Pitt’s regular-season finale at Georgia Tech turned into a chippy affair, as frustration mounted for the Yellow Jackets who trailed the Panthers from the second quarter onward. Pitt eventually defeated Georgia Tech 34-20 at Bobby Dodd Stadium on Thursday night, putting a damper on Senior Day for Tech.
The tension between the teams came to a head during the game, as a scrum broke out by the Pitt sideline in the fourth quarter, resulting in unsportsmanlike conduct penalties for both teams. After the incident, Pitt padded its lead with a late touchdown on a 38-yard Vincent Davis run, and Pitt head coach Pat Narduzzi decided to go for two to give Pitt a 14-point lead with two minutes remaining in the game.
The conversion was a success, but it may have led to some hard feelings on the part of Georgia Tech head coach Geoff Collins. After the game, Collins met Narduzzi in the middle of the field to shake his hand, but he didn’t stop for a prolonged or even brief chat with the Pitt coach. Instead, he turned away and ripped his hand from Narduzzi’s without breaking stride as the visiting coach looked on in dismay.
Georgia Tech's coach is maaaaad pic.twitter.com/UvyaLCWPkD— CJ Fogler #BlackLivesMatter (@cjzero) December 11, 2020
“I told him, ‘Hey, you’ve got a great team,’” Narduzzi said. “He said, ‘Baloney,’ or some other nice words, and walked off. I don’t know. I thought it was a good game.”
As Collins tells it, his focus was on getting his players together with the Georgia Tech band to celebrate. Of course, what they had to celebrate after capping off a 3-7 season with a 34-20 loss at home remains a mystery.
“I was just focused on getting our guys over to the band to celebrate,” Collins said after the game. “I don’t even remember what I said, to be honest with you.”
The incident was not the first between Narduzzi and a Georgia Tech head coach, as former Yellow Jackets coach Paul Johnson had a snide remark for him after the Yellow Jackets’ last win over the Panthers in 2017. Specifically, he noted that Georgia Tech needed to address its turnover issues because “against a good team, we won’t be able to survive.”
Pitt has faced Georgia Tech six times since Narduzzi became the team’s head coach, and the Panthers hold a 5-1 record against the Yellow Jackets in that span. With Thursday’s win, Narduzzi now has a 2-0 record against Collins. As for Collins, he has now posted back-to-back three-win seasons and sits at No. 23 on the Coaches Hot Seat rankings.