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Pitt QB Nick Patti “Likely” To Get Start Against UCLA In Sun Bowl

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Now that Pitt has made it down to El Paso, Texas, flying down late Christmas Day, the Sun Bowl is getting closer and closer.

There has been a plethora of opt-outs either because of the NFL Draft and the transfer portal, and perhaps the most pressing concern is who will be starting at quarterback.

That question was answered Monday afternoon after practice. Nick Patti, most likely, will start against No. 18 UCLA.

“Yeah, Nick Patti will start at quarterback most likely,” Narduzzi said Monday after Pitt’s practice at Eastwood High School in El Paso. “And we expect both (Nate Yarnell) of them play, we’ll kind of play it by ear and see how it goes.”

The quarterback competition had been an open competition between Patti and Yarnell during the week of bowl game practices back in Pittsburgh, with both playing well, but Patti was able to take a step forward as Yarnell dealt with an illness last week.

Patti is the veteran option in the quarterbacks room, and while he hasn’t been able to make a major impact on the football field during his four years in Pittsburgh, he certainly has made an impact in the locker room.

“The one thing I’ll tell you about Nick, he’s tough, he’s a competitor, he’s a smart football player and he’s a team guy,” Narduzzi said. “Our guys play for him. He’s probably our best leader at the quarterback position and our guys really like playing for Nick.”

In 2022, making two appearances, Patti completed 9-of-20 pass attempts for 79 yards and a touchdown. All of which came against Tennessee, on an injured ankle.

He missed time due to his ankle injury and returned to handle clean duty against Virginia in November.

In four seasons at Pitt, Patti has completed 51-of-87 pass attempts (58.6%) for 558 yards with four touchdowns and an interception. He’s also added 61 rushing yards and four more touchdowns.

Patti made the start in the Peach Bowl last season after Kenny Pickett opted out to prepare for the NFL, but as he dove into the end zone on a 16-yard touchdown scramble, he ended up breaking his collarbone in the first quarter.

The Sun Bowl will be Patti’s final game in a Pitt uniform, as Narduzzi announced last week that he will be moving on following the game.

A 2 p.m. kickoff at Sun Bowl Stadium in El Paso is scheduled, and the game will be broadcast nationally on CBS.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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Burton Tee
Burton Tee
1 month ago

PN’s use of QBs this season has been pretty bad. Patti should have been played during Slovis’ struggles. It’s pretty pathetic that Patti only has been used when it’s convenient for Pitt.

I’m glad that Patti is looking elsewhere but he should have done it a year ago.

I am guessing Yarnell will transfer too.

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