Pitt's season is officially 1/3 complete but that doesn't mean the Panthers' quarterback job is settled. Head coach Pat Narduzzi said as much in his recent press conference this week.
When discussing his two quarterbacks, Ben DiNucci and Max Browne, Narduzzi said, "We're still searching. It'll be a work in progress this week, and we'll see what happens."
Adding to the problem is that there was some confusion as to who has the job at the moment. DiNucci stated that Narduzzi told him he was the guy after the Georgia Tech game but Narduzzi said in his presser that wasn't really the case. Well, at least he didn't mean it.
"I just said, hey, go in there with confidence," Narduzzi said at the presser. "You're still our guy. He is still one of our guys; we've got two of them we like."
If that's exactly what Narduzzi said to DiNucci, I mean, I don't know how he wouldn't expect to be the quarterback. It seemed pretty clear cut to me.
My guess with what really happened is that Narduzzi did indeed say that to DiNucci. And I believe that Narduzzi meant it as well. What I don't think he wanted was for DiNucci to let the world know about it. Or, perhaps Narduzzi had second thoughts. But if you tell him he's still the guy, I don't know how else DiNucci should take that.
Ultimately, you obviously want Pitt to have a clear-cut decision but Narduzzi isn't quite there yet. The problem? Neither guy has really grabbed hold of the job and don't a great job with it.
Personally, I think DiNucci has given the team a little bit more and the offense at least accomplishes some things when he's out there. But with Pitt scoring so few points, it's hard to say he's really taken hold of the job, too.
One interesting note is that while DiNucci started last week, Browne actually got the first reps with the first team offense in practice on Tuesday. How much does that mean? I'm not so sure but it could indicate that Narduzzi still isn't sold on DiNucci.
Pitt's best play, to me, is to give DiNucci another look this week. There are officially no gimmes for Pitt at this point but a game against Rice should help him get a little more comfortable. And if you assume that DiNucci has the lead on the job right now and looks like the guy for the rest of this season, you should get him as many reps as you can until you're convinced he's not that guy.