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Did Pitt HC Pat Narduzzi Throw Shade at Penn State?

PSU coach James Franklin talks with Pitt coach Pat Narduzzi before last year's game at Beaver Stadium.

Pat Narduzzi says he wasn’t trying to throw any shade at Penn State.

Well, in all likelihood, Penn State fans generally saw it differently when they read his quote about former PSU and current Pitt QB Christian Veilleux

In an exclusive interview with Noah Hiles of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette, Narduzzi said that Veilleux was moving from a “one-word offense” at Penn State to a “real offense” at Pitt.

Here’s the full quote.

“Christian is a guy that, well, things are brand new for him. He’s coming from a one word offense to a real offense. But it’s a totally different one. This offense is NFL-style with sophisticated terminology. We’re going to see a different version of Christian.”

An “editor’s note” reads that Narduzzi “made a point to express that his analysis of Penn State’s offense wasn’t intended to be disrespectful.

Penn State Twitter isn’t buying it.

Veilleux was at Penn State for two seasons. He backed up Sean Clifford. His finest hour came during the team’s Senior Day game against Rutgers in November 2021. With Penn State ravaged by a campus-wide illness and Veilleux and Clifford both sick, the then-true freshman was called upon to replace Clifford toward the end of the first quarters

Veilleux more than held his own. He threw for three touchdowns, no interceptions and completing 15 of 24 passes for 235 yards, leading Penn State to a 28-0 win.

That was as good as it got for Veilleux at Penn State.

The next season, five-star freshman Drew Allar leapfrogged him on the depth chart to become Clifford’s top backup. Veilleux only attempted passes, all in mop-up duty.

At Pitt, Veilleux is expected to back up Phil Jurkovec, who transferred from Boston College. Once Jurkovec’s eligibility runs out after this season, Veilleux appears to be in the driver’s seat to become Pitt’s starter.

After Veilleux committed to Pitt from the transfer portal in December, his old offensive coordinator, Mike Yurcich, addressed the transfer days before Penn State’s Rose Bowl win over Utah.

“You want the best for your players,” Yurcich said. “I get it. It’s part of the deal. He did it the right way, communicated very well with coach Franklin and myself. Support him as much as we possibly can and want the best for him moving forward.”

For whatever it’s worth, PSU averaged 35.8 points per game last season, and Pitt averaged 31.3.

Since Pitt and PSU haven’t played since 2019 and won’t play in the near future, things have to happen to keep the 100+ year old rivalry alive.

Regardless of Narduzzi’s intention, his comments helped do that.

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