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‘Tough Son of a Gun’: Nick Patti’s Gutsy Performance Wasn’t Lost Upon Teammates



Gavin Bartholomew didn’t see exactly what happened to leave Nick Patti sprawled in the dirt, team trainers attending his newly-inserted quarterback, but he could see the aftermath.

“He was hurting,” Bartholomew said following Pitt’s game. “I didn’t actually know what happened, but there were some plays you’d see him and he could barely walk.”

It wasn’t the strongest showing from Patti following Kedon Slovis being knocked out of the Tennessee game at halftime with an undisclosed injury, an undisclosed injury that occurred on the final offensive snap of the first half, but Patti entered the second half cold. And that was obvious to the naked eye.

Patti only completed 9-of-20 passing attempts for 79 yards and a touchdown on the night. He was off timing-wise with his wide receivers, which isn’t all that surprising after coming off the bench cold, but he did hit Jared Wayne on a crucial 4th-and-goal from the Tennessee 4-yard line with 2:23 left in regulation.

It was a nice throw, a great catch and it allowed Pitt to make it to overtime against Tennessee. Overtime wasn’t as kind to Pitt, or Patti for that matter, but it was a gutsy performance — even if Patti wasn’t able to showcase much. The offense, especially once Patti picked up a knock, was limited.

“A little bit (limited),” Pat Narduzzi said following the game. “A little bit, but he will be fine. His mobility was not what we wanted it to be, that’s for sure because Nick can run. It handcuffed Frank a little bit, but like I said, coach (Frank) Cignetti called one heckuva football game.”

Even with Patti fighting his own injury concerns, Narduzzi said that he was never close to turning the ball over to either Nate Yarnell or Derek Kyler to run the offense.

“Nick is a fighter,” Narduzzi said. “He is a tough son of a gun. He made some great shots out there. Nick played well.”

To say that Patti played well is one thing. I don’t know if that necessarily can be said, but no one can doubt his heart or resolve in standing in and giving Pitt a chance to win Saturday.

“I mean, we didn’t really lose a beat,” Habakkuk Baldonado said following the game. “Everybody on this team trusts Patti the same way they do Slovis. So, nobody really said anything, the defense stepped up as we should in the first half.”

Baldonado said he was happy with the way Patti stepped into the role and led Pitt’s offense without Slovis, and Israel Abanikanda echoed those sentiments. Abanikanda, the team MVP with 154 yards and a touchdown on the ground, caught a 21-yard toss from Patti to set up Patti’s game-tying touchdown pass to Wayne.

The offense once Slovis left, according to Bartholomew, already had an expectation to run the football more — which isn’t surprising given Abanikanda had just five first half carries. And Abanikanda himself felt like the offensive execution didn’t change at all. It was the same old, same old with both quarterbacks.

If Slovis is forced to miss any amount of time this season, especially in the next few weeks, it wouldn’t be a bad time for Patti to step in. It wasn’t the best showing against Tenessee, but Patti’s teammates trust him, the coaching staff watched him push Slovis every step for the starting job and he’s a capable college quarterback.

With a tough break in the Peach Bowl in December, Slovis’s arrival in January and the eventual Slovis starting quarterback announcement in August, Patti has done nothing but handle the situation with class. He’s a mature, experienced, talented option that just happens to be Pitt’s No. 2 quarterback.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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8 months ago

That’s only IF Patti is recovered enough from his injury next week (assuming Slovis hasn’t recovered yet either). Remember when Pickette had also given a gutsy performance but then had to miss multiple games afterwards. The battle for who’s the 3rd string QB will definitely be raging on this week.

8 months ago

If our offensive line keeps allowing our quarterbacks to get drilled on seemingly every play they’ll all need a Robert Downey Jr. Iron Man suit to make it through the season.

Tom D
Tom D
8 months ago

Patti is a really good if not great back up. Tough. If given the week to practice he will do great things. Not sure about the injury however. But he’s a solid back up.

On Campus Stadium Please
On Campus Stadium Please
8 months ago

High ankle sprains are bad, not sure what degree sprain but that could be a lingering issue all year for Patti

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