MORGANTOWN, W.V. — Pitt redshirt senior quarterback Phil Jurkovec didn’t speak to the media following the loss to West Virginia in the Backyard Brawl Saturday night at Milan Puskar Stadium.
Jurkovec played poorly against the Mountaineers in the 17-6 defeat. He completed just eight of his 18 throws, only had 84 yards and threw three interceptions with 0 touchdowns.
His three interceptions are the most in a Backyard Brawl since Rod Rutherford threw three in 2003, although Rutherford also threw for four touchdowns in the 52-31 loss. His 84 passing yards are also the least in a Backyard Brawl since Pat Bostick threw for 67 yards in 2007. Bostick also won that game, as it ended in the famous 13-9 victory for Pitt who knocked off No. 2 WVU and stopped them from going to the BCS National Championship game.
The sixth year quarterback has played poorly in these past two games. He completed just 10 of his 32 passes for 179 yards and three touchdowns, with many of his throws inaccurate, over thrown, under thrown or poorly placed, in the 27-21 loss to Cincinnati in the River City Rivalry last weekend.
Following the Cincinnati loss, Jurkovec spoke to the media in what is now an infamous press conference. He complained about the home fans booing him and didn’t care for their displeasure in his performance.
Panthers head coach Pat Narduzzi has full confidence in Phil Jurkovec, saying that against the Bearcats and the Mountaineers, that he never wanted to bench his starter at any time. Panthers offensive coordinator Frank Cignetti Jr., who coached Jurkovec at Boston College in 2020 and 2021, also has full support in him.
Jurkovec’s three interceptions are the most in a game in his career. He has thrown two interceptions in a game five times previously in his three seasons at Boston College from 2020-22.
He is also the first Pitt quarterback to throw three interceptions or more in a game since Kenny Pickett did so against Clemson on the road in 2020. Pickett also completed two touchdowns in that game and played against one of the best teams in the country, as Clemson would go on to make the College Football Playoff.
Narduzzi also intends to start Jurkovec next week against No. 20 North Carolina on Saturday, Sept. 23 at Acrisure Stadium, set to kickoff at 8:00 p.m. and broadcasted on the ACC Network.