Pitt’s starting quarterback this week remains a mystery, one that will not be determined until game-time.
“Not yet,” Pat Narduzzi said Thursday when asked about the clarity in the quarterback room. “No, it will be a game-time decision.”
However, while Nick Patti is not in the starting equation this week, Kedon Slovis is. Both Slovis and Patti were injured last week against Tennessee, and while Slovis was knocked out of the game at halftime, his progress this week has allowed him the chance to return to the field this week against Western Michigan.
Both Derek Kyler and Nate Yarnell are also in the mix to start this week.
“(Kyler and Yarnell are) both mature,” Narduzzi said. “I think both of them got better the more reps they got this week because obviously, they got more reps. So, just the maturity, and I think they got better with a couple more reps.”
Neither Kyler nor Yarnell have received any live reps this season. Kyler has vastly more experience at the college, leading Dartmouth to an 18-2 record and an Ivy League championship over the last two seasons, and he was brought in to provide a veteran voice in the event of a scenario like Pitt is in now.
Yarnell hasn’t played much at Pitt, redshirting last season as a freshman and missing spring practices, but he’s worked his way into consideration after camp over the summer. And he’s taken reps during team periods because he has been around the team longer than Kyler.
“Kyler’s been good,” Narduzzi said Monday. “Nate Yarnell has been good. Nate Yarnell gives us most of the — probably two out of three team periods Nate’s given us a look.
“Because he’s done it before, that’s the guy we pick. Like defensively we want that guy. So he’s played more ball than Kyler has as far as just playing ball.”
When Pitt takes the field at Waldo Stadium Saturday night, with kick-off scheduled for 7:30 p.m., if Slovis is far along enough to play, he’ll be the starter. If not, I’d expect Kyler to make his start at Pitt.