PITTSBURGH— There’s a moment in the 1999 football film “Any Given Sunday” where embattled coach Tony D’Amato, played by Al Pacino, gives the following locker room speech to his team prior to a playoff game:
“You find out life’s this game of inches. So is football. Because in either game, life or football, the margin for error is so small.”It’s hard to think of a more apt metaphor for the recent fortunes of Pitt’s football team, which fell 31-30 in overtime to Boston College on Saturday a week after losing to North Carolina State, 30-29.
“Obviously, the last couple weeks we’ve come up a point short, which in my career I don’t know if I’ve ever been a point short two weeks in a row,” Pitt coach Pat Narduzzi said on Monday. “We’re this far away from really being 5-0, and that’s really the attitude we take.”
It’s easy to point to particular moments in each of the past two games that led to the results.
‘We’re that close’
Against Boston College, kicker Alex Kessman missed the extra point in overtime and two field goals during the game. Pitt’s defense couldn’t stop Boston College quarterback Phil Jurkovec from scoring on fourth-and-goal from the 2-yard line in the second quarter.
Against North Carolina State, Pitt’s offense was stuffed at the one-yard line on fourth down and failed to make a two-point conversion after a touchdown late in the fourth quarter.
“There’s the inches that we’ve lost, whether it’s getting more first downs and getting into probably a manageable field goal situation for (Kessman),” Narduzzi said, noting that Kessman’s missed field goals against Boston College were from 55 and 49 yards.
“I loved our kids’ attitude,” Narduzzi said. “I loved their toughness, but those inches that we’ve got to get.”