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Pat Narduzzi reportedly leaving Michigan State for Pitt

The Panthers were reportedly able to pry the 2013 Broyles Award winner out of East Lansing, where he's presided over some of the nation's best defenses.

Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

SB Nation 2014 College Football Guide

Michigan State defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi will reportedly become the new head coach at Pitt, according to Sports Illustrated's Pete Thamel. He replaces Paul Chryst, who left the Panthers after three years to take the Wisconsin job. Since the deal has yet to be finalized, no announcement is expected until after Christmas.

Narduzzi has been a hot candidate for several years now, but is only now leaving East Lansing. He's been the architect of some of the nation's best defenses at Michigan State. He first became a defensive coordinator in 2003 at Miami (Ohio), but he left for the same job at Cincinnati only one year later, where he began working under Mark Dantonio. When Dantonio left Cincinnati for Michigan State in 2007, Narduzzi made the trip north with him.

Statistically, the Spartan defense has been a monster for several years now. Here's how they stack up, and what Pitt fans might start looking forward to:

Year Scoring Defense (rank) Total Defense (rank)
2011 9th 5th
2012 10th 4th
2013 4th 1st
2014 13th 7th

Pitt's defense was fine in 2014, but there's plenty of room for improvement. The bigger question is if he can get the offense clicking, as this past year it was running back James Conner and an anemic passing game. Conner, who rushed for 1,675 yards and 24 touchdowns this year, will be back for 2015, as will quarterback Chad Voytik.