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September 7, 2019

Pat Narduzzi

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Pitt - 20, Ohio - 10

PAT NARDUZZI: All right, where do I start? Obviously it's a good win. There's no such thing as a bad win. But there's still a lot of things we've got to clean up. But I do think we made some major improvements from week 1 to week 2. I thought Kenny did a heck of a job throwing the ball. I thought his feet were good in the pocket. We showed some spurts of being able to run the football.

But still made some critical errors in the game that we've got to get out of our system. You know, the unforced errors with false starts, I can tell you guys, I wouldn't even say on one hand, we may have had two the entire month of August as far as -- we just don't do that. And I could tell you last year we had 15 through the month of August. So I don't get that at all.

Last one I think was a weird one where Jimmy kind of -- the ball slipped out of his hand and the ball moved. But just can't happen, some of those things.

I thought our defense played outstanding. That 4th and 1 we go for it and we don't get it and they bowed up, I thought the defense played really good against a very good football team.

Now, I give Coach Solich and Ohio U, I'm just telling you, those guys are a good team. They're going to win the MAC, okay, mark my words. I told you Clemson is going to win the National Championship. That's a good football team with a good offense, really good offense, and again, that's a solid victory.


Q. How important do you think it was for Kenny to kind of have the week he had? He had a career high today in yardage. How important was that for him moving forward?
PAT NARDUZZI: Yeah, did he bounce back or did everybody make some catches for him? We still had a couple drops. But you know, the week before he's got some drops, and then he throws -- then he tries to make something happen and then he throws a pick. So did Kenny bounce back or did the receivers bounce back? It's a combination of everything. So everybody wants to put it on the quarterback, No. 8. No. 8 is a dang good football player. Dang good football player. I think they all bounced back. I think the receivers did a great job of catching the ball. There were some great catches out there. Even the one on the sideline, I don't know how they called that one back with Tre Tipton.

But the offense bounced back. Again, didn't score as many points as we'd like to score. That's the other disappointing thing. We have to finish drives. But we were hit with some crazy penalties that we just can't have.

Q. What's the concern with only having three points in the second half?
PAT NARDUZZI: The concern is having three points in the second half. The concern is us coming out, and again, I stressed it at halftime, come out and finish it, and like I said, I give Ohio credit. But it's just us making plays. We've got to finish drives. We've got opportunities, whether it's catching the ball, making the block. Just make plays happen.

We'll look at the tape. I think we got a little conservative at the end. I punted it a few times where maybe in the past I'd have gone for it. So you can put some of that on me, but we ran the ball probably better in the second half, so I did like that. We didn't throw it around as much. Again, our defense is playing really good, and when our defense is playing that good, don't screw it up. So you know, that's kind of what we did there in the second half.

Q. Did you plan to rotate that many running backs in, and your thoughts on Vincent Davis?
PAT NARDUZZI: You know, our plan is every week, we're going to look for the hot hand. AJ Davis did a nice job, and just -- I thought we needed a little burst out of 22, and V'Lique Carter was good, as well. We're going to play the guy that's hot. If a guy looks like he's running it hard and he's got some juice to him, we're going to play that guy, so it'll just be by committee until we find out who our dude is. But Vincent Davis did show up today and we kind of saw that during the last couple weeks of practice. We know he's a good football player. We're excited he's here.

Q. What was your thinking on declining the penalty and taking the 4th down rather than 3rd and 5?
PAT NARDUZZI: I don't remember. We just -- I don't remember. I'll watch the tape, I'll tell you Monday, okay.

Q. (Indiscernible) what are your thoughts on that culmination so early in the season for such success?
PAT NARDUZZI: You know, obviously I feel good. But we need more. I mean, it's just game 2, and we've still got a long way to go. You know, I'm happy for Kenny and Ffrenchy and happy for our tight ends. I mean, will Gragg caught four, Nakia caught three. It was good to see those guys. And I got after Will Gragg last week. He was laughing in the locker room about, hey, do you think you can get some yards after the catch. You catch it and then get tackled; how about some yards. He had some critical -- maybe at least two 3rd down catches that kept drives going at least with some tick-tock.

Q. What did you see from the offensive line? Seemed like Kenny had to run a little bit early, but as the game wore on, it seemed like he had more time.
PAT NARDUZZI: Yeah, again, it's a work in progress, I guess. There's still some caution flags out there. But I think game 2 those guys made some strides. They brought some pressure similar to what we saw last week, and I think they handled it well. We'll look at the tape. He still got touched more than I'd like. We've got to keep him clean.

Q. Defensively you had more push this week. Did you change anything schematically?
PAT NARDUZZI: You said we had more push?

Q. Yeah, especially on the D-line. Did you change anything schematically or did they just execute?
PAT NARDUZZI: I think they did a good job executing. I mean, there's no magic. I mean, I would like to tell you we had some magic wands out there and sprinkled some fairy dust out there, but it's play football. Again, we missed Keyshon Camp out there. We missed Rashad Weaver. I can't imagine what they'd look like today with those two guys out there. We'll just continue to work those guys inside.

I thought Devin Danielson had a heck of a sack. We should have had a pick-six where he knocked the guard right into the quarterback and that caused that ball down on about the 7-yard line, 6-yard line. Should have had a pick-six there.

Q. Talk about Jaylen Twyman today, and is he reminding you a little bit of Aaron Donald?
PAT NARDUZZI: Yeah, let's not go too far. He's just a baby. But I've said that for a while. He likes that number. That's his idol. Aaron Donald is a legend, and who wouldn't want to be like that guy. But I've been impressed with Jalen this whole camp. He is a different guy than he was a year ago. You watch tape, you can see it. It's different. I just think he's going to continue to get better as the weeks go on.

Q. Also Twyman and Baldonado making the plays they did, they got back a few different times, especially with all the bad dudes you've had defensively the past few weeks, at least the defensive line, how is it for them to kind of step up and accept that challenge and keep producing?
PAT NARDUZZI: Yeah, I mean, that's what you want. That's what we have to do in this game of football because it's part of the game: Guys going down and stepping up. I'm happy for really all those guys. Devin Twyman is stepping up even more, Patrick Jones. It doesn't matter who made the play, it matters what's happening, all those front guys together. They've stuck together, and Charlie Partridge does a great job keeping those guys going.

Q. Are you especially happy for Kenny given the kind of stick that he got this week for last weekend?
PAT NARDUZZI: You know what, I don't read what you guys say. I was happy with Kenny a week ago. He did some good things. It's not -- again, they get all the credit when things go good. I'm not especially happy or excited about anything. I'm happy for Kenny. I'm happy for the football team that we got a win. We've still got a ways to go. Again, when we win, we win together as a team, and when we lose, we lose as a team together, and it is never one guy. It's real evident.

Q. You got production from the tight end position today. Is that something you guys are making more of an emphasis?
PAT NARDUZZI: Well, we want production out of whoever has an opportunity to make a play. We talked a lot going into this game about making plays because you have opportunities. You've got to maximize your opportunities, and then you've got to make something happen when you get the ball in your hands as far as yardage.

Yeah, I am happy with the tight ends. It's what we expect, and I think those two guys, Nakia and Will Gragg, will continue to get better and help this football team get better and win football games.

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