Pat Narduzzi made up his mind earlier this week that, if healthy, Phil Jurkovec would start Saturday night against Virginia Tech.
And as Jurkovec has recovered from his undisclosed injury sustained against North Carolina, taking first team reps in practice available to the media this week, he’s officially starting against Virginia Tech, ESPN’s Pete Thamel first reported.
It’s been a difficult season for Jurkovec — and the entire offense — but it does appear that Jurkovec is Pitt’s best chance to win at this point in time.
And the chance to see Veilleux in action was a bit bittersweet, too, as Jurkovec was in the midst of his strongest start as a Pitt Panther, completing 11-of-15 pass attempts for 109 yards and leading two early touchdown drives. Narduzzi certainly saw a more comfortable Jurkovec under center.
“It’s been a while since I looked at Wofford, but he was pretty good against Wofford,” Narduzzi said Thursday at his weekly press conference. “But it was Wofford. As far as a Power Five game, I’d say that first half was really solid.
“He made good decisions with the football, that’s the first thing, it’s about decision-making and I think he was on target more. I think he was just more comfortable for whatever reason. He was comfortable.”
In three and a half games this season, Jurkovec has completed 46-of-90 pass attempts (51.1%) for 583 yards with four touchdowns and three interceptions — 81 yards and a touchdown on the ground. He simply hasn’t been good enough, and there are legitimate questions regarding the continued faith in Jurkovec, but he still has the faith of the coaching staff.
It hasn’t been an easy season for Jurkovec or the offense as a whole, but Pitt will look to turn it around against a Virginia Tech defense that surprisingly ranks as the top passing defense in the ACC — and the second-worst rushing defense.