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‘You’d Have to ask James Franklin’: Pitt HC Pat Narduzzi Weighs in on Pitt, Penn State Not Playing Anymore

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

Penn State and Pitt have played five times in this millennium.

The in-state rivals used to play every season but everything changed once PSU joined the Big Ten ahead of the 1993 season.

Pitt and PSU didn’t play from 1993-96, and since then, only two four-year renewals (1997-2000, 2016-19) have kept the rivalry alive.

Well, that and words the two sides have exchanged with each other, ranging from fans to coaches.

Pitt coach Pat Narduzzi wants to play PSU, and reminded everybody of that Tuesday afternoon on Pittsburgh’s 93.7 the Fan.

Hosts Andrew Fillipponi and Chris Mueller of the “PM Team” interviewed the coach, and Fillipponi asked Narduzzi why Pitt and Penn State don’t play, and Narduzzi have his feelings on the matter, as well as who he feels is to blame for Pitt and Penn State not playing.

“You’d have to ask James Franklin,” Narduzzi said.

Fillipponi then asked Narduzzi if he felt Franklin was the one who made that call.

Narduzzi believes that he is.

So if it were Narduzzi’s call, how would things be?

“My call is ‘let’s go.’ he said. “We’ve called, we’ve asked.”

Franklin then said that Penn State’s “new AD,” Pat Kraft, could “maybe get it done.”

“I have faith in Pat Kraft, the AD,” Narduzzi said.

Narduzzi, who worked in the same conference as Kraft when Kraft was Boston College’s AD from 2020 through starting at Penn State in July 2022, said Kraft is a “great guy.”

But Narduzzi doesn’t feel optimistic that the rivalry will return.

“These schedules are filled out for six, seven years (in advance)” Narduzzi said. “It’s going to be a while. I’ll be retired for 10 years, 20 years. I’ll be 70, 80 years old. I’ll be coming back in a wheelchair and maybe a cane.

These words will be sure the annoy some Penn State fans, and it won’t be the first time Narduzzi or people on The Fan have done that this summer.

In an exclusive interview with Noah Hiles of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette last month, 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.”

Earlier this month, a Fan host and West Virginia graduate, Adam Crowley claimed that PSU is afraid to play Pitt.

“They’re too good to play ‘that game,’” Crowley said on The Fan’s Morning Show.

We don’t know when Pitt and Penn State will play again, but comments like Narduzzi’s ensure that the fanbases will have things to argue about for the rest of time.


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