Pitt’s Pat Narduzzi ready for anything vs. old foe Bill Cubit
Former Big Ten foes Pat Narduzzi and Bill Cubit get together for the first time in six years Saturday when Pitt meets Delaware at Heinz Field.
And Narduzzi has been worrying about the reunion all week.
Cubit was offensive coordinator at Illinois in 2013 when the Illini met Narduzzi’s Michigan State defense.
“More than half of the game was stuff we did not even prepare for,” Narduzzi said.
The Spartans were heavy favorites and won the game, 42-3, but Narduzzi will take nothing for granted against Cubit, who is now Delaware’s running backs coach.
“We’re prepared for tricks and anything you can possibly imagine,” he said. “They’re going to do whatever it takes. They’re not coming in here just for a payday and wanting to get whooped. They’ll be ready to go. Our kids know that.
“They have nothing to lose. They’ll have fake punts. They’ll have fake field goals. We have to look for it and be prepared for everything. You’re preparing for the unknown.”
What Narduzzi does know – or, at least, thinks he knows – is that FCS games for ACC teams will disappear if the conference eventually decides to move from eight to nine league games, leaving only three outside the conference.
“They will certainly disappear,” Narduzzi said. “That’s a bad thing for college football overall. Delaware enjoys coming up here and having their kids get up for that game.”
His only request is to start the season with an FCS opponent, as opposed to a conference game. He’s likely wondering if the Virginia game, a 30-14 defeat, might have turned out differently if it was played later in the season when Pitt would have had more time to polish its game.
“(Playing an FCS team) is a good way to start the season off, as opposed to the (fifth) game of the season,” he said.
Jerry DiPaola is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jerry by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .