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Inconsistent Chad Voytik battles through game against Virginia Tech

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Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Chad Voytik has been up and down all season, so what was another inconsistent performance tonight, right?

Pitt's quarterback wasn't awful, but he had his down moments, too, against the Hokies in the Panthers' 21-16 win at home on Thursday night.

Looking strictly at the box score for passing, Voytik had a pretty down game. At the end of the night, he was a reasonable 10-17, but had only 92 passing yards and a touchdown with an interception. 53 of those yards came on one play to Tyler Boyd on a deep touchdown route, which, admittedly, was a good throw. Overall, however, Voytik didn't get much done in the passing game. No other wide receiver even caught a ball, in fact.

In addition, he also was responsible for the team's only two turnovers - one coming on a fumble that Virginia Tech couldn't capitalize on, and an interception that the Hokies eventually turned into a field goal before the half. Voytik also nearly had a pass in the fourth quarter that was nearly picked off.

Fortunately, Voytik contributed to the team in other ways, salvaging his night. He was on the receiving end of a Tyler Boyd throw on a trick play that went for 29 yards. The catch actually made Voytik the second-leading receiver in the game for Pitt. Where he did his real damage, however, was on the ground.

Voytik was the team's leading rusher, accounting for 118 yards on 19 carries. Voytik broke off a few big runs, including a 49-yard scramble on Pitt's first play in the fourth quarter, which set up a 13-yard James Conner touchdown run. In addition to several designed runs, Voytik also made a few wise decisions to improvise and pick up positive yardage.

He also was hampered by an injury to his left hand. That, coupled with the weather and poor throwing conditions, didn't help his cause. It'd be ridiculous to try to make excuses for some of the negative plays he had, but a quarterback playing through an injury on a rainy night against a great defense isn't exactly the easiest thing in the world.

As has been the case all season long, the Pitt quarterback wasn't perfect. But the ability to make something out of nothing and even break off big running plays is really something that's benefited the team. The passing game still has a ways to go, but Voytik's plays on the ground helped Pitt win the game.

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