Pitt head coach Pat Narduzzi addressed the media on Monday following the team's embarrassing loss to Oklahoma State this weekend. One thing discussed? You got it - the quarterbacks.
Max Browne has been the team's starter in each of Pitt's three games this year. But on Saturday, he was replaced by Ben DiNucci, who provided somewhat of a boost in leading the team to a couple of offensive touchdowns after the Panthers were shut out in the first half.
After the game on Saturday, Narduzzi wasn't ready to name a starter and he didn't do that on Monday, either.
"The quarterback situation is -- we're going to continue to evaluate," Narduzzi said. "They both do some really good things on tape. Obviously Ben sparked things with his feet and his athletic ability and what he can do running the ball, and he does some great things, which we know. And Ben does the -- Max does the same thing in the passing game. Doesn't have as much ability to run and run the zone reads and all those things, although I think he's capable."
I said earlier that it wouldn't surprise me to see him wait until game day to make a decision. Narduzzi seemed to confirm that, while he doesn't think it hurts Georgia Tech all that much, that it's what he plans to do.
That doesn't mean a decision hasn't already been reached. And Narduzzi sort of indirectly indicated that after he was asked if he had made a decision.
"You have some thoughts," he said. "Coach Watson has got some thoughts and we all have thoughts together offensively. Talk to the whole offensive staff. We all have thoughts, but if you come into practice and you fumble the ball three times and you throw three picks on Tuesday and you do the same thing on Wednesday, who are you playing?"
Now, my feeling has been that he's going to start DiNucci and give him a shot. And I completely believe a decision's already been reached. Otherwise, he would have been more adamant in his answer that the spot was really up for grabs. But Narduzzi's follow-up comments could make it seem to some as if DiNucci's turnovers would drive him to play Browne instead.
"I mean, some guys can make some plays with their feet, but if you turn the ball over it's going to hurt the team big time, and we've done that two weeks in a row," he added. "You're minus in the turnover ratio, it doesn't help anybody, and we've got to sustain drives this week."
I don't know how you go back to playing Browne unless DiNucci is a mess at practice. It was pretty clear that, despite the turnovers, that he was able to get a little more out of the offense. I wouldn't be completely floored if he decides to go with Brown on the road but I would definitely be surprised given last weekend's game.
One other note, since it gets mentioned from time to time. Narduzzi was asked about his other quarterback options and, yeah, barring an injury, those guys aren't playing right now.
"It's hard to get three guys ready for a game," he said, when asked about trying to get another quarterback in the mix. "It's hard enough getting two guys ready. Those two guys have been the guys from the beginning, and those are the two guys we're going to stick with."