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Scouting the ACC: Pittsburgh

Scouting the ACC: Pittsburgh

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COACH: Pat Narduzzi (42-34 in six seasons)

2020 RECORD: 6-5, 5-5

2020 BOWL: opted not to play in one

RETURNING STARTERS: 8 on offense, 5 on defense

KEY PLAYERS: QB Kenny Pickett, RB Vincent Davis, WR Jordan Addison, LB SirVocea Dennis, P Kirk Christodoulou

KEY LOSSES: WR D.J. Turner, C Jimmy Morrissey, OG Bryce Hargrove, DE Patrick Jones, DE Rashad Weaver, DT Jaylen Twyman, S Damar Hamlin, CB Jason Pinnock, PK Alex Kessman

QB KENNY PICKETT ON RETURNING TO PITT INSTEAD OF TURNING PRO: "It was a business decision. I took all the emotion out of it. Obviously I wanted to go to the NFL, but at the end of the day, I didn't feel like it was time for me to go yet. Looking at this team, I think there's a lot of talent. That made it really easy to come back, as well as a great coaching staff."

PAT NARDUZZI ON HOW THE PANDEMIC AFFECTED LAST SEASON: "You talk about a miserable year overall — miserable is probably an understatement. August is when we develop them, spring ball is when we develop. There's no development [last year]. Kenny Pickett goes down against BC and we've got to play our backup quarterback that's gotten no reps — we had no time to develop our backup quarterback in spring ball. It was also a mind-set — kids in August camp didn't think they were going to play a season. They were there physically, but were they mentally? They will be locked in much more than they were last August. I think that's what we missed, is that preparedness."

NARDUZZI ON HAVING FIVE DEFENSIVE PLAYERS DRAFTED: "We lost some great players. Damar Hamlin might be as special as you get at the field safety spot, so that might be the biggest void. It's hard to replace Weaver and Pat Jones at the edge. So we've got some places to fill. But we've done a good job in recruiting, so I feel good."

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Mark Berman covers Virginia Tech men’s basketball and many other teams at the university. He also helps cover other colleges, including Radford, VMI, Roanoke, Washington and Lee and Ferrum.

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