The Pitt Panthers already utilized a ball-control offense under former head coach Paul Chryst. Pitt fans can expect much of the same with new head coach Pat Narduzzi leading the way.
Pitt’s foundation will be built on playing strong, aggressive defense under Narduzzi’s supervision with a run-first offensive led by new offensive coordinator Jim Chaney.
“It doesn’t matter what their problems were in the past, we’ve got our system we need to put in and focus on that,” Narduzzi told ESPN.com’s Andrea Adelson.
Last season, Pitt ran the ball 610 times and averaged 5.3 yards per carry. Chaney’s, who previously served as the Arkansas Razorbacks’ offensive coordinator, called 557 running plays for an average of 5.1 yards per carry.
Narduzzi clearly found the right man to lead his offense.
“When you look at running our style of offense and what we’ve done here in the past, he’s one of the top names that comes to mind,” Narduzzi said. “He’s a perfect fit.”
All of this boils down to basically one thing: expect a ton carries for James Conner in 2015. The 250-pound back is an absolute workhorse who carried the ball 298 times as a sophomore.
The 2012 season was last time Narduzzi was part of a coaching staff that featured a running back over 240 pounds. Le’Veon Bell carried the ball 382 times that season.
Conner should expect a heavier workload.