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Pitt

Pitt coach Pat Narduzzi still searching for starting quarterback

Jerry DiPaola
| Monday, Sept. 25, 2017, 1:30 p.m.
Pitt head coach Pat Narduzzi yells during the Oklahoma State game Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017 at Heinz Field.
Chaz Palla
Pitt head coach Pat Narduzzi yells during the Oklahoma State game Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017 at Heinz Field.

Pitt coach Pat Narduzzi said Monday he still isn't ready to name a starting quarterback for Saturday's game against Rice, even though Ben DiNucci said he was told by the coach, “I'm still the guy.”

“We're still searching,” Narduzzi said. “It will be a work in progress this week and we'll see what happens.

“He's still one of our guys,” he said of DiNucci. “We have two of them we like.”

Narduzzi didn't deny making that comment to DiNucci after the 35-17 loss to Georgia Tech on Saturday. But he said he made the remark prior to DiNucci's postgame interview with reporters as a way to build up his confidence and congratulate him for the well-orchestrated touchdown drive to start the game.

“I wanted to make sure he went in with confidence with you guys (reporters) so you guys didn't get after him,” Narduzzi said.

DiNucci, a sophomore from Pine-Richland, made his first collegiate start against Georgia Tech, completing 12 of 19 passes for 110 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions.

After he lost a fumble on a botched handoff in the fourth quarter, DiNucci was replaced by senior Max Browne, the former starter.

Pitt was trailing, 28-17. at the time, and Browne finished the game, completing 10 of 15 passes for 88 yards.

“I thought Ben did some nice things,” Narduzzi said. “I thought Max did some great things when he was in there, too. “There are some things we need to do better. When we have eight three-and-outs, I don't feel very good. It was our worst performance running the ball (37 yards).

“Ben can make plays with his feet. He scrambles around and does a lot of things, but he still has a lot of room for improvement as well does Max.

“When you watch the tape, there are a lot of things we have to work on.”

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