Saturday, August 13, 2022

The picket-less pit leads to the bar in the Peach Bowl

PITTSBURGH ( Associated Press) — Kenny Pickett walked into Pittsburgh coach Pat Narduzzi’s office last week and spent 30 minutes laughing about the 13th-ranked Panthers’ remarkable season, one that won him the program’s first ACC title and Pickett’s NFL Draft. But took it to a prominent place. Board.

Narduzzi knew what was happening, so when his senior quarterback said he was leaving the Peach Bowl to focus on the next phase of his growing career, he didn’t panic. It would have been selfish to ask Pickett to do something else.

Furthermore, Narduzzi knows that the wardrobe is hardly bare. Nick isn’t ready to step into the bar when Pitt (11-2) faces No. 10 Michigan State (10-2) in Atlanta next week. Narduzzi officially tabbed Patti as a starter on Wednesday as the Panthers try to win 12 games in a season for the second time in their 117-year history.

“Nick is the kind of guy this whole room trusts,” Narduzzi said. “He’s a good football player. He can throw the ball. … We’re excited to see what Nick can do. His time in this game is to show Panther Nation … Show everyone who he is Is. “

When Pickett took over the Pitt record book, Patti played less this season while serving as a lead student. Pickett set new points in touchdown passes (42) and yard passing (4,319), while also becoming the school’s career leader in both categories.

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“It’s clearly a great loss for us,” said Lucas Krull, who was named in Piquet’s place as offensive captain on Wednesday. “But at the same time, you know, we knew it was going to be a possibility because he’s the best quarterback in this draft.”

Still, Krull and the Panthers believe they can be quite maneuverable, even while wearing a Pickett headset. They still have Jordan Edison, Biletnikoff winner as the country’s top receiver, and trailing behind Vincent Davis, Israel Abanicanda and Rodney Hammond.

While Pitt may be missing both Pickett and offensive coordinator Mark Whipple — who left for the same job in Nebraska two weeks ago — the Panthers also see the Peach Bowl as an opportunity to prove that they don’t love firecrackers. There are far more in comparison Pickett regularly produced this fall. ,

“I mean, it’s everything right now,” said senior linebacker Phil Campbell. “I mean, it’s huge. We have a big chip on our shoulders right now. You know, we’re just going out and trying to prove, you know, who we are one more time.”

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Even though Piquet, the team’s undisputed leader, will be looking instead to play for the first time since missing two games in 2020 while recovering from ankle surgery.

Patti worked with the team’s wide receivers on her own during finals week, and the start against Michigan State came in the wake of the landing of Panthers’ Southern California quarterback Caydon Slovis, who announced Tuesday that he would be replacing Pitt in January. are.

That means, despite being a fixture in the quarterback room for the past four years, there’s no guarantee Patti will go into 2022. Still, the Peach Bowl gives him an opportunity to take an early lead in the four-headed quarterback derby. If Joey Yellen and Davis Beville will be together next spring.

“It’s a great opportunity for (Patti),” Narduzzi said. “I don’t want him to stress about it too much. He just needs to go out and play. He’s just as closed as anyone… He’s been drawn to this moment for a long time and I have a lot of faith in him.” “


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