pittsburgh — Phil Jurkovec heard boos at Acresure Stadium Saturday night, but it’s safe to say he wasn’t a fan.
It was a tough night at Acresure Stadium as Pitt lost 27-21 to Cincinnati, but Jurkovec struggled for much of the game. He completed 10 of 32 pass attempts (31%) for 179 yards and three touchdowns. The offense looked out of sync all night and had two chances to score and take the lead in the second half, but both chances fell.
Pitt fans expressed their displeasure all night, primarily on the offensive side. And Yurkovec did not mince words.
“I think if you’re a grown man who’s booing you in that stadium, you should think about things for yourself,” Yurkovec said after the loss. “I think that’s pathetic. But you know what? We didn’t play well enough and we’re going to be better.”
Pitt’s offense was lackluster through most of the first three quarters, unable to build any consistency through the air, but to be fair to Jurkovec, that wasn’t limited to his play. The offensive line was banged up all night, with wide receivers hitting several balls on the turf. However, Yurkovec was not enough.
Coach Pat Narduzzi never considered the idea of benching Jurkovec in the second half, as he did all last season. For better or worse, Jurkovec has Narduzzi’s full trust starting next week.
“I think it starts with the offensive line, first of all,” Narduzzi said. I said it after losing. “It takes 11. Everybody’s going to point to the quarterback. If you win the football game, he’s going to get all the glory. He’s a great quarterback and he’s very trusted. Yo.”
Narduzzi said Pitt needs to improve everything for next week’s Backyard Brawl in Morgantown, West Virginia, and that certainly includes Jurkovec’s play and offensive ability to mesh with every phase of the attack. He said it would be included.
“I think I just missed some throws,” Yurkovec said. “I’ve got to trust some plays more, trust them to be there, trust my training. Footwork and mistakes and getting out of the pocket too early and a little bit from there. I got away with it. So those are things I can fix.”
Backyard Brawl is scheduled for next Saturday in Morgantown at 7:30 p.m.