Paul Zeise of the Post-Gazette got an answer from Todd Graham on the million dollar question - Is there a quarterback controversy? According to Graham, no:
"In all honesty the last interception that Tino threw was on us [the coaching staff]," Graham said. "We planned on putting Trey in anyway, it wasn’t that I pulled Tino, it was a planned deal, we were going to play [Anderson] anyway. I still have 100 percent belief in Tino and like I told you at the beginning of the year, he has a very difficult job, he has a lot on his plate and we’ve got to execute better at that position.
"But Tino is our quarterback and will be next week and we will move forward from there. I didn’t want to come out of this week, playing against an opponent we should totally dominate, and not get another quarterback any reps."
There are a few things to digest here, so let's get to it.
I believe that Graham fully intended to get Trey Anderson some reps and wrote as much in one of the previews of the Maine game. But if the coaching staff really was going to play Anderson regardless of what Tino Sunseri did on that previous drive, then there are serious issues with that. Pitt was only up by 13 at the time and with the fourth quarter just underway, the game was far from over. Regardless of how badly Graham wanted to get Anderson time, would it really have been worth it if Maine came back?
Of course not.
And if there was complete confidence in Sunseri, anyway, then why the need to get Anderson reps? Sure, you could play the injury angle and say that Anderson needs to be ready. But how many other programs would take out their starter in a close game merely to prepare the backup for the need to play in case of injury? Again, we're talking about 13 points - not 40, 30, or even 20. That's less than two touchdowns and with the offense struggling, not really the best time to be getting backups playing time.
Also, the first sentence of that second paragraph is a little cryptic. Take a closer look ... "and we will move forward from there." Graham essentially gives him a pass for next week, but he doesn't say anything about after that just that they'll "move forward from there." I take that to mean, it could be evaluated down the line.
Look, does Graham have to come out and give Tino a vote of confidence? Sure he does. The last thing he can afford is to throw all his eggs into one basket and risk damaging Tino's psyche - especially when Pitt is expected to need him this year and probably next year as well since Chad Voytik will only be a true freshman (assuming he signs, obviously). So I definitely am not going to rip Graham for his "100% confidence" thing, but I have a hard time believing that. If Tino starts off badly next week, do you really think we wouldn't see Anderson?
There may not be a full-blown controversy, but I do think we're closer to possibly seeing Anderson than maybe coach is letting on.