Pitt head coach Pat Narduzzi has had one common question during his press conferences the past few weeks.
“Who is going to be your starting quarterback?”
Narduzzi put an end to all future questions like that when he announced on the ACC coaches teleconference on Wednesday that Nate Peterman would be the Panthers starting quarterback going forward.
Peterman started for the Panthers on Saturday in a loss to the Iowa Hawkeyes and didn’t play too bad, despite throwing a pair of early interceptions. He finished the night by completing 20-of-29 pass attempts for 219 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He looked especially comfortable throwing the football late in the game as he led Pitt to a tying touchdown on their final drive. Peterman completed 8-of-11 passes for 75 yards to tie the game at 24. In addition to throwing a touchdown to Tyler Boyd, he stepped up and completed a pair of big fourth-down throws.
With James Conner out for the season, expect the Panthers to lean on the pass a little bit more. That is something that played a role in Narduzzi’s decision.
“With our run game not going like we needed it to go, we were forced into throwing it,” Narduzzi said. “I think we threw it pretty good and Nathan spearheaded that.”
Now the backup, junior Chad Voytik had started the past 15 games under center for the Panthers. Narduzzi did say that he will get Voytik some playing time, likely with specialized packages.
However Narduzzi expects Voytik to battle back and challenge Peterman for the starting job down the road.
“I’m telling you, he’s the best competitor we have on this football team,” Narduzzi said. “He’s going to make Nathan better, I think Nathan’s made him better. If we don’t make the plays, something needs to be done. We let the competition go for a while, and there was a true competition going on there. Like I said, we can name Nathan the starter, but that competition’s not going to end.”
Photo Credit: Post Gazette