It’s finally here. It’s Pitt-Penn State week. For the first time since 2000, the in-state rivals will take to the field in the first of a home-and-home series this year and next year.
They’ll first meet in Heinz Field on Saturday, in front of a raucous crowd of Panther and Nittany Lion fans.
Leading up to the big game, we will be comparing the two teams position by position, starting with the quarterbacks.
Daniel Greenwald: Pitt returns quarterback Nate Peterman. A seasoned veteran, Peterman enters his senior season having started 12 games under center for the Panthers last year. He threw for 2,287 yards and rushed for 232 (after subtracting sack yardage) all to the tune of a solid 139.0 passer rating. Penn State starting quarterback Trace McSorley is entering his redshirt sophomore season. He’s amassed a scant 40 pass attempts and one career start, a 24-17 bowl game loss to Georgia, heading into the season. Going head to head with Nate Peterman, unfortunately for Mr. McSorley, he falls a bit short. I’ll sum my argument up by simply using the number 20. Trace McSorley has completed 20 passes thus far in his career before the start of this season, that’s cute. The same number 20, is how many touchdown passes Nate Peterman tossed last year for the Panthers en route to an 8 win season.
Jarrod Prugar: Both schools enter with relatively new quarterbacks at the helm. Trace McSorley has the benefit of being around his program for the previous three seasons while Nate Peterman had two years, one he sat out as a transfer from Tennessee and the other as the Panther’s starting quarterback last season. Peterman leads the way in experience, as McSorley’s only appeared in a few games and played predominantly in the TaxSlayer Bowl in January.
ADVANTAGE: Pitt, but Penn State will find out a lot about their quarterback as he goes up against a quality defense in the Panthers.