Pitt head coach Pat Narduzzi announced on Wednesday that Nick Patti will start at quarterback for Pitt in the Peach Bowl. The team will be without usual starter Kenny Pickett, as he decided to forgo the bowl game to prepare for the 2022 NFL draft.
“Right now, Nick is the guy,” Narduzzi said at a press conference on Wednesday. “And he deserves to be the guy.”
Patti has played intermittently for Pitt during his college career, making just one start against Delaware in 2019 and stepping in for Pickett from time to time. All told, he has made 16 appearances for the Panthers over the past three years after redshirting as a freshman, and in those 16 appearances, Patti has thrown for 458 yards and three touchdowns and limited himself to one interception.
With that said, Patti played well in the one start of his career, as he threw for 271 yards and two scores against the Blue Hens. He also threw the lone pick of his career in that game but was accurate for the most part, as he completed 62.2 percent of his 37 pass attempts in the 17-14 victory over the FCS program.
In the Peach Bowl, Patti will face the worst secondary in the nation, as Michigan State has allowed 337.7 passing yards per game to opposing quarterbacks in 2021. Patti will also have Biletnikoff Award winner Jordan Addison and All-American Gavin Bartholomew as targets downfield. And he’ll have the help of Israel Abanikanda, Rodney Hammond and Vincent Davis in the backfield.