After Penn State's 33-14 win over Pitt, James Franklin's post game quote ruffled more than a few feathers.
Pitt coach Pat Narduzzi met with the Panther media on Monday and was immediately asked about it. As you can imagine, he was slightly annoyed.
"You can ask him. They went low, we went high."
That got us thinking, and we decided to go back and take a closer look at just how high Narduzzi has gone.
You think Pat Narduzzi took a little shot at Hackenberg and Penn State today? pic.twitter.com/I6N1TJFgkI
— Steve Layman (@SteveLayman) October 19, 2015
In 2015, Narduzzi took the high road with an unsolicited shot at the Penn State coaching staff when discussing quarterback play. The initial comment was harmless, but the little jab about "some closer than others" was at not so thinly veiled shot at the Lions' struggling offense under John Donovan.
After last year's loss in Pittsburgh, Franklin made comments regarding the clapping from Pitt's defense that seemed to throw off the offensive cadence. When asked about it, Narduzzi was quoted as saying, "I guess that's another excuse" which may have alluded to the fact that James Franklin would discuss roster limitations he inherited with the NCAA sanctions. Narduzzi maintained the high ground later in during a frustrating loss to Virginia Tech at home. It seems that defensive clapping should only be allowed when he thinks of it.
I'm glad I wasn't the only one who heard that pic.twitter.com/TPgNACNDeK
— Troy (@tdc129) October 28, 2016
A Hokies fan made the following montage from after the game, which is so aptly titled, "Pass the Salt, Pat."
On Christmas Day, 2016, then Penn State commit Lamont Wade tweeted out a picture with Penn State running back Miles Sanders. The tweet has since been deleted, but stated, "#412toPSU YOU DOWN OR NOT? #WEARE" and featured the following picture.
As you can see, the picture was taken from the Pittsburgh Steelers practice facility which Pitt shares with them. The tweet did not go over well with Pitt fans as you can imagine, but on Christmas Day, surely Pat Narduzzi was busy with his family and team as they prepared for the Pinstripe Bowl.
Pride comes before the fall!! #H2P
— Pat Narduzzi (@CoachDuzzPittFB) December 25, 2016
Nope. He was busy surveying things from the high ground.
It is widely known that James Franklin will only talk about upcoming opponents, and will tweet out the opponents name on repeat before each game. This practice started last year after Penn State's window for a Big Ten East title started to appear. His mantra was to only care about the game that week and has carried that into the 2017 season.
— KDKA Morning News (@kdkamorningshow) July 28, 2017
In an interview with local Pittsburgh radio station KDKA, Narduzzi copied the practice, as one tends to do when staying high.
Coaches will always play the game, and Narduzzi is no exception as much as he'd fail to admit it. There is constant gamesmanship between Franklin and Narduzzi, who not only find themselves in the midst of a four game series, but are constantly battling for recruits, and apparently moral supremacy.