The 2021 season was a good one for Pitt. The best in years, actually.
The Panthers won the ACC for the first time ever. In fact, it was the first outright conference championship ever for Pitt, a program that claims nine national titles and did not join a conference until 1991. The trio of offensive coordinator Mark Whipple, quarterback Kenny Pickett, and wide receiver Jordan Addison created a passing attack that was darn near unstoppable. Pitt threw for 337 yards per game and averaged 41.4 points, both top 10 numbers nationally. Pickett won the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, the ACC Player of the Year Award, represented the program in New York as a Heisman Trophy finalist, and went in the first round to the Steelers. Addison won the Biletnikoff Award as the nation's top receiver.
All three have since moved on, and it sounds like their head coach may... prefer it that way? Or, at least Narduzzi isn't bemoaning Whipple's departure to Nebraska.
Speaking on a podcast of a local Ford dealership -- yes, really -- Narduzzi said this:
See for yourself below. The comments come around the 4-minute mark, but Narduzzi gets into it around three minutes in.
For those who didn't watch the clip, the context here is that Pickett was beat up by the end of the ACC Championship and, as a defensive coordinator, Narduzzi would've had an easy time stopping Whipple's one-dimensional offense.
The other context here is that Pitt won that game, 45-21. Running back Israel Abanikanda carried nine times for 55 yards and two touchdowns -- a nice day at 6.1 a carry, but not quite 10 a pop -- while Pickett threw 33 times for 253 yards and two touchdowns. The longest run of the night was Pickett's infamous fake slide, which sprung 58-yard touchdown and is now illegal. Otherwise, Pitt didn't produce a run longer than 16 yards.
Pitt also ran the ball on its last eight offensive snaps, gaining a total of 13 yards. They also, as stated previously, won the game by 24 points.
Anyway, Whipple is now at Nebraska, Frank Cignetti, Jr., is now Pitt's offensive coordinator, and the Panthers will surely run the ball to Narduzzi's heart's desire.