute what we do in practice. I don’t really look too much at my individual stats. As long as we get a win and I help the team win, that’s all that matters to me.”

On the team’s improvement since the beginning of the season:
“It feels amazing. At the beginning of the season, we did have a few drops. But we stayed consistent and worked on it. Everything that we did in practice was shown on the field. I’m just happy our hard work paid off.”

On the back-to-back interceptions to begin the game:
“We went out there with complete confidence, especially with our defense doing the things they are doing. We had no doubts that we could go out there and execute what we have been practicing, a good game plan. We just had to go out there and make those plays, and we made those plays.”

Junior Defensive Back M.J. Devonshire

On second pick-six of the season:
“It was fun getting out there to ball out with my teammates. My teammates Calijah [Kancey] got on me about going out there and doing my job last week so I had to make up for that. I told him I got him, so I had to show him that I did have him.”

On importance of defensive sacks:
“Just knowing that everybody is doing their job and that we’re all finally clicking in the coverage and in matching the pass rush is great. We all work together and when everybody does their job we look pretty good most of the time. We’re finally getting to that point where we’re gelling as a team.” 

On the defense line’s growing chemistry:
“Just knowing that everyone is doing their job and we are all finally clicking, along with having coverage is nice. We all work together and with the defense, everyone is doing their job. They’re one and eleven and we look pretty good most of the time, we are finally getting to that point.”

Senior Defensive Back Marquis Williams

On putting up 14 points in 15 seconds:
“It was a dream come true. With the preparation from coaches and all eleven players doing what they’re supposed to, we were able to accomplish that.”

On strong defensive performance:
“We attack practice each and every day. We knew we wanted to go undefeated in November as a team. We’re always preaching to keep going and keep the team together as one. We try to get it done each play just like coach says emphasizing one play at a time. I’m proud of my guys and I know they’re proud of me as well. We’re going to keep it going one game at a time.”

On importance of defensive sacks:
“It’s definitely a blessing having the whole defensive line but especially having the best deep tackle in the nation. Each series when we’re running out there [Calijah Kancey]’s telling me I might not get the ball because he’s about to get the quarterback. Because of Calijah we know that we can gamble on some stuff because he’s confident and we know what he can do.”

On the team’s performance:
“Each and every day we attack practice and stuff like that. We want to go undefeated in November as a team. We never are down, as a team we always are preaching, keep going, keep the team together as one, and as coach likes to say, get it done each play, one at a time. I am proud of my guys, and I know they are proud of me as well. We have two more conference games, and we are going to keep going.”

On the team’s two interceptions:
“It was a plethora of teammates that came up to me saying it was my turn. I didn’t know it was going to be in sixteen seconds. Two pick-sixes in sixteen seconds is just crazy. But you know, that’s a blessing. Just taking it from the classroom to the field and accomplishing that is a wonderful feeling.”